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300 Princess Emerald Princess Family Cruise Reviews

Before embarking on this cruise, I read quite a few negative reviews. I think many of them were over-critical, and possibly the result of being jaded from past luxurious experiences. Like other cruise lines, Princess has cut back on ... Read More
Before embarking on this cruise, I read quite a few negative reviews. I think many of them were over-critical, and possibly the result of being jaded from past luxurious experiences. Like other cruise lines, Princess has cut back on what is included in the base price. You have to pay for drinks (including soda, juice, and coffee), with the exception of the breakfast offerings. There are restaurants on board that require a cover charge, and pool areas that require a spa fee. All irritating, but I chose to ignore all of these options, and enjoy everything else. The ship: The Emerald Princess is a classy ship, in excellent condition. Decor consists of lacquered wood and brass. All of the public areas were comfortable and elegant. The only design flaw I could see was that it was difficult to walk from one part of the ship to another without having to go up and down to avoid blocked passageways. On the positive side, all of the stair climbing helps burn off calories! Stateroom service was not very personal, and was more like Motel 6. The food: I saw no need to spend money on specialty restaurants, since the food was so good in the main dining room. If you are patient, nearly all of the specialty food, such as lobster, are eventually served for free. The wait staff was very friendly, and their individual personalities showed through the stiff formality. Specialty cheeses and desserts were available 24-hours a day in the atrium, and pizza and burgers could be found near the pools. Entertainment: The shows are short, and shown more often, to try to make scheduling easier. The ship's dance crew put on a couple of really good shows, but overall the entertainment was less impressive than other cruises I have been on. (I guess I'm a bit jaded as well) The most valueable shows were the port lectures by John Lawrence. Listening carefully to his advice will save you time and money, as well as helping you to plan your port time. They were always repeated on the stateroom televisions. The ports: The ship visited 8 ports in 11 days, which was exhausting at times. I actually heard a few people complaining that it was too much, but my wife and I looked at it as a real value for the cost of the cruise. Be prepared for strenuous days. The port strike was resolved in Oslo Norway, so we were able to visit the port. The castle right next to the ship was incredible! The self guided tour allowed me to see it at my own pace, with time left over to visit the open air Viking Folk Museum. Aarhus Denmark was a small port, with not much to see. We made use of Denmark's free bicycles, and rode along the coast for a while before heading to the shopping district to explore and have a cold beer. We procrastinated too long, and arrived at the cathedral after closing hours (4 pm). Oh well, we had another beer instead. In Warnemunde Germany, we booked a tour through SPB that went to Rostock and Schwerin Castle. Our guide was relaxed and knowledgeable about the sites. She was actually part of the congregation of one of the old churches that we visited. Schwerin Castle was one of the highlights of the cruise. Lunch was included with the tour, and consisted of German sausage, sauerkraut, and a beer. Unlike the unfortunate people who went all the way to Berlin, we had time left over to walk around Warnemunde before boarding the ship. Tallinn Estonia was a warm and friendly medieval town. The people were vibrant, friendly, and willing to talk. I could see myself living there. We found a three story restaurant housed in a very old building, which was candle lit, and served wild game and a beer resembling mead in HUGE mugs: another highlight of the cruise. St. Petersburg Russia took about a day to grow on us. When we left the ship, we were greeted by some very serious Russian agents. It felt very oppressive. We booked the 2-day, as well as the Evening Fun Tour, with SPB tours. Our day guide was reserved and efficient. We must have seen every cultural sight there was. Well worth the money, and less costly than the Princess sponsored tour. The fun evening tour is what really won our hearts. Our tour guide, Sasha, was confident, outgoing, and funny. Ladies, keep an eye on your husbands around this cute young woman! Helsinki Finland was spread out, and therefore difficult to see in such a short day. We got to see the Temppeliaukio church, met some really friendly people, and enjoyed fresh fish in a farmer's market at the downtown docks. Stockholm Sweden was another highlight of the cruise. Unfortunately, the port had the shortest stay of the trip, so we changed our approach. We were the first people off the ship, and immediately grabbed a taxi into Old Town, where we stayed to explore the rest of the day. We were able to get pictures of the old palace, medieval church, and town streets before anyone else arrived. As the stores began to open, we sampled Swedish pastries, meatballs, herring, and of course...local beer! We made it back to the ship with a whole 5-minutes to spare. After the cruise, we spent 5-days in Copenhagen Denmark (it takes a minimum of three to get a good look at the city). We disembarked just as the International Jazz festival began. It rained a little bit just about every day, which was actually kind of nice. There is a lot to see here, and I think we covered about 80% of it. Kronborg Castle was definitely worth the 50-minute train ride to see. The underground ramparts really gave us a feel for the military life of its inhabitants. Climbing the tower at Our Saviour's Church was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. The staircase spirals around the outside of the tower, to dizzying heights. My fear of heights had me crawling the last few steps! In summary, I would definitely recommend this cruise. It is rich in Norse culture, and a bargain for the money. I hope to return to some of the countries visited, because I enjoyed them (and the cool weather) so much. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Emerald Princess cruise March 7th-17th. Southern Caribbean route. We are from South Carolina so rather than deal with the airlines we decided to leisurely drive down to Fort Lauderdale. Our first stop was in Cape Canaveral at the ... Read More
Emerald Princess cruise March 7th-17th. Southern Caribbean route. We are from South Carolina so rather than deal with the airlines we decided to leisurely drive down to Fort Lauderdale. Our first stop was in Cape Canaveral at the Radisson Resort At The Port. If you ever decide to sail out of Port Canaveral this is an awesome hotel to stay at. For $160 we stayed in a suite with king sized sleep number bed, a full separate eating area with second TV, a hot tub next to the bed and a nice marble shower. The pool is done up to look like a tropical oasis with large stone arches covered with vines and a waterfall in the middle. The service there is top notch. We ate at Kelsey's pizza right next door and had delicious pizza and Greek salads. We then ventured on to the Springfield Inn and Suites Ft Lauderdale Airport and Cruise Port. We got a king sized room with all the amenities for $193. This included a free shuttle to the port and the ability to park our car for the duration. With a 10 day cruise the savings really added up. You can book a return shuttle back from the port for $10 a person. We enjoyed yummy pizza from Carcione's pizza (large 1 topping with 6 garlic knots and a cold 2 liter...$14). Embarkation: We took the 10:30am shuttle to the port. Arrived inside around 11am and were put into group 4. It took about an hour before our group was called but once we were called things moved relatively fast. We went to our cabin and found our luggage had already arrived! We decided rather than fight the hordes at the Horizon court we would have lunch in the dining room. It was a decision well made. The dining room was not crowded and a perfect place to relax. My wife and I enjoyed a delicious cheese ravioli appetizer and then beef tenderloins in a rich gravy with red mashed potatoes. It was one of the best meals on the ship. I would highly recommend doing this instead of the horizon court. There are even cheese burgers available if you have picky little eaters. We did muster at 3pm and met in the casino. They now scan your room key card at muster so trying to hide from it won't work. It was quick and painless and soon we were ready to "escape completely". Cabin: We stayed in E 316. An inside cabin on the emerald deck. This cabin had it's ups and downs. On the upside we were conveniently located close to just about everything. The elevator was just around the corner and were were very near the theater, bars and dining venues. The room was spacious enough not to feel cramped and offered more than enough storage space. The bathroom was small but workable with a nice shower with good pressure and temperature variation. On the down side our first night we hit some rough weather with high seas and wind. The walls of cabin creaked so long and so loud sleep was almost impossible. Fortunately when we reached the calmer Caribbean waters the creaking subsided. Also we could never seem to get the cabin very cool. We didn't opt for a top sheet and later regretted it as it got pretty warm under the comforter with the little AC the room provided. We did get the egg crate mattress which made the bed more comfortable. What made our cabin stay the most bearable was taking my WDTV with portable hard drive along. WDTV is a small black box which allows you to watch Netflix, Youtube, Facebook and various other video, picture and music services with WiFi connection. We didn't utilize these since WiFi is very expensive and spotty on the ship. However I downloaded a DVD copier program (Ideal DVD copy) and burned 120 of my favorite movies to a 1 gig portable hard drive which I could plug into the WDTV. I then plugged the WDTV into the stateroom TV and by switching the sources with the TV remote was able to watch our DVD movies in our cabin. It was really great to be able to relax and watch a movie at our leisure right in the room. WDTV is $99, a 1 gig portable hard drive is $150 and the DVD burner program cost $40. So for a one time investment of $300 I can take my DVD library everywhere I go! Dining (my favorite part): We ate all our breakfasts in the dining room (except) for the last day. You should really avoid the horizon court as the food is not as good. The breakfasts in the dining room were very good. We enjoyed Eggs Benedict, blueberry pancakes, crispy french toast, and other yummy samplings. Each breakfast has 2 specials of the day and then the standard fare of eggs, pancakes, cereal, fruits, meats, etc. I disagree with other posters who said the coffee was bad. The horizon court coffee was nasty but the dining room coffee tasted just fine to me. The international cafe also makes a great breakfast stop. They have loads of pastries, donuts, coffee cake and muffins all of it tasty and fresh. For lunch we went to the dining room when available. The food was consistently good and the hamburgers outdid the Trident grill in both size and flavor. Hamburgers, cheeseburgers and bacon cheeseburgers are available on every dining room lunch menu. The Trident grill was not bad. It featured hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, brats, and hot dogs as well as a vegiburger for non meat eaters. You may want to be in line a little before 11:30am as the lines get long. I do wish they had more offerings as well. I have seen other lines offer taco bars with nachos and chili. It would have been nice to make a chili cheeseburger or chili dog to break up the monotony. The pizza grill was another great staple with some of the better pizza I have had at sea. The crust is tasty and crisp and the ingredients fresh. They offer cheese, pepperoni and a pizza of the day. My favorite was the "surf and turf" which was tenderloin and lobster bits on a pizza. Again my only complaint is wishing the had more choices. Only 3 choices with 2 of them being staples gets old quick. The international cafe offers small sandwiches and salads with a quiche of the day and soup of the day. The sandwiches include ham & cheese, Mozzarella and Prosciutto, chicken salad, and others. The sandwiches are small but light and refreshing. The quiche of the day is usually cheese with either mushroom, onion, spinach, leeks or tomato depending on the day. I didn't try the soup and the Gelato was still unavailable. We never ate in the horizon court which is available as well. For dinner we stayed with the dining room. Here is where we encountered another Princess problem. Anytime dining. Which by all definition was certainly not. When cruising with princess before we were able to make a standing reservation for a table for two for the duration of the cruise. We were told that this was not allowed by the reservation line only to discover other couples were allowed to make this arrangement. We were told to arrive at 5:30 every night and we would be seated but that isn't "anytime" dining in my book. Other lines could accommodate us "anytime" and any seating arrangement we liked. All said our meals were generally very good and the wait staff friendly and attentive. The prime rib is a must try as well as the Goat Cheese Souffle, Lobster was sweet and tasty. Do have the Chocolate Hazelnut souffle as it is very good. One other complaint is the way tables for two are set up. There is a long community couch with chairs spaced out along it to create makeshift tables for two. The problem is you don't have any privacy as there are people at both your elbows. People who want tables for two usually wish to dine alone and not be subjected to forced conversations. I would like to see Princess create real tables for two instead of trying to pass this off as such. The international cafe has yummy dessert bites in the evening which we found outdid some of the desserts in the dining room. They are also smaller and less filling. Now for my favorite. The Crown Grill. We ate there twice and can't recommend this place enough. The steaks are some of the best I have ever tasted and always cooked to perfection. I would recommend the Scallop appetizer with perfectly cooked scallops. The Black and Blue soup with tangy Roquefort cheese. I had both the 8oz fillet and the 16oz Kansas city strip both delicious. The scalloped potatoes are a must try. They are swimming in cheesy goodness. You can also add as many 4oz lobster tails as you can handle. The only throw away about the meal was the signature salt collection. The salts were too strong tasting and really not needed. The Cafe Caribe was available for dinner but we never ate there. We also never tried room service as the menu and food quality are the worst at sea. Entertainment: We skipped all the song and dance shows. We saw Al Katz and he was pretty funny. He did the usual stand up and we found getting a seat in the theater at 7:15 was not hard. We also saw Steven Scott and thought he was very funny combining sound effects with his various funny stories. He did a dead on impersonation of the captain that had everyone rolling. I would highly recommend seeing him. Our most common night activity was sneaking off to our secret hot tub. I will now share with you the secret. In the spa area is a pool and two hot tubs which are virtually abandoned at 7pm-8pm. These hot tubs are really hot, not luke warm like the ones in the main pool area. They also have powerful jets. It was very relaxing to have the place to ourselves at night with the night sky, cool night breezes and the lights of the Sanctuary giving a nice glow. Seek this place out! Just take the elevator to deck 16, make sure you get robes to wear from your cabin steward. Ports: Princess Cays: We stayed on the ship as we had been there before and it rained most of the day. I felt bad for the people who took the rough tender ride over only to be rained on with no place to find shelter. If you have been here I would recommend a day of having the ship to yourself. Nice to avoid all the cattle lines and just relax. St. Thomas: Got off briefly to purchase alcohol. If you plan to do so on this cruise buy it all here as they have the best prices and selection. We were surprised to find that they didn't take our liquor and hold it till the end of the cruise. I can't say if you will be so lucky but it was a nice way of keeping our bar tab low. The other ports had little to no alcohol stores and they were more expensive with poor selection. Dominica: Stayed on the boat. We have toured it already and once you have been there you have been there. Grenada: Had planned to go to magazine beach but it was overcast. We decided to venture into town which was a mistake. Every 3 feet some guy would try to peddle his cab tour. It usually went like this... Do you want a tour? No thanks. Let me show you my beautiful island. No thanks. With all it's waterfalls and cliff divers. No thanks. And historic forts. No thanks. I will take you to Grand Anse beach. No thanks. Repeat this with every guy you pass on the street. We did find a very nice spice store in the mall called D#1 spice shop. She had the best prices and wasn't a tacky tourist shop. Bought spices and retreated back to the boat. Bonair: One of the best stops of our trip. We chose to take a free shuttle bus to the Plaza Resort Bonair for some snorkling and relaxing on the beach. When you get off the ship just look for a set of white tents featuring tours. The Plaza shuttle driver is usually there about every 10 minutes. The shuttle is free and the resort costs $10 a person for use of their beach chairs, pool, bars and restaurant. Bring towels as none are provided. This was the best snorkel spot I have ever been to. The water is glass clear. The sea floor is a mixture or rock and coral so there are tons of fish. The best part is you don't have to be a great swimmer to snorkel here. In waist deep water you can literally stick your face in the water and see all kinds of sea life. We saw Parrot fish, angel fish and even an eel poking his head out of his hole. I do recommend some water shoes to keep your feet from getting cut or slipping. The beach itself is small and relaxing. When you are ready they will contact the shuttle to take you right back to the ship. Here is a video I shot, please excuse the shakiness since my flip cam lacks image stablization... