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113 Princess Emerald Princess Family Cruise Reviews

It’s not what you want to think about. But it is really important. Our 10 year old developed acute appendicitis in Nicuragua ( of all places ) the onboard medics did an amazing job and assisted us in getting our sick child to a hospital ... Read More
It’s not what you want to think about. But it is really important. Our 10 year old developed acute appendicitis in Nicuragua ( of all places ) the onboard medics did an amazing job and assisted us in getting our sick child to a hospital where she had surgery that night Their quick thinking and ability to make decesions quickly meant our doctor was diagnosed disembarked and taken to hospital quickly. The quick response resulted in a quick recovery. Our cruise was amazing but the crews response in a crises was amazing Before that we found the ship very comfortable. There were only 13 kids onboard but our three kids were entertained at all times My only complaint ( so minor) is that 16 days without decent coffee is a long time However the rest of the food and dining options were great. We were expecting long lines but we had no problem finding tables Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
My wife and I joined three other couples on Emerald Princess from Southern California to the Mexican Riviera the week after US Thanksgiving in 2017. For my wife and I this was our first time sailing with Princess. I would like to share ... Read More
My wife and I joined three other couples on Emerald Princess from Southern California to the Mexican Riviera the week after US Thanksgiving in 2017. For my wife and I this was our first time sailing with Princess. I would like to share some of our thoughts. Pre Cruise We drove to LA and spent the night at the Crowne Plaza before the cruise. Hotel was lovely as the room was spacious, furniture was comfortable, staff was friendly, and we could see the port from our room. Room was priced fairly (around $230 and that included covered parking for the week in their garage as well as complimentary shuttle to and from the port) We took a very short walk to Grinders restaurant and their food was outstanding (and surprisingly low cost). Tab for the four of us was less than $50. Food was kind of “elevated” diner food (wife and I both had a Chicken, mushroom, and veg angel hair pasta dish. On embarkation day, we had a buffet breakfast at the hotel (included in our room rate). Buffet was not as good as the nicer ones in Las Vegas; but, for a hotel in LA, it was fine. While choices were limited, food was flavorful and well prepared. After breakfast it was time for the shuttle to the port. We were a little excited (you think?) and showed up a little too early Check In Process Wife and I had not been on a cruise since 2013 (doesn’t seem long but in this technological age it is a lifetime) and that was on Oasis of the Seas. Things have really changed since then and I do not know if that is industry wide (that is my instinct) or if Princess is just that different. I can say their process is very streamlined and organized. They are detail oriented down to the places where they have you sit and wait. People in the terminal were friendly and helpful. One of the things that really resonated with me, not just on check in day, but throughout the cruise, is that Princess really understands how excited people going on a cruise can be and they do not do anything to curb or limit that excitement. Overall, I was so happy with how I was treated by the various members of Princess’s staff. Embarkation & Staterooms Again, a real smooth and efficient process. We were on the ship at about 12:45 for a 4:00 PM departure. Our staterooms were ready and we immediately went to check them out and drop off our carry-on items. The Princess Mini Suite is VERY Impressive. As far as staterooms go, this is quite large. The bathroom had a tub/shower, we had a walk in closet, a queen size bed and a sitting area with a couch. The balcony was good sized as four of us could comfortably congregate on it. There were two flat screen TVs (one pointed at the sitting area and one pointed at the bed); although, honestly, we hardly ever used the TVs. Food This is an interesting discussion. We tried numerous dining venues and enjoyed most of our meals. On embarkation day, we had lunch on the buffet. This was probably the worst meal we had during the cruise. There was nothing wrong with the food, the serious lack of tables, combined with a state of “Hangryness” did not help things. We hit the buffet three times during this voyage and were pleasantly surprised each time by how good the food was. I thought it was much better than the food on buffets on both Carnival and Royal. That said, we do not usually hit the buffet too often when we cruise. We had a lot of meals in the Botticelli dining room. I think breakfast and lunches in the dining room are kind of a hidden jewel. It usually isn’t too crowded and it is nice to be served. Food in this dining room was good, well prepared and flavorful. Service was good for all of the meals with the exception of 1. Our last breakfast (and it was the only time all 8 of us had breakfast together) was kind of a cluster. Wrong items were delivered, service was very slow, etc. That said, the food was good, people were very nice, and the dining experience was fine. Speaking of hidden jewels, afternoon tea is “off the charts”. We did this three times and it was fabulous. The little sandwiches were good and oh my, how about those scones and the freshly made whipped cream. The only downside to tea is the room is a little loud; but, wife and I loved, loved, loved the experience. We really look forward to that on our next cruise. One day, Princess converted the “Wheelhouse Bar” into a British Pub for lunch. I LOVE British Pub food (on my last visit to the UK, I was there for a week, and I had Bangers and Mash every night). Food was free and beers (I had draft Newcastle) were not. This was one of my favorite dining experiences on the cruise. Bangers and Mash were authentic with the onion gravy (but, no peas) and really well spiced. It really took me back to the UK (so to speak). “Wheelhouse Bar” also hosted the “Salty Dog Gastro Pub” and all eight of us tried that one night. We divided into Boys and Girls. For the boys, surprise, surprise, we all had the burger. I didn’t like the burger as it was overcooked to my liking so it was dry and there was nothing on it to moisten it. It had a really good spice (and the flavors with the Kimchi and the Jalapeno Pepper) were nice; but, again, the burger was just too dry for my liking. My second entré was a white tomato soup with a small gruyere sandwich. Tomato soup is my favorite; however, I did not like this soup as the tomato was barely noticeable. One of my friends tried the lobster mac and it looked pretty tasty. As for the girls, they had one of everything on the menu and shared. They were having such a good time. Gastropub was reasonably priced at $12 per head. Burgers I did like were at the Trident Grill. During the week, I had at different times, Hot Dogs, Burgers, and some really good Brats. It is so easy to overcook a brat and lose the flavor; but, grill did a nice job with these and they ranked among my favorite brats of all time. Their fries were also really good. Crispy and sort of like a steak fry. I didn’t care for the Pizza as I liked the crust, but the sauce had a funny flavor to it that overwhelmed me. Wish they had more than three choices but I do understand why they need to have limitations. Never tried the ice cream as I avoid sugared desserts; although, that soft serve looked really good. “Crown Grill” was disappointing to me. Understand, that my favorite steakhouse at sea was on Liberty (Carnival) as the food was really good, generous, and felt elevated from what we got in the dining room. I compared it to one of the fancier steakhouses from land (where the steaks run about $40 per and you buy all the siders separately). At “Crown Grill”, the experience did not feel elevated and it just felt like they took dishes that used to be on the menu in the main dining room and moved them to the steakhouse. Don’t get me wrong, the food was good; but, it paled in comparison to Liberty. Originally, we had planned at least two dinners at Crown and never returned after the first one. By far the best meals (we went twice) on this cruise (and I ever had at Sea) were at “Share” by Curtis Stone. This was an actual dining experience. It was a 6 course meal, and the best way to do it is to each order something different per course and then “share”. This was fine dining as the food was not typical fare. So many things were just amazing. The Lemon Prawns, The Scallops, the Lobster over Hash, the Strip, the Pork Ravioli in Thai Sauce, and the Lamb, one of the best two lambs I have ever had. Flavors were so bold. This experience had it all, from excellent service, to flavorful and somewhat unexpected food, two a pair of customer made sugar free desserts for my wife and I. While I love Italian food and look forward to trying it on Grand Princess next year, I am saddened that I will not have the opportunity to experience “Share” on my next voyage. Excursions In Puerta Vallarta we visited Las Caletas and that is one of my favorite all around excursions. It is a pleasant boat ride Las Caletas, the food is great, and I spent a lot of time in the ocean. Had high expectations due to our last visit and was not disappointed. In Mazatlan went to a resort in the Golden Zone, Playa Mazatlan, and shopped. When we shop, my heart tells me I will be hitting these little artisan shops and will be seeing different things in each one. As soon as we start to shop, my brain quickly remembers that for the most part, these shops are all selling the same things. That said, it was a pleasant way to spend a day. Cabo is one of my favorite ports and it was the short stay this time. We did the High Sierra Zip line adventure and it was phenomenal (I zip lined upside down). I am terrified of heights but I faced my fear. The staff was outstanding and the day was both physically demanding and a lot of fun. On Board Entertainment/Activities Princess is definitely more sedate than Carnival or Royal. This is a positive thing to me as while I like to party as much as the next guy, it is nice to know there are also quiet places to go. Also, I never felt like I was being “sold” things. On both Carnival and Royal, it seemed like every time I turned around, someone was trying to sell me a drink, or anything. The approach was much more subtle on Princess. Our Cruise Director, Dave, was Hilarious. He sounded like “Mozz” from “The IT Crowd” and he had just a fantastic demeanor. We liked him a lot, and his staff was excellent as well. Wished there was a little more trivia as it seemed like there was a morning trivia and an afternoon trivia. Kaitlyn did my favorite trivias as she would inject some astronomy, comic books, and animal info into hers. We did an escape room one night and that was so much fun. We succeeded and missed the record by about 2 minutes. No spoilers ahead, but, I suggest if anyone goes on a Princess cruise and the escape room is offered, do it. Disembark Saddest day of the cruise. Again, Princess is organized and smooth. This process has not really changed much over the years; but, Princess does it very well. Lastly, here are some tips The All Inclusive Photo Package We bought this and we maximized our value. That said, Princess does not seem very knowledgeable about what you get so I thought I would make that clear to everyone. When I called and enquired, here is what I was told and then the reality. You get one print, any size, of every picture taken of you on the ship with the exception of Black and White ones. Any extra prints are $10.00 per. At end of trip you get a thumb drive with ALL the digital photos. The reality is close to that. You do not get a print of anything taken in front of a “White Screen” or any Black and White ones. Included are the embarkation photos as well as the ones taken in port when you first leave the ship. Also, you do not get “any size”. For the posed pictures, you get the 8x10. If you want a smaller size, $10.00. The Thumb drive is really cute. Looks like a ship. Extra Power in the Staterooms We had a mini suite with 2 TVs. Behind each TV was a wooden panel. Move the panel and there is an extra plug. Room Service “Pre Breakfast” Most mornings we would get up around 6:30 and have a very light breakfast delivered (usually a croissant, some fruit, and coffee/tea) and enjoy that on the balcony as the sun rose. Very nice way to start the day Princess At Sea Have to remember this is a web page not an app so your phone will not give you an indicator when things have been updated. The site has a lot of good info, including a digital copy of the patter, and allows you to calendar events, create your own, etc. Patter is uploaded nightly around midnight and it was fun to review that on our phones before sleep and kind of plan the next day. Remember to refresh the web page so you can see your messages. This is a great way to communicate when you get separated and is completely free. Leave your phone on “Airplane Mode” and log into the ship’s wifi. You DO NOT need an internet package to utilize this site. Beach Towels You can get them at any of the pool areas and can take them ashore. This was different for us as Carnival and Royal had simply left 2 in our rooms, with the caveat of if it is not in the room when you leave, you bought it. Time Change This was weird as they took an hour from us the first night, but didn’t give it back until the last night. Really thought they would give it back to us the night before our last sea day (the night we left Cabo). Not a complaint, just odd to me. Red and Blue Carpet When going to your room the first time, look at the carpet when you get in the hall. There is striping that runs the length of the hall. Red on one side and blue on the other. It is very easy to get disoriented on these ships and the carpet color helps you walk down the correct side Go to 7 You cannot walk the length of deck 6. If you want to go from one end to the other, suggest you go to 7, walk on either the inside or outside to the other end, and then go down one floor to 6. This is really handy when you want to go to Botticelli’s for tea. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Honestly one of the coolest experience me and my GF have had. You have to be a real stick in the mud to NOT have fun. Seriously. I saw one person complaining about rust on the side of the ship. ITS A SHIP.....ON SALTWATER LOL. Lol now ... Read More
Honestly one of the coolest experience me and my GF have had. You have to be a real stick in the mud to NOT have fun. Seriously. I saw one person complaining about rust on the side of the ship. ITS A SHIP.....ON SALTWATER LOL. Lol now that THATS out of the way let me tell you.... Ship was IMMACULATE. Super clean. Staff were very attentive, friendly, and FUN! Our room steward was super sweet and did a GREAT job! Wish i could remember her name but its been since sept 17. Food buffet was pretty good. Nothing TO fancy but tasty enough to eat lol. (If you're not a super picky eater) They did a great job keeping all age groups entertained. They showed recent movies (Guardians of the Galaxy) out on the deck WHILE they had one the "formal" nights going on. Casino was a tad bit dissapointing but still was fun (who doesn't like any form of gambling lol) Drinks were overpriced but was kind of expecting that. Getting on and off the ship was a BREEZE. Super quick and efficient. Security was also very good (for those who notice that stuff) Room was clean, and just enough space for what its meant for. Bathroom was decently sized. Tub kind of overflowed a bit but wasn't a big problem. All and all we had a great time. Remember, if you treat staff with respect and kindness, they will do the same to you. These people work almost 24/7 during their "contract." They do their best to be friendly to everyone but i can imagine it being super hard to keep calm at some people. (I've worked in the service industry long enough to know this.) Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
My brother and his family sailed to Alaska on Holland America and I wanted to go to a different cruise line so we can compare. The dates of travel makes a difference. We sailed on September 3, 2017 and kids are already in school so we ... Read More
My brother and his family sailed to Alaska on Holland America and I wanted to go to a different cruise line so we can compare. The dates of travel makes a difference. We sailed on September 3, 2017 and kids are already in school so we didn't have very many kids on board. We have sailed before so we are not new to cruising. Yet, one afternoon, just before dinner, everyone was just rolling side to side as it was very, very wavy. I didn't think I would need any motion sickness pills or patches, however, I packed both anyway. It turned out we were going to use them. My teenage daughter used the Dramamine pills for 2 days and she was fine. I used the patch. Everything was fine afterwards. I'm not a big fan of the Horizon Buffet; it's very limiting, creates long lines, long waits, not enough seating, not very much food choices. Food here is average. I love their traditional seating for meals, Boticelli, Da Vinci, Michelangelo restaurants. Food here is excellent. Don't expect a lot of shows as they have minimal. They do have the Voice of the Ocean, with the iconic chairs that turn. I love that they have an app on board which lists all the daily events, and you can message your family and friends or create a group for messaging new friends. Although it didn't match the other cruise lines we've taken in the past, the cruise was very laid-back and relaxing. Crew and staff are very nice and friendly. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We live in Seattle so we did not have to travel far to catch the ship,. Boarding was very smooth at first it seemed hectic with so many passengers arriving at the same time but as soon as a porter gathered all f are luggage and we preceded ... Read More
We live in Seattle so we did not have to travel far to catch the ship,. Boarding was very smooth at first it seemed hectic with so many passengers arriving at the same time but as soon as a porter gathered all f are luggage and we preceded to the entrance all went smooth and we were on the ship in less than 30 minutes of being dropped off. First off there were 47 Of us 41 family 6 friends traveling . We had a range of cabins with and without balconies. We had a balcony c410. That's is midship 10th floor next to our friends we had the open the balcony door so the balconies we open to both of our rooms. The room had a lot of room for a cruise ship. Small bathroom but it worked well. One tip bring a power strip as you have two plug ins if you do not. Since we were traveling to Alaska you need to bring more clothes then a tropical cruise. We had 4suitcases all were stored in the closet , we had a hotel sized refrigerator no freezer section. Enough drawers for all of our clothes. One suitcase I filled with bottled ice tea. That suitcase we later used to carry all of or purchased souvenirs and clothes we purchased on the cruise. Suitcaseses arrived soon after we ate lunch. Our room attendant Alan was fantastic room was cleaned two to three times a day. Ok the food part most of the food was great to excellent some not so good. We ate mostly in the Botticelli dinning room. Since we had such a huge part we had many tables all in the same area and we could move around and sit with different tables on different nights we had the early seating at 5:30 and we never were finished before 7 or 7:30 so if your in a hurry go to the buffet. I have lots of pictures of food and menus. Ok the veal scalloping was thin dry and not good.pine rib was great New York steak was good the salmon was ok the crab legs were great the lobster was great. Most of the salads very good, and you can order one or two of anything you want . Great deserts. I am diabetic and they had a sugar free desert every night, some of some very good, breakfast was good also and they had lox and bagels my breakfast of choice everyday, I purchase a coffee card for the lattes, and other coffee drinks. If you like soft boiled egged they we closer to hard than soft . We ate breakfast at the buffet when we were getting off the ship early and the food is ok they did have egg dishes made to order, large selection of foods , fruits, and would say the food was good , and a large variety, the service was good , you always had to order your pop or specialty coffees separately and sometimes took a few minutes to get them. the service in the main dining room was excellent and most of the servers were fun and after the first meals remembered your drinks you like ne they paid attention to your likes and dislikes. If you drink alcohol and pop and want specialty coffees it may be worth the all inclusive drink card about $56.00 per day, average glass wine from $7.20 to $9.50 , coffee drinks $2.25 to$2.75. I drink alcohol so not sure about hard liquor drinks . Most of the ship employees we asked questions could always help you find or give you directions. We were very lucky we had fantastic weather upper 70s every day up to the last day Saturday night in Victoria BC if started to rain. The ship was always clean. Excursions we did a van tour at Ketchikan we purchased at the dock as all tours and excursions can be purchased off ship on the dock. best part of of the tour in Ketchikan was the log carving totem tour. Then we met up with family shopped the the town and ate . We took the Tracy fjord catamaran tour , best thing we did this cruise well worth it, then the white pass train tour at Skagway, a don't miss to me. There we all types of ship activities going on most were set up to get more of your money, photos, wine tasting, art auctions, jewelry store over priced, there is no deal on a cruise ship in any shop. The shows were ok to bad they had a magic show my thoughts in that at the magic was getting the audience to fill up the theater to watch it. The disco show was much better. They also had had the voice of the ocean, this was very good mostly due to the fact two of the contestants were my nieces and one of them won the contest. , the casino is not the same as Vegas or Reno, poor odds and most people do not win . Not really my thing to do on a cruise. The pool was on mostly kids. Great pizza . Ok last day embarkation was easy very smooth except off the ship you may have to wait for your ride. This was our fourth cruise and scenery wise Alaska was the most beautiful ever. My biggest complaint is always The upswell or just constantly being asked to purchase something. I'm not a huge cruise fan but this was a family event and the ship accommodates for that. Overall the food was good service was excellent rooms were clean. And to me having a balcony is worth the money. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
My son and I needed to go and have a relaxing adventurous vacation. We both loved our time on board. What I noticed the first day was that a cruise could be as slow and relaxing or as fast paced as you wanted. So much to see outside the ... Read More
My son and I needed to go and have a relaxing adventurous vacation. We both loved our time on board. What I noticed the first day was that a cruise could be as slow and relaxing or as fast paced as you wanted. So much to see outside the boat as well as so much entertainment inside! I also loved the fact that we could not use our phones so the world pretty much stopped. My son and I had opportunities that we may never have again. So glad we went and can't wait to go again! I especially liked the morning coffee looking out at the ocean and mountains. Nothing comes close! We even saw whales, pacific sunfish and sharks from the boat. The weather was also so beautiful. Not a day of rain. The excursions were incredible; The Deadliest Catch Boat, Shoreside Salmon Fishing, and the SkagwayTrain ride. Only regret was not bringing a gopro to video the fishing trip! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Did this cruise on the Diamond in 2016 . Had such a great experience with that , me & the missus wanted to do it again . Emerald Princess is a magnificent ship with fantastic crew and staff made us feel like VIPs wherever we were . ... Read More
Did this cruise on the Diamond in 2016 . Had such a great experience with that , me & the missus wanted to do it again . Emerald Princess is a magnificent ship with fantastic crew and staff made us feel like VIPs wherever we were . Clean & comfortable staterooms , good variety of food in the buffet . Great menus in the specialty restaurants . The atmosphere in the bars ( Crooners & wheelhouse in particular ) had us come back time & again . Getting on and off the ship was made easy by the very helpful staff at each port of call . My wife travelled with a wheelchair this trip and I thought it would be a struggle . I have nothing but praise for the support given us by the Princess team , from embarkation to debarkation & beyond , thank you all for a memorable cruise . We are considering a 3rd trip next year on the Diamond again . Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
