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21 Princess Emerald Princess Cruise Reviews for Family Cruises to Mediterranean

I chose Princess mainly because of the itinerary offered in the dates we preferred. I have cruised the Mediterranean before, but Princess offered some new ports I had, yet, visited. This trip was special, as it was eleven nights with my ... Read More
I chose Princess mainly because of the itinerary offered in the dates we preferred. I have cruised the Mediterranean before, but Princess offered some new ports I had, yet, visited. This trip was special, as it was eleven nights with my two grown daughters, neither who had ever visited any of the countries included. It was wonderful- great service,, attentive staff, and excellent excursions offered. We visited seven ports and took advantage of an excursion at each stop we made. We also enjoyed the dining and service provided ar each meal. The menu was good and varied. One daughter is a pescatarian, and she was a bit concerned about what the offerings might be, but she thoroughly enjoyed the choices provided and there was never an issue. Because there were three of us, we had a mini suite. I think I would upgrade to a full suite if I were to book again, just to give us that much more space. Though we managed just fine, accommodations were a bit tight. All in all , a most pleasant experience, and I would consider Orincess again if I were thinking of another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
The Emerald was a good ship and had a great selection of ports. However, the food quality seemed to be off on this ship compared with the rest of the fleet. If you are looking for good food, this is not the ship for you! The general staff ... Read More
The Emerald was a good ship and had a great selection of ports. However, the food quality seemed to be off on this ship compared with the rest of the fleet. If you are looking for good food, this is not the ship for you! The general staff were very good with the exception of the front desk personnel. If you have an issue, be prepared if you speak English they may not understand you. For the price of the cruise, the trip was great. There were plenty of chairs available on the deck for sun lounging. Entertainment was good and had a nice verity of shows. The Gastropub was excellent, don't waste your money on Share by Chris Stone, selection not very good. As a premium class guest with Princess, embarkation and disembarkation was great with little or no time spent on the process. Some of the ports (Malta) the ship could have spent more time at rather than the Greek ports. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was technically a 22 day cruise, but we only did the 11 day portion of Barcelona to Rome. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary plus the price and the perks were good. There were 7 of us and overall, it was a great ... Read More
This was technically a 22 day cruise, but we only did the 11 day portion of Barcelona to Rome. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary plus the price and the perks were good. There were 7 of us and overall, it was a great experience. The staff was excellent and the passengers were very friendly. We all made new friends. It is a beautiful ship. The piazza midship is stunning. We all agreed the cabins could do with a freshening up in decor; it was a little bit dated. However, the rooms were spotless. The mini-suites are large and roomy with a full size bathroom and lots of storage. My parents and sister had electrical and plumbing problems with their room, but Dennis, their steward, handled the situations promptly and efficiently. The food experience onboard got mixed reviews amongst our group. My parents and sister did not enjoy their main dining dinner experience the first night onboard and never went back. The group went to Steamers one night and those that had the mussels enjoyed the experience, but those that had the fried platter were disappointed. We all enjoyed: Share, Crown Grill, World Market Buffet, The Salty Dog Grill on the lido deck, Slices, The International Cafe, Room Service & Coffees and Cones. We only saw a couple of the shows in the Princess Theatre and they were fun. Karaoke in Club Fusion was good. The Maitre D wine tasting experience was excellent as was the Love Boat disco party. Embarkation was poorly done, but disembarkation was a breeze. For our group, the shore excursions booked through the cruise ship were the biggest disappointment, specifically those that took ship tours to Marseilles, Florence and Capri. It's a lot of money to put out and not have a wonderful time. All in all it was a great time and we would definitely consider another Princess cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise for the destination, but sadly the Emerald Princess quickly became a disappointment. Lack of entertainment, sub-par food, and horrible dining room attire rules. Nice shorts and shirt NOT acceptable but jeans and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the destination, but sadly the Emerald Princess quickly became a disappointment. Lack of entertainment, sub-par food, and horrible dining room attire rules. Nice shorts and shirt NOT acceptable but jeans and sports jersey's are acceptable on a Formal night. NO entertainment pool side on either sea days. They turned the music on for ice-carving then quickly turned the unacceptable playlist to very low. I understand the population on the cruise was a little older, but they were happy to listen to our music when we brought out our music player. All the pool guests around us were complaining. The drink package - they really encourage you not to use it, limits and rules for every situation. The spa was nice, although pricey - but that's expected on cruises they increase the price. Positive - I like the hand- washing stations at the entrance of the buffet. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We as a family wanted to do a Mediterranean trip. This particular cruise plan met most of our needs. The Cruise ship was excellent, the wait staff was great. The room steward did an excellent job. The meal offerings could have been ... Read More
