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13 Princess Emerald Princess Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Baltic Sea

August might sound like a good time to cruise to the Arctic Circle but it's wise to go prepared. As we discovered, it can be wet and windy, so we were glad we took waterproof over-trousers. We were less prepared for the numerous ... Read More
August might sound like a good time to cruise to the Arctic Circle but it's wise to go prepared. As we discovered, it can be wet and windy, so we were glad we took waterproof over-trousers. We were less prepared for the numerous children on board but, as it was school holiday time, this was probably inevitable. The 14 day cruise from Southampton included just 4 sea days but the weather prevented calling at Flån. On Board Having cruised to the canary Islands in May, we were pleased to find that Princess had made several changes to key Emerald Princess personnel. We liked the new Cruise Director, Paul Chandler Burns and his team kept us entertained. Lyndon Jolley had also joined the ship, as the destination expert, and gave some informative talks. Captain William Kent had recently taken over the helm and, even with his experience, he had some interesting moments with the strong winds in Stavanger. We had hoped for reasonable weather, as it was August, but the rain persisted and we failed to call at Flån, which was disappointing since we had managed to book for the Flån railway. Having booked this trip with Princess (which is unusual for us) the cancellation cost us nothing and the trip in the rain would not have been much fun. Dining We traveled with another couple, so had requested fixed dining at 8.15 pm. For some reason the booking had been messed up, so we were given a table in the Da Vincci dining room, which suited us nicely. Breakfast in the Botochelli dining room was often a frustrating start to the day, even when we arrived at 8 am before it became busy. The waiters were slow to take orders and a luke warm omelet could take 30 minutes to arrive. Afternoon tea was less leisurely and our waiters in the Da Vincci dining room were excellent. Food was of a consistently high standard, as ever, but the menu is now so predictable for any regular passengers. As it was August, there were quite a few children on board, so the dining room tended to be rather noisy at times. Maybe Princess should copy P&O and have some adult only ships! Entertainment We used to enjoy the resident song and dance shows but the same shows seem to run for years, so we no longer bother to go. We also feel that the production teams ruin the shows with the video backgrounds and unnecessary lights. Princess's new Magic To Go show had some of the best special effects we have seen on a cruise ship, being simple but clever, and it did not rely on annoying videos. The theatre was 100% full but many commented that it was not very magical and the music was unfamiliar. Steve Larkin's Freddie Mercury tribute act was good but Princess keep repeating it. Jeff Stevenson proved to be really popular and kept us all laughing with his endless stream of jokes and observations. Jayne Middleton's tribute to Annie Lenox was OK but the songs were not as well known, leading some to suggest that featuring Karen Carpenter or Dusty Springfield might have been better. Peter Howarth, the recent lead singer of the Hollies, sang a good mix of oldies, including several Roy Orbison numbers. We had seen him on an earlier trip but this time he gave a second show, which was equally good. We enjoyed listening to Pingxin Xu who played an amazing 140 string instrument called a Dulcimer. This made a nice change from the tribute singers and song/dance shows. Gregory Scott entertained everybody, on the last night, playing well known songs on his violin albeit with more distracting video backgrounds. Daniel Zafrani's "visual comedy and mime" act was one of the worst we have seen on Princess. It was neither funny nor entertaining so we, and many others, walked out after a few minutes. Whilst we like the tribute acts and enjoy the old 60's and 70's numbers, maybe it is time for Princess to engage some different artists. As ever, there were numerous trivia challenges, dance sessions etc and some extra events to involve the families on board. For passengers dining on the second sitting, there was very little to do between afternoon tea and 8.15 pm. Ports We had just 4 sea days, which suited us fine, as we like to get ashore and explore by ourselves. The scenery is spectacular but, in all honesty, there is not a huge amount to do at many of the ports. We booked a private fjord trip from Stavanger but Pulpit Rock does not look great when covered in mist under heavy rain. As it happens, we had been too late to book the train for our Scheduled Flån stop, so had resorted to booking the similar Princess trip on the same train. So, failing to get to Flån cost us nothing other than the enjoyment of the train ride (in the pouring rain). We had an enjoyable stop in Olden, in spite of the weather. It was easy to get to the Briksdal glacier on the local bus (about NOK 100 each way) and the 3 Km walk is scenic, with numerous waterfalls from the