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13 Princess Emerald Princess Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to South America

Never again! Have sailed many times with Holland America, and also with Cunard and Viking. First time with Princess - and this will be the last time, also. Many Princess cruisers said this was not like previous cruises - much worse - ... Read More
Never again! Have sailed many times with Holland America, and also with Cunard and Viking. First time with Princess - and this will be the last time, also. Many Princess cruisers said this was not like previous cruises - much worse - and think it may be Carnival Corporation's doing. Terribly disorganized ship, inedible (literally inedible!) food served in dining room, staff bickering (especially kitchen staff - shouted arguments), front office staff inefficiency and uselessness, and HORRIBLE Disembarkation experience (Princess' fault - NOT U.S. Customs' fault, as Princess staff tried to blame). ALMOST FOUR (4!!!) HOURS STANDING AWAITING CLEARANCE!!! SOME PEOPLE MISSED FLIGHTS. THIS WAS PRINCESS LINES' FAULT - NOT CUSTOMS' FAULT, AS THE PRINCESS LINE STAFF TRIED TO BLAME. If Customs is slow, then we should have been provide a comfortable place to wait - such as a dining room - instead of being forced to wait, initially, in a space which did not have enough seats for everyone (1.5 hours standing) and then outside on concrete standing in line for another 2 hours!!! Additionally, the announcements which were made by ship's services were not informative at all. Our dining room steward and assistant, Michel and Paul, were two of the very few bright spots of this cruise. The dining room managers/greeters were always pleasant. There were several other stewards and assistants that we encountered during breakfast, lunch, and incidentally during dinner who were quite good, too. However, there were a few we encountered during breakfast and lunch who were brusque or snippy - possibly because they are overworked or because of the disorganization that seemed to pervade the entire ship's crew. Horizon Court - cafeteria-style dining: small, confined area with ostensibly a one-way entrance and exit which fails to work. Not nearly as many options as Holland America, and much more difficult to navigate. Also, for both dining room and buffet, quality of food is rather low (e.g, use of chemical whip instead of whipped cream, canned or frozen orange juice instead of fresh orange juice, most soups using the same apparently corn-starch-thickened base. Some seafood (lobster, e.g.) and fish was apparently thawed and then refrozen - mushy. Worst shipboard internet ever!!! Slowest and therefore most expensive internet ever encountered aboard a cruise ship. Definitely one of the reasons never to sail with Princess Line again. There were two issues that prompted a visit to the front office staff, both of which were raised during four visits. Neither was resolved during the visit, nor was a follow-up call received at any time (as promised). Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Chose cruise for route and timing availability. Food was acceptable, bar staff good. Some dining room staff were rather surly and acting as if they were near the end of their contract and had no intention in renewing their contract. ... Read More
Chose cruise for route and timing availability. Food was acceptable, bar staff good. Some dining room staff were rather surly and acting as if they were near the end of their contract and had no intention in renewing their contract. Had the same annoying art auctions as Carnival. Pushing notion that if you were savvy enough to buy their art onboard, it would enhance your image as being a worldly, cultured and sophisticated person. While onboard, tried to extend cruise by 28 days. Was offered a "real good discount". On analysis, the offer was for a lower category stateroom and a per person increase in cost of $60 per day, plus $720 to change our Princess-arranged flight connections. At the same time of this offer, our travel agent advised us that the ship was 20% overbooked and that Princess was offering already-booked passengers discounts on alternate cruises. Disembarking was a joke. 8 US Immigration booths with only 7 Immigration officers to handle 3800 passengers! Princess obviously knew the timing and logistics when making flight arrangement for disembarking passengers. At least 60 passengers on 1 flight to Toronto had to be rebooked - spending 12 hours sitting in the airport. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We have always cruised with Princess and have not been to any of the ports on this cruises before. The wait stall was extremely delightful. The cabin steward was very attentive. The entertainment was great. Had a wide variety of ... Read More
