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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
We took our family of 11 to Alaska for a family vacation. We booked on the Emerald Princess. All interior cabins on the Aloha, 12th deck.. We (two of us) booked balcony cabins the last time we went and due to being in Alaska the temps ... Read More
We took our family of 11 to Alaska for a family vacation. We booked on the Emerald Princess. All interior cabins on the Aloha, 12th deck.. We (two of us) booked balcony cabins the last time we went and due to being in Alaska the temps were too low to spend any time on the balcony. So other than looking outside to see what the weather was like it was wasted money, for us. We spent most all of our time up on deck, and had a panoramic view from there. So decided since we were paying and didn't see a need for the balcony cabins we booked interiors. The interior cabins are within about 10 or so sq ft of Carnivals larger ships. Not huge but very sufficient. The shower did seem to be a little smaller than some of the other ships we have been on. It met our needs completely. We scheduled early dining for our group of 11 and had excellent service from our waiter and jr. waiter. Saravan and Floyd made sure we had all we needed and more. Great service. I know I have read reviews about the food on different cruise lines and I really don't know some of these people eat, but the worse food I have had on our 20+ cruises has been great. This cruise was no exception. I am a beef, pork and chicken eater and do not eat fish. I do like shrimp. Every evening I ordered the shrimp cocktail, a salad and either beef, pork or chicken of some type. They have an "everyday menu" that has some "standbys" is wanted. The desserts were all fantastic. We typically went to the theater shows after dinner and none, at least for us, were disappointments. Some were a bit better than others, but they all had parts that interested all of the ones from our group, that went. Our cabin steward, Louis, was excellent as well. Always made sure the cabin was maintained, was alwasy available to take care of any needs we might have. The other 4 cabins, all close to ours, though some with a different cabin attendant, said they liked their service as well. Kind of wish we could get service like that at home. But reality does come back when the plane touches down in your home town. The casino is nice, has a wide variety of slots, a good selection of table games. I don't play slots on ships, but the tables were fun and though I didn't win, I didn't loose a lot. We were able to go into Tracy Arm Fjord further than this ship has ever been and per the captain as far as any large ship has ever been. We went up to the Sawyer Glacier. We had two seniors (Grandparents), our 2 daughters, son in laws and 4 grandkids and 1 boyfriend. We, the Grandparents have been to Alaska before, about 10 years ago. We wanted to go with the kids and grand's, so we could all experience it together. We did not take any excursions in Juneau or Ketchikan. The towns have several excursions that are within walking distance if you want too, but we just walked around to see what we could, and stopped in a brewery or bar or souvenir shop.. Our kids took several ship excursions. Fishing, catamaran into the Fjord, zip lines, Seaplane excursion. They all had great reviews about everything they did. When we were in Skagway the last time we booked, privately, the White Pass railroad tour, in Skagway, and decided to take a similar tour, but wanted a little more flexibility. We called the same company Chilkoot Charters and they could not do what we wanted but gave us another tour operator, Midnight Sun Excursions. Great owner/operator and great excursion, for a great price. With having so many people it worked out very well. We went into the Yukon territory, up to Emerald Lake, a bit past Carcross. Beautiful scenery and we were lucky and able to see 2 black bears, one about 75 - 100 yards away and the other about 10 yards away. Saw a number of mountain sheep, a school of salmon in one of the streams. It is still a little early for salmon. The trip was really great and all we saw was fun and exciting. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Staggered to see any negative review about this trip particularly criticisms of the food or staff because this was most definitely not our experience. We've cruised before but only with Royal Caribbean (also highly recommended) so ... Read More
Staggered to see any negative review about this trip particularly criticisms of the food or staff because this was most definitely not our experience. We've cruised before but only with Royal Caribbean (also highly recommended) so were hesitant about going with another provider but decided to take a chance because of the value for money and so glad we did. Food and service were both impeccable. Staff were unfalteringly friendly and cheerful and just couldn't do enough to help. Would highly recommend the traditional dining option as I don't think you'll have the same experience if you just eat in the buffet. We were on the second sitting which starts in the Botticelli dining room at 7:45 PM which was a great time for us and gave us time to enjoy the ample entertainment on offer both before and afterwards. We had intended to book one of the premium dining experiences for our wedding anniversary but in the end we felt that the fixed dining option was probably unbeatable so opted not to. We felt that the production shows in the Theatre were a little dated and could use a refresh but the magic show was very good and there were plenty of other entertainment options. So much going on in fact that most of the week we were double booked both in the day time and the evenings. The talks by Shelly, the onboard naturalist were a highlight and left us well equipped to make the most of the port visits. The culinary demonstration, history of art presentation, comedy show, the wine tasting and the talk by Libby Reynolds (the first woman to win the Iditarod) were also highlights. Never had time to see any of the game shows or the Voice of the Ocean (though I was reliably informed they were both very good) and never had chance to visit the Casino so can't comment on those. Guess it depends on what your interests are and what you expect to get out of the holiday. We were on the 8th floor (Emerald Deck) which had a partial sea view (in the sense that it was partially obscured by a lifeboat :-)) Definitely better rooms but personally I wouldn't bother as we rarely spent any time in our stateroom other than sleeping. Certainly nice and quiet and the beds were very comfortable. Steward was super friendly and the rooms were immaculately clean. Embarkation and disembarkation were a dream. Took around 20 minutes from arriving at the port to getting onboard and coming off took 25 minutes from leaving the top deck where we went for a final look around to arriving at our car via the shuttle. Very nice. As others have said Alaska was breathtaking so I won't revisit that other than to say that we found Victoria to be a little disappointing. The other ports were great and I'm glad we avoided the temptation to follow the crowds onto the train at Skagway as there was so much we would have missed had we spent the entire day on the train. All in all a great trip that far exceeded even our highest expectations. If you want a dream vacation, head to Alaska. And if you head to Alaska, consider our new best friends aboard the Emerald Princess Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
This was our first time on Princess. Ship is beautiful and well maintained, the staff are very hard working and always have a smile. The dining in all areas was very good with a good range of different foods. We did not go into the theatre ... Read More
