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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The service was very good and the food was good. Our stateroom was huge and our view was excellent. The ship looks good but needs a refit. Many staterooms had water problems including ours. The elevator buttons wouldn’t always work. ... Read More
The service was very good and the food was good. Our stateroom was huge and our view was excellent. The ship looks good but needs a refit. Many staterooms had water problems including ours. The elevator buttons wouldn’t always work. The jucuzzi jets didnt work in the solarium area. I love to dance but found the music selection poor plus no singles. I did the hula class which was fantastic and did the dance classes but again no one to dance with. I enjoyed using the gym and the jucuzzi. This was a xmas and New Year cruise so there were many children and the cruise was full. Entertainment shows didn’t interest me I did go to 3 I liked. Night time entertainment not so good. More of a cruise for families and couples and events were oriented to those groups. Barking and Embarking went smoothly. Did own excursions off the ship. Enjoyed the ports. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Platinum level cruisers, so typically pick Princess first, but about 4 years since our last cruise so noticed a big difference especially in quantity/quality of staff. Nice enough cabin, outside window, very clean and a good location. ... Read More
Platinum level cruisers, so typically pick Princess first, but about 4 years since our last cruise so noticed a big difference especially in quantity/quality of staff. Nice enough cabin, outside window, very clean and a good location. But cabin stewards used to ALWAYS address us by name beginning with the minute we boarded, and that is so not the case anymore--didn't happen once. I have agree with another reviewer, "cruise director Kaylie seemed like a giggling 14-year-old." Sorry Kaylie--you just had that kind of demeanor. Entertainment was pretty weak. One guitar player/"comedian" in the large Princess theater was particularly bad--lots in the front row just got up and left about 10 minutes into performance. Trip was nice--being in Hawaii for Christmas is always a treat. We did our own shore excursions, hiring them at the end of the pier, because you go exactly the same places Princess takes you at about half the price. Specialty restaurants are getting a bit "gougy" too--Pay $29 per person in the Crown Grille, but then if you decide you want a lobster tail from the menu, they add an additional $10 for that! Lots of little changes noticeable -- no more half & half or cream at the coffee/tea drink station, only milk; buffet food was typically cold; used to be offered water when we got off on a shore trip, now they charge for it. Oh yeah, we had practically NO internet on this ship. Lots of excuses (weather, position, etc) but still NO internet. Connectivity is a necessity for many these days, not a luxury. This was a huge pain and lots of very angry people at the Internet Cafe, demanding refunds. So between high-priced shore excursions, cut backs in service, staff interaction that was just "average," and entertainment not nearly as good as in previous years, we are definitely going to give another line a try. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
The cruise was 15 days spanning Christmas and New Years. It was an OK trip, but I expected more from Princess Cruises. The ship was over crowded and there were long lines for everything. Many of the shows and events (trivia, classes, ect) ... Read More
The cruise was 15 days spanning Christmas and New Years. It was an OK trip, but I expected more from Princess Cruises. The ship was over crowded and there were long lines for everything. Many of the shows and events (trivia, classes, ect) could not accommodate the amount of guests on board. The food was eatable, but disappointing as well. You could not find tables to sit and eat because the overcrowding and lack of space drove people to lounge and congregate at the tables in the buffet and café areas. The amenities were lacking; they definitely fall into the "No Frills" category. The service staff were good and tried to be very helpful and attentive. They did their best to make the vacation smooth and enjoyable. The holiday events left something to be desired and we kept finding ourselves lucky to have gotten a seat, but merely waiting for it to end. Christmas passed with minimal notice, and New Years was very disappointing. I think I will stick to Royal Caribbean for my cruises. They were a much better experience for the same cost. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because my wife is several weeks pregnant. So we wanted to go to Hawaii to avoid any places with Zika. This was our last opportunity to vacation since both of us are very busy and rarely get much time off. And with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because my wife is several weeks pregnant. So we wanted to go to Hawaii to avoid any places with Zika. This was our last opportunity to vacation since both of us are very busy and rarely get much time off. And with the baby coming later this year its only going to be harder. If we had known that Princess was going to be so bad we would have flown to Hawaii and stayed in a hotel instead. Nearly every night we were woken up to loud thumping noises. We have some recordings and you can hear it pretty good even on just a crappy phone mic. It sounded like a very unbalanced washing machine directly above us. We contacted the help desk and our steward. But they wouldn't tell us what it was. It would go away once we said something but then back the next night. Needless to say we didn't get the restful sleep we wanted. Princess offered us $90 off our final bill at the end of the cruise but I felt like it should have been more than that. They told me I would have to contact customer relations. But in the mean time they went ahead and closed the bill. I called the day after I got home and was told I had to email not call. So I did that. It took them a few days and they called me back...not emailed. They said they would offer us $75 per person future cruise credit that we would have to schedule within one year. This was infuriating because we wont be able to cruise again any time soon because of the baby coming later this year. So the $75 per person is worthless to us. Beyond that the Emerald Princess is not in very good condition. There were several things in very poor condition or totally broken. And the food...having cruised with Princess in the past I was expecting a little better quality, but it was not good at all. Overall if Princess hadn't closed the bill and credited us the $150 we would have come away with a more positive experience. But now it feels like Princess is just forcing us to cruise with them again and we already know its probably not going to be good. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
