Eastern Caribbean Cruise ADVENTURE STARTS HERE

Miami , Florida | Puerto Plata , Dominican Republic | San Juan , Puerto Rico | Virgin Gorda , British Virgin Islands | Charlotte Amalie , St Thomas | Miami , Florida

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EMPRESS OF THE SEAS

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YOUR SHIP

EMPRESS OF THE SEAS

EMPRESS OF THE SEAS

DAY 1 - Departure Day

Miami, Florida

DEPARTS:
4:00 PM

Biscayne Beauty

Jump-start your morning in true Miami style with a Cuban cafecito from a ventanita (a streetside shop window). Then climb the historic lighthouse at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park on quiet Key Biscayne before lounging on its secluded sands below. Explore Wynwood’s vibrant art scene. Cruise from Miami to step inside the Renaissance-style Vizcaya estate for a look into Miami’s dazzling past.

Aerial shot of Oleta River state park in Miami, Florida
Bill Bags Cape Florida State Park Lighthouse in Miami, tourist spot

Jump-start your morning in true Miami style with a Cuban cafecito from a ventanita (a streetside shop window). Then climb the historic lighthouse at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park on quiet Key Biscayne before lounging on its secluded sands below. Explore Wynwood’s vibrant art scene. Cruise from Miami to step inside the Renaissance-style Vizcaya estate for a look into Miami’s dazzling past.

Aerial shot of Oleta River state park in Miami, Florida
Bill Bags Cape Florida State Park Lighthouse in Miami, tourist spot
Things To Do

in Miami

Art Deco architecture of Collins Avenue in Miami, Florida

Sobe It

South Beach is a bright hot spot no matter what time of day. Soak up the sun along the shore and admire the Art Deco gems along lively Ocean Drive. Stroll busy Collins Avenue, sip mojitos in beach bars, dance in ultra-hip nightclubs and enjoy the best people watching in the city.

Close up of men smoking Cuban cigars in Miami, Florida

Called Culture

Experience Miami’s Cuban traditions along Calle Ocho in Little Havana. Here you can wander streets filled with fiery salsa sounds and meet locals smoking cigars over a game of dominoes. From its colourfully painted rooster statues to its hand-rolled cigar shops and open-air fruit markets, this is as authentic as it gets.

Artistic painted mural in Wynwood, Miami

Blank Canvas

Unleash your creative side with a jaunt through the Wynwood Art District during your Miami cruise. Every façade in this art-centric neighbourhood comes decked out in vibrant life-size murals by globally recognised talents. And don’t miss Wynwood Walls, a collection of old warehouses adorned with abstract paintings, graffiti quotes and unique sculptures.

Plate of Ropa Vieja, traditional Cuban food in Miami

Local Cuisine

Miami is an international culinary powerhouse. Michelin-starred chefs fill many kitchens and Latin American flavours highlight many menus. You can’t miss the city’s signature Cuban food: Enjoy pastelitos (pastries) for breakfast, lunch on a famous frita (spicy burger), then savour ropa vieja (beef stew) for dinner. If seafood is your thing, crack into succulent stone crab claws, a true South Florida delicacy.

Waterfront view of Bayside Mall in Miami, Florida

Shopping

Bayside Marketplace, across from the port, is a popular waterfront shopping spot for visitors. Locals love the quirky boutiques in Coconut Grove. Lincoln Road Mall spans 10 blocks of shops – and Miracle Mile is a long string of speciality stores. Cruise to Miami and head to Calle Ocho for hand-stitched guayabera shirts and hand-rolled Cuban cigars.

DAY 2 - AT SEA

CRUISING

CAN'T-MISS FAVOURITES

Man Climbing Rock Wall On Board Day Time
Dance salsa at the Latin Fiesta onboard a cruise to Cuba

Man Climbing Rock Wall On Board Day Time
Dance salsa at the Latin Fiesta onboard a cruise to Cuba

THINGS TO DO

Dance salsa at the Latin Fiesta onboard a cruise to Cuba
Latin Fiesta

TURN UP THE TEMPO

First, we’ll kick off a Latin fiesta with a quick crash course on basic dance moves. Then, go head-to-head – or cheek to cheek – with your fellow steppers to the sounds of a live Latin band. 

