Just returned from a 10 sailing (Feb 6-16) on the Emerald Princess and luckily we were not on the norovirus ships that sailed the prior two days. We are a group of 10 and nobody in our group got sick.
We had sailed on the Grand Princess 5 years ago and enjoyed it very much. This time, overall we had a great time(hey you are on vacation) but there was no WOW moments.
It seems that Princess has cut back on staffing to the point that it is having a negative impact on on the crew and on passengers. Our cabin steward was fine, but nothing special. He had 16 rooms he was responsible for and he did his job. Nothing extra and he did not speak unless he was spoken too. Another couple traveling with us had horrible service from their cabin steward. This cabin steward is responsible for 20 cabins.
They seemed to be understaffed every morning in the lid. We cleaned our own tables on 2 occasions and we refilled our (and those around us) coffee many mornings. The "suits" as I like to call them did nothing to help the staff exect bark more orders. Hector, our dining room head waiter, was the only exception that I observed actually helping his staff out.
Getting drinks in the Wheelhouse/Explorers/Club Fusion seemed to take a long time. Again, I don't think they had enough staff, which is surprising since this is area most cruise lines over staff since they know this is easy $.
The coffee machine was out of service at least 3 times when I went to get an espresso which normally would not bother me, except I had prepaid for a coffee card.
The food in the main dining room (Michelangelo) was good to very good but nothing that made us go WOW! I do wonder why they have formal nights anymore when they do not enforce the dress code. If you want to eat in jeans and Hawaiian shirt on formal night go to Caribe Cafe! Again, maybe not enough staff to enforce the dress code?
Entertainment was average.
Spa and fitness facilities were fine.
Pools were cool and jacuzzi was hot as they should be.
Small little things that add up: No fruit or water in cabana at Princess Cays; a rubber hook to keep sliding glass door latched since door lock no longer worked; no towel animals; casino that closes at 11:30 no matter how many people are still playing 3 card poker; no fresh flowers in mini suites or suites.
Princess needs to re adjusts its staffing levels to make 'escape completely' a reality