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9 Princess Emerald Princess Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Caribbean - Southern

My father and I went on the Emerald Princess (dubbed the money pit later by me). Our destinations were Rotan, Belize city and Cozumel. The cruse was great except the elaborate prices for anything other than iced tea or water. Also the ... Read More
My father and I went on the Emerald Princess (dubbed the money pit later by me). Our destinations were Rotan, Belize city and Cozumel. The cruse was great except the elaborate prices for anything other than iced tea or water. Also the gratuity that is charged for ordering a drink at the bar. And I have never seen a casino that charged for drinks to players and then charged gratuity to boot (until now that is). The food was average on the buffet and dinner was a 7 out of 10 I would say so not to bad there. The shows were the best part of anything aboard except they let kids sit anywhere and all of the screaming kids accompanied by bad parenting skills were distracting to everyone including the performers. Drink prices if you are not clever enough or are to honest to pour out a bottle of mouth wash and smuggle food coloring /vodka in the mouthwash bottle are $9.50 + $2.95 gratuity for a very small glass - screw driver, Scotch and water so on Wine was anywhere from $7 to $22 a glass depending so no big deal there. I think that's about normal. Beer was $6 per or 5 for $25 about what I pay at a pro game NBD there either. Mixed drinks like the "Isaak" were $15 along with Margareta's and any other frozen mixed drink that required as far as I can tell 2 brain cells to make. I cant figure out why the price difference because the content was the same. $15 for a Margareta and $15 for a Blue Margareta or a long island iced tea which has several shots I think. And last but not least is the shore excursions... Holy Cow!!!!! Looked but not booked... went ashore and got them at least half price from locals as I am used to doing this and I speak the language very well and I tip and tip very well at least 20% according to effort of my provider not because someone makes me do it. swimming with the dolphins was $169 per aboard the ship for 1/2 hour. booked the trip with a local including driver round trip and lunch 2 hour tour was $99 .... for 2 (WAMO). Didn't get to Belize city due to bad seas. ( not the captains fault) But we trolled along to Mexico at 4 knots to waste the day instead of cruising on and spending more time in Cozumel. No itinerary refund BTW just an "We are sorry but thanks for your port and docking money anyway". Unless you just love being at sea and watching daytime shows that are for kids or have kids in them like all of the bars... (who lets their kids in bars with a bunch of old drunks?) Or fantastic night time entertainment (really the best part of the whole ship trip) with again a bunch of screaming brats running wild. (they even let them run wild on formal night in the dining room). Some peoples .. and their children... I am back to flying folks! I'll spend my time and money there not on the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope this helps someone who is thinking about but has never been on a cruse.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Without a doubt, the Emerald is the best cruise ship we have been on during our 21 cruises over many years. We found the crew to be the best by far, with a wonderful dedication to friendliness and good service. The crew we talked with were ... Read More
Without a doubt, the Emerald is the best cruise ship we have been on during our 21 cruises over many years. We found the crew to be the best by far, with a wonderful dedication to friendliness and good service. The crew we talked with were all happy to be aboard Emerald, and felt they were well treated. Our cabin steward (Andy) illustrated this enjoyable attitude with his good sense of humor, and friendly service. The ship itself is well maintained, and our balcony cabin was in very good shape. The extra large balcony on Caribe deck was a bonus, with both sunny and private areas. Food quality was quite good, we had no bad meals in 20 days. Selection in Michelangelo DR was adequate, and the Crown Grill was a very good alternative on a few occasions. We had no problems with Horizon Court buffet for breakfast and the occasional lunch. We enjoyed pizza on deck on several occasions, and soft ice cream at Scoops regularly. The new smoking regulations worked perfectly for us, with no trace of smoke on our balcony. If only the incredibly numerous chair hogs had complied as well with the rules as the smokers it would have been great on deck. Not sure how the chair hogging issue can be resolved. We simply gave up on the pool areas and sought out remote locations for sunning ourselves. We are not MUTS supporters, finding the loud audio on deck inhibits relaxation if you are not watching the movie playing. Could a system of wireless headphones improve the enjoyment of all?? It was a bit annoying that ONLY the MUTS deck area was equipped with padded loungers - seemed like a discount of non-MUTS fans! We will not do a port review, as we have been to all the ports many times, and no longer do tours, preferring to stay on board and enjoy the ship facilities with fewer people on board. Other than the very few items mentioned, it was a wonderful cruise, and we will return to Emerald for our next cruise in 2013.... Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
