1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Princess Cruises
  4. Emerald Princess Review
  5. Emerald Princess Cruise Reviews
Sail Date: May 2015
It's really all about what kind of traveler you are and what your expectations are for a good trip. In May we took a 7 night Western Med Cruise (our third with Princess) from Istanbul to Rome. Our ports of call were Mykonos, ... Read More
It's really all about what kind of traveler you are and what your expectations are for a good trip. In May we took a 7 night Western Med Cruise (our third with Princess) from Istanbul to Rome. Our ports of call were Mykonos, Valletta, Messina and Salerno. Embarkation: was a bit of a bummer. We got an email the day before saying that due to a lot of cruise ships in port and Turkey's lengthy immigration clearance procedures, they needed to stagger passengers and asked us not to come until 4PM. When we got there, we were the only passengers there! The terminal was empty except for us and the ship's reps! Pretty annoying to get on the ship that late and go straight to muster. Cabin: Our Penthouse, R412, on the Riviera Deck, was larger than our last PH on the Ruby Princess but standard other than the general wear and tear others have noted. I liked the spaciousness and the layout of the bathroom. But as others have noted here, we heard the scraping of deck chairs on the Lido deck early in the morning. Overall it was fine and didn't disturb us too much. A fun quirk was the Love Boat A Thon running on television. A bummer was the lack of slippers (our attendant said they didn't have any) and the cheap recycled bag (three years ago we got a nice canvas tote). Also, Princess eliminated free internet for PH suite passengers, replacing it instead with complimentary specialty dining on embarkation night. I preferred the free internet. And this is the second time we've used their complimentary dry cleaning service where a garment was damaged when it was returned. Dining: We had late seating in the Botticelli dining room and both our head waitress and her assistant were terrific, friendly and on the ball. The maitre d' was also lovely. Food overall on this cruise was better than what we experienced on the Island Princess during our Alaska Cruise or the Ruby Princess, which we sailed three years ago. That being said, beef of any kind in the main dining room is poor. Even when they recommend it -- don't do it! We had the toughest prime rib of our lives on the first night, after waitress' enthusiastic recommendation. They did serve both lobster and escargots on this cruise on our second formal night, and it was delicious. Really surprising how good the lobster was on a mainstream cruise line. I can't comment on desert other than the fresh fruit, which I always ordered -- cold and refreshing. As usual, coffee is weak and you must buy a coffee card if you want a decent brew or an espresso drink. Overall, the food and variety/options on the Emerald Princess were better than either of the past two trips I've taken on Princess. I always like the Sabatini breakfast, un-rushed, serene and cooked to order. On mornings we had super early excursions, we got takeaway from the international cafe: egg mcmuffin sandwiches! Horizon court had enough fresh fruits and simply cooked vegetables for me to enjoy healthy dinners when we opted out of main dining, but the entrees were always the weakest link (poor protein quality, lots of sauces and cheese) in the buffet. Crown Grill: I wish the filet mignon had been better, but they served us a huge plate of complimentary lobster tails, which were sensational. Still, both previous Crown Grill experiences on Princess were better in terms of the quality of the beef served. Information: The Princess Patter is very comprehensive. I didn't care for the morning show because, to be honest, I didn't care for the cruise director or her deputy and their banter. It's a matter of personal preference and I'm sure she was great at her job but I would have preferred a smarter morning show led by grown ups (and ship's officers in addition to the cruise directors). Activities: Dance lessons were a lot of fun. My partner and his daughter played bingo and had a ball. I think cruise ship activities are a hallmark of the cruise tradition and even when I don't participate, I love reading about them or hearing about others' experiences. I never go to the shows since I live in NY and see a lot of Broadway theater. My partner went to one comic's performance and reported that the poor guy was a nervous wreck. Service: Most people were friendly and helpful, particularly in dining venues. I did feel like the level of interaction with customers was on the cutesy and overly familiar side, but appreciated their general warmth. Customer service desk was uneven; the reps were either harried and inexperienced or cold and put out. The guy at the internet cafe was the coldest, most unhelpful guy on the ship. Good thing I'm pretty tech savvy and my dealings with him were a minimum! One more thing I noticed was the general lack of visibility of crew officers throughout the ship. Except for the welcome evening, I never saw the Commodore. Interestingly, he'd also been our Captain on our Ruby Princess cruise 3 years ago and on that voyage he was always on the gangway greeting guests as they came 'home.' Up-selling: I have to make a note of this here because all of the flyers for art auctions, gold by the yard, watches, Greek gods popping out of the gangway door imploring you to take a picture with them, bric a brac specials, spa specials, hard sell for wine tastings, etc, etc, is wearying. Moreover, it cheapens the experience. End of my rant on that topic... Port Excursions: All of the port excursions we booked through Princess were good except the Valletta excursion. A guide can make or break the visit and our guide in Malta simply wasn't up to par. Moreover, the meal included there was bottom of the barrel dreadful (as it was on our Amalfi Coast excursion, too). Disembarkation was smooth and painless. In summary, while I think the Princess experience is solid and we enjoyed ourselves, I think we want to try a more upscale line for our next cruise. Princess doesn't line up with how we otherwise live and travel and that is probably why I take issue with uneven or overly familiar service, boisterous cruise directors, and hordes of people milling around tables of watches and costume jewelry. While I have a certain level of comfort in knowing what to expect with a Princess cruise, there are too many variables from ship to ship, too much cost cutting and too much up-selling, and I'm ready to branch out and see what line(s) might be a better fit for us. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
Overall – Very Good cruise. • High marks for itinerary, room comfort and steward’s service, specialty restaurants. The weather was great. • Low marks for several of the tours, dining room service, too much emphasis on ... Read More
Overall – Very Good cruise. • High marks for itinerary, room comfort and steward’s service, specialty restaurants. The weather was great. • Low marks for several of the tours, dining room service, too much emphasis on shopping, slow Wi-Fi Room (mini-suite) was very nice. Plenty of room, very nicely furnished and well equipped. The bed seemed larger than a queen and was very comfortable. The large sitting area, with sofa bed and coffee table, and balcony were especially nice. Negatives - poor lighting for makeup preparation and weak hair dryer. Our room steward was excellent - very clean room and prompt and polite service. Room location had pluses and minuses – the mini-suites are on the 9th deck – fairly stable ride, relatively quiet and close to many public areas. A free upgrade resulted in a room assignment in the middle section – more convenient location but more hall and service cart noise The food ranged from good to excellent. It was noticeably better in terms of variety and taste, than on our last cruise to Alaska. Service in the dining areas was disappointing on several occasions. Food quality and service in the Crown Room was exceptional. The itinerary was the best part of the cruise for us. The four Greek islands and two days in Istanbul were a great match for our high priority travel plans. Each proved a wonderful experience. The same for Malta and Messina, Sicily. A revisit to the Amalfi region was most enjoyable. With this said, we were not happy with many of the tours – excess wait times, large groups, photographers slowing the disembarkation, uninteresting commercial centered stops, difficulty hearing the tour guides and pricey tours. One might find better tours at lower prices at many of the ports, but take care to research times, places visited, group size etc. Some of the alternate tours could easily have been booked on our own after arriving in town or earlier via the web. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
I have sailed with princess since 1977 and I have sailed on Emerald Princess several times. My last trip was out of Athens on the 16th of May 2015 and from the embarkation it had lots of issues. On arrival at Athens Port no one to help ... Read More