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pK5LkuZ0DI&list=UUWFaowMaC-ERNs2OSSFidug&index=1&feature=plcp Aruba: After reading the various Cruise Critic boards we decided to venture to Eagle beach for a nice beach day. The weather was perfect, sunny with a nice breeze blowing. Originally we were going to take a taxi there, $13 one way per cab but a tour driver said to us "Why do that when the city bus will take you there both ways for the two of you for $5?" The bus station is right outside the port terminal. The busses are clean and modern and very safe. We purchased our bus tickets and headed on our way. On the bus we met up with "Myrtle Beach", a Boston snow bird now living in, you guessed it. She told us all about Eagle beach and what it had to offer. She was quite the character. She also introduced us to beach towel clips which we are going to have to get next time. She bought them at Bed, Bath and Beyond and they seemed to hold the towels neatly against the chairs. We arrived at the yellow exterior of the Amsterdam Manor which is right across from the beach and we got off. The beach was pristine with soft sand and clear blue water. Chairs were $10 a person and they had bar, changing area and port-o-lets. Myrtle Beach clued us in that we could use the Manor's restroom and that there was a Coke machine in there with $1 Cokes and Water. We stayed on the beach so we never found out if this was the case. Had a great day and decided to leave at 1pm which was good since the busses were getting a little crowded. All in all a perfect beach day. Sea Days (one early and two at the end): We spent our sea days lounging in the sun. We tried a number of places on the ship. The Mutts pool area seemed to lack a good breeze due to the tall glass windows all around it. We sat by the main pool upper deck area which had decent breeze but a lot of other people packing in like sardines. I wish some of these people grasped the concept of " personal space " We tried the highest deck by the Doplar radar globes but ended up naming it the frying pan due to the heat coming off the floor since they didn't put down the blue turf carpeting. I will now reveal to you the sweet spot. The best spot to spend an entire day sunning. Grab this spot early and guard it like a pitbull. Just outside the Sanctuary there is a glass wall that leads to a series of chairs. If you take your chairs and position them right next to the edge of the ship facing the dolphin shaped Sanctuary sign you will catch both a breeze from the side of the ship and a breeze blowing in from the front of the ship. Also you can use the pool located in the Sanctuary which is very cool and if you go into the spa area there are some very nice bathrooms close by. This is the same area with the awesome hot tubs. Disembarkation: Self debarked and were off the ship by 7:15. Shuttle back was prompt and the driver parked right next to our parked car. We were on the road by 8:00. Closing notes: We had an enjoyable cruise but feel that Princess has lots of room to improve. Anytime dining needs to be refined maybe by adding more dining venues. The Trident grill and pizza grill should expand their menus. The room service menu needs to be retooled and improved. Vines is a complete waste of space. Nobody used it except as overflow from the Piazza. The staterooms need better temperature control. Not to be missed sunrises and sunsets. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
This was our 6th cruise with Princess in 7 years and we're back to the Caribbean again, this time the Southern route. We flew from Vegas to Ft. Lauderdale and stayed at the "rustic" Ramada Inn,with several other nice ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise with Princess in 7 years and we're back to the Caribbean again, this time the Southern route. We flew from Vegas to Ft. Lauderdale and stayed at the "rustic" Ramada Inn,with several other nice cruisers also joining us on the Emerald.We got to the port about noon and it was a mess lines backed up into the parking lot, uh oh, something looked terribly wrong, and it was ? Well 90 minutes later we finally got moving and boarded about 1:45, whew ! The ship looked great just as it did last March for our East. Caribbean cruise. We got the same room,as last year near the slow elevators and stairs.It was clean, but small for 3, and after meeting Eli our steward and making some requests for hangers, mattress pads and robes, were off to find some lunch and explore the ship. We had some kind of mechanical issues with a life boat and did not pull out of port until dark 6:45 in the light rain. We're not off to a very good start I'm afraid. It has to get better right ? The "sail away" party what there was of it was also a bust ! Hope you like "art" it was everywhere and often.The crew and staff seemed very nice and happy to see us and made us feel welcome. We enjoyed meeting and playing along with the C.D. staffers JJ, Chantal,Megan,Andy & Oxsanna.As for the C.D. and his deputy, good voices, but pretty mediocre from there. Their morning "wake show" was pretty cheesy and boring, just sayin.Sure miss the Isl. Princess Billy Hygate, now that's a CD.Lot's to see & do on the Emerald, trivia, karaoke my favorite, bingo,eat,games, shows (3) per night,eat,check your daily patter and take it with you for reference.The ship looked great throughout, no worse for wear it receives.WE tried to do most activities but it's really impossible to see & do it all.The service was very good, sometimes too good, servers always trying to sell. Happy hour deals 4-7 ask your server for the "deals", or drink special of the day. The Photo studio same thing, you know if the photos were more reasonably priced they would sell more, creating higher profits. I'll bet they throw away, or re-cycle 75 % of everything they take ! Dining : Anytime is the best time ! You still need to make a standing reservation on your arrival day,asap. No waiting, go straight on in. The food was good to very good, depending on what you order. Some of the beef/meat selections were lacking, (cost cutting) measures I'm sure. The shrimp,scallops, lobster were all good, not great and many of the appetizers/pasta were better. We loved all the fresh salads, sand. and deserts in the Intn'l. Cafe in the atrium, delicious. The pizza and burgers were very tasty out by the pool if you did'nt mind waiting 10 min. or more for a burger,slow ! Loved the Pub lunches in the Wheelhouse lounge on sea days. Great Fish n Chips, bangers& Mash etc. A nice break from the crazy busy Horizon Ct. buffet. So hard to find an empty table for breakfast! Do yourself a favor, eat in the more relaxed Dining Room deck 6 the Bochelli. Great eggs benedict and the coffee is better,stronger too. Entertainment : Wow lot's going on and they have added a condensed show so there are 3 instead of 2 now, 7:15,8:30,& 10:00, good move Princess. The best show by far is definately the "Beatle Maniacs", get there early ! We also like the comedy of Al Katz, & Steven Scott, Mentalist Wayne Hoffman & Magician Jean Bouchard. I was with the famous "sisters" who were in the mentalist & magician show we got stopped and questioned quite frequently. So many extra nice people on this ship, I can't begin to tell you we meet such wonderful people on board, it was a real pleasure ! M.U.T.S. too many Muppet movies, we wanted to see "War Horse", or something better. Whoever schedules the movies needs some help in that regard.Karaoke and Princess Pop Star was great even if I was one of the main singers.Some really talented and fun people, thank you guys & gals. By the way if you tried to win a bottle of that champagne don't be concerned, it was pretty bad. In summary Princess still has a lot of little things to improve on, but overall another great vacation ! The nice folks they attract make the cruise what it is. Remember it's what you make it and the people you surround yourself with. We were lucky and met some extra special people to all of you that Hop,Karen & I met, THANK YOU and happy cruising. Next stop Hawaii March 9,2013 hope to see you all again, " ALOHA ", Monty Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
We flew on Southwest from Vegas the day before where we met up with my sister and nepew. We had a nice flight, on time where they met us and off to spend the night at the Ramada Inn (cruise port). Turns out several of the nice people ... Read More
We flew on Southwest from Vegas the day before where we met up with my sister and nepew. We had a nice flight, on time where they met us and off to spend the night at the Ramada Inn (cruise port). Turns out several of the nice people staying there would also be fellow passengers also on the Emerald Princess. We had a tasty fresh mexican dinner that night, and visit with our nephew before our departure the next morning. Ramada did a nice job scheduling & transporting 3 large groups of us to the port, but I would not recommend the hotel, spend a little more, you will be glad you did. We arrived at noon and from the looks of the long lines not moving we could tell their were some major problems. We had heard later that someone had died, and the U.S. Coast Guard had sprung a random safety inspection witch one lifeboat failed, and had to be replaced. This caused another lengthy delay, and not much of a "sailaway party" sorry to say. We finally boarded just short of 2 pm, whew !We met our kind steward "Eli" and he took good care us throughout the cruise, the room was very clean. We finally pulled out in the dark & drizzle about 6:45. Like I said, "better late than never".Hopefully, the worst is behind us ? The weather was pretty choppy the first 2 days out and we had some overcast and drizzle at Princess Cays, but not bad, and it was warm, so it's all good.Our room was right near mid ship on Aloha deck so we were close to the stairs and the elevators, which were painfully slow, and usually packed with an avg. age of 60+, just sayin. Nice folks, some of the best we have ever sailed with.My sister and I were chosen to work with the mentalist on stage and later the magician in the Princess Theater, so we were recognized, and questioned often throughout the ship.How did he do that, etc. ?Entertainment, overall was good, not great. We really enjoyed the "Beatlemaniacs" again this year, Al Katz & Steven Scott, mentalist Wayne Hoffman and Jean Bouchard, magician. The Theater fills up fast so get there early, the back fills up the fastest. The C.D. staff were a lot of fun running all the various games, Karaoke & shows, JJ, Chantal, Andy,Megan, Oxsanna, thank you ! M.U.T.S. missed War Horse, seems like the Muppet Movie was playing all the time ? Happy hour is usually 4-7 ask your server for specials and the drink of the day, as drinks can be quite pricey.Loved the Cadillac Margarita & Mai Tai, umm good !Refer to your "Patter" as so many things going on you need it for a road map to remember it all.The dancers and singers were pretty good especially the two lead ladies, the guys, well I think some of the male Karaoke singers were as good as they were. 3 shows now in the P.T. so no need to rush dinner, a very good move by Princess on this, as the theater fills up quickly. Dining: We had "anytime dining" in the Michael Angelo, the secret here is make a standing reservation the first day with the maitre de, same table, servers and no waiting, just walk right in, like you own the joint ! Most people do not know this and had to wait.The meat/beef selections were not all that good but loved the seafood, many of the appetizers, and pasta's. I think overall food quality has dropped due to cost cutting measures? The "service" however was excellent. Thank You Sanya & Ketut very nice fellas.We also loved the Intnt'l. Cafe in the atrium, fresh salads,sandwiches, quiche & deserts, yum ! The Pub Lunches in the Wheelhouse were very tasty on Sea days. Loved the burgers, fries, & pizza out by the main pool too, get in line early for burgers, it really backs up.Don't forget room service for am and late nights too, just a little "tip" will do ya.  Cafe, great salads, fresh sand. quiche, and mini deserts deck 5, in the atrium.The Horizon Court, alias every man for himself. Folks just too many in there every morning during peak breakfast hours. In 3 words, "not enough tables". Do yourself a favor, relax and have a nice quiet leisurely breakfast,or lunch in the Bocheli dining room. deck 6. You will be glad you did, wish we would have too. Ports: Wow, just snorkled in P. Cays weather was just mediocre, but any beach day is better than your best day at work, right ? Saw a lot of fish & scenery there. St. Thomas shopped and beached at Emerald beach near the ship, next time were going to make it to Trunk Bay on St' Johns Isl. for sure ! Been to Megen's Bay before, very scenic and tranquil. Dominica: The best shore excursion ever #362. Thanks Joan & Alex. Check out Sassy falls and the tropical jungle, nicer and less crowded than Trafalgar, gorgeous ! Grenada:Took a nice catammaran over to the underwater sculpture park, wow ! Wish we had more time there, then off to Grande Anse beach, and a lot of rum punches, whew ! The crew kept pouring & pouring, a fun trip, but over way too fast. Bonaire : Best snorkeling & diving anywhere in the Caribbean. For $10 p/p we took a short drive to the "Plaza Resort". Pool, lounges, tiki bar, restrooms, showers, hammocks, and the best snorkeling ever right of the rocky beach ! Wear water shoes, and enjoy swimming in an "aquarium", tropical fish everywhere, beautiful parrots, angel fish galore in shallow water, incredible decision ! Aruba: 100 A S.E. nice hikes in the rocks, Calif. Lighthouse visit, and Palm Beach,beach stop. Very nice but crowded with too tours stopping at the same place, same time. They need to better organize these, but still worth while. All in all, another great Princess Cruise. Not perfect but pretty darn good, considering the crazy embarkation day and late sailaway. So many nice people we met and hope to see again someday, especially all my husbands Karaoke gang, Leeroy, Glenn, Jim, Claire, Robert,Heather & Daniele, Larry, Mayta, Bruce, Jeff,Nancy, Byron, Gordon, Barbara, thanks everyone for a wonderful vacation ! Princess has some kinks to work out, we all know it, but hey, nobody is perfect, we're all a "work" in progress". So how about "Hawaii" March 9, 2013 on the beautiful Sapphire Princess ? Be there or be square. Happy Sailing & ALOHA !!!   Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
People in our family have gone on 3-5 previous Princess cruises as well as several Carnival cruises and have been happy with our experiences up to this cruise. However, I was a little concerned after reading reviews here that quality of ... Read More
People in our family have gone on 3-5 previous Princess cruises as well as several Carnival cruises and have been happy with our experiences up to this cruise. However, I was a little concerned after reading reviews here that quality of this cruise would be diminished compared to past cruises but to my very happy surprise, that was not the case. I have never written a review before but since I read so many before my cruise I thought I would chip in with one. EMBARKATIONAN/SAIL AWAY As others mentioned, the line for embarkation was a bit long due to a problem with people disembarking from the previous cruise but once in the terminal things moved quickly and efficiently. Our rooms were ready when we boarded and we attended the 'sort of' sail away party (boat left port late). There was a raffle during the party for people who visited about 8 different venues on the boat before the party and had a card stamped but we barely had time to board, eat, tour the spa, Muster and get to the party, much less get cards filled out so that made the raffle kind of boring, I would suggest giving raffle tickets away to those who dance and participate in the party, that would sure liven things up and get more people to participate! SHIP/ROOM Ship is in great shape, public areas are pristine and there is something for everyone. Our rooms were on the Riviera deck (3 connected balconies) and I was concerned that there would be noise issues from the Lido Deck above but there really weren't (we were just forward of the public areas). Beds are hard but we brought a queen memory foam stuffed into a big suitcase and that really helped. Our stewards were efficient, helpful but not doting which was OK with me, we had everything we needed when we needed it. Food/Entertainment This is where, in my opinion, things were much better than some of the reviews here indicated they would be. We ate at the late seating in the Da Vinci dining room and had a fantastic experience every night. Eduardo the Maitre D, Raymond the Head Waiter, Nick our waiter and his assistant Richie all did a fantastic job of making our experience a great one. My daughter is gluten intolerant and they did an absolutely outstanding job of accommodating her needs and giving her a top notch dining experience. Food variety was good and the key was taking Nick's advice on selections. Yes, there are a few items on the menu that are below par but you definitely can have a gourmet experience if you trust your waiter and get the right things and you can always send back a below par item if you get one and have a better selection. The Lobster, Red Snapper and Lamb were high end restaurant quality as well as many of the appetizers and deserts. I found the Buffet to be fine, not great, but serviceable for breakfast and snacks. The International Cafe is a great option for lunch and snacks and I especially enjoyed the Trident Grill for tasty chicken sandwiches and fries. Bartenders were very friendly (especially Nadia and Andrew)and you never had to wait long for service either at the bars or poolside. Cruise Staff/Entertainment I found the entertainment to be enjoyable and of good quality. The band for the stage shows was very talented and the Poolside Band had great energy and enthusiasm throughout the cruise. The shows were very enjoyable and fun unless you were looking for Tony Award quality and I thought the Hypnotist, Comedians, Magician and Beatlemania concert were all entertaining. The cruise staff worked very hard and with great energy (especially Amy and Oxsana)to create a fun atmosphere for those who wanted to participate and the assistant cruise director did a knock out job at the mid cruise deck party. Only thing that would have been nice would have been more 20-25 year old mixers/activities earlier in the cruise for my daughters to meet others their age (they eventually solved that issue on their own!). Photographers did a nice job and weren't intrusive and I didn't feel as pushed to buy things in the shops on the ship as I had been on past cruises! SPA/Fitness Spa staff was great! Especially enjoyed the extreme shave and two massages. Prices a bit high compared to on land spas but discounts for multiple treatments and those offered as the cruise goes on help offset that. Fitness center was very well equipped and not very crowded most of the time. Logistics I never once had to wait in a long line, struggle to find a deck chair or fight for a seat at a show. The cruise was completely booked but I never felt crowded out. Yes, I tended to purposely avoid the times I knew would be busy but it didn't take much to schedule around the busy times. The crew did a great job of keeping things clean and moving, especially considering the added logistics involved with the NORO precautions. Ports The itinerary was a good one, nice ports interspersed with at sea days. I would have preferred docking in the St. Thomas dock closer to the main part of town and possibly trading a longer day in Grenada for a shorter day in Dominica but otherwise a good schedule. Private Island, as always, was one of my favorites, Paradise Point in St. Thomas is a kick, Went to St. George's Cathedral in Grenada for Palm Sunday and it was a fantastic experience but that didn't leave much time to enjoy Grand Anse beach, which is a gem. Dominica tubing was OK, river was low, Bonaire independent snorkel through Woodwind was the best excursion I have ever been on and we blew it going to Palm Beach in Aruba (very crowded) instead of Eagle Beach (pristine) Summary Overall, a great cruise. People can always find something wrong or to complain about but if you come in with a positive attitude, the Emerald Princess and her crew can provide you with a great cruise experience! Footnote: We were originally on the Caribbean Princess out of San Juan for 14 days but had to rebook on Emerald when Princess cancelled the first week of our CP cruise one week before our departure. Still waiting for response from Princess on the economic displacement we suffered by having the one cruise cancelled (even with 25% credit) and having to rebook (higher cruise fares, lost cabin credits and balcony breakfasts, less cruise days, higher airfares) so hopefully that will turn out the right way and we will all be on another Princess cruise soon! Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
