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33 Buenos Aires Princess Emerald Princess Cruise Reviews

The outside of this ship is well designed. Not so the inside. First the good stuff. If you like to walk a ship's promenade deck, this one is very nice. It's wide and goes all the way around the ship if you climb a few stairs, ... Read More
The outside of this ship is well designed. Not so the inside. First the good stuff. If you like to walk a ship's promenade deck, this one is very nice. It's wide and goes all the way around the ship if you climb a few stairs, giving you great 360 views of the sea and sky. You can do the same on deck 16, also with a few stairs. The inside is different story. The design is flawed, mainly because of the way the spaces are chopped up, especially in the buffet area. Many activities occur in the atrium, but only about 100 people (out of 3000) can actually see what's going on. Deck six is chopped in a way that makes you go up, and then down a flight of stairs to the dining room. But the biggest fiasco is the poorly designed buffet. If you TRIED to design the most inconvenient buffet possible, you might not come close to this one. You just have to see for yourself. I have been on maybe 20 ships, and have never seen such a poor layout of food service and seating areas. We missed both seafood buffet and the big dessert buffet because it was held in the back portion of the buffet, and no info was posted or announced anywhere. It is a mystery to me that anyone would have ever approved such a poor design. One very positive thing that deserves mention is the sound levels of music and background noise on the ship. The crew and sound people seemed to be very professional and kept volumes at an appropriate level everywhere. In the theater, sound levels always seemed loud enough and without distortion. I mention this because many ships just don't pay attention to this and I have seen poor sound engineers ruin a perfectly good talented performance with distorted volume levels and background music. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Our cruise took us, back-to-back, from Buenos Aires to Santiago and then on to Los Angeles. We visited lot of amazing places. About half of the passengers did the entire 30 days. From Buenos Aires to Santiago, all public announcements ... Read More
Our cruise took us, back-to-back, from Buenos Aires to Santiago and then on to Los Angeles. We visited lot of amazing places. About half of the passengers did the entire 30 days. From Buenos Aires to Santiago, all public announcements were made in both English and Spanish resulting in the longest muster drill in the history of cruising. Yes, we carried our life jackets. First of all, without exception the crew was amazing. They worked so hard to make the passengers happy and seemed to enjoy themselves. The ship itself is well maintained. On sea days it was VERY crowded. The Horizon Court was crazy crowded -- sometimes it was impossible to get to the food or find a table. In the piazza, tables and chairs were often brought out of the dining room to provide some extra seating and still it was crowded. There were chair hogs everywhere, not just the pool deck. At least we could retreat to our cabin. For the first time we had an aft wake-view cabin. The large covered balcony was really nice. The cabin showed little wear and tear, and thankfully everything (the plumbing, etc.) worked. Unfortunately I find the “new luxury” beds about as comfortable as a camp cot. We always do anytime dining and ask for a table for two. On this cruise, we were handed a pager several times but the wait was never long. The food was not as great as Princess can do. I don’t know what was going on: Of course they ran out of papaya, but they also ran out of our favorite wine, and they even ran out of strawberry jam! One time we ordered something right from the menu and were later told it was not available. Did someone forget to order groceries? On a Princess cruise, we usually find ourselves in Sabatini’s 2 or 3 times, but this ship lacks a Sabatini’s so we skipped the specialty restaurants entirely. Both the Crab Shack and Crown Grill were $29 per person. Share was a whopping $39 per person. No thanks. Sorry, but the entertainment was pretty sad. Evening entertainment was the same shows and comedians. Daytime activities were mostly boring lectures, silly games, and opportunities to spend money i.e. art auctions, spa treatments, jewelry shows, outlet sales. The best daytime events were talks given by a pair of passengers – a couple who had just finished a 20 month bicycle trip from Alaska to Argentina. They presented two talks about their trip. The Princess Theater was packed. Princess should HIRE THEM to give port and enrichment lectures. The fitness center has the best views on the ship but it needs some fans because it really gets hot in the afternoons. As far as I could tell, they didn’t offer any fitness classes there even though there was a row of spin cycles that were “reserved” for classes. Embarkation in Buenos Aires was quick. Traffic in the port area was pretty chaotic, but once we made it to the terminal, we were on the ship in no time. Disembarkation in Los Angeles was a disaster. So many non-U.S. citizens and not enough officials to process them all. We were scheduled to disembark with a 10:00 a.m. group, but we didn’t leave the ship until after 1:30 p.m. I am sure a lot of folks missed their flights. We still love Princess. Maybe it was just this cruise or just this ship, but there was … No “Welcome Back” card with a collectable destination card attached. No elite bathroom amenities bag. No wine package in the dining room No happy hours. No ice in the water glasses in the dining room. No printed television schedule. No snacks in the disembarkation lounge. No one will notice? Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
The itinerary was great, but the ship not so much. Food menu has drastically gone down hill. On several nights, there was nothing appealing and steak is no longer on the every day menu. The entertainment was sub par but the entertainment ... Read More
The itinerary was great, but the ship not so much. Food menu has drastically gone down hill. On several nights, there was nothing appealing and steak is no longer on the every day menu. The entertainment was sub par but the entertainment staff were phenomenal. The ship needs some refurbishment in public areas. Some chairs were worn need to be replaced The beds were very comfortable. The princess tours were poor and outrageously expensive. We did mostly private tours and less than half the price of the equivalent Princess tours. The captain was by far the most informative and friendly captain we have ever sailed with. He was professional with a great sense of humor and really cared about the crew and passengers. Cape horn was wonderful and we were blessed with great weather. The inside passage around Chile and getting up close and personal to the glaciers was gorgeous. I highly recommend this itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We wanted to go to South America and Princess provided the best value for us. We took the opportunity to go to Iguazu Falls and Colonia del Sacramento from Buenos Aires before the cruise as well as exploring Buenos Aires itself. Iguazu ... Read More
