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Sail Date: May 2015
We cruised from Houston to the western Caribbean for 7 nights, then back into Houston. We visited the NASA Space Centre in Houston, while the crew turned the Emerald Princess around for our Transatlantic Cruise. Never done a transatlantic ... Read More
We cruised from Houston to the western Caribbean for 7 nights, then back into Houston. We visited the NASA Space Centre in Houston, while the crew turned the Emerald Princess around for our Transatlantic Cruise. Never done a transatlantic cruise before. The cost of this repositioning cruise was very competitive, as we got to cruise the Med. as well after we sailed to Madeira. Emerald Princess is a large but comfortable ship. It is needing some refurbishment in certain areas, but on the whole the condition of the ship/cabins etc; was good. We spent 4 weeks on her, so we had plenty of time to explore! The food was always good, no complaints apart from one, which was dealt with swiftly and efficiently. That's not a bad score in 4 weeks! We are seasoned cruisers so we did not use the port & shore excursions. Mainly did our own thing - this was a much cheaper and a more effective way of seeing some of the ports. You just need to research before you go. Rome for instance can be reached by train from Cittavecchia. Likewise Seville from Cadiz. The entertainment was good and varied. It's a long trip for the entertainment crew, as you are at sea for 7/8 days crossing the Atlantic. They did well, but were probably glad to reach Madeira, where the tours started to kick off! Our balcony cabin was looked after well by our Steward. I needed to use the Medical Centre for a minor complaint, the staff were excellent. If you are British you have to be prepared to be in the minority, as the ship is a way of US citizens getting to Europe inexpensively, so we Brits were well outnumbered! Nice to have a good quantity of Brits on the entertainment crew. Deputy Cruise Director was outstanding and did us proud! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
We cruise a couple times a year with my sister and hubby, so this was our 7th cruise together and 13 total for myself and hubby. My niece and son-in-law surprised us at the Port of Houston by showing up to go with us. It was a delightful ... Read More
We cruise a couple times a year with my sister and hubby, so this was our 7th cruise together and 13 total for myself and hubby. My niece and son-in-law surprised us at the Port of Houston by showing up to go with us. It was a delightful surprise making our cruise that much better to have a younger couple wanting to tag along for the fun. Four of us did the T/A crossing last fall on the Emerald Princess for 17 days, so when we saw this week-long cruise offered at a super price, we had to jump aboard a familiar ship! We were in interior cabins and don't mind that at all, as we don't spend a great deal of time there except to clean up and sleep! We always get an on-board credit for hubby's military service, which is greatly appreciated from Princess. We didn't do excursions this time, but hired a driver to take us around Roatan, which we all enjoyed and took loads of pictures. The port shopping falls a little flat, but we had fun with bargaining and buying some silver jewelry both in Belize and Cozumel. I have written a separate review about a rude young manager in the Del Sol store in Cozumel; definitely won't go back to that one! On board, we had great food, good entertainment, and some very thorough and friendly crew. I wrote 8 comment cards recognizing their commitment to providing good service. We definitely love Princess and look forward to the next cruise. We would love to do a land and sea adventure to have more time exploring the port cities. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
After booking a mini-suite sailing out of Houston, I almost cancelled it after reading reviews on Cruise Critic. Many of the complaints were about the cold, inattentive staff. This could not be further from the truth! Everyone on board ... Read More
After booking a mini-suite sailing out of Houston, I almost cancelled it after reading reviews on Cruise Critic. Many of the complaints were about the cold, inattentive staff. This could not be further from the truth! Everyone on board smiled and said "hello", the waiters and stewards were happy and fun. There was this ONE GUY, working at the hamburger stand who did not seem to enjoy his job. That was it, everyone else was adorable.This was my 12th cruise, and there was little to complain about. The food can be hit or miss, but there was something exceptional on the menu everyday. We went to the Chef's Table dinner, which was a once in a lifetime event- four hours of galley tours, sampling wines and great food prepared table side. At $95 per person (complete with a huge cookbook) it is a bargain. We loved our mini suite. It will spoil us for smaller rooms from now on. Some reviews complain the patio is exposed to the elements and eyes above on upper decks. Not a problem for a wife who wants to sunbathe daily! The carpet was a little worn, but it was clean. The big tub and shower were nice, and all appliances worked as designed. Our room steward Raul was a delight, funny and efficient. As for food, the good: Pizza was always excellent. Chef's table experience was awesome. Fish and Chips were good, lobster night and the baked Alaska was great. The not so good: Don't order a veggie burger at the hamburger bar. Even if ours hadn't been blackened on one side and raw on the other, it wouldn't have been good. The eggs benedict in the main dining room had very runny whites, so I sent it back. Second time around, the whites were firm but the yolks were like hard boiled eggs. They offered a third try and I passed on it. Finally, the Horizon and Caribe cafeterias are cafeteria quality. Occasionally something is very good, sometimes not. My suggestion would be get many small samples and try it out at the table, then go get more of your favorite. Roatan is like 6 Flags Over Texas, a port designed to sell you Chinese made souvenirs and $20 an hour paddleboats. We hit the duty free shop and went back to the room. Belize is a dump, and we stayed on the ship this time. It was great, one of maybe 5 people at the pool that day. Cozumel is okay, we ate at a great restaurant with free wifi, Paprika. Back to the ship to take advantage of reduced prices at the spa on shore days. This cruise for us was just a chance to get away from jobs, dogs, email, facebook and internet. We enjoyed each other's company and had the couple's massage at Lotus Spa TWICE. We dressed up on formal nights, and dressed down on at sea days. We watched movies and drank wine in bed. It was the best cruise yet. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
After having cruised on Princess' newest ship-the Regal in January I was disappointed in the Emerald Princess. I know it is older but that shouldn't affect the hospitality aspect of our vacation. Most of the employees were cold ... Read More
After having cruised on Princess' newest ship-the Regal in January I was disappointed in the Emerald Princess. I know it is older but that shouldn't affect the hospitality aspect of our vacation. Most of the employees were cold and indifferent throughout the entire 7 days. They hardly ever smiled and for the most part lacked in customer service. Yes, there were a few who were great but for the most part the rest were below par. Our fine dining waiter seemed distracted every night with a scowl on his face-we felt like we were bothering him being there and instead of looking forward to the dinner we sorta dreaded going. The head waiter never stopped by to ask how things were as on the Regal. Our steward was just adequate-not friendly except when we first met her. This was my husband's first experience to cruise and I was so hoping it would be as awesome as my previous one in January-but alas, not so! Will not cruise on this ship again and will probably try another cruise line altogether in the future. I will say Customer Services is excellent but that is a given as they are highly trained to be professional. Excursions were ok except when we were waiting to leave for one the ship attendant calling out numbers became agitated when things didn't go his way (i.e. elderly people who couldn't hear that well and didn't know what to do, he would call out numbers in an exasperated voice which was very disturbing to us as well as people sitting around us-not a pleasant way to start an expensive excursion). Food in buffet was not very good, sometimes couldn't find anything appealing and walked out. Bland, not hot enough. Chairs in buffet area are worn and shabby looking. Disembarkation was good. In summary, not what I had hoped for. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
Arrived at the LaQuinta Inn Webster-Clearlake. Nice pre-cruise stop for the night. Good value for the money. Drive the next day to the ship at Bayport Cruise Terminal was easy. The terminal area was well thought out and easy to ... Read More
Arrived at the LaQuinta Inn Webster-Clearlake. Nice pre-cruise stop for the night. Good value for the money. Drive the next day to the ship at Bayport Cruise Terminal was easy. The terminal area was well thought out and easy to navigate(drop-off luggage, parking) and the fee of $75 a lot better than Ft. Lauderdale. As an opinion, the whole terminal complex is easier and nicer than Ft. Lauderdale.. Embarkation was flawless. Very quick. Nice Elite lounge. The first night was the best as far as dining goes. We have most of our meals at the Horizon Court. After the first night the type of entrees and quality went downhill. I use the salad bar a lot. Not once did they have any olives, tuna, beans (garbanzo, kidney, black) julienne sliced cheese, ham, turkey, egg, bacon, grape tomatoes. They used to have all that. No shrimp, not even cocktail shrimp. Good salad bar stuff to make a meal out of it. On Mexican night, Beef Wellington was the carved meat. Go figure. No fajitas, tacos. They had these 4 inch long fat flour tortilla chim-chonga(their spelling). Not fried. They used to have on the line Strawberry's, Red and Green grapes. All missing. Caned peaches and pear halves. Your getting cheap Princess.. In the cabin there used to be a paper TV guide for programming. Not anymore. Spend 15 minutes and watch it scroll down on ch. 21. Shampoo and soap dispensers in the shower taking up precious room in that tiny space. Make a future cruise reservation, confirmation used to be sent to your cabin. Now, get home and print it out yourself.. Just little things, cost cutting. On a positive note, the shows were great. Casino was fun and plenty of other shipboard activities. Loved the horse racing! We were walk-off group C and once we left the meeting area(Crown Grill), we were in the car 20 minutes later! Excellent! 21 completed cruises now with Princess. Will be back. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
I had not been on a cruise in years, and the thought of sailing out of Houston, away from the masses in Florida was very appealing to me. But I guess embarkation day, no matter where you depart from, is always going to be somewhat ... Read More
