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89 Princess Emerald Princess Cruise Reviews

My family and I were very disappointed at the quality of Princess cruises. There was not a single thing that didn't go wrong during the cruise. Our toilet broke (we waited for someone to come fix it for over an hour), the guest ... Read More
My family and I were very disappointed at the quality of Princess cruises. There was not a single thing that didn't go wrong during the cruise. Our toilet broke (we waited for someone to come fix it for over an hour), the guest services desk was unhelpful and rude, terrible shows, and I even found several pieces of hair that were not mine on my pillow!!! As for the food- the Crown Grill was a better dining option but there is a surcharge. Lamb rack was delicious! Also heard good things about Sabatini's. However, the regular buffet, Michelangelo, and Botticelli dining rooms (anything that is free) provided bad service and even worse food. I am not a snob when it comes to traveling but if I've paid a decent amount on a cruise I would expect staff members to put a bit more effort in ensuring customer satisfaction. Also, you can expect to be constantly pestered to buy spa packages and drinks. I really do not recommend this cruise ship at all. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
There were so many disappointing aspects to this cruise, it's hard to know where to start. Nine out of ten staff and crew with whom we interacted were not interested in us, at best, to downright rude and/or uninformed. The dining ... Read More
There were so many disappointing aspects to this cruise, it's hard to know where to start. Nine out of ten staff and crew with whom we interacted were not interested in us, at best, to downright rude and/or uninformed. The dining room menu options were unappealing and the food itself was seldom better than just OK; beef was tough, turkey was undercooked, and the pasta dry. (And we are not fussy eaters!) Dining room service was extremely slow. One night we waited a full 35 minutes between courses. Our table for three had a bread basket with four dinner rolls, and we were never once offered more. When we were missing a silverware setting one night, the waiter responded to our request with "Yes, we're going to set up." When he did bring silverware approximately 5 minutes later, he offered no apology and didn't even respond with a "You're welcome" when we thanked him twice. The host responsible for seating guests at AnyTime Dining often did not accompany us to our table, but rather just pointed towards it and yelled out from a distance of 30-40 feet to a nearby waiter the table number we had been assigned. The head waiter stopped at our table just once and said, "Everything good, no?" and then immediately moved to the next table. The beds were uncomfortable and the bed linens worse than what you would expect in a discount motel chain. Our beds were made with only a fitted bottom sheet and a comforter ... no top sheet. When I complained to the Customer Service Director, he acted shocked, telling me there should be a fitted sheet, a top sheet, and a comforter. Within a half hour, a supervisor appeared at our door and we soon had top sheets. I then made it a point when talking to other passengers to ask if they had top sheets. None did, so the Customer Service Director is either an accomplished actor or doesn't have a clue as to what's happening on his watch. The bed linens were not changed nightly, as could be easily ascertained by the size and location of the holes in the sheets! As we disembarked, I tried to determine if the comforters were changed out between sailings. I seriously doubt that they are....no evidence of anything but sheets on the cabin stewards' carts, and comforters clearly visible at the foot of beds which had been stripped. The public restrooms were not always clean, and in some the bare trickle of water was insufficient for hand washing.....right under the signs advising of proper hand-washing techniques! Drinks were good and reasonably priced, but never delivered with a napkin. The drink stewards did not wipe down the table unless asked, even when they were clearly in need. The food in the casual dining areas was usually quite bad and the service lacking in these areas also. When I asked one waiter for silverware one morning, he walked about 20 feet away and stood there for nearly a minute, looking around as if he hoped someone else would come by to get my silverware or as if he didn't know where the silverware was kept. Then he turned around, reached for the silverware right behind him, brought it to me, and wordlessly put it down. He did not offer juice or coffee, or tell me that someone else would be bringing it. I was offered juice and coffee about midway through my breakfast. The door to our balcony would not stay in position unless it was locked (which of course it can't be when you're on the deck), so we got to listen to it SLAM shut and then SLAM open over and over again. I guess the same was true of neighbor's door, because we got to listen to their door, too! Not very peaceful. We asked twice for it to be fixed, but it never was. The adult pool is a total joke. It's surrounded by high walls on all sides, so the sun never really shines in this area. It wouldn't matter anyway.....there were only 10 or 12 deck chairs at this pool! There were plenty of chairs available elsewhere, but both main pool areas had a lot of noise pollution with the big-screen movies and bands that played so loudly that conversation was impossible. The Sanctuary looked nice and we had intended to spend time there until we found out that there's a daily cover charge ($20 for the full day, $10 for a half day). When I returned home, I looked for information on Princess' website about this cover charge and didn't see it disclosed anywhere. The cost of internet service is about 15% higher than Royal Caribbean's, and can only be used after paying an activation fee. The fee is admittedly nominal (about $4) but, coupled with the higher-than-expected per-minute charge, was enough of an irritant that we decided to look for internet cafes at the ports of call instead. Our ship had no available cabins at the time of sailing, and our Cruise Director announced that there were just 98 children on board....some of whom were teens. Yet the "Movie Under the Stars" featured the Muppets movie about 4 or 5 times. The one movie we might have wanted to see ("War Horse") was scheduled for 5 PM on formal night. Whose dreaming up these entertainment options for a ship where probably more than 95% of the passengers are older than 50 and fewer than 1% are under age 10? I would have thought than one afternoon showing of the Muppets would have satisfied this crowd and we could have moved on to something a little more interested for the adult population. We were given two coupon books for the three