Emerald Princess Cruise Review by Ellen in State College PA: Baltics Cruise on Emerald Princess 7/17-28/12
Ellen in State College PA
Member Since 2009
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Baltics Cruise on Emerald Princess 7/17-28/12
Embarkation: We took a cab from hotel by Central Train terminal, it was about 250 dkk and worth not trying to find our way from the hotel. We did go right at 1pm, there was a long line but moved quickly. Bags were taken as soon as we got out of the cab, Princess has lots of people at the port directing you, very efficient.
Probably took us 20 minutes to get to a check in clerk but again very efficient. Our keys were ready and we were on the ship pronto. It was raining and there isn't cover from check in to ship gangway but they had staff with umbrellas.
Security takes your picture when you board the ship and it is in the system for them to check as you board at each port.
Our room was ready and our room steward Karn greeted us and reviewed the safety drill time and where we could eat, the refrigerator in room, fruit orders and how everything operates. He did a great of cleaning up the room 2x a day and keeping us supplied with amenities.
We ate in the More buffet, International Cafe, Da Vinci formal at 5:30pm, Sabatini's and Crown Grill on this trip.
I liked the buffet better this trip then my first. Salad offerings at Horizon Court were great and you do have problems at peak times finding a place to eat in the dining area or on deck but there are many servers around to assist you and serve beverages. They also had varied offerings for all meal periods.
I really liked the International Cafe salad and sandwich offerings, the greek salad is escellent as is the chicken salad with apples. The staff is ready for busy times and very pleasant.
The seated dining at 5:30pm is a bit too early but our wait staff, Stephen and nino were very efficient and remembered out likes. The way the kitchen can feed so many people daily and well is amazing. Stephen has worked for Princess for around 20 years and is a big cheerleader for the company, took time to tell us of new innovations and how Princess is better than other lines. Nice to see positive employees.
Afternoon Tea was fun but too close to our seating for dinner, so we just enjoyed scones and cream vs whole experience.
Sabatini's was excellent, nice view on high deck. Adagio has got to be the best kept sectret for drinks, small and intimate, a string quartet played on night, was never crowded.
We had a balcony so was amazing going into Oslo, Helsinki and especially Stockholm which has 58 miles through the archipelago to port. I couldn't believe going in how quiet it was considering how big the ship was, like on glass. You are so close to the islands...it was breathtaking. I would suggest in Stockholm, get up early to see the entrance into port for a few hours.
My only complaint was the spa.
Spa is predatory...my college aged daughter wanted acupuncture and I said yes to one visit. The acupunturist signed her up for $1000 of treatments including $190 worth of vitamins( 2 bottles) for weight loss. She wears a size 2 or 4! My daughter told me what happened and we went immediately back to the spa and the manager said she would have Julie call us. Julie did call and asked for my daughter, I said I was the person paying and would like to cancel the treatment, I was Ok with the first treatment only. She then asked me if me daughter knew she wouldn't be "cured" without the treatments and I said yes. So later I discovered only part of the cost was refunded. I didn't realize she had given the vitamins, so went back with the vitamins and they were supposed to be credited. Spa person told me she would call when the acupuncurist credited it...never got the call, went back and was told it was done. It wasn't....Also spa manager Dana is not hospitable. I went on first sea day for a 9am pedi and asked to cancel sanctuary times since it was so cold, she told me I had to go myself and cancel. I asked how to get there, bottom line is couldn't find it so got on house phone to do it. This is a hired company by Princess and they are all about $$$. You don't even get to relax during a pedi, no magazines, just upsell from the staff on other treatments.
Enjoyed all the excursions booked through Princess. In Berlin we were delayed and the ship had to wait about 45 minutes for our train to get back. Stress free, lots of people we talked to were not booking excursions through Princess becasue of cost, I felt they were well run and decent value.
We did walk off to leave ship at 5:30am due to early flight home, easy to walk off with luggage and catch a cab to airport, $500 dkk but take credit cards too.
TAKE YOUR OWN HAIRDRYER! one in room is worthless:) Less
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