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620 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) Princess Emerald Princess Cruise Reviews

Entertainment in the theatre was first rate every night, worth the price of the cruise alone. The 7 piece house band were excellent musicians. Buffet had a wonderful and varied selection. Main 3 dining rooms had the same tired menu ... Read More
Entertainment in the theatre was first rate every night, worth the price of the cruise alone. The 7 piece house band were excellent musicians. Buffet had a wonderful and varied selection. Main 3 dining rooms had the same tired menu virtually every day. Most of the bars were empty most of the time. Where were the 3000 passengers ? Piazza always had good entertainment especially the great violin duo. Staff very friendly & helpful. Excursions were good, tour guides very knowledgeable and likeable. Lots of people seemed interested to buy expensive jewellery, art, perfumes, etc. Seemed a waste of money to us. Embarkation was the worst disaster anyone of the 3000 passengers had ever experienced as we waited outside in the LA heat while they fixed a computer failure. The proverbial Black Swan. Disembarking however was well organized and a breeze in Ft. Lauderdale. It was worth the money ! Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to go from Fort Lauderdale FL to Los Angeles CA through the Panama Canal. We were not disappointed. The best part, by far, of this cruise was Bill Fall. This incredibly knowledgeable ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to go from Fort Lauderdale FL to Los Angeles CA through the Panama Canal. We were not disappointed. The best part, by far, of this cruise was Bill Fall. This incredibly knowledgeable man held several presentations, sharing slides that helped us understand the history and construction of the canal far better than we ever expected. Next to Bill Fall, the best part was our cabin steward, Jonathan. We have cruised many times on various lines and he is at the top with his genuine helpfulness and positive nature. Our dining experience was average to better than average overall. Crown Grill was exemplary for a specialty restaurant on a ship - best steaks ever. Anytime dining very helpful to our schedule, though we didn't have the advantage of the same server to accommodate our tastes. The food was better than average overall. We appreciated having outdoor options as well. Entertainment was as expected. Some shows very fun and others not so. The cruise staff personalities varied to such an extent that we found ourselves picking the evening activities based on who was hosting. Ports very interesting overall. Huatulco is a beautiful sleepy beach town but if you choose a "Highlights of Huatulco" shore excursion, please note that there aren't many highlights in Huatulco. Stick with sitting on the beach as that's the best part. Our favorite shore excursion sponsored by the ship was the La Paz waterfall trip in Costa Rica - well worth it! We also went off the ship's excursion list with a Vallarta Food Tour in Puerto Vallarta (10 stars!) and a segway tour in Cartagena (another ten!). And top marks to Princess for having a texting service that allowed my family to stay in touch while on the ship. You put your phone in airplane mode, select the ship MedallionNet wifi option and add your family names as contacts. This was wonderful for us to be able to know where all six of us were at any given time. The best part was going through the Panama Canal - I think everyone should do that at some point in their lifetimes! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We wanted to experience the Panama Canal and go somewhere warm in January so we booked this cruise and had a fabulous time. We arrived in sunny Fort Lauderdale and stayed at the Marriott North for a couple of days Pre-Cruise. It is a ... Read More
We wanted to experience the Panama Canal and go somewhere warm in January so we booked this cruise and had a fabulous time. We arrived in sunny Fort Lauderdale and stayed at the Marriott North for a couple of days Pre-Cruise. It is a nice Marriott and a good price since it isn’t on the beach. We took Uber to the port and it was very easy. We arrived at 11:30 and we were boarding soon after. The embarkation couldn’t have gone smoother. We are Platinum next cruise and will speed things along even faster. We had lunch in the DaVinci dining room and they announced the staterooms were open before 1:00 which was a nice surprise. This was our third trip on the Emerald and she didn’t disappoint. We have had some fun cruises on the Emerald and the ship isn’t brand new anymore but still very pretty and in good shape. We always seem to have a good crew on this ship and the staff seems happy and eager to please. We had a wonderful stateroom steward, probably one of the best we have ever had. He was friendly and anticipated our every need. We had traditional early seating at 5:15 which was a little early but the late seating is too late for us. My husband is on a very low sodium diet and the head waiter gave him the menu every night for the next night so he could Pre order and they prepared his meals low sodium. We ate in the dining room all but two nights and really enjoyed our waiter and assistant. We thought the food was good in the dining room. I always am amazed that people complain on these reviews about the food. If I don’t have to shop for it, cook it or clean up after then it is great for me. We certainly found something on the menu to eat every night and didn’t come home lighter! The buffet was good as were the hamburgers by the pool. We had escargot, lobster, beef tenderloin, steak, lots of shrimp and scallops and enjoyed every bite. The entertainment was enjoyable. The new Rock Opera which debuted on the Emerald this sailing (it is also on the Sky I believe) was absolutely superb! The singers and dancers on this cruise were tremendous. We had some other really good guest performers that were very talented and some good magicians and comedians. The Princess theater was packed every show and for the 7:30 show you had to arrive at least 30 minutes early to get a seat. I really think it would help if Princess would add a third showtime or repeat the shows because every passenger seemed to want to go to the theater every night. I noticed lots of people brought books to read while waiting. We also had Medallion Net Wifi and we were able to text, email and call if we wanted. It is really a game changer if you need WiFi. Most of the basketball games that my husband NEEDED to see were on a ESPN channel in the stateroom but one that wasn’t on ESPN he was able to keep up with it online. I however went to the theater since I don’t require basketball at sea. We had a balcony booked but this cruise was over sold so they offered us an amazing deal to give up our balcony and move to an inside cabin. Well that was ok but the inside they moved us to had two more berths that fold down from the wall. These extra beds just stuck out from the wall and made the room seem so much smaller and we both cracked our head on them a couple of times. That was a bummer. Fortunately we were aft Riviera deck so it was a quick escape to the terrace pool and bar and outside seating which helped us to not kill each other in that cabin for 15 days. We really enjoyed the ports since they were all new to us. We did a couple of private excursions (in Cartagena and Nicaragua) and a great Princess excursion to the Starbucks Hacienda Coffee Plantation in Costa Rica. We had an awesome guide and a delicious lunch. It was a small group of 10 in a van which made it so nice. It was well worth the money. Starbucks gave us the VIP treatment too. We were on our own in Huatulco which was ok. There isn’t much at the port (some restaurants and shopping) so I would book a tour if I went back. Puerto Vallarta was beautiful and we took a taxi (7.00 each way for the taxi not per person but you need exact change and we tipped a couple of dollars) to the Malecon boardwalk and it was fine with lots of shopping and restaurants and walking along the ocean and downtown. The day of the Panama Canal crossing was an all day event and was fantastic. We were up at 6:00 am with the other 3000 spectators but there were plenty of places to watch the crossing. The most popular spot was Lido deck