The initial trip by cab into the cruise port was long and congested. Don't think that's Princess' fault but they ought to look at that as other lines don't have huge lines for cabs or cars to drop off.
Once out of the cab the staff that greets you (and I use that term lightly) did not direct anyone. You just followed the crowd and hoped it was going to the right ship. I kid you not!
The lines were long and slow. Once you got up to the check in point there was no real greeting from Princess there either....just "okay your set". NO ONE directed you or really greeted you until you were past the cold check in process. Then there were a couple of "greeters" and the usual photo people who WOULD NOT let you pass without making you look like a boob. We've got sooo many cruise pictures....please just let people walk by if they choose.
Once on the ship, to our delight, our room was ready. We had a mini suite and it was nice to be able to go there and drop our carry on so we could explore the ship.
They had given us a map at check in. THANK THE LORD because we found the Emerald very compartmentalized and difficult to find our way around. We thought at first that it was our first time confusion but even after day 10 we were still using that stupid map. Not so on other lines we've cruised with.
Horizon Court - buffet cafe. We found a bad design there as well. It's small and people bump into each other. Food was really mediocre. Was it awful...no but we grabbed breakfast but didn't bother to go back during the day because it's so lack luster. Wait staff is very helpful to keep your drinks filled etc.
Our room was a mini suite and we found it ample. The only thing I'd knock them on is ....where are the drawers? Did I have enough space, yes. Bed and pillows very nice. Room steward very good. Beach towels in the room and refreshed everyday. I have to say Princess does that well. RCCL you have to go to the pool, give them your card, and bring them back to the pool area (all the time showing them your card) or you'll get charged $20 a towel. We were so pleased Princess doesn't do that. TV selection, except for the premier movies is dreadful. They show reruns of the Love Boat. ENOUGH!
Main Dining Room was Botticelli and it was lovely. Head waiter is so pleasant as well as our wait staff. Food was good. Wasn't extraordinary but I really couldn't complain.
Crown Grill (steak house) there is an up-charge but this was OUTSTANDING. We ate there two nights and Sabatini's once. Sabatini's was good. However had we not felt bad about leaving our MDR table mates too many nights, we'd gone at least 2 more night to the Crown Grill....it was that good!
We only did a couple of nights of the entertainment. Comedians and a Mentalist all who were very good. The ship was full so getting into the theater was tough. You really couldn't run in at the last minute.
Casino is fairly common. The only thing we weren't really informed of is that you have to use your card to gamble. Not a big deal but setting up the account was a little confusing just because the instructions weren't clear. However once it was set up.....no big deal.
Emerald staff is friendly. Did not see an officer at any time. Other lines they see to be around to greet.
All there stops were the usual and I won't comment only because the span of every one's interest is different. I will say however, the island they use for their private use "PRINCESS CAY" was heavenly. We had to be tendered in but that process was extremely efficient, making it no big deal.
Emerald seems to be an extremely stable ship. Captain would come on and say there was going to be "bumps" (and you could see the rougher seas) but really they really did a great job because seldom did I feel a thing.
There are multiple pools on the boat and deck chairs are easily found. Also they have small tables between every two so you don't feel your lying in bed with a complete stranger. Really liked that. There was your share of lounge chair hogs but were there are so many, it was no big deal.
I tried not to like Princess because we had sailed RCCL and Celebrity so much I think we got comfortable. I definitely would sail Princess again. Would it be my "go to line"....no, and only because we cruise for the itinerary mainly but it was nice we have another line to choose from.
We chose to walk off first thing in the morning at the end because we had an early flight and it was THE best thing we ever did. Whole process was over in 15 minutes and we were in a cab. Could we get breakfast, no....coffee yes and we were back in Boston mid afternoon. No hanging around in a lounge till your number is called and then the mad search for another black piece of luggage!