of us in our cabin. When we asked for a third, we were told there was a limit of two per cabin. Funny they don't limit the fare to two per cabin, and they expect tips from all three. (As an aside, we tipped our cabin steward but no one else....the first time ever that we have failed to pay at least the recommended gratuities. There just wasn't any service in the dining rooms that merited a tip. I doubt that it's actually the waiters' fault. With such rampant inefficiency and lack of customer service, it almost has to be attributed to a ship-wide morale issue, training, and/or staffing levels. However, I won't pay for something I didn't get and feel that those crew members who want to do a good job will migrate to ships that promote and enable good customer service.) All the pools and hot tubs were closed until we left our first port. We heard it was because the chlorine didn't get delivered in Ft. Lauderdale. Various pools and hot tubs were closed at other times without explanation. For example, on hot afternoon, only two of the four hot tubs in the main pool area were open. Both open hot tubs were extremely crowded, so it wasn't lack of demand that caused the other two to be closed. We sailed on the Grand Princess in 2001 and thought the service and food were excellent. This time both get one star out of ten. I don't think we'll ever try them again. Many passengers we talked to shared the opinion that Princess has gone WAY downhill! Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
This is a brief account of the recent cruise we took aboard the Emerald Princess. We were aboard for 20 days visiting many Caribbean Islands, it was to be a relaxing well-earned holiday with warm sunshine and good food, to Escape ... Read More
This is a brief account of the recent cruise we took aboard the Emerald Princess. We were aboard for 20 days visiting many Caribbean Islands, it was to be a relaxing well-earned holiday with warm sunshine and good food, to Escape Completely as the princess slogan proudly suggests. It was a Holiday from Hell, never to be repeated. We have to admit that this cruise has seriously questioned our love-affair with cruising and would strongly advise others not to trust Princess with their holiday dreams as they are not worthy of your custom. Our view was far from an isolated opinion, many other passengers had said that Princess had deteriorated to an intolerably low level compared to the past. Where to begin, it is difficult to explain without sounding bitter and resentful, so I will try to list the Positives and negatives......... Positives............. * Good sized cabins with more than adequate cupboard space although the shower cubicle was on the small size. * Improved smoking policy - but still falls short of modern day standards. * Comfortable Bed. * Crown Grill Restaurant was excellent for service and quality - an odd observation was that more Crew eat here than passengers even at $25 a head surcharge. * Excellent coffee in the International Cafe at $4/cup (coffee machine unreliable) * Plentiful food to satisfy most. * Ice cream parlour served free icy cream - quality low! * The visiting Entertainment Acts were generally good. Negatives............. * Food quality extremely poor at all venues except those with a cover charge- worse we have ever experienced. Another unusual observation was that no ship's Officer ever ate at the any of the main restaurants. Why? What do they know? * Economies impose by Princess are very evident everywhere. The Horizon Grill Buffet had very limited choice at lunch resulting in passengers leaving to join long queues at the Trident Grill and Piazza parlour on Sea days. Buffet restaurants on all other past ships have always been very busy, not on Emerald. * Free coffee at most restaurants was undrinkable. * Impossible to make Tea as hot water not boiling. * Inadequate number of restrooms / toilets in public areas for the volume of people - always queues. * Princess openly recommend that passenger's use their stateroom toilets and avoid using the public restrooms accepting that they have a serious capacity/ design failure. * Public area toilets were always in a mess due to the use of paper towels and never kept clean due to the lack of a resident attendant, but Princess knows best. * Inconsistent approach to hand sanitation - not available at most food preparation/eating areas. A recipe for a Norovirus outbreak when coupled with the lack of toilet hygiene standards. * Princess own rules never policed or enforced - Reserving Sunbeds caused many sea-day scuffles. Reserving Theatre seat due to ships being over capacity. Wet seat in the Buffet cafe were a constant annoyance Princess dress-code not enforced whatsoever - why have a code? * Customer services was a disgrace and a misnomer. From behind a desk they typed the request/complaint for Princess Management's amusement since they showed no desire to investigate or seek a resolution. One example being that a significant number of Brits requested a Rugby sporting event to be screened on any one of numerous 42" TV's, but were totally ignored by Princess management. Great customer service, Princess - must try better next time! * Their Broadway Show Theatre entertainment reduced to a 30 minutes - maybe this is a positive! * The Theatre is an attractive venue but far too small to satisfy the ship's capacity (640 seats for 3400 passengers) * The Promenade deck on the Emerald is so narrow that it can only accommodate chairs as normal loungers are too big, which makes the Promenade deck always empty. (Although it does maximise space for more cabins) * Low staff morale was very evident indicated by the many sour faces which became infectious to many passengers. * Gratuities are similar to other cruise lines. Our service was definitely not worthy of the guideline $460 for the cruise. (No wonder the crew could afford the surcharge at the Crown Grill) When compared to the HAL Noordam/Westerdam or the Celebrity Constellation/Millennium the Emerald Princess and its sister ships have only 20% more public space but have 70% more passengers(3400 compared to 1980). This obviously leads to congestion in public areas which is probably the cause of many of the complaints but does NOT excuse their hygiene standards. I would be one of the first to suggest that Cruising is a very good value for money experience having done many cruises in the past but the recent Princess cruise leaves us with serious concerns for our health and well-being aboard any of their vessels if the Emerald is typical of their product. I noted that RUBY Princess contracted Norovirus during the last week of our cruise, I think we were fortunate not to have experienced the same. They need to sack their management and start again with a new business model with the customer at its heart. PRINCESS ( we escaped from YOU ) CRUISES. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
