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298 Princess Emerald Princess Family Cruise Reviews

This cruise was selected because 1we enjoy the canaries 2 we had travelled on princess previously and had be very satisfied. the transport (eavesway) were two hours plus late in picking us up. not a good start. wehad to be rushed ... Read More
This cruise was selected because 1we enjoy the canaries 2 we had travelled on princess previously and had be very satisfied. the transport (eavesway) were two hours plus late in picking us up. not a good start. wehad to be rushed through embarkation(not princess line fault). once on board as usual we found that the cabin was excellent, clean and comfortable. the staff were attentive and friendly. diningroom staff that I was served by were excellent and help to make dining a pleasure. Entertainment I felt was mediocre.princess own troupe, on the night I went to see them on stage for only 35 mins. the first 3 days were spent at sea,and as another passenger said to me"it was like being at butlins". it was noisey. obviously the ports of call suited me and hopefully they did others. it is taken that these liners are a commercial organisations, but it was a little upsetting that whilst having a drink you touted for one of the franchise restaurants. THE CREW COULD NOT HAVE BETTERED AND PRINCESS LINES SHOULD BE PROUD OF THEM. disembarkation was well organised and went smoothly in my case. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Short itinerary and date was ideal - especially as we went as far South as Lisbon. Travelled down a couple of days in advance just to elongate the holiday, stayed near Romsey at the Potter Heron Hotel - very good, visited Romsey Abbey, ... Read More
Short itinerary and date was ideal - especially as we went as far South as Lisbon. Travelled down a couple of days in advance just to elongate the holiday, stayed near Romsey at the Potter Heron Hotel - very good, visited Romsey Abbey, Salisbury Cathederal, and Poole Quay. On departure day, dropped cases off at the Mayflower Terminal at 11:20, parked car at Southampton Airport - (£42.00), train and taxi back to the boat, thus saving over £30:00 on the CPS quayside parking charge. Boarding was swift and efficient (Elite Line), and so on board by 12:35 - result. Nice surprise to find our Cabin available -) pity P&O cannot emulate this efficiency). Emerald Princess was looking great, and I was pleased with the changes made in the recent refit, although I suspect the major layout change to the aft entertainment venue, now looking like a large well appointed Public House - all leather seating around tables etc, no long rows of banquette seating - is more reflective of EP's forthcoming move to the Australian Colonies than refurbishment for say the UK or US market. The crew were all happy, and so a great atmosphere exists on Emerald Princess. Our Cabin was A204 0n Deck 12 - Aloha. Inside. Good size, certainly enough space, and no hassles here. Our Steward Armut - exceptionally efficient in the usual Princess way. We took Anytime Dining - worked very well, no major hold ups the longest wait was roughly 10 minutes max on the Captain's Welcome on board night. Service was very good. We Dined in the MDR on 5 nights all great, Crown Grill x 1 (Again very Good) and the Buffet x 1 - Lunch was either the Buffet, Pizza or Hamburger Grill, and we ate ashore twice for lunch. Breakfast was Buffet x 4 MDR x 3. Minor gripe about the Buffet, during our week on board the was never a menu on Display so you had to visit the servery first to see what was on offer very strange. Entertainment was pretty much spot on - 2 very good Crooner's in the Wheelhouse - Louise McMahon, and Crooners - Paul (was on the Royal P last year) both brilliant. The main shows were also great the only exception being the comedian on the third evening fortunately he got off in Lisbon. The Nightclub DJ was unfortunately exceptionally poor - no passenger interaction whatsoever, sadly the DJ also hosted a 'Great British Sailaway' at La Rochelle to celebrate HM Queen's 90th Birthday - totally shambolic - perhaps Princess UK should take some pointers from there colleagues in P&O. Overall apart from the non communicative DJ all was pretty good. Service was to the usual high Princess Standard. Took the Drinks package great move as the UK£ v US$ is not very good. Bearing in mind a glass of Wine + a pint of Beer is around 16USD 7 alcoholic drinks per day takes care of the initial outlay. Went ashore at all ports but did my own thing primarily as we have been to Vigo - 4 times, and Lisbon in excess of 10. La Rochelle was new, so a walk around the town more that sufficed - lovely French sea side town with lots of good eateries. In Lisbon following some research took the ferry across the river, local bus to the Statue of Christ the King - fantastic views, beautiful Chapel, the a short tram ride to the local mainline rail station and trained across the bridge (fantastic views) back to Lisbon, and walked around 1.5 miles back down to the old town and lunch. Total cost of the transport was around 9 Euros each - not a bad deal at all. Guernsey suffered in the weather was the worst of the trip - a mixture of thick sea fog, then light rain - so St Peter Port in the rain not a great place, didn't even attempt the around the island bus. Overall 9/10 for the trip, great sights, great service, great ship - Princess again - absolutely - Eastern Med or Caribbean next time. Read Less
Sail Date April 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
Traveled on the Emerald from Jan 30th-Feb 6th of 2016. This was our 4th Cruise with Princess and don't think we will sail with them again!! Menu was the same thing night after night with some sort of FISH fixed 50 different ways. Main ... Read More
Traveled on the Emerald from Jan 30th-Feb 6th of 2016. This was our 4th Cruise with Princess and don't think we will sail with them again!! Menu was the same thing night after night with some sort of FISH fixed 50 different ways. Main dining which should be special took for ever to get our food but after the 3rd night there was nothing to look forward to. Starters were always shrimp, only one pasta (I ate that for 4 nights in a row with the same country chicken). Horizon court for breakfast, had to sit on a lawn chair because no seating!! Spoiled meat at lunch time. Burnt (brittle) bacon and running eggs for breakfast. Use to walk around on the last night with the baked Alaska, now they just serve you a slice. On the elevator going to Captain Circle special event, a woman standing next to me said I bet he doesn't show. She said this captain never does. She was right he didn't. Need tokens for the laundry mat. It was out on all the floors from day ONE. You had to leave your items sitting in the washer and go to customer service to get your tokens and then walk all the way back to do your laundry! If you are celebrating a special occasion, it used to be the balloon would say that, now everyone just gets the same thing. 