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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We are a family of 6 - 3 generations consisting of 80 year olds x 2, late 40’s x2 and 2 children 8 and 12. The booking experience was not great with the dining time being changed from 6.30pm to 5.00pm without our knowledge and the on ... Read More
We are a family of 6 - 3 generations consisting of 80 year olds x 2, late 40’s x2 and 2 children 8 and 12. The booking experience was not great with the dining time being changed from 6.30pm to 5.00pm without our knowledge and the on board packages being altered on the day we were booking them. However, we were determined to enjoy the holiday and we did. The ship in our opinion is very good, with majority of the staff being friendly. We did find the muster station drill a little bit cringeworthy and reminded us very much of Disney, and not in a good way. The food in traditional dining was okay, but if it was not for the staff, we would say the experience was not great. The buffet during the day we found to be good, clean and efficient. The cabins were kept very clean and we liked the fact we could have the balcony dividers open allowing for an open area for our family, which worked very well. My father was 80 during the cruise and we booked to go to the Steakhouse. Big mistake - wines were out of stock, poor service and food, and the whole atmosphere was not what we expected. Diners were there at 930pm wearing pool attire and sun hats, whilst we had dressed formally. Entertainment was good, pool areas were good, bar service was good. We had prebooked the soda package but not convinced we were not always charged for soft drinks as they do not give you receipts. The demo with the chef and maitre d’ was very good and funny. The tender at Kotor was a shambles with us having to wait for over an hour to get off. Had we known the length of time, we would have arrived earlier. On the return, they had run out of drinks and cloths despite standing out on quayside in the heat and they knew how many people were still not on board - they seemed ill prepared. On the morning of disembarkation, why are most lifts not working? They all were reserved which is crazy when you have elderly relatives. We did not do any ship excursions as learnt our lesson on previous occasions - always book your own! Our cabins were right by the laundry - noise was not an issue at all. Perfectly happy with cabins. We all enjoyed the cruise itinerary and particular pleasures were Pompeii, Mykonos, Chania and Athens. A good, family holiday and felt safe and happy at all times. Would I go with Princess again - possibly but not overwhelmed and would think twice. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise for the full Panama Canal transit. We were on board for the first 15 days from LA to Ft. Lauderdale. The ports visited were Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco Mexico, San Juan Del Sir Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, full transit ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the full Panama Canal transit. We were on board for the first 15 days from LA to Ft. Lauderdale. The ports visited were Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco Mexico, San Juan Del Sir Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, full transit of Canal, Cartegena. This was our 12th Princess cruise and as usual embarkation was smooth and efficient. We enjoyed all the ports and took several excursions - more on that later.The ship had just come out of dry dock. Our balcony cabin was fine except that the balcony had numerous paint chips/rubber pieces all over. In order to get the door to lock we had to slam it. Numerous problems with elevators, laundry facilities didn't work, problem with toilet that was resolved fairly quickly. The food was just ok except for the Crown Grill which was excellent both times we went. Buffet was lacking in selections the few times we ate there, dining room ok, enjoyed the triple smoked burger at the Salty Dog Grill, wanted to go to Planks for the BBQ but was closed the several night we wanted to go. The service in dining room was wonderful, our sever was organized, efficient and very funny. We ate about 1/2 our dinner meals there. Bar service in Crooners was excellent as well. Entertainment was not bad, the production shows ok, comedian was fine, several guest entertainers were fantastic and a few others I could have skipped. Crooners pianist fine, the party band was ok but the other 2 entertainers were ones we checked out once and that was it as didn't enjoy. The destination speaker was outstanding, the other speaker Leo Rossi who talked about his time in rock/roll was interesting. The really ugly part of the cruise were the shore excursions and the staff there. Our Puerto Vallarta excursion was a big disappointment as we only did 1/2 the tour and spent the last 15 min listening to our guide give a sales pitch for his products. We complained to desk and asked for a 50% refund. It took 4 days to hear back and after several lies they refunded us 25%. That was bad enough but the whole fiasco that occurred with the Costa Rica excursions is unforgivable. Except for tender ports we have never met on board somewhere before getting off for an excursion. For some reason this cruise we had to meet in the Princess Theater each day BUT there was no organization, no stickers or tours sitting together. For Costa Rica they had 1 gangway open and lost control as we were all leaving for excursions in long lines, people merging in from all over. We were in the 4th row of Princess Theater - made it to our bus but had to wait over 90 min for everyone to get there due to fiasco. Many people stood out in heat for over an hour, tours were cut short because they started too late - just a general incompetence. People complained to the desk but nothing happened - no apology letter, nothing - no acknowledgement of mistakes or loss of control. Just ridiculous. So bad that for last week of cruise it was a continuing topic of discussion everywhere. I filed a complaint with Princess upon returning home, they responded but all I heard during phone call was excuses - not a real understanding or comprehension of what had transpired. Disembarkation was fairly seamless despite a bit of confusion with the transfer buses. Overall despite everything we enjoyed the cruise but don't think we will be sailing Princess anytime soon as this definitely didn't live up to expectations based on our past experiences. There are other cruise lines such as Celebrity that have better customer service in my opinion. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