As seasoned cruisers (11th cruise with Princess and 17th overall), we enjoy the Princess experiences: traditional cruising, many dining experiences (ranging from casual to Michelin), personal and expertise service, cleanliness, familiarity ... Read More
As seasoned cruisers (11th cruise with Princess and 17th overall), we enjoy the Princess experiences: traditional cruising, many dining experiences (ranging from casual to Michelin), personal and expertise service, cleanliness, familiarity and excellent itineraries. Hence, we are enormously loyal to Princess and chose this cruise merely for the joint holiday itinerary to one of our favourite countries to cruise to – New Zealand – from hometown of Sydney. The itinerary included a new port, Picton, which was a lovely surprise, otherwise the itinerary was all familiar. This was our first time on the Emerald Princess and we enjoyed the ship very much; it is fairly new and well arranged. Hotel Information: The mini suite stateroom was spacious for two people, though we have sailed before with 3 and even 4 passengers. Not a complaint about the room. Customer services officer, Steven Ross, was a credit to the cruise line and one of the senior shining staff members on-board. I strongly recommend pre-organising credit card info for the cruise prior to embarkation, to avoid purser's desks queues. A big stateroom qualm was the fact my parents, vacating in the stateroom next to mine, had significant difficulties with their cruise card, being unable to enter their cabin. Pursers desk staff tried to be helpful with remagnetising the cards but this issue continued for the entire duration of the cruise! Their advice offerings were considerate e.g. separate cards from one another or keep away from phones, never even applied. The technician who came to inspect the cabin door tossed the blame to another department and it buck was continually passed along so the easiest way my parents found to deal with it was queuing up for re-magnestiisng on a daily basis. International Café: As huge fans of the International Café concept, we love time spent there! Sadly, the lack of seating was a perpetual problem. We were often scrambling to find space or seats in the café. Unfortunately, it’s just one of those things but I do believe adding additional space in the atrium or including additional chairs would help the situation. Fellow passengers shoving aside others to snab a table, of which I was once already sitting at with a family member, is a lowly reflection of fellow cruisers etiquette. Embarkation/Disembarkation: No major complaints, Princess usually do a seamless job especially at the Overseas Passengers Terminal in Circular Quay, Sydney making the whole process even smoother, however disembarkation was the most unclear we have experienced in a little while - staff were completely lost in directing passengers to exit and there was no signage or indication of the disembarkation portal. Dining/Club Class: Biggest highlight for our cruising experience was the introduction of Club Class for platinum, elite and suite passengers. With additional dining privileges for breakfast and dinner (and sea day lunches) this suited us superbly. Dining times can be allocated for the same time, to the same table and waiters, if passengers prefer (which we did!). The service was out of this world incredible! Our waiters Mylosh and Matt, and head waiter Razvan went above and beyond their call of duty to satisfy our dining wishes. Their service was a notch above. We certainly support CC's introduction. We never have major complaints about the dining experience on-board Princess. Food is generally tasty, well cooked and there's plenty of variety at the dining facilities. My biggest issue was the overspicing of dishes, Princess seems to be going overboard with that. We enjoy the Princess style of certain dishes like the orzo salad (International café), salmon bagel for breakfast, pancakes, escargot and chocolate chip cookies - in my humble opinion, most places I dine at can't beat Princesses standard for these food items. I definitely recommend Share, the new speciality restaurant by Curtis Stone. The Michelin style menu was faultless - the pork ravioli and sea scallops are to die for! The view up there is also spectacular so I suggest booking for a 7pm or 8pm seating to watch the sunset. Gym/Spa: Plentiful and diverse gym equipment with operational TV screens attached. Morning stretch classes and ab workouts were enjoyable but a tad short; Georgi was excellent with diversifying the routines each day. Yoga (paid class) was pleasant but a little too easy. Had an amazing facial by Lyndsay; she knew exactly what to do to make my complexion glow and I am so glad to have met her. Natalia the hairdresser was also great with her work. Alfie the manager seems to be doing a brilliant job! Tender: Tendering services seemed to have improved from previous cruisers which had countless issues with immobile passengers attempting to get on-board lifeboat vessels, causing accidents and MAJOR delays. Glad Princess are sticking to their policy for whatever reason! Captain: Must add that Captain Bill Kent did an excellent job steering the Emerald Princess. Despite rapidly changing weather, gusty winds, listing, uncooperative propellers and the silly season, Captain Kent kept the ship well informed. He was very personable, engaging in ship activities like the Christmas mass service, judging the gingerbread house competition, tender operations and partaking in tours. Christmas Vibe/Entertainment & Activities: A wide array of Christmas activities and entertainment was available this cruise, providing a lot of fun, such as gingerbread house decorating, cookie decorating, Christmas card making, Christmas movies, carolling and mass. This left a very homely and warm feeling. Some of the activities were poorly timed, either clashing with meal times or other major events but overall very enjoyable and had a ball choosing what to do! Atmosphere and decoration on-board was amazing, even stunning! We often cruise over the holidays and this cruise exceeded all expectations - the ambience by décor and staff's friendliness was amazing. Otherwise entertainment was a massive anti-climax! The MUTS was a flop; we attended it twice to have the audio not working from the start. This has also happened on previous cruisers. . It also makes a lot of sense to simultaneously screen the film on one of the stateroom TV channels, so that the movie can be watched with appropriate audio in the cabin yet this has sadly not been the case. As an extension to the in room entertainment, the TV and film selections are repetitive, being shown again and again all day. Shows lacked luster though some of the on-board games were pretty fun. Tours: The two tours we chose were great - perfect length/duration, engaging sights and itinerary and well priced considering how much Princess OVERCHAGRES with their tours. Recommend the Waka experience in Bay of Islands if city highlights is not your thing and the Moa Brewery and Aviation Museum in Picton. Unfortunately, we could not attend the chocolate factory in the latter destination's tour, yet our company was still fully charged and not reimbursed for that expedition. Money making scheme... General: Musty Smell – The ship had quite a strange musty smell at times; often vacuum like air dryers were used to manage it and took a few hours to dissipate. Boutiques – Lacked lustre. Either shopping was based for amenities – knick knacks, souvenirs, toiletries or basic fashion – or was high end duty free. Stock was dated, uninspiring or limited. Art Auction – Incredibly annoying. Not that we/I partake in this experience, but the staff involved are pushy and loud. The concept itself occupies way too much time, advertising and space around the ship and I think less could possibly be more in the case of Princess amending its art facility. Devoting a whole stateroom television channel to art history and documentaries is a bit much too… As always, the service cannot be faulted. Staff try their absolute hardest to accommodate and please. Cannot say I met one staff member who was impolite or unhelpful! The atmosphere this cruise was amazing and so festive, especially celebrating NYE and Christmas onboard! Thoroughly enjoyed it and left misty eyed which we haven’t done in a while! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Departure city was Syndey. This trip was on my bucket list. 6 of us in our group. Son, grandson, new daughter in law, 2 new granddaughters and myself! Stayed 3 nights at Four Seasons at the port. Arrival day was rainy; spent afternoon ... Read More
Departure city was Syndey. This trip was on my bucket list. 6 of us in our group. Son, grandson, new daughter in law, 2 new granddaughters and myself! Stayed 3 nights at Four Seasons at the port. Arrival day was rainy; spent afternoon in the Opera House. Early to bed as wedding in the park the following day. Hair and makeup done; beautiful sunny and warm day---perfect. Manley Beach, zoo and botanical gardens were also has ghlights. Embarkation and disembarkation was simple. We walked from hotel to the ship and took shuttle from the ship to the airport. Thank goodness for cruise critic's helpful hints about how to survive with 4 persons in a cabin. The over the door shoe bag from the container store was soooo useful. The wall magnets were used for jackets and handbags. The kids and teen programs were a hit with the grandchildren. They were eager to participate every evening after dinner and no sea days. I needed gluten free foods. The dining room staff in Michaelanglo were so attentive and kept me 'in line' when I was tempted to cheat. They then provided me with a wonderful substitute. We did some of the shows in Princess theatre, art lectures and spent time in Crooners with Cory when children were in their programs. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Wow so much to say. came into Sydney harbour by river ferry coming around the back and side of this amazing ship. Boarding was a breeze a few rather long queues but that was to be expected as the ship had to board three and a half thousand ... Read More
Wow so much to say. came into Sydney harbour by river ferry coming around the back and side of this amazing ship. Boarding was a breeze a few rather long queues but that was to be expected as the ship had to board three and a half thousand people. once we were finally through the Embarkation process walking across the gangway was so nerve racking wondering what is the ship going to be like? what awaits us just around the corner? when we got around that corner and set foot on-board the truly amazing M/S Emerald Princess we certainly were not disappointed it was beautiful as it was a Christmas cruise there was tinsel Christmas trees and all sorts of other decorations everywhere which was a lovely touch. Now to the cabin my first time in an interior cabin so didn't really know what to expect but was pleasantly surprised the cabin was roomy well designed and actually quite a pleasant room although the bathroom as always with cruise ships was tiny. The Dining OMG the choices for dining on-board was incredible, three dining rooms, three specialty restaurants plus the buffet, Café Caribe, the grill, a pizza place/ ice-cream place and a fantastic little café in the Atrium called the International Café a tip book early for Crab Shack, Share and Crown Grill all of which are very popular this can be achieved through the stateroom phone by pressing the dining reservations button or by calling 6219 from any phone on-board (only the stateroom phones have the speed dial function). entertainment and activities the night-time shows is unfortunately where Princess fell short personally I found some of them to be rather amateurish I personally quite enjoyed the Princess signature show Magic To Do although they could have done more to hide the wires, the activities were quite enjoyable especially the trivia which my family spent a lot of time at all in all the entertainment and activities were abit of a let down (the Trivia was fun though). The service WOW each and every crew member was pleasant smiling happy to help you in anyway possible always with a huge smile (especially in the case of Kefang who worked at the international café as a buffet steward she was always smiling) the cruise director Duke and the assistant cruise director Matt were hilarious always cracking jokes and making fun of each other a true delight to be around. The ports and shore excursions WOW WOW WOW New Zealand is an incredible place a truly breathtaking country starting