30th Valentine's Day Wedding Anniversary We did back to back sailings on the Emerald in February - the 6th and 16th - and chose those cruises to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary on Valentine's Day. We had sailed on ... Read More
30th Valentine's Day Wedding Anniversary We did back to back sailings on the Emerald in February - the 6th and 16th - and chose those cruises to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary on Valentine's Day. We had sailed on Princess to celebrate our wedding anniversary four times before so anticipated a really special experience for our 30th. In January 2009 we did 10 day B2Bs on the Emerald with Commodore Romano and considered the Emerald something special. But as they say - things change. This review is for our first cruise, The Southern Caribbean. Embarkation We did B2B sailings on the Crown in January so needed a one night stay in Ft Lauderdale before we boarded the Emerald. The Rodeway Inn had a stay and park and cruise program so we tried that. The rates were good, the room was fine, we signed up for the included transfers to our ship - but we found when we went to the lobby at the 10:30 am designated time that the Rodeway Inn program for cruisers was extremely popular as the lobby was absolutely packed and people were even standing out in the parking area. So it took a bit longer than we expected but our van left for the terminal in about an hour or so. There we learned what the Platinum and Elite "Preferred Check-in" benefit really means. We were directed towards a doorway where we could see some people standing. Leaving those who were not Platinum and Elite sitting comfortably in the terminal, we stood for about 20 minutes in what should really be called the "Preferred Stand Up" line. When the line finally began to move it emptied out into the check-in area. The Preferred Check-in booths had long lines so we went to the Caribe deck booth where the line was shorter. And then onto the ship where we quickly recognized faces of staff we had sailed with before - and all was good and happy again. The Ship and Cabin When we first booked these cruises there were no cabins available for both cruises in the area we wanted, so we had to book different cabins. We tried inquiring a number of times to see if we could avoid the move but it was not to be. So we ended up in the very same cabins we booked - the upgrade fairy apparently was busy taking care of others on this cruise and didn't get around to us. We booked inside cabins amidships on the Caribe deck, and they were in a very convenient location and very comfortable. Our cabin steward was absolutely super excellent. The Emerald was oversold for this cruise - a number of people on our role call got move over offers and some others got great upgrades. The ship was very crowded - painfully obvious on February 6 as it was Super Bowl Night and we learned that we could only watch the Super Bowl in the Explorer's Lounge or MUTS - Emerald management did not obtain a license for in-room viewing according to the purser's desk. (However those on the Crown apparently not only could see it in their cabins but also at Skywalkers according to reviews posted on CC -we should have stayed on the Crown!). I probably don't have to tell you it was a zoo in Explorers and apparently if you didn't get a seat first thing after muster you wouldn't get one later. I stood up for a little bit of the first half but gave up - first Super Bowl I have missed in years. Those that have sailed Crown class ships know how crowded they can get - and the Emerald certainly was crowded. On the Emerald they do things differently than what we have become accustomed to on other Princess ships. For example they don't publish a menu/drink schedule for the Elite Lounge so you have to go up there every day to find out what they happen to be serving - and if you have been there you know some selections are very good and others not so much. In the gym on the Emerald they only have two exercise balls - and every time we were there they were in use. On the Emerald the Captain's Circle Party is held in the piazza. We are used to Captain's Circle Parties held in Club Fusion (on this class ship) where you can sit comfortably and order a drink and have some nibbles before the Captain gives a little speech about what is new with Princess and the most traveled awards are made. Since Princess has a lot of repeat passengers they typically have multiple parties because of the number of people that are invited as well as being able to have separate cocktail parties for those who eat early and those who eat late. But that is not the case on the Emerald - there is only one party and that is at 7:30 pm. That was rather strange for early diners - go to a cocktail party after dinner? The "party" itself was most bizarre. At the beginning there were about 2000 people milling around in the piazza on decks 5 & 6. There were just a few waiters serving the standard Princess free drink tray setup that includes those strange orange and yellow and green drinks and some other watered down mixtures. The poor waiters were mobbed and all their drinks were taken the moment they came past the barriers (apparently the Princess guards tried to keep first time cruisers out of the party - but didn't