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28 Princess Emerald Princess Family Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise for the destination, but sadly the Emerald Princess quickly became a disappointment. Lack of entertainment, sub-par food, and horrible dining room attire rules. Nice shorts and shirt NOT acceptable but jeans and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the destination, but sadly the Emerald Princess quickly became a disappointment. Lack of entertainment, sub-par food, and horrible dining room attire rules. Nice shorts and shirt NOT acceptable but jeans and sports jersey's are acceptable on a Formal night. NO entertainment pool side on either sea days. They turned the music on for ice-carving then quickly turned the unacceptable playlist to very low. I understand the population on the cruise was a little older, but they were happy to listen to our music when we brought out our music player. All the pool guests around us were complaining. The drink package - they really encourage you not to use it, limits and rules for every situation. The spa was nice, although pricey - but that's expected on cruises they increase the price. Positive - I like the hand- washing stations at the entrance of the buffet. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have cruised with other lines before and decided to try Princess based on a recommendation from our travel agent due to the specific ports we wanted to visit. We did a 14 day cruise with Princess Cruise lines. Never made it to Mykonos ... Read More
We have cruised with other lines before and decided to try Princess based on a recommendation from our travel agent due to the specific ports we wanted to visit. We did a 14 day cruise with Princess Cruise lines. Never made it to Mykonos due to a storm. Food was average but nothing spectacular. Too many starchy foods. Not enough vegetables and fruits. Entertainment was just okay. Not enough planned activities accept pushing bingo games and paper airplane races. Don’t buy a drink package. If on Dolphin Deck, the tinder boats are under you and when they are launched at 6 am, you will be knocked out of bed by the noise. Gym was sub par. Two standard stationary bikes for the whole ship to use. The Sanctuary area is a joke. Don’t waste your money for $80 a day. The art auction staff must all be new as they didn’t have full knowledge on the artist they were selling. Overall staff were not as friendly as on other cruise lines we have travelled on. I honestly do not believe we will ever cruise with Princess in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Excursions too rushed and actually didn't see anything properly and definitely did not have the experience expected. Summary - 'Been there seen that' - Not 'Been there and done that'. Embarkation and ... Read More
Excursions too rushed and actually didn't see anything properly and definitely did not have the experience expected. Summary - 'Been there seen that' - Not 'Been there and done that'. Embarkation and disembarking were very well organised and efficient. Cleanliness was high and service from our steward was excellent. No issue service wise. Food was basically the same form day to day will minimal variations - food was ok of you love great if you love salt. Would have preferred to have more local foods from each destination we went to. Couldn't get into the restaurant we wanted even when booking a day on advance. Was my first cruise so wasn't sure what to expect - but definitely felt underwhelmed. My 2 teenage daughters did enjoy it but even their excitement was starting to dull toward the end. Everything seemed to have an additional charge when I expected most things to be included. Overall pretty poor value - rather do hotels and stay for a few days at each location that this overrated hop on hop off bus. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My wife and I have both reached the Elite Level with Princess Cruise Lines, in addition to having taken maybe a half dozen cruises with other lines. This cruise was our 17th on Princess, over a period of about 7 or 8 years. We felt that ... Read More
My wife and I have both reached the Elite Level with Princess Cruise Lines, in addition to having taken maybe a half dozen cruises with other lines. This cruise was our 17th on Princess, over a period of about 7 or 8 years. We felt that the new Princess program would follow through and recognize their most frequent passengers in some meaningful way, and we enjoyed traveling on their ships. Our cruise last February changed all that. We had a series of unhappy experiences, starting with standing in the rain at the San Pedro cruise terminal for over 90 minutes before boarding. No Princess staff in sight and no umbrellas, ponchos, or anything to provide some relief. After about an hour and a half, with literally hundreds of people soaking wet and standing in the rain, someone realized that there was an empty terminal building that could be used for shelter, and we were all herded into it, only to spend the next hour in line just to get to Passport Control. The entire boarding experience was miserable. When we made reservations for this trip we asked about (a) complimentary gratuities or (b) a beverage package and were told that we were not eligible because we got such a great fare. Once on board we talked with many other passengers only to find that many had the same rate and their gratuities had been included. We also found a group of passengers from the U.K. who had received an even better rate, plus their package included round trip airfare from London to Los Angeles as well as a two night stopover in Ls Vegas at a top hotel. I understand promotional pricing and how it can be presented. But I felt deceived by Princess when they told me what a great deal I had and then gave many other passengers with the same rate a different (and better) deal. And some received a much, much better package. There were a number of other incidents which I felt were cause for making Princess aware of how I felt. So I wrote a four page letter and sent it to them. I sent it by email first to our Princess travel consultant, who returned it to me immediately with a note that she could not open it and I should send it instead to the Customer Care department. So I sent it to the proper address and guess what the reaction was...……….radio silence! I waited for about 6 weeks and sent another note asking what was happening and again heard nothing. If that is how Princess handles their best customers one wonders what they are doing for newer or less experienced passengers. There is a lot of competition in the cruise industry, and this overall experience has left me completely unhappy with Princess. We are now shopping for some other cruise line and left wondering how this could happen. We liked Princess, they seemed to like us, and we were happy. But when they ignored my legitimate issues and made not a single effort to reply I decide that this is their problem, not mine any longer. So we will continue to cruise and I am certain that we can get comfortable with some other line. But it is shame for both my wife and me, and also for Princess. Incidentally, I am still on their mailing list for enticements for upcoming trips! Almost as if I had never written to them at all! Remember that old adage "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!" Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We left out of Seattle and we had planned on having time to get some water and other items we wanted on the ship but did not want to take on the airplane. When we landed at the airport it was a crap show from the get go. The staff at ... Read More
