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332 Princess Emerald Princess Cruise Reviews

I've been on several cruise lines (Celebrity, Carnival, Disney, Holland America, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean) the this was my favorite cruise line and favorite ship (been on the Emerald 3 times). But the romance is over. Something ... Read More
I've been on several cruise lines (Celebrity, Carnival, Disney, Holland America, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean) the this was my favorite cruise line and favorite ship (been on the Emerald 3 times). But the romance is over. Something happened and it just wasn't up to it's usual standards. I will say that the entertainment was outstanding - possibly the best. The two major production numbers were Broadway quality but, it seems, undervalued by many of the audience. The Cruise Director and staff worked overtime because they were short by 2 staff and did their best. I don't know what happened with one leaving but the other was totally predictable by Princess as she disembarked in Honolulu to begin her vacation. As this was a two week cruise involving two 4-5 day stretches at sea, there were not enough activities. Partly due, I expect, to small staff, but also possibly due to not having available areas for events (trivia, Pictionary, etc.) since the space was being used for private functions or movies. The Explorer Lounge, frequent home to trivia and game shows, was very cold for most of the cruise and after many, many complaints they finally turned off the a/c nine days into the cruise. Some passengers actually wore their winter coats or brought blankets to the events there. Horizon food (buffet) was terribly repetitive and limited in options. Often it appeared to be left-overs from day to day. And why are the plates so hot??? Evidently, chocolate milk is like gold. My son has special needs and his routine includes chocolate milk with his pills. It was an adventure finding any. While the dining room servers brought him a glassful every night, the buffet seemed baffled about how to handle the request and some seemed to not even know what it was, offering hot chocolate (made with water) with a side of ice cubes. Sometimes they required a drink card, sometimes not. It always took awhile as they had to go to Mars to get chocolate milk. Why it isn't stocked in the buffet kitchen is a mystery to me. In any other cruise, it's offered in small self-serve cartons at the buffet. Once we complained at a passenger forum, the problem was resolved in that we no longer had to explain what we wanted but the time it took indicated it was still being kept in a secret hiding place in the bowels of the ship. One of the things I hated about Norwegian was that I felt like I'd spent a week at the mall due to constant "selling". Sadly, Princess is now also in the business of marketing junk on board. Our mailbox was inundated with junk mail about spa deals or sales. The upper Piazza was often blocked by tables hawking cheap watches and T-shirts. Look, Princess, if you are going to sell stuff please make sure it's quality stuff. It makes you look bad when 2 out of 2 watches fail within an hour. (We didn't; expect much for a $10 watch but we just wanted ones that would last the two weeks fo the trip as ours were left behind.) Okay, now this is big: There was a garment sale in the dining room, advertised as 70% off. Tables were piled with mens' and women's clothes. Now one would think that meant everything was 70% off. Wrong. At the checkout the cashier said that the men's polo shirt was REGULAR PRICE. "Not everything is on sale?" I asked. "No." Out in the Piazza shop the same men's polo shirt was also regular priced with an offer for a second one at a discount - cheaper to buy two out there. I find this deceitful. Shame on you, Princess. Boarding and disembarking was quick and well organized. Tendering ran smoothly. So my romance with Princess is over. The integrity, service and quality is slipping. Now Royal Caribbean, I guess you're my favorite now. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Second time out on the 15 day cruise to Hawaii....especially like the long days a sea and familiarity with the Islands too. The Pacific was a little less than generous with the amount of sunny days, but then again, it is January. The ship ... Read More
Second time out on the 15 day cruise to Hawaii....especially like the long days a sea and familiarity with the Islands too. The Pacific was a little less than generous with the amount of sunny days, but then again, it is January. The ship enjoyed a good bit of rocking and rolling but gradual for the most part. Stabilizers are king. Cruise wise everything was on time, on schedule, well described by the Captain daily. The Emerald Princess is looking and feeling a bit tired. The staterooms are in need of sprucing up. The TV's are +6 years old technology. The carpeting, curtains etc., though not horrid, are dated. The bed is heavenly. We found that the ship is due for dry dock shortly which would explain the rust spots on the balcony----highly unusual. Additionally the dining/hospitality crew seemed at odds with the menu....confused and unaware of the ingredients and prep for some of the most obvious entrees. And for us anytime diners (the greatest invention since John Paul Jones) the dining room was the full length of the ship from our state room.......6x/day got a little tedious. The waiters and Captains used to offer us their take on various menu items. Neither happened at all. For the most part, however, the food offerings were good, a little lacking in variety especially fish dishes, but served attractively and in a timely manner. The Crown Grill and Curtis Stone's SHARE remain the top of the line on the Princess line or any line for that matter. Well worth the few extra dollars. We seldom do ship tours, but on this outing we did want to see Waimea Canyon on Kauaii and took the tour. Glad we did. Top drawer hostess/driver. On the other hand we took a tour on Hawaii which indicated some sort of "foodie" slant at three fabulous houses in the Hilo area. The houses were fabulous, The food not foodie fare....far from it. Not a keeper and very expensive. The entertainment on the Emerald features Tiki Dave and his wife Leialoha, a husband and wife tag team, who perform songs of the islands (and others) and during the day they teach anyone who wants to learn how to play the uke and/or the hula. They also host a daily Hawaiian arts and crafts seminar with purchasable yarn, beadwork, lei material etc. t hat proved very popular. Other entertainers were typical cruise fare. Homogenized stage shows, good solo bar background performers, the occasional magician or comedian. One thing Princess has always been noted for is consistency. The Emerald on this cruise showed some signs of wear, tear and change needed. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We have cruised with Princess on numerous ocassions. We also have sailed to Hawaii over the Christmas Holidays. There were many younger passengers who, for the most part, behaved very well. Actually, the older adults were the problem ... Read More
