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88 Princess Emerald Princess Repositioning Cruise Reviews

This was my longest ever cruise, at 15 nights aboard the Emerald Princess. I got to be reacquainted with the good, so-so, and bad in the 2+ weeks. Embarkation was a nightmare. The inbound arrival was 5 hours late in disembarking. Check ... Read More
This was my longest ever cruise, at 15 nights aboard the Emerald Princess. I got to be reacquainted with the good, so-so, and bad in the 2+ weeks. Embarkation was a nightmare. The inbound arrival was 5 hours late in disembarking. Check in actually stopped, as they had no place to put anymore people without violating the capacity for the fire escapes. Unfortunately, the Los Angeles vendor staff made very few announcements, and what was mad was in that condescending and shouting tone on the PA. After 3 hours of waiting, we boarded to find they didn't keep the dining room open, and that pushed everyone to the buffet. The captain apologized and issued all of us a voucher for $12.00. Being a Panama Canal cruise in early December, the median age was in the 70s. This is either good or bad, depending on your perspectives. The pools were never full, plenty of deck chairs, and never a line for dinner after 700pm! There were plenty of underused spaces on board, so finding a place to chill and relax was NEVER a problem. The Emerald Princess hides her 3000+ guests very well. The Sanctuary up front never seemed to have more than 10 people, regardless of the time of day. The rate is $20 for a half day, and $40 for a full. Great service and the staff will move you from sun to shade as you wish. Princess needs to fix the dreaded nylon curtain situation in the showers. My curtain had mold growing on the bottom. It was addressed immediately and replaced. Crown Grill was excellent, and worth the $29 upcharge in my opinion. The filet mignon was almost butter smooth to cut through! Service was spot on, with the waiter and maitre d checking in frequently. We had anytime dining, and had no issue getting a table for 2, or sharing. If we had a time factor to consider for a show, we let the waiter know in the beginning, and always made it out on time. The cruise staff was great, and truly seemed to enjoy their jobs! On a side note, this cruise did not push BINGO BINGO BINGO every hour like some lines (you know who they are)! [ ] There was a medical emergency on board after leaving Cartagena. Early in the morning a request was made for guests with a certain blood type and donor card to give blood. Mid morning the captain advised we would be diverting to Kingston, Jamaica and offload the ill person. About 2 hours later it was announced their situation was critical and they would be evacuated by helicopter. The crew was excellent on how this was handled! They had obviously trained for this before. Disembarking was rather painless in Ft. Lauderdale. Many were worried about a repeat of embarkation, which didn't happen. I purposely waited to write my review of this for a few days and let my thoughts and views not be so negative. Sadly, it wasn't the standard that I hold of Princess. It was obvious towards the end of the cruise when the staff started mentioning the guest comment cards and reviews. I don't believe in that type of implicit bias. I would have to think a little harder before I would sail on the Emerald Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
To experience the Panama Canal. The dining Maitre"D was delightful, visited each night during the meal. The desert nightly were disappointing. The buffet was very good, much better than the dining room. The quality of the food ... Read More
To experience the Panama Canal. The dining Maitre"D was delightful, visited each night during the meal. The desert nightly were disappointing. The buffet was very good, much better than the dining room. The quality of the food was even better. The Touch of Class in the Wheelhouse Bar was great. They got the guests involved. On breaks would come out and talk to the guests. Took requests when they know the song. Went out of the way to make sure you enjoyed the evening. Wife liked the retail stores, especially Effy. Craig, Roger, Megan and Stefan were so accomodationg and friendly. Thus so was she with our card. Thanks Effy. The ports of call were all new except for Puerto Vallarta, the weather cooperated and enjoyed seeing new places. The trp thru the Canal was the reason for the cruise, what a day that was, gladi always get a balcony, really was used on this trip Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We went on this cruise because it was a good value. 29 days with prepaid gratuities and $1000 onboard credit in a balcony for around $4000 each. It sailed from Barcelona to Los Angeles (home) through the Panama Canal (our first time). ... Read More
