Empress of the Seas

Royal Caribbean announces new Empress of the Seas sailings from Big Apple and Montreal in 2020

In:
31Jul2019

Royal Caribbean will offer cruises on Empress of the Seas from homeports in Cape Liberty, New Jersey and Montreal, Canada.

With Cuba sailings no longer an option, Royal Caribbean has begun offering new itineraries that will take Empress of the Seas to new ports and destinations. Empress will offer guests the opportunity to see "the seaside lights and historic sights" of Canada and New England with more to see from Montreal to Newport. In addition, she will offer longer stays in Bermuda with overnight stays in St. George’s Island and Hamilton. Plus 6, 7 and 8 night Caribbean itineraries from Miami.

Beginning in May 2020, Empress of the Seas will offer sailings out of Cape Liberty, New Jersey to destinations in Bermuda, New England and Canada. 

Later in 2020, Empress moves to Montreal, Canada, where she will offer 10, 11 and 12- night sailings around Quebec, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

In October 2020, Empress heads south to Miami, Florida, where she will sail a variety of Caribbean itineraries. These 6, 7 and 8 night sailings will visit destinations in the Eastern and Western Caribbean, and extend through April 2021.

You can view the full list of Empress of the Seas 2020-2021 sailings available for booking. The new sailings are available for booking immediately.

These new sailings are in addition to the recently announced January - April 2020 sailings Royal Caribbean released earlier this month.

Royal Caribbean cancels ship stop in Puerto Rico due to protests

In:
16Jul2019

Royal Caribbean canceled a scheduled port stop in San Juan, Puerto Rico for Empress of the Seas over concerns of ongoing protests against Puerto Rico's governor.

Royal Caribbean Corporate Communications manager Owen Torres issued a statement, "In light of current unrest in San Juan, Puerto Rico, we have canceled today’s call to San Juan. Empress of the Seas has been re-routed to Tortola, and our guests will receive refunds for prepaid shore excursions. We continue to monitor the situation closely and will make adjustments as necessary to ensure the safety and security of our guests and crew."

The demonstrations are part of a multi-day protest that are calling for the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rosselló after sexist private chat messages were leaked.

Empress of the Seas is scheduled to return to Miami on Sunday.  

Royal Caribbean releases new itineraries for Empress of the Seas in 2020

In:
10Jul2019

Royal Caribbean announced new itineraries for Empress of the Seas in 2020 that include stops at Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Empress of the Seas will continue to depart from Miami, adding Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands as a new destination for the cruise line. Virgin Gorda is well-known for hidden grottos and giant boulders, the idyllic island offers sun-soaked discovery for adventure seekers of all types.

Empress’ 6- to 8-night Eastern and Western Caribbean sailings will also visit Mexico, Belize and The Bahamas, as well as Perfect Day at CocoCay on select itineraries.

Cruises on Empress departing from January through April 2020 are now available to book. Details for the ship’s 2020-21 deployment will be announced and available to book in the upcoming weeks.   

Royal Caribbean cancels all scheduled visits to Cuba

In:
05Jun2019

Royal Caribbean announced today, it will replace all Cuban ports that were scheduled for its ships to visit with alternative ports due to new U.S. government regulations that prohibit travel from the U.S. to Cuba by cruise ship.

The two ships that were offering cruises to Cuba, Majesty of the Seas and Empress of the Seas, have had alternative ports secured.

In addition, Royal Caribbean is offering the option of guests on affected sailings remaining on the cruise and receiving a 50% refund, or they can cancel their cruise and receive a full refund.

Royal Caribbean issued a statement elaborating on the nature of the changes made, "In response to the U.S. government’s policy change imposing immediate restrictions on cruise ship travel between the U.S. and Cuba, we are informing our guests of revised itineraries for a limited number of sailings with Cuban port calls.

All 2019 sailings on the Majesty of the Seas and Empress of the Seas will have alternative ports in the Caribbean.  Guests will have the option to cancel their current booking for a full refund, or to keep their sailing date with a new itinerary and receive a 50 percent refund.

We are working on alternate itineraries for 2020 sailings and will share those details with guests and travel partners as they become available. We appreciate our guests’ patience and flexibility as we adjust to accommodate the new regulation."

Scheduled 2020 sailings on both Majesty of the Seas and Empress of the seas are still in the process of being worked on to find alternative ports, and Royal Caribbean estimates it will communicate those changes within the next week.

The United States Treasury Department announced yesterday new regulations that will end group travel to Cuba for “people to people” educational purposes and prohibiting visits to the island via cruise ships.

Royal Caribbean cruise ship rescues sailors stranded at sea for 20 days

In:
21Dec2018

Royal Caribbean's Empress of the Seas rescued two stranded mariners who had been at sea for 20 days, somewhere between Grand Cayman and Jamaica.

Royal Caribbean Chief Meteorologist James Van Fleet shared the update, with photos of the rescue at sea being conducted by Empress of the Seas officers and crew.

What makes the rescue even more remarkable is the fact Empress of the Seas was not scheduled to be there.  Due to adverse weather conditions on Empress' original route, the ship's itinerary was altered and ended up "being in the right time, at the right place."

Royal Caribbean expands Cuba sailings in 2018 and adds two new ports

In:
30Nov2017

Royal Caribbean announced today it is doubling its sailings to Cuba in 2018, with two ships offering cruises there - Majesty of the Seas and Empress of the Seas.  In addition, Royal Caribbean is adding two new destinations to itineraries.

The new Cuba ports will of Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos on the southeast coast, will be visited by Royal Caribbean and add a new dimension to an array of 4- to 8-night Caribbean adventures on Empress of the Seas that open for sale today.