all the way forward where they opened the unmarked doors to the very front of the ship. They even served mimosas up there which was festive. We went through the new locks and it was a marvel. There was a commentator that talked us through the Canal and he was very interesting. He did a number of port lectures as well which we didn’t attend but watched them in our stateroom later. His name is Bill Fall and he was very knowledgeable and interesting. The first two sea days were really bouncy. I think we were having high winds so I don’t think it was normal. When we arrived in Cartagena it was calm and stayed very calm until we left Puerto Vallarta and headed toward LA. The seas were not quite as calm and the temperature dropped to the 60’s for the two days back to Los Angeles. Disembarkation was also very organized and we were off by 8:30 then took an Uber to LAX and were there in plenty of time for a 12:10 flight. We enjoyed this cruise very much. We found the majority of the staff and crew to be very friendly and efficient. We went to a Meet and Greet with our roll call and enjoyed meeting the Captain and several other officers that attended and spoke. They were warm and approachable. The Captain was really delightful and we saw him often around the ship. He seemed to enjoy talking to passengers and answering questions. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We are in our late 40's and we are a very active couple. Sitting around and watching movies is not our forte'. The entertainment on this cruise was horrible. When you have 8 days of "Sea Days" and the most exciting ... Read More
We are in our late 40's and we are a very active couple. Sitting around and watching movies is not our forte'. The entertainment on this cruise was horrible. When you have 8 days of "Sea Days" and the most exciting thing for that day is going to a lecture about arthritis, something is wrong with that cruise line! I would not recommend Princess for our age group. We were so ready to get off this cruise and get home to our kids. The ship is showing her age, the staff is just there... nothing outstanding, and the choices for entertainment were not well thought out. There were not enough seats for the activities that were worth going to and you literally had to get there an hour before it started to even get a seat. We don't go for the food, but it was decent. The ship is clean, the staff is there to do their job - and that was about it, and the food was edible. Nothing fancy and not worth the money that we paid. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
My wife and I have multiple things to celebrate (35th anniversary, both healthy after medical scares, etc...) and decided that a two week cruise through the Panama Canal was just the ticket. We enjoyed everything about the cruise. Both ... Read More
My wife and I have multiple things to celebrate (35th anniversary, both healthy after medical scares, etc...) and decided that a two week cruise through the Panama Canal was just the ticket. We enjoyed everything about the cruise. Both embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly and the staff was very friendly and helpful. Our last 2 cruises were on RCL and the staff on those ships treated us like we were annoying if we asked for anything. On this trip on the Emerald, the staff treated us wonderfully, from the front desk to our steward, the dining room, and bar staff. We spent a lot of time at the back of the ship by Terrace Pool. The bartender and staff learned our names and called them out whenever we walked out onto the deck! We splurged more than normal on this cruise and had a mini-suite. We loved the extra room and spent quite a bit of time on the balcony. The only minor complaint would be that the couch in our room seemed quite old and uncomfortable. It should be replaced. The food was pretty good. I found it to be more of a variety than other cruises I've been on, but still got to be repeated too much on a 15 day cruise. But, we did not go hungry! We had some wonderful excursions, and the trip through the canal was awesome! The commentary offered was really great. We also met some really nice people from all over the world. All-in-all, we had a great 15 days! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Wanted to experience the new locks of the Panama Canal and enjoy some sunshine over the Christmas Season. We have cruised with Princess 5 times previously and agree with other reviewers that the atmosphere is slipping. Our room steward ... Read More
Wanted to experience the new locks of the Panama Canal and enjoy some sunshine over the Christmas Season. We have cruised with Princess 5 times previously and agree with other reviewers that the atmosphere is slipping. Our room steward was fabulous but the Anytime dining servers are generally too rushed and the officers appeared stressed and were not friendly or helpful. In general all the room stewards we passed on our travels through the ship greeted us with smiles, the other staff, somehow "Consummate Host" motto seems to be forgotten. We are not expecting a conversation, but smile would be appreciated. Embarkation in Fort Lauderdale was slow and we were not provided with any information on the delay. We need to use the wheelchair service to board and were left outside in the heat and near the vehicle exhaust from before 12 to 1:30 pm before boarding began for anyone. I realize this isn't an unusual boarding delay, my frustration was due to lack of communication. Fortunately, we have priority boarding status now, so once boarding started we were in our cabin in about 25 min! Yeah! We really appreciated hearing a Christmas choir in the Piazza as we boarded, sure helped relieve the stress of embarkation and help us get in the Christmas spirit. The ship was beautifully decorated for Christmas throughout the public spaces. Generally found the ship over air conditioned even during the day. Our room steward, Rick, was fabulous, learned our names, always kept our room in great shape and responded graciously and immediately to any request.. We choose Anytime dining and though we didn't have a bad experience, often felt rushed. The food was good and we enjoyed the variety of the menu. Interesting, the temperature of the plates and hot food was better/hotter in the Da Vinci dining room; the Michelangelo was borderline warm at times. We tend to relax on vacation and don't take in many of the day time activities, though did appreciate the Lecture series by Dr. Wineland and I was intrigued by David Klinenberg's Da Vinci Code talks, his violin concert was fabulous and I am not a knowledgeable music fan. The Stargazing Discovery event was a bust for us - though we arrived early there was no organization in how the headsets were handed out and they ran out at the party before us. To their credit, they did schedule it again the next day but the weather didn't cooperate and sadly it wasn't possible to try again. The production shows including the "Magic To Do" Production Show were very enjoyable and the Magic to Do, could be experienced more than once as so much was going on. The comedian, Carl Guepra was fun and entertaining and IMO suitable for all audiences. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were memorable and there were multiple options to bring in the New Year! Disembarkation went well for us in Los Angeles. Excursions: Cartagena - Hop On/Hop Off bus tour - this was a bust. The tour guide spoke over the pre-recorded audio and provided much less information. Our intent was only to tour around once as it was so hot and humid; but the timing was better set up to also complete the 90 min, walking tour through the Old Town. Getting back to the ship earlier wasn't well organized. Even on the bus the local vendors were very persistent. Panama Canal Transit - Incredible day as such an engineering marvel. We chose to start the day in the Stargazer Lounge on the 18 deck to ensure we had seating. The commentary wasn't being played anywhere inside the ship and it took a few of us asking at Guest Services to get this set up in this one lounge. It could be done if you were willing to be somewhat persistent. Puerto Amador - hadn't plan anything official and after hearing there were tendering issues (mechanical) chose to stay on the ship. All passengers were given a drink voucher to compensate for these issues. Puntarenas - had previously thoroughly enjoyed the "hike in the clouds" tour, but didn't enjoy the bus ride to the rain forest. Other tours of interest also included a long bus ride, so I passed and only walked through the market at the port. There was great variety and the vendors were friendly and their persistence was manageable. San Juan Del Sur - another tendering port and again more issues apparently weather related this time. We were asked to meet by 7:20 am but didn't actually get onto a tender under 9:00. Though a few announcements were made that there was sufficient time to go the the restroom - no idea of how long or any reason for the delay was ever given. At about 8:30 am I asked the shore excursion manager for information and the reply was surprisingly abrupt. Sure would have prefered to spend that 90 min. some other way. I had booked the cloud forest hike at the Mombacho volcano. Full day excursion with the 90 min. bus ride followed by a 4 wheel drive journey up to about 4000 ft/1300 meters. This tour is highly recommended if you are up for a 90 min. hike with uneven steps and ups and downs. It was well organized with knowledgeable and friendly guides. Huatulco - very pleasant surprise, We took the 5 Bay Catamaran tour and really enjoyed ourselves. I wandered through the market at the pier after and appreciated the friendly vendors. It is a beautiful area which I would visit again. Puerto Vallarta - we spent the day with friends who live there through the Winter season, so won't comment further. We did not travel with children though I spoke to a few "Grandmas" whos grandchildren were having a wonderful time with the youth leaders and their New Year's Eve celebrations were very well managed. We have now traversed both the Historic and New Panama Canal locks and do not plan to go again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I won't use Princess again. Always trouble with time lines including being crammed into a room before embarkation. 3 of 5 tenders were down for Panama excursions which left little time on land, 7:30 am early disembarkation turned ... Read More
I won't use Princess again. Always trouble with time lines including being crammed into a room before embarkation. 3 of 5 tenders were down for Panama excursions which left little time on land, 7:30 am early disembarkation turned into 8:00am. Food in MDR started out fine but got worse - poor cuts of meat. We were told to get our outgoing mail in by a certain time each port. Problem? They only had American stamps and didn't send mail until Los Angeles. Who wants mail stamped from home? Why not tell us that to begin with and maybe told us where to fin a post office on shore? Cost of shore excursion were over priced for what we received. Spa was excellent, our waiters in the MDC were amazing and our cabin steward was great, too. Actually, most of the service crew aboard the ship were very pleasant. The entertainment had a couple of good acts, but it left a lot to be desired. The ships engines quit one evening and all power went out. "Stay were you are until further notice." They did get it up and running quickly but it shouldn't have happened in the first place. This was an expensive trip that should have enjoyed everyday but that didn't happen. Shore excursions didn't give enough time to see a lot - especially since there was always a wait time getting on or off the ship. Also, his is the first cruise where I heard passengers complain s much. Elevator, bathroom, steps, waiting in lines, etc. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Desired a short cruise over the Christmas season. However we chose a large ship with a large passenger capacity and the ship was completely full. Tours were poorly organized. Tenders were not all in working order. Missed our tour of ... Read More
Desired a short cruise over the Christmas season. However we chose a large ship with a large passenger capacity and the ship was completely full. Tours were poorly organized. Tenders were not all in working order. Missed our tour of Panama City due to lack of maintenance of tenders and disorganization of moving people off ship to get to shore. Complete power failure on one occasion - very concerned about situation should a crisis occur. Poor quality evening entertainment. Buffet staff consistently looked very unhappy. The only positive thing I can say is thank goodness we were assigned a very competent, pleasant and good natured steward. Disembarkation was totally disorganized, had 10 minutes to make our flight. If I had not spoken to security and waited for our disembarkation scheduled time we definitely would have missed our flight. Previous cruises with Princess have been excellent but cannot say the same about this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This cruise was a family one over the holidays to mark the Panama Canal transit off my Grandmother's bucket list. We traveled in a party of eight with my mom, grandmother, aunt, uncle, cousin, brother, and sister-in-law. I consider ... Read More
This cruise was a family one over the holidays to mark the Panama Canal transit off my Grandmother's bucket list. We traveled in a party of eight with my mom, grandmother, aunt, uncle, cousin, brother, and sister-in-law. I consider this to be my first cruise since the last one I was on I was 18 months old. There were a few hiccups along the way but overall I had an absolute blast. The Impressive Parts: * Cruise Director Aaron Hawkins and his staff (Phil, Scottish Ken, Alex, and Sophie) were all phenomenal. I'm not an outside person so I spent most of my time doing various onboard activities. Aaron: Very enthusiastic and his good mood was contagious. He's youthful and reminds me a little of Peter Pan. There was always laughter and smiles when he hosted an event (trivia, game shows, theater shows, piazza events, etc) He was very professional in keeping the crowd engaged when there was a technical problem with the stage ramps before the Magic To Do show. Phil: If you want a workout, do his Dance Aerobics class. No Zumba on this cruise. Only Aerobics. There wasn't a whole lot of instruction on the steps, but the moves were simple enough that after a few beats you were able to catch on. If you went to most of the classes you'd figure out most of the moves. His music selection was also good. Alex from Serbia: Alex really kept it real. He taught Line Dance and a few origami arts & crafts sessions. If you were bad, he would tell you in no uncertain words (not mean, but funny). He was also patient and would walk you through the process again. Scottish Ken: Every karaoke song chosen is his favorite song which is encouraging when you’re nervous. He’s also not afraid to be a backup dancer during said karaoke song which is fun for both the singer and the audience. Very lovely man. Sophie: She has a bubbly personality that really brightens your day. She ran most of the art & crafts sessions and was very thorough in going through the steps of the project. Heard from some of the passengers I met at trivia that she ran the pop choir and has a pretty singing voice. *The second comedian was absolutely hilarious. My family went to both of his scheduled shows. The first one was all planned bits but the second one he played off the crowd most of the time to make it an unique show. * Dining Staff: It was a pleasure to get to know our dinner wait staff Kateryna and Maria over the course of the cruise. They were very patient with our family when we would pepper them with questions about cruise life. My cousin gets sea sick pretty bad and Kateryna gave her some tips to help with it. * Steward: Our room steward Rona was attentive to our various needs and requests. She always had good advice for things to do at the different ports. *Room Escape: First time doing a room escape. Cost $8 and you have to sign up ahead of time. It’s a good deal considering room escapes on shore cost upwards of $40. We didn’t escape but it was highlight for my family. The No Huge Opinion Parts: * Embarkation & Disembarkation There wasn't really a line to get on the boat. From airport to shuttle bus to check-in to boat, it all went smoothly. There was a delay getting off the boat, but that was on the US Government customs. Once we got through that, it was smooth sailing to the airport. * Room temperatures were either freezing (according to my grandmother) or sweltering (according to me). Definitely when the sun hit our side of the boat, there was no amount of AC that could cool down the area by the window. *Food: Plated meals and buffet were middle of the road (except for the fettuccine which was heaven sent). The best things were the variety and not having to cook for myself. I did find myself going to Afternoon Tea most times instead of a normal lunch due to being too full from breakfast. Not a huge tea drinker, but the tea there might have converted me. Ate at the International cafe (Deck 5) once had the chicken sandwich (9/10). Pizza at Slice (Deck 15) (10/10 tasted like normal pizza), Triple Smoked Burger from Salty Dog Grill(?) (Deck 15) (9/10), make your own omelet in buffet area for breakfast (6/10 I didn't pick very good ingredients so that was on me), Mongolian grill in buffet area for lunch (9/10, only went once and it was never open the other days I went to the buffet for lunch). *Magician & First Comedian: The magician and the first comedian were both entertaining but they weren’t really ‘Wow!!’