My husband and I are retired and love to cruise!! We picked this cruise because the ports had some places that we haven't seen or haven't been to much and a great price offered by Princess.
We flew to Ft. Lauderdale the night before and stayed at Hyatt Place and took the shuttle to the port the next day.
Unfortunately some people from the cruise before us did not disembark and so it delayed us getting on for about an hour. Long lines, but once they got them off, things moved well.
We had a balcony room towards the back of the ship. It was on the Riveria deck right below the Cafe Caribe. Our neighbors were complaining about all the noise, but we take a travel noise machine with us, so we didn't hear much at all. You definitely feel a lot more movement and vibrations on the back end of the ship. Our room steward was wonderful and did a great job keeping everything tidy. One of the things Princess does, is give you a choice of fruit to have each day More
in your room and we really enjoyed that.
We did the anytime dining in the Michaelangelo Dining Room and really enjoyed our meals. We went every night at 5:30 and had the same waiter each night, Sutti, and he did an awesome job! Great teamwork displayed, when he got really busy the other waiter would come over and assist him. Godwin, who seated you each night, asked our name the first night and remembered us and called us by name each night, impressive!! We enjoy dining the 2 of us alone and it took about an hr each night, so no long drawn out dinners.
The Horizen Court was only mediocre....lots of times the food was cold and not a lot of selection. Always was very packed and hectic. The Wheelhouse Pub Lunch was fantastic!! It is only open on sea days. Loved the fish and chips and the dessert was really good.
We had seen most of the shows before, but love love love the hypnotist!!! After the shows, it was really crowded getting down the hallways. The entertainment crew were great and there were a lot of activities to do around the ship. Lots of dancing venues, yeah!! The bands were good in all the venues. Enjoyed watching the NCAA final four and championship game under the stars!! Not only did they have popcorn, they also brought around pizza, cookies and milk. We had beautiful weather, but enjoyed the nice warm blanket while watching shows out there. We also went to a lecture about pirates and enjoyed it too. On the promenade deck they have a nice area for walking or just sitting and reading a book.
We did the self disembarkation and walked out of the ship at 6:30 and was at the airport at 7!!!
We enjoyed our cruise and met quite a few nice people. We did have a NORA virus outbreak on this ship, but was terribly impressed by all the precautions that were taken to keep it from spreading. Luckily, we didn't get it. The Captain came on the PA and gave updates twice about it and they continued to do things all around the ship to help reduce the chance of spread. It was a little scary, did a lot of good hand-washing, but thought that it was handled very well. Less
Emerald Princess Cruises to the Southern Caribbean
R742: Right below the Cafe Caribe, so noisy. Towards back of ship, so lots of motion. The balcony right next to this one is at an angle, so you were seeing these people on their balcony all the time....took away from the privacy of it.
We love Aruba!! Another very clean island. We took at $13 cab to Divi Resort on Eagle Beach. The public beach is so beautiful here and you can walk forever both ways!! After a nice relaxing day with loads of sun, we took a cab back to the ship, but walked across the street to Iguana Joe's. They have the best nachos and the local beer is very good too! Great day at this port.
Loved Bonaire after this last stop. Clean place! We walked across from the ship to little tents where locals had crafts that they had made and not shipped in from China! Very nice. We then had booked the Woodwind Snorkel Excursion online (from reading lots of great reviews on Cruise Critic) and it lived up to the hype!! You took a catamaran out to Little Bonaire and snorkeled there. The guides were Marine Biologist and they were full of information on all the varieties of fish and coral that you saw. We saw many sea turtles also!! Best snorkel trip that I have ever done!! Be aware that it is about a 10 minute walk to where you board the catamaran, you meet at the pier, but then walk on down. Well worth it though!!
We walked into town and it was not a pleasant 15 min walk. Sidewalks were scarce and you had to walk in the streets a lot and dodge the cars. Very dirty place with lots of trash just laying around. The people were friendly and nice though. We didn't even see a place that we wanted to step in and shop or get a drink. This port needs a lot of work!!
Been here before and not real impressed with this port. We walked up to the fort and then on into the little town. Lots and lots of hackers everywhere!! We mainly just stretched our legs, got a little exercise, and went back on board to spend some time by the pool.
St. Thomas is a beautiful port that we had been to several times. We decided to go to Emerald Beach. It costs $4pp for a cab there and beach chairs were $6 a piece. It is just a short cab ride there. No problem to get a cab back, there is always one pulling up. Enjoyed the local beer at the outside bar before heading back to the ship.