2 friends with us won Spa/Salon gift cards. Tried to use them on their hair, could not, only on the high price Spa. Most of the activities are booked to close together. We missed many because when one would end the others started at that time. By the time you were out and on your way to the next activity it was already full. Service to our room was good. Bus tour for sixty dollars in St. Marteen was boring, just rode and seen nothing, that was after waiting in line 45 minutes in the hot sun to get on the bus. Zip Lining in St. Thomas was worth every penny. Helicopter ride in Grand Turk was nice. I guess if I had to sum up what I seen on the ship is it looks like everything was done trying to cut cost and save money. I think this is because Carnival bought Princess. The night show in the Theater were poor, cheap entertainment. They need to wake up !! People go on cruises to feel special, be treated special and live like they normally don't all the other days in the year. I talked 4 people into trying Princess. I feel so bad because I bragged it up and that was not what they saw or received. Disembarkation was bad, our ship docked at a different location than when we had set sailed. We were parked over in the other area, had to keep asking how we were suppose to get over there. No one had an answer. Finally after pulling our luggage off the ship we had to reload onto a bus, drive over there and unload our luggage again!! Very, very disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
My husband and I and my daughter in her twenties cruised to Eastern Caribbean for 7 days with Emerald cruise embarked on Jan 30th 2016. We had a fantastic time. Our steward Edward was very polite and efficient. We didn't see him ... Read More
My husband and I and my daughter in her twenties cruised to Eastern Caribbean for 7 days with Emerald cruise embarked on Jan 30th 2016. We had a fantastic time. Our steward Edward was very polite and efficient. We didn't see him much, just a few times in the hallway, but our room always got cleaned in the morning and the up bed was put down for us in the evening. We were amazed how he knew that were not in the room and got everything done so well. Our waiter Narisak, who is from Thailand, was very fast and knowledgeable and considerate, took his job very seriously. Food was good, service was unbeatable. Neal, the cruise directer, was on TV everyday, and showed up on the performance in the theater each evening, he was really funny, had us laugh a lot. The beach at each port was beautiful. We didn't book any excursions, just got off ship whenever we were ready and took a taxi to tour the island ourselves. Of course, we payed much more this way. We had a good time for our first cruise, will cruise often with princess in the coming years. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We were the 3rd cruise after Dry dock and the AC in the entire Sector of Deck 10 Caribe Starboard side midsection was barely working! When walking in the hallway of the entire area mentioned above you could feel the stuffiness and hotter ... Read More
We were the 3rd cruise after Dry dock and the AC in the entire Sector of Deck 10 Caribe Starboard side midsection was barely working! When walking in the hallway of the entire area mentioned above you could feel the stuffiness and hotter air temperature due to the AC not working efficiently. We had been on the Emerald Princess just 3 months prior but on a different deck so we had a good reference as to what a "properly working AC" should feel like. We paid a premium to have a Balcony, but could not enjoy the view etc. due to having to keep the Curtains and Drapes fully closed to curtail the heat and sunlight to make the barely working AC temperature tolerable. We reported the AC problem twice to Customer Service, and after two days someone made and appearance to our Cabin but the AC problem was not fixed. Even though they left a card next to the thermostat claiming that the problem was fixed. We also had a leak in the back of the toilet which caused a constant puddle issue. Once again, we had to call twice before Customer Service finally sent someone to fix the leak..two days later! re: Entertainment: The Productions shows were all very good. The Single acts on the other nights in the main showroom were both very talented but not seasoned enough for a major show room on a 3,000 passenger ship. Both of the Singers would be better suited for the Lounges. The ambiance in Piazza [atrium] would have been better if they utilized the Piano player more. The Steel Drum & Violin act was a nice novelty but it was not soothing enough to endure for long periods of time. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We have taken multiple cruises with Princess, Celebrity, & Royal C. Living in the Midwest always has us looking at winter temperature relief. We decided on a holiday cruise with kids directly after Christmas to experience New Years in ... Read More
We have taken multiple cruises with Princess, Celebrity, & Royal C. Living in the Midwest always has us looking at winter temperature relief. We decided on a holiday cruise with kids directly after Christmas to experience New Years in the Caribbean for the first time. We have in excess of 5-7 cruises on each line and before reading this review, I would still honestly give Celebrity the edge in quality both in entertainment & food quality. Having reviewed some earlier Emerald Princess posts just prior to our trip had us very concerned with the quality of the ship and whether Princess has "downgraded". While I'm sure some of the prior posts detailed major disappointments, we had a wonderful time. Emerald is certainly not new and not as large as others, but not a ship to avoid by any means. Princess hospitality was excellent. We had two adjacent balcony rooms, one for the well-behaved teens and one for my wife & myself. The room steward was excellent, efficient, and very friendly. Room temps were fine and the bathrooms worked perfectly which again was a problem stated in prior posts. The staff in general was great. Rooms were level 14 aft and very convenient to a pool, a single floor below the breakfast buffet, and in close proximity to a pool bar. Ports were St. Kitts, Antigua, St. Thomas, & Gr Turks with 3 at sea days. We were upgraded to platinum status for this cruise with Princess with the standard return guests cocktail party, nice but nothing incredible and no appetizers like celebrity, but ok. The nice new perk was nightly special invite to happy hour in the lounge on 18th floor as platinum. Entertainment was ok and that's a bit generous. A musical disco show was great but short only about 35 minutes and I feel should have been twice that, they also has a great singer single guy with band one night. Great voice and rendition of "get my kicks on route 66" was outstanding. They could have