This was our first time on Princess. Ship is beautiful and well maintained, the staff are very hard working and always have a smile. The dining in all areas was very good with a good range of different foods. We did not go into the theatre so cannot comment on the shows, we went to a different bar most nights and they all had there own entertainment on. The tours we did were misty fjords flight in Ketchikan, Mendenhall glacier and whale watching in Juneau and the chilkoot trail and raft ride and they were all very good value for money. Clothing wise just pack thin layers, a mid layer jacket and a waterproof, if the sun is out is does get very warm, the only time we were cold was cruising the inside passage, then the wind was pretty chilly. All in all it was a great experience and we would definitely sail with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
My husband and I booked this cruise as we've always wanted to tour Alaska via a cruise ship someday. Additionally, we chose to share the experience with our son and his fiance--was SO much fun with them along! :) It really ... Read More
My husband and I booked this cruise as we've always wanted to tour Alaska via a cruise ship someday. Additionally, we chose to share the experience with our son and his fiance--was SO much fun with them along! :) It really benefited us financially as we received some hefty military discounts (husband is retired military (Air Force), son is in the Marines, and his fiance is active duty Air Force and attends the Air Force Academy). Plus, Princess was having an awesome anniversary special of their own, so we received even more perks--mega onboard credits as well as a complimentary meal for all of us at a specialty restaurant. The cruise did not disappoint. It was AWESOME--no words! :) The staff, cabin, dining, entertainment, activities, service, ports, and shore excursions were equally awesome. We SO enjoyed the pristine, scenic Alaskan frontier! The Princess excursions were particularly insightful as well as worthwhile--we had enhanced peace of mind knowing that there was a guaranteed, timely return back to the ship following the excursions. :) The embarkation and disembarkation procedures both went without a hitch--they were VERY prompt, speedy, well organized, and efficient. We're looking forward to repeating the experience someday. As Princess promises, we came back new--and improved. :) Read Less
Sail Date: May 2018
Had to change from another cruise line due to ship being redeployed, so chose Princess Cruises. We also wanted to spend a couple of days in Vancouver and Seattle, this cruise allowed us to do this. Embarkation took a couple of hours ... Read More
Had to change from another cruise line due to ship being redeployed, so chose Princess Cruises. We also wanted to spend a couple of days in Vancouver and Seattle, this cruise allowed us to do this. Embarkation took a couple of hours (there were four ships in Canada Place all boarding around the same time). As international Passengers we went through customs last. The system was smooth overall. Ship late departing by about 90 minutes. We also had to wait for the ship docked in front of us to leave. The ship was amazing, the soft drink package was well worth it ( included hot chocolate and they were very much appreciated in the chilly mornings) Our balcony cabin on Riviera Deck was very comfortable. Food was awesome, there was a good selection in the buffet, and the meals in the Michalengelo Dining room were excellent. The main meals were different each night. I had my birthday on board, and was given a cake for dessert on my birthday night (fortunately it was also a formal night, which worked out well) Entertainment was good. Sea day activities were also good. Was given a voucher for my birthday for an onboard spa treatment..highly recommend the hot stone massage. Service was excellent, Our cabin steward was very helpful and answered our many questions. The scenic cruise through the Endicott arm and Dawes Glacier was amazing. The scenery was spectacular. The excursions we did were all excellent. But the highlight would have been the train from Skagway to the Canadian Border and back. The scenery was absolutely amazing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
Chose this cruise to fulfill my Mom’s bucket list. At 90 years young we wanted to keep the trip as easy as possible. We stayed with Princess excursions because of their Best Price Guarantee! My experience has been you get what you pay ... Read More
Chose this cruise to fulfill my Mom’s bucket list. At 90 years young we wanted to keep the trip as easy as possible. We stayed with Princess excursions because of their Best Price Guarantee! My experience has been you get what you pay for and we weren’t disappointed! This was our 13th Princess cruise and 26th with 5 different lines! I would like to see some slight changes however, such as bring back a happy hour for everyone at 3pm. More seating in the Piazza. Find chairs that take up less space for the smaller Piazzas on older ships. I gave an average rating on embarkation, not because of Princess but because of how Vancouver’s port process of all cruise lines share the same long lines through customs. Otherwise I’m happy with Princess! Booked for a transatlantic 14 night return to Fort Lauderdale on the Crown Princess in November with 4 nights in Rome prior to cruising! One more cruise after that and we will be Elite members when we will enjoy free laundry service and free mini bar set up as well as onboard discounts in shops. Already enjoy free WiFi and Platinum happy hour, as well as Platinum embarkation and disembarkation. What else can I say but we love All the Love Boats! You can too! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
This was our first cruise. We booked our cruise through a travel agency and the Emerald Princess was the cruise line suggested. Then entertainment was great! The food and food options were great! Our stateroom was inside. It was quite ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We booked our cruise through a travel agency and the Emerald Princess was the cruise line suggested. Then entertainment was great! The food and food options were great! Our stateroom was inside. It was quite small. We didn’t know what to expect for a first time cruise and decided to keep the costs lower with an inside stateroom. Next time, we would upgrade to a balcony, etc. The room was cleaned and refreshened a couple times a day which was awesome! We loved going to all the ports! The caption always kept us informed on what was going on each day. There is always something to do and always something to eat! The Princess dancers and singers were one of our favorite entertainers. We also liked the Voice of the Ocean and the comedian. It was our 25th Anniversary while on the ship. We had dinner at the Crown Grille which was amazing and they brought us out a piece of chocolate cake and sang Happy Anniversary to us. We highly recommend the Emerald Princess!! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
Since this is our first cruise, we wanted to "test the waters" with a short, inexpensive re-positioning cruise. The emerald princess has definitely exceeded my expectations! Honestly, I was a little concerned when I read the ... Read More
Since this is our first cruise, we wanted to "test the waters" with a short, inexpensive re-positioning cruise. The emerald princess has definitely exceeded my expectations! Honestly, I was a little concerned when I read the reviews, but I'm glad that we experienced it for ourselves. The food in the dinning room was awesome and the staff were friendly. We wanted a cruise where we could read and relax without kids running around everywhere. We basically ignored the tops decks where kids and the buffet are. Everything we needed/wanted was lower on the ship. Although we didn't participate in very many activities, the ones that we did attend were great! The martini mixing class in the piazza was so much fun! Our two favorite activities were afternoon tea and eating sushi in the wine bar. We did these almost every day. This trip also included a nice, extended stay in Victoria, BC. We were in port for 15 hours. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
This is a beautiful ship with great restaurants and the outside grill served onion rings. Our cabin was on the 5th floor which has access to the Piazza and the International Cafe for 24 hour food available. The peanut butter cookies were ... Read More
