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300 Princess Emerald Princess Family Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to go from Fort Lauderdale FL to Los Angeles CA through the Panama Canal. We were not disappointed. The best part, by far, of this cruise was Bill Fall. This incredibly knowledgeable ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to go from Fort Lauderdale FL to Los Angeles CA through the Panama Canal. We were not disappointed. The best part, by far, of this cruise was Bill Fall. This incredibly knowledgeable man held several presentations, sharing slides that helped us understand the history and construction of the canal far better than we ever expected. Next to Bill Fall, the best part was our cabin steward, Jonathan. We have cruised many times on various lines and he is at the top with his genuine helpfulness and positive nature. Our dining experience was average to better than average overall. Crown Grill was exemplary for a specialty restaurant on a ship - best steaks ever. Anytime dining very helpful to our schedule, though we didn't have the advantage of the same server to accommodate our tastes. The food was better than average overall. We appreciated having outdoor options as well. Entertainment was as expected. Some shows very fun and others not so. The cruise staff personalities varied to such an extent that we found ourselves picking the evening activities based on who was hosting. Ports very interesting overall. Huatulco is a beautiful sleepy beach town but if you choose a "Highlights of Huatulco" shore excursion, please note that there aren't many highlights in Huatulco. Stick with sitting on the beach as that's the best part. Our favorite shore excursion sponsored by the ship was the La Paz waterfall trip in Costa Rica - well worth it! We also went off the ship's excursion list with a Vallarta Food Tour in Puerto Vallarta (10 stars!) and a segway tour in Cartagena (another ten!). And top marks to Princess for having a texting service that allowed my family to stay in touch while on the ship. You put your phone in airplane mode, select the ship MedallionNet wifi option and add your family names as contacts. This was wonderful for us to be able to know where all six of us were at any given time. The best part was going through the Panama Canal - I think everyone should do that at some point in their lifetimes! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I won't use Princess again. Always trouble with time lines including being crammed into a room before embarkation. 3 of 5 tenders were down for Panama excursions which left little time on land, 7:30 am early disembarkation turned ... Read More
I won't use Princess again. Always trouble with time lines including being crammed into a room before embarkation. 3 of 5 tenders were down for Panama excursions which left little time on land, 7:30 am early disembarkation turned into 8:00am. Food in MDR started out fine but got worse - poor cuts of meat. We were told to get our outgoing mail in by a certain time each port. Problem? They only had American stamps and didn't send mail until Los Angeles. Who wants mail stamped from home? Why not tell us that to begin with and maybe told us where to fin a post office on shore? Cost of shore excursion were over priced for what we received. Spa was excellent, our waiters in the MDC were amazing and our cabin steward was great, too. Actually, most of the service crew aboard the ship were very pleasant. The entertainment had a couple of good acts, but it left a lot to be desired. The ships engines quit one evening and all power went out. "Stay were you are until further notice." They did get it up and running quickly but it shouldn't have happened in the first place. This was an expensive trip that should have enjoyed everyday but that didn't happen. Shore excursions didn't give enough time to see a lot - especially since there was always a wait time getting on or off the ship. Also, his is the first cruise where I heard passengers complain s much. Elevator, bathroom, steps, waiting in lines, etc. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This cruise was a family one over the holidays to mark the Panama Canal transit off my Grandmother's bucket list. We traveled in a party of eight with my mom, grandmother, aunt, uncle, cousin, brother, and sister-in-law. I consider ... Read More
This cruise was a family one over the holidays to mark the Panama Canal transit off my Grandmother's bucket list. We traveled in a party of eight with my mom, grandmother, aunt, uncle, cousin, brother, and sister-in-law. I consider this to be my first cruise since the last one I was on I was 18 months old. There were a few hiccups along the way but overall I had an absolute blast. The Impressive Parts: * Cruise Director Aaron Hawkins and his staff (Phil, Scottish Ken, Alex, and Sophie) were all phenomenal. I'm not an outside person so I spent most of my time doing various onboard activities. Aaron: Very enthusiastic and his good mood was contagious. He's youthful and reminds me a little of Peter Pan. There was always laughter and smiles when he hosted an event (trivia, game shows, theater shows, piazza events, etc) He was very professional in keeping the crowd engaged when there was a technical problem with the stage ramps before the Magic To Do show. Phil: If you want a workout, do his Dance Aerobics class. No Zumba on this cruise. Only Aerobics. There wasn't a whole lot of instruction on the steps, but the moves were simple enough that after a few beats you were able to catch on. If you went to most of the classes you'd figure out most of the moves. His music selection was also good. Alex from Serbia: Alex really kept it real. He taught Line Dance and a few origami arts & crafts sessions. If you were bad, he would tell you in no uncertain words (not mean, but funny). He was also patient and would walk you through the process again. Scottish Ken: Every karaoke song chosen is his favorite song which is encouraging when you’re nervous. He’s also not afraid to be a backup dancer during said karaoke song which is fun for both the singer and the audience. Very lovely man. Sophie: She has a bubbly personality that really brightens your day. She ran most of the art & crafts sessions and was very thorough in going through the steps of the project. Heard from some of the passengers I met at trivia that she ran the pop choir and has a pretty singing voice. *The second comedian was absolutely hilarious. My family went to both of his scheduled shows. The first one was all planned bits but the second one he played off the crowd most of the time to make it an unique show. * Dining Staff: It was a pleasure to get to know our dinner wait staff Kateryna and Maria over the course of the cruise. They were very patient with our family when we would pepper them with questions about cruise life. My