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157 Princess Emerald Princess Cruise Reviews

Went on Pacific Coast tour in October and I couldn't believe how horrible the buffet food was on this trip. I admit this is my second cruise on Princess and most likely my last as the thought of being on a cruise for a long duration ... Read More
Went on Pacific Coast tour in October and I couldn't believe how horrible the buffet food was on this trip. I admit this is my second cruise on Princess and most likely my last as the thought of being on a cruise for a long duration and having to eat horrid food with questionable sanitation at tables each time we eat there is not my idea of vacation. The food was bland, dry, and at times tasted awful. Buffet service is slow cause everyone had to wait for their utensils once they find a table to sit. I already have gotten my food and now I have to wait for utensils by finding and asking the waiter for utensils...which was not always easy. Also cream for my coffee was crazy. Had to also ask waiter for cream since they don't put it out at the beverage area, Napkins, what? Again had to ask the waiter. Waiters were busy getting utensils for people that waiting for cream which often took a while that my coffee was cold. Crazy. We couldn't wait to get off the ship to eat fresh, tasty food, which is saying a lot! The ship's layout was very strange to badly laid out. I understand that these ships are huge and takes time to manage it. But if I keep having to go up on flight and down again just to get to the dining room or theater is totally baffling and strange to me why one can't simply walk thru to the other end of the ship is the common areas. Maybe they want people to get their exercise walking stairs? Can't imagine how difficult it must be for the handicap having to wait for elevators which was really slow. The ship's layout is the worst I've had to maneuver. Ports were nonexistent, tho I admit I went on this cruise just to get away, relax and enjoy dining experience. Not much in Astoria, tho we did enjoy ourselves at the brewery...hmm, why couldn't it be like this on the cruise. I did complain to Princess Cruise and all I got was a "I'm sorry" from them. We'll I'm sorry I won't be going on anymore Princess Cruises. I've never been disappointed on any of the Royal Carribbean and NCL cruises considering the many, many times I cruised with RCCL and NCL. Guess Princess Cruises thinks they are great enough to not try to entice disappointed guests back. I book many group tours with friends and families and there is no way I will subject them to a cruiseline that does not back up it's service and food. NOR do not value it's past guests. Entertainment OK. Had better experience on other cruise lines, esp RCCL. Activities. Minimal activities. Mostly activities to try to get you to the shops with raffles. Eh, not for me. Anyways, my take, Princess Cruise line from my experience does not values it's past guests and back up it's service and food. Will not be taking Princess again. NO WAY. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We took this cruise because my husband is wholly dependent on a walker due to his rehabilitating from two broken femurs (thighbones). It was convenient to where we live and didn't involve air travel. In addition, it was mostly sea ... Read More
We took this cruise because my husband is wholly dependent on a walker due to his rehabilitating from two broken femurs (thighbones). It was convenient to where we live and didn't involve air travel. In addition, it was mostly sea days. It started off badly, with the wheelchair supervisor slamming the footrest down on my husband's shin while assisting him into the chair. He didn't apologize or offer a band aid to quell the bleeding. We waited more than an hour for an attendant to get us to the room. The ship is really too long for someone with difficulty in walking any distance with a walker and that is my own fault for booking it. There was a helicopter rescue while at sea and we were denied access to our room for 5 hours. The announcement came while we were at breakfast and we couldn't get to our medications, reading materials, glasses. There was just about no place in the public rooms to sit (all occupied by the three floors of people who were evacuated) and we finally found the last two chairs in the library. This my 4th helicopter rescue at sea and we've never been denied access to anything but the immediate area. We could not attend some activities due to not being able to get from one place to another to get to an aisle or otherwise accessible seat for my husband. The Lido Deck was continually crowded--seemed like it was poorly arranged and not adequate for the volume of passengers. Upon disembarkation, we were kept waiting for over two hours for a wheelchair attendant; we were supposed to be off by 9:00 a.m. and it was after 10:00 a.m. when we finally got off. I had pleaded with the person doing the scheduling that we were in danger of missing our bus. We were the last two loaded on the bus. Our waiter literally ran between tables. It would appear to me that help is stretched very thin. Service was good. Our stateroom attendant was excellent. Our cabin was one of the nicest we've had since needing an accessible one--double sized balcony. The theater has no center aisles, is not tiered on the main floor. The seats are so broken down my husband said he felt like he needed a seat belt to keep from sliding forward. The rows are so close together that no one could possibly pass in front of the seated person who must stand each time. We're through with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We had been looking forward to this cruise for several years. We were celebrating a significant anniversary and we had had a wonderful experience on a previous Princess cruise. The ship sailed from Vancouver to the Hawaiian islands and ... Read More
We had been looking forward to this cruise for several years. We were celebrating a significant anniversary and we had had a wonderful experience on a previous Princess cruise. The ship sailed from Vancouver to the Hawaiian islands and back. It was a 15 day cruise. The ship itself was clean but not maintained all that well. There were mysterious wet spots on the carpeting in some areas and the occasional funky smell. There were also a lot of burnt-out or non-unctioning lights, which may seem trivial but often indicates a general lack of maintenance that may extend to areas not so visible. The seating in the Princess Theatre was atrocious. Any of you who are large might consider that there is only an 18" width to the seats and the sides are hard. (Picture sitting in a box 18" wide.) EVERYONE that we discussed this with felt that those seats were awful! To give you some idea of the width, 18" is even less than the 18.5" that airline seating allows. The food had also gone downhill siginificantly, as had the service. Everything appears to have been cost-cut to the point where it is obvious to pretty much all of the passengers. The staff in the dining rooms is running to keep up, the wait times between course servings is frequently a half hour or more, and the food delivered may, or may not match the descriptions in the menus. Much of the hot food or soup is luke-warm at best. (The Princess chefs need a Truth-In-Advertising refresher course.) In addtion, the food is generally just plain bland. The pace and working conditions of the staff show in their attitudes. Where you never used to encounter an "attitude" with the crew and service people, these days you hear not-so-subtle complaints and encounter mediocre service on a fairly regular basis. Worse yet, every where you turn somebody is trying to sell you something at an additional cost. This encompasses not only all of the regular shops and over-priced drink packages, but also periodic sales in the dining rooms between meals under conditions that would make a discount store blush as well as the purported "activity" programs offered to pasengers which are thinly disquesed sales programs. It gets really, realy old in a hurry. Lastly, the premium restaurant that we tried was the steak house on board. Bearing in mind that this meal cost an additional $29 per person, (although ours was part of our tour package), one would expect a really fine steak. However, the steaks we ordered, while beautiful and beautifully cooked, had no flavor whatsoever! Yes, there were some really fun surprises and a few really memberable dishes in the dining rooms. Yes, some of the shore trips were great. But overall, I'm thinking that this was probably our last Princess cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this ship and date because it was suppose to be less crowded, because it is toward the end of season. Which is was less crowded and we were able to see some great port sales. Seattle was rated to be one of the easiest ports for ... Read More
