Empress Of The Seas Review and Specifications
Specifications of Empress Of The Seas
|Year built||1990 / Age : 29|
|Builder||Chantiers de l’Atlantique (Saint-Nazaire, STX France)|
|Building cost||USD 170 million|
|Owner||Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd|
|Operator||Royal Caribbean International|
|Speed||20 kn / 37 kph / 23 mph|
|Length (LOA)||210 m / 689 ft|
|Beam (width)||30 m / 98 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||48563 gt|
|Passengers||1592 - 1910|
|Decks with cabins||5|
|Former names||Future Seas, Nordic Empress, Pullmantur Empress|
|Christened by||Gloria Estefan|
Review of Empress Of The Seas
Launched in 1990 as Nordic Empress, Empress Of The Seas was previously sailing as one of the Pullmantur Cruises ships, Pullmantur Empress (2008-2016).
History - construction and ownership
Royal Caribbean International (RCI) is an US company, trademarked brand and subsidiary owned by Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd (RCCL, shipowner). RCI was established in 1968 and currently has over 1/5 of the worldwide cruise market. RCI also has RCCL's largest fleet as both number of vessels and GT tonnage (ship sizes and capacities). All Royal Caribbean liners have names ending with "of the Seas".
During its service history, the Empress cruise ship (construction order name “Future Seas”) was operating under the names Nordic Empress (1990-2004, constructed for the Admiral Cruise Lines /defunct), MS Empress (aka “Pullmantur Empress”, 2004-2008, operated by the RCCL’s subsidiary company Pullmantur Cruises, Spain) and under its current name “Empress of the Seas” (between 2004-2008, and from 2016 onwards).
- In 1987, the Royal Caribbean company merged with the future ship’s owner Admiral Cruises, so the Admiral brand was dissolved. The still under construction vessel was incorporated into the RCI fleet and named “Nordic Empress” – the last RCI ship with a name without the suffix “of the Seas”. The vessel’s name was changed to the current “Empress of the Seas” on May 8, 2004, following an extensive refit and refurbishment.
- In March 2007 was announced that starting March 2008, the ship will be transferred to Pullmantur. The Empress’ final Royal Caribbean cruise was on March 7, 2008. Her inaugural cruise as Pullmantur Empress was on March 15, 2008.
- November 2012, the vessel was the first in the Pullmantur’s fleet to receive the line’s new logo and hull colors.
- October 2015, the shipowner announced that Pullmantur Empress, after a dry dock refurbishment in March-April 2016 will be transferred back to the RCI fleet.
The 48,563-ton, 1,910-passenger cruise ship Empress Of The Seas is classic and luxury, attractive to cruisers who prefer to relax between visiting exotic destinations. In 2008, Royal Caribbean International thought the ms Empress had to retire, but Pullmantur Cruises proved them wrong.
Cruise itinerary program
Empress Of The Seas, which left the Royal Caribbean fleet in 2008, sails on short cruises out of Miami after spending 8 years with the subsidiary company Pullmantur. The cruise ship offers 3-, 4- and 5-night itineraries (starting March 2016), including some 5-nights with Cozumel Mexico overnights.
- For winter 2017-2018, the ship cruises from Miami to Bahamas (Coco Cay and Nassau.
- For summer 2018, the ship will operate to Tampa FL on 4- and 5-night roundtrip itineraries to Key West FL and Mexico (Costa Maya, Cozumel), also including Havana Cuba on most cruises.
- For winter 2018-2019, the ship repositions to Fort Lauderdale FL to operate on short Caribbean itineraries.
On December 1, 2017, RCI added 2 new Cuban ports (Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos) included in 4- to 8-night long Caribbean itineraries on Empress of the Seas. The new 7-night "Best of Cuba" itinerary from Miami visits Cienfuegos, Havana and Nassau. The 5-night itinerary visits Key West Florida and Havana (overnight). The 8-night itinerary visits Cienfuegos, Santiago de Cuba, Grand Cayman Island and Labadee Haiti.