We have always cruised with Princess and have not been to any of the ports on this cruises before. The wait stall was extremely delightful. The cabin steward was very attentive. The entertainment was great. Had a wide variety of entertainment which included singers, dancers, a juggler (which was hysterical), a hypnotist, great production shows, lectures and musicians. The ports were good, the excursion were great except for one. We have already signed up for another cruise with Princess in Dec., 2018 yo Austraia and New Zealand. During the cruise we got to see many different birds. The Captain or the Emerald was the best Captain we have ever cruised with. He was alway out and about with the passengers and greeted every one. He kept us well advised of the weather and the ocean conditions. The weather was diverse. Some cool weather to very hot and humid weather. All in all a terrific time and can't wait till our next cruise with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Last thing on our bucket list after travelling for 49 years.. First time to do Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Peru and Nicaragua. Unfortunately on this cruise we had too many things on board that we have become accustomed to on our ... Read More
Last thing on our bucket list after travelling for 49 years.. First time to do Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Peru and Nicaragua. Unfortunately on this cruise we had too many things on board that we have become accustomed to on our previous 30 day cruises that have now been removed or declined in quality. I certainly hope that Princess will read and react to my post cruise survey, where I tried to tell them what had gone wrong and also what they had done right.. On the positive side, all of the staff did an excellent job in everything before the cruise and on embarkation. 99.9% of the ship staff, from the Captain to Maintenance, did an excellent job and I laud them for their efforts and performance. However, on the negative side, Princess has removed their "happy hour" at 4:00 pm and 10:00 pm, you must get into the Princess Theatre at least 45 minutes prior to early show time to get a seat together, the dinner menu repeats after the first 15 day segment of the cruise, food flavour and taste in the anytime dining room has deteriorated, at dinner we were presented with Cornish hen when we had ordered pheasant (when they thought we would not know the difference), I did not receive a call back from the Cruise Director after a written complaint regarding an insulting entertainer that I had presented to the desk, guest entertainers ranged from spectacular to terrible. To add to this poor experience some stupid, selfish souls came on board with coughs and colds, and despite several hints from the staff regarding hygiene, by the time the cruise was over I would say 50% of the ship was sick. Most coughing and sneezing. We were both sick so we had to miss out on playing bridge on sea days and could not share a table at dinner so as not to spread the virus any more. No, I there was not any talk about Norwalk. To cap it all off, US Immigration at Los Angeles was terrible. We were scheduled off the ship at 8:15 am. We finally cleared immigration at 10:45 am. Fortunately we did not have anearly flight to catch or we would likely have missed it - Note NOT Princess fault. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this cruise because of the add-on to Iguaza Falls. Same seemed to be true for the fellow Brits on board. We’ve travelled on Princess once before and vowed never again, however we were tempted by the itinerary. Sadly the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the add-on to Iguaza Falls. Same seemed to be true for the fellow Brits on board. We’ve travelled on Princess once before and vowed never again, however we were tempted by the itinerary. Sadly the disorganisation and lack of communication were the same as four years ago. Embarkation was shambolic. It took well over an hour to crawl through San Anitonio - typiical Princess penny- pinching instead of Valparaíso. We were one of the last groups to embark but the baggage handlers still hadn’t sussed how to sort out those of us with baggage tags from those who hadn’t. There were a large number of the latter. When we got to our cabin, desperate for the loo and a wash, our steward insisted on coming in there and then to tell us about the importance of hand washing, despite being asked to give us half an hour. The cabin was clean and similar to cabins of the same standard in other lines,( balcony). Main grump was the pillows. Princess vaunts their mattresses, but seem to totally ignore pillows, which are soft, thin and squashy. The ship itself was fine, but dark and in need of modernisation. Staff in housekeeping, bars and restaurants were great. Unfortunately the same could not be said for other levels. The captain deigned to speak every day at noon with position and some nautical details, delivered in a bored voice. Cruise director Paul didn’t speak at all outside the venues. One day there were around six or seven whales which followed the ship for two to three hours, but it was too much of an effort for the Bridge to tell us, or maybe the officer of the watch didn’t see them. The only person who made regular announcements was the art director, possibly because art took up more space and time than I’ve ever known on any other ship. Food was fine, if unexciting. Agree