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12 Princess Emerald Princess Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Transatlantic

Excellent in every way! Boarding was fast and efficient; luggage delivered quickly; room steward ("D" as he wanted to be called) was nearby to greet us and explain what he was going to provide and asked if we had any special ... Read More
Excellent in every way! Boarding was fast and efficient; luggage delivered quickly; room steward ("D" as he wanted to be called) was nearby to greet us and explain what he was going to provide and asked if we had any special request. Fantastic service. Cruise was a combination of celebrations my wife and I usually celebrate (birthdays, anniversary) as we do not do anything special during the year. Cruising is our time for the celebrations we share with other passengers. One of our stops was in Casablanca, Morocco. I was stationed there with the Navy in 1971 thru 1973 at a location north of Casablanca called Sidi Yahia near Kenitra. Wanted to show off the country to my wife. Was a good experience for her. The activities were plentiful and there was plenty to do. The sea days my wife was able to do some quilting project and I was sitting nearby reading or working on a project. All of the crew and officers were friendly and very helpful. The only glitch was disembarking and clearing customs in Florida. We were held in the lounge for an extra 45 minutes or so. No fault of the Princess Cruise line. Will do another one with them again within a year. We try to do at least on cruise a year. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Chose this cruise because of great port diversity: Rome, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Athens, Santorini, South France, Barcelona, Morocco and more. And Because we always have enjoyed Princess and specifically the Emerald. Room was great, see ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of great port diversity: Rome, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Athens, Santorini, South France, Barcelona, Morocco and more. And Because we always have enjoyed Princess and specifically the Emerald. Room was great, see below. cabin steward outstanding. Ship has been updated nicely. Service in main DR was outstanding. Unfortunately the food was terrible! which was a big disappointment for my three travel companions and me. I have been on 48 Princess Cruises, and the reason we have gone so many times over the last 30 years was because we always loved the cuisine. Princess always had a good amount of Italian influence in the menus and food prep, now it appears to be influenced by English and Australian chefs. Menus were unappealing. Beef in the DR was very tough. Marinara sauce for Pasta and Pizza was terrible, so that knocked out choices we normally would have liked. Sent several meals back which is not something I have done in the past. Many dinner choice felt like they were a lunch choice. I feel like Princess is trying to attract new clients with their new menus and themes, but may loose their solid base, if the food continues in this direction. Waiters were outstanding, but the food they could not do anything about. Ports and shore excursions were great. Two production shows were great, two were boring. Comedians and Vocalists average other then Steve Kellwodd who was great. Love Lado strings duo in atrium every day. Enrichment lecturer was very good. Have a few more Princess cruises booked, hope to see an improvement. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Grand Mediterranean cruise and TA from Barcelona to Florida. Almost too many ports for us seniors. Fantastic ports except Morocco. Princess shore excursion was awful. Tour guide went on a political rant and brought us back 2 hours ... Read More
Grand Mediterranean cruise and TA from Barcelona to Florida. Almost too many ports for us seniors. Fantastic ports except Morocco. Princess shore excursion was awful. Tour guide went on a political rant and brought us back 2 hours early. Princess gave us 25% non refundable onboard credit. Remodeling of buffet was very good. Hand washing stations, more selections, better layout. Never congested. Back areas had specialty breakfast and lunches. Evenings back areas were a low cost specialty restaurant. Or overflow seating. New tables and chairs. Rooms and public areas had new carpets. Wall mounted tv. Shelf where tv used to be had an outlet so we used it as a charging station and storage. Room still had small table and we were able to get barrel chair. Chair Appeared to be brand new. New pain and varnish on patios. Good overall maintenance on ship. Food in dining room was unchanged. Menu repeated after 2 weeks. On Mediterranean leg, 2 restaurants were anytime dining, but on TA cruise one dining room was anytime and second became anytime at 7:30. Great waiters. Fairly fast service. Morning staff in buffet was often minimal in back areas. Often took 10 minutes to get coffee and juice or table cleaned. Pizza area much improved with larger selection Planks meat restaurant was $12, tons of food, good desserts. Crown Grill was very good. Only went there because we had so much OBC. Princess has cut entertainment staff. On cruise a year ago there was a cruise director, assistant, 4 junior, and activities director. This time cruise director, 3 junior, no evidence of activities director. Seemed like lots less activities. Teen