E733 Suite: Great view back of the ship. Suite class has free unlimited laundry service, exclusive great breakfast daily at Crown Grill, one time bar set up, large balcony/room Crown Grill and Share: food and service excellent Salty ... Read More
E733 Suite: Great view back of the ship. Suite class has free unlimited laundry service, exclusive great breakfast daily at Crown Grill, one time bar set up, large balcony/room Crown Grill and Share: food and service excellent Salty Dog: dissapointing Club class dining: excellent service, food menu is the same as regular dining room but it has additional one dish they cook in the dining room/not by table side, generally food is awful! Lido deck food: poor selection, poor set up, not a pleasant experience up there. Suite in room dining: still limited choices like sandwiches and burgers etc, better than regular cabin room service menu. Laundry service: slow, usually take about 36 hours Ship itself: average.... Entertainment: very limited, usually evening entertainment compose of solo entertainer in the Princess theater, lots of comedians and magicians! 15 nights cruise, had 3 production shows. Staff: good cabin steward, work hard...but there are little more than few that not working, like seeing one by our cabin sitting on the floor everyday..hiding away! Internet: very slow Spa: very high pressure selling, after my massage I was pressured to tip more on top of mandatory 15% included. Share and Crown Grill...Excellent food and service. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because friends of ours saw it online and wanted to go to Hawaii. We departed from San Pedro. Departure was great. Long Beach is lovely. We were on board in no time at all. Smooth sailing! Weather was not the best, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because friends of ours saw it online and wanted to go to Hawaii. We departed from San Pedro. Departure was great. Long Beach is lovely. We were on board in no time at all. Smooth sailing! Weather was not the best, very cold in California. Disembarkation was also not a problem. Princess does that well. The ship was not in top form. The hot tubs had barely any jet power and were very old - definitely time to replace them. The ship itself was fine but very dated and the furniture in the Piazza was old and torn and stained. The Explorer's lounge was actually disgusting and had stained chairs that had lost the padding in the seats. I could smell urine at times. There is very little room there and I found this true in the theatre as well. If you don't go 40 minutes before any show you won't get a seat. Still we were on a cruise so the basic run down state of the ship did not have any effect on our fun. I found the buffet to be overcrowded and we were herded into areas at different times and could never find any seats. The furniture here was old and sticky too. I did not like the vibe there. The pools were great. I was in them a lot. Clean and well kept. They were semi warm as well. Lots of room on the deck to sun. We really did not have to wait for chairs out there much at all. The entertainment staff were great. They had me laughing more than once; Cruise director Duke and Asst Director Mark were fantastic. Lots of fun. I miss them a lot. They were very interactive with the staff. Empara from Chile was so funny. She was really fun to interact with. The service was okay. Lucy in the Explorer's lounge was great. Our room Steward was good, but he looked rushed and not really too friendly. He gave good service though. The ports were amazing. I mean its Hawaii right? But Ensenada was fun too. We did a whale watch in Maui and that was fun. We did the tour of Pearl Harbour which was nice but I was not aware that it would be extra to tour Big Mo. Our cabin was not quiet. We were right under the lido - neptune pool, and next to storage mid-ship and we heard loud bangs very early and late. One night they were power washing the pool decks and it was very loud. The sideways inside rooms are wonderful though. Big, roomy and lots of storage. Overall the trip was fun. The dining rooms had good selections. The waiters were good but once again, seemed rushed. I had the overall sense that Princess is trying to cut back and even the International cafe seemed to have less choices, as did the buffet. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise to travel to Hawaii. Being our first timebto Hawaii we wanted to see more than one island. At the time of this booking Princess was the only cruise line we could find that sailed round trip from California. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise to travel to Hawaii. Being our first timebto Hawaii we wanted to see more than one island. At the time of this booking Princess was the only cruise line we could find that sailed round trip from California. We had a decent time but the entertainment onboard was awful especially the Atomic Party Band. The entertainment of various classes like Spanish lessons and ukulele lessons were awesome. The cruise ports were really good but not enough time at any port accept Honolulu. An overnight stay in Honolulu would be more than perfect. The crew were friendly and nice. The Casino was tight. Not a lot of winners. More losers than winners. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze. We Boarded at 12:30pm And was able to go straight to our cabin. It was good to be able to check into our room immediately. Great way to travel to Hawaii. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