This was our second cruise on the Emerald Princess. We had a group of 12 family and friends on this 10 day Eastern Caribbean Cruise. We had veteran cruisers and 1st timers on this cruise. Embarkation: Princess just does it right in Ft ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the Emerald Princess. We had a group of 12 family and friends on this 10 day Eastern Caribbean Cruise. We had veteran cruisers and 1st timers on this cruise. Embarkation: Princess just does it right in Ft Lauderdale. We used an off site parking facility and were dropped off right in front of the terminal. Our bags were taken and we went inside and were on the ship in under 30 minutes. Our room was ready and our cabin steward met us at the door. Bags arrived before we sailed. Room: We were in an outside room. We had booked an obstructed view room, but were upgraded to a full ocean view room. I really like how the Oceanview rooms and obstructed view rooms are arranged. Much more useful than the inside rooms and worth the little extra it cost. The room was clean and had plenty of storage space for our clothes and stuff. One suggestion, if you have laptops, cameras, IPads,etc. bring an extension cord so you can charge several things at once. Plugs are not plentiful. Bath is small, but adequate. Wish the shower was a bit bigger, but it all works. Steward: Our steward was fantastic. Kept the room clean and organized and responded to every request quickly and efficiently. Dinning: We had first sitting and has a great waiter, Woody. He had been with Princess for 11 years and was a real pro. Thought the food an service in the dining room was very good. Nice variety and everything was served hot. One of our group was a chef and he even said nice things about the food. By the way, he went to the chef's table and said it was one of the greatest things he has ever done. Said it was well worth the $95 per person. Princess still does a nice job at the Horizon Court and the pizza is the best of any cruise line I have sailed. Only complaint I had was that it was hard to get a pouched egg at the buffet. Entertainment: The entertainment was very good. The only complaint I have is that Princess has gone to 30 minute shows and it is way too short. Not fair to the audience or the entertainers. There were plenty of activities, but the highlights for us were the movie under the stars and watching the Super Bowl on the huge outdoor screen. Princess even set up a buffet by the pool with traditional Super Bowl food-- i.e. wings, meatballs, pizza, salsa and chips. Was really fun. Overall: Another good experience on Princess. They make cruising so easy and so much fun. Yes there are things one could nit pic, but overall a good job. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
Pre-cruise: We flew into FLL two days early and instead of staying at the usual pre cruise hotels, we rented a car and drove 45 minutes (in traffic) down to Miami's South Beach and stayed at The Miami Loews Hotel. Our stay was ... Read More
Pre-cruise: We flew into FLL two days early and instead of staying at the usual pre cruise hotels, we rented a car and drove 45 minutes (in traffic) down to Miami's South Beach and stayed at The Miami Loews Hotel. Our stay was fabulous! Great location, awesome service, great pool and beach area. My only tip...get a room with a balcony, otherwise the rooms are a bit small. Embarkation: Husband dropped the 3 of us off at the cruise terminal at 10:45, then he returned the rental car (rental car place gave him a complimentary ride to the cruise ship terminal). I handed off luggage (1 large suitcase per person and one bag of snorkel gear) to the porter and filled out the "health" forms. We waited in the platinum, elite & suites lounge...husband arrived 15 minutes later. We checked in at noon and then boarded immediately. The ship: We had been on the Emerald 2 1/2 years ago...we thought the ship was still in fabulous condition. We had a balcony cabin forward on deck 15 and our boys had an inside cabin forward on deck 14. We requested egg crate for the bed and bathrobes. We did anytime dining in Michelangelo dining room. Our waiter was Romeo Gonzalez from the Phillipines...he was awesome. We loved the pizza and did get 1 pop card and the boys the UKP cards. A tip for the UKP cards: you can get rootbeer from the bar and then go to the ice cream counter and get a scoop of hard vanilla and make a float. We thought the food varied from awesome (lobster and prime rib) to bizarre - we don't eat frog legs and sweet bread (aka brains and glands). The Horizon court and Cafe Caribe were good, and afternoon tea is fun. We ate in the Crown Grille once and it was good, but c'mon, food is definately plentiful and probably would not do it again. We saw a few shows, our favorite were the two Beatles music shows - they were awesome and not to be missed. Comedians were good and the production shows were...so-so. We were pleased that the crew did not push drinks as much as we have seen on other ships. We thought the ship was decorated nicely for Christmas and it was neat that Santa was around and thought the snow in the atrium was cool. We thought the crew did a great job keeping plates out of the hallways and the elevators were quick. There were 416 kids on board and most behaved well. It was interesting that the Emerald uses hand held devices to scan your cruise card when entering your designated muster drill area - no escaping muster anymore. The Ports: Princess Cays: we booked a bungalo...accommodates 4 people. We enjoyed it and thought it was worth it. It was nice to get out of the sun, wind, crowds etc. The snorkeling was very good. St Thomas: We have been here before and so we decided to go to St John on our own....We took a taxi to Redhook Ferry ($44 for 4 of us), the ferry to St. John ($24 for the 4 of us), a taxi to Trunk Bay ($42 for the 4 of us), paid to get into the park ($8 for 2 adults), then found out it was too rough and windy to snorkel and swim. Paid for a taxi back to the ferry, ferry back to St Thomas, and taxi to the shopping area. We wandered the shopping area and walked back to the ship...I think I would have just done a ships excursion. Dominica: We used AL Dive. 2 of us did a 2 tank, 2 locations dive...and 2 of us did 2 location snorkeling. It was incredible and would definately use them again. Grenada: We used Eco dive Grenada and 2 of us did a 2 tank, 2 locations dive and 2 of us (my 12 year old's first dive!) did intro to diving and a 1 tank dive. It too was incredible. We also wandered the market and picked up some spices. We loved Grenada. Bonaire: we had made arrangements to rent a car thru Hertz...well Hertz did NOT show up. Instead we made plans to dive with VIP diving. They were drumming up business outside the pier. And it worked out well, but I would avoid Hertz car rental in Bonaire. Aruba: I tried to rent a car before hand and had a tough time since it was Christmas that day, so we were just going to wing it. Well when we arrived, from our balcony we could see a car rental place at the pier so my husband hurried off the ship and rented a jeep for $100 cash and we spent the day touring the island, stopping at beaches, snorkeling, eating at Senior Frogs, getting a Starbucks mug, etc. We had a great day and loved Aruba, however because it was Christmas 99% of the stores were closed. It was ok for us cuz we are not shoppers, but something to keep in mind. Complaints: We were disappointed that Princess no longer gave platinum members a complimentary glass of champagne. And our pet peave is...babies (in diapers) in the pools...Princess' rules prohibit diapered kids in pools, but parents don't listen and crew does not enforce, same thing with under aged kids in the hot tubs with out a parent there. It's really not the kids fault, more like the parent's fault. Also saving seats/chairs in the Princess Theater, Club Fusion, Explorer's Lounge and by the pools. To those adults who put towels, shoes, magazines, sunscreen and oh yeah the potato bag chip clips to "reserve" chairs....you all suck! There is a couple of different ways to approach this issue. 1. Don't do anything about it and just silently complain. 2. Tell security and watch them do nothing about it. 3. When in Rome do as the Romans (and just join 'em). Or 4. Stand up for your right to sit in an empty seat and pack your boxing gloves. (security actually had to break up a fight poolside over this matter). Disembarkation: This was the first time we "walked" off the ship with our luggage...it went great. Post Cruise: For post cruise we took a taxi to the airport and rented a car and drove down to Key West for 3 nights. We stayed at Casa Marina. It was a very nice resort, just a few quirky issues (like a yapping dog in the room next to us). We absolutely loved Key West and the 4 hour drive was doable. After 3 nights in Key West we drove back to Fort Lauderdale and stayed at the B Ocean Hotel for 1 night and then flew home the next morning. Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
This was a last minute decision to take the Emerald Princess for a New Year's sailing with my husband. Our daughter and her boyfriend, both first time cruisers, joined us. We had a very enjoyable cruise after the 28 hour trip from ... Read More
This was a last minute decision to take the Emerald Princess for a New Year's sailing with my husband. Our daughter and her boyfriend, both first time cruisers, joined us. We had a very enjoyable cruise after the 28 hour trip from Canada to FLL!!! For any of you driving to Florida, we stayed at the Hilton Garden Airport/Cruiseport on Sterling. Included in our night rate was free parking, a hot buffet and a shuttle to and from the cruiseport. Excellent service, newer hotel. Not your average stay over FLL hotel. Reasonably priced too!! All that for $200.00 Canadian, for 4 people! (They charge $20.00/day just to park at Port Everglades) The ship was beautifully decorated for the holidays and New Year's Eve was a night we will never forget. Hector, the head waiter in the D'vinci dining room is our new best friend. When he found out my daughter's boyfriend had a nut allergy, he took great interest and had him choose his dinner the evening before, telling him what he could and couldn't have. We would just tell our waiter we pre-ordered and halfway through the meal, Hector would come by to make sure all was well. Although we found the entertainment on the ship so-so (the kids enjoyed it all) we totally enjoyed the last evening of entertainment when the staff sang. Hector was the star of the show, singing My Way!!! Our stateroom steward, Romel was fantastic!! One of the better ones I've seen. They are all good, but he always went the extra mile to speak with us and make sure we had everything we needed and wanted. The food was plentiful and delicious. We really enjoyed the Fettucine at dinner (as a side dish) plus our entree, which the selections were plentiful. The lunch buffets had a great variety and their salad bar was so fresh! The late afternoon sandwich bar was a big hit with us, especially the Tuna. I'm very picky since I cruise often. I love Princess Cruise Lines and have cruised with them often. There were a few items I thought needed improvement on this cruise. First, I found there was a lot of dirty glassware and dishes left around the Terrace pool everyday, which I haven't seen before. The chair hogs were back, but after a number of people complained about chairs being left with just towels on them for hours, the deck attendant started removing them after a few days. I do think Princess must make the Terrace "Adult Pool" sign larger for all to read. It took a few days but the parents of the children (one in a diaper) finally understood. Some pretended they didn't understand....too funny!! I was surprised at the number of people wearing jeans in the dining rooms for dinner. I feel if people want to wear jeans to dinner, the Horizon Court or Caribe Cafe was better suited for them. I found the buffets to be a bit chaotic. I've been on other ships that have an oval as their buffet, which is much better. I found people going this way and that in the buffet line and some getting a little hot under the collar with fellow passengers when they thought they were next. With that number of people on board, I thought it went quite well....there was enough food to go around and then some! We had arranged for the shuttle to pick us up at 8:00 a.m. so we could get back to the hotel, pack up our vehicle and get back on the road asap for the trek back to Canada. In our haste, we left behind a piece of luggage but was unaware of it until Princess called our cell to let us know. We had disembarked at 7:45 and here they were calling us within the hour. We decided to return to the ship (10 minutes) but our luggage wasn't released by Customs until 11:30 as they had to wait until each piece of luggage removed from the ship was accounted for and then the left over luggage scanned. The Princess rep felt bad, but it was out of her control. She went beyond to make contact with us before we left the States. We are forever grateful to her. All in all, another great cruise with Princess!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
This Jewel did NOT Sparkle Serious disappointment after months of excitement. I have cruised prior with Celebrity, and I know every line is a little different. I had hoped I would be wowed in the same way by Princess that I had been ... Read More
This Jewel did NOT Sparkle Serious disappointment after months of excitement. I have cruised prior with Celebrity, and I know every line is a little different. I had hoped I would be wowed in the same way by Princess that I had been by Celebrity. I am sorry to say, that was not the case. Having never done the Southern Caribbean sailing, I was excited to see new islands and enjoy all that the Caribbean has to offer. I had visited Puerto Rico previously and Hawaii and it seemed like a great way to see the islands. Our cruise was off to a good start as we breezed through the check-in process with helpful and happy agents. Then we arrived on the ship. We were "greeted" if you can call it that by the individual charged with scanning our entry cards and taking our pictures. I assume he was with security. No one greeted us to take us to our room. No one asked if we needed assistance. We were left to our own devices and did eventually find our room. The room itself felt dated and worn. Linens had holes, bed coverings were ratty and worn. The sink would not drain upon our arrival, but that was corrected reasonably quickly. Other than an occasional rattle, the room was surprisingly quiet, and the HVAC worked pretty well. Our first dining experience was less than exemplary. We were shown to our table to find many folks were in tee-shirts and VERY casual pants. Nowhere do I expect to find tee-shirts at dinner. I'm sorry, I didn't pay what I did in order to dine with folks who think they are at Chili's or Applebee's. The menu was lackluster and honestly it didn't get better throughout the cruise. Don't expect to be wowed by cuisine on this ship. It lacks seasoning, often wanting for a pinch more salt, or something that would imbue some sense of flavor. The exception to this is Sabatini's or the Crown Grill. Though these are premium dining options, they are well worth the effort if your taste buds need to be woken up after days of bland fig and prune compote. The menu feels as if it was borrowed from a nursing home. Our first day ashore in Princess Cay was pretty much what I expected of it. Thank you to those who posted about the shops just outside the Princess area, great prices, friendly, and authentic products without "made in china" stickers. Next day was a formal night and we chose to be seated at the Crown Grill rather than risk being the only people in the dining room in formal attire. Dinner was great, service somewhat hit and miss. Drink refills were slow and the timing of the meal felt awkward. Our next stop was in St Thomas and we had an amazing time doing the Dolphin Tour! If you can, do it. Great time spent with the animals in the water. A warning though, be prepared to shell out quite a bit for photos. They do send a photographer along with you who takes on average about 50 photos of each person as they interact with the dolphins. They offer a package where you get two prints and a cd of all your photos for $110. Expensive yes, but worth it if you can pull it off. Next day, Dominica. Have to say, this is where things really got bad. The island was hit by a tropical storm about a month ago, and many roads are not up to par. The island's infrastructure is crippled and Princess made no mention of it. The tour we selected was the Emerald Pool and Black sand beach. In all honesty, the Emerald pool is not to be missed, absolutely beautiful. The unfortunate part is that it's on the island of Dominica. I feel somewhat bad about writing this because it is truly not the people of Dominica's fault and I hate to see the cruise line pull away support from the island as they truly seem to need it, BUT, I can't ignore the fact that this was a horrible tour after we left the natural falls and pool. Sitting in traffic on a bus, having a near miss with a construction vehicle, being driven through what at best is an unsavory area and learning all about the interaction between the Chinese and the native populations left us feeling uneasy and somewhat unsafe. To sum it up, Dominica is gorgeous from the