We left out of Seattle and we had planned on having time to get some water and other items we wanted on the ship but did not want to take on the airplane. When we landed at the airport it was a crap show from the get go. The staff at baggage claim took about an hour to check confirm what we had purchased even though we all had confirmation numbers. They also check your passport and your id here. Then they had to "Verify that we had transportation" It said it on the itinerary and we had set this all up months in advance. After another 20-30 minutes they finally took us down to the desk where they would tag our luggage and take it. We were in a large party with 16 of us and 3 small children and 3 others under 18. Once we reached the desk they got us our bag tags and verified our passports and id's again. We then followed our escort to the transfer line where our id's and passports were checked yet again before boarding the bus. Once we got to the dock and started the in processing process we were asked again for our passports and drivers licenses before heading upstairs to the actual desk to be asked yet again for the passport and id to get our cabin card/ship card. After getting this it was a quick stop at the security check point for a picture, then smooth sailing onto the boat and to our cabin. No issues at all. The first thing we noticed was our bathroom stunk and I mean like worse than a public restroom on a construction site stink. We called the front desk and had this issue addressed. It took about 2 hours as everyone was settling and we were getting ready to set sail. The cabin was clean and in good condition. The ship did not really show its age and the crew and staff were always working on it. Painting, sanding rails, staining, etc. The elevators had some issues at the end and several went out for over an hour at a time on the last 2 days, but other than that there were no huge issues I experienced. I know my family had issues with their toilet continually running with water and flooding their bathroom. The issue was addressed and fixed in their cabin but went to the next cabin and created another issue before being fully resolved. When it comes to food I think they are doing a good job but could defiantly improve especially at the buffet, morning room breakfast and room service. The dinning room was great and the food their was wonderful. The menu in the morning/early afternoon is a little slim picking but still good quality. The Crown Grill was a jewel and worth every extra cent we spent to go there. We had purchased the beverage pass (Not premium) and at the buffet it was pointless. If you wanted a drink you had to go to the bar and get it yourself because the staff was far overworked and would not return for refills. On several occasions the staff didn't even come by to get our initial drink order but as stated far overworked. Day one was leaving Seattle Day two was at sea. When we were at sea we used this time to explore the ship. Try some of the different foods and check out all the different decks. This was when we got a good feel for the ships condition and the amount of time and effort the crews put in maintaining it. We checked out shops and got plenty of drinks. When we returned to our room we noticed the Privacy sign had been removed and the room made up. We didn't think much of it and when we went to dinner we put the sign back in the door and left. Upon returning the sign was moved again and the room was made up. We pulled back the sheets to lay down for a nap and found the comforter was discolored and had huge yellow stains on it. This was absolutely disgusting. We left it on the ground and it was not replaced the next 2 days. We found our room Stewart and addressed the issue with him asking him to please honor our request for Privacy and leave our room when the sign is in the door. Day three was Ketchikan. At Ketchikan we got off the ship and explored the city. We went to creek city and walked throughout it. We then went to the hatchery for the salmon and walked around a little more to explore the parks and other sights. The family had gone off on a Salmon fishing expedition so we did our own thing and then returned to the boat with no issues. Long lines but they go fast. Upon returning to the ship we noticed our Privacy sign was removed yet again from the door and our room had been made up. We had only a few short minutes to prepare for dinner at the crown and would be addressing this with his management at a later time as The Crown was an additional cost and we didn't want to miss it. So we quickly changed and rushed out the door ensuring that we put the privacy sign up as we had jewelry and other items laying out that we didn't have time to put away right now. Dinner was par non and I couldn't be happier with the staff at the crown. Upon returning to the room we noticed that our Privacy sign was gone again. We also noticed that my nephews jacket was missing from our room. I went to the front desk and complained about the issues we were having and was told that a member from Management would be contacting us tomorrow morning. I was okay with this and returned to my cabin. My nephew then came and told me that my father had asked the Stewart to let him in the room and the Stewart opened my room for him. My father and I have not had a good relationship for years and he knows better than to invite himself into my spaces (or so I though) Upon hearing this I was exceptionally frustrated as the Stewart is breaking protocol and procedures by ignoring my privacy sign and now letting unauthorized people into my room. (Family or not I do not have that relationship with them and the crew on board does not know if we are or are not family. This is not a call for a front line member to make for a simple jacket or garment. They could have waited for us to get back or came and asked for one of us to let them in the room to get it.) Day four was Tracy Arm and Juneau. This is the day when things went south for us. Very south, very fast. We woke to pieces of the glaciers floating in the ocean. The bright blues and the beautiful mountains were amazing and breathtaking. The breakfast order from the night before was messed up and they had forgotten some items. No big deal we would be going to the buffet anyway soon and they hadn't missed a beat before or after that one day. We took in the views and the mountains and enjoyed every moment of the morning. Around 9:00 AM I received a knock on the door. It was the Housekeeping manager. They stood in the hall until I invited them into my room to discuss the situation. Upon explaining the continual violations of policy and privacy (Hadn't had a chance to explain the unauthorized entry by another person) The manager tells me this is an honest mistake. I Explained the first few times maybe but not after 4 times of ignoring our Privacy sign. He then tries to explain that they need to have contact with passengers or they have to investigate and started giving me the run around ending again with this seems like an honest mistake. I at this time requested that they leave my room and his manager needed to contact me as this was no honest mistake and what has happened was not ok. **Quick history: My family and I had not spoken for years and for the last 4 years we had been mending our relationships and working on our issues. (Their issue is they are Mormon and I am gay. My partner and I have been together 8 years and this was our first cruise) This was suppose to be a bring everyone together and have a wonderful trip cruise. The excursions were paid for and the cruise was paid for by my grandmother. My grandmother was hospitalized prior to coming and was not able to attend with us. A few moments later I went to the front desk and was greeted by Roxana (Customer Relations Manager) She took me to the office of Mario (Customer Services Director) where i explained