Man Climbing Down the Rock Wall
Rock Climbing Wall

A BOLDER BOULDER

Rise to the occasion and take on the signature Rock Climbing Wall. From beginners to speed climbers, everyone can enjoy an unparalleled view from 12 metres (40 feet) above deck. Included in your fare, no reservation required.

DAY 3 - DOCKED

Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

ARRIVES:
11:00 AM
DEPARTS:
7:00 PM
PANORAMIC VIEWS AND

FERTILE GROUNDS

Puerto Plata caters to those searching for an authentic Dominican Republic experience. Visit the coffee and cacao plantations, swim in the clear waters and indulge in either island tranquility or fast-paced beach attractions. Here you can walk the Malecon with locals, visit majestic mansions and take in the impressive views from Mount Isabel de Torres.

Dominican Republic Puerta Plata Marina Aerial
Dominican Republic Puerto Plata Beach Palm Trees
Dominican Republic Puerto Plata Fortaleza San Felipe Over the Seas

Puerto Plata caters to those searching for an authentic Dominican Republic experience. Visit the coffee and cacao plantations, swim in the clear waters and indulge in either island tranquility or fast-paced beach attractions. Here you can walk the Malecon with locals, visit majestic mansions and take in the impressive views from Mount Isabel de Torres.

Dominican Republic Puerta Plata Marina Aerial
Dominican Republic Puerto Plata Beach Palm Trees
Dominican Republic Puerto Plata Fortaleza San Felipe Over the Seas
Things To Do

In Puerto Plata

View from the Top

Monte Isabel de Torres is about 792 metres above sea level and is crowned by a statue of Christ. Head to the stunning botanical gardens or enjoy the hiking trails. Feel like a ride? Take a cable car to the very top of the mountain for panoramic views.

Dominican Republic Sosua Beach Sunny Day

Sosua Beach

One of the most popular beaches in Puerto Plata, Sosua is a stretch of fluffy sand with gorgeous transparent waters ideal for swimming and snorkelling. There are also several busy restaurants and bars nearby to enjoy after your time on the beach.

Casa de Cultura

La Casa de la Cultura is a three-storey Victorian house and home to the local arts – don't miss out on all of the events and exhibits that take place here. It has a contemporary art gallery, a library and a shop that sells local art and books.

Dominican Republic Fish Coconut Milk

Cuisine

Order a nice plate of la Bandera, a meat stew with rice, beans and fried plantains. And if you're looking for fruits of the sea, try a saucy Pescado con coco (fish in coconut sauce).

Dominican Republic Amber Balls Local Shopping

Shopping

Puerto Plata is famous for the production of the oldest, most translucent amber in the world and you can set those amber stones in any type of jewellery, taking a piece of Puerto Plata with you. There's also plenty of shopping in Playa Dorada, which is a complex stocking bottles of mamajuana (a local drink), beachwear and local fruits.

INSIDER TIP

Visit Cabarete, known as the kitesurfing capital, to give this water sport a try.

DAY 4 - DOCKED

San Juan, Puerto Rico

ARRIVES:
3:00 PM
DEPARTS:
11:00 PM
FORTIFIED

FOR ADVENTURE

Puerto Rico’s vibrant capital, San Juan, offers 500 years of history and culture to explore. Roam ancient fortresses and colourful colonial-era buildings. Or dig into flavourful criolla cuisine and reggaeton beats – the city is a kaleidoscope of new experiences waiting to be discovered.

San Juan, Puerto Rico historic Fort San Felipe Del Morro.
Man standing in a waterfall in El Yunque National Rainforest, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Man walking through lush vegetation near a waterfall in San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico, Caribbean, shore excursion, Old And New San Juan ?City Tour, white building, architecture
Woman leaning on fort El Morro to enjoy the view in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico’s vibrant capital, San Juan, offers 500 years of history and culture to explore. Roam ancient fortresses and colourful colonial-era buildings. Or dig into flavourful criolla cuisine and reggaeton beats – the city is a kaleidoscope of new experiences waiting to be discovered.