off in the Bay of Islands right up the top of the North Island we did the Waitangi Estuary by sea kayak shore excursion kayaking up to a small waterfall and back with a short break a 2 hour shore excursion truly amazing next was Auckland an unfortunate let-down very much like Sydney not really anything truly exciting there this was followed by the best port of the entire cruise Tauranga where we went to the Tamaki Maori Village just outside Rotorua what a day we were on a bus for about 90 minutes from the berth at Mount Maunganui to Tamaki both the guide and the driver were always cracking jokes and telling us about the areas we were passing which made the bus trip quite enjoyable then we arrived at Tamaki we were met by a traditional Maori welcome ceremony where the Maori warriors made sure that we came in peace and weren't going to attack them which was quite a show we then went into the village and were split up into small groups at which point we went to different huts to learn different things about Maori culture and history which was rather interesting and fun we then went to learn about a traditional hangi which is a Maori way of cooking after this we moved the meeting house where we were entertained through a number of Maori performances including the famous haka and a performance of a Maori love song called Pokarekare Ana after this it was meal time where we enjoyed a traditional Maori hangi feast which was delicious once this was over we had a bit of time to browse the gift shop and take some photos of the village before it was time to head back to the ship we said goodbye to Tamaki and headed out to the bus we then commenced the 90 minute return journey to Mount Maunganui berth where our ship was docked during this trip we were given a bit of a private performance with our guide singing some Maori songs until we reached Rotorua and she was dropped off we then went for a drive through the nearby gardens and had a look at a rather large building within the gardens before continuing our journey back. next was Christmas Day which was a sea day transiting between the north and south islands Christmas day was quiet and relaxing which was nice it was also a formal night there was Santa's arrival Christmas carols and much more our next port was Picton where we went on a hike and scenic cruise up the queen charlotte track and sound which was beautiful after this relatively easy hike and scenic cruise we were dropped off in the Picton township and had a bit of a look around a market and the town which was quite a nice quaint little rural New Zealand town right on the water which was lovely. Our next port was Wellington which is of course New Zealand's national capital and an awesome city first thing we did was get the famous cable car up the hill and walked back down through the botanical gardens which were really pretty after this we walked around the great city and had very necessary retail therapy we also enjoyed some on NZ's famous fush and chups as they would say we returned to the ship happy and content after a great day looking around an awesome city. next was Akaroa a quaint little French town quite a nice place actually at this port we did the double decker bus tour which was quite enjoyable during this tour we travelled form Akaroa to the famous hilltop hotel for a photo opportunity and pit stop we travelled through a number of quaint little towns the view from the hilltop hotel was breathtaking right over the many bays. Next was our final port of the cruise Dunedin a lovely small Scottish city with quite a lot to see including a Cadbury chocolate factory (the obvious highlight) as well as a great little Scottish shop quite a nice little southern New Zealand city. our final day in New Zealand was spent on a scenic cruise through the absolutely amazing Fiordland National Park through the dusky doubtful and breathtaking Milford sounds a truly breathtaking part of an amazing country. The next day was New Years Eve and of course it was party time and also the cruises third and final formal night they had three different on-board venues with parties celebrating New Years they were the Piazza, the Wheelhouse bar and the Explorers Lounge the Piazza had a live performance form the Emerald Princess party band (Liquid Blue) and a gold and silver balloon drop at the stroke of midnight a great night all in all. Our final night on-board was when my family went to the Share by Curtis Stone specialty restaurant located on deck 16 aft a truly amazing restaurant the six course meal was exquisite and the service was impeccable and the restaurant itself was beautifully designed. all in all a very very enjoyable cruise would definitely recommend Princess Cruises to anyone who wishes to have a relaxing luxurious and enriching cruise. Disembarkation was a breeze as well in and out of the terminal in less than half an hour. Would I travel with Princess Cruises again in short yes definitely although it is not my kind of line as I prefer to have activities galore, water parks, water slides heaps of pools a young persons fun cruise I would definitely go with princess again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Our travelling party consisted of two families - our friends one adult and three daughters 16, 14 and 10 and us 2 adults and four boys 15, 11, 9 and 6. Nine year old had his bday on the ship. We arrived at Sydney Domestic airport early ... Read More
Our travelling party consisted of two families - our friends one adult and three daughters 16, 14 and 10 and us 2 adults and four boys 15, 11, 9 and 6. Nine year old had his bday on the ship. We arrived at Sydney Domestic airport early thinking of taking a maxi taxi if possible to the port, however once we picked up our bags we saw a guy with Princess cruises ask him a question and he introduced us to another shuttle driver who took all of us for $10 per person, which we would have probably paid anyhow as I doubt a maxi in Sydney will seat 10 pax. We arrived at circular key at 9:30, dropped of our bags and went for a walk around Sydney along the foreshore to darling Harbour and then via the CBD to the ship. We arrived at our allocated boarding time at 12:30 and were on the ship within 45 minutes. Went to our cabins on deck 8 (emerald) forward). We had two inside quads and an obstructed view twin. Cabins were fine. The ship was well decorated with Christmas things and it truly made you feel within the festive season. Music played was often also Christmas themed and overall they built it up nicely through the cruise, from lighting the Christmas tree in the Atrium to ginger house making competition with the three winners being added to the ginger town display. Christmas dinner was fine and all children received a present from Santa in the Atrium. On this cruise I also purchased the photo package for 199. We probably did not make full use of it but obtained sufficient photos to consider the expense worth while. We tried the various dining venues on board and had an evening at share and the food was very delicious it costs $39 pp but is worth the expense (we only took the older children here) . We also spent one night at the gastro pub $19 per adult and $9 per child. The burger was a delight and so were most of the others. I suggest that all other something different so you can try. Entertainment and activities were very good. The cruise Director 'Duke" and his sidekick ''Matt" were great, so where the shows and entertainers. We watched all the shows. We actually missed out on some of the venues which I realised at the end of the cruise so I will have to repeat :). Apparently Crooners was a place to be, but we did not frequent it, the piano player engaged well with a musical family and they put on some adhoc shows. The voice was a great show too, some very good talent, made it worthwhile. The top three were excellent singers. We attended several trivia and other things and involved ourselves whenever we felt like it. Carols with the crew was great and the Captain of the ship read out a Christmas story and was throughout the voyage informative and humorous. I also want to make mention of Dukes assistance a ships officer from France (nickname Frenchy) she was engaging with passengers of all ages, I observed her once having a great conversation with my 11 year old, and she did not know I was observing as I was quietly enjoying my drink. New Years eve was a great party, many venues had activities and they had a countdown in the Atrium. Party hats and noisemakers where handed out during dinner at the MDR and you could really get into the spirit. Fellow passengers on this ship was also a mix of all ages. There were a substantial amount of children on board - especially for a Princess cruise. In the two younger clubs there would have been about 150 and then probably another 150-250 teens. This made it therefore a varied demographic which was great. We also enjoyed Vines, they had a knowledgeable waiter there Ryan from Canada who was very helpful. Tasty Tapas and Sushi was avail too with your wine order. Our family also extensively made use of the coffee cards, several of the children had one, as they love hot chocolate, which was free and tea. So we now have two coffee cards left over that we can use for our next Princess cruise. The sweets in the Plazza caffee were delightful, Donuts, best ever, I will not eat any other donuts after tasting these. Food overall was very good and so many choices, you can not go hungry on this ship. Loved the Pizzas, the Burger bar was great food, Horizon court good too, although getting a table was not always easy. We ate there at various times, same as the MDR and felt the food and preparation and presentation at all venues could not be criticised. This was our first longer cruise with Princess and because we have cruised sufficient times with the company now we had reached Elite level. So we had the mini bar set up etc, but best of all was the free laundry. (by the way, if you think being Elite on board is special, just remember approx. 10% of the passengers will be at that level). Our cabin steward was great, very attentive and I made special mention of him on our survey. The ports we visited have so much variety that it is too much to list it all, let's just say, NZ is an adventure of its own, we found it easy booking a lot of things ourselves and only did one ship shore excursion. We will certainly cruise around NZ again and we were also very fortunate that we had excellent weather doing the Fjordlands. All the children travelling with us had a great time too and want to go again. The Emerald Princess is a great ship, very seaworthy, we had some high swell but the ship handled it very well. Disembarkation was the sad point of the cruise as it is time to say goodbye, fortunately we were already planning our next cruise, but the process was smooth, no issue and we took a shuttle back to the airport again costing $100 even though it was a public holiday. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Overall, the ship was amazing. The dining was a WOW!! Although the entertainment was average, with only 4 or 5 musicals, the ship still kept our family of 4 busy throughout the whole day. The sporting and fitness facilities on the ship ... Read More
Overall, the ship was amazing. The dining was a WOW!! Although the entertainment was average, with only 4 or 5 musicals, the ship still kept our family of 4 busy throughout the whole day. The sporting and fitness facilities on the ship were outstanding, the ship provided us with a number of sports, such as table tennis(ping pong), basketball, soccer, cricket, paddle tennis, mini golf a jogging track and a well equipped high-tech gym. Every night, when the room steward refreshed our room he left us with delicious chocolates and the next day's edition of the Princess Patter( the newsletter with showed all the activities happening in the next day). One very important thing I would recommend you to purchase, especially if you are travelling with kids, is to buy the soda and drink package. And also purchase once you get on the ship, not before, because the price onboard is cheaper than purchasing it from the website. With 60 Australian dollars we could get all the drinks we wanted for free. And one thing that you should know is that Princess is not very strict with the package. For example, I could but a drink and then give the card to my sister and she could get a drink for herself. Our interior cabin was very nice. The service on the ship was amazing. The dining was also great. The pizza in this ship was amazing. For breakfast there was a huge variety of food, from pancakes, to waffles, to omelettes, to hash browns, to scrambled eggs, to croissants, to yoghurt, to chocolate croissants, to fruit etc. The dinner was amazing too, and the dessert was absolutely wonderful. The cruise was actually very great for children too, the kids clubs were awesome, and the youth counsellors very very friendly. The service on this ship was also very great. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Decided on doing this cruise as relations were making their way back to Australia after spending 3 weeks with us in Wales. This was our first time with Princess and will certainly cruise with them again . As I was travelling solo and ... Read More