This is a beautiful ship with great restaurants and the outside grill served onion rings. Our cabin was on the 5th floor which has access to the Piazza and the International Cafe for 24 hour food available. The peanut butter cookies were fantastic. The pool was heated and we could find peace and quiet in many areas of the ship. The production shows were really great especially the "Magic to Do show". We even had the same magician that was on the Crown Princess back in 2013. The ship is older and the windows are hard to see out of in the dining rooms and outside windows. Half of the casino was very hot and with smoke being involved it was hard to stay in there for a long time. We wanted to have traditional dining but with handicapped people it was hard to get to the Botticelli dining room with a wheelchair and scooter. Also on disembarcation day it was almost impossible to get an elevator from the 10th floor down to the 7th to get off the ship. It would be great to have an easier way to get off the ship with handicapped people. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise because we’ve always wanted to go to the South Pacific. It did not disappoint at all. We would definitely do this cruise again. We would like to try it on another ship. The Emerald Princess was in good shape. Most of ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we’ve always wanted to go to the South Pacific. It did not disappoint at all. We would definitely do this cruise again. We would like to try it on another ship. The Emerald Princess was in good shape. Most of the crew were very friendly and helpful. The food was just average. The worst thing about this cruise was how crowded it was when trying to go to anything. They did the shows sometime three times a night and you still had to go minimum an hour early to see one and still you might not get a seat. We could not get in to a few shows at all and had to watch one standing in the hall! It was unbelievable. Same thing at the Horizon Court on port days, lines down the hall to get in. They only opened one side and it’s a small area. “Share” the restaurant was underwhelming. The food was average and way too expensive. Even with the above complaints this was s cruise worth going on. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Highly recommend this cruise. Fun ship with lots to do on sea days, amazing excursions (alpine ziplining is a MUST!), family friendly, and absolutely breathtaking views and locations. The staff was exceptionally friendly and always their ... Read More
Highly recommend this cruise. Fun ship with lots to do on sea days, amazing excursions (alpine ziplining is a MUST!), family friendly, and absolutely breathtaking views and locations. The staff was exceptionally friendly and always their when needed. They all tried to get to know our group and even remembered us and our certain food or drink requests. The scenery was so relaxing and absolutely breathtaking. Their were so many options for things to do once at port that we really felt like we got to experience each city/port and while at sea we were hardly bored as we had so many options like trivia (my favorite), movies, sports, and shows (magician, theater, and comedy) Everything went very smooth on the ship from entering to exiting and only took a about 10 minutes from walking in to on the boat and even faster getting off. They really have that down to a science! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2018
This was Princess Cruise Lines first Alaska cruise round trip from Los Angeles. With that being said it was also one of the first Alaska cruises of the season so while the weather was cold and rainy most of the cruise the price was almost ... Read More
This was Princess Cruise Lines first Alaska cruise round trip from Los Angeles. With that being said it was also one of the first Alaska cruises of the season so while the weather was cold and rainy most of the cruise the price was almost half price of shorter cruises during the summer months. While I was prepared for the weather and it did not keep me from going ashore the biggest advantage was that in every port of call we were the only ship there! If you have been to any of the Alaska ports when there are 4 or 5 ships there at the same time it is no fun fighting the crowds. Plus we were the only ship in Glacier Bay as well... As always the on a Princess cruise the crew was simply amazing. I have been on the Emerald Princess several times and as always it was in tip top condition and never felt crowded as the ship's public areas are well organized and easy to navigate. My only real complaint is that the Emerald Princess does not have a covered pool like so many other Princess ships do, My favorite being the Coral! The ships doing Alaska out of L.A. in the early fall this year all have an indoor pool as well. Alaska cruising is one of my favorites and if you are looking for a less expensive alternative check out Princess' newly added itineraries out of Los Angeles but pack accordingly. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
Ship’s Captain: Todd McBain Cruise Director: Natalie Costa I will start by saying that this is my first cruse with Princess, only my 8th cruise and my first time writing a review. We have been on Royal Caribbean, Disney and ... Read More
Ship’s Captain: Todd McBain Cruise Director: Natalie Costa I will start by saying that this is my first cruse with Princess, only my 8th cruise and my first time writing a review. We have been on Royal Caribbean, Disney and Holland America in the past. Unlike many of the folks we talked to that booked the cruise 1 to 2 years in advance we only booked 4 months before we sailed. I found the Princess website easy to use when booking excursions, dining, beverage package, etc. Embarkation: I had read on the Cruise Critic boards that some folks were told to arrive at 2pm for our cruise because of delays disembarking from the previous cruse, but our boarding paperwork said to arrive at 1pm. Living in Anaheim we had a short 45-minute ride to the port and actually arrived about 1:15pm, dropped off our bags and went into the terminal. The lines inside the terminal were mostly non-existent at that time, we waited no more than 15 minutes to get checked in and had our cruise card in hand! Most of the chairs in the terminal were full of people waiting to board, but my wife and I were able to find seats back in the corner where we waited about an hour before our boarding number was called. After boarding we went immediately to our room to drop off our carry-on luggage to find two of our suit cases already in our room and within 5 minutes the third and final bag arrived. Of our previous cruises this was the first time our bags arrived so quickly. So I would say our embarkation went smoothly, from port arrival and ready to start having fun it was about 90 minutes. Cabin: We had an obstructed view outside cabin on Emerald deck room E323. The cabin was a little smaller than the other cruise lines we had been on before. Every other line had a sofa, even if it was an outside room but with the smaller room we just found ourselves out and about more often. People like to talk about the beds, but we didn’t find that this one was anything special. While this was an obstructed view, we were right between a life boat and the small rescue boat with really only some pipes and cables obstructing our view out the window. Our cabin steward, Jonathan, was great; this was his last cruise before heading home for 5 months but still did a great job. Food: Because we booked so late our only choice was late seating or anytime. Since we typically like to eat earlier we chose anytime dining that ended up working out very well for us. We would usually arrive sometime between 5:30 and 6:00 for dinner, always chose to share a table with others and never had to wait for more than 5 minutes to be seated. However, we did observe that some people that were not willing to share a table were given pagers even when arriving early to dinner. Overall we thought the food was very good in the dining rooms, we never had a bad meal. On two occasions our table mates were not happy with the food they were served, so maybe we just got lucky. I can say that the food in the dining room was much better than when we were on the Oasis of the Sea in October, but not as good as the food on our last Disney cruise in 2016. One piece of advice