Princess Emerald is a beautiful ship and well maintained. The common areas such as the theatre and Explorer lounge are too small and require arriving an hour prior to a performance to obtain a seat. Since the entertainment was mediocre, we decided it wasn't worth attending.
The cabin was well designed and provided everything we needed for our comfort, except for a decent bed. These beds need to be tossed out. The mattresses are very hard and concave. Thank goodness we were warned about them and ordered eggcrate toppers in advance. Our room steward, Reginald, was outstanding.
The dining room service was a big disappointment. There has defineately been a cutback in staff. We waited for each course and for dishes to be cleared. Each waiter and helper served about 5 tables at a time. The food was just so-so, and the menu boring. (There was a real lack of salad choices; only Cesaar and one other choice.) We frequently just ate in the Horizon Buffet, or our favorite, the El Caribe Buffet. The International Cafe was great, serving a variety of salads and desserts. Their coffee was great, making the coffee card purchase a necessity. (Coffee served in the buffets and dining room is made from a syrup and is awful.) Of course the pizza bar, as well as the grill for hamburgers/hot dogs is always a good choice.
We had hundreds of people ill with the Nor Virus on this cruise. The captain did not acknowledge the problem until about 3 days after it started. (I heard about it on the elevator by friend of one who was quarantined.) I think if they had announced it immediately, it might have been nipped in the bud. Being a nurse, I noticed many areas where the sanitizing was lacking and employees needed better instruction. One man serving tea at the International Cafe actually dropped the paper cup on the floor and picked it up and used it. Servers wiped tables off haphazardly. They never wiped under the edge of the table or under the arms of a chair. (This is what you grab when pulling up to a table.) It was several days after the virus was acknowledged before Purell stations were placed in common area hallways, etc.