I have sailed with princess since 1977 and I have sailed on Emerald Princess several times. My last trip was out of Athens on the 16th of May 2015 and from the embarkation it had lots of issues. On arrival at Athens Port no one to help with luggage. The staff were actually sitting on the Trolley's smoking great impression, did not rush to help at all. I was sent into a embark hall to wait with no one in the hall then moved into another embark hall. Being a Platinum member I did not even get welcome back, just can I have your cabin number and not even enjoy your cruise. What do they say first impressions really matter. My cabin was fine but my steward had absolutely no personality at all. He forgot to clean my stateroom twice, left all his cleaning products in my bathroom for a week and left rotten fruit in my cabin. No attention to detail at all. I had no complaints about the dining room my waiter and assistant waiter were superb and so was our Head Waiter. The food has certainly changed since the last time I was on board. The Crown Grill which I ate in twice was marvellous, but the experience at Sabatini 's Restaurant was less than memorable, if they are going to charge for an Italian Restaurant they need to have Italian Waiters. The entertainment was shocking and the stage shows were there four years ago If they flog that Love Boat Theme once more I would scream, this is 2015 not 1977 yes they are celebrating the 50 years but really when leaving a fabulous place like Istanbul at 10 pm in the evening don't play the Love Boat Theme, seriously. The Female Cruise Director was dreadful They really need to pay attention to their staff and the way they dress, some uniforms have been in since Princess started and you need to get rid of the white pursers uniform on woman it is not flattering. I recently went on a Costa Cruise and I have nothing but praise for how beautifully the staff were attired. The front Desk staff were rude, cold and unwelcoming The boutiques need a massive revamp they are still in the 1980's The rudest person on the ship was the guy in the Internet café you are honestly doing yourself no favours having him aboard. My biggest beef was the fact that I had prepaid my departure transfer and nd it took 11 goes to get it right. I have cruised with Princess for a long time, I still had a good time on board but to keep up with the newest ships in the market they need to change. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
We cruised from Houston to the western Caribbean for 7 nights, then back into Houston. We visited the NASA Space Centre in Houston, while the crew turned the Emerald Princess around for our Transatlantic Cruise. Never done a transatlantic ... Read More
We cruised from Houston to the western Caribbean for 7 nights, then back into Houston. We visited the NASA Space Centre in Houston, while the crew turned the Emerald Princess around for our Transatlantic Cruise. Never done a transatlantic cruise before. The cost of this repositioning cruise was very competitive, as we got to cruise the Med. as well after we sailed to Madeira. Emerald Princess is a large but comfortable ship. It is needing some refurbishment in certain areas, but on the whole the condition of the ship/cabins etc; was good. We spent 4 weeks on her, so we had plenty of time to explore! The food was always good, no complaints apart from one, which was dealt with swiftly and efficiently. That's not a bad score in 4 weeks! We are seasoned cruisers so we did not use the port & shore excursions. Mainly did our own thing - this was a much cheaper and a more effective way of seeing some of the ports. You just need to research before you go. Rome for instance can be reached by train from Cittavecchia. Likewise Seville from Cadiz. The entertainment was good and varied. It's a long trip for the entertainment crew, as you are at sea for 7/8 days crossing the Atlantic. They did well, but were probably glad to reach Madeira, where the tours started to kick off! Our balcony cabin was looked after well by our Steward. I needed to use the Medical Centre for a minor complaint, the staff were excellent. If you are British you have to be prepared to be in the minority, as the ship is a way of US citizens getting to Europe inexpensively, so we Brits were well outnumbered! Nice to have a good quantity of Brits on the entertainment crew. Deputy Cruise Director was outstanding and did us proud! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2015
My wife and I have just returned home to NZ after a wonderful 28 day cruise around the Med. Thoroughly enjoyed the ship and crew, from the Commodore down to the guys and girls in the laundry. We've been aboard this ship previously, ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned home to NZ after a wonderful 28 day cruise around the Med. Thoroughly enjoyed the ship and crew, from the Commodore down to the guys and girls in the laundry. We've been aboard this ship previously, last time was August / September 2014 and there were a number of crew who remembered us.....by name. It really annoys me when a fellow critic complains that there are no towel animals. The cabin stewards have enough to do without pandering to these trivial items. Buy the book on towel origami and make them yourself! But...and there normally is a but if there's no 5 star review. The food was okay but we've had better on previous Princess cruises, although the International Cafe and Vines and I re always consistently good as is the service. The menu is on a weekly cycle so after a month we've seen it 4 times! One particular area that does annoy us is the dining room. It states a reasonable dress code, you do not have to wear a jacket and tie but smart casual is required. I believe shorts and a t shirt does not comply! Go to the Horizon Court, P&O Australia or Carnival, not the main dining room of any cruise line!! Certain standards should be kept and it doesn't cost much (in money or time) to wear shoes, a nice shirt and trousers. The entertainment is quite frankly, pathetic. The movies kept repeating as does the shows and entertainment during the day. There must be better quest performers out there. The Princess Orchestra and most of the Princess regular bands and singers are pretty good. The guest performers, on the whole, are not. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
We cruise a couple times a year with my sister and hubby, so this was our 7th cruise together and 13 total for myself and hubby. My niece and son-in-law surprised us at the Port of Houston by showing up to go with us. It was a delightful ... Read More
We cruise a couple times a year with my sister and hubby, so this was our 7th cruise together and 13 total for myself and hubby. My niece and son-in-law surprised us at the Port of Houston by showing up to go with us. It was a delightful surprise making our cruise that much better to have a younger couple wanting to tag along for the fun. Four of us did the T/A crossing last fall on the Emerald Princess for 17 days, so when we saw this week-long cruise offered at a super price, we had to jump aboard a familiar ship! We were in interior cabins and don't mind that at all, as we don't spend a great deal of time there except to clean up and sleep! We always get an on-board credit for hubby's military service, which is greatly appreciated from Princess. We didn't do excursions this time, but hired a driver to take us around Roatan, which we all enjoyed and took loads of pictures. The port shopping falls a little flat, but we had fun with bargaining and buying some silver jewelry both in Belize and Cozumel. I have written a separate review about a rude young manager in the Del Sol store in Cozumel; definitely won't go back to that one! On board, we had great food, good entertainment, and some very thorough and friendly crew. I wrote 8 comment cards recognizing their commitment to providing good service. We definitely love Princess and look forward to the next cruise. We would love to do a land and sea adventure to have more time exploring the port cities. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
After booking a mini-suite sailing out of Houston, I almost cancelled it after reading reviews on Cruise Critic. Many of the complaints were about the cold, inattentive staff. This could not be further from the truth! Everyone on board ... Read More
After booking a mini-suite sailing out of Houston, I almost cancelled it after reading reviews on Cruise Critic. Many of the complaints were about the cold, inattentive staff. This could not be further from the truth! Everyone on board smiled and said "hello", the waiters and stewards were happy and fun. There was this ONE GUY, working at the hamburger stand who did not seem to enjoy his job. That was it, everyone else was adorable.This was my 12th cruise, and there was little to complain about. The food can be hit or miss, but there was something exceptional on the menu everyday. We went to the Chef's Table dinner, which was a once in a lifetime event- four hours of galley tours, sampling wines and great food prepared table side. At $95 per person (complete with a huge cookbook) it is a bargain. We loved our mini suite. It will spoil us for smaller rooms from now on. Some reviews complain the patio is exposed to the elements and eyes above on upper decks. Not a problem for a wife who wants to sunbathe daily! The carpet was a little worn, but it was clean. The big tub and shower were nice, and all appliances worked as designed. Our room steward Raul was a delight, funny and efficient. As for food, the good: Pizza was always excellent. Chef's table experience was awesome. Fish and Chips were good, lobster night and the baked Alaska was great. The not so good: Don't order a veggie burger at the hamburger bar. Even if ours hadn't been blackened on one side and raw on the other, it wouldn't have been good. The eggs benedict in the main dining room had very runny whites, so I sent it back. Second time around, the whites were firm but the yolks were like hard boiled eggs. They offered a third try and I passed on it. Finally, the Horizon and Caribe cafeterias are cafeteria quality. Occasionally something is very good, sometimes not. My suggestion would be get many small samples and try it out at the table, then go get more of your favorite. Roatan is like 6 Flags Over Texas, a port designed to sell you Chinese made souvenirs and $20 an hour paddleboats. We hit the duty free shop and went back to the room. Belize is a dump, and we stayed on the ship this time. It was great, one of maybe 5 people at the pool that day. Cozumel is okay, we ate at a great restaurant with free wifi, Paprika. Back to the ship to take advantage of reduced prices at the spa on shore days. This cruise for us was just a chance to get away from jobs, dogs, email, facebook and internet. We enjoyed each other's company and had the couple's massage at Lotus Spa TWICE. We dressed up on formal nights, and dressed down on at sea days. We watched movies and drank wine in bed. It was the best cruise yet. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
