Our recent Alaska Cruise on the Emerald Princess was a mixed bag, Mostly good but some sad surprises. On the good side we had almost to the person the very best, most courteous and friendly staff ever. Never saw a ... Read More
Our recent Alaska Cruise on the Emerald Princess was a mixed bag, Mostly good but some sad surprises. On the good side we had almost to the person the very best, most courteous and friendly staff ever. Never saw a long faced grumpy, sullen and morose Eastern European crew member this trip. And this was not our first rodeo. Ports were good, better than our last visit. Ship was in tip top shape, some of the entertainment was fist rate. The magician and the ventriloquist were excellent. The Voice of the Ocean competition was also great. The production shows were awful. Loud screaming singer with modest talent in a poorly choreographed production that seemed forced. We came away feeling that the whole thing had been thrust upon us like an incident of molestation. Loved the violinists at tea, a nice touch.
The food was a disappointment. We never had a single meal we enjoyed. Good selection of poor quality and bland fare. However, we were very pleased at the assortment of fruit, cheese and salad and nuts we found. We were not expecting that and it was a nice surprise. Otherwise…worst food ever! Poorly organized with the entrance to the buffet where the exit should be. We now avoid the formal dining like the plague. Over many cruises we have learned that it is a painfully long dinner experience, for average food, often punctuated with forced conversation and contrived niceties. If we want a sit down supper we choose one of the special, overprice venues onboard.
Way more children than we expected to see on a Princess cruise…and all the noise and commotion that comes with them and their parents who do not seem to see the need to keep them under control. I know I sound like an old grump but we raised ours and have no interest in having to deal with other people’s offspring, which is why we switched from Royal Caribbean to Princess in the fist place. I guess we will have to switch to Regent Seven Seas next. Many first time cruisers, which seems to be the case with all Alaska cruises. On the one hand it is delightful to see them enjoy themselves while they live out a life long dream even though their lack of experience and knowledge of protocol and decorum can chap ones backside now and then.
More comments on the staff. Gordon, from the Cruise Director’s Staff, was an absolute delight. He was friendly, engaging, entertaining and courteous every time we encountered him. A true asset to Princes…you must keep this young man. Reggy, the nice young man who bought our room service coffee every morning, was another delight. Cheerful, courteous, and prompt every encounter. We loved him. Our Cabin Steward, Randy, did an exceptional job. We made a couple of requests on day one and he never failed to carry them out through the entire course of the cruise. It seemed as though when we left the cabin for as little as 30 min. he had it refreshed by the time we returned. Never a disappointment and sparkling clean every day. A very personable young man as well, someone who should be destined for a good future with Princess.
On the opposite end of the scale was Assistant Cruise Director Ana Dulce, who on every occasion was rude, dismissive, discourteous, not helpful, and self important. Although we had only one encounter with her personally we observed her on several others and found her to be an outright embarrassment…someone who should never be in contact with a customer under any circumstances. We are shocked that she was able to reach her current level, apparently the Peter Principle in action. On a related note, it is a continuing wonderment to me that Princess seems compelled to put staff for which English is a second language in positions where guests have to rely on their communication. It is absolutely absurd.
We saw more whales, dolphins, seals and eagles than ever before. The scenery was gorgeous. Everyone should take this cruise at least once. Read Less