. *Fitness Room: Larger fitness room than expected. About a third of the treadmills were under maintenance, but if you showed up when they opened, there’s no problem getting one. The running track on floor 19 is a little treacherous. I only went up there once one morning and ran a mile (16 laps for 1 mile). It’s slippery when wet so it was slow going but if you go in the evening, it will most likely be dry. Hiccups: * Well. The power went out. Engines, elevators, toilets all stopped working. There was a backup system in place so some lights and all keycard access to rooms still worked. I'm just glad I wasn't in the shower yet when it happened, though I did later run into some one who was. It lasted for 10-20 minutes before everything was back and running so it shows that the crew is competent and they know how to work fast in an emergency situation. Unfortunately, the internet was down for the rest of the night and part of the next day. Felt kind of bad for the cruise director's staff since there was a dance party going on at the time that was already moved to one of the inside lounges due to weather. They handled it well with keeping the crowd engaged and when the power came back on, the party picked up where it left off. * Tenders. For the Fort Amador, Panama stop, the first tendered port for us, two of the four tenders were under maintenance. Thus there was a huge backup for getting off the boat. We had to wait just over 2 hours from our scheduled meetup time before we could get to port. From reading other reviews, in early April 2019 there seemed to be an issue with how tour groups gathered (there wasn't any on board organization so it was up to passengers to get off the boat and to the port meetup site). Now when you go to the meetup area on the ship (either Princess Theater, Wheelhouse, Explorers, or Michelangelo), you get a sticker with a group number and you leave the boat by that group number. So when we all finally got off the boat, our tour group was caroled onto a tour bus and we were still able to do our activity. This also applied to our Nicaragua stop. There was about an hour delay in getting off the boat but it wasn't from broken tenders. It was more from it taking longer to get to port than expected due to rougher waters and the cruise ship having to anchor farther away from port than desired. The excursion was scheduled for most of the time at port, but by the time we started, we had to cut five or so minutes off each stop in order to get back in time. There was also road construction and a few major traffic accidents on the way back to port. * Stage Issues: On New Year's Eve, my family planned to see the Magic To Do show together, but it ended up getting cancelled due to an issue with the stage ramp. It was fixed for the late showing and they put on the show again the following night, but we didn't plan to go together again. My mother vouches that the show was good. She actually went twice. * Other technical issues: The computers they used for the lounges need to be updated. They were slow and sometimes took 5-10 minutes to get things working. Sometimes they crashed in the middle of a game. The cruise director staff and technicians did their best with what they had and most things were able to run with the exception of some audio files embedded into powerpoints. Overall: I had so much fun. The trip was relaxing and it was nice to disconnect from the stresses of land life for a while. Hiccups were there, but since they were handled professionally, I think they made for a more interesting trip. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Expected a lot more for Xmas cruise; few decorations and little music/shows. Only decent production show was broken; entertainment not good except 2guest entertainers. Public bathrooms constantly dirty and toilets broken; water on floors; ... Read More
Expected a lot more for Xmas cruise; few decorations and little music/shows. Only decent production show was broken; entertainment not good except 2guest entertainers. Public bathrooms constantly dirty and toilets broken; water on floors; dangerous. Elevators not working well; I was stuck in one twice, doors close on you and some floor buttons won’t work/light up. One night all 4 engines blew and no power. We were stuck in the dark in a part of our mini-suite that didn’t have a small back up light. I had to hold up my non-walking spouse, who was “transferring” at that time. The joke/saying by passengers is “technical problems”, as we heard it announced a lot. Our cabin awful: the HVAC broken all the time; it would be too hot or too cold, and they couldn’t seem to regulate, and this affects my spouse with M.S. We were in ADA cabin, and my spouse in wheelchair couldn’t use balcony as you can’t close balcony door from outside and ramp deployment mechanism broken and old and they couldn’t fix; also the balcony door got stuck in the open position several times. Cabin toilets broke a lot. Shower drips all the time, without stopping. I injured myself, my hand, trying to show cabin attendant how to work/turn ADA shower nozzle/bar. Takes hours for someone to come and fix anything and it keeps breaking anyway. I spent 1/2 my vacation waiting for people to show up to”fix” things. Refrigerator in room broken and leaky. Front desk mostly takes 20-30 minutes to answer phone;quicker to walk down in robe. Communication poor. Example: It took me several attempts to get our disembark paperwork; I asked in person and called multiple times, and had to walk down in my PJs after 9PM the night before disembark. Problems with “Movies Under The Stars” screen; the top part had a black line across screen, affecting viewing. About 1/2 of the Guest Services Reps were snooty. Shore excursion Rep was to get back to us on two ?s and never did and trip sold out. Device to print your bill often broken (line too long to get from front desk); I suggested they put a note on machine, and they refused! (lot of passengers upset they can’t print and wasted time trying to figure out). Early in the a.m. one day, we were awoken by lots of noise outside cabin, and a Plummer had opened the plumbing closet by our door, and when I went out in hall in my PJs to ask what is wrong now, he just said “normal maintenance”; ridiculous to do this when people are sleeping. While food in dining room good, the buffet was no better than a low level cafeteria, and mostly same food each day, often cold and they ran out of food and didn’t replace. I had to ask staff there, and also in Int’l Cafe and bar to wipe up dirty tables. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I went on the cruise with 5 friends. Things were not up to Princess Standards. The room movie movies were all very old flicks, Nothing recent. There was no Zumba class. No instructor. They could have found a Zumba video. The ... Read More