To see four islands and cruise the ocean blue! I wanted to relax and see Hawaii with my spouse which we did but I expected there to be professional entertainment of a much higher level. I think BINGO was too expensive and trivia got ... Read More
To see four islands and cruise the ocean blue! I wanted to relax and see Hawaii with my spouse which we did but I expected there to be professional entertainment of a much higher level. I think BINGO was too expensive and trivia got boring. I did enjoy the chef demonstrations and all of the food. The game shows were fun. The Beach Boys guitarist should stick to music and forget comedy, that was not good. The big production at the end was not impressive at all, sorry. Thank goodness our room was near the exercise equipment, but charging for Yoga is not worth going. High end on-board prices for low end receivables in my opinion. The best thing was whale watching. The worst thing was the last second cancellation of our Kauai helicopter excursion which we looked forward to for months. The best part was we were with family and not alone. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
OK, first of all this is our fourth cruise, our 1st on Princess. We booked this cruise to visit four of my sisters in the Islands. We've sailed on Norwegian, Celebrity and Disney. We flew into the L.A. area a few days early and ... Read More
OK, first of all this is our fourth cruise, our 1st on Princess. We booked this cruise to visit four of my sisters in the Islands. We've sailed on Norwegian, Celebrity and Disney. We flew into the L.A. area a few days early and stayed at the Crown Plaza in Redondo Beach, nice hotel and staff. Nice pier to hike around with good seafood to boot. We took an uber over to the Reagan Presidential Library and enjoyed it very much. Worth checking out in beautiful Simi Valley. The Emerald Princess was going for an 18 day re-fit at the end of this cruise, and it was very much due. I will commend the vessels maint. crew for constantly painting and varnishing whenever the weather permitted. I was told the buffet dining rooms were getting a complete makeover. Also, a new medallion system would be used for passenger access. Embarkation was a breeze, well organized, everyone was very helpful. The entire process took about 20 minutes and we were in our cabin. We booked very late so the best we could do was a room (E311) with an obstructed view on Deck 8. The room was not as big as the new cruise ships, but clean and well maintained. Bathroom and shower were on the small side but what I expected on a vessel built in 2007. Our cabin attendant Nester kept the place spotless the entire voyage. Although the view was obstructed you could still see the ocean going by. On the down side, since the window doesn't open the room can get a bit stuffy at times. For lunch we ate at the Horizon Court Buffet the first couple of days. You won't starve, but just your average fare there. About the 3rd day we started having lunch at Botticelli's on Deck 6 Aft. It was set up for open seating just for lunch and the food was better. For supper we ate mainly at Michaelangelo's and Da Vinci main dining rooms. The menu's between the two really didn't change much, so after three days at sea the food was not so good. I will say they know how to cook Salmon to perfection, but after many, many Salmon suppers I won't need to eat it again for quite awhile. One item that didn't sit well with me concerning the menu was the "Side Menu" with the higher end items (Maine lobster, steaks, ect), at an additional cost. We both loved getting our morning coffee at the International Cafe on Deck 5 Piazza for a small fee. And their freshly made sandwiches and pastries were always excellent. We had "anytime" seating for the main dining rooms and almost always sat with other couples and got to visit people from all over. I would say most of the crowd on this ship were in there 70's to mid-80's. A very nice group of people, we felt young being 56 and 65. We only took two of the offered excursions because we were meeting family on two of the islands. The whale watching in the bay at Maui was great, Humpback Whales that seemed to be everywhere in that bay. It was fun! There wasn't a cruise ship dock there so we had to us the ships Tenders. Added a few minutes getting off the ship, but no big deal and it was kinda fun. We took the wine tasting excursion during our stop at Ensenada, Mexico and absolutely loved it. Well organized and very smooth. They gave us two free bottles of wine and we couldn't be happier! We only attended one show the entire trip, for about ten minutes the first or second night. We were content sipping on wine and finding cozy spots on the ship to kick back and read. We probably won't do another Princess cruise based on the food issues. We just got spoiled on Celebrity. The crew on this ship went above and beyond to make you feel at home, we especially liked the "Main Dining Room Singers"! Disembarkation was smooth, we caught an uber to John Wayne Airport, no problems! We volunteered to give up our seats and ended up staying another day in Santa Anna, so we visited the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda. Another day well spent. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Hawaii always sounds great, especially in February. Well we can't control the weather, but the ocean was terribly rough going so the pools had more water on deck than in them. Actually the pools were closed several days because of ... Read More