the situation and what was going on. They sympathized with me and told me it was all unacceptable and that he should not be doing the things he did regardless of if it was family or not. They were going to address it with the Stewart and assured me the trip would be enjoyable and pleasant from here on out. I thanked them for their time and returned to my room trusting it was going to be resolved and we would be able to get back to enjoying our vacation. (During this time I have missed all of the Tracy arm part of the cruise. The fjords, glaciers, waterfalls, etc. one of the main things I was looking forward to) Upon returning to my room, my partner and I start to plan our day. When all of a sudden there is a knock on the door. I was thinking it would be my nephew or cousins, but it was my dad. He barges in my room past me and starts yelling at me about how he told the Stewart to open the door and he is authorized to be in my room. He continues yelling about how I am blowing this out of proportion and there is no reason to be getting anyone in trouble. I explain that I had asked him not to come in the room and that the privacy notice was in the door each and every time he had. That he could have let anyone in the room and they could have taken our watches, bracelets, luggage and anything else they wanted and we would be screwed because we would then have to prove we even had it. He continued to yell for a few minutes and I finally yelled back and told him to leave my room and he wasn't authorized to be in my room as he damn well pleased. Once he left I started to wonder about who had told him anything because I had not mentioned anything to anyone except my partner about what was going on. I went and knocked on his room door to ask who had told him. He told me it was the Stewart who had come and informed him of the situation. At this point I lost it. This was completely unacceptable and we were ready to fly home. I went back to the Directors office and explained that their staff had basically just ruined years of relationship patching because he needed to go complain about me to my family. This resulted in us not doing excursions that we had already purchased over $500 worth as the hostility would make for a very volatile environment for us and other passengers. The Customer Service Director and Customer Relations Manager both agreed this was not ok. This was unacceptable and they were apologizing profusely. Everything was good and being worked out and now there was nothing they could even say about what their employee had just done. The solution was to move us cabins to the other side of the ship. Which we did, but this was not a solution. This was not a fix to the problems that their employee had just created and the years of work he had just undid. The new room we moved into seemed like a downgrade as the carpets were older and there was a stain that looked like the room had been flooded at some point. The rest of the cabin seemed the same. At this time my partner started to get sick as a result of all the stress, fighting and issues that had arisen but we were about to get to Juneau and I was hoping he would get back in the race. We arrived in Juneau at around 3:00 PM and he wasn't doing much better. We had planned on going on our paid for zip-lining excursion but with the issues we could not. So we instead walked the town, bought a few souvenirs and road the tram. It turned out to be a pretty decent day even with the issues we had been having. We returned to the ship and then the room. This is where my partner would be for the remainder of the night. Day five Skagway: The weather was not so great and had been raining on us since we got out of Tracy Arm. My partner was still feeling sick and it was a struggle to get him to get up and go with me ashore. We had paid to go gold panning and have a Salmon bake but again could not go as there was a lot of tension. So we instead went and walked the town and took a bus out to the cemetery where we seen a rushing water fall. It was so powerful and dirty as it was pulling the land from above with it. It was impressive to say the least. 300 feet or so and worth every step there (My partner might not agree lol) Day Six At Sea: Day Six was at sea and there were no issues at all. On this day my partner was bed ridden and I went and enjoyed some of the onboard activities such as Voice of the ocean, choir, guess that song, and the art auction to name a few. Day Seven Victoria: Most of the day was spent at sea but when we got to Victoria at that evening we had a few hours to go explore the city and take in the sights. It was a great little jump off but we wished it would have been a little longer as there is so much to do. My partner was feeling a little better by now and enjoyed the evening with me exploring the city. We were able to see the Parliament buildings lit up which was really beautiful. We got back to the ship and off we went to be at sea until morning when we docked at Seattle. All in all the trip was ok. It would have been much better had we not had the issues we did but you know what they say. Ship happens. Thanks for reading this long review. I don't know that we will be booking with Princess in the future but we are defiantly going on another cruise shortly. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
It was a family cruise and we needed to leave July 1st. There were 10 of us in our group. We are elite members and always love cruising with Princess, however the Emerald did not half way meet our expectations. Poor dining and ... Read More
It was a family cruise and we needed to leave July 1st. There were 10 of us in our group. We are elite members and always love cruising with Princess, however the Emerald did not half way meet our expectations. Poor dining and entertainment. Dirty underwear left under our bed and carpet really dirty, also the balcony was dirty. The comic for entertainment was excellent but the "broadway" shows were lacking, and I believe there were only two. The costumes were not very colorful, nothing great or even good. Probably the biggest disappointment was the dining room food. The lobster was small, and tasteless, with no drawn butter offered until the small lobsters were eaten. The cruise was a big disappointment and I felt badly as it was my idea to cruise with Princess. We have another Princess cruise booked and paid for this Nov. or I would cancel. One last thing, the drinks were watered down and the ship seem to be cutting back on everything. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Retirement cruise for me and my family. My wife and I had been on this cruise before and enjoyed it. We had no issue and that's why we wanted to take our family this time. Everything went as planned, no issues until we got on ... Read More