ship. We wanted to share our experience on the island with the shore excursions desk, so we did so that evening. The associate we spoke with took down no information, acted as if we were insane, and then informed us that the line was well aware of the problem and had notified us. Well, no warnings were issued. She was convinced it was in the Princess Patter, she poured through them to no avail. To get rid of us we were handed a form to fill out and assured that somebody would be in contact shortly. We took our "please go away now" form, and after a few minutes returned and asked to speak with the manager. He was on the phone, and unavailable, yet when he did make an appearance he was no more help. He simply asking if we had filled out the form. I tried to explain the situation to him and our dissatisfaction with the fact if the line knew there was a problem on the island, they certainly should have notified customers. He then said they were not aware. The associate who had shared with us that they knew then lied and said she had never told us that. Horrible, Horrible, Horrible customer service. What truly bothers me is she had no idea who we were, not that I'm all that important, I can only imagine if a guest in a suite had a similar experience, and was treated this way? I drafted an email to Princess, and received back a form letter indicating how important my opinion is, and they would get back to me in approximately 3 weeks. Must not be that important? We moved on to Grenada, another lovely island, would have rather spent more time there and no time in Dominica. Great tour though when they say "active" tour, they mean it. Took an incredible hike through the rainforest and visited the 7 sisters waterfall. Next up we had Bonaire, another beautiful island and we had reserved the 4x4 journey. Looking forward to a day of fun off road we piled into our Range Rovers only to find out our guide spoke very limited English and handed off the narration duties to another guest on the ship. She did the best she could, but I really don't like paying for a guided tour and having another guest tell me "oh look, there are animals to the right." Another fail. Finally Aruba, absolutely beautiful island, crystal clear waters, everything you could ask for. We had opted for the Mi Dushi cruise and lunch with snorkeling. Don't think you are saving yourself a few bucks by booking the other snorkel trip. These folks do it right and served a fantastic meal of rice, bbq chicken, fish, fresh fruit, and a roll. After the snorkeling they open the bar. This was an amazing and welcome treat after a week of overpriced cocktails on the ship. Do this one if you can, the crew is a lot of fun. We had given up on standard dining by now and had started doing the specialty restaurants. Sabatini's is well worth it, and if you can get him, ask for Daniel. I hear he's going to the Caribbean Princess sometime soon, but if you get lucky he's amazing. Knowledgeable and a bright star in an otherwise challenged cruise. We ate there for the last three nights, so that should say something! All in all, our Emerald Princess experience was less than magical. The itinerary is a great mix of the islands in the region and you get a good feel for the area. The ship itself though is showing a good amount of wear after only 4-5 years of service and leaves a lot to be desired. Beds are uncomfortable, carpeting is well worn and fading or stained. Her crew with the exception of a few shining stars seems to be suffering from the same fate as the ship they sail. The menu was bland and even when something appeared to be "exciting" when it arrived on the plate it was less than notable. I'm doubtful I'll ever sail Princess again. Save your money up and go on a different line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Well lets start from the top. We have sailed with the Walmart of ships aka Carnival as well as Royal Caribbean and Disney. Princess was on par with Disney even though once onboard we had a bit of a rocky start with some really horrible ... Read More
Well lets start from the top. We have sailed with the Walmart of ships aka Carnival as well as Royal Caribbean and Disney. Princess was on par with Disney even though once onboard we had a bit of a rocky start with some really horrible service from guest services. We stayed at the Ramada Cruiseport Everglades which isnt much of a hotel but has a free shuttle and pretty well organized. beware here though. They had told us we got a free shuttle back after the cruise to the airport. Not true we had to pay 20.00 apiece for this service. We took the early shuttle 10:30 am to port and Princess has their own terminal and very well organized. We were in the first bunch (number 1) they let the suite guests on first and then we were on board and actually straight to our room at noon. Then out to a meet and greet with some cruise critic friends around 3pm. This is a really great good sized ship is great repair and brand spanking new looking. Cleaning was done everywhere all the time kudos to the hard working crew here. Well the usual muster drill took place and the weather out of Lauderdale was a bit wet so no sail away party to speak of. The purpose of our cruise was celebrating my 4 years cancer free so I was told by a Princess rep I spoke to on the phone as well as my AAA rep that I could go to guest services and ask how I could celebrate my 4 years cancer free anniversary. I had originally signed up online for the anniversary celebration since there was nothing specific to my situation thats why I visited the guest services desk. I was appalled, embarrassed, and got pretty red faced at the poor service I received from some young lady from Brazil. There was no one in line at guest services so the young girl motioned me over. I let her know that this was my first Princess cruise and I was celebrating my being 4 years cancer free and wanted to know what I could do to celebrate that. She kinda looked down her nose at me , snickered, and stated "We dont do anything like that here". I told her that I had been directed by a Princess rep to ask do this and she again restated we dont do that here. Walked away from me and then pointed and joked with her fellow guest service members. Man I felt about two inches tall then I got ticked. I went back up and told her I wanted to cancel all my anniversary plans I made online. She grinned and said ok and then went back to talk with her other cohorts. Well the next day I spoke with Crissy Reid who was the Captain Circle Host and Crissy seemed to get pretty concerned stating she would report this to Miguel in guest services. Crissy stated they did the Susan Komen deck walk so there were things to do for cancer survivors. Two days went by heard nothing from Miguel spoke to Drayton Pinton who assured me Miguel would contact me. It was only after persistent followup that I finally did get a meeting with Miguel who comped and my wife a meal at Sabatini's (I asked for nothing free) as well as sent me a letter of acknowledgment of being 4 years cancer free signed by some of the staff as well as a very nice Swarovski pen as a gift. The problem here was I hadn't asked for anything free I just wanted to know how I could celebrate on board the ship. One of Princess stated values was that they never say no to a guest and they always go to a supervisor and look for an alternative. This was not done by a guest service member. I liked the outcome but if not for a lot of my own follow up(7 days worth) I have to wonder what would have been done. Sorry about the rant.. here is the rest of the review. Princess is every bit as good as Disney. Our room was a simply inside room. Very comfy we usually go balcony but wanted to save a little and it was still a great room great shower amenities. Opportunity was we had asked online for robes and extra pillows as well as the egg crate on the mattress. None of this was done at all. It was done after we asked our room steward Eduardo who was a great hard working guy but I think their is some opportunity here for communication between online and the ship. Why offer it if you don't follow up Entertainment wise they had a great cruise director in Billy London. Great show.. Beatle maniac's was one of the best beatle tribute shows I have ever seen with period costume changes. All the other shows were good as well. Pretty decent bands in the lounges. Food was very good. Presentation was not as good as Disney but there asparagus soup was the best I have ever had. Finally real Baked Alaska on board a cruise ship as well. Bravo. The Champagne waterfall was very classy and neat. Plenty to do on board lots of fun without the typical lowbrow games played on board other cruise ships. Halloween party was great. The head lady in the Lotus spa was rude that why we didnt go there but the gym was great. Free sauna and steam room in there as well. I had never been to a church service on board a ship and being a Christian I wanted to check one out. The service lead by Colin was one of the most solid and wonderful services I have been to anywhere. Great service. This is not a blanket endorsement just a good service. Thank you Colin nice job. The Da Vinci dining room had it together much more than the Michelangelo dining room. We did Anytime dining. You really should try Sabatini's the service and everything here is excellent top notch really. Its at least a 2 1/2 hour meal so pace yourself and don't try to eat everything put in front of you or you probably will pass out. The dining staff here was the best I have ever had at sea most of all in the buffet. Really top notch servers that even remember your name. Not really much in the way of a Chocolate buffet or themed buffets with specially craved items or ice sculpture and decorations. But fair trade off for a very ever changing variety of food. Lots of different stuff every day. We choose the walk off disembarkation and got there about 45 min early. Very easy off. Pretty good job by Princess even though there is a huge opportunity with guest services. We will sail on her again. All the ports were great Princess excursions were good and reasonable priced. Plus you could reserve online with no up front cost. One other little stumble was they said the tips would be 10.50 per person per cabin per day. It actually stated this on the paperwork as well. Once on board we were charged 11.50 per person. I had the charges removed and paid in cash. Don't want to sound cheap but don't quote me something and then change the price. Again though I would suggest a Princess cruise to anyone. I remember the last Carnival cruise I took and it was a photographer trying to block my way and my families from getting on board the ship insisting we took a picture. After a complaint to Carnival I was offered a 12.95 chocolate covered plate of strawberries by Kay Savage on my next cruise with them. Princess will take better care of you than that Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
We (mother, father, 24 yr old daughter) flew into Copenhagen the morning of the cruise. We usually prefer to give ourselves more time but our work schedules would not allow for this. After a rather unfriendly meeting with the Danish ... Read More
We (mother, father, 24 yr old daughter) flew into Copenhagen the morning of the cruise. We usually prefer to give ourselves more time but our work schedules would not allow for this. After a rather unfriendly meeting with the Danish immigration official I discovered my luggage did not make the trip. Not to worry I was handed "the essentials kit" at the airport so what more could I need? Other than underwear, socks and a formal outfit and party shoes? Filing the lost luggage claim took some time so we missed the transfer bus. The Princess rep outside was sympathetic to our plight and sent us in a taxi to the port. As Platinum members we were checked in quickly and were onboard and in our inside cabin on the Aloha deck by 12 noon. After a quick bite in the Horizon Court we crashed for some much needed sleep. I still kept hoping that a miracle would happen and my luggage would appear but that did not happen. We met our cabin attendant Rico and he did a fine job without being intrusive. He did have a thing for straightening up the room and every day we had a treasure hunt trying to find where he put things away. Dinner in the Botticelli dining room was good. We had a table for 3 as we requested and our waiter Mateo and Katarina the assistant did a fine job keeping us well fed. I have a food allergy and Mateo was very careful to be sure I had no problems. I found that the staff such as the waiter and cabin attendant were very good and showed genuine concern for our needs and preferences. I also found the general staff such as in the casino and Horizon Court was less concerned. Several times when asked a question or asked to do something they would snap back at you. I was surprised at their irritated comments. I also witnessed a shouting match between 2 deck attendants by the pool. They had a long and loud very public discussion about a difference of opinion. I was really surprised at that one. The first morning the captain made an announcement that the stop in Germany was canceled due to high winds in the channel that would cause dangerous conditions for the ship. Many people were disappointed because they had tours to Berlin planned. I hope they were able to get their money back from those private companies. I was disappointed because I was hoping that I would be able to be reunited with my luggage. The ship also decided this would be the first formal dinner which was unfortunate for me as all I had was the same jeans and cotton shirt that I had put on Monday afternoon to fly to Copenhagen. I also had only my sneakers for shoes. The ship had promised me some generic formal clothes they keep in stock for such emergencies but when I went to collect them I was told they had run out so I was out of luck. Many people had luggage missing and they were overwhelmed. I did do some shopping in the ship stores but they do not have socks, underwear or shoes available. I made do with what I could get; needless to say we did not do photos that night. Thursday we did stop in Stockholm and stayed there overnight till 2PM Friday. The trip through the fiords was a real treat. Stockholm was a lovely town and easy to get around. The ship had a shuttle into town but it was easy to just walk into town. Follow the blue line painted on the pavement. They do need to refresh the paint a little as it disappeared at critical moments but we were able to figure it out and find our way. It was much cooler than we expected on this trip and I wish we had packed heavier clothing. Sweden is also very expensive just a warning to those planning this cruise. The changing of the guard at the palace and the palace tour were both very interesting and enjoyable. Then good news at 10:15pm on Thursday my battered pink suitcase appeared at the cabin door. Rejoice! Lesson learned- pack a change of clothes in your carry on. I will not get caught again. Friday afternoon we set sail for Finland and enjoyed the reverse trip through the Fiords of Sweden. My husband got some great video of the journey. Saturday in Finland we did use the ships shuttle as it was not walkable into town. We walked around Helsinki including a stroll around the flea market. There was a souvenir store right at the dock where I could get some postcards and stamps and even a mailbox to mail them. We also picked up a few trinkets to bring home. Saturday and Sunday were days in St Petersburg. We booked the 2 day ships tour. It was great and we saw everything there was to see as shown by the 500 photos I took. A stop at a souvenir store where the prices were in Euros was a big help as we saw many items we wanted to bring home to friends. Each day the tour included a lunch including Russian Vodka. The first meal was not so great and the vodka was more like paint thinner but the second day was quite tasty and the vodka was smoother and drinkable. They also provided entertainment. It was amazing to see the beautiful churches with the beautiful mosaics. We were lucky to have cool but clear weather to do all our touring. Our guide was very informative. We had a group of 30 but they provided headphones and receivers so we were able to hear all the explanations. I confess that after a while I got my Catherine's and Alexander's confused but that's just me. Tuesday was a delightful surprise as we visited Tallin, Estonia. It was a warmer day and we could walk around without a sweater. Tallin was a nice friendly town and we enjoyed a beer in a sidewalk cafe in the town square. The ship docked right in town and it was a very short walk to the old town. Wednesday was an at sea day . It was cold and rainy and we really could not sit out on deck. The blah food in the Horizon Court was getting boring. My daughter wanted a plain turkey sandwich for lunch and she was told in the Horizon Ct that this was not possible. We finally went to our cabin and ordered on though room service. I know on past cruises they had a deli area where they would make sandwiches but when I asked I was told that never happened. Thursday the stop in Aarhus Denmark was a waste of time. There was nothing bad about it but nothing great to see either. We arrived early 7:30am and left at 2pm. The stores didn't open until 10am so we just walked around and returned to the ship early. Friday was Oslo, Norway. It also was quick stop leaving at 1:30pm. We were able to just walk into the town and see the harbor area. We also did some shopping for some Norwegian sweaters and hats. We were able to use credit cards for our purchases even though we didn't have a pin. We had been warned that this might be a problem. Disembarkation was quick and easy. We booked a post cruise stay at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel. The hotel was nicely located. Our room was clean and large. The transfers ship to hotel and hotel to airport the next morning were smooth and hassle free. The entire cruise we used Euros, credit cards, and some Danish Kroners. We did not get all the Swedish or Norwegian Kroners or Rubles and we did just fine shopping. In general it was a great trip. I would suggest bringing some warmer clothes. Reading reviews I got the impression it was warmer but Aug 9 to the 20 it was cool most days. I feel the food on Princess has sadly gone down in quality. Many people we spoke with felt the same way. This was our 7th Princess cruise and we missed the delicious cuisine we had enjoyed on past cruises. The layout in the Horizon Court was also annoying. The buffet was like a giant pinball machine with people bumping into each other trying to find what was being served and the returning to get it. The layout at the coffee area was also not right. The cups were on the far left and the coffee on the far right with condiments in the middle. It made it awkward to get the morning coffee. On most days for breakfast and lunch we had great difficulty finding a table. Occasionally a staff member would help but most days we were just on our own. The last major difference was the attitude of some of the staff members. I was really surprised when I got snapped back at. I am a happy camper on vacation and am always grateful for the hard work of others to make sure we have a good vacation. I always say please and thank you. I do not expect to be made to feel like an idiot when I ask how we could get a turkey sandwich. I was very happy when I called room service and found that staff member was "old school" and very helpful and friendly. Many fellow passengers thought that this attitude problem was due to the fact that gratuities are automatic and not based on actual service rendered. I understand that this was cause by some rude people who did not give tips or gave much less than the suggested amount. I don't know what the answer is. I am just making an observation that I notice a change and I am sad that this is happening. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Having always wanted to tour Scandinavia we opted for a cruise, as this would enable us to visit all the capital cities in the easiest way possible. We chose Princess because they had one of the best itineraries among the 5-star cruise ... Read More