melting ice. There is plenty to see in Trondheim so we opted for a self guided walking tour. The cathedral is really the major attraction and we were there in time for the 1 pm organ concert, then climbed the 174 steps to the top of the tower. The NOK 90 seemed quite expensive, with a further NOK 40 for the tower, especially since photography is not permitted. A further NOK 90 is charged for the Bishop's Palace and again for the Crown Jewels but neither were very impressive. The old warehouses along the river are attractive and the small fish market is worth a visit. Honningsvag is the stopping off place for the North Cape but there is not much to see there other than the wooden church. The North Cape is a bit of a tourist trap and most passengers seemed to head for the visitor's centre there. The local bus charges almost NOK 600 for the return, 30 minute ride (but did include the entrance to the visitor centre) and the other options were even more expensive, so we gave it a miss. Tromsø is a larger town with plenty to see and do. Princess offered a shuttle bus to the centre for USD 5 per trip, You can then catch the bus to the cable car. It is best to get there early as the two cars only carry 28 people each. The trip takes just 4 minutes but costs NOK 170 return. We then crossed the bridge to visit the modern and old cathedrals and even the adjacent art gallery. The Polar museum was very popular too. The stop at Gravdal seemed rather pointless as it required a tender and there is absolutely nothing at the port jetty. It is the stopping place for trips to the Lofoten Islands but they are not readily accessible or exciting. A tender to Nusfjord would be better, if practical. We opted to walk the 4 Km to the town but there is nothing there except for an attractive wooden church. We later discovered that there was a free shuttle bus in the opposite direction to Leknor, which we do not recall being mentioned at the port talk. The penultimate stop, at Ålesund, was more interesting. It was a clear day, so we caught the local busses (662 from the port, then 664), which took us around the islands of Giske and to the lighthouse at Godøy. On returning to Ålesund, we climbed the 418 steps to the viewing point rather than resort to the hop on/off train. We had been to Bergen recently and it was good to return and re-visit the fish market. However, the itinerary only allowed a half day at this port. Forthcoming bad weather then meant the ship increased speed and we arrived at Southampton hours early. Wi Fi Elite passengers get a generous free wi fi allowance but we were unable to use it because the Internet connection was extremely slow or non-existent. Summary We chose August in the hope that we would get reasonable weather in Norway but were glad we had packed all weather conditions. Food was of a consistently high standard and service was always friendly and efficient (except for breakfast times). Everything in Norway is expensive and some of the entry charges are excessive. Norway gets plenty of rain even in August and in the north it can be really cold, so go prepared. There is enough to see and do at most, but not all, ports. Princess could do better with entertainment but they remain our preferred cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Should you not read all this letter, you should read the last 4 paragraphs. We chose this cruise on Emerald Princess because we wanted to try a Baltic cruise and the date fitted in with our visit to England from our home in Tenerife. ... Read More
Should you not read all this letter, you should read the last 4 paragraphs. We chose this cruise on Emerald Princess because we wanted to try a Baltic cruise and the date fitted in with our visit to England from our home in Tenerife. It was our first cruise with the Princess line and unfortunately will almost certainly be our last. We found that during the day while the ship was at sea the atmosphere reminded me of what a Butlins Camp would possibly like. There was not enough quality things to get involved with, but if you liked constant loud music round the main pools, when this was not blaring out loud films were shown, bingo, constant quizes, Mr and Mrs competitions etc etc then you were fine. The food was excellent but limited. What we didn't like about our eating experience was the fact we like waiter service which was no problem in the evening, Kateryna and Khomenko our waiters were excellent, but for breakfast the only restaurant with waiter service had limited opening times from 7am - 9am. When the ship was in port which was 7 days on our cruise the restaurant was not open at all for waiter service breakfast, which caused complete overcrowding in the only main self service restaurant. In the past breakfast on cruises has always been a relaxed experience to look forward to, not having to jump out of bed, keep an eye on my watch and make sure I managed to negotiate my way down to the 6th deck, then walk the full length of the ship and finally get to the waiter service restaurant before 9am, and then finding it was closed if in port. Never have we been treated in this way before and not what you expect, our cruising has always been stress free in the past. The