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Emerald Princess Cruise Review by ehrkes

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Emerald Princess
Emerald Princess
Member Name: ehrkes
Cruise Date: December 2012
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Cabin Category: M
Cabin Number: r224
Booking Method: Internet Agency
See More About: Emerald Princess Cruise Reviews | Eastern Caribbean Cruise Reviews | Princess Cruise Deals
Member Rating   4.0 out of 5+
Dining 4.0
Public Rooms 5+
Cabins 5.0
Entertainment 2.0
Spa & Fitness 5.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 1.0
Embarkation 1.0
Service 5+
Value-for-Money 4.0
Rates 4.0
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Ship Facts: Emerald Princess Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Emerald Princess Deck Plans
12/27/2012 New Years Eve 10 Day Eastern Caribbean Cruise
My wife and I have sailed with Princess numerous times and this was a last minute trip, planned in early December 2012.....Wish we had looked up the airfare from ORD TO FLL beforehand booking the cruise (duh momemnt...) ALWAYS look up the airfare BEFORE you book the cruise.....I should know that by now..

anyhow booked the cruise, got assigned Rivera Deck Cabin R224....very nice, deck 14, up on port side near the front of the ship....as a matter of fact saw many of the top brass walking down our hallway all during the cruise....especially a very nice BIG Irish nautical guy, who was ever so pleasant and very friendly...stopped to ask about the cruise, our names etc...saw him many times.....he has some nice nautical tattoos on his forearms

and my wife joked, that he probably had more....

SO, spent next few weeks using kayak and other websites to find cheap airfare

without aggravations.......also we checked the forecast for the weather and saw that snow was possible, in our area and in areas flying through...Indy, Ohio, Penn etc......so I mentioned to people on CC boards to book your flight a day or two earlier......just in case...we never fly in anymore on the cruise day..

so this year Christmas was the 25th, and the 26th, we were still trying to enjoy

Christmas, but airborne....luck would have it that on the 22nd we finally find airfare going to FLL, stopped in Charlotte, NC, via UNITED/US AIRWAYS.....

flights were easy and good, then got to Charlotte to see the horrors of air travel delays......IT WAS THE BUSIEST AIRPORT area that we had ever been too...

after having the US AIRWAYS guys straighten out our flight.....and then told the flight was oversold...but we had seat assignments..luckily but other flights we delayed due to poor weather in INDY and PENN etc.....so this

caused such a delay in flying out on the 26th out of Charlotte......

We ran into several other Emeralders going on our cruise and we wished them luck finding flights out......from Charlotte down to FLL.....so it nice to visit the Amex lounge in the Charlotte airport....it was delightful and cozy, had nice mags to read, snickety snacks, quiet, clean bathrooms and places to doze off before our delayed flight out...

So, arrived in FLL, caught the shuttle bus taking us to the La Quinta Inn & Suites Ft. Lauderdale Airport

2620 North 26th Ave Hollywood, FL 33020 1-954-922-2295

it was the BEST hotel ever in FLL that we had ever stayed in, clean quiet, nice safe area, free shuttle pickup from FLL airport, and they had a special $8 pp to the cruise port the next morning......FREE hot breakfast of waffles and cereals and rolls and hot coffee/tea/OJ it was very very nice.

We had learned a few days back and posted on CC about the NORO on our very ship, we were not concerned.....since we knew it would take time to get onboard...and it did.......

Took shuttle bus to FLL cruiseport and it was chaotic.....our poor driver stuck in a traffic nightmare and we just begged to be dumped off anywhere so he could get out of there and drop off his other cruise passengers...waiting patiently for their sailing on the HAL ship......

SO, we snuck out when the cruise cops were not looking....took a few secs....and paid our driver and ran into the terminal.....

WHEW! we would still be sitting there.....traffic was a nightmare due to cabs in and out of the port.....and noro cruisers and repeat or back to back cruisers getting checked out before reboarding....scary stuff this noro...

Checkin was slow and stopped, we have ELITE status...so we got into a special room without drinks or nibbles (they always have that) and then finally got onboard the Beautiful EMERALD around or right after 3pm.....YEP 3PM

we did not sail out finally until 6 630pm and it was nice...seeing the port in the darkness and all the people waving and flashing their lights in those condos right by the port entrance....great send off....

-Ship Info

The ship just had been drydocked a few weeks before to have some general things done.....carpeting etc...it was rumored that the workers in drydock the guys

who do not wash their hands, brought the NORO onboard with them....who knows?

Others speculated that it began with some sickly kids from Christmas cruise

previous week and spread through deck 14 Rivera (our deck)

We were happy with the room, nice and clean and comfy......hobbit sized as we call it...but very much appreciated.....our room steward was Rizza, a delight.

Ice bucket in the fridge with fresh ice all the time.....beds always made etc...we kept a clean room the whole 10 days to save her some time for the kids, lots of kids and teens on this cruise...heard almost 400?

Ship was so beautiful, clean and staff was friendly and very very accomandating...advised everyone all the first few days to wash hands and use purell and etc etc...was over repeated again and again.....when you poop, wash your hands....(I am a guy and can tell you 7 out of 10 guys using the bathroom while standing upright or sitting down, DO NOT WASH THEIR HANDS) sorry....almost

everywhere we go....people irked to have to stop their vacations to wash their hands...... just do it.....