Decided on doing this cruise as relations were making their way back to Australia after spending 3 weeks with us in Wales. This was our first time with Princess and will certainly cruise with them again . As I was travelling solo and had to pay the dreaded double cost I chose a inside cabin , this was mid ship on Baja deck B411 ,cabin very spacious,loved the open wardrobe space making the cabin seem larger without the wardrobe doors. Good cabin steward who kept everything clean and tidy,loved the new bed and pillows so comfy you did not want to get up. We had my time dining and after being on different tables for a few nights we found two excellent waiters whom we asked to stay with ,we were lucky that if we dined around 7:30 pm there was usually room at one of their tables , Prasad was from Goa and his assistant from Brazil ,we were made to feel special every night,nothing was to much trouble for them The theatre shows were hit and miss , enjoyed Paul Brown who performed two nights fabulous voice he had been the lead singer in The Lion King in London,David Copperfield also put on two good shows once in the Theatre and and another night in one of the lounges. Also went to a few shows in the lounges put on by the crew and were also very good .only problem was there was never enough room and lots had to stand throughout the show. One of the highlights of this cruise was the transit though the Suez Canal ,excellent commentary from the bridge by an Australian lady ,sorry can,t remember her name ,also enjoyed her talk in theatre on Petra ,I had been a few years ago on a land based holiday to Jordan so had already visited Petra so enjoyed going through it all again. My only regret on this cruise was not taking the plunge and going the full 48 nights to Australia! May be another time.loved the Emerald Princess Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this Scandinavian cruise as it is a part of the world I have always wanted to visit, and Emerald Princess happened to be there. We visited Zeebrugge, Copenhagen and Oslo, and had a visit to Helsinborg in Sweden aborted due to bad ... Read More
We chose this Scandinavian cruise as it is a part of the world I have always wanted to visit, and Emerald Princess happened to be there. We visited Zeebrugge, Copenhagen and Oslo, and had a visit to Helsinborg in Sweden aborted due to bad weather. I had not heard much about Princess before, and I was nervous about travelling with an infant after reading articles on this site warning about what an awful experience I was likely to have. Turns out, this could not have been more wrong. This was our third cruise, and hands down the best. The service was second to none - easily the best service I have ever experienced, not only on any cruise before, but in any leisure or hospitality environment. My baby daughter was treated like a celebrity across the ship, so much so that on our last day we had to take her on a "tour of duty" to say goodbye to each and every waiter and bar person who had fallen for her charms over the week! The team onboard could not do enough to make sure we had everything we needed, and the food and presentation was exceptional. There was plenty of choice food wise - we ate in the Michaelangelo anytime dining room every night, and even my fussy teenage stepdaughter found something to eat off the menu. My 6 month old was quite happy chomping on breadsticks and steamed veg, although I was regularly offered baby food. A high chair and a clean, film-wrapped tray were provided quickly for us each time we arrived at either the dining room or the Horizon buffet for breakfast and lunch. The buffet was more than adequate for breakfast and lunch with plenty of hot and continental options available - my teenage stepdaughter was quite happy to have Belgian waffles with chocolate sauce for breakfast every day! Embarkation was smooth and speedy (we were onboard the ship less than 45 minutes from pulling up in the car in front of it), and our bags beat us to our room. There were plenty of areas, inside and out, to sit, and at no point during the day did anything feel crowded. This was despite the fact that due to bad weather stopping us from going ashore in Sweden and leading to an unexpected sea day - there was still plenty to do. Evening entertainment was varied and we found something we wanted to do every night - my stepdaughter took a shine to the house band, Starwave, so we watched them in a number of venues around the ship on different evenings. The theatre shows were lots of fun, including a musical written for Princess by Stephen Schwartz, a Robbie Williams tribute, and a version of The Voice. The only nights they were really crowded were the formal nights when more people were out and about, but we arrived 15 minutes before showtime and had no problems getting seated. We didn't purchase any official excursions so I can't comment on those, but we found something to do in each port - there was a shuttle at Zeebrugge which took us to the nearby town of Blankenberge for 10 euro each, We walked into Copenhagen, and we jumped on a hop on hop off bus in Oslo for around 30 euro each. Shuttles etc were all available from just outside the ship. Overall - I don't think I've ever been so sad for a holiday to end, and I would happily return to Emerald Princess tomorrow. I've already started looking at Princess again for next year! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We booked this cruise, our first Princess Cruise, mostly for its itinerary in Scandinavia, which interested us greatly. We weren't expecting a lot from the ship itself due to its negative reviews. However, we were pleasantly ... Read More
We booked this cruise, our first Princess Cruise, mostly for its itinerary in Scandinavia, which interested us greatly. We weren't expecting a lot from the ship itself due to its negative reviews. However, we were pleasantly surprised! To begin, the ship was stunning. The piazza is gorgeous, and the public areas and lounges were very well designed to host a large number of people, as we almost never felt crowded. We liked to hang around spaces like the Adagio bar on deck 16 (great for playing cards) and Vibe on deck 7 (where many events were held throughout the day). The main dining room, though somewhat less impressive than those on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity Ships, still felt elegant and calm. This ship has definitely held up over the years! We absolutely loved our balcony cabins. Our family of 4 had two of them side-by-side, and we opened up the balcony divider. It performed its function extremely well, with space used very efficiently (HUGE closet). The beds, which I understand were recently replaced, were very comfortable. We had no trouble falling asleep at all. I'd highly recommend our cabin location, deck 14 aft. This offered easy access to the Horizon Court and Terrace pool, and we heard nothing from the buffet above us. The dining was what stood out to us most on this cruise. The buffet, Horizon Court, was one of the best we've had at sea. Though it wasn't huge like some other ships we've been on, we never saw the same items twice! Everything was constantly being changed, and the food was consistently good. The Trident Grill was fantastic for snacks, as was Prego Pizzeria. All of these restaurants close at 11pm, by the way. The main dining room food quality varied from okay to fantastic, but it always arrived hot and beautifully presented, which is something other cruise lines have struggled with. As for the on-board entertainment, we were quite impressed. Shows were somewhat smaller scale than Royal Caribbean, which I think still outperformed this ship in Broadway-style shows. However, what Emerald Princess excelled at was the amount of shows. While Royal Caribbean only does 1 big show a night, with 2 time slots (early and late), Princess had 2 - 4 shows a night, with multiple showings of each! To name a few of these shows: "The Voice of the Ocean" (singing competition), "Magic To-Do" (Broadway style show), David Knight (comedy hypnotist) and "HalfDanskerne Trio" (Danish folk singers). Entertainment throughout the day was very creative as well. Our favourite was the "Crazy golf" in the Adagio bar on the last day. The Cruise director staff was very engaging and made good use of the on-board space. Aris was really great and never failed to make us laugh. There was constantly more than one activity going on at any given time: you won't get bored on this ship. Service was excellent. There are very attentive and courteous servers in the Horizon Court, which Royal Caribbean somewhat lacks, and our stateroom steward, Luney, was very good. We had a few very minor hiccups with the Dining room service, but they were working hard. Our server, Katarina, was very professional and our food always arrived hot. I won't go into too much detail about the ports, but I will say that I highly recommend this Scandinavian Itinerary. Bruges was picturesque, and great if you're a chocolate lover. Copenhagen was magical, despite the downpour of rain we got, and Tivoli Garden is not to be missed! I loved Oslo's engaging museums (we did the Folk museum and Fram museum), though it should be noted that if you prebook your Oslo pass, it is QUITE the walk across town to get it. Unfortunately, we did not get to Helsingborg as the captain had to cancel the tender due to a storm. This came as quite a crushing disappointment to us, as we really wanted to get to see Kronborg castle. Apparently, this cancellation is not uncommon either. If there is anything you really want to do in the area, do it in Copenhagen: don't wait for Helsingborg, as you very well may miss it. A word of warning about the weather: pack for the worst and expect the best. I had a sweater, a rain coat and a pair of shorts in my backpack, and I used all three over the course of one day! The weather in this part of the world changes drastically VERY QUICKLY. Be prepared. We would certainly cruise with Princess again, and it may actually be our new favourite cruise line. I urge anyone looking to book a cruise on this ship not to get scared away by the negative reviews. Bad experiences can happen on any ship, don't let a few of them stop you from trying a cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Note: this review is very much food focused! Everything about this cruise to Scandinavia was fantastic. This was not our first cruise (NCL & RCCL) but our first on Princess. Travelling with my elderly mum who has coeliac disease ... Read More