do a very good job of it) so the mob kept moving to try to find waiters with something on their tray other than empty glasses. And when the soft spoken Captain tried to say a few words the about 800 people kept talking (only 800 because of lot of people left.) It was really sad that those on the Emerald responsible for putting that party in the piazza did not even think about how many of those invited could not stand comfortably for 45 minutes straight as there were very few places to sit available. So this is the way Emerald management chose to "show how special our repeat passengers are"? If you have sailed Princess for years you might recognize it was exactly like what used to be called the welcome aboard party. Of course in those days the Champagne Waterfall was later in the evening on formal night after the Captain's farewell cocktail party and dinner. Also on the Emerald they don't do a most traveled passenger luncheon - they just have a short cocktail party with some nondescript appetizers passed around. Pardon my rant but on the Emerald they are changing the very reasons we have chosen to prefer sailing with Princess over the years. It just seemed that they were cutting corners on all kinds of activities and it seemed really cheap. Princess used to be moderately elegant and sophisticated - not so on the Emerald. We usually don't feel the ship's motion on these big ships but the Emerald was an exception. There was very noticeable side to side motion, even when the seas did not look that rough. The Food Food on the Emerald was ok - some of our favorite dishes weren't as good as they were on other ships. There also seemed to be a problem when you specified how you wanted your steak (or prime rib or rack of lamb, etc.) At times requesting "medium-rare" delivered meat with just a little pink in the middle (medium?) but it might also be blood red (very rare?) at other times. We watched an interesting back and forth at the next table where a steak was sent back three times - and then the diner said she only really wanted the vegetables anyhow. Cruising can be both fun and funny. We tried the DaVinci the first two nights, were seated at not so good tables and the noise level in the dining room was very loud. We tried the Michelangelo the third night and were seated at a great table that was somewhat secluded. The waiters were excellent so we asked to have that table again the next night - and it became our regular table for the rest of the cruise. The headwaiters in the Michelangelo were also excellent and we found dinner there became the highlight of each day. The Entertainment The Emerald has the usual cruise ship entertainment - production shows are usually fairly good but the other acts range from great to absolutely terrible. We found them pretty average. The cruise director Billy London had just joined the ship and obviously was having a little difficulty getting adjusted. We usually turn on the TV when we get up and half listen to the Wake Show. Sometimes it is funny, sometimes it is informative, sometimes it is boring, but mostly they are just trying to sell you something. But we usually try to answer the question of the day and write dedications on very special occasions. Billy forgot to ask a question of the day on one day, forgot to give the answer to a question he asked on another day, and did not read any dedications on Valentine's Day - the obvious day we had written dedications for each other for our 30th anniversary. Perhaps there were too many to read but at least he could have said that. So instead of Valentine's Day dedications by passengers for their loved ones they talked about their own personal situations - and the rest of the Wake Show was trying to sell stuff like the spa and shops. They did have a nice renewal of vows ceremony in the piazza that a number of us enjoyed. But rather than the Captain performing the ceremony - it was done by the CD Billy London. But as I have been saying - they do things differently (even strangely) on the Emerald... Disembarkation Since we were doing a B2B we were in-transit passengers so were instructed by a separate letter to meet at the Michelangelo at 10:35 am for processing. We were in the process of changing cabins shortly after 10 when they announced over the PA system that all in-transit passengers should report to the Michelangelo. So we quickly put our stuff in our new cabin and headed downstairs to sit in the Michelangelo for 20 minutes. Then we were herded into the terminal and sat there for 15 minutes. Then we were herded to a line for passport inspection and directed back to the terminal sitting area where we sat another 20 minutes before going back onboard. Since we had just done a B2B on the Crown we were reminded just how differently the Emerald does things - on the Crown it took about 30 minutes for the entire process. Highlights I felt very fortunate to be able to celebrate 30 pretty wonderful years of marriage with my Valentine's Day bride on a Caribbean Cruise. The renewal of vows ceremony was fun and our anniversary dinner was superb. We met some great people. Last Thoughts Many repeat Princess passengers we spoke with on this cruise were disappointed and others even agitated and angry with the changes in the "Princess Experience" being implemented on the Emerald. A major concern was that Princess might implement these changes fleet wide. Was it a terrible cruise and are we saying we will never sail Princess again? Absolutely not. We have 8 cruises booked on Princess between now and spring 2012. However, none of them will be on the Emerald. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