Hawaii always sounds great, especially in February. Well we can't control the weather, but the ocean was terribly rough going so the pools had more water on deck than in them. Actually the pools were closed several days because of the waves and weather. Movies under the stars had to be attended while wrapped in layers of blankets and hoodies. Had I noticed the Hilo port on the itinerary I probably would not have chosen this cruise. It had little to offer as the Kona side is so much more port friendly with lots of things to do right close to the port,. Hilo was totally under construction which made it rough to make the minimal walk into town. Having been to Hawaii 5 times, I would not recommend cruising as a way to see the islands. Staying there for at least two weeks and doing an island hop on a small plane, renting a car, and doing all the island things would be my recommendation. Embarkation and Disembarkation went extremely smooth. Entertainment was less than fabulous most nights, but the piano player from Las Vegas was awesome. Service was impeccable. The cabin steward and wait staff in our dining room were 5 star. Cabins were kept clean every time we left the room. As far as the food, I would not order beef or fish again. The beef was tough as was the lamb. Fish was very dry. I began ordering the shrimp meals or chicken on a daily basis because of the quality of the other. I would never take this cruise again with 9-10 days at sea. I enjoy the ports with time to discover them instead of rushing to get everything in in a few hours. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Leaving from San Pedro was great----no flying so easy in and out. Embarkation was a breeze. Staff friendly enough. Cruise director did her very best. Food in dining room and in the buffet not so good. the Emerald really needs a new ... Read More
Leaving from San Pedro was great----no flying so easy in and out. Embarkation was a breeze. Staff friendly enough. Cruise director did her very best. Food in dining room and in the buffet not so good. the Emerald really needs a new Chef! Food was blah! Dining room staff---especially the head waiter Edgar Vega was excellent and made up for it. He is a rock star! Entertainment was just OK they could step it up more......especially on this cruise to Mexico. It was good----but not over the top like other cruises. The production shows really need to some into the new century! Very dated. Overall rating....I give it a 7 out of 10. This is a good family cruise with many pools and activities for all to enjoy outside. Outside dining is good with pizza and hamburgers for the kids to enjoy so there are some pluses and of course movies under the stars which is a nice touch. Don't forget, if you are looking for more of a dining experience, the ship does have three specialty restaurants. High end and only $29.00 per person. well worth the experience. Bon Voyage Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2019
Very sorry to say after many Princess cruises we have seen the quality deteriorate the last couple years. This recent cruise on Emerald was the icing on the cake and will be our last with them. The food in the MDR has become competitive ... Read More
Very sorry to say after many Princess cruises we have seen the quality deteriorate the last couple years. This recent cruise on Emerald was the icing on the cake and will be our last with them. The food in the MDR has become competitive with the buffet which you long time cruisers know is as bad as it gets. As great as the staff was they couldn't hide the poor food quality and tried to shove as many dishes at us until perhaps we liked one.The famous lobster night which almost all cruisers look forward will now become infamous. In this review I have attached a picture of the lobster and I can assure you the pic is authentic. The lobster tail really was that size and grey in color. When we tried to eat it the experience was close to what we can only believe would be chewing on a rubber lobster tail toy for your dog from Petco. In most cases the food was bland and had very little taste even the sauces which typically should add taste to a dish but sadly not on this boat. We actually felt sorry for the servers as they frantically tried to please the diners but terrible food cannot be overcome by service. Princess as part of Carnival has suffered in recent times due to the stock's poor performance. The accountants now are clearly running the show and cost cutting goals were not met in 2018 and I can assure you 2019 will get ugly as the year goes on. The saving grace was the International cafe which has tasty sandwiches, salads, and deserts 7X24. There were a few moments of greatness in the buffet at lunchtime with the food but spending a lot of time roaming the 15th floor for a seat is no picnic. The comedian and ventriloquist in the Explorers lounge were fantastic and a great surprise. The queen bed which is really two beds pushed together was terrible! The mattresses were in such bad shape you had to sleep on the outside or you'd be sucked into the middle canyon area and sleep on the steel frame (I kid you not). The staff is the only thing that has kept us returning to Princess but that can only last so long and enough is enough. Note to Princess: WAKE UP! Your platinum and Elite customers are jumping ship and you can cut costs all you like but scaring customers away is a bad business model hoping to load up the boat with new blue card cruisers who don't know the difference. Other companies have tried this and it doesn't exactly build brand loyalty. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
Ship A bit dated but overall in decent shape. Dining rooms were well kept up and the casino was spacious. Decks were clean and emergency boats were in top shape. Every cruise I find spots that need painted and this cruise was no ... Read More