We wanted to go to South America and Princess provided the best value for us. We took the opportunity to go to Iguazu Falls and Colonia del Sacramento from Buenos Aires before the cruise as well as exploring Buenos Aires itself. Iguazu Falls are spectacular, but not an inexpensive side trip. Colonia was interesting and pleasant via Buquebus, but probably more expensive than it was worth. For us, a single day walking around Buenos Aires would have been sufficient. Both embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The staggered embarkation times is an improvement over previous experiences. The Emerald Princess is a pretty typical 3000 passenger ship with the usual decor and amenities. The passenger demographics were definitely older and late night activities were poorly attended. More efforts could have been made to adjust to the obvious earlier preferences. The interior cabin was very functional and well maintained and serviced. Dining was highly variable with some very good serving staff and some quite poor. Most of the food was well prepared, but there were some very notable exceptions. The buffet food was quite good and Princess does a good job of managing lines while controlling access for hygienic purposes. Unfortunately, they don't do nearly as good a job on cleaning the tables. The entertainment was about average for cruise lines, but more efforts could have been made to improve the variety when half the passengers were doing 2 consecutive cruises. Princess staff were pretty grim for the most part. I am not sure what is going on, but not very happy or pleasant compared to recent cruises on other lines. More efforts could have been made to manage crowds for events and shore comings and goings. One good thing was that there was not very much up-selling going on compared with some other cruises where staff seems to be constantly pestering passengers to buy extras. The ports were pretty good with some of the best excursions being wildlife and scenic in their orientation. The excursions to the larger cities (Lima and Santiago) were mostly spent in heavy traffic. We were very happy to have had the experience and it was a good one, but not one that we would repeat. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was a great cruise. The staff were fantastic with interesting ports of call. The problems we experienced were due to poor management decisions and communication. On day one there were a number if beverage choices that were ... Read More
This was a great cruise. The staff were fantastic with interesting ports of call. The problems we experienced were due to poor management decisions and communication. On day one there were a number if beverage choices that were unavailable. By the end of the 15 day cruise most wine choices were 'sold out' . This was caused by some delivery issues, but rather than be upfront with communication about this the poor staff had to apologise every time something was ordered off the menu that was not available. Similar poor communication when laundry facilities were not available in some ports due to environmental rules. Tell the guests what is happening and will understand and be able to make better choices for ourselves while on board. Also, it seems that Princess has become very focussed on selling things. The 'happy hour' has been stopped and there were very few complimentary activities. Many bars were empty .... Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Last thing on our bucket list after travelling for 49 years.. First time to do Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Peru and Nicaragua. Unfortunately on this cruise we had too many things on board that we have become accustomed to on our ... Read More
Last thing on our bucket list after travelling for 49 years.. First time to do Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Peru and Nicaragua. Unfortunately on this cruise we had too many things on board that we have become accustomed to on our previous 30 day cruises that have now been removed or declined in quality. I certainly hope that Princess will read and react to my post cruise survey, where I tried to tell them what had gone wrong and also what they had done right.. On the positive side, all of the staff did an excellent job in everything before the cruise and on embarkation. 99.9% of the ship staff, from the Captain to Maintenance, did an excellent job and I laud them for their efforts and performance. However, on the negative side, Princess has removed their "happy hour" at 4:00 pm and 10:00 pm, you must get into the Princess Theatre at least 45 minutes prior to early show time to get a seat together, the dinner menu repeats after the first 15 day segment of the cruise, food flavour and taste in the anytime dining room has deteriorated, at dinner we were presented with Cornish hen when we had ordered pheasant (when they thought we would not know the difference), I did not receive a call back from the Cruise Director after a written complaint regarding an insulting entertainer that I had presented to the desk, guest entertainers ranged from spectacular to terrible. To add to this poor experience some stupid, selfish souls came on board with coughs and colds, and despite several hints from the staff regarding hygiene, by the time the cruise was over I would say 50% of the ship was sick. Most coughing and sneezing. We were both sick so we had to miss out on playing bridge on sea days and could not share a table at dinner so as not to spread the virus any more. No, I there was not any talk about Norwalk. To cap it all off, US Immigration at Los Angeles was terrible. We were scheduled off the ship at 8:15 am. We finally cleared immigration at 10:45 am. Fortunately we did not have anearly flight to catch or we would likely have missed it - Note NOT Princess fault. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this cruise because we had been wanting to cruise through South America and this ship offered us the best deal and visited all the places that we wanted to see. This was our first time on Princess. We arrived in Buenos ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had been wanting to cruise through South America and this ship offered us the best deal and visited all the places that we wanted to see. This was our first time on Princess. We arrived in Buenos Aires 2 days prior to our cruise. We stayed at the Novotel Hotel. It was very nice, centrally located, reasonably priced and the service was excellent. We had a buffet breakfast at the hotel which was very good and asked the concierge for recommendations for restaurants in the area. They also helped us book two tours - one was to a Tango Show and the other a city tour. We enjoyed both. Embarkation went ok. The port is an actual working port. You have to take a bus from where your taxi drops you off to get to the ship. They gave numbers as you arrived at the port to check in. It was better to having to stand in line. We had to wait for about 