7 NIGHT BEST OF CUBA CRUISE ADVENTURE STARTS HERE

Miami , Florida | Santiago de Cuba , Cuba | Cienfuegos , Cuba | George Town , Grand Cayman | Miami , Florida

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EMPRESS OF THE SEAS

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YOUR SHIP

EMPRESS OF THE SEAS

EMPRESS OF THE SEAS

CUBA'S BOLDEST SHORE EXPLORER

Fiestas at Boleros. Siestas at Vitality℠ at Sea Spa. Showstopping ballroom steps in Bailamos. All while immersing yourself in Cuban culture onboard and onshore. Craving adventure? We've got you.

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 colorfully 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 neighborhood comes decked out in vibrant life-size murals by globally recognized 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 flavors 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 savor 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 specialty 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 FAVORITES

Health, Fitness, Sports, Area, Rock Climbing,  passengers playing basketball, 

2011 Brand Campaign Details, 

Oasis of the Seas, OA, Oasis Class, Allure of the Seas
Dance salsa at the Latin Fiesta onboard a cruise to Cuba

Health, Fitness, Sports, Area, Rock Climbing,  passengers playing basketball, 

2011 Brand Campaign Details, 

Oasis of the Seas, OA, Oasis Class, Allure of the Seas
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. 

HM, Harmony of the Seas, wide shot of young girl and young boy, teens, climbing Rock Wall, fun, POV from below, Ultimate Abyss slides on left, decorative photographic ceiling with jellyfish, sea life above,
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 40 feet above deck. Included in your fare, no reservation required.

DAY 3 - TENDERED

Santiago de Cuba, Cuba

ARRIVES:
9:00 AM
DEPARTS:
6:00 PM

CULTURE CAPITAL

Discover the passionate essence of Santiago de Cuba first-hand as you walk the 100-year-old Padre Pico Steps to the old French quarter of Tivoli. Taste Cuban rum at the spot where Bacardi made his first batch. Stand before the graves of national heroes in Santa Ifigenia Cemetery. Or take the adventure offshore as you kayak the bay.

A church with palm trees on a sunny day in Santiago, Cuba
A government building with colonial architecture in the Cespedes Park in Santiago, Cuba
A fort from the 17th century in Santiago, Cuba

Discover the passionate essence of Santiago de Cuba first-hand as you walk the 100-year-old Padre Pico Steps to the old French quarter of Tivoli. Taste Cuban rum at the spot where Bacardi made his first batch. Stand before the graves of national heroes in Santa Ifigenia Cemetery. Or take the adventure offshore as you kayak the bay.

A church with palm trees on a sunny day in Santiago, Cuba
A government building with colonial architecture in the Cespedes Park in Santiago, Cuba
A fort from the 17th century in Santiago, Cuba
Things To Do

in Santiago de Cuba

Open area with benches in the Cespedes Park in Santiago, Cuba

ROMANCING THE COBBLESTONES

Step out for a walk through bustling Parque Cespedes, one of the city’s main plazas. Admire colonial City Hall and see the ancient Casa Velazquez mansion. Take a snapshot of the Baroque cathedral— and get lost in the romantic melodies of live music splayed throughout Santiago’s lively streets.

Castle of San Pedro de la Roca and Fort in Santiago, Cuba during sunset

HOLD THE FORT

Behold Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca del Morro, a UNESCO World Heritage Site sitting high above Santiago harbor. Explore its time-worn walls while learning about its defensive legacy during pirate times and the Spanish-American War. Then hear the cannons fire at sunset.

Drink of choice in Santiago, Cuba is a rum and coke

COLLECTING MEMORIES

Spend the day browsing one of Santiago’s celebrated museums. See weapons and paintings owned by rum magnate Emilio Bacardí y Moreau at the Bacardí Museum. Enter the oldest house still standing in Cuba at the Museo de Ambiente Histórico Cubano— or marvel at festive floats in the Museo del Carnaval.

Ropa Vieja, which is white rice with shredded beef, is a local cuisine in Santiago, Cuba

LOCAL CUISINE

Local restaurants offer multi-course Comida Criollo menus, and authentic dishes can also be enjoyed in family homes, served by private paladares. Try Cuban staples like ropa vieja (stewed beef) and tostones (fried plantain patties). Sip rocio con gallo (coffee with rum) or a milkshake at the legendary La Arboleda. Top it off with minty mojitos at a rooftop bar overlooking the city.

Cuban cigars in Santiago, Cuba

SHOPPING

Stroll along Calle Heredia for ebony sculptures, carnival masks, papier-mâché dolls and jewelry. Stop in Barra de Ron Caney for Cuban-made rum or neighboring Casa del Habano for cigars. Señor Aldo sells books about Cuba’s history, while CDs by Santiaguero son musicians are sold in stores scattered throughout town.

INSIDER TIP

With 1950s-era streets, narrow sidewalks and buzzing motorcycle traffic, it’s a must to look before crossing the street.

DAY 4 - 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 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 enclave throughout various spots onboard, this private epicurean experience for a limited number of guests, treats you to a five-course, menu and wine tasting.

DAY 5 - TENDERED

Cienfuegos, Cuba

ARRIVES:
7:00 AM
DEPARTS:
5:00 PM

SIZZLING WITH DISCOVERIES

This Cuban gem is nicknamed the “Pearl of the South” for its picturesque bay— but the real sparkle of Cienfuegos is the assortment of adventures. Go kayaking or snorkeling around coral reefs. Explore the UNESCO-listed historic center by vintage tank. Take a ferry to 18th-century Castillo de Jagua. Meet pink flamingos in Guanaroca Lagoon. Or see the world’s tallest stalagmite in Martín Infierno Cave.