for Princess, and I put it the Princess survey, is they need to re-think their vegetarian options, they need balanced carb/fat/protein meals. There vegetarian meals are carb heavy. Many people talked about the pizza on board as being bad, we only had it once and it wasn’t my favorite. There was almost always a line for pizza so people must have liked it. I did eat several hamburgers and hot dogs at the grill and they were as expected. Good enough for me to grab a hamburger and take in to the buffet where my wife could get vegetarian food. I will say that were we extremely pleased by the Sous Chef(s) in the Horizon Court. My wife choosing to eat a mostly vegetarian diet was having issues getting enough protein (non-meat) from the buffet. At the advice of a fellow passenger she talked with the Sous Chef and asked for vegetable protein or tofu and they were happy to provide. They started keeping some beans in the back for her (which she preferred over the tofu). So, we discovered that if you have any special dining need, just ask! One other thing to note about the buffet is there is not nearly enough seating, but just ask to join someone at their table. We did that almost every time (even when there were empty tables available) and met some very nice people, no one ever said no we couldn’t sit with them. Specialty Dining: We did eat in each of the specialty restaurants once and found both to be excellent. The food in Share was over the top, and the service was excellent as well. I found the food in the Crown Grill to be excellent as well, my steak was served the perfect Medium-Rare. The Sous Chef even came to our table just after the entrée was delivered to see if we our food was cooked to our liking. My only criticism would be that the side dishes were kind of small, my wife ordered asparagus and there were only 5 or 6 stalks and my mashed potatoes were two small scoops. Now we may have been able to ask for more, but did not because were still full from our experience at the Chef’s Table. This brings me to the best experience on the ship, our evening at the Chef’s table! Both the Executive Chef: Fabrizio Fazzini and Maitre d’Hotel: Rui Pereira were with us for the entire evening. Didn’t mention that earlier but as soon as we opened the door to our cabin I made a beeline for the phone and called the dining reservation line. Waited on hold for about 15 minutes but was able to request the Chef’s table. At that time, they just took my name and information, it wasn’t until several days later that we received a letter letting us know we were in! Don’t want to make this a review of the Chef’s table, but the food was incredible and it was an amazing experience from start to finish! For one of the couples at our table this was the 4th Chef’s Table and they said this one was the best one so far. Like they say “Just Do It”! Excursions: Overall, I would say our were excursions were quite good, with the exception of Ketchikan which I will go into later. During our first stop in Vancouver we did not take an organized tour but took the free bus to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and had a great time. The bus picks up and drops off right outside the terminal. The weather was overcast and cool but not too cold, we actually got there before the organized tours so there were very few people in the park. After returning from the park we just walked around the city a little and as long as you stay near the port the city is extra clean but get a few blocks away and it dirty like any other big city. In Juneau I did the Whale Watching & Mendenhall Glacier Photo Safari it was an excellent tour. Would recommend it for anyone that likes to take pictures. The guide, Kasey, was excellent she gave us plenty of time to take photos on the hike up to the glacier, didn’t rush us like on most tours. The whale watching was on smaller boat held the 15 of us on the tour quite comfortably. We saw a plenty of whales, and some were actually quite close. We were watching two whales that were probably 200 yards from the boat when one came up from under the boat probably 15 feet away, caused a couple of to scream like little girls! In Skagway we took the Takshanuk Mountain Trail by 4x4, it too was a great time. It has rained a lot the previous few days so the trail was quite muddy and made the drive up the mountain really fun. There were enough 4X4’s, called mule’s, so every family got their own. We were in the first mule behind the guide on the way up the mountain and the trail was in decent shape, not too many mud bogs to get stuck in. However, on the way back down after 20 or so mule’s had traversed the way up the mountain we had mud pits to have fun with on the way down. There were a couple spots where you had to keep the gas pedal to the floor so you didn’t stop and get stuck, well a few didn’t and had to be pulled out. There was a stop at a lodge on the way up to rest and on the way down for food. The food was quite good and would recommend this tour! Now for Ketchikan, that one didn’t go to well. We were scheduled on the Exclusive Flightseeing & Crab Feast, and when we got up it was overcast with really low clouds and some rain. I figured there is no way we were going to be able to fly so at about 10am I went to the shore excursions desk to inquire. I asked if they were going to cancel the flight because if we waited until our 11:50 tour start time and then they cancel it would be too late to find a different tour. She told us that we would just have to wait and see, I asked if I could just cancel and she said “NO”. So we got off the ship walked around a little, and at about 11:15 we found the shore representative from the tour and she said that we were going to do the Crab Feast first and hopefully the weather would clear so we could do the flight back. It was raining a little so she suggested we wait under some cover until about 11:45 when the bus would be there to pick us up. We went back at 11:45 as requested, stood around for about 10 minutes when she came up to tell us it was cancelled. She said we could just take the bus to/from the Crab Feast if we wanted to, when we asked her how much she said she didn’t know that we had to check with the tour desk when we got back. We decided that might be a little risky as they could charge us way too much for a crab lunch, and decided to cancel. As predicted most of the tours had already left with basically the Lumberjack show as our only option, by that time it was raining and sitting outside didn’t seem fun. We just walked around a little more and got back on the ship! Ketchikan was a bust, because they would not make the decision to cancel timely. Bright side is it saved us $500.00! Of course, I have to mention Glacier Bay that too was great, but very cold. We were the only ship that day so that made it really special, we were able to get very close to the Margerie Glacier and the Grand Pacific Glacier. The Margerie was giving us quite a show and calved quite often during the hour or so we were there. I spent most of the time on the bow of the ship on desk 8, it was under cover and there were very few people up there. You get there by going outside on deck 7, then walk up the stairs at the front of the ship. It was great for taking pictures, but again it was very cold as there is no wind break. Ships Entertainment: Our cruise director was Natalie, she was AMAZING! Her and her team really made the onboard experience special. I for one could not see how anyone can say they are bored on sea days, if you get involved there is way more to do than one can fit in a day. In fact, I was kind a bummed sometimes when there were two (or three) “Good” events starting at the same time and I could not do both! I have no idea how Natalie was able to be at so many places in one day, seems like everywhere we were, she was there either introducing the event or a major part of the event. I didn’t spend much time listening to the bands around the ship in the different lounges or bars, but what I did hear they were excellent. I also enjoyed the four production shows on the ship, I really appreciate the talent of the dancers and singers. This group was no exception, they were great. They always looked like they were having a great time on stage, and