As veterans of many, many cruises, we were sorely disappointed in our latest journey aboard the Emerald Princess. The dining was the biggest disappointment- nowhere near worthy of a 5 star rating. Princess has taken to cutting it's busboy wait staff in half- so service has become painfully slow. They've cut the number of courses by two (combining such offerings as soup & salad)- portions are small & tasteless. The specialty dining (Sabatinis, at $20 per) was little better. I've never been on a cruise where I heard the staff tell passengers "NO" so much- even for simple requests. Nearly all of the staff seemed depressed & unhappy.
The ship was jam packed- & unfortunately like some other cruise lines, particularly Carnival, they've taken to designing ships with very small & nondescript dining rooms and surprisingly small public areas, buried in the inards of the ship. The gym, vines winebar & the pub are enjoyable & well done, though crowded. But little else will impress. The entertainment was absolutely embarassing. The production shows (2) had one or two quality staff, the rest were rank amateurs. They had the same comedian entertain for 3 of the remaining nights- he was funny the first night, & the crowd pretty much looked at each other the second two. It was almost like they had an entertainer cancel at the last minute & decided to just have the same comedian stand up there for three nights. Worthless!
The beds could hardly be called beds- more like a slab of wood with a thin pad on top- very hard & uncomfortable, & of course, small. This cruise ship reminded us of flailing airlines with service problems- as if they enjoy endlessly finding ways to cut this & that to save a few pennies. Though we've previously had good experiences on them, they've clearly changed their experience for the worse- we'll never sail on Princess ever again-