We boarded at Pier 29 which is set up very well. From arrival at the port (12:00) to our cabin was less than 20 minutes.
Cabin - we were in a 700 block Mini-Suite on the Dolphin deck.
Our cabin steward was Dante and as with most cabin stewards on Princess, he was professional, but not overly friendly. He certainly did anything that we asked, but he never did any of the little things to make you feel special, let alone great you in the hallway.
Muster was well organized and they scan your cruise card to ensure you are there. Hand scanners are used now to board and disembark at the ports which speeds the lines up.
Sail Away was late and thus the deck party was somewhat different as the band played, and the cruise staff did their draws, etc - all before we left port.
Public areas of the ship are very well maintained and the setup of the various venues is laid out so that there is a maximum use of space, yet traffic flow is not More
The wine card has been discontinued but the Emerald still has happy hour from 4 to 7. As noted in some other reviews, there is no Budweiser on the Emerald which is strange since they still have it on the Crown and the Grand.
We chose Anytime Dining and went for dinner at around 8:00 pm. The Michelangelo Head Waiter (Godwin) -- we have cruised with before and he found us a very nice window table with great waiters (Marian & Sergei). Our Head Waiter was Antonio from Portugal -- what a great guy. We know a mutual friend of his from another ship and he certainly made our Dinner each evening very, very special. Don't forget to show your appreciation to these hardworking individuals.
The gym wasn't too crowded most days and as with most cruises -- by the last couple of days it is no longer a priority for many.
Overall the Emerald staff did a great job of making the cruise an experience for everyone. The staff is friendly and the food is great.
Weather was warm, with the only rain we saw in St Thomas -- and then it was only two short bursts. Lots of sun every day.
The bands XTASEA and Evolution were both fabulous -- certainly two of the best we have seen on any cruise. Same with the comedians -- very funny and got the crowds laughing.
Disembarkation with Princess is always a breeze -- very well organized. Less