were pleasant when we saw them around the ship. The four production shows were: I got the Music Disco… Blame it on the Boogie What a Swell Party Magic to Do Other entertainment: Comedy and Impressions - Michael Wilson Vocalist - Consuela Ivy Comedy – Carlos Oscar Vocalist – David James Guidice Comedy and Magic – Michael Misko Vocalist – Michael Minor I will say that I’m not a fan of the theater seats on the Emerald, they really crammed the seats together. We also found that if wanted to see the 8pm show we need to get there by 7:30 for sure, but by 7:15 if we wanted a reasonable pick of seat location. We arrived for one of the shows at about 7:40 and we were lucky to find two seats together. They also had a 10pm show and that one always had empty seats. Ultimate Ship Tour: I also had a great time on the ship tour. I went directly to the front desk after making the Chef’s Table reservation and signed up for the ship tour. I was the last one to sign up, was happy to make it! The tour was led by Yessy from the cruise staff, she was great, I did feel a little rushed but we did have a lot of ground to cover in just a couple of hours. For me it was a one-time thing, don’t think I would need to do it a second time. They did deliver the robe, picture frame, photos, personalized note pad and apron to our room a few hours after the tour ended. Disembarkation: This was really very smooth for us, living locally we didn’t have to be off the ship at any special time. We were give Brown 5 tags with and estimated time of 9:35, we sat in Club Fusion for about 45 minutes waiting for our number to be called and it was only about 5 minutes later then expected. However, it appears that we could have just walked off whenever we were ready as they didn’t check to see our color/number at any time. However, to just walk out the doors of the terminal and have the guy yelling at people to “KEEP MOVING”, brought us back to the reality of rude people in Southern California way to abruptly. Overall: Great cruise! We had nothing but excellent service everywhere we went. We would definitely consider another Princess cruise, but we are the type to look at the itinerary we want and are not overly brand loyal. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2018
The cruise was very good, and the roundtrip LA to La Alaskan cruise was a very easy choice as no airfare for us. The visit to Glacier Bay was spectacular, and perhaps will not always be here to enjoy. The ship is very clean and ... Read More
The cruise was very good, and the roundtrip LA to La Alaskan cruise was a very easy choice as no airfare for us. The visit to Glacier Bay was spectacular, and perhaps will not always be here to enjoy. The ship is very clean and comfortable, and the staff overall are wonderful. The food choices and meals were very good in both the any time dining rooms and the buffet. The fresh fruit at the buffets all meals were absolutely delicious. The entertainment choices in the Princess theatre were all very entertaining, and the lecture series were informative and timely for the Alaskan experience. Our cabin steward was efficient and made us feel special by his friendliness. All the staff we encountered were helpful and friendly, much better service than is the norm shore side. My only issue was the $250 Art department prize that I won that was not a prize!! The $270 bid on an artwork that was part of an edition was accepted, and this was listed as a CP category which includes shipping and frame. CP was explained to me before the auction and this was partly why I bid on the item which I did like and I would have been willing to bid a bit more, so $270 seemed like a very good deal. When I went to the Art Department to pay for the balance on my bid, I was told that my prize only covered about half of the package, and they told me I was responsible to pay for the shipping and the frame. I thought A PRIZE IS A PRIZE, so why was my $250 not good for the full $250 of the certificate. This is my cautionary experience to you. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
We just returned from a wonderful 28 day cruise to Hawaii, Samoa and Tahiti on the Emerald Princess. We had a great time and met the most wonderful people. We met a group of ballroom dancers that grew each day as we found different dance ... Read More
We just returned from a wonderful 28 day cruise to Hawaii, Samoa and Tahiti on the Emerald Princess. We had a great time and met the most wonderful people. We met a group of ballroom dancers that grew each day as we found different dance venues. Most popular was the Princess Band at Club Fusion in the evening. The weather was great, the food good and the service was wonderful. Every little glitch was handled well by the Princess staff usually with a very personal touch. We took the Ultimate Ship’s Tour. We were among the very last people boarded because of an immigration hold up when the ship arrived in LA and there were still 4 spaces available when we finally go to the Passenger Service counter. For those of you who think the cost is too high, (and I was one of those people) each participant gets 4 photos taken during the tour, a luxury Princess bathrobe, a Princess apron, an 8 X 10 picture frame and personalized note paper as well and champagne and chocolate covered strawberries at the end of the tour. The tour covers the medical center that is far more sophisticate than you might think, the laundry, the galley led by the Head Chef with drinks, the engineering section or control center of the whole ship, the anchor bay, the print shop, the photo processing lab and, of course the ship’s bridge where we got a Q & A with the Captain and a photo. I usually poo poo people who think something expense is well worth it, but in this case I have to agree. We got great values for our $150 each. The robes alone go for $90 and the photos usually cost $25 each. They stress not to take pictures but once on the bridge the First Officer said to take all the pictures we wanted. We left our cameras behind as requested so couldn’t take advantage of the offer. If you take the tour bring your camera just in case. The photo package has paid off for us a s well, $250 pre-cruise, $300 once on board. We have well over 200 pictures with 4 formal nights. Speaking of formal night, we didn’t see many tuxes, maybe 10% but 98% of the men wore ties and jackets. I wore a tie every night in honor of our 50th anniversary making us the one of the best dressed couples on board. We coordinated when we could and got lots of great compliments from very kind people. It was fun. Our complaints are crowd based. These ship carry too many people and they are getting bigger. Anytime dining is a zoo if you want to eat early. If you want to see a show, you have to get there at least an hour early. The lines stretch through half the ship. It really doesn’t matter where the shows are, in the Explorer’s Lounger or the Princess Theater. People were irate. Many didn’t get in. When they could they scheduled three shows, the last at 10 pm. For an older crowd, which we are, 10 pm is a bit late, so those shows were easy to get into even minutes before. There seems to be an attitude on board that you have to be early for everything, shore excursions, Pub Lunch, afternoon tea and even fixed dining. The lobby in front of fixed dining, which begins at 6 but is available when the doors open at 5:30, is usually packed at 5. I just don’t get it. People were upset because the door weren’t open a 5:15. We always showed up for our shore excursion about 10 minutes before the posted meeting time, just incase I made a wrong turn somewhere. Even arriving 10 minutes early, hundreds of people on our tour were already there waiting. Hurry up a wait was a military thing, not a cruising thing. Then there are many of the tours themselves. Most were sold out before we cruised and many were very very very crowded, 10 to 15 busses all going to the same place, inadequate seating and one tour that served a barbecue lunch ran out of food before many people made it through the line the first time, not a good thing for cruise people. The food is the main dining room was good, certainly not great. Many sauces were a light brown to gray color that just seemed unappetizing, even