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6 Princess Emerald Princess Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Panama Canal & Central America

Starting at embarkation sitting in an overcrowded hall for the better part of 3 hours - we were not off to a good start! No credible explanation from Princess; no bother to greet the arriving pxs when they finally made it on board. ... Read More
Starting at embarkation sitting in an overcrowded hall for the better part of 3 hours - we were not off to a good start! No credible explanation from Princess; no bother to greet the arriving pxs when they finally made it on board. Balcony stateroom was okay but was very shocked to find torn sheets and stained pillowcases on the bed (replaced 2 days later). Room steward was great as were a few bartenders and waiters, but the vast majority of staff were not engaged, sullen, and in a couple of cases - obnoxious! Food in all venues was pretty horrible for anyone with a palate (I only had 3 meals which were "good"). Buffet selection was the worst we have ever seen after being on multiple cruise lines. Restaurants were kind of dirty with the worst being the steakhouse where I accidentally knocked about 3/16" of dust off the railing beside our table - ick factor 10. Likewise I ruined a brand new shirt when I leaned against a bar railing and got a large brown stain for my efforts. For a so-called high end, large ship, the entertainment was, for the most part second rate, and most activities were pretty lame for an older crowd. Shore excursions offered by Princess were okayish, except for in Panama city where we had to stand in line for 1.5 hrs in the sweltering heat to get on a tender back to the ship without so much as a hint of concern from staff - it is a wonder some of the frailer people didn't collapse! At long last we come to disembarkation - it was a bit better than the start, but once again no one from Princess directing you where to go for transfers. We got lucky and chose the right line up. If they can do a reasonable job in ports of call, why can't they make the same effort for leaving? Is it because they no longer care about you? I would say so. We will never use Princess again - there are so many better cruise lines that they can't hold a candle to! Sure, it may be one bad experience, but they are supposed to have corporate standards, so we can only assume that this is what we can expect on other Princess ships too. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We choose this cruise for the transit through the Pannama Canal. The commentary though out the cruise and in the canal was fantastic. Loved the Captains updates. We where very pleased with our inside cabin and twin beds. Our cabin ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the transit through the Pannama Canal. The commentary though out the cruise and in the canal was fantastic. Loved the Captains updates. We where very pleased with our inside cabin and twin beds. Our cabin steward was fantastic. The food on the other hand was mediocre at best. Beef was the the downfall each night it was served. I have never had a more boring prime rib. Could only finnish about 1/3rd of my NY strip. I love beef. Pancakes where ok. Mashed potatoes ok. Not enough veggies. Port were not bad but nothing I would want to go back to. Cartagena had the best food and architecture, I wish I could have enjoyed it, but the hawking street people where overwhelming. They would come at you two three four deep. You could not look at a building with out them thinking you were looking at them. Then they came at you. It was scary at times. Either get rid of these hawkers or Princess change port to Aruba, or Curacao. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I went on the cruise with 5 friends. Things were not up to Princess Standards. The room movie movies were all very old flicks, Nothing recent. There was no Zumba class. No instructor. They could have found a Zumba video. The ... Read More
I went on the cruise with 5 friends. Things were not up to Princess Standards. The room movie movies were all very old flicks, Nothing recent. There was no Zumba class. No instructor. They could have found a Zumba video. The entertainment except for 3 times, was horrible. At Panama getting off the ship was delayed for well over two hours. The food in the dining room was up to Princess standards, and the service was excellent. The food in the buffet was boring to say the least. And not many choices. The Steak house was fine and also the service. The river rafting in Costa Rica was a plus. The seafood extravaganza was /shrimp and Small oysters. Discraceful. The tour in Cartegena was okay. and the tour in Hualitco was fine going on a catamaran and a private beach. The captains welcome lacked decent horsderves. The cycles in the gym were not very good. And finally, in the spa,my friend went for a mud bath, and there was an extra charges of a $79. gratuity put on the room bill. Getting off the ship in California went smoothy, as getting aboard. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose Princess because we had never taken this line before and we wanted to take the family to Alaska this summer and had to check the line out. Embarkation was a couple of hours late with no explanation. Our cabin was as expected. ... Read More
