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169 Princess Emerald Princess Cruise Reviews

My father wanted to see the Panama Canal. It was 5 adults - my father, my sister and husband, myself and husband. Our entertainment was poor. The best was the comedian next to last day. The service was horrible in internet. We ... Read More
My father wanted to see the Panama Canal. It was 5 adults - my father, my sister and husband, myself and husband. Our entertainment was poor. The best was the comedian next to last day. The service was horrible in internet. We talked to him. He gave us info. We tried it and it didn’t meet with our expectations and wanted to change it two hours later and were denied. The beverage service was ridiculous. You spend over $1000 for the package and they wanted my husband to pay for a can of coke. They nickel and dime you to death. Embarking was ridiculous. They knew the night before there were problems and still had people embarking at 7 pm. Disembarking was also ridiculous! People coming in doors they weren’t suppose to. No one watching. We are platinum members are will not be using princess again. So very disappointed in Princess Cruises! Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
For us this was the cruise of a life time for us. Celebrating a Birthday, 45th wedding anniversary and retirement Cruise. We live on the east coast. And proberly will not go west ever again. So we picked this one. The itinerary was great. ... Read More
For us this was the cruise of a life time for us. Celebrating a Birthday, 45th wedding anniversary and retirement Cruise. We live on the east coast. And proberly will not go west ever again. So we picked this one. The itinerary was great. The island of Moorea was the most beautiful island we have ever seen. True paradise. We have seen every island in the Caribbean,nothing even comes close. Oh well the ship. This is the 5th cruise line. Our 10th cruise. Our first and (last) on Princess. Top to bottom I can complain about everything. It would be to long and nobody would read it. I will try to keep it short. You have to understand a 28 day cruise is for older people. A lot of snobs. Just rude. For the most part their head was up their ...!! Average age 70 to 80. We are 66. They think they had money. Well if they did they wouldn't be on this cruise. They would be on the high end lines or they would go to there villa. The ship had a bad layout. Food not good. Entertainment terrible. Nothing to do on sail days. Could't wait to get of that ship. Most of the staff was new on their first contract. So most of the service was not good. Language barrier was a problem. Most of the workers did not seem happy. Internet was a problem. The good- Casino,International Cafe,Wine Bar. We did meet some good guest. 9 Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
Starting at embarkation sitting in an overcrowded hall for the better part of 3 hours - we were not off to a good start! No credible explanation from Princess; no bother to greet the arriving pxs when they finally made it on board. ... Read More
Starting at embarkation sitting in an overcrowded hall for the better part of 3 hours - we were not off to a good start! No credible explanation from Princess; no bother to greet the arriving pxs when they finally made it on board. Balcony stateroom was okay but was very shocked to find torn sheets and stained pillowcases on the bed (replaced 2 days later). Room steward was great as were a few bartenders and waiters, but the vast majority of staff were not engaged, sullen, and in a couple of cases - obnoxious! Food in all venues was pretty horrible for anyone with a palate (I only had 3 meals which were "good"). Buffet selection was the worst we have ever seen after being on multiple cruise lines. Restaurants were kind of dirty with the worst being the steakhouse where I accidentally knocked about 3/16" of dust off the railing beside our table - ick factor 10. Likewise I ruined a brand new shirt when I leaned against a bar railing and got a large brown stain for my efforts. For a so-called high end, large ship, the entertainment was, for the most part second rate, and most activities were pretty lame for an older crowd. Shore excursions offered by Princess were okayish, except for in Panama city where we had to stand in line for 1.5 hrs in the sweltering heat to get on a tender back to the ship without so much as a hint of concern from staff - it is a wonder some of the frailer people didn't collapse! At long last we come to disembarkation - it was a bit better than the start, but once again no one from Princess directing you where to go for transfers. We got lucky and chose the right line up. If they can do a reasonable job in ports of call, why can't they make the same effort for leaving? Is it because they no longer care about you? I would say so. We will never use Princess again - there are so many better cruise lines that they can't hold a candle to! Sure, it may be one bad experience, but they are supposed to have corporate standards, so we can only assume that this is what we can expect on other Princess ships too. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Because I am generally a really positive person that tries to see the good in everything, I will start off with that. Edward the cabin steward was fantastic and just a great guy. He genuinely cared and worked hard. The food was ... Read More
Because I am generally a really positive person that tries to see the good in everything, I will start off with that. Edward the cabin steward was fantastic and just a great guy. He genuinely cared and worked hard. The food was generally pretty good in the dining room and the dining room staff was fun to interact with and they worked hard. Although - it makes no sense how we can be travelling through Mexico and Central America and get literally none of the amazing fruits of those countries on ship (papaya, mango, plantains etc..). Also great were the ports (specifically Huatulco and Punta Arenas)...but I am reviewing the ship here because of the large amount of sea days. I did learn that the US has a flight to Huatulco and I plan on doing that in the near future. Now to the negative - the entertainment was terrible and I found myself watching movies in the room most nights. At least the movie selection in the room was good. During the day there was no discernible entertainment. The 'entertainment' at night mostly consisted of Frank Sinatra singers and the like. While I may be relatively young for this cruise, I do know that 'old' people like a little more fun and variety than that. Trying to find something to do or eat after 9 PM, there was literally nothing. The one bar that was open (on the top level) had nobody there other than the bartender and cocktail servers. As a poker player, I figured that I could at least play poker for fun in the casino...but the poker table had an absurd 18% rake which took all possible fun out of it because statistically you are going to lose even if you play extremely well. I've been on other cruise ships and the entertainment on them was awesome, so my review isn't naively written. Also the customer service left a terrible taste in my mouth. I received a $100 Princess gift card for my birthday from a relative in light of the upcoming cruise (after the cruise had been booked). I tried to use the gift card online for excursions and internet but that was not possible as it only accepted credit card payments. I called customer service twice and they acted like they tried to help but stated that the gift card could only be used on the ship and that I couldn't use it to pay for internet and excursions. However, when I attempted to use the gift card on the ship, the person I spoke to on the ship said that I could not use it on that cruise but laughingly said that I could apply the amount to a future Princess Cruise. He literally didn't give a damn. I just had a terrible time on board the cruise ship, why would I want to go on another cruise with Princess? So now I have a worthless gift card that a family member spent good money on as a birthday gift. I didn't even know how to reply when they asked how I enjoyed the gift card for fear of hurting their feelings. Shame on Princess for its gift card scam!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