Note: this review is very much food focused! Everything about this cruise to Scandinavia was fantastic. This was not our first cruise (NCL & RCCL) but our first on Princess. Travelling with my elderly mum who has coeliac disease (needs a gluten free diet) we arrived at check in desks in Southampton approximately noon and we were on-board by 1pm. We went straight to our cabin something other cruise lines don’t allow until a set time and amazingly our bags were outside of the door. Off to the buffet next, a good selection of food, mum being a coeliac has to be a bit careful when eating in the buffet so selected some fruit and some cheese. We couldn’t believe it when I spotted a ‘gluten free’ tapioca pudding. There was a different GF pudding available in the buffet daily throughout the cruise which is tremendous. Back to the cabin. We were on Caribe Deck towards AFT – starboard and were really happy with the location. The Balcony on this deck is double the length of those on deck 9 and 11 – so a great choice for us. The balcony has 2 adjustable chairs with footstools and a table. The cabin itself was well appointed and I particularly liked the separate dressing room area which was particularly useful for mum to park her 3 wheel walker. The bathroom whilst small was again good with a walk-in shower. The only shame about this was it was a static showerhead and not a showerhead on a hose to be able to wash your more difficult parts! We ate in the main dining (Michelangelo) which was available for anytime dining. We always asked for a table for 2 and generally we had a small wait, this was anything from 10 to 30 mins. We were given a pager which allowed us to sit and get a drink or just sit and watch the piece band in the piazza. The first evening we made it known that mum needed gluten free meal. A Head waiter was then allocated to us for the whole cruise. Nelson was ours and was wonderful, he helped mum select off the menu for the first night and arranged for some gluten free bread. She had the country chicken as main and there was flourless chocolate cake for desert. He then gave her the menu for the next night and told her only to select Starter and main course and he will arrange something special for desert every day. This was on-going for the cruise. She ordered whatever she fancied and he made sure it was made gluten free. The deserts were amazing. She had Strawberry gateaux, raspberry and coconut cake, lemon sponge, a version of a red velvet cake and the list goes on. She was blown away. We also went to the dining room one morning and she had GF Pancakes. In the Buffet I was able to order GF Toast from the chef – this usually took about 5 mins to cook fresh for her. At 3.30pm everyday there was afternoon tea in the Botticelli. Again they more than catered for GF. Sandwiches, cake, Scones and these didn’t need to be ordered. For me, the sandwiches, cakes and scones were great and being brits the tea was good too! I must say the food quality and quantity was a high as we’ve had on any cruise. I was more than satisfied with the breakfast in the buffet and dinner in the dining room. So now onto the rest of the cruise. We were so lucky with the weather, we stayed on the ship in Zeebrugge and the weather was lovely and gave us the opportunity to look around a near empty ship and to generally chill out. In Copenhagen we had selected the ‘Easy Copenhagen’ tour as this was shown as being good for people not wanting to walk far. Imagine our surprise when we got the coach and it was a double decker! Luckily we managed to get a seat downstairs, however if there hadn’t been room we would not have been able to go on the trip. Not happy with these arrangements and to be honest it spoiled the excursion as even though mum was down stairs there was a large step she had to climb just to get to her seat this meant she wasn’t able to get out of the coach for the photo stops. Unfortunately but the time we got back to the ship it had started to rain so we didn’t go back out. The next stop was meant to be Helsingborg, this was a tender port. Due to high winds this stop was abandoned for safety reasons so it meant an extra day at sea. It actually didn’t bother us too much and we enjoyed the day relaxing. Next day was Oslo and again we selected the ‘Easy Oslo’ tour, this time we had a proper coach. This was an excellent tour, Oslo is a beautiful city. Once we got back to the ship mum went back to the cabin to rest and I went out and walked around the city and saw most of the main buildings close up. It helped that it was a lovely day. Upon leaving Oslo the scenery was stunning and reminded us of Alaska in some ways. We’d definitely like to do Norwegian Fjord cruise now. So in summary... a fabulous cruise and particularly if you or your travelling companions are in need of a special diet. The ship was lovely and we would definitely travel on Princess again. There was always lots to do, including plenty of trivia, karaoke, Movies under the stars.. You can do as much or as little and you want. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
I have cruised with my mother and sister on the Crown Princess. This trip was with my mother, husband and two kids. Husband and kids were first time cruisers. We were a bit afraid after seeing some of the reviews about the attitudes of ... Read More
I have cruised with my mother and sister on the Crown Princess. This trip was with my mother, husband and two kids. Husband and kids were first time cruisers. We were a bit afraid after seeing some of the reviews about the attitudes of the crew members. My whole family found none of those reviews to be anything like our experience. Every last person we encountered, from the steward to the bartenders, to the wait staff and on...were absolutely wonderful. Both of my kids, ages 14 and 16 made quite a few new friends at the teen club. (They were reluctant at first, but after the first night meeting everyone, we hardly saw them after that.) We had a lovely Family Suite with plenty of room and so many extra amenities. We enjoyed 4 dinners at Any Time seating in the Michelangelo Restaurant. We normally arrived at 5:30 -6:00 and were seated immediately. The food was excellent and every night even though a different waiter, was so enjoyable! My husband's comment: "Everyone looks like they really like their jobs. Like they really want to be here." We also were able to enjoy breakfast with Mimosas at the Crown Grill. My 16 year old eating-machine son, visited the Horizon Grill every day for lunch, snack, and a nightly dessert or three. He could always find something to eat from sushi, tacos and seafood, to chocolate cake, cheesecakes and cookies and brownies. We also made sure to attend a show in the Princess Theater. It was a Disco tunes and dance show. I had a blast singing along to all of the songs and my mother enjoyed the dancing. Even my husband was tapping his toes. We just love Princess!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We have been dealing with water damage from a rain storm and needed a quick getaway. We found this to be a relaxing trip. Not much to really see and do in Grand Turk, but a walk along the beach and some conch fritters at Jack's Shack ... Read More
We have been dealing with water damage from a rain storm and needed a quick getaway. We found this to be a relaxing trip. Not much to really see and do in Grand Turk, but a walk along the beach and some conch fritters at Jack's Shack fit the bill nicely. We relaxed so much doing what we wanted to when, that we never made it to the dining room. Skywalker's elite evening munchies were enough for us. We did the buffet or Intl Cafe the rest of the time, or morning room service. As always, we met many, many nice fellow cruisers from all over. Disembarktation a nightmare, poor planning on behalf of Border Security and Princess. Extra time to get off and VERY long customs lines, over an hour. Due to the lateness, our Ft Lauderdale tour w drop off in Miami was shortened, which was ok, as it began to rain and one of the sites over hyped anyway. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We have cruised quite a bit in the "distant" past and just a little bit in the last 15 years. I think we are spoiled with our "seasoned" experiences of cruising when there were less passengers and more service and ... Read More
We have cruised quite a bit in the "distant" past and just a little bit in the last 15 years. I think we are spoiled with our "seasoned" experiences of cruising when there were less passengers and more service and quality. Our last cruise (Zuiderdam) was a few years ago and just did not live up to our expectations. This year, we chose the Emerald Princess because we thought that we would try a different cruise line. Additionally, the 5 day cruise was the perfect fit for our already planned Fort Lauderdale vacation. We flew down to FLL one day early and stayed the nite at the Hollywood Beach Marriott. Cab fare from the hotel to the cruise terminal was $15.00 without tip. We arrived about 11:30 and there was quite a few people in line ahead of us but everything moved very quickly and we were sent into a waiting area post check in for about 20 minutes before being allowed to board the ship. Everyone was very friendly and helpful during this process. Somehow, my coffee card which I pre-purchased was not included but I was given correct info as to how to get the card once on board. It is very helpful to have a pen/pencil to fill in the health questionnaire while in line. We were allowed to board just about 12:30. It was our intention to go to our stateroom but we found ourselves just outside of the MDR and they said "come on in and have lunch", so we did. Right away, we became aware of just how close those tables for 2 are in the MDR. We rolled with it and had some nice conversations with folks seated on either side of us. Lunch was very good, but I am not used to having courses at lunch! After lunch, we made our way to our cabin D602 - a mini suite on the port side of the ship. Our bags arrived shortly after we did and unpacking was pretty quick. The cabin was very nice and we really appreciated the balcony as we had a great view of the port and ships that departed before us. There was no overhang above our heads so we could see other passengers and they could see us. I had read about this ahead of time on CC but I must say, it didn't bother us at all. In fact, we talked to a few neighbors this way over the course of the cruise. The balcony was a bit run down. The sides of the doors and the walls were pretty stained and the blue floor covering was stained with what looked like white paint from above. Nevertheless, we really enjoyed sitting out there first thing in the morning and later in the day. The beds were comfy but I was bothered by the shortness of the blankets. I am tall and the blankets only came chest high on me. Our cabin steward was excellent and he got me a set up from a larger bed that was great for the entire cruise. I was able to snuggle up and nite without running out of bed covers. The A/C was good but our room temp was never less than 72 degrees. My travel alarm has a thermometer on it that's pretty accurate. Since both of our thermostats were set at their lowest, there was nothing we could do about that. We just prefer our room to be a bit cooler than that at night. The bathroom/shower was good with plenty of space for all of our stuff. The water temperature in the shower remained a mystery for the whole cruise. No matter how you turned the knobs, the water temp stayed exactly the same. I would have liked a little less hot but there is no way to regulate this. Some folks did have serious water issues on this cruise, but we were not impacted. The cabin was very quiet at night and there were no issues with noise from others at night. The TVs in the room were very nice but the channel choices were not very nice. There is no published channel guide. Channels went from 21 - 49 and half of these were Princess channels that advertised more cruises, art shows, and jewelry. We did catch one good movie but that's about it. During the cruise, there were two medical emergencies and both occurred at night. Unfortunately, the emergency staff are summoned by a general broadcast into all rooms and public areas. This occurred twice on successive nights and was enough to wake up the dead. While I understand the need for getting staff summoned quickly, I do not understand the choice to wake up the entire cruise ship. With all of todays' technology, emergency staff should be supplied with personal pagers or other available equipment to get them summoned promptly in order to help the injured/sick passenger and to allow them to respond that they are "on the way". I was surprised to see that the staff working on the lifeboats had pagers and wondered why this wasn't so for emergency medical staff. Following the lifeboat drill on our first day, I did feel that not enough info was given. We were not informed of our actual lifeboat number nor was there any info given about other potential emergencies - like how to get help if someone is injured, is there an emergency phone system, where are life preservers on the decks etc. Much more education could be done in this area. The food overall was very good and we ate in the MDR, the Crown Grill, and the buffet, and the International Café. The best experiences were at the Crown Grill which is outstanding. We ate there twice and really enjoyed it. The buffet was fairly good with lots of choices. Because of the closeness of the tables for two in the MDR, we did not choose this area very much for meals. I very much appreciated that everyone is asked to use the hand sanitizers when entering the buffet area. This is a great idea to help prevent infections. I am a coffee person so I did miss "good" coffee. The coffee in the MDR and room service was just not good. International café was better but not great. My coffee card was never punched....saving it for future cruises. Why isn't there some interest in a Starbucks on board these ships??? I for one sure would use it!!!! The ports were good and we enjoyed beaches and a little shopping at both Princess Cay and Turks and Caicos. The staff does a tremendous job getting people on/off these destinations safely and quickly. Overall, we were both very happy with Princess and we found this ship to be roomy, comfortable, and always could find a comfortable quiet spot to sit and read and enjoy the ocean going by!! We also could always find some nice entertainment...loved the violin duo at the IC. The library is good sized with plenty of choices. Staff service is exception with the exception of the service desk. We called several times with questions and this phone is never answered. You can physically go to the service desk area but there is always a long line. When we couldn't get answers, we always asked our room attendant and he was great and full of info. He should get a raise!! We are beginning to plan our next Princess cruise because we were so pleased with the Emerald Princess!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We picked this cruise by price and destinations. We flew to Istanbul on an afternoon flight arriving about 5:30pm; the ship did not leave until 23:00 hrs. Take our advice and try not to travel on a weekend as the traffic is tremendous and ... Read More