Ship A bit dated but overall in decent shape. Dining rooms were well kept up and the casino was spacious. Decks were clean and emergency boats were in top shape. Every cruise I find spots that need painted and this cruise was no exception. However it’s on the decks exposed to the salt so it’s normal to see this. I expect only a new ship is totally rust free. Room Balcony room is smaller then any other ship I have been on (this is #11)- no love seat or table like other ships. On the balcony there were 2 chairs and a small round table. No where to prop your feet up except for the table. Bed was comfy and seems an inch or two larger then a queen. Bathroom was typical and closet was nice size. Nothing exciting. Bortocheli Dining I would rate the food as a “B” overall. Service was good and the ambiance was appropriate for non buffet dining. Nothing really struck me with a wow factor. Usually I find something special but not this trip. Buffet - often the Crew had a hard time keeping tables clean - people wandering taking utensils off of tables, sitting at dirty tables waiting for cleanup. Looks like short staffed. Other ships have you pick up your silverware as you exit the food line. Food was average at best with limited selections for most meals. That big desert section you find on other ships was not to be found. Coffee is bad - the blend they are using tastes like its made up of Robusta beans not Arabica. I think I had the same coffee in the Army. Bingo It’s hard enough to drag a man to bingo but when you add in an announcer who acts as dumb as a 14 year old it’s painful. Last cruise on princess the Captain came down and called the big game. Instead I had to watch a 20 something telling jr high school jokes. Staff Casino staff was very friendly. Wait staff in dining rooms was at the expected high level of service and friendliness. Room steward was attentive. Kirin who takes care of the cigar lounge is an outstanding example of excellent customer service. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Paid for internet access. Princess knew that their equipment was faulty and internet effectively unavailable. They even posted it at their internet café. Nice people at internet café couldn't get my email working either. The ... Read More
Paid for internet access. Princess knew that their equipment was faulty and internet effectively unavailable. They even posted it at their internet café. Nice people at internet café couldn't get my email working either. The primary purpose of my trip was to be in a quite place to catch-up on work that required internet access. Other than an OK cruise on a ship scheduled for a major overhaul, it was a waste of money. Now I'm 2 more weeks behind. No compensation or refund for lack of internet service was offered. This affected everyone on the ship. Experienced the Chef's table, chef Convery. It was amazing. Definitely a must do if available on your cruise. Our server Stephanie was one of the vest we've ever had. Entertainment staff, i.e. cruise director and supporting folks we all very immature and too young for the crowd. Virtually nothing to do before 10am and many desirable events held during dinner making them impossible to attend. Medicines - bring basic items including cough drops and Robitussin type stuff. Minimal options and very expensive on board. Check out daily events before booking a cruise because there is a lot more than just the ports of call to making your cruise a success. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
This was our first Princess Cruise. We have sailed on 17 previous cruises with other cruise lines. We chose this cruise to sale with six of our friends and the price was good. The ship was old but still in good shape. The cabin was ... Read More
This was our first Princess Cruise. We have sailed on 17 previous cruises with other cruise lines. We chose this cruise to sale with six of our friends and the price was good. The ship was old but still in good shape. The cabin was okay, but missing normal items like pens, writing paper, an umbrella and binoculars to use, etc. Our Cabin Stewart, Tina, was wonderful. Friendly, efficient, helpful, knowledgeable and professional. The food was average, plentiful but overall tasteless. The International Cafe had a friendly staff and excellent sandwiches and treats. Our waiter, Jamie, and assistant, Jerome, were great. Friendly and professional. The Matradee at Michelangelo's, was friendly, helpful and professional. The male guest service staff we encountered were not friendly and acted like we were wasting their time by asking questions. The female staff were helpful and friendly. The ship staff was not unfriendly, but not what we call friendly. A "Good Morning", etc when meeting a passenger somewhere on the ship goes a long way toward customer relations. The entertainment was good. The ventriloquist, Dan Horn, was outstanding. The Enrichment Series on volcanoes and upcoming ports by Sharron Faff was wonderful. We would have liked to stay overnight in one of the ports and exclude Ensenada. Would we sale with Princess again? Maybe. We have other cruise lines we prefer. In particular we like Celebrity Cruise Lines. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
A couple of friends rave about Princess but my wife and I weren't impressed. The best thing that Princess does is their embarkation and disembarkation. Very smooth and orderly. The food, service, entertainment and activities ... Read More
A couple of friends rave about Princess but my wife and I weren't impressed. The best thing that Princess does is their embarkation and disembarkation. Very smooth and orderly. The food, service, entertainment and activities were all mediocre. Service was so-so unless you were an Elite Member. At dinner, the waiters, although pleasant, fawned over the couple next to us while we were virtually invisible. There was lobster tails in the dining rooms on 2 occasions. Had it the first night. Some unknown white sauce poured all over it. It was disgusting and I normally love lobster. When it was on the menu on another formal night, I asked the waiter if it too was covered in the white sauce, he pointed at the menu to note that it was served with drawn butter. Decided to go with something else. When the table next to us was served their lobster, it had the white sauce on it and they hardly took a bite. Our cabin E730, a mini-suite, was very nice unless the seas were rough, which they were on a lot of the sea days. It creaked like Nelson's flag ship and would keep us up all night. The balcony is great but because the weather hovered around 60F most sea days, we didn't use it much. The Piazza, the main 3 story atrium is very snug ringed by the bars, shops and the International Cafe (coffee shop). Unfortunately this is where a lot of the merchandise sales and events are staged and make it very crowed leaving no where to sit and enjoy a coffee and desert. On our second day, my wife and I were scolded by a waiter for bringing our coffee and desert up to the Crooners bar a couple of decks up. Because of this we each ended up not using 9 of our 15 speciality coffees. On our 2nd to last day, later in the evening when nothing was going on in the Piazza, we went to the International Cafe for a hot tea. The waitress brought it to our table. It was barely above room temperature. When we told the waitress, she told us it was the best she could do as they didn't have hot water all day. There were two extremely good lecture series by Dr. Faff, a naturalist and Mr. Sanchez, ex-CIA. Unless you are desperate to use email, don't bother with the internet package. It barely works. I had it because I was awaiting an important email. All of Hawaii was great.Although there was some sort of Wouldn't consider Princess again unless we received an extraordinary offer. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