cousin gets sea sick pretty bad and Kateryna gave her some tips to help with it. * Steward: Our room steward Rona was attentive to our various needs and requests. She always had good advice for things to do at the different ports. *Room Escape: First time doing a room escape. Cost $8 and you have to sign up ahead of time. It’s a good deal considering room escapes on shore cost upwards of $40. We didn’t escape but it was highlight for my family. The No Huge Opinion Parts: * Embarkation & Disembarkation There wasn't really a line to get on the boat. From airport to shuttle bus to check-in to boat, it all went smoothly. There was a delay getting off the boat, but that was on the US Government customs. Once we got through that, it was smooth sailing to the airport. * Room temperatures were either freezing (according to my grandmother) or sweltering (according to me). Definitely when the sun hit our side of the boat, there was no amount of AC that could cool down the area by the window. *Food: Plated meals and buffet were middle of the road (except for the fettuccine which was heaven sent). The best things were the variety and not having to cook for myself. I did find myself going to Afternoon Tea most times instead of a normal lunch due to being too full from breakfast. Not a huge tea drinker, but the tea there might have converted me. Ate at the International cafe (Deck 5) once had the chicken sandwich (9/10). Pizza at Slice (Deck 15) (10/10 tasted like normal pizza), Triple Smoked Burger from Salty Dog Grill(?) (Deck 15) (9/10), make your own omelet in buffet area for breakfast (6/10 I didn't pick very good ingredients so that was on me), Mongolian grill in buffet area for lunch (9/10, only went once and it was never open the other days I went to the buffet for lunch). *Magician & First Comedian: The magician and the first comedian were both entertaining but they weren’t really ‘Wow!!’. *Fitness Room: Larger fitness room than expected. About a third of the treadmills were under maintenance, but if you showed up when they opened, there’s no problem getting one. The running track on floor 19 is a little treacherous. I only went up there once one morning and ran a mile (16 laps for 1 mile). It’s slippery when wet so it was slow going but if you go in the evening, it will most likely be dry. Hiccups: * Well. The power went out. Engines, elevators, toilets all stopped working. There was a backup system in place so some lights and all keycard access to rooms still worked. I'm just glad I wasn't in the shower yet when it happened, though I did later run into some one who was. It lasted for 10-20 minutes before everything was back and running so it shows that the crew is competent and they know how to work fast in an emergency situation. Unfortunately, the internet was down for the rest of the night and part of the next day. Felt kind of bad for the cruise director's staff since there was a dance party going on at the time that was already moved to one of the inside lounges due to weather. They handled it well with keeping the crowd engaged and when the power came back on, the party picked up where it left off. * Tenders. For the Fort Amador, Panama stop, the first tendered port for us, two of the four tenders were under maintenance. Thus there was a huge backup for getting off the boat. We had to wait just over 2 hours from our scheduled meetup time before we could get to port. From reading other reviews, in early April 2019 there seemed to be an issue with how tour groups gathered (there wasn't any on board organization so it was up to passengers to get off the boat and to the port meetup site). Now when you go to the meetup area on the ship (either Princess Theater, Wheelhouse, Explorers, or Michelangelo), you get a sticker with a group number and you leave the boat by that group number. So when we all finally got off the boat, our tour group was caroled onto a tour bus and we were still able to do our activity. This also applied to our Nicaragua stop. There was about an hour delay in getting off the boat but it wasn't from broken tenders. It was more from it taking longer to get to port than expected due to rougher waters and the cruise ship having to anchor farther away from port than desired. The excursion was scheduled for most of the time at port, but by the time we started, we had to cut five or so minutes off each stop in order to get back in time. There was also road construction and a few major traffic accidents on the way back to port. * Stage Issues: On New Year's Eve, my family planned to see the Magic To Do show together, but it ended up getting cancelled due to an issue with the stage ramp. It was fixed for the late showing and they put on the show again the following night, but we didn't plan to go together again. My mother vouches that the show was good. She actually went twice. * Other technical issues: The computers they used for the lounges need to be updated. They were slow and sometimes took 5-10 minutes to get things working. Sometimes they crashed in the middle of a game. The cruise director staff and technicians did their best with what they had and most things were able to run with the exception of some audio files embedded into powerpoints. Overall: I had so much fun. The trip was relaxing and it was nice to disconnect from the stresses of land life for a while. Hiccups were there, but since they were handled professionally, I think they made for a more interesting trip. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We love sailing with Princess and enjoy the traditional atmosphere and older crowd. This cruise was great except for a few issues... Embarkation was bad from the start due to customs issues and computer problems. But I think it was ... Read More
We love sailing with Princess and enjoy the traditional atmosphere and older crowd. This cruise was great except for a few issues... Embarkation was bad from the start due to customs issues and computer problems. But I think it was just a fluke, It took several hours even for priority boarding ...They gave us free drinks on board with a nice apology for the delays. We were a party of three staying in the family suite on dolphin deck. It was beautiful and very nicely appointed. This cabin has a large balcony at the front of the ship. Great to watch the Panama Canal and sit outside when docked. Couldn’t use it much when we were at sea due to the wind. Our room steward Jose was warm and very friendly and efficient. We enjoyed the cruise director staff and our club class dining servers the most on this ship. The went above and beyond to provide excellent service. Other onboard entertainment was kind of a crap shoot. We loved Korey the piano guy in Crooners. Most nights it was hard to get a seat. The production shows were outstanding with professional singing and dancers, complete with beautiful wardrobe and sets. We really enjoyed