main entertainment was ok, and some nights quite good but we actually enjoyed some of the side entertainment just as much if not better, especially when the volume of some of the singers in the main theatre made us run for cover. Tetiana on the piano in the Piazza was very good and was a lovely lady. The X-Trio were good, Katya and Egor the acrobats were excellent, and last but certainly not least , we very much enjoyed the resident Jazz Band who played in the Piazza one day. There was a mix up with the daily guide left outside our cabin each evening which was in Spanish. I can understand the initial mix up because we have a Spanish address, however it shouldn't have taken 4 visits and 4 days to customer services to sort it out. Our cabin was good and our steward was pleasant and helpful and kept our room very clean, in fact all the crew we came in contact with were professional and well mannered. I am sorry Princess but now comes the final punchline. On the 21st July a sizeable amount was taken from my debit card and bank account for my spend on board and the various excursions we booked, however it did not show as a credit on my daily ships statement. I asked 3 different people at customer services why this was because I was afraid the money would be taken twice. Each one of them assured me the amount was on hold and said not to worry I definitely would not be charged again but I still had my doubts. For the next 2 final days every time I spent something however small the amounts were taken individually from my debit card which should have left me with a nil balance. The last day was the 23rd July and my statement now showed the full amount of everything I had spent, Again I was assured everything was in order. A couple of days later I checked my account and all was well, or so I thought, however, ( you guessed it ), when I checked again I found that on the 27th July the total amount of everything I had spent had been taken out of my account a second time. When I contacted them I got a message that it could take 28 days to rectify, however I replied that it had probably only taken seconds to swallow up my money a second time either by mistake or fraudulently and I was not prepared to wait so long to get my own money back, especially when it was no fault of my own and I had taken every precaution to stop this happening. I paid in euros however the exchange rate they calculated I thought was also outrageously biased in their favour. To their credit my money arrived back in my bank 4 working days later. However I previously asked them to email me confirmation of the refund and an explanation as to how it happened, and suggested that an apology might be in order. As of the date of this letter in August I have not received any communication from them whatsoever, which I feel is very bad for customer relations. Sorry Princess we have had several cruises with Royal Caribbean which we very much enjoyed and had no complaints, and although Thomsons are generally older and smaller ships, the one cruise around the Canary Isles we had with them was also a great and satisfying experience. You may now draw your own conclusions as to where we go from here. Bon Voyage to all who read my review. L. Tenerife. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We arrived at the Southampton terminal around 12:00 and were placed in a waiting area where free cakes and coffee was available we barely had time for a drink before we were rapidly booked in. Being familiar with Emerald Princess we ... Read More
We arrived at the Southampton terminal around 12:00 and were placed in a waiting area where free cakes and coffee was available we barely had time for a drink before we were rapidly booked in. Being familiar with Emerald Princess we quickly found our cabin and were soon ensconced in restaurant having lunch. In our cabin we found that all the bedding had been upgraded with lovely new mattresses and pillows but we still had those dreadful clinging shower curtains. Our first stop was Zeebrugh, having done this cruise before we didn’t do any excursions, here we had a walk into Blankenburg as it was sunny but cool, being Sunday there were no shops open. With the rest of the ports it depended on the weather, Copenhagen we saw the Little mermaid and strolled along the waterfront. Stockholm was similar, Helsinki it rained all day so we stayed on board an were surprised by the amount of activities and games laid on by the Entertainment team so there was plenty to do. St Petersburg was again wet the first day, we hadn’t bothered with a Russian visa partly we found it very expensive, partly we’d done the excursions on a previous cruise and finally there was nowhere to stroll near the dock. By now the weather was starting to look up so at Tallinn we explored the old town. Gdynia (port for Gdansk)Was another enjoyable town to visit as it was an easy walk into town. The town was very clean with the wide main street lined with plenty of shops. The weather for the cruise was very disappointing, we booked in July hoping the weather would be fairly summery but the first week was more like March with a very cold wind and the temperature hovering about the 60° mark. During the