My wife and I chose this cruise line after sailing with Carnival the past five years. The Emerald Princess is a decent ship, however, she is starting to show her age. First things first. Be aware that this Cruise has guests that are ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise line after sailing with Carnival the past five years. The Emerald Princess is a decent ship, however, she is starting to show her age. First things first. Be aware that this Cruise has guests that are averaging late 60s to late 70s in age. Therefore, you will see quite a few scooters, wheelchairs, and walkers. One thing that I will say as a positive with this cruise, is that getting on the ship was extremely easy. Our room was E419, which is supposed to be and obstructed view. However, the obstruction was actually minimal. One of the other things that I will mention in more detail is the cabin size. Normally, we get a balcony room. However, this time (because it was our first cruise with Princess) we decided to get a window or ocean view. This actually saved us quite a few dollars, because usually you hear that people are only in their rooms to sleep. This is not always true. After you have been on several of these cruises, sometimes you want to just stay in your room and relax. Now the room. Our room was much smaller than on a similarly equipped Carnival ship. Also about the room. To our right just outside are the lifeboats. The staff decided to paint the underside of the railing, which caused them to use hammers and scrapers, making a ton of noise. The tapping became so annoying that I had to actually go down to guest services and ask them if they could hold off with the tapping until we went ashore. They did not guarantee that the workers would stop, but eventually they did. As we arrived in Honolulu (our first port), we could hear them tapping again but we were leaving the ship anyway. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Our fourth journey to the islands from Los Angeles. No big issues, just fun, relaxation, and good food. Worth the trip. We have never been on the Emerald Princess, same configuration as the Ruby. So it’s nice to know desk layouts ... Read More
Our fourth journey to the islands from Los Angeles. No big issues, just fun, relaxation, and good food. Worth the trip. We have never been on the Emerald Princess, same configuration as the Ruby. So it’s nice to know desk layouts in advance, I heard folks complain about the ships condition, worn out, rusting, the general garbage folks like to dump. I’m a long time cruiser. I really didn’t see too much damage, yes rusting was occurring in some areas on the outer hull, but not on the decks were we can walk around and view, the chairs and couches were in a needing for replacement. But the ship was very clean. I was looking forward to gelato, but no the equipment that displays the product was broken. Disappointing. But stuff happens. Another large issue was crappy internet. Days of blackout. Took 50 minutes to send one email. I guess I’m glad I was on vacation. Tried to seek some help from the Internet folks, I purchased the premium internet package due to a family issue we had, hoping to keep a link going back to home. But no it didn’t work out. Was given some stupid fix they were seeking to solve the outage. Effected much of the ship operations too. The ports were excellent we did have weather and princess offered umbrellas. We had some rain off and on. Overall the trip and the ship were excellent. Quick summary... Problems... Internet had serious issues. The gelato bar was closed due to equipment failure. Some harsh weather/seas first few days. Pros Staff were fantastic, Main dining food was much better. Some menu changes did occur. Horizon grill was good and tasty. They now sell crown grill steak, lobster, and other items in the main dining for $19 each! Clean ship, didn’t feel crowded, and airy. Tea time was once again great. Fast embark and debark — really fast. Ship is going into dry dock in early April. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Chose this cruise due to great experience on the Ruby. Emerald needs a major suite overhaul, best thing about the cruise was staff, not food, not decor, not amenities, not entertainment, not services available! The food in dining room was ... Read More
Chose this cruise due to great experience on the Ruby. Emerald needs a major suite overhaul, best thing about the cruise was staff, not food, not decor, not amenities, not entertainment, not services available! The food in dining room was excellent at first, then got poor as the cruise progressed. The room service was great with 2 of the delivery stewards, but one put zero effort into it and just dropped off our tray of lukewarm food. The suite experience did not meet my expectations. The only thing worth it was having a shower and tub. Of course the shower had some black stuff growing on grout and a maintenance man spent an hour and a half of unscheduled time sanitizing the jet tub. When I asked him if there was a problem with it that brought him to our cabin, he politely informed me his boss told him it must be sanitized every 3 months and today was the day. Eww. Every three months? Our couch seat cushions were extremely worn and did not really fit the sofa. Looked like a garage sale find. Our room steward worked his tail off and was always pleasant. By the end, if I had to hear the violin girls in the piazza one more time I would have torn my hair out. They are very good, they justt played a lot of the same stuff over and over and over. This is a rough review, but I spent A LOT of money for the suite experience. We quit ordering the canapés because they were always dry and tasteless. We tried the fancy tea once, he brought a bunch of dried out sandwiches and pastries and literally dropped it off. There was no service. Didn’t even set the table at all. Don’t get me wrong, we got to relax and enjoy our time together, but I could’ve spent the same time in a much better luxury hotel for less money. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because of the Places it was stopping at. Love all the excursions we went on and they were all booked through Princess. The only suggestion I would have is to have more slot machines in the non smoking casino. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the Places it was stopping at. Love all the excursions we went on and they were all booked through Princess. The only suggestion I would have is to have more slot machines in the non smoking casino. Specialty dining at the Crown Grill was excellent. The rib eye steak was so good and cooked perfectly. The waiters were extremely helpful and efficient. The employees were all extremely helpful and friendly. I also like the fact that Princess had washers and dryers. That made it great for us because we had to board a plane home. It was nice that we could text our party on our phones without signing up and paying for wi hi. USS Arizona was my favorite excursion and it was a beautiful day! The tour guides for all the excursions were extremely knowledgeable about all aspects of where we visited. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We are Elite members with 20 years of cruising. For 2 complete days on Emerald Princess (Dec 6 and Dec7) from 7:00am to 5:00pm there was an extremely loud noise near our cabin. We could not talk, hear each other or relax in our ... Read More
