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5 Princess Emerald Princess Cruise Reviews for Romantic Cruises to Baltic Sea from Copenhagen

This is the first time we took a cruise tour (land and cruise) before we sailed on June 25, 2013 on the Emerald Princess. We thoroughly enjoyed visiting Budapest, Vienna, Prague and Berlin beforehand. We had a terrific tour director, Lucy, ... Read More
This is the first time we took a cruise tour (land and cruise) before we sailed on June 25, 2013 on the Emerald Princess. We thoroughly enjoyed visiting Budapest, Vienna, Prague and Berlin beforehand. We had a terrific tour director, Lucy, and a wonderful bus driver (Chaba). We only had 21 people on this tour with us and by the end we got to be one happy family! Going on the land tour afforded us the ability to see the beautiful countryside along our journey. We stayed in high-end hotels with dining that was superb, which included local restaurants. We got personalized attention with Lucy as well as answers to all of our questions about the history of the countries we visited. The local guides were good as well. Of course, it all helped that the weather cooperated, sunny and warm. Once we boarded the ship for Scandinavia and Russia, of course, the weather changed; we knew it would be cooler with rain. Then of course big bus loads on the shore excursions. Unfortunately on our first excursion to Oslo, the guide did not provide any "headset" for us to hear her with and when you have massive tourists around you it is difficult to hear anything; way too crowded at the viking ship museum. I have to say I was pretty impressed with the food on the ship. It was very good. We did first seating traditional dining, all meals were presented well and tasted very good. This was a very port intensive trip, and I'm in good shape at 62, and I was glad to get home after 3 weeks! We love the history and culture, however, towards the end of the trip all of the churches, museums, castles as well as the Scandinavian countries started to look alike. Favorite places: Budapest is amazing! Finland was beautiful as well - take the shore excursion to Porvoo (old town). We enjoyed the land tour so much that perhaps next time we will skip the cruise and take a Globus tour.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We left on Aug. 20th for a land package and Baltic cruise with Princess Cruises sailing on the Emerald Princess which we had sailed before 3 times.Let me start by saying the pre-cruise was fabulas-Princess contrats with Globas and our ... Read More
We left on Aug. 20th for a land package and Baltic cruise with Princess Cruises sailing on the Emerald Princess which we had sailed before 3 times.Let me start by saying the pre-cruise was fabulas-Princess contrats with Globas and our 8night package began in Budapest. We then went by bus transport to Vienna,Prague and Berlin then joining up with the cruiseship in Copenhagen.Our land tour was very comfortable, the hotels lovely and our tour guide Martina was outstanding. She was a wealth of knowledge who knew her history as well as any historian I have ever heard-She even knew little known stories about kings and queens that would make you understand how oppulant and crazy these people were back in their day!! She was a joy to be with and you could tell loved her job!! It was a fantastic 8 nights!!! Once we got on the cruiseship we were a little disappointed. The entertainment was awful and they had 5 production shows where the singers and dancers weren't even dancing together with each other or the music. They only had one decent show the whole 11 nights and that was a ventriloquist who was hysterical,but otherwise all the entertainment was not good. Princess has really cut back on that and that is very disappointing. The food was just mediocure and the head waiter not very accomadating,saying if you wanted this or that he would ask the chef and then came back saying no to me (I am a funny eater and don't like most items on the menu)I have never had this on any other Princess Cruise we've been on. The ship was well kept up and our room was excellent, service by our cabin steward very good. The ports of call were great and our two day call in Russia fantastic. We did NOT use the ship tour and instead used SpB tours which we found on cruisecritic and they were FANTASTIC!!! Half the price of the ship 2 day tour and we saw more and were in all the places the Princess tour takes you.They have a folkloric show right on the ship which is very good on the first night you are in St.Petersberg so going with SpB tours was GREAT!! You also don't have to worry about a visa because they take care of that all for you-so don't believe the cruiseline when they tell you-you can only go with a ship tour-NOT TRUE- In the rest of the ports we did Hop on Hop off buses which are right outside the ship right on the dock and very convenient and you save a lot of money by not using the ship tours. In all I would sum it up as a good time and for the money a very good choice if a Baltic Cruise is what you want. If you have the time I would highly reccomend the Pre-Cruise package! Budapest,Vienna,Prague and Berlin were the highlight of the whole trip. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
This cruise was a little different for us as the others have all originated from the US and we have used Princess Transfers from/to the airport. This time, we flew into Copenhagen a few days early and got ourselves to the ship. I must say, ... Read More