We have cruised with Princess on numerous ocassions. We also have sailed to Hawaii over the Christmas Holidays. There were many younger passengers who, for the most part, behaved very well. Actually, the older adults were the problem when getting in and out of the elevators. They were rude and piled their way into the elevators before allowing the guests to exit. We felt the entertainment was very good during our cruise. There was one fellow who pretended to be a musician/comedian who wasn't funny at all. We had some deaf passengers onboard and this entertainer at one point made fun of them and actually mocked their way of communicating with each other. The audience didn't appreciate this. Our cabin steward was probably the best we have ever had. So friendly, nice and attentive. We selected AnyTime Dining which turned out very nice. We met with two other couples who were fabulous. We stayed away from the constant ads from Effy and their sales. The food in The Horizon Court was good, not great, as in the past. We enjoined The British Pub Lunch. The captain was the very best we have ever experienced. Sharon, the naturalist, was terrific!! Overall, this was a very nice cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
My wife and I chose this cruise line after sailing with Carnival the past five years. The Emerald Princess is a decent ship, however, she is starting to show her age. First things first. Be aware that this Cruise has guests that are ... Read More
My wife and I chose this cruise line after sailing with Carnival the past five years. The Emerald Princess is a decent ship, however, she is starting to show her age. First things first. Be aware that this Cruise has guests that are averaging late 60s to late 70s in age. Therefore, you will see quite a few scooters, wheelchairs, and walkers. One thing that I will say as a positive with this cruise, is that getting on the ship was extremely easy. Our room was E419, which is supposed to be and obstructed view. However, the obstruction was actually minimal. One of the other things that I will mention in more detail is the cabin size. Normally, we get a balcony room. However, this time (because it was our first cruise with Princess) we decided to get a window or ocean view. This actually saved us quite a few dollars, because usually you hear that people are only in their rooms to sleep. This is not always true. After you have been on several of these cruises, sometimes you want to just stay in your room and relax. Now the room. Our room was much smaller than on a similarly equipped Carnival ship. Also about the room. To our right just outside are the lifeboats. The staff decided to paint the underside of the railing, which caused them to use hammers and scrapers, making a ton of noise. The tapping became so annoying that I had to actually go down to guest services and ask them if they could hold off with the tapping until we went ashore. They did not guarantee that the workers would stop, but eventually they did. As we arrived in Honolulu (our first port), we could hear them tapping again but we were leaving the ship anyway. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise because we had cruised Princess before and enjoyed it. We prefer longer cruises- 15 or more days or back-to-back. This was 15 day round trip LA to Hawaii to LA. The Emerald needs spruced up- a bit shabby. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had cruised Princess before and enjoyed it. We prefer longer cruises- 15 or more days or back-to-back. This was 15 day round trip LA to Hawaii to LA. The Emerald needs spruced up- a bit shabby. The entertainment was hit or miss. We liked about half of the entertainment. It was rough weather in December- cool and windy. Some nights it was cold- of course not the fault of the ship. I would have spent time at the pool and the around the deck music, etc. But not this trip. (the last third had some sunny "deck days". So, what to do- endless trivia games. The cruise director is 25 year-old Kaylee- acted like a giggling 14 year-old. Her pal, Ruby the gem did not shine for me. Avoided the morning show on the TV. The Magic To Do show was self-indulgent junk - apparently written and staged by the magician. I talked to no one who liked it- most said boring, stupid, and poorly staged. Just a waste of time- caused us to decide against going to the production shows which we usually liked. The Wheelhouse was a good place to dance, Skywalker as well. Cabin was fine- C327- we had a larger than usual balcony. Food was average. Staff not quick to act when something was not right- cold food, etc. Didn't seem to know what to do (new or last-chance?) Excursions through Princess- long tour to Waimea Canyon- bus 35 minutes late (driver kept telling us how late she had been- followed by laughter), so she dropped one stop and hurried us through the others- no one happy. The other long tour was in a crowded van- this one was a tour of various falls. Again, hurry up- over promising- should take a few things off the schedule and have a better tour. Usually get EZ-Air boarding passes from passenger desk- not now- must use internet minutes- trying to sell more minutes? Not nice- oh, by the way- booked with air months before trip- airplane seats for a couple- middle seats, different rows. Princess must book at the last minute to save money- take the seats that are left- will not EZ-Air again. Quite a few of the staff had trouble understanding simple questions except " can I have a margarita" I have been on Costa, Royal Caribbean, NCL, Carnival, and Princess. I am platinum. Would not pick Princess over the others after this trip. Princess will be in the mix, but not the preferred cruise line that it had been in the last few years. Hey, what happened to Princess playing cards available at the passenger desk- now you can buy regular (not "Princess") cards in the casino. So, shabby ship, hit or miss entertainment, poor tours, and a ship that wants to nickel and dime the passengers. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I want to start by saying this was our 3rd Princess cruise and we have always had an excellent experience. Until now. Not sure if it was because it was a short 4 day (San Pedro to Santa Barbara to Ensenada) but it was a ... Read More