those. We were disappointed in the visiting entertainment that were flown in. Comedy, magician, and singer we did not care for. What they lacked, entertainment crew made up for in trivia games, vow renewal service, dance off, themed nights, karaoke, and all round fun activities. Lots to do if you wanted to participate but not overbearing. The entertainment crew worked really hard to engage with all the guests. We particularly liked Phil, Alex, Ashleigh, and Scotish Ken. They made ever event fun and inviting. Food was basically good, ports were great, ship is beautiful and clean. We enjoyed the formal dining most nights and went to the buffet a few a few times. We found that mostly bland, lacking in variety. The themed seafood night was great though, complete with oyster bar, king crab and shrimp. That was the night we left Puerto Vallarta, so don’t miss that. The staff in the buffet dining though were great. We got good service and usually had no problem finding a seat. My main complaint was the food there was often bland, repetitive and frankly kind of strange. Sometimes it seemed like they were just recycling leftovers in weird combos that really didn’t go together. The presentation was beautiful but just didn’t taste very good. We never went hungry though, that’s for sure and always found something to eat :) The pizza, Stromboli, burgers and hot dogs were always available and really good. We loved the laid back feel of this ship and the passengers, we never felt rushed or crowded. In general this was one of favorites we’ve ever done and would highly recommend it. Will be sailing again on the same ship to Hawaii. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
I chose Princess mainly because of the itinerary offered in the dates we preferred. I have cruised the Mediterranean before, but Princess offered some new ports I had, yet, visited. This trip was special, as it was eleven nights with my ... Read More
I chose Princess mainly because of the itinerary offered in the dates we preferred. I have cruised the Mediterranean before, but Princess offered some new ports I had, yet, visited. This trip was special, as it was eleven nights with my two grown daughters, neither who had ever visited any of the countries included. It was wonderful- great service,, attentive staff, and excellent excursions offered. We visited seven ports and took advantage of an excursion at each stop we made. We also enjoyed the dining and service provided ar each meal. The menu was good and varied. One daughter is a pescatarian, and she was a bit concerned about what the offerings might be, but she thoroughly enjoyed the choices provided and there was never an issue. Because there were three of us, we had a mini suite. I think I would upgrade to a full suite if I were to book again, just to give us that much more space. Though we managed just fine, accommodations were a bit tight. All in all , a most pleasant experience, and I would consider Orincess again if I were thinking of another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The Emerald was a good ship and had a great selection of ports. However, the food quality seemed to be off on this ship compared with the rest of the fleet. If you are looking for good food, this is not the ship for you! The general staff ... Read More
The Emerald was a good ship and had a great selection of ports. However, the food quality seemed to be off on this ship compared with the rest of the fleet. If you are looking for good food, this is not the ship for you! The general staff were very good with the exception of the front desk personnel. If you have an issue, be prepared if you speak English they may not understand you. For the price of the cruise, the trip was great. There were plenty of chairs available on the deck for sun lounging. Entertainment was good and had a nice verity of shows. The Gastropub was excellent, don't waste your money on Share by Chris Stone, selection not very good. As a premium class guest with Princess, embarkation and disembarkation was great with little or no time spent on the process. Some of the ports (Malta) the ship could have spent more time at rather than the Greek ports. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was technically a 22 day cruise, but we only did the 11 day portion of Barcelona to Rome. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary plus the price and the perks were good. There were 7 of us and overall, it was a great ... Read More
This was technically a 22 day cruise, but we only did the 11 day portion of Barcelona to Rome. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary plus the price and the perks were good. There were 7 of us and overall, it was a great experience. The staff was excellent and the passengers were very friendly. We all made new friends. It is a beautiful ship. The piazza midship is stunning. We all agreed the cabins could do with a freshening up in decor; it was a little bit dated. However, the rooms were spotless. The mini-suites are large and roomy with a full size bathroom and lots of storage. My parents and sister had electrical and plumbing problems with their room, but Dennis, their steward, handled the situations promptly and efficiently. The food experience onboard got mixed reviews amongst our group. My parents and sister did not enjoy their main dining dinner experience the first night onboard and never went back. The group went to Steamers one night and those that had the mussels enjoyed the experience, but those that had the fried platter were disappointed. We all enjoyed: Share, Crown Grill, World Market Buffet, The Salty Dog Grill on the lido deck, Slices, The International Cafe, Room Service & Coffees and Cones. We only saw a couple of the shows in the Princess Theatre and they were fun. Karaoke in Club Fusion was good. The Maitre D wine tasting experience was excellent as was the Love Boat disco party. Embarkation was poorly done, but disembarkation was a breeze. For our group, the shore excursions booked through the cruise ship were the biggest disappointment, specifically those that took ship tours to Marseilles, Florence and Capri. It's a lot of money to put out and not have a wonderful time. All in all it was a great time and we would definitely consider another Princess cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise for the destination, but sadly the Emerald Princess quickly became a disappointment. Lack of entertainment, sub-par food, and horrible dining room attire rules. Nice shorts and shirt NOT acceptable but jeans and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the destination, but sadly the Emerald Princess quickly became a disappointment. Lack of entertainment, sub-par food, and horrible dining room attire rules. Nice shorts and shirt NOT acceptable but jeans and sports jersey's are acceptable on a Formal night. NO entertainment pool side on either sea days. They turned the music on for ice-carving then quickly turned the unacceptable playlist to very low. I understand the population on the cruise was a little older, but they were happy to listen to our music when we brought out our music player. All the pool guests around us were complaining. The drink package - they really encourage you not to use it, limits and rules for every situation. The spa was nice, although pricey - but that's expected on cruises they increase the price. Positive - I like the hand- washing stations at the entrance of the buffet. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We as a family wanted to do a Mediterranean trip. This particular cruise plan met most of our needs. The Cruise ship was excellent, the wait staff was great. The room steward did an excellent job. The meal offerings could have been ... Read More