Departing from Miami year-round, Empress cruise vacations will include 7-night Best of Cuba itineraries to Cienfuegos, Havana and Nassau, Bahamas; 5-night sailings visiting Key West, Florida and spending the night in Havana; and an immersive 8-night journey to Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba, Grand Cayman, and Labadee, Haiti. Majesty of the Seas will continue the 4- and 5-night offerings to Havana that include day and overnight stays, departing from Tampa from April to October 2018, and Ft. Lauderdale from November 2018 to March 2019.

All sailings to Cuba will offer shore excursions designed for guests to experience the destination and to comply with the people-to-people educational exchange activities requirement as set forth in the U.S. regulations.

“Cuba is such an important part of Caribbean culture, and we can’t wait to call on Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos next year, showcasing even more of the country’s scenic beauty, rich history and distinctive architecture,” said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. “Cruising remains the easiest way to visit Cuba, and with both Empress and Majesty sailing there in 2018 and 2019, we hope to make it that much easier for adventure seekers to experience the legendary island.”

Royal Caribbean redeploying four cruise ships for 2018-2019

In:
16Nov2017

Royal Caribbean informed travel partners that four of its cruise ships will be redeployed in 2018-2019.

In an unusual occurrence, Royal Caribbean is changing the deployment of ships that have already been announced.  Much of the change is merely swapping one cruise ship for another, but there are some cancellations included as well.

Majesty of the Seas will move to Tampa for sailings between 6/22/18 - 4/29/19.

The following Majesty of the Seas sailings are being cancelled: 5/7/18 - 6/18/18.

Guests on these canceled sailings will have their ship changed to Enchantment of the Seas.

Empress of the Seas sailings for 5/9/18 - 3/30/19 will be changed to Majesty of the Seas.

In addition to the change in ship, the 6/25/18, 8/6/18, 9/3/18, 9/17/18, and 10/1/18 sailings' itineraries will be modified.

Enchantment of the Seas will move to Port Canaveral, Florida for sailings between: 5/4/18 - 4/15/19

Guests on these sailings will be moved to Vision of the Seas, a ship in the same class.

The following Enchantment of the Seas sailings are being cancelled: 6/23/18 - 3/13/19 & 4/19/19.

Vision of the Seas is being moved to Galveston. 

The following Vision of the Seas sailings are being cancelled: 3/9/19 - 4/13/19.

New sailings will be open and ready to book on November 21st, 2017.

Royal Caribbean cancels Empress of the Seas sailing due to Hurricane Irma

In:
10Sep2017

Royal Caribbean announced today it has cancelled the September 13th sailing of Empress of the Seas sailing to Cuba due to Hurricane Irma.

Royal Caribbean decided to cancel this sailing, along with the September 15th Majesty of the Seas sailing, to utilize the ship for humanitarian efforts in areas of the Caribbean with urgent need. Empress of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas are ready to assist Key West and Tampa once the impact of the storm is known.

For both the Empress sailing on 9/13 and the Majesty sailing on 9/15, the cruise fare and fees will be 100% refunded to the original form of payment, and Royal Caribbean is also offering a 25% future cruise credit, based on the cruise fare, if a new cruise is booked in the next 30 days. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call 1-800-256-6649.

Hurricane Irma is a category 4 storm with sustained winds of 130 mph. The eye of the storm is currently moving through the Keys and is moving northwest at 8 mph. The storm should exit the Florida area late Monday, pre-dawn Tuesday.

Royal Caribbean opens year-long Cuba cruises

In:
10May2017

Royal Caribbean has expanded its cruises to Cuba on Empress of the Seas with 58 cruises of 4- and 5-night itineraries from January 2018 through March 2019, more than half offering overnight stays.

Empress of the Seas will return to Tampa for summer 2018, offering a series of 4- and 5-night cruises, calling on Key West, Florida, and Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico, as well as Havana, Cuba on most sailings. The ship will reposition to Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for the winter 2018-2019 season, continuing short Caribbean adventures to the Caribbean destinations. Currently, Empress sails from Tampa through Nov. 4, 2017. The ship then returns to Miami for the winter 2017-2018 season, adding calls to Royal Caribbean’s private island destination CocoCay and Nassau in The Bahamas.

"Since arriving in Cuba for the first time last month, we’ve seen the excitement of our guests when sailing into Havana and the passion they have for the city at sail away – its people, its architecture, its food, its music. This is the enthusiasm we strive to bring to adventure-seekers who vacation with us," said Michael Bayley, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean International. "The positive reaction to our Cuba sailings is very encouraging, and we are thrilled to expand on the number of sailings for our 2018-2019 itineraries."

Royal Caribbean cruise ship makes first stop in Cuba

In:
23Apr2017

Royal Caribbean's Empress of the Seas arrived in Havana, Cuba earlier this morning, marking the first Royal Caribbean International ship to stop in Cuba.

Thanks to Halee Whiting for providing these photos.

Empress of the Seas departed Miami earlier this week, as part of a 5-night sailing that culminated with an historic first visit to Cuba. The cruise has been filled with a number of special events and festivities, from cortaditos and café con leche in Café Royal to salsa music and dancing in the Boleros Latin lounge.  There was even a special Cuban-inspired dining room menu.

After months of negotiating, Royal Caribbean announced it would offer cruises to Cuba in December 2016.  Royal Caribbean offers regular sailings to Cuba, including some sailings with an overnight visit, through the end of 2016, along with stops in Key West, FL. and Cozumel, Mexico.

 

We will update this post with additional photos and coverage as the day progresses. Keep checking back.

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