Without a doubt, the Emerald is the best cruise ship we have been on during our 21 cruises over many years. We found the crew to be the best by far, with a wonderful dedication to friendliness and good service. The crew we talked with were all happy to be aboard Emerald, and felt they were well treated.
Our cabin steward (Andy) illustrated this enjoyable attitude with his good sense of humor, and friendly service.
The ship itself is well maintained, and our balcony cabin was in very good shape. The extra large balcony on Caribe deck was a bonus, with both sunny and private areas.
Food quality was quite good, we had no bad meals in 20 days. Selection in Michelangelo DR was adequate, and the Crown Grill was a very good alternative on a few occasions. We had no problems with Horizon Court buffet for breakfast and the occasional lunch. We enjoyed pizza on deck on several occasions, and soft ice cream at Scoops regularly.
The new smoking regulations worked perfectly for us, with no trace of smoke on our balcony. If only the incredibly numerous chair hogs had complied as well with the rules as the smokers it would have been great on deck. Not sure how the chair hogging issue can be resolved. We simply gave up on the pool areas and sought out remote locations for sunning ourselves.
We are not MUTS supporters, finding the loud audio on deck inhibits relaxation if you are not watching the movie playing. Could a system of wireless headphones improve the enjoyment of all?? It was a bit annoying that ONLY the MUTS deck area was equipped with padded loungers - seemed like a discount of non-MUTS fans!
We will not do a port review, as we have been to all the ports many times, and no longer do tours, preferring to stay on board and enjoy the ship facilities with fewer people on board.
Other than the very few items mentioned, it was a wonderful cruise, and we will return to Emerald for our next cruise in 2013....