The destination was awecome. We loved Hawaii! But, the food on The Emerals Princess was very disappointing. It was never hot on the Horizon buffet. The omlets were jujst not good, somehow and the selection limited, at least for my ... Read More
The destination was awecome. We loved Hawaii! But, the food on The Emerals Princess was very disappointing. It was never hot on the Horizon buffet. The omlets were jujst not good, somehow and the selection limited, at least for my taste. The quality of the beef in the dining room was inferior to previous cruises. Somehow, we just never cared for the offerings in the dining foom which is unusual for us, and it was the same flavor palate each night. No Italian food in the dining room at all? That was a problem for a 2 week cruise! Then on sea days they did maintenan painting on the verandas ( which was needed, The paint was rusted on our veranda and we were in a mini-suite.The floor on the veranda had paint splattered on it) We could smell the fumes on our veranda all the time which drove us inside. We could hear them chipping the paint which sounded like someone was banging on pipes. We complained and after much discussion, they stopped chipping the paint, but the fumes persisted. The commedians and enrichment team they brought on were awesome!!!! The ships entertainers and production shows were not good. The cruise director was downright annoying, at least to us. We are considering returining to Celebrity. We have always cruised on their newer solstace class ships ( 8 cruises with them) and may return. We just wanted to try something new. We went with an older ship for the itinerary. Think we will stay with newer ships from now on. Hopefully the dissapointing food was a one time thing, we will be closely following reviews before returning to Princess, sadly. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We took this cruise because of the itinerary to Hawaii. Embarkation/ Disembarkation: Getting on was very easy and orderly due to the schedule given before hand. Did the self-disembarkation. Very good and no crowds. For those not ... Read More
We took this cruise because of the itinerary to Hawaii. Embarkation/ Disembarkation: Getting on was very easy and orderly due to the schedule given before hand. Did the self-disembarkation. Very good and no crowds. For those not sure about disembarkation: If taking the scheduled disembarkation, luggage must be out in the hallway at suppertime the night prior. Everyone must be out of their cabins by 8am and form up in their selected disembarkation point (lounge) even if their scheduled time is 10am. They will get their luggage on the pier then go through customs. Self-Disembarkation is where you take your own luggage off so you can keep it until you leave. Must be physically able to take your own luggage without assistance.The last self-disembarkation time was 7:30am. We walked right off and breezed through Customs. Only problem was I had to carry our suitcases down a couple of flights of stairs because we were on a lower deck and all of the elevators were full from upper deck passengers leaving. Food: Mediocre - Dining room: some flour white cream sauce all over the lobster tails..yuck. Steaks were full of gristle. Always rushed because we had early dining. Buffet: Lunch in the buffets were virtually the same every day. Cafe Caribe food always cold. Seemed to run short of things the last couple of days. Speciality Restaurants: Can't see paying extra for specialty restaurants. Cruise food should be good enough that I don't have to pay extra for good food! Staff pleasant but you are invisible if not an Elite or you tip first. Piazza (open area/grand stairway decks 5-7) too crowded since most events held there. Crowds out people who want to sit and enjoy a coffee/desert from the International cafe. Asked for a hot tea at the International Cafe later one evening. It was served cold. When we told the waitress it was cold, she replied," That's the best I can do. We haven't had hot water all day." Cafe seating was full due to violin players in the Piazza. Brought a coffee and desert up to the Crooners bar on the 7th deck. Told off by the waiter and told to go down to the food court. Always crowded so didn't use 9 out of 15 paid for speciality coffees. Assistant Cruise Director Mark was great. The actual Cruise Director...not so much. Entertainment: High school student grade performances of Production shows. Really enjoyed the lectures given by Dr Faff and Mr. Sanchez. The violinists, Tiki Dave and his wife were all very good as well. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
heard and read good things about Princess and it went were I wanted to go, Hawaii. But compared to the cruise I went on with Carnival in 2013 Princess fell short in many areas. The food was Denny's class. Too many ship board pushy ... Read More