We went on this cruise because it was a good value. 29 days with prepaid gratuities and $1000 onboard credit in a balcony for around $4000 each. It sailed from Barcelona to Los Angeles (home) through the Panama Canal (our first time). The ship was refurbished in April. We had not been on this ship before but some people said it was all new inside. The crew was great. Very friendly and they did their jobs well. The food was good in all the venues except Share. We have eaten there on two different ships and been unimpressed both times. Unfortunately, the Crown Grill was just OK. Which is not good if you’re paying $29 each for it. Entertainment was good. The onboard troupe was excellent. Some of the other acts were just OK, but most were very enjoyable. In 29 days we saw quite a variety. The Cruise Director’s staff was excellent. Very entertaining. There was plenty to do onboard. The ship has ‘Medallion Net’ Wi-Fi now. A few days it did not work well, or at all. They gave various reasons for the problems. In the end they refunded 30% of the cost. The ports were fun and varied. Two of our shore excursions were cancelled, which was disappointing. Seeing the Panama Canal for the first time was interesting. We took an excursion in Costa Rica from an onshore company, Odyssey Tours’ ”10 in 1”. It was all day and we saw a lot. There was an immigration problem in Ft Lauderdale and everyone was delayed disembarking. Our tour was rushed because of the problems. When we got back to LA there was problems disembarking again. It took an extra three hours to get off. Both times it was not the fault of Princess (I don’t think). Both the cruise and ship were wonderful. We enjoyed it a lot. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
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
This was a great cruise, with fascinating ports. And a good season to travel, good weather. The service was top notch, best cabin steward and waiters. Really no complaints except for front desk people who were a bit rude. We tried the ... Read More
This was a great cruise, with fascinating ports. And a good season to travel, good weather. The service was top notch, best cabin steward and waiters. Really no complaints except for front desk people who were a bit rude. We tried the Share restaurant and it was fine, something new and tasty. entertainment was fine, except for too loud in the theatre and piazza. I don't like to be deafened. We just had a fine time, and the transatlantic portion was very relaxing. I would have used the gym if I knew it was free, they never say. The main problem we had is that many excursions are not very handicapped accessible. Lots of steep steps to get in buses. None had a wheelchair lift, so some people stuck on the bus most of the time. I wish they had more handicapped options. So many of the people used canes, and we are not considered much. 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
The food quality and selection is not what I have been used to on Princess cruise. Was served French fries with a filet mignon. Being on a Mediterranean cruise would have expected a better selection of seafood and fish. King prawns were ... Read More
The food quality and selection is not what I have been used to on Princess cruise. Was served French fries with a filet mignon. Being on a Mediterranean cruise would have expected a better selection of seafood and fish. King prawns were the size of baby shrimps. Although the MichelAngelo waiting staff was really courteous and helpful. Pedro the head waiter was good to find us nice and enjoyable people to sit with. Front desk service is useless they give you the run around! We were booked on a shore excursion on our day of disembarking but the bus couldn’t carry luggage. It would have been great to visit Mykonos but the rough sea prevent it us to port.... the captain decided for the safety of the passenger to continue our route. I’m glad that he made that call for our safety. Princess didn’t live up to their slogan.... Come Back New! I found that Princess cruise line has been going down in quality over the last 5 years. It not what it used to be. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise as it ended up in Barcelona, after visiting the Azores, Madeira, Morocco, Seville, and Malaga. We had cruised on the Emerald a year earlier and were happy to see improvements (it had recently come from drydock). ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it ended up in Barcelona, after visiting the Azores, Madeira, Morocco, Seville, and Malaga. We had cruised on the Emerald a year earlier and were happy to see improvements (it had recently come from drydock). The upgrades in carpet, wall, flat screen TVs, and the buffet and bars on top were good. We were disappointed they had not yet fully implemented the new internet or on-demand TV. The internet was still terrible. I understand they expect to have those upgrades done by August. We had a mini-suite, as we had before. It was the same as before except for the TV upgrade. It was fine. However, the sofa was old, worn, stained and uncomfortable. Time for a replacement! I have loved Princess beds but this one felt too soft. (and I like soft beds)--time for a mattress replacement, I think. We felt food was a bit better than a year earlier. The pizza, source of endless debate was quite a bit better than the year before. Husband's theory is new, hotter pizza oven. It's still not top gourmet quality but was much better than last voyage. We still love the International Cafe. As always, nice tasty snacks and treats. They were even keeping the almond croissants warm in the oven (so much better that way). There is still too much blatant up selling for my taste, although it is reduced from in the past. The cruise tours were excellent. We often stick with Princess because they seem to have great itineraries and this was no exception. I forget her name but there were excellent destination lectures from a British woman, which were broadcast on TV. They were very well-done. Our cabin steward was one of the best we have ever had and the dining room staff were great. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose because, although this would be my first cruise. the other three people had previous good experiences with Princess. However, all four of us will NEVER sail with Princess again. From booking on there were problems. We were ... Read More