We chose Princess because we had never taken this line before and we wanted to take the family to Alaska this summer and had to check the line out. Embarkation was a couple of hours late with no explanation. Our cabin was as expected. We could have used an extra chair, but we made do. Our luggage did not make it to our cabin until after late dinner. So we had dinner in our clothes that had been traveled in all day. We wanted to traverse the Panama Canal during the holidays, but Princess didn't seem to want to celebrate the holidays. There was a smattering of Christmas trees and one Menorah and that was it for decorations. The crew sang carols once. Other lines have made us feel like we were in a winter wonderland. The dining room food was 90% great and if it wasn't they would try to make it great. Always eat in the dining room. The hot dogs in the Salty Dog are also good for a snack. Never eat in the buffet...… You have been warned. Now for the worst part of the cruise. Our excursion in Panama City uses tenders (life boats.) Two of the tenders were not working. A third tender broke down with people on it. How could this be???? What if there was an emergency? Didn't they check these before we left? So our 8 hour day turned out to be a 4 hour day and we could not get to any of the excursions planned because everything was so far away. Thank you Princess for ruining my time in Panama. Late that night, our ship LOST POWER. Yes, we were floating at sea with no power, no lights, no nothing. No emergency power. And, no one came on the intercom to reassure the passengers for 15 minutes. Another 15 minutes before power came back on. Lots of "technical issues" on this ship. Sound system, etc. Now for the positive. The employees: the dining staff, the cabin stewards, the bartenders, all had the best customer service of any ship. That is the one thing that Princess does the best. They know how to train their personnel in customer service. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose the Emerald Princess to see the Panama Canal. Ports that we visited were all excellent enjoying Cartagena, Columbia thee most, other than the Panama Canal. All the other ports -Puerto Rica, San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua, Huatulco ... Read More
We chose the Emerald Princess to see the Panama Canal. Ports that we visited were all excellent enjoying Cartagena, Columbia thee most, other than the Panama Canal. All the other ports -Puerto Rica, San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua, Huatulco Obando Puerto Vallarta were also very enjoyable. The food on the Emerald Princess was great along with the staff. Live theatre performances could have been better, recommend they install large HD TV sets on the sides for better viewing of the shows. We found the staff to be welcoming and great ambassadors for Princess. We enjoyed the new dining venues of Steamers and Blanks BBQ they are reasonably priced. We also dined in the Salty Dog pub and had a great hamburger. The only disappointment was the disembarkation was slow and we were an hour behind in getting off the ship. We will look at Princess again but there are lots of options to look at. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My wife and I had planned to take this cruise for years but she passed away in 2015 and only recently was I able to find my cruise mate and best friend. We had planned this for about six months, maybe with too high of hopes. From the ... Read More
My wife and I had planned to take this cruise for years but she passed away in 2015 and only recently was I able to find my cruise mate and best friend. We had planned this for about six months, maybe with too high of hopes. From the time we arrived at he ship it began; an extremely long wait with no place to sit down and virtually impossible to get to a rest room, a major issue with people 68 and 73 years old with disabilities and we had 'expedited boarding'; what a bad joke. once on the ship we experienced very poor service, extremely over-amplified music (and I use this term in its broadest sense), it was almost impossible to communicate with the representatives at the pursers desk due to the noise and then having to listen to 'hip-hop and rap' all over the ship and in the theater; a truly wonderful experience for all the senior citizens aboard. The club class dining was great service but the quality and selection of food on the menus has crashed since Carnival bought Princess. The ports and docking facilities were abysmal and I hope to never see them again except the Panama Canal which was a great experience. While exiting an 'automatic door' on deck 15, I was slammed on the outside of my left knee and when I reported the incident the security and medical departments could care less. We later heard from other passengers of at least three similar incidents at the same door. When I finally decided I should report the incident when I realized it could happen to others I was required to fill out a 'financial responsibility form' in medical, which I tore up and left there, spending the rest of the cruise in serious pain. The bed was uncomfortable and split into two parts at night. We notified the cabin steward and the pursers desk without any resolution. We also found what appeared to have come from someones nose stuck to the inside of the top sheet one night and the same the next night on the bed spread; totally disgusting. Leaving the ship was a nightmare, again long lines poor direction causing us to miss picking up our luggage before entering customs and having to contact an officer to go back and retrieve our bags; this has never happened in the thirteen cruises I've been on. We were extremely disappointed and even though I have 'platinum status' with Princess I doubt I'll go back again. Besides experiencing the new locks on the Panama Canal it was a waste of over $10,000.00 that we'll never get back. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
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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