The ports enticed us back to Princess Cruise Lines.
THE GOOD (and it was mostly Excellent:)
The Emerald is one absolutely gorgeous ship offering a plethora of first class entertainment options. No disappointments here! Embarkation was routine and efficient. Food was delicious, plentiful and available 24 hours. The bi-tri-lingual Lido deck staff made every diner feel special. Our verandah cabin had a large closet across from the washroom instead of a poky storage cupboard. Gorgeous ports with lots of options for sightseeing. The photography staff Carin and Carly were exceptionally personable and knowledgable,as were all of their talented team. Our steward, Eric, was one of the best in the business. The laundry area with ironing board was useful. The spa was clean and relaxing. Easter and Fri Sabbath services were respectfully available. We found our fellow cruisemates to be friendly, interesting, and fun to spend time with. All in all a great ship and a great cruise. Would we sail Princess again? A qualified "Most likely".
We learned quickly to shout "Coming Out" when opening the washroom door into the closet vestibule to avoid hitting each other!
There was a thin line of mould in the washroom due to the extreme humidity. Problem is that some spores are airborne and potentially allergenic.
Next door had some major plumbing problems which resulted in our cabin losing toilet usage twice for a few hours each time. We would have appreciated a quick note under the door, to say the least!
We had 2 minor issues that were quickly and courteously resolved by Johnny,the Boutique Manager,once we had his ear. One involved misrepresetation of a product at the rum tasting and the other an attempt to promote a higher priced item as the only available option. Caveat emptor...
The only other issue involved the stench in the casino which passengers must walk through when going from one end of the ship to the other. Unfortunately this was our assigned area for disembarkation. Obviously the air cleaner systems are not efficient. We reeked of stale smoke the rest of way home.
NEVER be late back on ship. ALWAYS give yourself extra time to get back to the ship. On the first occasion my husband`s new watch battery died and we had no idea we were late. On the second, our taxi driver assured us he would get us back on time and then headed in the other direction to find more fares. Apparently this is a common practice. We had to jump out of the cab and run a few blocks down an alley until we were able to flag down a reliable cabby. We were 12 minutes late, upset, and were met at the ship by a very angry manager who barked "so what`s your excuse this time" in front of other passengers and the crew. We understand the pressure he was under, however he didn't win any PR points in our books... We took this verbal spanking higher up the chain of command where it was immediately dealt with by a superior officer. We hesitate to say more because the situation was referred to Head Office.
Beautiful ship, comfy cabins, fabulous entertainment, great food, caveat emptor in some of the boutiques, and ALWAYS give yourself extra time to return to the ship when you go ashore.