We chose because, although this would be my first cruise. the other three people had previous good experiences with Princess. However, all four of us will NEVER sail with Princess again. From booking on there were problems. We were misled on the use of on board credits; our free premium drink package was not honored until we proved it was legit; food was lukewarm on the buffets while the plates were scalding hot. One real danger to passengers: Princess is very misinformed about passport use. They claimed passports did not need to be carried with you off the ship, and were totally ignorant of when a passport needs to be stamped at entry. Almost got us arrested following their advice. Luckily, quite by accident, we met a Spanish immigration official in Barcelona who gave us the real information. But the real problem was with shore excursions. Be forewarned, Princess will not come to your aid if something goes wrong. Our tour guide went rogue. During the "kidnapping", I tried to call Princess. No phone numbers worked. Their offices were not open. When I finally got someone and gave all the info, including the location,tour number, my name, and all contact info, they hung up and failed to call back. Then for the next five days, they attempted to bury the incident. They never investigated. I forced their hand, and had meetings with all levels of management, including the captain, who took no responsibility and claimed that Princess would never cover up any incident. BTW, after this horrendous experience, I could not leave the ship due to panic attacks until we got to the end of the cruise. I was a prisoner in a billion dollar jail. All Princess staff claimed that no cover up was going on. They never investigated, even 30+ days later and never tried ANYTHING to help. They endangered my life and the lives of 40 other passengers, and showed nothing but neglect and indifference. Keep in mind that Princess Cruises was just fined $20 million dollars for covering up dumping waste in the Caribbean over a five year probationary period by falsifying records and lying during inspections. So the bottom line is: Princess just wants to cash in, and anything else can be bought off, even the health and safety of its passengers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Had been on Royal Princess five years ago and it was wonderful. Also, Princess Cruises seems to be the only cruise line with self-service laundry on each deck. -Check-in at Port Everglades was chaotic. Different agents told us to go to ... Read More
Had been on Royal Princess five years ago and it was wonderful. Also, Princess Cruises seems to be the only cruise line with self-service laundry on each deck. -Check-in at Port Everglades was chaotic. Different agents told us to go to different places. -Luggage took almost 6 hours to come to our cabin. -Before we left home, Princess agent told us unlimited email was $139.99 and we had to buy this service on board. When on board, we were charged $169.99 - $30 extra. Ship’s internet manager “Dan” refunded this overcharge after we complained. -Took three visits to Customer Service desk to get our computers set up with ship's WiFi. Repeated efforts and no phone answer (on hold 10 minutes then gave up) at Customer Service desk. -Internet down all day (5 May). We requested and received one day refund. -Machine in laundry that sells tokens was broken—reported 5 and 6 May. Finally fixed 7 May. -One of the main reasons we chose Princess over other cruise lines was availability of self-service laundry. With thousands of passengers and only perhaps a dozen machines, demand was high and machines were often unavailable. To further complicate problem, management decided to open laundry only from 8 am-8 pm, with limited hours. Solution – keep laundry open 24 hours/day to meet high demand. -Shore excursions offered us a tour of the Royal Palace in Rabat during Casablanca port call but we left the ship so late (tardy) that the palace was closed by the time we reached it in Rabat. At my request, shore excursion director sent me a letter of apology and a 50 % refund. -Ship's entertainment was painfully loud, causing me and many others to walk out at what could have been enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Chose this cruise because it was later in the spring, have cruised to the Baltic five times already, and cruised the TA on the Emerald Princess its inaugeral year. Our first surprise was a five category upgrade. Embarkation was a ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it was later in