center was opened afternoons on TA due to no kids on cruise. Very popular. Would live to see it continued. Production shows were all repeats even though it was 18 months since last cruise. Good variety of entertainment. Kory was very popular in crooners. Elite access for tenders was very fast. Don’t know about regular travelers. Took private tours mainly, so can’t evaluate tours except Morocco, very poor, azores very good. Had electrical problem in room and repaired quickly. Elite laundry took 3 days due to large number of elite. Done very well with no damage. Recommend both itineraries even though almost too many ports, especially on Europe part and when the 2 are combined. We had 6 days of ports in a row. Booked as 2 cruises to get more OBC Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We did a 40 day 3 back to back cruises from Rome To Los Angeles. The regular Rome to Barcelona, Reposition Barcelona to Ft Lauderdale, then Panama Canal Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles. We did a Princess excursion at each stop. Overall ... Read More
We did a 40 day 3 back to back cruises from Rome To Los Angeles. The regular Rome to Barcelona, Reposition Barcelona to Ft Lauderdale, then Panama Canal Ft. Lauderdale to Los Angeles. We did a Princess excursion at each stop. Overall weather was perfect, we did have rain in Greece, and a stop in France was cancelled due to winds and rain, but overall given the time of year we were very lucky! The ship did list one morning in high winds off of Europe. We originally chose Any Time Dining, but liked our waiter Roberto and assistant Maria so much this was changed to Fixed for the last 2 cruises. They were very good to us each night, many nights we were the only diners they had (apparently not busy at 5PM seating, noticed lines at 7). Had coupons for the Curtis Stone Restaurant, service was good, food was so so, and apparently they serve the same food each night. Went to Crown Grill 2 nights, and enjoyed our meals there. We had a balcony room, but they moved us at Ft. Lauderdale, we tried to see if room could remain changed, but apparently someone else booked it before us. Both rooms were quiet, one on 15th fl, front of ship, the other 10th fl (Aloha) rear of ship. Both were very quiet. Cabin attendents on both were good, the first was much better than the second, but I think it is a personality thing, as everything got done. Food was good, but seemed to get much better on the Panama Canal Cruise for some reason. Embarkation in Rome was good, embarkation in Ft Lauderdale was terrible. In Ft. Lauderdale all passengers had to disembark for authorities to check the ship. Princess started checking in passengers, and went to lounge, but ship was not cleared to board yet, causing the passengers to be literally crammed in the lounge after check in for at least an hour before boarding. We did all the Princess excursions, and liked all of them except the city tour in Mexico. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Great ship we ate any time dinning and we were lucky to have a great head waiter and waiter and his assistan. were the best. The food was extremly good and we really enjoyed our time on board The shows were really good and the ... Read More
Great ship we ate any time dinning and we were lucky to have a great head waiter and waiter and his assistan. were the best. The food was extremly good and we really enjoyed our time on board The shows were really good and the entertaiment in the lounges were excellent. We had fun in the CaSSINO . wE THOUGHT THAT WE MIGHT HAVE FOUND THE 6 DAYS AT SEA TOO MUCH BUT WE ACTUALLY ENJOYED IT. Once we reached our first stop we were ready to get off the ship. We took a tour and explored the Azores. The next day was a sera day and a day to rest. Then we reached Funchal and enjoyed exploring. The next stop was casablanca. we had been ther befor and did not like it so we stayed on thbe ship. It was a very relaxing day.Then we wer on to CADIZ and we took a tour to Seville. It was a very interrsting but tiring day. Then was Malaga. Really beautiful we took the Hop on Hop Off Bus and really enjoyed the day. Last stop Barcellona and what a sto. We spent three days there and really explored the city. We really loved the trip Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I am new to princess cruises, and they made a good 1st impression as far as the ship, crew, food and itinerary. The only complaint i had was embarkation at fort lauderdale port. First, boarding was running late, apparently because it ... Read More
I am new to princess cruises, and they made a good 1st impression as far as the ship, crew, food and itinerary. The only complaint i had was embarkation at fort lauderdale port. First, boarding was running late, apparently because it took them too long to get everyone off the previous sailing. I say start charging passengers $100 for every 15 minutes they're late disembarking & that'll get them off! also, i can understand princess wants to make their elite and higher loyalty passengers feel special, but it felt highly disrespectful to the rest of us to make us wait in the boiling hot sun for an additional 30 minutes or more while they all lined up & were all allowed enter the building 1st, before any of us were allowed to enter. Even people who arrived 30 minutes or more after we did were allowed to join that line & they all had to be allowed in