in Share. Surf and Turf is steak and shrimp now and there only two lobster nights in 28 days, Escargot as well, only once on the final formal night. If you are celebrating an event, birthday or anniversary, be sure not to order desert that evening. They will bring you another desert when they sing you a song. To be fair we found all steaks and roast beef to be tender and cooked as ordered. We ate at Share one night and at the Crown Grill another. The food was very good but way too much. After our onion soup, I was already full. Lobster was 5 separate halves and was tough. There were no Happy Hours at all and the coffee cards do now have an expiration date, usually the last day of that year. The International Cafe was wonderful. I never had to wait more than a minute of two for my latte each and every morning. The staff was very friendly and knew my name and standard order within the first week. Be sure to order a specialty coffee to drink in the Cafe once in a while. Their art work is great. They made elephant in my first cup, the barista’s likeness in my second. Almond croissants are in high demand and are not always available without a wait. On the last day we were buzzed by two Navy fights which was a hoot. This was our 50th anniversary cruise and it exceeded our expectations. The Princess staff outdid themselves. Paul, our cruse director, was wonderful as was all of the entertainment. The Princess Band was excellent and played wonderful dance music when they played in the dance venues. Thank you Princess for a great time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We booked this cruise without knowledge of the South Pacific destinations as this was to celebrate our 30th anniversary and all we cared about was cost/availability. If you're a previous Princess cruiser, you know what you are ... Read More
We booked this cruise without knowledge of the South Pacific destinations as this was to celebrate our 30th anniversary and all we cared about was cost/availability. If you're a previous Princess cruiser, you know what you are getting. What surprised us: Bora Bora, Moorea, and even American Samoa was incredibly memoryable, tourist worthy, and enjoyable. The warm nights made our balcony priceless and even watched multiple MUTS (never before on our previous 8 Princess cruises did we do this). Bad: This is not a rag on Princess, but there were numerous sick crew and passengers. It was totally obvious in the Princess Theatre and public spaces with incessant coughing. I saw one passenger wear mask at all times. I wish I had -- ended being sick with the flu and pneumonia. Be aware -- other passengers will undoubtedly not follow health guidelines. Dining -- typical Princess. we had anytime dining with a great MaitreD and was out in an hour (big changes from our last HAL that took 2 hours). Food was typical Princess but they changed up the sauces and sides to make it non-recurring over 28 days. Entertainment -- typical Princess. We skipped most production shows while the comics, hypnotist, magician, etc. were ok. Typical daytime activities. A little underwhelmed with the enrichment (Sharon Faff for Hawaii stuff was good, but a car guy (ok) and DNA (really?)). The "Wake Show" was very entertaining (another first for us on Princess). Excursions -- we're not big tourists so we did our own thing in Hawaii but as first timers, we jumped on whatever excursion was available at the port. Our mistake was that Tahiti 4WD excursion is not available at the port except for Princess, so instead of the boring island bus tour we skipped out but the night time food trucks was a highlight for atmosphere and food. Bang for the buck -- YES (for us). At the cost of 2 good priced LA/Hawaii trips but with a better itinerary, could it get better? Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
I cruised with a friend, or she would have been traveling alone. Starting with the Embarkation, which wasn't up to Princess's normal. I waiting at the airport for over 2 hours for a bus to the Princess Terminal. At the ... Read More
I cruised with a friend, or she would have been traveling alone. Starting with the Embarkation, which wasn't up to Princess's normal. I waiting at the airport for over 2 hours for a bus to the Princess Terminal. At the Terminal, we waited almost 3 hours with limited space to sit. I was traveling alone. If I left my seat to get something out of the vending machines to drink, I would have lost my seat. I flew in from Alaska and am not accustomed to the heat, much less the humidity. All in all, I am in good health for a senior, but a very large majority of the travelers were much older than I. I was concerned for many, sitting in that heat for the length of time, without hydration. Princess Cruise line, should have at least supplied free water to everyone. Many, with long hours of travel to LA with out nutrition were planning on getting on board and eat lunch. I myself flew all night and did not get anything to eat until well after 5pm. That was almost 24 hours. Big concern was the hydration, that did not happen. I learned while on the cruise, many if they wanted a place to sit, had to sit outside in the sun and heat. Our cabin had it's troubles, which we learned to just live with. The beds were super compfy, which I understand were all new mattresses. Our Tv never did work right. We could not use the volume control, and the tv would not turn off. At night we turned on channel 34 which is the ships camera of the sea, which is black at night and we muted the noise. The food was great, all around the ship, dining room, Horizon, grill, Grown Grill, Pizza, and the Crab shack. I did not travel with children. I felt the children on the cruise were all in all, well behaved. We did have a couple like 10 year old who, the parents just let run, which we had to tell to stop running. They did not attend to them as should have been. One young like 7 or 8 year old little girl was left numerous times to dine all by her self in the dining room.. I felt the parents were very selfish to leave her alone so often. I don't think this should be tolerated. Yes, I will travel again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
Always thought of the South Pacific in romantic terms. Love cruising so wanted to do this trip instead of flying. Worried about the long 8 sea days at the end but found enough to do mostly because we traveled with friends and played ... Read More
Always thought of the South Pacific in romantic terms. Love cruising so wanted to do this trip instead of flying. Worried about the long 8 sea days at the end but found enough to do mostly because we traveled with friends and played board games. We did enjoy the entertainment provided by Princess but think it could have been better (i.e. more). The MUTS offering of movies was rather pathetic compared to other long distance cruises we have done on Princess. I will complain about the cost of wifi. I costed out a private SAT connection just to understand the base prices that Princess is palying and 50 cents a minute for onboard wifi is nearly highway robbery. Shame on them. I bought a sim card for my dual spot unlocked phone in french polynesia with extra MB for $18 and surfed all 4 days there to keep the price reasonable for connecting with friends and paying bills at home. LA is a good embarkation port since it is easy to get to and there is lots to do for the few days we stayed prior to the cruise. Hilo was disappointing because the shore excursion bus driver waited till last (he said to avoid parking problems for his bus) to take us to Jaggar museum and the pretty sunny day turned rainy and foggy so we saw nothing of the lava crater. Honolulu was great with its cheap public transportation ($2 all day for seniors) with so much to see. We went from Pearl Harbor to Waikiki. Lahaina is great for swimming at Baby Beach but the rainy day in Nawilwili had us on the free bus to WalMart and then to Kalapaki beach...which I understand was a better time than most had on expensive shore excursions. I really liked PagoPago since we swam at Sadie's and then walked to the National Park service building to watch some informative documentaries. Bora Bora can be renamed Bora Boring for me. Yes it is beautiful but our shore excursion of the bus trip circling the island was mostly sad seeing all the shacks. We loved Papeete. Rented a car and did both the east coast to see the 3 cascades waterfalls and blowhole and then the west coast to see the grotto and marae. Then in town for the market and the street art museum and the pearl museum. Finally Moorea where we took a taxi to swim at the new city beach that used to be the old Club Med. As usual the food was very very good. Princess does fish correctly and the selection was great from salmon to Kingclip. Desserts are very excellent too. Their souffles are marvelous. My husband loved sorbet each night. Our wait staff was top-notch. Sit in Frosina's section if you can. We had an obstructed view ocean cabin on deck 8 that was a good view and pretty well located. Princess theatre and 'our' balcony -- the Promenade deck -- was one flight down. Laundry and food was 1/4 mile away but that kept us fit. We loved Dr. Faff's talks on all of Polynesia, from the tourist sites to the natural phenomena. Really a wonderful cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