the spring, have cruised to the Baltic five times already, and cruised the TA on the Emerald Princess its inaugeral year. Our first surprise was a five category upgrade. Embarkation was a breeze with our luggage delivered before dinner. Pizza for lunch did not disapoint. DaVinci main dining room was great our waiter and assistant waiter were professional and and lots of fun. The entertainment was high class as always with a very funny Cruise Director. Activities were so numerous, one could not attend them all. The complimentary Sauna was great. The new Salty Dog grill Lido deck has an improved menu. The Fresh Market buffet is remodeled with a larger selection. The BBQ and Seafood restaurants are an improvement along with Share, Crown Grill, and Salty Dog pub. I did not use the Excursion desk. Disembarkation was very smooth. Thank you Emerald Princess for a very enjoyable TA. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
The Emerald Princess is a lovely ship. Not the newest ship or the biggest ship and has some needed upgrades/updates that are scheduled. Medallion Net etc. but it is a lovely ship. We sailed transatlantic from Ft. Lauderdale to Rome. 22 ... Read More
The Emerald Princess is a lovely ship. Not the newest ship or the biggest ship and has some needed upgrades/updates that are scheduled. Medallion Net etc. but it is a lovely ship. We sailed transatlantic from Ft. Lauderdale to Rome. 22 days and enjoyed every one of them. Great weather helped. Friendly passengers who are like minded were lots of fun but the best part of the experience was the staff. they are remarkable. Mike and Ref in International Cafe and Vines are super stars. Berlin the bartender in Cub Fusion is great and Amal in Adagio is always fun and entertaining. Magda and Clifton in the Sanctuary will do anything you ask to make your time there fabulous. Our stateroom steward Ramel was helpful with any special requests and may be the best steward we’ve ever had and we’ve cruised 10+ times. Food options are extensive. We especially enjoyed all the casual dining, Salty Dog Grill, Slice, and the International Cafe. Healthy options abound and my husband actually lost about 5 lbs!! Wish I had. Pools were clean and well maintained, entertainment options were more than we could do. Loved playing trivia and the comedy shows. Johanna the port lecturer is superb! Now for the cons - all Princess ships pool loungers are uncomfortable as was ur mini suite balcony furniture. TV selections were minimal. Played the same shows over and over. Okay if you’re on a 7 day cruise but on a 22 day cruise it was pretty boring. No DVD player in the MS so no movies. The movies that were offered were new releases and very good. The self service laundry on the Dolphin deck was marginal. Only two washers and two dryers. One of the dryers was broken a good part of our cruise and it was tiresome trying to find another place to dry clothes. Other than that it was wonderful. We’d definitely do it again and would recommend it to friends!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was a short 3 day cruise from LA to Vancouver. It is spring break so there were lots of young people and kids onboard, many celebrating special events like birthdays. We dined in both the Crown Grill and Share and the food was ... Read More
This was a short 3 day cruise from LA to Vancouver. It is spring break so there were lots of young people and kids onboard, many celebrating special events like birthdays. We dined in both the Crown Grill and Share and the food was great. Service in the main dining room and the food seemed the usual Princes approach. There was concern expressed by someone that since the ship is heading to dry dock in Victoria that there would be less staff and poor food supply but that was certainly not the case. The staff told us that during the 3 weeks in dry dock, their jobs continue, as they must serve the 1000 construction workers who take up residence on the ship and work 24 hrs a day to complete the dry dock tasks. The only difference is that their days are shorter. On another note, Princess has made a decision to remove all the barrel chairs from the balcony and ocean view staterooms. I find this to be a ridiculaous move as do many others. I had disussed my concern with corporate relations and was told that if I ask for chai, I will get it. Many people on Cruise Critic had indicated that they had asked their stateroom steward and had been told that a chair was not available any longer. I did not ask the steward. I went to the Passenger Service desk soon after we boarded and asked for a chair. I happily got one within 1/2 hour of asking. I do have a bit of a caveat, though.This ship is heading to dry dock and maybe the few chairs that they may have available on board right now might disappear once in dry dock. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
Haven't cruised for a few years so it was nice to be able to do so again. We chose a short repo cruise to LA to be followed by a few days at Disneyland. DH insisted we do carry on and I must admit I will gladly do again as ... Read More
