When we arrived at Ft. Lauderdale, we used the Princess transfer to the ship which makes life so easy. Once we lined up for the bus, we never worried about our luggage it showed up at our room door and it did show up in a very timely manner.
When we arrived at the dock, we had to stand outside for almost an hour. I am not sure why it was so slow a process to enter the terminal unless it was because of the slow down of customs processing. Once we entered the building, we did not stop walking until we were on the ship.
We had an obstructed view cabin which met our needs. I am not sure that with the cool temperatures that we would have used a balcony that much. As always our room steward was wonderful. We requested distilled water and a firmer pillow. I do think Princess needs to replace the pillows more frequently, but I was pleased that the bed was very comfortable. Because of the length of the cruise, I used the laundry twice $2 per wash $2 per dry and the $20 bag of laundry once. Next time I take a long cruise, I am going to pack lighter. My only complaint was that one of the dryers was not functioning the entire trip.
This time you had to swipe your cruise card at the muster drill. It does improve accountability on the ship. The drill was painless.
I love the layout of the Emerald. We were on the 8th floor and I tried to use the stairs. I was a frequent customer at the International Cafe for the wonderful little sandwiches, shrimp salad, and miniature desserts. I also enjoyed the pub lunch the days it was offered. We ate at 5:45 in the main dining room. We requested a large table and again was given a table for 2. Princess should not ask if it is not going to follow your requests for dinner seating. Two of the days our shore excursions did not return until after 7. I thought I would be forced to eat at the buffet. I asked the head waiter and he said no to go to anytime or come to the late seating and they would find us a table. 5 cruises on Princess and I never knew that. We purchased the drink card that included juices and nonalcoholic drinks and used it frequently. I was really nice on the 9 days at sea. Loved the Crooners Lounge and its hardworking staff. The food was surprisingly good. I had lost 20 pounds prior to the trip and did not want to gain too much back. I managed to eat healthy and remember portion control. I didn't miss a dessert at dinner and managed to lose 2 pounds on the cruise. Rico and Olga were great servers.
Scholarship at Sea was nonexistent on this trip. The port lecturer missed the ship in Ft. Lauderdale. I was very disappointed in the lack of educational opportunities. This has always been a selling point for Princess.
Some of the entertainment was excellent, but I am tired of the song and dance shows. After 10 cruises, they all seem the same. They had two very good comedians (one not so good). Unfortunately, they were not in the Princess theater but in the Explorer's bar. You had to arrive 35 minutes before the show to find a seat. People on the ship really enjoyed the comedians and they need a larger venue. We also had a saxophonist, piano players, and two vocalists that were wonderful.
Movies under the Stars is one of my favorite parts of Princess cruises. Unfortunately, because of the temperature, it was too chilly for me to attend. I did attend movies in the Princess theater in the afternoon. I had seen most of the offerings, but the line up was excellent. One movie I had not seen in my local theater was Hitchcock. What a delight! I was surprised R rated movies were shown. Good for Princess! I think there were only 5 children on board.
We took shore excursions in every port and had good experiences. In Copenhagen we took a shore excursion and our luggage met us at the airport.
Overall it was a good trip. It would be nice if transatlantic ships had covered pools. My cruises are starting to blend together so I think one more cruise that we are booked for and then try something different for a few years until we get old enough that a cruise is all we can do.