I won't use Princess again. Always trouble with time lines including being crammed into a room before embarkation. 3 of 5 tenders were down for Panama excursions which left little time on land, 7:30 am early disembarkation turned ... Read More
I won't use Princess again. Always trouble with time lines including being crammed into a room before embarkation. 3 of 5 tenders were down for Panama excursions which left little time on land, 7:30 am early disembarkation turned into 8:00am. Food in MDR started out fine but got worse - poor cuts of meat. We were told to get our outgoing mail in by a certain time each port. Problem? They only had American stamps and didn't send mail until Los Angeles. Who wants mail stamped from home? Why not tell us that to begin with and maybe told us where to fin a post office on shore? Cost of shore excursion were over priced for what we received. Spa was excellent, our waiters in the MDC were amazing and our cabin steward was great, too. Actually, most of the service crew aboard the ship were very pleasant. The entertainment had a couple of good acts, but it left a lot to be desired. The ships engines quit one evening and all power went out. "Stay were you are until further notice." They did get it up and running quickly but it shouldn't have happened in the first place. This was an expensive trip that should have enjoyed everyday but that didn't happen. Shore excursions didn't give enough time to see a lot - especially since there was always a wait time getting on or off the ship. Also, his is the first cruise where I heard passengers complain s much. Elevator, bathroom, steps, waiting in lines, etc. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Desired a short cruise over the Christmas season. However we chose a large ship with a large passenger capacity and the ship was completely full. Tours were poorly organized. Tenders were not all in working order. Missed our tour of ... Read More
Desired a short cruise over the Christmas season. However we chose a large ship with a large passenger capacity and the ship was completely full. Tours were poorly organized. Tenders were not all in working order. Missed our tour of Panama City due to lack of maintenance of tenders and disorganization of moving people off ship to get to shore. Complete power failure on one occasion - very concerned about situation should a crisis occur. Poor quality evening entertainment. Buffet staff consistently looked very unhappy. The only positive thing I can say is thank goodness we were assigned a very competent, pleasant and good natured steward. Disembarkation was totally disorganized, had 10 minutes to make our flight. If I had not spoken to security and waited for our disembarkation scheduled time we definitely would have missed our flight. Previous cruises with Princess have been excellent but cannot say the same about this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Excursion to Panama City had problem with tenders. Had to wait over 2 1/2 hours to get to shore. This was a safety issue. We were to see the old Panama Canal but due to the delay that portion was omitted. Ship had an electrical ... Read More
Excursion to Panama City had problem with tenders. Had to wait over 2 1/2 hours to get to shore. This was a safety issue. We were to see the old Panama Canal but due to the delay that portion was omitted. Ship had an electrical incident where it completely stopped at sea and had to be restarted. The Maitre d was the most rude person to hold that position we have ever seen on any cruise. Customer Service on and off board was probably 2 star at best. Cruse quality with Princess is really dropping off as off late. With the shut down and all the publicity that Princess garnished handling their passengers on the affected ships our cruise seemed like a precursor to the pandemic. The cabin attendant did absolutely minimal. Granted we were in a interior cabin and weren't spending extravagantly on beverages and paid dining rooms but we have cruise with Princess MANY time and this one was the first in a couple of year and REALLY show the deficiencies. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This is not the company that we knew, our previous cruise was 5 years prior to this and we have 16 Princess cruises to measure this disaster against, We chose the cruise which was over Christmas and New Year going through the Panama ... Read More
This is not the company that we knew, our previous cruise was 5 years prior to this and we have 16 Princess cruises to measure this disaster against, We chose the cruise which was over Christmas and New Year going through the Panama Canal. Embarkation took over 2 hours , we stood outside in a line with no refreshment , check in was tedious. Christmas decorations were minimalistic with exception of the foyer, very plastic but ok , each public area had one tree and the main dining room had a table decoration which was a band of plastic berries and a flower ( photo attached) the staff all had a veil Father Christmas hat on. The service from all the staff throughout the ship was excellent Our outside cabin had only one chair and no sofa it was inadequate The food and service was good, in the restaurant, The Lido buffet was a bit like a football match , at peak times it was difficult to get a seat nonetheless the food was OK In that area it is impossible to sit quietly with events and films competing to be the noisiest. Entertainment was badly scheduled and poor , was it because acts did not come on during the Christmas period. There were no big shows , poor singers and dancers with 3rd rate”Stars” . The cruise director was ineffective. The reason for doing this trip was the new Panama locks this was well executed and narrated and did not disappoint. The tours that we did were excellent except the tender we were on lost power in one engine and there was no steering so we waltzed around for a good 20 mins before we got back to the ship there was another tender waking for us but guess what that was broken So 2 big tenders out of action? Good job there was not an evacuation. But wait, that evening for about 15 minutes the engines stopped, everything including lights went out. We were sent a drinks voucher . Speaking of which Not sure were all the officers were on this ship were they in hiding they only seemed to emerge for the Captains circle event The drinks were outrageously priced plus tax and tips , hence the bars were quiet . New Year’s Eve was yet another disaster the main event was scheduled on the top of the ship but it was too cold and windy there was nothing scheduled in Explorers as the best band was on the top of the ship We have seen much of the world with Princess and we feel sad that the decline in the experience is so great that we will not be travelling with them again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Our 20th cruise with Princess, 20 days on the Crown in January/Feburary 2019, was one of the three best we’ve taken with this line, thanks to the creative activity and entertainment options on board. (You can read my review here on CC). ... Read More
