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4 Princess Emerald Princess Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Norwegian Fjords

Chose this cruise line for itinery and promise of a wonderful experience and to come back new from Princess. We were disappointed. This ship appeared to be clean, well turned out, welcoming and promised much. It failed in so many ways. ... Read More
Chose this cruise line for itinery and promise of a wonderful experience and to come back new from Princess. We were disappointed. This ship appeared to be clean, well turned out, welcoming and promised much. It failed in so many ways. Basically the ship seemed overcrowded with too many people competing for too few seats in dining areas, bars and lounges. The dining experience in their waiter served dining rooms was poor, with luke warm food and poor range on offer. Complaints went unanswered and no redress made,. In the end we opted for the self - serve buffet which served a more interesting menu, and piping hot as well. The only problem was that seats were very often hard to find as other people had abandoned the served dining option. Breakfasts in the two main dining rooms were poor, with out of sequence serving, cold food and indifferent wait staff. Room service was no better with cold food arriving despite a request for hot breakfast. Our impression was that the food in dining rooms and room service was prepared in a central kitchen somewhere and transported to dining areas as judged by dishes arriving in stacks separated by plastic spacers. Seating in bar areas and other lounges was inadequate especially on sea days. We were most unimpressed with the constant sales pitch for spa services, jewellery, fine art auction and photographer and every day received fliers in our stateroom plus tannoy announcements and touts. Princess should be ashamed of their blatent attempts of selling these services. Their daily programme of enrichment was very poor, and consisted mainly of cheap game shows and bingo plus a few basic dance classes. Evening entertainment in the theatre was average, with a few talented musicians and artistes, but their resident song and dance group were very poor, with sub standard vocalists. Entertainment in public areas was variable, but one artist, the guitar ballad singer was terrible, out of tune and singing the wrong type of song. Shore excursions were expensive, but the few we undertook were well organised. There are cheaper options available privately at the quay side should you so wish. They even had a ships tour plus galley at over $100 per person! Embarkation and disembarkation were well organised, but it would have been nice to have had a welcome from staff and a friendly face as we embarked, as we were left to find our own way to stateroom. Our general opinion of this cruise line was that it is a dumbed down cruise ship catering for the mass cruise market, and does not reflect the popular perception of smart, elegant cruising with good food. Based on our experiences with this cruise line, we would probably not use them again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We chose this cruise for the ports in Norway , particularly in the Arctic , we wanted to see. I have cruised before with Celebrity and MSC ( and enjoyed both) but for my husband it was his first time. We found the clientele were mostly ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the ports in Norway , particularly in the Arctic , we wanted to see. I have cruised before with Celebrity and MSC ( and enjoyed both) but for my husband it was his first time. We found the clientele were mostly British or American habitual cruisers and it became a bit wearing to constantly hear " cruise stories". The ship is nice but showing her age and the decor is a bit old fashioned. Our cabin - balcony on deck 14 - was lovely - lots of space for clothes and hangers. Bathroom - as usual quite small was perfectly adequate. However because the weather in Norway was cool and wet ( stormy at times) we spent quite some time indoors and it would have been nice to have had a sofa rather than just one tub chair and an upright chair - MSC has sofas in their equivalent cabins. The balcony was nice with 2 lounger chairs and a small table. The bed was very comfortable. We chose anytime dining and preferred to have a table for 2 rather than share - we never had to wait long and mostly walked straight in. (usually dined later - after 8.30pm) The restaurant food was very good - always found something we liked. The 3 formal evenings were a bit of a let down - nothing special apart from people dressing up - we did not enjoy them and would avoid in future - think they are a bit of an anachronism - trying to re-create the time of the great liners but missing the mark. We ate once in the Crown Grill which was excellent and well worth additional 39 dollars charge as a treat. The entertainment was mixed - some very good and some bad - but the theatre always seemed to be full. The on-board singers and orchestra were particularly good. There is plenty happening during the day of the quiz/ bingo variety if you like that - but there are also lots of ways they are trying to make you spend money - art auctions ( the art was awful in our opinion - could not see why anyone would pay for it - it does not fit with a holiday environment and the huge space they take up in the middle of the ship for the gallery could be much better utitilised. We took 2 Princess excursions - glacier walk and tour of Lofoten islands - they were good but very expensive - we only took them in places where we felt it would be difficult to arrange ourselves. You can get much better deals in the ports or online. In a couple of ports the