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23 Princess Emerald Princess Fitness Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience South America and Cape Horn. There were wonderful excusions on offer. Glaciers, lakes, penquins, guanacos, cormorants, dolphins, extinct volcanos, Ushuia, the southernmost city in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to experience South America and Cape Horn. There were wonderful excusions on offer. Glaciers, lakes, penquins, guanacos, cormorants, dolphins, extinct volcanos, Ushuia, the southernmost city in the world, Cape Horn, Faukland Islands, etc etc The food was excellent. Our outside obstructed view cabin was spacious and bright. The obstruction was a life boat that hardly obstructed our window. The special dining was great. The crew was perfect! Everyone bent over backwards to make us feels well cared for. We celebrated Christmas and New Year on board. There were Christmas decorations everywhere. We loved Agagio where we could sit quietly contemplating the sea while having a drink. Perfect Mojito there! We loved the music on deck 5 as well as the Tango Show. Share served great food. We had wonderful steak at Curtis Stone. We were sad to leave. The debarkation was surprisingly easy and well organized. We can’t wait to go back! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Yes, there were long queues at embarkation but it's a world wide issue as port authorities ignore the need to rethink the embarkation process/facilities. All cruise lines are limited by the design of the terminals. Port authorities ... Read More
Yes, there were long queues at embarkation but it's a world wide issue as port authorities ignore the need to rethink the embarkation process/facilities. All cruise lines are limited by the design of the terminals. Port authorities need to allow for multiple entry points to the ships instead of funnelling thousands of passengers into one entry point. Enough said. Once on board, the Princess crew were all over the place providing assistance to locate our cabins. Food was already being served and it never stopped for the eleven days we were on board. The decor on the Emerald Princess is tasteful and subdued with a mix of many shades of blues and browns but lacking a little pizzazz. Nonetheless all areas and venues are clean and comfortable. Our mini-suite (D526) was immaculately clean and our cabin steward couldn't have been more helpful and responsive to our requests. As cabins go our mini-suite was very spacious and comfortable. When selecting the cabin, we didn't realise the balcony was open/visible to the decks above but worse, there was no relief from the sun. We did change the pillows for smaller ones as the standard ones were so big and luxurious we were almost smothered as our heads descended into pillow overload. The air-con all over the ship was on the cold side for my liking so make sure you take some longer sleeved items and a cardi/jacket. Of course you can buy on board! We didn't bother with the specialty dining venues (at additional cost) as the food in the main dining rooms was perfectly fine. A few misses but in the main, the options were many and varied and well cooked and presented. Still amazed at the precision and quality considering the number of passengers. We chose "anytime dining" and shared tables at lunch and dinner and we met many delightful people, some of whom we will keep in touch with. Great staff in the dining rooms too. We are not fans of buffets but when in port, it's the main eating venue on board. Food was fine. A tip for coffee lovers... there is often a long queue to order lattes etc. in the International Cafe (deck 5) despite having to purchase them. Just sit down at a table and flag a waiter who will order for you and deliver it to your table (even if you want takeaway). There is a variety of entertainment from musical stage productions, to comedy, mood music, ballroom dance lessons, line dancing, Zumba, a full gym, in cabin TV/movies, a giant screen for movies under the stars, a kids club, games on deck, art auctions, shopping sales, spa services, competitions, giveaways and if that's not enough you can attend churches services too! Excursions are not always good value for money but if you do your own thing you really need to do a lot of research beforehand and be aware if you don't get back to the ship on time, it doesn't wait for you! Some South Pacific Islands are really beautiful like Isle of PInes (not visited this trip) and Champagne Bay but Noumea is very tired looking and the locals not particularly friendly. Port Vila is run down and dirty but the people are all very friendly and chatty. Of course there is no need to go ashore as the entertainment just keeps going on board. We met many people who have cruised on Princess ships many times and some debatable incentives are offered for loyalty. There are still other cruise lines I wouldn't mind trying but I have no hesitation in recommending the Emerald Princess and may well cruise on her again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We choose this cruise basically as a form of rehab for husband who had a major accident during the year. The gymnasium is first class with the equipment being very well maintained with plenty of variety - that coupled with swimming ... Read More
We choose this cruise basically as a form of rehab for husband who had a major accident during the year. The gymnasium is first class with the equipment being very well maintained with plenty of variety - that coupled with swimming everyday in one of the pools contributed immensely to his recovery. For me it was excellent to get away from cooking and all the evening meals eaten at traditional dining were outstanding. Table 50 in Botticelli Dining Room overlooks the wake of the ship which made for a pleasant dining experience each evening. The ports of calls were not our main focus of the cruise but were a very pleasant surprise. The snorkelling and Tranquility Island tour at Port Villa was exceptionally good value for money and greatly enjoyed. The only downside of the whole cruise for us (18th cruise) was the "not up to standard" evening entertainment. It was very "ho hum" which meant that we could take it or leave it as there appeared to be a lack of variety and most of the performers were mediocre. In fact we though one evening that it was a karaoke night until we discovered it was one of the resident singers - very poor. Previous entertainment and activities on the Emerald in 2014 were much better. Having said all that we do have another three Princess cruises booked with two being again on the Emerald. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Overall, the ship was amazing. The dining was a WOW!! Although the entertainment was average, with only 4 or 5 musicals, the ship still kept our family of 4 busy throughout the whole day. The sporting and fitness facilities on the ship ... Read More
Overall, the ship was amazing. The dining was a WOW!! Although the entertainment was average, with only 4 or 5 musicals, the ship still kept our family of 4 busy throughout the whole day. The sporting and fitness facilities on the ship were outstanding, the ship provided us with a number of sports, such as table tennis(ping pong), basketball, soccer, cricket, paddle tennis, mini golf a jogging track and a well equipped high-tech gym. Every night, when the room steward refreshed our room he left us with delicious chocolates and the next day's edition of the Princess Patter( the newsletter with showed all the activities happening in the next day). One very important thing I would recommend you to purchase, especially if you are travelling with kids, is to buy the soda and drink package. And also purchase once you get on the ship, not before, because the price onboard is cheaper than purchasing it from the website. With 60 Australian dollars we could get all the drinks we wanted for free. And one thing that you should know is that Princess is not very strict with the package. For example, I could but a drink and then give the card to my sister and she could get a drink for herself. Our interior cabin was very nice. The service on the ship was amazing. The dining was also great. The pizza in this ship was amazing. For breakfast there was a huge variety of food, from pancakes, to waffles, to omelettes, to hash browns, to scrambled eggs, to croissants, to yoghurt, to chocolate croissants, to fruit etc. The dinner was amazing too, and the dessert was absolutely wonderful. The cruise was actually very great for children too, the kids clubs were awesome, and the youth counsellors very very friendly. The service on this ship was also very great. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Good way to get home after touring in England, Good length of cruise. Really enjoyed the cruise in general, the only negative was the Indian visa requirement, don't know why Princes continue to include India, when it is such a ... Read More
Good way to get home after touring in England, Good length of cruise. Really enjoyed the cruise in general, the only negative was the Indian visa requirement, don't know why Princes continue to include India, when it is such a pain to acquire visa and it costs so much for a single day. On the up side: 1/ The inclusion of the Share Restaurant was a real bonus, initially thought the $39 a head charge was a bit high, but after visiting quite happy to go again, the food was superb, and service was excellent. 2/ The gym size was the best I've seen on Princess, never had a problem getting access to equipment. At first staff seemed new, but quickly got into the swing of it and made the trip a pleasure to self indulge in to many drinks and nibbles.Thankfully the gym work limited it to only 2 or 3 kg over when I got home. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I just returned from my 10 day escape from the horrible winter we have had in the Great Lakes. This was my 4th Princess cruise and my favorite itineray and ship. The piazza is organized in a way that it feels wider and easy to navigate. ... Read More