heard and read good things about Princess and it went were I wanted to go, Hawaii. But compared to the cruise I went on with Carnival in 2013 Princess fell short in many areas. The food was Denny's class. Too many ship board pushy sales people and events. Internet useless. many activities were over crowded or just plain full. Our excursion was far from what the description stated, many parts missing. I liked the open dining but the scheduled dining took over an hour for dinner to arrive. The specialty dining did not live up to what I experienced on Carnival and I would not spend the money on them in the future. The shore excursions were quite expensive. Theater events were good, enjoyed them. loved our cabin. One....mind you one of the crew staff was something we both looked forward to seeing her for morning coffee. Won't use Princess again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We have never been to Hawaii and thought this would be a great 2 weeks away from New York in January. Even though the weather was great (perfect in Hawaii) we just wanted to get off the ship and eat some decent food. Starting with the ... Read More
We have never been to Hawaii and thought this would be a great 2 weeks away from New York in January. Even though the weather was great (perfect in Hawaii) we just wanted to get off the ship and eat some decent food. Starting with the cabin, the day we boarded and started putting clothes on shelves and moving clothes from one shelf location to another we noticed a lot of dust on our clothes. Closer inspection revealed that the shelves and flat surfaces were covered with dust. My wife and I had to clean all of them before unpacking. Next was the shower. I didn't notice the first night because I didn't use the shower until the second day. The soap shelf was caked with old soap residue that was brown. It was disgusting. I asked the room steward to come in and clean the shower. She blamed the previous crew ands isn't speak much after that. The bed clothes were never changed. On the first morning my wife accidentally spilled some cereal on the sheet near the pillow. The same spill mark was there the whole 15 days. I complained to the front desk and was assured someone would contact me but that never happened. When I went down a few days later I was told that they spoke to our cabin stewards supervisor. Deplorable. Next is the food. The buffet had an underwhelming selection of food and sometimes we just walked away and went to Giovanni's Pizza. The Pizza was always good, always fresh. The milk was luke warm most everyday and I had a suspicion that it was powdered milk. The orange juice seemed like it was from concentrate with lots of sugar. It was also usually just cool. We almost always had to ask for ice. The Botticelli dining room was mediocre at best and nothing stood out as exceptional. I ordered a strawberry sundae for desert and there were no strawberries. Just juice. We enjoyed the company at the table but always left feeling disappointed about our meal. One night we decided to try the Crown Grill. As far as steaks go it was ok. Not great. Another night we tried Share from Curtis Stone. It was the best food on the ship. The pizza came in second. On a couple of days we ordered room service hamburgers which were ok. Again, not great. Our days in port were fantastic and we did our own excursions. On board entertainment was not special. There were a few decent acts but overall nothing we wanted to sit through. The crew was friendly. We first sailed with Princess back in 2008 to Alaska on the Dawn Princess. That one set the standard for us and everything was great. The food, the cabin, the dining, it was all fantastic. So either Princess has lowered the standard and is maximizing profit by way of offering substandard food or there is a wide difference from ship to ship. And it wasn't just us. Lot's of people felt the same way. Our next cruise is on the maiden voyage of Sky Princess in October. We are having second thoughts but we would expect the new ship to start off with a good impression. We will see. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
I've been on several cruise lines (Celebrity, Carnival, Disney, Holland America, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean) the this was my favorite cruise line and favorite ship (been on the Emerald 3 times). But the romance is over. Something ... Read More
I've been on several cruise lines (Celebrity, Carnival, Disney, Holland America, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean) the this was my favorite cruise line and favorite ship (been on the Emerald 3 times). But the romance is over. Something happened and it just wasn't up to it's usual standards. I will say that the entertainment was outstanding - possibly the best. The two major production numbers were Broadway quality but, it seems, undervalued by many of the audience. The Cruise Director and staff worked overtime because they were short by 2 staff and did their best. I don't know what happened with one leaving but the other was totally predictable by Princess as she disembarked in Honolulu to begin her vacation. As this was a two week cruise involving two 4-5 day stretches at sea, there were not enough activities. Partly due, I expect, to small staff, but also possibly due to not having available areas for events (trivia, Pictionary, etc.) since the space was being used for private functions or movies. The Explorer Lounge, frequent home to trivia and game shows, was very cold for most of the cruise and after many, many complaints they finally turned off the a/c nine days into the cruise. Some passengers actually wore their winter coats or brought blankets to the events there. Horizon food (buffet) was terribly repetitive and limited in options. Often it appeared to be left-overs from day to day. And why are the plates so hot??? Evidently, chocolate milk is like gold. My son has special needs and his routine includes chocolate milk with his pills. It was an adventure finding any. While the dining room servers brought him a glassful every night, the buffet seemed baffled about how to handle the request and some seemed to not even know what it was, offering hot chocolate (made with water) with a side of ice cubes. Sometimes they required a drink card, sometimes not. It always took awhile as they had to go to Mars to get chocolate milk. Why it isn't stocked in the buffet kitchen is a mystery to me. In any other cruise, it's offered in small self-serve cartons at the buffet. Once we complained at a