Having always wanted to tour Scandinavia we opted for a cruise, as this would enable us to visit all the capital cities in the easiest way possible. We chose Princess because they had one of the best itineraries among the 5-star cruise lines. What can I say; we absolutely loved this cruise - "we" being my wife and I in our mid 40s, my daughter (24) and my son (20). We had a balcony double stateroom and the grown up offspring had an internal stateroom directly opposite us, which worked very well e.g. they could nip into our cabin to use the balcony or borrow things from us!!! The staterooms were of a high standard and were kept immaculate by our stateroom steward "Reynaldo" from the Philippines. They had everything we needed e.g. minibar, hairdryer, plenty of storage space and hangers, a mini safe, full ice-bucket (refilled twice a day), decent TV with good selection of movies, mainstream TV shows, info on upcoming ports and other cruises as well as activities onboard, weather conditions and up to date details of the voyage. A nice touch was the self-service Laundromats on every deck, which cost £1.25 per wash and the same for a dry. Just be aware that you need US $ notes to change for quarter (25c) coins and if you don't have these, you will be charged currency exchange at $4. This was a port intensive tour with only 2-sea days, one of which was hot and sunny and the other was damp and dull. The food was of an excellent standard, particularly in the main dining rooms. As it was our first time with Princess and the menus were always interesting and of high quality, we did not feel the need to try the speciality restaurants (Sabitini's Italian Restaurant $20 charge each or Crown Grill $25 each). We used the Horizon Court on the first night for dinner, which is a self-service buffet. The food was of a good standard and there was plenty of choice but this is very much casual dining. All other nights we chose Da Vinci's using "Anytime Dining" were we just rocked up when ready to eat and opted to share tables. A couple of times there were just the four of us but for the most part we enjoyed the company of strangers, mainly from the USA but also Sweden, UK, Australia and Canada. This made for a very interesting trip and we met some very nice people. For breakfast we used Horizon Court most mornings with the exception of one day in the Da Vinci and one day we had breakfast sent to our stateroom. Horizon Court has most choice but it is a bit of a zoo on port days. However, we always managed to get a table although on one day we had to find a covered table in the pool area as the dining room was packed. They do have two waiters covering the pool area so we were still able to get water and juice from them. There was plenty of entertainment, just not enough time to do everything. We liked Movies Under the Stars and enjoyed a few balmy summer nights lying on padded sun loungers watching pretty up to date movies and being served popcorn, cookies and milk by the staff. Embarkation and disembarkation were fast and efficient, we did not join the ship until nearly 4 pm and it was very quiet. We enjoyed the refined but not snobby atmosphere, the staff were attentive, friendly and helpful. Onboard drinks prices were fine, particularly being from the UK. The wines at dinner ranged from around £15.50 (incl 15% gratuity) upwards and they had at least 10 different cocktails permanently priced at around £2.87 (incl 15% gratuity). A pleasant surprise was the off licence prices for drinks to take home. A 1ltr bottle of Capt Morgan's Spiced Gold was under £8 if you purchased two (£18 for one in Tesco!). Makeup and perfume were also excellent value compared to the UK. We did our own sightseeing in all ports with the exception of St Petersburg were I had got four groups together via the cruisecritic rollcall for our cruise and used Guide-Guru at only US $240 each for 2 full days of sightseeing in a 16 seater minibus, including lunch on both days, a metro trip and hydrofoil back from the Peterhof. This also included entry to all museums, galleries and palaces. We used public transport in all other ports, usually opting for the day-tickets, which we paid for in local currencies. You do not require public transport in Tallinn, as it is very walkable from the ship. In Aarhus we used the public transport to get to a Viking Moot at Moesgard but that is a once a year event and you don't need transport if staying in the city. I could go on for ages and have written reviews for each port separately but the bottom line is this cruise was top notch. If you want any specific further info regarding the ship or the ports, e-mail me at kevin.belam@ntlworld.com and I'll help you. Ports of Call: OSLO (Port Location - Akershusstranda). A lovely city, particularly poignant as there were floral tributes everywhere in memory of those killed the previous week. We used public transport, get a 24 hr card from the Tram stop at Akker Brygge (4 min walk from ship) - you will need Norwegian Kroner (70 each adult and 35 for anyone 20 years or younger) then use Tram 12 from Akker Brygge to Vigelandsparken for the sculpture park then return to the city centre on Tram 12 and get off at the Domkirke then just walk the rest of the city. Top sights are: 1. Vigelandsparken (park). 2. Domkirke (Cathedral). 3. Kvadraturen (Old City Area). 4. Stortingset (Parliament Bldg). 5. Radhuset (City Hall). 6. Oslo University. 7. Nasjonalgalleriet (National Gallery bldg). 8. Det Kongelige Slott (Royal Palace), Changing of the Guard at 1330 hrs. 9. Norges Hjemmefrontmuseum (Norway's Resistance Museum). 10. Akershus Slott eg Festning (Akershus Castle and Fortress). 11. Opera House. 12. Oslo Ice Bar. 13. Aker Brygge Wharf. AARHUS (Port Location - Cruis3 Terminal, Kovnogade). Decent sized city with some nice residential areas. No need for transport unless you visit sights 8 and 9. Once you cross the main road on leaving the ship, turn left to head towards the city centre. Top sights are: 1. Sankt Clemens Bridge 2. Stroget (pedestrian high street). 3. The Frederiksbjerg Quarter (M.P. Bruunsgade, Jægergårdsgade). 4. The Latin Quarter (Klostergade, Volden, and Borggade). 6. Vestergade district & Møllestien 5. Toldboden. 6. Aarhus Theatre. 7. Den Gamle Nationalbank - Nykredit. WARNEMUNDE (Port Location - Cruise Centre, 30 Am Passagierkai). We lived in Berlin for 3 years so did not use this port to go to Berlin. Instead we got the train from Warnemunde to Rostock, which was only about 4 Euro each return. When you leave the ship, turn left and train station is about a 5-minute walk. We walked all around Rostock then returned by train to Warnemunde and walked round there. This with Tallinn is a good value for money compared to the rest of the port calls on this cruise. It is a lovely non-tacky seaside resort. Top sights are: 1. Fisch Market. 2. Warnemunder Vogtei (Bailiwick of Warnemunde & Tourist Info). 3. Heimatmuseum (Local History Museum). 4. Wartnemunder Kirche (Church). 5. Seepromenade am strand (promenade and beach). 6. Sand Sculptures on the beach Pier 7. 7. Leuchtturm (Lighthouse). 8. Westmole (Western Breakwater). 9. Alter Strom (mall of Warnemunde). 10. Yachthafen Hohe Dune (Yacht Harbour). 11. Bahnof (Train Station) ROSTOCK 1. Hauptbahnof (Station). 2. Steintor (Stone Gate). 3. Standeshaus (House of the Estates). 4. Rathus (City Hall) & Kerkhoffhaus. 5. Marienkirche (St Marien Church). 6. Hausbaumhaus (House Tree House). 7. Universitatsplatz (University Place). 8. Kloster zum Heiligen Kreuz Convent. 9. Kropeliner Str & Tor (Kropelin Gate). 10. Fischer Bastion view of city harbour. 11. Stadhafen (city harbour). 12. Waterfront. 13. Petrikirche (St Petri Church). 14. City Wall. 15. Nikolaikirche. 16. Document & Memorial Place STASI (closed on Mondays) TALLINN (Port Location - Old City Harbour, Pier 25). The best place to buy amber and also the best value port call on this cruise. No need for transport, the walled city is about a 10-15 minute walk from the cruise terminal, where there is an open-air crafts market for last minute souvenirs once you have checked out the city. Don't bother with the areas outside the walled city unless listed below (i.e. Freedom Square). Top sights are: 1. Vabaduse Valjak (Freedom Square). 2. Okupatsioonide Museum (Occupation Museum). 3. Kiek in de Kok & Bastion (Bastion and Tunnels). 4. Taani Kuninga aed (Danish King's Garden). 5. Aleksander Nevski Katedral (Cathedral). 6. Toompea Castle and Tall Hermann's Tower. 7. Vaateplatvormid (Viewing Platforms). 8. Toomkirik (Cathedral of St Mary the virgin). 9. Raekoja Plats & Raekoda (Town Hall & Square). 10. Katarlina Kaik (St Catherine's Passage). 11. Meistrite Hoov (Master's Courtyard). 12. Puha Vaimu Kirik (Holy Spirit Church). 13. Suurgildi Hoone (Great Guild Hall). 14. Mustpeade Maja (House of the Brotherhood of Black Heads). 15. Oleviste Kirik (St Olav's Church). 16. Suur Rannavaray & Peks Margareeta (Great Coastal Gate & Fat Margaret's Tower). SAINT PETERSBURG. It is simply not practical to self-tour St Petersburg. In addition to having to fork out big bucks for a VISA for each member of your group, the distances between some of the major sights outside of the city (Peterhof and Catherine's Palace in particular) coupled with the language just make it too much hassle. So you have to bite the bullet and pay a tour company, that way you don't need a VISA and they will take care of everything. I got four groups together via the Cruisecritic roll call for our cruise to form a party of 16 at a cost of US $240 each if paying in US $ cash. This included two full days of sightseeing in an air-conditioned 18-seater Mercedes mini-bus. Be aware that irrespective of the company you choose (e.g. Guide-Guru, Denrus, SPB, TJ, etc). Your guide is likely to be freelance and they all seem to be very knowledgeable and professional. The Princess organised tour was US $399 each so ours was nearly $200 less but also included lunch on both days, a metro ride and journey back from the Peterhof to the city on a hydrofoil. HELSINKI (Port Location - Hernessaari Terminal, Hernesaarenranta). Bus 16 from Hernesaaren Laituri (Times: 0719, 0744, 0809 or 0834) to Ritarihuone arr 12 mins. Return from Kauppatori stop 2005 (Times: 1311, 1331, 1351, 1410, 1420, 1430, 1450) arr 15 mins. Buy an all day ticket at 7 Euro each and you can use this for the buses, trams, metro and the ferry to Suomenlinna Island. Top sights are: 1. Presidentinlinna (Presidential Palace). 2. Uspenski Cathedral. 3. Luotsikatu Street (Jugendstil architecture). 4. Senaatintori (Senate Square). 5. Tuomiokirkko (Cathedral). 6. Aleksanterinkatu (Shopping Street). 7. Esplanadin Puisto (Esplanade Park). 8. Pohjoisesplanadi (street with 19th century stone bldgs). 9. Esplanadi (esplanade promenade). 10. Kauppatori (City Market). 11. Kauppahalli (Old Market Hall). 12. Kaupungintalo (City Hall). 13. Kaivopuisto Park. 14. Suomenlinna Island. 15. Mannerheimintie (Main thoroughfare). 16. Central Train Station. 17. Eduskuntatalo (Parliament Building). 18. Rock Church (Temppeliaukion Kirkko). 19. Bulevardi (Eira and Ullanlinna districts). STOCKHOLM (Port Location - Berth S167 Stadsgarden). Use Royal Sightseeing(Rederi Mälaren Stockholms Taxiflotta) for HOHO boat. SEK 100 each (400 = £40.65). Just short walk from the ship. More info on www.rederimalaren.se. From the Stadsgården 167 into the Old Town or City Center its about 10 minutes by taxi. Its approx SEK 150-180. We recommend Taxi Stockholm, Taxi Kurir, Taxi 020 or Transer Taxi. You can catch a local bus, a single ticket is SEK 30. From the pier to the bus stop is approx 10 minutes walk. There is also a day ticket for the public transport for SEK 100. Valid on metro, tram and a ferry boat too. Changing of the guards at the Royal Palace is at 12.15 Mon-Sat and at 1.15 on Sun. Main sights using the HOHO boat: Gamla Stan (Old Town area), Kungliga Slottet (Royal Palace), Storkyrkan (Cathedral), Riddarhuset (House of Nobility), Riksdaghuset (Parliament Bldg), City Hall, Blasieholmen (waterfront area), Nybroplan (Hamngatan street, east from Bybroplan, shopping district), Vasa Museum (via hoho boat), Skeppsholmen & Kastelholmen island (via HOHO boat), Djurgarden (island) via Grona Lund (HOHO boat stop). Then back to Cruise Berth Terminal via HOHO boat from Grona Lund. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
We stayed two nights in Copenhagen, prior to our cruise and we were able to get a taste of this remarkable city. The combination of our hotel base on the Nyhavn canal, and the great public transportation system allowed us to visit many of ... Read More
We stayed two nights in Copenhagen, prior to our cruise and we were able to get a taste of this remarkable city. The combination of our hotel base on the Nyhavn canal, and the great public transportation system allowed us to visit many of the key sites including Tivoli, National Museum, Rosenberg castle, and the Mermaid. Our final day we took the canal tour.Our room on the Emerald princess was on the back of the ship; it included a double sized balcony since we were on the corner. The ship was fantastic with great dining, (we picked the Michangelo Dining Room), and we picked our dining time. Most nights we sat with other couples and had great conversation. The lounges had good entertainment and every night at 5:00 a small venue would occur in the atrium. We thoroughly enjoyed the Princess dancers and singers, but did not catch the comedian or magic shows. We were too busy on shore to enjoy what looked like a great pool area. Our room attendant and morning room service coffee were both perfect. Love those laundry rooms.The crew handled shore departures very well and we were blessed with fantastic weather. Each port was unique and enjoyable, our Alla-Tour of Berlinand Saint Petersburg made them unforgettable. Currency exchange machine was excellent as was daily narration of ports. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
We are a Swedish family of four who went on this cruise to celebrate my husband´s 40th birthday. We went on a Princess cruise for or honeymoon ten years ago and liked it so much, we wanted to bring our children on a cruise as well. They ... Read More
We are a Swedish family of four who went on this cruise to celebrate my husband´s 40th birthday. We went on a Princess cruise for or honeymoon ten years ago and liked it so much, we wanted to bring our children on a cruise as well. They are 8 (boy) and 6 (girl).For us, cruising with Princess in the Caribbean has a certain "American" feel to it, even though the passengers are international to a certain degree, and the crew most definitely is international. So you may view this review as a "(Northern) European view on American cruising" if you will!Last time, we booked a cabin with a balcony, but didn´t actually use the balcony very much. So this time, we decided to book an oceanview cabin instead, and spend the money on shore excursions instead. This turned out to be a good decision, since the children were more interested in swimming than in sunbathing, and sun chairs in fairly close proximity to a pool was much more appreciated than looking out over the ocean! Our cabin was located on deck 5, Plaza, which we at first felt was i little "off", away from the pools and the restaurants, etc. But after a day or two, we realized that this was actually a great location. Only passengers staying in the cabins ahead of ours ever passed through the corridor and after all the noise and people in other parts of the ship, it felt nice and calm coming back to "our" quiet little corner of the ship. The fact that we got to walk through the art gallery several times a day was very nice, the children loved looking at the paintings. We were also very close to the International cafe and the atrium, which was very convenient. We often sat in the atrium reading (the adults) and playing DS (the children) when we felt we needed to be indoors for a while.The cabin itself was a good size, with two regular beds and "wall-beds" that our cabin steward Gaetano would fold down and prepare every night while we were at dinner and fold up again every morning when we had breakfast. The bathroom was quite nice and we didn't find the shower small at all (as we had read in other reviews). The closet and the drawers were sufficient for four people, that is, they were quite large. The mattresses were in our opinion extremely comfortable, not at all hard, as I had read many complaints about. However, we found the mattresses at the hotels we stayed in before and after the cruise a little too soft for our liking, so maybe mattresses are just generally softer in the US than in Europe....We didn't spend much time in the cabin except for sleeping and changing clothes. We also did not have any special demands for our cabin steward, as I have seen in other reviews many have (regarding ice, extra towels, robes, fruit and what not.....) We saw him quite often during the first two days, but being Italian, I would think that he has encountered Scandinavian guests before, and acted accordingly. He was almost invisible but took care of our cabin quite nicely. Scandinavians are generally not very demanding guests, but we are also lousy tippers...... I could get into a philosophical discussion about this, but I wont because there is not enough space. Let me just say that I think it has something to do with our Lutheran, Social Democratic upbringing.....Our children only speak Swedish, and only a few words in English, so we were wondering what to do about the children's´ clubs, since of course no one in there spoke Swedish (and we didn´t expect them to either, of course!). It turned out, that each child was allowed to bring one parent with them. So I went with our daughter to the 3-7 year old´s club a couple of times. I sat in a corner and translated when it was necessary. She liked doing the arts and