Positives: The Emerald is a beautiful ship in good repair. Our weather was perfect with smooth sailing every day but one.
Our room steward, Reggie, was outstanding. The first day I gave him a list of items desired and he produced everything on the list. He always cleaned our room promptly whenever we left it.
Negatives: NorVirus. I heard about a case several days before the captain announced the outbreak and started taking preventative measures. I guess he was hopeful that it would just go away. The delay allowed the virus to spread throughout the ship. They were slow to start their sanitation efforts. The crew was poorly trained to do effective cleaning; exp. wiping off tops of tables haphazardly, but not under the top around the edge; top of chair arms, but not under the arms where everyone grabs a chair. One waiter in International Cafe actually took my coffee container and held it to pour the coffee and another time put it in the coffee specialty machine. I watched the same person drop a paper coffee cup on the floor, pick it up and use it for another person's tea.
Dining Room: There is a definite decrease in number of personnel. The waiters are so busy and work very hard, but service is slow. The food selection is boring with a real lack of salads...only a choice of Caesar and another green salad. The rest are soups. This is the first cruise I have gone on and not gained weight.
The International Cafe is an exception with great salads, sandwiches and fresh, hot cookies in the afternoon. A coffee card is a must if you drink coffee. A trip to the International Cafe is a must for some "great" coffee before heading to the buffet.
Entertainment: The ship singers and dancers were mediocre. Most of the comedians were good with some outstanding. The Princess theatre is too small and if you wanted a seat had to go about an hour early. The same held true for the Explorer lounge. We did learn to go the second night of a performance and the crowd would be less. It would help if they would tell us in advance that a show would be held over for a second night. The TV programming is lacking. It would be nice if the enrichment series from the Princess theatre would be rebroadcast on TV. Also need more news; how about FOX?
Cabins: A bit on the small size, but like the design. The beds are horrible; mattresses need to be replaced. I can't begin to tell you how bad they are.