We chose this ship and date because it was suppose to be less crowded, because it is toward the end of season. Which is was less crowded and we were able to see some great port sales. Seattle was rated to be one of the easiest ports for embarking and disembark, it is. We have went out of Mobile, Alabama, Miami, Florida, Tampa, Florida, Seattle is the best Port. First stop, Ketchikan was wonderful, then off to Juneau again fabulous, scenic cruising of TAF, didn’t happen because of glaciers and icebergs, Skagway was next, it was okay, not spectacular, final port was Victoria, BC, which was enjoyable. In Juneau our ship excursion was a no go, whale sighting, but weren’t told until we disembarked and all other tours had either sold out or left. BUT Alix and Gary from the pier sales, took care of us! They set us up on a seaplane tour @ 5:30 & gave us the most memorable trip. Weather was perfect in every port. Unfortunately, there was a lot of negative from this ship and crew. Prepurchased the Internet package, never worked on either of our phones, so our business was neglected when we had sea days, to make it worse, no one on the ship could fix it or care to. The cruise director, Jen, did things a little backwards, she gave history and information on the port as we sailed away from the ports. We had a mini suite with a balcony, it was great. We had club class dining, anytime, that was also wonderful. The downside was the food was not impressive at all. The buffet was dull everyday. When you pay what we did you’d expect better, both dining room and ship wide. I also do not think you should have to pay almost the same amount as your vacation/trip as you do for a beverage package. Lastly, with a ship full of crew members and staff, we only had 5 people that were friendly and outgoing, made an impression. Nimo, room steward, Slavica, club class dining waitress, Jorge aka Coco, photography, Razman, club class dining manager and Front Desk Service, from Roaton, Honduras, gentleman(didn’t get his name). All in All we will probably not go on Princess Cruise Lines again, lacks so much. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We booked this cruise last minute and loved the scenery! The cruise ship experience was the worst one we have had from the food to the staff! Apparently there were 350 people on board that Princess was catering to re food etc. the staff ... Read More
We booked this cruise last minute and loved the scenery! The cruise ship experience was the worst one we have had from the food to the staff! Apparently there were 350 people on board that Princess was catering to re food etc. the staff was not attentive and talked amongst themselves constantly. This was our first and quit possible our last Princess Cruise. We are cruisers ( 8 or 9 times)and expected so much more from Princess. With Princess being a step above Carnival we thought we would absolutely experience that and we did not. The cabin steward walked into our room unannounced, the dinner staff was kind but always talked amongst themselves as did the buffet staff. We did love listening to The Walker Black Duo. They were amazing singers with great voices and guitar skills. The sites we so beautiful! We did the luxury car train tour in Skagway and it was a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise because family members had taken it in August of 2017. They had a much more positive experience than we did. There was a "special group" of 200+ passengers on our cruise and Princess was obviously ... Read More
We chose this cruise because family members had taken it in August of 2017. They had a much more positive experience than we did. There was a "special group" of 200+ passengers on our cruise and Princess was obviously specifically catering to them. You would have thought the other 2900 of us on board were bottom dwellers they way we were treated by Princess crew members. It quickly became the topic of conversation in elevators, on shore trips, in lines at the dining room (even at 6:30 a.m. on the day of departure) and elsewhere throughout the duration of our cruise. While it seems Princess took great strides to over-accommodate this special group,they offended a large portion of their other passengers. One cafe was closed off to everyone but this group, however members of this group had free reign throughout the ship. They didn't have to wait in lines, they didn't have to search for seating, as all of this was reserved, and they had their own menu that was not available to other guests. However, the cafe that was available to those of us not in this group had a large section of food devoted to that special group, every day, every meal. This left a very meager and limited selection of food items for the rest of us. When I say that the food selection in the cafes was meager, I am not exaggerating. Salad bar items were typically iceberg lettuce, spring mix, and shredded carrots. Once I saw cherry tomatoes and a couple of times were was a slice or two of cucumber available. Fruit consisted of watermelon, pineapple, cantaloupe and honeydew, as well as canned fruits. There was an ample selection of breads and rolls, but the remaining selections were minimal and did not taste very good. For example, their bacon is inedible - it tastes like it has been soaked in liquid smoke. Also, they continuously serve corn on the cob which is nothing more than a mushy mess. Even the cobs were mushy - just gross! Princess should consider checking out their competition and/or hiring an American chef who understands the need for more variety in the food items offered at the cafes: cole slaw, chips, sloppy Joes, sushi, finger goods, nachos, are just a few suggestions. If you love a certain kind of ethnic food morning, noon and night, you would have been well served on this cruise. In my experience, it is a type of food that many of the people who actually do like it, will only eat on occasion. Needless to say, the lines at the hamburger and pizza stands were very, very long. Most of the food in the dining room was good and the service was great. One total miss was the Baja fish taco, which was clearly not made by someone with culinary skill. Food trucks have better tacos. Back to the original point of contention, an overwhelming majority of the ship's passengers were relegated to one cafe while the small group had exclusive access to the other. But, they did not exclusively use that area, further impeding up the limited selection granted to the rest of us. Not to mention, those of us not in the group often had to wait in line outside of the dining room until all of the group members arrived. They were seated and served first. The explanations given by Princess staff members were inconsistent to say the least. I was told that area was reserved for vegetarians. I said, "Great! I'd love to have a vegetarian selection!" Then I was literally blocked and told I could not enter. I overheard a staff member tell another gentleman that this area was reserved for special people. He turned to me and said, "I guess we're not considered special." Another person was told that the area was restricted because this group did not eat root vegetables (potatoes, carrots, etc.). A supervisor told another passenger that this group could not eat what those outside the group were eating, due to religious affiliation. I could understand that if it were true, but the members of this group were constantly in the other areas taking the same food items that non-group members were eating. Whatever the reason was, I really don't care. The bottom line is that many, many of us "non-special" passengers were inconvenienced and offended and the staff didn't care at all. Quite honestly, they only have to put up with us for a week, so why would they care? Of course, on Saturday night, hours before departure, the staff and crew became very helpful and attentive (Gotta get those tips!) I had also heard that the president of Princess came on board in Juneau, the day we were in port until 10:30 p.m. Convenient timing. I would have loved to have given her an earful, but it seems she planned on arriving at a time when many guests were off the ship. The cruise to Alaska is not an inexpensive cruise and it was my first vacation in a long time. For several people I spoke with, this was their first cruise and they were figuring it would be their last. I also spoke with passengers who have other cruises booked with Princess that they are canceling, as well as passengers who had already canceled future cruises while on board. Princess truly failed its customers this week. Period. As we were nearing the end of our cruise, Princess became known as the ship of "No." and Royal Caribbean's praises were being heard more and more frequently. I've traveled with RCL several times and I must say that I concur. This was my second Princess cruise and I"m fairly certain I won't take another. Regarding the trip itself, Alaska is a beautiful place. The scenery is breathtaking. If you like to hang out with and talk to the locals, they very much like to talk to visitors and they have great pride in their paradise. Ketchikan was delightful, the Tracy Arm Fjord is simply stunning, and Skagway and Juneau were both great stops as well. We arrived in Victoria BC on Saturday night and many of us who booked the tour to Butchart Gardens were disappointed. We assumed their would be lighting so we could enjoy the gardens, however there was very little and what was available was dim. The excursion was kind of a waste of time and money. I have mixed feelings about the naturalist. She was entertaining and highly informative, however she spent a great deal of time talking about global warming and its effects on Alaska and the Arctic in general. In my opinion, it seems a little hypocritical to work for a cruise line and complain about how humans are damaging the planet. Also, I'm on vacation to get away from politics and environmental activism, but she frequently espoused her political stance. It didn't seem appropriate for the venue. All in all, if you have the opportunity to visit Alaska, by all means do so. I love warm weather so I wasn't sure it was for me, but the landscape and the wildlife will blow you away. However, if you choose to visit via cruise, please shop around before choosing Princess. We met people from Norwegian Cruise Lines who were very impressed with their experience, so definitely give them a peek. Note that the larger ships cannot go through Tracy Arm, so be sure to book that shore trip so you don't miss the beauty. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We left out of Seattle and we had planned on having time to get some water and other items we wanted on the ship but did not want to take on the airplane. When we landed at the airport it was a crap show from the get go. The staff at ... Read More