We are Elite members with 20 years of cruising. For 2 complete days on Emerald Princess (Dec 6 and Dec7) from 7:00am to 5:00pm there was an extremely loud noise near our cabin. We could not talk, hear each other or relax in our mini-suite.. There was a metal bumping, beating other metal near our balcony for the whole day. Was it a necessity to do such job on the sea days? Generally, the whole cruise was a disaster. The procedure of entering Fusion Club for “Captain Circle” was humiliating and incredible disrespectful. For example, the Entertaining Director Lisa was more to per-occupied only collecting the invitation from people than showing people how special and important they are. Lisa even did not want to look at the faces of the passengers or reply on our greeting, for example. The Cruise Director was a very young girl, who acted as a child. The "Wake show" was very unintelligent and just low class. The Cruise Ass. Director - a young girl from Mexico - was openly and inappropriate flirting with many men in front of their wives. There was a very poor entertainment, and the main activities on board were "Trivia". The room service was very slow, confusing and often mixed our orders. The room steward was barely working. The spa is extremely expensive. The whole activities were designed just to sell something to people. Our 12 friends who usually cruise with us every Dec.4 to Hawaii did not have any place to dance, because the good Ballroom band played in a very small space of the “Wheel house”. We want to get a refund for 2 of lost vacation days which were created by the fault of the ship. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
Great food, excellent service and entertainment. Waiters great. Cruise Director Kaylee could have been better, not one of the better cruise directors on all the cruise I have been on. She was actually quite boring when trying to entertain ... Read More
Great food, excellent service and entertainment. Waiters great. Cruise Director Kaylee could have been better, not one of the better cruise directors on all the cruise I have been on. She was actually quite boring when trying to entertain over 3000 passengers. Enjoyed sailing to Hawaii. Lots of sea days provides rest and relaxation. Older passengers on ship. Everything shuts down by 10:00 pm because the old folks all go to sleep. Loved movies under the stars, especially on football days. Decent entertainment but not always in Princess Theater so seating limited in Club Fusion and Explorers Lounge so some shows were standing room only which is unacceptable. Stay in Suite if possible if you can afford hefty prices for long cruises because have plenty of room and more comfort. Balcony in suite very large. Room service was excellent. Ports great but going to Ensenada is a complete waste of time.Enjoyed . Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We chose this cruise because we had cruised Princess before and enjoyed it. We prefer longer cruises- 15 or more days or back-to-back. This was 15 day round trip LA to Hawaii to LA. The Emerald needs spruced up- a bit shabby. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had cruised Princess before and enjoyed it. We prefer longer cruises- 15 or more days or back-to-back. This was 15 day round trip LA to Hawaii to LA. The Emerald needs spruced up- a bit shabby. The entertainment was hit or miss. We liked about half of the entertainment. It was rough weather in December- cool and windy. Some nights it was cold- of course not the fault of the ship. I would have spent time at the pool and the around the deck music, etc. But not this trip. (the last third had some sunny "deck days". So, what to do- endless trivia games. The cruise director is 25 year-old Kaylee- acted like a giggling 14 year-old. Her pal, Ruby the gem did not shine for me. Avoided the morning show on the TV. The Magic To Do show was self-indulgent junk - apparently written and staged by the magician. I talked to no one who liked it- most said boring, stupid, and poorly staged. Just a waste of time- caused us to decide against going to the production shows which we usually liked. The Wheelhouse was a good place to dance, Skywalker as well. Cabin was fine- C327- we had a larger than usual balcony. Food was average. Staff not quick to act when something was not right- cold food, etc. Didn't seem to know what to do (new or last-chance?) Excursions through Princess- long tour to Waimea Canyon- bus 35 minutes late (driver kept telling us how late she had been- followed by laughter), so she dropped one stop and hurried us through the others- no one happy. The other long tour was in a crowded van- this one was a tour of various falls. Again, hurry up- over promising- should take a few things off the schedule and have a better tour. Usually get EZ-Air boarding passes from passenger desk- not now- must use internet minutes- trying to sell more minutes? Not nice- oh, by the way- booked with air months before trip- airplane seats for a couple- middle seats, different rows. Princess must book at the last minute to save money- take the seats that are left- will not EZ-Air again. Quite a few of the staff had trouble understanding simple questions except " can I have a margarita" I have been on Costa, Royal Caribbean, NCL, Carnival, and Princess. I am platinum. Would not pick Princess over the others after this trip. Princess will be in the mix, but not the preferred cruise line that it had been in the last few years. Hey, what happened to Princess playing cards available at the passenger desk- now you can buy regular (not "Princess") cards in the casino. So, shabby ship, hit or miss entertainment, poor tours, and a ship that wants to nickel and dime the passengers. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
This was our first cruise. We had a mini-suite--the bedding was extremely comfortable and our Attendant Alex was perfect. Lots to do, we missed most of the shows. The comedian on the last night was great, the dancing was fun. Buffet was ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We had a mini-suite--the bedding was extremely comfortable and our Attendant Alex was perfect. Lots to do, we missed most of the shows. The comedian on the last night was great, the dancing was fun. Buffet was mediocre but got the job done in the mornings. Evening anytime dining was good. We paid extra for Share (Curtis Stone) and it was absolutely worth the extra $29. It was the best meal of our vacation and the service at Share was impeccable. (Service from all dining rooms was great.) We also bought the Salty Dog Gastro Pub, not our favorite. Pizza from 11 am to 11 pm was my fiance's favorite feature, and the soft serve was my daughter's favorite. Shore excursions were made easy through the transfers. I recommend the Tortilla Workshop and my daughter loved swimming with dolphins in Cabos. Spa was pricey, but my nail tech Anna was fantastic--probably the best manicure I've ever received, and 2.5 weeks later it's still holding strong. Craft program for adults could be upgraded, as it was "sold out" (although free) every time. They added second classes to accommodate. Kids program seemed empty most of the time. My child was on the cusp between kid and teen and so she didn't use the service. It wasn't a kid cruise, but seemed like enough for all ages to do. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Everyone said Princess is a grest cruise line. I was very disappointed in the food and overall experience. The comedians were the highlight of the cruise. Our cabin attendant was excellent. The Cruise Director and her staf did a good ... Read More