ship was docked in a remote location and coach transfers were needed - this was free in Bergen but not in other places -think this should be included wherever possible. Unfortunately the poor weather on much of our cruise meant that we could not take advantage of the sundecks and Movies Under the Stars as much as we would have liked. This also caused terrible jams in the buffet because there is insufficient seating there when everyone needs to be indoors if the outdoor seating of which there is plenty on the sundecks cannot be used. We often ate in relays as you had to scour the area for seats and then get food to ensure you could sit down to eat. The buffet was very average - they closed one servery at 9 am just as everyone appears for breakfast. It is the only place to have lunch -apart from the pizza or burger bar so is always crammed then. On sea days only they did pub style lunches in another bar - they were popular so why only on sea days? Princess really need to think about their itineraries and capacities as it was crazy that 3 big restaurants were closed when people could not get a seat in the limited buffet area. The captain was very good at updating us about bad weather etc which caused us to miss one of our ports. We had every confidence in him and the crew from a safety perspective. We were horrified however to watch an acrobatic blancing act in a piazza surrounded by passengers and on a hard terrazzo tiled floor - the lack of thought of safety of both performers and onlookers was astonishing. We also did not like our full names being posted outside our cabin door - you can remove the card but they replace it!! We have never come across this before - and in this age of identity theft etc we think it an unsafe practice. Hotels would never reveal names of guests and we do not think a huge cruise ship is any different. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
In cabin D606 the paper is pealing off the wall, the fridge door is hanging off its hinges. This is a ship that is need of an serious update. 3 star is the maximum I would give it. Drinks are very overpriced,$29 for a Reisling, that ... Read More
In cabin D606 the paper is pealing off the wall, the fridge door is hanging off its hinges. This is a ship that is need of an serious update. 3 star is the maximum I would give it. Drinks are very overpriced,$29 for a Reisling, that can be got in Tesco for £8.00. Campari was $6 a shot plus $2.30 for a tonic. You have to pay for water, $5.95 for a 1.5 ltr bottle Plus 15% gratuity. WIFI prices way over the top. $42.00 for an hour. Absolutely disgusting prices. Plastic plates, cups and glasses in Horizon self service. Awful 'free' tea and coffee, nice orange juice a lemonade but only available breakfast and lunch times. Poor food in Horizon, always luke warm or cold, no hot meals at all. Steak and kidney pie and Lancashire Hot Pot with a tomato sweet base, how many English do that. They need chefs on board that know how to cook proper foods. Rice pudding, baked apples, bread and butter pudding, available at breakfast, but not at lunch time as a desert, Crazy. The 'Speciality' eating venues way overpriced, $58 for my wife and myself to have a steak, good job it was our 55th wedding anniversary otherwise I would have walked out. The trips of the Emerald Princess very expensive, it is far, far, cheaper getting the trip ashore or booking on line at the local tour company. For example we wanted to go the Cathederal. which was closed as Queen Julianna was celebrating her 25th year. Princess line wanted $110 each, we got a cab from the dock to the Cathederal and returned for £24. On a return trip from the North Cape we had to stand for 30 minutes in line to board the vessel,as only one gangway was in use for those passengers disembarking and those wishing to board, WHY? We are both 75 years old, with a temperature of 6C and an even colder chill factor due to the wind, we froze. I told the girl at Passenger Services would she allow her grandad to stay out in those conditions? of course she wouldn't, so why did they not open another gangway? The staff were very good, the shows excellent. They always want you to buy something , it is relentless the tricks they use to get you to part with your money. Embarkation and debarking were very good, as long as you had a disability, other than that the lines to check in were huge. I expected for £5,00.00 for us two, far, far better. Would I use Princess Line again? NEVER, NEVER, NEVER. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
To see the North Cape and Norway The show were very Poor They now charge 15% an all bar bills inc a bottle of wine at dinner. Tours expensive $119-$129 per person per trip Some bars were closed for the sale of art paintings i ... Read More
To see the North Cape and Norway The show were very Poor They now charge 15% an all bar bills inc a bottle of wine at dinner. Tours expensive $119-$129 per person per trip Some bars were closed for the sale of art paintings i came to see Norway not art paintings SALE The trip started at went down for dinner could not look out of the windows they needed cleaning we are talking on the 6th deck. there are no transfers to the town at any port so you have to walk a long way through the docks The shows in the evening were VERY POOR very amature you sat for 30-40 to see the show 30 min was the longest time a show was on. They have started charging 15% on all drinks eg- Coke $2 with a charge added on Every day they bobard you with offers ec Beefeter Gin duty free $30 i can by in morrisons cheaper. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
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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