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

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
Pre Cruise: Our vacation began in Ft. Lauderdale where we stayed in a small, newly-built, Quality Suites hotel near the airport. If you're staying overnight prior to the cruise, you won't need a rental car. The hotel will pick ... Read More
Pre Cruise: Our vacation began in Ft. Lauderdale where we stayed in a small, newly-built, Quality Suites hotel near the airport. If you're staying overnight prior to the cruise, you won't need a rental car. The hotel will pick you up at the airport and transport you to the cruise pier for free. You won't need a car rental, as you can walk to a few nearby restaurants. But if you plan to do shopping or site seeing, rent a car and enjoy everything that this city has to offer. Embarkation: We boarded the Emerald Princess on Saturday around Noon time and the call for general boarding had commenced. Although we have Elite status, we were ushered into a long line which took about an hour for us to get on board. So we missed having lunch in the MDR which closes at 1pm. We didn't mind this so much because we had five days at sea before reaching our first port. We were not in a hurry. We chose this voyage because we wanted to experience ports that we had not previously visited. In Barcelona, all passengers were required to exit the ship for customs clearance. No luggage checks, just passport clearance. Passengers on a tour/excursion were required to take their passports with them for re-entry at the terminal. Those individuals who remained on board took their passport to the control officer. Quick & easy. Of course, some passengers didn't understand that the term "all passengers" applied to them, so the crew had to locate those individuals and usher them off the ship before the rest of us could return. We waited about 2 hours in the terminal before we noticed that everyone was already returning to the ship. I recommend that you take a tour of the city to avoid the wait time and enjoy a walking tour of Barcelona. The bus & metro service are super easy, the taxi service is reasonable, and the city is very pedestrian friendly. Las Ramblas is an area that should not be missed. The Ship: The Emerald Princess emerged from dry dock just prior to our cruise. So much of the public areas were updated and polished. The most noticeable upgrade is the Market Fresh dining area. Other areas of the ship received fresh carpet and some areas were got a fresh coat of paint. We were pleased that the zumba classes were moved from the piazza area. Sports events, competitions, and musical celebrations can get pretty loud. We could clearly hear the dance music in the elevator on the Lido Deck (deck 15). We found several empty bar areas to use as a hideaway for reading, puzzles and light conversation. The destination lectures were fabulous. The expert advice offered during these sessions were invaluable. She had a wealth of knowledge, a great personality, and a direct focus on the important issues. Entertainment: I don't enjoy the musicals and stand up entertainment shows provided on cruise ships. I live in a city where entertainment is the main industry.So I don't attend these shows while cruising. Some people in the audience clearly love them. So I consider myself an anomoly. The ring toss, bag toss, and poolside events appear to be very popular with the majority of cruisers. Since I don't enjoy watching or participating in those activities, I don't criticize them. The ratings scale does not provide N/A options. Dining: The Horizon Court is now called World Market Fresh which features a clean and spacious design with new tables and chairs. The food is appealing, artfully displayed, and makes self service much easier. The section at the rear of the ship featured made-to-order omelets at breakfast and ramen noodle stir fry at noon. The serving lines could be long on those days. At dinner time, those areas at the rear were converted to casually elegant restaurants called Planks and Steamers Seafood which alternated from one night to the next. I don't know the schedule because we dined only once in each venue. They weren't busy so the hostess would seat you without reservations. There was a lot of food included for the $12 upcharge and the food was plentiful and flavorful. It was also nice and quiet. Other dining options that are free, besides World Market Fresh, include International Cafe, and the open deck spots featuring pizza and a hot dog/hamburger grill. The Crown Grill and Share are specialty restaurants, in elegant surroundings, which charge $39 and $29 respectively. There are three main dining rooms (MDR) on this ship. Two feature traditional dining and one features anytime dining. The Anytime Dining option has improved significantly. If you arrive anytime after 7:30pm, you'll be seated expeditiously. If you prefer to eat earlier, I recommend the traditional dining. It might have been a fluke, but it seemed to me that the MDR is as noisy as Market Fresh with clattering of dishes, loud conversations and very little sound absorption. Excursions: In Funchal, Portugal we thoroughly enjoyed the TukTuk Taxi tour. We made reservations prior to departure at http://www.tukxi.pt/, and the driver, Caroline, picked us up right outside the terminal at the pier, right on time. She took us on a 2.5 hour ride through the winding streets of the city where there were very few cars, lots of locals, and some terrific photo ops. We visited the major tourist attractions and she even stopped to pick some fruit and fragrant plants along the way. The cost for 2.5 hours was 52.00 USD (47.00 Euro) and we were extremely satisfied. In Morocco, we selected a Princess excursion that included a visit to the capital city of Rabat because our research indicated that there was not very much to see and do in Casablanca. In both cities, the traffic jams, road construction, and pedestrians made it extremely difficult to move around. Our guide had a very strong accent and the radio communicators were fuzzy and annoying. In Casablanca, we stopped at a mosque and a government building to view non-descript mosaic tiles. There was really nothing else to see. On our way to Rabat,the guide told us that we would enjoy a bathroom break "very soon" which turned out to be after noon. He told us that the acceptable bathrooms along the road were closed for construction. In Rabat, we visited a major mosque with acceptable toilets and we were able to see only the outside of the Royal Palace because, unfortunately, the royal family was in residence. We had lunch, with lots of food, in an upscale restaurant without air conditioning before returning to ship. The rush hour traffic of Casablanca was the most memorable portion of the tour. I don't mean to sound snobby in my assessment of Morocco and I hope to visit again in a couple of years as it will likely be more prepared for western tourism. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Great ship we ate any time dinning and we were lucky to have a great head waiter and waiter and his assistan. were the best. The food was extremly good and we really enjoyed our time on board The shows were really good and the ... Read More
Great ship we ate any time dinning and we were lucky to have a great head waiter and waiter and his assistan. were the best. The food was extremly good and we really enjoyed our time on board The shows were really good and the entertaiment in the lounges were excellent. We had fun in the CaSSINO . wE THOUGHT THAT WE MIGHT HAVE FOUND THE 6 DAYS AT SEA TOO MUCH BUT WE ACTUALLY ENJOYED IT. Once we reached our first stop we were ready to get off the ship. We took a tour and explored the Azores. The next day was a sera day and a day to rest. Then we reached Funchal and enjoyed exploring. The next stop was casablanca. we had been ther befor and did not like it so we stayed on thbe ship. It was a very relaxing day.Then we wer on to CADIZ and we took a tour to Seville. It was a very interrsting but tiring day. Then was Malaga. Really beautiful we took the Hop on Hop Off Bus and really enjoyed the day. Last stop Barcellona and what a sto. We spent three days there and really explored the city. We really loved the trip Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Emerald Princess Transatlantic April 2-16 2016 This was our 4th cruise and second on the Emerald. We arrived in Ft Lauderdale on the 1st April 2016 to a nice day. Cheapest room we could find was the Ramada inn Cruise terminal. This ... Read More
Emerald Princess Transatlantic April 2-16 2016 This was our 4th cruise and second on the Emerald. We arrived in Ft Lauderdale on the 1st April 2016 to a nice day. Cheapest room we could find was the Ramada inn Cruise terminal. This was not fancy by any standard but had a great Complimentary Breakfast and transportation from the airport, and to the cruise terminal. We spent the afternoon on the Carrie B boat site seeing the rich and famous houses along the waterways (We would do again). On Cruise day the Ramada Hired a big party bus to take us to the ship. It was equipped with disco laser lights, music, and a dance floor. Embarking day was very Quick and arriving at 12:30 went straight to our room and started to explore the ship. Lots of ships in the Harbor and we did not leave until probably after 6 p.m. This was ok with us because we got to watch all the other boats cruise out with music blasting. The Cruise director Marshal and Frenchie are a great combination. We enjoyed both of them on the daily news updates and announcing various functions throughout the ship. As you would expect the first part of the trip was 7 sea days (Saturday to Saturday). Most of the days had overcast but on one or two we did sneak in some sun as we headed for the Azores Portugal. This was our first port of call but a big weather system moved into the North and the Captain decided that we should push on to Lisbon and avoid the heavy winds and rain. The ships chain of command always had our safety and comfort in mind at all times. They avoided most of the heavy stuff and kept us briefed and even had the weather maps posted on the Horizon court wall. The nice thing about the Princess cruise line is that most of the activities and ship layout are about the same. As some may have heard the Emerald had just gotten out of dry dock. The refit for the new Curtis Stone restaurant was completed and new beds mattress and lots of new carpet. The new mattress slept amazing as the prior trip on the Emerald I had to ask for two toppers to get a decent sleep. This was the best sleep I have had on the Princess line. I can only say Thank you so much for getting them changed out. My wife commented that the Crack between the two singles (pushed together to make a Queen) was much improved and did not feel like two bed anymore. We felt that our improved sleep made us come back NEW! Food: We did not try the new Cutis Stone restaurant but $35 dollars