I just returned from my 10 day escape from the horrible winter we have had in the Great Lakes. This was my 4th Princess cruise and my favorite itineray and ship. The piazza is organized in a way that it feels wider and easy to navigate. Food - was good - the best in Sabatinnis. I was at 6pm Boticelli for 9 of the 10 nights and Sabatinnis one night. This ship has the perfect location for the premium dining experience. The veal - wow! and the Caprese salad (artisinal cow's milk cheese - amazing!) I dislike all the marketing at all times - photographers in your face at every port, after dinner drinks every night, premium coffee bar, and such, but this ship is really in good shape and the crew take good care of her and her passengers. The southern Caribbean itinerary was amazing! Anyone who is even slightly interested Ti Tou Gorge in Dominica is a MUST, and for those very active (let me tell you it really is a tough walk) the Seven Sisters Hike in Gernanda is well worth the effort. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
This was our 7th cruise with Princess and our third on this class of ship. We started our journey with our pre-cruise night at the Hampton Inn airport north with no complaints whatsoever. They are one of the few hotels left that supply ... Read More
This was our 7th cruise with Princess and our third on this class of ship. We started our journey with our pre-cruise night at the Hampton Inn airport north with no complaints whatsoever. They are one of the few hotels left that supply shuttles both from the airport and to the cruise port with no charge. We arrived around noon at Port Everglades with one of the speediest check-ins that I can remember. Everything on the ship was right on par from our previous Princess cruises with the exception of the staff. In our previous cruises the staff has always been very customer oriented, after all this is a big part of the experience that keeps us coming back. Countless times when we passed a crew member we were greeted with a blank face, not the usual smile or greeting. My 80 year old aunt whom is handicapped traveled with us. Not one time on our 10 day cruise was I ever offered assistance in carrying her food. On the second to the last day we needed to print our boarding passes of in the internet cafe. There were many others doing the same so it was a little hectic. The manager at the time was visibly very agitated and chose to ignore questions the were being asked. Had this been our first cruise and we had not experienced different, I'm not sure that we would be anxious to repeat. I think that we will be focusing on smaller ships from now on. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
We didn't have to walk far to find a table while dining on the Lido deck. We didn't have to fore-go sitting by the pool because of lack of loungers. We didn't have to stroll long on the walking deck to locate comfortable ... Read More
We didn't have to walk far to find a table while dining on the Lido deck. We didn't have to fore-go sitting by the pool because of lack of loungers. We didn't have to stroll long on the walking deck to locate comfortable chairs to rest in. In the Workout Room, we didn't have to stand around waiting to use equipment. Approaching the dining room, the waiting was at a minimal. Most nights we just walked in. The spaciousness of the different areas of the ship were the number one most appreciated feature for us. The second was the new non-smoking ship mandates. It was so nice to walk down the corridor to or from our stateroom and not smell smoke. It was even nicer to enjoy our balcony without being forced inside due a neighboring smoker. Because we have cruised otherlines, we fall to making comparisons. And with this cruise there were things we did note: -No place to sit in the wide staircase landings/elevator vestibules. This is especially a need for people who often use the stairs instead of the elevators. -Coffee is only offered at the end of dinner, and most often arrived after dessert or forgotten. Only once a second cup of coffee was offered. -Cold Cuts were never served during the lunch buffets. -Evening Movie Under the Stars popcorn is very dry and tasteless. -Coffee was weak - watered down. -Alcoholic drinks were very weak, as well. -Entertainment was mediocre. But there were things about the Emerald we loved, too: -The bedding in our room was extremely comfortable, and the pillow soft, soft, soft. -The ship was spotless, polished, and beyond glamerous. -The waiters, stewards, and other staffers were gracious and amicable from the first day till the moment we disembarked. -The Workout Room had a grand variety of equipment to appeal to most fitness-conscious guests. -A wealth of recently released movies were shown on the ship - at Under the Stars, in the Princess Theater, and on the stateroom set throughout the day and night. Several movie channels were offered, along with regular programming and the informational ship channels. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
First off let me say to all of those absurdly picky travellers with complaints on minor issues like standing in a line or your room not being made up exactly when you want it to be...GET LOST! LOL I swear my wife and I go on vacation to ... Read More
First off let me say to all of those absurdly picky travellers with complaints on minor issues like standing in a line or your room not being made up exactly when you want it to be...GET LOST! LOL I swear my wife and I go on vacation to have fun and we have fun every single time. Unfortunately we had to listen to a passenger complain loudly about something he or she hadn't received. LOL It is a vacation and you are damn lucky to be able to afford such a nice cruise...enjoy it! Okay back to positive stuff. Our balcony guarantee paid off in a big way as we received an upgrade to Caribe 534 awesome balcony room with a giant balcony which we used everyday. From morning coffee to evening cocktails to even some spur of the moment Whoopee; yes I said it. PS- Our cabin steward Sigfreid was awesome and we tipped him well. (They truly work hard) The cruise ship was immaculate and all we saw was crews continuing to clean, paint, and fix things throughout the cruise. Nice job Princess. All the pool areas were fun and clean and never a problem finding a chair or someone to get us a cocktail. In terms of activities there was something for everyone. My wife loved the Zumba classes, dance classes, and Bingo which she won $100 bucks. I loved the football games on the giant movie screen by the pool and I loved my fellow cruisers. I met a ton of nice people from all over the world. We really enjoyed both Sabbatinis (too much food but delicious) and Crown Grill(fantastic steak and top notch service) specialty restaurants; a great treat. We also did the Ultimate Balcony Dinner which was too good for words. Absolutely phenomenal; a must do if you have a balcony. In terms of the Main dining room it would be nice if princess mixed it up a bit with theme nights in the dining room; Caribbean night, Italian night, Mexican night, etc as the dining room was good but it did get a bit stale. Entertainment was fine and first night show and the marriage game were the best. They had great live music throughout the cruise. Everything on the trip went fine the usual delays here and there but nothing to bat an eye at. PS- Loved the Cosol tour company in St. Lucia; highly recommend them. This was our first 10 day cruise and we are now planning our first 14 day cruise and of course it will be with Princess. Happy sailing everyone! Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
Arriving at Port Everglades around noon, we waited in a long line that moved very quickly. Our first venue was the Horizon Court for a bite to eat and then on to our interior cabin on deck 12. After unpacking, we explored the ship and ... Read More
Arriving at Port Everglades around noon, we waited in a long line that moved very quickly. Our first venue was the Horizon Court for a bite to eat and then on to our interior cabin on deck 12. After unpacking, we explored the ship and located the Internet Cafe since the complimentary 250 minutes for platinum members was a new and greatly appreciated perk for me. We also located our favorite lite snack and dessert stop--the International Cafe, just off the Atrium. We arrived at the Michaelangelo diningroom at 6:00pm for Anytime dining and made our reservation for the same time and table every night. Arnel, our main waiter, was very attentive throughout the whole trip. He often brought us extra goodies and was mindful of our requests--one night I just wanted vegetables so he brought me a big plate of every vegetable in the kitchen. The last night he brought us Baked Alaska, which was on the traditional dining menu but not on the Anytime dining menu. The food was not exceptional in taste, but we always found it to be very good. The first two days were sea days with pleasant weather and we spent most of our time around the pools. Ice cream, burgers, dogs & fries, pizza is available near the pools. Wow! Wish they'd enforce the no reserving lounge chair rule! Lots of other activities available throughout the ship. Nightly entertainment was hit or miss. We loved the Beatles and the comedian Steve Moris, who will soon open a show in Las Vegas--gotta go see him again! The Princess singers and dancers were okay, but so much of the same-just changed the era. Wish Princess would do a Broadway