This cruise was a little different for us as the others have all originated from the US and we have used Princess Transfers from/to the airport. This time, we flew into Copenhagen a few days early and got ourselves to the ship. I must say, the check-in was much quicker than usual and their were Princess reps to guide all through the process...and it was very nice NOT to have to wait for our luggage to show up at our room since we wheeled it right on ourselves. After talking with our daughter and family who took this cruise last year, we purposely chose an inside cabin to avoid the late-night sun. It was large and fine, and on the Caribe Deck, you have many choices to keep you away from the elevators and laundry rooms, so it was very quiet. (not that we spend much time in our cabin anyway). The Emerald is a large ship and this cruise was sold out, so it tended to be pretty crowded at times. We chose anytime dining as the times in the different ports varied, but found a wonderful waiter and steward and our request for them was never a problem. The food, as we have always found on Princess, was excellent. We skipped the shows as we had seen most of them on our Panama Canal cruise in 2010 (Princess needs to update them more often.) This cruise has a very packed port schedule and only 2 sea days - frankly, if you are coming in from Canada or the US I would skip the tux and gown and just bring a nice travel dress/sportcoat and tie as the formal days are not that great. If you are a Captain's Circle member don't expect much from the Captain's Circle "party." We were stuffed into the Princess Theater, handed a free drink voucher, and shown a 20 minute commercial for the latest Princess Ship (The Royal?) Not what we have experienced in the past. Another review told you about SPB tours. I second that! Alla Tours is also good. Unless this is your ONLY chance to see Berlin, skip the 6 hour train trip/bus ride and do Rostock and Schwerin instead for the Germany port stop. DON'T PAY THE PRINCESS PRICES for a stuffed to the gills tour bus and a single guide trying to herd 40-60 people around. You will pay more and see less than an off-the-ship tour. And don't fall for the "only Princess can guarantee your Russian Visa" line. Any legitimate tour company can take care of your Visa. Also, get your Krone, Kroners, Rubles, or Euros BEFORE you leave or at a local ATM. DON't use the ship exchange. Worse exchange rates and fees I have ever seen! This is a fast-paced and fully packed itinerary, but we had a thoroughly enjoyable time.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
We were pleasantly surprised at the food, and level of service on the Emerald Princess after having just completed two cruises with NCL which we thought were ok. Princess was definitely ahead in many ways. We stayed at the Hilton in ... Read More
We were pleasantly surprised at the food, and level of service on the Emerald Princess after having just completed two cruises with NCL which we thought were ok. Princess was definitely ahead in many ways. We stayed at the Hilton in Copenhagen the night before we embarked and were very pleased with the comfort of our room and that we were able to check in at 9:30 am after rolling our bags over from the attached airport. Our room included complimentary snacks and drinks at night where we met several people who were on the same cruise. We also had a huge buffet breakfast that was included in the room rate. Embarkation was smooth. We arrived after sharing a taxi with another man we met at the hotel. The cost was 305 Danish kroner. We were in a mini-suite on Dolfin deck with an uncovered balcony which we liked because it let in as much sun as possible. We had no problem with any one above us.The only problem we had was the family that had rooms on both sides of us. The children were ramming between the rooms until after midnight. I spoke to the mother and it did stop.Our steward Pinyo was wonderful. The bed was great and I loved having a bathtub after the long days of touring. We ate most dinners in Michelangelo with George at a table for two. The food and service were perfect.We walked in about 6-6:30 each night and asked for a table for two in George's area and never waited at all. We did try the buffet on two nights and it was ok. We liked having drinks brought to us and the plates were as big as trays . Room service was on-time and accurate the mornings were ordered it. A big relief was that the wake-up service also worked perfectly. We disembarked on our own at about 7 am pulling our own bags and had no problem getting a taxi to the airport. We liked 3 of the shows a lot. We left after a few minutes of the Shoes Show, but the rest were good. The only problem we had is so preventable, it's amazing that Princess allows it to keep happening. That was their employees preventing the independent tour passengers from leaving the ship in St. Petersburg until all the Princess Excursion passengers were out. We had booked DenRus for the two days and went to deck 4 about 6:45 where we were rudely told to go to deck 5. We and many others were held there until about 7:40. We still saw more for less money even after their holding us in the ship. Read Less
Sail Date July 2009
EMERALD PRINCESS BALTIC CRUISE 15TH - 25TH MAY 2009 Continuing on from the Transatlantic cruise, in Copenhagen we hopped on the ships shuttle into the city, unfortunately it was a very overcast day and rained sporadically throughout, but ... Read More
