We had read about long queues to embark, but that could not have been further from the truth. We arrived at around 12.30pm and we were in our balcony stateroom before 1pm. It was simple and straightforward. The stateroom was on deck 14 (Riviera) and was clean, spacious (the double be was huge) and well appointed. The balcony was slightly smaller that we had expected, but it was not a problem. The higher balconies are smaller than the lower one's, but you get a better view.
Alcohol is quite expensive, but we are not big drinkers so it did not bother us. You can carry on 1 bottle of wine per stateroom in each port, so that is what we did. White Zinfandel cost us USD 10 in Barbados, whereas on the ship it costs around USD 30. If you like Coke etc and want to drink it, they were doing a promotion where you got unlimited drinks for USD 4.25 per day plus 15% tip. This saved us a lot of money. We also purchased a Coffee card which gave us 15 premium coffee's for USD 27. If you like Latte's etc it is worth it.
Food was superb. Lots of it and great quality. We were on Anytime Dining and never booked a table. The longest we waited was 20 minutes, but we mostly walked right in. On our Silver Wedding Anniversary we booked the Ultimate Balcony Dining. It was USD 100 extra, but was well worth it, as it included a cocktail, canapEs, the best starter I have ever tasted, a salad, and either lobster, steak or both as the main course. The dessert was devine and we also got half a bottle of champers and an 8 x 10 photgraph all in with the deal. Our personal waiter looked after us fantastically and even provided a 25th anniversary memento made out of the Champagne cork and some silver paper.
There is so much to do every day, but 95% of it did not interest us. This did not matter, as we were fully occupied. For book readers who want some quiet to read, try Skywalkers nightclub during the day. Nice and quiet but with a great view. Usual problem with people reserving sun loungers with towels and the crew really needs to get to grips with this as those who play by the rules lose out.
We purchased a pass to the Thermal Suite of the Lotus Spa, which was sold to us on the first day. In hindsight I would not do that again, as the novelty wears off. For USD 119 each I would have preferred to save the money and use it elswhere.
The Sanctury is nice, but very difficult to get into on a sea day. Do what we did and book in for the morning on a shore day (8am to 12.30pm) and do an excursion in the afternoon. Half a day costs USD 10 each.
Entertainment was a bit Cheesy, but worth a look as the shows only last about an hour. The best entertainment was a Canadian Comedian called Ed Harris.
The Eastern Caribbean has some stunning scenery and was as impressive as we had hoped.
Emerald Princess is a huge ship, but we never felt crowded or overwhelmed. We could always get some peace somewhere and find some entertainment if we needed it. Princess Cruises is geared more to Adults than families, but there were still 100 kids on board. The children's clubs must be good as we hardly saw any of them.
If you are not sure about cruising, I would certainly recommend you give Princess a go. We were blown away by how good it was.