Everyone said Princess is a grest cruise line. I was very disappointed in the food and overall experience. The comedians were the highlight of the cruise. Our cabin attendant was excellent. The Cruise Director and her staf did a good job. The dining was a big disappointment. The food was ok, but not was I was expecting. You had to wait in long lines for a burger, pizza, ice cream or anything at the International Cafe. We got lost repeatedly as they don't have any wayfinding system like Royal Caribbean. To get to our dining room, we had to goup to ths 7th floor and then down to the 6th floor. I found it odd and annoying. We got locked out of our room twice on a 5 night cruise. We had to go from the 14th floor to the 6th each t I'll me we got locked out. Both times were late at night when we were teying to get back to the room to go to bed. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
As others have noted, Princess was tauted as one of the best cruises/cruiselines but we found it severely lacking. Again as Doxiesmom said about getting lost, we did as well numerous times but somehow always seemed to end up by all the ... Read More
As others have noted, Princess was tauted as one of the best cruises/cruiselines but we found it severely lacking. Again as Doxiesmom said about getting lost, we did as well numerous times but somehow always seemed to end up by all the hundreds of photos, the casino or the Lotus Spa. It was not a diabetic friendly cruise as even though we had purchased the soda package, the only diet soda available anywhere was diet coke. Diet Sprite/Sprite Zero could be had but it cost $2.00. What??? One sugar free option for dessert in the buffet which we ate dinner at each night instead of the main dining room. The Salty Dog was a joke that we paid $24 extra for. Come to find out the last night in the dining room they served those burgers there. Hmm.. Tell me again that food all comes from different kitchens on a cruise? The burgers and fries were great on the pool deck but it was always too cold to eat there. Luckily we did get one good meal in Cabo and that pretty much sustained us until we got back home. We had a balcony which was really nice. Looking down upon others' balconies wasn't interesting as one might think it would be. The latches on the balcony were rusted off as others have said but didn't bother us. However we were surprised our bed linens were not changed in the entire five nights. How do I know? Well the same torn ragged sheet was at the same corner of the bed for the entire time. Entertainment, well we went to the comedians but were not very impressed. The music in the Piazza was just way too loud all the time and the lack of seating in that area was bothersome because there were some people who took up residence there I believe. We did sleep well but the beds must be that memory foam stuff as well as the pillows because we woke up drenched every morning. Overall not the greatest cruise but of course everyone has different opinions. I loved the hair/head massages but the haircut I got was very minimal even though I said take a lot off. The tv was nice, glad they showed movies repeatedly but wish we'd known earlier that they did that. I went to one evening movie in the theater and was surprised that it wasn't edited for language. I'm not a prude but I do think in a public venue like that language and sex should be edited. There were like twenty people in the audience and after the first ten minutes of F-this and F-that, there were five of us left. I stayed because I had seen the movie only a few days prior and wanted to see it on a bigger screen. So I think we'll be sticking with Royal Caribbean. The service and quality of entertainment/food was much better with them and now we know the difference. I'm glad several people liked this cruise. I'm sorry we were not two of them. One other thing, the cleanliness of public spaces was severely lacking. In the Piazza area, there were glasses and food plates left near the elevators on the floor, several coffee cups all over the place, and not one stinking or non-stinking garbage can to be found ANYWHERE. WHAT The heck is up with NO place to throw your trash away???? This was throughout the ship and thoroughly annoying as was the plastic straws everywhere. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We needed one more cruise to put us into the Elite membership tier for our 30 day South American cruise February 2019, so we added a 5 day Cabo onto our existing 15 day to Hawaii. We were curious how we would like all the sea days. The ... Read More
We needed one more cruise to put us into the Elite membership tier for our 30 day South American cruise February 2019, so we added a 5 day Cabo onto our existing 15 day to Hawaii. We were curious how we would like all the sea days. The ship was in fairly good shape considering its age, plenty of places to get away from everyone if you wanted. We never really felt crowded unless there was a big deal in the Piazza. The shops had plenty of current fashions and the jewelry shop carries exclusively Effy. Quality at a fair price. It seemed they were always having a new line to showcase. The food was presented well, in reasonable portions, warm and most meats were cooked as requested. We found that most often if you asked nicely you could have whatever you wanted.Not all of the offerings were something we would eat at home, but you could always order from the standards if needed. We had requested the 7:00 dinner time and on all our precruise paperwork it was confirmed. When we boarded the ship our cards said 5:00. We spoke with the Maitre d"Hotel Neville and we were assigned the 7:15 dinner at a table for 4. The first night we arrived to have dinner with a nice couple. The next night we arrived to find the early sitting were still there and hadn't ordered dessert yet. We were seated at another table.The 3rd night we had an excursion that kept us from getting back in time for dinner, we had let our waiter know this was a possibility. The following night we showed up at 7:15 and the table was still occupied. We left, letting the head waiter know we would not be back. The next morning we received a letter from the Maitre d'Hotel letting us know he had reassigned us to another table. When we started the next cruise, we showed up at 7:15 and were escorted to our table to find that there were still people eating, at this point Larry the Head waiter (who knew our past experience) had us wait a few minutes when he escorted us to a table for 4 and told us that this would be our table for the remainder of the cruise. It would be ready for us by 7:00 every night. We told him we didn't mind sharing, but he insisted we had been through too much. It was a quiet area in a corner with water views, Our staff Herman and Jay treated us like royalty! The rooms are quite comfortable. We had an obstructed OV for the 5 day and took an upsell to a balcony for the 15 day. The configuration of the OV E405 was amazing giving us more room than previous OV that had the bed under the window. We were able to sit in chairs and look out the window. We never did see why it was obstructed, nothing in front, left, right or below that was disruptive. For the balcony we were in B415. Both of these rooms were midship, close to the elevators which made getting to places a snap. We were required to get off the ship as an "in transit" group about 10:00, go through customs, walk