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Courtesy of Royal Caribbean International

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Overview

Empress of the Seas has gone through several transformations since first setting sail in 1990. It changed names (it was originally called "Nordic Empress"), switched cruise lines (it was transferred to a Spanish cruise line in 2008) and underwent a $50 million renovation after rejoining the Royal Caribbean fleet in early 2016. It is one of Royal Caribbean's smaller ships, carrying 2,270 passengers and 668 crew members.

While it doesn't include the ample amount of activities and dining options found on other Royal Caribbean ships (this ship only hosts three restaurants), recent passengers appreciated that public spaces like the main dining room and two pools weren't crowded. Guests can sip cocktails at one of four bars, play games at the casino or book treatments at the spa.

Another perk to the ship's smaller size? More than half of the staterooms offer ocean views. Guests can also opt for Interior or Suite category cabins. Past cruisers said one of the biggest drawbacks of Empress of the Seas was the lack of activities for older children, as the ship only sports one youth club.

In 2018-19, Empress of the Seas departs from Miami and sails mostly to various ports in Cuba, including Havana. Additional itineraries include stops in Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and more.  

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Empress of the Seas has gone through several transformations since first setting sail in 1990. It changed names (it was originally called "Nordic Empress"), switched cruise lines (it was transferred to a Spanish cruise line in 2008) and underwent a $50 million renovation after rejoining the Royal Caribbean fleet in early 2016. It is one of Royal Caribbean's smaller ships, carrying 2,270 passengers and 668 crew members.

While it doesn't include the ample amount of activities and dining options found on other Royal Caribbean ships (this ship only hosts three restaurants), recent passengers appreciated that public spaces like the main dining room and two pools weren't crowded. Guests can sip cocktails at one of four bars, play games at the casino or book treatments at the spa.

Another perk to the ship's smaller size? More than half of the staterooms offer ocean views. Guests can also opt for Interior or Suite category cabins. Past cruisers said one of the biggest drawbacks of Empress of the Seas was the lack of activities for older children, as the ship only sports one youth club.

In 2018-19, Empress of the Seas departs from Miami and sails mostly to various ports in Cuba, including Havana. Additional itineraries include stops in Key West, Grand Cayman, Cozumel and more.  

Ship Size
L
Price
$$$$
Year Built
N/A

Pros & Cons

  • More in-depth Cuba itineraries than other cruise lines offer

  • Ship lacks many of the bells and whistles of newer, larger ships in the fleet

Rankings

Empress of the Seas ranks #19 out of 24 Royal Caribbean International Cruise Ships based on an analysis of expert and user ratings, as well as health ratings.

3.90Scorecard
  • 3.5Expert Rating »
  • 3.9Traveler Rating »
  • 4.5Health Rating »

Cabins

Empress of the Seas offers a wide range of accomodation options. Browse cabins to find the stateroom that suits your needs.

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Deck Plans

Empress of the Seas contains 9 decks. Find out which features are available on each Empress of the Seas deck.

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Traveler Reviews

A ship’s traveler rating is provided under license by Cruiseline.com , which manages one of the largest databases of cruise reviews and ratings by travelers. A total of 708 guests have reviewed Empress of the Seas, giving it a rating of 3.9 on a scale of 1-5.

Cruiseline Travel Rating:

3.9 out of 5(708 reviews)

Reviews by Traveler Type

Couples48.3%
Singles/Friends15.4%
Families w/older children12.1%
Families w/young children6.8%
Groups3.7%
Read most recent traveler reviews »

Ship Photos

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Disclaimers about ship ratings: A ship’s Health Rating is based on vessel inspection scores published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If a ship did not receive a CDC score within 22 months prior to the calculation of its Overall Rating, its Health Rating appears as N/A; in such a case, the ship’s Overall Rating is calculated using the average Health Rating of all CDC-rated ships within the cruise line. All ship Traveler Ratings are based on ratings provided under license by Cruiseline.com.

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