I went on the cruise with 5 friends. Things were not up to Princess Standards. The room movie movies were all very old flicks, Nothing recent. There was no Zumba class. No instructor. They could have found a Zumba video. The entertainment except for 3 times, was horrible. At Panama getting off the ship was delayed for well over two hours. The food in the dining room was up to Princess standards, and the service was excellent. The food in the buffet was boring to say the least. And not many choices. The Steak house was fine and also the service. The river rafting in Costa Rica was a plus. The seafood extravaganza was /shrimp and Small oysters. Discraceful. The tour in Cartegena was okay. and the tour in Hualitco was fine going on a catamaran and a private beach. The captains welcome lacked decent horsderves. The cycles in the gym were not very good. And finally, in the spa,my friend went for a mud bath, and there was an extra charges of a $79. gratuity put on the room bill. Getting off the ship in California went smoothy, as getting aboard. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Was offered a deal at 1/4 of original price! Ship was fully booked. Worst Food/Service/Entertainment of any Princess cruise I have ever sailed. Ships staff were poorly trained. Ship badly needs a complete overhaul. Buffet was a ... Read More
Was offered a deal at 1/4 of original price! Ship was fully booked. Worst Food/Service/Entertainment of any Princess cruise I have ever sailed. Ships staff were poorly trained. Ship badly needs a complete overhaul. Buffet was a mystery, only about half the dishes had signs, about 10% had the wrong signs. Some tables did not even have salt and pepper shakers. Ice machine in one side was down for 3 days. People who were supposed to bus the tables, looked straight ahead and would only come to the table if called. Phone in room didn't work (auto dial features). Many of the elevators had buttons that didn't t light up or had to be pressed several times. On some floors, some call buttons did not work. Ships power completely failed for 15 minute, no propulsion, electricity! Several of the tenders were inoperable, so on tender ports, there were an inadequate number of tenders. Ships paper sometimes listed incorrect time of events.Listed incorrect TV channels for canal commentary. Loved the dance band but I have never seen a group take 20 minutes every time to set up and do a sound check. As a result, they always started late (but quit on time). Took the photo package and (as we had always done on other princess ships) requested that they hold photos till end of cruise. They gave us a hard time, but eventually agreed to hold the pictures. One person claimed they couldn't find the package, another found it immediately. Talked to many other passengers (who also had cruised frequently with Princess) they all were extremely disappointed with this sailing. The only positive note was our room steward, he did a great job. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was the seventh cruise for my husband and me, the fourth with Princess. Overall, we enjoyed ourselves. We knew the weather would be hot and humid, but were not prepared for how exhausting it would be. (Of course, I'm not ... Read More
This was the seventh cruise for my husband and me, the fourth with Princess. Overall, we enjoyed ourselves. We knew the weather would be hot and humid, but were not prepared for how exhausting it would be. (Of course, I'm not implying that this was Princess's fault!) We were glad to have all the sea days to recuperate! Embarkation in Ft. Lauderdale was chaotic, to put it mildly. We have never had to wait so long to board. It was 2:30 before we finally got on board. By that time, lunch was over in the dining room. The buffet was packed, of course, and the lines for the pizza and burger places near the pool were extremely long. It seems that on embarkation day the dining room could be open longer. We had a balcony cabin on deck 10, and it was just what we expected. Our room steward was pleasant, courteous, and very efficient. Dining experiences on this cruise did not live up to what we have come to expect. The main dining room choices for lunch and dinner were limited and repetitive. Three of the four times we ate lunch there, we both ordered cheeseburgers from the "always available" part of the menu. We had dinner in the dining room most nights, always hoping it would be better than the night before. Highlights were the pheasant, pork chops, gnocchi, and lobster. We had a free special dining perk, and we chose the Crown Grill, based on the reviews we'd read. We felt the food was only marginally better than the dining room. The maitre d' was friendly and pleasant, but our waiter was somewhat arrogant and condescending. We were glad the meal was free. We would definitely not pay $29 to eat there again. The best dining experience we had was at the Salty Dog Gastropub in the Wheelhouse bar. It was $12 each and worth every penny! There were great choices (lobster mac and cheese, short rib poutine, gourmet grilled cheese and tomato soup to name only a few), and you get a ton of food even though they call it "small plates". The atmosphere was relaxed and casual. Many of the tables are bar stool height, which we don't care for, but the waiter gladly rearranged a table and a couple of chairs in the lounge section so we could have a regular height table. As for the buffet, blechhhh. It was much smaller than we've ever seen. Food choices were repetitive and boring. The plates were almost too hot to hold, which makes it odd that the food was cold when we got to a table. I guess it started out that way. We avoided the buffet for most of the cruise. Unfortunately, room service was no better. We usually order room service breakfast when we have an early shore excursion. The food was cold or barely warm, and often didn't come with items we asked for. It seems odd that we can get hot pizza delivered to our house but room service can't deliver hot food to the rooms. We loved the International Cafe! My husband is a coffee-holic and I love a good chai latte. We were not disappointed. It's also a great place for a snack or a light lunch. And it's open 24 hours. The entertainment in the Princess Theater was so-so. We enjoyed the ship's troupe of singers and dancers in a disco themed show and another rock music show. A guest violinist was also very good, as well as the band for all the shows. We didn't go to any other shows in the theater because the description in the Patter didn't sound like we'd like them. However, we LOVED the steel drum player, Roston, and LADO Strings. We followed them around the ship from the Piazza to the Wheelhouse bar and back again. They should have been on the main stage as far as we're concerned. We really enjoyed the destination expert's talks on the ports and a woman from the art auction doing a presentation on the art of DaVinci. We had never been to any of the ports on this cruise. The Panama Canal was amazing. Everyone should experience it! We did shore excursions sponsored by Princess at all ports but one. Our favorite was the Sloth Sanctuary in Costa Rica. We did not book an excursion in Puerto Vallarta. We thought we'd just wander around and see what there was to see. Well, what there was to see was mainly shops and stalls selling made in China souvenirs. We went back to the ship after an hour and a half. Disembarkation went very smoothly. We did have to go to Guest Services to request an earlier disembarkation time, and we're glad we did. We would barely have had enough time to make our flight if we'd gone later. The customs line was long, but moved pretty quickly. (And yes, we know that's not within Princess's control.) It was a much better experience than embarkation. This cruise was on our bucket list, and we're very glad we took it. The somewhat minor inconveniences definitely did not ruin our cruise! Looking forward to our next Princess cruise! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose Princess because we had never taken this line before and we wanted to take the family to Alaska this summer and had to check the line out. Embarkation was a couple of hours late with no explanation. Our cabin was as expected. ... Read More