Haven't cruised for a few years so it was nice to be able to do so again. We chose a short repo cruise to LA to be followed by a few days at Disneyland. DH insisted we do carry on and I must admit I will gladly do again as boarding and leaving the ship was extremely quick. We were actually one of the first ones on and off the ship. We had cabin E209 and actually liked it a lot. Our Steward was very good, asked for bathrobes and got them the next day. We had the new luxury beds and very soft but comfortable. The weather was very good for a coastal with only day chilly day at sea, the last day people were swimming a lot more in the pools. We had lunch in the MDR the first day, sadly my salmon was raw in the middle. A mah breakfast the next day and after that we stuck to buffet for breakfasts, lunch and then ate at The Salty Dog (very good try the mac and cheese YUM), Vines (actually really good for a light supper) and Share (this was wonderful). We did get the ultimate drink package and felt we broke even with a few cocktails, glasses of wine, special coffees, fresh OJ and lots of bottled waters. Over all it was a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our 6th cruise in the last 20 year, so we don't consider ourselves real "cruisers", but I've been a sailor for the past 30 years and have read several behind-the-scenes books about the industry. We've ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise in the last 20 year, so we don't consider ourselves real "cruisers", but I've been a sailor for the past 30 years and have read several behind-the-scenes books about the industry. We've spent about 50 days total on a cruise ship and we do have a process when we travel this way. We have sailed the Caribbean, off the coast of Mexico, Hawaii, and the Atlantic/Mediterranean. We look for cruises that have few sea days and lots of ports of call. I do have to say that we have never had a bad cruise and will continue to return to ships when it fits the bill. We live in Hawaii, Waikiki specifically, and look for itineraries that do not travel to "tropical" locations. We have a no sand in the house rule. The colder destination was one reason we chose this sailing. The other reasons were: We couldn't match up airfare, hotel in a close destination. We only had a few days and had to fly from Hawaii. The price was right at roughly $100/person/day (before the extras we purchase) with a balcony. The ship was relocating and direction of travel would be one way. And lastly, it was my wife's birthday. This is a great way to cruise at a reduced fares and I would encourage people new to cruising to take a short repositioning cruise. My concerns centered around the crew contracts. This sailing was a small leg of a repositioning cruise of around 30 days. The ship is going into dry dock next year. What happens in Vancouver (embarkation) to the crew? Are some or many rotating out? Are they preparing to rotate out in Los Angeles (debarkation) and are more concerned about getting their ducks in a row than taking care of me? Whatever the case, our interactions with all crew were fantastic. Worrying for no reason at all. The cruise departs from Vancouver. That's cool, but Hawaiian doesn't fly there. Can't use miles. The ship only stops in Astoria. Where? Oh yeah, I remember the dreaded Colombia River Bar from my sailing days. Two days at sea. YAWN! My expectations were low. Embarkation took place in Vancouver. The process began with baggage drop. We arrived from the airport around 9:00am. The bag drop line was getting really long. We had some coffee and breakfast and headed down to join the line around 10:00. It opened and even though we were at the back, waited about 10 mins to literally drop off our one suitcase. It was incredibly fast. Now what? Check in? A very friendly Princess employee suggested we take in some sights in Vancouver and return to check in at around 2:45pm. That's exactly what we did and walked right on board our Emerald Princess in about 3 mins. Now that I'm on the ship I'm looking for signs of wear as reported by other review authors. Sorry folks. The ship looks great. The only sign of moderate wear was peeling paint on the ceiling of our balcony and rust in places. I've owned 13 vessels and they all had rust somewhere. My wife and I both commented on how nice the ship looked. Our stateroom was a little smaller than others we've had, but it certainly worked for two people. Luggage was waiting so we unpacked and waited for room service to bring our pre-orderd bottles of booze. I headed out to the bar with both our ship i.d. cards to get our mixers as we also purchased the unlimited soda package. I really recommend buying your alcohol from the ship and making your own cocktails. It saves quite a bit. We were on the Lido (15) deck and the bars were easy to access. It was around 4:00 and I noticed some long lines for food. No worry, I'll get a burger in 20 mins or so. The lines quickly dissipated and we found this was the way the lines behaved for the entire cruise. Muster drill took place in the Princess theater and we didn't have to bring our life vests. Nice. We were soon on our way, but never made it to the MDR or buffett. We had cocktails on our balcony while watching the sunset. Later we got some pizza and a hotdog and were in bed by nine. Don't judge we took a red eye and didn't sleep a wink. Bright and early the next day I was up and walking the