before they would begin letting our line enter the building! it started things off with us being angry and resentful. After that, it was well organized and went rather quickly. Anyway....on to the good stuff...day 1: as soon as we embarked, we went for lunch at di vinci's, which was very good. My balcony cabin, baja505 deck 11 starboard side closer to aft, was great. There was plenty of space and storage. The beds were very comfortable. There's an open closet area with a tall cabinet of shelves next to it, and i loved it. Bring wire hangers so you'll have tons of hanging space for clothing. The bathroom was ok. Small shower, but at least the curtain curved out. Bring an over the door plastic shoe holder, so you'll have plenty of toiletry storage space, since there's limited vanity/shelf space in the restroom. The balcony was nice and private. I could look down on balconies on decks 9 and 10, but mine was covered. My parents were in dolphin201, a deck 9 starboard forward mini suite. They had an extra living room area with sleeper sofa, and their balcony extended out a little further, but it was 1 of those uncovered ones without privacy. We did not attend the show that night. Dinner was just ok, i had the curtis stone chef special fish stew, which was bland. Dad had texas chili, which was very bland, as was the cheese tart. Day 2: i was disappointed that breakfast at divinci did not include grits. I'm a southern gal & love me some grits! Later i found out they had them at the buffet. Breakfast at divinci's was the same pretty much every morning, so that got a little monotonous. Lunch at divinci's, london grill and mussels with rice pudding dessert was all delicious. Dinner at michelangelo: shrimp was amazing, as was the chocolate journeys dessert that they offer several times during the cruise. Always order the chocolate journeys dessert when it's offered! During the day i tried to go to the serenity adult pool area off of the spa, but it was too crowded. There were tons of people in the pool & no loungers. It's a small area. The pool area on deck 15 with live music was pleasant, not overly crowded & there were plenty of loungers. I purchased the internet special 600 + 40 bonus minutes for $199 & it was worth it. It lasted me the 2 weeks. We tried to use the princess @ sea app for free on board, but it was pretty much useless for sending messages to each other, since there's no notification when you have a message. You have to be on it, looking at it to know. So we gave up. Comedian george casey from ireland was funny that night, clean humor that night. Day 3: breakfast at divinci's was disappointing. Mom said her fried eggs tasted like bad grease. I ordered smoked salmon & they never brought a bagel & then looked at me funny when i asked for it. The menu said smoked salmon with bagel & cream cheese. We tried to buy inch of gold in the atrium area, but it was super crowded & the 1 employee insisted on making each individual item right there, which took forever, as he moved at a snail's pace! We kept asking him why he doesn't take the orders like they do on every other cruise & have people pick them up later & his reply was that "it's not crowded right now, so this is how we do it." we replied, "yes it is crowded, we're all waiting & don't mind coming back for our orders." he wasn't listening, so we gave up for 1st time & came back later when we were the only ones there & he made our items for us at that time, which took forever & by the time he finished, there was a large crowd waiting & waiting. It took us over an hour of standing there waiting to get our 4 items. We tried to have tea time at divinci, but it was very crowded, since they seat people in only 1/2 of the restaurant. So we were told they didn't have a table for 2 and were turned away. Dinner was good, and the show did not interest us that night. We do not like broadway musical style shows or motown reviews and such. Day 4: breakfast at divinci, the usual eggs, bacon & toast was acceptable. Lunch: fruit mist fried seafood mixture, greek salad & chimichanga were delicious. We attended 3 lectures that day & they were very interesting. Us involvement in grenada, an art talk & the video showing emerald princess' 12/15 dry dock. The comedian david copperfield wasn't our favorite. If you're into immature fart humor, he's your guy. I don't remember dinner, so it must have been just ok. The way they work dinner, is if you have a set time or go before 7:30pm, you dine at divinci. If you dine earlier & my time dining, you can go to michelangelo. Day 5: breakfast at divinci: frittata with italian bread & sausage was good. We attended 2 lectures: us foreign aid & porta delgado sao miguel azores info. Both lecturers were informative and enjoyable. Lunch at the buffet wasn't bad at all. I usually avoid buffets like the plague, but this 1 was actually pretty darn good. I spent a good deal of time in the jacuzzi, very relaxing. Afternoon tea at divinci: we got there early so got a table for 2. They serve teas, scones, cookies & small sandwiches. You can also grab small eats & desserts at the international cafe. Several times i went there for beef & guinness pie or a small quiche. Dinner at michelangelo was surf & turf. Yummy. George casey the comedian was good again. Not repetitive. Day 6: the usual breakfast at divinci. We attended a lecture about the vikings. Very interesting. Lunch at divinci: goulash & spoetzel - delicious! Pastries at international cafe were a great late afternoon snack. There's also gelato: 3 for $1.50 & they're great! You can purchase 15 specialty coffees for $31 punch card. Dinner: lobster! And crab cake. Chocolate journeys dessert - woohoo! The show that night was so you want to be a rock star in explorer's lounge - it was fun, like karaoke. I think there was something going on in the princess theater, but we were usually not interested & spent most of our time at the explorer's lounge shows. No wonder the princess theater is small. They don't really expect everyone to attend those shows i guess. Day 7: we attended a very interesting lecture about henry the navigator. Lunch at the buffet was all kinds of seafood: fish & chips, fried scallops, peel & eat shrimp, mussels. It was all good. Dinner at michelangelo: sezhuan shrimp very good, beef stroganoff very good. No show that night. Day 8: we were disappointed that we had to bypass the azores due to bad weather. We had an extra sea day as we headed straight for lisbon. 2 lectures that afternoon: the marshall plan & the olympics. Lunch at international cafe and chatting with fellow guests. Don't remember dinner. The show we attended that night was karaoke in explorer's lounge. This is where i stopped my day to day notes, so i will just talk about our excursions & what i remember. Lisbon: we took the excursion to the cathedrals at fatima. It was the whole reason we & a couple hundred other cruisers were on this trip - to make the pilgrimage to fatima. It was fantastic. Our guide spoke very good english & was informative on the drive there. They took us on nice buses & we were well organized. They dropped us off right there & told us what time to be back, and that allowed us plenty of time to attend mass, walk around, view both cathedrals & do a little bit of shopping in the charming town & have coffee & pastries at a local shop. This was our favorite excursion. Note: we found our there were 2 priests on board & they volunteered to hold daily mass. The 1st day was in the hearts & minds room, which was way too small. We brought it to the attention of guest services, that we needed space enough for well over 100 people, and they very quickly arranged for us to have a large lounge area each morning. They were very professional and accommodating. Bilbao spain: we took the excursion to the old city. Our tour guide spoke very good english & gave us good information about the area. We stopped at a city park up high for a wonderful photo opp of the river & the guggenheim museum. She led us on a tour of the old city & our tour included wine & appetizers at an outdoor cafe in a central plaza. Delicious. We took off after a while & left the group to sightsee & shop on our own for a while. Then the bus took us to look at the guggenheim - there wasn't enough time to actual visit the museum, which was a shame, but i was happy to at least see it. I've seen so many photos of it online, it was cool to see it in person. The sculptures outside were beautiful. La havre: we opted not to take the excursion to the beaches at normandy & the cemetery, because we were in france a few months earlier & went there. We took a cab to a beautiful old fishing village called honfleur. We loved it! Our cab driver dropped us off in town center & agreed to pick us up 3 hours later. That was plenty of time to walk the cobblestone streets, see the lovely park, do some shopping, visit the church, etc. It was a lovely town, and the people were very nice. The only bummer time was having to go through an immigration check several days before arriving in southampton. Unfortunately there were only 2 officers on board & 1 called in seasick the day we stood in line for almost 2 hours with nearly 1/2 the ship passengers. 2 days later, both officers were available & it was just as bad for those passengers, since it was the last chance & there were so many people being checked by 2 officers. It sucked, but ended up making disembarkation super easy in southampton. Disembarkation at southampton was so easy, since we carried off our own luggage. We literally just walked off & left the terminal, since we'd already been through immigration days before. We had pre-arranged a cab to london gatwick airport, which took 1.5 hour & was a pleasant ride. This was my 1st princess cruise, and i can't wait to cruise with them again. The emerald princess was gorgeous - one of my favorite ships so far. With other cruise lines cutting back on food quality & no longer offering lobster night, it was nice to have it on princess. I was thrilled with my treatment by princess when booking this cruise. I originally booked through my travel agent & paid the single supplement for an inside cabin. When prices went down & i contacted my agent to upgrade to a balcony, princess understood that i had basically paid retail for the cabin, so they treated me the same as if i'd booked directly through them & gave me double onboard credit, which ended up covering the single supplement. That was awesome & i really appreciated it! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was our 23rd cruise with Princess. Embarkation was in Rome for a 7 day Med. cruise followed by a fourteen day transatlantic(our first) leaving from Barcelona. We were concerned after reading reviews which were not too positive. We ... Read More