45 minutes and then everything went smoothly. The ship is very attractive, well maintained and easy to navigate. We had a balcony on the Baja deck. It was comfortable, had sufficient storage space, and a nice closet. We had been assigned anytime dining. We did it one night but every day you had to make reservations or wait in line. We asked to be changed to the MDR late dining and they gave us a table for two and two great waiters who took excellent care of us. The service in MDR was great but I have to say the food was mediocre. It tasted good but nothing to write home about. The desserts were excellent. We booked 4 tours through the ship and 4 on our own through the cruise critic roll call. Except our tour Ruta Valparaiso when we got off the ship all the tours were good. Ruta Valparaiso showed up about 2 hours late and we were not able to do the tour. Disembarkation was quick, well organized but the port is about two hours away from Santiago. Overall we enjoyed the cruise, the ports of call were beautiful and we were able to get off at all the ports. Would love to go back to Buenos Aires but not do this whole itenerary again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Wanted to go on this cruise to see this area. Sea birds, land birds, cities, glaciers and experience Cape Horn. We had another "tour" scheduled with it by a birding company that provided guided excursions at all the ports. ... Read More
Wanted to go on this cruise to see this area. Sea birds, land birds, cities, glaciers and experience Cape Horn. We had another "tour" scheduled with it by a birding company that provided guided excursions at all the ports. That made it a 5 thumbs up experience for us! the low ratings for things below mean that we did not use so could not rate (not used). We did the first half of this cruise not the full 30 nights. We use Princess for about half of our cruises. On this ship had the International Cafe for specialty coffees. If you do not have a beverage perk get a coffee card for a small discount on 15 coffees as the regular coffee is poor. Vines is a wine and tapas and sushi cafe. Great at 4 or 5 pm before dinner. Ship in pretty good shape. Buffet can be crowed if you don't go early and look for seats more aft when crowed. Did not due Princess excursions, go to the casino, theater or enrichment activities as we did things we wanted to do. We were up early, active and to bed early. Ate in a maining dinning room whenever available/open and did "any time". That worked out well fro a shared or table for 2 if we did not want to talk to others or had shared when we did. Food was excellent to very good and if you had a bad meal it would have been a poor choice or failur to ask for something else as a replacement. Great ports and we did get into Stanley Island, Falkland Islands, to see the penguins. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this cruise as it began the day I retired, and it was a 30 day South America cruise on the Emerald Princess.It included the opportunity to take an excursion to Machu Picchu (two nights off the ship). We embarked in Buenos ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it began the day I retired, and it was a 30 day South America cruise on the Emerald Princess.It included the opportunity to take an excursion to Machu Picchu (two nights off the ship). We embarked in Buenos Aires after a redeye flight. It was a painful 5 hours from airport to ship, but largely not Princess's fault. Immigration was a long slow wait, followed by a slightly confusing customs inspection. The airport was pretty chaotic and it was hard to find the Princess representatives (we used their transfer service). On past cruises, we found this quite easy, but here they were hard to find, poor communication, and long wait for the buses. Then a long drive to the ship (cannot blame them for BA traffic). At the port, things improved--however we had to undergo Argentina customs a second time for some strange reason (again, no fault of Princess). We found our cabin fairly quickly and our steward was nearby to introduce himself. The bags came within the hour. We had a mini-suite, which gives a nice seating area and balcony. We were in D206. The bed is fantastic! The Princess improved beds deserve lots of praise. The furniture was fine but has seen better days with a fair number of scratches etc. Although the balcony is not covered, we never felt exposed or looked down on. There are high walls between them. It did not bother us but there is a bit of rust outside. The bathroom is fine. There was a full tub/shower combination and plenty of counter and storage space. There is one electrical outlet in the bathroom. Our steward was prompt and did a good job. Internet access is expensive and slow most of the time. (Although much improved from our last Princess cruise 6 years ago.) Overall, the Emerald is a nice ship. We felt the decor is beginning to feel a little dated, but it was clean and comfortable. It is a large ship and was full (3100 passengers onboard) but only a few times did we feel crowded. There are enough options and venues it seems to keep people apart enough. We eat often in the dining room, late seating. Overall, the food is not as good as it used to be on Princess, but it is fine. Sometimes, it is great! We only went to Horizon buffet a couple of times, but I was always underwhelmed. There is good variety and lots of fresh fruit always. I would often see people with just plates of fruit. The dining room breakfasts were fine--with a number of decent options (eggs, omelets, hash browns, bacon, sausage, oatmeal, etc.) I felt the dining room lunches, overall were one of the better choices. Usually a number of choices, and most were excellent. Our dining room waiter was fantastic. Friendly and professional. Princess still does pasta fairly well (not quite like the Sitmar days) but usually the pasta was cooked correctly. Fettuccine Alfredo is always available as a choice. We went to the Crown Grill and it was pretty good. Steaks were decent. Not sure it is worth the up charge though. The on deck pizza is ok, but not as good as in the past. The deck hamburgers were ok. The brats were not good but the hot dog and knockwurst were fine. Sometimes they had other items there (like BBQ). It was a decent option when we didn't feel like a full lunch. The BEST food option is the International Cafe. It is open 24 hours. We purchased a coffee card which gets you 15 specialty coffees or teas and unlimited hot tea and brewed coffee. The brewed coffee was decent--the rest of the coffee on the ship is horrid! Rumor is they make it with a syrup rather than brew it--and I believe them. The good news is the cruise helped me reduce my caffeine intake :) The almond croissants, when warm from the oven, are wonderful and became a morning ritual for us (and a lot of other people as word spread!). The vanilla/chocolate mousse was another winner. We don't go to shows much but we did go the the Magic To Do show and enjoyed it. The cast was up to singing Broadway-style. There were many varied cruise activities. The Cruise Director, Paul, was very funny. A high point was the ceremony for