per person for small portions seemed a bit much. True you got a 6 course meal but the menu did not impress me that much. We opted for Traditional dinning and had a two person table (seated immediately) that we tried one night. After over 2 hours of waiting for our small portion meals I was ready to go get something to eat at the horizon Court. People of structure may like this more than my wife and myself but we will not be doing it again for a while. We eat at the Horizon Court. Food was very good and pasta is much improved. The wait staff is very attentive and as soon as a plate is empty someone will Wisk it away. We get to eat in about a half an hour time and the selection was changed daily. Nice Job and Caddo’s to the Horizon Court. We spent one very delicious evening at the Crown Grill. This is a bargain in my book at $25 per person. You do not have to tip and you get great service. You can order for the one price as much as you like. Staff is awesome and always enjoy the fine steakhouse beauty and feel. You can pre order the crown grill on your Phone in your room. This works much better than trying to go to that area and reserving a seat. Popcorn, cookies and milk oh my. The pool staff was awesome at picking up and catering to the movie crowed that showed up. Even when the weather is bad and very cold I would find them at their post awaiting someone to serve. Trident Grill was very good and I was impressed with a nice young man named Ivan. He was so nice and loved the adventure he was on with princess. Pizza and Ice cream was very good. The wheelhouse Pub we did not try because it seemed to be catered to drinking. I was impressed with Princess trying to get more selections for different venues. A lot of space seems to be wasted on large areas of the ship that only do specialty one venue dinning. How about taking the same area and turning it into smaller free or low cost smaller specialty mall size restaurants with one common area to eat. One could be like a New York Deli shop, and another a Mexican cafe. Overall the food got two thumbs up. We tried taking only 7 days of clothing with us this time. As we stayed on the Lido deck we did not have any washer’s area. Each floor below has a wash area. Sometimes one small one, on each side, and usually at the back of the ship. Your cruise card is used to get you tokens for the washer and dryer. A separate token for soap is dispensed as your selection. Crowding can be a problem because at certain times people can be lined up waiting. I had problems with tokens not being dispensed or soap that did not come out. Go to the service desk for problems with the machines and they will refund your lost charges. Note one token is $3 and will do one washer or dryer load. Soap is $1.50 We did not participate in any formal nights (4 total) and only at ounce in the dining rooms, this worked out just fine for us. If you must do the picture and formal night thing and don’t want to bring a suit along you might want to rent one through the cruise line. They clean it and make sure it is ready for you to wear. Room: As mentioned above the bed was awesome, and the cleaning for this room was usually in the afternoon hours. We did not get our robes but our room was kept tidy enough. It is a hard job they have. Entertainment was above average. The new Magic to do show was a real treat. We loved the comedian David Copperfield (not a Magician) but was totally hilarious on stage. Ports. We loved Lisbon and will be going back. Please try to go to Sintra Portugal. The tour was the best bang for the buck. Lots of shopping kept my wife smiling. Balboa Spain seemed all the same. All the houses seemed the same. The Guggenheim Museum area was the only thing that seemed worth seeing. Paris in a day by train. Le Havre (The Port) We got in line early and after getting off the ship headed for a taxi that would take us to the train station. One quick drive and 10 euros latter we arrived at the station. Tickets We purchased ahead of time from raileurope for the 8:05 train departure. The train service is every hour, and second class is fine. Note trains do not assign track numbers until the last minutes sometimes. I believe they call them Tiers=Track number. Watch the signs and do not be alarmed as we got at not seeing the track number on if for some time. Two hours later we arrived at the very large train station in Paris called Gare St. Lazare. Note bathrooms are charged in many places and could be 70 cents per person. We had 11:30 tickets for the Eifel so we took a taxi straight to that location. They will not let you use the tickets until the time stated on them. Lots of security this time and the bathrooms are free but your bag will be wanded before you can go in. We had the tickets for the BatoBus (Boats that travel the Seine river). It was about 1:30 or so before we got on the boats for the scenic cruise. Stopping at the louvre boat stop we traveled through the park and walked to the old opera house. This is the site of the phantom of the opera. After this it was a small ways to the train station and we took the 3:50 train back to Le Havre. Yes it was rushed but we saw the sites we came to see and will say catch you later to the snooty people of Paris. Le Havre does not offer much to do being that it is a port and will have a hard time finding much to do. It does offer a couple of nice churches. London. Transfer through the ship and was in London at about 11:30 or so. We got the hoppa bus to the Double tree and dropped our luggage for the day. Purchased an oyster card (pre paid card for busses and the tube ride). Note that they charge 5 pound deposit on the card that can be refunded at the store of purchase. We went to Paddington station through the Tube and jumped on a hop on hop off bus next to the station. 4 hours later we are approaching 6 pm and we completed one lap. It was very slow because it was Saturday and a demonstration was in the park. They stop the line at 6 pm. We took the tube and train back to the hotel. The hotel had no free breakfast and no transportation from the airport. The Hoppa Not free) bus did stop in front of the Hotel. And the only thing free was advice, and a very nice cookie. The London people are friendly and love to help. Immigration was completed on the ship two days ahead of time so we got straight off the into the bus transfer. We enjoyed the stay and would go back. Conclusion: Room service slow but got the job done. All the staff on princess friendly and helped as much as they could. Entertainment well above average. Food very good and was up to the normal high standards. Ships Captain had sound judgment and seemed very nice. Cruise directors and entertainment top notch. Thanks for the great trip and we will see you soon. Shore excursions well worth the money. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
I am new to princess cruises, and they made a good 1st impression as far as the ship, crew, food and itinerary. The only complaint i had was embarkation at fort lauderdale port. First, boarding was running late, apparently because it ... Read More
I am new to princess cruises, and they made a good 1st impression as far as the ship, crew, food and itinerary. The only complaint i had was embarkation at fort lauderdale port. First, boarding was running late, apparently because it took them too long to get everyone off the previous sailing. I say start charging passengers $100 for every 15 minutes they're late disembarking & that'll get them off! also, i can understand princess wants to make their elite and higher loyalty passengers feel special, but it felt highly disrespectful to the rest of us to make us wait in the boiling hot sun for an additional 30 minutes or more while they all lined up & were all allowed enter the building 1st, before any of us were allowed to enter. Even people who arrived 30 minutes or more after we did were allowed to join that line & they all had to be allowed in before they would begin letting our line enter the building! it started things off with us being angry and resentful. After that, it was well organized and went rather quickly. Anyway....on to the good stuff...day 1: as soon as we embarked, we went for lunch at di vinci's, which was very good. My balcony cabin, baja505 deck 11 starboard side closer to aft, was great. There was plenty of space and storage. The beds were very comfortable. There's an open closet area with a tall cabinet of shelves next to it, and i loved it. Bring wire hangers so you'll have tons of hanging space for clothing. The bathroom was ok. Small shower, but at least the curtain curved out. Bring an over the door plastic shoe holder, so you'll have plenty of toiletry storage space, since there's limited vanity/shelf space in the restroom. The balcony was nice and private. I could look down on balconies on decks 9 and 10, but mine was covered. My parents were in dolphin201, a deck 9 starboard forward mini suite. They had an extra living room area with sleeper sofa, and their balcony extended out a little further, but it was 1 of those uncovered ones without privacy. We did not attend the show that night. Dinner was just ok, i had the curtis stone chef special fish stew, which was bland. Dad had texas chili, which was very bland, as was the cheese tart. Day 2: i was disappointed that breakfast at divinci did not include grits. I'm a southern gal & love me some grits! Later i found out they had them at the buffet. Breakfast at divinci's was the same pretty much every morning, so that got a little monotonous. Lunch at divinci's, london grill and mussels with rice pudding dessert was all delicious. Dinner at michelangelo: shrimp was amazing, as was the chocolate journeys dessert that they offer several times during the cruise. Always order the chocolate journeys dessert when it's offered! During the day i tried to go to the serenity adult pool area off of the spa, but it was too crowded. There were tons of people in the pool & no loungers. It's a small area. The pool area on deck 15 with live music was pleasant, not overly crowded & there were plenty of loungers. I purchased the internet special 600 + 40 bonus minutes for $199 & it was worth it. It lasted me the 2 weeks. We tried to use the princess @ sea app for free on board, but it was pretty much useless for sending messages to each other, since there's no notification when you have a message. You have to be on it, looking at it to know. So we gave up. Comedian george casey from ireland was funny that night, clean humor that night. Day 3: breakfast at divinci's was disappointing. Mom said her fried eggs tasted like bad grease. I ordered smoked salmon & they never brought a bagel & then looked at me funny when i asked for it. The menu said smoked salmon with bagel & cream cheese. We tried to buy inch of gold in the atrium area, but it was super crowded & the 1 employee insisted on making each individual item right there, which took forever, as he moved at a snail's pace! We kept