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442 Princess Emerald Princess Cruise Reviews

Embarkation out of LA was slow with long lines, but self disembarkation in Vancouver was smooth and quick. The ship was in good condition with a very comfortable stateroom. There were certainly things on the ship that could use a little ... Read More
Embarkation out of LA was slow with long lines, but self disembarkation in Vancouver was smooth and quick. The ship was in good condition with a very comfortable stateroom. There were certainly things on the ship that could use a little fresh paint, but overall everything looked well taken care of. The bed was very comfortable, but our stateroom was a bit warm most of the time. We had it set to the coolest setting all of the time and it was tolerable, but never cool. Food was very delicious with the exception of the lunch buffet, which was lacking in choices and quality. Entertainment was not the best, but not a biggie for us. They did bring in a whale expert, who was interesting. The magician was good, but the comedian was pretty poor. Service was very good, but never over-the-top. We never had to go to the Customer Service Desk, which was very nice. Overall a very nice, comfortable, relaxing cruise! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
The price was good for our balcony and it departed from Los Angeles, close to our home area. The food in the dining room was fine and the afternoon tea was a great place to go for the mid-afternoon activity. There is no game room and ... Read More
The price was good for our balcony and it departed from Los Angeles, close to our home area. The food in the dining room was fine and the afternoon tea was a great place to go for the mid-afternoon activity. There is no game room and most interested game players have no place to play games and most do not know where to go to sign up for fellow guests to find other, similar game players, as Mah Jongg. I have seen better shows on other ships and there is little offered on sea days. The ship is beautiful and the International Cafe is a favorite spot for most, if not all, guests. That is the place for good, brewed coffee not found in other eating venues on the ship. For a short cruise, this cruise was relaxing for seniors. The music in the atrium is soothing and this ship caters to the guests who want to relax. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Selected because it was a first + several friends booked for the convenience of not needing to fly to SEA or YVR to go to Alaska It was as cold as I expected it to be for so early in the season Booked cabin A254 hoping for extra ... Read More
Selected because it was a first + several friends booked for the convenience of not needing to fly to SEA or YVR to go to Alaska It was as cold as I expected it to be for so early in the season Booked cabin A254 hoping for extra floor space. Cabin is marked on the deck plans as capable of managing a roll-away bed, but not true. It was a normal balcony cabin. Shorex: Vancouver city tour Juneau sled dog camp Skagway train Ketchikan Duck Boat All we're fine I am a frequent Princess cruiser and getting disappointed with the dining room menus. I don't eat fish, seafood, lamb, or non-lean beef or pork, so not much on offer for me these days. Several of the really good pastas have disappeared. I don't mean to be grouchy as Princess still "fits" for me. Itinerary is more important than one meal of the day. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We had just returned from our 2 months stay in the bay area of CA with a 10 days cruise to Mexican Riviera. We already had another cruise booked to Cuba in November. We missed home. As such, were not going away again for a while. It so ... Read More
We had just returned from our 2 months stay in the bay area of CA with a 10 days cruise to Mexican Riviera. We already had another cruise booked to Cuba in November. We missed home. As such, were not going away again for a while. It so happened, as I was browsing thru Hawaii cruises, that was to be our cruise in 2019; I noticed balcony prices were just a bit over the Ocean view, which seemed strange. Checking further, we found they had been reduced to half price for whatever reason. It took us a few days more to get OK for me to turn around and fly again to CA from my medical care team. We decided to do this cruise to HI, Samoa and Tahiti - a dream we had never thought to come to fusion! What joy it was to book the tickets, yet unreal that we were truly going! I researched a little about and French Polynesian Islands and was happy to learn of over nighting in Bora Bora.Wished we also over nighted in Honolulu and Maui. No idea why Princess does not over night as much, which should give a break to all the crew allowing passengers to enjoy the port stops to the fullest. Embarkation was delayed by 2 hours due to no fault of Princess, we understand. However, it would have been good if Princess land staff would let us know what caused our over 2 hour wait in a crowded loud hall with people standing and sitting on the floors. As time passed, would be passengers got hungry and grouchy. Many had snacks brought from home while those without simply sat there. Conspiracy theories were started. All this negativity need not have started had