View of beautiful mountains and landscape in Cienfuegos, Cuba

This Cuban gem is nicknamed the “Pearl of the South” for its picturesque bay— but the real sparkle of Cienfuegos is the assortment of adventures. Go kayaking or snorkeling around coral reefs. Explore the UNESCO-listed historic center by vintage tank. Take a ferry to 18th-century Castillo de Jagua. Meet pink flamingos in Guanaroca Lagoon. Or see the world’s tallest stalagmite in Martín Infierno Cave.

View of beautiful mountains and landscape in Cienfuegos, Cuba
Things To Do

in Cienfuegos

VERY VALLE

Venture to the Punta Gorda neighborhood for an up-close glimpse of Palacio de Valle. Admire its brilliant mix of architecture— Gothic, Romanesque, baroque and Mudéjar— and ornately carved décor. Built in 1917 by wealthy merchant Acisclo del Valle Blanco, this National Heritage Memorial offers sweeping views of the surrounding bay.

COLONIAL SNAPSHOT

A walk through Parque José Martí reveals timeless Cuban treasures. Explore the city’s history at Museo Provincial and marvel at the stained-glass windows of Catedral de la Purisima Concepcion. See Casa del Fundador, the city’s oldest building— or peruse shops along El Bulevar.

GO WITH THE FLOW OF NATURE

Get lost in Cuba’s natural scenery with an eco-tour of Parque El Nicho, home to a series of waterfalls and natural ponds nestled in the surrounding Escambray Mountains. Here you can hike through the forest on trails that pass ferns and orchids, leading to a refreshing swim in freshwater pools.

LOCAL CUISINE

Hit the Malecón promenade for food stalls serving cheap eats. Many waterfront eateries dish out fresh Caribbean seafood like arroz a la marinera (seafood rice) and grillada mixta (mixed grill) with lobster, fish and prawns. Roast pork and other authentic dishes can be enjoyed in family homes, served by private paladares. And you can satisfy your thirst with a refreshing Cuba Libre (rum, Coca-Cola and lemon juice).

SHOPPING

The city’s prime shopping spots live along El Bulevar, where you’ll find souvenir kiosks aplenty. Galería Maroya and Galería Tizon both sell paintings, sculptures and photography by local Cuban talents. Stop by Casa del Habano El Embajador for cigars— and don’t leave town without a CD by famous Cuban musician Benny Moré.

INSIDER TIP

In Cuba it’s illegal to take a photograph of any military, police or airport personnel.

DAY 6 - TENDERED

George Town, Grand Cayman

ARRIVES:
7:00 AM
DEPARTS:
3:30 PM

LAID BACK LUXURY

Grand Cayman strikes the perfect balance between glitzy glamor and easygoing island life. You can hit the famous Seven Mile Beach and just chill, Cayman Mama in hand. Swim with stingrays on a snorkeling safari. Or treat yourself to a little retail therapy at some of the best designer shops in the world.

Aerial view of Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman
Stingrays in the crystal clear waters of George Town, Grand Cayman
People riding horseback on the beach, George Town, Grand Cayman.

Grand Cayman strikes the perfect balance between glitzy glamor and easygoing island life. You can hit the famous Seven Mile Beach and just chill, Cayman Mama in hand. Swim with stingrays on a snorkeling safari. Or treat yourself to a little retail therapy at some of the best designer shops in the world.

Aerial view of Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman
Stingrays in the crystal clear waters of George Town, Grand Cayman
People riding horseback on the beach, George Town, Grand Cayman.
Things To Do

in George Town

Close-up of a Hawksbill turtle in George Town, Grand Cayman

Swim with Sea Turtles

The whole family can swim alongside sea turtles and tropical fish at the Cayman Turtle Centre. Or wander around the Caribbean Aviary and spot exotic birds up close, including Grand Cayman’s national bird, the Cayman parrot..

Palm trees swaying on the Seven Mile Beach, George Town, Grand Cayman

Stroll the Seven Mile Beach

Seven Mile Beach is actually five-and-a-half miles of coral sands and crystal-clear shoreline. But it’s peppered with restaurants, bars, and upscale resorts— and it was named one of the world’s Ultimate Beaches by Caribbean Travel + Life.

Palm trees in the North Sound Golf Club, George Town, Grand Cayman

Tee Off in Paradise

Hit the green at the North Sound Club, the only 18-hole championship golf course on the Cayman Islands.

Two women swimming with stingrays in Grand Cayman

Get to Know the Locals

Take your adventure underwater and mingle with southern stingrays in Stingray City’s calm waters.

A grouper sandwich on a white plate

Local Cuisine

Locally caught fish is the main attraction in Grand Cayman cuisine. And you’ll find plenty of shellfish served marinated, in fritters, or in hearty chowders. Rum is the drink of choice, so make sure you try the “Cayman Mama,” a local signature cocktail made with light and coconut rums, banana liqueur, Triple Sec, pineapple juice, and a dash of Grenadine or strawberry syrup. Cheers!

INSIDER TIP

Everyone drives on the left here, so look both ways before crossing the street.

DAY 7 - 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

Nighttime sizzles at Boleros, a Latin-themed club and hot spot. Try a variety of specialty 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 favorite. Drop by to take in the nautical theme, and stay to join in with the piano sing-alongs while enjoying your favorite cocktail.

DAY 8 - 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 colorfully 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 neighborhood comes decked out in vibrant life-size murals by globally recognized 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 flavors 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 savor 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 specialty stores. Cruise to Miami and head to Calle Ocho for hand-stitched guayabera shirts and hand-rolled Cuban cigars.

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