We as a family wanted to do a Mediterranean trip. This particular cruise plan met most of our needs. The Cruise ship was excellent, the wait staff was great. The room steward did an excellent job. The meal offerings could have been little more variety on different days specifically for vegetarian family members. The entertainment shows were good mix. The comedy show needed little more oomph. The trivia games were good. There could have been little more learning types of activities would have been nice instead of trying to sell spa/spa products under the guise of health talks. The cabin location and décor were good for the time we spent in the room, mostly for little rest or sleep at night. We chose easy types of excursions due to group members needs but we thoroughly enjoyed it. The excursions for Santorini, Naples, Sicily and Kotor were all met our needs perfectly. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have cruised with other lines before and decided to try Princess based on a recommendation from our travel agent due to the specific ports we wanted to visit. We did a 14 day cruise with Princess Cruise lines. Never made it to Mykonos ... Read More
We have cruised with other lines before and decided to try Princess based on a recommendation from our travel agent due to the specific ports we wanted to visit. We did a 14 day cruise with Princess Cruise lines. Never made it to Mykonos due to a storm. Food was average but nothing spectacular. Too many starchy foods. Not enough vegetables and fruits. Entertainment was just okay. Not enough planned activities accept pushing bingo games and paper airplane races. Don’t buy a drink package. If on Dolphin Deck, the tinder boats are under you and when they are launched at 6 am, you will be knocked out of bed by the noise. Gym was sub par. Two standard stationary bikes for the whole ship to use. The Sanctuary area is a joke. Don’t waste your money for $80 a day. The art auction staff must all be new as they didn’t have full knowledge on the artist they were selling. Overall staff were not as friendly as on other cruise lines we have travelled on. I honestly do not believe we will ever cruise with Princess in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My sisters and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and length of time to enjoy together. The ship was amazing and staff were incredibly kind and personable. We loved the entertainment, especially Kory Simon the piano man and the ... Read More
My sisters and I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and length of time to enjoy together. The ship was amazing and staff were incredibly kind and personable. We loved the entertainment, especially Kory Simon the piano man and the shows. Meals were sensational and a speciality meal in the Crown Grill surpasses our expectations. The scenery of the countries we visited and history of Europe is fascinating. 21 days flew as we enjoyed every aspect of the ship, the staff and fellow passengers. The international cafe was a hotspot after excursions for a relaxing drink and snack before our formal dining room experience and we also could tan in the afternoon high tea at three if we chose high was so nicely served. The crowd control was very well dealt with by offering so many different venues throughout the ship as well which made it feel very comfortable. I loved every minute of the 21 days and my next trip will be longer- again with Princess Cruises! Kudos to Princess! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My friends and I were looking for a Mediterranean cruise but late to book so many were already sold out. I thought Princess was rated similar to RCCL and Celebrity ...oops, I was so wrong. If the was one Improvement I'd. ... Read More
My friends and I were looking for a Mediterranean cruise but late to book so many were already sold out. I thought Princess was rated similar to RCCL and Celebrity ...oops, I was so wrong. If the was one Improvement I'd. Suggest, it would be to stop nickel and diming people with stupid drink packages!!! How ridiculous to offer a water and coke package which only serviced INSIDE or Outside your cabins. It was, like much of the programs...petty. nightly entertainment limited to early only crowds. After 9pm, there's few options. The best experience was in the spa where I got 2 treatments that were e excellent. I did pass on the $60.00 manicure tho. Placing an automatic 15% gratuity was insulting. Lastly, as most cruises, the food is bountiful however what's the purpose of having different dining rooms if you're serving the same menu in each? Where was the variety? Even the 2 additional restaurants you had to pay additional for had pretty much the same menu as the others. Simply unimaginative and a basic 3 1/2 star cruise line. A touch above costa and same as NCL. And don't waste 2 days at sea just to get cheap fuel in Gilbralter ! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because of the ports of call and our Parents, who went with us, are Platinum members on Princess. The check in was the quickest we have experienced in comparison to Royal Caribbean. The Food choices each day in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ports of call and our Parents, who went with us, are Platinum members on Princess. The check in was the quickest we have experienced in comparison to Royal Caribbean. The Food choices each day in the restaurants were excellent and very appealing to look at. PROS: Check in process was efficient and quick The itinery was great. Ports of call were gorgeous and perfectly fit our bucket list. Staff was very friendly and professional. This was especially true with stateroom Stewards and casino hosts. Bar staff was quick and friendly. We booked interior rooms because we didn't plan on staying inside. Were very surprised with how spacious the rooms were and the bedding was so comfortable!! CONS: Entertainment was very poor and catered to over 70 crowd. No variety each night. Food in Dining rooms were great but Buffet selection and taste was poor. Part of our excursion was canceled to rough seas(Amalfi Coast and Pompei) They took us to Sarrento by bus and dropped us off at the square for 1 hour. Poor substitute for a boat cruise down the Amalfi Coast. Princess credited us $40 for the change in itinary. Eve though I appreciate the thought, I think this was highway robbery when you consider the substitution. I felt that Princess Excurtions did not credit us the appropriate amount for the shortfall. How can you compare the experience and price to being dumped at the city square to sit in the hot sun for an hour. I would have preferred to return to the ship and use the credit on another excursion. This left a poor taste in our overall impression of the cruise. They lost one star for this experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Excursions too rushed and actually didn't see anything properly and definitely did not have the experience expected. Summary - 'Been there seen that' - Not 'Been there and done that'. Embarkation and ... Read More
Excursions too rushed and actually didn't see anything properly and definitely did not have the experience expected. Summary - 'Been there seen that' - Not 'Been there and done that'. Embarkation and disembarking were very well organised and efficient. Cleanliness was high and service from our steward was excellent. No issue service wise. Food was basically the same form day to day will minimal variations - food was ok of you love great if you love salt. Would have preferred to have more local foods from each destination we went to. Couldn't get into the restaurant we wanted even when booking a day on advance. Was my first cruise so wasn't sure what to expect - but definitely felt underwhelmed. My 2 teenage daughters did enjoy it but even their excitement was starting to dull toward the end. Everything seemed to have an additional charge when I expected most things to be included. Overall pretty poor value - rather do hotels and stay for a few days at each location that this overrated hop on hop off bus. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We are a family of 6 - 3 generations consisting of 80 year olds x 2, late 40’s x2 and 2 children 8 and 12. The booking experience was not great with the dining time being changed from 6.30pm to 5.00pm without our knowledge and the on ... Read More
We are a family of 6 - 3 generations consisting of 80 year olds x 2, late 40’s x2 and 2 children 8 and 12. The booking experience was not great with the dining time being changed from 6.30pm to 5.00pm without our knowledge and the on board packages being altered on the day we were booking them. However, we were determined to enjoy the holiday and we did. The ship in our opinion is very good, with majority of the staff being friendly. We did find the muster station drill a little bit cringeworthy and reminded us very much of Disney, and not in a good way. The food in traditional dining was okay, but if it was not for the staff, we would say the experience was not great. The buffet during the day we found to be good, clean and efficient. The cabins were kept very clean and we liked the fact we could have the balcony dividers open allowing for an open area for our family, which worked very well. My father was 80 during the cruise and we booked to go to the Steakhouse. Big mistake - wines were out of stock, poor service and food, and the whole atmosphere was not what we expected. Diners were there at 930pm wearing pool attire and sun hats, whilst we had dressed formally. Entertainment was good, pool areas were good, bar service was good. We had prebooked the soda package but not convinced we were not always charged for soft drinks as they do not give you receipts. The demo with the chef and maitre d’ was very good and funny. The tender at Kotor was a shambles with us having to wait for over an hour to get off. Had we known the length of time, we would have arrived earlier. On the return, they had run out of drinks and cloths despite standing out on quayside in the heat and they knew how many people were still not on board - they seemed ill prepared. On the morning of disembarkation, why are most lifts not working? They all were reserved which is crazy when you have elderly relatives. We did not do any ship excursions as learnt our lesson on previous occasions - always book your own! Our cabins were right by the laundry - noise was not an issue at all. Perfectly happy with cabins. We all enjoyed the cruise itinerary and particular pleasures were Pompeii, Mykonos, Chania and Athens. A good, family holiday and felt safe and happy at all times. Would I go with Princess again - possibly but not overwhelmed and would think twice. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this cruise as we had a large party and it was basically the one that suited all. That said there was some thought that there may have been better cruise available - that was proved incorrect as we all loved it. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we had a large party and it was basically the one that suited all. That said there was some thought that there may have been better cruise available - that was proved incorrect as we all loved it. The embarkation process was seamless and very fast. Baggage assistants on the wharf helped the process and our luggage was in our room when we opened the door. The condition of the ship at present is very good with no real sign anywhere of wear and tear. Common areas are very nice and well maintained. The stateroom was above our exceptions in size and condition. The itinerary from Barcelona to Athens was very impressive and some notable surprises for us in Gibraltar and Kotor. We all agreed that what we saw of Marseilles made it our least favourite port. Stateroom steward was perfect....there when you needed him otherwise rarely saw him. he kept the room spotless. Meals were spot-on. Be aware that if you are doing a 14 or 21 day Med cruise that your menu will basically repeat every 7 days. Shore tours were very good and ran smoothly. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We have travelled on Princess before and hold Elite status so are very familiar with the standard of service etc. Although it has been 8 years since we last cruised with Princess partly circumstances and partly better ports and itineraries ... Read More
We have travelled on Princess before and hold Elite status so are very familiar with the standard of service etc. Although it has been 8 years since we last cruised with Princess partly circumstances and partly better ports and itineraries from other cruise lines. Their overall standard has certainly slipped in this time I have seen reviews from other cruisers with an opinion very similar to some of our . The ridiculous charging for bus transfers to get you from the port if you hadn't booked one of their excursions. EXCURSIONS were well over priced More so than in the past. Internet was very highly over priced and ate up your package very quickly as they were slow in loading, however we did discover that some PC were always being occupied because they were fast operating ENTERTAINMENT was certainly not up to a high standard on a 14 day cruise to have the same entertainers performing the same acts or songs repeated in the same order was very disappointing they need to take a look at what the opposition cruiselines are doing give me Royal Caribbean Cruiseline entertainment any day it is far superior. Princess nedd to be changing entertainers not using the same ones throughout a 14 day and 21 day cruise. The Sounds band was excellent, but too loud especially in open areas. FOOD The buffet with the idea of having cutlery on the tables and the food had a great variety I wish I could say the same about the main dinning rooms who had a repeated menu every seven days. Part of enjoying a cruising is the main dinning rooms variety and the Captains Welcome and farewell dinners of which have gone it is just like a normal night no lobster tails just a normal menu with the Bomb Alaska offered as a dessert is the only thing still offered on the last night. We shared a table by accident with an American couple accident several times and they had been on a long cruise on the same ship in February and said there was none of this repeat entertainment and menu every 7 days they were discussed. If it was a cruise over 18 - 21 days I would expect the menu to repeat. FORMAL NIGHTS We got information with our cruise papers there would be 3 formal nights on a 14 night cruise but when we got on board we discovered there were 4 formal night which is ridiculous considering cruising is now taking the more casual approach to what it use to do years ago. It appears they are cutting costs and not keeping up what use to be their good standard which is a shame as it doesn't exactly give first time cruisers a good impression and does leave you thinking what will my next cruise with them be like or do we have to do a short 7 day cruise which we don't like to avoid repeats Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
On the whole this was a fantastic cruise. Gibraltar, Marseille, Genova, and even Pisa (once you manage to leave the port of Livorno) were all fantastic. I can highly recommend the itinerary. Buffet areas were busy but we always managed ... Read More