asking him why he doesn't take the orders like they do on every other cruise & have people pick them up later & his reply was that "it's not crowded right now, so this is how we do it." we replied, "yes it is crowded, we're all waiting & don't mind coming back for our orders." he wasn't listening, so we gave up for 1st time & came back later when we were the only ones there & he made our items for us at that time, which took forever & by the time he finished, there was a large crowd waiting & waiting. It took us over an hour of standing there waiting to get our 4 items. We tried to have tea time at divinci, but it was very crowded, since they seat people in only 1/2 of the restaurant. So we were told they didn't have a table for 2 and were turned away. Dinner was good, and the show did not interest us that night. We do not like broadway musical style shows or motown reviews and such. Day 4: breakfast at divinci, the usual eggs, bacon & toast was acceptable. Lunch: fruit mist fried seafood mixture, greek salad & chimichanga were delicious. We attended 3 lectures that day & they were very interesting. Us involvement in grenada, an art talk & the video showing emerald princess' 12/15 dry dock. The comedian david copperfield wasn't our favorite. If you're into immature fart humor, he's your guy. I don't remember dinner, so it must have been just ok. The way they work dinner, is if you have a set time or go before 7:30pm, you dine at divinci. If you dine earlier & my time dining, you can go to michelangelo. Day 5: breakfast at divinci: frittata with italian bread & sausage was good. We attended 2 lectures: us foreign aid & porta delgado sao miguel azores info. Both lecturers were informative and enjoyable. Lunch at the buffet wasn't bad at all. I usually avoid buffets like the plague, but this 1 was actually pretty darn good. I spent a good deal of time in the jacuzzi, very relaxing. Afternoon tea at divinci: we got there early so got a table for 2. They serve teas, scones, cookies & small sandwiches. You can also grab small eats & desserts at the international cafe. Several times i went there for beef & guinness pie or a small quiche. Dinner at michelangelo was surf & turf. Yummy. George casey the comedian was good again. Not repetitive. Day 6: the usual breakfast at divinci. We attended a lecture about the vikings. Very interesting. Lunch at divinci: goulash & spoetzel - delicious! Pastries at international cafe were a great late afternoon snack. There's also gelato: 3 for $1.50 & they're great! You can purchase 15 specialty coffees for $31 punch card. Dinner: lobster! And crab cake. Chocolate journeys dessert - woohoo! The show that night was so you want to be a rock star in explorer's lounge - it was fun, like karaoke. I think there was something going on in the princess theater, but we were usually not interested & spent most of our time at the explorer's lounge shows. No wonder the princess theater is small. They don't really expect everyone to attend those shows i guess. Day 7: we attended a very interesting lecture about henry the navigator. Lunch at the buffet was all kinds of seafood: fish & chips, fried scallops, peel & eat shrimp, mussels. It was all good. Dinner at michelangelo: sezhuan shrimp very good, beef stroganoff very good. No show that night. Day 8: we were disappointed that we had to bypass the azores due to bad weather. We had an extra sea day as we headed straight for lisbon. 2 lectures that afternoon: the marshall plan & the olympics. Lunch at international cafe and chatting with fellow guests. Don't remember dinner. The show we attended that night was karaoke in explorer's lounge. This is where i stopped my day to day notes, so i will just talk about our excursions & what i remember. Lisbon: we took the excursion to the cathedrals at fatima. It was the whole reason we & a couple hundred other cruisers were on this trip - to make the pilgrimage to fatima. It was fantastic. Our guide spoke very good english & was informative on the drive there. They took us on nice buses & we were well organized. They dropped us off right there & told us what time to be back, and that allowed us plenty of time to attend mass, walk around, view both cathedrals & do a little bit of shopping in the charming town & have coffee & pastries at a local shop. This was our favorite excursion. Note: we found our there were 2 priests on board & they volunteered to hold daily mass. The 1st day was in the hearts & minds room, which was way too small. We brought it to the attention of guest services, that we needed space enough for well over 100 people, and they very quickly arranged for us to have a large lounge area each morning. They were very professional and accommodating. Bilbao spain: we took the excursion to the old city. Our tour guide spoke very good english & gave us good information about the area. We stopped at a city park up high for a wonderful photo opp of the river & the guggenheim museum. She led us on a tour of the old city & our tour included wine & appetizers at an outdoor cafe in a central plaza. Delicious. We took off after a while & left the group to sightsee & shop on our own for a while. Then the bus took us to look at the guggenheim - there wasn't enough time to actual visit the museum, which was a shame, but i was happy to at least see it. I've seen so many photos of it online, it was cool to see it in person. The sculptures outside were beautiful. La havre: we opted not to take the excursion to the beaches at normandy & the cemetery, because we were in france a few months earlier & went there. We took a cab to a beautiful old fishing village called honfleur. We loved it! Our cab driver dropped us off in town center & agreed to pick us up 3 hours later. That was plenty of time to walk the cobblestone streets, see the lovely park, do some shopping, visit the church, etc. It was a lovely town, and the people were very nice. The only bummer time was having to go through an immigration check several days before arriving in southampton. Unfortunately there were only 2 officers on board & 1 called in seasick the day we stood in line for almost 2 hours with nearly 1/2 the ship passengers. 2 days later, both officers were available & it was just as bad for those passengers, since it was the last chance & there were so many people being checked by 2 officers. It sucked, but ended up making disembarkation super easy in southampton. Disembarkation at southampton was so easy, since we carried off our own luggage. We literally just walked off & left the terminal, since we'd already been through immigration days before. We had pre-arranged a cab to london gatwick airport, which took 1.5 hour & was a pleasant ride. This was my 1st princess cruise, and i can't wait to cruise with them again. The emerald princess was gorgeous - one of my favorite ships so far. With other cruise lines cutting back on food quality & no longer offering lobster night, it was nice to have it on princess. I was thrilled with my treatment by princess when booking this cruise. I originally booked through my travel agent & paid the single supplement for an inside cabin. When prices went down & i contacted my agent to upgrade to a balcony, princess understood that i had basically paid retail for the cabin, so they treated me the same as if i'd booked directly through them & gave me double onboard credit, which ended up covering the single supplement. That was awesome & i really appreciated it! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose this cruise based on the transatlantic itinerary. Embarkation and lifeboat drill were flawless. We particularly like the inside lifeboat drill where you are able to sit in air conditioning for the 20 minutes or so. Other lines ... Read More
We chose this cruise based on the transatlantic itinerary. Embarkation and lifeboat drill were flawless. We particularly like the inside lifeboat drill where you are able to sit in air conditioning for the 20 minutes or so. Other lines force you to stand in the heat awaiting the arrival of other passengers. Our cabin on Aloha deck (234) was good as well as the steward, who always kept everything neat and clean. It was forward which was only an issue when it was very noisy during particularly rough seas. We chose anytime dining, but elected to dine every evening at 7:30 pm. Carlos, not sure of his title, reserved our favorite table 412 nightly. Carlos was the most upbeat member of the staff. In fact his bubbly personality was contagious making each evening great. Our waiter were extremely pleasant and efficient, always making sure that we had everything that we needed. Food was good, but nothing spectacular. For the most part the food at both the buffet and dining room could have been hotter. Port were all good as were the tours in Lisbon, Bilboa and LeHavre. The tour guides were both enthusiastic and knowledgable. We were happy to book ship tours prior to sailing, thus saving money and time. The entertainment schedule was lacking. The theater should have been utlized more often. We tried on three occasions to see the magician in the Explorer Lounge. The lounge was always filled to overflowing. I complained and was told that the entertainers were new and needed the theater for rehearsal. We were looking forward to viewing Movies Under the Stars, but the weather never cooperated. Luckily, the theater was used for movies later in the cruise. I attended Zumba classes with an excellent instructor. All and all it was a very good cruise and I wouldn't hesitate to sail again with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was our third cruise on Princess. We wanted the experience of a Trans-Atlantic crossing and my husband had always wanted to visit Omaha Beach to see where the troops landed during the Normandy invasion of World War II. This cruise ... Read More
This was our third cruise on Princess. We wanted the experience of a Trans-Atlantic crossing and my husband had always wanted to visit Omaha Beach to see where the troops landed during the Normandy invasion of World War II. This cruise offered a shore excursion which went to the beach, cemetery, and museum. It was the perfect cruise. While I had concerns about rough waters, I was pleasantly surprised at how calm the water actually was. This is a beautiful ship. We could not have been more pleased. We had an inside cabin and it had the most closet space of any inside cabin we have had. This cabin did not have the love seat like some others do, so I suppose that was the trade off. My husband and I don't spend much time in the cabin, I was more appreciative of the closet space. Since you do spend so much time in transit, the ship offers numerous enrichment programs, and learning opportunities. Our days were full. Made afternoon tea most days and fell in love with scones and clotted cream. Great food and good entertainment, what more could you want. The only complaint would be the lay out of the buffet area, not a good traffic flow. We would love sail on this ship again, anytime she is going our way. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We've sailed on a number of cruise lines, from Norwegian to Seabourn and Princess is the best in our book on the basis of quality and value. (Nothing can beat Seabourn, but the cost such that we can't make it a consistent way of ... Read More