outside and come back in the entrance, up the escalator and were checked in, given new cards and waited in a separate area for about 30 minutes before being invited back onboard. Our cabin steward moved all of our belongings for us. We were able to leave hanging clothes as is and we packed the rest into our suitcase which they delivered to our new room. We were eating lunch by noon! The Elite lounge Happy Hour was moved from Skywalkers to Fusions, a little bigger room, and with the curtains open we still had the water views. Because they moved the dinner times to 5 and 7:15, they moved the cocktail hour up to 4:30-6:30. I'm sure it was a struggle for the 5:00 to get to dinner on time. The drink menu was changed and we found that if you asked they would make several drinks less sweet. We hope that they will revamp this menu a bit. We do miss the Chairman of the Board! Because we ate dinner at 7:00 and were done by 8:15 or so we didn't want to wait around until 9:45 for the shows to start. We did see one or two acts that started around 9:00 but mostly we went back to our cabin and enjoyed our left over wine on the balcony or watched a movie on TV. Because we have been to Hawaii so much with our timeshare we did not do any excursions. In Cabo I did book the sunset sail on a 55' catamaran which was an amazing time. There were 16 people on our boat, we enjoyed champagne as we motored out into the ocean, pictures being taking on the bow as the sun set. Cocktails or wine were offered as well as "heavy snacks" which was more gourmet than snacks. We then hoisted the sails and sailed around for 90 minutes, watching fireworks off one of the hotels in celebration of their new president that week. We were back on the ship by 8:30 so had pizza in our room. I think our one major gripe is that when we went to Vines to enjoy a glass of nice wine, we had a hard time finding a table that wasn't occupied by people playing card games or eating their food from the International Cafe. The internet was horrendous, to say the least. I used 80 of my free 250 minutes trying to pay 2 bills. Constantly getting kicked off. Needless to say I should have used my Verizon Mifi when we were in port instead of relying on the ship. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We are platinum members of Carnival and always love our Carnival cruises. We were told to try Princess so we did this on the Emerald for a 5 day cruise. We got on ship with no problem and straight to our room. We usually get a balcony ... Read More
We are platinum members of Carnival and always love our Carnival cruises. We were told to try Princess so we did this on the Emerald for a 5 day cruise. We got on ship with no problem and straight to our room. We usually get a balcony room, but as it was a short cruise decided to save a bit of money and get inside room. The room was clean, bed super comfortable and our steward kept it clean. We liked the ship very much, found it to be clean. The food in buffet was good, no complaints. We loved the lox every morning along with the excellent servers! The staff was very accessible and always offered their services. Lunch was basic. Dinners were great! Choices were fine, I am a sweet freak so I really enjoyed the desserts. I did miss a lobster dinner and refuse to pay money for a specialty restaurant. I feel all food should be special. Pool area was great, especially enjoyed the big screen and watching Sunday football. I was not impressed with cruise director and entertainment staff. Very little energy. I am used to carnival and party ship. Emerald did not have that same feel. But, I did enjoy Pinnacle the live band. They were great! Overall we really enjoyed our experience on the Emerald. We will return to Princess. Our choice between princess and carnival will be price. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Invited my Sister and Brother-in-Law for their first time Princess cruise and they really enjoyed themselves, my BIL wanted a really short cruise and he got it. Our stateroom attendant was a dream come true who helped us so much with my ... Read More
Invited my Sister and Brother-in-Law for their first time Princess cruise and they really enjoyed themselves, my BIL wanted a really short cruise and he got it. Our stateroom attendant was a dream come true who helped us so much with my Sister and Brother-in-Law. The stateroom was just below Lido deck so I did not have a long walk and elevator ride in the mornings when taking my Wife her first cup of coffee. We were also close to the elevators and the laundry room. Everyone greeted us and there were smiles everywhere. The entertainment was great and the comedian was really funny. Food selection was great and the service was excellent but tables were at times scarce in the Horizon Court. We really likes the fresh made Pizza and the Ice Cream bar. The Captain spoke to us on the intercom system a number of times and he has a funny side which was a delight. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
I want to start by saying this was our 3rd Princess cruise and we have always had an excellent experience. Until now. Not sure if it was because it was a short 4 day (San Pedro to Santa Barbara to Ensenada) but it was a ... Read More
I want to start by saying this was our 3rd Princess cruise and we have always had an excellent experience. Until now. Not sure if it was because it was a short 4 day (San Pedro to Santa Barbara to Ensenada) but it was a disappointment. We booked it last minute as we had been in Vegas to warm up and decided to spend 5 of our 10 days on the ocean instead of the rest in Begas or home in snow (Montana) It was warm, sunny and beautiful the entire trip. The Good: Transfers to/from airport via bus went smooth. Embarkation was amazing, fast, easy. Food was very good ...if in school i would give the buffet a B and dining room an A-. Room steward was excellent! We never had an interior cabin before due to my claustrophobia and tendency for sea sickness. Booked last minute it was all they had. Surprised at overall size & lots of mirrors to make it feel bigger. Ship itself was in good shape (except a leak over elevators which took me 15min to find a cruise person to report it to) though smaller than any other ship we had been on. Bed was excellent and we slept well. Dining staff on last evening were subperb. Good mix of talent (especially violinists) and non crowded spaces abound. Spa was great i got a massage 1 day and a Pedicure the next. Excellent both times though they always try to sell you products (which i always buy) The Cons: There were plenty. 1st day sitting in bar wait staff more concerned with talking to each other/bar staff than to come take our order. 