The ship is wonderful and well taken care of. Food was excellent throughout although it was repeated in the buffet often and got a little boring, it was still very good. The age of the average guest on this cruise was 70-- and boy can ... Read More
The ship is wonderful and well taken care of. Food was excellent throughout although it was repeated in the buffet often and got a little boring, it was still very good. The age of the average guest on this cruise was 70-- and boy can those guys push and shove. Lots of handicapped people, including my husband! The crew and staff are well equipped for that population and were nice and smiling and respectful day after day. Entertainment bordered on average. Production shows were good and so was anything the cruise director's staff put on. Comedians weren't that good, nor the jugglers. There were some sour chamber music played often in the Piazza, and also a hula hooper and a Chinese balance spinner. Ho hum. The lounge acts were good, however. Ports were awesome-- just never enough time in them. We had some great days in Greenock Scotland, (super tour of Loch Loman and a Wool area) Reykjavik Iceland (went to Blue Lagoon and was disappointed and a wonderful day in Greenland with natives doing music and so friendly This itinerary is delightful. Internet sucked on the ship. What a waste! Embarkation and Disembarkation were well organized and easy to follow. Compliments to Princess on that. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
I booked the cruise room almost a year ago. My room is next to my parents room. When I check in, they told me my room has be change to other Deck. How can they change my room without let me know??? My kid was travel with me. It is very ... Read More
I booked the cruise room almost a year ago. My room is next to my parents room. When I check in, they told me my room has be change to other Deck. How can they change my room without let me know??? My kid was travel with me. It is very inconvenience for us. Cause they change my room, so I need to go up and down many times everyday to my parent's room. My room should be on Deck 12 and they move me to Deck 8. And they can't change back cause other people took that room already! We check in at 14:00 with 3 luggage. I only got one around 17:50. So we need to wear jeans to the dinning room. After dinner, there still one missing. I went down and found they put my luggage in the lobby. They lost my tag so I need to take it back to my room by myself. When I book the cruise, I said we don't want share table with others. But they put us with other people. And the reception told us, no more tables. If you don't like, go eat in some other restaurant! The room service line always busy, the buffet area is always hard to find seat, waiter always talk to each other, they always serve you without smile. The food is not good, the soup always too salty. I booked a SPA for my parents. But the reception told them there is no reservation made for them. The attitude is very bad. After 10-15 mins. The manager came in and checks again. She found their reservation and the manager said they need to pay more for get the service. The package I booked is $279 and they ask my parents pay $399! My kid was sick at last night. Cause they collect all the luggage already so my dad went down to ask the nurse see if they have medicine for the kids or not. The nurse said, paid $130 first then I'll answer your question. Again, very bad attitude! We took Celebrity Cruise before. Their service, room, food and show is much much better then Princess! We paid more than $3000/person. And this is what we got. We will never take Princess again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
We returned from our cruise on April 7, 2011. If and when we choose to take another cruise, we will not be choosing Princess Cruise Lines. The negatives: The food in the dining rooms was mediore at best. Same food as at the buffet but ... Read More
We returned from our cruise on April 7, 2011. If and when we choose to take another cruise, we will not be choosing Princess Cruise Lines. The negatives: The food in the dining rooms was mediore at best. Same food as at the buffet but you got to have a waiter serve it to you. One dinner was even sub-par. Wine was terribly overpriced. Elected to try their specialty restaurant Sabatini's. Appetizers were quite good, service was excellent, but the entree was completely unedible. My husband's lobster was rubber and my fish was basically raw with some disgusting batter on it. The food was our biggest disappointment, but it seemed like they were nickle and diming us for everything. $20/person per day at the Sanctuary; $40 for 30 minutes of virtual golf - no way can you play 18 holes in 30 minutes! Wine tasting was another $25/person. Bottled water - which was offered at dinner by the waiter like it was a bottle of wine = $3.50. Wonder how many people said yes to the water not knowing they were going to be billed for it?! All 4 pools have no shallow end -- primarily 5'3" - 7' deph. So I couldn't even get in the pool because I don't swim! The "Movies Under the Stars" pool started showing movies at 10:00 a.m. No headphones so the sound was blaring constantly. Movies?? Videos of concerts, etc. Even the night time movies were second rate -- very few people bothered to go. Didn't bother going to any of the performances in the main theater as there wasn't anything very exciting going on - such as, one night was a band playing Beatles music with a video of the Beatles running behind them. One of the comedians was fairly entertaining, which we went to twice in one of the lounges. The entertainment advertised as "street performers" in the Piazza were lame. A string quartet is BORING! The piano player was okay if you had 10 minutes to kill before going somewhere else, but couldn't sit there for very long without getting very bored. Hula hoop performers....could definitely done without them. Three nights were non-smoking nights at the casino. Which is stupid since the casino has a permanent non-smoking section.Now for the positives: Service was excellent! All wait people were very helpful and pleasant. The balcony mini-suite was very nice and plenty of room - including the closet with lots of hangers. We ordered the free continental breakfast in our room each morning, and our hats are off to their pastry chef. Very flakey and fresh. If you wanted to watch TV, they had current movies and TV shows. Antigua - the highlight of our trip was swimming with the Stingrays in Antigua. Such fun. About 20 of them swam around us and ate out of our hands. I'm only 5'3" so was concerned I wouldn't be able to just stand in the water, but it water was only up to my arm pits so I was very happy. Pictures they took of us turned out great!Barbados - Also, a very enjoyable side trip was in Barbados but the Safari Adventures. We took the noon tour so there