I had not been on a cruise in years, and the thought of sailing out of Houston, away from the masses in Florida was very appealing to me. But I guess embarkation day, no matter where you depart from, is always going to be somewhat ... Read More
I had not been on a cruise in years, and the thought of sailing out of Houston, away from the masses in Florida was very appealing to me. But I guess embarkation day, no matter where you depart from, is always going to be somewhat chaotic, and this was no exception. I do give Princess credit for being organized about it all. That day was stressful because of the hoards of people everywhere. Initially, being honest, I thought it was horrible. But then as time went on and as people dispersed to places all over the ship, I enjoyed it. I especially enjoyed it when we were in ports and everyone got off. I stayed on and it was so nice a peaceful. I would say about 85% of the staff were excellent. My room steward, Jose, could NOT have been better and more accommodating. The room service staff likewise. The only place where I found the male staff to be consistently rude was a place called the International Cafe. But this was an exception, not the rule. The ship itself is stunningly beautiful in my opinion. My balcony stateroom was perfect. It had great air conditioning, extremely comfortable bed and excellent shower. The food was pretty good. Of course I understand that when you cook for thousands, it is a bit difficult to have a consistently high quality product, but I found it to be delicious most of the time. I will say to beware of being nickeled and dimed left and right. One of the International Cafe bar tenders deceived me into purchasing a $25 "specialty" coffee card after he told me I could not get regular coffee (which of course you can get..for free). I would suggest not buying anything until you get on board, see how much you use and then go from there. I would also suggest the same thing for excursions in different ports. I ended up not taking either one that I had paid for because I just felt like getting away from all the other passengers. This ship does have something for everyone and I think you would enjoy it. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
booked one suite and two balcony staterooms. Family cruise for 6. rooms were nice, clean and well maintained. disappointed in the buffet, unimaginative food without a lot of selection. The only redeeming feature was the Omelet cooked ... Read More
booked one suite and two balcony staterooms. Family cruise for 6. rooms were nice, clean and well maintained. disappointed in the buffet, unimaginative food without a lot of selection. The only redeeming feature was the Omelet cooked for breakfast. Formal nights were a joke. they will simply NOT enforce the dress code. I saw shorts and flip-flops on SUPPOSED formal nights. the food in the main dining rooms was top quality and we did enjoy our dinners. The CROWN GRILL was a fantastic steak house. service beyond perfect and the steaks were the best thing of the trip. sorely lacking in usual amenities. NO miniature golf course. NO full size shuffle board. they did have an idea of a shuffle board. it was crammed in an upper deck corner, about 12 feet long. they did have a croquet course which we used a couple of times. My two teenage grandsons did not think there was much for them except the pools. I have been on 2 other cruises and this one was far and away the roughest. in calm seas no less. I thing perhaps this older ship doesn't have more modern stabilizers. the trip was quite rough with rocking enough to almost throw you out of bed. Our rooms were on the very back of the ship so when they used the reverse thrusters to dock the entire room shook and rattled. We only booked this trip so we could go to Belize for the cave tubing. I have reviewed the Belize and Roatan potions of this trip on Trip advisor. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We have traveled with Princess several times but this was our first experience on the Emerald. We were in a mini-suite which we believe is the best value for the amount of space you receive. We like the layout of the Royal Princess much ... Read More
We have traveled with Princess several times but this was our first experience on the Emerald. We were in a mini-suite which we believe is the best value for the amount of space you receive. We like the layout of the Royal Princess much better than the Emerald. The space in more functional. The Royal has a desk/dresser where you can put clothes away and out of site and a room divider if you're sharing living space. The Emerald has a rounded console that has open space to store items but seems to take up more space with less function. The Royal has two large screen wall mounted T.V.'s with on demand function. We did not realize how much we utilized this features until we sailed on the Emerald. We greatly missed the feature plus the rebroadcast Princess Live shows. The ship was clean and tidy and our steward, China, always kept everything immaculate. We still have not been overwhelmed with the food on Princess (except Crown Grill $25 pp surcharge) but appreciate the variety and flexibility. The entertainment was lacking and reminded me of a weak high school production. We will never embark from Houston again. We had to fly in the day before and it was very costly getting to the port and the local hotels did not provide shuttle service like they do in Ft. Lauderdale. In retrospect, we should have stayed near the airport at a hotel that offered shuttle service and went back to the airport the next day to utilize the Princess transfer (that would have been a steal compared to what we ended up paying). We enjoyed the snorkeling at Cozumel and did some shopping near the port. We used Shore Excursions and the staff went above and beyond to make sure your trip was enjoyable. We tendered in Belize City and went on a Shore Excursion to the Altun Ha Mayan ruins. The trip was interesting but would have like more history at the ruin site. Belize City is very third world and we have no desire to return. One of my co-workers in from there and was disgusted that the ship stopped there since there are some beautiful coastal destinations that don't have the filth of Belize City. Roatan Honduras has a very modern port that caters to tourists/divers. We went on a snorkel excursion through Princess and enjoyed the day out. The winds were too high so we could not go to the shipwreck site but the alternate site was okay. Overall, we enjoyed the cruise but kind of have a "been there done that" attitude regarding this itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
The reason for my title is only because I feel like the staff seemed "not in to it" on this one, possibly because it also seemed like the same amount of staff for almost 700 more passengers. They seemed shortstaffed overall in my ... Read More
The reason for my title is only because I feel like the staff seemed "not in to it" on this one, possibly because it also seemed like the same amount of staff for almost 700 more passengers. They seemed shortstaffed overall in my opinion. A few people were friendly, some just going through the motions and a quite a few were just not happy. On the Golden I never felt like that. The ship itself was in good shape, It seemed very clean at all times and nothing seemed to be falling into disrepair. That is a big plus. The piazza was beautiful with so much gold for the 50th anniversary. We did several activities like Bingo and line dancing and they were fine. The coffee bar was very inconsistent and you waited for what felt like forever to get served because of the way it was positioned between the bar and the IC. My coffees were good every time but never once the same. I had about a 50/50 ratio on friendliness there. The gelato was good there, only $1.50 for 3 scoops. That's amazing. We didn't enjoy the buffet at all, our family said it was fine/good for breakfast (we had Suite breakfast in Sabatinis every day) but we never enjoyed the dinners. We had lunch there once and it was pretty good. We also didn't like that they didn't tell us in the Patter what the theme for dinner was in the buffet. That could have helped us choose the right night to go. The pizza was incredible. My husband got pizza at least twice a day. We had the pub lunch in the wheelhouse bar and it was some of the best fish and chips ever. I got a knockwurst at the trident grill and it was fine. The dining room was good overall. Hit or miss on the service again but almost all the food was great. It was mostly Caribbean themed which is not my favorite cuisine and I still found something good almost every night. It seemed to go a little faster then on the golden so that was good. That was our only drawback for eating there. It was really hard to do activities if you ate in the dining room. we did not have a tv guide in our room which was frustrating. We did use the thermal spa once, it was ok. If i had more free time I would have done it more and would have liked the heated stone beds to be warmer. I enjoyed the aromatherapy sauna. I should have used the private pool. The fitness center was fine. The main pool was pretty cold, I assumed it would be heated on some level. We used the hot tubs and pools in the rear of the ship and they were slightly warmer. No kids. That bar took 30 min to get 3 drinks. The bartender was terrible there. Disembarkation was easy. We had them collect our luggage this time and that was fine. Last time we took it off ourselves. We were the last group to go and we were still done and outside by 1030. We originally planned a 230 pm flight and we would have made that no problem. We had no issues getting of the ship in any ports either. We sailed to Cozumel, Roatan and Belize. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