On the whole this was a fantastic cruise. Gibraltar, Marseille, Genova, and even Pisa (once you manage to leave the port of Livorno) were all fantastic. I can highly recommend the itinerary. Buffet areas were busy but we always managed to find a table for the four of us. Food was good, generally no complaints, although they were running out of basics like honey and muesli by day 5 and the watermelon were past their ‘use by date’ by then. Waiting staff were great, all of them although I could hear a rather heated work discussion from the ‘kitchen’ area which was a bit awkward. We embarked straight after our flight in Barcelona at 2 p.m. planning to head out to the city afterwards. This plan fell through because we were told we had to attend the safety demonstration at 5 p.m. with all the usual threats about not attending. They didn’t tell us there would be a second safety demo at night, which would have suited our plans much better. So we missed out on Barcelona. Gibraltar was perfect as a cruise port. The town entrance is a 15 minute walk from the pier. Another 15 minutes walk to the cable car. Took a shared taxi (as advertised everywhere on bill boards everywhere for 35 euros) up the mountain due to long cues for the cable car. The driver/guide was fine but spoke in as few words as possible. The monkeys/apes/macaques/whatever they are were present. The caves worth a short visit and the view stunning. Sailing away from Gibraltar is a sight worth seeing. I did not expect much from Marseille but the city proved us wrong. Finding your way through typical French streets leading to the steps all the way up the steps to the Notre Dame de la Garde Cathedral was one of the highlights of the cruise for us. Took a City bus tour in Genova, but you can see the same sights by foot if just head out from the cruise terminal to the aquarium and then enter the inner city. You can enter the city straight from the terminal but the area looked a bit ‘rough’ at first sight. I could be wrong. I loved walking through the narrow streets and alleys of Genova and the aquarium is one of the best I’ve seen with an impressive dolphin tank. Make sure to take a picture from the ship of the city just before sunset. The light is stunning. Now onto Livorno. The shabby port of Livorno left us with a very sour taste and we will avoid this port in the future. Why? Because you have to pay to get off the ship. Even though the town centre is less than a mile away, passengers still have to pay five euros per person for a shuttle bus. I get it, the harbor area doesn't lend itself to pedestrians, but at least offer the shuttle service for free (like in Marseille and many other ports). It's a matter of principle. But what really ruined this day for us is how we and others were treated by the shuttle staff: -As is my custom on almost any cruise destination, I like to start the day with a morning run through town as soon as the ship is docked. It's a great way to get a feel of the town while the wife and kids are still asleep. At least that was the plan till a local member of staff rudely blocked my exit from the terminal: you cannot exit the terminal by yourself, you have to pay for a shuttle. So far for my morning run. -Due to a small miscommunication both my wife and I ended up buying those shuttle tickets for the family.Totally our fault and we spotted the mistake immediately. But guess what, the shuttle service flatly refused to reimburse the two surplus tickets. We were the ONLY passengers in the terminal, the tickets were bought less than a minute ago form the same employee, so it was obvious we did not use the tickets. But nope, they flatly refused to take the tickets back. -We rented an extravagantly overpriced car from Avis. There were 3 ships in town, so yeah, I get it, the price goes up. But at least clean the diesel fuel spill that covered most of the rear passenger door and booth. Driving is fine if you are used to Southern European roads or confident enough behind the wheel. -Pisa was fine. The tower is there. It leans. We took the same cliché pictures as every other tourist and went back to the port, returned the rental car, and waited, waited, waited, 10, 20 30, 40+ minutes for the paid shuttle to arrive. In the sun. At least five other shuttles passed us by, just not the very specific one for our ship. Our ship which was just a stones throw away.. -Oh and a fellow shuttle passenger got shouted at for not presenting his ticket on the spot. I'll end my rant here. We had six fantastic days during this cruise. Just not in Livorno. If you buy an official tour then you will probably be just fine. But if you like to do your own thing like us, then you know now what to expect. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
First time cruisers, two adults, two children 11 and 9, interconnecting mini suites( not necessary but the booking is a long story) although I would do interconnecting rooms again, just smaller. Overall conclusion, this is akin to a ... Read More
First time cruisers, two adults, two children 11 and 9, interconnecting mini suites( not necessary but the booking is a long story) although I would do interconnecting rooms again, just smaller. Overall conclusion, this is akin to a decent four star hotel, with obvious differences due to size and the fact it's a...boat. Myth one - you won't know you are on a ship. Oh yes we did, often. Both from the weather and the ships vibrations. But I would agree it is generally manageable but go with sea sick tabs and accept in poor weather it can easily be felt. Beware the bay of biscay. Myth two - you won't see your kids they will be having so much fun etc. Well, they did go to kids club, but they missed a hang out place (eg swings etc at a campsite) and whilst there are two pools, that's it. No slides etc so, having been to centre parcs etc it felt flat. But... They loved the photography (note they were trailing a-cake of having all photos taken on board for $200 - at first this may appear high but we walked away with 120 professional photos. I'm not sure they will keep going with