We left out of Seattle and we had planned on having time to get some water and other items we wanted on the ship but did not want to take on the airplane. When we landed at the airport it was a crap show from the get go. The staff at baggage claim took about an hour to check confirm what we had purchased even though we all had confirmation numbers. They also check your passport and your id here. Then they had to "Verify that we had transportation" It said it on the itinerary and we had set this all up months in advance. After another 20-30 minutes they finally took us down to the desk where they would tag our luggage and take it. We were in a large party with 16 of us and 3 small children and 3 others under 18. Once we reached the desk they got us our bag tags and verified our passports and id's again. We then followed our escort to the transfer line where our id's and passports were checked yet again before boarding the bus. Once we got to the dock and started the in processing process we were asked again for our passports and drivers licenses before heading upstairs to the actual desk to be asked yet again for the passport and id to get our cabin card/ship card. After getting this it was a quick stop at the security check point for a picture, then smooth sailing onto the boat and to our cabin. No issues at all. The first thing we noticed was our bathroom stunk and I mean like worse than a public restroom on a construction site stink. We called the front desk and had this issue addressed. It took about 2 hours as everyone was settling and we were getting ready to set sail. The cabin was clean and in good condition. The ship did not really show its age and the crew and staff were always working on it. Painting, sanding rails, staining, etc. The elevators had some issues at the end and several went out for over an hour at a time on the last 2 days, but other than that there were no huge issues I experienced. I know my family had issues with their toilet continually running with water and flooding their bathroom. The issue was addressed and fixed in their cabin but went to the next cabin and created another issue before being fully resolved. When it comes to food I think they are doing a good job but could defiantly improve especially at the buffet, morning room breakfast and room service. The dinning room was great and the food their was wonderful. The menu in the morning/early afternoon is a little slim picking but still good quality. The Crown Grill was a jewel and worth every extra cent we spent to go there. We had purchased the beverage pass (Not premium) and at the buffet it was pointless. If you wanted a drink you had to go to the bar and get it yourself because the staff was far overworked and would not return for refills. On several occasions the staff didn't even come by to get our initial drink order but as stated far overworked. Day one was leaving Seattle Day two was at sea. When we were at sea we used this time to explore the ship. Try some of the different foods and check out all the different decks. This was when we got a good feel for the ships condition and the amount of time and effort the crews put in maintaining it. We checked out shops and got plenty of drinks. When we returned to our room we noticed the Privacy sign had been removed and the room made up. We didn't think much of it and when we went to dinner we put the sign back in the door and left. Upon returning the sign was moved again and the room was made up. We pulled back the sheets to lay down for a nap and found the comforter was discolored and had huge yellow stains on it. This was absolutely disgusting. We left it on the ground and it was not replaced the next 2 days. We found our room Stewart and addressed the issue with him asking him to please honor our request for Privacy and leave our room when the sign is in the door. Day three was Ketchikan. At Ketchikan we got off the ship and explored the city. We went to creek city and walked throughout it. We then went to the hatchery for the salmon and walked around a little more to explore the parks and other sights. The family had gone off on a Salmon fishing expedition so we did our own thing and then returned to the boat with no issues. Long lines but they go fast. Upon returning to the ship we noticed our Privacy sign was removed yet again from the door and our room had been made up. We had only a few short minutes to prepare for dinner at the crown and would be addressing this with his management at a later time as The Crown was an additional cost and we didn't want to miss it. So we quickly changed and rushed out the door ensuring that we put the privacy sign up as we had jewelry and other items laying out that we didn't have time to put away right now. Dinner was par non and I couldn't be happier with the staff at the crown. Upon returning to the room we noticed that our Privacy sign was gone again. We also noticed that my nephews jacket was missing from our room. I went to the front desk and complained about the issues we were having and was told that a member from Management would be contacting us tomorrow morning. I was okay with this and returned to my cabin. My nephew then came and told me that my father had asked the Stewart to let him in the room and the Stewart opened my room for him. My father and I have not had a good relationship for years and he knows better than to invite himself into my spaces (or so I though) Upon hearing this I was exceptionally frustrated as the Stewart is breaking protocol and procedures by ignoring my privacy sign and now letting unauthorized people into my room. (Family or not I do not have that relationship with them and the crew on board does not know if we are or are not family. This is not a call for a front line member to make for a simple jacket or garment. They could have waited for us to get back or came and asked for one of us to let them in the room to get it.) Day four was Tracy Arm and Juneau. This is the day when things went south for us. Very south, very fast. We woke to pieces of the glaciers floating in the ocean. The bright blues and the beautiful mountains were amazing and breathtaking. The breakfast order from the night before was messed up and they had forgotten some items. No big deal we would be going to the buffet anyway soon and they hadn't missed a beat before or after that one day. We took in the views and the mountains and enjoyed every moment of the morning. Around 9:00 AM I received a knock on the door. It was the Housekeeping manager. They stood in the hall until I invited them into my room to discuss the situation. Upon explaining the continual violations of policy and privacy (Hadn't had a chance to explain the unauthorized entry by another person) The manager tells me this is an honest mistake. I Explained the first few times maybe but not after 4 times of ignoring our Privacy sign. He then tries to explain that they need to have contact with passengers or they have to investigate and started giving me the run around ending again with this seems like an honest mistake. I at this time requested that they leave my room and his manager needed to contact me as this was no honest mistake and what has happened was not ok. **Quick history: My family and I had not spoken for years and for the last 4 years we had been mending our relationships and working on our issues. (Their issue is they are Mormon and I am gay. My partner and I have been together 8 years and this was our first cruise) This was suppose to be a bring everyone together and have a wonderful trip cruise. The excursions were paid for and the cruise was paid for by my grandmother. My grandmother was hospitalized prior to coming and was not able to attend with us. A few moments later I went to the front desk and was greeted by Roxana (Customer Relations Manager) She took me to the office of Mario (Customer Services Director) where i explained the situation and what was going on. They sympathized with me and told me it was all unacceptable and that he should not be doing the things he did regardless of if it was family or not. They were going to address it with the Stewart and assured me the trip would be enjoyable and pleasant from here on out. I thanked them for their time and returned to my room trusting it was going to be resolved and we would be able to get back to enjoying our vacation. (During this time I have missed all of the Tracy arm part of the cruise. The fjords, glaciers, waterfalls, etc. one of the main things I was looking forward to) Upon returning to my room, my partner and I start to plan our day. When all of a sudden there is a knock on the door. I was thinking it would be my nephew or cousins, but it was my dad. He barges in my room past me and starts yelling at me about how he told the Stewart to open the door and he is authorized to be in my room. He continues yelling about how I am blowing this out of proportion and there is no reason to be getting anyone in trouble. I explain that I had asked him not to come in the room and that the privacy notice was in the door each and every time he had. That he could have let anyone in the room and they could have taken our watches, bracelets, luggage and anything else they wanted and we would be screwed because we would then have to prove we even had it. He continued to yell for a few minutes and I finally yelled back and told him to leave my room and he wasn't authorized to be in my room as he damn well pleased. Once