San Juan, Puerto Rico historic Fort San Felipe Del Morro.
Man standing in a waterfall in El Yunque National Rainforest, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Man walking through lush vegetation near a waterfall in San Juan, Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico, Caribbean, shore excursion, Old And New San Juan ?City Tour, white building, architecture
Woman leaning on fort El Morro to enjoy the view in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Things To Do

in San Juan

Sunset view from atop El Morro fortress in San Juan, Puerto Rico

CASTILLO DE SAN FELIPE DEL MORRO

Strong and beautiful, this fort has helped guard the shore for nearly five centuries while overlooking some of the island’s best scenery. Explore it via spiral staircases between levels, and grab a photo at one of the iconic garita sentry boxes that line the outer walls.

Closeup of the Metropolitan Cathedral Basilica of Saint John the Baptist, in San Juan, Puerto Rico

CATEDRAL DE SAN JUAN BAUTISTA

Founded in 1521, this can’t-miss landmark is one of the oldest churches in the Americas. It houses the tomb of Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon and the mummified remains of religious martyr St Pio.

Traditional Puerto Rican dish with a glass of mojito

Local Cuisine

In Old San Juan, you’ll find plenty of island fare and criolla cuisine – home cooking flavoured by Spanish and African influences. Try some mofongo, mashed fried green plantains often stuffed with meat, or snack on some cod fritters, called bacalaitos.

Woman walking through streets of Old San Juan surrounded by colorful architecture

Shopping

During your San Juan cruise, head to the blue-hued cobblestone streets of Old San Juan for your pick of boutiques offering handmade lace and hand-rolled cigars, plus duty-free luxury items like diamonds, gemstones and watches.

INSIDER TIP

The free, open-air trams in Old San Juan are a great way to see the city’s top sites.

DAY 5 - DOCKED

Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

ARRIVES:
8:00 AM
DEPARTS:
7:00 PM

THE SHOW-STOPPING ISLAND

Head to The Baths for otherworldly views of giant boulders by the sea. Explore the caves inside the stones and swim in shallow, transparent waters. Walk around Spanish Town to get a feel for the local scene – here, you can shop, dance, drink and eat. Maybe you'll even catch a glimpse of one of the celebrities said to live nearby.

Mother and Son Snorkeling and Taking a Selfie
Famous Rock Formation at The Baths Virgin Gorda
Virgin Gorda British Islands Aerial Green
Virgin Gorda Tropical Beach White Sand

Head to The Baths for otherworldly views of giant boulders by the sea. Explore the caves inside the stones and swim in shallow, transparent waters. Walk around Spanish Town to get a feel for the local scene – here, you can shop, dance, drink and eat. Maybe you'll even catch a glimpse of one of the celebrities said to live nearby.

Mother and Son Snorkeling and Taking a Selfie
Famous Rock Formation at The Baths Virgin Gorda
Virgin Gorda British Islands Aerial Green
Virgin Gorda Tropical Beach White Sand
Things To Do

in Virgin Gorda

Virgin Gorda Granite Rocks at The Baths Beach

Island Boldness

No other place in the Caribbean captures the imagination like The Baths National Park, a geological wonder where ancient boulders by the north shore create shallow pools of translucent blue water. You can reach this incredible destination by car or by boat. The national park is a rarity in the Caribbean and a perfect backdrop for jaw-dropping photographs.

Virgin Gorda Adirondack Chairs by the Inter-coastal

Settle Here

Spanish Town is the largest settlement in Virgin Gorda and a sailing and food hub for both locals and tourists. There are still traces of those from Africa and Spain as well as the Taino Indians who inhabited the area centuries ago. You'll find restaurants, bars, boutique shops and a view of sailing boats gliding by.

Virgin Gorda Beach Greenery

Lounging Rock

Visit Saba Rock for a lounging session with a hammock and a frozen cocktail. Catch a glimpse of the yachts entering and leaving the bay, watch the turtles swimming by, or take a walk to the nearby shipwreck.

Virgin Gorda Conch Soup

Local Cuisine

Virgin Gorda is food central and when people talk cuisine in the BVIs, the name Hog Heaven is bound to come up. Like many other establishments on the island, Hog Heaven is an off-the-beaten-track joint with million-dollar views. It serves island classics like crunchy fried chicken, conch chowder and potato salad – be sure not to leave without trying their barbecue ribs. Other restaurant options include CocoMaya, Top of the Baths and Fat Virgin's Cafe.