this, but it did allow the girls to do a photo shoot most nights. Food - first recommendation is the salty dog. $19 extra but we found this to be excellent, but accept it is an unusual approach to food, eg you choose various small dishes after you receive a Parma salad. Deserts were great. Crown grill - $29 - ok, not worth it to us. My wife fish dish was well below par Share - didn't try, the $39 extra each was too much for us. Horizon court/cafe caribe - are buffets, and do as they say. We enjoyed the food their, but it's not gourmet, but easily acceptable. Overall, food, we were happy. Entertainment - is not the boats strength, lots of trivia etc but the shows we saw, musicals, hypnotist, comedian, magician, we're all fun. Kids loved that. Why, oh why they don't have a kids disco every night, just the formal nights, I don't know. So easy to do. Excursions - we mostly did our own except Pisa, which was fine, if somewhat expensive, but I knew that beforehand. Note to parents - our kids were really not interested in the excursions, in walking far, in the heat etc, so plan your trip well or have a miserable day which we seem to have too often. I'll plan better next time. When we were able to leave the boat just the two of us - grandparents on board - - I loved the simple pleasure of walking, exploring, and having a beer with my wife. Bars - I loved the outrigger - back of the boat - as it has great views. Shuts at six but you can sneak into the adjacccio and bring the drinks down. Others were fine but as we liked the salty dog, which is within the wheelhouse and is quieter than some - nice music being played - we often meet there for a smart drink. Pool bars were fine. Formal nights - I thought these were in the main well supported with many black ties, but I guess if you went up to the buffet it would hav been different. Would I do the Emerald Princess again...no. But that because my kids need more activity so we will probably try RCL next. Once they are older, yes I would although celebrity also attracts me. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was our first cruise with Princess. We sailed on the Emerald Princess from Southampton on the 20th August with our Daughter son in law and two grandchildren aged 14 and 11. Embarkation was slow, as there were storms affecting the ... Read More
This was our first cruise with Princess. We sailed on the Emerald Princess from Southampton on the 20th August with our Daughter son in law and two grandchildren aged 14 and 11. Embarkation was slow, as there were storms affecting the port and Princess were unable, for safety reasons, to use the covered walkway to board the ship and boarding had to take place from dockside up a ramp. We were lucky as we were awarded platinum status due to our past P&O cruises, which gave us priority over many other cruisers. We were allowed to go straight to our stateroom and deposit our hand luggage. In my case quite a lot as I don't travel light! The ship was in quite good condition after a revamp in December, as it is not one of the newer ones, and public areas were well maintained and clean. We avoided the crowds in the buffet and went to the main resturant which we found opened for a short time for lunch. This proved a good move as I had a lovely fillet steak followed by a souflet. Other members of the family didn't fare so well in the buffet. The service everywhere on the ship was outstanding, every member of staff went out of their way to help. The only exception was one female server in the international cafe who was very short and sometimes quite rude in her attitude. However even she improved as the cruise progressed, so I think she may have been spoken to. We had a balcony cabin with a double size balcony, half shaded and the family had a mini suit which was very spacious, however their balcony was completely uncovered. Our cabin had plenty of hanging space and a very comfortable bed. I asked for extra hangers and two robes which came straight away. Our steward was excellent with nothing being too much trouble. He serviced the cabin twice a day including the balcony and vacuumed daily, something that was neglected on recent P&O cruises. Our bathroom was very small, with a shower that had a fixed head, which I hate, and a nylon curtain which stuck to you, but was adequate. Our children had a larger bathroom in the mini suit with a bath, which was not full size, but bigger than some we have had. Dinning was excellent. As we were a large group, having been joined by some of our daughters friends who were also on board, we were given a table in anytime dining at 8pm and allowed to keep it for the whole cruise. We had excellent service, with all our requests being met. The food was top quality, especially the meat and fish. Some of the starters and soups were a bit odd for our taste, but it was no problem to get a small portion of another course as a starter. Something again P&O no longer do. The resturant food and service was excellent for all meals so wherever possible we used this. The buffet was a different matter it is the same bad design in my view as Azura and Ventura with only one side open at a time. It was vastly overcrowded with no vacant seats, as the ship had over 3;400 passengers and some 900 children on board. The food was poor Luke warm canteen type food and the salad and fruit were truly awful. The fruit was always hard and unripe, and presented either whole or unpeeled. The salad which was all I wanted at lunchtime was a poor selection dotted about in different