with others comments about the butter rationing. We always ate in the main dining room to avoid the scrum in the buffet. Ship ran out of the most popular wines, orange juice and nuts. We thought The Cruise was hyped up for TV. No, they really are that inefficient, apart from Timothy, who appears to be a bit of a twit on the show, but is actually very good at his job. The location expert was almost unintelligible and had an annoying habit of saying ‘eh’ every couple of minutes. The glacier alley commentary was particularly bad. The entertainment was poor. Too main of the acts spent too much time talking about themselves rather than actually performing. Timing of evening entertainment could be improved. Unless you want to eat early, chances of getting a seat anywhere other than the theatre are slim. Daytime activities are minimal if you don’t want to sold something.This voyage is in some of the world’s roughest seas, so more inside activities other than the art auctions are needed. Day time Happy Hour was only ever in one of the smaller venues. The star-gazing ‘enhancement’ was well presented, too bad the weather didn’t oblige. Trips are overpriced even by cruise standards. The wine tasting in Montevideo was worth every cent, though and the The Falklands were well above expectation. We complained about one trip and were offered a 15% rebate as onboard credit. Needless to say it wasn’t credited and took four people to sort it out on the last day. OH asked about the rate for Argentinian currency and was told 600 to the dollar, same as Chile. It’s actually closer to 20. Thank goodness we didn’t take cash out based on that advice. Despite all the gripes we enjoyed the trip, the weather was good for the location and seasons. Bar staff in Crooners, had great senses of humour and the scenery is awesome. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Great itinerary and great lecturers about the ports and itinerary. Enjoyed a lot the spa services and staff. Excellent acupuncture and massage along with specialty spa service sites for extra (heated tile lounge sites, aromatic showers ... Read More
Great itinerary and great lecturers about the ports and itinerary. Enjoyed a lot the spa services and staff. Excellent acupuncture and massage along with specialty spa service sites for extra (heated tile lounge sites, aromatic showers etc) But the food and specialty restaurants aren't anywhere near as nice as those on Celebrity or others. The tours were exceptionally overpriced and for most of the stops can do better online or just getting off at the port For example, the ship's tour to Tombo reserve for two was $440. Getting off the ship, we with another couple paid for a private car and guide to Tombo for $100/person. Similarly at the Falklands their tours to the penguin sites were +$170/person and getting off th ship there were bus transfers to these spots for $10/person with local guides/content folks all along the way Excellent without the boost in price. Punta Arenas was the one site that you couldn't just get off the boat and find an alternative. So book that one ahead on line. The train to the end of the world in Ushaia is overpriced and sort of like a kiddie ride. For almost $400 for two this too felt like a big rip off. Also be aware embarked at SanAntonio port... very congested and very inefficient. From transfer pickup by Princess to getting on board at SanAntonio took 4.5 hrs. The ship had been booked to leave via Valpariaso and I heard that this is a bigger and more efficient port. So be aware if you are leaving from SanAntonio This itinerary also has a lot of tender access ports. Some of the reboarding facilities were equally chaotic for retender back to the boat. Also since this is a cooler itinerary even for the So American summer month of February around the Cape Horn... a lot of the cruise the pools can't be used dt the cool climates. It's too bad too because there is also a very nice adult only pool/sauna separated from the main pool that I was never able to use for the two week cruise.You would think that they would send ships on such an itinerary with a capacity for covering the pool area like so many other lines have. We had sailed Princess to Alaska too and it was the same thing!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was our first Princess cruise, chosen mainly for the itinerary. We were blessed with amazing weather during the entire cruise so fortunately we were able to visit every port as scheduled. If I had to choose a favourite port it has to ... Read More