We've sailed on a number of cruise lines, from Norwegian to Seabourn and Princess is the best in our book on the basis of quality and value. (Nothing can beat Seabourn, but the cost such that we can't make it a consistent way of life.) All factors taken together -- quality of ship, food, entertainment, cost of extras and service -- Princess truly delivers and the 14 Transatlantic turned out to be our best voyage on Princess yet. Embarkation: Smooth and easy (although we're Platinum, so it's typically easy). Tip for those who aren't Platinum -- Don't arrive too early or you will simply be placed in a very long line. If you arrive about 90-120 minutes after the "launch" of boarding, the lines should be much shorter. Cruise Director: Most on the ship (including us) agreed that our cruise director, Marahscalh Stanton, was a disappointment. His role seemed to be limited to shooting video interviews that played in our rooms each morning, making shipboard announcements and occasionally hosting an evening show. Frenchie also made videos, but she was far more present (and delightful) with passengers. Marahscalh was friendly in the presence of senior officers, but otherwise appeared to be consistently en route someplace and never had the opportunity to acknowledge a passenger, give a wave or say a hello. Food: My husband and I avoid all buffets, preferring to take meals in the dinning rooms. We were on Anytime Dining. For the most part, we were able to get seating in a timely manner (a particular challenge, since we preferred seating for two). Granted, we learned to arrive at the "perfect time," but Princess seemed to manage the guest flow in in Anytime Dining fairly well thanks to a delightful greeter (who's name I can't recall). Speciality Dining: Word on the Curtis Stone "Share" restaurant was that it was overpriced ($35 surcharge) and not particularly good, so we took a pass. The Crown Grill, on the other hand, at $25, was superb -- so good that we went twice in two weeks. (My husband would have gone a third time, but I thought two times was perfect.) Another "Speciality Dining" opportunity that was great fun was the private dinner for two on the Balcony which, at $50 each (I believe) included a speciality cocktail, a beautiful flower arrangement that lasted us for an entire week, a private session with the photographer and a private serving of an absolutely delicious dinner. It was a very memorable evening and I'd highly recommend it. An important tip on the Balcony Dinner -- Make sure you book for an evening that you expect good weather and decent seas. The staff may be helpful in thinking all that through. My husband is a sailor and had some very smart thoughts about when we should have our dinner and he was right. The only Speciality Dinner that didn't hit the mark for us was the Crab Shack dinner. The setting wasn't very nice, and the food only passable. Cabin: We had a balcony mini-suite that was very nice. We had purchased this trip at an extremely good price, which afforded us the mini-suite. We don't normally go in at that level (we're typically balcony folks), but the extra room was good. Gym: The gym was large and lovely. Ports and Shore Excursions: Unfortunately, we had to skip Azores Islands (Ponta Delgada) due to weather. We tend to do our own research and tours, so I can't comment on the Princess excursions, but I can say that the Ports we stopped at were outstanding. Lisbon was beautiful and easy to see on our own. I had a nasty cold so Bilbao was a miss for us, but we heard amazing things about it. In Le Havre we ventured out with another couple we met through Cruise Critic to Monet's Garden which, in itself, made the entire trip worthwhile. It was spectacular. My only criticism is that we are Bridge Players and on a trip this long (more than 10 sea days), it would be very nice to have a Bridge Director aboard. Typically, the Bridge Director simply sails for free -- not a big expense given what that individual brings to the table. We had 50+ bridge players on a regular basis. Although Princess gave us a location (Crown Grill) and supplies, we were on our own for a Bridge Director (which is necessary for Duplicate Bridge). Thankfully, one poor soul volunteered, but this is a difficult job that offers no reward. We did take up a collection and gave him approximately $400 I believe at the end of the trip, but it couldn't approach what he offered us in terms of service. Everyone was very disappointed that Princess didn't offer a bridge director for a trip with that many sea days, and I would agree it was an issue. (Which is why I'm giving a poor rating for "enrichment activities"). Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Two words to describe it, below expectations. Our cabin steward was very efficient with what he could be in control of but we never got bathrobes! He can't supply what he does not have. It took two days to get pre-bought water two ... Read More
Two words to describe it, below expectations. Our cabin steward was very efficient with what he could be in control of but we never got bathrobes! He can't supply what he does not have. It took two days to get pre-bought water two days for soda cups and nvere did get coffee card cups. We had as per norm deluxe balconey and we saw spring breakers from inside cabins walking all around the ship even at the late shows in the theater in bathrobes. It was noticed that some of them had interior cabins. We had to share one pool towel a day between the two of us and at times had to shower with two day old wet bath shower that we had to share. Three massages and never had a towel after. One massage was given a with stringy old faded cabin robe not one from the spa. The service in the sanctuary was none existant also. The only time we had contact with staff would be at 330 for tea and one day I received tea at that time but my pastry came 45 minutes later. The sanctuary was not even a third full so I don't know why it was so poor. There were no towels available around the pools either just crates of dirty wet ones. Main dinning room service was hit and miss also. Some nights like the old days and others three plus hours to eat again the dinning rooms were not full and we never had a wait for a table. Nights with out movies under the stars and no show in the Princess theater. We got on Princess cays at 1145 after waiting 45 mins. for a shuttle and got the last clam shell available There were 3 couples behind us that had pre bought also and were told maybe they could get a refund back on the ship. What shows and acts that were run were excellent. Dress code were not enforced cut off shorts tank tops scruffy hats at dinner and all over the ship at night. If the dress code is not enforceable then eliminate them as it would cut down immensly on luggage cost. All in all disappointing We are a year or two from elite status but if the next cruise is like this I would consider giving up those percs for a different cruise line. I gave Princess a critic on board and when we returned home and have not heard a word in three weeks. All the staff was friendly although they did seemed stressed and over worked. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Was pleasantly surprised that the complaints about the Emerald Princess were rectified for our stateroom D727 and throughout the ship. I did here people complaining about some of the most nitnoid items that I had to laugh. To the 19 ... Read More
Was pleasantly surprised that the complaints about the Emerald Princess were rectified for our stateroom D727 and throughout the ship. I did here people complaining about some of the most nitnoid items that I had to laugh. To the 19 year old chubby boy whose day was ruined because the plate in the Horizon Court buffet wasn't hot and to the 40 year old lady who pitched a fit in Cafe Caribe because the coffee was brewing and she "didn't think she should have to walk 15 feet to another station" - get over it. There are more of these types but I won't bore you with them here. And these are the people who will write Nast reviews here. Background - we travel solo extensively throughout Europe and the service on this cruise was equal or better than what we expect - so no complaints at all. 1) Karn, our steward, was very welcoming and efficient and kept the room in tip top shape. 2) all of our servers were very engaging and fun from risqué jokes to card tricks to remembers our names. 3) food was great, well presented, tasty and warm. 4) essentially while on the ship everything that was promised was delivered. Now - we are in a digital age and Princess has to catch up as their pre-cruise information sharing is horrendous. "Additional Charges Apply" is NOT an acceptable answer when I'm looking for the cost of a beer, the charge for the Crown Grill, or the charge for the thermal spa package. Knowing that prices can change is one thing but Princess should be able to come up with a price list on the website maybe 2 weeks before the cruise. Also when a booked customer sends an email requesting this information the at the minimum should get a response! Princess GREAT job on the cruise HORRIBLE job with getting information to this first time cruiser pre-cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
All in all, a very nice time! The Spring Breakers were partying up a storm, but never got obnoxious or intrusive...there were just ...em...a LOT of them. That being said, it was my bad for not taking this into consideration; my kids are ... Read More
All in all, a very nice time! The Spring Breakers were partying up a storm, but never got obnoxious or intrusive...there were just ...em...a LOT of them. That being said, it was my bad for not taking this into consideration; my kids are grown and Spring Break hasn't been an issue for a number of years, so...oh well. I'll know better next time. We stayed on the Lido Deck (15) in L102 - pretty much directly on the center point of the bow...AND IT WAS FABULOUS!!! OMG - I will never stay in the lower decks again after this! Lido is where it is all happening, and I didn't have to wait for elevators, etc. Just walk out of the room, and BAM! ALL the fun! Didn't feel any ship sway, slept like a BABY and zero overhead noise! The upcharge restaurants (Crown Grill and Gastro Pub - did not do Share) were well worth it, but the Dining room selections were meh, and so was the Horizon Ct buffet. Food does not seem to be the star on Princess as it is on other lines. The Casino (in my opinion) is pretty lame - all slots and table games - a couple of sad pusher machines. No claws, no throwers. I like slots, but I want coins spilling out, not "credits" on the face of the machine. ESPECIALLY when I am paying cash to play them, not my ship-board account. Again, just me. (DH did a job on the Blackjack tables tho - came back w/ $350 after betting only $40 - but he's good at that kind of thing). Embarkation to Princess Cay (Bahamas) was a long and boring proposition waiting for the tenders, and it was all just a big beach party...I should have just stayed onboard. But Grand Turk was easy as pie and great fun! We booked a Segway tour which was completely hilarious! Our Guides KJ and Manny were so patient and thorough - the Segway can be intimidating at first, but really, it's easy! And COMPLETELY fun - do it, you won't be disappointed! All in all, it was a nice cruise. We had much better service on Carnival, but again, it was Spring Break, so I'm not going to down Princess on this - they were packed full. We'll try Princess again, but we'll probably go with Carnival first. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
