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

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
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
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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