We as a family wanted to do a Mediterranean trip. This particular cruise plan met most of our needs. The Cruise ship was excellent, the wait staff was great. The room steward did an excellent job. The meal offerings could have been little more variety on different days specifically for vegetarian family members. The entertainment shows were good mix. The comedy show needed little more oomph. The trivia games were good. There could have been little more learning types of activities would have been nice instead of trying to sell spa/spa products under the guise of health talks. The cabin location and décor were good for the time we spent in the room, mostly for little rest or sleep at night. We chose easy types of excursions due to group members needs but we thoroughly enjoyed it. The excursions for Santorini, Naples, Sicily and Kotor were all met our needs perfectly. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have cruised with other lines before and decided to try Princess based on a recommendation from our travel agent due to the specific ports we wanted to visit. We did a 14 day cruise with Princess Cruise lines. Never made it to Mykonos ... Read More
We have cruised with other lines before and decided to try Princess based on a recommendation from our travel agent due to the specific ports we wanted to visit. We did a 14 day cruise with Princess Cruise lines. Never made it to Mykonos due to a storm. Food was average but nothing spectacular. Too many starchy foods. Not enough vegetables and fruits. Entertainment was just okay. Not enough planned activities accept pushing bingo games and paper airplane races. Don’t buy a drink package. If on Dolphin Deck, the tinder boats are under you and when they are launched at 6 am, you will be knocked out of bed by the noise. Gym was sub par. Two standard stationary bikes for the whole ship to use. The Sanctuary area is a joke. Don’t waste your money for $80 a day. The art auction staff must all be new as they didn’t have full knowledge on the artist they were selling. Overall staff were not as friendly as on other cruise lines we have travelled on. I honestly do not believe we will ever cruise with Princess in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My sisters and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and length of time to enjoy together. The ship was amazing and staff were incredibly kind and personable. We loved the entertainment, especially Kory Simon the piano man and the ... Read More
My sisters and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and length of time to enjoy together. The ship was amazing and staff were incredibly kind and personable. We loved the entertainment, especially Kory Simon the piano man and the shows. Meals were sensational and a speciality meal in the Crown Grill surpasses our expectations. The scenery of the countries we visited and history of Europe is fascinating. 21 days flew as we enjoyed every aspect of the ship, the staff and fellow passengers. The international cafe was a hotspot after excursions for a relaxing drink and snack before our formal dining room experience and we also could tan in the afternoon high tea at three if we chose high was so nicely served. The crowd control was very well dealt with by offering so many different venues throughout the ship as well which made it feel very comfortable. I loved every minute of the 21 days and my next trip will be longer- again with Princess Cruises! Kudos to Princess! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My friends and I were looking for a Mediterranean cruise but late to book so many were already sold out. I thought Princess was rated similar to RCCL and Celebrity ...oops, I was so wrong. If the was one Improvement I'd. ... Read More
My friends and I were looking for a Mediterranean cruise but late to book so many were already sold out. I thought Princess was rated similar to RCCL and Celebrity ...oops, I was so wrong. If the was one Improvement I'd. Suggest, it would be to stop nickel and diming people with stupid drink packages!!! How ridiculous to offer a water and coke package which only serviced INSIDE or Outside your cabins. It was, like much of the programs...petty. nightly entertainment limited to early only crowds. After 9pm, there's few options. The best experience was in the spa where I got 2 treatments that were e excellent. I did pass on the $60.00 manicure tho. Placing an automatic 15% gratuity was insulting. Lastly, as most cruises, the food is bountiful however what's the purpose of having different dining rooms if you're serving the same menu in each? Where was the variety? Even the 2 additional restaurants you had to pay additional for had pretty much the same menu as the others. Simply unimaginative and a basic 3 1/2 star cruise line. A touch above costa and same as NCL. And don't waste 2 days at sea just to get cheap fuel in Gilbralter ! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
All of the staff on board the Emerald Princess were extremely warm and welcoming. In particular, we would like to thank Raul and Antonio for their phenomenal hospitality! (Please see pic attached) We embarked in Athens and disembarked ... Read More
All of the staff on board the Emerald Princess were extremely warm and welcoming. In particular, we would like to thank Raul and Antonio for their phenomenal hospitality! (Please see pic attached) We embarked in Athens and disembarked in Barcelona. During our week at sea we visited Santorini, Montenegro, Sicily and Naples and had 2 fantastic days at sea. We loved the cold wet flannels and the cucumber/orange flavoured water that was offered to us on re-embarkation. The food on board was amazing; we loved the fresh pizza, which had a different choice of topping everyday. The menu offered a great selection and the vegetarian members of our party were happy with their options. We also loved the omelette stand at breakfast where you could choose all your ingredients. The movie selection was very impressive, including: The Greatest Showman, Shazam! and Avengers: Endgame. The overall hospitality was exceptional and we are very eager to return! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The ship was an average ship, Some of the employees needed more training and experience, service was average, food quality was average. Need lots of improvement in food service and quality of service. The front desk employees, either they ... Read More