A bit of background, I have had somewhere around 13 cruises, mostly on RCI, so still a newbie by many accounts. I have enjoyed all the cruises I have taken, and I don’t really have a preference for a particular line. I have mostly been ... Read More
A bit of background, I have had somewhere around 13 cruises, mostly on RCI, so still a newbie by many accounts. I have enjoyed all the cruises I have taken, and I don’t really have a preference for a particular line. I have mostly been on RCI only because if I travel with my sister in law, or some friends of ours, they are loyal royal. I am not. Variety is more important to me. So, I have a goal to try all of the mass lines. So far, from my vantage point, they are all more alike than they are different. I sometimes travel with my husband and our two children, and sometimes I travel with friends. This time it was myself, and my college roommate from many moons ago. This was my first Princess experience. For reasons I can’t explain, I thought that this line would prove to me that there are some lines that are superior lines. I didn’t really come away with that idea being validated. However, I did very much enjoy Princess, and will certainly cruise with them again. And, I do realize it isn’t fair to compare any line with just one voyage under the belt. Two voyages on the same line are often night and day in comparison. At any rate, on to the review of this sailing: So I think it is very safe to say this isn’t considered a “typical” Princess sailing. (very likely another reason why it didn’t deliver the experience I expected.) This was a 5 night sailing on Emerald Princess, leaving FLL and sailing to Princess Cays and Grand Turk. It was also the peak of spring break, and many, many young adults (and I use “adult” very loosely here) were on board. I am only 44, but I felt WAY old on this sailing. Which I think from all the research I have done, is not the norm on Princess. Embarkation: A breeze, but only because my friend had some status with Princess, so we got to skip the long line and pretty much get right on board. I usually am up and ready to get the port by 11, but on this voyage we didn’t arrive until closer to Noon. We got right on the ship, and the room was ready! That is something I am not used to, and I LOVED being able to check out the room and leave my carryon items. AND, our luggage was delivered right away. We were all settled in and unpacked before muster! A first for me. Another small thing I really liked, is they provided us with maps of the ship that are little fold up paper maps with a cardboard front and back to keep it protected. It was great to have in my pocket. When I was sitting in my lounge chair I could pull it out and refer to it. A small, but nice touch. I also appreciated their ap, Princess at Sea. I was able to do all kinds of things on that ap. I usually turn my cell phone off and toss it in the safe for the voyage. This time I decided to try the ap, and I really liked it. I can’t compare it, as I have not an ap yet on any other line. Muster was interesting. You still have to bring your life vest on Princess, I have not done that for a long time on other lines. And they took a lot longer to go through the process than I expected. It was made a little better by sitting in a lounge instead of being packed like sardines on the deck, but we sat there for about 40 minutes, and couldn’t hear half of what was said. The Emerald Princess is a beautiful ship in my opinion. It was clean, and the décor was pleasing and beautiful. The only thing that drove me nuts about this ship was the lay out of the Horizon Court buffet. What a nightmare it was getting in and out of there! But the food was fine, and there are lots of other options. The pizza was very good, there were several excellent choices at the International Café, and we attended a PUB lunch that was complimentary in the Salty Dog on one day, so our exposure to the buffet was limited. We ate at the MDR each night, and the service and food was very good. We shared a table with others most nights, and enjoyed the company of meeting new folks. I did not enjoy the shows on this voyage. There was a hypnotist, who was not to my liking for entertainment value, and there was a comedian that was sort of funny, but mostly just kept cracking up at himself. The CD was a bit of a snore as well. Nice man, but not very engaging IMO. One thing that I really did enjoy was movies under the stars. This concept is excellent. They put soft coverings on the lounge chairs, offer blankets, and have popcorn available. We saw a couple of recent releases and I really liked this option. I don’t have time for movies when I am home running from work to my kids various activities and such, so this was something that I appreciated being able to do. They also had some other good entertainment on the screen, like Elton John, and Bon Jovi. That is of course my opinion, but I liked what they had going on the screen. I made my usual donation at the casino, as far as casinos go, this one was not any better/worse than any other ship casinos IMO. Our cabin seemed bigger than I am used to for an inside. I book all over the map as far as room type. It depends on the itinerary and cost as to whether or not I am going to spring for a balcony or suite. I went with an inside this voyage. The room was plenty big enough for two with plenty of storage. I much preferred the layout of this cabin over any other ship inside that I have had. And the beds, my word the beds…. I have never slept in a more comfortable bed on a cruise ship in my life! A big thumbs up for the beds. Two very nice oversized pillows, super comfy bedding, and the mattress was perfect. I wanted to bring it home with me. Our room steward was excellent. Perfectly attentive. The only thing that I did not enjoy with our cabin was the shower. On most, if not all of my cruises to date, the shower nozzle has a way to lift it up and down, or totally off so that with limited space, you can take the shower nozzle in hand. That makes things so much easier. This one did not offer that convenience. Not a huge deal, but shaving was an adventure in this shower. I am glad I am somewhat flexible and short! This voyage stopped at the Princess private Island, Princess Cays, and at Grand Turk. Princess Cays was your typical private island. A very nice beach area, with lunch served and a bit of local shopping. We had to take a tender to the beach. This was pretty much just a wonderful, lazy beach day for us. Weather was beautiful. They offered plenty of activities, but we were content to lounge under the shade of a palm tree and nap, and read. The other stop was Grand Turk. I can’t comment on the actual island, as we did an excursion that left right from the beach. So we didn’t venture into Grand Turk itself. The ship docked here, so it was easy to get off and on. As soon as you depart the pier, there is a Jimmy Buffet restaurant, and shops. Also there is a beach right at the pier area. Along the beach there all kinds of companies selling excursions. I had done some prior research, and we walked down the beach and bought a snorkel/swim with sting rays excursion with lunch for $50.00 that had been recommended. We very much enjoyed this! Very small group. 6 of us total. We were well taken care of. I am glad we did the excursion, the beach was way too crowded for my liking. There was a Carnival ship that arrived a few hours after we did which made for a very busy day at the beach. A few more random thoughts: I am unsure if it was just my cabin, but the hairdryer they provided was a little better than horrid. I am glad I brought one. I wish there had been more trivia, we did this one afternoon and it was fun, but I didn’t see that they offered much in the way of trivia. The jogging track on this ship was pitiful. Very, very small. I used it once. Then I just settled on walking the promenade on deck 7. The gym is not well designed in that there are cabins directly underneath, so they do not allow people to use treadmills until 8 am. By then I want to be done with my exercise! That was a bummer. Walking the promenade and doing all stairs instead of the elevator was good enough for this sailing. All in all, this was just what I wanted, a nice relaxing vacation. I will definitely sail on Princess again, I am interested to see what a longer voyage not during spring break would be like. For now, I am going to give Celebrity a try next spring. Happy Sailing! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
I booked this cruise for my daughters 30th and my husbands 60th birthdays. When we were first boarding I noted to my daughter how many young people were onboard. Boy, was that an understatement! It was spring break mayhem! LINES for a ... Read More
I booked this cruise for my daughters 30th and my husbands 60th birthdays. When we were first boarding I noted to my daughter how many young people were onboard. Boy, was that an understatement! It was spring break mayhem! LINES for a drink at the pool bar was crazy. Each kid had a card with unlimited drinks and they ordered the most complicated ones (so they would have the most booze) and instead of the bartenders having a pre mix all were made to order. Horrendous way to wait and order a drink every single time! To boot, a possey of them would sashay up and you would wait in interminable amount of time. They overtook the main pool area so unless you were into a really loud raucous scene, you stayed on the "movies under the stars" pool area. Lines to wait for food in Horizon Court most mornings. I felt like it was a carnival cruise (which I was never on) instead of a princess. I have never been on such a big boat and don't plan on going on one again. If you can not judge what the typical demographic is by the cruise ships own criteria then you are stuck with 750 college kids on your boat. The food in Horizon was OK but the food in the dining room was pretty poor. We went to the specialty restaurant 2 out of the 4 nights. One we booked when we first went embarked for a birthday celebration and the other we begged them to take us because we couldn't stand another meal of sub par food. The specialty restaurant food was pretty good. We did like the Movies under the stars and they had current movies playing. I guess that was the best thing we liked. Maybe we got caught in a glitch of spring breakers but I won't make that mistake again! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This is my 41st cruise and my first review on Cruise Critic. Princess is an outstanding cruise line and one of my favorites, but, they need to work on a few things. As I stated, I have been on 41 cruises, so I consider myself a bit of an ... Read More