This was our 23rd cruise with Princess. Embarkation was in Rome for a 7 day Med. cruise followed by a fourteen day transatlantic(our first) leaving from Barcelona. We were concerned after reading reviews which were not too positive. We should have known better, everything was just fine and lots of things were great. 1800 passengers on this voyage had six or more cruises with Princess. Do the nay sayers figure all these people have nothing better to do with their money? Sure the ship is eight years old and is decorated in the standard Princess style but little or no signs of aging or neglect and certainly nothing worth putting pen to paper about. No surprises in our cabin and our steward was extremely professional. He addressed all his passengers by their name every time they met from day two forward. We always do late seating in MDR. We like the routine, especially on port days. Our serving team was nothing short of outstanding. Sometimes the food was slow coming out but they told us why and kept us informed through the whole process. Food quality was great, in part because our servers always steered us towards the best choices on the menu and away from those that weren't quite up to expectations (a plus for fixed dining). If we weren't enjoying something our servers knew it and got us to try something else and if we loved it a second was always available. Yes the shrimp are small, so what. is it really worth complaining about? Palermo,Salerno,Livorno,Genoa,Barcelona,Valencia,Malaga,Seville,Lisbon and Madeira were our stops before hitting Florida. All ports were great but you have to do your homework for excursions. Many ports were great to just get off the ship and walk, several others had shuttle buses into town. Street cafes everywhere and language was never a problem. Entertainment is always a wild card on these cruises. This cruise was no exception. It was ok but just ok. Cruise Director and his staff did a good job despite being peppered with complaints about shows being too early or too late which he handled very well. Captain was amazing. He was evident throughout the cruise and was very approachable. He did a one on one with the cruise director in front of a packed theatre followed by a Q and A from the crowd. First time we have ever seen this and it was great. Embarkation and disembarkation could not have been more smooth.(they have this one nailed on every cruise) We had a great time on this cruise and the seven day transatlantic just flew by. Weather was amazing, calm, warm, a little rain, but hey, this is the mid Atlantic in October. People have to lighten up. This is mass market cruising, it is not five star dining, nor is it Broadway quality entertainment, but we feel they're doing a great job for the price. Can't wait to get on the Star Princess in March. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This review covers a 10 day Southern Caribbean cruise and a 15 day trans-Atlantic cruise. My wife and I have trusted Princess Cruises with providing high quality, memory-making holidays for many years and this cruise did not disappoint . ... Read More
This review covers a 10 day Southern Caribbean cruise and a 15 day trans-Atlantic cruise. My wife and I have trusted Princess Cruises with providing high quality, memory-making holidays for many years and this cruise did not disappoint . On the Caribbean cruises sailing we were in a group of 9 friends who have met monthly for 40 years for dinner at each others homes. While we cannot speak for the others, we must say we had an absolutely wonderful cruise and look forward to our next Princess cruise experience. Once again Princess exceeded our expectations regarding food, service, onboard activities, friendliness of the crew, and itinerary. We do not know how Princess keeps up their high standards but we are so glad to be the recipients of such attention to detail and professionalism. Embarkation: The port is crowded on turnaround day but we did not wait long to board. It appears that a number of hotels in the area have ceased providing complimentary transportation to the pier and now a contracted provider is used for this purpose at a $6 or $8 per person fee. Check-in went smoothly, we logged our wine onboard quickly. A jovial port hospitality person entertained us with jokes and stories while waiting for the gangway to open. Our walk aboard was smooth with numerous Princess employees welcoming us to the ship. It was a great start to the cruise. Cabin: Spotless and neat with a great first impression. We met Karn, our cabin attendant, right away and knew from the start we were going to be well looked after. We have always thought very highly about our cabin attendants but Karn turned out to be the best we have ever experienced. Not once did we have to ask him for anything, he seemed to know what we were going to request before we spoke to him. The cabin was constantly refreshed with basic supplies and amenities. Great location amidships, we felt no ship pitching motion and only a slight roll on a few occasions. Crossing the Atlantic was like crossing a lake! The oversized balcony was great for enjoying our daily breakfasts and lunches both of which were brought up from the International Café. Food: Dining was superb in both food quality and service. One of our group is on a gluten-free diet and each evening the section head waiter came by to discuss her dinner option for the following evening. The section head waiter visited with us each evening to check