Number of Cruises: 8
Cruise Line: Imperial Majesty
Ship: Regal Empress
Sailing Date: September 2nd, 2006
I booked myself and my partner on this ship since we had taken 5 cruises on this ship from 1996-2001 when it was under Regal Cruises and wanted to see what Imperial Majesty had done to the old girl. I had planned on spending the weekend in south Florida and since we are not fans of the Miami area, I booked us to take the cruise to celebrate my birthday.
I was a little scared to book on this cruise after reading the reviews and was worried up to the day we arrived. There are parts of my review where I will agree with some comments from the other reviews but there are more areas that I will disagree.
Parking at the port was very easy but it did cost $12.00 per day. The embarkation process was a mess, you stand in one long line just to get forms and then you have to fill those forms out before you enter into the main terminal where you go through security and check your bags and they verify your documents- this took an hour- then you stand in the registration line to get your boarding card – this took another hour- before you ever get on board. Imperial Majesty really needs to look at this process and have registration available online so that it will speed up the process.
Once on board the ship, it was exactly as we remembered her. I have to stop and say “this is an old ship and everything back in those days was small in size.” If you are looking for a luxury get-a-way this is not the ship for you. You must book this ship with the knowledge that it is an older and smaller ship but it has all the class and flair from the original days of cruising.
Cabins - since we had been on this ship I have actually stayed in every cabin type except the suites. If you stay in an inside cabin lower level you will have a small cabin and there are some smells (old ship smells), so I recommend staying on level M or higher and in an outside cabin. On this ship you get what you pay for - we booked level M outside and we walked into the room and our first reaction was “I don’t remember the rooms being so small.” Yes the rooms are small compared to Carnival (who has some of the larger cabins at sea, next to Disney) but there is just enough room to walk around the bed and get in the closet. The bathrooms are small, just enough room to shower and use the sink and toilet. If you have one of the lower cabins the bathroom is really, really small to the point where you can almost shower and brush your teeth in the sink at the same time.
Food: The food was good, average, nothing fancy but again look at what you paid for the cruise. The drinks seemed to be very weak and costly.
Entertainment: I have to agree with most of the reviews on entertainment, it was bad, so bad that my partner walked out the second night. The review show was very entertaining to me because the singers are all from eastern Europe countries and do not speak English fluently - one of the singers you could not even understand what she was singing, I found this so comical that it was entertaining. By the second night I would count how many times the guy singer would through his microphone and walk up to the front of the stage and then scoot to the back to the stage, I found the entertainment for the shows so funny that I stayed to watch the whole thing. Do not book this cruise if you want great entertainment. The band was very good for a band that is using electrical instruments. Oh I have left out the most comical of them all, there is a girl that sings on the outside back band stage who I believe to be from a Spanish country, but she cannot sing. I laughed and laughed just listening to her, she was so horrible with the accent, but again it was comical entertainment for us. I don’t mean to make light of accents by any means, but the overall presentation is so horribly bad from A to Z that you must find it comical or you will go insane.
Children: There are a lot of kids on this ship - again look at the price. I would have to say that most of the families had never cruised before and this was an inexpensive way to experience cruising and go to the Bahamas.
Please understand my review and my suggestions; this is a great weekend get-a-way cruise to Nassau if you want time together and just do nothing. Do not expect great food (it is average, but good), do not expect great entertainment (it is comical to watch) and do not expect a large cabin. This is an old ship with some great history and charm.
I honestly would say this is a Holiday Inn on the sea so do not expect anything more. I love the Regal Empress for many personal reasons and would take this cruise again if the opportunity came along.