This was our first Princess cruise, chosen mainly for the itinerary. We were blessed with amazing weather during the entire cruise so fortunately we were able to visit every port as scheduled. If I had to choose a favourite port it has to be the Falkland Islands for its uniqueness and it's amazing penguins! A trip to Volunteer Point should not be missed. Scenic cruising along the Beagle Channel and the Amalia Glacier with its absolutely breathtaking scenery is also an unforgettable experience. We found the ship´s decor rather depressing, no fabulous Atrium area, and lots of dark, dreary lounges. The entertainment on board was practically non-existent and the theatre shows were quite third rate. Considering this was a 14 day winter cruise with quite a few sea days more effort should have been made by the Entertainment team. Although the majority of the passengers were elderly I am sure they would have appreciated a much more lively, active, professional Entertainment schedule. Dining, main dining room, was essentially a hit-and-miss affair. Some evenings the food was great, whilst for the most part, and especially on formal nights the food was dire. We ate in the Crab Shack one evening and did enjoy that meal. Due to negative comments by other passengers we didn't try the other fee paying restaurants. Food was always plentiful all over the ship, but I think quality needs improving in the main dining room. Our favourite eatery was the International Cafe, a great place for a quick breakfast or a snack, with great teas and coffees. Our cabin on Caribe deck with its extra-large balcony was always immaculate thanks to our amazing stateroom attendant. Loved the extra-big balcony which we made good use of. Didn't do ships excursions - ridiculously overpriced. Would I cruise with Princess again? Yes, if I liked the itinerary. A definite plus was the service we received on-board from all staff which was absolutely amazing and compensated for any negativity experienced on board. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We always wanted to explore more of South America, and this cruise worked perfectly for us. We spent 3 days in Santiago pre-cruise and explored this beautiful city with others who were on ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We always wanted to explore more of South America, and this cruise worked perfectly for us. We spent 3 days in Santiago pre-cruise and explored this beautiful city with others who were on our cruise. We shared a van to the port, San Antonio, and we were very pleased with our cabin. We were on deck 10, mid ship. It was a great location. We always choose a balcony cabin, and enjoy sitting out there when the weather permits. Our cabin Attendant, Angelo, did a very good job of taking care of our cabin. We want to give a shout out to our dining room crew: Oscar and Rawan in the Da Vinci Dining room, early dining, table 455. They always knew our coffee and dessert favorites, and didn't hesitate to please us. The staff in the Horizon Café were courteous, always clearing tables and bringing us coffee and juices. Overall, the ship was in excellent condition, very clean. We enjoyed most of the onboard entertainment, and took 3 ship excursions. Loved the waterfalls at Igusau. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Usual, Excellent Princess Cruise. Princess ships are usually immaculate, with excellently trained staff. Have had plenty of good Captains in our 23 cruises with princess ,but the the presentation and manner of this Captain was the ... Read More
Usual, Excellent Princess Cruise. Princess ships are usually immaculate, with excellently trained staff. Have had plenty of good Captains in our 23 cruises with princess ,but the the presentation and manner of this Captain was the best. His humourous interesting antedotes were daily welcomed. Our favourite places were Ushauai and the Fiords, Cape Horn, Stanley,& Buenos Aires. Weather very changeable from Santiago to Cape Horn and then up to Buenos Aires, So had a few changes of clothing. Most on board were non English speaking but that didnt matter as most of crew speak perfect English. Most Customers were from North/South America. We tend now not to use Princess booked tours, as we just enjoy spending the day in the particular port,and as there are plenting of tours offered shoreside we often take one of those if we feel inclined at the time. Overall an excellent cruise and up to the Wonderful Princess Standard. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We are a retired couple traveling on our 13th cruise since 2011, with 60 days on Princess and multiple cruises on 4 other lines. We enjoyed the itinerary even more than we anticipated and the staff was attentive and provided very good ... Read More
We are a retired couple traveling on our 13th cruise since 2011, with 60 days on Princess and multiple cruises on 4 other lines. We enjoyed the itinerary even more than we anticipated and the staff was attentive and provided very good service, but I think the Emerald is showing it's age. There were water, communication system and anchor problems although all were fixed pretty quickly. The food was consistently good, but never fabulous, even in the Crown Grill. The beef and fish dishes changed names and presentation, but tasted pretty much the same from dish to dish. We saw one performance in the theater the first night-- a guest show from Buenos Aires-- but it was terrible. We never went back to the theater though we have enjoyed the Princess singers and dancers in the past. Cecelia and Fernando, the Tango dancers in the piazza, were fabulous. Both Julio Delgado, the destination lecturer,and Angela Kelly, the enrichment lecturer, did a great job. Their information added great value to our cruise--something we have enjoyed on all our Princess cruises. We also like the complimentary Princess-at-Sea Wi-Fi system for keeping in touch with one another and having the daily schedule on our phones. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