used a wider variety of side bar music venues. They had a nice violinist but they coupled them with a guy on steel drum that was irritating to listen to for long. Also lacked decent singer/band in the side lounges at least early evening. Game shows were given too much emphasis instead. We chose anytime dining as the main seating is either too early or late for our liking. Early morning reservations gave us perfect times every night. Main dining was good. Great would be an exaggeration, but always one very good main course every night. Wait staff in anytime can be hit or miss, but we had one particular waiter so good we asked to sit in his section again. We chose the steak house for one special dining that the entire family thought was excellent. Not sure why prior reviews from some rated it poor? It was very good, really. We also chose to have one dinner at SHARE, the new restaurant. This meal at SHARE was good, but at $39 per person I think it was overpriced and would not do it again. $25 per person for the steak house is a much better value. Pizza at lunch near pool was very good thin style and short wait time, the lunch buffet had decent variety, and there was the standard grill for burgers/etc. The excursions were all good. We chose the lobster/champagne catamaran at Antigua which we have done before and still great. Great snorkel excursion at Grand Turk. Also was pretty cool to have some NFL on the outdoor movie screen and a couple good movies during the week though we did not stay to watch entire shows at night. The casino was a bit disappointing. It is a very large casino, but a lot of the space is unused and they could have easily accommodated more slot varieties. Although there is a non-smoking night, the casino has the general suffocating smoke most of the time. Sea days meant large demand for deck lounges. We already know, so finding the perfect seat early was not an issue, but those showing up at the pool around 11am were challenged for a seat. The ship was extremely clean and well kept considering it's age. We have sailed on her before, and see no reason to suggest avoiding Emerald or princess lines in general as they continue to do a quality job of providing a very nice cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
We cruised before with Royal Caribean twice, Celebrity and Holland America,it was our first and last with Princess. There is so many bad things about this cruise,but I will make a list: Good things: -A lot of staff at the buffet ... Read More
We cruised before with Royal Caribean twice, Celebrity and Holland America,it was our first and last with Princess. There is so many bad things about this cruise,but I will make a list: Good things: -A lot of staff at the buffet area and at the pool, we were never without help -The enviorement it is very casual, wich we liked -Restaurants are open all the time from 6:00a.m to midnight -Nice selection of movies all over the day and night, at night they serve a delicious popcorn -Some good music -Very friendly staff Bad things: -The ship is big but, the public areas are very small wich makes all places pack all the time -The bathrooms inside the cabins are ridiculous small, wich makes a shower very unconfortable (I'm 5'4" and 120 lbs...)my husband is 5'9" and 180 lbs....he use to go to the spa to shower... -The WC at the pool area were always very dirty -There are 5 restaurants for lunch,breakfast and dinner,but they look exactly the same,wich makes you feel you are all the time in the same place... -The food was horrible, but realy bad,did not taste too bad but had too much fat,a lot of grease,and the quality is horrible,not fresh,you could tell that was made many hours before or even a day before...and the presentation was worse...I felt sick on the first day of the cruise after lunch and could not eat for almost 3days... -Dinner time was a nighmare, terrible waiters,rude guys with only few good ones wich save 3 nights(We asked to repeat one of them), we felt we were at Mac Donald's,very bright lights,very loud waiters,you could see them throwing the rest of the food from other tables alway,they do it in front of you,wich was very disgusting,I could not believe what I saw...never saw it in a cruise. -We did not relax,I was crazy to go back home Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was my 3rd cruise on Princess, and the first on Emerald. I understand that the ship just came out of dry dock, but I couldn't really figure out what had been updated other than the Effy jewelry boutique that took up a large ... Read More
This was my 3rd cruise on Princess, and the first on Emerald. I understand that the ship just came out of dry dock, but I couldn't really figure out what had been updated other than the Effy jewelry boutique that took up a large amount of the shopping area. I'm not sure why Princess cruises made the decision to give so much real estate to such an expensive jewelry store. The pieces are terribly overpriced for mass produced jewelry in my opinion and they were pushing it hard. I'm not sure if this jewelry line meets the demographics of the Princess customer base, but time will tell. Embarkation was a breeze- and my daughter and I were on the ship in less than 10 minutes. The Muster drill was rather disorganized and took much longer than previous cruises. When I embarked on the ship I immediately called for reservations and was informed that Sabatini's Italian restaurant no longer existed. It has been replaced with the restaurant called "share" which comes with a $39 per person cover charge. Needless to say my husband and I did not eat at "share" but we did dine at the Crowne grill and were not disappointed. We did not have hot water for the first two days, and learned from other passengers that this was a problem for them as well. Air-conditioning did not run cold but this was ok with us as we tend not to like air-conditioning anyway. But for some people it was a real problem. I didn't let this ruin my cruise so I just took cool showers quickly and spent most of my time outside. We were upgraded from an ocean view to a premium balcony room which was nice but honestly I wouldn't of paid the extra money for it. The balcony was almost as big as the room and we didn't use it as much as I had expected. The ride down was very rocky and there were gale force winds according to the captain. At one point the pools had to be drained and closed because they became unsafe due to the movement of the water in the pools. I was up in the sanctuary area for most of the sea days and the noise from the wind was extremely loud but again I didn't mind- it's a cruise after all and you can expect wind and other kinds of noise. One issue with the sanctuary area is that you can hear some of the loud talkers down at the Lotus spa pool. They really should have a better way to soundproof this since you're paying $40 a day for the sanctuary area. In the main pools there were quite a few kids that were