We arrived at the Terminal at 11:45 AM. Check-in was fast. We were in our cabin ten minutes after noon. Our luggage was delivered around 2 p.m. This was our 7th cruise, second on Princess. The other five cruises were of various HAL ... Read More
We arrived at the Terminal at 11:45 AM. Check-in was fast. We were in our cabin ten minutes after noon. Our luggage was delivered around 2 p.m. This was our 7th cruise, second on Princess. The other five cruises were of various HAL ships. BREAKFAST: food and plentiful and tasty. Unfortunately, Princess have not yet discovered the type of toaster that toasts slices of bread on both sides at the same time that we use here in our homes in North America. They have some toaster that works very, very slowwwwwww and toasts on one side only. LUNCH: We chose the buffet-type at the Horizon on the 15th floor. Again, wide choice, good food. DINNER: we chose anytime dining, usually showed up between 7 pm and 7.30 pm. We always requested a table for two. Only twice over ten days did we have to wait for a table, and never more that 10 minutes, even when we were told it would be 20 minutes. We found the food excellent in all aspects, the choices very varried, presently professionally and with a smile. My wife is a fish and sea food addict and she always found everything perfect. I had a fine steak once, cooked medium-rare exactly as requested. Another night I had lamb chops(carrE d agneau) so tasty I had to keep myself from asking for a second plate. We are not sweet dessert afficionados, so cannot comment on those. A few times, I asked for the cheese plate. That was OK but the cheeses were too cold for my taste. My wife and I are knowledgable foodies, still eating at excellent restaurants in Montreal, New York, Miami several times during the year, so we are able to judge when food is just so so and when it is really good. We found very good wines under $30.00 and the bottle was put away for us until another night as we only had half a bottle with each meal. Land tours: first was Magen Bay Beach on St-Thomas - which I very highly recommend. Second land tour was at Dominica, a new tour FALLS OF DOMINICA AND SULPHUR SPRINGS which we enjoyed immensely. Now, Dominica is a poor island but we met the warmest people you could hope for. It is an island of mountains so there often are showers. The tour we took requires one to wear solid shoes as the trails are slippery, going up a side on a mountain and down another side. Being avid outdoor amateurs, we throughly enjoyed that particular tour. Our Guide, Jillian, was a gem of a young lady, patient with our questions and knowledgable in her replies. She spoke good French also as did a few local people we talked to. Nightly shows: We caught 9 out of 10,(we do not go the the hypnotist) and yes, we showed up half an hour before the start. All in all, this was not our last time with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
Good embarkation. Beautiful ship tastefully decorated and well maintained. Good room steward. Average to good dining staff. Slightly below average to above average food in dining rooms. Strange food selections in Horizon Court and other ... Read More
Good embarkation. Beautiful ship tastefully decorated and well maintained. Good room steward. Average to good dining staff. Slightly below average to above average food in dining rooms. Strange food selections in Horizon Court and other Lido deck eateries. Difficult to obtain fruit punch, lemonade, or iced tea except during meal times. This seemed to be part of a master plan to force the passengers to obtain their drinks from one of the many bars. Most bar drinks had very little alcohol, but this was offset by their stiff prices. Burger bar always busy when they were open. Pizza joint always open, but poor selection of pizzas. Would you like cheese or pepperoni? Biggest gripe - After early dining we invariably found that the early show in the theatre was filled 45 minutes to an hour before the show began. Not that the shows were anything special, but most seemed to appeal to the geriatric group on this cruise. The elevators were typically nearly filled with folks in wheelchairs, walkers, and mobility carts, so there was precious little room for folks that could actually still walk. Ok, so we walked and that helped burn some calories. Drink servers were generally difficult to find, took their sweet time and generally exhibited somewhat of an attitude. The cruise director and his staff seemed sophomoric at best and there was little or no "chemistry" between them and the passengers. Some demonstrated a little rudeness when explaining that the theatre was full and there was nothing they could do about it except to advise to try the second showing. Shows in the bars were also almost always filled to capacity 30-40 minutes prior to start of show. In summary, this ship is unable to accommodate this many passengers comfortably. A large portion of what would be the first floor in the theatre was given to a conference center, so even the second showing of most shows were filled to capacity with standing room only or people sitting on steps. This was our first Princess cruise and it will definately be our last. Carnival and Royal Caribbean leave Princess well behind in accommodations, food, and service. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