Empress Of The Seas offers a total of 796 staterooms in 15 categories, of which 329 Inside, 69 Balcony and 6 Suites. The largest aboard Empress are the Royal Suites (54.50 m2).
Shipboard dining options - Food and Drinks
Pullmantur Empress 392-seat Buffet restaurant was the spot to choose between various dishes to satisfy consumer preferences and tastes. The 56-seat Wu Fusion Restaurant had an exclusive design and featured a wide range of cocktails and exotic Far East flavours. The 476-seat à la carte Miramar Restaurant offered quality dishes and the attention of all waiters.
Empress Of The Seas 1004-seat Main Dining Room is an aft-located complimentary venue open for Breakfast (7:00 – 9.30 a.m.), Brasserie 30 Lunch (12:00 – 2:00 p.m. /seadays only) and Dinner ( 2 fixed seatings 6:30 or 9:00 p.m.). Chops Grille is the signature steakhouse-seafood restaurant of Royal Caribbean open between 5:30 – 9:30 p.m. ($39 surcharge per person is applied). Its open kitchen allows guests to watch the preparation of their food. Reservations are recommended.
Follows the complete list of Empress Of The Seas restaurants and food bars.
- Main Dining Room (1004-seat, aft-located complimentary restaurant)
- Windjammer Cafe buffet restaurant (580-seat, offers Early Breakfast at 6:30 a.m., Breakfast between 7:00-11:30 a.m., Lunch 11.30-3:30 p.m. and Dinner 6.30-9:00 p.m.)
- Chops Grille (steakhouse/seafood).
Shipboard entertainment options - Fun and Sport
Leisure facilities on Pullmantur Empress included a fitness centre, sauna, Jacuzzis, rock climbing wall and two pools. Production and comedy shows were presented in the Broadway Show Lounge with music, dancing and cabaret. Other amusements were the two-level aft nightclub and Casino.
The Royal Caribbean ship Empress Of The Seas has new pools and whirlpools, a rock-climbing wall, adults-only Solarium, and the signature steakhouse Chops Grille. The Empress also boasts the Voom, line's super-fast Wi-Fi.
Follows the complete list of Empress Of The Seas lounges, clubs and other entertainment venues for kids, teens and adults.
- Royal Theater (740-seat, features 3D Movies, aerial acrobatic performances and Broadway-style productions)
- Centrum (7-decks high Atrium area)
- Schooner Bar (138-seat piano bar for live music, trivia games and classy cocktails)
- Viking Crown Lounge (268-seat, with panoramic windows; becomes a disco club nightly)
- Boleros Lounge (317-seat Latin-themed bar and nightclub)
- Royal Shops and Boutiques (duty-free shops)
- Focus Photo Gallery and Shop; Picture This portrait studio; Card Room; Library
- RC Online (24-hour Internet computers center)
- Casino Royale
- Vitality at Sea Spa and ShipShape Fitness Center
- Challenger’s Video Games Arcade; Adventure Ocean kids lounge area
- Pool area (2 pools, 3 whirlpools, poolside bar, sunbathing area)
- Rock-climbing Wall.
Empress Of The Seas wiki
The former Pullmantur Empress ship was launched as "Nordic Empress" in 1990. It was previously operated as "Empress of the Seas" by Royal Caribbean International (RCI) in the period 2004-2008. MS Nordic Empress was the last RCI liner named without the "of the Seas" suffix.
Empress joined RCI in March 2016 following an extensive drydock refit in Freeport Bahamas. Built as the first mass mass-market ship (specifically designed for shortbreak cruises from Florida) Empress started roundtrips out of Miami to Bahamas, Mexico and Grand Cayman. Some of the 5-day Western Caribbean itineraries included only Cozumel Mexico (overnight stay).