decks. This is always my favorite time on ships as it's just the crew, mops, and me. I was searching for the Calypso (I think) Bar as it opened at 6:00am and the wife wanted a bloody. Picked up some breakfast from the buffet. I was really impressed by the buffet food which I usually find fairly pedestrian. You serve yourself with tongs that everyone touches, but there is a crew member stationed at the entrance and will not let you enter until after you Purell your hands. This is important and another cruise line, Holland, doesn't even let you touch the tongs. They plate your food for you. That is a great idea and I hope other lines adopt this. Now if we can only disinfect the chips in the casino. We spent the next couple of hours watching the banks of the Columbia river from Skywalkers lounge. The views are great from the lounge, but it does have a significant vibration that you may find distracting. I know of a much better spot. Later on that. We docked in Astoria at 11:00am and were off on our bus trip to see Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, and Seaside. Touristy, but that doesn't bother us. We had to take the shopping excursion because the only car rental in Astoria closes at 12:30pm. What? Back on the boat, cocktails, nap, and 9:30 reservation for the Crown Grill. I've found most of the surcharges for the specialty restaurants are worth it and usually eat at those locations more than the MDR. The Crown Grill was very good and they didn't even or forgot to charge us a corkage fee. After dinner headed out to the Casino and began what ended up being one of our best gambling trips ever. We paid for our trip. That has never happened. The lion's share was taken from their ugly brown craps table. I love that ugly brown felt. It was a very late night including a 1:45am call to room service for a hot dog and some flan. The two go great together............when you're three sheets to the wind! The next two days at sea were relaxing. We would get up early, grab some breakfast and here I will let you in on a little secret. We never eat breakfast or lunch in the MDR. Takes way too long and I'm pretty sure the waiter heads over to the buffet and loads up your plate. Okay, okay, I know they actually prepare your food, but I've never been blown away by anyone's breakfast. So hit the buffet. After you get your breakfast from the Horizon buffet, walk up one deck(16) to Share. Share is closed, but Adagio, the bar next to it is open, but not serving alcohol. It is beautiful, comfortable, quiet and a great place to eat in peace. The views are amazing and I recommend seeking out this little gem of a getaway place on board. After you finish breakfast, take your dirty dishes back down to the buffet area. Don't leave them sitting on the bar in Adagio. No one is there to bus them. We then would get a beverage, play some cribbage, get another beverage, walk around, repeat. We've taken our kids on several of our cruises and every time there were throngs of other kids, but it didn't bother us. They would form roving bands of sugar fueled shenanigan creators. No wonder I've seen so many reviews complaining about kids. We did a poor job, like other parents, of monitoring our kids and for this I apologize. Our kids were in their early teens when we did this. Now that they have graduated from college, we prefer fewer of the little people. On this particular cruise there were very few kids, but more than I anticipated. They were all well behaved. We now look for cruises in Sept, Oct, April, or May. The kids are in school. One night we had dinner at Share which was very good. My only complaint is that they were woefully understaffed. The two servers were taking drink and food orders, running the food, busing the tables and working their butts off. I pulled our server over that let her know I appreciated how hard she was working and that if Curtis Stone was in the restaurant, he would not like what we were seeing. That's my only gripe. Our server got a fat tip. We've been amazed that on all of our 6 sailings, the casinos are mostly empty. We love that. The craps table didn't open until 8:30pm so I played some poker and did well there also. Oh, did I mention that we killed at the craps table. I know I did, but we REALLY killed it. The only show we saw was Uptown. The singers are really good, but their banter had that awkwardness to it when you see a skit going off the rails. It felt forced, but overall the show is good. Bingo is a crackup. I go just to watch the people. On another cruise my wife and I won back-to-back games. We were infamous with the blue hair crowd and I was wary of getting whacked with a HurryCane so I kept my guard up. Bingo can be a serious business for some. As the sea days counted down, we visited every nook and cranny passengers are allowed to venture, played pickleball, and tried really hard to finish all the gin, bourbon and vodka we bought. We didn't. That was definitely a first. Debarkation took 4 seconds. We popped out of the ship like a zit. 45 mins later we were relaxing in our hotel room at LAX (my wife works for a large hotel chain) and caught the 6:00pm flight back to Honolulu. Overall we were very happy with this short sailing and everything Princess had to offer. The Emerald Princess is a very nice ship and if the price is right, we will return. As we try out different lines we are beginning to get a feel for the type of atmosphere we want. As a result, we now know what we do not want. Princess is now high on our list. Well done. Mahalo nui loa Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I just retired, was looking for a short cruise on the west coast to celebrate. I've only been on one cruise and that was in the early 90s. I'm so glad I found this Princess Cruise as my party was treated like royalty. Crew ... Read More