2nd day identical, cleaning tables (though plenty were empty) and in over 5min still never came to take our order (not busy time) we literally got up and left. Muster drill was a joke. Indoors, completely disorganized and honestly I wouldn’t trust the ship in an emergency if they can’t even run a proper drill. No one paying attention, monkeys running the circus. Dismal. Dining- Twice at assigned dining room we had to move to another dining room on another floor. Staff seemed inconvenienced by serving us “any time” diners in their dining room. Crappy dark table first night (literally could not read menu without cell phone flash light) 2nd time directly behind busy station with tons of noise / dishes etc did not make for a nice dining experience. They would not move us even though plenty of empty tables. Wine steward would not give us proper red wine glasses and an argument ensued and then they finally relented to give us water goblets) 3rd dining night , Only after we attended the wine tasting and the maitre D recognized us did we get to eat in our dining room(where the wait staff was EXCELLENT and we had the service we came to expect from Princess also amazingly they could find and allow us proper wine glasses. ;) But since 2 out of 3 nights were awful I couldn’t give more than 3 stars. No gala / formal night Bathroom was tiny as expected but a 6’ man in that shower is comical. They allow smoking in the casino and on deck (which included some old foggies puffing on cigars) while trying to relax in pool area. Not cool. Pictures cost $25 per sheet with no reasonable discount pkg. Overall we felt most staff in dining, bars, buffet areas were too casual / not attentive and lack of supervision was obvious. On all previous cruises you could definitely find/see someone in charge that made sure passengers were being taken care of. Not here. Not ever. We chalked this whole experience up to “Never again” for the casual/short cruise. Booked another 10day for the following month. If not improved we will definitely switch back to Holland American (which we took twice between other Princess cruises) We did not do any excursions (not much to do in Santa Barbara and well...Mexico and tourist safety is not really working so we took a pass in Ensenada and enjoyed the empty sun decks. ) Princess gets 1 more chance in our book. Great cruise for sun and relaxing as long as SERVICE is not a priority for you . Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
You should know you will be milked for gratuity at every corner, its ludicrous. The shower is scorching hot 90% of the time. The activities are not designed for all age groups, they are either designed for kids or senior citizens. The ... Read More
You should know you will be milked for gratuity at every corner, its ludicrous. The shower is scorching hot 90% of the time. The activities are not designed for all age groups, they are either designed for kids or senior citizens. The excursion was great; however, it took up most of the time we had on the port. The port time was horrific, we arrived late and only had 1/2 on the first day and 1/2 a day on the second day because we had to leave before 1. It was very disappointing. Nevertheless, the tenders used to get us to the port were efficient. The cabin was nice. I highly recommend you get a cabin with a balcony, its worth the experience. Dinning, the food was mediocre and the service was less than average. Our personal wait staff during our dinner were great. They got to know us and did everything to accommodate us. However, because of the length of time on the port I would not take this cruise again to Cabo. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
Chose the California departure for a Thanksgiving holiday. We have previously been on Celebrity, Norwegian and Carnival. We had an obstructed view cabin which was well-laid out. We did not find the food, entertainment or service to be ... Read More
Chose the California departure for a Thanksgiving holiday. We have previously been on Celebrity, Norwegian and Carnival. We had an obstructed view cabin which was well-laid out. We did not find the food, entertainment or service to be anywhere close to what we have had on five Norwegian cruises. Key card wouldn't work upon embarkation so one person was stuck for 30 minutes waiting for security. Disembarking this morning was a fiasco - because of the 5 day cruise, persons were expected to carry their own luggage, leave the room by 8 and assemble at various locations at specific times based on deck and cabin number. Nothing seemed to work - waited in line for over an hour - the officer present at the theater could only explain the delay by stating immigration was looking at passports. Dining room food was OKAY but often slow - saw several other diners get up and leave one night. Buffet was just OKAY as well - tables were more available than on other ships - that is about the only positive that comes to mind about the entire Princess experience! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We’ve been on 8 prior Princess Cruises and several cruises with other lines. We had been impressed with Princess Cruises over the other lines until our recent cruises. Particularly their dining experience had been exceptional. The ... Read More
We’ve been on 8 prior Princess Cruises and several cruises with other lines. We had been impressed with Princess Cruises over the other lines until our recent cruises. Particularly their dining experience had been exceptional. The main disappointment with this cruise is that they have removed all the premium dinners from the main dining room. Now if you want lobster, crab legs, or scallops, you have to pay more onboard to go to a “specialty” dining room for $20-$30 per person. The waiter service in the main dining room is still outstanding; the wait staff is very attentive, responsive, and skilled. The food served is good, but lacking the special meals. The entertainment was good, but we’ve seen the production shows on previous cruises. The featured entertainment was very good. We’d seen them, but had updated routines. The excursion we selected was very nice. We did a winery tour that included a souvenir bottle of wine. We would do that tour again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Decided to take two back to back short cruises to help get to Elite but never again. Dining time was move up to 5:15pm but the doors were locked so no one could enter until that time. This resulted in a line that extended all the way into ... Read More
Decided to take two back to back short cruises to help get to Elite but never again. Dining time was move up to 5:15pm but the doors were locked so no one could enter until that time. This resulted in a line that extended all the way into the casino every night. By the time everyone was seated we didn’t get our appetizers until 5:55! Several times we had to skip dessert to make it to a show. Next, even though Princess has rules, there were so many children under 8yrs old unaccompanied in every hot tub that adults could not get in. Many times there were young parents with their infant toddlers in diapers in the hot tubs. Also, on crowded dance floors in bars there were young children. An accident waiting to happen. When doing back to back cruises, passengers have to depart, wait in long lines some outside even when raining to go through customs. Even the passengers who were already through customs were forced to wait until everyone had been cleared. This took over an hour. Need better procedure! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
This was my 8th cruise with my wife, but my first time on Princess. We booked it last minute but the timing was right and we knew we wanted to try out Princess. This would only be one second time sailing on the Pacific and were excited to ... Read More