areas. One day someone had sliced up raw courgettes instead of cucumber. We didn't use this area after first couple of days. The international cafe had nice sweet treats and my grandson loved the doughnuts. Again lack of seating made this area unusable much of the time, so we took snacks back to our cabin balcony. We didn't use pool burger grill or pizza takeaway, but kids said they were quite good quality. Lemonade was available most of the day which was a nice touch. The wine was very expensive so we didn't have our usual bottle with dinner every night, just a glass and instead we made use of happy hour, and the nice cocktails for 5 dollars between 5.30 and 7.00pm, served in the lounge for platinum and elite passengers, these also came with free canapés. Entertainment was very hit and miss, there were a couple of good vocal acts. We didn't see the comedienne but we went to a couple of shows, which were poor due to lack of talent. One show written for princess could have been great as the production was good, it was just the lack of vocal ability that let it down. The children have cruised with princess several times and this was the first year they didn't enjoy the clubs. I think they were too overcrowded with equipment and activities being rationed. The 11 yr old boy liked the pools but again they were very overcrowded and I think potentially quite dangerous as it was almost impossible to keep your child in your sight all of the time with so many children in them. Daily activities were mostly quizzes, talks where that try to sell products, lotto and films which didn't appeal to us, so we read and went to a couple of lectures on sea days. Ports were good with the exception of Genoa which wasn't very nice. Corsica was by tender and the usual drag which was a wait of about an hour in a lounge after getting a ticket for the tender. Our highlights were the two days in Rome and Florence/ Pisa. After much research I had organised and pre booked private tours with a local company on line. These were in very comfortable Mercedes people carriers, with free wifi which the teen loved. Both trips picked us up from and returned us to the ship. This enabled us to see much more in a day than we could have done on a ships tour, as the drivers drove through the narrow streets right up to the attractions. On the Rome day we started at the Colosseum where we had priority tickets obtained by the company to save us time queuing. We set our own time at each attraction with the driver at our disposal all day and were able to drive up to and get out at the pantheon, Trevi fountain, Spanish steps, Pissa Navona etc, something we couldn't do on a coach. The second day was the same and the driver even took us to a beach at the request of the children for a swim on the way back to the ship. This is the first time I have organised private excursions, although we have got taxis before in some ports and would absolutely recommend this option. My husband hates coaches and for us this was a much better option at a reasonable price. One thing I wish cruise lines would sort out is the tipping. We paid all the daily gratuities charged and the service onboard was indeed excellent, being as good as our experiences on Celebrity and better than HAL and P&O. We also gave the cabin steward extra for great service. We did however see hoards of people removing their tips. In my view as these gratuities are charged in advance they are not tips they are part of the wages of hard working staff and should be included in the cruise price. If a little extra was added to every cruise it would cover this, enabling staff to be properly paid and the cost spread between all passengers who benefit from the services onboard. Overall a very enjoyable break with the family. We would definitely cruise with Princess again and I am sure the ship would be less crowded outside of school holidays. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
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
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
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
I travelled with my husband and daughter to Southampton and the traffic was (as usual) very busy, we arrived at 2pm. I had heard that embarkation could be long and protracted but actually we went through the booking in and security stages ... Read More
I travelled with my husband and daughter to Southampton and the traffic was (as usual) very busy, we arrived at 2pm. I had heard that embarkation could be long and protracted but actually we went through the booking in and security stages very quickly; very impressed, and in our cabin (D627) at 2.30. Our mini-suite was lovely, with two tvs and an enormous couch. Our steward welcomed us and brought us a glass of champagne and very quickly our suitcases arrived too. I stayed in the room to have a bath (oh how I loved having a room with a bath for the first time; I had brought with me what seemed like the entire stock from Lush so I could bathe in luxury every day) whilst the others went to the buffet. Later, we did the muster drill, our cards being scanned to keep a record of everyone present; a good idea. There was a sail-away party on deck from 4pm but we preferred to relax on the balcony with a glass of wine (Princess allow passengers a bottle of wine/champagne each to use in the cabin). Mini-suite cabins on Dolphin deck are completely exposed no overhang at all. This meant that star gazing every evening was fabulous. I used a large umbrella for shade (if necessary) during