Almost everything was wonderful on this cruise. Great ship, well maintained, easy embarkation, good food taste and selection, great balcony cabin layout and ship layout as on all Grand Class Princess ships. Shore excursions could have ... Read More
Almost everything was wonderful on this cruise. Great ship, well maintained, easy embarkation, good food taste and selection, great balcony cabin layout and ship layout as on all Grand Class Princess ships. Shore excursions could have been better. I love Chile and Peru and have been there several times. The shore excursions in Chile were not thought out very well and overall were very good. You need more variety for shore excursions which means smaller buses. There were too many stops at churches and not enough free time shopping. The shore excursions in Costa Rica, Peru, and Nicaragua were good and the lunches there were very good. The "Top 10 Sights..." shore excursion in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, was fair and the included lunch was poor and the restaurant's drinks terrible and without much alcohol. The best thing about this shore excursion was the tequila factory tasting. All things about the Emerald Princess including the cleanliness, Horizon buffet, bars, and cabin attendants ship and staff helpfulness and friendliness were almost perfect like on all the Grand Class ships. I was even on the first sailing of the first one, the Grand Princess, out of Venice in 1998. I am impressed how well they have all been maintained. Also their layout is just right based on my experiences: This was my 102nd cruise of which about 30 have been on Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
We have always cruised with Princess and have not been to any of the ports on this cruises before. The wait stall was extremely delightful. The cabin steward was very attentive. The entertainment was great. Had a wide variety of ... Read More
We have always cruised with Princess and have not been to any of the ports on this cruises before. The wait stall was extremely delightful. The cabin steward was very attentive. The entertainment was great. Had a wide variety of entertainment which included singers, dancers, a juggler (which was hysterical), a hypnotist, great production shows, lectures and musicians. The ports were good, the excursion were great except for one. We have already signed up for another cruise with Princess in Dec., 2018 yo Austraia and New Zealand. During the cruise we got to see many different birds. The Captain or the Emerald was the best Captain we have ever cruised with. He was alway out and about with the passengers and greeted every one. He kept us well advised of the weather and the ocean conditions. The weather was diverse. Some cool weather to very hot and humid weather. All in all a terrific time and can't wait till our next cruise with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
It’s not what you want to think about. But it is really important. Our 10 year old developed acute appendicitis in Nicuragua ( of all places ) the onboard medics did an amazing job and assisted us in getting our sick child to a hospital ... Read More
It’s not what you want to think about. But it is really important. Our 10 year old developed acute appendicitis in Nicuragua ( of all places ) the onboard medics did an amazing job and assisted us in getting our sick child to a hospital where she had surgery that night Their quick thinking and ability to make decesions quickly meant our doctor was diagnosed disembarked and taken to hospital quickly. The quick response resulted in a quick recovery. Our cruise was amazing but the crews response in a crises was amazing Before that we found the ship very comfortable. There were only 13 kids onboard but our three kids were entertained at all times My only complaint ( so minor) is that 16 days without decent coffee is a long time However the rest of the food and dining options were great. We were expecting long lines but we had no problem finding tables Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
Wanted to go on this cruise to see this area. Sea birds, land birds, cities, glaciers and experience Cape Horn. We had another "tour" scheduled with it by a birding company that provided guided excursions at all the ports. ... Read More
Wanted to go on this cruise to see this area. Sea birds, land birds, cities, glaciers and experience Cape Horn. We had another "tour" scheduled with it by a birding company that provided guided excursions at all the ports. That made it a 5 thumbs up experience for us! the low ratings for things below mean that we did not use so could not rate (not used). We did the first half of this cruise not the full 30 nights. We use Princess for about half of our cruises. On this ship had the International Cafe for specialty coffees. If you do not have a beverage perk get a coffee card for a small discount on 15 coffees as the regular coffee is poor. Vines is a wine and tapas and sushi cafe. Great at 4 or 5 pm before dinner. Ship in pretty good shape. Buffet can be crowed if you don't go early and look for seats more aft when crowed. Did not due Princess excursions, go to the casino, theater or enrichment activities as we did things we wanted to do. We were up early, active and to bed early. Ate in a maining dinning room whenever available/open and did "any time". That worked out well fro a shared or table for 2 if we did not want to talk to others or had shared when we did. Food was excellent to very good and if you had a bad meal it would have been a poor choice or failur to ask for something else as a replacement. Great ports and we did get into Stanley Island, Falkland Islands, to see the penguins. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2018
I've sailed South America before, but I liked that this cruise went from Buenos Aires to Los Angeles! This meant I only had to fly once. Our waiter, server, and head waiter really made our early set dining fun and enjoyable. I liked ... Read More