Retirement cruise for me and my family. My wife and I had been on this cruise before and enjoyed it. We had no issue and that's why we wanted to take our family this time. Everything went as planned, no issues until we got on board. The TV and the refrigerator in my room did not work and the bathroom sink was clogged. Our room attendant was prompt and called for service. It took 2 and a half days before they replaced the TV. The guy who fixed our sink used a toilet plunger and then dripped all over the sink and floor before he left. I had to ask to have it cleaned up with disinfectant. Meals in the anytime dinning room were as expected, and they had good service. Breakfast in the formal dinning area was very slow and the service was poor (Grumpy, with an attitude). We tried it twice and then went to the buffet after that. The buffet food was as expected but the drink service was poor. Several times throughout the week I had to go find someone for water/tea or just get it myself. The worst of it was yet to come. Trying to get off the ship was a calamity of errors. I have never seen a disembarkation process run so poorly. We have been on several cruises and thought they had this process figured out. We had a helicopter tour and hike on a glacier trip planned through Princess cruises. We were very excited to do such a big excursion. Well, that was until we went to get off the ship. We went down 15 mins early to meet our family to get off the ship. The line had already started so we took our place. Some of our family decided to wait until the line went down because they did not have anything planned. Then it started; we had one crew member start guiding us one way. Another crew member stopped us to go the other way. By then the masses started showing up. We went through the art gallery to the front on the ship. We could see people getting off on the other side. Then another person had us take the line back to where we started and we witness everyone coming off the elevators going into our line in front of us. After 1 hour 10 mins we made it off the ship (not counting getting there 15 mins early), only to find out that we missed our excursion. Our family that waited for the lines to go down got off the ship 30 mins before us!!!!!! It was a nightmare. 4 cruises with princess and 4 with RC. From now on, RC is our selection. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. It turned into a learning experience for us as we will do WAY more research for any future cruises. It will also be our LAST Princess cruise. Princess sold our cabin as accommodating 4 ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. It turned into a learning experience for us as we will do WAY more research for any future cruises. It will also be our LAST Princess cruise. Princess sold our cabin as accommodating 4 people....it did not! They had a cot sitting in the room that blocked the balcony. The cot (which our room steward said wasn't even the normal cot) didn't even fit as the curtains were a foot into the cot. The ladder for the one bunk didn't fit properly causing another safety issue. Guest Services was 100% inept in dealing with this situation. In fact, I was told "you win some and you lose some" when asking for this problem to be addressed. I definitely "lost some" when paying $6,000 for this cruise. The ship is very dated as well. The only updated part of the ship was the common bathrooms. The buffet was the worst that we have seen on any cruise ship. It's tiny, few selections, and very average food at best. The food in the dining room was better but not up to the Princess standards that we expected. Our waitstaff at dinner was great and seemed to be the two happiest employees on the ship. I will agree with another reviewer, the cruise director was nice but needed more enthusiasm. We rarely saw him or heard from him. We loved the naturalist, Shelley Gill. She was the highlight of the cruise. The ports were great and we even sailed up the north arm of the Tracy Arm Fjord (which apparently is incredibly rare). We lucked out with good weather with the port days. My son contracted norovirus and had to be quarantined to the room. It was a total mess. The previous sailing had an outbreak so our sailing had lots of restrictions. Obviously, norovirus was still active on our sailing. We had hoped to stay healthy but my son was so sick the last day. Guest Services was again inept in dealing with our questions about debarkation. Alaska didn't disappoint. We saw lots of whales, wildlife, beautiful scenery, and the fjord trip was amazing. The ship was a big disappointment and Princess was a huge disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Recommended by a family member. The inside passage was beautiful and the weather was perfect for viewing the rugged, wild coast of British Columbia and Alaska. Menu was extremely limited in the formal dining room. The wait staff was very ... Read More
Recommended by a family member. The inside passage was beautiful and the weather was perfect for viewing the rugged, wild coast of British Columbia and Alaska. Menu was extremely limited in the formal dining room. The wait staff was very efficient and patient, but I felt rushed as they made preparation for the 2nd seating. Staff to passenger communication was problematic. Passengers would have to know who to see about specific issues since most of the crew were focused on their job, they did not seem knowledgeable of the big picture and frequently could not give correct answers to inquiries. The ship officers were not much better. The Captain's voice from the navigation bridge was the exception. He was an excellent communicator. The valet service for baggage at port of disembarkation was excellent. However, timely and correct information about the protocol left a lot to be desired. The paper forms and instructions for that terrific service had 3 contradictions that were not easy to resolve at the front desk. At 2 AM I still had bags in my room with no baggage tags. Disembark was easy and, due to several flight delays booked through Princess CL, we had time for a city tour after arrival in Seattle. Our flight to the East Coast did not leave until 11 PM. The tour guide was outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Chose the cruise for its itinerary. Spent 2 days in BA prior to embarkation. Worthwhile to see BA. Embarkation process could have been smoother. Personnel lacked proficiency with the English language as well as familiarity with the ... Read More
Chose the cruise for its itinerary. Spent 2 days in BA prior to embarkation. Worthwhile to see BA. Embarkation process could have been smoother. Personnel lacked proficiency with the English language as well as familiarity with the process. Disembarkation much better in San Antonio-however the port is very industrial and there is NOTHING to see/do in this very economically depressed city. Have to rely on transportation for the 1.5 HR ride into SCL to board flight. SCL airport very disorganized, little English spoken, poor signage. Emerald dated, in dire need of upgrade in furnishing, rethinking of need for lounges and very amateurish shows. Very noticeable downgrade in quality and variety of food choices. Did not like the constant up selling of services and dining. Food was "pre-cooked" and reheated for service...cold toast, cold fries, cold bacon, lobster cold?! And mushy? Shore excursions poorly organized and lacked value for $. Crowded and limited time at sights. Would book with on shore tours, but operators lacked command of English. Better selections with Expedia shore excursions. Would travel to SA again, however NOT on Princess. Captain would not even shake hands on the welcome cocktail reception, did not feel our loyalty was valued?! One highlight was our cabin steward and dining staff, who went above and beyond to ensure a pleasant vacation despite their limitations. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
I was invited by my family to go on this cruise. They were offered a special from the station casinos here in Las Vegas, Nevada. The cruise ship was average with a strange layout. Hardly anywhere for people to smoke and the rooms we had ... Read More