We left Ft. Lauderdale Dec. 8, 2010. Embarkation was very quick and easy. We were there early, about noon. Our cabin was ready. We went to lunch at the buffet, of course, and it was quite nice. In fact, it was one of the best of the ... Read More
We left Ft. Lauderdale Dec. 8, 2010. Embarkation was very quick and easy. We were there early, about noon. Our cabin was ready. We went to lunch at the buffet, of course, and it was quite nice. In fact, it was one of the best of the cruise. It was chilly, so no pool time. We walked around the ship, comparing it to the Ruby, which we sailed on last year. Very similar. THE STATEROOM: Plenty of storage in cabin and bathroom. Everything worked. Two chairs and a table on the balcony. The bed was terrible -- hard and lumpy. We couldn't sleep the first night. I complained to the purser and we got a brand new mattress, but it wasn't much of an improvement. I ached all over --shoulder, hip, back. After several days, I got an idea. I asked my cabin attendant to put one of the nice quilts under the sheet as a mattress pad. That really helped! Why don't they have the same mattresses as Holland America? Those are great! THE FOOD: Nothing to get excited about. It was all OK, like a neighborhood restaurant, but I didn't have one meal in 10 days that was memorable. We had anytime dining and that was a disaster! So many people signed up for early seating that part of the anytime dining room was taken away and you couldn't get seating until after 8pm without a wait of about half an hour or more. We had to get those buzzers that light up and find a place to sit in the Piazza and wait to be called. We never had that on any ship before. the service was spotty, with ne waiter we called Mr. Grumpy. Only one night was the service excellent. Never had this with Princess. The bread and rolls were excellent, as usual, as was the Love Boat Mousse and cheesecake. As for the lunch buffet, the best I can say is that it was adequate. Very boring. I couldn't even get gazpacho. The same pasta dishes day after day. No interesting or creative cold salads. Tiny sandwiches. Great cookies. The service at the buffet for lunch and breakfast was poor. The attendants spent most of their time in groups chatting and their beverage service was almost non-existant. You had to make an effort to get their attention. The frozen custard at Scoops was wonderful and the grill had great brats. The pizza varied in quality day to day. The hamburgers were pre-cooked and dry. ENTERTAINMENT: Some of it we'd seen before on other Princess cruises. Nothing special. Billy Vader, comedian, needs to retire. His jokes were older than we are. The other comedian was pretty good. The production numbers were average, not as good as those on Royal Caribb. Singers and dancers were good and energetic, but their material was tired. The cruise director has an annoying voice and attitude. He was not as good as his staff Pianists were good as were the other musicians. The cruise staff worked hard and were friendly and helpful. There were the usual shipboard activities, but they are getting really chintzy with the Trivia prizes. No prizes on port days? TOURS: We didn't do many as we've cruised these waters before. The Hot Springs trip in Dominica was great. I also enjoyed the spice tour in Grenada. The snorkeling tours were available on most islands and were very well done. DISEMBARKATION; Very efficient. The paper luggage tags do tear easily, in spite of what Princess says and one of our cases ended up in the unidentified area. Many cases ended up there. All in all, there is no such thing as a bad cruise but we feel that Princess is trying too hard to economize and it shows. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
I will start with a 'pro' in that enbarking in Fort Lauderdale was so much easier than Miami and other ports I have sailed from. My "Elite" roommate jumped on a regular line since there was no special treatment for her ... Read More
I will start with a 'pro' in that enbarking in Fort Lauderdale was so much easier than Miami and other ports I have sailed from. My "Elite" roommate jumped on a regular line since there was no special treatment for her on the 'preferred' line. Our cabin, a mini suite, was very nice and we had a very accommodating steward. I have learned to bring tape & a marker and leave notes on the mirror ... this was very effective when I wanted the mat left on the bathroom floor or the trash can where I found it convenient. Now I must tell you that at least six months in advance, directives were filled out since both of us are hearing impaired and Princess publishes that they have solutions for the disabled which we requested ... it was never acted upon! We had to go to the front desk and then they sent a tech who had never set this up before ... the solution was ludicrous and alarms set off by people walking in the hall. I wound up disabling the whole thing (it was so cumbersome, it took up the entire desk area) Celebrity had no problems in this regard. Closed captioning (imperative since we cannot HEAR announcements) was offered on the TV's but did not work ... I shudder to think what would happen in an emergency!!! This may not apply to you but it could affect a loved one you choose to bring. Elite members are supposed to get 'upgraded toiletries, etc" ... the toilet paper and tissues were like newspaper! Can't imagine if we had a regular cabin and were first time cruisers. The theater was way too small with people standing against the aisles and sitting on the steps!!!!! Entertainment was the worst I have ever encountered. I am a tiny person and with the exception of one pool which I found the next to last day, they were all over my head! The water depth STARTED at 5'3" There is so much more I could say but why bother. The negatives far outweighed the positives so that I will just make certain that I do not use this cruise line again. I had heard only wonderful things from others ... so sorry that I cannot agree. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
