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3 Houston to Caribbean - Southern Princess Emerald Princess Cruise Reviews

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
Sail Date April 2015
This was the second time we've been on the Emerald. We were on it during its second year in the Mediterranean and now it is seven years old. She still looks very nice and they take good care of her, painting, replacing carpet, etc ... Read More
This was the second time we've been on the Emerald. We were on it during its second year in the Mediterranean and now it is seven years old. She still looks very nice and they take good care of her, painting, replacing carpet, etc that we saw while on board. Our mini suite, cabin D114 (portside), was very nice, but we were very forward and did feel the movement a little more than the mid ship staterooms we were accustomed to, but it wasn't real bad by any means. The Christmas decorations were beautiful around the ship! The added room in our cabin was nice with three of us sharing the space. Having a tub is also something you don't get in a regular balcony stateroom, and we enjoyed the bigger bathroom. The sofa bed for our grown daughter was great because the long sofa still had a portion to sit on even though the bed was open. Good idea! Our large queen size bed was comfortable for me but not as comfortable for my husband. The dining staff was the best of any of our 7 other cruises (4 th on Princess) They went way out of their way to please us, no matter what we requested! If we wanted a bottle of wine that we had not finished in a previous dining room for Anytime Dining, they tracked it down. If we wanted to try two different desserts, they just brought them without us even asking for both. They were all so friendly and never acted as if we were troubling them in any way. Many had a super sense of humor and made our dining experience a real pleasure. Entertainment we saw only on some of the evenings, so can't judge them all. The trivia game in the Explorers Lounge was very fun, the comedian illusionist was terrific, and the Casino non- smoking nights were good for just a little while, so as not to lose too much. Dancing in the Wheelhouse Bar was nice. We even learned some new dance steps in the Club Fusion. Bingo was well attended and was more reasonable to play than on other cruise lines. When you think about the chef having to plan for 15,000 meals per day, it is amazing what they are able to accomplish. We ate one evening in the Crown Grill Steakhouse and thought it was outstanding, well worth the $25 surcharge. Also on our last evening, we dined in the beautiful Sabatini's restaurant and had a wonderful meal, also a specialty restaurant. We never bought the alcohol package because we didn't feel it was worth it. You are allowed to bring a 750 mL bottle of wine per person in each cabin without a corkage fee. It was nice to sip a glass of wine on our balcony before dinner. At dinner we'd order a glass of wine and a pina colada by the pool, but never would have spent the amount of the alcohol package. The exciursions were okay except that in Belize we had to use local catamarans that held about 200 passengers to tender us to shore instead of the tenders from our ship. Because of that, it was open air and cooler on the morning trip to shore. The 2 hour river cruise was in an open air boat that was not very comfortable, it rained on us and we were cold, but we saw many crocodiles, iguanas, birds, and even bats on trees. Interesting. Tulum in Mexico was a long trip from the ship because you had to take a 30 minute big enclosed speed boat trip before taking a 45 minute motorcoach ride to the Mayan Ruins of Tulum . I felt it was worth it to see this ancient civilization on the gorgeous turquoise sea, but felt that I also missed a day on the beautiful beaches. You can't do it all! I figured that you can't always see the ruins on this magnitude. I loved this particular cruise because there were 3 full days at sea and it was so relaxing to just do your own thing! Whether it be walking the Promenade deck 3 times around for 1 mile of exercise or going to the big fitness center or just lounging under the huge outdoor screen to see a Beatles concert or see an NFL game, there was always something to see, eat, or do. I truly believe that it is up to each individual's attitude as to whether you will enjoy yourself or not. Some people complain about very minute things when on the whole picture, the cruise was wonderful and the staff was terrific in every way! Would we cruise with Princess again? Absolutely. It is very economical for what you get and if you paid a lot more on a high end smaller cruise line, you would expect more. Free liquor with dinner, smaller numbers at dinner, no waiting, etc., but we didn't break the bank and were very pleased ! We had a great time.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
First time sailing with princess after sailing with carnival in the past on several cruises. Was very impressed with the condition of the ship, attitude of the crew, and food compared to carnival. Ship seemed less packed with passengers ... Read More
First time sailing with princess after sailing with carnival in the past on several cruises. Was very impressed with the condition of the ship, attitude of the crew, and food compared to carnival. Ship seemed less packed with passengers than the carnival cruises and crowd probably were in mid 40's and older (I'm mid 50 so better fit with music, waits at the bar, etc). Still plenty of night life and stuff to do- just without the hoardes at the bars and techno music in the nightclubs. Only negative comment was we had late seating for dinner and missed all the shows since they didnt provide a late show option for late dinner guests. Houston departure was the fastest and most organized I've experienced and the debarking only took ~ 20mins to gather bags and get through customs. Very nice overall experience. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
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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