were only 8 of us and we had a great tour guide -- lots of fun and rum punch!St. Thomas - Since we aren't shoppers, in St. Thomas we headed to Frenchtown for lunch. Craig & Salley's is closed on Mondays so had lunch at Hook, Line & Sinker. Lovely view -- and the best food we had the whole trip! If there's a negative about this place is that they don't have air conditioning but they keep the windows open so there is a breeze.St. Kitts -- we paid the $99/person for the scenice railway tour. It was okay but on some levels boring - not much to see. They did offer rum punch and had 3 girls that moved from car to car singing island songs.St Lucia - we hired our own taxi tour guide for $50. Turned out to be a good decision. We stopped at a roadside lunch truck for BBQ Pork and Chicken. What a beautiful island. The views were breath taking.Princess Cays - a waste of time unless you really want to give Princess more money -- rental of a pool noodle was $5/day, private cottage a mere $199. Nothing there so not really worth taking the tender to shore. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
Princess cruises, shame on you. Am an experienced cruiser, 30+ at this time, and have cruised with Princess, Celebrity, Holland America, and some other smaller cruise lines. After not cruising with Princess for 10 years, decided to give it ... Read More
Princess cruises, shame on you. Am an experienced cruiser, 30+ at this time, and have cruised with Princess, Celebrity, Holland America, and some other smaller cruise lines. After not cruising with Princess for 10 years, decided to give it another try. What a disappointment, cannot begin to tell you how horrible this ship is run. Embarkation went not too badly, but once on the ship, left to own devices. Booked Anytime Dining but quickly realised that they don't run it properly (started with no reservation for the first night) so quickly got a permanent table and time from the Maitre'd which worked out much better. Long lines for dinner every night at the dining room, not what you wanted to see on a cruise ship, and many angry people in that line. Around the pool (all 3 of them) people were saving seats from the crack of dawn, if you got up at 9 a.m. there was nowhere to sit - and if you happened to leave your pool towel in your cabin (what the hell is that all about anyway) there were no towels available around the pool decks and we were told to get them from our cabin. The worst of all was seeing several people slip and fall on the wet pool deck (3 in the space of 30 minutes) and no pool attendant in sight to help. Passengers were going to the rescue of these unfortunate people. What was the reaction from a crew member who was told that people had fallen and the deck should be wiped down "There is a sign warning that the deck is wet". Upon complaining to passenger services, the front desk manager had nothing to say but "sorry". That giant jumbotron showing movies night and day is lovely at night, but during the day it is a non stop noise machine. The sound is so loud it throbs right through you if you are sitting level with the speakers, and there is a loud hum. Nowhere to escape the noise. Food was mediocre at best. The buffet is too small for this size of ship, plates ran out quickly, food was not refilled fast enough, and salad on hot plates is not very appetizing. The food selection also was limited at the Horizon buffet. Apparently there were better selections at the Caribe, but we didn't find out about it until day 8 of a 10 day cruise. The dining room menu also was unimaginative and boring. Who wants meatloaf or fried chicken on a cruise ship. Even the deserts were not very tempting. Sabatini's specialty restaurant was the one bright spot - well run, attentive staff and a lovely menu. Food was delicious there, and that was well worth it. They are not taking hand washing seriously enough - not like other cruise lines that stand at the entrance to all dining venues with the hand wash ready to squirt in your hand. Here it was voluntary, and not too many people I saw using them. Entertainment venues were overcrowded and again, seat saving in the theatre had people going an hour in advance to get a seat. Also, the times of the shows conflicted with the most popular dining times, making it difficult to get from the dining room at the back of the ship to the theatre at the front, on a very very very long ship!!! Had a lovely mini suite with a balcony, and a great room steward, but while eating breakfast on our balcony, which is overlooked by higher decks, we were showered by a room steward washing a balcony up above us. When asked to stop, he simply replied that he had to wash the balcony - even though we were sitting there eating breakfast. There were many people on this ship who felt like I did - and consequently do not plan on cruising with Princess again. I am sorry to be so negative, but this ship really has to pull up its socks. I won't comment on the ports of call, because it's the caribbean, and all the islands have their own charm and appeal to different interests. My main beef is with the ship and not the itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
Boarding was fine - the staff was readily available and helpful. We got 2 cabins so our two kids would have more room. Our cabin steward, Elvina, was terrible. She seemed bothered whenever we asked her anything and did not do a good job ... Read More
Boarding was fine - the staff was readily available and helpful. We got 2 cabins so our two kids would have more room. Our cabin steward, Elvina, was terrible. She seemed bothered whenever we asked her anything and did not do a good job cleaning up our cabins. When my daughter had breakfast in bed, I found bread crumbs still on her sheets in the evening - Elvina did not even bother making the bed. We were assigned to anytime dining. The waiters were all terrible - they seem to think that since they were being tipped anyway, there was no reason for them to even try. The food was edible but not good. They served the same boiled chicken at lunch for 10 days!!! The entertainment on board was very limited - you either shopped or went to the casino. The shows at night were good but there was nothing to do during the day. We spent 10 days at sea watching TV in our cabins during the day!!! I had a lot more fun on HAL and RCCL. The staff at the children's club was terrible. There were a couple of heavy lazy Mexican women who did not organize any activity for the children. My daughter went to the club one evening and the staff would not do anything with her. She was stuck playing a wii game and when she wanted to change game, they were too lazy to get her another game!!! We met other parents on board and they all had similar complaints and found the staff to be extremely lazy. Princess Cays was the only fun point on this cruise. We spent the day swimming and my two kids had a great time snorkeling. We will NEVER cruise with Princess again. Next time, we might go back to RCCL or try Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Having cruised many times on various Cruise lines, the vast majority have been great with no real complaints. This last cruise was on the Emerald Princess to the Western Caribbean. It started off great until we got on the ship and ... Read More