In 2015 was decided that MS Empress (commonly known as "Pullmantur Empress") will be transferred to RCI's fleet starting operations in Spring 2016. Vessel's inaugural season was planned with roundtrip departures from Miami to Caribbean ports. However, due to extended dry-dock refurbishment period, ship's maiden voyage (March 30) and the following 4 cruises were cancelled. The vessel officially entered service for RCI on April 25, with a 5-day Western Caribbean ("inaugural cruise") to Mexico (visiting Costa Maya and Cozumel).
Itineraries 2016 changes
Empress OTS was homeported in Miami Florida. PortMiami departures are at 4 pm (on Eastern/Western Caribbean cruises) and at 5 pm (on Bahamas cruises). Miami port arrivals are at 8 am (on Eastern/Western Caribbean itineraries) and at 7 am (on Bahamas itineraries). Ports of call times are as follow - Nassau Bahamas (8 am – 5 pm), Coco Cay Bahamas (8 am – 5 pm), Cozumel Mexico (8 am – 8 pm), Cozumel (overnight stays are from 8 am to 6 pm on the next day), Costa Maya Mexico (7 am - 3 pm), Key West Florida (8 am – 8 pm), George Town Grand Cayman (7 am – 3 pm)
- Due to prolonged drydock stay (before entering the RCI fleet), the following RCI roundtrips from Miami were officially cancelled: March 30, 2016 (5-day Eastern Caribbean "maiden voyage" to Key West, Grand Cayman), April 4, 2016 (3-day Bahamas - Nassau, Coco Cay), April 7, 2016 (4-day Bahamas - Key West, Coco Cay), April 11, 2016 (5-day Mexico - Cozumel, Costa Maya), April 16, 2016 (5-day Eastern Caribbean - Key West, Grand Cayman), April 21, 2016 (4-day Bahamas - Coco Cay, Nassau), April 25, 2016 (5-day Western Caribbean - Costa Maya, Cozumel), April 30, 2016 (5-day Eastern Caribbean - Key West, Grand Cayman).
- Booked passengers were given the options to either rebook on Majesty of the Seas (same cabin type) through April 30, rebook on the Empress ship (plus USD 100 onboard credit) or cancel with full refund being provided. All Royal Caribbean Empress booked "flight and cruise" passengers (both through RCI or independent) were rebooked (no extra charge, flight change fees covered). The ship officially entered into service on May 9, 2016, with a 5-day Miami to Cozumel Mexico ("Inaugural Cruise") itinerary.
- In July 2016, RCI released new itineraries for the Empress ship thus extending the bookings through (first) September and (later) through October 2016. The new cruises are from Miami to Bahamas and Caribbean: 5-night Key West Florida and Cozumel Mexico (departure dates are Sept 12, 26, Oct 1, 10, 15, 24, 29), and 4-night Key West Florida and Nassau Bahamas (departure dates are Sept 3, 17, October 6, 20).
- In August 2016, RCI added more itineraries extending the ship's Caribbean cruise program through the 2016's end (December). Added were also new for the ship ports of call - Falmouth Jamaica, Belize City, Costa Maya Mexico and Roatan Island Honduras. The latest added itineraries as departure dates (round-trip Miami) and lenght are as follows - Nov 3 (4-night to Cozumel), Nov 7 (4-night to Nassau and Key West), Nov 11 (6-night to Costa Maya, Cozumel, Nassau), Nov 17 (4-night to Key West and Nassau), Nov 21 (7-night to Nassau, Falmouth Jamaica, Grand Cayman), Nov 28 and Dec 5 (3-night to Nassau and Coco Cay), Dec 1 and 15 (4-night to Key West and Nassau), Dec 8 (7-night to Costa Maya, Roatan, Belize City, Cozumel), Xmas Dec 19 (8-night to Key West, Roatan, Belize City, Costa Maya, Cozumel) and NYE Dec 27 (7-night to Key West, Belize City, Costa Maya, Cozumel).
Cruises to Cuba 2017
Empress OTS was the first ever RCI ship with cruises visiting Cuba.
- The itinerary program started in 2017 (on April 19, a 5-night cruise out of Miami to Costa Maya and Havana). The 1602-passenger ship is the largest that Havana port currently can handle.