crossing the equator. We enjoyed the trivias and game show-type activities. On the first half, there were professional tango dancers on board who were fun to watch. We especially enjoyed the Mystery Room. It was not promoted much, as only 6-8 can do it at a time and you must sign up in advance. There were only 4 in our group and we had a blast doing it. (Yes we got out with 4 minutes to spare). We really enjoy Movies Under the Stars. It's a great fun concept. The shops were typical cruise ship shops. The EFFY jewelry store had many pretty items. We had not cruised on Princess for 6 years and there was a very significant reduction in the selling--which was welcome. Overall, service was great. Everyone was friendly and helpful. Only two exceptions--the buffet staff were sometimes slow in taking drink orders--but they did keep it clean. The front desk usually had a line and it often took 2-3 visits to finally get an issue resolved (for example, the laundromat dispenser charged me but did not distribute tokens. It took 2 visits to get this reversed.). We were pleased with all excursions. We did the Buenos Aires tour of the city (with LaBoca and Recolleta), the Falkland Islands battlefield tour, drive to the end of the world, the Towers of Paine (fantastic) park, Lake Esmeralda, and Machu Picchu. MP was the highlight for us. The tour, while pricey, was first class all the way. They flew 160 of us there on a charter AirBus. We stayed at the Cusco JW Marriott.which is a beautiful hotel located near the main square. We had a lunch, dinner, and two breakfasts there--all very good. Despite the lengthy and sometime strenuous travel to get there, Machu Picchu was incredible. We had a great guide. We appreciated they kept you in small groups of 12-14 people who had the same guide and driver the whole time. This cruise attracts a older crowd of frequent cruisers. I think there were fewer than a dozen children on the ship. They said that of the 3,000 people on the ship, about 2,000 were in one of Princess' top two elite tiers. So many that they had to not have an elite disembarkation lounge. Disembarkation in Los Angeles was a mess, mainly due to US immigration who decided they had to scan all the bags of every non-US citizen. Many people, including us, missed our flights that afternoon as we stood in line for hours to get through immigration. The Princess staff seemed to be doing what they could, but I am surprised they didn't have some plan for this possibility. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Embarkation was very smooth and organized. We did not have much wait time. The ship was beautifully arranged. Easy to find our way around. The Itinerary was great. Many ports of call as well as two sea days observing the Glaciers. We ... Read More
Embarkation was very smooth and organized. We did not have much wait time. The ship was beautifully arranged. Easy to find our way around. The Itinerary was great. Many ports of call as well as two sea days observing the Glaciers. We had up close view of them We had anytime dining giving us the opportunity to meet variety of people. The showroom seemed to be a bit small for amount of people on board. The room filled up to to 1/2 hour to 45 mins before showtime. I think the timing was off to coordinate with dinner times. Shows were interesting, but could have used a bit more comedy. The wait staff in general was great. I did feel the staff in the buffet were very sluggish and 's appeared to be tired. Supervisors seemed to be after them a lot but I didn't really like to see them being reprimanded in front of passengers. The ports included several that had tendering to shore. It was organized very well. Wait times seemed relatively short. We arrived early to Buenos Aries and took a side trip to Igazau Falls. It was spectacular and by far the best part of our cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We spent a few days in Buenos Aires prior to embarkation. The city was worth a visit and we felt safe in the Recoleta area where our hotel was located. The weather was warm and sunny. On embarkation day, we received our room cards and ... Read More
We spent a few days in Buenos Aires prior to embarkation. The city was worth a visit and we felt safe in the Recoleta area where our hotel was located. The weather was warm and sunny. On embarkation day, we received our room cards and surrendered our passports. The lineups at the terminal moved quickly, and we found our stateroom right away. Our luggage was delivered to our room mid afternoon. The ship was easy to navigate and the elevators aft and forward were often less crowded than the mid ship elevators. The ship can get busy in certain areas during the daytime but if one is willing to explore there are other quiet spots to sit and relax. The pool areas were less busy in the morning; the aft pool less busy at all times. Our oceanview cabin was larger than we expected. The closet was generous in size with a lot of hangers. It was quiet room, the beds were good, and the room steward did a great job. There was only one chair in the rom; we could have used two. We often ate at Horizon Court or Cafe Caribe in the daytime, and had dinner in the dining room. The food was good to very good overall. When the buffet restaurant was too crowded, we always found a free table near the aft pool a few steps away. The service on the ship was excellent. Whenever one sits down, a server would appear and offer to get a drink. Often we just ordered water, but service was always friendly and with a smile. We found that cruise staff throughout the ship were very friendly. The daytime activities were mostly geared toward health/beauty/anti-aging seminars; trivia games, port talks. The casino was generally empty in the daytime; the pools busy in the afternons. We always found empty lounge chairs, even on busy pool days. The itinerary was excellent. Over 30 days and depending on the port we saw deserts, mountains, lakes, glaciers, small towns, large cities, and wildlife such as penguins, seals and sea birds. The highlight ports were Falkland Islands, Ushuaia, Porto Montt, Valparaiso, and Nicaragua. The weather was hot in Buenos Aires, cooler as we cruised further south, cold around Cape Horn, and warmer again/hot as we cruised towards the Equator and beyond towards Los Angeles. Overall, we enjoyed our cruise very much. There were many tender ports, but the tender boats were always efficient. The seas were rough nearing to and around Cape Horn, and for several days afterward cruising north along the coast of Chile, when the ship ventured out of the fiords and into the Pacific. The ship was steady but it did tend to list on some days, and of course it did rock back and forth more often in rough seas. Having said that, we did not get seasick! We recommend this itinerary for anyone seeking to visit remote ports balanced by large cities, lush scenery balanced by remote wildnerness. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
The places the ship will be visiting is the place we are interested to see. The price of the cruise is reasonable taking into account it was a 30 day cruise and Los Angeles is the disembarkation area where we reside 45 miles away. The ... Read More