show (like RCCL). Barty, the piano man in the lounges, was good. Club Fusion had a dance band; we enjoyed Evolution. Well, as I said in the beginning, we sailed the Emerald for the ports, and we weren't disappointed. The weather was spectacular so that helps to have a good time. First stop, Aruba, we walked around town and took the ship excursion Jolly Pirates. We visited two snorkel sites and were disappointed we didn't see more fish. Third stop was letting people jump off the rope swing (I think we spent more time here than at the snorkel sites). Aruba's beaches looked incredible with soft white sand so I'd like to explore more of this island. Next day the snorkeling on Bonaire with the Sea Cow (ship excursion) was superb. Eric and his crew were first rate with the equipment, sites, and helping people in any way. We visited two sites, both incredible. If you haven't seen what's below that beautiful water, you need to experience it! Grenada we took a tour with Mandoo, who can be found on the internet. He is so informative and passionate about his island. In Dominica, we made prior arrangements for the Interlude for a Day at Papillote Gardens & Retreat, about a 4 mile taxi ride from the ship dock. We knew to wear our bathing suits to enjoy the 4 relaxing warm water mineral pools located throughout the lush 14 acre rain forest gardens. Our favorite was the pool by the rushing waterfall, where George, the manager, brought us refreshing fruit drinks. Lunch of chicken or fish with seasoned rice and vegetables is included and served in a lovely open-air restaurant. This is an incredible place! www.papillotegarden.org St Thomas we booked Godfrey Tours (always use him; on the internet) for a very reasonably priced stop in town and then to one of our favorite beaches in the Caribbean--Coki Beach. No admission fee, lounge chairs $5, inexpensive snorkel equipment for rent, beach waiters that don't hassle you but will bring you eats & drinks. The beach has a nice sandy bottom with a rocky area to the right where all the fish hang out, but you can coax them out with a bite of food (dog bones sold here ,too) Good beach for children and beginning snorkelers. Coral World is next door with an aquarium and dolphin encounter. Princess Cays, a short tender ride away, is a beautiful stretch of beach with all kinds of water activities available. The snorkeling is just okay here. The barbecue lunch is very good, but check the open and close time as it seemed brief. This Southern Medley itinerary is great if you like port-intensive cruises. Six ports in 10 days allows you to cover a lot of ground--I mean water! We loved it! Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Embarkation We boarded at Pier 29 which is set up very well. From arrival at the port (12:00) to our cabin was less than 20 minutes. Cabin - we were in a 700 block Mini-Suite on the Dolphin deck. Our cabin steward was Dante and ... Read More
Embarkation We boarded at Pier 29 which is set up very well. From arrival at the port (12:00) to our cabin was less than 20 minutes. Cabin - we were in a 700 block Mini-Suite on the Dolphin deck. Our cabin steward was Dante and as with most cabin stewards on Princess, he was professional, but not overly friendly. He certainly did anything that we asked, but he never did any of the little things to make you feel special, let alone great you in the hallway. Muster was well organized and they scan your cruise card to ensure you are there. Hand scanners are used now to board and disembark at the ports which speeds the lines up. Sail Away was late and thus the deck party was somewhat different as the band played, and the cruise staff did their draws, etc - all before we left port. Public areas of the ship are very well maintained and the setup of the various venues is laid out so that there is a maximum use of space, yet traffic flow is not restrictive. The wine card has been discontinued but the Emerald still has happy hour from 4 to 7. As noted in some other reviews, there is no Budweiser on the Emerald which is strange since they still have it on the Crown and the Grand. We chose Anytime Dining and went for dinner at around 8:00 pm. The Michelangelo Head Waiter (Godwin) -- we have cruised with before and he found us a very nice window table with great waiters (Marian & Sergei). Our Head Waiter was Antonio from Portugal -- what a great guy. We know a mutual friend of his from another ship and he certainly made our Dinner each evening very, very special. Don't forget to show your appreciation to these hardworking individuals. The gym wasn't too crowded most days and as with most cruises -- by the last couple of days it is no longer a priority for many. Overall the Emerald staff did a great job of making the cruise an experience for everyone. The staff is friendly and the food is great. Weather was warm, with the only rain we saw in St Thomas -- and then it was only two short bursts. Lots of sun every day. The bands XTASEA and Evolution were both fabulous -- certainly two of the best we have seen on any cruise. Same with the comedians -- very funny and got the crowds laughing. Disembarkation with Princess is always a breeze -- very well organized. Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
People in our family have gone on 3-5 previous Princess cruises as well as several Carnival cruises and have been happy with our experiences up to this cruise. However, I was a little concerned after reading reviews here that quality of ... Read More
People in our family have gone on 3-5 previous Princess cruises as well as several Carnival cruises and have been happy with our experiences up to this cruise. However, I was a little concerned after reading reviews here that quality of this cruise would be diminished compared to past cruises but to my very happy surprise, that was not the case. I have never written a review before but since I read so many before my cruise I thought I would chip in with one. EMBARKATIONAN/SAIL AWAY As others mentioned, the line for embarkation was a bit long due to a problem with people disembarking from the previous cruise but once in the terminal things moved quickly and efficiently. Our rooms were ready when we boarded and we attended the 'sort of' sail away party (boat left port late). There was a raffle during the party for people who visited about 8 different venues on the boat before the party and had a card stamped but we barely had time to board, eat, tour the spa, Muster and get to the party, much less get cards filled out so that made the raffle kind of boring, I would suggest giving raffle tickets away to those who dance and participate in the party, that would sure liven things up and get more people to participate! SHIP/ROOM Ship is in great shape, public areas are pristine and there is something for everyone. Our rooms were on the Riviera deck (3 connected balconies) and I was concerned that there would be noise issues from the Lido Deck above but there really weren't (we were just forward of the public areas). Beds are hard but we brought a queen memory foam stuffed into a big suitcase and that really helped. Our stewards were efficient, helpful but not doting which was OK with me, we had everything we needed when we needed it. Food/Entertainment This is where, in my opinion, things were much better than some of the reviews here indicated they would be. We ate at the late seating in the Da Vinci dining room and had a fantastic experience every night. Eduardo the Maitre D, Raymond the Head Waiter, Nick our waiter and his assistant Richie all did a fantastic job of making our experience a great one. My daughter is gluten intolerant and they did an absolutely outstanding job of accommodating her needs and giving her a top notch dining experience. Food variety was good and the key was taking Nick's advice on selections. Yes, there are a few items on the menu that are below par but you definitely can have a gourmet experience if you trust your waiter and get the right things and you can always send back a below par item if you get one and have a better selection. The Lobster, Red Snapper and Lamb were high end restaurant quality as well as many of the appetizers and deserts. I found the Buffet to be fine, not great, but serviceable for breakfast and snacks. The International Cafe is a great option for lunch and snacks and I especially enjoyed the Trident Grill for tasty chicken sandwiches and fries. Bartenders were very friendly (especially Nadia and Andrew)and you never had to wait long for service either at the bars or poolside. Cruise Staff/Entertainment I found the entertainment to be enjoyable and of good quality. The band for the stage shows was very talented and the Poolside Band had great energy and enthusiasm throughout the cruise. The shows were very enjoyable and fun unless you were looking for Tony Award quality and I thought the Hypnotist, Comedians, Magician and Beatlemania concert were all entertaining. The cruise staff worked very hard and with great energy (especially Amy and Oxsana)to create a fun atmosphere for those who wanted to participate and the assistant cruise director did a knock out job at the mid cruise deck party. Only thing that would have been nice would have been more 20-25 year old mixers/activities earlier in the cruise for my daughters to meet others their age (they eventually solved that issue on their own!). Photographers did a nice job and weren't intrusive and I didn't feel as pushed to buy things in the shops on the ship as I had been on past cruises! SPA/Fitness Spa staff was great! Especially enjoyed the extreme shave and two massages. Prices a bit high compared to on land spas but discounts for multiple treatments and those offered as the cruise goes on help offset that. Fitness center was very well equipped and not very