- Two more 2017 itineraries to Cuba were posted for booking in December 2016 - April 30 (7-night Tampa to Cozumel, Belize City, Havana) and May 20 (7-night Tampa to Key West FL, Havana, Cozumel).
- In early February 2017, Royal Caribbean expanded the ship's new Tampa FL round-trip cruise program to Cuba by adding 4- and 5-night itineraries with overnight stays in Havana. The new itineraries also included Key West Florida and Cozumel Mexico, and were available through November 4, 2017.
- Ship's inaugural Cruise to Cuba from Tampa started on April 30 (departure 4 pm). Port Tampa commemorated its ever first Cuban cruise with a special ceremony held on the ship at 11 am, while Empress OTS was docked at Terminal 3.
Next table shows the inaugural cruise to Cuba (5 nights / 6 days roundtrip itinerary).
|19 Apr||Departing from Miami, Florida|
|21 Apr 10:00 - 18:00||Costa Maya, Mexico|
|23 Apr 07:00 - 17:00||Havana, Cuba|
|24 Apr||Arriving in Miami, Florida|
Pullmantur Empress ship
Follows information regarding the previously named “MS Empress” Pullmantur vessel.
- Total number of cabins: 795 (of which 6 Suites, 69 Balcony, 329 Inside)
- Dining Rooms: Miramar Restaurant (2-tiered, a la carte, 476-seat).
- Restaurants and food bars: Panorama Buffet Restarurant (inside and exterior, 392-seat), Wu Fusion Restaurant (56-seat).
- Lounges & Bars: Broadway Show Lounge (2-tiered), Marina Bar (outdoor), Rendez-Vous Salon (Cafe, 341-seat), The Pier Salon and Piano Bar (Pub/Cafe, 130-seat), Reading Room, Recreation Room, Cards Room, Tibu Club, Starlight Disco, Teen´s Club, Guppy Club, Tours Office, Reception.
- Sea Spa, Beauty Salon, Solarium, Fitness Center, Climbing Wall, 2 Swimming Pools (salt water, adapted for children), 3 Jacuzzis, Library, Internet Center, Shops, Camera and Video Store, Casino del Mar (2-deck), Medical Center.
- Pullmantur Empress was formerly operated as "Nordic Empress" and "Empress of the Seas" by Royal Caribbean (RCCL). Nordic Empress was RCI's last vessel which name didn't have the suffix "of the Seas". Following an extensive refit in 2004, vessel's name was changed to match the rest of the RCI fleet. Nordic Empress was the first mainstream (mass market) cruise liner specifically designed for shortbreaks (3- and 4-day).
- In November 2012, Pullmantur Empress became fleet's first ship to receive company's new logo and hull color scheme. Ship's interior was highlighted by the 9-deck atrium with waterfall.
Empress Of The Seas - user reviews and comments
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Empress Of The Seas Itineraries
The below listed Empress Of The Seas cruise prices on itineraries are only indicative and Per Person (in US dollars, based on double occupancy). These are the cheapest Royal Caribbean fares on the ship’s lowest category cabins available for booking. Cruise fares typically change with departure dates approaching, last minute deals, discounts, promotions, independent travel agency offers.