The places the ship will be visiting is the place we are interested to see. The price of the cruise is reasonable taking into account it was a 30 day cruise and Los Angeles is the disembarkation area where we reside 45 miles away. The only problem on the day Princess picked for disembarkation was not very well thought of, it was Good Friday. Most people in the Port of Entry took the day off, so it took us close to 4 hours before we were able to get out of the ship. My other concern is the way the food variety and the entertainers were repeated on the next segment of the cruise. I don't think anyone will pay again for something they already have. These made the cruise so boring and every passenger I talked to had the same complain, the menu and entertainments had been repeated after 15 days of cruising. But in all fairness to Princess, the BEST AND EXCELLENT SERVICE are provided by their staff especially the people in the dining as well as the buffet area. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was pretty much a bucket list trip for us. We are frequent cruisers but had not been to this part of the world before. We thought that the itinerary that Princess had put together was terrific for a first time visit and it proved to ... Read More
This was pretty much a bucket list trip for us. We are frequent cruisers but had not been to this part of the world before. We thought that the itinerary that Princess had put together was terrific for a first time visit and it proved to be so. We visited Buenos Aires for 4 days beforehand on people's advice and it proved to be very worthwhile. We walked and walked and walked the city, saw everything and felt very safe and the people were friendly. The main streets of the city were very clean but the side streets were under repair and not particularly clean. People need to clean up after their dogs! We stayed in a boutique hotel that was about 6 blocks from the obelisk and was a great deal for $85 a night with breakfast. We were warned about pick pockets but were never bothered. We also do most of what's recommended for safety in any big city, like wearing backpacks on the chest and dressing inconspicuously. We did see a few people carrying their Princess bag around - not a good idea since it screams "tourist with money". We did visit the La Boca section and loved it - very artsy, fun, good deals; but best to take a taxi over and back or take an introductory tour that includes La Boca. Had a meal one night at La Nazarene - probably the biggest and best t-bone ever! MUST be there for a Sunday and wander the the market, and for sure go to the cemetery. Back to the ship. We take 3/4 of our cruises on Princess, mainly for the itineraries and consistency. We had been on the Emerald on a transatlantic when it was new (2008). It is showing it's age a little (some rust) but a solid ship. We were proud of the way it handled Cape Horn. 12 foot seas and 70mph winds - no problem, in fact very stable. We even did a 360 around the Cape for the first time in the season. We usually eat in the Horizon Court buffet and it is not very well designed on this ship - usually crowded in the food serving area. As opposed to later Princess ships like the Royal where the Horizon Court has a fantastic design. We found the food good, however and generally better than our occasional trip to Any Time Dining. The Emerald was one of the early offerings of Movies Under the Stars, which we love. I would probably give this cruise 5 stars if it weren't for the shore excursions. The 8 hour excursion in Santiago was maybe the worst ever. No idea why it stopped (briefly) in Valparaiso and Vina Del Mar. Way too much bus time and very little time on our own. Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay was also not worth the long bus ride. Easier way to see that old city would be to spend an extra day in Buenos Aires and take a ferry over and back. We also had an unfortunate cancellation (weather) at Isla de Ballestas. We loved the time in Patagonia. Ushaiai is a delightful town at the end of the world. The Chilean glaciers and the Strait of Magellan were awesome. We had a great time on our own at La Serena, Chile and Parasco, Peru. Lima gets a pretty bad rap for safety but we thoroughly enjoyed a quick bus ride to the Miraflores section and , again, walking, walking, walking. The ruins there were a nice surprise and the seaside walk is spectacular. Yummy street tamales and churros. All and all - a great introduction to a fascinating part of our world. Angela Kelly did 4-5 enrichment lectures on board that really put the area in perspective. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was a itinerary that both my wife and i wanted to do and we are very happy we did. The Emerald Princess is still in good shape, seemingly well maintained with a few small areas that needed deep cleaning. Our interactions with most ... Read More
This was a itinerary that both my wife and i wanted to do and we are very happy we did. The Emerald Princess is still in good shape, seemingly well maintained with a few small areas that needed deep cleaning. Our interactions with most of the staff were always positive and there were those who did go above and beyond. Embarkation was a bit chaotic in Buenos Aires but once in the terminal the embarkation went well. Disembarkation was a shambles..more on that later. Dining was very inconsistent with some great meals in the Dining Room and some just bad meals as well. Any lamb meal on the ship was inedible more like mutton. What's having a burger on the every dining menu??? Horizon court was it's usual however some of the speciality nights were excellent. We also dined in the Speciality restaurants, Curtis Stone's Share was a disaster, I ordered lamb and it was bad as everywhere else onboard. Also the serving of the excellent scallops that are offered came cold what a waste. Again inconsistent, 4 good courses, 2 bad courses. Wine has increased in price and the selection was poor with many missing choices. And NO MORE WINE CARD on board and we heard about 5 different excuses why. The ships tour in San Antonio was a BUS TOUR with almost no time to even get of the bus. The first 90 minutes was in the dark! A waste of money. The first 14 days we took all private tours and the second half we took mostly Princess tours, expensive as always but other than San Antonio they were as expected. Disembarkation was a total disaster in San Pedro. I don't know if the blame goes to the Port Authority, Customs or Princess. However Princess should have ensured that passengers standing in line for hours should at least get some water. No one from Princess even showed their face. We were some of the very last passengers to leave the Terminal and get to outside and see a taxi line blocks long. We at least broke out of the end of the line and got stuffed into a Super Shuttle to LAX. While we were standing we heard from a number of passengers who were embarking that day at 1400, no one had boarded and they were sitting on the curb as there was no room in the terminal. And we all pay a Port Charge for that! Can't blame Good Friday for the problems. Overall it was a great 30 day Itinerary which we would recommend. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I've sailed South America before, but I liked that this cruise went from Buenos Aires to Los Angeles! This meant I only had to fly once. Our waiter, server, and head waiter really made our early set dining fun and enjoyable. I liked ... Read More