I just retired, was looking for a short cruise on the west coast to celebrate. I've only been on one cruise and that was in the early 90s. I'm so glad I found this Princess Cruise as my party was treated like royalty. Crew members were all very nice and helpful, making this celebratory cruise fun. The activities and shows onboard were fun and entertaining as well as the excursion we took in Astoria. I would highly recommend this cruise. My only complaint would be that I found the food to be somewhat bland and mediocre. However, there was plenty of food if wanted. If leaving from Vancouver, arrive a day or two early, more if you wish and take advantage of sightseeing the beautiful city. I wish we would have arrived a few days earlier but still enjoyed walking the downtown area with the day we arrived ahead of time. If needing a reasonable priced hotel to stay, look at the Days Inn, Downtown as it is only two blocks away from the port, walking distance. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was a great quick, one-night getaway cruise. Great option for people who can't dedicate a lot of time and just want a quick weekend getaway. The ship and service are great. We had dinner at Share, which was really good. I ... Read More
This was a great quick, one-night getaway cruise. Great option for people who can't dedicate a lot of time and just want a quick weekend getaway. The ship and service are great. We had dinner at Share, which was really good. I always enjoy the Share restaurants on the Princess ships. As it was only one night, we skipped the entertainment and just enjoyed a little time out on deck. I love the Pacific Northwest, so departing from Seattle and ending in Vancouver is great. I booked flights directly through Princess, as the prices were actually better than booking separately. Embarkation in Seattle was quick and easy - As most people don't have a lot of luggage (due to the shortness of the cruise), embarkation and disembarkation were super quick and painless. I would definitely recommend the quick weekend/one-night cruises that Princess offers a few times a year. It's also a great way for a new cruiser to get a feel for cruising without committing to a whole week or longer. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
If I could rate it minus 10 I would. This was our first cruise experience and likely the last. Ship is small and is layed out poorly. Food is just BAD! Its like an ant hill trying to get around. Most of the staff cannot speak English, ... Read More
If I could rate it minus 10 I would. This was our first cruise experience and likely the last. Ship is small and is layed out poorly. Food is just BAD! Its like an ant hill trying to get around. Most of the staff cannot speak English, nor answer any questions. Princess screwed up my airfare TWICE. Their computer system is CONSTANTLY going down. The entertainment was sub par. The entire loading unloading process is a disorganized mess, and they dont care. You DO NOT get a value for your money. The only positive thing I was surprised at the size of our stateroom, it was fair sized. This was what they called a repositioning cruise, which translates to princess wants to get as much money as possible out if their patrons as possible and make money to move the ship to a new area for tour season. I will NEVER recommend princess. Every positive thing I was ever told about cruises was Not what we experienced. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Sailed with a group of 16 friends which included spouses and kids. The group had fun spending time together however, the service was not acceptable. With a few exceptions, the crew was rarely engaged, inattentive, uninterested, poorly ... Read More
Sailed with a group of 16 friends which included spouses and kids. The group had fun spending time together however, the service was not acceptable. With a few exceptions, the crew was rarely engaged, inattentive, uninterested, poorly trained and just not friendly. More like mindless robots rather than highly trained friendly helpful crew. This seemed rather unusual as I've always had a great experiences on other cruises: Royal Caribbean, Holland America and Celebrity. Their crew are typically cheerful and engaged and helpful with their patrons. I found this rather surprising as it wasn't just one or two problem crew members but the majority were like that. It was the strangest experience. Food quality was fine. We usually went to the dining room or buffet. Selection at the buffet could have been better. The food quality there was solid at both places. Public washrooms were filthy. This was my first and last cruise with Princess. There are too many other options out there for me to want to give Princess another try. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Embarkation out of LA was slow with long lines, but self disembarkation in Vancouver was smooth and quick. The ship was in good condition with a very comfortable stateroom. There were certainly things on the ship that could use a little ... Read More