This is my 41st cruise and my first review on Cruise Critic. Princess is an outstanding cruise line and one of my favorites, but, they need to work on a few things. As I stated, I have been on 41 cruises, so I consider myself a bit of an seasoned cruiser. Princess has the worst embarkation process I have ever encountered. I have only been on four Princess cruises and for each cruise there has been a line outside of the terminal- the wait was almost an hour just to get into the door! WOW!! Yes- Princess is worth the wait, but there are a number of people that find the wait difficult. Once inside, only one security line was open causing a longer backup. After you received your key, we were told to sit in another waiting area, once that area was filler, we were allowed to board the ship. The employees were rude with nasty and unnecessary comments ( I made the mistake of standing up because I was tired of sitting and I was told to sit and wait, the ship isn't going anyplace so just sit). Once on the ship I was amazed at her beauty! The Emerald Princess is a lovely ship and has a lot to offer. First, I must note that most employees aboard the ship are outstanding! They are very hardworking and will do almost anything for you. I traveled with my spouse and some friends. My friend wanted a pickle for her Bloody Mary and Jaime went out of his way to find her some pickles- something that he did not need to do! The staff made the trip enjoyable. My hubby and I stayed in balcony cabin A406 and it was roomy, clean and comfortable. The balcony had room for just a small table and two chairs, but it was mid-ship and covered. Our room steward kept our room tidy and took care of us the entire time. Dining- the food was good. I have had better on other Princess ships, but once again, the staff made the difference. They were outstanding. The top award would go to entertainment. I was very impressed with the entertainment aboard the Emerald Princess. The Illusionist show took my breath away. If you will be cruising on her soon, make sure you do not miss the shows. The comedians were hilarious! This was a short four day cruise, we had two days and a day at Grand Cayman. The pools were clean, the pizza delicious, the malts were the best! It was one of the most relaxing and memorable cruises I have taken. I was very relaxed until disembarkation! Disembarkation was just as bad as embarkation. Due to the port needing to close the parking garage at Terminal 2, this is where we parked our car, the ship returned to terminal 19 and everyone was shuttled back to terminal 2. Once again, the line snacked around the building, the staff was rude and it was very slow going. Princess had one person telling people which bus to take, the driver did not get off the bus to help load luggage- my husband loaded the luggage for our bus, he just happened to be the youngest gentleman (he is 57) on the bus beside the driver who did nothing. Once we were at the parking garage, once again my dear husband unloaded the luggage for everyone, there was no way we were going to have any of the older gentlemen (some with canes) unload those heavy bags. The driver just sat and did nothing. Shame on Princess for allowing this to happen. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Salty Dawgs know to expect Spring Break hounds aboard from mid-March to mid-April. The math is predictable: Spring Breakers plus frequent Happy Hours equals? On this cruise the Spring Break pack generally stayed around the main pool ... Read More
Salty Dawgs know to expect Spring Break hounds aboard from mid-March to mid-April. The math is predictable: Spring Breakers plus frequent Happy Hours equals? On this cruise the Spring Break pack generally stayed around the main pool convenient to the bar, Trident Grill and the buffet. Itinerary: Emerald Princess - March 10~14, 2016: Ft. Lauderdale-at Sea-Grand Cayman Island-at Sea-Ft. Lauderdale Parking at the terminal is $15 a day. Savvy dawgs know to search for cheaper alternatives offered at some hotels or long term parking lots with shuttles to the ship. Something Princess knew but did not tell guests: the ship would depart from terminal 2 and return and berth at terminal 19. Princess did provide a bus shuttle back to terminal 2, but it looked like it would be a slow process. Salty dawgs expect embarkation will be a slow process regardless of their Captain's Circle status or stateroom category, and the Port Authority and Princess appear by their inflexibility to be satisfied that the current procedure won't or can't be improved anytime soon. Disembarkation was more organized, though poorly trained dawgs complicated the procedure by ignoring rules. Emerald Princess gleams after dry-dock and public venues look new. Staterooms were available upon boarding. Staterooms do not appear to have received much updating with one important exception: the new bedding is terrific. Sea Dawg kept the lowest possible AC setting and his stateroom stayed moderately cool. But a friend's AC couldn't keep his sunny stateroom cool. Most stateroom bathrooms appear unchanged except the cold water is tepid and the water in the toilet is warm! Fussy pooches know to bring their own scented bar soap and specialty hair shampoo and conditioner. We prefer having no minibar in the fridge. The room TV has more movie, news, music and Princess channels. The daily guide Princess Patter and other brochures greeted our arrival. There's a Princess smart phone app to keep dawgs aware of events, announcements and accounts. Our always pleasant steward kept our stateroom immaculate. There's a mandatory muster before sail away and dawgs must bring their life jackets. Crew members scan every ship card and muts who skip will have a private muster party later. I'm wondering if the ship will sink before everyone gets to their muster station ... or worse, the crew is jumping into the lifeboats while guests assemble in their assigned muster station. It seemed to me the crew exhibited a Titanic overconfidence of this top heavy ship's "unlikely" sinking. One muttered factoid easily missed: there were NOT enough lifeboats for everyone. Some guests would be evacuated via MES: Marine Evacuation System ... down a "seven-story slide" (actually a free fall down a vertical chute) into an inflated raft! The central Piazza is the hub of activity and feature talented musicians and performers throughout the cruise. Unfortunately, seating is limited and mongrels sometimes compete for chairs. Sea Dawg appreciated that photographers were less pushy and their photo shoot set-ups seldom restricted passageways. The grub: It takes some effort for foodie hounds to determine where best to eat. The 24-hour International Cafe, home of the best complimentary sandwiches and gelato aboard, and Vines, hosting the best wine list aboard, surrounds the Piazza. Pointer dawgs habitually fault the chow, but Sea Dawg loved the food. The complimentary Horizon Court buffet offers dawgs the widest variety, all-you-can-eat, self-serve meals aboard. You might see a Rottweiler piling her platter high with bacon here. In contrast, The premium SHARE by Curtis Stone restaurant offers pedigrees exquisite high flavor if small portioned culinary artistry. Sharp dawgs are keen to know when the Salty Dog Wheelhouse Bar presents complimentary "pub day" lunch: the fish and chips lunch and bangers and mash lunch are favorites. The complimentary poolside Prego "best pizza at sea" seems an exaggeration because the choices are limited and the toppings are thin. The complimentary Ice Cream Bar is right beside the pizza ovens, but the flavors are also limited. Complimentary milk and cookies are served mid-afternoon. Otherwise, complimentary snack foods are scarce (savvy dawgs pack their own). Between meals complimentary water, tea and sometimes lemonade can be fetched (savvy dawgs pack drink mixes to stir into their water). There are three complimentary main dining rooms: the "anytime" Di Vinci and Michelangelo and the fixed time and seating Boticelli. (It was nightly entertainment to watch silly dawgs prance into Boticelli demanding this or that table already assigned.) They publish the same menus. Patient dawgs will be rewarded with elegant table settings and fine service. The loosely interpreted dress code is smart casual, there is no formal night on this short cruise. The menus featured red snapper, duck, crawfish etouffee, lamb, shrimp and steak. There were some ingenious "soups" (think smoothies) and incredible desserts. Sea Dawg admits he doesn't eat this well during most weeks ashore. Lobster is served during long cruises and in premium restaurants. Well-heeled dawgs will probably find more satisfaction dining in the premium Crown Grill. And for a premium, Caribe Cafe hosts a "Crab Shack" seafood night. The shows: The star dawg was sick, and I figure no understudy was available because in spite of "the show must go on" mantra, our big production shows were canceled. Princess tapped its headline performers who proved very entertaining. Though Emerald Princess has many talented performers aboard, there was not an abundance of planned activities. This seems intentional to draw unwary hounds into revenue generating bingo, shops, bars, art auctions and, of course, the casino. Sea Dawg enjoyed "Movies Under the Stars" and was lucky to find the complimentary popcorn and blankets. The sail: A tug pulled the Emerald Princess clear of the berth and the bow of a Celebrity ship. The open seas were "rough" (waves up to 15 feet) the first night and first sea day. The long, narrow, "Pan Max" Emerald Princess jolted and pitched just enough to send landlubber pooches without sea legs to their sea patches, bracelets and remedies. Those in cabins fore and aft felt the ship movement most. The wind was strong enough to keep most off the open decks. Interesting to me how the published "Log of the Cruise" mentioned none of this, only hinting "Wind SSE 7" (Force 7 is about 30 mph; "Near Gale"). The wind and waves were more calm on the return trip. Grand Cayman: This is a tendering port (boats shuttle between ship and dock). Those with shore excursions are tendered first. Sea Dawg has been to Grand Cayman several times and did not desire to go to