We chose Princess because we had never taken this line before and we wanted to take the family to Alaska this summer and had to check the line out. Embarkation was a couple of hours late with no explanation. Our cabin was as expected. We could have used an extra chair, but we made do. Our luggage did not make it to our cabin until after late dinner. So we had dinner in our clothes that had been traveled in all day. We wanted to traverse the Panama Canal during the holidays, but Princess didn't seem to want to celebrate the holidays. There was a smattering of Christmas trees and one Menorah and that was it for decorations. The crew sang carols once. Other lines have made us feel like we were in a winter wonderland. The dining room food was 90% great and if it wasn't they would try to make it great. Always eat in the dining room. The hot dogs in the Salty Dog are also good for a snack. Never eat in the buffet...… You have been warned. Now for the worst part of the cruise. Our excursion in Panama City uses tenders (life boats.) Two of the tenders were not working. A third tender broke down with people on it. How could this be???? What if there was an emergency? Didn't they check these before we left? So our 8 hour day turned out to be a 4 hour day and we could not get to any of the excursions planned because everything was so far away. Thank you Princess for ruining my time in Panama. Late that night, our ship LOST POWER. Yes, we were floating at sea with no power, no lights, no nothing. No emergency power. And, no one came on the intercom to reassure the passengers for 15 minutes. Another 15 minutes before power came back on. Lots of "technical issues" on this ship. Sound system, etc. Now for the positive. The employees: the dining staff, the cabin stewards, the bartenders, all had the best customer service of any ship. That is the one thing that Princess does the best. They know how to train their personnel in customer service. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose the Emerald Princess to see the Panama Canal. Ports that we visited were all excellent enjoying Cartagena, Columbia thee most, other than the Panama Canal. All the other ports -Puerto Rica, San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua, Huatulco ... Read More
We chose the Emerald Princess to see the Panama Canal. Ports that we visited were all excellent enjoying Cartagena, Columbia thee most, other than the Panama Canal. All the other ports -Puerto Rica, San Juan del Sur in Nicaragua, Huatulco Obando Puerto Vallarta were also very enjoyable. The food on the Emerald Princess was great along with the staff. Live theatre performances could have been better, recommend they install large HD TV sets on the sides for better viewing of the shows. We found the staff to be welcoming and great ambassadors for Princess. We enjoyed the new dining venues of Steamers and Blanks BBQ they are reasonably priced. We also dined in the Salty Dog pub and had a great hamburger. The only disappointment was the disembarkation was slow and we were an hour behind in getting off the ship. We will look at Princess again but there are lots of options to look at. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Excursion to Panama City had problem with tenders. Had to wait over 2 1/2 hours to get to shore. This was a safety issue. We were to see the old Panama Canal but due to the delay that portion was omitted. Ship had an electrical ... Read More
Excursion to Panama City had problem with tenders. Had to wait over 2 1/2 hours to get to shore. This was a safety issue. We were to see the old Panama Canal but due to the delay that portion was omitted. Ship had an electrical incident where it completely stopped at sea and had to be restarted. The Maitre d was the most rude person to hold that position we have ever seen on any cruise. Customer Service on and off board was probably 2 star at best. Cruse quality with Princess is really dropping off as off late. With the shut down and all the publicity that Princess garnished handling their passengers on the affected ships our cruise seemed like a precursor to the pandemic. The cabin attendant did absolutely minimal. Granted we were in a interior cabin and weren't spending extravagantly on beverages and paid dining rooms but we have cruise with Princess MANY time and this one was the first in a couple of year and REALLY show the deficiencies. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This is not the company that we knew, our previous cruise was 5 years prior to this and we have 16 Princess cruises to measure this disaster against, We chose the cruise which was over Christmas and New Year going through the Panama ... Read More
This is not the company that we knew, our previous cruise was 5 years prior to this and we have 16 Princess cruises to measure this disaster against, We chose the cruise which was over Christmas and New Year going through the Panama Canal. Embarkation took over 2 hours , we stood outside in a line with no refreshment , check in was tedious. Christmas decorations were minimalistic with exception of the foyer, very plastic but ok , each public area had one tree and the main dining room had a table decoration which was a band of plastic berries and a flower ( photo attached) the staff all had a veil Father Christmas hat on. The service from all the staff throughout the ship was excellent Our outside cabin had only one chair and no sofa it was inadequate The food and service was good, in the restaurant, The Lido buffet was a bit like a football match , at peak times it was difficult to get a seat nonetheless the food was OK In that area it is impossible to sit quietly with events and films competing to be the noisiest. Entertainment was badly scheduled and poor , was it because acts did not come on during the Christmas period. There were no big shows , poor singers and dancers with 3rd rate”Stars” . The cruise director was ineffective. The reason for doing this trip was the new Panama locks this was well executed and narrated and did not disappoint. The tours that we did were excellent except the tender we were on lost power in one engine and there was no steering so we waltzed around for a good 20 mins before we got back to the ship there was another tender waking for us but guess what that was broken So 2 big tenders out of action? Good job there was not an evacuation. But wait, that evening for about 15 minutes the engines stopped, everything including lights went out. We were sent a drinks voucher . Speaking of which Not sure were all the officers were on this ship were they in hiding they only seemed to emerge for the Captains circle event The drinks were outrageously priced plus tax and tips , hence the bars were quiet . New Year’s Eve was yet another disaster the main event was scheduled on the top of the ship but it was too cold and windy there was nothing scheduled in Explorers as the best band was on the top of the ship We have seen much of the world with Princess and we feel sad that the decline in the experience is so great that we will not be travelling with them 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 love sailing with Princess and enjoy the traditional atmosphere and older crowd. This cruise was great except for a few issues... Embarkation was bad from the start due to customs issues and computer problems. But I think it was ... Read More
We love sailing with Princess and enjoy the traditional atmosphere and older crowd. This cruise was great except for a few issues... Embarkation was bad from the start due to customs issues and computer problems. But I think it was just a fluke, It took several hours even for priority boarding ...They gave us free drinks on board with a nice apology for the delays. We were a party of three staying in the family suite on dolphin deck. It was beautiful and very nicely appointed. This cabin has a large balcony at the front of the ship. Great to watch the Panama Canal and sit outside when docked. Couldn’t use it much when we were at sea due to the wind. Our room steward Jose was warm and very friendly and efficient. We enjoyed the cruise director staff and our club class dining servers the most on this ship. The went above and beyond to provide excellent service. Other onboard entertainment was kind of a crap shoot. We loved Korey the piano guy in Crooners. Most nights it was hard to get a seat. The production shows were outstanding with professional singing and dancers, complete with beautiful wardrobe and sets. We really enjoyed those. We were disappointed in the visiting entertainment that were flown in. Comedy, magician, and singer we did not care for. What they lacked, entertainment crew made up for in trivia games, vow renewal service, dance off, themed nights, karaoke, and all round fun activities. Lots to do if you wanted to participate but not overbearing. The entertainment crew worked