Empress - Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)



Berlitz’s Ratings

Ship: 321 out of 500

Accommodation: 121 out of 200

Food: 216 out of 400

Service: 257 out of 400

Entertainment: 64 out of 100

Cruise: 241 out of 400

Overall Score: 1220 out of 2000

Empress Statistics

Size: Mid-size Ship

Tonnage: 48,563 tons

Lifestyle: Standard

Cruise Line: Pullmantur Cruises

Former Names: Empress of the Seas, Nordic Empress

IMO Number: 8716899

Builder: Chantiers de l’Atlantique (France)

Original Cost: $170 million

Entered Service: Jun 1990/May 2008

Registry: The Bahamas

Length (ft/m): 692.2/211.0

Beam (ft/m): 100.7/30.7

Draft (ft/m): 24.9/7.6

Propulsion/Propellers: diesel )16,200kW)/2

Passenger Decks: 9

Total Crew: 685

Passengers (lower beds): 1,600

Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 30.2

Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.3

Cabins (total): 800

Size Range (sq ft/m): 117.0-818/10.8-76

Cabins (for one person): 0

Cabins (with private balcony): 69

Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 4

Wheelchair accessibility: Fair

Cabin Current: 110 volts

Elevators: 7

Casino (gaming tables): Yes

Slot Machines: Yes

Swimming Pools: 1

Hot Tubs (on deck): 4

Self-Service Launderette: No

Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No

Library: No

Onboard currency: Euros


A now dated family-friendly ship for Spanish speakers

Overview. Empress is best suited to youthful Spanish-speaking couples and singles seeking an all-inclusive cruise, and anyone wanting a good basic getaway cruise aboard a ship that offers some good drinking places.

The Ship. This fairly modern ship has a polished wood walk-around promenade deck outdoors. The two swimming pools are very small for the number of passengers, and there’s little open deck space, so sunloungers are crammed together.

A nine-deck-high atrium is the focal point of the interior design, which has many Scandinavian influences. Passenger flow is generally good. A three-level casino has a sailcloth ceiling, but it is a noisy room. The Viking Crown Lounge, aft of the funnel, is a two-level nightclub-disco.

Empress is a fairly smart ship with a high passenger density, so you won’t be bored, but you may be overwhelmed by the public spaces, and underwhelmed by the size of the cabins.

Accommodation. There are several price categories. The largest accommodation, the Royal Suite, has a queen-size bed, walk-in closet, separate living area with bar, refrigerator, entertainment center, and private balcony; the bathroom has a whirlpool tub and vanity dressing area.

Nine cabins have private balconies overlooking the stern; these consist of two large owner’s suites and seven ‘superior’ ocean-view cabins. Other cabins with private balconies also have a decent amount of living space, small sofa, coffee table and chair, and vanity desk. Almost all other cabins are really small, but adequate, with twin beds that convert to a queen-size configuration. The bathrooms are nicely laid-out.

Dining. The Miramar Restaurant is two decks high, but it really is a noisy room. There are two seatings, at tables for four, six, eight, or 10. The cuisine is typical of mass banquet catering that offers standard fare.

There is one à-la-carte extra-charge restaurant; reservations required. Its intimacy makes it a romantic place, with a good number of tables for two.

For casual breakfasts and lunches, the Panorama Buffet provides an alternative to the dining room.

Entertainment. The two-level Broadway Showroom has poor sight lines in the upper lateral balconies. The sight lines from the balcony are ruined by railings. The entertainment throughout is upbeat - in fact, it is difficult to get away from music. There is even background music in all corridors and lifts, and constant music on the pool deck.

Spa/Fitness. A gymnasium has some good equipment. Sports fans will like the climbing wall at the stern of the ship.