I was invited by my family to go on this cruise. They were offered a special from the station casinos here in Las Vegas, Nevada. The cruise ship was average with a strange layout. Hardly anywhere for people to smoke and the rooms we had were incredibly small with horrid bathrooms. The breakfast I will say was very good, however the lunch was absolutely terrible and cheap looking. They made food that most Americans would never touch. I ordered room service most of the time because of this. However, if you're hungry, good luck! Room service usually takes around and hour to deliver. The food on deck including the pizza, hamburgers, fries and ice cream was average. The room service burgers were much better in my opinion, but as I said before, you'd be luck to get it in under an hour. As for the dining, it was up to par if the crew didn't act so uptight. Not all of them were like this however. The one's we had on the other hand were somewhat rude and sarcastic. That really didn't help when you were hungry and they smirked at you when you asked for another meal or dessert. Getting off the ship was the best part. The off-shore excursions were nice, but returning to the boat meant returning back to a small cabin with a terrible bathroom and horrible lunch that was pretty much a carbon copy every single day. Only thing that helped was our cabin steward Anthony. He was amazing, but extremely overworked. Felt so bad for him. Thank god for a ping pong table, that was the best highlight of this trip besides the other on-board boring activities. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
There were 17 of us in the group and common consensus is most staff look miserable, no hello's and no smiles. The exception is our room steward and waiter at our fix dinning. We all had high expectations on quality of service and ... Read More
There were 17 of us in the group and common consensus is most staff look miserable, no hello's and no smiles. The exception is our room steward and waiter at our fix dinning. We all had high expectations on quality of service and food and were very disappointed. Both reasons are why we decide to cruise with Princess. It seems like we were on a budget cruise about to go bankrupt. The buffet breakfast was the same everyday. The dinners were nothing to brag about. It seems the cruise was more tailored to 60+ senior with diet restrictions. Buffet selection is limited. Meatloaf and Ham are not considered crave meats at the carving table. Breakfast make to order omelet can be better. They leave the napkin and utensils on the table which is nice and servers are always around to serve your drinks. That's is when they do care and half of the time, they ignore you and just clean tables which they are efficient at. This is the first cruise show that I actually fall asleep while watching. The comedian was half descent but don't expect Broadway style shows like on other cruise lines. Even the Carnival line had more entertaining shows. There are just too many dislikes to mention so take this line at your own discretion. My final comment: If you are going to Alaska, take another line like RCL or NCL. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I chose Princess on other people's recommendation, but I was not impressed and don't plan to use Princess again. I had been on two other cruises on Carnival and found them much more fun, well-planned, and friendly. First of ... Read More
I chose Princess on other people's recommendation, but I was not impressed and don't plan to use Princess again. I had been on two other cruises on Carnival and found them much more fun, well-planned, and friendly. First of all, our room was too hot and we had no way to control that. Then we asked a women at guest services about our excursion for the next day. She gave us completely erroneous information and we almost missed our excursion. The excursions were great but finding where to meet them was a real guessing game every day and no one onboard the ship seemed to know where to go for them either as we were constantly given wrong information. Also, the staff sometimes seemed to resent our questions. They didn't like to be bothered. We had no tv guide in our room. We wanted to be able to see the ship announcements but never did find them. Also the menu button didn't work on the T and the weather button didn't work on our phone. We couldn't hear the announcements in our room. Some other guests (several) said there was a switch we had to throw but we scoured our room for that switch and never found one. What entertainment there was was good, but it wasn't organized well by time. Many of the activities were focused on older people--knitting, bingo, etc. On the Carnival cruises, those were offered but there were also plenty of other activities for those who wanted something more appealing to a younger crowd. We wanted to see some of the movies they were showing but they were always outside at 10-11 at night at we were in Alaska! The disembarkation process was total chaos. No one knew where to go and again, when we asked questions at customer service, we felt like gnats being shooed away. Utter confusion about the luggage tags. The food was excellent no matter where we ate, but when we went through the breakfast buffet, no drinks were available. We had to wait for a waiter to see that we had just gone through the buffet, come to our table to take our drink order, and then they would return with the tiniest glasses of orange juice I had ever seen....and God forbid we ask for orange juice and water! We often got our juice after we were done eating. The quality of the photos taken were much inferior to the ones I had seen before on Carnival and the prices were extremely inflated. When they came around at dinner to take pictures, they would only take individual pictures. Couples were asked the photographers to take pictures of both of them together and they said they weren't allowed to. They could only take individual pictures. I guess another way to get your money because you would have to buy two pictures instead of one. We didn't have enough plug ins in our room and there were only two of us. We didn't receive the Canadian customs forms and so had trouble getting those filled out to stop in Victoria. It was utter chaos getting off there also. My main complaint was that there was too much selling. As we would walk around the ship, we were constantly bombarded with staff wanting to sell us stuff--face lotion, massages, alcohol cards--the list was never-ending. I won't be going on a Princess cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Just wanted a nice weekend getaway. Arrived at time and place indicated on boarding paperwork. Extremely long walk to first boarding area to get a number to be called to the check in area which was in another part of the convention ... Read More
Just wanted a nice weekend getaway. Arrived at time and place indicated on boarding paperwork. Extremely long walk to first boarding area to get a number to be called to the check in area which was in another part of the convention center. It was again another long walk. Once receiving your room key was directed out side and back towards the first room then down stair to a larger room. No signage to where to go. ( three different ships in port and three lines ) After finding proper line had to stand in line for about 20 minutes to clear security check point. After check point stood line 15 minutes to clear US Customs ( in Canada ) Total time to check in 75 minutes. Total steps according to fit-bit 5,200. If your in shape not a problem. There was no where for the older people we saw with mobility problems to sit. Had purchased transfers from ship to airport. Did not receive them as normally done. Went to tour desk who issues them and was told they did not offer transfers on this trip and that we should go to customer service at front desk for refund. Contacted front desk and was told that we should have already gotten or transfers from our room attendant. Was told they where to busy to assist us and to come back after 8pm. Went back and stood in line for approximately 30 minutes. Staff didn't understand what we needed after another 10 minutes they went in the back for about 10 minutes and returned with our transfers. ( missed out on several activities ) Ship was schedules to leave port at 5pm. Was informed at 5 pm they were not leaving until after 8pm because they were conducting routine maintinace. Left at about 8:15 pm pm. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We have traveled on both the Allure and Oasis of the Seas with RCI and Solstice and Millennium with Celebrity. Compared to them Princess is unfortunately a way way distant last. First and foremost the quality of the cooking in the main ... Read More