on our satisfaction with our meal choices. We heard no complaints from our friends and we thoroughly enjoyed our meals. We bought a "silver 12 bottle" wine package for this sailing and the subsequent one and it lasted the entire 25 days we were at sea. The soups were amazing, the starters varied and beautifully presented, the salads fresh and appealing, and the entree's whether meat, fish, or fowl, were all excellently prepared. We usually stuck with the sorbets or berries for dessert but enjoyed the crème brulee's and a black forest torte on a couple of occasions. Activities: We participated twice in the Boutique Fashion Shows organized by Ana Paula from Calypso Cove and had a lot of fun doing that. One of us joined the Princess Pop Choir and the rehearsals were fun and the three performances in the Piazza were crowd pleasers. Good job by Corinne from the Cruise Director's staff for getting the group of 30+ singers to perform confidently. We also took some Spanish language classes from Yris. We intend to do all of these activities on future cruises. Cruise Director: How fortunate we were to have Kelvin Joy as our CD! This was our 4th and 5th sailing with him and in our opinion he is the best CD in the Princess fleet. What sets him apart from the others is his spontaneity, the ability to go with whatever his audience gives him, his on-stage presence which seems fresh even though one can tell he's told the same stories repeatedly, and his willingness to stop and chat as he passes through the ship. He's incredibly funny at music trivia events and has a quick wit. His staff was a lot of fun especially Yris who was our Spanish instructor. We've sailed with her before and she remembered us, greeting us with hugs every time we met her. Boutiques: The young men and women who work as Boutique staffers were so much fun to visit with and get to know. Ana Paula, Charlotte, Jerome, Kurt, Natalia, Kristina, Lujpco, Gabriella, and Daria, in Calypso Cove, Facets, Meridien Bay, and Essence are all wonderful ambassadors of Princess. They were so helpful with our decision making and never once exerted any pressure on us to purchase anything. We visited each one at least once daily and they all contributed to the very positive experience we had on our holiday. Entertainment: Even though we've experienced most of the stage production shows in the past we enjoyed the shows again and admired the skills and talents of the orchestra, singers and dancers. We thought the singers and dancers were the best we've seen in recent years. The headliners were quite good with one exception. Pianist Maria King was phenomenal, with a wide range of music from classical to country. We could listen to her play every evening. Comedians Tom Briscoe and George the Irish comic were very funny. Saxophonist Oli Nez put on a great show. We did not care for Gary T. Carpenter's comedy act at all. The movies on TV were surprisingly good. Watching a movie at MUTS was a bit challenging at times and we think seat location has a lot to do with movie enjoyment outside. Popcorn and milk and cookies are a nice touch at MUTS. Piazza entertainers amazed us with their talents but that is a tough venue to perform in as there really isn't enough room for spectators and some onlookers are not very respectful to the performances. We enjoyed a number of game show events in Explorer's Lounge with the Marriage Game, the Yes/No Game, Majority Rules Game, and the various music and other trivia games being our favorites. Any activity hosted by Kelvin was a hoot.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Our first cruise on Princess was an overall wonderful experience but it did not get off to a good start. IcelandAir lost misplaced my luggage and didn't feed us to se arrived at the Embarkation area a few minuts before it opened at 8 ... Read More
Our first cruise on Princess was an overall wonderful experience but it did not get off to a good start. IcelandAir lost misplaced my luggage and didn't feed us to se arrived at the Embarkation area a few minuts before it opened at 8 AM. Coffee, tea and water were provided but nothing else. Note to Princess - when you agree to transfer passenger thate early - do something instead of letting them sit, starving and bored for nearly 4 hours. We chose amid-level interior cabin for the expected rough Atlantic crossing this time of year. GOOD IDEA. No one expected us to run into Tropical Storm Katia, but we all survived. Good stateroom (and excellent Steward Ricky)but I hadn't noticed it was equipped with bunks which we didn't need. They necessitate setting up the beds as bunks. Food was good overall, a few things bland, but everything was enjoyable. But the Horizon Buffet was ALWAYS crowded in the serving line - like a cattle call. Too small for the number of people served. The DaVinci and Michaelangelo dining rooms were great, the staff very attentive. We chose anytime dining and were pleased with that option. Entertainment was uneven. I enjoyed the singing and dancing production numbers, but when they're repeated the next night, what's to do. The theater was too small, plush but not comfortable. Plus the crowd gets there 30 minutes early or there are NO SEATS. Frequently had to come back for the 10 PM show. This also happened at popular port talks. Scholarship at Sea speakers were knowledgable but not gifted speakers. I especially enjoyed the Zumba with Pinky, and the Ballroom dancing with Melissa. The best part of the ship was the crew. They were all friendly, helpful and dedicated to everyone having a good time. The ship was beautiful but the elevators were always crowded. The one thing missing was an enclosed pool. The only time I ever got into the pool was the last 2 days as we approached Florida. The morning hosing of the deck and furniture left the furniture wet when we tried to sit outide and eat. The "Movies Under the Stars" is a nice idea in the Caribbean but not in the Baltic and north Atlantic. But the volume was so loud, you had to go to another part of the ship to enjoy the outdoors. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
