The Empress is a smaller ship and that is good in one big way. It is able to enter shallow draft ports of call. Hamilton, Bermuda is one of those ports and St. George, Bermuda is another.
My wife and I cruised on the third week in August and we were very lucky as there were no storms in the Atlantic that week.
The Empress has a fantastic crew. They are all talented and all are friendly and curteous. The prices for cabins are reasonable. The cabins and private baths are smaller but managable.
Dining in the main hall I would rate very high. So high that the top of the line Portofino's extra price reservations-only dining room is not that much better. Even so I recomend eating there one night. The twenty dollar cover is worth it for the intimacy and relaxed atmosphere. Food is A+ both places.
Activities are adequate for the cruise. The special talent that was on the week we were there was very, very good. The R/C singers and dancers were better then I expected.
Bermuda is a wonderful place to visit. Everything is high priced, but if you can get over the prices the people are outstanding and the atmosphere is excellent. Unemployment is very low. (If you want a job you have a job.) Most common folk work two jobs. Help Wanted signs were here and there. So, taking all of that into consideration, there is very little crime. There were no street people. There was no one asking you for a hand out. This is a marked change from other islands my wife and I have visited.
I hear the Empress of the Seas has been sold and will be making its last run in March, so hurry to make a very enjoyable cruise vacation.