second week the weather improved enough to coach the sunbathers out, and we managed to take full advantage of our balcony. I’m glad to say that the seas were friendly so that even a bad sailor like me had no qualms. There was a good entertainment staff led by Kelvin who on the most part had a good rapport with the passengers making as much fun as possible. The games they put on in the evenings always had crowded lounges, such as liarliar, marriage game and Majority rules and there were plenty of Trivia quizzes where the keen players could win fantastic prizes like a pen or key ring. But majority played for fun and the banter was much appreciated. There were plenty of aerobics classes and almost any dancing lessons with the atrium being the most popular dance floor, up at the top of the ship was a regular disco catering for young and old alike. There was even a Bingo session every day to satisfy the ardent bingo fan. the For dining we had plumped for anytime dining, using the dining room for lunch on sea days and the main dining room only after we’d checked the menu for the day, some of the menus seemed to us to have strange items which did not appeal. Other nights we use the Horizon buffet we had the same items but also a lot more besides add the fact that you can have as much as you want. We did not try the speciality restaurants as we don’t think the extra charges are value for money. The pool decks appeared to have ample enough loungers with plenty of tables and chairs all along the side especially by the grill bar which incidentally turned out some nice barbecue type food. Overall we found it to be a very enjoyable cruise with plenty to do on sea days and even in port we found Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We were a party of two couples ages 66, we flew British Airways direct from LAX, First class so we would arrive fresh. Our luggage was lost by BA, very poor customer service, had us waiting 4 hours at the airport telling us that the ... Read More
We were a party of two couples ages 66, we flew British Airways direct from LAX, First class so we would arrive fresh. Our luggage was lost by BA, very poor customer service, had us waiting 4 hours at the airport telling us that the luggage was there....it was found day 10 of our cruise. Princess Cruises was more than helpful, allowing free phone calls to British Airways, on several occasions, one call lasting 2 hours. they gave us $100. each for clothing, free same day laundry, tuxedos for the gents. They were mAore than helpful. Would take them on the next cruise but the itinerary doesn't match my needs. We took LondonAirportTransport who was exceptionally good, waiting for us at the airport, got us to the ship on time and took us on an alternative city to visit on the way which we had time for. St Petersburg was wonderful, we used SPB TOURS, which was marvelous and very well priced for a group of 15people, air conditioned van, professional absolutely magnificent. Our next favorite port was Bruges. We took a taxi to the city, not bad for 4 people about 50 Euros. Walked the city on our own, loved the lace shops, took a canal trip, just beautiful. This was a lovely trip in all, aside from the British Airlines not giving a hoot that our luggage was lost! Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We received an email telling us of a delay in boarding. but that didn't proved to be such an inconvenience and once on board the fun and adventure began. This was completely different for us as I had done some research and decided to ... Read More
We received an email telling us of a delay in boarding. but that didn't proved to be such an inconvenience and once on board the fun and adventure began. This was completely different for us as I had done some research and decided to use what I had read for most on shore excursions. Back to the ship, our cabin on the Riviera R631 was very handy to the Horizon, nothing changes ,bit of a moan about the selection of programmes on TV after being on the Royal last year and one side of our pushed together beds was stuffed but my quiet mild mannered spouse didn't moan until late in the cruise. The food was always of a high standard and the pleasant manner of the staff made one feel quite special, I never found them patronising. It appeared to be quite crowded when dining at the Horizon but it did give us a chance to meet a lot of very nice people Every cruise has their loud people and self opinionated folk but the ship is big enough to only have to put up with them once. The entertainment directors Kelvin and Ryan were entertainers in their own right and the shows that they hosted were an enjoyable part of the cruise for us. We normally did our own thing when it came to shore excursions and that worked out fine with us. In St Petersburgh we used an independant company (Alla Tours) which we found on the internet and they were excellent. But hop on hop off buses were normally fine for our short stays. In Poland we used a taxi outside the port with 2 other couples (who we had never met before) to take us to Gdansk and for 90 euros we had our own car and driver all day so for 30 euros each it proved to be of great value. Of course not everything is perfect but the Baltic heritage cruise with the Princess line will forever be a highlight of our lives. The beauty ,charm and history that we saw were things for us to behold, especially sitting on our balcony and watching the sun disappear at 1135 at night. Loved will be back with Princess next year. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