crowded most of the time. Logistics I never once had to wait in a long line, struggle to find a deck chair or fight for a seat at a show. The cruise was completely booked but I never felt crowded out. Yes, I tended to purposely avoid the times I knew would be busy but it didn't take much to schedule around the busy times. The crew did a great job of keeping things clean and moving, especially considering the added logistics involved with the NORO precautions. Ports The itinerary was a good one, nice ports interspersed with at sea days. I would have preferred docking in the St. Thomas dock closer to the main part of town and possibly trading a longer day in Grenada for a shorter day in Dominica but otherwise a good schedule. Private Island, as always, was one of my favorites, Paradise Point in St. Thomas is a kick, Went to St. George's Cathedral in Grenada for Palm Sunday and it was a fantastic experience but that didn't leave much time to enjoy Grand Anse beach, which is a gem. Dominica tubing was OK, river was low, Bonaire independent snorkel through Woodwind was the best excursion I have ever been on and we blew it going to Palm Beach in Aruba (very crowded) instead of Eagle Beach (pristine) Summary Overall, a great cruise. People can always find something wrong or to complain about but if you come in with a positive attitude, the Emerald Princess and her crew can provide you with a great cruise experience! Footnote: We were originally on the Caribbean Princess out of San Juan for 14 days but had to rebook on Emerald when Princess cancelled the first week of our CP cruise one week before our departure. Still waiting for response from Princess on the economic displacement we suffered by having the one cruise cancelled (even with 25% credit) and having to rebook (higher cruise fares, lost cabin credits and balcony breakfasts, less cruise days, higher airfares) so hopefully that will turn out the right way and we will all be on another Princess cruise soon! Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
We stayed at the LaQuinta Airport. It is inexpensive, free breakfast, free shuttle to port, and free parking while you are gone. It can't be beat. Ate dinner at Coconuts on waterfront. Great precruise dinner spot or probably any ... Read More
We stayed at the LaQuinta Airport. It is inexpensive, free breakfast, free shuttle to port, and free parking while you are gone. It can't be beat. Ate dinner at Coconuts on waterfront. Great precruise dinner spot or probably any night of the week. Had a wonderful cruise. Probably the best dining experience on any cruise we have been on. Cid was our waiter and he was the best. Entertainment was weak and the cruise director was obnoxious trying to get applause for himself. He needed to get out of the way and let the hired talent entertain the guests. Only really good entertainment was a Beatle group. The sailaway group was pretty good but too loud. Everything on the deck was too loud. And the MUTS is nothing but wasted space other than for the football playoff games. Unfornutely cruise ended with me getting norovirus the last night. I knew immediately what it was as had read about it before. Believe everything you may have heard about it. I was able to get off the ship the next morning but added several hours to my drive home as I had to stop every 30 minutes or so. As soon as I got home I emailed Princess several times to make them aware as I did not want the next occupant of our room to become ill. After several weeks I received a form letter from them. Left me pretty underwhelmed at their response. If someone got sick eating at my house I would certainly want to know how they were doing. Will definitely keep that in mind when booking in the future and picking a cruise line. My wife had mentioned how they did not seem to be cleaning the ship during cruise as we had observed with RC and Celebrity on recent cruises. Anyway it will take me a while to get over their lack of response. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
Embarkation: Arrived at pier at 11:15 AM. Started boarding at 12 noon so very smooth process to getting on the ship. Room was ready for us to use. Ate lunch at the Horizon Court buffet where we enjoyed lunch each day of the cruise. We ... Read More
Embarkation: Arrived at pier at 11:15 AM. Started boarding at 12 noon so very smooth process to getting on the ship. Room was ready for us to use. Ate lunch at the Horizon Court buffet where we enjoyed lunch each day of the cruise. We joined in the sail away deck party then off to a CC informal meet & greet. Met a few of our CC board group that we blogged with for 4 months. Nice start to a great cruise. Toured the ship & pleasantly surprised of the layout which was very easy to get around & never felt crowded on the sold out ship. What we liked: Ship Layout, Gym, & separate areas for pools. The resistance pool was fantastic. Breakfast buffet was adequate with nice variety. The personal touch for breakfast & lunch with drink & waiter service was a nice touch. Entertainment was very good, Esp. The "Beatle Maniacs". Nice lounges with live bands. LIVE BANDS make the difference. Especially liked "Cruise Control" with a nice variety of dance music.. "Fusion" was good also. The real touch was dancing to the "Emerald Orchestra" in the Explorer's lounge & Fusion Lounge after dance lessons. Looked forward to dinner every night (8:15 seating) because of the 6 other people that we we fortunate to be with. Great conversations & interaction. Live orchestra gave the nightly shows the extra touch needed. What we didn't like: Late shows after dining. Had to rush to get to the theater after dinner. Like to have 7 PM shows & then dinner. Then have time for relaxing in the lounges & dancing & enjoying the music. Also not enough dance floor in the wheelhouse bar for a band (Cruise Control) that were easy to dance to but no room for enough couples to have room to dance. They would have been great in the Explorers Lounge where more people would be open to dance. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Well lets start from the top. We have sailed with the Walmart of ships aka Carnival as well as Royal Caribbean and Disney. Princess was on par with Disney even though once onboard we had a bit of a rocky start with some really horrible ... Read More
Well lets start from the top. We have sailed with the Walmart of ships aka Carnival as well as Royal Caribbean and Disney. Princess was on par with Disney even though once onboard we had a bit of a rocky start with some really horrible service from guest services. We stayed at the Ramada Cruiseport Everglades which isnt much of a hotel but has a free shuttle and pretty well organized. beware here though. They had told us we got a free shuttle back after the cruise to the airport. Not true we had to pay 20.00 apiece for this service. We took the early shuttle 10:30 am to port and Princess has their own terminal and very well organized. We were in the first bunch (number 1) they let the suite guests on first and then we were on board and actually straight to our room at noon. Then out to a meet and greet with some cruise critic friends around 3pm. This is a really great good sized ship is great repair and brand spanking new looking. Cleaning was done everywhere all the time kudos to the hard working crew here. Well the usual muster drill took place and the weather out of Lauderdale was a bit wet so no sail away party to speak of. The purpose of our cruise was celebrating my 4 years cancer free so I was told by a Princess rep I spoke to on the phone as well as my AAA rep that I could go to guest services and ask how I could celebrate my 4 years cancer free anniversary. I had originally signed up online for the anniversary celebration since there was nothing specific to my situation thats why I visited the guest services desk. I was appalled, embarrassed, and got pretty red faced at the poor service I received from some young lady from Brazil. There was no one in line at guest services so the young girl motioned me over. I let her know that this was my first Princess cruise and I was celebrating my being 4 years cancer free and wanted to know what I could do to celebrate that. She kinda looked down her nose at me , snickered, and stated "We dont do anything like that here". I told her that I had been directed by a Princess rep to ask do this and she again restated we dont do that here. Walked away from me and then pointed and joked with her fellow guest service members. Man I felt about two inches tall then I got ticked. I went back up and told her I wanted to cancel all my anniversary plans I made online. She grinned and said ok and then went back to talk with her other cohorts. Well the next day I spoke with Crissy Reid who was the Captain Circle Host and Crissy seemed to get pretty concerned stating she would report this to Miguel in guest services. Crissy stated they did the Susan Komen deck walk so there were things to do for cancer survivors. Two days went by heard nothing from Miguel spoke to Drayton Pinton who assured me Miguel would contact me. It was only after persistent followup that I finally did get a meeting with Miguel who comped and my wife a meal at Sabatini's (I asked for nothing free) as well as sent me a letter of acknowledgment of being 4 years cancer free signed by some of the staff as well as a very nice Swarovski pen as a gift. The problem here was I hadn't asked for anything free I just wanted to know how I could celebrate on board the ship. One of Princess stated values was that they never say no to a guest and they always go to a supervisor and look for an alternative. This was not done by a guest service member. I liked the outcome but if not for a lot of my own follow up(7 days worth) I have to wonder what would have