really hard to engage with all the guests. We particularly liked Phil, Alex, Ashleigh, and Scotish Ken. They made ever event fun and inviting. Food was basically good, ports were great, ship is beautiful and clean. We enjoyed the formal dining most nights and went to the buffet a few a few times. We found that mostly bland, lacking in variety. The themed seafood night was great though, complete with oyster bar, king crab and shrimp. That was the night we left Puerto Vallarta, so don’t miss that. The staff in the buffet dining though were great. We got good service and usually had no problem finding a seat. My main complaint was the food there was often bland, repetitive and frankly kind of strange. Sometimes it seemed like they were just recycling leftovers in weird combos that really didn’t go together. The presentation was beautiful but just didn’t taste very good. We never went hungry though, that’s for sure and always found something to eat :) The pizza, Stromboli, burgers and hot dogs were always available and really good. We loved the laid back feel of this ship and the passengers, we never felt rushed or crowded. In general this was one of favorites we’ve ever done and would highly recommend it. Will be sailing again on the same ship to Hawaii. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Sailing through the Panama Canal was checked off my bucket list. We selected this cruise through a local travel agent (not our regular agency) because of the itinerary and the deal. We got a mid-ship, port side balcony cabin on B (11th) ... Read More
Sailing through the Panama Canal was checked off my bucket list. We selected this cruise through a local travel agent (not our regular agency) because of the itinerary and the deal. We got a mid-ship, port side balcony cabin on B (11th) deck. This was our first Princess cruise and we came away agreeing that it would probably be our last. But first, I will say some of what we did like about our experience. Our cabin was spacious and comfortable. The balcony was about 5' X 10' with two reclining chairs and a table. The bedding was very nice, we had a 46"-ish TV with good programming choices. It was quiet. Our Cabin attendant, Ernie was perfect. Food was good (we had only Thanksgiving dinner at our designated seating) and there were adequate choices. Dining room wait staff was very good. We thought the shows were some of the best and the 800 seat Princess Theater is a great venue. We enjoyed all our excursions and the narration as we traversed the Canal. The fitness facility was good and opened at 6AM. We spent over $1000 on spa services and we enjoyed our time there. We were very fond of some of the crew. Which brings me to my first and biggest complaint, most of the crew seemed disinterested and unenthusiastic. In the interest of healthier eating and for flexibility, we ate almost exclusively in the buffet, generally two meals per day. Most times we got our own coffee or water and were never offered refills. More than once we had to roam around searching for silverware. All staff there were robotic, overwhelmed. We tried to eat at the Salty Dog on the pool deck one night. We and another couple right after us, left when we we not even given eye contact after quite a while. Buffet again. As one moves around the ship you get the impression that a lot of the crew is not happy. On the other hand the Cruise Director and her assistant were over the top, too hyped with too many questions. "Are you this?" " Did everyone have a that?" If WE aren't enthusiastic, the questions are re-asked. With about a week left, I decided I was not answering any more questions. A few days into the cruise we were in bed at 8:30PM when someone we hadn't seen before came to our cabin to "disinfect" it. My wife sent them away of course. I can't say we ever were disinfected or what we may have been living with. We wasted a lot of steps trying to find where we were supposed to be beginning with the obligatory muster which began about 30 minutes after we were allowed to board at 4:30. We somehow used the wrong entrance to several things so that nobody knew we were there or, so that we often didn't know what was going on. For excursions we had to assemble way earlier than we needed to. One was at 7:15AM and it was an hour later when we were on the bus. I would like to have that hour at 7:15AM. On ocean cruises these days, you must know that you are a captive sales prospect but we felt like there was too much selling on this one. If you don't use the dining rooms there really is one other place to eat unless you want to pay extra. Shellfish or BBQ? Extra. Want a big hamburger or a steak? Extra. We paid $419 for use of the thermal spa and a quiet pool area but never found a place to sit at the pool. Most times we went to use the spa there was no space for us. I think we were able three times. The woman managing the spa was visibly money motivated (observing her with her staff) and she often bordered on rude with us. It was from 7AM when we vacated our cabin until around 11:30 when we cleared customs (that is the fault of our US government and not Carnival Cruise Lines). Probably, though during that time when we were in close proximity with hundreds, we both got nasty colds with extreme chest congestion. We left the ship Tuesday morning. Thursday evening we were fully sick and still are a week later. Many people were handling beverage containers, wandering around in a lounge area and changing seats. There was no hand sanitizer, no sanitary suggestions. We think we picked up the colds there. So, on balance we had a nice trip but we believe other cruise lines have been better. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
My wife and I had a very good relaxed vacation. The highlight of this cruise is able to witness the Panama Canal pass through and to see how it operates. It is a once in a lifetime experience. As for Emerald Princess Cruise it is a mixed ... Read More
My wife and I had a very good relaxed vacation. The highlight of this cruise is able to witness the Panama Canal pass through and to see how it operates. It is a once in a lifetime experience. As for Emerald Princess Cruise it is a mixed review. Our stateroom, overall service and food are great. The embarkation and disembarkation are terrible. The entertainment is either a hit or a miss. As for ports, we enjoy Cartagena Old city, Puntarenas Costa Rica, Puerto Vallarta Malecon broadwalk. Below is our trip review details. I rated each category from 1 to 5 (1 worst to 5 best). We arrived at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood airport (FLL) on port day. From FLL to port Everglades, we used Lyft. It is very easy to use Lyft/Uber at FLL. FLL has a designated share riding pick up area. The cost of our ride is $10. Embarkation 1/5: This is my 7th cruise with Princess and this one was the worst cruise check in I ever have. It was a mess. No public announcement. We waited a long line pass through check in then sit and wait in a room with no instruction. It took us over 2 to 3 hours to board the ship. Later the captain apologized for the ship delay due to transit and offered each passenger a free drink voucher. StateRoom, 5/5: We stayed at room R225 deck 14 forward interior cabin. Our room is close to gym deck 16 and marketplace buffet deck 15. During the last 2 days of the cruise I do feel shaky in the room or anywhere in the ship due to the high wind. Overall, I do not feel motion sickness or noisy being in this stateroom. Our stateroom steward Vichan is excellent. He always greets us with a smile when we see him on the hallway. We bring a shower sponge so it is helpful for dispensing soap into sponge for showering. I also bring in Magnetic hooks that are helpful to hang papers and clothes on wall. Dining 4/5: We used anytime dining. Based on our entire cruise the wait time is very minimal less than 5 minutes wait. We request no sharing table. I don’t like their 2 person sitting table. They are too close to each other’s and it is like a share table. Because of this we talked and met other passengers during our dining. The food quality and service were very good. We had 3 formal dinners. The food quality at the dining is better than buffet section. As for breakfast and lunch we usually used the marketplace buffet, salty dog burger or pizza. Again food was ok. Pretty much same