From August 9th to 20th we took our first cruise and it was just fabulous, fabulous to the point that we are now planning a European river cruise for next summer. The Emerald Princess was a beautiful ship which was well maintained by an ... Read More
From August 9th to 20th we took our first cruise and it was just fabulous, fabulous to the point that we are now planning a European river cruise for next summer. The Emerald Princess was a beautiful ship which was well maintained by an excellent staff who were more than helpful. The quantity and quality of food was as good as we have had at numerous 5-star resorts and the specialty restaurants were well worth the extra fees. The Internet Cafe was somewhat disappointing as internet service was quite slow even while in port which resulted in our spending a lot of money just to keep in contact with people. Due to inclement weather we were unable to dock and consequently missed our excursion to Berlin, that was disappointing. We were so impressed by the fact that our ship took us right into the middle of Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn,Aarhus and Oslo. The only negative item about our whole cruise was the harassment inflicted by Princess Cruises organization and staff on those of us who did not take their excursions at St. Petersburg. We had an excellent excursion there with SPB! Last but not least, we would like to thank CRUISE CRITIC and its members for all the help we got prior to setting out on our first cruise. Sincerely, Kate and Jerry Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Our first time with Princess and I hope it won't be our last! A smooth embarkation at Copenhagen- we had Princess flights and transfers- and we were soon exploring the ship and having a bite to eat in Horizon Court. The itinerary ... Read More
Our first time with Princess and I hope it won't be our last! A smooth embarkation at Copenhagen- we had Princess flights and transfers- and we were soon exploring the ship and having a bite to eat in Horizon Court. The itinerary was great although we weren't ever so struck with Aarhus. The weather was much better than we anticipated and although the Princess trips we took were expensive they did work out to be very enjoyable. The ballet in St Ptetersburg was unforgettable and was probably one of the highlights of our trip. The food could not be faulted really and our waiter remembered our preferences and made helpful suggestions.As expected on an American line it was not possible to get a decent expresso. I was itching to pop aboard Costa Pacifica when we moored across the water! Our main criticism was the entertainment. An excellent String Quartet played at afternoon tea-time and at other times in the atrium but it would have been good to know their schedule so as not to miss the performances. Sometimes the entertainment in the lounges was non-existent and after 11p.m. it was more a case of "Ghost Princess"! But agreat trip and we wanted to go round again! Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We enjoyed our cruise on the Emerald Princess. Our meals at 8:15 in the Boticelli Dining Room were good, the choice varied and service was good. The air conditioning and cold draft at our table made it uncomfortable during dinner. We ... Read More
We enjoyed our cruise on the Emerald Princess. Our meals at 8:15 in the Boticelli Dining Room were good, the choice varied and service was good. The air conditioning and cold draft at our table made it uncomfortable during dinner. We mentioned this several evenings but nothing was done to improve our comfort level in the room. Our cabin was well located and well serviced. Clean towels were always provided and our ice bucket kept full of ice. Our room attendant always had a kind word to say to us. Even though the weather was cool, rainy and cloudy a lot of the time, we enjoyed relaxing in the hot tub and swimming in the heated pool. At times the buffet was very crowded and it was difficult to find seating. We were impressed with the cleanliness and freshness of the food at the buffet. Our group of six arranged a private tour with White Nights to tour St Petersburg. We corresponded with Kate on line to set up the package. Kate was prompt in her replies and adjusted the tour to suit our wishes. When in St Petersburg, our tour guide, Dasha, was a delight. Dasha spoke perfect English, was on time, polite and very knowledgeable about St Petersburg. Since it was her place of birth she had a special love for the city. We were able to bypass line ups, find quiet places for her to speak to us when viewing the very crowded Hermitage and Catherine's Palace. The van we used was very comfortable and the driver excellent. When touring Berlin our group of six hired SPB Tours. We travelled by tour bus with about 40 people to Berlin, a 3 hour ride, met our tour guide