We picked this cruise by price and destinations. We flew to Istanbul on an afternoon flight arriving about 5:30pm; the ship did not leave until 23:00 hrs. Take our advice and try not to travel on a weekend as the traffic is tremendous and it took nearly two hours from airport to the cruise terminal. As we were late we almost walked straight in, and within a few minutes we were in our cabin together with our cases. We had a balcony cabin next to the rear lifts handy for the buffet and the fusion lounge; we did not notice any noise from the lifts. Joel was waiting for us and with a font of knowledge and tips. We soon renewed our layout memories and after a good dinner in the buffet we turned in early. The next day was a ‘sea’ day which enabled us to adjust to the extra two hours time difference, we did all the normal activities run by a brilliant entertainments team – I was glad to see that we were giving jobs to some of the ‘Colonists’ - we were soon caught up in activities like Trivia, taboo and Scattergrams, which may seem boring but when you’ve got passengers from all over the world it became hilarious. In the evenings there were game shows very familiar to the British, copies of mr&mrs, blankity blank and family fortunes. The theatre put on some good and varied shows from Mime, comedian, vocalists and not to mention the princess dancers and singers who put on some Broadway standard shows. The weather was fabulous our complete cruise, the sun beds and pools never seem to empty. They also became handy for watching some of the latest films with free popcorn. Being a couple of pensioners we did not take part in the more vigorous activities. Including learning to dance, ball or line. I’m afraid even a well equipped Gym couldn’t temp us. We tried both types of dining, the main dining room and the buffet. The main dining room was a bit disappointing the menu selection was poor and the alternatives looked good in name but when they arrived they were often only tepid and didn’t look inviting. On formal nights we ate in the buffet on the Lido deck which we found to be hotter, more varied and you can have as much as you liked. For the weight watchers there was a good assortment of salads and loads of fresh fruit daily. On this cruise we found waiting staff to be superb willing to chat (if not busy) and tell you all about the homes, it went to show what can be done we a few friendly words. They were always willing to fetch drinks or help someone with difficulties. Having done quite a few cruises we have managed to visit all the tourist sites in the Med at least once so now we’re happy going for walks around the port area or local town and seeing how the other half lives. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My wife and I took a western Caribbean cruise on the Emerald Princess. When we take our children, Carnival has more entertainment for the kids. But, when we want to relax the two of us chose Princess. We stayed on the Aloha Deck A-709. ... Read More
My wife and I took a western Caribbean cruise on the Emerald Princess. When we take our children, Carnival has more entertainment for the kids. But, when we want to relax the two of us chose Princess. We stayed on the Aloha Deck A-709. Our cabin steward made the bed and straightened the room when ever we left for any time at all. We heard no noise from the floors above or below us. The room came with a refrigerator and a safe. The shows were enjoyable although a little short at about 40 minutes each evening. We would have liked to see a piano bar and more dance lessons. The dining room was provided great meals and our waiters did everything they could to keep it that way. We got fish and chips at the pub and they were good. The pizza was great as I had it a few times for lunch. The buffet could have had a few more choices, but it was normal buffet style. We paid to use the exclusive spa area. I don't think I will do this again. They sell it to forty people and at times there were more people than spots for them. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
This was our first time sailing out of Houston Texas. You actually embark at Bayport Terminal in La Porte Texas, about 30 miles South of Houston. We stayed in Seabrook Texas, about a 10 minute drive to the port. We found the Bayport ... Read More
This was our first time sailing out of Houston Texas. You actually embark at Bayport Terminal in La Porte Texas, about 30 miles South of Houston. We stayed in Seabrook Texas, about a 10 minute drive to the port. We found the Bayport Terminal to be easy to get into and out. On the day of embarkation we arrive about 11:00 am and got right into the terminal. At 11:30 am they started boarding and by 11:45 am we were on board the Emerald Princess. While the Emerald was showing some signs of needing some updates, I would say the staff was friendly, helpful and they did keep the Emerald looking good. Lot's of crew keeping things cleaned up and making sure we were being taken care of. Shows were "Fair" and not of the same quality of other shows I've seen on Princess ships. All worth going too, just seems like they were not as well choreographed as others we've seen. A comedy show with two black comedians is a must see, it is very funny. The two sea days out of Houston were great, nice to relax and enjoy the ship. At Belize you will be tendered into port. They do not use ship tenders, they use local tenders which are catermarans. The process is fairly quick other than this is about a five (5) mile trip each way.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
I booked a cruise to celebrate my parent's 60 wedding anniversary. Since we live in Texas, it's so much easier and cheaper to drive to Houston than fly. The cruise went to Roatan, Honduras, Belize City and Cozumel. My husband and ... Read More
I booked a cruise to celebrate my parent's 60 wedding anniversary. Since we live in Texas, it's so much easier and cheaper to drive to Houston than fly. The cruise went to Roatan, Honduras, Belize City and Cozumel. My husband and I booked 2 staterooms with balconies and was pleasantly suprised to see we got upgraded to a mini-stateroom with $50 ship credit from Princess and $50 from Vacations To Go! My parent's room (Caribe 10 Deck) had a larger balcony with four chairs so we liked to sit outside with them and shared their complimentary champagne. I was able to bring my own wine (1 per person) and kept it in the mini-fridge. We were treated with such friendliness, starting with the parking people at the Houston Port cruise terminal to every single Princess employee! Parking (paid on-line,) embarkation, customs and debarkation were super smooth! We have twice sailed on Holland America to Alaska before but the Emerald Princess was larger and just as nice. However the Gulf of Mexico and Carribean are rougher seas and I was seasick a few times. I tried the ginger tablets, essential oil, and wristbands, and reluctantly used Dramamine on the last day only to fall asleep for two hours! I did feel better the rest of the day. I even felt seasick while snorkeling in Belize. Our room steward, Robert, was quite efficient and friendly -- wish I could sneak him home with me and my house would magically be clean! We opted for the early 5:45 pm seating for dinner and totally enjoyed the food and impeccable service. Our waiters, Chaiyut and Kiattisan, from the Philippines, were prompt and professional. My parents had dinner in the Crown Grill one night and raved about the lobster. My husband and I went to Sabbatinis which was equally good and very romantic. We never skipped dessert either! Needless to say, I'm on a diet now. One morning we had breakfast in the Da Vinci dining room where it's nice to sit down and order from a menu and dine with other folks. On port days, we opted for the buffet breakfast because it was faster and we had excursions booked. We enjoyed eating breakfast from the Caribe Cafe and sitting outside on the bow deck, enjoying the fresh air and view. Lunch was just okay, nothing special. We are not big drinkers, but occasionally bought a glass of wine or beer. Not a great selection so I'm glad I brought my own favorite wine to sip on before dinner. Once, I got the Drink of the Day in Cozumel -- a delicious frozen margarita. Unfortunately they ran out of straws. One thing I was surprised about were all the sales promotions for jewelry, art, spa services, etc. -- pages of ads in the daily newsletters, PA announcements. If you attend an informative seminar, there was a sales pitch to endure. When you get off the boat in port, you walk through all the duty-free, Tanzanite and diamond shops. When you get back on, the spa people were there to entice you for their services. On-board activities were definitely geared to an older crowd although younger people might like Knitters, Bible Study, Bridge, Bingo, Speed Sudoko, seminars on non-surgical face lifts and footprint analysis. I would have preferred more cultural, historical, wildlife presentations with a naturalist that doesn't have anything to sell! I participated in Zumba one morning but there were too many people crowded on the dance floor of the Fusion Night Club. The Brit instructor looked a bit out of shape too. Since I had my husband captive on the board, so to speak, and he hates posing for photos, I booked a session to take those beautiful black and white portraits in the Platinum Studio. Our photographer, Rozanna from South Africa, played music, offered a glass of wine, and got us laughing -- all in 30 minutes. As a result, the poses were very natural. The next evening she presented us with nearly 80 images in a slideshow where we narrowed our choices down to 4 poses and got a free 8X10. Before the photo shoot, I had my hair styled in the salon by Sushant from India. I thought it was well worth the $49 because my hair is always frizzy and Sushant transformed it! Quite a sweet guy, only 21 years old, and he's seeing the world! Afterward he did try to sell me two expensive hair products that I declined. For entertainment after dinner, we enjoyed Tom McTigue, an excellent comedian who happens to play the photography teacher in the Oscar-nominated film, Boyhood! The magician was okay, not David Blaine-caliber, but a fun show. If you want to see a show, make sure you get there 1/2 hour ahead of time. We skipped the song & dance and disco shows and watched recently released movies on TV instead. There's a good band that plays rock, country and pop covers out by the big pool during the day -- my 83-year old dad really liked it! On sea days I would find a quiet spot on deck, stretch out in the sunshine and read a book. Bliss! I did yoga in my room because the offered class ($12) was too early for me. Excursions -- In Roatan, we got a private tour with Victor Bodden ($25 for 4 people) plus $10 at the iguana farm where you get to feed them. Iguanas are ALL over the place, even in the trees. Another $5 at Monkey Business where the little cappuchins and macaws jump on your shoulder, plus $10 for lunch. Our guide was informative and drove us all over the island. However, he did take us to an souvenir shop that was twice as expensive as the shops at the Mahogany Bay cruise terminal shops. In Belize City, we used Sun Kissed Excursions, also known as Ecotours, for Goff's Caye Beach and Snorkeling. $40 each, not including lunch. It was a 35-minute boat ride from the port to the beach where we were provided the equipment, then jumped off the boat and snorkeled half-way around the island in turquoise blue water. I did see a lion fish but not much else. Plus I was getting seasick. After 45 minutes of snorkeling, we had about a couple of hours to lay on the board. It started getting crowded as we were leaving around 1 pm. Cave tubing and zip-lining would have been fun too but we had already done that at a previous trip to Belize. My parents also used Sun Kissed Excursions to go to Lamanai Mayan ruins by way of a speedboat on the river. They loved it! No need to book expensive excursions in Cozumel. We just hired a taxi and for $25 each, the driver spent 3 hours driving us all around the island, stopping at Playa Palancar for a hour where we sat on the lovely beach before the crowds came around 10 am. In all, the crew on Emerald Princess works really hard at trying to provide a vacation for all kinds of people, even LGBT, singles, children and seniors. The only drawbacks were all the sales pitches and not enough active activities geared to younger people.   Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