rough housing unsupervised which was a nuisance. Also, pools were pretty deep starting at about 5'3" which made it difficult for the young ones to swim around. There was no dedicated kids pool which would have been a good idea given the amount of children on board. This could've also mitigated the problem with some of the kids jumping and creating mayhem at the same time that adults and other kids wanted to swim. This resulted in most folks hanging onto the edges or trying to swing while avoiding the constant jumping in and pushing of the unsupervised kids. I actually saw some concerning behavior from the kids on the pool deck and became worried about safety and the deck attendance would not do anything. There was a group of kids that was really loud and splashing during the movie at night and one passenger got angry and yelled at them to be quiet. I'm a parent myself, and I really like kids but this just got really out of hand and affected other peoples enjoyment. My seven-year-old enjoyed the pelicans kids club. In her words- I really enjoyed the kids club. Because we got to go inside and ride bikes and do all these fun stuff. Had a pajama party which is really fun and we we got to do all these fun crafts and play with the Wii, which was where we we have a remote and we dance with that. We also got to do these fun crafts like making Masks and making bracelets and there was also a jungle gym which is pretty fun and you have to take your shoes off to go in , and before you go in the kids club you have to wash Your hands. The buffet food was unremarkable. There is decent salad at every meal. I agree with some other recent posters that the service in the dining room was excruciatingly slow. One night it took us three hours to have dinner. Staff were not particularly attentive and did not refill drinks in a timely manner. Most of the food arrived cold or lukewarm at best. This was one of the main reasons that my husband and I went to the crown grill for three of the nights. Since this is a Christmas cruise we had expected a special meal on Christmas evening. In fact this was touted as one of the features of the Christmas cruise. We were disappointed that there was really nothing special although there was some bland turkey and cranberry sauce but not the extravagant buffet or dining room event that we had expected. Santa made an appearance and gave our presents to the kids which was a bonus, and my daughter seem to have a great time with that. I still have the coffee shop at the international café, the pastries were outstanding. Entertainment was lackluster, but pretty standard in mainstream for this cruise line. We were in bed most nights by 10:30 PM so I can't speak for the late-night entertainment or the clubs. With all that said, I still like Princess and have two more cruises booked with them. A cruise is a cruise and it's what you make of it and I like cruising princess. I do think they need to make some improvements as I mentioned. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
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
The Emerald Princess did not meet my expectations but then again I had sailed on her before in 2008 on a ten (10) day cruise and was comparing it to that. There were many things that I did not love this time around although some of it was ... Read More
The Emerald Princess did not meet my expectations but then again I had sailed on her before in 2008 on a ten (10) day cruise and was comparing it to that. There were many things that I did not love this time around although some of it was good and what you expect from Princess. That being said, we enjoyed our cabins as we had a wonderful cabin steward who kept the place spotless; also we were only one deck below the Lido deck (Riviera) which was convenient. The Pizza on this ship like all Princess ships was the best at sea and the Trident Grill was also very good. Food in the main dining rooms was largely terrible. It did not take us very long to figure out the Buffet food on this ship was much better than what you got in the main dining rooms so we mostly dined there instead, even on Thanksgiving. The only thing we enjoyed in the main dining room was High Tea which I had never experienced before but will not miss again; it was quite nice. On my last cruise on this ship the food quality and the types of items served were far superior but I guess the backslide is the Cruise Industry in general. Entertainment was poor. There was one "production show" and the rest was pretty lame. We went to the Crew Show which was entertaining but then the next day at the Cooking Show they trotted out the same crew memeber to sing the same song-boy the saved a lot on entertainment for this cruise. Most of the time there was nothing to do. There is a big focus on the Effy store on the ship and there are frequent raffles. It was really interesting to watch people pile in there for these raffles where one girl stood there in front of the box filling out entry after entry; of course she one two (2) of them as you do when you have entered 100 times. Unbelieveable how they hawk that jewelry. There were no good movies under the stars and the one night they had one of interest it rained; forget about getting anything good on TV in the cabin. We do like that the Emerald Princess offers complimentary steam and sauna in the men's and ladies locker rooms; this is getting to be a thing of the past with all the new ships having Thermal Suites that must be purchased. We also as always enjoyed the International Cafe. Bar Service was very slow and largely inattentive. Elevators always seemed to have some out of order which meant long waits. Like any cruise there as good and bad. The main complaints were the food quality in the main dining rooms and the lack of good entertainment although this definitely was not the worst cruise I have been on. Great embarcation and unorganized debarkation; why do people insist on ignoring requests to sit down and take their luggage out of the isle in the waiting areas? Sheesh! My last complaint is the crappy outlet sale that Princess has on the last sail date on every voyage. I have never seen so much overpriced crap in my life. It always amazes me how people line up to buy this junk. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
This was our sixth Princess Cruise and the second time aboard Emerald Princess ( 2009 ) Embarkcation was a breeze mainly due to our Platignum membership. However, when we arrived at our cabin (Superior Balcony on Caribe Deck midships) ... Read More