he left I started to wonder about who had told him anything because I had not mentioned anything to anyone except my partner about what was going on. I went and knocked on his room door to ask who had told him. He told me it was the Stewart who had come and informed him of the situation. At this point I lost it. This was completely unacceptable and we were ready to fly home. I went back to the Directors office and explained that their staff had basically just ruined years of relationship patching because he needed to go complain about me to my family. This resulted in us not doing excursions that we had already purchased over $500 worth as the hostility would make for a very volatile environment for us and other passengers. The Customer Service Director and Customer Relations Manager both agreed this was not ok. This was unacceptable and they were apologizing profusely. Everything was good and being worked out and now there was nothing they could even say about what their employee had just done. The solution was to move us cabins to the other side of the ship. Which we did, but this was not a solution. This was not a fix to the problems that their employee had just created and the years of work he had just undid. The new room we moved into seemed like a downgrade as the carpets were older and there was a stain that looked like the room had been flooded at some point. The rest of the cabin seemed the same. At this time my partner started to get sick as a result of all the stress, fighting and issues that had arisen but we were about to get to Juneau and I was hoping he would get back in the race. We arrived in Juneau at around 3:00 PM and he wasn't doing much better. We had planned on going on our paid for zip-lining excursion but with the issues we could not. So we instead walked the town, bought a few souvenirs and road the tram. It turned out to be a pretty decent day even with the issues we had been having. We returned to the ship and then the room. This is where my partner would be for the remainder of the night. Day five Skagway: The weather was not so great and had been raining on us since we got out of Tracy Arm. My partner was still feeling sick and it was a struggle to get him to get up and go with me ashore. We had paid to go gold panning and have a Salmon bake but again could not go as there was a lot of tension. So we instead went and walked the town and took a bus out to the cemetery where we seen a rushing water fall. It was so powerful and dirty as it was pulling the land from above with it. It was impressive to say the least. 300 feet or so and worth every step there (My partner might not agree lol) Day Six At Sea: Day Six was at sea and there were no issues at all. On this day my partner was bed ridden and I went and enjoyed some of the onboard activities such as Voice of the ocean, choir, guess that song, and the art auction to name a few. Day Seven Victoria: Most of the day was spent at sea but when we got to Victoria at that evening we had a few hours to go explore the city and take in the sights. It was a great little jump off but we wished it would have been a little longer as there is so much to do. My partner was feeling a little better by now and enjoyed the evening with me exploring the city. We were able to see the Parliament buildings lit up which was really beautiful. We got back to the ship and off we went to be at sea until morning when we docked at Seattle. All in all the trip was ok. It would have been much better had we not had the issues we did but you know what they say. Ship happens. Thanks for reading this long review. I don't know that we will be booking with Princess in the future but we are defiantly going on another cruise shortly. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Wanted to go to Alaska to see the Glacier and never even got close. They don't tell you that on this itinerary that they don't take you to the glacier, that you have to book a separate excursion and I fly my sister and brother ... Read More
Wanted to go to Alaska to see the Glacier and never even got close. They don't tell you that on this itinerary that they don't take you to the glacier, that you have to book a separate excursion and I fly my sister and brother in law all the way from Pa to see the glacier falling in the water, and saw nothing. There is nothing to do on this boat! Boring. Service was terrible except for a few waiters. The specialty dining on the top floor was the worst food ever! This was my 40 cruise and I was so disappointed and embarrassed that princess service was so down compared to past cruises. The check-in wasn't bad. Getting off the boat wasn't bad. The drill was long and drawn out. Entertainment fair at best. Food worst cruise food I ever experienced. The buffet was terrible, with little variety and poor quality. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We are members of the Captain's Club and have cruised well with Princess in the last, considering it an almost-luxury cruise line. This Alaska cruise last week was a nightmare. It felt like the ship was overbooked by about 500 people ... Read More
We are members of the Captain's Club and have cruised well with Princess in the last, considering it an almost-luxury cruise line. This Alaska cruise last week was a nightmare. It felt like the ship was overbooked by about 500 people to begin with. However, throughout the entire week, we and other passengers were kicked out of areas where we had gone to read or play cards. There is no space for this purpose on the ship, unlike other cruise lines. Therefore, we were forced to use the Nightclub or the Adagio Lounge since they were the most quiet during the day. However, at least once a day, they booted us out for (1) private function, (2) rehearsal for Voice of the Ocean or (3) another private function. The Explorer's Lounge was chaotic with art auctions every day. The other huge negative is the constant bombarding of passengers to buy jewelry not only onboard, but at the numerous small shops in literally every port - Juneau, Skagway & Ketchikan. Expecting quaint and sleepy fishing ports we found diamond and gold sellers galore. But why Princess (which must get a cut or subsidize the businesses) panders to this by putting in the "shopping to jewelry guide" in our cabins every day or each night letting us know about the next shopping option is beyond the pale. We cruise to relax, see the sites, read, play games & cards and participate in the entertainment the ship [used to] offer. The Yes/No game is great, but the scheduling is weird. Lots after 9 at night, little during the day. The good: Regular lectures by Alaska experts, and the beds. The food seemed to improve as the week end on. I would recommend looking at a cruise line that may offer smaller ships with fewer people and definitely less commercialization and marketing onboard. If you are a 1st timer to Alaska, definitely consider a cruise that takes you to the north part of the state. The Inland Passage, while beautiful, is similar to Colorado or Canadian mountains, so if you can afford the time, either take a longer cruise or consider what you really want to see. We saw NO wildlife on the Inland Passage other than lots of eagles. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
so much boat time.. so little land time.. like trivia.. trivia and MORE TRIVIA.. You're going to spend A LOT of time on the boat.. I hope you didn't really expect to SEE Alaska or Canada. I don't smoke but cigarettes are ... Read More
so much boat time.. so little land time.. like trivia.. trivia and MORE TRIVIA.. You're going to spend A LOT of time on the boat.. I hope you didn't really expect to SEE Alaska or Canada. I don't smoke but cigarettes are $5 a pack- probably the cheapest thing to buy. Prepare for the $13.94 x 2 daily gratuity charges. We paid for a breakfast by the window when we were in Tracy Arm Fjords, the windows were dirty & we couldn't take nice pics. We had to go outside to do so. We were told we could. There were mostly muffin type food and some seafood. We hit the breakfast buffet after. We felt ripped off. The buffet was good, the dinner was good. The staff was excellent in all areas except one frustrating woman at the front desk. Movies outside on the boat were nice. No indoor pools.. yea they're heated but you still have to get in & out of that pool or hot tub. The ports were nice enough, you will get the tourist experience by the locals. I wouldn't pay on the boat for the excursions. A person in our party went dog sledding- lets say not as advertised. Whales aren't in abundance either.. Though if you plan to see an ice burg they are there and you will see one. We were on the boat from 4pm Thursday until we arrived in Victoria Canada at 7pm- everything was closed except the souvenir stores- they were open. Nice town I suppose, didn't see much as it got dark sooner than it did in Alaska. We paid to have our luggage brought to the airport. They had us put our luggage in the hallway & they did the rest. They put a sticker with our depart letters DDDD so tight it tore the leather off my suitcase handle. I used this suitcase 2x. I put in the claim, got an auto reply.. that's it. They say it will take maybe 2 weeks to get to reply to you.. maybe 4 weeks. All this while they're trying to get me to take another cruise. Sale ppl are supper nice.. call this # (800) 872-6779 extension 22089 tell them your suitcase was damaged & you already put in the claim. that you'd like this overwith. See how nasty they are.. I wish I did that before I took a cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
The Bad:This ship was run down, dirty and dated. Elevators were problematic, buttons not working long wait times, random functions. 2 of them were shut down for "routine maintenance". Most of the windows were dirty/salt crusted. ... Read More