Our 20th cruise with Princess, 20 days on the Crown in January/Feburary 2019, was one of the three best we’ve taken with this line, thanks to the creative activity and entertainment options on board. (You can read my review here on CC). Our 21st Princess cruise, through the Panama Canal December 3-18, was, on board at least, pretty much the worst. We felt like second-class citizens because of the way we were coerced and manipulated by the cruise line and its employees. The problem: we chose late-sitting dinner at 7:30 p.m., which meant if we wanted to see the main Theatre show, we had to do so at 6:45, which meant getting ready for the evening earlier, which meant eliminating the advantage of eating later. To add insult to injury, the post-theatre amusements we so enjoyed on our winter Crown Princess cruise – when they showed up at all – were scheduled before nine p.m., meaning we could stop eating and go, or just not see these shows at all. The solution: “eat in the buffet or go to Anytime Dining;” in other words, change my evening arrangements to suit Princess and, I’m thinking, save the company money. Well, no thanks. I can find other cruise lines where this nonsense is absent. But wait, could I find out before final payment date what the show times will be? In a word, no: all decided a few weeks before sailing, on board, not by head office. Good old Princess couldn’t have designed a better way to alienate later diners if it worked on it for months. Anyone who dined at 6:15 or later was similarly afflicted. But back to the cruise. Only one of the six ports – San Juan del Sur – was new to us, but we took Princess tours at all but Puerto Vallarta. Detailed information about these excursions was sorely lacking; neither, on a ship filled with seniors, was there nearly enough information, on board or on line, about the walking challenges of the various tours. The tours themselves were as expected: some pretty good, some very good. By the end of the cruise, hordes of passengers were sneezing and coughing, in part the result of going from buses cooled below 70F to the outdoors with temps and humidity near 90. Back on board, the food was hit or miss. The World Fresh Marketplace (aka Horizon Court) has been reorganized, for better or worse being debatable. The pizza, Salty Dog burgers and ice cream bar continue their good quality and service. In our dining room (Botticelli), appetizers and desserts were excellent, but main courses ranged from pretty good to pretty bad, as in too dry, overcooked, or too bland. Service in the eating places, bars and lounges was excellent; our room steward, as usual, was a gem. Entertainment was like the food: hit and miss, but generally mediocre. The seven-piece Princess Orchestra was outstanding, as was singalong crooner Kory Simon. But the production shows featured some poor casting in tired productions. The “fly-in” entertainers were, on average, not of the quality one would expect. (Or maybe I’m wrong on that: Princess offered cabin fares below $1,000 for this cruise; you do tend to get what you pay for. The Cruise Director (whose name escapes me) was at least an accomplished actress, deftly playing the role of clueless airhead. Her staff did most of the work while she mostly told very bad jokes. Daily activities showed almost none of the creativity or interest we found on our previous Princess cruise; trivia and bingo headed the daily list. An enrichment speaker did well presenting facts anyone could find online. So, overall, a disappointment, particularly for veteran cruisers like us. If we can’t be sure we won’t be treated like second-class citizens on this line, we’ll give up the free laundry and cruise with other companies. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
My wife and I had planned to take this cruise for years but she passed away in 2015 and only recently was I able to find my cruise mate and best friend. We had planned this for about six months, maybe with too high of hopes. From the ... Read More
My wife and I had planned to take this cruise for years but she passed away in 2015 and only recently was I able to find my cruise mate and best friend. We had planned this for about six months, maybe with too high of hopes. From the time we arrived at he ship it began; an extremely long wait with no place to sit down and virtually impossible to get to a rest room, a major issue with people 68 and 73 years old with disabilities and we had 'expedited boarding'; what a bad joke. once on the ship we experienced very poor service, extremely over-amplified music (and I use this term in its broadest sense), it was almost impossible to communicate with the representatives at the pursers desk due to the noise and then having to listen to 'hip-hop and rap' all over the ship and in the theater; a truly wonderful experience for all the senior citizens aboard. The club class dining was great service but the quality and selection of food on the menus has crashed since Carnival bought Princess. The ports and docking facilities were abysmal and I hope to never see them again except the Panama Canal which was a great experience. While exiting an 'automatic door' on deck 15, I was slammed on the outside of my left knee and when I reported the incident the security and medical departments could care less. We later heard from other passengers of at least three similar incidents at the same door. When I finally decided I should report the incident when I realized it could happen to others I was required to fill out a 'financial responsibility form' in medical, which I tore up and left there, spending the rest of the cruise in serious pain. The bed was uncomfortable and split into two parts at night. We notified the cabin steward and the pursers desk without any resolution. We also found what appeared to have come from someones nose stuck to the inside of the top sheet one night and the same the next night on the bed spread; totally disgusting. Leaving the ship was a nightmare, again long lines poor direction causing us to miss picking up our luggage before entering customs and having to contact an officer to go back and retrieve our bags; this has never happened in the thirteen cruises I've been on. We were extremely disappointed and even though I have 'platinum status' with Princess I doubt I'll go back again. Besides experiencing the new locks on the Panama Canal it was a waste of over $10,000.00 that we'll never get back. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise for the destination, but sadly the Emerald Princess quickly became a disappointment. Lack of entertainment, sub-par food, and horrible dining room attire rules. Nice shorts and shirt NOT acceptable but jeans and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the destination, but sadly the Emerald Princess quickly became a disappointment. Lack of entertainment, sub-par food, and horrible dining room attire rules. Nice shorts and shirt NOT acceptable but jeans and sports jersey's are acceptable on a Formal night. NO entertainment pool side on either sea days. They turned the music on for ice-carving then quickly turned the unacceptable playlist to very low. I understand the population on the cruise was a little older, but they were happy to listen to our music when we brought out our music player. All the pool guests around us were complaining. The drink package - they really encourage you not to use it, limits and rules for every situation. The spa was nice, although pricey - but that's expected on cruises they increase the price. Positive - I like the hand- washing stations at the entrance of the buffet. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have cruised with other lines before and decided to try Princess based on a recommendation from our travel agent due to the specific ports we wanted to visit. We did a 14 day cruise with Princess Cruise lines. Never made it to Mykonos ... Read More