I had not been on a cruise in years, and the thought of sailing out of Houston, away from the masses in Florida was very appealing to me. But I guess embarkation day, no matter where you depart from, is always going to be somewhat chaotic, and this was no exception. I do give Princess credit for being organized about it all. That day was stressful because of the hoards of people everywhere. Initially, being honest, I thought it was horrible. But then as time went on and as people dispersed to places all over the ship, I enjoyed it. I especially enjoyed it when we were in ports and everyone got off. I stayed on and it was so nice a peaceful. I would say about 85% of the staff were excellent. My room steward, Jose, could NOT have been better and more accommodating. The room service staff likewise. The only place where I found the male staff to be consistently rude was a place called the International Cafe. But this was an exception, not the rule. The ship itself is stunningly beautiful in my opinion. My balcony stateroom was perfect. It had great air conditioning, extremely comfortable bed and excellent shower. The food was pretty good. Of course I understand that when you cook for thousands, it is a bit difficult to have a consistently high quality product, but I found it to be delicious most of the time. I will say to beware of being nickeled and dimed left and right. One of the International Cafe bar tenders deceived me into purchasing a $25 "specialty" coffee card after he told me I could not get regular coffee (which of course you can get..for free). I would suggest not buying anything until you get on board, see how much you use and then go from there. I would also suggest the same thing for excursions in different ports. I ended up not taking either one that I had paid for because I just felt like getting away from all the other passengers. This ship does have something for everyone and I think you would enjoy it. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
I have to tell you, I'm ready to fly home at the next port. I will be more than happy to follow up with a more positive review at the end of the cruise, but day one leaves a lasting impression. On the positive side..the only ... Read More
I have to tell you, I'm ready to fly home at the next port. I will be more than happy to follow up with a more positive review at the end of the cruise, but day one leaves a lasting impression. On the positive side..the only positive side...check in was a breeze and the people were very friendly. It went downhill from there. I paid double for my own private room and asked to be put in the quietest part of the ship. Screaming kids running up and down the hall. Oh well. I went down to one of the bars and was tried to be sold on a number of different packages that I didn't want. I was told I could not even get free coffee in the morning. I ordered a robe in the room..it wasn't there. I called room service and asked for a tray of canapes "We're sorry sir, but we need 6 to 8 hours notice to get those". I asked for a bottle of wine. "I'm sorry sir but we have to wait until we are out of the port of Houston before we can deliver that to your room". They nickel and dime you to death. I prepaid the gratuities, but have been told that only applies to to he wait staff in the restaurant and my room steward. Deceptive. Right now there is a pianist playing.. i could be in a floating Nordstroms. But I guess I have just realized that cruises are not for me. If I wanted to have to bypass crammed elevator after crammed elevator just to go up and down the stairs, I could just go to and office building downtown. The whole ship has this incredible air of cheapness about it. And, much like the airlines, the staff seems completely robotic. Stains on the carpet in my room, a laughable selection of TV channels (every other one being an ad for Princess). I was told i could bring plates of food up to my room from one of the places downstairs, but then no one told me what to do with them once I was finished. There were no to go boxes or bags. So here I am in the jammed elevator with china, trying to balance it. In addition, our lifevest demonstration was HIGHLY inadequate. We were hoarded into a theatre like we were going to see a show. Then, as if on a giant airplane, the attendants demonstrated how to use to vest. We were never told specifically where our lifeboats were. All in all, not a happy camper, in the least. Again, I will be the first to change this review at the end of the journey if things change. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
With seven voyages under our belts with Princess Cruises, we had never considered the possibility of looking to another cruise line -- We never needed to do so. We have just completed an "average" cruise with Princess from ... Read More
With seven voyages under our belts with Princess Cruises, we had never considered the possibility of looking to another cruise line -- We never needed to do so. We have just completed an "average" cruise with Princess from the port of Houston down to Cozumel, Roatan and Belize. Unfortunately it was only average because of a number of annoyances which added up and put a damper on the trip -- something that hasn't happened to us before with Princess. One fellow Canadian traveler who we met on the ship put his finger on what we were feeling, that Princess "over-promised and under-delivered." I have to agree. We started cruising with Princess in 2009 and were blown away on our first couple of cruises -- the food was incredible, the selection was amazing and the service was outstanding from everyone on board. Princess passengers -- the repeat cruisers -- also seemed to be very classy and well behaved. Perhaps we were lucky in the first few cruises, but Princess set a benchmark that they haven't been able to meet consistently. Obviously rising costs and competitive prices have thinned their margins a little and they are trying to keep making a profit. You really notice it in the food - one of the staples of a great cruise. The cuts of meat are downgraded -- and you don't see crab and shrimp unless you "pay" $50 per couple for the Crab Shack, or lobster if you pay an extra $50 per couple for the Crown Grill. Don't get me wrong - we enjoy travelling with Princess and we think they are very good -- but they are starting to become really predictable and that's a bad sign. Staff at the Port of Houston are far less friendly than in the previous port of Galveston -- and the luggage handlers