The ship was an average ship, Some of the employees needed more training and experience, service was average, food quality was average. Need lots of improvement in food service and quality of service. The front desk employees, either they were not knowledgeable or not feeling to assist or they were tired. At least the one who was helping us. Food was average quality, we return our food back in the dining room because it was not cooked and or was not prepared right. Our waiter in dining room was a very nice guy. Fitness center was clean but they were permitting kids in the center, kids were all over on the equipment creating a danger first to them and others. The cruise company leave the responsibility on the parents. Entertainments were not as interesting as it should be at least to our test. Maybe some customers that have not seen other cruise ships was satisfactory. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because of the ports of call and our Parents, who went with us, are Platinum members on Princess. The check in was the quickest we have experienced in comparison to Royal Caribbean. The Food choices each day in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ports of call and our Parents, who went with us, are Platinum members on Princess. The check in was the quickest we have experienced in comparison to Royal Caribbean. The Food choices each day in the restaurants were excellent and very appealing to look at. PROS: Check in process was efficient and quick The itinery was great. Ports of call were gorgeous and perfectly fit our bucket list. Staff was very friendly and professional. This was especially true with stateroom Stewards and casino hosts. Bar staff was quick and friendly. We booked interior rooms because we didn't plan on staying inside. Were very surprised with how spacious the rooms were and the bedding was so comfortable!! CONS: Entertainment was very poor and catered to over 70 crowd. No variety each night. Food in Dining rooms were great but Buffet selection and taste was poor. Part of our excursion was canceled to rough seas(Amalfi Coast and Pompei) They took us to Sarrento by bus and dropped us off at the square for 1 hour. Poor substitute for a boat cruise down the Amalfi Coast. Princess credited us $40 for the change in itinary. Eve though I appreciate the thought, I think this was highway robbery when you consider the substitution. I felt that Princess Excurtions did not credit us the appropriate amount for the shortfall. How can you compare the experience and price to being dumped at the city square to sit in the hot sun for an hour. I would have preferred to return to the ship and use the credit on another excursion. This left a poor taste in our overall impression of the cruise. They lost one star for this experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Excursions too rushed and actually didn't see anything properly and definitely did not have the experience expected. Summary - 'Been there seen that' - Not 'Been there and done that'. Embarkation and ... Read More
Excursions too rushed and actually didn't see anything properly and definitely did not have the experience expected. Summary - 'Been there seen that' - Not 'Been there and done that'. Embarkation and disembarking were very well organised and efficient. Cleanliness was high and service from our steward was excellent. No issue service wise. Food was basically the same form day to day will minimal variations - food was ok of you love great if you love salt. Would have preferred to have more local foods from each destination we went to. Couldn't get into the restaurant we wanted even when booking a day on advance. Was my first cruise so wasn't sure what to expect - but definitely felt underwhelmed. My 2 teenage daughters did enjoy it but even their excitement was starting to dull toward the end. Everything seemed to have an additional charge when I expected most things to be included. Overall pretty poor value - rather do hotels and stay for a few days at each location that this overrated hop on hop off bus. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We are a family of 6 - 3 generations consisting of 80 year olds x 2, late 40’s x2 and 2 children 8 and 12. The booking experience was not great with the dining time being changed from 6.30pm to 5.00pm without our knowledge and the on ... Read More
We are a family of 6 - 3 generations consisting of 80 year olds x 2, late 40’s x2 and 2 children 8 and 12. The booking experience was not great with the dining time being changed from 6.30pm to 5.00pm without our knowledge and the on board packages being altered on the day we were booking them. However, we were determined to enjoy the holiday and we did. The ship in our opinion is very good, with majority of the staff being friendly. We did find the muster station drill a little bit cringeworthy and reminded us very much of Disney, and not in a good way. The food in traditional dining was okay, but if it was not for the staff, we would say the experience was not great. The buffet during the day we found to be good, clean and efficient. The cabins were kept very clean and we liked the fact we could have the balcony dividers open allowing for an open area for our family, which worked very well. My father was 80 during the cruise and we booked to go to the Steakhouse. Big mistake - wines were out of stock, poor service and food, and the whole atmosphere was not what we expected. Diners were there at 930pm wearing pool attire and sun hats, whilst we had dressed formally. Entertainment was good, pool areas were good, bar service was good. We had prebooked the soda package but not convinced we were not always charged for soft drinks as they do not give you receipts. The demo with the chef and maitre d’ was very good and funny. The tender at Kotor was a shambles with us having to wait for over an hour to get off. Had we known the length of time, we would have arrived earlier. On the return, they had run out of drinks and cloths despite standing out on quayside in the heat and they knew how many people were still not on board - they seemed ill prepared. On the morning of disembarkation, why are most lifts not working? They all were reserved which is crazy when you have elderly relatives. We did not do any ship excursions as learnt our lesson on previous occasions - always book your own! Our cabins were right by the laundry - noise was not an issue at all. Perfectly happy with cabins. We all enjoyed the cruise itinerary and particular pleasures were Pompeii, Mykonos, Chania and Athens. A good, family holiday and felt safe and happy at all times. Would I go with Princess again - possibly but not overwhelmed and would think twice. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise as we had a large party and it was basically the one that suited all. That said there was some thought that there may have been better cruise available - that was proved incorrect as we all loved it. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had a large party and it was basically the one that suited all. That said there was some thought that there may have been better cruise available - that was proved incorrect as we all loved it. The embarkation process was seamless and very fast. Baggage assistants on the wharf helped the process and our luggage was in our room when we opened the door. The condition of the ship at present is very good with no real sign anywhere of wear and tear. Common areas are very nice and well maintained. The stateroom was above our exceptions in size and condition. The itinerary from Barcelona to Athens was very impressive and some notable surprises for us in Gibraltar and Kotor. We all agreed that what we saw of Marseilles made it our least favourite port. Stateroom steward was perfect....there when you needed him otherwise rarely saw him. he kept the room spotless. Meals were spot-on. Be aware that if you are doing a 14 or 21 day Med cruise that your menu will basically repeat every 7 days. Shore tours were very good and ran smoothly. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We have travelled on Princess before and hold Elite status so are very familiar with the standard of service etc. Although it has been 8 years since we last cruised with Princess partly circumstances and partly better ports and itineraries ... Read More
We have travelled on Princess before and hold Elite status so are very familiar with the standard of service etc. Although it has been 8 years since we last cruised with Princess partly circumstances and partly better ports and itineraries from other cruise lines. Their overall standard has certainly slipped in this time I have seen reviews from other cruisers with an opinion very similar to some of our . The ridiculous charging for bus transfers to get you from the port if you hadn't booked one of their excursions. EXCURSIONS were well over priced More so than in the past. Internet was very highly over priced and ate up your package very quickly as they were slow in loading, however we did discover that some PC were always being occupied because they were fast operating ENTERTAINMENT was certainly not up to a high standard on a 14 day cruise to have the same entertainers performing the same acts or songs repeated in the same order was very disappointing they need to take a look at what the opposition cruiselines are doing give me Royal Caribbean Cruiseline entertainment any day it is far superior. Princess nedd to be changing entertainers not using the same ones throughout a 14 day and 21 day cruise. The Sounds band was excellent, but too loud especially in open areas. FOOD The buffet with the idea of having cutlery on the tables and the food had a great variety I wish I could say the same about the main dinning rooms who had a repeated menu every seven days. Part of enjoying a cruising is the main dinning rooms variety and the Captains Welcome and farewell dinners of which have gone it is just like a normal night no lobster tails just a normal menu with the Bomb Alaska offered as a dessert is the only thing still offered on the last night. We shared a table by accident with an American couple accident several times and they had been on a long cruise on the same ship in February and said there was none of this repeat entertainment and menu every 7 days they were discussed. If it was a cruise over 18 - 21 days I would expect the menu to repeat. FORMAL NIGHTS We got information with our cruise papers there would be 3 formal nights on a 14 night cruise but when we got on board we discovered there were 4 formal night which is ridiculous considering cruising is now taking the more casual approach to what it use to do years ago. It appears they are cutting costs and not keeping up what use to be their good standard which is a shame as it doesn't exactly give first time cruisers a good impression and does leave you thinking what will my next cruise with them be like or do we have to do a short 7 day cruise which we don't like to avoid repeats Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
On the whole this was a fantastic cruise. Gibraltar, Marseille, Genova, and even Pisa (once you manage to leave the port of Livorno) were all fantastic. I can highly recommend the itinerary. Buffet areas were busy but we always managed ... Read More
On the whole this was a fantastic cruise. Gibraltar, Marseille, Genova, and even Pisa (once you manage to leave the port of Livorno) were all fantastic. I can highly recommend the itinerary. Buffet areas were busy but we always managed to find a table for the four of us. Food was good, generally no complaints, although they were running out of basics like honey and muesli by day 5 and the watermelon were past their ‘use by date’ by then. Waiting staff were great, all of them although I could hear a rather heated work discussion from the ‘kitchen’ area which was a bit awkward. We embarked straight after our flight in Barcelona at 2 p.m. planning to head out to the city afterwards. This plan fell through because we were told we had to attend the safety demonstration at 5 p.m. with all the usual threats about not attending. They didn’t tell us there would be a second safety demo at night, which would have suited our plans much better. So we missed out on Barcelona. Gibraltar was perfect as a cruise port. The town entrance is a 15 minute walk from the pier. Another 15 minutes walk to the cable car. Took a shared taxi (as advertised everywhere on bill boards everywhere for 35 euros) up the mountain due to long cues for the cable car. The driver/guide was fine but spoke in as few words as possible. The monkeys/apes/macaques/whatever they are were present. The caves worth a short visit and the view stunning. Sailing away from Gibraltar is a sight worth seeing. I did not expect much from Marseille but the city proved us wrong. Finding your way through typical French streets leading to the steps all the way up the steps to the Notre Dame de la Garde Cathedral was one of the highlights of the cruise for us. Took a City bus tour in Genova, but you can see the same sights by foot if just head out from the cruise terminal to the aquarium and then enter the inner city. You can enter the city straight from the terminal but the area looked a bit ‘rough’ at first sight. I could be wrong. I loved walking through the narrow streets and alleys of