Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Imperial Majesty
Ship: Regal Empress
Sailing Date: April 1st, 2006
This was my second cruise after sailing with Holland
America two years ago. It was probably due to this that my expectations were a
bit high. I had sailed on a huge, completely brand new ship. But, the Regal
Empress was extremely different..
1. The waitstaff and crew were very friendly and helpful.
2. The food was very, very good. It was not gourmet but it was still excellent.
1. There is a nauseating odor in the hallways.
2. The shower area is tiny. Extremely tiny.
My family and I got to Port Everglades at about 2 to 2:30ish. First, we got into a line for security. Then there was a line for check-in and then a line for pictures or something. Overall, the process of embarkation was very stressful and LONG. It took us about 2 hours to get onto the ship. With Holland America, it had been around 10-30 minutes.
We had signed up for this travel/vacation package with Ramada Plaza Resorts. We had a "oceanview" stateroom on the Resteraunt deck. There was a small porthole in the corner of the room. It was inaccessible because the TV was hung between the window and the closet. We had two "twin" beds that was really fused into one queen sized bed and also a "pull-down" twin bed that was on the wall. We had to take down the twin bed and set it on the floor because the rail that was provided was really a flimsy board. I recommend bringing extra blankets because the A/C is extremely strong and only one blanket is provided for the pull-down bed. Oh, and the TV only has like 10 channels and my brother and I were watching soccer for the whole trip.
The bathroom was unacceptable. I am tiny, and I could barely fit into the shower. The floor was almost always wet and the toilet was leaking. It was absolutely disgusting.
The shows were okay. The female dancers were scantily clad so I don't recommend bringing young children to the shows. And it is very very loud.
They were very friendly and helpful. However, most of them were foreign-- the Phillipines, Ukraine, Germany, etc.
There were breakfast and lunch buffets. The food in the dining room is usually higher quality than those in the buffet. Dinner was always excellent, and the crew put on a farewell show the last dinner. Our busboy, Matt, was always attentive and kept everything in order. By the second day, the waitstaff knew all our names and tastes.
For dinner, we were paired with a couple and their granddaughter and we hit off immediately. It turned out that everyone had common interests and we became fast friends.
The week that we sailed in was extremely windy, cold, cloudy, and miserable. Everyone got seasick the first night. The boat rocked up and down so much that even the crew had trouble walking. I was seasick all three days, so it was pretty bad.
As for the excursions, I would not recommend the snorkling combination. The best deal would probably be the Cable Beach excursion. It is extremely crowded aboard the snorkeling boat and there is a possibility that you'll be kicked a lot. Also, the coral reef is extremely small and it takes a long boat trip to get there. Finally, the day we went snorkeling, it was cloudy & cold. I was shivering and pretty miserable.
Cable Beach was fun, except for the fact that it was extremely windy. The resort is gorgeous and features many gift shops. I would not recommend going to the lunch buffet, for when we went, it was very crowded and we had to wait on line for around 30 minutes for some tables to clear up.
Don't be fooled by their "internet cafe". It is ridiculously expensive and, according to my brother, very slow.
Disembarkation was very disorganized. We got kicked out of our room at around 8 o'clock in the morning. The reason was because they had to clean the room. Also, we weren't allowed out of our hallway because "the outside rooms had to be kept clear". There were lines of people sitting in the hallways with their luggage. Finally, after a 40 minute wait, we were allowed out. If you hurry and beat the crowd, the security/ID process is very quick.
Overall, I would NOT recommend this cruise. Go for some newer cruise lines like Carnival, Princess, Holland America, or Royal Caribbean.