This was my 8th cruise with my wife, but my first time on Princess. We booked it last minute but the timing was right and we knew we wanted to try out Princess. This would only be one second time sailing on the Pacific and were excited to see Cabo San Lucas on the itinerary. Embark- Ship came from a 28 day sail so we couldn't board till mid afternoon. They assigned boarding times but nobody paid attention to it. Otherwise we walked right on and the room was ready to go. Ship- Ship was pretty nice, Italian themed and the upkeep was pretty good. The clubs and bars are very nice. Theater is a good size but seating is tight. Cabin-We booked last minute so we had a veranda on Deck 15, front Port Side. The sea was extremley rough on the return heading north. ( we expected the movement, but it was ROUGH). The balcony was spacious and the cabin was standard, nothing special, super small bathroom. Shower backed up on the two days we were anchored off Cabo. The Princess beds are very nice, if you like the a soft pillow type bedding. Dining- The food was my least favorite part and my least favorite of any ship I have been on. Buffet selection was not good at all. I also thought the quality of food over all was fair to poor. Entertainment and Activities- I tried to do some research on Princess and the Emerald prior to but I couldn't find much on it. I find this to be a cross between an Ocean Liner and a Cruise Ship. This was more of a relaxation ship without so many things to do. The have a basketball court and putting green but that's it. They haver an upsell area called the Sanctuary, its nice, lounge chairs are very comfy, again all about relaxation. They have some industry standard game shows and events but not many and the staff needs quite a bit of work host these. The production show entertainment value is low, but I live in Vegas so I rate it 2.5/5. Service- Service was fine, no issues. Nothing stood out good or bad. Dining Service was a hit and miss. We chose anytime dining, some nights our meals came out fast, some slow. Some nights they pulled our chairs out for us, some nights they didn't. Cabo- We did a land and sea tour which was fun and very educational. Debark- We were never assigned a group so we chose one and they were behind by about 15 minutes. We walked off near our timeframe. Overall we had a good time, and would go again on Princess but it would not be our first choice. We did not travel with kids but there were several hundred aboard, mostly teens. The average age on the ship was north of 50 despite the holiday. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
Background: We did a family trip (6 adults) for thanksgiving. My husband and I have only sailed previously on Disney Cruise Line to the Caribbean, so admittedly have little to offer in terms of comparison. We chose this ship/itinerary ... Read More
Background: We did a family trip (6 adults) for thanksgiving. My husband and I have only sailed previously on Disney Cruise Line to the Caribbean, so admittedly have little to offer in terms of comparison. We chose this ship/itinerary because of the length (5 nights) and sail date (over Thanksgiving). The fact that half of the group was in driving distance of LA helped us choose as well. Port: there are no car rental agencies on site. We dropped off half the group and all the bags at the terminal (approximately 1030am), then dropped the car at Hertz in San Pedro. The weather was nice so we walked back to the port (approx 1 mile). Post-cruise, we rented from Avis so had to Uber to Long Beach Airport (about a 20 minute drive). Had we chosen to park a car, it was under $20/day at the port. Embarkation: tagged our bags with our preprinted tags and the porters took them. We walked into berth 93 with our carry-on luggage (including 4 bottles of wine). The check-in process was pretty quick and the agent checked passports and gave us our keycards and boarding group number. They didn’t take a photo (for the keycard) until we actually boarded the ship. We then went through security and the X-ray scanners. From there, I was directed to the alcohol desk/table to register my wine. Because we were 6 adults through 4 cabins, we had no corkage fee, but I had to have someone from another’s cabin come with me to show we had multiple cabins to avoid a fee. It was actually really easy. Then we waited for the boarding process to begin. There were several folks continuing on from the previous cruise (a 28 day Hawaiian trip!) who were able to reboard first. We had group 4 so had to wait a few minutes. When called, we boarded through the aircraft jetbridge-like walkway up to the ship. There were photographers taking group photos in front of a green screen. When we got to the ship, a Princess employee scanned each keycard and took a photo (no glasses) before allowing us on the ship. We were onboard by 1230pm and headed to the buffet. Cabin: wasn’t ready until 2pm and our bags didn’t arrive until closer to dinner time. We stayed in B757 which is a balcony cabin in the rear of the ship. The rest of the group were in inside cabins on the Aloha and Baja decks forward. All the cabins were quite roomy. Our cabin had a massive balcony with two chairs and a table, two chairs inside, a small tv (note that most channels showed a loop of two shows or a movie each day all day; if you happen to be sick and stuck in your cabin, you will become bored of the limited selection quickly), a queen sized bed, a small refrigerator, and loads of storage in the closet area as well as the desk/nightstands. The view from the balcony watching the wake was really nice, especially later in the trip leaving Cabo. Dining: we chose late dining but tried two specialty restaurants as well. Share - was fantastic, I can’t recommend it enough. Our server was Magdalena and she recommended ordering several from each course and sharing. We did that for a few courses but eventually each just ordered what we wanted. Everything was delicious and we’d all go back without hesitation. Crown Grill - also delicious, but honestly the Share steaks were better in my opinion. Still, no real complaints. Botticelli (dinner) - Princess offers some entrees every night and then has special entrees only available on a given night. Again, no complaints, everything we tried was great. On the final night, the seas were rough and I was feeling it, so I ordered the beef consommé which helped tremendously and tasted good. The only negative at the restaurant is the kitchen was really slow, reportedly because they share a kitchen with another dining room. Botticelli (breakfast) - again, slow kitchen, but since Michelangelo doesn’t serve breakfast, I don’t know what the rationale was. The pancakes and the French toast (especially the James Beard cornflake crusted version) were excellent. On one morning where I was feeling sick, I asked our server, Wellington, for a box of Frosted Flakes to take with me and he actually had to go up to the buffet to get it for me. I appreciated the effort on that since I wasn’t able to easily get up there with the seasickness. Horizon court buffet - most of the food was really good. I didn’t care for the chili, but everything else I tried (including some Indian dishes I hadn’t had before) were delicious. Afternoon tea - I don’t like tea, but enjoyed the tea service nonetheless. Servers come around with different pastries and scones with quite the large selection. I would recommend it. Spa: I didn’t try the workout area but did get a massage. I probably wouldn’t do that again on this ship since my treatment room was right