This was our first Princess cruise after 12 on RCCL, 5 on NCL, and 2 on Celebrity. I was hesitant to go on Princess (not my choice) because it is in the Carnival family and there have been too many problems on Carnival lines for my ... Read More
This was our first Princess cruise after 12 on RCCL, 5 on NCL, and 2 on Celebrity. I was hesitant to go on Princess (not my choice) because it is in the Carnival family and there have been too many problems on Carnival lines for my comfort. Nonetheless, we went and had a very good time. I would say that it was quite comparable to RCCL and NCL and a notch below Celebrity. We (hubby, me, and 3 year old) stayed in a a mini-suite, which was wonderful. I particularly enjoyed the 2 TVs in the room (hubby could watch March Madness on mute while daughter watched a very good selection of family films on the other). The balcony was large, as was the bathroom. The room steward was very much on top of things, though I got the feeling that he was in charge of more rooms than he probably should have been. The food on the ship was generally good, not great. The buffet was good, but not particularly inspiring (and the crowd flow of the buffet was disastrous--seriously, Princess, do a usability study on that). Breakfast got old quick, and the dinners were okay. The best part was that they generally had the same dessert as the main dining room. The pizza and the grill were very good. The fish and chips in the Wheelhouse on sea days were also very good. The steakhouse was fabulous, though you paid for it. The food and the service at the steakhouse were outstanding. The MDR, however, left much to be desired. The food was generally okay, though bland. But the service was a nightmare. We were a table of 10 and service took three hours (which is too long for anyone, especially for a family with a three year old). On the first night, I talked to someone who I thought was a head waiter, and he promised me it would be better the next night. The next night, it was 40 minutes from when the last person sat down until we got any food. I drank the last drop of my water, and 30 minutes later, my glass still not had been refilled. I then talked to the manager of the dining room and told him that this was my 20th cruise, my first on Princess, and thus far they were not doing a particularly good job at making me want to take another cruise with them. Well, from that point on, service was impeccable. We got a new waitress, who was phenomenal. But I should have to cause a fuss to be treated in a timely manner. We were impressed with the Princess Pelican Club for the three year old. We thought she would hate it, but she wound up asking us when she got to go back to the Club. They had dance parties, painted t-shirts, got their faces painted, and more. I was impressed with the security. The door was always locked (parents had to be buzzed in) and an ID had to be presented to pick up the kids. After the first day, the staff knew my daughter by name and knew that I belonged to my daughter. Impressive. Also, one night when they went to the buffet and to a dance club, two large security guards went with them. This was the first cruise my daughter went on in which she could go to the club, so I can't compare it to others, but I was impressed. We were on the Spring Break cruise, and they had many more kids than usual (to the disdain of many of the older crowd on the ship), but the kids club seemed to handle the influx well. The only frustrating thing about the Pelican Club was that dinner started at 5:30 and the kids club didn't open until 6. So, to avoid the long dinners in the MDR, I would feed her at 5:30 in the buffet, drop her off at 6pm, and then run down to the MDR to join the group for the main dish that my husband ordered for me. I feel as though Princess could have done a better job timing everything to make things work more seamlessly. I thought the ship itself was in good shape. I loved that muster was inside. Overall, we had a good trip and would consider Princess again (especially since Houston is so convenient), though, to be fair, we already have two more cruises booked for the next two years, and neither is on Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We just got back from a week long cruise to Cozumel, Roatan and Belize. We booked our cruise late (Tuesday before sailing on Sunday). Had a nice cabin, we were upgraded from a cabin with obstructed view to cabin with view. The three ... Read More
We just got back from a week long cruise to Cozumel, Roatan and Belize. We booked our cruise late (Tuesday before sailing on Sunday). Had a nice cabin, we were upgraded from a cabin with obstructed view to cabin with view. The three Princess ships we have been on do not have couches. Only seat other than bed is desk chair which when pulled out seemed to be in the way. Our cabin always felt a little warm to us. We bought a small clip on fan with us to help dry our workout gear and diving gear. At night we set up the fan to blow over the bed and that made life much more tolerable. During the day we set up the fan to blow over stuff hanging in head and on the door to the head. During the check in they put the sticker for the soda card on the wrong cruise card (mine instead of hers). Told them it was wrong and was told they had to fix on board. Went to guest services and the lady was perplexed as to fix this problem. Told her to peel it off and put on my wife's card.. I did not want to do it because if the sticker got damaged I did not want to have to pay again. She got the sticker on the right card after consulting with the supervisor. This is the first time we have checked in early (before noon) and were allowed to board before noon (11:45). As we were getting on board everyone (crew & terminal personnel) said to get some lunch. So we dropped off our carry on luggage we went in search of something to eat. Tried the burger grill and told to come back in half an hour. Found one side of the Horizons buffet open and two separate lines to get in. The gate keeper to the buffet was overwhelmed. All she is used to doing is saying please sanitize your hands. They needed crowd control there. Then once we got into the food area the selections was very limited. Food was cold and not very good. We went to someplace where they were selling the soda card to get my wife's cup. They sent us on our way telling us we had to get the cup from Guest Services because we pre paid for the card. On the way back to the cabin we stopped at Guest Services to find out about the soda cup. We were told to wait until after 4pm. It was only 1pm at this time. I asked about my pre-paid coffee card. I was told we have to check with steward. We went and wondered about and decided to go to the gym for a walk on the treadmill. Well the belts on the treadmills slipped with every other step. Not too good. The ellipticals were great. Good workout. Came back and took a shower. By this time was after 4 so we check on the soda cup and the steward told us to go to guest services. Guest services told us to check with steward. GRRRRR!!!!! Finally my wife got a hold of the hotel manager and he delivered the cup himself. Dinner that night was good not great. Overall I would say the ship was clean and they were taking care of the rust bubbles. Disappointed that they did not have a chef's table. It is not widely advertised and the price is steep compared to Carnival. But each person gets a $28 cookbook which for a couple would be over kill. Why would a couple need two of the same cookbook. Also disappointed in the big promotion for Chocolate Journey. This was a joke. They had a couple of deserts. One desert in the Crown Grill stated in the description the base was developed by Norman Love. Really, all that promotion for the base of a desert? I believe one night they had a desert in the main dining room that was part of the chocolate journey. I'm talking they promote this "Chocolate Journey" on tv, brochures left on your pillow, everywhere it was promoted. They describe a cooking demo developed by "Norman Love" and they only have it on one or two of the ships. In the past we have always had personnel to recommend for the Consummate Host program and this time we did not feel there was on person deserving of the recommendation. For some reason, Princess Cruises charge more for there excursions than Carnival. One dive excursion was $40 more than what Carnival charges. My wife used shoreexcursioneer.com for an excursion and it was $3 more for an extra hour tour than what the Princess offered. I was going to book a dive excursion in Belize with them but did not feel comfortable flying in a small plane after diving yet. But it was $50 cheaper than the one Princess offered. Will do next time. Entertainment on the cruise was lacking. We enjoy the production shows. The last three nights they did not have one. They brought in a ventriloquist. We were told the shows were great but not our cup of tea. We don't understand why they did not have shows. The cast was still onbaord but nothing. Also the Friday after all the port calls we found there was not a lot to do. For the first time on a cruise we got board. Spent a lot of time playing cribbage. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