managed to break a hardshell suitcase between the curbside drop and it getting to my cabin. We also found something more disturbing -- a lower common denominator of behavior and manners from passengers -- something we noticed through recent sailings out of Texas. Worse is that the cruise line seems to let anything go among some passengers -- perhaps out of fear that a customer might not come back. But what if that customer is so offensive they drive off those of us who travel with them exclusively and every year? They need to consider that possibility. Onboard, there was a large chunk of poorly behaved clientele that one would expect to see at a bus station rather than on a cruise ship. Examples of behaviours: * Bathing suits with no coverups in the dining rooms * jeans and ballcaps on formal night! * drunks in the traditional dining area yelling loudly and talking inappropriately at the top of their lungs * the man in a wife-beater T-shirt on deck daily sporting white supremacist tattoos. * a huge group of boisterous children brought into the bar during serving hours for an Easter egg hunt among the paying patrons quietly enjoying the wine bar! * despite a plea from the captain on Day 1 about people being responsible for their children - some ran and yelled through halls after 10:30 as people tried to sleep. * I am not exaggerating - and no staff stopped them or intervened in any way despite being asked in all of these cases. Another major annoyance in travelling through Texas ports is that the state charges you for bringing in duty free liquor and cigarettes -- even if you are just passing through the state on your way out of the country! It cost us $7.00 for two small bottles of rum -- the state had set up a booth after US Customs manned by an obese sweaty man in a t-shirt stopping passengers who had been cleared to see if you have booze or smokes. After all the money we spent in the state on the way down to the cruise, staying at a hotel, dining in the area, visiting attractions, spending money contributing to the Texas economy, their parting gift to visitors is a parasitic tax on the way out. We also took a "tour" with Princess from the port through Houston and finally to the airport. The tour organizers didn't keep the group together and it took 90 minutes to get everyone through Customs. The buses we late and the tour was cut in half and included a five-minute stop at a museum and a five minute stop at the San Jacinto monument -- seriously! Five minute stops. Then the tour dumped everyone at one of the airport terminals forcing us to carry baggage past two adjacent terminals because you can's use a cart on the train! The tour was a disaster and cost us a fair dollar. Onboard, the activities are becoming predictable and standard - from bingo to trivia and karaoke. Unfortunately there were no interesting lectures and few learning experiences apart from getting a chance to learn how to play You Are My Sunshine on the steel drums:) Luckily, we had great scuba diving excursions in Cozumel, Belize and Roatan that made up for the lower standards on board the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
booked one suite and two balcony staterooms. Family cruise for 6. rooms were nice, clean and well maintained. disappointed in the buffet, unimaginative food without a lot of selection. The only redeeming feature was the Omelet cooked ... Read More
booked one suite and two balcony staterooms. Family cruise for 6. rooms were nice, clean and well maintained. disappointed in the buffet, unimaginative food without a lot of selection. The only redeeming feature was the Omelet cooked for breakfast. Formal nights were a joke. they will simply NOT enforce the dress code. I saw shorts and flip-flops on SUPPOSED formal nights. the food in the main dining rooms was top quality and we did enjoy our dinners. The CROWN GRILL was a fantastic steak house. service beyond perfect and the steaks were the best thing of the trip. sorely lacking in usual amenities. NO miniature golf course. NO full size shuffle board. they did have an idea of a shuffle board. it was crammed in an upper deck corner, about 12 feet long. they did have a croquet course which we used a couple of times. My two teenage grandsons did not think there was much for them except the pools. I have been on 2 other cruises and this one was far and away the roughest. in calm seas no less. I thing perhaps this older ship doesn't have more modern stabilizers. the trip was quite rough with rocking enough to almost throw you out of bed. Our rooms were on the very back of the ship so when they used the reverse thrusters to dock the entire room shook and rattled. We only booked this trip so we could go to Belize for the cave tubing. I have reviewed the Belize and Roatan potions of this trip on Trip advisor. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
The Emerald Princess continues to be one of my favorite ships. It was an enjoyable time leaving from Houston and visiting the western Caribbean ports . The staff on this ship are simply wonderful. Cruise director Lee Childers did an ... Read More
The Emerald Princess continues to be one of my favorite ships. It was an enjoyable time leaving from Houston and visiting the western Caribbean ports . The staff on this ship are simply wonderful. Cruise director Lee Childers did an excellent job and he conducted beautiful, moving services for Good Friday and Easter ( on Saturday). Room steward was fantastic. Loved the pillows on the bed; bed was very comfortable. Staff at the International Café were always full of smiles and very cheerful. Dining room service was great...Everything just went off on schedule and very well. Princess continues to be our favorite cruise line and we have tried others. Read Less
Emerald Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 5.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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