We picked the Emerald Princess primarily for the excellent Baltic itinerary. The ship itself is very similar to two other Princess ships we were on (the Sapphire and Star) and, like the others, a very attractive ship with good use made of the cabin space. Service has suffered as it seems they've cut back on dining staff, but overall was still reasonable and the food still some of the best we've had on cruise ships. One exception is the pathetic coffee they serve; good, fresh brewed, coffee is available for purchase and available for free with a "coffee card" that is also good for 15 specialty coffees (e.g. lattes or espressos). Cards purchased on previous voyages are still good for specialty coffees but can no longer be used for unlimited fresh brewed coffee (or specialty teas) except for the voyage during which the card was bought. This is part of Princess's apparent latest policy of cutting back everywhere and being in the forefront of nickel-and-diming you at every turn. They don't, however, pressure you for sales, so the upside is it lowers the cruise cost for those, like us, who spend our money elsewhere.
Speaking of Princess cutting back, we recently learned that effective 8/1/12 Carnival (the owner of Princess Lines) will not allow travel agents to give any cash or equivalent credits and will limit booking incentives to a $ 25 pp non-cash item. This seems very consumer-unfriendly and I think (and hope!) it comes back to hurt them.
One other area Princess could usefully address is their Coupon book. For ourselves, and every one of the other passengers we spoke with, there is nothing of value here.
For those who do Anytime Dining, it can be difficult to get a table during prime dining times (say 6:30 to 8). A good idea would be to speak with the Maitre d' your first day on the ship, give him a $20 or so tip in advance saying, "I know you'll be very helpful if we need anything this cruise." For different reasons we got to know our Maitre d' and we never had to wait for a table and always had top-notch service.