Hell and back again. Informed shopping hounds know that the cruise lines helped develop the ports so their stores occupy prime real estate ashore. The bargains are in lesser known shops further down the street. Shore excursions are cash cows for the cruise line. Independent dawgs can usually negotiate similar trips for much less once ashore Grand Cayman. Two other large ships were in George Town, so shops were crowded. Sea Dawg walked down the road to Seven Mile Beach; not far down the beach Sea Dawg came to Emerald Princess cruisers who had purchased the beach day excursion. I hope they enjoyed their lounge chair and weak drink. Sea Dawg walked to a hotel bar and bought a cold beer for a buck and reclined in a covered hammock. Thoughts of life spent here in Paradise is tempered by the fact that hurricanes hit Grand Cayman Island more often than any place in the Caribbean. Leave early to avoid long waits for a tender back to the ship. The two main pools sprawl across mid ship. There are also two small, adults only pools. Forward is the tranquil Spa Pool. Lounges are limited and "saved", but there is an easy access to the free gym and sauna, the pricey spa, and the underused, overpriced (and often windy) Sanctuary. Astern is the Terrace Pool next to a bar and short trot to the buffet. Dawgs can find more tables, chairs and lounges here. During most days the nearby Adagio offers a peaceful place to read or relax, provided some un-housebroken muts don't arrive. Sea Dawg appreciates that bar waiters were respectful and not pushy. They were also efficient and quick to clear your table if you left it unguarded while you dashed to the head. There are more security cameras aboard. Security, which is more about protecting company property, employees and liability, was not as obvious as dawgs might expect during this start of Spring Break cruise. In fact, I think there were more over 60 guests than under, and more families with children than college Spring Breakers. Most dawgs Sea Dawg stopped by Guest Services and obtained an accounting statement early the final sea day to avoid the long lines that would form there that afternoon. I had time to carefully inspect it and found that our statement was thankfully but disgustingly accurate. This is the moment inattentive dawgs discover they spent more aboard than on their cruise ticket. Our final statement arrived at our door 5 a.m. the last day and it was very quick and easy to verify. Sea Dawg is astounded how so many dawgs over-pack for this casual dress, short cruise! Things to consider packing: sunscreen, insect repellent (Zika virus protection), sunglasses, hat, an insulated resealable drink container, bar soap, specialty shampoo and conditioner, power strip extension cord, good walking map of ports, favorite snacks, hard candy, drink mixes, band aids, and over-the-counter remedies you often need. Princess publishes a list of items (like colas) not to pack. Take the advertised perfect vacation cruise with a good dash of sea salt. Dawgs who board with realistic expectations (i.e., the start of Spring Break), that not everything will go their way, who can adhere to their budget, and be flexible in their schedule will find this escape to paradise very pleasant. That's why I booked, and that's why I enjoyed this cruise and recommend it to you. Bon Voyage, Sea Dawg Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
The title says it all. Lots of Spring Breakers doing some serious drinking--boys and girls. Glad no one went over board. It was one big party for them......ill leave it there. Our state room (Riveria deck) never got cool, always felt ... Read More
The title says it all. Lots of Spring Breakers doing some serious drinking--boys and girls. Glad no one went over board. It was one big party for them......ill leave it there. Our state room (Riveria deck) never got cool, always felt stuffy. Cabin steward did great job. Many workers seemed overwhelmed by the number of Spring Breakers and just let things go. My problem was with over pricing for the Thermal Suite. More for a single ($99) yet a $65 avg for couples. They didn't turn the FREE steam room in the men's locker room until the 3rd day. When I asked about it, I was told to pay for the Thermal Suite because it worked there. I let that slide. As a diabetic, sugar free isn't just a choice, its a necessity. Great disappointment everyday to find only chocolate (I hate) available at the ice cream counter, receiving the same blank stare when asked about something different. Why the pizzaria with its ovens would share a counter with the ice cream parlor baffles me--Hamburgers are way over at the far end of the pool. I may be in the minority--I did not like the Magic musical. The Comidian was funny. Not enough variety of slots in the casino.....huge area wasted with open space for drinkers.... Thought the Horizon Court food was pretty bland. MDR was good...Crown Grill was great. Other than college kids standing 8 deep at the bars, this was a pretty bland cruise for me.....Not seeing the big deal about the Emerald Princess. Maybe if some things worked better and the crew wasn't punch drunk from the drinkers. Will I sail again during Sprig Break? Never....Would I go out of my way to sail the Emerald? No. Will I continue to sail Princess? ABSOLUTELY This short review is IMHO. After 27 past Princess Cruises, this was the first one I was glad when it was over........That sums it up. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
My wife and I recently returned from a short Princess cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale. Unfortunately, this was the most unenjoyable experience that we have had while cruising with Princess, or any other line. Our disappointment started when ... Read More
My wife and I recently returned from a short Princess cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale. Unfortunately, this was the most unenjoyable experience that we have had while cruising with Princess, or any other line. Our disappointment started when we entered our cabin. We had never experienced a cabin with bunks on the walls. We elected to have Princess select our cabin. It was not a good fit for an older couple. Getting out of bed in the dark was a hazard because the presence of the bunks did not allow one to stand up straight while getting in and out of bed. The next disappointment occurred around midnight when we were awakened with yelling and jumping from the next cabin. We struggled out of bed trying to avoid hitting our shoulders and called the front desk. The noise was quieted that night. The next morning I went to the front desk to express my concern about the bed situation and the noise in the hallway for the rest of the night and early morning. The desk person said that he would pass on my concerns to the manager and that I would hear back. We never heard back! I took note that a message was sent out prior to the cruise cautioning passengers about the Zika threat. Another warning should have been posted regarding the fact that half of the passengers would involve everyone else in a wild spring break movie. Most of the time things did not operate in Princess Fashion. That is, young people were allowed in eating areas with no shirts and almost no clothes in some cases. I had to write a follow up message to communicate my ongoing disappointment with their customer service regarding an unhappy travel experience. After trading phones calls for a few days, I finally had a conversation with a customer service representative, Kyle. He apologized and was sorry that we did not have our typically pleasant Princess experience. He also indicated that he would share my comments with management so that the service could be improved. In the end, there was very little satisfaction from that exchange. We still have memories of a negative experience, a poor use of money and, especially, vacation time! There was very little that was pleasant about this voyage, save for the entertainment, which is always exceptional. Unless we were in port, there were virtually no deck lounges available, and no way to hear the Movies under the Stars because of the boisterous crowds that could not be controlled by the ship's staff. No one controlled a dress code in the buffet area, i.e. no shirts and cover-ups. (No class!) In addition to having an uncomfortable cabin, the toilet was inoperable until the morning of our first night at sea. Therefore, we requested a refund on our future Cruise deposit and Kyle said fine. After sailing with Princess about ten times, we now longer feel that our business is worth anything. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Emerald Princess – Western cruise – 2/27/2016 We had a mini-mini suite – D732 – at the very aft. The balcony was oversize with two lounge chairs and 2 footstools. There is no cover from the sun and rain. The suite had a ... Read More
Emerald Princess – Western cruise – 2/27/2016 We had a mini-mini suite – D732 – at the very aft. The balcony was oversize with two lounge chairs and 2 footstools. There is no cover from the sun and rain. The suite had a large (uncomfortable to sit on ) sofa, one club chair, two 2tv’s, and best of all….VERY comfortable beds. Plenty of closet and storage space with room under the bed for our suitcases. A full bathtub with a good shower and plenty of hot water was ideal. Our thermostat worked perfectly. Our room steward, Raymond, was friendly, always there for us and went beyond our expectations. Kudos, to Raymond!! Food – the next most important cruise element. We took all of our dinners in the DaVinci dining room at a set 5:30pm hour. We found the food very acceptable. Our waitress had a bad cold and should have been excused, as we did not want to get sick with her handling our silverware, etc. Otherwise, she tried hard to please us. Lunch and breakfast was usually in the buffet. Our advice is to get a table first and then get your food. The “one way” buffet line is a pain, but at least they are enforcing the Purell dispenser – thank God! The hamburgers out by the pool are usually overcooked and the pizza is just ok. Bars: Crooners Bar has always been our favorite on Princess and MELODY from the Philippines treated us royally. Entertainment: our favorites were Michael Minor the Ventriloquist and Erik Bryan of the “Magic to Do” cast. Erik is a star by himself. The Stephen Schwartz (Godspell) musical was not my favorite, but the costumes and cast did a good job. Eric Lyden, comic, was clean, but not funny. We really enjoyed “The Voice of the Ocean” – the judges, Michael and Erik (a great team) and who was that super winner that sang “Ride Sally Ride”? Great show! We liked the movies shown in the Princess Theater at 1pm each day as we didn’t go ashore. One problem: the theater is kept very cold, so dress warm. All in all, a very nice cruise!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was our 6th Cruise with Princess. Once again, I was concerned with some of the reviews. And Once again, Princess met all our expectations. We had a marvelous time. I would like to address some of the negative comments. Our Cabin ... Read More