This was the second time we've been on the Emerald. We were on it during its second year in the Mediterranean and now it is seven years old. She still looks very nice and they take good care of her, painting, replacing carpet, etc ... Read More
This was the second time we've been on the Emerald. We were on it during its second year in the Mediterranean and now it is seven years old. She still looks very nice and they take good care of her, painting, replacing carpet, etc that we saw while on board. Our mini suite, cabin D114 (portside), was very nice, but we were very forward and did feel the movement a little more than the mid ship staterooms we were accustomed to, but it wasn't real bad by any means. The Christmas decorations were beautiful around the ship! The added room in our cabin was nice with three of us sharing the space. Having a tub is also something you don't get in a regular balcony stateroom, and we enjoyed the bigger bathroom. The sofa bed for our grown daughter was great because the long sofa still had a portion to sit on even though the bed was open. Good idea! Our large queen size bed was comfortable for me but not as comfortable for my husband. The dining staff was the best of any of our 7 other cruises (4 th on Princess) They went way out of their way to please us, no matter what we requested! If we wanted a bottle of wine that we had not finished in a previous dining room for Anytime Dining, they tracked it down. If we wanted to try two different desserts, they just brought them without us even asking for both. They were all so friendly and never acted as if we were troubling them in any way. Many had a super sense of humor and made our dining experience a real pleasure. Entertainment we saw only on some of the evenings, so can't judge them all. The trivia game in the Explorers Lounge was very fun, the comedian illusionist was terrific, and the Casino non- smoking nights were good for just a little while, so as not to lose too much. Dancing in the Wheelhouse Bar was nice. We even learned some new dance steps in the Club Fusion. Bingo was well attended and was more reasonable to play than on other cruise lines. When you think about the chef having to plan for 15,000 meals per day, it is amazing what they are able to accomplish. We ate one evening in the Crown Grill Steakhouse and thought it was outstanding, well worth the $25 surcharge. Also on our last evening, we dined in the beautiful Sabatini's restaurant and had a wonderful meal, also a specialty restaurant. We never bought the alcohol package because we didn't feel it was worth it. You are allowed to bring a 750 mL bottle of wine per person in each cabin without a corkage fee. It was nice to sip a glass of wine on our balcony before dinner. At dinner we'd order a glass of wine and a pina colada by the pool, but never would have spent the amount of the alcohol package. The exciursions were okay except that in Belize we had to use local catamarans that held about 200 passengers to tender us to shore instead of the tenders from our ship. Because of that, it was open air and cooler on the morning trip to shore. The 2 hour river cruise was in an open air boat that was not very comfortable, it rained on us and we were cold, but we saw many crocodiles, iguanas, birds, and even bats on trees. Interesting. Tulum in Mexico was a long trip from the ship because you had to take a 30 minute big enclosed speed boat trip before taking a 45 minute motorcoach ride to the Mayan Ruins of Tulum . I felt it was worth it to see this ancient civilization on the gorgeous turquoise sea, but felt that I also missed a day on the beautiful beaches. You can't do it all! I figured that you can't always see the ruins on this magnitude. I loved this particular cruise because there were 3 full days at sea and it was so relaxing to just do your own thing! Whether it be walking the Promenade deck 3 times around for 1 mile of exercise or going to the big fitness center or just lounging under the huge outdoor screen to see a Beatles concert or see an NFL game, there was always something to see, eat, or do. I truly believe that it is up to each individual's attitude as to whether you will enjoy yourself or not. Some people complain about very minute things when on the whole picture, the cruise was wonderful and the staff was terrific in every way! Would we cruise with Princess again? Absolutely. It is very economical for what you get and if you paid a lot more on a high end smaller cruise line, you would expect more. Free liquor with dinner, smaller numbers at dinner, no waiting, etc., but we didn't break the bank and were very pleased ! We had a great time.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Let me start by saying that this is our 5th cruise on Princess. We had read all the negative reviews posted recently on this ship and its cruise. And quite frankly, they concerned us. But we were already booked and there was nothing we ... Read More
Let me start by saying that this is our 5th cruise on Princess. We had read all the negative reviews posted recently on this ship and its cruise. And quite frankly, they concerned us. But we were already booked and there was nothing we could do about it. NONE of the horrible things those other reviews said happened to them--happened to us...NONE OF THEM. Lets start with the only thing that really did go wrong. We had signed up for Princess to provide transportation from Houston Hobby Airport to the embarcation dock on Sunday morning, Dec. 7th. We arrived in plenty of time that morning at the airport. For some reason, the bus was running over an hour late....and nobody knew why...not even the agents. So, that was frustrating. But the busses did eventually show up and they took all of our luggage and we never saw our luggage again until it was delivered to our room onboard the ship. So, that was cool. Lets make one thing clear from the top. If you want belly-flop contests, kids screaming, running, splashing and be annoying..... cruise with Carnival. If you like conga-lines...cruise with Carnival. If you want non-stop partying and drinking...cruise with Carnival. If you want an elegant ship...cruise with Princess. You you want good entertainment geared towards adults...cruise with Princess. If you want very good food....and alot of it...cruise with Princess. If you like to lay next to the pool, and not be splashed by 100 kids...cruise with Princess. If kids screaming is not your definition of peace and quite...cruise with Princess. Most importantly, if you want to relax...and enjoy peace and quiet... and be treated like royalty by the staff....cruise with Princess. This is exactly what you will and will not get on the Emerald Princess. Embarcation was a breeze. The only complaint was that they passed out a form at the beginning of the line that had to be returned before you can actually go onboard. It was a struggle to fill the form out and keep up with the line moving. For those of us who used Princesses transportation from the airport...it would have been much better to have been given that form when we boarded the bus so we could have filled out the form during the 35 minute bus ride to the dock. The Ship. The Emerald Princess is an elegant ship. Beautifully constracted with extensive use of varnished wood throughout the ship. The Atrium is truly elegant...as opposed to Carnival where the Atrium is all splash and glitter. The Vines venue in the Atrium is a 5-star venue by anyones definition. Our balcony cabin was A435. And we loved it. It was only a few steps away from the elevators midship....so we never had to walk far to get back home. It was very quiet...no outside noises whatsover. Our cabin Steward, Christian, was excellent...just excellent. He provided us with everything was asked for. He referred to us by our names when we met him in the Halllway, our room was cleaned 3 times a day. I asked him to iron my suit and shirts for formal night and requested that they be returned by 5PM the next day. At precisely, 5PM the next day, Christian knocked on our door with our freshly ironed suits and shirts. I wish I could remember his last name, so I could give him the credit he deserves. The crew was from all over the world. Some were from the Ukraine. I was amazed at how they could be so happy and smile at us when their country is at war...but they did. Everyone who serves on that ship made you feel like family....so friendly, so happy to see you. The entertainment onboard was must better than others have described it. The singers and dancers were excellent. The comedians and magicians were very good. The Emerald Princess does not have a dedicated "comedy club" and I did miss that. But however, there was always plenty of things to go see and do at night. Their cruise director Kelvin was especially HILARIOUS. Do not miss a chance to hear him. He is very funny, and you can't help but to like him. The food in the main dining room was very good and the service was faster than what we had experienced on other ships. We chose "anytime dining" and the key to making this work is to call for a reservation that morning. We always called and reserved our table for 5:15 OR 5:30, and we walked right in. Those that did not, they did have to stand in a very long line waiting for dinner. YOU MUST use Exotic Eco Adventures in Belize to take you to Goff's Caye. They will meet on the dock in Belize and after a 30 minute boat ride equipt with 2-200 HP outboards. They will dock on the most beautiful spit of land you have ever seen. Trust me, go the trip advisor and search for Exotic Eco Adventures in Beize....and Goff's Caye. Many called it PARADISE....and that is what it is...PARADISE. Everyone in our group loved this little small island. They serve FREE fun punches throughou the day. They will even bring you your own bottle to your chair. Barbeque chicken and lobster lunches are $12.00 This small island IS NOT TO BE MISSED. The ship does not offer it as an excusion...so please do yourself a favor and contact Exotic Eco Adventures and have them take you to Goffs Caye. You will never forget it!!! In Roatan, we contracted with Juan Carlos with "Islandertours". He drove us around the Island and took us to the west end at Bananrama. You will learn everything you wanted to know about the island and many things you would have never known if you had not gone with this company. He is highly rated to Trip Advisor and he treated us wonderfully. Our group of 4 adults paid him $100 for the day.. ($25.00 each) ..and we tipped the driver $40.00. We recommend him highly. In Cozumel, we dove with Alison who runs "Scuba with Alison" There were many reason why we chose her. She runs a small boat..never takes more than 7 divers on her boat. We have been on "cattle boats before---and we hate them. Alison is personable, and excellent dive guide and she will take care of you. $90 for a two tank dive with all the equipment including a computer. They will set up all the gear for you and you will never set it up yourself...even between dives. You can look her up on trip advisor. Her reviews are all very positive and she will write you back very quickly if you decide to want to go scuba diving with her. And $8 taxi ride will get you to where her boat the Maximus is docked. The disembarcation went smoothly as well as the bus ride back to Houston Hobby. Overall, all four of us really loved this cruise. And we would recommend it to ANYONE that wants a quiet, peaceful, relaxing cruise. But you REALLY HAVE TO GO SEE GOFF'S KEY in Belize!!!!   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
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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