Embarkation out of LA was slow with long lines, but self disembarkation in Vancouver was smooth and quick. The ship was in good condition with a very comfortable stateroom. There were certainly things on the ship that could use a little fresh paint, but overall everything looked well taken care of. The bed was very comfortable, but our stateroom was a bit warm most of the time. We had it set to the coolest setting all of the time and it was tolerable, but never cool. Food was very delicious with the exception of the lunch buffet, which was lacking in choices and quality. Entertainment was not the best, but not a biggie for us. They did bring in a whale expert, who was interesting. The magician was good, but the comedian was pretty poor. Service was very good, but never over-the-top. We never had to go to the Customer Service Desk, which was very nice. Overall a very nice, comfortable, relaxing cruise! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Friends arranged cruise as a taster for us. We sailed from L.A to Vancouver. Embarkation simple, obviously very busy but smooth enough. One of female port staff was incredibly unfriendly and snarled at people but that was offset by ... Read More
Friends arranged cruise as a taster for us. We sailed from L.A to Vancouver. Embarkation simple, obviously very busy but smooth enough. One of female port staff was incredibly unfriendly and snarled at people but that was offset by amazingly nice staff. Such is life. Ship was clean and comfortable. Though a little tired in places. Staff pleasant and helpful. Food amazing. We used sit down restaurants for most meals. Love the hand hygiene police, really appreciated high standard hand sanitation before entering restaurants. . Balcony room clean, very cosy bed.. Lots of storage space. Weather awful, 2 days of force 9 gales put gravol to the test,! Worked like a dream. Didn’t miss one meal or event and slept like a baby. Drinks prices ok, same as any city bar. Most disappointing thing, the entertainment was awful. Apart from a high class comedian, the rest was poor. Daytime activities were dreadful. Most activities were selling something. Everything from skin care to art. So disappointing. Line dancing and card making were the most exciting activities. Not at all what we expected. On the one good evening we had they cancelled the movie under the stars. Longer cruise could be very boring so will stock up with books if there is a next time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The price was good for our balcony and it departed from Los Angeles, close to our home area. The food in the dining room was fine and the afternoon tea was a great place to go for the mid-afternoon activity. There is no game room and ... Read More
The price was good for our balcony and it departed from Los Angeles, close to our home area. The food in the dining room was fine and the afternoon tea was a great place to go for the mid-afternoon activity. There is no game room and most interested game players have no place to play games and most do not know where to go to sign up for fellow guests to find other, similar game players, as Mah Jongg. I have seen better shows on other ships and there is little offered on sea days. The ship is beautiful and the International Cafe is a favorite spot for most, if not all, guests. That is the place for good, brewed coffee not found in other eating venues on the ship. For a short cruise, this cruise was relaxing for seniors. The music in the atrium is soothing and this ship caters to the guests who want to relax. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Since this is our first cruise, we wanted to "test the waters" with a short, inexpensive re-positioning cruise. The emerald princess has definitely exceeded my expectations! Honestly, I was a little concerned when I read the ... Read More
Since this is our first cruise, we wanted to "test the waters" with a short, inexpensive re-positioning cruise. The emerald princess has definitely exceeded my expectations! Honestly, I was a little concerned when I read the reviews, but I'm glad that we experienced it for ourselves. The food in the dinning room was awesome and the staff were friendly. We wanted a cruise where we could read and relax without kids running around everywhere. We basically ignored the tops decks where kids and the buffet are. Everything we needed/wanted was lower on the ship. Although we didn't participate in very many activities, the ones that we did attend were great! The martini mixing class in the piazza was so much fun! Our two favorite activities were afternoon tea and eating sushi in the wine bar. We did these almost every day. This trip also included a nice, extended stay in Victoria, BC. We were in port for 15 hours. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
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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