This was our third cruise on the Emerald, first being Venice/Greek Isles, second voyage. Nothing is like it was on the first cruise anymore. Princess continues to be the only line that does not take contagious/infectious control ... Read More
This was our third cruise on the Emerald, first being Venice/Greek Isles, second voyage. Nothing is like it was on the first cruise anymore. Princess continues to be the only line that does not take contagious/infectious control seriously, thus the blast of Norovirus on the ship. Granted, the staff worked diligently attempting to serve at the Horizon, but there is, on any day, such lack of control, food arrangement, and direction in Horizon, it is utter chaos. Anger and frustration on the part of passengers did not help.This is the only line we cruise that does not have someone at every door insisting on hand cleaner prior to entering any common areas. FOOD: The food was so poor, we stuck to mostly fruit, salad bar vegetables; grain bread and butter, wherever it was hidden. It appeared more people opted for Anytime dining, and lines were staggeringly long waiting to get inside. Service was very slow, and no one ever came back to ask if your meal was OK. Thus, we ate at the Horizon, among dirty plates and no service for even water.Getting past the poor selections, tough meats, uncooked fish, and service, the biggest problem - and one most anyone over 55 hopes not to experience - was the inedible varieties of foods overwhelmed with salt. Everything had far too much salt in it to taste like anything but salt.CROWDS: The ship sleeps more than 3000 people; but there just is not enough room in the common areas, the lounges, nor in the theatre when everyone is out and about. To see a show, you needed to be in a seat an hour prior.Since the ship is so large, you can only get into cargo ports - away from the towns. Shuttles were provided, at a cost each way. Again, we often have shuttles on other lines, but they are provided as a "service" for free.BEDS: We knew the beds were not great from the first cruise, and made phone arrangements prior to cruising. Sadly, one bed tilted toward the floor; the other sank so deeply in the middle we asked for pillows (6) to fill the gap and sleep on. Minimal response from the ship. Our cabin steward was phenominal in assisting and continually apologizing for the situation. SMOKE: Hallways were reaking from smoke coming out of cabins. Why they don't designate one side of the ship for smoking makes one wonder. It is not possible to eliminate the odor of smoke by washing down a cabin "when needed".We were part of 290 CC's, with four M&G with invitations sent to the Captain, etc. We never saw the captain or co-captain; they (unlike other lines for CC) never served appetizers or drinks. Very disappointing as it was obvious we were part of the "masses" and not important as cruisers.PORTS: The TransAtlantic and ports were the best. The Baltic ports were crunched into short port times, and inability to see as much as desired. St. Petersburg was a delight. Can't say enough about our private tours booked through members of CC, and all the organizing that went into the M&G. The one tour we did with Shore Excursions was simply OK; as usual, huge busloads and wasted time getting on and off for a "photo op".This 27 day was chosen for the itinerary, not the ship. Those of us who enjoy much longer cruises, and know it is possible to have much more for your money than what we experienced will look elsewhere. For us, three times and we're out. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
For the first time ever, we arranged our air fare and all transfers through the cruise line. We were the only couple arriving in Fort Lauderdale on our flight, but a nice Princess rep was waiting on us in baggage claim. She loaded our bags ... Read More
For the first time ever, we arranged our air fare and all transfers through the cruise line. We were the only couple arriving in Fort Lauderdale on our flight, but a nice Princess rep was waiting on us in baggage claim. She loaded our bags on a cart, pushed the cart to the curb, and waited with us until our bus arrived to take us to the Embassy Suites hotel. The hotel was very nice and extremely convenient. On embarkation day, the Princess-arranged bus picked us up at noon and made the very short journey to the port. We checked in with no line and went straight to our cabin, which was ready (as contrasted to the last cruise we took--on Celebrity--where we had to wait in public areas of the ship for two to three hours before cabins were ready).The Emerald Princess was immaculate, with no signs of wear or tear anywhere. Our cabin steward, AUJ ("AJ") did a great job of cleaning everything whenever