Empress of the Seas Cruise Review by WavesAway
- Sail Date: December 2018
- Destination: Cuba
- Cabin Type: Ocean View Stateroom
We had dinner in the dining room 6 out of the 8 nights, where the food was usually good; there were just a few times that it wasn’t good enough to finish or try to finish. The cod on the second night was not good (but the sauce was), and the French onion soup off the always available menu wasn’t good, at all. The filet of sole about the fifth night, however, was excellent. It would have been nice to have the dining room open for lunch because the Windjammer Café was very crowded for the first hour or so at lunchtime. One day, the main lines in the Windjammer were so crowded that we went to the burger line; there were pork and chicken burgers but the hamburger tray was empty. I took a chicken burger, then discovered there wasn’t barbecue sauce. Alas, even the ketchup bottles were empty. The chicken burger turned out to be quite dry, so it could have benefited from some sort of sauce. Another day at lunch, there was fish and when I asked for tartar sauce, was told there was none. At breakfast, the orange juice and apple juice were very strong. I do not care for watery juices, so for me to feel like I needed to add water was extraordinary. Cleanliness in the Windjammer Café didn’t reach a top score: on more than one occasion, when I reached for the salt shaker, it had not been cleaned lately and was crusted with food from other peoples’ fingers.
Even in the evening, dress on board was quite casual, which was fortunate considering there wasn’t a lot of space in cabins to store gowns, cocktail dresses, tuxedos and dark suits. On at least one evening, recommended dress was above smart casual, and many ladies did wear fancy dresses while men wore suits and ties. I also saw people in shorts and blue jeans in the dining room, but no one blinked and eye.
The library was small, and appeared to be comprised of books that had been donated by guests on previous cruises. By the second or third day, however, they were nearly all checked out. There are many comfortable places around the ship to sit and read, both indoors and on deck.
Front desk staff was nice, but didn’t go out of their way to find answers to unusual questions. Excursion staff didn’t know a lot of about the excursions that wasn’t printed in the brochure.
I signed up for one shore excursion, but it was cancelled because of equipment failure.
Would I go to Cuba again? Heck, yes! Would it be on the same ship? Probably not.
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