This was our 6th Cruise with Princess. Once again, I was concerned with some of the reviews. And Once again, Princess met all our expectations. We had a marvelous time. I would like to address some of the negative comments. Our Cabin was what we expected. The cabin steward kept it very clean. The temperature and AC worked very well. The new beds and bedding was extra nice. There were complaints in previous reviews about the size of the shower. IT IS A CRUISE...the showers will not be the size of home. The water temperature was good, no complaints. The food was good. We only ate in the buffet for the breakfasts and one dinner. To all the complaints about the buffet. It IS A BUFFET. I do think that the breakfast could be improved upon, but the dinner variety was good, food temp was good. The dinner's in the Michaelangelo were always very good with the exception of one night. I would like to see however, more snack type foods. Like nachos, chicken wings and popcorn through out the day. We only had to somewhat cranky bartenders. The rest were friendly and funny. I would like to say thank you to Jamie (casino bartender) and Melody (Corooner's server). These two people really made our trip. The remaining staff was great. Princess is very organized with the embarkation and debarkation. They move a lot of people with ease. And the ports of call were wonderful. I would like to recommend this cruise line for everyone. One can find anything to complain about, things will never be perfect. My husband and I thought the trip was delightful. The shows in the theater was good, Comedian was very funny. The one production show , I think it was called Magic of the Mind, was outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
The Emerald was in great shape. We had concerns after reading post dry-dock complaints. But we experiencd no issues. Our balcony cabin on Baja aft, was the quietest cabin we have experienced in 8 cruises! The new bed was great...more ... Read More
The Emerald was in great shape. We had concerns after reading post dry-dock complaints. But we experiencd no issues. Our balcony cabin on Baja aft, was the quietest cabin we have experienced in 8 cruises! The new bed was great...more storage then in any other cabin in our cruise experience. Water, plumbing, A/C was all fine. Room steward Kim was excellent. The public spaces were all updated and fresh. The Piazza is beautiful and relaxing. The Princess theatre was somewhat in need of updating and just seemed generally dull looking. On our 2 sea days we stayed at the aft pool ( adults only) and the outrigger bar was good. Bar Service around the pool was spotty at best. All of the bar areas are relaxing and well decorated. Food. My wife and I are foodies, and enjoy fine dining. We realize we are on a cruise and prepare to get into "cruise food mode". We have cruised on 4 different lines now and we both concluded that this cruise was the weakest as far as food goes. The Horizon Court offerrings were fair at best and in some cases were inedible ( and I say that guardingly). The Main Dining room offerrings were better. Escargot was excellent, fettucine alfredo was excellent. The rest of the MD offerrings were good to fair. The pub lunch on the first sea day in the Wheelhouse bar was excellent especially the fish and chips as authentic as what Ive had in Scotland. The Pizza at trident was very good. Burgers and Brats were overcooked and lacking flavor. International Cafe served up the best of the sandwiches on ship, especially the toasted ones. Service. The service on this ship was the best we've experienced in 8 cruises. With the exception of maybe one or two out of 100, we were very impressed and were made to feel welcome and encouragd to chill and relax. Hats off to this crew! My wife and I are in our mid to late 50's and we were part of the 10% of passengers who werent in their 70's! It was by far the oldest, geriatric cruise we have been on. I wondered if the lack of flavor and quality of the food on this cruise was planned to cut costs with a large geriatric crowd? Not sure, but if the food quality had been better it could have pushed my review rating to a 4.5. Embarkation/ Disembarkation. We noticed a more general harshness with the cruiseport staff on this cruise. I'm not in their shoes. But there was a general, loud, barking of orders rather than the friendly, courteous staff we have experienced on our previous 7 cruises. I could see some isolated " stay in line" stuff, but this was constant and uncomfortable and seemed to be a general direction. Ports of call. Tabyana Beach break excursion at Roatan is not to be missed if you love crystal clear water and the best snorkeling right off the beach ...best that we have experienced in 8 cruises. Just phenomenal! I read about alot of complaints about vendors on this beach, but a simple no thanks and they would move on. They are also confined to the waters edge only and not allowed to walk around the beach lounge chairs, so just keep back a couple rows and know issues. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
After reading reviews, we were nervous, but there was no need. We had a great experience with no major issues. I'm always amazed that 2 different families can experience exactly the same thing and come away with polar opposite ... Read More
After reading reviews, we were nervous, but there was no need. We had a great experience with no major issues. I'm always amazed that 2 different families can experience exactly the same thing and come away with polar opposite opinions--expectations and perspective are powerful. Our expectations were lower--based on some previous reviews. Our perspective comes from our previous cruises--most recently on 4 different Celebrity Cruises--the larger ships. Our perspective also is based on the price we paid for our Balcony. Total cost for 2 people including all fees and taxes - $1600 U.S - no on board credit (+ gratuities). We definitely received good value for $$ spent. My perspective would be much different if we had paid much more. There really isn't anything to complain about, but here is my attempt to help you manage your expectations. Embarkation and Debarkation were perfect. CABINS: All rooms are ready as soon as the first person boards. Our luggage also came immediately. Our room with balcony was just fine. Refurbished? Not sure what was done - carpet, draperies and bedding perhaps. Beds were quite comfy. Of course the bathrooms are small, but if you've been on other ships, this bathroom will seem smaller than ever. No wine glasses, corkscrews or bottle openers provided. You must call room service each time you need a bottle opened or to get a wine glass (this is not a speedy process, and the first evening, wine glasses were not available). It would be so much nicer if the cabin steward could provide this service, but next time, we would just bring our own corkscrew. Once again, this isn't really a big deal, but our expectations based on previous cruises was that all these things were provided. Bathrobes also need to be requested, so request yours as soon as you see your cabin steward so you have something to put on when room service brings your morning coffee the first day! Our balcony on the 15th floor had a roof, but others below us did not, and we could look down into their balconies--beware!! Other reviews mentioned trouble with the AC and water temperatures. We had no problem with either of these. Their printed info in the room states that the cold water comes out of the tap at 90 degrees F. This is true--you cannot have a cold shower. There is always a cold pitcher of water provided in your fridge if you need a cold drink. FYI, no mini bar in fridge. No electrical plugs near bed. A little frustrating if you like to use your phone as your clock, and it needs to be charged. We used our phone during the day because Princess has a wireless network onboard that allows you to message other passengers, look at daily schedules, check your account, etc, so our phone needed to be charged at night. Glad I brought my own hair blow dryer. Bring your own hair conditioner if your hair depends on it. The product provided is an 'all-in-one' shampoo/conditioner. Balcony at the rear of the ship really does vibrate. Didn't bother us much--just beware. FOOD/DINING: we did anytime dining and were quite pleased--no reservations needed as stated in their printed materials. We were mostly happy with the food--no major complaints. The buffet was definitely our biggest disappointment. We used the buffet for breakfast and lunch. Just be prepared knowing that it is small and lacks variety and has very little fresh fruit--pineapple, melon, grapes and whole kiwi--I do believe I overdosed on the kiwi. Cut them in half with a knife and scoop each section out with a spoon--delish! We were comparing this buffet to previous cruises, and it just didn't come close to those comparisons. Ice Cream and Pizza available at the pool was perfect. There is also a pretty good grill near the pools with burgers/sausages and french fries--ice cold buns though. The pools were very warm--the last day the pool was actually too warm! I estimated that it must have been at least 95 degrees--seriously--felt like a very warm bath. I think they do have some trouble with water temps in general. You could actually feel the heat coming up from the toilets in the ladies' washroom near the pools. The public bathrooms could use a little more attention from time to time. Pool towels were often unavailable during the day. They suggest that you take your towels back to your room each day and they will be refreshed by the room steward--this is not always convenient. ENTERTAINMENT. Better than expected for sure. It's funny, because I just read a review to say that the "Magic Show" was incredible. However, in our opinion, it was a huge disappointment. The illusionist was involved on 2 evenings, and he really wasn't that good. It's just a good example of perspective and how opinions differ. There is no pushy sales people--no pushy photographers, etc. We found three happy hours so we were happy, happy, happy about that. We don't think the drink packages are worth the price, and obviously that depends on how much you would like to drink. We are happy with the free water, free iced tea and free lemonade--although you had to ask for the lemonade. We only saw iced tea at the beverage stations to serve yourself. All in all, we got good value for our $$. If we had paid more, we would have been a little disappointed in this ship. We would definitely consider booking again with Princess but would stick with the bigger newer ships depending on price. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
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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