This was our sixth Princess Cruise and the second time aboard Emerald Princess ( 2009 ) Embarkcation was a breeze mainly due to our Platignum membership. However, when we arrived at our cabin (Superior Balcony on Caribe Deck midships) we were disappointed with its size compared to other cruises taken recently with Cunard, Celebrity & P & O. No sofa bed for daytime use. It was a celebration of our recent Ruby Wedding and to say the least, we "survivied" this 8 day cruise. Our cabin steward was excellent and tried to make us as comfortable as possible. 1 No hot water for the first 4 days from shower or basin - we understand that at least 40+ cabins were affected on Caribe deck. 2 Air Con not operating properly - cabin too hot and needed 4 visits from maintenance staff. 3 Fridge in cabin not working. The food in the DA Vinci dining room was average but could not complain concerning the service provided by our waiters or Restaurant Manager. Considering that the ship had recently been in dry dock for a minor refit, it felt "tired" and many problems were still being sorted. Enterainment onboard was good and no complaints in this area. We have always regarded Princess as an upmarket product but after this cruise, I don't think we shall be returning in the near future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We had never sailed on Princess before and when this cruise came up with a terrific price we decided to try them. Embarkation was well organized and we quickly were on board and ready for lunch. Our stateroom room was clean and standard ... Read More
We had never sailed on Princess before and when this cruise came up with a terrific price we decided to try them. Embarkation was well organized and we quickly were on board and ready for lunch. Our stateroom room was clean and standard for a balcony room. The bathroom had a very strong smell of mildew and the toilet was always dirty with a black ring around the water line. There was a refrigerator but it was never stocked with anything but water and we were told by our attendant that they never stock the fridges and we would have to call room service or leave our room and go to a bar to get drinks. Very inconvenient if you want a drink late at night. Our attendant kept our room clean and stocked with ice. Information on making reservations for our evening dining was confusing. We were told one thing on the phone and another in person. Eventually we got it straightened out and our dining experiences were okay but not memorable. Our waiters were very good and kept things moving along. Due to an allergic reaction to something in our first night dinner I had to buy some Benedryl in the convenience store and was shocked to see prices double what we would pay in a regular pharmacy. I understand making a profit but selling a $5.99 item for $12.99 was outrageous. The shows were entertaining but nothing wowed us. We selected Express Walk Off for disembarkation and were pleased that everything went very smoothly and we were off the boat and on our way before 8:30 AM. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
Staff very nice and pleasant. Balcony cabin b222 very good position clean and tidy. Shops on board well over priced, sale day on board like a jumble sale (junk) Food OK always found something to eat. Entertainment very poor kareoke ... Read More
Staff very nice and pleasant. Balcony cabin b222 very good position clean and tidy. Shops on board well over priced, sale day on board like a jumble sale (junk) Food OK always found something to eat. Entertainment very poor kareoke not entertainment just cheap penny pinching not putting on acts. Comedian nothing to right home about and magic show seen same old card tricks several times done better. Formal night people don't bother we felt very over dressed(disappointed) shorts don't count as formal ware. Staff were pleasant especially Richard in cafe All the ship wanted to do was try to sell sell sell. Photograph poor back drops why not use the elegance of the ship instead of false back grounds. After all of the above enjoyed cruise but disappointing as being American ship thought it would be be better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
The Emerald Princess is a very nice cruise ship. Our stateroom (B-319) was clean and cozy and the balcony provided us with time to relax and watch the sun rise and set as we entered and left port. The TV programing was above average and ... Read More
The Emerald Princess is a very nice cruise ship. Our stateroom (B-319) was clean and cozy and the balcony provided us with time to relax and watch the sun rise and set as we entered and left port. The TV programing was above average and offers something for everyone. The staff left a lot to be desired. It was as if the staff had been given pink-slips the day of departure. The staff seemed indifferent and lazy ship-wide. Good luck getting a glass refilled in the dining room. Overtime I walked by the customer service desk I heard some employee essentially telling another cruise goer, "We've already got your money, I'm not going to do anything for you, move along already." While this cruise was not a disaster and nothing went "wrong", I still paid nearly $7,000 for my vacation and I had better times with Carnival and NCL cruise lines. There is too much competition out there to have to settle for Princess' half measures at customer service. The food was bland. This the first cruise that I've been on that I can't tell you my "favorite" dish. I cannot recommend Princess Cruises. They are the very definition of average. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Like many cruisers before me, I must report that the Emerald Princess Cruise Ship is the poster child of mediocrity and the definition of average. The food is bland and this is the first cruise that I have walked away from unable to talk ... Read More
Like many cruisers before me, I must report that the Emerald Princess Cruise Ship is the poster child of mediocrity and the definition of average. The food is bland and this is the first cruise that I have walked away from unable to talk about my favorite "dish". The dining room service is terrible....I hope you like drinking a very small glass of water with your meal, as the wait staff is not coming back. The ship is nice enough and our balcony cabin (Baja 319) was clean and comfortable, with the exception of the nasty looking throw pillows and foot of the bed decretive throw. I had these items removed from our cabin on the first night. The just looked funky and unkept. The onboard entertainment was not. The comic was terrible. It was as if he had never written a joke and merely recited every joke he has ever heard since grade school. The worst part of the cruise was the staff. It was as if pink-slips had been passed out the day of departure because it seemed as if every staff member was angry and they certainly did not do anything remotely close to proper customer service. It seemed that overtime I walked by the customer service staff I saw some crew member telling a fellow cruiser something like, "We've already got your money, why are you wasting your time talking to me." I cannot and will not recommend Princess Cruises. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