The Bad:This ship was run down, dirty and dated. Elevators were problematic, buttons not working long wait times, random functions. 2 of them were shut down for "routine maintenance". Most of the windows were dirty/salt crusted. (Guess they never heard of rain-x?) The buffet food was good but traffic had a terrible flow, obvious accompanying items not close together or on the same side of the isle. Plates so hot you can barely hold them. Most of the wait staff was grumpy and not helpful at all. Getting a drink in the Buffet room was basically self serve. I had a hard time getting a table. When/if you found one it took towards the end of your meal to get something. Sales, sales, sales!!! they were all about selling you something. I've been on 2 other cruise lines and have never had so many people trying to sell me something. Mostly pay dining, wine tasting and special drinks. The Good: The food and entertainment were good. We had anytime dining and were happy with it. The coffee (mostly espresso) was good at the cafe. Beds and pillows were comfortable. Inside cabin had good sized closet and a refrigerator. I never really felt appreciated. I mostly felt like cattle being herded through the ship. Having spent over $3K for the cruise and drinks/dining. We had limited time at most of the ports. I just felt rushed most the time. The excursions were very expensive and options were limited. We just booked ours when we got to port. I would not recommend Princess based on my experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
It was a family cruise and we needed to leave July 1st. There were 10 of us in our group. We are elite members and always love cruising with Princess, however the Emerald did not half way meet our expectations. Poor dining and ... Read More
It was a family cruise and we needed to leave July 1st. There were 10 of us in our group. We are elite members and always love cruising with Princess, however the Emerald did not half way meet our expectations. Poor dining and entertainment. Dirty underwear left under our bed and carpet really dirty, also the balcony was dirty. The comic for entertainment was excellent but the "broadway" shows were lacking, and I believe there were only two. The costumes were not very colorful, nothing great or even good. Probably the biggest disappointment was the dining room food. The lobster was small, and tasteless, with no drawn butter offered until the small lobsters were eaten. The cruise was a big disappointment and I felt badly as it was my idea to cruise with Princess. We have another Princess cruise booked and paid for this Nov. or I would cancel. One last thing, the drinks were watered down and the ship seem to be cutting back on everything. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Retirement cruise for me and my family. My wife and I had been on this cruise before and enjoyed it. We had no issue and that's why we wanted to take our family this time. Everything went as planned, no issues until we got on ... Read More
Retirement cruise for me and my family. My wife and I had been on this cruise before and enjoyed it. We had no issue and that's why we wanted to take our family this time. Everything went as planned, no issues until we got on board. The TV and the refrigerator in my room did not work and the bathroom sink was clogged. Our room attendant was prompt and called for service. It took 2 and a half days before they replaced the TV. The guy who fixed our sink used a toilet plunger and then dripped all over the sink and floor before he left. I had to ask to have it cleaned up with disinfectant. Meals in the anytime dinning room were as expected, and they had good service. Breakfast in the formal dinning area was very slow and the service was poor (Grumpy, with an attitude). We tried it twice and then went to the buffet after that. The buffet food was as expected but the drink service was poor. Several times throughout the week I had to go find someone for water/tea or just get it myself. The worst of it was yet to come. Trying to get off the ship was a calamity of errors. I have never seen a disembarkation process run so poorly. We have been on several cruises and thought they had this process figured out. We had a helicopter tour and hike on a glacier trip planned through Princess cruises. We were very excited to do such a big excursion. Well, that was until we went to get off the ship. We went down 15 mins early to meet our family to get off the ship. The line had already started so we took our place. Some of our family decided to wait until the line went down because they did not have anything planned. Then it started; we had one crew member start guiding us one way. Another crew member stopped us to go the other way. By then the masses started showing up. We went through the art gallery to the front on the ship. We could see people getting off on the other side. Then another person had us take the line back to where we started and we witness everyone coming off the elevators going into our line in front of us. After 1 hour 10 mins we made it off the ship (not counting getting there 15 mins early), only to find out that we missed our excursion. Our family that waited for the lines to go down got off the ship 30 mins before us!!!!!! It was a nightmare. 4 cruises with princess and 4 with RC. From now on, RC is our selection. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was our 2nd cruise. The first was a Disney Cruise. The first thing we noticed a difference in the cleanliness of the Emerald. Actual dust balls floating, unswept steps and that was getting off the elevator. Before I share my ... Read More
This was our 2nd cruise. The first was a Disney Cruise. The first thing we noticed a difference in the cleanliness of the Emerald. Actual dust balls floating, unswept steps and that was getting off the elevator. Before I share my experience, I would like to give Don who made my wife and smile every day. Always helpful and upbeat a star for Princess. Flora always smiling, and pleasant. Flora is the kind of employee you want to tip! Sandy professional and great Sushi Chef. Thank you From Ron and the crew. We paid 3800 plus airfare for this cruise. Not worth the price, too many ala cartes. Soda for a week 50 a day per person! A whopping 700 for a week! It is true the price was 2 per can and fair. However, anyone who helps you is entitled to a gratuity. Which makes the 20 you spent on sodas 33 with gratuity. Alcohol 59 per day, I purchased 15 coffees for the week 31. Most people don't mind tipping. We expect to be charged some way or how. There is also expected good service for giving tips ( Too Insure Prompt Service). If on a cruise in the US, communication with staff should not be an issue. That is bad service. When in another country we understand having to adjust. I asked for directions, did not understand. I asked for a milder, lighter, roast. The response dark roast? I could go on but why? Our room was tiny and had bunk beds. Why I cannot say. We spent a week in a phone booth. Constant noise, running water as if my room was the last stop drain area. Seriously every 8 seconds you heard it. Ok, let's end this. I could write a book. Horrible room for 2000, much less 3800. Poor to arrogant service. Pushing products, foot inserts, makeup, anti-aging etc may be the norm, not something we like. Alaska is great! We advise to see it without Princess! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. It turned into a learning experience for us as we will do WAY more research for any future cruises. It will also be our LAST Princess cruise. Princess sold our cabin as accommodating 4 ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. It turned into a learning experience for us as we will do WAY more research for any future cruises. It will also be our LAST Princess cruise. Princess sold our cabin as accommodating 4 people....it did not! They had a cot sitting in the room that blocked the balcony. The cot (which our room steward said wasn't even the normal cot) didn't even fit as the curtains were a foot into the cot. The ladder for the one bunk didn't fit properly causing another safety issue. Guest Services was 100% inept in dealing with this situation. In fact, I was told "you win some and you lose some" when asking for this problem to be addressed. I definitely "lost some" when paying $6,000 for this cruise. The ship is very dated as well. The only updated part of the ship was the common bathrooms. The buffet was the worst that we have seen on any cruise ship. It's tiny, few selections, and very average food at best. The food in the dining room was better but not up to the Princess standards that we expected. Our waitstaff at dinner was great and seemed to be the two happiest employees on the ship. I will agree with another reviewer, the cruise director was nice but needed more enthusiasm. We rarely saw him or heard from him. We loved the naturalist, Shelley Gill. She was the highlight of the cruise. The ports were great and we even sailed up the north arm of the Tracy Arm Fjord (which apparently is incredibly rare). We lucked out with good weather with the port days. My son contracted norovirus and had to be quarantined to the room. It was a total mess. The previous sailing had an outbreak so our sailing had lots of restrictions. Obviously, norovirus was still active on our sailing. We had hoped to stay healthy but my son was so sick the last day. Guest Services was again inept in dealing with our questions about debarkation. Alaska didn't disappoint. We saw lots of whales, wildlife, beautiful scenery, and the fjord trip was amazing. The ship was a big disappointment and Princess was a huge disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Recommended by a family member. The inside passage was beautiful and the weather was perfect for viewing the rugged, wild coast of British Columbia and Alaska. Menu was extremely limited in the formal dining room. The wait staff was very ... Read More