I want to start by saying this was our 3rd Princess cruise and we have always had an excellent experience. Until now. Not sure if it was because it was a short 4 day (San Pedro to Santa Barbara to Ensenada) but it was a disappointment. We booked it last minute as we had been in Vegas to warm up and decided to spend 5 of our 10 days on the ocean instead of the rest in Begas or home in snow (Montana) It was warm, sunny and beautiful the entire trip. The Good: Transfers to/from airport via bus went smooth. Embarkation was amazing, fast, easy. Food was very good ...if in school i would give the buffet a B and dining room an A-. Room steward was excellent! We never had an interior cabin before due to my claustrophobia and tendency for sea sickness. Booked last minute it was all they had. Surprised at overall size & lots of mirrors to make it feel bigger. Ship itself was in good shape (except a leak over elevators which took me 15min to find a cruise person to report it to) though smaller than any other ship we had been on. Bed was excellent and we slept well. Dining staff on last evening were subperb. Good mix of talent (especially violinists) and non crowded spaces abound. Spa was great i got a massage 1 day and a Pedicure the next. Excellent both times though they always try to sell you products (which i always buy) The Cons: There were plenty. 1st day sitting in bar wait staff more concerned with talking to each other/bar staff than to come take our order. 2nd day identical, cleaning tables (though plenty were empty) and in over 5min still never came to take our order (not busy time) we literally got up and left. Muster drill was a joke. Indoors, completely disorganized and honestly I wouldn’t trust the ship in an emergency if they can’t even run a proper drill. No one paying attention, monkeys running the circus. Dismal. Dining- Twice at assigned dining room we had to move to another dining room on another floor. Staff seemed inconvenienced by serving us “any time” diners in their dining room. Crappy dark table first night (literally could not read menu without cell phone flash light) 2nd time directly behind busy station with tons of noise / dishes etc did not make for a nice dining experience. They would not move us even though plenty of empty tables. Wine steward would not give us proper red wine glasses and an argument ensued and then they finally relented to give us water goblets) 3rd dining night , Only after we attended the wine tasting and the maitre D recognized us did we get to eat in our dining room(where the wait staff was EXCELLENT and we had the service we came to expect from Princess also amazingly they could find and allow us proper wine glasses. ;) But since 2 out of 3 nights were awful I couldn’t give more than 3 stars. No gala / formal night Bathroom was tiny as expected but a 6’ man in that shower is comical. They allow smoking in the casino and on deck (which included some old foggies puffing on cigars) while trying to relax in pool area. Not cool. Pictures cost $25 per sheet with no reasonable discount pkg. Overall we felt most staff in dining, bars, buffet areas were too casual / not attentive and lack of supervision was obvious. On all previous cruises you could definitely find/see someone in charge that made sure passengers were being taken care of. Not here. Not ever. We chalked this whole experience up to “Never again” for the casual/short cruise. Booked another 10day for the following month. If not improved we will definitely switch back to Holland American (which we took twice between other Princess cruises) We did not do any excursions (not much to do in Santa Barbara and well...Mexico and tourist safety is not really working so we took a pass in Ensenada and enjoyed the empty sun decks. ) Princess gets 1 more chance in our book. Great cruise for sun and relaxing as long as SERVICE is not a priority for you . Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
You should know you will be milked for gratuity at every corner, its ludicrous. The shower is scorching hot 90% of the time. The activities are not designed for all age groups, they are either designed for kids or senior citizens. The ... Read More
You should know you will be milked for gratuity at every corner, its ludicrous. The shower is scorching hot 90% of the time. The activities are not designed for all age groups, they are either designed for kids or senior citizens. The excursion was great; however, it took up most of the time we had on the port. The port time was horrific, we arrived late and only had 1/2 on the first day and 1/2 a day on the second day because we had to leave before 1. It was very disappointing. Nevertheless, the tenders used to get us to the port were efficient. The cabin was nice. I highly recommend you get a cabin with a balcony, its worth the experience. Dinning, the food was mediocre and the service was less than average. Our personal wait staff during our dinner were great. They got to know us and did everything to accommodate us. However, because of the length of time on the port I would not take this cruise again to Cabo. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Chose the California departure for a Thanksgiving holiday. We have previously been on Celebrity, Norwegian and Carnival. We had an obstructed view cabin which was well-laid out. We did not find the food, entertainment or service to be ... Read More
