I have just returned today from the Princess Emerald Iberia cruise. There where over 500 young people on board due to the English half term in schools. However, Princess had them well occupied, we hardly saw any children most of them went to all the kids activites. The ones we did see seemed to be occupied with laptops and ipads enough said.
We found the food to be of the usual high standard which Princess pride themselves on. We attended the Grill which I have to say was excellent, our waiter explained the protocol, which allows you to have every pudding on the menu (excellent), the lobster was wonderful, as was the steak.
Even with the amount of people on board we always managed to obtain a seat in the buffet, and ate with the open dining option which enabled us to mix with lots of different people every night.
I found the entertainment slightly frustrating, as I wanted to attend the ballrom dancing but there were other acts on which clashed. Interestingly they held the ballrom dancing in the Explorers lounge which was far to small. P&O have listened to their customers and provided ballroom dancing every evening on some of their ships. Come on Princess, it's a great way to keep fit and its not just older people who want to do ballroom dancing the two sessions that were provided where very busy, no crammed to the gunnels. You need a larger dance floor Princess come on....P&O have the edge here.
Our room was spotless, as usual all the staff worked very hard there is no hiding place for the cabin crew, so well done to all the stewards. The dining staff or waiters were excellent, however, on our last day the waiters took so long we had to leave our pudding because we wanted to see the show which started at 8.30pm. Interestingly we where in the resturant for 6.15pm. I did hear other people complaining that they had no coffee, or had to leave to see a show, hence no pudding. Our waiters were all generally very good apart from the last night.
Would we go with Princess again 'yes' we have been on four other cruises over a period of ten years and all have been excellent. You can see where savings are being made tho, on small things, for example I had to ask for a shower cap, and there was no complimentary hair products. Also you used to have the chocolate midnight buffet...no more, sad really. I had to explain this to several new cruisers who thought it sounded great... I wish I could roll the clock back ten years because new cruisers would be amazed at what we older cruisers where once used to