been done. Sorry about the rant.. here is the rest of the review. Princess is every bit as good as Disney. Our room was a simply inside room. Very comfy we usually go balcony but wanted to save a little and it was still a great room great shower amenities. Opportunity was we had asked online for robes and extra pillows as well as the egg crate on the mattress. None of this was done at all. It was done after we asked our room steward Eduardo who was a great hard working guy but I think their is some opportunity here for communication between online and the ship. Why offer it if you don't follow up Entertainment wise they had a great cruise director in Billy London. Great show.. Beatle maniac's was one of the best beatle tribute shows I have ever seen with period costume changes. All the other shows were good as well. Pretty decent bands in the lounges. Food was very good. Presentation was not as good as Disney but there asparagus soup was the best I have ever had. Finally real Baked Alaska on board a cruise ship as well. Bravo. The Champagne waterfall was very classy and neat. Plenty to do on board lots of fun without the typical lowbrow games played on board other cruise ships. Halloween party was great. The head lady in the Lotus spa was rude that why we didnt go there but the gym was great. Free sauna and steam room in there as well. I had never been to a church service on board a ship and being a Christian I wanted to check one out. The service lead by Colin was one of the most solid and wonderful services I have been to anywhere. Great service. This is not a blanket endorsement just a good service. Thank you Colin nice job. The Da Vinci dining room had it together much more than the Michelangelo dining room. We did Anytime dining. You really should try Sabatini's the service and everything here is excellent top notch really. Its at least a 2 1/2 hour meal so pace yourself and don't try to eat everything put in front of you or you probably will pass out. The dining staff here was the best I have ever had at sea most of all in the buffet. Really top notch servers that even remember your name. Not really much in the way of a Chocolate buffet or themed buffets with specially craved items or ice sculpture and decorations. But fair trade off for a very ever changing variety of food. Lots of different stuff every day. We choose the walk off disembarkation and got there about 45 min early. Very easy off. Pretty good job by Princess even though there is a huge opportunity with guest services. We will sail on her again. All the ports were great Princess excursions were good and reasonable priced. Plus you could reserve online with no up front cost. One other little stumble was they said the tips would be 10.50 per person per cabin per day. It actually stated this on the paperwork as well. Once on board we were charged 11.50 per person. I had the charges removed and paid in cash. Don't want to sound cheap but don't quote me something and then change the price. Again though I would suggest a Princess cruise to anyone. I remember the last Carnival cruise I took and it was a photographer trying to block my way and my families from getting on board the ship insisting we took a picture. After a complaint to Carnival I was offered a 12.95 chocolate covered plate of strawberries by Kay Savage on my next cruise with them. Princess will take better care of you than that Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
My wife and I are in our early 50's and we chose this cruise because it was 10 days long instead of the usual 7 day cruises that we have been on in the past. It always seems like 7 days is just a little too short. This was our first ... Read More
My wife and I are in our early 50's and we chose this cruise because it was 10 days long instead of the usual 7 day cruises that we have been on in the past. It always seems like 7 days is just a little too short. This was our first time on Princess and we were interested on how it compared to Royal Caribbean, which is the only line we have cruised on before. The demographic was definitely much older than RCL and probably had something to do with the length of the cruise and it being during the school year. I swear there were only about 6 kids on the whole ship. Flew into Ft Lauderdale the night before, stayed in a hotel, and was efficiently shuttled to the pier by the hotel. Boarding was efficient, no long lines, and we were aboard and checking out our stateroom in a matter of minutes. Plenty of ship employees offering directions and assistance. We went up to the Horizon to have a bite of lunch and by the time we got back to the stateroom, all the luggage had arrived. The ship was beautiful as well as clean and well-maintained. Although this ship is the same size as the RCL ships we've sailed on in the past, where the RCL ship is very open, Princess divides the ship up into a lot more separate and intimate areas. First time we've ever booked an inside room and it worked out fine. We've found in the past, we spend very little time in the room and any extra features just go to waste with us. Wall to wall mirrors at each end of the room make it appear much larger than it actually is. We went with the scheduled 8:15 pm dinner in the dining room because we like to have plenty of time from playing on the islands to get ready for dinner. We had 2 other great couples at our table and thoroughly enjoyed their company the entire cruise. The waiters were great, attentive, courteous, and friendly, with some personality. The food was delicious, well prepared, and there was a good variety. We ate breakfast everyday in the Horizon and the food was very good. There were several staples that you could count on every morning, but they offered some different items each day as well. We did not go hungry. Breakfast was somewhat challenging when looking for a table to sit at once you had your food. But, we were able to share tables with others, and quite often met some pretty interesting people. Although breakfast was quite busy, we never really stood in any long lines to get our food. We would often have lunch or snack from the café in the atrium. The shrimp salad is awesome and of course, they had all kinds of desserts available from the bakery. Sometimes lunch was pizza or burgers by the pool, which was very good. Get a big plate of fries and finish it off with some soft ice cream from the ice cream bar. The one place where we feel that Princess fell down pretty severely was the entertainment. After cruising with RCL we were kind of spoiled by the quality of the production shows and the quality of the musicians and groups. Other than the Beatles show, most of the shows were pretty average and mostly lip-synched. We have always enjoyed a good piano bar guy, but the one on this cruise was pretty bad. If you like 30's show tunes he is your man, but his voice is not very good and probably should have retired a few years back. There was one band that seemed to play all the time. They had them play during the day and were the one group that played well into the evening. They were very, very average at best and were way over exposed, as we heard some of their tunes over and over. There was one good jazz band, but they always finished right about the time we were finishing dinner. We got to hear them once for 15 minutes and they were excellent. And this is where the main problem lies. The scheduling was terrible. It seemed like a lot of the shows and music conflicted with dinner and each other. We've never been on a cruise where we had so much difficulty with the schedule. Yes, you usually have to make choices, but that wasn't the case here. The schedule is simply not well thought out. And, I don't know if it's because of the age of most of the folks on board, but any nightlife after 10 pm was severely limited. A bright point was the string quartet that played in the atrium every day. They were quite good. We made 6 ports on the cruise. We found something to enjoy on each one. We're not big shoppers, so we pretty much turn a deaf ear to all the sales pitches, both on the ship and on the shore. In the past, we've taken excursions through the ship, but this time we decided to go out on our own. I just googled info for every island we were going to visit and decided on the best beaches to visit. Then it was simply a matter of getting a taxi, water taxi, or public bus to take us where we wanted to go. Most of the time this took us away from the rest of the tourists and often it felt like we had the island to ourselves. We never felt uneasy or unsafe at any of the locations. Princess Cayes -��" only stop where we had to tender to the beach. We walked all the way to the end of the beach and were all by ourselves. People have a tendency to walk a few feet from the dock and stop. Walk a little more and you will have a lot more quiet and you can relax. St. Thomas -��" taxi to Koki beach. A little bit more of a locals beach, but absolutely beautiful. White, sandy beaches and some pretty good snorkeling. Bring your own gear and you never have to worry about renting or finding a place to rent. Dominica -��" taxi to Champagne beach. Not much in the way of sandy beaches on this island, but some pretty decent snorkeling. Bubbles come up out of the ocean floor from volcanic fissures. Grenada -��" walked around the town, soaked up the scenery, perused the fort on the hill, and enjoyed some time with the locals in the marketplace. Then a water taxi to Grand Anse, a nice, white sandy beach away from everyone else. No decent snorkeling, but some nice relaxation in the surf. There are so many very nice beaches on Grenada. Bonaire -��" a little walking around the town while we waited for our turn on the water taxi and then we were on the boat and headed out to Klein Bonaire. The best snorkeling and an awesome beach as well. The water is crystal clear and the reef is pristine. Aruba -��" much more commercialized than any other island. But, we hopped on the public bus and for $1.50 it took us all the way to the end of the island where we plopped down on Arashi beach, another beautiful sandy beach. Snorkeling wasn't bad either. We relaxed, away from the hotels and Burger Kings, and pretty much all the other tourists. The two sea days on the way back to Ft Lauderdale allowed us to relax and take in some of the amenities of the ship that we had missed when we were on the islands. The big screen over the pool is pretty cool. Make sure to have the afternoon tea and absolutely have the scones. Getting off the ship was a breeze and we went ahead and had Princess shuttle us and our luggage to the airport. Bottom line, it was a nice, relaxing, enjoyable cruise. We never felt on edge or that we needed to be somewhere at a certain time. Probably because we didn't book excursions or worry about the shopping demo's. The food was very good, the service was excellent. I can honestly say I did not have one ship employee act anything less than helpful and friendly. The ship-board entertainment was disappointing, but the islands more than made up for that.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