we disappeared from the cabin for a while. We would frequenly see him as we left or came back, and his friendliness, smile, and "have a good day" or "welcome back" were always appreciated.We usually book a mini-suite on Princess, but this time we were offered an upgrade to a full suite (D736 at the rear of the ship). It wasn't free, but we considered the cost to be a bargain considering what we got. The cabin, of course, was about twice the size of a mini-suite and included a whirlpool tub as well as a shower, and the balcony was about four times as large, with a table and four chairs, two lounge chairs, and two side tables--all of wood rather than plastic or aluminum. From Fort Lauderdale to Bermuda, rolled-up beach towels were in the lounge chairs each day. Once we left Bermuda and the weather became much cooler, the towels were replaced by warm, 100% wool blankets.We had read on line that there was a "post" coming up through the balcony of this particular cabin, but we found a photo of it and decided it would be no problem. Indeed, the post is an integral part of the structure of the ship, but it is way towards one side of the balcony and does not in any way interefere with enjoyment of the space. The balcony is on the rear of the ship, and we greatly enjoyed lounging there with the wake passing beneath us. The balcony protrudes from the rear of the ship, with a wrap-around end, so the view is phenomenal.The entertainment was superior. The production shows and comedians were wonderful, but our favorite was Arnie G, who played the piano and sang every night in Crooner's bar. He is a phenomenal talent. In other review, someone made negative comments about the ego of cruise director Billy London. However, he was the best we have had on any cruise, and is a great singer. On several nights he joined Arnie G in performances.We especially appreciated the large number of tables on deck. Whenever we wanted to eat outside, we could find a space to do so without having to balance plates on our laps.Room service meals always arrived at the time requested and were delicous. One of the perks of a suite is breakfast at Sabatini's (the Italian restaurant in the evening). They will prepare pretty much whatever you wish, and the food and service were both wonderful.We had arranged a day in Copenhagen through Princess, and the transfer and hotel were great.All in all, this was a wonderful cruise, and we recommend the Emerald Princess without reservation. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
We are experienced cruisers with over 400 days onboard multiple cruise ships/lines. Although the itinerary was not exotic, we thought that the would provide a better onboard experience. First, I would like to say that we had over 3,000 ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers with over 400 days onboard multiple cruise ships/lines. Although the itinerary was not exotic, we thought that the would provide a better onboard experience. First, I would like to say that we had over 3,000 passengers, but the public facilities were meant for no more then 2500 passengers or less. For example, the Horizon/Lido buffet you had always to share a table with others. If you went to a show in the Princess Theater you had best arrive 30 minutes or more in advance to get a seat. In the gym, treadmills were limited to 20 minutes. The pool seating was also very limited, but we had a lot of cool days so this problem was never tested on this cruise. It almost feels like the ship had a section added for additional cabins. One saving grace is that the ship was well staffed and we actually got our drinks delivered to our table in the buffet. The staff in the cabins and dinning were mostly very good. Food is important on a cruise ship and the food on this ship was very mediocre. As the cruise wore on it went decidedly downhill in the Horizon Buffet. I do not go on cruise ships to have leftovers. For example, they even provided one day for lunch pancake soup. Then they had the same cheese blintzes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The ship itself is well built and glamorous. They are definitely more exciting then say Holland American/Cunard ships. The shops had good merchandise at fair prices. The casino was adequate, but I stayed away as everyone seemed to be losing. The itinerary that we picked had ports of Copenhagen, Oslo, Grennock, Dublin, Belfast, Iceland, Greeneland, and Halifax. Kristiansend was cancelled due to bad weather. More often then not we arrived at 12/12:30 and were expected to depart at 5/5:30 pm. Just not enough time to make a proper visit. Activities onboard the ship at sea were mostly boring. We had one good quest lecturer, but also one very bad one. They had the usual bingo and art auctions, but certainly not enough to keep one stimulated. Their was virtually no news onboard and only published a newspaper towards the end of the cruise. Shore excursions were expensive and we had one very bad experience. This was having a bunch of infirmed passengers who were not able to mover around without wheelchairs. This cost us over 1 hour on an already tight schedule. Lunch was so bad that we got up and ate elsewhere. We feel that their are much better choices out their for cruise ships and always suggest smaller ships. Read Less
Sail Date September 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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