I've sailed South America before, but I liked that this cruise went from Buenos Aires to Los Angeles! This meant I only had to fly once. Our waiter, server, and head waiter really made our early set dining fun and enjoyable. I liked the variety of choices. We loved our aft cabin as it was close to main dining as well as the buffet. We traveled in a group of 8 and we had the steward open all the balcony doors. We enjoyed wonderful evenings sipping wine before or after dinner. When we arranged a party in our room, the ship's staff was delightful in preparing the canapes, buckets of ice and dinnerware. We will plan balcony parties again! The captain was terrific and the entire staff seemed happy and helpful. Loved it! Disembarkation was a bit delayed, but that was the fault of US Customs. The crew made the process quite comfortable. No crowds. I made it to Platinum on this 30-day cruise! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Let's start with the positive. The Captain was fabulous, explaining everything about our trip and stopping for things to make sure everyone could see the lighthouse at the horn and the glaciers. There were many activities for all ... Read More
Let's start with the positive. The Captain was fabulous, explaining everything about our trip and stopping for things to make sure everyone could see the lighthouse at the horn and the glaciers. There were many activities for all interests. Now let's talk about things that need improving. First, the food, the dinner menus need to be reworked. Some nights everything on the menu was great and then other nights there was nothing. On your always available the salmon and chicken are dry, so that only leaves a hamburger. The buffet at night wasn't much better. We thought the entertainment in the Princess theater was not up to par. The singers and dancers seemed tired and the second group that came on in Chile didn't have any real singers. The first comedian was good the second one was not. The hypnotist was terrible. We still enjoyed the cruise because of the wonderful people we met and the things we saw at each port. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Long review but lots to say !! Fourth time with Princess, second time on this ship. I have always rated Princess as the best cruiseline we have sailed with but not this time, they have gone downhill I’m afraid. EMBARKATION The ... Read More
Long review but lots to say !! Fourth time with Princess, second time on this ship. I have always rated Princess as the best cruiseline we have sailed with but not this time, they have gone downhill I’m afraid. EMBARKATION The chaos started here with no cruise cards for us. There was actually cards with our cabin number but they had different names on it ! After a lot of miscommunication and being told to wait in numerous places, no one took responsibility for this and and we waited over an hour for this to be sorted. I then had numerous problems with my card throughout the cruise including not being to get in our cabins lots of times and not being able to get off the ship! So not good at all. ITINERARY. Amazing ports of call and scenic cruising. The glaciers and fjords were outstanding. CABIN Spotless as always. The only complaint was the bed was uncomfortable and dipped in the middle on my side which meant I had a sore back the whole of the cruise. Disappointing as cruise ship beds are usually so comfy! DINING Went in the dining rooms on a few occasions. On a shared table and also tables for 2. Food was good, not amazing and there was at times nothing we fancied on the menu so then went in the buffet. Not such a wide range as some other cruise lines. Share restaurant was excellent, as was the salty dog and crown grill. Would recommend all three. Pizzas and burgers good FACILTIES. Pools were nice, plenty of sunbeds and well spaced out. Did not use the spa, sanctuary or gym. Movies under the stars -loved doing this, wrapping up warm and watching a good film (had some good ones). SALES PITCH. This is my 14th cruise and I have never seen so much sales pitch, as on this cruise. Even when eating in the speciality restaurants, we had someone interrupting us to try and sell us liqueurs! By the lifts and the shops, the spa staff stand to try and get you in the spa, in the buffet staff come round to try and get you into Share or the crab shack. It’s very poor and a real put off! ENTERTAINMENT We thought was quite poor for a younger guest (and I mean guests in their 40s). We did not do any shows, as we didnt want to see ventriloquists or hypnotists. The quizzes were good but that’s about all we participated in. No deck party was held. EXCURSIONS All were good. No complaints. Mostly tender ports which were well organised. One port Puerto Madryn was chaos as only one gangway was open and we were an hour late getting off for our excursion. STAFF . Guest services - Visited them a lot on this cruise due to problems with my card. Most of them helpful but there was one miserable female on there, that was abrupt and generally not very nice. Bar and restaurant staff were good as always. Excursion staff good and loved seeing Timothy on the ship from the cruise show, love his laugh! OTHER PASSENGERS. I have never been on a cruise with so many rude people. Guests pushing in, in the buffet queue, pushing into the lift when people are trying to get out, being noisy in quiet areas. And why do people have to sit in the buffet all day playing cards when you want to eat your meal! even though there are signs on the tables saying to vacate when finished meal, this was never enforced by staff. SHIP. A bit worn around the edges but was fine. Very traditional ship, perhaps some modernising would be good. Overall, a good cruise and the itinerary was amazing, the best we have done, many ‘wow’ moments. But Princess is certainly not as good as previously and they gone down in my ranking. I’m sure we will sail on a princess cruise again but perhaps not for a few years. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Chose the cruise for its itinerary. Spent 2 days in BA prior to embarkation. Worthwhile to see BA. Embarkation process could have been smoother. Personnel lacked proficiency with the English language as well as familiarity with the ... Read More