We have cruised with other lines before and decided to try Princess based on a recommendation from our travel agent due to the specific ports we wanted to visit. We did a 14 day cruise with Princess Cruise lines. Never made it to Mykonos due to a storm. Food was average but nothing spectacular. Too many starchy foods. Not enough vegetables and fruits. Entertainment was just okay. Not enough planned activities accept pushing bingo games and paper airplane races. Don’t buy a drink package. If on Dolphin Deck, the tinder boats are under you and when they are launched at 6 am, you will be knocked out of bed by the noise. Gym was sub par. Two standard stationary bikes for the whole ship to use. The Sanctuary area is a joke. Don’t waste your money for $80 a day. The art auction staff must all be new as they didn’t have full knowledge on the artist they were selling. Overall staff were not as friendly as on other cruise lines we have travelled on. I honestly do not believe we will ever cruise with Princess in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Flew to Rome to board the ship.Booked an expensive junior suite and the experience was ruined by two anti social demons in the stateroom next door.Mother and daughter from New Zealand.On the 2nd day they were shouting and bawling and ... Read More
Flew to Rome to board the ship.Booked an expensive junior suite and the experience was ruined by two anti social demons in the stateroom next door.Mother and daughter from New Zealand.On the 2nd day they were shouting and bawling and swearing and using the F word.I spoke to the cabin steward who promised to get it stopped. It did not stop and they were on the balcony at 6am swearing and being a nuisance. I got customer services involved and i did everything correct to try and get this noise stopped.Customer Services failed to stop the noise and the cruise was ruined. If you are caught smoking you get fined and possibly asked the leave the ship so why allow guests to spoil a holiday with noise and not kick them off or move them ? A lot of obnoxious guests on this ship - foul language and mostly American females who were doing this. Food was hit and miss - some meals had to go back due to being badly cooked. Mykonos was not visited due to bad weather and another boring sea day to endure. I complained to Princess when i got home about the noise problem and they offered me zero compensation - nothing !!!! I had filmed the noise and had evidence so i said Ok lets go to court.They replied with still no offer of any compensation.Downright uncaring and i will NEVER book with them again. It was such a joke how they handled the noise problem on board.I heard the noisy neighbours slam the cabin door as they went out. About 20 mins later a knock at my cabin door - Filton a customer service guy. He said he had been listening to the cabin next door and wanted to assure me all is now quiet and no problem !! I said THATS BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT IN !!!!! He said Ok he will find them and tell them to stop this noise.Waste of time as it never stopped. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The food quality and selection is not what I have been used to on Princess cruise. Was served French fries with a filet mignon. Being on a Mediterranean cruise would have expected a better selection of seafood and fish. King prawns were ... Read More
The food quality and selection is not what I have been used to on Princess cruise. Was served French fries with a filet mignon. Being on a Mediterranean cruise would have expected a better selection of seafood and fish. King prawns were the size of baby shrimps. Although the MichelAngelo waiting staff was really courteous and helpful. Pedro the head waiter was good to find us nice and enjoyable people to sit with. Front desk service is useless they give you the run around! We were booked on a shore excursion on our day of disembarking but the bus couldn’t carry luggage. It would have been great to visit Mykonos but the rough sea prevent it us to port.... the captain decided for the safety of the passenger to continue our route. I’m glad that he made that call for our safety. Princess didn’t live up to their slogan.... Come Back New! I found that Princess cruise line has been going down in quality over the last 5 years. It not what it used to be. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was my family's first cruise on Princess and I have to say we are extremely disappointed. We experienced so many issues, the most important being with poor quality of service. Here is some of what we experienced: - Nights two ... Read More
This was my family's first cruise on Princess and I have to say we are extremely disappointed. We experienced so many issues, the most important being with poor quality of service. Here is some of what we experienced: - Nights two and three we had horrible (and by horrible I mean nonexistent) service at dinner. Our other tables in our large party were literally finishing their entrees and we had yet to receive our appetizers. I still could not tell you who our assistant server was after our 7 night cruise because he was nowhere to be found. On night three no one came to our table for over a half hour. - The toilet in one of our rooms clogged like clockwork every night for the first three nights and instead of apologizing and fixing the problem the plumber essentially accused us of putting something other than toilet paper down the toilet (we didn't). When we would try to call the desk to have someone repair it no one would answer the phone, forcing us to walk to the lobby each time. After the third time the toilet broke, we went back to the desk and I could see one of the women at the desk mocking me as I spoke to her colleague. In front of my face. I work in the hospitality industry and can assure you that while direct and frustrated, I was very polite and calm while interacting with him. Completely uncalled for. Finally the next morning the plumber actually disassembled and repaired the toilet instead of the usual quick-fix from the previous nights. It worked fine after this. - The toilets in the public women's rooms were often filthy and would remain this way for hours. - The currency machines were out of order 80% of the time. The machines to check your account balance were down the last two nights of the cruise, causing insanely long lines at the front desk. When directed to the desk to exchange money, they acted as though guests were a bother. Every crew member we spoke with at the front desk was incredibly unprofessional and far from friendly. - In fact, most staff we interacted with on the cruise were unprofessional, unapologetic, and rude, making it very apparent they do not enjoy their jobs and do not wish to be there. After constant issues, sometimes all you want is a seemingly genuine apology, and we never received that. Not once. - Like I said, the attitude of most staff we encountered was poor to say the least. A couple examples: We watched an employee in the photography studio on the last night of our cruise yell (loudly!) and berate an elderly woman who took a photo of one of her pictures, not realizing this was not allowed. He followed her around the store yelling loudly for everyone to hear, demanding she delete the photo immediately. This was NOT the proper way to handle this situation and everyone around was mortified