passenger forum, the problem was resolved in that we no longer had to explain what we wanted but the time it took indicated it was still being kept in a secret hiding place in the bowels of the ship. One of the things I hated about Norwegian was that I felt like I'd spent a week at the mall due to constant "selling". Sadly, Princess is now also in the business of marketing junk on board. Our mailbox was inundated with junk mail about spa deals or sales. The upper Piazza was often blocked by tables hawking cheap watches and T-shirts. Look, Princess, if you are going to sell stuff please make sure it's quality stuff. It makes you look bad when 2 out of 2 watches fail within an hour. (We didn't; expect much for a $10 watch but we just wanted ones that would last the two weeks fo the trip as ours were left behind.) Okay, now this is big: There was a garment sale in the dining room, advertised as 70% off. Tables were piled with mens' and women's clothes. Now one would think that meant everything was 70% off. Wrong. At the checkout the cashier said that the men's polo shirt was REGULAR PRICE. "Not everything is on sale?" I asked. "No." Out in the Piazza shop the same men's polo shirt was also regular priced with an offer for a second one at a discount - cheaper to buy two out there. I find this deceitful. Shame on you, Princess. Boarding and disembarking was quick and well organized. Tendering ran smoothly. So my romance with Princess is over. The integrity, service and quality is slipping. Now Royal Caribbean, I guess you're my favorite now. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
Second time out on the 15 day cruise to Hawaii....especially like the long days a sea and familiarity with the Islands too. The Pacific was a little less than generous with the amount of sunny days, but then again, it is January. The ship ... Read More
Second time out on the 15 day cruise to Hawaii....especially like the long days a sea and familiarity with the Islands too. The Pacific was a little less than generous with the amount of sunny days, but then again, it is January. The ship enjoyed a good bit of rocking and rolling but gradual for the most part. Stabilizers are king. Cruise wise everything was on time, on schedule, well described by the Captain daily. The Emerald Princess is looking and feeling a bit tired. The staterooms are in need of sprucing up. The TV's are +6 years old technology. The carpeting, curtains etc., though not horrid, are dated. The bed is heavenly. We found that the ship is due for dry dock shortly which would explain the rust spots on the balcony----highly unusual. Additionally the dining/hospitality crew seemed at odds with the menu....confused and unaware of the ingredients and prep for some of the most obvious entrees. And for us anytime diners (the greatest invention since John Paul Jones) the dining room was the full length of the ship from our state room.......6x/day got a little tedious. The waiters and Captains used to offer us their take on various menu items. Neither happened at all. For the most part, however, the food offerings were good, a little lacking in variety especially fish dishes, but served attractively and in a timely manner. The Crown Grill and Curtis Stone's SHARE remain the top of the line on the Princess line or any line for that matter. Well worth the few extra dollars. We seldom do ship tours, but on this outing we did want to see Waimea Canyon on Kauaii and took the tour. Glad we did. Top drawer hostess/driver. On the other hand we took a tour on Hawaii which indicated some sort of "foodie" slant at three fabulous houses in the Hilo area. The houses were fabulous, The food not foodie fare....far from it. Not a keeper and very expensive. The entertainment on the Emerald features Tiki Dave and his wife Leialoha, a husband and wife tag team, who perform songs of the islands (and others) and during the day they teach anyone who wants to learn how to play the uke and/or the hula. They also host a daily Hawaiian arts and crafts seminar with purchasable yarn, beadwork, lei material etc. t hat proved very popular. Other entertainers were typical cruise fare. Homogenized stage shows, good solo bar background performers, the occasional magician or comedian. One thing Princess has always been noted for is consistency. The Emerald on this cruise showed some signs of wear, tear and change needed. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We have cruised with Princess on numerous ocassions. We also have sailed to Hawaii over the Christmas Holidays. There were many younger passengers who, for the most part, behaved very well. Actually, the older adults were the problem ... Read More
We have cruised with Princess on numerous ocassions. We also have sailed to Hawaii over the Christmas Holidays. There were many younger passengers who, for the most part, behaved very well. Actually, the older adults were the problem when getting in and out of the elevators. They were rude and piled their way into the elevators before allowing the guests to exit. We felt the entertainment was very good during our cruise. There was one fellow who pretended to be a musician/comedian who wasn't funny at all. We had some deaf passengers onboard and this entertainer at one point made fun of them and actually mocked their way of communicating with each other. The audience didn't appreciate this. Our cabin steward was probably the best we have ever had. So friendly, nice and attentive. We selected AnyTime Dining which turned out very nice. We met with two other couples who were fabulous. We stayed away from the constant ads from Effy and their sales. The food in The Horizon Court was good, not great, as in the past. We enjoined The British Pub Lunch. The captain was the very best we have ever experienced. Sharon, the naturalist, was terrific!! Overall, this was a very nice cruise. 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
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
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
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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