Genova and the aquarium is one of the best I’ve seen with an impressive dolphin tank. Make sure to take a picture from the ship of the city just before sunset. The light is stunning. Now onto Livorno. The shabby port of Livorno left us with a very sour taste and we will avoid this port in the future. Why? Because you have to pay to get off the ship. Even though the town centre is less than a mile away, passengers still have to pay five euros per person for a shuttle bus. I get it, the harbor area doesn't lend itself to pedestrians, but at least offer the shuttle service for free (like in Marseille and many other ports). It's a matter of principle. But what really ruined this day for us is how we and others were treated by the shuttle staff: -As is my custom on almost any cruise destination, I like to start the day with a morning run through town as soon as the ship is docked. It's a great way to get a feel of the town while the wife and kids are still asleep. At least that was the plan till a local member of staff rudely blocked my exit from the terminal: you cannot exit the terminal by yourself, you have to pay for a shuttle. So far for my morning run. -Due to a small miscommunication both my wife and I ended up buying those shuttle tickets for the family.Totally our fault and we spotted the mistake immediately. But guess what, the shuttle service flatly refused to reimburse the two surplus tickets. We were the ONLY passengers in the terminal, the tickets were bought less than a minute ago form the same employee, so it was obvious we did not use the tickets. But nope, they flatly refused to take the tickets back. -We rented an extravagantly overpriced car from Avis. There were 3 ships in town, so yeah, I get it, the price goes up. But at least clean the diesel fuel spill that covered most of the rear passenger door and booth. Driving is fine if you are used to Southern European roads or confident enough behind the wheel. -Pisa was fine. The tower is there. It leans. We took the same cliché pictures as every other tourist and went back to the port, returned the rental car, and waited, waited, waited, 10, 20 30, 40+ minutes for the paid shuttle to arrive. In the sun. At least five other shuttles passed us by, just not the very specific one for our ship. Our ship which was just a stones throw away.. -Oh and a fellow shuttle passenger got shouted at for not presenting his ticket on the spot. I'll end my rant here. We had six fantastic days during this cruise. Just not in Livorno. If you buy an official tour then you will probably be just fine. But if you like to do your own thing like us, then you know now what to expect. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
An overnight at the San Pedro Double Tree made embarkation a breeze. We were onboard less than an hour after leaving on the hotel shuttle. The ship was beautiful and far exceeded my expectations as I was aware she was headed to dry ... Read More
An overnight at the San Pedro Double Tree made embarkation a breeze. We were onboard less than an hour after leaving on the hotel shuttle. The ship was beautiful and far exceeded my expectations as I was aware she was headed to dry dock after our cruise. Nothing in the public areas looked tired as I’ve seen on other lines that were headed to refurbishment. The food was hit or miss. Our first Dinner at Share was terrrific and encouraged us to book a second. If the food on the second night had been the first we would have not gone again. Polling of various dining companions netted about a 50/50 split on favoribility. Salty Dog was the same. We had ATD and never had much of a wait though we were happy to share. I did see people waiting who were only interested in a private table. Main Dining room food was pretty good with some real misses. Twice I ordered scallops that were seriously gritty. Food seeemed to start strong and trail off to the seemingly typical odd final night. This trip offered Sweatbreads and two mussel dishes on the last night. If you don’t eat either, makes for limited choices. The chef’s table was the best we’ve had on Princess. The experience blew us away - the creativity and the wow factor were both present and delivered an amazing meal. The shore excursions were pleasant. I didn’t find anything that knocked my socks off. During dinner after Hilo I discovered there were tours that would have been a better fit but the passengers describing them were very clear that the descriptions had not come close to matching the tour tour experience. One gentleman even went to tour services to ask they change the description to match so he would know what to expect! The casino was very friendly and paid well early in the trip. We saw several large slot payouts and talked to other big winners. We were able to play on the same cash we started with and casino money most of the trip. The last 3 days the slots tightened noticeably and the staff became appetjetic - it was nearly impossible to get a drink. The did seem to be an issue with crew hygiene as the voyage Dre to a close. There was one guy (I’ll withhold his name) that had body odor so bad it literally made you gag and it left a trail behind him. Needless to say we started limiting activities in that particular lounge. The teen program was very uneven and much was tolerated that surprised me. My child came home talking about kids vaping, swearing, openly discussing sexuality, etc. I get they are teens but somehow I was expecting a bit of positive direction to activities. There was even a physical assault (acknowledged by staff) that did not result in removal from the program for the aggressor. I do think that the environment should at least be safe. Based on this cruise we are looking forward to our next, but still will not hesitate to book on anothe line if we get the right deal. Princess has still not captured my complete loyalty. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Had a great time & ready to go on another Princess Cruise. The only cruise line we have been on. We will book another cruise to Hawaii in the future. We needed more time in Hawaii to see more that we missed. The entertainment, staff, ... Read More
Had a great time & ready to go on another Princess Cruise. The only cruise line we have been on. We will book another cruise to Hawaii in the future. We needed more time in Hawaii to see more that we missed. The entertainment, staff, & rooms on Princess are the best so far. Everything from getting on embarkation to disembarkation is so organized. It’s truly an amazing experience to cruise. We will be on more in future with Princess. Another thing is the passengers are mostly nice and courteous. Many have been on 50+ cruises & several times Princess Cruise line. I asked a couple people their favorite cruise line & it was Princess. In addition, I have a 11y/o who has twice enjoyed the Kids Club. The staff takes care of the kids really well. Keeps them busy, & the kids really enjoy all the fun activities. This makes me feel like my kid is safe too. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