Chose the California departure for a Thanksgiving holiday. We have previously been on Celebrity, Norwegian and Carnival. We had an obstructed view cabin which was well-laid out. We did not find the food, entertainment or service to be anywhere close to what we have had on five Norwegian cruises. Key card wouldn't work upon embarkation so one person was stuck for 30 minutes waiting for security. Disembarking this morning was a fiasco - because of the 5 day cruise, persons were expected to carry their own luggage, leave the room by 8 and assemble at various locations at specific times based on deck and cabin number. Nothing seemed to work - waited in line for over an hour - the officer present at the theater could only explain the delay by stating immigration was looking at passports. Dining room food was OKAY but often slow - saw several other diners get up and leave one night. Buffet was just OKAY as well - tables were more available than on other ships - that is about the only positive that comes to mind about the entire Princess experience! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We’ve been on 8 prior Princess Cruises and several cruises with other lines. We had been impressed with Princess Cruises over the other lines until our recent cruises. Particularly their dining experience had been exceptional. The ... Read More
We’ve been on 8 prior Princess Cruises and several cruises with other lines. We had been impressed with Princess Cruises over the other lines until our recent cruises. Particularly their dining experience had been exceptional. The main disappointment with this cruise is that they have removed all the premium dinners from the main dining room. Now if you want lobster, crab legs, or scallops, you have to pay more onboard to go to a “specialty” dining room for $20-$30 per person. The waiter service in the main dining room is still outstanding; the wait staff is very attentive, responsive, and skilled. The food served is good, but lacking the special meals. The entertainment was good, but we’ve seen the production shows on previous cruises. The featured entertainment was very good. We’d seen them, but had updated routines. The excursion we selected was very nice. We did a winery tour that included a souvenir bottle of wine. We would do that tour again. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Decided to take two back to back short cruises to help get to Elite but never again. Dining time was move up to 5:15pm but the doors were locked so no one could enter until that time. This resulted in a line that extended all the way into ... Read More
Decided to take two back to back short cruises to help get to Elite but never again. Dining time was move up to 5:15pm but the doors were locked so no one could enter until that time. This resulted in a line that extended all the way into the casino every night. By the time everyone was seated we didn’t get our appetizers until 5:55! Several times we had to skip dessert to make it to a show. Next, even though Princess has rules, there were so many children under 8yrs old unaccompanied in every hot tub that adults could not get in. Many times there were young parents with their infant toddlers in diapers in the hot tubs. Also, on crowded dance floors in bars there were young children. An accident waiting to happen. When doing back to back cruises, passengers have to depart, wait in long lines some outside even when raining to go through customs. Even the passengers who were already through customs were forced to wait until everyone had been cleared. This took over an hour. Need better procedure! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This was my 8th cruise with my wife, but my first time on Princess. We booked it last minute but the timing was right and we knew we wanted to try out Princess. This would only be one second time sailing on the Pacific and were excited to ... Read More
This was my 8th cruise with my wife, but my first time on Princess. We booked it last minute but the timing was right and we knew we wanted to try out Princess. This would only be one second time sailing on the Pacific and were excited to see Cabo San Lucas on the itinerary. Embark- Ship came from a 28 day sail so we couldn't board till mid afternoon. They assigned boarding times but nobody paid attention to it. Otherwise we walked right on and the room was ready to go. Ship- Ship was pretty nice, Italian themed and the upkeep was pretty good. The clubs and bars are very nice. Theater is a good size but seating is tight. Cabin-We booked last minute so we had a veranda on Deck 15, front Port Side. The sea was extremley rough on the return heading north. ( we expected the movement, but it was ROUGH). The balcony was spacious and the cabin was standard, nothing special, super small bathroom. Shower backed up on the two days we were anchored off Cabo. The Princess beds are very nice, if you like the a soft pillow type bedding. Dining- The food was my least favorite part and my least favorite of any ship I have been on. Buffet selection was not good at all. I also thought the quality of food over all was fair to poor. Entertainment and Activities- I tried to do some research on Princess and the Emerald prior to but I couldn't find much on it. I find this to be a cross between an Ocean Liner and a Cruise Ship. This was more of a relaxation ship without so many things to do. The have a basketball court and putting green but that's it. They haver an upsell area called the Sanctuary, its nice, lounge chairs are very comfy, again all about relaxation. They have some industry standard game shows and events but not many and the staff needs quite a bit of work host these. The production show entertainment value is low, but I live in Vegas so I rate it 2.5/5. Service- Service was fine, no issues. Nothing stood out good or bad. Dining Service was a hit and miss. We chose anytime dining, some nights our meals came out fast, some slow. Some nights they pulled our chairs out for us, some nights they didn't. Cabo- We did a land and sea tour which was fun and very educational. Debark- We were never assigned a group so we chose one and they were behind by about 15 minutes. We walked off near our timeframe. Overall we had a good time, and would go again on Princess but it would not be our first choice. We did not travel with kids but there were several hundred aboard, mostly teens. The average age on the ship was north of 50 despite the holiday. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Wanted to see the Samoa Islands and the French Polynesia islands. The exit to the Club Fusion Lounge were blocked by Bingo sign ups and people could not exit Club Fusion. Bad set up! Also using the Piazza for events is totally ... Read More
