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“Refund” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Southern Empress Cruises

Southern Empress Cruises
7039 Kingston Cove Lane, Willis, TX 77318
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Ranked #2 of 4 things to do in Willis
Attraction details
Montgomery, Texas
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2013

We had bought tickets for 8 people to celebrate a birthday for a friend. The ship never left the dock due to engine failure. So we told we could stay to eat, on a ship that was to be a 3 hour cruise with a dinner. Who in there right mind would want to sit at the dock and eat. They told us we could get a refund. But you had to call back in on a friday which was a week after the cruise was suppose to launch. The ship is in need of major over haul. It is run downed and the air conditioning wasn't working, this was in Aug. So it was really hot. It took me 5 phones calls and 5 weeks later to get my refund back. Which was over 600 dollars. Then I get a buch of excuses as to why this took so long. They took my money as soon as I ordered the tickets. But they have a real hard time in refunding you back your money. I will never go there for a cruise. Terrible conditons of the ship and terrible way to treat your customers. To high prices , Bathrooms were a mess.

Visited August 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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19 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
The Woodlands, Texas
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Not worth it”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013

We sat on the boat at the dock for 1/2 hr past the departure time. The seating for the luncheon was very cramped. The food was mediocre at best. There were not even enough rolls served at our table for everyone to get one. We returned to the dock and were served dessert while at the dock. My expectations for this cruise were much higher. I brought out of state visitors on this cruise and was embarrassed by that I had chosen this cruise. I would not recommend this experience to anyone.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Would have to be free...”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2013

for us to EVER go again. Starting with the embark time was one hour LATER than stated on the web site, person told us "We are trying to update the web site with correct times."-How hard is that? As compensation for the time error we were given tickets for 2 free drinks-which DID help our ruffled feathers. So back to the Tiki Bar(which was ok, not actually affiliated with the cruise but next door to it, nice bartender)for one more hour. After boarding, we went to the level where there was a dance floor and a surly, unfriendly bartender. He seemed to be miffed over us using the free drink tickets. The drinks were just ok.

Next off to the dinning room-because the web site for Southern Empress Cruise had repeatedly stated "sumptuous hospitality", " romance and enchantment of dining" and the local of "Southern"-we expected the food to be, well, southern. Nope-choice of chicken parmesan, or beef parmesan(never heard of this)The beef was a big meat ball. The dinning room was very crowded and noisy-if sumptuous means the waitress smacks gum the whole time waiting on you, I guess it was. NO enchantment anywhere! Also the already added in and required to pay, before sailing gratuity was approximately $10 per person. I am old school and still think a gratuity reflects my level of happiness with the food and service, I wonder if the gratuity was so high so that they could make some of their money back from so many using Groupons, etc.

Next back to the dance floor-there were small children on the floor running around. The live entertainment was a DJ. Restrooms were micro and smelly. Boat needs a total overhaul-hanging wires, rotting wood.

Would not recommend except for the views on the actual cruising part.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Not worth the money!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

For $34.95, the boat ride and lunch was a SHOCKING experience for 58 of us (senior citizens). They kept us on the boat for 30 minutes before it departs. Only one waitress took pre-lunch cocktails. During the lunch, in cramped 2nd floor air conditioned room, choice of chicken parmesan or meatball, both with noodles. The meal look like they were frozen products. Two small pieces of chicken and one large meatball. Chicken served mildly cold and no flavor. Meatball served undercooked, close to raw. Tomato pasta canned. The last few tables, they were out of noodles. No extra rolls to spare, out too. Lavatory on 2nd floor (both gentlemen and women) had foul odor with water on the floor. Like other reviewers, boat looks tired. We asked for group discount, they REFUSED.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Potential is there but without changes not worth it”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

Price is "okay" if you have 50% off coupon. Otherwise, it is not worth cost. Food was average. Dining room was crowded....difficult to get in chairs as very close together. They made you pay tip while checking in. I don't necessarily object to the tip but this should be clearly communicated to customers before their arrival. The vast majority of customers in line where not happy about tip. Check-in took much longer than it should and was in a hot building. Paddleboat needs lot of upkeep and chairs to sit in around deck are metal and several are in need of repair. We would not return.

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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