This was a pleasant cruise that went smoothly and no major problems. The embarkation and the disembarkation was the smoothest EVER. Cabin was nice but I would look to upgrade for more room. Dining and Cabin staff were excellent. ... Read More
This was a pleasant cruise that went smoothly and no major problems. The embarkation and the disembarkation was the smoothest EVER. Cabin was nice but I would look to upgrade for more room. Dining and Cabin staff were excellent. Entertainment was good but could not get into some of the Theater early shows. Activities were excellent. Service personnel were friendly and effect. Honolulu was a port that had lots to offer. One day was not a lot of time to see things. The other ports could have used an extra hour or two but it was acceptable. LA was an excellent city to explore before the cruise. We took a city tour before the trip and went to Santa Monica Pier after the cruise. Getting to the departure city a day before would be HIGHLY recommended. Many tours are available in LA. I will definitely be going on another Princess cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This cruise started out badly. We had to stand outside in the wind and heavy rain to check our bags, then were ushered into a cold tent where we had to wait 3 1/2 HOURS to board! Princess did not take any responsibility for their ... Read More
This cruise started out badly. We had to stand outside in the wind and heavy rain to check our bags, then were ushered into a cold tent where we had to wait 3 1/2 HOURS to board! Princess did not take any responsibility for their problems and did nothing to compensate us for the terrible experience. Don't think we will use Princess again. We chose this cruise because we wanted the sea days and were looking forward to warm weather in Hawaii and on the way. Unfortunately, there were storms coming and going so we were not able to sit around the pool or use our balcony. There were very few things to do on the sea days in the afternoon. Most of the lectures were at 9 or 10 in the morning and we weren't up that early. It just didn't seem to be up to the quality we expected of Princess. We had the late seating in the Botticelli dining room. The waiter and assistant were very good and the menu varied, but the food was bland even when it was described as spicy. The Horizon buffet was good, but the layout made it crowded and difficult to maneuver. The wait staff there were very attentive. The Magic To Do show and the other shows with the singers and dancers were really wonderful! The Magic To Do was like a Broadway show and probably the best show we have seen on a ship. The other entertainers were good - singers, magicians, comedians, ventriloquists, but about the same as you would find on any cruise ship. We did independent tours in Kauai and Hilo. It was very easy to walk around in Lahaina and Honolulu as we were docked or tendered to the center of town. In Ensenada we were within walking distance of the shops and bars in town. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My wife and I have both reached the Elite Level with Princess Cruise Lines, in addition to having taken maybe a half dozen cruises with other lines. This cruise was our 17th on Princess, over a period of about 7 or 8 years. We felt that ... Read More
My wife and I have both reached the Elite Level with Princess Cruise Lines, in addition to having taken maybe a half dozen cruises with other lines. This cruise was our 17th on Princess, over a period of about 7 or 8 years. We felt that the new Princess program would follow through and recognize their most frequent passengers in some meaningful way, and we enjoyed traveling on their ships. Our cruise last February changed all that. We had a series of unhappy experiences, starting with standing in the rain at the San Pedro cruise terminal for over 90 minutes before boarding. No Princess staff in sight and no umbrellas, ponchos, or anything to provide some relief. After about an hour and a half, with literally hundreds of people soaking wet and standing in the rain, someone realized that there was an empty terminal building that could be used for shelter, and we were all herded into it, only to spend the next hour in line just to get to Passport Control. The entire boarding experience was miserable. When we made reservations for this trip we asked about (a) complimentary gratuities or (b) a beverage package and were told that we were not eligible because we got such a great fare. Once on board we talked with many other passengers only to find that many had the same rate and their gratuities had been included. We also found a group of passengers from the U.K. who had received an even better rate, plus their package included round trip airfare from London to Los Angeles as well as a two night stopover in Ls Vegas at a top hotel. I understand promotional pricing and how it can be presented. But I felt deceived by Princess when they told me what a great deal I had and then gave many other passengers with the same rate a different (and better) deal. And some received a much, much better package. There were a number of other incidents which I felt were cause for making Princess aware of how I felt. So I wrote a four page letter and sent it to them. I sent it by email first to our Princess travel consultant, who returned it to me immediately with a note that she could not open it and I should send it instead to the Customer Care department. So I sent it to the proper address and guess what the reaction was...……….radio silence! I waited for about 6 weeks and sent another note asking what was happening and again heard nothing. If that is how Princess handles their best customers one wonders what they are doing for newer or less experienced passengers. There is a lot of competition in the cruise industry, and this overall experience has left me completely unhappy with Princess. We are now shopping for some other cruise line and left wondering how this could happen. We liked Princess, they seemed to like us, and we were happy. But when they ignored my legitimate issues and made not a single effort to reply I decide that this is their problem, not mine any longer. So we will continue to cruise and I am certain that we can get comfortable with some other line. But it is shame for both my wife and me, and also for Princess. Incidentally, I am still on their mailing list for enticements for upcoming trips! Almost as if I had never written to them at all! Remember that old adage "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!" Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
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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