(12:35 p.m. EST) — Empress of the Seas has returned to service for Royal Caribbean, nearly two months later than originally planned. The ship arrived at its Miami homeport after a $50 million revitalization and will depart on its first sailing for Royal Caribbean on May 27.
The ship was originally scheduled to depart on its first sailing for Royal Caribbean on March 30, after spending eight years with sister brand Pullmantur cruises. Before the ship could return to the fleet, it required a complete overhaul during which a rock-climbing wall, new pools and hot tubs, the adults-only Solarium and the line’s signature Chops Grille would be added. Renovations proved to be significantly more complicated than anticipated and 13 sailings had to be canceled as a result.
Empress will offer four- and five-night sailings from Miami to Nassau, The Bahamas; Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico; Grand Cayman; and Key West, Florida. Select five-night itineraries will include an overnight in Cozumel.