the day. My daughter is 20 and the Princess Patter listed a few 18-20 get togethers in the evenings so the young adults could get together. I was pleased because she is too old the for kids clubs but young passengers still need a place to meet and chat. We had registered for anytime dining and we like to share a table with other passengers. We've always meet interesting people and this cruise was no exception. After a couple of days the lady at reception recognised us and would confirm that we would like to share (I was impressed by this because she must see hundreds of passengers every evening). It is a great way to meet new people and make new friends. We didn't have to wait for a table ever. The food generally was very good and I have no complaints at all about it. I was pleased that to mostly came piping hot too. I spent the majority of my time by the Calypso Pool because I like the MUTS (watched several films and concerts, plus a couple of football games). I always found a place to sit in the shade, sometimes even a sunbed was available! The pools on Princess are freshwater and at a comfortable temperature so I swam every day. Towels were always available on deck (in cabin too) and, if not, I would ask a pool steward who would get me some straight away. I didn't use the (Horizon Court) buffet (deck 15) much at all, I don’t do breakfast and order coffee and tea using room service each morning (doubles as an alarm clock). For lunch I usually got a hotdog or burger from the Trident Grill or a piece of pizza from Prego Pizzaria, both very tasty. Next to the pizza place is Scoops, ice cream is available there. I did walk through the buffet sometime and it seemed to be well stocked with a variety of foods. At the back of the ship on deck 15 is Caribe Cafe and this opens out onto another pool area with a lovely view of the wake. I came here once for coffee and it was very relaxing to sit watching the wake. On deck 5 is the International Cafe which I had a look at, has some wonderful-looking food on display but I didn't try any (prefer to eat on the open deck during the day). On the last two days we decided to try the formal lunch (only on sea days I think) and it was super. I recommend it; again, we shared a large table with other passengers. On the last sea day we also did the formal afternoon tea. Mmmm, warmed scones with jam and cream; just delicious. I asked for my usual Earl Grey tea and got my own pot, but didn't want the sandwiches or cakes offered (I had of course recently had a formal lunch!) Entertainment-wise, there was a full schedule and we enjoyed going to the Explorers most evenings to see Kelvin the CD host quizzes. Daft fun and hugely entertaining. There would also be a show in the Explorers that we tried to attend plus the Princess Theatre shows nightly. It made for busy evenings. We had a variety of acts, several comedians; Berni Flint, Gary Thompson, Jeff Stevenson, Taffy Spenser, the marvellous Steve Larkins as a Freddy Mercury tribute singer; hypnotist David Knight (who also did an interesting talk about hypnotism later in the cruise), a couple of pianist/comedy entertainers; Darren Bethel and Maria King, plus other entertainment I can’t remember. I attended and enjoyed all the production shows in the Princess Theatre, particularly the Disco one and What a Swell Party. Films were also shown here during the day. If you can, go along to the Meet the Cast Backstage Tour on the final sea day, really interesting and we had a good chat to the dancers and singers. Also, make sure you go to the Culinary Demo on the last day in the Princess Theatre; a galley walk-through follows. I sat on the front row so I could get all the lovely aromas. I had a look at the Sanctuary area ($20 for half a day $40 for full day); very comfortable looking double and single sunbeds in sun, partial shade or full shade. Didn't have time to try it out but spoke to a table companion who did. She said the beds were sooooo comfortable and relaxing and she was served snacks and afternoon tea too. Just below the Sanctuary is the adult only pool. I tried it on the last sea day and it is a nice pool. It has a wave machine so that you can swim against the wave. There are two jacuzzis. Inside is the gym and Spa area. The toilets here also contain a steam room and a sauna. On the first sea day we all signed up for the Murder Mystery event that would cover the whole cruise. We had no idea what was going to happen but it turned into a bit of extra fun. It was hugely enjoyable and I would love to do it again. We stopped at Barcelona, Ajaccio, Civitaveccia, Livorno, Genoa, Monte Carlo and Gibraltar. We did our own tours at each place, having been to them all before. Because we are Platinum passengers (Princess takes all our P&O cruises into account as well as Princess ones) we got to wait at Club Fusion with tea/coffee/juice and pastries. It was just as well because we were delayed by about an hour getting off. Platinum passengers also each get 250 minutes internet (14 day cruise). This is handy if you want to keep in touch with family or do research. I am sure I’ve forgotten so much more to tell you, but sadly that is all I can remember just now. Just to finish by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed my cruise and it won’t be my last with Princess.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Emerald Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.5 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.0

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