Stateroom We were in room A534, which is a balcony room, mid ship, port side. It was a very nice room. The view was excellent at every port and we loved having breakfast on our balcony. We didnt have any issues with our neighbors smoking ... Read More
Stateroom We were in room A534, which is a balcony room, mid ship, port side. It was a very nice room. The view was excellent at every port and we loved having breakfast on our balcony. We didnt have any issues with our neighbors smoking or anything like that. The bed was horribly uncomfortable as most of the other reviews indicate. We requested, and received, the egg crate topper and top sheet from our room steward, which might have helped though my back wasnt too convinced of that! Food & Dining We originally signed up for traditional dining, second seating, which was 8:15PM in Botticellis Dining Room. We kept this seating for a few nights but quickly realized that we were missing a lot of shows. There are two shows every night, one in the theatre and one in Explorers or Fusion, each of the shows is scheduled twice a night at 8pm and 10pm. The people that had the first seating for dinner could eat at 6pm, see one show at 8pm and a different show at 10pm. Since our dinner was at 8pm, we could only make the 10pm show. After a few nights, we asked our head waiter if we could switch to the first seating. It turned out that our same table was available for the first seating, so we were easily able to switch and keep the same table and waiters, which was great. As far as food quality goes, it was random. I was hoping to see a lot more grilled veggies and fresh fish. They did serve fish a few nights, but it was not very good. Once, I had salmon, which was excellent. I had the rockfish, which was okay and the tilapia was just okay. Since I dont eat red meat or pork, I tried the chicken off of the alternative menu and it was very dry, so I didnt have that again. There were a lot of really good soups served; some of my favorites were the black bean, split pea and cream of tomato. The salads were not all that great; there was an overall lack of veggies at every meal. Occasionally, we had grilled zucchini or eggplant, but the salads tended to be a few pieces of lettuce with one cherry tomato. I was able to order green beans on the side and they brought me a HUGE bowl of beans. It was so funny, everyone at my table had green beans! My husband really liked the lamb and on the second formal night we had lobster and prawns. Everyone thought the lobster was dry but the prawns were delicious! The waiters brought over extra prawns and they were quickly gobbled up. The deserts were amazing, sometimes too good ;) We ordered room service for breakfast on our early port days and had no issues writing in what we wanted, along with checking off the boxes for the standard items. Also, we wrote in the preferred delivery time and the food was pretty close to that schedule. We went to the International Caf every day for our specialty coffees. We always ordered a large, which came in a paper cup. In the dining room, they only had the glasses, which were for the regular sizes (not enough caffeine for me). We were able to order a large from the dining room, but I think someone had to run down to IC to get the paper cups for us. On-board activities We were a little disappointed with the lack of onboard activities on the sea days. Im not really sure what I was expecting, Chris seems to think we never had anything to do on sea days, no matter which cruise line it was. My opinion is that the average age on this cruise is probably 55, and the activities are geared more to that age level. So we had our choice of crocheting, napkin folding, line dancing or afternoon tea. There were also a lot of glorified sales pitches; for example, the free foot analysis is really trying to sell you insoles. We had our choice of multiple sales pitches every day. There were a few games of dodge ball or water volleyball and zumba. I went to Zumba once on the last day of the cruise and was very impressed with the workout that I got; I was pouring sweat by the end and definitely recommend taking a bottle of water and just keep moving for the most cardio benefit. Other than that, we played a lot of board games and hung out at the pool deck and read books. Entertainment The shows were so disappointing, probably the worst Ive ever seen on a cruise ship. The comedy shows in the lounges were much better than the theatre shows. There were a couple of good shows in the theatre (Beatle Maniacs band, Rootberry jugglers, and the last production show was good), but overall, it was better to skip the theatre and go directly to Explorers or the Fusion club for their shows. There were a couple of really good short shows (15 min) in the Piazza during the day. Also, the Newlywed game show is not to be missed we ve seen in on all of our cruises and its always hilarious! Princess Cays We woke up around 8am, got our lattes from IC and went to Horizon Court for breakfast. By about 9:30, our group of four was ready to hop on the tender and make our way to Princess Cays. We went to Michelangelos and picked up our tender ticket, got on the boat and started our journey to the island. About half way through, the engine died and we floated around in the water for about 45 min turning in circles and bouncing with every wave that came by. A lot of people started to feel seasick; luckily, no one threw up but a few were very close, including our friend, Casie. We eventually made it back to the Emerald around 10:30, but Casie was so sick that she needed a break from the tendering scene. It was 11:30 by the time we tried again. By that time, there were tons of people in line to get a tender, so we had to wait. It was probably about 12:30 by the time we actually made it to Princess Cays. At first, we were concerned because the last tender back to the ship was at 3:15pm, but we soon discovered that 2-3 hours of snorkeling, swimming and exploring is about all you can take anyway. I tried to find the little cemetery on the beach, but did not make it. I walked along the beach until it turned rocky, walked along the rocks for a while and realized that I didnt want to walk along the rocks for as long as it seemed that Id have to, so I cut through the woods, hoping Id find the road. I found a sandy road and followed it for a while but it had a swampy section that I didnt feel like walking through, so I turned around and went back to the Princess area. I decided I should take a dip in the ocean and, almost immediately after I stepped in, I sliced open my toe on a rock or maybe coral. That was the end of my ocean time :) After hanging out on the beach, we went outside of the Princess area (directly behind the first aid station where I picked up a Band-Aid) and looked through the items the vendors were selling. I bought a straw purse and we were done. We only needed to show our cruise card to the security guard at the gate to be let back in. Besides the tendering incident in the morning, Princess Cays was very nice and relaxing. Ports & Excursions We had the most fun at the ports of call. On two of them, we used the Princess excursions and on the other three we arranged our own plans. The Princess excursions were good but pretty crowded. The excursions arranged on our own were awesome and I highly recommend going this route if you can adequately plan ahead, take everything into consideration and try to mitigate the risk of not making it back to the ship in time. We had absolutely no problems with getting back in time, in fact, we werent even close to the all-aboard time except for while on a Princess excursion! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Most interesting cruise we have ever taken. Not a cruise for sea days....almost every day was a port of call, and as we had never been to any of the countries visited, it was very exciting. Boarded in Copenhagen after spending the ... Read More