My wife and I went on the Baltic Cruise with Princess in July 2015. I had mixed feelings about it. We had previously gone on the Alaska cruise with Princess and it was wonderful. The Baltic Cruise was a good way to get a sampling of ... Read More
My wife and I went on the Baltic Cruise with Princess in July 2015. I had mixed feelings about it. We had previously gone on the Alaska cruise with Princess and it was wonderful. The Baltic Cruise was a good way to get a sampling of Scandinavian countries. The stateroom was comfortable, the staff was very helpful and the food, although a bit institutional, was good. Princess also added some live shows with audience participation which were fun. That said, I do have some constructive comments for Princess (which I sent to Princess and never received a response) and advice for possible passengers. First, unlike the Alaska cruise, there was no one in the food courts ensuring that passengers washed or used antiseptic on their hands before eating. On the Alaska cruise that was really reassuring. On the Baltic cruise, no one was there to remind people and I noticed about half of the passengers did not clean their hands. I think this is a real health risk. Second, we had an unfortunate experience in Stockholm. Because the ship was so large, passengers had to take buses hired by Princess to get in. We were assured that the leaders on the buses would make sure we got back in time before sailing. We were expressly told on our bus that the last bus back to the ship would leave at 5:15. When we arrived at the pick-up spot, there were eight other passengers from different buses who also understood that. I had actually checked with our bus leader and she showed me that the last bus was at 5:15 on her list. When no bus arrived by 5:30, I called the local Princess agent and was told that the last bus had been at 4:30. When I explained that was not what the 10 passengers were told, we were told we would have to pay for a taxi. Luckily, Princess then called us back and said it had ordered and would pay for the taxis, which it did. When the taxis finally arrived and took us to the ship, we were told that the captain was mad at us because we had delayed sailing. I explained to the excursion director that we were angry because we had been misinformed about the last bus. While all of this worked out and I appreciated Princess paying for the taxis, we never got an apology from Princess. Good customer relations would have at least led to an email or a note in our cabin that Princess was sorry for the confusion. Third, and while this is a personal preference, I thought the stops in Estonia and Germany were really unnecessary. I understand the stop in Germany was to let people take trains to Berlin, but that meant we were stuck in Kiel for almost 15 hours because we did not want to go to Berlin. In addition, Estonia was a bit disappointing as it seemed very touristy. In contrast, Helsinki and Stockholm were really interesting but we only had about half a day in each city. I would suggest letting people get to Berlin before the cruise, deleting the Germany and Estonia stops and staying two days in Stockholm and Helsinki. Finally, I want to thank the fitness staff. The equipment was really state of the art and the yoga classes were excellent. I would have liked to have more yoga classes - there were only two classes for the whole cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We took a 14 night cruise in June 2015 from Rome to Istanbul. The itinerary included Rome, Naples, several Greek islands, Athens, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey. We traveled on the Ruby Princess in 2012, and the Emerald Princess is its ... Read More
We took a 14 night cruise in June 2015 from Rome to Istanbul. The itinerary included Rome, Naples, several Greek islands, Athens, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey. We traveled on the Ruby Princess in 2012, and the Emerald Princess is its sister ship, featuring many of the same amenities and services. We were impressed by the quality and variety of the food, the service of the staff and the cleanliness of the ship. The itinerary was also very good, with only one minor niggle - Khios, Greece, while a quaint port, doesn't really have that much to see. We would suggest eliminating that port, and, instead, add a second day to Athens. There are many day trips around Athens, including Delphi, for those travelers who have previously visited historical sites in Athens. The only other complaint was that Princess had been promoting the Discovery Night Sky talks - those did not happen on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Four of us traveled from the U.S to Barcelona to celebrate a graduation. We were on the Emerald and had 3 cabins, two adjoining on Riviera with balconies and one inside cabin. Embarkation was a breeze, absolutely fantastic. Make note of ... Read More
Four of us traveled from the U.S to Barcelona to celebrate a graduation. We were on the Emerald and had 3 cabins, two adjoining on Riviera with balconies and one inside cabin. Embarkation was a breeze, absolutely fantastic. Make note of the time you can board. We enjoyed the location of our cabins and were able to unpack and still have room to move around. We only booked one shore excursion through Princess and that was transport only to Florence which was fine. Others had terrible excursions to the area as they involved more than just transfers. Our food was good all week. Some days better than others. Service was very good two nights, average at best the rest of the week. We were disappointed with other cruisers attire in the dining rooms and that they were seated even with the signs saying no tank tops, shorts, etc. We dined in both special restaurants, the Crown Grill twice. We had a difficult time getting reservations on board as you have to call a number (you cannot make reservations at guest services) and there was only one person taking calls. Once through, we had no problems getting a table and obviously we called back and made a third reservation. Sabatini's was good, but the waiter had too many tables and no assistant. At each restaurant we were there approximately 2 1/2 hours. The entertainment was horrible. We tried to support and went each night, but wow, really bad. The best were the cruise dancers vs. Entertainers brought in. Disembarkation was easier than embarkation! I had called to find out when we could get off the ship prior to leaving the U.S. as we had a private transfer arranged. I did not get a good answer (was never impressed with any conversations with 800 number), but know that in Rome you can request walk off. Meaning you take everything without help. We could get off at 7:15 a.m., or earlier, and arranged a car service fo 8:00. A few things to note: Shampoo/ Conditioner is provided and is awful. If planning your own excursions and the ship docks at 7:00 a.m., it will dock then and you can get off within a few minutes of docking. The ship will leave you unless you are on their excursion, or unless you leave your underage children onboard (really happened). You can take wine onboard. Watch for happy hour specials. Room service errors on the early side, be ready! Anytime dining works well, but you will wait 10-15 minutes during prime time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Just returned on Monday, nice vacation. We added a few extra days in Barcelona before boarding the ship and extra days in Rome. Well worth it and allowed us to see Barcelona and Rome. Dining - I'm a vegetarian and didn't have ... Read More