We are older, ages 63 & 58, this was our 15th cruise, 4th on Princess. We live in Houston and were dropped off at the ship. Having cruised with Princess before on a similar ship we knew what to expect. Getting on and off the ship at ... Read More
We are older, ages 63 & 58, this was our 15th cruise, 4th on Princess. We live in Houston and were dropped off at the ship. Having cruised with Princess before on a similar ship we knew what to expect. Getting on and off the ship at Bayport was a breeze. Luckily, fog was not an issue, though we have dealt with it before in Galveston. The overall experience at Bayport was positive, way better than Galveston. I'll start with the food. We thought the main dining room food was good, but the buffet was not so good. We never had dinner in the buffet, only lunch and breakfast. Breakfast was decent, but the buffet lunch was lacking. There was good pizza by the pool and we enjoyed going to the International Cafe on deck 5. In the Botticelli Dining Room we had tables 66 and 76 located right next to each other. Sandra was outstanding. The staff seemed shorthanded so service was hit & miss on the busier nights. We never tried any of the specialty places on this cruise. Friends did the Crab Shack thing and they liked it a lot. Let's talk entertainment. We went to some, but not all the shows. We thought most of them were below par. Having recently cruised the MSC Divina and having been on the Oasis of the Seas maybe we're spoiled. Shows were better than Carnival shows, but worse than Royal Caribbean. The Princess Theater seemed a little old too and smaller than other ships we have been on. The DJs and live bands did a good job throughout the ship, however. Went to Skywalkers every night and took advantage of the two for one drink special between 10pm and 11pm. Pool deck and outside areas. We enjoyed the Lotus Spa pool and hot tubs almost every day. The Sanctuary, located above the pool towards the front seemed stupid. Looked like a ghost town to me. Just a wasted space that very few people paid to use. Spent time at the aft too near the Horizon Pool. The pool itself is small, but the aft area is a great place to hang out, especially above the pool. Never watched MUTS at the main pool, but the sound was not overpowering like it is on Carnival. I spent time outside on the Promenade Deck each morning and totally enjoyed the peace & quiet. We've been to all the ports, but Mahogany Bay in Roatan was a new dock for us. If you don't want to go to West Bay or the West End the port is fine for spending time off the ship. It's not cheap, however. In Belize, the wife shopped and I planted my butt at the Wet Lizard. We both had fun. Paradise Beach was our stop in Cozumel. Had been there before and would go back. We had a balcony cabin. I thought the balcony was rather small. The cabin was set up well, with a table and chair instead of a little couch. The storage area of HUGE. Biggest closet we've had on a ship. The bathroom was a cruise ship bathroom. Our room guy, Rocard did a good job. We like our cabin cold and it was cold. No cabin complaints. (Posted this cabin review in the deck plan section too.) Overall, we had a good cruise. We still like Royal Caribbean better and Carnival worse. For the right cruise, we'd cruise Princess again, but we'd never cruise Carnival again. The prices out of Houston were very cheap, that alone makes this cruise worth taking.   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
My family of four had a great time on the Emerald Princess from 8-15 Mar 15. Rather than go through the minutia about what was good, I thought it might be more helpful to explain where we saw some things lacking. ENTERTAINMENT: As ... Read More
My family of four had a great time on the Emerald Princess from 8-15 Mar 15. Rather than go through the minutia about what was good, I thought it might be more helpful to explain where we saw some things lacking. ENTERTAINMENT: As discussed on this board previously, my family also found the entertainment to be mediocre at best. I expected a higher quality of nightly performances. DINING: Food was excellent but always seemed to bother me after dinner.... maybe I'm just not used to eating foods so rich. KIDS CLUB: Although this was spring break and there were many kids on the ship, the activities weren't that robust. My 12-year-old grew bored with her group the first day and my 14-yr-old was disappointed compared to other cruise line programs. Again, there just were not enough quality activities. BAR SERVICE: Woefully undermanned. It should never take 20 minutes to get a drink at any bar on a ship (in my opinion). As I said, we generally enjoyed this cruise although I believe we would rather cruise with other lines who offer activities more in line with our own personal tastes. The alcohol program was worth it for my husband and I -- him for quantity and me for the ability to order something different, not like it, and not feel guilty about not drinking it. When you add in the kids beverage program (including malts and mocktails), we more than got our money's worth. Excellent value. My review would be remiss without a shout out to the EXCELLENT medical service. Unfortunately, my oldest daughter was sick the first day at sea but the medical staff took wonderful care of her, even calling during the day to ensure she was getting better. The Houston port was uber efficient and I will definitely cruse out of that port when we go again. Luckily, we experienced no fog. SHORE EXCURSIONS: Booked by ourselves. Little French Key (Honduras) was wonderful and cave tubing (Belize) was a lot of fun. However, at the port, we were "sold" to another trip company and things went downhill from there. Although our river guide was EXCELLENT (Javier's Adventures), the remainder of the experience was lacking.   Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
This was our 4th cruise with Princess and our 2nd out of Houston. We had experienced fog on our first cruise out of Houston and were a bit worried sailing out of that port again, but the price was right and we had no fog issues this time. ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with Princess and our 2nd out of Houston. We had experienced fog on our first cruise out of Houston and were a bit worried sailing out of that port again, but the price was right and we had no fog issues this time. This was the quickest time we have been on a ship in our 10 plus cruises..took the princess shuttle from the airport..checked in and on the ship we were...in less than 20 minutes..same getting of the ship..we always take our luggage with us...no wait time at all. First to the food...we had the late seating...the food was outstanding..no complains...but Princess has cut back in staffing..only 2 waiters to serve...including getting drinks from the bar...one evening we waited 40 min to get our appetizers..no fault of the waiters at all..they work the butts off. We went one evening to the crown grill...food was excellent, but the service was also slower than on the last cruises. We also tried anytime dining one evening...only waited 15 min to get a table, but the same slow service. Overall the staff on board is very friendly and work very hard. We visited the ports of Cozumel...went tequila tasting on our own...Roatan..took the snorkeling and nature walk tour on Paradise Island...can highly recommend this..and Belize...just went into town and did some sightseeing. We did watch the comedian and the illusionist shows which were very entertaining. If you are looking for a quick and easy embarkment..this is the port for you...other than that the port of Houston is nothing to look at.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2015
Everything I have read good, about the Emerald Princess is true. Some of the bad, my jaw dropped as I thought, wow, some people can be on the same cruse at the same time and come away with con's that I did not see at all. either the ... Read More
Everything I have read good, about the Emerald Princess is true. Some of the bad, my jaw dropped as I thought, wow, some people can be on the same cruse at the same time and come away with con's that I did not see at all. either the people are extremely hard to please or I am easy!!! The ship was relaxing and the most relaxing cruise I and DH have ever had. Even the color scheme and the décor are relaxing. We did ATD for the first time and loved it, met really wonderful people. We did the Chef's Table (which was wonderful and the Chef is as cute and entertaining as we have ever met.) We also did the UST (ship tour on the last day), and it was wonderful. The Captain spent a lot of time with us and everyone was very professional. Love the Scotsman in engineering, what a hoot, had us all laughing. To celebrate our anniversary, we ate at the Crown Grill and it was a wonderful meal. We purchased a bottle of really good wine and had them decant it for us. Wow was it wonderful. We did the $25 wine tasting and it was great. We sat at a table with a sommelier , and he actually told us more about the wine we drank than the ships, wine experts, but he enjoyed the wines which made us enjoy them too. The appetizers they served with the wines were great!! I did the cycle classes and they were fantastic, great work out, well worth the money for the class and I did tip the instructor, it was that good!!! We had booked this cruise through a TA and they were kind enough to gift us a bottle of champagne and the dinner at the Crown Grill. These came to us as pieces of paper from our cabin steward on the first day of the cruise. We had to call room service to deliver the Champagne to our room and take the paper with us to the Steak house. since it was our anniversary, a couple had hinted that they might do something special for us, so I was on the look out each day for something to come