Most interesting cruise we have ever taken. Not a cruise for sea days....almost every day was a port of call, and as we had never been to any of the countries visited, it was very exciting. Boarded in Copenhagen after spending the night at the "Admiral" hotel. Very nice and close to the port.....( short cab ride ) ..... Ship was immaculate, and the staff very friendly. Weather was unpredictablem and we had an equal amount of rainy and sunny days....temps were cool for June, mostly in the low 60's. St Petersburg was the highlight. We contracted with a local Russian tour agency ( SPB Tours ) and it was fantastic. We saw musch more than the Princess tours offered at half the price. They were on time, responsive to our requets, and I can't say enough about the experience. Our guide, Eugene, was fantastic.....our small group of 11 was whisked around for two days in a Mercedes van, avoiding traffic and never waiting to see all the sites. Especially loved the subway experience that brought us face to face with all the images of the Communist era in the Soviet Union. ( One complaint about Princess....they tried to make everyone believe that they may be left on board if not tied to an official Princess tour....this is NOT TRUE ) .... as long as you book with a local agency authorized to come to the pier, you do not need a VISA or an authorization from princess. ) Tallin was our second favorite port......Beautiful mid evil city and beautiful smiling people.....Loved it. No tour required....easy walking throughout the city. One scary event on board occurred on the night of June 22/23..... Woke up in the middle of the night to the ship listing heavily to the port side. I literally had to walk up hill to close the balcony doors and keep out the rain and wind. We remained like this for a couple of hours. In the morning, it was the talk of all the passengers, but no statement was made by the crew. "I feel they should have offered an explanation"....in the end I approached an officer and was told we encountered Hurricane force winds that caused the ship to list.......it was pretty scary ......They should have posted something on the TV so as no to alarm passengers....it was clearly unusual and discomforting. Lastly, aside from the listing experience, it was an amazing adventure, and one I would recommend to all.......Be sure and say hi to Marina and Goce in the Crooners lounge if you take this trip. They were Awesome! Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
LODGING: Clean room. Our cabin steward, Enrique, was exceptional. FOOD: It was disappointing to eat at the formal dining room and the Horizon Court. It seems that the Chefs rely HEAVILY on SALT to bring about food flavors ... Read More
LODGING: Clean room. Our cabin steward, Enrique, was exceptional. FOOD: It was disappointing to eat at the formal dining room and the Horizon Court. It seems that the Chefs rely HEAVILY on SALT to bring about food flavors instead of using the proper amount of spices. Dining service was below average. More often than not, I have to tackle a dining room steward just to bring water and tea. Where are the supervisors? EXCURSION: The female manager in charge of the Excursion office (she was from Mexico) was very disorganized in that it reflected in the way her staff managed the crowd. For example, it was already well know there was a Norovirus threat on the ship. But when we arrived in Ireland, the passengers were staged in the Wheelhouse like sardines. All of us wondered why the staff can bring hundreds of people on board very efficiently, but failed to organize passengers trying to get off the ship in order to their respective excursions on time. There were several instances of confusion, frustration, and passengers using expletives due to a lack of organization on the part of the excursion staff. ENTERTAINMENT: Mediocre. OTHER OBSERVATIONS: Captain Circle members were treated like cattle by Captain Giorgio Pomata. Not once were we provided a private room like the Club Fusion to celebrate and honor Captain Circle members who have been loyal to Princess. The Captain Circle celebrations were done at the Atrium: not a very intimate venue! SUMMARY: In fairness to Princess, the price and ports of this cruise were excellent. However, my loyalty days towards Princess is at a critical end. Should Princess continue to provide poor service, lousy food, and ill trained staff, I am taking my business to Royal Caribbean International. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Been on Emerald Princess 3 times. My review is not of the ship. There are many one can see. In general. We've extremely enjoyed the ship. Would definitely select the ship again Spent 2days in Cophengan. Stayed at the Isbens ... Read More
Been on Emerald Princess 3 times. My review is not of the ship. There are many one can see. In general. We've extremely enjoyed the ship. Would definitely select the ship again Spent 2days in Cophengan. Stayed at the Isbens Hotel. See review in Trip Advisor. Highly recommend. As others have indicated. This city is expensive. Soft drinks are $5.00; McDonalds meal for two is $25.00. No refills. A good meal for two is around $100.00. So be prepared. Great city to walk. Get good mape at the airport. Exchange monies at local banks in the city. Better rates in city. We used taxis. From airport to Hotel. 261 krones. Then taxi to ship terminal. 181 krones. Taxi from terminal to airport. 281 krones. Taxis take credit cards. Get the CPH card. If you use it 3 times...it more pays for itself. Read the Rick Steves book.....great leads on what to see and save monies Highly recommend having good light weight hooded jacked. Plus umbral.....one fore each person We didn't need any heavy jackets. We took them but, did't use Stockholm.....Get up early to see the trip thru the channel and the numerous islands. See the Vasa ship......Not in port long enough to any shopping. Tours take up most of the time. Recommend seeing the Vasa ship....then tour on your own Helsinki.....took ships tour. Rock Church, Nobel awards building, old market.....All there was in time. Again sort time in port St. Petersburg......We took private tour with Denrus......What others have said about this tour group is true. They are fantastic. They handed us a large packet with maps, DVD, tour out line in detail, etc. The issues of using other then a ships tour have faded. Our group was first off the ship. Only 24 in the group. We saw all what you read in the Complete St. Petersburg tour. It was the cruise highlight. The two days there .... With the small group allowed us to see more then the larger tour group. Smaller bus moved faster from spot to spot. Spend as much as you can for a tour. Best monies spent Buy your stacking dolls on ship. Found the quality and prices better Good buy on vodka. Also fur items.....need to know what you are buying Tallinn....We walk off the ship and tour by ourselves. Easy walk. Best shopping is just off the ship. There must be 50. Vendors there. Better prices ...then you'll find in town. Cash speaker...you can negotiate on items...... Warnemunde....bad weather....we did not get to port Aarhus......Another walking .... Self. Tour. We took a visit to the old village...great time spent. Again look at Rick Steves book for pointers Oslo.....took ships tour to ski jump + Viking ships......this is a must..limited time for any shopping. There was a building outside the ship for buying items and getting back vat taxes on purchases. In all cities people spoke very good English........ Weather can be rain, over cast, and at times in low 60's. We did have some days with sun. Never uused the Ships pool.....no time. Day at sea. Spent resting and enjoyed I could write more.......truly enjoyed Oslo.....took ships tour. Again limited in time...saw the ski jump....wow.....a must...saw the other Viking ships another must as part of the tour. Limited in time to do any shopping. just before end of tour some of the group asked to be let off in town.... Approx. 15 minute back to ship Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
Having sailed the Emerald Princess last year my wife and I were really looking forward to our return trip this year. Embarkation went smoothly and we got on board early enough to enjoy the day reacquainting ourselves with the ship. Once ... Read More
Having sailed the Emerald Princess last year my wife and I were really looking forward to our return trip this year. Embarkation went smoothly and we got on board early enough to enjoy the day reacquainting ourselves with the ship. Once our cruise started we were more than a little disappointed in the following. The production shows in the Princess theater were the exact same shows we saw last year and now they show them two nights. So there goes some of our evening entertainment. The cruise director was basically nonexistent other than his daily appearances on his morning TV show and his staff as a whole seemed to be following in his footsteps as they also were rarely seen. The wait staff in the Michelangelo dining room left a lot to be desired. On more than one occasion we were left wondering if we aliens due to the fact that we left holding our menus with not so much as a glass of water. We complained to the Maitre D' who seemed to take it personally and basically became a nuisance afterwards. We were much happier when we switched to the Da Vinci dining room. Our visit to Sabitini's was excellent as always with a great wait staff and a wonderful meal. My wife saw the s'mores dessert on the Crown Grill menu and being the dessert freak that she is wanted to try it. The dinner seatings were filled so I took a chance one evening and asked if we could come in, just for dessert and coffee and was quite happy when they said it was no problem. Kudos to the Crown Grill. We are active people and try to find the most active shore excursions we can on all our cruises. A word to the wise DO NOT book the bike tour on Water Island in St. Thomas. The bicycles they use are UNSAFE and in severe need of attention. The chain popped off my bike three times. The cable fell out of my rear brake on a downhill and it has to be one of the shortest bike rides around an island I have ever encountered. In comparison the bike tour on Bonaire was on of the best. Excellent equipment, attentive tour guide, excellent ride around the island(if only it were longer than 13 miles). Highly recommended for those looking for something a little more active. Stay in Grenada was to short, I realize that its a long way to Bonaire from Dominica but if thats the case skip a port and hit all three of the ABC islands. Dominica is one of the most beautiful islands I have ever stepped foot on a must see for anyone who loves the tropical side of the Caribbean. Bonaire is just as beautiful but in a completely different way. The desert atmosphere is amazing and the island is very low key. A complete opposite from the tourist mecca of Aruba.I guess after writing this I have come to the realization that overall we did have a great time, other than a few minor incidents it was a wonderful time except for the fact that the time flew by and it was over before we knew. I guess we are going to have to start booking longer cruises. Read Less