Just returned on Monday, nice vacation. We added a few extra days in Barcelona before boarding the ship and extra days in Rome. Well worth it and allowed us to see Barcelona and Rome. Dining - I'm a vegetarian and didn't have any issues with finding something to eat. I've only been on one other cruise but with Royal Car. There were two differences I noticed: On RC we did not have a per person fee for our formal dining nights and the open buffets were pretty small as compared to our RC cruise. Princess charged us $25/per person for our formal nights where RC had no charge. This may have changed on RC, but as of three years ago there was not a charge. Laundry- If you are planning to do laundry, bring US quarters. Washer and dryer are each $2.00. There were four of us and I did three loads of laundry. The line to get quarters was insane, I spent 1 hour waiting to get quarters as I didn't expect to spend US dollar in Europe :) I must have been like the other people on the boat, as I was told by another passenger that they ran out of US currency. Stewards/Crew - Very nice and accommodating. Our steward, Jose (14 deck / room 309) was great. We had two of our kids with us (16/19) in a different room. Some days when I knocked on their door to wake them up for a early morning excursion, they didn't answer, Jose would let me in :) Lines at front desk - Not so great, never another staff but once you made it to the front of the line, they were very helpful. Rooms - We were on the deck 14 Rooms 307 and 309, close enough to the elevators and stairwells. We had an adult pool on 14 which was nice. It was also nice not to have to take the elevator to the main deck on 15 where all the pools and buffet, pizza, etc...were located. It was a short walk up the steps. Excursions - We took two excursions through Princess. I would not recommend either; Milan for a day (horrible) we were basically driven to Milan and given 30 minutes of a tour and then dropped off to meet in 3 hours. I would highly recommend private tours for all shore excursions. My travel agent booked everything through ShoreTrips. The cost is the same and well worth it. Gratuity - Plan on $11.50/per day per person. We were surprised at the $300 add at the end of the week. Pools / Seating - Lots and lots and never had an issue with finding somewhere to sit. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
It's really all about what kind of traveler you are and what your expectations are for a good trip. In May we took a 7 night Western Med Cruise (our third with Princess) from Istanbul to Rome. Our ports of call were Mykonos, ... Read More
It's really all about what kind of traveler you are and what your expectations are for a good trip. In May we took a 7 night Western Med Cruise (our third with Princess) from Istanbul to Rome. Our ports of call were Mykonos, Valletta, Messina and Salerno. Embarkation: was a bit of a bummer. We got an email the day before saying that due to a lot of cruise ships in port and Turkey's lengthy immigration clearance procedures, they needed to stagger passengers and asked us not to come until 4PM. When we got there, we were the only passengers there! The terminal was empty except for us and the ship's reps! Pretty annoying to get on the ship that late and go straight to muster. Cabin: Our Penthouse, R412, on the Riviera Deck, was larger than our last PH on the Ruby Princess but standard other than the general wear and tear others have noted. I liked the spaciousness and the layout of the bathroom. But as others have noted here, we heard the scraping of deck chairs on the Lido deck early in the morning. Overall it was fine and didn't disturb us too much. A fun quirk was the Love Boat A Thon running on television. A bummer was the lack of slippers (our attendant said they didn't have any) and the cheap recycled bag (three years ago we got a nice canvas tote). Also, Princess eliminated free internet for PH suite passengers, replacing it instead with complimentary specialty dining on embarkation night. I preferred the free internet. And this is the second time we've used their complimentary dry cleaning service where a garment was damaged when it was returned. Dining: We had late seating in the Botticelli dining room and both our head waitress and her assistant were terrific, friendly and on the ball. The maitre d' was also lovely. Food overall on this cruise was better than what we experienced on the Island Princess during our Alaska Cruise or the Ruby Princess, which we sailed three years ago. That being said, beef of any kind in the main dining room is poor. Even when they recommend it -- don't do it! We had the toughest prime rib of our lives on the first night, after waitress' enthusiastic recommendation. They did serve both lobster and escargots on this cruise on our second formal night, and it was delicious. Really surprising how good the lobster was on a mainstream cruise line. I can't comment on desert other than the fresh fruit, which I always ordered -- cold and refreshing. As usual, coffee is weak and you must buy a coffee card if you want a decent brew or an espresso drink. Overall, the food and variety/options on the Emerald Princess were better than either of the past two trips I've taken on Princess. I always like the Sabatini breakfast, un-rushed, serene and cooked to order. On mornings we had super early excursions, we got takeaway from the international cafe: egg mcmuffin sandwiches! Horizon court had enough fresh fruits and simply cooked vegetables for me to enjoy healthy dinners when we opted out of main dining, but the entrees were always the weakest link (poor protein quality, lots of sauces and cheese) in the buffet. Crown Grill: I wish the filet mignon had been better, but they served us a huge plate of complimentary lobster tails, which were sensational. Still, both previous Crown Grill experiences on Princess were better in terms of the quality of the beef served. Information: The Princess Patter is very comprehensive. I didn't care for the morning show because, to be honest, I didn't care for the cruise director or her deputy and their banter. It's a matter of personal preference and I'm sure she was great at her job but I would have preferred a smarter morning show led by grown ups (and ship's officers in addition to the cruise directors). Activities: Dance lessons were a lot of fun. My partner and his daughter played bingo and