from them. I would search through the many pieces of paper left in our cabin each day with ads and patter alike in case it was left in with other pieces of paper. We did not want to miss a gift. When none came, we just thought, they did not give us a gift, no big deal. The day we got off the ship, we called our sons on the way home to let them know how wonderful the cruise was. One of our sons asked how we enjoyed the bottle of wine and appetizers he and his wife had gifted us???? We had to tell him, we did not receive any gifts, other than what the TA had provided. I assured him that I looked through every pc. of paper in our cabin, knowing that was how the gift from our TA had come.........and I was thinking that our friends had given us something too so I really tried not to throw anything away. Our son was charged for the gift. I then had to mention to our friends then about what happened with our sons gift and had to ask them if they did anything for us on our anniversary that we did not get it. I got an email from them that they had gifted us the Ultimate Balcony champagne breakfast and they asked us if we really did not get it??? I felt so bad that we did not receive either gift as they were both amazing gifts!!!! I really did go through each pc. of paper in our cabin and was really disappointed, not only for not receiving the gifts, but that our sons and our friends were disappointed in not sharing in our anniversary. It kind of tainted a wonderful cruise. DH and I did a lot this cruise and we really did enjoy the ship and took advantage of a lot of add on's but were sad that we could not celebrate with others from home. Princess had charged both our son and our friends for the gifts we did not receive. I posted this comment on CC under Emerald post, seeing if this is a Princess problem or an Emerald problem. I have also written Princess and they called to let me know they are investigating this matter. No harm was done as everyone was reimbursed the cost of the gifts but it was just sad. We have given gifts on other cruise lines for friends and family and they come as gifts, not pieces of paper that can get mixed in with other ads and mail. I was careful, so I feel that someone else with a similar room number probably got our gift notices and may have thrown them out thinking it was ads. We have never seen so much paper on any cruise line as this one had. There has to be a better way of presenting gifts to passengers than a piece of paper??? The Emerald Princess is a fine ship, with a wonderful crew. The whole Princess experience was wonderful and we will sail with them again. BUT, our friends and family will never gift us again when we sail Princess. They feel, that the cruise line lacks in their gift department and they cant trust them, which frankly, we feel the same way. I am just hoping that no one else tried to give us a gift that we did not get...............shame to have to tell this story to our friends and family over and over in case anyone else gave us something we did not get, you know what I mean? Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
The terminal at Houston, Tx is fairly new and very cruiser friendly. The parking lot is ample for the ships that depart from this port. The embarkation was the smoothest and quickest I have ever had on any of my cruises! They were ... Read More
The terminal at Houston, Tx is fairly new and very cruiser friendly. The parking lot is ample for the ships that depart from this port. The embarkation was the smoothest and quickest I have ever had on any of my cruises! They were organized and we arrived at the terminal, got luggage unloaded, checked in and got to our stateroom in less than an hour!! We had requested queen bed in our interior cabin and when we first arrived to our cabin, saw that there were twin beds in the cabin, as well as two berths on the walls! Surprise! Since there were only two of us, we certainly did not need the extra berths. PLUS, we had received an email from Princess a few days after we booked and paid for our trip, stating they had upgraded our room and gave us a cabin number at that time. In looking at ship layout maps and descriptions of rooms on several sites, including Princess', not one of them shows R331 to have berths in addition to the twin beds. In fact, Princess' website shows a small table and chair in the cabin, which certainly was not there, nor would have been any room for anyway. We went to customer service immediately to inquire about a different room and to request that we have a queen bed rather than the two separate twin beds. The staff was courteous and took down our information and said she would see that the beds were put together, but said there were no other rooms available. The cabin steward did put the beds together later in the evening, per our request. However, that created a whole new problem...there is only about a foot of space between the wall and the bed, on each side. With the berths protruding from the wall about 10 inches, it made it very difficult to get into bed. Once again, we made our way to customer services to inquire about a change. We received a letter later that day stating, 'Sorry, but no rooms. Enjoy your cruise,' No offer of any compensation or apology for not informing us of the annoying berths prior to embarkation. Entertainment was fairly good and entertaining during the cruise. The ship was in good condition and clean. The pool stewards made sure chairs were out around the pools for lounging, as well as watching movies under the stars, which was great. They also served cookies and milk in the afternoon. We only saw them with cookies one afternoon, but supposed to be every day. Had nice service in the dining rooms, with different servers, since we had anytime dining. Vados was the assistant waiter for a couple of evenings and he was great and very charming. Maitre d came around to diners and made conversation most nights and was very friendly. He definitely made a point to stress the ratings we give on our post cruise surveys and hoped that we all gave high marks! Food in the dining room was very good most nights. Steak overdone on the night they served them, but tasted OK. Food in the Horizon court buffet was only mediocre every time we ate lunch or dinner in there. The temperature was warm and most times the meat was dry and nondescript. Breakfast omelettes were good, and most breakfast food was good. Took shore excursion to Tabayana Beach in Roatan, Honduras. The bus ride there was quite long and along some very bumpy roads. The beach was nice, with lots of chairs and shade trees to park underneath, if you preferred to be out of the sun. They did not have water toys or shades to rent while there. The excursion included lunch while there. It was mediocre barbecue chicken, rice and beans and fruit. I would say find a tour that did not include paying for a lunch, because it really was extremely disappointing. The sand was beautiful white and smooth and the water was great. We explored the Mohagony Beach right next to the port when we returned from our excursion. In retrospect, I would have stayed at that beach to swim and sun and walked back to ship for lunch, or ridden the chairlift back and forth, which was $10 for all day, as many trips as you wanted to do. There were water floats and toys to rent. as well as shades. Fewer trees and the sand was not quite as nice as Tabayana Beach, but it was still very nice and way lots closer and didn't involve long bus ride. We took the River tour and Altun Ha ruins in Belize City and really enjoyed it. The tour guides, Ken and Sally, were great on the bus ride to the ruins. They were very informative and fun. After touring the ruins, we were taken to an outdoor area for lunch before boarding the boats for the river tour. Again, there was chicken, beans and rice and bottled soft drinks. Unfortunately, the Cokes were room temperature and the food was mediocre at best. Ken was our tour guide on the boat and we did see some crocodiles, a few howling monkeys in the trees, some iguanas and bats and some herons. No colorful birds as we had hoped, but was still very enjoyable 22 miles motoring back to the cruise port. I would do this tour again. I will say it was next to impossible to get an audience with the future cruise representative. She is only in the office a few short hours. They seem to encourage everyone to simply complete a form and drop it in the box rather than speaking with the representative to discuss future sailings. The staff did a great job of informing us what to expect for disembarkation and were well organized. Again, it was the best disembarkation that I have ever had at any port. We were very pleased with the ease and speed. Had the best porter to take our bags and got us through customs in record time. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
Prior to the cruise, we stayed at the Best Western Plus at Seabrook. They provide parking and breakfast as part of the room charge and the Port is less than five minutes from the hotel. They move passengers back and forth with cheerful ... Read More