in Berlin, had a 4 hour tour in a small van for the six of us, 3 people faced forward and 3 faced backward making visibility poor. We returned to the ship by tour bus, a 4 hour ride due to heavy traffic. Our tour guide spoke excellent English, since he was from Australia, but his love, knowledge and enthusiasm for Berlin was not nearly as good as we experienced in St Petersburg. We joined a Princess Cruise Tour in Oslo which had 40 people in the group. It was difficult to hear our guide and we missed the intimacy we experienced on our other tours. The on board shore tours lecturer John Lawrence was very good. If we missed the talks we watched them on TV in our room. We also enjoyed the TV play by play description of points of interest as we left Stockholm. On board all public areas and washrooms were always clean. An enjoyable vacation. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
We reserved the nine day Imperial Cities tour which covered visits to Budapest, Vienna, Prague and Berlin before joining the ship in Copenhagen. I had polio as a child and now use a travelscoot scooter as I am both somewhat unsteady on my ... Read More
We reserved the nine day Imperial Cities tour which covered visits to Budapest, Vienna, Prague and Berlin before joining the ship in Copenhagen. I had polio as a child and now use a travelscoot scooter as I am both somewhat unsteady on my feet and a slow walker. The scooter allows me to keep up with the group. I found the normal and expected obstacles throughout Europe. There are fewer curb cuts and many cobblestone areas but I did better than I expected. The primary challenge was getting on and off the bus. Princess uses Globus tours for the Imperial Cities Tour. The bus driver, named Marco stayed with us for the entire tour and was excellent both as a driver and in loading and unloading my scooter at each stop. At the first stop in Budapest I did not have an accessible room as Princess had not notified the tour operators that I had reserved an accessible cabin (and filled out their required form) on the ship. However the guide arranged an appropriate room in the other three cities. Upon arriving at the ship in Copenhagen we found the ship on Norovirus precautions being maintained from the previous transatlantic cruise. This caused us no problems and was removed about three days later. We have cruised previously on the Crown Princess and found the Emerald to be almost identical. The ship met our expectations with one exception. On previous cruises on this class of ship we have sailed to the Caribbean. The ship always felt spacious. However it was cold and rainy during this cruise and almost everyone stayed inside all the time. We found the bars and hallways extremely crowded, especially the hallways when the boutiques had their sale tables set up. Our accessible cabin had enough room for us to store the scooter inside the room. The bathroom was level entry with the room. The shower had a pull down seat. There was one minor problem with the room that could not be fixed. The temperature control did not cool the room sufficiently. The food on this cruise was excellent. We ate one night in the buffet, one night at Sabatini's (old menu), and one night at the Crown Grill. All of our other meals were in the anytime dining rooms. We always chose to share a table and never had any wait. Most evening we ate about 6 or 6:30 PM. For lunch we chose to go to the International Cafe for the shrimp salad. At breakfast we used the buffet when we had early excursions and the dining room other mornings. I was always offered assistance in the buffet but if it was not crowded I declined the assistance. Our only problem with this cruise was the personnel in the Shore Excursion Department. I had never previously experienced discrimination due to my disability. Every time I or other passengers using walkers or wheelchair/scooters passed the shore excursion manager she rolled her eyes. One time I heard her sigh. This plus the poor excursion we had in Aarhus, Denmark were solely her responsibility. We had a train excursion in Aarhus and there were four of us who did not have seats. I spent the train portion of the tour seated on a wooden table in front of the door to the washroom. Three men stood on the deck outside the car because there were no seats. Although this was completely unacceptable it was not addressed on the ship even after I complained. After I returned home and snail mailed a complaint to Princess I got a phone call that informed me I was on a tour that was "too strenuous" for me. I also found this to be unacceptable. I was on the train, I didn't have a seat for the ride but since I can't stand for long periods I sat on the wooden table. This should be unacceptable for anyone, disabled or not. Overall this was an excellent cruise. We had an outstanding cabin steward. The food was very good and we enjoyed seeing so many new and exciting cities. Read Less
Sail Date May 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
This was my 10th cruise on Princess. We had a group of 11 seniors sailing. All of us arrived a day early in CPH and stayed at the Marriott which we had booked on Priceline for about $110/night w/o breakfast. Hotel is very nice and well ... Read More