and embarrassed for her. Another night while shopping in Calypso Cove if you needed assistance from a staff member you would not receive it. Why? The two working were arguing in front of the store. - Want a drink at night? If you are directed to a bar that is supposed to be open until 11pm, prepare to get there only for them to be completely shut down and unable to pour you a drink by 10:30, a half hour before closing time. This happened twice at Adagio. - Spa staff was polite and helpful, until there was a concern with one of the treatments. Their demeanor then completely changed and became curt and defensive. - Disembarkation was chaotic. We did the walk-off option as we had to be off the ship early, and our entire group had to carry our 50+ pound suitcases down over ten flights of stairs because it was impossible to get an elevator. Three of the five elevators were marked 'R' for reserved and the other two were at capacity for over twenty minutes before we opted to take the stairs. Two people in our party who were unable to take the stairs waited over 45 minutes for an elevator. Children, seniors, and everyone in between were lugging their gigantic suitcases down the stairwells. POSITIVES: - Our stateroom, while dated, was always very clean. Our steward Winston was so friendly, always asking about our day with a genuine smile. - The restaurant 'Share' by Curtis Stone was excellent. We loved our food and entire experience here and agree it was definitely worth the up-charge. We wish we came here more than once - The Ports of Call were great. We loved each destination. It should be noted that we did not book any of our excursions through the cruiseline, only outside companies. - Embarkation was smooth, quick, and efficient. As first-time guests on Princess, we are beyond disappointed. After one day of this, we thought 'maybe this is a one-off.' But the continuous issues and unapologetic staff day in and day out made this vacation far from relaxing. We had high hopes and expectations and this cruise did not live up to them. For all of these reasons I would not recommend Princess cruiseline. I have no experience on their other ships but this one specifically was disappointing. I have sailed with three other cruiselines and have never experienced such poor service. My family spent a ton of money for what should have been the trip of a lifetime and while the ports were fabulous (again, excursions not booked through Princess) our time on the ship was stressful, agitating, and honestly shocking. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Excursions too rushed and actually didn't see anything properly and definitely did not have the experience expected. Summary - 'Been there seen that' - Not 'Been there and done that'. Embarkation and ... Read More
Excursions too rushed and actually didn't see anything properly and definitely did not have the experience expected. Summary - 'Been there seen that' - Not 'Been there and done that'. Embarkation and disembarking were very well organised and efficient. Cleanliness was high and service from our steward was excellent. No issue service wise. Food was basically the same form day to day will minimal variations - food was ok of you love great if you love salt. Would have preferred to have more local foods from each destination we went to. Couldn't get into the restaurant we wanted even when booking a day on advance. Was my first cruise so wasn't sure what to expect - but definitely felt underwhelmed. My 2 teenage daughters did enjoy it but even their excitement was starting to dull toward the end. Everything seemed to have an additional charge when I expected most things to be included. Overall pretty poor value - rather do hotels and stay for a few days at each location that this overrated hop on hop off bus. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
As you will read from many other reviewers; this was "the worse" Princess cruise I have been on -- and I have been on many, many Princess cruises. Something was terribly wrong with 50% of the interactions on this cruise. To ... Read More
As you will read from many other reviewers; this was "the worse" Princess cruise I have been on -- and I have been on many, many Princess cruises. Something was terribly wrong with 50% of the interactions on this cruise. To be fair, I would like to give you a balanced overview. THE GOOD: Our room steward "Randy" was THE BEST we have ever had. He should be training for Princess on how to take care of Guests. The International Cafe people were very friendly and helpful - but they need more staff for the service - everyone goes there. Two casino people really stood out (Hans and Mario) - they were very professional and helpful to guests (more on the casino later) I liked the new market place for eating and for the layout, colors and seating - the food -- that will be later too. The Crown Grill - excellent Chilean Sea Bass and steak for others. Best food and service. The fitness center - the dry dock brought mostly new equipment. I'm always at the gym on shore and the cruises - they did an excellent job here. And, there were 45+ people in the gym at all time -- just goes to show - if you build it, they will come ;) Traditional dining - good fish, nice salmon, excellent asparagus. THE BAD Customer service desk - clueless people, no help or service. It seemed that half the crew must have been new to the cruise industry and all the guest were the guinea pigs. And they were just plain rude at times. You would be talking with them about a problem - the phone would ring and they would cut you off and spend 5-10 minutes on the phone before coming back to you. Casino manager ( I won't mention names - I do have them, but it's not worth mentioning) shut the casino craps table down around 11 or `11:30 and forced everyone to leave - over and over - who does that? (more on the craps table under horrible) Drinks - every night the same thing at the craps table - hour to an hour and a half before they would come to ask if you wanted a drink. If you wanted one before that, you had to stop gambling and go to the bar to buy one. Why would they do that? The food in the new market place - average - and that is being generous. I did like their sandwiches for lunch. Food over all here was far below what you would normally expect from Princess Cruises. I will say their salads were fresh ! Traditional dining - this is the sad part - 50% of the time the meal was good, the other 50% of the time - I couldn't eat the food. The beef stroganoff - couldn't cut the meat with a steak knife - much less chew it. Braised beef - let's just call it braised fat. Their steaks - I wanted medium rare - it took them four times - each one was rarer than the previous one. People at my table were "mooing" because it was such a joke. The 4th steak was perfect. Their lamb - one bite was all I could do - so bad. The excursion for snorkeling at our 2nd port was nice - but the boat was way too small for the number of people who went on the excursion. THE HORRIBLE: Two main things stand out that really ruined this cruise. As others have said, the excursions were ruined for people and Costa Rica was the worse. Hundreds of people missed their buses because Princess wouldn't let you off the ship - seriously - they kept people in the Princess Theatre with no stickers or organization - when they finally let people out - row by row, dozens of buses had already left. So yes, hundreds of people missed their excursions in Costa Rica !! They reimbursed everyone - but it was the one big excursion I wanted to go on. People were standing in the heat of the day on the dock while they waited. Most excursions were cut in half for their time. Someone mentioned that this happened near the beginning of the cruise and people talked about it for the next week and a half - that is an understatement - people were furious - including me. I will give credit to Gary McNeil - he owned up immediately for all the problems and took full responsibility. Princess should be happy to have people like him. Craps table in the casino - okey, something is up with this and Princess needs to look into the issue. The table was "re-done" in the dry dock and new dice were added. 14 days of playing and every player lost every night. The dice would land and bounce at 90 degree angles. The dice would stop rolling and then "suddenly" flip over one more time. Many players there were commenting on what was up with the dice and table. We've played craps for years in Vegas and on cruise ships. NEVER have I seen the dice act so weird AND have 100% of the people loose at the table for 14 days straight. I'm not accusing them of anything - BUT - they need to look into this. We will not be playing craps on our next cruise with Princess. This is serious folks. FINAL WRAP UP: We did not come back "RENEWED" you will find from other reviewers, this cruise really hurt Princess's reputation in so many ways. Which is sad for me, I really liked them a lot until this cruise :( Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
The outside of this ship is well designed. Not so the inside. First the good stuff. If you like to walk a ship's promenade deck, this one is very nice. It's wide and goes all the way around the ship if you climb a few stairs, ... Read More
The outside of this ship is well designed. Not so the inside. First the good stuff. If you like to walk a ship's promenade deck, this one is very nice. It's wide and goes all the way around the ship if you climb a few stairs, giving you great 360 views of the sea and sky. You can do the same on deck 16, also with a few stairs. The inside is different story. The design is flawed, mainly because of the way the spaces are chopped up, especially in the buffet area. Many activities occur in the atrium, but only about 100 people (out of 3000) can actually see what's going on. Deck six is chopped in a way that makes you go up, and then down a flight of stairs to the dining room. But the biggest fiasco is the poorly designed buffet. If you TRIED to design the most inconvenient buffet possible, you might not come close to this one. You just have to see for yourself. I have been on maybe 20 ships, and have never seen such a poor layout of food service and seating areas. We missed both seafood buffet and the big dessert buffet because it was held in the back portion of the buffet, and no info was posted or announced anywhere. It is a mystery to me that anyone would have ever approved such a poor design. One very positive thing that deserves mention is the sound levels of music and background noise on the ship. The crew and sound people seemed to be very professional and kept volumes at an appropriate level everywhere. In the theater, sound levels always seemed loud enough and without distortion. I mention this because many ships just don't pay attention to this and I have seen poor sound engineers ruin a perfectly good talented performance with distorted volume levels and background music. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted to be in Hawaii during whale season. Have done two other round trip HI cruises (one from Vancouver and the other from San Diego) but never this time of year. We did see whales - yeah! Poor ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to be in Hawaii during whale season. Have done two other round trip HI cruises (one from Vancouver and the other from San Diego) but never this time of year. We did see whales - yeah! Poor Emerald, where to start. I'll go with the good first: The MDR staff (ATD) and our room steward were simply excellent. I can't overstate how efficient both areas of service were. Our cabin was comfortable and clean - just an inside on Aloha deck. The sailing itself was good - a few rough days out but nothing too bad. Entertainment was good. The piano player and the trumpet guy were great. Always love the addition of the live band and hope that is never nixed. The ship's excursion to the Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu was great. Our guide was good not only at the site but along the way and at the other stops. We did the Ultimate Ship's Tour and that was pretty cool. I wish we could have seen a little more of the galley area but I understand it's a busy place and they need to keep it clean. The whole tour was done very well and we were treated to some gifts from the departments. Very nice tour! Now the not so good: Many areas were always crowded. Maybe this was because folks wanted to play cards and other games in the buffet while we carried full plates of food around hopelessly looking for a free table. Same for the International Cafe - people would set up there for the day. We learned to eat in the dining rooms at every available opportunity. On the crowded note, the theatre seating was ridiculous. Had to be there 30-45 minutes early to get a seat. They allowed sitting on the stairs during the first few shows but glad to see they stopped it in subsequent shows. It was a Hawaii cruise but very cold (maybe not to others but to me, 60 degrees on a moving ship is pretty cool). Not just a few days out of L.A. and the last few back in but every single day of sailing. The day in Ensenada had a high of 55. Certainly not the fault of anyone at all, but I think it led to some of the overcrowding on the inside of the ship. I do wish this class of ship had a covered pool area and wish new builds would include them. I'm not a foodie and didn't go hungry or get sick, but man, the food on this ship was just not good at all. There is not one thing I want again. OK, I would go for any of the Norman Love desserts and the pizza was good one day, but other than those, there wasn't one memorable item. While I love them, I do not cruise to eat hamburgers and fries (that are cold by the time I find a warm place to sit and eat). Guest Services were sort of robotic, to put it nicely. However, one lady was nice and was helpful. I went the first day right after muster to sign up for the afore mentioned ship tour as a huge line formed up behind me. I finally got up to the front and while I was filling out the tour info sheet, the lady that waited on me got pulled to the side by a "mob" of people wanting holes punched in their ship cards for their lanyards. So, I'm waiting (and waiting, and waiting) for her to come back to get the sheet and the huge line behind me is getting very restless and angry at the hole punch people (and probably me, since I'm standing in their way), all the while she is off to the side punching holes in cards. So she was actually too nice and too helpful, but just not very professional - should have suggested they stand in line like the rest of the other guests. Not a huge deal as I generally don't visit the desk often if ever, but each time I walked by there, they all had pretty grim faces. I am just very glad we did not book the 28 day round trip L.A. Hawaii/South Pacific trip. And I'm reconsidering a TA booked for September on the Crown as I am afraid of the same issue with overcrowding. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I choose this cruise thinking it be relaxing, enjoying and good food, man I was wrong, it was not relaxing because you could find a seat where it was warm, to cold around pool, where most of the movie we’re. Very hard or sometimes ... Read More
I choose this cruise thinking it be relaxing, enjoying and good food, man I was wrong, it was not relaxing because you could find a seat where it was warm, to cold around pool, where most of the movie we’re. Very hard or sometimes impossible to find a seat indoors. Because so cold out doors. The only was to get a seat in princess theaters for main shows, was to go one hour before showtime. Now foods overall was poor, four good meals two prime rib very good, two lobsters dinner very good. The rest of meal was tough or weird spices. The last for or five days we had a lot of leftovers or food no one like. The last three days never seen a chocolate chip cookies, the must of ran out of chocolate chips. But help in dining was fantastic and also rooms steward was fantastic. The ship was very clean and we’ll maintain. Overall poor no place to sit that was warm, seating was limited at princess theater and food was poor. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Previous experience with Princess was good 9 years ago. Not anymore. Cruise Director was terrible. Most of the entertainment was amateur at best. The one excursion we chose did not warrant the association with Princess it was a dogs ... Read More
Previous experience with Princess was good 9 years ago. Not anymore. Cruise Director was terrible. Most of the entertainment was amateur at best. The one excursion we chose did not warrant the association with Princess it was a dogs breakfast of a show. (Germaines Luau on Oahu.) Cabin upkeep was excellent. Crew staff were excellent and pleasant. Theatre seating was a nightmare unless you got there 3/4 hour ahead of time. Specialty restaurants had good staff but the food was nothing to get excited about. Crab Shack's crab was not fresh nor of sufficient quantity. Steak restaurant had good environment but little else. The ships photographers became annoying after awhile and the spa services were most aggressive in pushing their very expensive products. My wife and I foolishly fell for the future cruise offer but we won't be using it now that we've experienced the whole cruise. Prior to this cruise, 9 years ago we had 55 days each of Princess cruises. Things were much better 9 years ago. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was our 3rd 15 day Hawaiian cruise on Princess. We bragged about it to friends and they booked on our recommendation (we got nothing from Princess). Embarkation was a unorganized disaster, we did not find the staff to be happy or ... Read More
This was our 3rd 15 day Hawaiian cruise on Princess. We bragged about it to friends and they booked on our recommendation (we got nothing from Princess). Embarkation was a unorganized disaster, we did not find the staff to be happy or friendly. The food in the dining room and buffet tasteless, I think they do this to sell the upgrade $29 each meal sites. Loved the island stops, the captain wisely delayed departure once to miss a storm and made up the time, a wise decision. The ships seat cushions and mattresses could use an upgrade. One of our party of 8 is allergic to dairy and reported this prior to the cruise. She was offered Jello at meals, the staff is not educated on food allergies, on Carnival and RCL she had a wide variety of foods that she could eat. Our cabin was great. The phone had the wrong name on it that made our granddaughter think she was calling the wrong number, I reported this several times and it was never corrected. The Enesnada Port to town shuttle was incorrectly priced ($4 instead of $2) and took us way off the main street, different than the stated site. BE AWARE Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My wife and I have both reached the Elite Level with Princess Cruise Lines, in addition to having taken maybe a half dozen cruises with other lines. This cruise was our 17th on Princess, over a period of about 7 or 8 years. We felt that ... Read More
My wife and I have both reached the Elite Level with Princess Cruise Lines, in addition to having taken maybe a half dozen cruises with other lines. This cruise was our 17th on Princess, over a period of about 7 or 8 years. We felt that the new Princess program would follow through and recognize their most frequent passengers in some meaningful way, and we enjoyed traveling on their ships. Our cruise last February changed all that. We had a series of unhappy experiences, starting with standing in the rain at the San Pedro cruise terminal for over 90 minutes before boarding. No Princess staff in sight and no umbrellas, ponchos, or anything to provide some relief. After about an hour and a half, with literally hundreds of people soaking wet and standing in the rain, someone realized that there was an empty terminal building that could be used for shelter, and we were all herded into it, only to spend the next hour in line just to get to Passport Control. The entire boarding experience was miserable. When we made reservations for this trip we asked about (a) complimentary gratuities or (b) a beverage package and were told that we were not eligible because we got such a great fare. Once on board we talked with many other passengers only to find that many had the same rate and their gratuities had been included. We also found a group of passengers from the U.K. who had received an even better rate, plus their package included round trip airfare from London to Los Angeles as well as a two night stopover in Ls Vegas at a top hotel. I understand promotional pricing and how it can be presented. But I felt deceived by Princess when they told me what a great deal I had and then gave many other passengers with the same rate a different (and better) deal. And some received a much, much better package. There were a number of other incidents which I felt were cause for making Princess aware of how I felt. So I wrote a four page letter and sent it to them. I sent it by email first to our Princess travel consultant, who returned it to me immediately with a note that she could not open it and I should send it instead to the Customer Care department. So I sent it to the proper address and guess what the reaction was...……….radio silence! I waited for about 6 weeks and sent another note asking what was happening and again heard nothing. If that is how Princess handles their best customers one wonders what they are doing for newer or less experienced passengers. There is a lot of competition in the cruise industry, and this overall experience has left me completely unhappy with Princess. We are now shopping for some other cruise line and left wondering how this could happen. We liked Princess, they seemed to like us, and we were happy. But when they ignored my legitimate issues and made not a single effort to reply I decide that this is their problem, not mine any longer. So we will continue to cruise and I am certain that we can get comfortable with some other line. But it is shame for both my wife and me, and also for Princess. Incidentally, I am still on their mailing list for enticements for upcoming trips! Almost as if I had never written to them at all! Remember that old adage "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!" Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was my 8th cruise and my second on The Emerald Princess. The tone of the cruise was set by the staff at the Pier. The weather was a factor but the staff attitude was uncalled for. I’m 67 and my husband 70 and we felt too young to ... Read More
This was my 8th cruise and my second on The Emerald Princess. The tone of the cruise was set by the staff at the Pier. The weather was a factor but the staff attitude was uncalled for. I’m 67 and my husband 70 and we felt too young to be in this cruise. The ship is old decor and the cruisers fit the decor. The entertainment was terrible. The activities boring. If you have 5 sea data you need multiple activities for 2500+ passengers stuck in the middle of the ocean. Activities were knitting, glee club, lei making and the games were so overcrowded it was more of a chore than fun. The thermal spa package $249 was a total waste of money. The spa was coed and the visual was too much. Save your money. The food is average. The specialty restaurants was ok. Nothing to brag about. Casino offered a good escape but costly LOL!! Shore excursions were good except Mexico. Felt so hustled in Mexico. The ship staff overall was great. They don’t smile a lot but you got 2500+ cranky senior citizens aboard, I wouldn’t smile either. I understand you can’t choose your passengers but these were some of the rudest people I’ve ever encountered on a cruise. High recommend if you are 80+ Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was my first time on a Princess Cruise. Last year, my fiancé and I went on a Carnival Cruise to Mexico and we had an amazing time. We absolutely loved it, from the food to the service to the entertainment. The staff was phenomenal. ... Read More
This was my first time on a Princess Cruise. Last year, my fiancé and I went on a Carnival Cruise to Mexico and we had an amazing time. We absolutely loved it, from the food to the service to the entertainment. The staff was phenomenal. So our expectations for the Princess Emerald were pretty high. We had a lot of pros and cons in regards to the onboard experience. First, the positives. The International Cafe was our daily go-to (sometimes multiple times a day) for coffee, tea and sandwiches. We bought two coffee cards ($35 each) that cover 15 specialty drinks, which ended up being a really good deal considering each drink cost $4-$5. We really liked the fitness center and used it often, and although we didn’t attend any of the classes, it was nice to see they were available. We went to dinner at Michelangelo’s most nights, and enjoyed the food, service, and the flow from appetizers to entrees to desserts. We never found ourselves waiting a long time to eat. The hostess was fantastic and her energy really added to the positive experience. However, there were some complaints we had about Michelangelo’s as well. They lost our previously purchased and stored wine bottles multiple times, and would usually find them by the time we were ready to leave. One time they never found it, and gave us complimentary wine which was appreciated, but our thoughts were that if they didn’t have a working system in place, they really shouldn’t give the option to keep your wine at the restaurant. Also, sometimes the dress code was obnoxious (my fiancé was told to take off his hat although we saw other diners wearing hats) and I didn’t think it was appropriate to turn away multiple men wearing shorts who had paid good money for the cruise. It just seemed kind of knit picky to me. That being said, for reference, the demographic on this particular ship to Hawaii was probably 80% senior citizens, which wasn’t an issue within itself, but we felt less accommodated and at times somewhat singled out being in our late twenties. The events were mostly geared towards much older adults (although there were a few productions we really enjoyed) and it seemed like everything closed very early. On Carnival, the pools and hot tubs stayed open well after midnight, and here they closed at 10:30PM. The only option by 11PM was the Skywalker’s Nightclub, which was fun sometimes, but it would’ve been nice to have some more choices. The staff in the bars and clubs seemed to thin out also, and we would have to go to the bar initially to get servers to come over to our table, which seemed kind of ridiculous, especially when most of the time they were congregating in an area and not doing anything else. We felt a tad bit uncomfortable in that the pushiness of products and services sales kind of took advantage of and seemed to at times (for lack of a better term) prey on the older adults that may have not been aware of how overpriced things were in comparison to buying the same things off of the boat. We really didn’t like that, and it was something we didn’t see on Carnival at all so it took us by surprise. We also noted that some of the references were outdated, even for the majority demographic, which seemed lazy. One of the productions included music from the early 1900’s, and during an ice sculpting event one of the cruise staff asked the crowd “who remembers before freezers existed?” In that same vein, on days we chose to stay in our cabin we noticed that the channels would play the same episodes of the same shows on a loop for the entire day. This wouldn’t usually bother me, but another huge issue on this ship was that it was terribly overcrowded, so if you wanted to sit anywhere inside during the day most times your room was the only option. This became a recurring problem throughout the cruise. If you wanted to get a seat for a show, you would have to get there at least an hour early to guarantee you got seats, and most events a lot of people had to stand for. This became more annoying when the majority of the productions started at 7:30-7:45PM, so we had to rush through dinner a few times in order to get there by 6:45PM for seats…and then sit there and wait an hour for the show to start. We ended up sitting and waiting longer than most of the duration of the shows. We also noticed the public bathrooms were not very hygienic, and saw urine on the floors often. The Emerald collectively stressed only to use the public bathrooms for an emergency, which was concerning and not very realistic for people to have to go back to their cabins so often. We had two frightening experiences on the elevators, where the elevator would clunk to a floor and the doors wouldn’t open. We soon noticed a pattern of elevators having to be maintained throughout the trip, and by the end we were pretty much using the stairs whenever we could. I will say that our experience getting from LAX to the port was a pleasant one, and very organized. Once we got to the port things went quickly and smoothly, which was nice after a day of traveling. Our disembarkation experience, on the other hand, was an absolute mess. We paid to get our bags “transferred” to LAX, which we were under the impression meant we wouldn’t see them again until we got to the airport. Our group was called 45 minutes late to disembark and once we got off the ship we had to find our bags in the port lobby and take them through customs and onto the shuttle. This wouldn’t have been an issue if we hadn’t paid for something we could’ve done ourselves. Leaving the port and trying to find Princess’ shuttle to the airport was disorienting, and we got to our terminal less than an hour before our flight was set to leave (running through LAX is not fun and I do not recommend it). My fiance’s parents got caught in the torrential rain leaving the port, so having to walk 1/4 mile to the shuttle was even more inconvenient, and by the time they got home their bags (also “transferred”) were still soaked. Overall, we had a mixed experience onboard the Emerald. The price of the cruise and the standards did not match up, we expected much more. We will not be sailing with this cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Emerald Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.5 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness & Recreation 4.0 N/A
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursions 5.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 4.0 4.2
Value for Money 4.5 N/A

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