Prior to the cruise, we stayed at the Best Western Plus at Seabrook. They provide parking and breakfast as part of the room charge and the Port is less than five minutes from the hotel. They move passengers back and forth with cheerful efficiency. I plan to stay there again. Waffles were great! This was my first time going through the Port Of Houston Cruise Terminal. I am used to the hell and confusion at other ports, the snaking lines, the cranky people, the whole messy obstacle course of getting to my vacation on the ship. I have never experienced such easy embarkation/disembarkation. It was like silk. The logistic arrangement is primo. Drive up, drop the bags, drive 150 yards, park the car, walk in. Drop off the health questionnaire, check in, and I think we sat for maybe fifteen minutes before walking on board, and getting off the ship was even quicker. We walked off the ship at 750 am, caught a shuttle and at 810 am were already on our way out of town. This is a wonderful terminal, new, clean and attractive and compared to the Galveston chaos, it's a dream. Goodbye Galveston, I love you Port of Houston. This was my first Princess cruise and given the fact we were coming out of Dallas and the big ice storm, the ease of boarding was a relief. We didn't even care that there were delays due to fog. And some geniuses among the passengers thought you could/should do something about fog. Big fans? Fairy dust? Yes we were delayed but the Princess staff rearranged our port schedule and we missed nothing. Impressive. Safety drill came up. Instead of the dire, subliminally worrisome drills I have experienced on other lines, we took our life preservers to our muster stations, inside not on deck, and actually learned to on a life preserver while the supervisor explained that we would stay in a safe area and that if there was a problem we would be shepherded to the boats. Impressive. We took a tour of the spa and prices are much, much higher than other lines I have travelled on. A massage was 50 percent higher than I have paid on other lines. Perhaps Lender.com and Princess should talk. Even a mani/pedi was $100. Impressive price, but totally ridiculous. Dinner service in the main dining rooms was pleasingly prompt. (I nearly starved on Holland America waiting for courses that seemed to take forever and we sometimes ran out of our appointed dining time before dessert was even ordered. ) the wait staff were helpful, quick and attentive. Prettiest desserts I have ever seen. A richly red sorbet heart filled with chocolate mousse with a chocolate decoration was gorgeous. Second place went to a dark chocolate dome with a solid lime sorbet center and white chocolate printed with lime green designs was also breathtaking. Lest you think I am just puffing Princess, I do have one thing to ding them on. The food in what they call Horizon Terrace is awful. Instead of long, easy access, well lighted serving lines, they have little pods behind wrought iron gates that you enter a cramped and congested maze that contains tasteless pasta salads, soggy half-sandwiches, pale pieces of chicken drowned in a sauce that was inedible, and very few choices. I guess the lighting is poor to keep you from really seeing what you are going to consume. Other lines I have been on have large mainstream and international selections that are attractive and delicious instead of the dry Indian roti wraps and lasagna standing in puddles of oil. Ick. Hard to get to, hard to see, congested and irritating because you feel trapped in a maze with dozens of other equally confused guests. Half the time I didn't eat what was on my plate and instead raided my store of protein bars in my suitcase. The staff is better than this and should not be represented by such awful food in the Horizon Terrace. The Crew Culinary Show is not to be missed. The Maître d' is a very distinguished looking gentleman who hides his comedic talents. He, the Executive Chef, and a Deputy Cruise Directory, along with the rest of the wait and kitchen staff put on cooking demonstrations that had cooking information, side splitting goofy pranks and pratfalls, and great singing and dancing. There is a Shopping tutorial about vendors in the various stops that includes discount cards and information about safety. We saw none of the rotten behavior we have seen on Carnival. Announcements were made telling parents that they needed to be attentive to their children's behavior and one nearly inebriated passenger in the process of embarrassing himself was cautioned that he would be put off the ship if he repeated his drunken behavior. The general demeanor of fellow passengers was pleasant, genial and friendly. Our room was well set up so that it felt bigger than it was, there was ample storage and our steward, Efren, was wonderful. We enjoyed the shows, the games, the Movies Under the Stars. Belize City and Costa Maya were not great. Cozumel, we loved the shopping, the atmosphere, and attractions. I have never experienced such a relaxing cruise and except in one case, every Princess crew member showed great willingness and generosity to meet customer needs. So Trivia Hostess who was talking smack about Texas and being snarky to some guests you were mad at, take a clue. No matter what they were doing or how annoyed you were, your insults at them were not camouflaged by the big fake smile and the "hey I am just kidding" nonsense. We really didn't like your attitude and felt it was ill-advised. All in all, I am impressed by Princess, it's programs, the cabins, and the overall service. Really enjoyed my trip and will be traveling on Princess again in October.   Read Less
Sail Date: February 2015
This was our 11th cruise. We have cruised on Celebrity, Holland America, and Carnival, as well as Princess. To us, the key criteria for a good cruise are the food, service, entertainment, and ports. We ate most meals (including breakfast, ... Read More
This was our 11th cruise. We have cruised on Celebrity, Holland America, and Carnival, as well as Princess. To us, the key criteria for a good cruise are the food, service, entertainment, and ports. We ate most meals (including breakfast, lunch, and supper) in the main dining room, fixed seating, 5:30pm. We found the food well-prepared, delivered quickly and hot, and enjoyable. I especially enjoyed the Caribbean choices on the supper menus. The soups were very good (something I found to be a weakness on previous Princess cruises) and the french onion soup was the best anyone at our table ever tasted. Our waiter, Fin, was friendly, humorous, and very efficient. Breakfast in the MDR was a real treat, with Arnold as our waiter, and he was outstanding. We like hot milk with our coffee, and after a day or two he remembered to bring it without being asked. We enjoyed the nightly entertainment, and found the Princess dancers to be energetic and entertaining. Including a show in the British pub, they did four performance during our week, and we enjoyed all of them. A real highlight was the a piano entertainer--Thomas Franek! He put on two different shows the same night. Comedian and ventriloquist Bart Rocket was good the first night, but not as good after that when he was pressed into service to do another show after an entertainer missed the ship in Belize, where we failed to visit (it being a tender port and there being rough weather). Service in our stateroom by Traichko was flawless--room always serviced by the time we got back from breakfast and when we got back from supper. A few cons with this cruise. We like to learn about the ports we visit, but they had no location specialist on board to give lectures. We only had two ports (Roatan and Cozumel) after missing Belize, and we found time hung heavy during the four sea days. The library was tiny and had no comfortable chairs or ocean views. There was no games room. We found the public areas somewhat lacking, with no comfortable places inside to relax and enjoy the view. Also, the walking track didn't go all the way around the ship--it was "U" shaped. We didn't really find any lounges with entertainment we liked for later in the evening. One "problem" mentioned by another review of our cruise was "screaming children." However, we think this misleading because we didn't see any sign of that at all! The few children on board were well behaved. Overall, the staff were pleasant and helpful. In sum, an enjoyable cruise overall! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2015
We cruised from the Houston Port (an industrial no man's land) to Mahahual, Belize and Cozumel. The Emerald Princess is a fine ship, very clean and with all the usual amenities. The staff was pleasant. We enjoyed the excursions to ... Read More
We cruised from the Houston Port (an industrial no man's land) to Mahahual, Belize and Cozumel. The Emerald Princess is a fine ship, very clean and with all the usual amenities. The staff was pleasant. We enjoyed the excursions to the Mayan temples in Chacchoben and Belize (do NOT miss the Lamanai temples in the jungle !). Breakfast and lunch at the buffet was plentiful and reasonably varied. The only real problem with the cruise was the dinner : 1- the 'filet migon' was NOT filet migon but a cheap generic tasteless cut. 2- the 'ceviche' was not edible. 3- the mussels were old and overcooked ... certainly the worst I have eaten (I have cruise over 18 times, travel to Europe at least 20 and live in a city of fine dining : Montreal). The 'fries' serve with them make McDonald's seem delicious by comparison ! B- The entertainment was unremarkable except for the excellent magic show by Michael Barron. As mentioned, the dinner was not up to par with Royal Caribbean, Holland America. Celebrity or Costa. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
We just returned from a wonderful New Years Eve Cruise on the Emerald Princess. Stateroom: B327 & B322 Small...no sofa and the shower still has the old fashioned shower curtain that does not protect the floor ! Balcony nice but also ... Read More