Chose the cruise for its itinerary. Spent 2 days in BA prior to embarkation. Worthwhile to see BA. Embarkation process could have been smoother. Personnel lacked proficiency with the English language as well as familiarity with the process. Disembarkation much better in San Antonio-however the port is very industrial and there is NOTHING to see/do in this very economically depressed city. Have to rely on transportation for the 1.5 HR ride into SCL to board flight. SCL airport very disorganized, little English spoken, poor signage. Emerald dated, in dire need of upgrade in furnishing, rethinking of need for lounges and very amateurish shows. Very noticeable downgrade in quality and variety of food choices. Did not like the constant up selling of services and dining. Food was "pre-cooked" and reheated for service...cold toast, cold fries, cold bacon, lobster cold?! And mushy? Shore excursions poorly organized and lacked value for $. Crowded and limited time at sights. Would book with on shore tours, but operators lacked command of English. Better selections with Expedia shore excursions. Would travel to SA again, however NOT on Princess. Captain would not even shake hands on the welcome cocktail reception, did not feel our loyalty was valued?! One highlight was our cabin steward and dining staff, who went above and beyond to ensure a pleasant vacation despite their limitations. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We were very happy with most aspects of this cruise - Buenos Aires to San Antonio. Most fellow passengers we spoke with also loved. We met 2 or 3 nit pickers but our attitude is if you want perfection, then pay for a higher end cruise ... Read More
We were very happy with most aspects of this cruise - Buenos Aires to San Antonio. Most fellow passengers we spoke with also loved. We met 2 or 3 nit pickers but our attitude is if you want perfection, then pay for a higher end cruise line. Great ports of call, particularly the Falkland Islands. The onboard lectures were very good as were the Spanish language classes. We enjoyed the productions very much but were not so keen on the ventriloquist and magician simply because it wasn't to our tastes. We are glad we opted for anytime dining as we enjoyed the company of fellow diners for many different countries. Our first 2 meals in the dining room were poor but for the remainder of the cruise we enjoyed our meals very much. The desserts are faboulous. We dined at Share twice - enjoyed it the first time but not so much the second time. Had one of the best steaks ever (filet) in the Crown Grill. Buffet was okay although very good on Italian and Indian nights. We did not take any cruise excursions as we arranged private tours ahead of time, with fellow cruises we 'met' on cruise critic. We enjoyed Vines - decent sushi and sashimi and a good selection of wines, however by the 10th day of the cruise the selection was very limited. Disappointing. Very nice fitness area. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Not to many suprises, just the usual lack of things from previous cruises. No Bailys original in the bar, no canapes at the captains cocktail party etc. Dinning was up and down, breakfast as usual, lunch good to average, dinner menu ... Read More
Not to many suprises, just the usual lack of things from previous cruises. No Bailys original in the bar, no canapes at the captains cocktail party etc. Dinning was up and down, breakfast as usual, lunch good to average, dinner menu to small now, food quality one night good and the next night poor as if they had a different brigade of chefs on duty. Activities same as usual, staff and service overall very good. Entertainment over all not to bad, it all depends what you like. The only thing i would say whilst i understand they are there to make money, at times it was like being in a market place with a 1000 del boys sell sell sell! We are on holiday you know, we can read the patter a decide if we want to book a speciality restaurant or treatment in the spa. We were brave this time and booked some independent tours which worked out very well and upto a third of the price of princess in some cases. Now the important bits. Punta Del Este, walk of turn left walk 15 miutes get settled on the beach. Puerto Madryn, lots of taxis at set prices and tour companies doing same as princess but much cheaper. Falklands book Mazz Tours on the net 1/2 the price of Princess and you get a personal tour. Ushuaia took the lumber jack tour expensive but very good. Punta Arenas, not a lot to do have a spa day (if you can afford it) Puerto Montt book a day out on the net with Dennis on the net on cruise critic. Santiago if you stay in a hotel put all spends on you credit card, you get 20% of when you pay ie tax back at source. Happy cruising. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and it didn’t disappoint. The ports of call were all terrific, lots of options to explore and the scenic cruising to Cape Horn, along the Beagle Channel, and through the fjords of Chile was gorgeous. ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and it didn’t disappoint. The ports of call were all terrific, lots of options to explore and the scenic cruising to Cape Horn, along the Beagle Channel, and through the fjords of Chile was gorgeous. The King Penguins in the Falkland Islands were an absolute highlight. But the ship experience itself wasn’t a highlight. The food was mediocre, the dining room felt hectic rather than upscale and relaxing. It’s a massive ship and you just felt part of marketing and big business the whole time. However, given the size, they are excellent at embarkation and disembarkation and tenders. The first evening show from the Buenos Aires School of Tango was a fabulous show. The best entertainment of the trip by far. We flew into Chile before the cruise, then worked our way to Mendoza, Argentina and spent five days in Buenos Aires before the cruise. When we got off the ship we went directly to the airport. We were so pleased to have spent time in each country prior to the ship with its one day stops in port. We were already somewhat familiar with both countries and it enhanced our comfort and independence at our stops. It was a fantastic itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose this cruise to travel with friends and see some new sights and escape grey January in UK and see some sun as well as nature. Princess was a very good price and coupled with fantastic weather we had a wonderful 2 weeks travelling ... Read More
We chose this cruise to travel with friends and see some new sights and escape grey January in UK and see some sun as well as nature. Princess was a very good price and coupled with fantastic weather we had a wonderful 2 weeks travelling around S America. Embarkation in Buenos Aires was easy. We had 4 nights pre cruise in a hotel and saw most of the sights, doing 2 cycling tours ... highly recommended. We got tot he port at our 4 pm slot and just walked up to the desk and within a few minutes were walking on board. Straight to the cabin and all fine ... although our luggage was another matter. We had 7.45 dining and needed to get changed ... so in the end we peeked though crew only door spotted the cases and begged a steward to pull ours out at 7.15. Our cabin neighbours gave up and ordered room service. This cruise ship lacked the wow factor of some we have travelled on, like Celebrity Reflection but the cabin had everything we needed and had a huge balcony. The main dining room fixed seating service was impeccable. Getting to know our servers really made the evening meals fun and also meant they knew how we liked our food and did everything they could to make things good for us. The vegetarian food was a little hit and miss but the italian offerings were superb and every evening the head waiter checked with us to see what they could do to make a favourite meal. We did 1 ships tour - tigre delta - exactly as described and a gentle trip out on the morning before the ship sailed. All other tours we did privately. Getting most info from tripadvisor. Very pleased with them all. Of the ports .. Punta Del Este - we just walked around town. Lots to see loads of birds and seals, beaches to swim from and shops and restaurants etc. A great stop. Falkland Islands - very windy tender trip on the way back ..we were lucky captain got us in early and out early .. we still saw the penguins and our guide said if we had arrived at usual docking time he thought we would not have made it. V windy so cold .. and this is their summer! This was our coldest stop. Punta Arenas we again we just wandered around .. not so much to see here and if we hadn't done trips in all other ports then I would say do a trip here and do your own thing in a different port... but you need a balance of busy /active and just wandering. Ushuaia we did a 4x4 trip - saw the glaciers and beautiful lakes and had a short walk and then lunch in a log cabin. Great wildlife. Ushuaia looked like a great little town so maybe I'd swap that for the wander around day and so a trip in Punta Arenas if I was returning. One of the best things about this cruise is that you are very frequently in sight of land .. and for 2 days you are in the Chilean fjords ..you also see glaciers really close up as we sail glacier alley. Unforgettable. As we are close to land you also see lots of birds and mammals .. so this is a great trip for a nature lover. I can't say too much about the evening entertainment .. by the time we had eaten it was time for bed .. another early trip to get up for. But the day time activities were great: line dancing and dance lessons .. tango lessons from the professional tango duo who put on shows most days too. Really high quality entertainment and teaching. There was also a tango orchestra and lectures about the area we were travelling in and Shackleton. This was brilliant and a first for us: the relevant lectures really added to the trip. So - the ship is a little worn down at the edges but overall a fantastic trip. I would love it if Princess buffet was redesigned ..it was poorly laid out and really canteeish experiencer. Too crowded and not a pleasure. We went for breakfast and missed lunch and had afternoon tea or something from the 24 hour cafe ..a far nicer experience. Another interesting point ..it was of course S America summer holidays so there were a lot of Argentinian and Chilean families on board, lots of spanish spoken. We loved the mix and learnt that on this cruise there were people from 44 countries on board. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We arrived from Canada on Monday & enjoyed a great hotel in Palmero, Buenos Aries which allowed us to explore the city prior to Sail Away on Thursday. We are Platinum Members and have priority embarkation which did not happen - ... Read More
We arrived from Canada on Monday & enjoyed a great hotel in Palmero, Buenos Aries which allowed us to explore the city prior to Sail Away on Thursday. We are Platinum Members and have priority embarkation which did not happen - none was set up - I don't know why & that was disappointing. Long one lineups which normally we don't have to deal with. This was our first balcony which was a real treat! great location midship on deck 1. Food was good but not up to Princess' usual excellent meals. We had the greatest head waiter - Riccardo from Italy - excellent service & thoughtfulness - best we have ever experienced! They had only 2 herbal teas of which they ran out of 1/2 way thru the cruise sadly. Fresh fruit was limited. Only one band on the initial sail-away and none after that which we all missed. Theatre entertainment was not up to Princess standards and little variety in them. Not many dance options. We did enjoy the history presentations of the different ports and areas during the day. Ports were exciting and enjoyable.We booked our own tours thru internet prior to the cruise. We did one Princess excursion that was ok in Buenos Aires. King Penguins at Falkland Is. were amazing but there is a long 2 hr. 4x4 jeep ride both there & back - but well worth it (- if you get car sick forget it.) Sailing past Glaciers so close to the ship was beautiful - very similar to Alaska sights We took a boat tour from hell in Puerto Arenas. The tides were not taken into consideration and we missed the penguin Island because of low tide & not being able to dock, and 60 of us sat for 2 hours near the dock which we couldn't get into because of low tide. Rough seas and 80% of the boat tour was barfing - no barf bags given out so some used the floor until finally they were offered bags. no water or snacks were offered either to anyone. They had to get a rescue boat to get us into shore after 2 hrs sitting waiting 1/2 mile off shore. We were fortunate that the seas while on the cruise ship were fairly settled. Weather was good with little rain. Lots of great tours throughout the ports other than the barf boat. We had prepared for cooler weather (although it is their summer in Feb) for 3 days when really it was 41/2 days with long pants & winter jackets. All ports had very expensive tours. It was an expensive cruise, very different sights, great one to cross off bucket list. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Sailing around the horn of South America was a great adventure. Really makes you think about what the early explorers had to endure when they sailed in small, wooden ships. Service by the staff was excellent. Dinner menu was very ... Read More
Sailing around the horn of South America was a great adventure. Really makes you think about what the early explorers had to endure when they sailed in small, wooden ships. Service by the staff was excellent. Dinner menu was very good and varied. Breakfast was a bit of a disappointment, and became very boring. There was very little variety over the two weeks. Other than corned beef hash, there was no meat other than pork. Entertainment was good, but there was a definite lack of things to do on sea days. There are a lot of tender ports, and the crew does a very good job of getting you off and back to the ship. Some ports, like the Falklands can take more time because of rough water, so you must be patient. Access to the tender from the ship is done in a very orderly manner. You collect a number when you enter the waiting area (dining room) and you move to the tenders as a range of numbers is called. Very orderly and efficient. Ship's tours tended to be somewhat expensive, but were well organized and the guides were good. Overall, Princess did a good job and we will sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Emerald Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.5 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.0

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