Recommended by a family member. The inside passage was beautiful and the weather was perfect for viewing the rugged, wild coast of British Columbia and Alaska. Menu was extremely limited in the formal dining room. The wait staff was very efficient and patient, but I felt rushed as they made preparation for the 2nd seating. Staff to passenger communication was problematic. Passengers would have to know who to see about specific issues since most of the crew were focused on their job, they did not seem knowledgeable of the big picture and frequently could not give correct answers to inquiries. The ship officers were not much better. The Captain's voice from the navigation bridge was the exception. He was an excellent communicator. The valet service for baggage at port of disembarkation was excellent. However, timely and correct information about the protocol left a lot to be desired. The paper forms and instructions for that terrific service had 3 contradictions that were not easy to resolve at the front desk. At 2 AM I still had bags in my room with no baggage tags. Disembark was easy and, due to several flight delays booked through Princess CL, we had time for a city tour after arrival in Seattle. Our flight to the East Coast did not leave until 11 PM. The tour guide was outstanding. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This cruise was chosen by a member of our Bolivia II reunion group [not sure how or why]. I wanted to take this trip with friends so of course signed up for it. In the beginning, out Cruise Planner was very attentive. As the date for our ... Read More
This cruise was chosen by a member of our Bolivia II reunion group [not sure how or why]. I wanted to take this trip with friends so of course signed up for it. In the beginning, out Cruise Planner was very attentive. As the date for our departure drew nearer, the size of our group decreased due to health issues and other conflicts. At this time, I was no longer able to make contact with I placed several calls regarding room changes, refunds, etc and my calls were never answered. Finally I just went through the main operator and spoke with the first Planner who answered the phone. I had requested a room with a non-obstructed view. Two and one half months before departure date, I was informed our room had been changed to an obstructed view room.No explanation given nor apology or even question if that was acceptable to us. We were notified there would be a refund coming to us for this change. We have yet to see that refund. We booked an excursion for the Seattle city tour with trip to airport on day of disembarkation. That never took place as the bus left without us being aware of the excursion departure. There was never any table set up or ship crew member to tell us where we were to check in other than in the theater. We were there 45 minutes prior to the stated departure time. We were finally allowed to disembark the ship 45 minutes past scheduled time only to be informed our tour bus had departed an hour earlier!!!! Only thanks to a kind gentleman at the bus line were we able to get transportation to the airport without having to pay for a second trip. The actual cruise - and the ports visited were fine. We saw beautiful countryside and lots of whales. And our group had a marvelous time sharing old stories in the International Cafe!!!! Also the boarding of the ship at the start of the Cruise went for quickly and smoothly. The staff of the ship were fantastic!!!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
First, the positives: (1) Excursions. Give in to the arch-tourist nature of packaged few-hour bus-herd excursions, go with the flow -- it's only for a few hours, cynic! -- and you'll get an effortless taste of what's fun, ... Read More
First, the positives: (1) Excursions. Give in to the arch-tourist nature of packaged few-hour bus-herd excursions, go with the flow -- it's only for a few hours, cynic! -- and you'll get an effortless taste of what's fun, cool, interesting, and breathtaking about Alaska. Plenty of options with minimal tour-bus time -- see how rugged the land is from a floatplane, meet happy sled-pulling mutts, see glaciers and maybe whales and hungry bears, wonder if your tour guide never breaks character because he *is* a character. (2) Premium dining, 2 out of 3 ain't bad. At the back of the boat, Share is legit gourmet. If not outstanding, at least consistently crafted and palate-pleasing. In the pub, The Salty Dog may push "artisanal" an inch too far, but it's blessed relief from the culinary crimes of dispassion everywhere else. Sadly, you *can* screw up the basic steakhouse experience, and the Crown Grill is proof -- even when the second ribeye was rightly rare inside, it was an underaged, unseasoned, joyless too-thin cut from a too-big cow. Sides were drab. (3) Music. The jazz group playing one night in the Adagio is so happy to have an audience and happy to play that you won't care that they're not a tight group or that they never get past the most standard of jazz standards. Especially not after a week on this boat. Elsewhere, the acoustic guitarist in the pub knew just how to render dad-rock classics to make you smile. Thank heaven for four great excursions and two great meals, or I'd have abandoned ship like a fellow passenger did. (Seriously -- so unhappy with spa & fitness & food they quit at Ketchikan.) The highlight from here on out is you can appreciate the pleasantness of purgatory. Embarkation is a ridiculous four-hour rat's maze with no cheese at the end. Leaving from Vancouver in this frosty-border era is irredeemably stupid. It's not just having to get a US passport to visit Alaska, or going through Canadian customs at the airport and then US customs dockside -- it's the maddening meandering in and out and up and down through the terminal with cruelly interspersed glimpses of the ship for no purpose other than to create the illusion that you're not just waiting in long lines. Your DMV ain't got nothin' on the Port of Vancouver. It's actually an ingenious management of expectations, fooling you into thinking you're almost there over and over and over again until you cannot believe that they fooled you again, but they did. At the end you're so relieved it's over you don't have the emotional energy to find and torture the evil genius responsible for masterfully obfuscating the most colossal jerk move in handling travelers since three ounces and no shoes. But at least once we were on board the food sucked. Seriously. "Anytime Dining" means Anytime As Long As You Love Retirement Home Buffet Or A Midwest Ramada Inn Hotel Restaurant Meal From 5:15-9pm. If you're an urban coast dweller who eats at restaurants or just shops at Safeway, you are not prepared from this grim food desert. You know the past-their-prime trends you make fun of for their bandwagon ubiquity in mediocre chains and fast food like southwest chipotle and aioli everything with Applewood smoked bacon? Princess isn't that sophisticated. By mid-cruise I pined for Denny's, and a Guadalajara-style carnitas burrito seemed the height of exotic culinary fantasy. Half the waitstaff is Thai, but there's no Thai food here, no curry, no cajun... no spice but black pepper, no unadulterated proteins or green vegetables except a post-bankruptcy Sizzler romaine-only salad bar -- heck, even gas station sushi would be welcome. The full-service dining menu is competently prepared and perfectly reasonable, if your idea of exotic is Italian food that isn't pasta. If you don't like the Italian dining room, don't fret -- you can go to the other Italian dining room. Oh, and your favorite timeless cocktail? Forget it. Just what's on the menu, that's what I was told. Really. And they want me to spend money on drinks? Lest you dismiss this as the ravings of a food snob, a different way to look at this: some days you just want a couple of tacos at Taco Bell, or a Spicy Italian at Subway, or just to give up with a QPC. No such comforts, either gramps' buffet or mom-made-it hamburgers or cheap takeout pizza (both pool-adjacent for that sea-air-and-chlorine aroma) or airport chicken salad and sadsack mini-sandwiches for you until dinner time, and then it's dad's-birthday dining every night. Oh, but don't worry about the dress code -- it's a lie. Just look like you thought about trying not to be a slob, that's probably enough to get by. Or actually wear the black suit and tie you packed and feel like the idiot who didn't know the rules are for suckers. Service? Great with premium dining, happily efficient with regular dining, attentive and respectful everywhere else -- but with the pervasive cattle-call atmosphere, much of it was lipstick on a pig. Perhaps it's just the nature of a ship with 3,000 passengers... but if so then maybe the ships should be smaller. One particularly frustrating experience typical of the cruise: for glacier-skirting catamaran tours, everyone was directed to gather in the theater. After being seated and subjected to a ads for GoPro cameras, photo packages, and future cruises for a half-hour, they announced the boats would be another half-hour or so, and gave everyone the option to leave the theatre and come back in 20 minutes. An hour later, they announced it would be another 20 minutes, and anyone with a second excursion for the day would need to choose which one to cancel. Finally, Internet