Virgin Gorda Local Shopping Straw Hats

Shopping

If you're looking for boating merchandise, head to the popular tourist spots Reeftique at The Bitter End Yacht Club as well as Pusser's Company Store, while Next Wave Designs are a general favourite for their straw baskets, beaded bags and glassware.

INSIDER TIP

Try taking a sailing tour around the island to see The Baths from the water.

DAY 6 - DOCKED

Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas

ARRIVES:
8:00 AM
DEPARTS:
5:00 PM

HARBOUR OF CHARMS

St Thomas offers all the action of a lively city and the allure of a secluded island getaway. Stroll through the colourful markets of Charlotte Amalie, or unwind on the sugary sand beach at Magen’s Bay. Whether you’re looking to turn up or tune out, you’ll feel a world away in this unique slice of paradise.

Boats gathered in St. Thomas Bay on a sunny day
Statue of Blackbeard fighting with a sword, Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Harbor Sunset from mountain, Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas

St Thomas offers all the action of a lively city and the allure of a secluded island getaway. Stroll through the colourful markets of Charlotte Amalie, or unwind on the sugary sand beach at Magen’s Bay. Whether you’re looking to turn up or tune out, you’ll feel a world away in this unique slice of paradise.

Boats gathered in St. Thomas Bay on a sunny day
Statue of Blackbeard fighting with a sword, Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Harbor Sunset from mountain, Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Things To Do

in Charlotte Amalie

Palm trees and white sand, Magens Bay beach, Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas

Beach Hop ‘Til You Drop

St Thomas is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Ditch the crowds for some prime snorkelling at Sapphire Beach. And of course, no visit is complete without a stop at Magen’s Bay, named one of the world’s most beautiful beaches by National Geographic.

Cables cars in St. Thomas, USVI

Panoramic Views of Paradise

St Thomas’s central mountain range offers endless opportunities to snag the ultimate panoramic selfie. Head to Government Hill, Drake’s Seat on Skyline Drive and Mountain Top, which rises over 457 metres above sea level for the most boast-worthy views.

Front of the Old Lutheran Church during a clear sky sunny day in Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas

Journey into the Past

Just off Main Street, visit the St Thomas Synagogue and Frederick Lutheran Church, each the second oldest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. Visit Blackbeard’s Castle, built in 1679, and see the world’s largest collection of life-sized pirate statues. Or climb the legendary 99 Steps built by 18th-century Danes, using bricks that once served as ship ballast.

Cod fish with sides of Callaloo and Johnny Cakes

Local Cuisine

St Thomas is a foodie’s haven, and you’ll find no shortage of bars and pubs serving up local favourites like St John Brewers Virgin Islands beer and Blackbeard Ale™. West Indian fare, like callaloo (sautéed leafy greens) and Johnnycakes (cornmeal flatbreads), is a staple. And you absolutely can’t leave without trying some chocolate-dipped coconut patties. In restaurants and bars, you may wish to add a tip of 15-20% to your bill if service was especially good.

DAY 7 - AT SEA

CRUISING

FOR FOODIES

12 oz Grilled NY-Strip Steak served at the fine dining steakhouse, Chops Grille. One of the best cruise line restaurants.
Welcoming dining room with special dishes & spectacular wines. Fine dining at the best vacation cruise restaurant Chefs Table

12 oz Grilled NY-Strip Steak served at the fine dining steakhouse, Chops Grille. One of the best cruise line restaurants.
Welcoming dining room with special dishes & spectacular wines. Fine dining at the best vacation cruise restaurant Chefs Table

THINGS TO DO

Grilled Veal Chop entree at the specialty, Chops Grille restaurant. Cruise vacation fine dining steaks served table side.
Chops Grille

A CUT ABOVE THE REST

For more than a decade, the chefs of Chops Grille have proudly presented quality, hand-cut prime steaks at this hallmark Royal Caribbean restaurant.

Lobster & Alaska king crab main entree, served at the Elegant Chefs Table restaurant. One of the best cruise line fine dining
Chef's Table

AS VIP AS CAN BE

Located in an intimate, exclusive spot onboard, this private epicurean experience for a limited number of guests, treats you to a five-course menu and wine tasting.