We have traveled on both the Allure and Oasis of the Seas with RCI and Solstice and Millennium with Celebrity. Compared to them Princess is unfortunately a way way distant last. First and foremost the quality of the cooking in the main dining room and even the Crown Grill is poor at best and downright disappointing. They had excellent produce in the freshest seafood and quality meats and sadly in the hands of a rank amateur cook - totally wasted. Everything was way way overcooked and dry. As I mentioned we even tried the Crown Grill one night to get away from the Main Dining room but that didn't really fair much better - what a sorry waste of $29 per head. We always chose Anytime Dining so we could sit by ourselves and not have to share. With Princess Anytime dining simply means you don't have to arrive at the designated times of 530 and 745pm. They don't really allow you to book - so you turn up when you want and get treated like a second class citizen when you politely (and this was every single sitting for dinner and several lunches and even afternoon tea) decline to share - which is the first question that gets asked. Best of all every time we were eventually allowed to enter the dining room, half the place was empty and I could always see a whole row of empty two person tables so I'm not sure what the fuss was all about. We also specifically chose Princess even though we have never sailed with them based on the information provided regarding their expert talks and knowledge about Alaska otherwise we were going to try Holland America. Sadly this really didn't eventuate either. On the second day after leaving Vancouver at the crack of 9am they had an expert Alaskan lecture followed by how to raise a family in Alaska around noon which I wasn't particularly interested in. They had the much advertised Iditarod champion on one of the port days at 3pm which we missed as we didn't make it back from the shore excursion in time. Lastly they was a total distinct lack of activities (or poor timing during the afternoons) when nothing was really on offer other than the obligatory art auctions or shopping promotions. Compared to RCI and X they had much better timed activities during the dull afternoon periods whereas Princess piles on the interesting stuff during the night so you cant get to them or they overlap one another during the peak times. Why couldn't they simply move some of them to the afternoon? So in summary this will be our first and only Princess cruise and back to RCI or X for us. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We first cruised the Emerald in 2008 and found it to be a lovely ship. We have since sailed with Princess many times and have logged over 100 days at sea. We weren't after waterslides and dodgems, just a lovely seat by a quiet ... Read More
We first cruised the Emerald in 2008 and found it to be a lovely ship. We have since sailed with Princess many times and have logged over 100 days at sea. We weren't after waterslides and dodgems, just a lovely seat by a quiet pool, a comfortable balcony room, and some great destinations. It was still NSW school holidays (just), and rather than limit children to one of the four pools they were everywhere and six children virtually incapacitated a pool for adults as you would get jumped on and screamed at. One of the pools was closed most of the time, as it tends to flood the spa (what a shame...) Bar service at the pool was almost non existant - if you have a soda card they dont want to know you. Deck chairs were at a premium - it was virtually impossible to find one in the shade on days that were incredibly hot. They were also at a premium at night - not once did I get to see a movie on deck as all seats were taken. Our room was similarly disappointing - same furnishings at in 2008 (carpet and all) and it smelled of urine. No matter how many times the steward cleaned the bathroom it was the same. We had the manager of housekeeping come to visit and she agreed it was not up to scratch and this was not what we had paid for. After some carpet shampooing and rigorous cleaning it was marginally better, but not good enough. The beds are new as are the pillows - we even requested new pillows as they were smelly. I assume they may have a wool filling that made them offensive smelling because the new ones smelled the same - just giving them the benefit of the doubt. The food was okay and the only real thumbs up I could give it was for the International Cafe with fabulous pastries and good coffee. Their Captains Circle cocktail party is a joke - the worst beer and vinegar-like sparkling wine and nothing interesting happening. Also, make sure your insurance covers missed ports. Princess reimbursed us $4 for missing Mystery Island due to strong winds. One out of 5 ports lost. And their prices have gone up while everyone else's has gone down. My advice - don't bother with Princess - they have definitely lost their sparkle and would have to try much harder for my dollar in future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Cabin A437. Far too small for two adults and one child; 3rd bed is lowered by steward each evening and is immediately over the main bed. It is unsettling for the sleepers who may as well be in a small bunk bed! Balcony was in need of ... Read More
Cabin A437. Far too small for two adults and one child; 3rd bed is lowered by steward each evening and is immediately over the main bed. It is unsettling for the sleepers who may as well be in a small bunk bed! Balcony was in need of painting and repair with rust and broken lock to next cabin. Could not get balcony door to lock. You can hear the next cabin's toilets flush and TV, etc. Drinks packages: Overpriced for what you get! Especially the soda package that promises soft drinks, mocktails and hot chocolate, however, there are just 5 mocktails to choose from that are basically slush puppies in a plastic child's cup; soft drinks are limited to fountain only cola and sprite. Overcrowded: The small pools are surrounded by deck chairs which are in no way sufficient for the vast number of passengers - hence people are up very very early to unfairly reserve them :( Also, the pools were full of small children all the time (mostly unsupervised) with teenagers and adults feeling uncomfortable to enter as you feel you are in a goldfish bowl - if you have any issues about your body shape or size you won't have the confidence to enter. Many women did not go in as everyone just stared (or ogled) at them! Entertainment: Even for cruise ship standards, the live entertainment was very poor. Any entertainer worth seeing was therefore in high demand by the passengers who, just like the deckchair reservists, arrived at the venues hours before to get the limited seats. Food: As you expect from a luxury liner the food was abundant with dining rooms (fixed or anytime), specialist areas (at extra costs) and large buffets. First-time cruisers will find this a good experience but others will compare the quality and variety against other cruises they have previously been on and realize the chooses, options and quality is less than expected. Fleeced: This ship seems to have a fundamental business policy that is all about making as much money as possible from the passengers who have already paid a small fortune already. Be prepared that every talk, event, shop, dinning room waiter, etc, will do their best to offer 