access. THE WIFI IS A LIE. My in-cabin wifi suffered from constant router flap, probably between two overlapping radios in autosense duking it out over what frequency to use, so even connecting to the onboard directory Princess@Sea was an exercise in browser timeouts. But go where there's solid wifi signal (conference room!) and the satellite Internet connection is simply choked to death -- and my expectations were low. Forget even basic websurfing -- mere POP3 email downloads would sometimes time out, and a 2MB attachment might take five tries over an hour to fetch. It was so slow Kindle for PC wouldn't download a novel. Neal Stephenson, but still, one novel, text only, took 45 minutes. The good news is THEY CHARGE BY THE MINUTE FOR THIS FIST-SHAKING FAIL. Last time I was charged by the minute was at a greedy hotel back when RealPlayer was cool. It's barbaric. Princess would do their customers a great service by unplugging their Internet service and telling them to lump it. By promising Internet access they mislead passengers into thinking they might actually be able to answer a help-what-do-we-do email from work in an emergency. A sense of captivity is hard to avoid on a cruise. But Princess makes it far worse than it needs to be with repeated poor group management, restricted dining, utterly useless Internet, and daily upselling for onboard art auctions, official photography and video diaries, jewelry and fragrance "workshops," and future cruises. I would in all honesty rather book passage on a cargo ship and eat stew with the crew -- at least that would be authentic. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was our third cruise with Princess and we won't be back. Princess used to be a great cruise company but due to cutbacks in all areas and over commercialization of onboard activities it is no longer a great choice. A lot of the so ... Read More
This was our third cruise with Princess and we won't be back. Princess used to be a great cruise company but due to cutbacks in all areas and over commercialization of onboard activities it is no longer a great choice. A lot of the so called enrichment presentation were unabashed product promotions. Instead of a wonderful production show every evening we only had 2 in 7 days. Both were not of the quality of previous shows we enjoyed on other trips with Princess. The food was mediocre and the buffet was a terrible experience. We had to wear our jackets or coats on many occasions as the doors were kept open(Alaska Cruise) for security reasons . It was always difficult to find a table due to the crowds and the stewards seemed harried and uninterested. (No wonder!). The cabin was clean but needed some refurbishment. The dining room experience was good although the food was not as nice as we had experienced on previous cruises. As someone who was loyal to the Princess brand, I am sad that they have ruined a great cruise experience by lowering quality and making their priority revenue generation in all areas. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Had not cruised on Princess in several years and decided to give them another try. This was by far the worst cruise in terms of both gourmet food selection and the size of the cabin bathroom that I have ever experienced, in over thirty ... Read More
Had not cruised on Princess in several years and decided to give them another try. This was by far the worst cruise in terms of both gourmet food selection and the size of the cabin bathroom that I have ever experienced, in over thirty years of cruising on six different cruise lines. They seem to crunch 3000 passengers into tiny cabins and group rooms designed for 2000. Always a feeling of being terribly crowded with times that no tables were available for lunch buffets or in the lounges. The. balcony cabin was the smallest I have ever had with no room for a lounge chair on the balcony and truly uncomfortable levels of space for the toilet and shower in the bathroom. Food choices and quality in the main dining room were very disappointing. They had zero options during the entire cruise for any form of lobster, crab, duck, veal, or lamb dishes. Even onion soup was never offered, nor any diverse interesting food dishes offered on all other mid to high end cruises I have been on. For the same price or slightly more, You can get a tremendously better dining and cabin experience on either Holland or Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
From start to finish this cruise was a huge disappointment. We had sallied on the Emerald Princess before and love the ship. It is clear that Princess (parent Carnival Cruise Lines) have made an all out push to cut cost at the expense of ... Read More
From start to finish this cruise was a huge disappointment. We had sallied on the Emerald Princess before and love the ship. It is clear that Princess (parent Carnival Cruise Lines) have made an all out push to cut cost at the expense of service and quality. In my opinion they are ruining the “brand.” Princess is a shell of what it once was, and is no longer a cruise line I will sail on. As of today we have cancelled our future cruises with Princess and gladly relinquished the deposits we made. • On the plus side, practically every person we encountered was kind, courteous, and helpful. No complaints with the staff (except the help desk where there main goal seems to be to just make you go away). • We arrived at LAX for our Princess Transfer to the Cruise Terminal and were told by two octogenarians, one of whom barely spoke English, it was running about three hours late and that we could “walk” to the food court in the international terminal and get something to eat while we waited. When asked if we could just take a cab and get a refund we were told flatly no. • Once we arrived at the terminal to process went well until we got to the cue for boarding, which took another three and a half hours. Inadequate seating and communications was the theme of the day. We were also told hat there wer over 170 wheelchairs and electric carts on this cruise. By observation, our best guess is that there were about 1,000 guests with walkers, cains, or other ambulatory challenges. We saw practically no special accommodations made for this onslaught of special needs guests, or for the chaos it caused for he rest of the passengers. • Elevator service was a nightmare, as one might imnagine with that many challenged passengers. • Every venue was a mob scene, long, disorderly lines everywhere.• • Our cabin, B602, was “upgraded” to A337 which is a connecting cabin with a bunk bed that pulls down from the ceiling. It was most certainly not an “upgrade” and I object strongly to a connecting room for safety reasons. The cabin was dirty and shabby. Windows were never washed. Stained carpet, walls and shower curtain. Much sign of hard use and abuse. WE felt like we had been shafted from the start. • Ship show much evidence of deferred maintenance, an obvious intentional strategy to maximize profit prior to the upcoming re-fit in the fall of 2018. • It was obvious from speaking with crew members that their workload has been increased (probably another cost cutting measure). Cabin steward(es) had her load increased to 18 cabins. Waiter, who was a prince of a fellow, was on his own part of the time resulting in slow service and mistakes. • Our cabin steward(es) was a disappointment. She did a barely average job and frequently solicited praise for it. Even the best steward could not make up for the shabby cabin condition. • Cabin bathroom had a strong odor of sewage, especially when the toilet seat was up. • Electronics for Bingo game broke in the middle of the game on 7 May • Theater performance literally packed – every seat filed (Princess theater deck 6&7 forward) – people standing in the back and sitting on the steps both sides of theater. No Security presence to manage the mêlée. Major fire hazard if theater had to be evacuated. • Entertainment was average at best. Basically the same shows as last year. • Card scan on our cabin door failed twice, had to go to desk for help both times. Treated very abruptly and rudely on phone. Once again was told it was the fault of our card key. Had to explain – again- that it was the door lock and not our cards. • Received a flyer advertising an LA disembarkation tour at the conclusion of cruise. The points of interest on the brochure said “see a number of highlights in Los Angeles….” When we checked into purchasing the tour we were old that the only destination was Long Beach, where we could shop for two and a half hours. No highlights…no nothing. Major misrepresentation. • One major frustration was the televised Alaska presentation that seemed to “loop” endlessly. It was so poorly done from a composition and text standpoint (yet so well done from a photographic perspective) . To begin with Princess needs to hire people who can speak English clearly and write it well also. You simply can not put a non-English speaker in charge of composing an advertisement like this. Let me provide some examples of quotes from the advertisement that reflect the grammatical "issues" as as" factoids": o “all the sudden” – instead of “all of a sudden” o “men had struck rich” instead of “men had struck it rich” o ”They came to escape from depression. Simply not historically accurate. Although there was a depression in the US from 1893 o 1898 the Alaska Gold Rush did no play much of a role in ending it. Most of the prospectors who came to Alaska for the Gold Rush were opportunists, looking for a quick buck. Only a handful actually benefited financially. Kep in mind that tteh strike was technically in Canada. o “All we had was hope” is a very poorly worded statement. All WHO had was