It seems like Princess has decided not to prioritize customer service. This trip felt more like working with an airline than a cruise line. The guest relations staff was not empowered to do anything when a problem arose. The food was ... Read More
It seems like Princess has decided not to prioritize customer service. This trip felt more like working with an airline than a cruise line. The guest relations staff was not empowered to do anything when a problem arose. The food was mediocre. The entertainment, with a few exceptions, was terrible. The director of dining was abrasive. The decor was dated. The tendering was poor. Some of the scheduled events did not occur because the cruise director staff did not show. There was virtually nothing in the way of activities for our children. (Ages teen through young adult.) It was also odd that they had a series of enrichment lectures about serial killers. Why would that be a topic at all, never mind almost every day. On top of it all, you had the usual high pressure sales tactics (spa products, health products, art). Because of the poor training and customer service, the ship was simply not designed to give even the suite passengers anything extra. We made the most of our trip mainly by creating our own fun, designing our own excursions, etc. We also found out during the trip that numerous passengers were upgraded to Platinum, which was good for them, but further diluted the benefits of being Platinum, Elite, or Suite. For example, the evening cocktail party did not offer any complimentary drinks and snacks that were no better than what could be obtained elsewhere. Even the staff who helped suite guests with disembarking was rude. Christmas/New Year's is always a little hectic, but this was unbelievable. Also note that despite the cold weather, there is NO INDOOR POOL. The outdoor areas were almost unusable for the majority of the trip. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
I had a great cruise on the Regal princess in April 2017. Since then, Princess raised my cost for a bottle of Korbel Champagne with tip from $23 to $39.10. That is a 70% cost increase! They raised wine prices greatly and did away with ... Read More
I had a great cruise on the Regal princess in April 2017. Since then, Princess raised my cost for a bottle of Korbel Champagne with tip from $23 to $39.10. That is a 70% cost increase! They raised wine prices greatly and did away with their wine card program which allowed you to pre-purchase a number of bottles of wine at a discounted price. I really think they blew it as the reasonable wine prices of the past were a very positive point of distinction. i talked with a Canadian couple that was devastated by the loss of the wine card program. They noted that their Canadian dollar didn't go far and that the wine card program had allowed them to enjoy a bottle of wine nearly every night on past cruises. They said they could no longer afford wine with the new extremely high prices and would have to look at other vacation options. In the Elite lounge, the drink of the day price was increased 30% from $5 to $6.50. It is cheaper to drink at happy hour (whose prices are about twice what you would pay on land at happy hour). Throughout the ship service was great. Food quality was good though some favorites (parm bowls and medallions of beef (on the everyday menu) are gone. Hamburgers replaced the medallions of beef in the formal dining rooms. Escargot was offered once on the 17 day leg of the trip but not on the following 14 day segment. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, we like taking cruises during Christmas and New Years. We have been on the Emerald before in 98 i had hoped it had been upgraded more than it has our Suite had one of the new Princess beds which was ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary, we like taking cruises during Christmas and New Years. We have been on the Emerald before in 98 i had hoped it had been upgraded more than it has our Suite had one of the new Princess beds which was nice but the couch was worn out and very uncomfortable TV system needs to be upgraded to interactive and larger TV's in Suites. Bathroom i would do away with Tub put in bigger shower and double sinks. We had the new club class dining venue which was nice never any wait and great service unfortunately the food on this trip was a 5 out of 10 at best. Breakfast in the Crown Grill for Suite guests was the best meal the buffet was pretty bad, we only went a couple of times, overall this was not Princess at its best! We are Elite with Princess and will just try her again, but not on the Emerald unless they make major upgrades, Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
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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