We have just returned from back to back cruises on this ship. The first part of the cruise was a southern Caribbean trip and the second focused on the Eastern Caribbean. At the start of the first segment we were told that because of ... Read More
We have just returned from back to back cruises on this ship. The first part of the cruise was a southern Caribbean trip and the second focused on the Eastern Caribbean. At the start of the first segment we were told that because of Hurricane Tomas we would have to reverse our itinerary and so instead of 2 days at sea followed by Aruba we went immediately to Princess Cays. The stop at Dominica was cancelled and a stop at St Kitts was substituted (rather unfortunate because we were due to call there on the second leg anyway). We found the first part of the trip rather rough - we assume because of the bad weather. However this was the first time we had a cabin so far aft (a balcony cabin on Aloha deck) and we were very conscious of the ship's movements and that contributed to the awareness of rolling motion. Problems with our bed Princess needs to inspect beds more often. This was the worst bed we have ever slept on on any ship. When I sat on it I felt the boards under the bed and it was impossible to sleep on it. After several complaints the mattress was eventually replaced. We were on the Emerald Princess in its inaugural year (on a Med cruise)and had no problems but clearly there has been a lot of wear and tear since then. Princess needs to make sure that the beds are up to standard. Food Not as good as on previous cruises. Beef was offered too many times and often we found it hard to find something we liked. Would have preferred more fish or chicken dishes. Some of the formal meals were not good e.g. the pheasant on one formal night was really inedible. Afternoon tea was as good as ever! Smoking Princess needs to rethink it's policy which permits passengers to smoke on balconies. We were really bothered by smoke from the next balcony and on the second leg of the cruise we saw people smoking cigars and a pipe which are supposed to be banned (except in the speakeasy). Music Skywalkers is used as a quiet lounge during the day and we were quite annoyed by the level of loud music which everyone hated. Eventually it was stopped - thanks to the cruise director. Excursions On the whole okay but the selection for Barbados on the second leg was pretty limited. They should add a more upscale beach option - perhaps an hotel on the St James coast. Many people seem to take taxis. Perhaps Princess can be persuaded to give our more information for individual travellers. We discovered later that some passengers on a Celebrity ship which was visiting St Kitts at the same time as we did (on our second leg) had been robbed at gunpoint. This put a bit of a damper on things and made quite a few passengers nervous since it was a ship's excursion. This can happen anywhere but is still troubling. Selling Too many photographers in your face all the time and too much promotion of jewellery etc. which got very annoying. Service personnel We had a great cabin steward - Jose and we really liked the Chief Steward Billy and our waiters Antonio and assistant Carlos. We found excursion staff and some personnel at the front desk were quite rude and unhelpful. Entertainment We had great difficulty in getting seats in the theatre because we had anytime dining and it was always full about 30 minutes before each show. We liked the English lounge singer who was a great expert on Cole Porter and Irving Berlin. Classical quartet was a nice welcome option on one evening in the Explorers lounge. Casino staff were great - we really enjoyed lessons on roulette and blackjack. Overall - a good experience (subject to the reservations expressed above). Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
We (a retired couple) age 56 & 66 had great anticipation about this cruise as my lady partner had traveled Princess before and I had not. She said I would be pleasantly surprised and boy...was I ever. The Emerald Princess is a gorgeous ... Read More