had a ball. I think cruise ship activities are a hallmark of the cruise tradition and even when I don't participate, I love reading about them or hearing about others' experiences. I never go to the shows since I live in NY and see a lot of Broadway theater. My partner went to one comic's performance and reported that the poor guy was a nervous wreck. Service: Most people were friendly and helpful, particularly in dining venues. I did feel like the level of interaction with customers was on the cutesy and overly familiar side, but appreciated their general warmth. Customer service desk was uneven; the reps were either harried and inexperienced or cold and put out. The guy at the internet cafe was the coldest, most unhelpful guy on the ship. Good thing I'm pretty tech savvy and my dealings with him were a minimum! One more thing I noticed was the general lack of visibility of crew officers throughout the ship. Except for the welcome evening, I never saw the Commodore. Interestingly, he'd also been our Captain on our Ruby Princess cruise 3 years ago and on that voyage he was always on the gangway greeting guests as they came 'home.' Up-selling: I have to make a note of this here because all of the flyers for art auctions, gold by the yard, watches, Greek gods popping out of the gangway door imploring you to take a picture with them, bric a brac specials, spa specials, hard sell for wine tastings, etc, etc, is wearying. Moreover, it cheapens the experience. End of my rant on that topic... Port Excursions: All of the port excursions we booked through Princess were good except the Valletta excursion. A guide can make or break the visit and our guide in Malta simply wasn't up to par. Moreover, the meal included there was bottom of the barrel dreadful (as it was on our Amalfi Coast excursion, too). Disembarkation was smooth and painless. In summary, while I think the Princess experience is solid and we enjoyed ourselves, I think we want to try a more upscale line for our next cruise. Princess doesn't line up with how we otherwise live and travel and that is probably why I take issue with uneven or overly familiar service, boisterous cruise directors, and hordes of people milling around tables of watches and costume jewelry. While I have a certain level of comfort in knowing what to expect with a Princess cruise, there are too many variables from ship to ship, too much cost cutting and too much up-selling, and I'm ready to branch out and see what line(s) might be a better fit for us. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I booked this cruise based on the port stops. I read most of the reviews on cruise critic before boarding so I knew what to expect. The ship was clean & very nice. I'm not picking on misc-- won't be checking out whether ... Read More
I booked this cruise based on the port stops. I read most of the reviews on cruise critic before boarding so I knew what to expect. The ship was clean & very nice. I'm not picking on misc-- won't be checking out whether they need a new carpet, etc. The layout of the ship was good. I did not join any of the ships excursions. I booked in advance small private tours (found off the internet). My room was a nice size & placement of furniture/size was fine. This was a port intensive cruise so we were not in the room so much (just 1 day at sea). Cabin was always kept clean & when we left for port, the room was clean & while we went to dinner, our beds turn down. We had early dinner seating. Wait staff was great. Service was good. I didn't care for the food much. There was a variety of choices but I find that it seems that I cannot find a medium rare steak throught the week. I even asked them to find a piece that can moo back. Every plate of steak I requested or my party did was well done... not even a little pink. I gave up on that. The buffet was good. Small selection but everyday is different. In the mornings, very hard to find a place to sit. Crowds come in intervals. Some mornings it's very easy to get a table & some morns, none. If you don't mind sitting outside, there's more seats. Every night there's a show or 2. My party will always try to catch the first show. I tend to wander out either in the middle or towards the end. I did not find the show well done as other ships I'd been on. I actually stayed for the whole thing of "Sound of Music" movie in the theatre than staying for one of their shows. Basic broadway type/singing/dancing/comedy shows. It was just not done well. Live music was great. There was a few places that had live music every night. After 10/10:30, I think everyone on the ship is asleep. I would wander place to place looking for find something to do-- even the casino is semi-empty. I'm w/ my mother & her friends & Majority of the ship is of the same age -- so if you're looking for late night entertainment.. none. I ended up chatting up the barstaff every night (not a drinker either). Good trip -- port stop but ship was a little lacking if you are looking for both. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We left Barcelona in early May destined for many ports around Mediterranean, including France, Italy, Greece, Malta, Turkey and back to Spain. Our main complaint would be that the cruise was actually 4 x7day cruises, which meant ... Read More
We left Barcelona in early May destined for many ports around Mediterranean, including France, Italy, Greece, Malta, Turkey and back to Spain. Our main complaint would be that the cruise was actually 4 x7day cruises, which meant everything was repeated x 4, including the menus (boring), activities especially the same films (Sound of Music!!!) and films in our stateroom mainly showed Loveboat x 20 episodes! The were very little activities, mainly during the afternoon in the atrium the ship was quiet as a ghost ship after 10pm. The shows were only 30mins and pretty poor quality, juggler, comedian (probably ex workers club in UK) even the main shows produced by crew were amateurish. The ports were good and made up for the boring activities on the ship. We did some tours but many were overpriced. Loved meeting new people, enjoyed anytime dining so we could sit with different people each evening. We became elite passengers with Princess whilst on this cruise, so experienced some extras, loved naving laundry done, so well ironed! Our fridge was stocked with soft drinks and a variety of little bottles of spirits. The daily special cocktail up in the Skywalker l,ounge for elite and platinum passengers was great too, Marguaritas especially good! One thing which bugs me about Princess cruises is the formal nights, we had two per week on this cruise, only seems to be for the photographers benefit, no point otherwise. The Captains welcome aboard cocktail party x 4 was a waste of time, watered down drinks. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
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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