This was our 3 rd time on the Emerald, 11 th cruise all on Princess, their "grand class" ships, our favorite, even better than the "Royal" ! Princess is still having some embarkation, & dis-organization problem, with some very long lines boarding, but after about 75 minutes, we were in our room, ready to hit the high seas. 3's company was our personal theme, my wife, and sister in law, and myself cruising together and anxious for a relaxing vacation.
The ship looked pretty nice actually, no worse for the wear, our room a balcony on Baja deck 11 near mid ship, perfect ! Cabin was fairly small, but big enough for the 3 of us as we don't spend a whole lot of time in our room. We did ask for more hangers, robes, egg crates, and ice. Our steward although friendly was a bit on the slow side compared to previous stewards we have had. A nice mix of friendly passengers, but always mostly seniors, Canadians & British, and very few children, as always. We met a lot of very nice passengers throughout our cruise.
Service throughout the ship was top notch as usual, but I believe the food has dropped another notch overall, compared to passed years on previous cruises. Drinks were quite pricey with gratuity, were talking $9, on avg. ouch ! They never tell you about "happy hour" drink discounts, you need to ask. Photos, big business always taking your picture, if they had reasonable prices as with cocktails, they would surely sell more, and make the profits they seek. Loved Fish n Chips on sea days in the wheelhouse, Lobster & shrimp were all good, as for the beef dishes pretty mediocre, as were the deserts. Entertainment : We really liked the Hypnotist,Michelle Van Ree and vocal impressionist Michael Wilson ,Rhondell Sheridan & pianist Antonio Sochi, all were very good. The Production shows with the Princess singers & dancers were just okay. Ex. Letterman Mark Preston was very good, everyone seemed to enjoy him. "Bingo" at night ? Lack of entertainment some nights so Bingo, quite surprising we have never seen Bingo at night on Princess. Overall the ships inside games & shows were okay, especially "Majority Rules" with our new favorite C D "Kelvin Joy" he is a total crack up, loved him ! The rest of his staff again, pretty mediocre. The "Casino" very cold especially the slots, terrible ! So much wasted floor space they had room for another 100 machines at least, strange ?Outside pool activities were pretty lacking due to the older crowd, but the Men's sexiest leg contest was kind of fun, lot's of hootin & hollerin !
We got off relatively on time 4:30, on a beautiful Florida day, sunny and in the high 70's. The first two days out were at "sea", time to relax before hitting 5 Islands in a row. The Caribbean is our favorite and the sea was relatively calm accept for the 2 nd to last day as we missed Princess Cays "again", due to what the Capt. called the Eluthera harbor being too rough ? Many we spoke with Questioned his decision after 2 un-expected ports being "tendered" due to the ship's 6 "Thrusters" becoming inoperable ! We had to tender in St. Kitts, St. Thomas, and be pulled out of Barbados by 2 Tug boats, not good ! I think the Capt. was giving his crew a break not stopping in P.Cays for another tender. It's pretty hard on the tender crew having to tender 3 times on one cruise. Again this is just my opinion. The previous 10 day So. Caribbean cruise also missed P.Cays. Maybe they should build a pier there, it sure makes sense to me !
All in all a good cruise, but not nearly as good as our two earlier cruises a few years ago, sorry to say. Happy sailing cruisers, just don't expect too much on the Emerald.