'specials' that when totted up could cost you a lot of money. Staff: Most of the staff and crew will bend over backwards to assist and help. Obviously this is in accordance with the Princess training and expectations. However, it needs to be considered that their pay is low, they work long hours and work for 9 months of the year without a holiday. Their pay is also linked to a daily gratuity charge to each passenger on board. But are they getting all the tips you expect them to receive. You will not see any steward, waiter, cleaner or bar tender that is British or American which seems to be unfair... could this be that they are cheaper? Not sure. Remember that the gratuity is descretionary which means you can go to the reception on board and cancel it altogether and then tip who you want; you can pay less of the gratuity; you could opt not to include tips from your children, etc. It's up to you! Alcohol: You are not allowed to take any on board other than a 70cl bottle of wine per passenger. Any bought in the duty free shop or at shore will be kept until you disembark for home. This is the policy of all the cruise companies I've been with but I feel is nothing more than a way of forcing you to buy over priced drinks from their own bars! Tip: buy your duty free from shops on shore. For example, I bought x4 bottles of x1 liter of Smirnoff red label vodka in Gibraltar for £20 with the same product costing £44 on board... still cheap at 44 quid but remarkable at £20!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Booked this cruise without hesitation after a princess cruise two years ago which was outstanding. First problem occurred with the lifeboat drill, it took forever , the muster point we were at had very little seating which meant sveral ... Read More
Booked this cruise without hesitation after a princess cruise two years ago which was outstanding. First problem occurred with the lifeboat drill, it took forever , the muster point we were at had very little seating which meant sveral people with walking difficulties having to stand for a long time. Prior to the actual drill there were numerous pointless announcements. Thereafter the cruise was OK, but just OK, long wait for everything from drinks to tables to lifts. On a positive note the cabin was great with a very comfortable bed and the ship was very clean. The service was poor a lot of the time, and many of the staff lacked the sort of customer service skills you usually experience on a cruise. Finally the excursions were a massive rip off, 99$ dollars each for a short tour of Guernsey. Will not travel with princess again, it all seemed to be about the money. Drinks package was not worth having as often once the waiters saw your sticker they lost interest and you were left waiting. We had a two hour wait for disembarkation, and drinks were only provided for the elite group. Sorry princess, feel very let down. Read Less
Sail Date May 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
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
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
Let me start by saying we are not picky and the type to gripe about little things. That being said I was very disappointed in our cruise on the Emerald Princess. We did the same cruise last year on the Caribbean Princess and was very happy ... Read More
Let me start by saying we are not picky and the type to gripe about little things. That being said I was very disappointed in our cruise on the Emerald Princess. We did the same cruise last year on the Caribbean Princess and was very happy with that cruise. We chose Princess again because of the food, I feel Princess has a lot better food than Carnival so we went with Princess. The food did not disappoint, it was very good and the service in the dining room was great!!! The problem we had was this boat has very few activities on sea days, this was a spring break cruise so the average age was much younger than what is usually on this ship. I still have no idea who the cruise director was, never heard or saw him/her. There are things like bridge and knitting classes, line dancing classes things you would see in a senior citizen home. Almost every show was an attempt to sell something. The ship is a nice ship almost the same as the Caribbean Princess but the entertainment was lacking to put it nicely. If you are 75 years old you will love it as it will be just like a nursing home if you are young and have kids re think this cruise!!!!! Since most gratuities are automatic the bar staff could really care less it took forever to get a drink or refill and they acted as if it was a hassle to serve a drink. We loved Princess last year but this cruise makes me look at that line very different now. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We always enjoy cruising and nothing terrible happened on our latest voyage on Emerald Princess from Houston Texas. But the bar is set high for ships sailing our blue oceans and Princess fell far short of the competition. I shall dwell on ... Read More
We always enjoy cruising and nothing terrible happened on our latest voyage on Emerald Princess from Houston Texas. But the bar is set high for ships sailing our blue oceans and Princess fell far short of the competition. I shall dwell on the negative in my notes here, but really to be a warning about items I found distasteful and distracting. There were positives as well which I listed too. I will never sail with Princess again, so this is my one-and-only review. Clearly, many customers like their ships and stay with them. On our ship, a couple was listed in the most traveled on Princess with 198 cruises for 1400+ days at sea! That is impressive - 4 years of sailing! - Maleficent's husband (these opinions are mine and may not fully represent those of my dear wife) CONS: * Be AWARE that any big change to your booking may cancel all or part of your shore excursions, dining reservations, upgrades, and credits! Princess appears to take great pride in stealing from customers by charging for these services and then "forgetting" about them once the passenger arrives! I am serious. We split a party of 4 from one cabin into two and all the bookings vanished for the boys we moved (so it was not obvious to us). Discovering this too late while already leaving port made it impossible to recover without "evidence". Yes, they would do NOTHING for us since we failed to bring WRITTEN PROOF for any pre-paid activity or benefit. Their records of our payments were erased entirely and all I heard was "it is not in our computer", which (as you know) means "I think you are a lying customer". They really do not trust you to be correct; I suppose that many customers must be attempting to scam the company and those White Uniformed "officers" have lost faith in humanity. * When our nephew lost his ship card, we were challenged to prove he had the Beverage Option - even though they gave it to him at departure and all our party could show our tags. They simply do not think the customer is to be believed. DO NOT SAIL WITH THESE THIEVES! * Anytime dining means "NOT being able to eat at ANY TIME" - thus, only certain times are open for reservations. Basically, from 6 pm - 8 pm, you must show up and wait in line, which can be 40+ minutes on some nights. * The $25/person upgrade dining was just okay; not bad, but about what you get for that price on land. * The "free" food was average; the pizza was popular but I did not think it so grand. Orange juice was watered down too much, but pine apple juice was okay. * Service for ice cream (really a frozen ice milk) is NOT self-service. Although this appears to be an upgrade, it just creates a long line to get food (on other lines, it takes 30 seconds to get a cup of custard). * At the buffet, you have to sit down to