We just returned from a wonderful New Years Eve Cruise on the Emerald Princess. Stateroom: B327 & B322 Small...no sofa and the shower still has the old fashioned shower curtain that does not protect the floor ! Balcony nice but also small. When the two twin beds were made into a queen, there was a huge gap. Dining: We had the 8pm traditional dining. Table was next to busy area and quite loud. The waiter was nice but was in a huge hurry. They seemed very understaffed. The food was just ok. Entertainment: We had fun... it was not a Broadway production but it was ok. Staff: The cruise director..Kelvin, is amazing. He really has a great attitude. The staff was awesome, all over the Ship..except for dining room. We opted to leave the main dining room for the Anytime room or the buffet. Excursions: Roatan.....we went to Tabyana Beach. Long drive and boring beach. You are better off just walking to the beach close to the port. Very easy. Belize.......... AMAZING trip with Exoctic Eco Adventures. 4 hour tour to the barrier reef to snorkel, then time at a private beach. Super great crew. This is a private tour, not associated with Princess. Let me know if you want info. Cozumel....... OMG.... we did the Cave excursion and it is amazing. Ship: Clean but rather choppy !!! We have cruised for many years and yet this ship was hard to wrap our brains around. Just very chopped up with small areas the lead to larger. Disembarkation: We had carry on luggage so it was super easy. Transportaion: Flew into Hobby Airport....took a cab to the Courtyard Marriott across from the NASA SPACE CENTER so we could tour it.....This hotel has NO van service so you cannot get a ride. Took a cab to Bayport....then set up another cab to Hobby when we came back. The whole transportation thing is a pain !!   Read Less
Sail Date: December 2014
First time sailing with princess after sailing with carnival in the past on several cruises. Was very impressed with the condition of the ship, attitude of the crew, and food compared to carnival. Ship seemed less packed with passengers ... Read More
First time sailing with princess after sailing with carnival in the past on several cruises. Was very impressed with the condition of the ship, attitude of the crew, and food compared to carnival. Ship seemed less packed with passengers than the carnival cruises and crowd probably were in mid 40's and older (I'm mid 50 so better fit with music, waits at the bar, etc). Still plenty of night life and stuff to do- just without the hoardes at the bars and techno music in the nightclubs. Only negative comment was we had late seating for dinner and missed all the shows since they didnt provide a late show option for late dinner guests. Houston departure was the fastest and most organized I've experienced and the debarking only took ~ 20mins to gather bags and get through customs. Very nice overall experience. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
We were on the 5 day cruise to Mexico on the Emerald Princess from the Port of Houston. We had a balcony, category BF, on the Lido Deck, L235. It was a cozy cabin with a great view and a wonderful cabin steward. We watched a tug boat keep ... Read More
We were on the 5 day cruise to Mexico on the Emerald Princess from the Port of Houston. We had a balcony, category BF, on the Lido Deck, L235. It was a cozy cabin with a great view and a wonderful cabin steward. We watched a tug boat keep us on track as we left the port. It was pretty exciting as it seemed to be at full power at one point, shoving us as hard as it could against the strong north wind. Boarding at the Port of Houston was not as good as other ports we have experienced. At one point, they opened a huge metal door and announced that all handicapped passengers and those who need assistance should board at this time. You can imagine the crowd that came forward. Then they boarded the elites, the suites, the platinums, etc. We’ve never seen anything like this before. The ship is beautiful, but it is full of small, intimate places, so it’s a little chopped up for us. We encountered no bad smells. Our favorite activity was Movies Under the Stars because it was in a large, open amphitheater. We watched Thursday Night Football and several movies. They served popcorn and had blankets for the chilly nights. The deck attendants took great care of us. The food and waiters in the main dining room were fine, but the Horizon Court was a daily disappointment. Breakfast was great, but lunch & dinner were not. The selections were generally not appetizing and often the food was not hot. The salad bar was the worst we have seen on a ship. Most of the meat was tough, especially the beef. The arrangement of the food was not in stations, so a long line formed and blocked the whole serving area. The resulting congestion of people was unpleasant. We never knew if Café Caribe was open or not, so we had to walk down the entire length of both serving areas to find out. A simple sign like the one they posted for the Horizon Court would have been so appreciated. Also a sign would alert the passengers that there is an option to standing in line at the Horizon Court. Café Caribe never had a long line when we were there, but it was sometimes closed or hosting an extra charge Crab Shack meal. The crew was consistently pleasant and helpful. There were plenty of activities to keep us very busy. The Horizon Court staff promptly took our drink requests and delivered them to us cheerfully. Our biggest disappointment was the disembarkation procedure. Getting to port late was not the problem. We were in the “Self-Assist” group who carried all of our luggage with us into the terminal. Those with colored tags were to be called by groups after their luggage was unloaded into the terminal and arranged in rows with colored signs. “Self-Assist” people were told by announcement to proceed to Deck 7 and sit in any lounge. When we all cleared the ship, those with the colored tags were to proceed to Deck 7 and wait to be called by color. What actually happened was that everyone crowded onto Deck 7, no one from Princess was there to monitor what was happening, and it was a “free for all”. No announcements were made for 2 hours during the time we were standing in line, inching our way off the ship. At one point we were held for 20 minutes because the “terminal was full”, the security person growled at us. Once inside the terminal, we could see what the delay was: all of those people with the colored tags were waiting in a huge crowd with nowhere to go because their luggage had not been unloaded off the ship yet. And that is why the “Self-Assist” people were supposed to go first, but Princess did not check your exit ticket to make sure you were getting off in the right order. And the people with colored tags ran over us to get off the ship. Come on, Princess, you can do better than this!   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
One thing from this cruise - you can't control mother nature! The toilet in my cabin (R706) was broken the whole week - so would avoid that cabin... Embarkation: Arrive to the Port about 11 AM. Passengers were still getting off ... Read More
One thing from this cruise - you can't control mother nature! The toilet in my cabin (R706) was broken the whole week - so would avoid that cabin... Embarkation: Arrive to the Port about 11 AM. Passengers were still getting off because the ship arrived two hours late due to weather (yellow light flashing here). The captain announced we would be leaving late due to passengers boarding late because of the late arrival (from my balcony it appeared that all the passengers were on board but the people loading the ship were moving very slow). The dock employees must not be used to cruise ships: a whole thing of luggage was dropped into the water (the ship was good about getting the clothes laundered once supervisors were talked to); a whole palate of champagne was broken by a forklift driver. So... we missed our departure time... then we had to wait for cargo ships that were in the very small channel. After the cargo ship traffic was done - it suddenly became too windy and foggy to sail - although we still saw cargo ships coming and going... they likely had a more shallow draught I would I would guess. Woke up Monday morning - and ala... we were still in port. We finally and thankfully left Houston around 11:00 AM. Captain announced we would miss Roataan because of the late departure (fine by me - not a big fan of that port - but was looking forward to the excursion). We sailed to Costa Maya to make up for Roataan... the ship had trouble parking at Costa Maya due to the weather - then the waves were crashing over the dock. So another announcement and fast away we sailed with a cheery wave to Costa Maya.... Belize: Awesome excursion to the ruins! Had signed up to go cave tubing and thought it would be the highlight of the trip - but due to rain the caves were flooded. I headed on an excursion to Xunantunich - great sights. Would highly recommend the excursion - the bus ride was a bit long - two hours each way - but well worth it. Cozumel: Best day of the cruise 82 and sunny! Great shopping (of course better prices away from the pier). Finally felt some sun. Disembarkation: Went smooth. We were an hour late getting to the port due to weather (again, avoid Houston like the plague). Service: The employees on the ship were super friendly and helpful. Food: The food was average - in my opinion much better than some other cruise lines - and not quite as good as others. The last night I had turkey in the dining room and do have to say it was the best turkey I've ever had - very juicy and the gravy was sooooo good on it. Overall: I had a great time with my friends and had many laughs... it was vacation - how bad can vacation be when you don't have anywhere to be and food available 24 hours... The weather is not Princess' fault. I do fault Princess for investing in the Houston port and not using Galveston. I will stick to sailing out of Florida for Caribbean trips in the future. A working toilet would have been nice - my cabin mate and I joked about having our alternative toilets since ours worked randomly. The crew on the ship was amazing! Read Less
Emerald Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.5 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.0

Find an Emerald Princess Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise