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Sail Date: September 2015
We choose this cruise as it had only 3 sea days and 18 ports so it was all about small group tours to maximize the locations. We are experienced cruises and decide in advance if it is a cruise to relax and use the ship board activities, ... Read More
We choose this cruise as it had only 3 sea days and 18 ports so it was all about small group tours to maximize the locations. We are experienced cruises and decide in advance if it is a cruise to relax and use the ship board activities, for the ports, or a mixture, hence we did not use and on board activities. We were a little disappointed that there was no cards on board on the sea days "bridge" but in the end we bought cards and organised it ourselves so still managed to play. We used two ship excursions but only for transport in Florence. The anytime dinning was horrid, bad service, cold food, so after the first 7 days we changed to fixed early dinning and the experience went from horrid to excellent, so we will think a lot before choosing anytime again. We had a week in Spain which was great and this also enabled us to be on the spot for our embarkation so boarding was easy. Our cabin D320 was a mini-suite and was in a good position so I would recommend it. In summary, we had a great cruise with many lovely ports and nice entertainment at night. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
First time on Princess and I was very impressed. Food, service and entertainment were all top notch. The best part of this cruise was the itinerary. We left from Barcelona and the first stop was Marsaille and Aix-en-Provence in France. ... Read More
First time on Princess and I was very impressed. Food, service and entertainment were all top notch. The best part of this cruise was the itinerary. We left from Barcelona and the first stop was Marsaille and Aix-en-Provence in France. Beautiful area and I got to practice a liitle French! Next stops was Florence/Pisa. All buildings in Pisa were gorgeous besides just the tower. Cathedral in Florence took my breath away. In Rome we saw the Trevi fountain (still under renovation), Sistine chapel which is awe inspiring, Vatican Museum, St Peter's Basilica (HUGE) and the Collisieum. We didn't do an excursion in Kotor, Montenegro but we enjoyed walking the cobblestone streets and looking around. Beautiful little town with mountains everywhere. Pleasant surprise because I didn't know what to expect. Highlight for me was Athens and Santorini. Seeing the Acropolis and Parthenon was a dream come true and Santorini was just or more beautiful than I hoped it would be. Turkey was also another pleasant surprise. Our excursion in Rhodes was cancelled but we were able to book another one easily and the tickets were delivered before we woke up. Only downside was that we couldn't go to Crete due to Hazardous weather conditions so the port was closed at Midnight and we didn't leave until that morning. We had gotten up early for the expected excursion but spent the remainder of the morning relaxing on deck. Safety first! The final excursion was in Amalfi and Pompeii. I couldn't believe how well preserved and big the city was (162+ acres). All excursions were booked through Princess and they were wonderful. Only recommendation is possibly giving us more time to browse, shop and take pictures. The activities that I enjoyed on the ship were the Comedy and production shows. The martini demo was great and the singer in the Crooners Bar was entertaining and interacts with the audience. Had fun dancing in the nightclub and much more. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly as well as the the distribution and disembarking of shore excursion groups. I highly recommend this cruise. Truly trip of a lifetime and best vacation ever! FYI: Excursions that I took involved A LOT of walking so plan excursions accordingly. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2015
This was my 7th cruise with Princess, my 2nd on the Emerald. Sailed on it 2 years ago, and there is a noticeable decline in many areas. Entertainment is the biggest change - the old Vista lounge (now Club Fusion) used to offer a second ... Read More
This was my 7th cruise with Princess, my 2nd on the Emerald. Sailed on it 2 years ago, and there is a noticeable decline in many areas. Entertainment is the biggest change - the old Vista lounge (now Club Fusion) used to offer a second evening entertainment venue. It sits empty 95% of the time now, its used for the Captain's Circle events. I would expect they'll convert it into another pay restaurant or something to take your money when refitted. The few dance shows at the Princess Theater are the same ones I saw 2 years ago, You'll only see the dancers and shows a few times. The entertainment has really gone downhill, they hire lousy comedians and unknown singers now. Not sure if this is a trend on all Princess ships, but its definitely disappointing. There was one group, the Mosaic Trio that I enjoyed. The crew put on trivia shows and the like to entertain you, rather than hire entertainers. Food - every breakfast in the Horizon court is the same and disappointing. Service is hit and miss there. Coffee is terrible. They even have plastic fruit on display there now! Fruit selection is not as good as before. A lot of dinner items they serve in the Horizon court are things people would never want and just sit there untouched. Dining Room main courses were generally good, but the waiters there are a far cry from what they used to have. Most can hardly speak English, ours always abruptly shoved our menus into our faces when we greeted fellow diners. They used to remember your preferences & name. They put no effort into that now. Don't expect a good cup of coffee in the dining room, its now the same crap they serve in the buffet. You have to buy a $30 (+15%) coffee card now to get a decent cup of coffee. ANY kind of coffee or tea in the International Cafe must be had with this card. Picking your pockets. A lot of little things that made the dining room feel like a classy restaurant have disappeared - the service, poor coffee, cheap quality ice cream, even the baked Alaska is terrible. Touted pasta dishes were dried out and lacked flavor. Ship - expect to find elevator buttons that don't work. Exterior windows used to be washed regularly - they never were for the entire cruise - salt stained windows from the dining rooms/buffet detract from the experience. Ship shudders like an unbalanced washing machine when docking, wakes you up at night. Embarking and disembarking were fine. Internet - the worst I've ever seen on any ship. Passengers were livid about the snail speed and it locking up all the time, tech support unavailable (I asked purser's desk) as passengers struggled to print boarding passes. As a platinum member I got 250 free minutes that were pretty well useless to me as my ipad just kept freezing. Technology on the ship not able to keep up with the bandwidth demand of increasingly tech dependent passengers. No weather information on the ship channel. Shore Excursions- Prices have gone from ridiculous to obscene. You can go ashore and hire a taxi and literally save over $200 on some excursions (for two adults) compared to ship excursion costs. No wonder they never sell out anymore. Ports were generally good - esp Malta, Genoa, and Kushadasi. To summarize, Princess has been going downhill for some time and it was the first time my wife was really disappointed with them. She has been sailing with them since 1980 and used to love Princess. Carnival Corp is not maintaining the quality level of the Princess line where it should be. If costs are rising they should consider raising the cruise fare, instead of cutting the things people look forward to (esp. food, entertainment) and add new charges. If I want a cheap low quality experience there is Carnival lines. I expected a better experience with Princess and they missed the mark. I wonder if they are ruining Cunard....... Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
We spent 28 nights on Emerald Princess August/Sept and had a fantastic trip as did many others we befriended on the cruise. The ship and crew were absolutely fantastic and most were happy to have a chat and some even gave us advice re how ... Read More
We spent 28 nights on Emerald Princess August/Sept and had a fantastic trip as did many others we befriended on the cruise. The ship and crew were absolutely fantastic and most were happy to have a chat and some even gave us advice re how to get around in ports we were doing on our own. The ship is lovely and we can't understand why it is being refurbished soon other than to modernize some areas. We found all areas clean and tidy at all times. We ate most of our meals in horizon court as we did not want to be spending a couple of hours in the dining room and prefer to have sun and fun. (We also get over listening to people bragging about how many cruises they have been on etc, etc you would think it is a competition). The food was tasty and the variety at every meal extensive. Others also expressed the same thing. I do not know what some people expect...we often ate at the back of the ship to enjoy the view. We never found any area crowded.the meals we had in the formal dining room were of a high standard and everyone was friendly and worked hard to please people around us. We and others noticed a minority of cruisers who just don't know how to enjoy themselves and pick everything . Honestly do they have a slave at home?, the way they act and complain you would think so. I heard one person whinge to others that their cabin steward did not put fresh ice in their fridge. Boohoo. All they had to do was make one call and it would have been delivered OR they could get some from an ice machine. We loved the international cafe and every dessert on the ship was the best and tastiest we have had. Before we left we thought we would avoid pastries/desserts etc so we would not put too much weight on and decided most cakes etc look good but taste the same....well we broke our rule as every mouthfull was devine and by the amount of people constantly lined up for the treats they obviously thought the same. The only thing I do slightly agree with is some of the evenings were light on entertainment however we were on 28 days..and to be honest with our extensive port tours etc were too tired to stay up late but I do understand some people go for the nightlife. Korey Simon was on the last week of our cruise and was brilliant. So much fun we did stay up late and regretted it the next day... lol. I also want to comment re the formal nights. There were 8 during our month on board and we only attended 3. Live and let live. Not everyone wants to get tizzed up and attend. Once again it seemed like a competition between the women as to how OTT they could be. Not everyone's scene. so if you want to get dressed up fine but don't be rude about those who don't want to. Everyone's holiday is exactly that, Their experience not yours. Congratulations to all at Princess and we would not hesitate to recommend people to cruise with you. We will be back. Every minute of every day is up to you to make the most of it. life is too short. We thought all the trivia sessions were fun with David from the cruise directors staff and Cassie etc Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2015
I have been on many Caribbean cruises, but this was my first European cruise. I was very hesitant, thinking language was going to be a problem. No problem at all. Everyone spoke English or was able to get their point across from dealing ... Read More
I have been on many Caribbean cruises, but this was my first European cruise. I was very hesitant, thinking language was going to be a problem. No problem at all. Everyone spoke English or was able to get their point across from dealing with tourists. We embarked at Barcelona, where we spent two extra days before the cruise. What a fantastic city. So much to do. I highly recommend it and want to go back. We stayed at the Alma Hotel and they treated us like absolute royalty, and we're just T-shirt wearing midwesterners. Boarding was very quick. Our boarding time was 2pm, but of course, we went at noon and got right on with no problem. We were in room C-108 with a balcony. It was perfect and our room attendant Jirasin was great. We were on the Ruby Princess twice in the past, and this ship is an exact replica so we knew our way around well. Marseilles. France was a pretty little sea town. We were there on a Sunday, so not as much open. We walked around their market area. You had to take a bus $16.00US each, to get to the town from the ship. Monday was Florence and Pisa. We did a walking tour where they just dropped you off and we explored each place ourselves. This was fine. Again, some of the main sights in Florence are closed on Monday, so I would like to go back and spend more days there to really see all the art, etc. On to Rome to see the Vatican and the Colliseum. Definitely pay for the full tour with Guide for this day. The crowds were unbelievable. If we were not able to bypass the lines for tickets, we would still be there! The Vatican really rushes you through the Sistene Chapel, but our guide was great on gathering us up and explaining things before we were rushed through. We had a great BIG meal at the "MoMo" Restaurant in Rome which was included in the tour price. Flowing wine, water, and lots of food and dessert were included. The Colleseum was great too, and again we were able to bypass the LONG lines to get in with our prepaid tour. We spent a day at sea and had no problem at any time finding chairs for sunbathing. Love the movies under the stars. Makes sitting in the hot sun much more bearable. The waiters didn't hound us as much as they do on RCL. Our next stop was Kotor, Montenegro. Now I had never even heard of this place and we were all hesitant about even going ashore. Wrong. This stop is so beautiful. Cruising into the fiord setting was the most beautiful port, and we have seen plenty. This place is so quaint and beautiful! And cheap. We had Large beers for 1.20 Euros each. The shops handle more hand-crafted beautiful items, at very reasonable prices, instead of the usual touristy stuff. The town is a bunch of narrow twisting little streets that were so cool to explore. Make sure you grab a map at the town welcome area. About the ship, our meals were all very good. Princess still beats out RCL when it comes to the food. here was only one night that the selections were iffy. For the first time, we ate at a Specialty Restaurant, the Crown Grill. Our kids bought this as an Anniversary Gift for us. OMG, I ordered lobster and the rest ordered steak and lobster. I got 6, yes 6 lobster tails. And the guys who ordered steak and lobster each got three also. We were so full we could not eat the fantastic desserts they were offering. I was disappointed that the running machines didn't open until 8am. Runners are usually earlier risers. By 8 we have run, cleaned up, and eaten breakfast! I could use the Ellipticals, but not the treadmills. Weird. I'm guessing whoever roomed beneath the treadmills complained of too much noise?... We didn't get the drink packages since we were off the ship so much. We didn't do the Entertainment shows either, except for the welcome party. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2015
This was a disappointing cruise for us because of the air venting in this cabin. We choose Princess because of the non-smoking policy onboard and instead of cigarette smoke, we had to endure the smell of cooking meat every morning at 3:45 ... Read More
This was a disappointing cruise for us because of the air venting in this cabin. We choose Princess because of the non-smoking policy onboard and instead of cigarette smoke, we had to endure the smell of cooking meat every morning at 3:45 am! The ship itself is well maintained, and we did not think the comments of her needing to be refurbished were justified. Our waiters and room steward were excellent. The staff were friendly and polite. The dinners were not quite as gourmet or creative as our 2011 Emerald Princess cruise, but definitely very good. The entertainment was passable, but not as creative or polished as the entertainment on the Royal Princess in October 2014. A Med cruise is pretty intense if you've signed up for excursions. As most of the attractions are more than an hour from port, most mornings start at 7:30 and last ten hours. Nightlife tends to be cut short anyway but there just wasn't much of a party vibe for us. I liked the Royal Princess much better for the entertainment staff and cruise director, so that may have affected things too. The ports: Barcelona- We stayed two nights pre cruise and really enjoyed ourselves. Stayed at Hotel Emelia and loved it. Marseille- We did the Luberon and Aix excursion. People who didn't have a tour paid $16 each just to get to Marseille. Our cruise guide Sophia told us nothing about the towns. She basically just sat there and talked to the bus driver. It would have been nice to have some benefits of a "tour". Towns were interesting and we found good places to explore and taste the local food. Livorno- We did Cinque Terre and realized what we had missed in the previous tour. Our guide Lorena never stopped talking on the bus ride and was so charming and informative. In LaSpezia we picked up our walking guide who was also excellent. It was a whirlwind day with coach rides, boat rides, walking tours and a train ride. Very jam packed day and crowded with thousands of tourists but worth it. Rome-did the private train coach which lets you off a good 15 minute walk from The Vatican store. You meet there and walk together back to the train coach at the end of the day. They encourage you to buy the Greenline one day hop on bus tickets from them. Save your money. Green line hop on bus is terrible. Buy a different bus line and buy tickets for attractions ahead of time, at least in the summer. Rome is great city to explore but a guided tour might be a better option if it's your first time. Kotor- We waited until we no longer needed a ticket to board the tender and had plenty of time to explore this interesting old town on our own. The Astoria has an upscale place inside or outside for a drink and a lunch. Lots of people-watching opportunities. Athens- Since we were flying to Paris on disembarkation, we did the disembarkation tour which included a running commentary in the coach from our well spoken and intelligent guide, Gabriella. She guided us up the Acropolis with prepaid tickets to the Parthenon included. Excellent tour and well worth it to be dropped off at the airport at the end. Well it was a lovely ship with above average customer service, but somehow the cruise seemed to lack an excitement or sense of joy that other cruises have had. Perhaps it was our unfortunate choice of cabin that impacted our enjoyment, or the amazing experience we had on the same ship in 2011 that couldn't be met. We did cross off a few more places from our bucket list, but all in all our experience on the ship could best be described as lacklustre. Princess has every opportunity to improve this by upping the quality of the entertainment (use some of Carnival's singers and comedians), inject some fun or surprise into the cruise, improve some of the waiting times for excursions with entertainment or at least some staff that know how to make waiting fun. We tried our best but there is only so much you can do on your own. Hope this helps! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
Just returned on Monday, nice vacation. We added a few extra days in Barcelona before boarding the ship and extra days in Rome. Well worth it and allowed us to see Barcelona and Rome. Dining - I'm a vegetarian and didn't have ... Read More
Just returned on Monday, nice vacation. We added a few extra days in Barcelona before boarding the ship and extra days in Rome. Well worth it and allowed us to see Barcelona and Rome. Dining - I'm a vegetarian and didn't have any issues with finding something to eat. I've only been on one other cruise but with Royal Car. There were two differences I noticed: On RC we did not have a per person fee for our formal dining nights and the open buffets were pretty small as compared to our RC cruise. Princess charged us $25/per person for our formal nights where RC had no charge. This may have changed on RC, but as of three years ago there was not a charge. Laundry- If you are planning to do laundry, bring US quarters. Washer and dryer are each $2.00. There were four of us and I did three loads of laundry. The line to get quarters was insane, I spent 1 hour waiting to get quarters as I didn't expect to spend US dollar in Europe :) I must have been like the other people on the boat, as I was told by another passenger that they ran out of US currency. Stewards/Crew - Very nice and accommodating. Our steward, Jose (14 deck / room 309) was great. We had two of our kids with us (16/19) in a different room. Some days when I knocked on their door to wake them up for a early morning excursion, they didn't answer, Jose would let me in :) Lines at front desk - Not so great, never another staff but once you made it to the front of the line, they were very helpful. Rooms - We were on the deck 14 Rooms 307 and 309, close enough to the elevators and stairwells. We had an adult pool on 14 which was nice. It was also nice not to have to take the elevator to the main deck on 15 where all the pools and buffet, pizza, etc...were located. It was a short walk up the steps. Excursions - We took two excursions through Princess. I would not recommend either; Milan for a day (horrible) we were basically driven to Milan and given 30 minutes of a tour and then dropped off to meet in 3 hours. I would highly recommend private tours for all shore excursions. My travel agent booked everything through ShoreTrips. The cost is the same and well worth it. Gratuity - Plan on $11.50/per day per person. We were surprised at the $300 add at the end of the week. Pools / Seating - Lots and lots and never had an issue with finding somewhere to sit. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2015
Four of us traveled from the U.S to Barcelona to celebrate a graduation. We were on the Emerald and had 3 cabins, two adjoining on Riviera with balconies and one inside cabin. Embarkation was a breeze, absolutely fantastic. Make note of ... Read More
Four of us traveled from the U.S to Barcelona to celebrate a graduation. We were on the Emerald and had 3 cabins, two adjoining on Riviera with balconies and one inside cabin. Embarkation was a breeze, absolutely fantastic. Make note of the time you can board. We enjoyed the location of our cabins and were able to unpack and still have room to move around. We only booked one shore excursion through Princess and that was transport only to Florence which was fine. Others had terrible excursions to the area as they involved more than just transfers. Our food was good all week. Some days better than others. Service was very good two nights, average at best the rest of the week. We were disappointed with other cruisers attire in the dining rooms and that they were seated even with the signs saying no tank tops, shorts, etc. We dined in both special restaurants, the Crown Grill twice. We had a difficult time getting reservations on board as you have to call a number (you cannot make reservations at guest services) and there was only one person taking calls. Once through, we had no problems getting a table and obviously we called back and made a third reservation. Sabatini's was good, but the waiter had too many tables and no assistant. At each restaurant we were there approximately 2 1/2 hours. The entertainment was horrible. We tried to support and went each night, but wow, really bad. The best were the cruise dancers vs. Entertainers brought in. Disembarkation was easier than embarkation! I had called to find out when we could get off the ship prior to leaving the U.S. as we had a private transfer arranged. I did not get a good answer (was never impressed with any conversations with 800 number), but know that in Rome you can request walk off. Meaning you take everything without help. We could get off at 7:15 a.m., or earlier, and arranged a car service fo 8:00. A few things to note: Shampoo/ Conditioner is provided and is awful. If planning your own excursions and the ship docks at 7:00 a.m., it will dock then and you can get off within a few minutes of docking. The ship will leave you unless you are on their excursion, or unless you leave your underage children onboard (really happened). You can take wine onboard. Watch for happy hour specials. Room service errors on the early side, be ready! Anytime dining works well, but you will wait 10-15 minutes during prime time. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
My wife and I have just returned home to NZ after a wonderful 28 day cruise around the Med. Thoroughly enjoyed the ship and crew, from the Commodore down to the guys and girls in the laundry. We've been aboard this ship previously, ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned home to NZ after a wonderful 28 day cruise around the Med. Thoroughly enjoyed the ship and crew, from the Commodore down to the guys and girls in the laundry. We've been aboard this ship previously, last time was August / September 2014 and there were a number of crew who remembered us.....by name. It really annoys me when a fellow critic complains that there are no towel animals. The cabin stewards have enough to do without pandering to these trivial items. Buy the book on towel origami and make them yourself! But...and there normally is a but if there's no 5 star review. The food was okay but we've had better on previous Princess cruises, although the International Cafe and Vines and I re always consistently good as is the service. The menu is on a weekly cycle so after a month we've seen it 4 times! One particular area that does annoy us is the dining room. It states a reasonable dress code, you do not have to wear a jacket and tie but smart casual is required. I believe shorts and a t shirt does not comply! Go to the Horizon Court, P&O Australia or Carnival, not the main dining room of any cruise line!! Certain standards should be kept and it doesn't cost much (in money or time) to wear shoes, a nice shirt and trousers. The entertainment is quite frankly, pathetic. The movies kept repeating as does the shows and entertainment during the day. There must be better quest performers out there. The Princess Orchestra and most of the Princess regular bands and singers are pretty good. The guest performers, on the whole, are not. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
I booked this cruise based on the port stops. I read most of the reviews on cruise critic before boarding so I knew what to expect. The ship was clean & very nice. I'm not picking on misc-- won't be checking out whether ... Read More
I booked this cruise based on the port stops. I read most of the reviews on cruise critic before boarding so I knew what to expect. The ship was clean & very nice. I'm not picking on misc-- won't be checking out whether they need a new carpet, etc. The layout of the ship was good. I did not join any of the ships excursions. I booked in advance small private tours (found off the internet). My room was a nice size & placement of furniture/size was fine. This was a port intensive cruise so we were not in the room so much (just 1 day at sea). Cabin was always kept clean & when we left for port, the room was clean & while we went to dinner, our beds turn down. We had early dinner seating. Wait staff was great. Service was good. I didn't care for the food much. There was a variety of choices but I find that it seems that I cannot find a medium rare steak throught the week. I even asked them to find a piece that can moo back. Every plate of steak I requested or my party did was well done... not even a little pink. I gave up on that. The buffet was good. Small selection but everyday is different. In the mornings, very hard to find a place to sit. Crowds come in intervals. Some mornings it's very easy to get a table & some morns, none. If you don't mind sitting outside, there's more seats. Every night there's a show or 2. My party will always try to catch the first show. I tend to wander out either in the middle or towards the end. I did not find the show well done as other ships I'd been on. I actually stayed for the whole thing of "Sound of Music" movie in the theatre than staying for one of their shows. Basic broadway type/singing/dancing/comedy shows. It was just not done well. Live music was great. There was a few places that had live music every night. After 10/10:30, I think everyone on the ship is asleep. I would wander place to place looking for find something to do-- even the casino is semi-empty. I'm w/ my mother & her friends & Majority of the ship is of the same age -- so if you're looking for late night entertainment.. none. I ended up chatting up the barstaff every night (not a drinker either). Good trip -- port stop but ship was a little lacking if you are looking for both. Read Less
Emerald Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 5.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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