crafts that they did, but then she didn´ get much out of it, since all the other kids spoke English and Spanish to each other, which of course left her out. But had she spoken the language, I´m sure she would have liked it. It seemed like they were very well organized with a friendly staff. Our 8-year old was placed in the 8-12 year age group and found it so embarrassing to have to bring a parent, he just refused to go there. The staff said he was welcome to join his sister in the 3-7 group, but that was an even worse alternative, so no kids´club for him...He is a very verbal person in Swedish, who will talk to anyone about anything, so he really felt at a disadvantage when he couldn't communicate. The good thing is, he is very motivated to start studying English in school this fall!We had anytime dining, which worked out very well for us. We ate in the dining rooms most evenings. Twice, we ate at the buffet, and once at Sabatinis (on my husband´s birthday). The first night , we had our one and only encounter with a less than friendly staff member. It was one of the waiters in the Michelangelo dining room, who was very rushed and wouldn't give us time to translate and explain the menu to the children. He just kept telling us to take the alphabet soup over and over again (and they did NOT want alphabet soup, the was the only thing they knew for certain!). It was unfortunate that this happened the very first night. After that , we didn't go to the Michelangelo Dining Room again, but went instead to Da Vinci, in order to avoid this gentleman. Plus, we only encountered super nice crew members during the rest of the cruise. Sabatinis was a wonderful experience with excellent food (but way too much!). And they only charged half the cover charge for the children. We liked the pizzas, ice creams and hamburgers on lido deck a lot. The buffet had some items that we found strange sometimes, but being a buffet, we always found something we liked.Entertainment: We saw all the productions shows, since this was something the children could enjoy without understanding English. We felt they were all quite good. Did not see the comedians or the movies because of language difficulties for the children.My husband used the gym once, and I went to a quite good zumba-class. I checked out two books from the library and finished 1,5 of them.In all, it was a great cruise. We had a wonderful time and I really have to think hard in order to remember things thet were less than perfect. If we go on a cruise again (and I hope it won´t be ten years again until next time!), we will most likely choose Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Pre/post cruise: We stayed at the Sheraton Airport/Cruiseport Hotel in Dania, just a few minutes from the airport. We got a good price and the hotel provides free shuttle to/from the airport and charges $10 pp for a shuttle to/from the ... Read More
Pre/post cruise: We stayed at the Sheraton Airport/Cruiseport Hotel in Dania, just a few minutes from the airport. We got a good price and the hotel provides free shuttle to/from the airport and charges $10 pp for a shuttle to/from the cruiseport...good deal. And since our flight home was at 7:30 pm the next day, this hotel allows guests to pay $10/hr. beyond the normal late check-out time to stay through 5 pm—which we did and lounged by the beautiful pool. Only problem with this Sheraton is that there are no restaurants within easy walking distance, and the Sheraton's restaurant can be a bit expensive--as are taxis in the Ft. Lauderdale area. Problem solved: there are several near-by places that will deliver food to the hotel...much cheaper (hotel staff can give you brochures).The Emerald Princess and staff were great! We were in a forward balcony cabin (R-210) which was very nice...size about average for similar cruise ships (though being as far forward as we were was a bit bumpy a few days). Our room stewart, Shirley, really exceeded our expectations. She was very attentive and made sure that we had everything we needed. Our dining room waiter Izzy, and asst., Gerry, were wonderful...efficient, friendly, and had great senses of humor. We thought that the dining room offerings were very diverse and quite tasty. We did try both specialty restaurants as well...well worth the added cost. The movies under the stars was a wonderful option for us...we watched three of these movies wrapped in our deck chair blankets and eating the fresh warm cookies and milk that were served. As on most cruises, getting deck chairs on "at sea" days was somewhat problematic, but not to the point of ruining the day. On Princess Cays, lack of lounge chairs was even more problematic...we went back to the ship and sat at the pool (which was just as fine for us). Finding seating in Horizons for the morning breakfast was also a bit problematic, but not too bad if you were willing to sit with fellow passengers and share a table...which we willingly did. Dominica was a very surprising and interesting island...we took a 2+ hour rain forest/waterfalls tour, which we arranged on our own right at the dock with a local tour guide (Ask for Lennox--half the price of the official ship excursion). On Bonaire, another self-initiated internet snorkeling tour on a 42-foot sailboat...great fun (look up Compass Sailing Bonaire with Wim and Marianne...www.compassbonaire.com). Aruba's Palm Beach was perfect (as usual).Relative to entertainment onboad, we really didn't take advantage of much. We had the late (8:15pm) seating. We did go to the Bealtes' tribute band show-- very entertaining and enjoyable. The late-night "blue" comedian's performance was really not worth staying up that late (though some people did enjoy his show).All-in-all a terrific ship, wonderful staff, and a nice itinerary (can't fault Princess for the 2-3 days of rain that uncharacteristically befell us...oh well, no beach, just port shopping). My wife and I met some wonderful people, and really enjoyed our 40th anniversary cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
This was our 6 th cruise with Princess, so we're pretty familiar with them. We took the red eye out of Vegas via Atlanta and depite Delta breaking our wheel on our bag made it safely and on time into Ft. Lauderdale. Our nephew picked ... Read More
This was our 6 th cruise with Princess, so we're pretty familiar with them. We took the red eye out of Vegas via Atlanta and depite Delta breaking our wheel on our bag made it safely and on time into Ft. Lauderdale. Our nephew picked us up and we were off to Einsteins Bagels for a quick breakfast and some great coffee too. We arrived at the terminal early and were on baord without delay by 12:45. Our room was on deck 12 Aloha 432 right at mid ships near the goofy elevators and stairs. More on the elevators later. Our room steward Jerome was friendly and brought us our robes, egg crates & hangers promptly as requested. The room was clean, fairly small, but had a nice roomy closet and flat screen TV.The ship was a beauty, only 3 1/2 years old, next to the Ruby Princess, the 2nd newest in the Princess fleet, and the crew was constantly cleaning, and sprucing up the ship. In fact our balcony railing was re-varnished during the cruise, so we could not lean on it for at least 24 hours.The sail away party was off and runing with the house band from St. Lucia, "Icon", but before that the mandatory muster drill. Beautiful blue skies, seas, and 78 degrees,made a perfect setting for our embarkation.So much to see & do the ship's "Princess Patter" refrencing is the only way to see and do the things that interest you. Take it with you whenever you leave the room..We elected to have "anytime dining" and made a reservation for 5:45 every night, so we would not have to wait, or miss a show, or activity that interested us. We just bypassed the line and walked right over to our great table location next to the windows.Now for the mysterious elevators that sometimes worked and sometimes had a mind of their own. On several occassions throughout the cruise, we found the elevators would only go up so far sometimes deck 8 or 9 and then heading back down on their own, even though many of us had pushed 11,12, & 14.Time for a major overhaul I'd say Princess. Many of the passengers would start pileing into the elevatoe before others could get off, and some were very rude. Pool chairs & lounges typically filled up fast, if you did not reserve one by at least 9 am, forget about it, same for the evening movies (MUTS) under the stars.No enforcement was seen as some lounges were vacant for several hours at a time ? The pool near MUTS is very loud due to movies, or concerts being played all day. I think they should just play music during the day only as the MUTSis very loud and not condusive to relaxing. A far as the food is concerned we really enjoyed the dining room for breakfast and dinner, it sure beat fighting the crowds in the buffet, and the lack of tables to sit 3,100 ! We also enjoyed the tasty but very thin pizza out by the pool and burgers, chicken sand. and fries. A nice variation from the buffet, and don't forget the "Pub Lunch" in the Wheelhouse Bar on Sea days, Fish N Chips, Bangers & Mash etc. delicious. "Shows", lot's going on at night we saw Russ Harris a funny Commedian, impressionest Michael Brown, and "4" major shows with the Princess singers and dancers. You usually only get 2, and they are repeated, so that was a big plus we enjoyed all of them. We picked up the Fab 4 the Beatlemaniacs in St. Kitts for one night only and they brought the house down with the majority of the 50 + crowd, singing along to some pretty talented guys ! The entertainment was much better than I had read in other cruise critic reviews, but so was the food. One note on a "downer" here the "Explorer Lounge" is just too small of a venue for any act good or bad. I would guess it only holds about 100 or so passengers yet they held several comedy and magic acts there. Club Fusion was a little larger but still too small. Princess Pop Star (Karaoke) was held there and I want to thank DJ Clinton for finding my song I wanted to do by Michael Buble not in their older karaoke library.We missed a couple of other entertainers just too many places to be and things to do. The Casino was ofcourse tight as a drum, especially the slots, yet consistantly busy every night ? Lot's of waisted floor space in the middle of Gatsby's Casino for some unknown reason. Photos are taken often, and everywhere, including on shore, it's big business for Princess, say "cheese" ! Bingo, we won $75, having to share with 4 others sigh, lot's of games daily, the "not so newly wed game"," passenger feud", trivia, shopping shows, fruit carving, 50's 60's sock hop, country western night, bar wars, and various pool games (days) going daily. The "deck party" out by the pool was a big hit (late night), conga lines group dancing, limbo bars and good music made for a fun night.We had 3 days at Sea, which is my favorite itinerary, no rush to get off or on the ship, just relax and do whatever, the more sea days the better I say. "Happy Hour" is currently 4 pm to 7 pm, on this cruise, so you can get certain cocktails for only $3, take advantage of that if you can, otherwise drinks are expensive.We met lot's of nice people especially two nice British couples and many Canadians. Most passengers were very cordial and happy to be aboard, despite some of the rude elevator people I mentioned earlier, a good mix of all ages. It's not the ship,and what belles and whistles it has, it's the staff/crew that make your ship & cruise a wonderful experience. The C.D. staff on this ship was a bit inexperienced, perhaps (new) and it showed on many occasions in comparison to the 5 CD staffs we have sailed with in the past Billy London's crew needs some re-training,and to be more personable, instead of trying to out cute each other. Sorry folks, but that's the way I see it, and the rest of our group of 5 felt the same way. Ports:First portAntigua - was our first stop and let me say after leaving the tourist shopping areas most of these Island nations are really poor desperate people who dearly rely on us to visit and spend money. Antigua has 365 beaches, one for every day of the year. After finding a fair price he took us to Valley Church beach about 15 minutes from the port, it was absolutely gorgeous. They had a nice bar, showers rest rooms and it was very clean, great beach day in Antigua. On the way back we found a few gift shops before re-boarding the ship.Our second stop was St. Lucia. We went zip lining at theTreetop Canopy, and had a great time zipping across 12 different lines over the St. Lucia rain forrest and river below. A great excursion I definately recommend it.We saw some very poor housing conditions along the way, sad.It's a beautiful island, we wish we had more time to see it all.No time to see the beautiful "Pitons" (mountains), maybe next time, I hope. Next was Barbados, after doing a little shopping we decided to walk into town and found the "Boatyard" a private beach which was recommended by the CD on his morning show. We paid the admission $12-15 ? At entry you get 1 cocktail beach chair or lounger, umbrella, and transportation back to the ship. We noticed hardly anyone was in the water ? It turns out this particlar beach was infested with jelly fish that day and several tourists had been stung. We asked for a refund and headed back through town on foot. We found a nice bar had a drink then walked back to the ship stopping along the way to shop. Turned out to be a not so good beach day as some light rain came down. This was the only time we had weather of any concern. I will say the people of Barbados were very friendly even though my sister in law was asked why she did'nt buy anything from them in a commanding way. Stay together Sales, it's a tough racket ! St. Kitts - Another beautiful Island, after a brief stroll through the tourist shopping areas, we saw some cute little monkeys vendors were using for photos and some local men dancing through the courtyards in their native attire & headgear, very flashy dancers. We found an inexpensive 90 min. tour through the city area, with a later stop at a beauitful beach, South Frigate and again ran into many Emerald passengers with their blue & white stripe towells. On the way we stopped at a beautiful overlook and admired both oceans from high above the Caribbean on one side and the Atlantic on the other. A spectacular view in either direction, including the new mega-resort "Marriott". St. Thomas - What can I say shopping areas everywhere, although very spread out.We booked the Magens Bay & Blackbeard Castle tour. The later was just a made up tourist trap by a lot of fun and facts along the way. Again, the elevated view above the city & bay was spectacular. Three pools for swimming, jewelry stores, gift shop, and ofcourse a couple of bars. Hurry up with that rum ! There was a regatta in the bay at the time, sail boats everywhere. Magens Bay our first stop was breath taking ! National Geographic ranked it one of the top 10 beaches in the world for sure beauty, and I can see why. A calm horseshoe bay surrounded by green rolling hills on both sides. The beach had all kinds of lush green foilage everywhere, rentals, bathroom and bar complented the beach as well. Princess Cays - Eluthera (Bahamas) It's been 5 years since I first visited P. Cays and they have really fixed it up, plus added many more things to see and do. This was our last stop before Ft. Lauderdale and it was the dreaded "tender" ! We decided to have a nice calm & relaxing breakfast in the dining room before getting in line. You meet in the Michael Angelo dining room deck 5, where you can sit and relax until they call your group number. It was a good idea, as everyone seemed to want to be the first one's over for our brief 6 1/2 hour stop. The whole process took apx. 45 minutes, not bad really ! There are plenty of loungers over there, but the shaded gazeebos fill up fast, so if you need shade, go early ! We enjoyed a nice clean beach, bathrooms, showers, a fair tasting lunch, and some great swimming & snorkeling. My wife, sister in law, daughter, and friend all rented various floating devices and we all had a great beach day together, our last on the cruise, sigh ! For late March, it was perfect, 82 and I guess the water was in the hi 70's. Definately worth the short visit, and your time. We look forward to our next visit there, again in March 2012, check it out !That being said, I guess it's time to talk about disembarking, and that did not go as well, or as smooth as embarkation. We were asked to leave our cabin at 9 am sharp by our steward, despite our group not being called to leave until after 9:30. Please do yourself a favor eat early in the dining room before (9am) so yo don't feel so rushed off the ship even before yout time. Our luggage was mis-placed in the hanger, so it took another 20 minutes to find it in another section, that was stressful. Now for "Terminal 21", good luck, it's a real mad house out on the street. Make sure you have an advance reservation for ground transportation, and they know specifically where you will be, and at what time, otherwise it's mass chaos curbside ! I guess there is no such thing as a perfect cruise really, it's impossible to please everyone, so just go with the flow, don't worry, be happy as the song goes. Happy cruising everyone ! Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
We flew British airways to Miami and were met by Princess and taken to the west Miami Intercontinental for the night. This was ll stress free. the hotel is in the business district, but we really like it. There is a nice pool and a fitness ... Read More
We flew British airways to Miami and were met by Princess and taken to the west Miami Intercontinental for the night. This was ll stress free. the hotel is in the business district, but we really like it. There is a nice pool and a fitness room. We had to pay for breakfast, but it was very good. The next morning we had a little time to ourselves ( there is a Walmart just down the road). the coaches took us to the boat. Great experience sailing on the Emerald Princess. Boarding was fairly uncomplicated and our balcony state room was ready and waiting. We were on Dolphin deck uncovered balcony--and had a wonderful, pleasant Room Steward, Ionel. He was always available; seemed to be in the hallway almost every time we left the room. Our room was always cleaned thoroughly. Sometimes our room was cleaned 3 -4 times a day, he was always replacing our towels when they were needing it. We just loved the boat so much to do or nothing if you wanted it that way. It is beautiful, so clean and the staff were all wonderful. The only possible thing i could complain about was the smoking on balcony's and in some public areas, but i knew this before I sailed. My 10 year old hardly went to the kids club as there were so few children her age there. However the provision when she went was excellent. I thoroughly recommend joining your cruise critic roll call, I met some really super people through it, and they were very kind to us first timers. it was lovely to already feel you knew someone before you sailed. A big thank you to Marybeth, Julie and Caroline for all their organising and hosting. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