get any drink (other than water or tea), so add 10 minutes if you wish to take your food to the pool or stateroom. * They have the smallest cups for juice (about 3 oz) unless you ask for a large and convince them you will drink what you order (again, the lack of trust in customers). * The entertainment was a band (aka "orchestra") of 5 with the cruise director singing. He was listed as vocally trained and can sing better than me, but not so good as in Broadway-class shows from the other lines. * The magician was fairly good at slight-of-hand but his "tricks" were taken from his own Magic Store (which he plugged) and could be done by anyone; although he did them well, they were fairly obvious as the 3-rope trick is an old stand-by. Then, he showed his kids' video for 10 minutes to plug their acting careers! He gets "Dad Points" for that, but it was boring. * The daily newsletter (event listing) was NOT available at the customer service desk or at kiosks around the ship (like Carnival, Disney and others do) - so don't lose it or forget it - you get ONE copy per cabin! * My primary gripe was with the Shore Excursion desk; the nameless White Uniform man there was rude and of no "service" at all. I admit that my worst side came to the surface as I challenged him at the end of my first visit that I would resolve the ticketing problem and prove him wrong (Princess cancelled half of my group's tickets) even after he insisted that the "computer is always correct". I called my travel agent (Debbie at Cruises Only is a SAINT) who was helpful and found the record of our purchase. Sadly, she never could convince Princess of that fact and the issue was never resolved. I still have two paid tickets to see Belize that Princess refuses to refund to me - again, be cautious and BRING WRITTEN PROOF OF EVERY PAYMENT TO THESE SCOUNDRELS!! PROS: * The ship is basically clean, but typical in appearance without any special options. * Good wait staff & room staff too! This is nearly universal as these are the hardest workers at sea that you will encounter on any cruise line. These folks were delightful, funny, engaging and also helpful. * Our teens really loved it - first cruise so all was new and they found a good group to join and create friendships. We were concerned about not having enough in their age group, but (although true), it was not a problem. * The cruise director does not use the PA (public address) into the state rooms to announce activities - this was great as even my favorite line (Disney) interrupts my daytime naps too often to tell me about ice carving... * The medical staff was nice & friendly. Our nephew god a wood splinter in his finger from the hot-tub (sigh, some ship maintenance needed there), but they helped him remove it. They waived the $45 fee as well (but, of course, they should have). * The Beef Chili from room service was great! And that service was quick and accurate and the stewards were very kind and helpful - don't forget to tip those folks! * The add-on for drinks was a hit for our teen-age nephews who ordered every possible "virgin" beverage as much as 10 times per day! * The room steward has the key to unlock the connecting doors on the balconies! On all my other cruises, this became a 24-hour request to get that door opened, so this was easier and quicker than normal. However, when they did work on our deck, all the doors were opened for an hour and then everyone of them locked again, so we had to ask twice... * The other passengers were kind and gracious; at every meal, we shared a table and had very pleasant conversations with young and old alike. NOTES: * Be aware that the promenade deck, which provides a full 1/3 mile covered circuit of the ship is NOT on one level. I have never seen this before - you must go up from level 7 to 8 at the bow and back down as you make the loop. If stairs are a problem, then you cannot walk around the ship on that level. * On the 2-for-1 happy hour, be aware that you will get two of what you order, not your friends drink for free! Yes, they told us, but I just did not expect them to double my order rather than halve my bill (stupid me). Good drinks but very slow service when they are busy (35+ minutes per round). * If you drink, bring your bottle of wine per adult - was worth having it in our room. * The port of Houston is plagued by fog in some seasons (read more from others), which may delay departure and/or arrival. Be prepared in your travel planning for this as it seems to be likely. Our captain warned us every night about this possibility, which I suppose is good, but every time he talked on the PA to the entire ship (including staterooms), the news was never good. * Although our 15- & 16-year old boys loved the ship, they did not spend time in the teen lounge after day 2; it was an initial meeting place for the kids to bond in groups who then found the sports decks, gym and food areas to be their haunts as the ship's dedicated areas for them held little appeal. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
What a disappointment. After having cruised with Princess Cruise lines this has been the worst yet. The best tip I can give is to avoid their excursions all together. They are outrageous in price and provide poor service. You are better ... Read More
What a disappointment. After having cruised with Princess Cruise lines this has been the worst yet. The best tip I can give is to avoid their excursions all together. They are outrageous in price and provide poor service. You are better off finding an excursion off the ship after you dock each port. We had a complaint at one of our excursions and instead of trying to take care of the customer the excursion desk just led us on a wild goose chase. To make things worse their excursion manager, lied repeatedly when confronted with her superior. The overall attitude of the personnel was poor as well. Eighty percent of the crew seemed uninterested in their jobs and the passengers which reflected in their subpar performance. Our cabin steward falling into this category as well. He did the bare minimal to keep our room appear as if it were clean but not once was our balcony tables or chairs cleaned off in our 10 day voyage. If fact it was dirty before we even checked in and Princess charges us $11.99 gratuity each day for his poor service? They were so concerned over a virus that broke out during the cruise but what they fail to realize is that you can get just as sick from bird poop on the balcony chairs and tables. There is also an automatic 15% gratuity charged on all bar bills.... outrageous for the water-downed drinks which are expensive enough. They are also deceptive in their bar receipts because in addition to a automatic 15% charge there is another line for more gratuity which if you are not careful you may fill out giving them more of a tip. I don't mind tipping and in fact tip 20% or more for good service but I like it to decide how much I tip. When gratuity is already added each day then there is no reason for the crew to go above and beyond exceptional service. The buffet was subpar as well, same thing day after day...boring. On a positive note we loved our server, Michael, at the Da Vinci as well as Luis from Mexico. They went out of their way to make our dinners exceptional and we appreciate them for their charm and great sense of humor. As far as the excursion desk goes, they should all be fired especially their so called manager Roxanna who has the personality of duck tape. A word of advise to Princess Cruise Lines: THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT ESPECIALLY IF YOU WANT THEM TO UTILIZE YOUR SERVICES AGAIN! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
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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