This was my 10th cruise on Princess. We had a group of 11 seniors sailing. All of us arrived a day early in CPH and stayed at the Marriott which we had booked on Priceline for about $110/night w/o breakfast. Hotel is very nice and well located, but would rather have been in a less commercial area. The positive thing is that is a short walk from train station. ARRIVAL- Flew into CPH and following direction obtained here on the board, took the train into the central station. People were very helpful making sure we got on the right train and off at the right stop. Walked to the hotel. Not a long walk, but pulling our bags over cobblestones was not fun! EMMBARKATION- It was raining! Arrived about 12:45 pm and Princess had a covered walkway, but you still got really wet waiting for clearance at the security check point. This was too bad, since they had a huge room just sitting empty. Would have thought that they could have gotten us into the room and then ran us through security and on to check-in. Once in the building everything went smoothly. Got on the ship and headed up for lunch at the Horizon. ROOM- We had an inside room and it was fine. They have reconfigured the rooms since the building of the Grand Princess and the new design is more efficient. Room steward was fine-- did his job, almost never saw him. SHIP- It is BIG! Most of the ship is really nice, The International Cafe and Wheelhouse Bar are nice additions. The central area of the ship is a gathering place with food and entertainment. Very nice. Public rooms are all well done. Library could be open longer hours. Had arranged to use of the specialty restaurants for playing cards and that worked out well. The only problem we saw with the ship was since it was a sailing to a cold weather climate, not many people used the deck space, so the ship felt really crowded at times. Especially in the Horizon Buffet. Felt the Grand Princess was less crowded and more comfortable, but we were in the Med and there were a lot of people on deck. FOOD- Was very good. Loved the new Cafe International and the addition of the fixed right side of the dinning room menu. They have placed many traditional dishes on the right side of the dinner menu and it never changes, so you can always find something to eat. Buffet was generally good. Pizza very good and Hot dogs and hamburgers were great. You will not want for food. Did not eat in any of the extra charge restaurants. ENTERTAINMNT- Good to very good. Better than the Grand Princess. Singers and dancers were very good and headline acts good. They run a repeat of many shows so you have a second chance if you miss them the first night. SERVICE- Best waiter I have ever had on any cruise. Purser's office improved over the Grand Princess. Generally a very good and friendly staff. Especially good in the Horizon. NEGATIVES- Ship was a bit crowded at 100% occupancy. Photo people not up to standard. Once dinning room captain was just overwhelmed with his job. The fright job that they continue for getting off in St Petersburg is inexcusable. We just walked off. No problem. HINTS- Book your tour in St Petersburg with Anastasia Travel Company. We had a great two day tour with 13 people with lunch one day for a little over $200 pp. Almost $200 pp less than the ship. We saw everything and they were very easy to work with. www.anastasiaworld.com Hotels in CPH are expensive, try Priceline. Don't try to eat breakfast in the Horizon on the days in Russia-- just too many people in too small a space. John Lawrence's DVD has a lot of great information on it, but he is very boring on his DVD, much better on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
We flew from Atlanta to Chicago then off to Copenhagen with SAS arriving early afternoon.  We were picked up at the airport and bused to the ship with easy check in at the terminal.  Our trip left Copenhagen on May 26th and returned on ... Read More
We flew from Atlanta to Chicago then off to Copenhagen with SAS arriving early afternoon.  We were picked up at the airport and bused to the ship with easy check in at the terminal.  Our trip left Copenhagen on May 26th and returned on June 5th and every port we visited, we brought along great sunny weather.A few days before my husband and I left on our trip, Princess sent us an e-mail informing us that we had been selected  for an upgrade from a balcony room to a mini suite which blew our minds  We couldn't believe our luck and good fortune.The Emerald was very large and it always seemed we were on the wrong end of the ship and had a long hike to the other end but it was good exercise.I can't say enough about Princess.  They couldn't do enough for us and nothing was impossible and our room stewart was outstanding.  Since my husband and I don't care for eating at a certain time every day, we selected anytime dining which turned out to be great.  The two restaurants were wonderful as was the buffet and we were very pleased with the food and the presentations.Thank you Princess - this was a trip of a life time Read Less
Sail Date May 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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