Had a terrible waiter, Johnry in Bottacelli dining table 84? he was awful, we hardly ate in their, did not complain either....our choice...we wanted a nice

quiet cruise and relaxation....got it too.......sorry Johnry, you should be fired....never brought water to table, never listened to our needs, wants

or offered suggestions etc.......

-Activities

The daily Princess Patter aka the _hitter Patter as we fondly nicknamed her...cause it came to your room every night at 9pm when you were in the cabin or changing or using the toilet...bring a hi lighter there are so many events...

did we do them all, no.......

I let my wife do her thang and I did my thang...which is sitting on the deck, people watching and chatting, watching the world sail by......being so lucky to have gotten the chance to be on this cruise....

Once I got my deckchair, and yes the deck chair savers are on board this cruise too....but they are enforcing the policy saying if you don't use that deck chair in 30-45 minutes OFF your towel or stuff went to the pool guys desk and you lost your spots....hahaha I really really enjoyed this part of the cruise...I loathe deck chair savers.......

SO, wife went light shopping, went to chats and shopping shows.....Marty is the best, he is the shopping guru on the Emerald and he was the BEST....he helped us find a nice new ring fitting for my wife's diamond setting at the DI in St Kitts.....one of the better ports we visited......

-Service

Pretty awesome, except for the rude coffee guy (I reported him) he was so rude to me waiting for a coffee, and waved me off.....and not it nice way.....enough said about that...

Highly recommend the International Cafe right there in the piazza.....man it was awesome........all free except the ice cream....go down every morning for the best DONUTS, chocolate, sugar and the bavarian and the best beignets I have ever had...YUMMY...

Lunch and breakfast was good.....and dinners were very tasty.....

wife did not like the pot roast one night and our lousy waiter never replaced her meal or offered her something else...great service NOT.

If you don't want to fight to find a table or hunt for food.....I would suggest going AFT to the rear dining room always a table and such and if not have the lunch in the dining room.......always a treat!

The hot tea days were awesome....could not do them all......met some lovely people.......especially the Brits and the Canucks.....

-Port & Shore Excursions

We did not do any shore excursions other than, finding a nice couple from Stuart, Florida Lori and Dave and we went to the best beaches with them everyday and soaked in the ocean for 3-4 hours each time...doing nothing but floating, swimming and talking...it was awesome....and they knew everything about cruising and the best beaches....

Unfortunately all the ports we visited right around the new years...so

everything was closed.....that was disappointing.....

Was not impressed with any of the ports cities....all run down and needing some tourist money to build them up and spring them to life....(ST THOMAS) is the king of the ports....we think....,they have so much money and established island etc......the other islands need to learn from them.......

St Kitts was awesome great beaches and shopping......

the other ports alright to goto the beach, but honestly.....run down areas...

take the cab...we walked in one port city after the beach and it was scaryness,

even the police station was closed......got lost trying to find the road to the cruise ship in a not so safe area........finally did our CHICAGO WALK...which means, do not get in my way or bother me or else.........like the New Yorkers how they walk like they mean business.....finally got to the port....1.5 miles to the beach...take the cab, trust us....its worth it and set a return time with your driver.......

-Summary

It is sad to celebrate NY Eve on the cruise ship...I told my lovely that they were setting up tables....and they would be selling the champs aka champagne this time and not free like on other NY Eve cruises.......PRINCESS this was so

bad and in poor taste.......I am very saddened and did not drink any of the $7-20 glasses of champs, or buy a bottle of $175 Veuve Cliquot......huh?

at least the band music rocked and the confetti was free...well this time...

Everything else on the cruise was wonderbar aka wonderful......

You could stroll the decks for a nice breather, shop the shops, watch people lose their money to the casino....never saw anyone win....but they just kept giving money to the casino....STOP...hehehehhee the coin lock game is rigged

I played and studied it for days.....you insert a buck and get a shot to stick a key into the slot to win cash or an ipad...its rigged......nobody won in our

ten days cruise and everyone said they blew 10-25 bucks on it per try....and that was alot of people.....

We carried on our own luggage so could not find the porters....I recommend this if you have just a few bags.......easy and you get your luggage right in your room.....

When disembarking the cruise ship......wait in your assigned area for your group to be called....if you live nearby you are the last off the ship...am flights get dibs on first off the ship.....and once you clear customs and go outside to get your cab...the cab line was over 45 minutes long

look for a few guys with white vans and they charged $11 pp taking you right to the FLL airport....more for MIA airport...but they are right when you walk outside and you are hit with the onslaught of cabs, buses and traffic and lots of people....its then when the cruise is finally over.....

And if you are travelling in a large group and not everyone is together please

don't hold 20 seats for the other party members to arrive....please its rude...

you don't always have to sit with your family and friends......why is this

so commonplace every cruise that we take??? for Christmas sakes, go off and explore the ship, goto the library (get daily crosswords) and have your own adventures.......We never hang with family and friends...we tell them we are NOT

offended and go off and do your own thang and if you want to meet up great....

The 35 member family who insisted on trying to pick a fight with us over breakfast tables....buzz off......I sat down and ate my breakfast and NONE of your clan EVER came to breakfast, even at nearly 10am......so there you go....

WONDERFUL EMERALD CRUISE....Lee was the cruise director, but he did not do much, he let his staff do everything and they rocked...sorry Lee.

Publication Date: 01/15/13
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