This cruise was my 5th time on Princess and 3rd time on the Emerald Princess. The Emerald Princess is a beautiful ship, but there was a drop in the number of entertainment options & activities compared to my previous Princess Cruises ... Read More
This cruise was my 5th time on Princess and 3rd time on the Emerald Princess. The Emerald Princess is a beautiful ship, but there was a drop in the number of entertainment options & activities compared to my previous Princess Cruises (all within the past 2.5 years), e.g. no more golf pro on board and no support for Sunday's church service from cruise staff....the passengers had to pull it together. I hope this is just temporary as I love the Princess brand and want to take many more cruises with them. I travelled with my husband and this cruise was special to us as we got married on the same ship just a few months earlier and were now expecting our first child! What was noticeable on this cruise compared to previous cruises was the high number or senior cruisers (70+ years of age). We were among the youngest passengers and were told so by many crew members and our fellow passengers throughout the cruise. We often requested to be seated at lunch or breakfast with people close to our own age and were told it was not likely to happen..so off we went to a table for 2. Princess needs to guard against becoming the retirement cruise line: more options catering to the working professionals, such as discounted internet time, would help strike a healthier balance. Some of the shows could be a bit more modern, too (where you did not have to be born before the 1970s to "get it"). Nevertheless we had some nice conversations with our fellow passengers during the cruise and enjoyed our vacation. We celebrated a birthday on this cruise and had noted so on the Cruise Personalizer. On the day the card you hand out to the head waiter in the main dining room to get your cake arrived promptly but no balloons. My husband called later that evening as we saw many other doors had balloons and had always had these before for birthdays, our honeymoon etc. and passenger services had some sent promptly. The balloons now are "generic" congratulations balloons vs. birthday/honeymoon/anniversary etc. as in the past. I thought it was fun to see what people were celebrating and was a little disappointed by this efficiency measure. I hope they go back to the more personalized approach to celebrations! EMBARKATION DAY: We spent a few days in FL prior to the cruise and drove our rental car to Fort Lauderdale in the morning. We dropped off the car in downtown and were a little concerned about getting a taxi as there were many ships departing that day (incl. the Oasis of the Seas), but a taxi arrived within 5 minutes and whisked us to the port in about 30 minutes. We arrived at around 12:20 p.m. in the port and the embarkation process was very smooth with virtually no waiting time anywhere. We dropped off our luggage with the porter, proceeded to security, filled out the health form and got checked in. Everyone from Princess was very friendly at the terminal. We were in our stateroom by 12:45 p.m. STATEROOM: Having stayed in mini-suites and balcony rooms on earlier cruises we had decided that the room was not important this time and we signed up for the lowest cost interior room guarantee on deck 5 (Plaza). We were excited to get an upgrade to a great mid-ship location on deck 9 (Dolphin). This room was super quiet (no neighbor on the other side) and very comfortable. Our cabin stewardess was Sherrill and she stayed on top of everything - the room was always immaculate when we returned to it. DINING: We were very pleased with the quality and variety of food options. We had dinner in the main dining room (Da Vinci) every night and also ate breakfast and lunch there on most days. We enjoy being served this way while on vacation and only visited the buffet for snacks. The halibut was a little tough/overcooked one night, but otherwise everything was excellent. We love traditional dining and had signed up for it (although only 5:30 p.m. time was available), just to find out Da Vinci also served as an anytime dining room, so there was a lot more traffic than in a true traditional dining room and the staff were incredibly busy. At the end of the cruise the Baked Alaska parade was the express version of what you see in the true traditional dining rooms. A tip: the ship's policy is that you must arrive within 15 minutes from dining time or your table may be given to someone else. We noticed that nobody claimed a great window table for the first 3 nights -- it was always assigned to walk-in anytime diners later in the evening - and checked with the maitre'd on the possibility of having this table assigned to us since we were always promptly there and typically finished eating by 6:30 p.m. He was happy to accommodate us and we really enjoyed our view while dining! Great Princess service. Our waitress Natasha was also wonderful.The pizza on the ship is excellent so we also had a slice a few times during this cruise or picked up some baked goods from the International Cafe. ENTERTAINMENT: I had read on these reviews earlier that the popular shows, such as Beatle Maniacs, start filling up about an hour prior to show time. So we prioritized what we wanted to see in the Princess Theater (Beatle Maniacs and the International Crew Show) and made sure to be seated no later than 45 minutes prior to show time. We also saw the comedian Jay Mohr one night in the Explorer's Lounge (funny) and saw some performances on the Piazza. We tried to watch the movie Social Network at Movies Under the Stars one day, but it was very hard to hear. We made a couple of requests to have the volume turned up, but it was competing against music playins at the other mid-ship pool and just did not work out. The MUTS is a much better experience in the evening. It would be great if more movies could be played in the Princess Theater in the afternoons. We enjoyed going to the Lotus Spa gym and played some golf on the sports deck, but it was sad not to see anyone using the golf simulator or take lessons from a golf pro like always before...I used to enjoy the chance to take a little 30-minute lesson to work on my swing and now you are basically on your own. PORTS: We enjoyed the picnic in Princess Cays, just took it easy and enjoyed walking on the beach on a beautiful day. In St. Thomas we went shopping and found 2 beautiful pairs of blue topaz earrings. The above two were ports we were familiar with from before. In Dominica we took one of the shuttles that runs to runtown for $2 pp. It was raining as it often does there due to the rainforest climate. We were surprised by how little there was to see in the downtown area...took some photos of the crabs crawling all over the waterfront, looked at the local merchandise but did not find anything to buy and headed back to the ship after just 30 minutes. This was our least favorite stop during the cruise. In Grenada we had signed up for the St. George's Highlights tour, as it was low physical activity and being pregnant I have to take it easy. My husband and I were pulled from the line and assigned to a very old van for this tour and soon realized the van did not have working air-conditioning (although the tour is advertised as being suitable for people with physical limitations)! Long story short, the driver had to drop us off about 10 minutes into the tour and find a newer van to assign us to that had working air-conditioning. From that point forward we were very comfortable. The guide was silent for long periods of time during the excursion and did not use a microphone, so we felt like we did not learn as much as we would have liked but at least we were comfortable and saw a lot. In Bonaire we just went to downtown to check out the stores, very clean & delightful but also rather expensive. We returned back to the ship within an hour. Aruba was the best port on this cruise! We took the island tour that visits the Aloe factory and includes a 1-hr beach break and had a great time. The guide was also very knowledgeable and shared a lot of information with us. Great tour! Afterwards we went back to the ship for lunch, grabbed our laptops and went to the local Starbucks for some quality email time (no charge). DISEMBARKATION: Very easy, no lines, and off to the airport within minutes! We were comfortably seated in the Michelangelo dining room waiting for our turn. In summary, mission accomplished in terms of a relaxing cruise vacation with great weather, lots of laughs and wonderful memories to cherish during the years to come! We plan to return to Princess with our little one in a year or two. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
This was our first cruise on Princess since 2002, and our first cruise on a HUGE ship, 3000+ passengers. Over all, it was a very nice ship. The public spaces were clean and attractive, and the piazza often had entertainment going on, most ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Princess since 2002, and our first cruise on a HUGE ship, 3000+ passengers. Over all, it was a very nice ship. The public spaces were clean and attractive, and the piazza often had entertainment going on, most of which was silly, like napkin folding, or some bimbette with hula hoops, but always nice to pause and see what was going on. We didn't spend much time in the main pool area because the big screen always had something on, and it was too loud and too noisy for us. We preferred the adults-only area aft of the ship for lounging. Our stateroom was a mini-suite, very spacious and it had balcony twice as large as normal, due to the location as the last stateroom aft on the port side. The stateroom below ours, and the two corresponding staterooms on the starboard side have the same configuration, so, if you're looking for a roomy balcony, those are the ones to pick. Our steward was efficient and unobtrusive and took great care of us. The bed was tolerable, but just barely. Every night, it would part like the Red Sea, so there was always a gap between the two twins pushed together. First time we've ever encountered that situation. The food was mixed. We ate at the buffet most mornings. On HAL, we always had breakfast delivered, but the Princess choices were limited and only a true continental breakfast. The coffee was wretched. I heard that it was not brewed, but a concentrate? Anyhow, I'm sure this was to push people to buy coffee cards for the cafe, the only place you could get a real cup of brewed coffee. The choices on the breakfast buffet were the same, every single day, which got old pretty quickly. We visited the dining room one morning only to find that they had the exact same choices, just served to you instead of self-service. Lunch was pretty much the same at the buffet, though we did have an excellent lunch in the dining room, and we also enjoyed the fish and chips and curry at the English pub. We had an early dining option with the rest of our party, and the food in the main dining room was very nice and our servers were outstanding, with the exception of them forgetting my father-in-law's milk every evening unless reminded once or twice. We visited both Sabatini's and the Crown Royal, the specialty Italian and chop house restaurants. Both were well-worth the fees. A very civilized dining experience in both places had some superb food. You must make your reservations right away upon boarding the ship, otherwise, you can't get in. On one last note, the pizza was outstanding! The shops on board were OK, though I didn't buy anything, I definitely looked. We did some shopping for high-end watches, and the sales lady was most helpful and patient, even though we didn't buy anything from her. We really enjoyed the Adagio piano bar. That became our special place after dinner each evening. There was hardly anyone there, so there was always a nice couch and table to sit at. It was quiet, the service was outstanding, and they had some excellent and reasonable specialty drinks that we enjoyed sampling. Sometimes they brought us things to try (I guess as the regulars?). Most nights there was a pianist, and some nights a jazz group would come in later. My biggest complaint was that there were 5 ports in a row. I could have used a sea day in the middle to recover a little. Otherwise, it was a very nice itinerary, visiting several islands we had never been to. Just a note on Princess Cays, the private island: OUTSTANDING. We rate it a 5. We rented a cabana, which I highly recommend. We also got an upgrade for an extra $25 per person, which meant that we supposedly got priority tender, but no one told us where it was. Also, they waited on us with special meals. TOO MUCH FOOD, but it was fantastic, and the lobster salad was worth the $25 upgrade on its own. We snorkeled, and it was probably the best underwater viewing we had all cruise. There were cuttlefish, which I'd never seen in the wild, and a very vibrant fish population. My husband saw crabs, lobsters, and one lion fish, which he notified the lifeguard about, since they are not native to the Caribbean and are spreading like wildfire. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Stayed at Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort the 2 nights prior to cruise and rented car. Short drive to Port from hotel, but 8 ships departing on same day, including the Oasis(6k passengers!) so the traffic was really heavy and slow ... Read More
Stayed at Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort the 2 nights prior to cruise and rented car. Short drive to Port from hotel, but 8 ships departing on same day, including the Oasis(6k passengers!) so the traffic was really heavy and slow going. Rental car facility at FLL airport has free shuttle to the Port, usually 15 mins, but an hour with the traffic on this day. Check in was a breeze, walked straight through with no lines. In mini-suite midships on Dolphin deck. Good size cabin, with a full size sofa (3 sections), 2 sections pull out to sofa bed. The balcony was smaller than the mini suite on Sapphire. The cabin was about half way walk to mid ship elevators and half way to back of ship elevators. Quiet room, never heard neighbors. Wall mounted boxy hairdryer was horrible, would bring my own. The shower never got hot, just warm. The sink tap got hot... The check in agent said there were 800 Kids on board, the ship has I think 3,400 passengers. It felt quite crowded, with lines for most things, show seats all full 30 mins before start times, and a line for the AnyRoom dining rooms each night (except when it was seafood night at the buffet). I much prefer the 4 smaller AnyRoom dining rooms on Sapphire to the 2 larger ones on Emerald. The Sapphire didn't have lines, just gave you a pager occasionally if you had to wait a few minutes for a table. On Emerald, you had to wait in line for 5 mins just to get a pager... Dining room food seemed better on Sapphire in March. The Emerald was ok, but nothing memorable. The buffet food was very stodgy. very little fresh fruit and veg, no berries. Same melon/pineapple choices every day. Room steward Eric was very good, personable, friendly, learned our names day one and always greeted us. Hard worker. Pools got very busy, lots of kids, all loungers were full early. Some coveted loungers at the back of the ship deck 15/16 were held from 6.30am!!! all were usually spoken for by 8am. Great kids club, my 5 year old really enjoyed it - which was great, because the pools were just too crowded for a little one most of the time. The strangest thing about this cruise / ship was there were a lot of 'odor's. The back stairs usually had a very strong fishy smell and around mid ship on our deck (Dolphin) there was a strong stagnant/reclaimed water smell. The cruise director Tim D, as many others have commented, did not seem to like people. His staff were really great, personable, silly, fun, friendly. But he seemed like he viewed passengers as 'punters' and was rather rude and patronizing, not approachable. The co-cruise directors on Sapphire in March were really great, funny, friendly, approachable. I'm sure all mass market lines are the same, but being sold to all the time, gets really annoying. Disappointed that there wasn't much Port information available, but lots of info about where to shop. Port lectures were 'where to shop, what to buy' lectures. Maybe a sentence or two in the Patter about Port points of interest, but that's it. No printed material at the excursion desk. Pursers desk staff were very good, kept professional despite some of the really rude and unreasonable passengers they had to deal with. (one fellow the day before disembarkation was shouting at a purser about the standard custom form, how it should ask for 'places' you visited vs 'countries'... !) Ports were good, but it is always humbling to see how poverty stricken most of the island are once you get away from the tourist area. Nice Holiday touches were: Gingerbread house making competition (48 teams!), Santa visit, carol singing in Piazza, snow fall in Piazza. I will cruise over the holidays again, but on a smaller ship next time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
I have traveled with Princess many times before, but this cruise was the best one. Although I loved the Alaska scenery, the Emerald Princess outshone every previous Princess ship on which I have cruised. Whoever is responsible for managing ... Read More