Wanted to see the Samoa Islands and the French Polynesia islands. The exit to the Club Fusion Lounge were blocked by Bingo sign ups and people could not exit Club Fusion. Bad set up! Also using the Piazza for events is totally unacceptable. People standing on all levels of the stairways make it so unsafe If just one person missteps, they would take down dozens of others. The Piazza is just way too small for events. No seating and folks using the stairs to watch. There was only one Emergency Drill before we left port. Unorganized by crew. Lifejackets were not worn and guests took much too long to assemble. The very large scooters drove way to fast on the passage ways on the Promenade Deck. Since many areas are blocked by selling merchandise, people walking, scooters, walkers for handicapped folks, etc. all trying to maneuver around all the merchandise displays and tables. AGAIN UNSAFE!!! We are Platinum Members and would like to see these areas of unsafe conditions remedied. Would appreciate a feedback from Princess executives. Thank you!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was my husband's and I first cruise celebrating an anniversary. We live in LA and flew to Vancouver to take the cruise from there. We arrived to Vancouver two days before the cruise and had a great time exploring the city, we ... Read More
This was my husband's and I first cruise celebrating an anniversary. We live in LA and flew to Vancouver to take the cruise from there. We arrived to Vancouver two days before the cruise and had a great time exploring the city, we also had a trip to "Squamish" which I highly recommend. Day of the cruise we arrived at the port around 12:00pm, checking in was easy and smooth, we found out that we were upgraded from a balcony to a mini suite which was very nice. The suite itself was modern, furnishing was nice with plenty of storage space. Bathroom was a good size. We had reserved a specialty dinner in the crown grill for the first night, both food and service were great. I recommend getting the chef sampler for dessert, yumm :) The Buffet at the 15th floor was good for breakfast and we had breakfast there for 4 days. Tip (try to be there before 8:30am as it gets very crowded and you will not find seating). We also had traditional seating dinner at Michelangelo dining and Boccelli dining with positive experience with food and service. Everything was great and everybody was welcoming except when I called guest services to ask about a port to airport transfer, a lady with (Russian or eastern European accent) was very rude and was talking to me like I was 6 yrs old who cannot read. That totally ruined my day. I reported the incident, someone called me back to apologize, they said they will investigate, but I never knew the outcome. I tried the spa with a pedicure, I recommend reserving online at least 7 days before cruise date to get better prices. Spa employees were friendly and my pedicure was great. For entertainment, the comedian was really good and funny. I also recommend getting to the theater at least 15min before the show starts to find seating as it fills up quickly. There was also one of the cruise directors singing Adele songs, she was great. I wish there were more of that type of entertainment. As for the weather in October, it was a little cold for me, I was wearing a jacket all the time, and I was freezing trying to watch the sunset at the 17 deck, but other passengers seems to be fine with short sleeves:). Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was a pretty unremarkable cruise. The ship was full to capacity and you could feel it. Too many people for the public areas to handle, it felt crowded most of the time. The ship is pleasantly decorated and clean. The dining room ... Read More
This was a pretty unremarkable cruise. The ship was full to capacity and you could feel it. Too many people for the public areas to handle, it felt crowded most of the time. The ship is pleasantly decorated and clean. The dining room was very busy and the food was average, bordering on disappointing. The buffet was also very busy with not enough tables to handle the number of guests. The alternative restaurants, Share and the Crown Hrill, were very good. The entertainment and activities were what you find on most cruise ships - filled the time but not outstanding. The crew and servers were competent and friendly. Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The only glitch was that after disembarking, the Vancouver Port Authority put us in a 2 HOUR long taxi line outside with cold air blowing from vents above us. When I asked to have them shut off all they did was shrug. I ended up sick. I will not cruise into Vancouver, BC again after that. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The ports were awesome and the dining staff were also great. The room stewards were lazy and only did what they had to. The bed fell on me and I got "sorry". No special treatment on this cruise, no towel animals or anything extra ... Read More
The ports were awesome and the dining staff were also great. The room stewards were lazy and only did what they had to. The bed fell on me and I got "sorry". No special treatment on this cruise, no towel animals or anything extra for sure, just the bare minimum. Food was ok but not a lot of variety. Buffet was small and had most of the same food every night. Dining room staff was great! You would barely get finished with your plate and they were cleaning up after you. Entertainment was poor, not much planned for the sea days. Casino was small with just a few table games and little variety for the slots. Jacuzzi wasn't any warmer than a cool bath. Shopping was fair but nothing to brag about. The ports were excellent though, the highlight of the cruise. Every since tips have been included, service has become horrible. Need to go back to making the staff earn their tips. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My sister's husband died this year and my other sister and I took her on the cruise of her dreams to Alaska. Our ages are 79, 78 and 75. I love Princess Cruise lines and have made the trip 2X before. The embarkation and ... Read More
