We arrived in Copenhagen a day early and checked into the Marriott. Great value if you book via Priceline. We stayed there one day Pre-Cruise and one day Post-Cruise. $120 plus tax pre and $103 plus tax post. We traveled around a little the first day until our room was ready and then took a chilled out. Copenhagen is the most expensive city I have been to. If you take Manhattan and double it-that would be about right. The next day we took a tour around Copenhagen by bus. Was pretty good. I think it was around $50 person. We took a cab to the ship around 2 O'Clock. It was about $40. Embarkation was very easy. Even though we are Platinum and get preferred check in, we didn't need it at that time.
Room We had an interior room on the Aloha Deck. We had booked this cruise last September, and by following the price drops, we saved about $1600. We were very satisfied with the room, and our room steward was very competent.
Ship Even though we have been on many Princess ships, and the Sapphire last Feb., I just kept getting confused on direction on the Emerald. Our room location was perfect in the middle of the ship. Just had to go to the nearest elevator to go to deck 5 every morning and use my coffee card for brewed coffee. Just to let you know-you can save your card from previous cruises. Ours was from our last cruise. The ship was in good condition, and the staff was very nice.
Ports This is why most people go on this cruise. Stockholm Due to high winds, we weren't permitted to dock in Stockholm, but had to dock an hour away. Princess had buses there for transportation, and charged $25 per person round trip. They also gave directions on getting to the train station if you wanted to get there that way. There were people that were complaining about the situation, but in reality the Captain could have just skipped the port in these conditions, and I thing they went out of their way to satisfy us. We really enjoyed Stockholm. Don't miss the Vassa Museum. Helsinki We took the Hop On Hop Off bus. It was a good idea. The only problem we had was it started pouring half way through the day. This was our least favorite port. St. Petersburg. It would take forever to tell about this port. One of our worries was regarding getting off the ship in St. P. The Princess Patter said that local authorities would not let anyone not on a Princess tour off the ship before the ship tours got off. I didn't sleep the night before due to the fact that I was sure I would have a confrontation trying to leave the ship. That did not happen. As soon as the ship was cleared at 7 am, we were able to leave the ship. We had a private tour with STP tours. Lubba was our tour guide and she was very capable. We were very happy that we made that decision. Tallin Cute town. You should be able to tour on your own. It is not far to walk to town. The girls shopped and the guys toured the city. Gdansk We also hired a private guide for this stop. Andrew F. He is very knowledgeable and efficient. We were interested in seeing a synagogue. There was only one and Andrew took us there and we were able to meet with a few congregants. It was a great experience. Berlin We took a private tour to Berlin. We again used STP tours. There was an International Track meet going on as well as the day we went a Marathon where many streets were closed. They worked it out and we saw practically everything. What we noticed on all of our tours is we are used to tour guides taking you to tourist traps where they get kickbacks for souveniers. That was not the case on this trip. You almost had to beg the tour guides to let you shop. I liked that. Helsingborg We went to Sophia's Palace. The gardens are beautiful. We were there on a Sunday, and most stores are close
NEGATIVE ABOUT THIS TRIP There was only one negative aspect of this cruise. We find one of our most positive experiences of a cruise is dinner. We always book late dining. It has been our experience that being with the same waiter every night is the best way to go. We have had great previous experience doing this. Our waiter was terrible. He had no personality and his service was suspect. He would forget one person's course and never realized it until he was told. He always acted like it was your fault and not his. On lobster night, he served the tails and left them there. Wasn't it strange that he took the tails out of the shells for the table next to ours-but not ours. Believe me, we are not a difficult crowd, and we treat waiters with respect. We also tip them very well at the end since they usually make our trip more memorable. What we should have done, is leave this dining room, and go to Anytime for the rest of the cruise. If you have DAN in Boticelli Restaurant as your waiter, change waiters. By the way, the Ass't waitress was very nice as was the head waiter.
Shows Just fair. I feel the quality of shows on Princess has gone down