DAY 8 - AT SEA

CRUISING

LIGHTS OUT NIGHTS OUT

QN, Quantum of the Seas, Boleros Lounge, bar, lounge
AN, Anthem of the Seas, Schooner Bar, lounge, piano, ship rigging decor, screens in back,

QN, Quantum of the Seas, Boleros Lounge, bar, lounge
AN, Anthem of the Seas, Schooner Bar, lounge, piano, ship rigging decor, screens in back,

Interiors, Allure, Allure of the Seas,Bolero, Boleros, Lounge,
Boleros

SHAKE IT LIKE A CAIPIRINHA

Night-time sizzles at Boleros, a Latin-themed club and hot spot. Try a variety of speciality drinks inspired by the music – like Cuban mojitos and Brazilian caipirinhas – and get down to the pulsating live music with a six-piece Latin band. This is one after-dinner party you don't want to miss.

QN, Quantum of the Seas, public spaces, Schooner Bar, piano, entertainment, lounge, dining, drinks
Schooner Bar

THE SCHOONER THE BETTER

There's always a crowd gathered around the piano at The Schooner Bar, one of our signature bars and a guest favourite. Drop by to take in the nautical theme, and stay to join in with the piano sing-alongs while enjoying your favourite cocktail.

DAY 9 - Arrival Day

Miami, Florida

ARRIVES:
7:00 AM

Blazing with Adventure

Head west of the city for a bike ride past alligators on the Everglades’ Shark Valley route. Take the kids to the Miami Children’s Museum, or paddle a kayak through Biscayne Bay. Come evening, indulge in haute cuisine at a swanky beachside restaurant – all before cocktails and dancing amid The Magic City’s trendy nightlife scene.

Entrance pathway to beach in Miami, Florida
Sunny Day at South Beach in Miami, Florida

Head west of the city for a bike ride past alligators on the Everglades’ Shark Valley route. Take the kids to the Miami Children’s Museum, or paddle a kayak through Biscayne Bay. Come evening, indulge in haute cuisine at a swanky beachside restaurant – all before cocktails and dancing amid The Magic City’s trendy nightlife scene.

Entrance pathway to beach in Miami, Florida
Sunny Day at South Beach in Miami, Florida
Things To Do

in Miami

Art Deco architecture of Collins Avenue in Miami, Florida

Sobe It

South Beach is a bright hot spot no matter what time of day. Soak up the sun along the shore and admire the Art Deco gems along lively Ocean Drive. Stroll busy Collins Avenue, sip mojitos in beach bars, dance in ultra-hip nightclubs and enjoy the best people watching in the city.

Close up of men smoking Cuban cigars in Miami, Florida

Called Culture

Experience Miami’s Cuban traditions along Calle Ocho in Little Havana. Here you can wander streets filled with fiery salsa sounds and meet locals smoking cigars over a game of dominoes. From its colourfully painted rooster statues to its hand-rolled cigar shops and open-air fruit markets, this is as authentic as it gets.

Artistic painted mural in Wynwood, Miami

Blank Canvas

Unleash your creative side with a jaunt through the Wynwood Art District during your Miami cruise. Every façade in this art-centric neighbourhood comes decked out in vibrant life-size murals by globally recognised talents. And don’t miss Wynwood Walls, a collection of old warehouses adorned with abstract paintings, graffiti quotes and unique sculptures.

Plate of Ropa Vieja, traditional Cuban food in Miami

Local Cuisine

Miami is an international culinary powerhouse. Michelin-starred chefs fill many kitchens and Latin American flavours highlight many menus. You can’t miss the city’s signature Cuban food: Enjoy pastelitos (pastries) for breakfast, lunch on a famous frita (spicy burger), then savour ropa vieja (beef stew) for dinner. If seafood is your thing, crack into succulent stone crab claws, a true South Florida delicacy.

Waterfront view of Bayside Mall in Miami, Florida

Shopping

Bayside Marketplace, across from the port, is a popular waterfront shopping spot for visitors. Locals love the quirky boutiques in Coconut Grove. Lincoln Road Mall spans 10 blocks of shops – and Miracle Mile is a long string of speciality stores. Cruise to Miami and head to Calle Ocho for hand-stitched guayabera shirts and hand-rolled Cuban cigars.

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