I've sailed South America before, but I liked that this cruise went from Buenos Aires to Los Angeles! This meant I only had to fly once. Our waiter, server, and head waiter really made our early set dining fun and enjoyable. I liked the variety of choices. We loved our aft cabin as it was close to main dining as well as the buffet. We traveled in a group of 8 and we had the steward open all the balcony doors. We enjoyed wonderful evenings sipping wine before or after dinner. When we arranged a party in our room, the ship's staff was delightful in preparing the canapes, buckets of ice and dinnerware. We will plan balcony parties again! The captain was terrific and the entire staff seemed happy and helpful. Loved it! Disembarkation was a bit delayed, but that was the fault of US Customs. The crew made the process quite comfortable. No crowds. I made it to Platinum on this 30-day cruise! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and timing and if anything it surpassed what we had imagined.The trip around the Horn has some absolutely wonderful ports and the scenery and wildlife are magnificent. I would choose a mid ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and timing and if anything it surpassed what we had imagined.The trip around the Horn has some absolutely wonderful ports and the scenery and wildlife are magnificent. I would choose a mid ship cabin for stability as most days were very calm,however, I think there is potential for it to be very rough. We, however, had a lot of sunshine and warmer temperatures than I had anticipated.The previous advice about dressing in layers like Alaska was absolutely correct and be prepared for anything- especially high winds. The ship has been well maintained and our cabin was comfortable and just about what we expected for this ship. The food was fine and the service was great as always. The ship IMO, is secondary to the itinerary in this case. We organized most of our excursions through our roll call and these semi private excursions absolutely made the trip unforgettable.We had an organizer for our roll call who did a great job organizing us all and several other people pitched in as well. We had a terrific enrichment speaker-Angela Kelly -who gave background lectures regarding the places we were visiting.These were absolutely amazing and the theatre was packed every time she spoke. The entertainment was better than expected with some specialist musicians- pianist and saxaphonist in particular who were very talented.We also loved the tango dancers from Argentina. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
I was a little concerned after reading so many negative reviews of the Emerald Princess and the cruise in South America, so I wanted to get my opinion out there as well. This was our first 14 day cruise, but my 3rd with Princess and my ... Read More
I was a little concerned after reading so many negative reviews of the Emerald Princess and the cruise in South America, so I wanted to get my opinion out there as well. This was our first 14 day cruise, but my 3rd with Princess and my 7th overall. We chose the cruise for the itinerary, and opportunity to see an area that is difficult to access. We are from the US and I’m in my mid 50’s. There were very few children on the cruise, and they were primarily from South America. The breakdown was primarily US, UK, Canada, Argentina and Chile in that order. I would say that many cruisers seemed to be the active retired age probably 60’s and 70’s. However, there were some with walkers and it looked like Princess did accommodate them with help in the buffet and on the tenders. We fortunately had good weather, and didn’t miss any ports. There were strong winds that closed the promenade deck a couple days, and you could feel the boat moving when we were close to Cape Horn. I took my sea sickness medication 2 days and never felt sick. My husband didn’t use it at all. This was a difficult cruise to pack for, but here’s a list of what seems necessary in addition to what you normally pack.. Raincoat or strong windbreaker, warm jacket that will fit underneath raincoat (either fleece, or a light down jacket), other clothes to layer, sturdy shoes that can get dirty/sandy-on excursions, knit cap, light gloves, light layer of long underwear, small backpack to stow layers when the weather warms up, binoculars, clothes for hot/humid weather, usual cruise attire. The passengers were fairly casual during the day, just be comfortable. Nights were definitely dressier, and some were pretty formal on formal nights. Our smart casual and formal were not much different, skirt with a slightly fancier top, my husband brought a shirt and tie but no jacket, although we saw tuxedos as well. Our belief is that a cruise is what you make of it, and it was nice to see so many people enjoying themselves. The ship: So many said the Emerald is dated, I have to say again, that if you look for faults you can find them anywhere. We were not disappointed, and enjoyed the ship, the perfect size for this itinerary and a cruise without our children. We had traditional dining, and were glad we chose the late seating at 7:45pm since it gave us time to relax and shower after our excursions. We are not into the shows, although enjoyed the hypnotist, and the game shows in the Explorer’s lounge. The food was good, and we found our server steered us to the better entrees. We ate at the Crown Grill one night, and in the buffet one night. The buffet is crowded at lunch, so we ate pizza outside a couple times, and found it to be very good. Unfortunately, the pastries in the International Cafe are almost too delicious, so we were glad we used the stairs to go up and down. The gym is small, and was usually full so we walked around the Promenade deck which was often empty due to the wind and cool weather. The spa was fine, and I only got a soft sell for products, never felt pushed to buy. The itinerary: The itinerary can’t be beat. If you enjoyed an Alaskan cruise with scenery and wildlife, this should be on your list. We were in an inside cabin, but a balcony could be useful as there is much to see even when not in port. The port talks by Julio Delgado were fantastic, and the enrichment lectures by Angela Kelly were standing room only and very popular. They added to our enjoyment of the area and the cruise. We did a mixture of Princess excursions and private tours arranged with cruise critic friends. Definitely plan ahead if you want to see penguins at Volunteer Point in the Falklands. We did this through Princess as the private tours were filled almost a year out. It was worth the bumpy ride to see the King penguins and their babies. Overall we did three separate penguin excursions, because I was afraid we would miss a port due to weather. We saw penguins on Magdalena Island from Punt Arenas, at Volunteer Point in the Falkland Islands, and at Punto Tomba in Puerto Madryn. They were all a little different, and the King penguins were the most striking with some Magellenic penguins also at Volunteer point. We like to ride bikes on vacation, and took a bike tour in Santiago with La Bicicleta Verde. We took their City Market tour which was a highlight of our time in Santiago. In Montevideo, we took a bike tour with Bike Tours Uruguay which was a good way to see the highlights. This was a tour with cruise critic friends, and we enjoyed seeing our cruise critic people at the meet and greet, as well as around the ship and on excursions. My husband took a private tour with others from cruise critic to Iguazu Falls on the first day in Buenos Aires and they were delayed due to a lightning strike at the Iguazu airport. Those on the Princess tour got a discount because of the shortened day, so the private tour ended up costing about the same, for a very shortened visit to the falls. Finally, on the last day, we took the Princess Estancia excursion to the ranch, and had a nice leisurely time there, I got to ride a horse, and we had a fantastic lunch. it was a nice way to end the cruise, stress free and we were taken directly to the airport. What didn’t I like? The laundry was a little competitive on the second to last sea day, and even though we had a dryer for our clothes, we gave it up to keep the peace and waited until later. The laundry facilities closed early at the end of the cruise, when we entered the River Plata area near Montevideo and Buenos Aires. Keep that in mind if you have a post-cruise vacation planned. I also didn't like all the wasted paper, and wish Princess would allow you to opt out of the ads that are placed in your stateroom box each day. They have a statement about conservation, but no recycling bins, and towels are changed each day no matter what. I also didn't like the small gym, which was always crowded. We have a 'no elevator' rule on cruises, which helps, but we also enjoyed walking the Promenade deck and up top. Finally, the biggest negative for the cruise was the Internet which is slow to the point of being really dysfunctional. I used it to download emails, but it would have been nice to look up and learn about some of the new things we were experiencing, and to keep in contact with our teens more regularly or through face time. We used our phones a lot in ports (except the Falklands where we were told it was expensive), to keep in touch. 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

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