My sister's husband died this year and my other sister and I took her on the cruise of her dreams to Alaska. Our ages are 79, 78 and 75. I love Princess Cruise lines and have made the trip 2X before. The embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly and we maneuvered in and out quickly. The dining staff was exceptionally friendly, prompt and accommodating. The entertainment was not as good as usual. The one production show was late at night, so we missed it. The comedy was good. The room steward was prompt and helpful. We were disappointed that we were unable to see the glaciers due to unsafe conditions. However, we knew that was not the fault of Princess. The #1 thing on my sister's to do list was to see the Butchart Gardens and the Butterfly Gardens. She talked about it with anticipation a lot. It was our last stop before Seattle. The ship docked at 7:00 p.m. and it was getting dark by the time we arrived at the butterfly gardens. The butterflies had all gone to sleep and were difficult to see. When we got to the gardens, we were told to go to the gift shop first, because they were closing soon, then to the sunken gardens. We only had a little over an hour there. There was little light on the flowers and very difficult to see much of anything. it was so dark that we could not even see the directional signs and had to ask directions to find our way through the darkness back to the bus. A total waste of $109 each! This was my sister's special trip of a lifetime for her and it was far less than rewarding. Very disappointed all in all. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My friend invited me to travel with her family group to celebrate our birthdays. The Family choose the cruise line, so I was not involved in the decision of a cruise line or ship. Their travel agent only cruises on Princess. This was my ... Read More
My friend invited me to travel with her family group to celebrate our birthdays. The Family choose the cruise line, so I was not involved in the decision of a cruise line or ship. Their travel agent only cruises on Princess. This was my second cruise to the Inner Passage. First was on Celebrity (fabulous!). I was falsely under the impression that Princess is the top of the line in cruising. I was very disappointed by a number of things. Our balcony cabin was kept exceptionally clean by our friendly steward, Edward, but the bathroom shower was unusually small. Our DINING experience was a problem. There were 11 of us and the dining room could not accommodate us at one table (the travel agent managed to get her own group at one large table)and we were separated into two tables in different parts of the dining room. Very disappointing for the grandmas who wanted to spend time with family members. The food was FAIR and generally FLAVORLess (especially the seafood). Our head waiter was very pleasant but extremely harried. Service was rushed and not very personal. Not the attentive, luxury I was expecting. A night at Chili’s not Ruth Chris! ENTERTAINMENT Fair. Two shows had repeat songs from different entertainers and both were somewhat hokey. More geared to an older crowd and I’m 59! I think the CRUISE DIRECTOR was terrible and very annoying. She needs to be replaced with someone with more energy. Ship was very CROWDED and not relaxing. CREW did their job but I encountered several that were rude (especially the bartenders). Captain was alone with the grannys waiting for elevator and didn’t acknowledge them in anyway. Not a hello! The last night of the cruise I felt that they were done with us and they were on to the next group. I’m planning a cruise to Panama Canal with my husband and will probably not book with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
The cruise was part of my husband's bucket list. He loves Alaska and thought it would be a great way to introduce me to the state's beautiful scenery, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The experiences on the ship were a bit different. ... Read More
The cruise was part of my husband's bucket list. He loves Alaska and thought it would be a great way to introduce me to the state's beautiful scenery, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The experiences on the ship were a bit different. I'm sure the staff are overworked, and probably have very little time off, but when you save for something this special, you expect to be treated a little better than I feel we were treated. I don't remember many smiles and I don't think we were welcomed by one person once we were on the ship, other than by our nice room steward. The buffet was just "ok." The first one was really bad and we were a bit worried about how the rest would be. It got a little better, but we were treated quite rudely as we would come in to the buffet. I accidentally went out the wrong way, and was reprimanded. Actually, "reprimanded" is a good word for a good amount of the cruise. I know they are worried about germs on the ship, so expect germ police to not let you go into food area without putting anti bacteria gel on your hands. Don't even think of walking in with glass or coffee in hand, even though there were few available tables to put down your drinks. At the buffet, we were constantly looking for tables. One afternoon we came upon another section of the buffet and when we went in that line, we were told we must leave because it was a religious buffet and only certain people could eat there. Yet, there was no sign to signify it was a "private group" section. So, another reprimand.... The anytime dining, where we had most dinners, was generally good. We enjoyed the meals and meal variety. Service was ok, but certainly nothing to make us feel like we were on a special experience. I think once the pre-tipping was arranged on the ships, the need to provide service anything over ok went away. We did enjoy a balcony breakfast on our anniversary. The selection of food was very good. We loved the whole balcony experience and beautiful views along the way. Mountains, glacier, whales, watching sea planes coming and going in the ports, all were wonderful. The variety of tv shows on the room was even good-but expect to see many commercials pushing things to buy on the ship. Our room was very comfortable and we enjoyed our room steward, who worked hard through the large number of rooms he had to make us all happy. The entertainment we saw was enjoyable. I loved the speaker who shared his experience as a camera man on the "Deadliest Catch" show. I enjoyed the naturalist's talks very much and gained some good history and widlife lessons. All "North to Alaska" presentations were enjoyable and informative. We were disappointed that one evening we went to hear a duo sing Fleetwood Mac songs, but the equipment failed so they had to cancel after singing one song. Onboard the ship, they do really push to sell the jewelry and other services at very high prices. We went on two excursions. The White Pass Train Ride and the Gondola ride. They were both fun. The port stops were great, but boy are there way too many jewelry stores, and the gift shops all have the same things over and over. I had no idea Alaska was so commercialized and touristy. Getting on and off the ship was a piece of cake. There were just lots of little things that could have made the experience one to remember as excellent. Instead, we went away feeling just a little letdown, but still had a very good time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Happy 50 % of the time, Disappointed 50 % of the time. Food and customer service average to below average. Share restaurant outstanding. Don't book on the Emerald. We have made this cruise three other times on other ships and were ... Read More