next to the hair salon so was loud, plus faced out to the deck so my therapist kept struggling to get around my table in the small room and kept knocking into the blinds. It wasn’t exactly relaxing. Wine tastings: we tried two of the wine tastings. The first was an additional $25 per person and included 6 wines and canapés. I would highly recommend the tasting. The one later in the trip was under $10 per person with 5 wines and prepacked crackers and some cheese cubes. I would probably skip that one. Both tastings had sommeliers and servers explaining the wines in detail, but honestly I would have preferred a shorter explanation on most of the wines. Some speakers were long winded. Entertainment: I only watched one of the game shows, part of an art auction, and a few of the musicians in the lounges, so I can’t accurately comment on most of the entertainment. The musicians were hit or miss. Ports: we only went to Cabo, so had mostly sea days. Cabo was a 24 hour stay, so some passengers chose to stay in a hotel/resort overnight. The tenders began around 2pm and continued throughout the day/night until 1130am. (Every half hour overnight.) I found the tender process to be a bit disorganized. Again, I don’t have a ton of experience but the line to get a tender was so long, we decided to wait on the ship until 4pm. (Note: this was where we decided to go to afternoon tea to wait it out.) My parents chose an excursion in Cabo to a resort for the day, so they didn’t have the long tender wait that the rest of us without an excursion faced. The rest of us ventured to land around 4pm and yelped taco shops. We enddd up at Tacos Guss, which was just a short walk from the main tourist walkway/boardwalk/malecon. After lunch, we walked around a bit more and over to the mall by the aforementioned tourist walkway. The mall has seen better days but looks like they’re renovating most of the second floor. From there, we kept walking to the end, then turned back to walk around the harbor back to the tender area. Lots of people trying to sell everything from bracelets to cigars to pictures with an iguana, but no one was rude about it; a polite “no thanks” was sufficient. Upon return to the tenders, the line was several hundred people long (approximately 645pm). We were concerned we’d miss our onboard dinner at 745pm, but the line moved fast enough that we were on a tender by 715pm and back on the boat around 730pm. We didn’t choose to return to Cabo the following morning, so we really only spent 3 hours in the town. Disembarkation: everyone who didn’t purchase Princess airport transfers was assigned a walk off group based on cabin number. With 4 cabins and around 7 bags, this was not a great way of doing things. We spoke to the front desk and they put us all into one of the later groups and gave us some luggage tags to put on our bags. We had to have the bags out by midnight before disembarkation. We had to be out of the cabins by 800am but our group wasn’t scheduled to exit until 945am. We had breakfast at Botticelli and then hung out by a table in the Lido Deck for a while before heading to the Wheelhouse Bar for our meeting location. This process seemed far more difficult than necessary and we ended up waiting about half an hour extra in the bar until we actually got off the ship. Customs was easy (we are all Us passport holders) and bag claim was very quick (likely because most people had to carry their own bags when they walked off). Overall thoughts: Cons - I struggled to understand many servers/speakers/other personnel. They spoke English, but many had very thick accents. The deck plan is strange - i continually walked into dead ends all over the ship. I’m not sure if it was a retrofit that caused it or if that’s original. Also, there are many parts of the upper decks that effectively require stairs. There’s only one elevator on the ship that goes to some of the aft top decks but it can be quite slow. Public restrooms on the main decks were hard to find. The cruise line seems to have chosen to keep the signs small and discreet, but that left me continually asking people where the restrooms were or going back to my cabin regularly. Compared to DCL, the staff were a bit less friendly (though not rude) and the ship’s upkeep wasn’t as good (though not unsafe). The price for this cruise was significantly less, so I expected some decline in service, but many times I was still left wishing I was on the Disney Fantasy. Tendering/disembarkation - given that this ship has been sailing for years to ports around the world, I don’t understand why the tendering and disembarkation processes were so slow and disorganized. Photos - all the photos the ship photographers take are out up on deck. I’m surprised they don’t have a feature where they scan your keycard so you can easily find/access your pictures. App - there is no app, only the Princess @Sea site. You can message others only if you know their unique id number. Also there are no push notifications so you are forced to continually refresh the screen to see if your family/friends messaged you. As this was a holiday cruise, there were many kids (especially teenagers) onboard. I actually found them much more obtrusive in this ship than I have on DCL. Pros - The food was fantastic. There are bars and lounges throughout the ship as opposed to Disney where most are tucked into one part of the ship. The Piazza (atrium) is a nice place to relax but is a bit small for some of the events they use it for. Overall, I’ll probably sail Princess again but not in the immediate future. I think it was a fairly good choice for our group, given our constraints on geography and timing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2018
I was not the one to choose this cruise, because a relative generously took our whole extended family on it and covered the cost. But I couldn't have asked for a better experience: the rooms were comfortable and clean, the service was ... Read More
I was not the one to choose this cruise, because a relative generously took our whole extended family on it and covered the cost. But I couldn't have asked for a better experience: the rooms were comfortable and clean, the service was extraordinary and flawless, the entertainment was excellent, and the ship itself was beautiful. There were so many things to do and it was all perfectly organized. I especially appreciated the Princess app that allowed people to set up a messaging system with other devices on board, which was a plus because of how large our group was. The dining was amazing as well, especially the sit-down dinners in the formal dining rooms. The activities were diverse and interesting, and well-designed. Embarkation went well, especially because the porters took our bags to our room for us, but disembarkation was much harder and there was little organization. When we reached port in Cabo San Lucas, the tender system worked very well and we had little trouble exploring the city. We knew everything we needed to know about the ship's departure times and when the last tender was going to leave, so that was very helpful. The service on board was, as I said, excellent, but there were many people who did not speak English as a first language and it made them very difficult to understand. Read Less
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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