things you see everyday with some new stuffs add in daily. I wish Princess can make the buffet with a different theme country each day so we don’t get the same food every day. On the last few days I get bored of their buffet food. There was one night with seafood buffet with oyster, mussels, crab legs and giant shrimp. There are some occasions with Australian bbq, Asian ramen, pub lunch in the buffet section. We did not try any specialty dining. I ordered the deck 15 Salty dog “Ernesto burger & beer” $8 plus gratitude. Expect to wait 15 to 20 minutes for the Ernesto burger. As for their regular free burger it is very good. I always ask them to make it Medium with melted cheese otherwise they will make burger well done which I think is too dry. They also serve veggie burger and chicken sandwich but I never try them. As for coffee we bring in our instant coffee onboard. I did try their complimentary coffee it was ok not as bad as i thought. Don’t forget to try the international cafe pastries, cookies, desserts, and soups. Entertainment 3/5: I think this is the weakest part of this cruise. There is no music playing on the pool deck at daytime. On the last few days I see more music singing or DJ around lunch time. For the production show it was either a hit or miss. Some shows I like for example the comedian Phil Tag and the singer John Bressler are great. I am not a big fan of their broadway music show. I also like the piano guy he is very energetic, movie under the star, a couple of their game shows like marriage couples. Gym 3/5: It has lot of equipment. Gym opens daily at 6am and treadmill machine opens at 8am don’t know why? The yoga area is very busy in early morning with classes and other users. Gym is less crowded in the afternoon. If you are over 6 ft tall and if you use their treadmill you need to watch out for hitting the ceiling. Casino: we only use the gamble slot machines to cash out our excess on board credit and Princess gift card. The process is easy. Just go to any slot machine insert your room card select a pin # and choose the cash amount you want to charge from your room to the casino bank. Once this is done you can play a little bit of game. We ended up losing about $10 on the slot machine. When you are done you select cash out on the slot machine. Then you head out to the cashier counter give them your card enter your Pin # to cash out. We have an excess of approx $325 ($25 on board credit and $300 + gift card) at the end of the cruise so we cash out all on the last day. Before our cruise American Express has a deal offer of buying $500 gift card with $100 statement credit. We bring in the gift card to customer service deck on the first day of the cruise to redeem on my room account. Cartagena 5/5: We visited old city. This is a must see. We joined the Emerald princess shopping shuttle bus organized by the Effy store. You need to sign on their tour bus in the shopping talk. They charge $15 r/t per person paid at the end of the tour. We arrived at old city at around 9:15 and came back at 12:30. Once you are at old town you can join their shopping tour or do your own sightseeing and meet at a designated spot (church) at 12:30pm. We did our own sightseeing and we did not take their shuttle back to port. We took a taxi back to pier and it cost us $10. Old city is nice to walk around. Make sure do your research before you come so you know where to visit. I saw merchants came to me asked me to buy stuffs. We just said no thank you and they did not bother us. Panama full transit 5/5: This is a once in a lifetime experience to watch this Panama Canal pass through. Our cruise went through a full transit through two new lots. Agua Clara lot on the Atlantic side and Cocoli lot on the pacific side. I personally liked to watch the action from the front. On the first lot we spent most time on deck 15 forward. You can access here passing the emergency exit and you would have all the front view. We also watched from deck 16, 7, ... and aft side. You need to walk around the ship to watch different views front back and side. Princess has a commentator described events throughout the transit day. He is also the same guy described each port activity before we arrived at each port. Panama City (tendered dock) 4/5: We visited Casco Viego. This place Is very similar to Cartagena old town. We took princess complimentary shuttle bus to Albrook mall then from there I called Uber to Casco Viego $3.6 to explore on our own. Do your research know the area before you come. On the way back to Fuerte Amador port I ordered Uber to port cost $5.3. My phone is T mobile with simple choice plan and I have free international data. Data speed is 2G not fast but enough to check email WhatsApp message or use Uber ... Uber works out well and cheap in Panama City. It use the same Uber apps like in US. You will able to see the ride cost, driver name, make of car and license plate #. Costa Rica Puntarenas 5/5: My wife and I joined a day tour with Dimas Saravia (tratursa dot com). I found him from TripAdvisor review. Dimas met us promptly at the gangway at 8am with our name. It was a long fun day with him and 4 other cruise passengers from our cruise. We went to see monkeys, jungle crocodile safari boat tour and had a nice lunch at a resort up at the mountain with a nice view. The tour price was very reasonable. He told us a lot about the city and himself. I highly recommend his tour. Nicaragua San Juan Del Sur (tendered dock) 4/5: We try to walk from port to the Jesus statue. We walked the wrong way. When you walk along side the beach walkway to the end you see a crazy crab I walked to the right I should walk to the left to the beach. So I ended up taking a taxi $5 to the statue. There are approximately 100 steps to walk up. There is a guy at the entrance to collect $2 each entrance fees. The view up there is amazing. Must visit. We walked back to the pier. There are many shops, bars and restaurants near the port. Huatulco 2/5: We took a taxi to the town La Crucecita. We visited the white washed church then walked round down town and took a taxi back to cruise port. We then went to a bar at the San Jose beach for drinks and use their WiFi. San Jose beach is next to pier and it is occupied mostly by bars and restaurants. This is my least favorite port of this cruise. Taxi from port to town is $3 each way. Puerto Vallarta 5/5: We had a great time at Malecon. I highly recommend to come here. We took a local bus to Malecon. The bus stop is on your left side after you leave the main terminal gate. Bus fare is $10 peso each. I gave bus driver US $2 for 2 of us. Bus driver told us where to get off. We walked from Hotel Rosita all the way south to Romantic zone Los Muertos beach. At Los Muertos, there are many water taxis vendors if you like to visit the island. It was a easy pleasant walk along Malecon. I suggest come here after 10am when store open. Most people here are able to speak English well. There are many benches to sit down. There are many trees on the side so you can walk under shade. We visited the our lady of Guadalupe church, seahorse and many other statues. There are many shops and bars on the broadwalk. I bought a T shirt from senor frogs store. On the way back to cruise port, we took local bus with sign Wal-Mart and Sam Club in front. The cruise port stop is one stop before Wal-Mart. We stopped by Walmart to buy some stuffs before we head back to ship. Highly recommend to come visit Malecon by bus. Note Uber is available in Puerto Vallarta. Disembarkation (1/5): delayed again. Our schedule departure time was 9:05am and we left platinum lounge at 10:50am. Immigration line was long and by the time we left San Pedro terminal was 11:30am. The disembarkation delay was not princess fault. The terminal has very limited immigration staffs to handle all passengers. Once we complete immigration our luggages are in our designated area to pick up. Read Less
Sail Date November 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
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
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
Emerald Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.5 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursions 5.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.2
Value for Money 4.5 N/A

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