We (a retired couple) age 56 & 66 had great anticipation about this cruise as my lady partner had traveled Princess before and I had not. She said I would be pleasantly surprised and boy...was I ever. The Emerald Princess is a gorgeous ship only matched by the incredible service we received. We arrived in Ft. Lauderdale the night before and stayed at the Hampton Inn on Sterling near the airport, where we not only could park our car for free during the 10 days, but also got a free shuttle transport to the ship the next morning at 10:30am. If you want to park at the dock...there is a parking garage directly across from the ship,and we heard that the daily rate was around $16..but check first. We arrived for embarkation around 11:15 and the process went very smoothly and we were boarded on the ship and in our mini-stateroom D215 around noon. Had a great lunch in the Horizon Court and toured the ship and relaxed most of the afternoon. COMMENT: We were immediately impressed with the smiles and courtesy of the staff when we had questions or asked directions. Princess has done a fabulous job of training their staff and they all seemed so happy on the ship. Our room steward "Jason" was wonderful at anticipating our every desire and could not have been more helpful. Because of turbulent weather...our Captain had to make a port change, so we skipped Dominica and substituted St. Kitts. Our first stop was Princess Cays where we rented a clam shell and floatie. The bay was gorgeous and we had perfect weather. The lunch served on the beach was excellent and overall we had a great day. We were at sea the next day and filled it with many many activities. COMMENT: We were overwhelmed with all the choices of activities that were listed on the daily patter....and we commend Princess for offering so many choices of lectures, dance instruction, movies, demonstrations, etc. There was never a dull moment. It's important to note also...that most of these activities are geared toward the "older crowd". There was even a fabulous presentation by a woman who detailed how she beat cancer through "alternative means" rather than conventional means. Such a wide selection of presentations made it so enjoyable to be cruising. St.Thomas was our next port..and we chose to take the St.John Island Tour which was WONDERFUL!!!. St.John is a beautiful island with gorgeous beaches. Our tour guide did a great job of giving us a grand tour of the island and we want to return for a week's vacation in the future. St. Kitts was our next stop. My partner took the Catamaran snorkeling tour and loved it!!. I took the general island tour and was somewhat disappointed only because there wasn't much to see other than a botanical garden. I was struck as to the difficult living conditions many islanders are in, and it's very apparent that they rely on the tourists for a large part of their economy. Grenada was our next stop and Wow!...what a hilly island. Our bus tour took us to the fort, rum factory and spice facility...and we finished up at a beautiful beach resort for a wonderful lunch. Granada is truly a pretty island...and the natives must have great legs as everything is UP or DOWN! The bus ride was a thrill in and of itself...as our driver navigated us through incredibly narrow and hilly streets missing other vehicles only by inches. The natives were very friendly. Bonaire was our next island, and it was a disappointment, except for the snorkeling which was awesome. I took the island bus tour and really didn't see too much, although our tour guide "Anne" did a wonderful job of explaining all the history of the island. My partner did the snorkeling on the Sea Cow and loved it. She said the reefs and fish were incredibly beautiful. Aruba was our next and final port...and it was by far the best stop. We took an island bus tour and in spite of rainy weather (which is unusual for them), we got to see a lot of the island. The beaches are to die for...and we would also like to return to Aruba for a week's stay at a resort on the beach. We stopped at an Aloe plant which was really interesting and purchase some Aloe products which are wonderful. Our bus driver "Ceasar" was a "hoot" and made the tour even more enjoyable. Our last two days were at sea ...and we just relaxed and enjoyed all the amenities of the Emerald Princess. We took the self debarkation option caring our own luggage and were one of the first ones off the ship. We left the ship at 7:15am and took a taxi to our hotel, picked up our car and were headed to our home in Florida by 7:45. COMMENT: The quality of the food was a step above the food we've experienced on RC, HA and Carnival. We were never crowded in the Horizon Court and we also had "anytime dining" in the main dining rooms which worked fine as we got to meet many interesting people. We were seated immediately most times and it was all very relaxing. Entertainment: This was the one area that was not quite up to the standards on the other cruise lines. The comedian and hypnotist were VERY funny and the ships dance and music group was excellent even without the "glitzie" props. It is strongly suggested that if you want to see the early show in the Princess Theater...that you show up at least 40 minutes before showtime, as the theater is rather small and many people wound up standing. The Fusion lounge was the place to be most nights for great music and dancing. The Explorers Lounge also had great entertainment most nights. OVERALL COMMENT: This truly was one of our BEST cruises, mainly due to the quality of the Emerald Princess. The condition of the ship and the incredible service made it a very relaxing and enjoyable cruise. We honestly don't have any complaints. CONGRATULATIONS PRINCESS...THE EMERALD IS A FABULOUS SHIP!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
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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