Having cruised many times on various Cruise lines, the vast majority have been great with no real complaints. This last cruise was on the Emerald Princess to the Western Caribbean. It started off great until we got on the ship and everything went down hill from there. Although the food was good, the service for everything thing else was the worst we had experienced in all the years we have been cruising. Let's start with the cabin, which was a suite, with no towels, tissues, soap etc. We had to request everything over and over again in order to get the necessary needs of the day. Since we had no pool towels in our room, we hope to get some at the pool, but we were told to come back in two hours. We finally did get to sit and relax for a few moments when a rowdy family sat next to us and were creating all sorts of problems, We asked for their cooperation but they were pretty nasty and security was called and WE were asked to move to another location, even though we had been sitting there awhile. That night we thought we had a reservation at the restaurant but when we arrived, we were told to get to the back of the line and wait until they could seat us. That took a half an hour. Well we thought we would try our luck at the casino but when I won, they refused to pay, this happened 3 times until the other people at the table starting to complain. The table was then closed because people were winning and they did not like that. After a couple of more service issues, I requested to speak to customer services. In so many words they told us that they were sorry but would not do anything to assist us and as far as they were concerned the case was close and not to correspond or call them. Well as an Elite Member of Princess I was expecting a lot more. This was by far the worst service we had ever received anywhere on any vacation. All I can say is Bon Voyage Emerald Princess, your not Gem. We will never sail on any Princess ship again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
On our cruise July 25th, 2010 on the Emerald Princess from Fort Lauderdale we had a TOTAL power failure for 5 or 6 hours the first night out. After that, well, things just got worse. Oh, and I had made a 7:30 appointment to have my very ... Read More
On our cruise July 25th, 2010 on the Emerald Princess from Fort Lauderdale we had a TOTAL power failure for 5 or 6 hours the first night out. After that, well, things just got worse. Oh, and I had made a 7:30 appointment to have my very first acupuncture treatment ever that night. I went through with it, but imagine this; I'm lying there on the treatment table with pins stuck in me and NO LIGHTS ARE ON, NO AIR CONDITIONING, NO SHIP ENGINE, NO MEANS OF NAVIGATION AND NO LUCK! I learned later that we had drifted almost 24 miles north. Given the winds that night, we were lucky! Had the wind been from the East we COULD HAVE been driven onto the beach North of Lauderdale. Princess had flown an expert into St. Maarten to take a look at the computer/engine problems. We weren't sure we'd leave St. Maarten and if we did we weren't certain we wouldn't have engine trouble again. That first night engine failure took at least four days to get over, what with food spoilage and overworked staff to begin with and all of the passengers just plain exhausted from the excessive heat. Movies under the stars was a great idea and one night we made it ("Date Night") but why did they keep the overhead lights on? Those weren't necessary for navigation and it sure would have added to our enjoyment of the movie had it truly been "under the stars". That, and a LOT more deck chairs in that area. What makes me the angriest about the power failure, though, was that the Captain promised...PROMISED...a full explanation. We never got that. We did get a lousy $300 compensation (which I learned later that $300 is what is normally given for "Mother Nature" diversions, i.e. hurricanes, etc. ENGINE FAILURE IS NOT AN ACT OF GOD, IT'S AN ACT OF SOME STUPID HUMAN BEING or a poorly prepared ship! I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take Princess anymore! PS, nasty letter to follow! It has been said that "you get out of the cruise what you put into the cruise." BS! I didn't put a selfish corporation, a bad engine and a lying captain into MY cruise. However, when we finally did reach port (and yes, we missed going to Princess Cays), we loved the ports, all three of them (yes, Jimmy Buffetville included on Grand Turk...see, we went to see Jerry and Sally the trained conchs and believe me, that tour was worth the money.) What a great, great time on St. Maarten at Maho Beach and at St. Thomas at Megan's bay beach (what a beautiful island.) The Princess food at traditional dinner was awful! Was the ship overcrowded and understaffed? Seemed so. After all, it was built to handle 3010 passengers and we had 3418! The wait staff at our first table was pretty bad but the wait staff (2 persons not the regular 3) was great, Renat and Gabriella. We did have great weather, coming just after Bonnie and just before Colin. That's lucky. Too bad we couldn't have had a better maintained ship (and the ship was beautiful, too!) When we got off, we drove in our own car down to Miami (and on to the Everglades.) But in Miami we saw two ships; one had a water slide and the other a rock climbing wall. The Emerald didn't have either. It seems the Emerald was big, but all they did was add more cabins not more public areas of cruising fun! More money for corporate but you'd think they'd add some features for us passengers! Overall, I wonder if I'll ever travel with Princess again and most certainly not with the Emerald. Maybe next time we'll just bite the bullet and pay for a more luxurious cruise ship. Yes, engine problems happen. But with a well maintained ship they are reduced a lot and when the Captain of the ship says something I expect it to be carried out even if to say "at this time we still don't know the exact cause but here's what we do know right now". Not everyone cares what happened. But I'm sure I'm not the only one who wanted to know what happened. Even now, a week later at home, I don't know what happened. However, I have a feeling the Captain wanted to say something and was prevented by Corporate to reduce the possibility of legal action. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
EMBARKATION We boarded the Emerald Princess in Copenhagen. The boarding process was simple and efficient, considering the number of passengers involved. The total time to board was around one hour. One annoyance was that Princess ran out ... Read More
EMBARKATION We boarded the Emerald Princess in Copenhagen. The boarding process was simple and efficient, considering the number of passengers involved. The total time to board was around one hour. One annoyance was that Princess ran out of coffee and water in the waiting area. We were able to access out cabins as soon as we boarded which was a pleasant surprise. CABINS Our cabin was an interior on the Baha deck. From the time we arrived there were problems. The suction for the commode did not work. It was repaired on four different occasions. We experienced a loss of ventilation for a twelve-hour period during the second night on board. After four days of problems and numerous calls to customer service, we were able to reach someone in authority who moved us to another cabin on the Aloha deck. The new cabin had no problems. Talking to other passengers we discovered that numerous cabins had problems with their commode suction. The Emerald Princess is a new ship. Problems as described above should be a rarity. SHIP LAYOUT/CONDITION One of the most egregious problems encountered during our cruise was the ship's lack of public area spaces. With over 3200 passengers on board and the inability to use the outside decks due to weather, there were people everywhere. The public areas seemed to be the same size as the Diamond and Sapphire Princess. Both of these ships have 750-800 less passengers. In order to get a good seat for shows and lectures in the Princess Theater and the Explorers Lounge, one needed to arrive a full hour prior to the event. On other ships that we have sailed, arriving thirty minutes ahead of time was more than adequate. One last observation: getting to the Bottecelli Dining Room was nearly impossible. Many folks needed the entire cruise before they found their way to the space. Poorly laid out at best. Finally, the temperature inside the ship was far too warm most of the time. I heard more than a few complaints about the heat. SERVICE The ships crew was staffed by people from 42 countries. Cultural differences were evident. Our cabin attendant and dining room waiters (Philippines) were superb. Friendliness and service was consistently excellent. This cannot be said about the Horizon Buffett. Many of the wait staff were form Eastern Europe. Service ranges from excellent to downright poor. Many staff members displayed "attitude", especially during the breakfast time. Many days we had to get our own coffee and juice while the waiters stood around and watched. ENTERTAINMENT The entertainment offered was poor at best. The production shows were definitely not geared to mature audiences. We walked out of two of the three shows presented. There was an opera singer who was OK and the requisite Magician. The only saving grace was the comedy and (lecture) of Kevin Hughes. He was excellent! Other lecturers put us to sleep. The lady who did the port lectures spoke at length on the history of the area but offered little practical advice (i. e. where to exchange money, transportation, shopping etc.) PORT CALLS The ports selected (Oslo, Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin, Reykjavik, Greenland, and Newfoundland) were excellent. However, the time in many of the ports was so brief, that there was little time to explore on one's own. Additionally, tendering in Edinburgh and Greenland was an adventure by itself. We waited over an hour in line waiting to tender back from Greenland. Due to weather, we missed St. John's Newfoundland altogether. While severe weather in the North Atlantic is not unusual this time of year, Princess might have had a contingency plan in place such as maybe a stop in Bermuda or Princess Keys. FOOD The food on board was not up to Princess standards. We cruised on Golden Princess to Alaska in July, and the food was noticeably better. The main dining room vegetables were consistently undercooked. Desserts ranged from outstanding to not editable. The Horizon Buffet was average at best. A noticeable exception was the Pizza Bar and Hamburger Line. Both were very good. However, since both places were exposed to the elements, one didn't eat there very often. DEBARKATION The debarkation process could have been improved by placing a crew member in each assembly area to keep traffic flowing and passengers under control. There was a great deal of pushing and shoving in assembly areas. We were told to be available for leaving the ship at 7 AM but were not allowed to go ashore until 7:45 AM. OVERALL IMPRESSION We will cruise Princess again but never on Emerald Princess or any other Princess ship this large. It just wasn't worth the hassle. Other smaller Princess ships are more to our liking. I do not recommend this ship to anyone that is uncomfortable with large crowds. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
I don't know why this took me so long to write. I did send a survey to Princess and told them how dissatisfied my husband and I were when we took this cruise. We sailed October 31- Nov. 10, 2008. Needless to say we paid a hefty ... Read More
I don't know why this took me so long to write. I did send a survey to Princess and told them how dissatisfied my husband and I were when we took this cruise. We sailed October 31- Nov. 10, 2008. Needless to say we paid a hefty price for this Southern Carribean trip and we were so excited since it was our first time on Princess and all we heard were great things. Let me start with the positives: the waiters we had during dinner were fantastic, the room steward was good. The food at dinner was good. The ship was clean and beautiful. As the days proceeded we realized there was something very wrong on this ship. Or things had really changed since our last cruise, which we took a few years back on Carnival. There was never any entertainment after the late seating...and I mean never. There was one comedian and it was at one scheduled time therefore it was standing room only...we were standing outside the open lounge. We went to the specialty restaurant and the food was good...when the bus boy asked us what we wanted to drink I requested a glass of wine and the others (3) requested soft drinks...he smirked and said coke? ice tea? Like it was beneath him to serve us soft drinks. The main waiter asked for a tip at the end of the dinner!!! We were speechless..and like idiots gave him a tip (talk about no class) We arrived at one of the ports and we waited over 1hr in one of the theaters to be called off the ship, it was so disorganized. The the next port people were jammed in stairs and gangway and the cruise passengers were yelling at each other because they thought we were getting ahead of them when it was a crew member that sent us in that direction...I am surprised fist fights did not break out! This was our 8th cruise and I have never seen anything like this. The staff on the ship was rude, inattentive (pool deck, tour desk, buffet,etc) you had to pay for sushi, ice cream, etc.) It seemed like we were always looking for something to do or something to eat. One of the tours that we took in St. Kitts was a train ride...the train derailed. When we returned to the ship a lot of us were requesting some kind of compensation...they were SO rude and did not want to give us any kind of help. To make a long story short, my husband and I went to a cruise show at our local AAA office and there was a cruise rep from Princess. I went up to him very nicely and told him how I loved their itineraries but that my husband refuses to set foot on another Princes cruise ship because of the experience we had on our trip...I did not even tell him the name of the ship and he said and I quote " it was the Emerald Princess right?" I said yes and he said, "we cleaned house on the ship" I cannot believe that Princess did not write back to us and the other couple that was with us, after looking at the complaints that we sent. A good company would have made good for it in some way or other. SO FOLKS THE REASON I'M WRITING THIS NOW IS BECAUSE I JUST RETURNED FROM A CARNIVAL CRUISE THAT WAS EXCELLENT AND CRUISING IS STILL THE SAME AS WE DID BACK BEFORE WE WENT ON PRINCESS. THE FACT THAT PRINCESS KNEW ABOUT THE PROBLEM REALLY INFURIATED US...BECAUSE THEY CHOSE TO IGNORE IT!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2008
Just returned from the worst cruise I've ever had. Sailed on Princess Emerald over Thanksgiving and I'll never sail them again. Have read many of the reviews about Princess and the Emerald, and here is what I thought. Regarding ... Read More
Just returned from the worst cruise I've ever had. Sailed on Princess Emerald over Thanksgiving and I'll never sail them again. Have read many of the reviews about Princess and the Emerald, and here is what I thought. Regarding embarkation - it went very smoothly. There is a reason Princess tells people that the ship won't board until 1:00 - why do people show up at 11:30 and then complain that they had to wait? The staff was very efficient and we had our bags in the room shortly after boarding. We arrived at the terminal at 1:15 and walked right on the ship. The maitre'd was not available to meet with people until 3:00 for dining changes. What's the rush? Show up early and sit or stand until 12:45. It's up to you - but doesn't make sense to me. Everything we received from Princess recommended that you arrive after 2 to get on board quickly. Disembarking went smoothly; we waited until our assigned time, showed up at the theatre and walked right off the ship. Bags were located and a cab hailed down by the Porter. Now, regarding the cruise itself... For the first three nights I didn't even know what I was ordering in the dining room. They spent so much time trying to be clever with the names of their food, they forgot to add taste. Horrible food. It got better, but that's only because of Maine lobster and crab. Otherwise, I can only remember my excitement to see a peanut butter and banana sandwich on the buffet. Yes, that was exciting. The buffet is the worst I've ever seen - in food quality and design. There is no "in" or "out" - people bumping into each other, all lost. In the morning there were always at least 6 people standing in the middle of an aisle waiting for omelets or eggs. And I've never seen soup and lunchmeat for breakfast. On the final day they didn't even have oatmeal! I ordered room service breakfast most days and ate cold cereal. Had breakfast twice in the dining room and WAS NOT impressed. The poached eggs were overdone and the french toast the worst I've ever had. Horrible syrup, as well. The coffee is HORRIBLE. Don't forget to tip your room service staff. The sandwiches on the room service menu were GREAT and the french fries were fantastic. In the buffet, however, salads during lunch were tasteless. Our balcony room on Caribe was lovely and I loved the oversized balcony, but we seldom used it because of the smokers! I would think Princess would designate a smoking side of the ship like Royal Caribbean. What a shame! The design of the ship itself left much to be desired. On decks 5, 6 and 7 you had to go up or down stairs to get back to your destination. How horrible for anyone handicapped. Our cabin steward, John, made our trip. He was delightful. Our water was mediocre - messed up orders regularly, but had a nice personality. We were surprised with his incompetence since he's been with Princess for 12 years AS A WAITER. Hmmmmmmmm. The head waiter was arrogant. The maitre'd was a joy. I injured my back prior to the cruise, so was shipbound and couldn't partake in the excursions and found virtually NOTHING to do on this ship. The activities are horrible. The MUTS was not used, as the majority of the nights they played football games. During the day you couldn't see the screen. This ship is the same size as the Brilliance of the Seas, which we LOVED - but this one felt like a sardine can. People everywhere - and RUDE people on sea days that used extra chairs to put their feet on, leaving NO place for others to sit. And these were the senior citizens who should have known better! The pools are too small, the hot tubs always full. There was no place to escape the sun near the pool decks; there were far too few lounge chairs in the shaded areas. The drink prices are way too high with no daily specials. The lounges seemed empty most of the time - and I'm sure the $7.50 cost of a drink was one of the reasons! We ate at Sabatini's - the lobster was horrible. Caribbean lobster - tough and some kind of weird "sauce" with it. YUK! And.. last but not least.. the top heavy nature of this ship made it the roughest ride we've EVER been on with calm seas. Would I recommend this ship? NO. Will I ever sail Princess again? NO WAY! And, thank you, Princess, for making us rethink ever taking another cruise! Two of our three shore excursions the group took started an hour late and ended an hour early. I inquired with the desk as to why - and never got an answer. We paid $109 for the St. Thomas full day sail - were shorted in time and never got to St. John's beach. In Aruba we were supposed to have 2 snorkel stops - but they were 20 minutes long each. Way overpriced; booked as a 6 hour excursion, it was changed to 5 when we got on board and in actuality was 4 hours. We paid far more than the 4 hour tour and got no renumeration for this shortage. The hypnotist act was fantastic; two of our 15 traveling together ended up on stage. Amazing! We traveled with novice cruisers and they won't ever sail again. Princess Cays was pretty but over crowded and the Chef's buffet was lousy. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being horrible and 10 being fantastic, this is our first 1-2 cruise. What a waste of hard earned vacation time and money. I would like to thank Jessica, the Acupuncturist, however, for the best $800 worth of treatment I could have gotten. I wish I had gone to her in the beginning; she had me pain free and walking after 3 treatments and I've sought out a Chinese acupuncturist here at home to continue. She was fantastic. Princess was not. Read Less
Sail Date November 2007
I've only sailed with Princess once before but it will be a cold day in Alaska before I ever cruise with them again. Regarding embarkation - it went very smoothly once we were inside the building. But I've never seen so many ... Read More
I've only sailed with Princess once before but it will be a cold day in Alaska before I ever cruise with them again. Regarding embarkation - it went very smoothly once we were inside the building. But I've never seen so many pushy people before in my life and most of them seemed to be seniors. One gentleman faked a bad limp with a cane and got them to take him on in a wheelchair. But amazingly when we would arrive at a port he would be walking normal and switching his cane from hand to hand as he strolled along. Shame on him. Disembarking went smoothly. We arrived at our assigned location and we were off the ship on about 15 minutes, had our luggage and we were on our way. As far as the cruise goes.............where to start. The first night in the dining room was terrible and it seemed as though the wait staff were all new because no one knew what was going on. I figured since it was the first night it was okay. But the second night was the same. We couldn't get our drinks (ice tea) refilled and another couple at our table went an hour before they got anything at all. When I asked our waiter about drinks and refills he gave me the excuse that another dining room had opened at the same time with another 1000 people in it. So I approached the Captain or our section and asked him what was going on and if our waiter and assistant were having to help elsewhere. He said no and that he would have a talk with them. After that our drinks were refilled without having to track someone down. But the food was terrible with not much taste at all. And our waiter could not explain what the evenings meals were. When I asked him about a dish he would just say "that's fish" or "that's pork". And the paring of the vegetables for the meals were supposed to be prepared especially for that dish. It's funny how asparagus was served with almost every meal along with quartered potatoes. On to the buffet............I've never seen anything so ridiculous in my life. The lines started at both ends with people meeting at the middle. There were people sometimes pushing me from both sides and people reaching in from behind me to get items from the buffet. And the selection of food was terrible. Every morning there several types of fish, lunch meat and soup. I like to try new things but not like this. I could never get eggs cooked properly. The egg whites were always runny and clear, not white. The french toast was hard and crusty and the syrup didn't taste good at all. They always had hash browns available, but were only cooked on the outside with the middle being undercooked. And since this is a buffet you would think you could get your own drinks, but they wanted you towait until the wait staff came around to get you something. Most of the time I was done eating before I could get anything to drink. And they wouldn't put out salt and pepper shakers. You either had to season your food before you sat down or ask for little packets from the wait staff. As far as lunch........no better than breakfast. we finally gave up on the formal dining room when someone at a table behind us kept passing out and it took over 20 minutes to get medical staff there. And immediately after that they quarantined the section next to us as they wheeled a older lady out and covered up the table with a tablecloth. Then they had someone come in and put on a hazmat suit and clean it up. As we were leaving the were putting the quarantine tape around our area. We found out that there had been an outbreak of the noro-virus. We finally resorted to eating burgers and fries for lunch and for dinner and we went to the Crown Grill twice. The first time we had a waiter named Greg and he was fantastic and the food was what you would expect from an upscale restaurant. He was very informative and explained the entire menu to us. And then had the kitchen prepare a special arrangement of side dishes and a sampling of desserts. But the second time it seemed as though we had someone who was filling in and not informed about the meals. The food was okay, but not what we would have expected for paying the additional $25 per person. MUTS was okay, but nothing exciting as there were a lot of football games on. Drinks were way over priced. Who wants to pay $7.50 for a drink? It's no wonder the bars were mostly empty. The shows were okay, but nothing spectacular. Most nights it was obvious that most of the performers were lip syncing. The best part of our trip was the shore excursions. Granted they were over-priced, but they were a lot of fun. We wanted to use the hot tubs at night but were informed that all pools were closed at 10pm. Most cruises I've been on have at least one area that's open late, so we didn't get to take advantage of a late night soak in the hot tubs as we usually do. I'm not sure who thought up the layout of this ship but it could have been planned better. We had an older couple at our dining room table with us and we all hit it off really well. When we would leave the dining room, we'd have to take the stairs or the elevator to get to the next floor because you can't go through the ship on every deck. This made it hard for the older couple because the elevators were so busy right after dinner and they'd have to wait for one to open up. I sure hope someone from Princess reads these reviews. And I hope it's someone in charge somewhere because they really need to make some changes with this ship and it needs to start with the staff. I felt like they knew they were going to get their tips because it's put on our cabin bill. But this was the first time I've ever removed the tips and I felt it was the right thing to do. Not wanting to penalize our cabin steward, we gave her cash for the entire period. I know Princess is owned by Carnival, but I'm going back to Carnival after this cruise. I've had better service from a Denny's than on this cruise and it's consistently good service. Maybe Princess should send their wait staff there for training? Our cabin was nice but not as big as I would have expected for a balcony. And we always had the smell of cigarettes or cigars when we on the balcony and the hallway wreaked on the cigarette smoke. But on a good note our cabin steward was great. Read Less
Sail Date November 2007
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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