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Emerald Princess Cruise Review by CruzBunny

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Emerald Princess
Emerald Princess
Member Name: CruzBunny
Cruise Date: January 2011
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Destination: Eastern Caribbean
Cabin Category: AC
Cabin Number: D732
Booking Method:
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Member Rating   5.0 out of 5+
Dining 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0
Cabins 5.0
Entertainment 3.0
Spa & Fitness 5.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions 3.0
Embarkation 5.0
Service 5.0
Value-for-Money 5.0
Rates 4.0
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Ship Facts: Emerald Princess Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Emerald Princess Deck Plans
Emerald Princess 10 Day Eastern Caribbean
This was our first cruise on Princess since 2002, and our first cruise on a HUGE ship, 3000+ passengers. Over all, it was a very nice ship. The public spaces were clean and attractive, and the piazza often had entertainment going on, most of which was silly, like napkin folding, or some bimbette with hula hoops, but always nice to pause and see what was going on. We didn't spend much time in the main pool area because the big screen always had something on, and it was too loud and too noisy for us. We preferred the adults-only area aft of the ship for lounging.

Our stateroom was a mini-suite, very spacious and it had balcony twice as large as normal, due to the location as the last stateroom aft on the port side. The stateroom below ours, and the two corresponding staterooms on the starboard side have the same configuration, so, if you're looking for a roomy balcony, those are the ones to pick. Our steward was efficient and unobtrusive and took great care of us. The bed was tolerable, but just barely. Every night, it would part like the Red Sea, so there was always a gap between the two twins pushed together. First time we've ever encountered that situation.

The food was mixed. We ate at the buffet most mornings. On HAL, we always had breakfast delivered, but the Princess choices were limited and only a true continental breakfast. The coffee was wretched. I heard that it was not brewed, but a concentrate? Anyhow, I'm sure this was to push people to buy coffee cards for the cafe, the only place you could get a real cup of brewed coffee. The choices on the breakfast buffet were the same, every single day, which got old pretty quickly. We visited the dining room one morning only to find that they had the exact same choices, just served to you instead of self-service. Lunch was pretty much the same at the buffet, though we did have an excellent lunch in the dining room, and we also enjoyed the fish and chips and curry at the English pub. We had an early dining option with the rest of our party, and the food in the main dining room was very nice and our servers were outstanding, with the exception of them forgetting my father-in-law's milk every evening unless reminded once or twice. We visited both Sabatini's and the Crown Royal, the specialty Italian and chop house restaurants. Both were well-worth the fees. A very civilized dining experience in both places had some superb food. You must make your reservations right away upon boarding the ship, otherwise, you can't get in. On one last note, the pizza was outstanding!

The shops on board were OK, though I didn't buy anything, I definitely looked. We did some shopping for high-end watches, and the sales lady was most helpful and patient, even though we didn't buy anything from her.

We really enjoyed the Adagio piano bar. That became our special place after dinner each evening. There was hardly anyone there, so there was always a nice couch and table to sit at. It was quiet, the service was outstanding, and they had some excellent and reasonable specialty drinks that we enjoyed sampling. Sometimes they brought us things to try (I guess as the regulars?). Most nights there was a pianist, and some nights a jazz group would come in later.

My biggest complaint was that there were 5 ports in a row. I could have used a sea day in the middle to recover a little. Otherwise, it was a very nice itinerary, visiting several islands we had never been to.

Just a note on Princess Cays, the private island: OUTSTANDING. We rate it a 5. We rented a cabana, which I highly recommend. We also got an upgrade for an extra $25 per person, which meant that we supposedly got priority tender, but no one told us where it was. Also, they waited on us with special meals. TOO MUCH FOOD, but it was fantastic, and the lobster salad was worth the $25 upgrade on its own. We snorkeled, and it was probably the best underwater viewing we had all cruise. There were cuttlefish, which I'd never seen in the wild, and a very vibrant fish population. My husband saw crabs, lobsters, and one lion fish, which he notified the lifeguard about, since they are not native to the Caribbean and are spreading like wildfire.

Publication Date: 01/29/11
Read the Eastern Caribbean ports review by CruzBunny
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