hope? o “Hope swept the Nation” Oh really? On what do you base that comment. Food (A Parade of Culinary Abominations) • In short, we are certain that somewhere in the galley the Emerald Princess has a giant “Ronco” food taste extraction machine through which all meals are processed. The lack of taste was astounding, made all the more interesting by the shrinking portions (which turned out to be a blessing). • All portions much smaller that previous cruises • Dinner platters have now been replaced with smaller dishes. • Salt and Pepper shakers replaced with paper envelopes “single service” • Quality markedly lower • Lobster tail small and poor taste • My wife’s favorite, the afternoon tea, has been thrown under the buss as another cost cutting measure apparently. On a 12 day cruise there were 4 teas, of which 1 was for “singles only.” • There is no longer a bread service at dinner, just two small bread dishes which on one refills even when asked. • Every pasta dish every day was undercooked • The wonderful cheese selection, complete with big wheels of blue cheese, etc. now largely replaced with single slices of inexpensive, common grocery store variety. Very sad. • Salad bar was basically salad with some dressings only. No more cheese, garbanzo beans, olives, etc. Only the basics. McDonalds is better • One breakfast “treat” was biscuits and gravy with cheese gravy. Sorry but for biscuits served with cheese gravy is not a dish, it may be an invention of a non-American who has never enjoyed biscuits and sausage gravy. A culinary abomination. • Every breakfast sausage was pink on the inside. Basically a tray of trichinosis waiting to happen. • Breakfast hash looked and tasted like “Kal Kan” or “Whiskas” cat food. • In an unbelievable stroke of stupidity some genius decided to thin out the bisque with beef broth to save a buck or two. Same ploy was attempted on the escargot, which ruined that dish as well. • Bratwurst from the Trident Grill was also under cooked, and pink on the inside. • Low fat cream cheese substituted for real stuff. • The signature “love boat” desert had no taste what soever. • The maple syrup crusted salmon dish was not “crusted” at all, basically it was barely cooked. The “maple Syrup” glaze was store bought Aunt Jemima syrup made from corn oil. • A gnocchi dish that my wife had looked and tasted like dough balls for carp fishing. • The meat loaf dish was pink and undercooked, which was the theme of the cruise. Basically a gastric odyssey to test your immune system, or a culinary voyage to Hell. • In 12 days we can not recall one single meal worth praising, apart from the creamed spinach dish at the Horizon Court. • Table Partner allergic to peanuts (waiter and head waiter were well aware) and they served her ice cream with peanuts in it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We've sailed on Emerald before...but it is not the same quality cruise experience we've come to expect from Princess. There have been too many cutbacks. Even the employees have been cut as well. There is not enough help to ... Read More
We've sailed on Emerald before...but it is not the same quality cruise experience we've come to expect from Princess. There have been too many cutbacks. Even the employees have been cut as well. There is not enough help to provide the services we've come to enjoy in this ship. There were signs on tables in public areas to leave as soon as you finished eating. Also a sign in the Buffett not to eat while in there. Sad that that was necessary! Ship needs attention. Windows were dirty, floors needed vacuuming. Tables in Horizon Court need cleaning, and especially the chairs. They are sticky! Actually, the tables and chairs need to be replaced! Food quality has gone downhill. Hard to find something appealing. At breakfast there was not much variety. Same things every day...got rather boring. A sign says you can order an omelette, when my husband did...they didn't know how! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
My wife and I were looking for a follow-up cruise to our cruise of a lifetime aboard Oceania. Having cruised Princess a number of times we felt it would have good quality but in no way equal to Oceania. Boy were we disappointed. We were ... Read More
My wife and I were looking for a follow-up cruise to our cruise of a lifetime aboard Oceania. Having cruised Princess a number of times we felt it would have good quality but in no way equal to Oceania. Boy were we disappointed. We were expecting a Pontiac and got a Chevrolet. It started with an 1-1/2 ride on a bus with seats that were very uncomfortable. When we got to port, the embarkation was great. The room was wonderful. Nino was beyond wonderful,always there and always looking to help. Now it starts going downhill. Food was food. Edible but nothing that we would want the recipe for home use except for Vines which was a great value with excellent sushi/tapas. This goes for all included restaurants. We did not go to any add-on restaurants. The entertainment, except for Ronnie and Scottie, was mediocre. From here it gets bad. Not really enjoying wearing long pants for dinner, i read the brochure and found the definition of business casual to be "what you would wear to a fine restaurant at home". It next said no shorts. As we live in Southern Arizona, this was very ambiguous and I called home office for clarification. They informed me that "dress shorts" would be acceptable. We packed accordingly. First night of business casual we were taken out of line and told we would not be allowed in restaurant without long pants. No matter how many times I told them that I had checked in advance they would not budge saying they had to follow the rules. I showed them a copy of their rules but they continued to not believe that I had called and gotten approval..During this discussion, many men in jeans and ladies in peddle pushers were allowed entry. I honestly feel that if I had gone to my room and put my pajama bottoms over my shorts they would have allowed me entry to this exclusive restaurant. Pardon the pun, but this left me with a bad taste in my mouth. At the end of the cruise we had a credit as a tour had been canceled. Paid for this with credit card and they indicated credit will take 4-6 weeks to receive as they had to do an audit. I know, and you know, that if I owed them money there would not have been an audit. Just a charge on my credit card. Will take a lot to get me back on Princess. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Chose the cruise for its itinerary. Spent 2 days in BA prior to embarkation. Worthwhile to see BA. Embarkation process could have been smoother. Personnel lacked proficiency with the English language as well as familiarity with the ... Read More
Chose the cruise for its itinerary. Spent 2 days in BA prior to embarkation. Worthwhile to see BA. Embarkation process could have been smoother. Personnel lacked proficiency with the English language as well as familiarity with the process. Disembarkation much better in San Antonio-however the port is very industrial and there is NOTHING to see/do in this very economically depressed city. Have to rely on transportation for the 1.5 HR ride into SCL to board flight. SCL airport very disorganized, little English spoken, poor signage. Emerald dated, in dire need of upgrade in furnishing, rethinking of need for lounges and very amateurish shows. Very noticeable downgrade in quality and variety of food choices. Did not like the constant up selling of services and dining. Food was "pre-cooked" and reheated for service...cold toast, cold fries, cold bacon, lobster cold?! And mushy? Shore excursions poorly organized and lacked value for $. Crowded and limited time at sights. Would book with on shore tours, but operators lacked command of English. Better selections with Expedia shore excursions. Would travel to SA again, however NOT on Princess. Captain would not even shake hands on the welcome cocktail reception, did not feel our loyalty was valued?! One highlight was our cabin steward and dining staff, who went above and beyond to ensure a pleasant vacation despite their limitations. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Solely for the itinerary. Suspected that we would hate the cruise and we did! Can’t understand why 3000 people would want to be herded onto a ship and subjected to constant noise, demented entertainments (vegetable carving?!) and ... Read More
Solely for the itinerary. Suspected that we would hate the cruise and we did! Can’t understand why 3000 people would want to be herded onto a ship and subjected to constant noise, demented entertainments (vegetable carving?!) and dreadful formal nights. Every restaurant seemed to have third rate singers belting out songs we hoped we’d never hear again. We had to time our meals during the time they mercifully took a break. The public rooms were a nightmare of faux marble, glitzy gilt and carvings, swooping staircases and dreadful ‘art’. Mercifully our cabin was a haven of quiet and very comfortable. We spent a lot of time in it, Food was good, but having to queue up for it, buffet style did not appeal. Staff were friendly and efficient. The organisation of the ship was amazing but why anyone would want to go on a cruise is still beyond me. Yes, it appeared to be good value, until the extras started appearing. The cost of the shore excursions was breathtaking. Much better to book independently when you disembark (or ‘debark’ as Princess call it) or on the internet beforehand. And watch the tipping - unless you opt out. So....trip of a lifetime. Never again! Read Less
Sail Date January 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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