Happy 50 % of the time, Disappointed 50 % of the time. Food and customer service average to below average. Share restaurant outstanding. Don't book on the Emerald. We have made this cruise three other times on other ships and were very happy. The Emerald fails to deliver in almost all areas. A chefs table experience is advertised and this is the second cruise in a row they have failed to have it. Crown Grill had average tasting steak. Not worth the money. Share restaurant was great. Must DO!. Salty Dog Ernesto burger was way undercooked and the meat was very unappealing. Picture of burger looked much better than the burger actually was. Crew members in the shops were more busy stocking shelves and talking amongst themselves than helping customers. Club Class dining had good service, but food was not up to par. In summary, it felt like Princess rounded up all the non-performers in the fleet and put them on the Emerald. Try another ship or cruise line. I am. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Some good some bad .I don’t think I’d go on Princess ever again .There were many good things. The cabin itself was fine ,( minus the bathroom floor ) Getting on and off the ship was seamless . The crew was generally very good. The ... Read More
Some good some bad .I don’t think I’d go on Princess ever again .There were many good things. The cabin itself was fine ,( minus the bathroom floor ) Getting on and off the ship was seamless . The crew was generally very good. The excursion was wonderful. Here is the main issue. The food was of poor quality . Meats were terrible , most desert were tasteless (exceptions creme brûlée amaretto ice cream and a few chocolate deserts ) .The buffet was generally filled with junk . They even ruined the lobster with a weird sauce and green / brownish riscotto In addition our hallway on occasion swelled of urine (not sure why) . Entertainment/ singers was just fair ( comedian was funny ) . Watercolor / trivia was fun . Naturalist very interesting .Too much upselling . For example ....feet hurt , buy this , poor metabolism buy this . Hated that aspect. Seemed like everyday you had a bunch of classes that were about buying something . Final critism was not enough fitness classes . Only early morning classes which is no good for people who likes to sleep In . Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Very disappointed that we were not right by the glacier. The picture online when i booked looked like it was on both sides. The food was just okay. The ship itself was beautiful. Needed more entertainment during the days at sea. The ... Read More
Very disappointed that we were not right by the glacier. The picture online when i booked looked like it was on both sides. The food was just okay. The ship itself was beautiful. Needed more entertainment during the days at sea. The staff there was very friendly and helpful. The rooms were nice and comfortable, we had an inner stateroom. The bars and restaurants were nicely decorated. Went in August which i didnt know was their rainy season, So we didnt get to enjoy the pool but only one day. The nightly entertainment was good. We had enough time at each port. We booked our excursions through Princess and evertyhing went smoothly. When we were boarding and disembarking the ship, it was very organized. The casino was very nice size and not overly crowded. We spent almost every day in the casino as not much else to do. Did trivia games everyday but only lasted maybe 20 minutes. Overall had a good time Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We had personally looked into several cruise lines and found Princess to be competitive in price. Our travel agent booked our cruise for us on Princess because of their anniversary special. We have cruised with Princess in the past and ... Read More
We had personally looked into several cruise lines and found Princess to be competitive in price. Our travel agent booked our cruise for us on Princess because of their anniversary special. We have cruised with Princess in the past and were quite happy with our previous cruises. However, the Emerald Princess was dated and felt overcrowded wherever you went. There was not enough seating anywhere to sit and relax on "at sea" days. Seating in the buffet area was difficult, if not impossible to find. The choices offered for entertainment were limited, and the food was not anything to get excited about. The staff, was very friendly and helpful and the newly offered Valet service to the airport including boarding passes and luggage transported was the most amazing part of our Princess Cruise. We are planning on a trip to the Panama Canal next year and will look closely at our options before booking. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The journey through the Alaska panhandle was great. The ship experience was only mediocre overall. Problem areas were the Sanctuary, Lotus Pool, arcade room, library, International Café, the naturalist, and the food. I also have minor ... Read More