I have traveled with Princess many times before, but this cruise was the best one. Although I loved the Alaska scenery, the Emerald Princess outshone every previous Princess ship on which I have cruised. Whoever is responsible for managing this ship deserves a major bonus. The employees really impressed me above and beyond the norm. They were all very pleasant and friendly. I felt like they were having as much fun as we were. Our room steward, Christian, was perfect, always prompt and took care of all our needs. The most fun, however, was in the Crooners Martini Bar where the waiters took service to new high. When you ordered a martini, they served it with a "shaker" dance and defied gravity on many occasions. They also had many magic tricks to entertain and puzzle us, many of which we are still trying to master. We looked forward to seeing Richie and Ramil every evening. Besides the employees' great performance, the ship itself was immaculate and beautifully decorated for Christmas. The decor of the ship is elegant, yet not stuffy--truly comfortable. One of the most unique experiences we've every done was to take part in the Chef's Table. You need to sign up for this the second you get on the ship because they only do it 2 nights for a very limited number of diners. We started the evening in the Piazza where the Maitre d'Hotel, Nicola Furlan, met us, told us what to expect, and fitted us in white lab-type coats. We then paraded through the dining room to the kitchen, attracting the attention of the diners at their tables. We toured the kitchen, then stopped at a service area covered with white linens and decorated with ice sculptures and flowers. The Executive Chef, David Whelehan, joined us for champagne and amazing appetizers. My favorite was a crab martini. He told us about his experiences and described our meal. He was from Scotland, and we all enjoyed his stories. While enjoying our appetizers, the Sommelier described our wines of the evening and what his job entailed. He also came around during dinner to describe each one. Our table in the dining room was beautifully decorated with flowers and a bouquet of bread sticks of varying sizes--very clever. The first course was a pasta with clams. I am not a clam eater, but this was amazing. I had to force myself not to eat it all since I know more was coming. Then, they brought us a sorbet to cleanse our pallets and added a generous amount of Grey Goose to it. No one left any in their dish. After the sorbet, they brought our main course consisting of beef fillet, large lobster tail, lamb chop and scallops. Huge!!! We had a cheese course next, then the dessert which was a work of art. Besides the wonderful food and commentary, we all received a photo and a personally signed cookbook of Princess menus. Definitely, a night to remember. We enjoyed all the ports, but I think Dominica was one of the most beautiful and unique islands. They even had a Christmas parade that day which marched in front of our ship. On Dominica, we saw a Santa Claus with many helpers unloading boxes of toys. Princess delivered toys with Santa to orphanages on every island we visited. We were all impressed with their Christmas spirit. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
This was my fifth cruise and the fourth with Princess. I have never been to the Caribbean and was looking forward to seeing the sites. Since I live on the west coast and my sister in the south we arrived on Saturday and stayed at the ... Read More
This was my fifth cruise and the fourth with Princess. I have never been to the Caribbean and was looking forward to seeing the sites. Since I live on the west coast and my sister in the south we arrived on Saturday and stayed at the Hilton that night - enjoyed the happy hour menu and the views of the marina. The trip to the terminal from the Hilton was about 5-8 minute ride and about $10 with tip. Boarding the Emerald Princess was quick and easy; they have this down to a fine science. The staff helped direct everyone to their cabins, which made finding our way around the ship much easier and staff were very welcoming. The ship wasn't full in fact it was only about 2,000 people. On this trip I was cruising with my sister and we were celebrating our birthdays aboard the Emerald. We booked a mini-suite and it was fabulous. Our room steward, Eric, was great and very attentive. Loved the additional space - great closet, bathroom and seating areas - the balcony was also spacious and we enjoyed the balcony every day. We were welcomed aboard with a glass of champagne. The welcome aboard and kick off event at the main pool was lively as usual and helped set the pace for a great experience. Our evening dining was in the Botticelli second seating and we enjoyed a table with two other couples. Our dining experience was fabulous and routinely we were the last ones to leave the dining room each night. Our table steward and his assistant were very attentive. We enjoyed dining in the dining room and missed only two nights. A fairly extensive wine list was provided and we did enjoy several bottles of wine. Food in the buffet was good, sometimes a little spotty but overall good. We did enjoy the International Cafe several times, having just a snack for lunch was all we needed and to go by and grab a cookie late in the late afternoon yumm they bake them right there and were warm. I purchased the coffee card and enjoyed a latte (or two) each day. I would recommend that you take a moment (at least once) and enjoy tea in the dining room, it's another way to meet some new friends and it's a very pleasant experience. We also enjoyed the English Pub lunch once and that too was great, along with a glass of good beer or two. We purchased the thermal room package in the spa. We used it only three times and when we did it was very relaxing. The difficulty with this is two points: they over sold the packages and it because of this it was overcrowded and in fact I believe many people by-passed the mandatory check in and entered in off the Sanctuary and secondly we were frustrated that people were "camping out" on the beds and placing towels (holding their spots). All of this could be abated if they had more staff over site of that room. We enjoyed the pools in the back and front of the ship, pool attendants were great and kept people happy. We did take in a few shows, which were good. The entertainment throughout the ship was pretty good. I stepped into the presentation by the shopping gal who explains and sells to the crowd the stores to go to when in port. Was very disappointed in the over selling and fast talking strategy of this. It seems pretty consistent throughout the ships with this kind of presentation. Oh well, I just know not to go to this again. Disembarking the ships was flawless. Had breakfast prior to leaving and we were processed quickly off the ship. I did note that Southwest has luggage assistance and for $10.00 you can have your luggage taken to the airport and boarding passes printed - a service I would use. Again, I took a taxi back to the Hilton to spend the night and took off early the next day to return to reality. Signed up for future cruise while on board and look forward to another trip on board Princess. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
Let me start out by saying that this was our third cruise, and the first one with good friends. We decided to go with another couple on a princess cruise because they are our good friends and were expecting and we had a baby the year ... Read More
Let me start out by saying that this was our third cruise, and the first one with good friends. We decided to go with another couple on a princess cruise because they are our good friends and were expecting and we had a baby the year before! The Emerald Princess is a beautiful ship, I loved the Atrium! It was nice to walk around the shops and see all the many items they had. I have never written a review before, so I will try to make this as brief and informative as possible Ship and Cabin Both were very beautiful! We had an inside room and really only spent time in there to sleep, but it was perfect for us! Our room Stewart was amazing...always smiling and happy and always willing to strike up conversation with us. The ship itself was very clean and very nice...we were impressed by the sheer beauty of the Emerald! I think it looked nicer than any Royal Caribbean ship...even though we liked them too...this ship has just a more elegant feel to it! Service Well this is one area that I have to say can be lacking. Our dining room waiter was awful...and I am not a picky person but everyone at our table felt the same way. I am not one who does not tip, but after going 2 nights in a row we decided not only not to go back to the dining room, but to take the tips off and give them all to our room Stewart. Our waiter at diner rushed us and made snippy comments about ordering too much food and really rushed the whole process. Not only that, but on the formal night he pretty much ignored us for like 15 minutes. We were one of the last tables to leave that night and its not because we choose to..it was because he was not around and we were waiting for our dinner. After those 2 days we ate in the buffet and we had great service! Food Very good! That pretty much sums that up. Ports of Call St Thomas, St Maarten, Grand Turk, Princess Cays, Been to both St Thomas and St Maarten...love both islands, however decided to go on the boat over to St John and loved it! Walked to a deserted beach and then over to Trunk Bay....great place! Went to Orient Bay in St Maarten and had a nice time. As far as Grand Turk...we took a tour through the cruise ship and had a great time...saw a shark!! The rest of the island is really a beach hang out with a Margarita ville! Princess Cays was ok...not anything spectacular...but it was kinda rainy and gloomy and then really hot so we didn't enjoy it as much. Overall we had a great time and would not hesitate to book another cruise with Princess. Every vacation will have ups and downs...and even though the service in the dining room was not good..the rest of the staff was great! We are not too picky when it comes to vacation and don't let one small hiccup ruin our time! I think that a vacation is all what you make it out to be! Anyway, hope that helps! Oh and make sure you check out the art auction...won a beautiul print and the guy really does know his facts and its interesting...although I wouldnt buy anything from there it was a neat experience! Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
We flew all the way from Los Angeles to board the Emerald Princess on September 5, 2010. The check in process at the cruise terminal in Fort Lauderdale was so easy! We were on the ship by 12:15pm. This gave us a chance to run around the ... Read More
We flew all the way from Los Angeles to board the Emerald Princess on September 5, 2010. The check in process at the cruise terminal in Fort Lauderdale was so easy! We were on the ship by 12:15pm. This gave us a chance to run around the ship and wait for our luggage to be delivered to the room, in fact, it didn't take long for the luggage to come! Our Room was E619 which was a fully obstructed view. I was kind of dreading this room but actually, even though it was the worst obstructed view with a lovely tender sitting outside, it was nice. The natural light always came in. It was quiet too when they pulled the tenders down for Princess Cays. Once or twice, I did see a crew member working on the tender, so if you have this room, be cautious, you might have a surprise visitor outside your window :) Every dinner was fantastic, the service from the waiters was incredible. Speaking of service, ALL the crew on the ship were so sweet, always said Hello, Good Morning, Good Night, etc. We went to Princess Cays, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, Grand Turk...each place we berthed in was so clean and the locals were super nice. We did a shore excursion in St. Thomas, and would HIGHLY recommend it! CATAMARAN SAIL AND SNORKEL to TURTLE COVE was unbelievably the highlight of my vacation. Not only did we snorkel with tons of endangered sea turtles, but we also saw many stingrays and beautiful fish. The crew aboard the CAT (catamaran's name) were hilarious, great, and supportive as someone in my party was not a good swimmer or snorkeler. All the activities aboard ship were pretty neat too. At sea they had a Rum Tasting, it was free...fun to try different types of Rum. I enjoyed the daily trivia! THE PIZZA aboard ship is sooo delicious!!!!! It's a must try..every day! This vacation was simply wonderful and would recommend it to anyone with families, couples, etc. The Emerald Princess is a beautiful ship, and I miss her already. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
We are a family of four with two young children 3 and 5. This is only our second cruise the first being with Royal Caribbean about 8 years ago. So we were really looking forward to this vacation! We flew in the day before the cruise left ... Read More
We are a family of four with two young children 3 and 5. This is only our second cruise the first being with Royal Caribbean about 8 years ago. So we were really looking forward to this vacation! We flew in the day before the cruise left from Colorado. We had booked the Crowne Plaza Airport/Cruise Port Hotel, due to the fact that it offered a free shuttle pick up at the airport and also a free shuttle to the cruise port. The shuttle was great! This hotel is new and I would highly recommend it to anyone going on a cruise! We arrived at embarkation at approximately 12:30 we made it through all the initial check-in easily. The lady who gave us our room cards and checked our documents was really slow, however all the lines around us were moving quickly. It was just our line! When we boarded the ship we were blow away. The ship is spectacular, so beautiful and classy. We had booked a category (I) inside stateroom on the Aloha deck mid-ship (A335). All of the crew that we initially met were warm and helpful we were in our room by 1:15. Our luggage arrived by 2:00. We were actually surprised by how roomy the room felt even for the four of us. Our kids got a kick out of the beds that folded down out of the wall. The cabin closet and bathroom were awesome! Plenty of room for all four of our stuff and a stroller. The bathroom was large compared to our last cruise. We also noted during our cruise how quiet the cabin was. We never heard any noise from other cabins or the hallway. Our room steward was HORRIBLE! The first day right after getting into our room we asked if she could configure the two twins into a queen and remove the ladders from the bunk beds (they take up too much room). She said yes. After dinner that night the beds and ladders were still not moved so I finally did it myself, and I just put the ladders in the closet. When we moved the beds there was about a 1/4 inch of dust and debris under the bed, this was never vacuumed or clean the entire week. We had also told our children about the towel animals prior to the cruise. Well Elizabeth never left one towel animal in the room. Not a big deal for us but the kids were disappointed. On the last night of the cruise my son had made a clay snake in the kids club that was drying on our shelf. We had also booked a post cruise shore excursion and had the instructions on the same shelf. When we came back for dinner she had thrown the instructions and the snake away. Needless to say our child was upset as were we. I don't think this is indicative of this ship or Princess I think we just had a lazy steward. Next we registered our children at the kids club (Princess Pelicans) we didn't plan on using the service much but after the first day our kids loved it so much that all they wanted to do was go to the kids club. The staff was wonderful! Everyday they had new activites and each day the kids left with some sort of "treasure" that they loved. And they looked forward to going there everyday. The food in the main dining room was fantastic! We loved everything we had there, far superior to the food we had on RCCL. We choose to do anytime dinning, which worked out great for us, we could go anytime the kids were ready. We never had to wait longer than 3-5 minutes. The hostess always helped keep the kids entertained while we were waiting. The waitstaff was wonderful! They were always very quick with everything and very attentive. They even made animals and such out of napkins etc. to entertain the kids. We had worried about taking the kids to dinner but the waitstaff were so wonderful with them that they enjoyed going to dinner and were very well behaved. Food at the Horizon Court was good I would say above average buffet food same at the Cafe Carribe. The only complaint that I have with Cafe Carribe was that they have theme buffets each night but the information as to what the "theme" would be was never publicized unless you went up and looked in the restuarant. One night we were lucky enough to catch Bavarian night and it was wonderful. The pizza was great, as were the hamburgers and hot dogs. We also had room service a couple of times and it was very good as well. We loved the International Cafe for a quick bite. Everything we tried there was delicious. I must say that the food on Princess Cays was mediocre at best. MUTS seemed like a cool idea, except that they really didn't play anything that good. We went to see Ironman 2 one night but the wind was blowing so hard we couldn't enjoy it. Also they never served popcorn or snacks. We used the fitness center everyday and it was nice and had eveything we needed. We even signed up for the thermal suite, which was something we had not planned on, nor was really in our budget, but we were so impressed with the facility we went ahead and did it. We considered it a treat for ourselves! Throughout the week we tried to use the facility every day. I say tried because the "gentle sauna" never worked the entire week, it was always ice cold. Several nights we used the other steam rooms and were only able to use the steam rooms for a couple of minutes because the temperature was so extremely high. On all of those occasions the front desk asked us why we were in there for such a short period of time. We explained about the temperature and were told that they were having trouble regulating the temperature. This was very frustrating to us that we paid extra for a service that we were unable to really enjoy or use. But the most unbelievable thing that happened to us was the last night of our cruise. We had spent the day at sea and my wife and I worked out and then went to the front desk to get a robe and a locker and check in. It was around 8:45 PM. When we approached the desk the gentleman setting behind the desk informed us that the spa was closed. We were shocked! When we bought the package we were told that the spa was open until 10:00 PM every night! But they neglected to tell us or post it anywhere that on the night before "turn around day" the spa closes early. The thing that was most shocking to me was the attitude this gentleman had. He was actually very nasty when telling us the spa was closed. When my wife and I showed our surprise and asked why they closed early he said, and I quote, "We close everything early, tomorrow is turnaround day, face it your vacation is over!" I was completely floored I have never had anyone be so nasty and condescending to me anywhere. We played BINGO one time and saw several of the shows and enjoyed all of them. I do think that Princess should have more activites on sea days. One afternoon we dressed up and took our almost four year old daughter to afternoon tea and had a great time. She loved every minute of it! The "Kids and Family Deck" at the back of the ship was a very nice area, a great idea. My only complaint were the non-kids or families (usually elderly) people who hung out back there and then acted all put out when our kids would get in the pool and splash around. Apparently they didn't realize that there are two other adult only pools on the ship. Overall this ship and cruise were wonderful! We would definatly do it again. We were able to overlook the small snafus and have a wonderful time! Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
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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