Sail Date March 2009
Background: Our friends had a grandson with a celebration scheduled in St. Thomas. They didn't want to fly so they asked my wife (our resident cruise booking expert) to see if there was a cruise that was stopping in St. Thomas on the ... Read More
Background: Our friends had a grandson with a celebration scheduled in St. Thomas. They didn't want to fly so they asked my wife (our resident cruise booking expert) to see if there was a cruise that was stopping in St. Thomas on the designated day and if we would go with them. She found the Emerald Princess and we agreed to go with them. That is how we came to be talking this cruise. Travel & Hotel. We live in Florida and drove to Fort Lauderdale. We've done this before and stay at the Hampton Inn on SW 12th Street. Good hotel, free shuttle, and you can leave your car there for a nominal charge. Embarkation was well done. There was a long line but it moved along. Once you got to the check-in the process went quickly. There was space to move around the ever present photographer's back-up. Our balcony stateroom was a disappointment. It was smaller than any balcony we can remember on any line. We were on Holland America in Dec 08 and our room was at least 1/3 larger. The bathroom was really small and the shower almost laughable. Our friends got a large balcony room (+$800) and the only difference was a larger balcony. We found that with the larger balcony you didn't have any privacy as all the decks above can look down on your balcony. We were disappointed in the ship design. It appears that the primary consideration was for the number of cabins at the expense of the public areas. All the public areas were too small for the number of people on the ship. The theater seats are narrow and very close together (think discount airline). I found it so uncomfortable I skipped all the shows. My wife went to the shows with our friends. Anytime people gathered (shows, evening entertainment, and Piazza events) there was never enough room. I use the fitness center, dry spa and steam room extensively. The fitness center, equipment, and classes were fine. The locker room is too small for the size ship. It is poorly designed with towel storage on the small bench and thus nowhere for more than one person to sit at a time. There is an additional thermal spa for $80 that I joined. I will not do that again as there is really no benefit over the free facilities. We used Anytime Dinning. This was fine as long as you made reservations. If not, there were long lines most of the time. There is a dining room on Decks 6 and 5. Most people went to the Deck 6 room and Deck 5 was less crowded with a shorter wait. The food was fine. The free pizza was very good. On the days at sea there was an English pub food lunch menu in the Wheelhouse bar. It was very nice and I enjoyed it. There was the usual spread of shipboard activities. All was as expected. Another disappointment was the Princess policies on getting more money from the passengers. I ordered a drink and was asked if I wanted a medium. Now to me that means there is a small, medium, and large. Not the case. A medium is a larger drink than a regular size and more expensive. I haven't seen this type of deceptive marketing since McDonalds Hamburgers used it with their french fries. A fellow passenger fell on the ship and cut himself. The Purser's Office charged him $1.09 for band aids. There is free ice cream on board for a few hours a day but it is totally unadvertised as opposed to the for fee ice cream which is well advertised. The gym classes are $10 each if you buy a package for the entire cruise or $12 if you want to try just one. I could go on with more examples of, in my opinion, the loss of prestige of the line and the move to mass marketing techniques based on the size of the ship. When you are on-board, let the buyer beware. The cabin service and our table service were very well done. We felt that clean-up and drink delivery on the Lido deck dinning were a bit slow. Everyone was pleasant and made the cruise enjoyable. My wife enjoyed the entertainment. As mentioned before, all evening events were very crowded. Most shows were repeated three times over two or three days; I guess so everyone would have a chance to see them. We think the variety and quality was as expected for Princess. We visited five ports. Excursions and other details were as expected. Disembarkation was fine. We had the option of early walk off which we didn't use. Our group was called within five minutes of the expected time. It was a usual, timely disembarkation. I filled out my comment form but couldn't fine a place to drop it off. I guess there was a box by the Purser's Office but who goes near that place on the last day? I expected a box by the gangway but there wasn't one. Summary: A day cruising is better that any day ashore so don't take my comments above to mean we didn't have a good time. It was just a series of small nits that kept it from being a great cruise. Princess seems to have lost the ability to do the last 5% that separates a great cruise line from a good one. Overall I told my wife that we will not cruise on this class of ship again but I don't mind going on Princess. Perhaps we'll find the smaller ships still have the old Princess charm and quality. Read Less
Sail Date March 2009
The Emerald was everything we hoped it would be. Prior cruises on Princess included the Coral to Alaska, Sapphire to Mexico, and the Grand to Western Caribbean. The Emerald incorporates changes that prior Princess cruisers really ... Read More
The Emerald was everything we hoped it would be. Prior cruises on Princess included the Coral to Alaska, Sapphire to Mexico, and the Grand to Western Caribbean. The Emerald incorporates changes that prior Princess cruisers really appreciate: bigger gym, doors that open automatically in heavy winds, an alternative dining buffet at the rear of the ship (Caribe Cafe), and the Sanctuary. I don't want to spread the word too much on the Sanctuary, but my wife would kill to have that again. It is at the front of the ship and there are no kids, attendant service is full-time, comfy lounge chairs, Bose headphones with free Mp3 players, massage tables in private tents... You get the picture. It is an oasis away from the chaos of the main pools on any ship. It is right above the Lotus Spa at the front of the ship. There is a charge but it is worth every penny. It really irks me when people complain on boards about the food on the ships or poor service. The standard rule of life applies: If you are kind to people, they are kind to you. The food was fantastic in the dining rooms and even better than on any prior cruise. The cabin attendant was efficient. I am amazed those guys smile al the time when they are stuck in the jobs they do. We visited Aruba, Bonaire, Grenada, Dominica, St Thomas, and Princess Cay. On Aruba, we went to Palm Beach but get out your wallet if you want a chair and umbrella. Taxi fare is $10 each way. On Bonaire, we went to Jibe City in Lac Bay. It is where the windsurfers are and I have never seen more beautiful water and I have been all over the world. In Grenada, we walked around downtown but I was not impressed. In Dominica, we joined a private tour fabulous day touring with Reyno. I had read many great reviews of Reyno on Cruise Critic. There were about 20 of us total, ten in each very comfortable van. We were lucky enough to be in the van Reyno was driving, he also supplied a very knowledgeable guide to accompany each van, and ours was Roslyn. Our first stop was Emerald Pool, before the crowds. We hiked to the pool and when we returned to the parking lot Reyno was waiting for us with a cooler of ice cold water and beer. After the Emerald Pool we stopped at one of the Hot Sulphur Springs. Our next stop was Mr. Nice's Fruit Stand. Mr. Nice's isn't a place to stop and buy fruit, but a place where we could sample all kinds of fresh fruit and some very good candied coconut then give a tip if we desire. There is also a stand that sells drinks and hot sauce, we bought some hot sauce and really like it. All along the way Reyno stops to point out beautiful flowers and various fruit. On the way to Trafalgar Falls we stopped at a small beach to check out the black sand. Then we drove through the Botanical Gardens in town. After the short hike to Trafalgar Falls Reyno had another treat for us, a very tasty rum cream, or more water or beer if we preferred. Our last stop was a scenic overlook high above the town, a great photo opportunity. We highly recommend Reyno as a tour guide. as funny as I expected. Reynotours@hotmail.com,TeL: 17672451129/ 17676157698. You can read other posts about the ship but it is a gem Enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date January 2009
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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