The journey through the Alaska panhandle was great. The ship experience was only mediocre overall. Problem areas were the Sanctuary, Lotus Pool, arcade room, library, International Café, the naturalist, and the food. I also have minor complaints about the outdoor movie experience and stargazing. The Sanctuary cost $40/day and charged $3 to get drinks delivered, which already have gratuity added. Thus, it was no surprise that it was always empty. It proved to be a wasted use of space on top of the ship. It also doesn’t help that the Sanctuary is located by the ship’s horn, which blasted loudly every couple minutes when it was foggy (presumably as a safety precaution to avoid ship collisions). The Lotus was roped off for 6 of the 7 days. Apparently it was going to be repainted, but that never happened despite decent weather for 5 of the 7 days. It’s a shame, but at least I did enjoy the pool briefly on the first day before we departed when it was open. The arcade room was apparently closed in 2012, but it still appears on the ship’s directory. The space is closed off and needs to be transformed into something useful. I suggest a lounge or recreational area. It’s understandable that video games were prone to breaking, so perhaps foosball or billiard tables could work. Anything is better than an empty closed-off room. The library offered few board games, and a fairly limited selection of books. The chess set had 2 or 3 missing pieces. I recommend keeping extra game pieces on the ship, with a sign in the library notifying passengers how they can obtain those extra pieces if a game is missing any. Extra game pieces should be easy for the ship to afford and store somewhere. The International Café’s sandwiches and desserts needed improvement. I suggest offering a variety of croissants (particularly almond and chocolate) and a few more options for deli meat sandwiches. The naturalist, who spoke for at least an hour, was informative at first but became a nuisance as time continued to drag. I was on a ship that was sending many ounces worth of paper advertisements to every cabin every day. The clear purpose of the cruise is relaxation and recreation, not environmental activism. I support some educational and environmentally active events, but it should not be carried throughout many of the ship’s speakers for an hour. For a talk that long, keep it contained to a section of the ship. If it’s going to be broadcast to the whole ship, keep it to 20 minutes. The dining food was pretty good. But the in-room dining, buffet, and casual food was very lacking. For in-room dining, I want to see muffins and donuts as options for breakfast. I want to see pretzels, chips, and candy as options for the rest of the day. The rice at the buffet needs improvement. Peas and carrots are not great additions. Try a rice pilaf recipe that incorporates oil/butter and onions. The buffet could also use more finger food – pigs in a blanket, mozzarella sticks, and Buffalo wings. The hamburger grill nearby would do well with chicken tenders added to the menu, as well as better portions of sauerkraut with the hot dogs. The outdoor movie experience was a good idea. I appreciated that popcorn bags were offered, even granting that the popcorn wasn’t hot. But the blanket situation was a mess. I was supposed to sign my name to take a red blanket, but no one was there when the movie ended to check that I returned my blanket. Finally, apparently there was a stargazing event. But it was not advertised and didn’t appear on my calendar, so I missed the event. In addition, I am wondering how good the event could’ve been, given there is a lot of light coming off the top of the ship that interferes with a lot of stars. It would be nice if at least a certain section of the top of the ship could be dimmed at night for at least a short time each night to view the stars better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Destination and excursions were wonderful. Food was really bad except for the SHARE RESTAURANT which was wonderful. Cruise staff and crew were great but ship needs maintenance and some care! The excursions and companies running excursions ... Read More
Destination and excursions were wonderful. Food was really bad except for the SHARE RESTAURANT which was wonderful. Cruise staff and crew were great but ship needs maintenance and some care! The excursions and companies running excursions were all great especially the Juneau based whale photo op and mendenhal glacier hike. Very knowledgeable naturalists and professional. Cruise ship staff like our steward and spa staff were really wonderful and worked really hard and able to make our cruise positive despite the food and condition of ship. Disliked all the sell sell sell tactics in all aspects of cruise life... did not come to Alaska to purchase jewelery or art work on the ship. The restaurant staff was really welcoming and very professional but had to deliver sub par food items . Had better in hosp cafeterias. Some confusion on embark day with hard sell for spa offered treatments like teeth whitening, acupuncture and foot alignment with disclaimers needed to complete. Did not feel these were wise or needed on a cruise and felt a personal dentist ir dr should be in charge of these. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This is my 2nd time on a princess cruise and boy, how things have changed! The Cons: 1.The buffet was terrible! Very small with limited choices. Same food selection every day. The wait service were rude and unfriendly. Good luck ... Read More
This is my 2nd time on a princess cruise and boy, how things have changed! The Cons: 1.The buffet was terrible! Very small with limited choices. Same food selection every day. The wait service were rude and unfriendly. Good luck finding somewhere to sit and eat! 2. The entertainment was really lacking. The "headliner" shows were just plain awful (a magician with simple magic tricks and a story line that made no sense). There was a lot of downtime when there was literally nothing to do. The "game shows" were run and played by staff which made them very boring. Let the passengers play the games!! 3. We found ourselves bored a lot, especially with a 12 year old. 4. The dining rooms food was excellent but wait staff were never smiling or making jokes. If you asked them for something, they acted annoyed. The Pros: 1. There is nothing bad to say about the ports of call. Alaska is so beautiful! 2. Our cabin (mini suite, deck 9) was very spacious and comfortable. No complaints here. Our steward was thorough and pleasant. 3. Excellent food in the dining rooms, outdoor grill, crown grill, and pizza/ice cream bar. 4. Our cruise director, Simone, was very warm, funny and friendly. 5. Our captain took us to see Sawyer glacier, which is a rare occurrence. 6. Plenty of raffles, if you are into that kind of thing. My family won many nice prizes. Overall, I probably would not choose Princess again. My 1st time sailing with them (back in 2005-ish) was pure luxury but this time around, it was very disappointing. I'll stick with NCL or Royal Caribbean next time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
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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