|Date||Cruise Name||Departure Port||Price from|
|2019 Jan 21||6 days, round-trip Key West, Cienfuegos, Cayman||Miami|
|2019 Jan 27||7 days, round-trip Cuba & Eastern Caribbean||Miami||$1084|
|2019 Mar 03||8 days, round-trip Best Of Cuba||Miami||$1068|
|2019 Mar 11||6 days, round-trip Best Of Cuba||Miami||$707|
|2019 Mar 17||8 days, round-trip Havana, Cienfuegos & Cayman||Miami||$1642|
|2019 Mar 25||7 days, round-trip Cozumel, Havana Overnight, Nassau||Miami||$730|
|2019 Apr 01||5 days, round-trip Key West & Havana||Miami||$569|
|2019 Apr 06||7 days, round-trip Best Of Cuba||Miami||$1371|
|2019 Apr 13||8 days, round-trip Best Of Cuba||Miami||$1669|
|2019 Apr 21||8 days, round-trip Best Of Cuba||Miami||$1421|
|2019 Apr 29||5 days, round-trip Key West, Havana & Cozumel||Miami||$524|
|2019 May 04||7 days, round-trip Best Of Cuba||Miami||$614|
|2019 May 11||5 days, round-trip Cienfuegos & Havana||Miami||$515|
|2019 May 16||7 days, round-trip Best Of Cuba||Miami||$664|
|2019 May 23||4 days, round-trip Havana & Nassau||Miami||$522|
|2019 May 27||5 days, round-trip Key West, Havana & Cozumel||Miami||$507|
|2019 Jun 01||5 days, round-trip Key West & Havana Overnight||Miami||$527|
|2019 Jun 06||4 days, round-trip Aventura Dance Cruise||Miami|
|2019 Jun 10||5 days, round-trip Key West, Havana & Cozumel||Miami||$576|
|2019 Jun 15||8 days, round-trip Best Of Cuba & Perfect Day||Miami||$811|
|2019 Jun 23||6 days, round-trip Best Of Cuba||Miami||$601|
|2019 Jun 29||8 days, round-trip Havana Caribbean & Perfect Day||Miami||$834|
|2019 Jul 07||6 days, round-trip Key West, Havana & Cayman||Miami||$601|
|2019 Jul 13||8 days, round-trip Best Of Cuba||Miami||$962|
|2019 Jul 21||6 days, round-trip Best Of Cuba||Miami||$622|
|2019 Jul 27||8 days, round-trip Havana Caribbean & Perfect Day||Miami||$811|
|2019 Aug 04||6 days, round-trip Key West, Havana & Cayman||Miami||$502|
|2019 Aug 10||8 days, round-trip Best Of Cuba||Miami||$835|
|2019 Aug 18||6 days, round-trip Best Of Cuba||Miami||$491|
|2019 Aug 24||8 days, round-trip Havana Caribbean & Perfect Day||Miami||$682|
|2019 Sep 01||6 days, round-trip Key West, Havana & Cayman||Miami||$482|
|2019 Sep 07||8 days, round-trip Best Of Cuba & Perfect Day||Miami||$741|
|2019 Sep 15||6 days, round-trip Best Of Cuba||Miami||$501|
|2019 Sep 21||8 days, round-trip Havana Caribbean & Perfect Day||Miami||$762|
|2019 Sep 29||6 days, round-trip Key West, Havana & Cayman||Miami||$494|
|2019 Oct 05||5 days, round-trip Key West & Havana Overnight||Miami||$481|
|2019 Oct 10||7 days, round-trip Best Of Cuba||Miami||$680|
|2019 Oct 17||8 days, round-trip Best Of Cuba||Miami||$766|
|2019 Oct 25||8 days, round-trip Best Of Cuba||Miami||$805|
|2019 Nov 02||5 days, round-trip Key West, Havana & Cozumel||Miami||$425|
|2019 Nov 07||8 days, round-trip Best Of Cuba||Miami||$758|
|2019 Nov 15||8 days, round-trip Best Of Cuba||Miami||$820|
|2019 Nov 23||7 days, round-trip Best Of Cuba||Miami||$672|
|2019 Nov 30||5 days, round-trip Cienfuegos & Havana||Miami||$453|
|2019 Dec 05||4 days, round-trip Key West & Havana||Miami||$588|
|2019 Dec 09||7 days, round-trip Best Of Cuba||Miami||$728|
|2019 Dec 16||8 days, round-trip Best Of Cuba||Miami||$765|
|2019 Dec 24||6 days, round-trip Best Of Cuba||Miami||$840|
|2019 Dec 30||4 days, round-trip Key West & Havana||Miami||$716|
|2020 Jan 03||6 days, round-trip Havana Overnight & Cozumel||Miami||$612|