EMERALD PRINCESS BALTIC CRUISE 15TH - 25TH MAY 2009 Continuing on from the Transatlantic cruise, in Copenhagen we hopped on the ships shuttle into the city, unfortunately it was a very overcast day and rained sporadically throughout, but we managed to see most of the sights without getting too wet. The dock there is quite far away from anything really. We had hoped that we could walk into the city but that wasn't to be.  There were over 600 of us continuing on this cruise so it was nice to recognise faces in amongst all the 'strangers'.  We had expected new menus for this portion of the cruise but they were the same as the previous cruise, most of the entertainment and movies was the same as well, they did add Kevin Hughes a very funny comedian to the mix however and we attended two of his 5 shows. We worked out though that Steven Rawlings a comedy juggler, a very funny man was on for no less than 8 days out of our 27 days.  We had done our homework thoroughly for this cruise and had purchased not only travel books but also a DVD that John Lawrence has available, this proved invaluable and I would urge anyone taking a baltic cruise to buy it. It was available on board but we heard many folk wishing that they had known about it before they left home. He also continued on this cruise and I believe will be on for the entire season, he was always available for questions and we thoroughly enjoyed talking to him - an absolute gentleman.  We were lucky with the weather as well, it was pretty cold but the rain held off mostly everywhere except Stockholm. Of course St Petersburg was the highlight and we were lucky in being in a brand new dock (or so they told us) where the immigration was faster. I wouldn't like to be in the old one as they seemed to take an age inspecting all our papers. Some people had their photocopy of their passport returned to them and some didn't, but everyone had to fill in a landing form and these were duly inspected along with the tour ticket and actual passport. We were given dire warnings about Not losing the passport and to beware of  pickpockets, but to my knowledge all went smoothly.  We had booked with Denrus and they were there waiting when we emerged from the terminal building, getting off the ship was a breeze, despite all the warnings that we had been given, no-one tried to stop us and we walked off among the first group. We did hear that several independent people were turned away by the immigration people, not by the ship, so it would appear that the immigration are the problem Not Princess. Everything was fantastic and completely went to our requested route.We had hoped to pick up some 'bargain' souvenirs while out and about but strangely enough and as cheerfully admitted by our guide alot of the souvenirs are actually made in China, so we were quite content to buy a lovely laquer box on board and know that it was actually made in Russia. Our one disappointment here was that the evening tour to the Hermitage was cancelled due to lack of bookings, if we ever come back we would like to book that privately as well if possible.  We were late leaving the dock on the second day as many tour busses were late back to the ship. The traffic in the city is quite unbelievable.  Tallinn was a lovely surprise, pity we didn't have longer there. It's very easy to walk into the lower town and then the upper town, we were lucky again in that when we got to the Russian church around 9.15 they were having a service and we stopped to listen to the lovely singing. Gdansk was interesting we opted to go in on the local train and were lucky enough to run into John Lawrence and his wife who were going the same route, there was quite a crowd and he very patiently helped us all to buy the tickets and point us in the right direction.  We managed to see all that we wanted here and even climbed to the top a tower in the archaelogical museum, just a mere 142 steps with a near ladder at the end, but got beautiful views over the city. We got off the train on the way back  at Sopot the seaside town and had a quick look round there, it was lovely, very quaint, wish that we had been able to spend a little longer but had to get back to the train.  This of course is the downside to going independently, the little niggle at the back of your mind that something might happen on the way back and you miss the ship. Then we were in Oslo again and once again it was fantastic weather, this time we visited the Vigeland Park  and the statues before continuing over  to the museums.  Disembarkation was a bit chaotic, we were over an hour late arriving in Copenhagen and people were getting upset that they might miss the early flights, no reason was given for the late arrival, so I guess that is a good lesson not to book early flights. We had a fantastic time overall, the only negatives was really the blandness and repetitiveness of the food. The total lack of news programs on the TV which was really strange, perhaps it's all a part of the "escape completely" program. The positives were of course the itinerary where else could you visit so many countries in such a short time without having to pack and unpack, the enthusiasm of the Cruise Director Neil Chandler  and his staff, the fantastic port lectures given by John Lawrence, and the general friendliness of most of the staff on board (the only ones that seemed to have 'attitude' were  the photographers who were quite pushy). Just a note for those who seem to be having trouble with the immigration arrangements at St Petersburg, the Russians are the ones who decide on the number of booths that are allocated to Princess tours and independents and they seem to be very fair,  one quarter of the booths open are for independents and that seems to tie in with the number of passengers doing their own thing. If you want to see trouble in getting through the immigration then just get behind a Russian Crew member, they were practically given the 'third degree'. Everything works well and I would  certainly not endorse the advice given by Guidediva in a recent post to ignore everything that the cruise line says. If Princess management read this I would urge them to use more staff to reduce the lines that are everywhere. Only two people were ever working at the tour office desk and the lines were always long, same at the shuttle busses, only one person selling tickets, took ages to get on board. There must be a faster way to do these things.  Read Less
Sail Date May 2009
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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