we been notified the ship had arrived from South America and the Customs office had been very trying on all the non-US citizens! Embarkation went fast once it got started. We expected a huge crowd in Horizon buffet but, it was manageable and after food in the belly, many seemed to be happy campers. There was no hand wash sinks here. The food was OK, crew was nice, service oriented. Everyone of the crew from cabin steward thru wait staff was surprised what caused the delay, which meant nobody was informed! The ship is newer than our last 2 cruises with Princess on Coral and Grand. It looked beautiful. The best part about the ship to me personally, it was steady without much rocking or swaying. I get sea sick and wear the sea bands which work great. We had a cabin in between mid ship and (closer to) aft. A 631. The AC worked fine, the door to the balcony was flawless. However, the drawers on the bedside table was a battle to open. The cabin was smaller than our usual Mini Suite or Grand's balcony cabin on 10th deck. We were on 12th Aloha deck. At first, it concerned me a little because we do have to spend 28 days in this cabin and made us question if we made a mistake. But, everything fitted in the closet with extra hangers brought in by the cabin steward and shelves and we breathed a sigh of relief. Evening dinner time was a major chaos and snafu. All because many of us were wait listed for first seating with no seating arrangements. It was amazing to see the head waiters handling and managing everyone so beautifully with seating for that night and a note to return the next day for our permanent seating. We enjoyed our meal. The next day, we found the first seating to be noisy and switched to second one. Only disadvantage to this being, the waiters were a little lax about being there to greet and seat you. Advantage was they were relaxed and we had fun conversations, no rush to finish our dinner and also we could run out quickly on those days when there was a good game show at 9 p.m. We could be served fast if we so wished. The food was great as per many passengers but, when you have diet restrictions, it becomes a little difficult for the chef to cater to a tasty cuisine when they need to cook and served over 3,000 paying guests. Yes, the ship was full. As such seating in the Explorer's lounge where popular and most game shows were held every night, it became a battle with other passengers to find a seat. The lounge has the capacity of a few hundred while passengers are 3080 with many interested to participate and many others to watch the fun! We heard from other passengers how they come in to play the Trivia game, sit there till all the game and other activities are done, skipping dinner to eat something from the International cafe or one of the partners would bring food from elsewhere. We did not want to go thru all that trouble. As such missed out on many happenings in the Explorer's lounge. Formal entertainment in the Princess Theater was another mess - though, there were 3 rows of disability seats, even before the Physically challenged arrived, they were taken by healthy folks, leaving most of us no seats since all the rest were filled to the rim, with many standing in front of poles, against the wall to watch! Many complained and finally on last couple of shows, Princess made arrangements for 3 shows instead of 2 performances. However, 10 p.m. was not very popular and we ended up attending this one to relax and enjoy, which worked out good for us after second seating at 7:45 p.m. Entertainment was of quality with singers and dancers of ship's Productions team, famous/ popular musicians that also sang. a couple of comedians, a ventriloquist comedian, hypnotist that everyone enjoyed. Hence the lines for a theater that accommodates over a thousand perhaps (?) with paying guests at over 3,000. This theater would have been fine for fewer sea days but, 18 of them, everyone wanted to be entertained and lines were long, bickering was loud! The star gazing activity was awesome with the sky close to the ship's 18th deck after we crossed the equator. The staff member made it very interesting too giving us stories and the weather was perfect for it. There were many different presentations on Destinations, how the islands were formed, volcanos, variety, similarities and differences, vegetation on the islands besides the animals, extinct, endangered, history and culture. Various other topics such as DNA, GE and Ford - car manufacturer history, Jo Bennet murder mystery, etc. thru Discovery@sea program was also interesting. The content was truly great, but, the presentation was not up to par. My husband kept falling asleep, due to repetitive sentences, same words being mentioned over and over in a sentence, and monotony of speech, etc. But, then the presenters were really old too. Miley and Tui, the Hawaiian ambassadors were excellent with up to date information. There were many activities, with way too many interested folks. Spanish class was seriously taught and learnt, with a good sense of humor by LoLo, cruise director's staff. There were arts and crafts classes with the ship's crew and Hawaiian ambassadors. I too learnt to play the Ukulele from the Hawaiian couple that taught us. Even after they left the ship, we continued our lessons with Ian he ship's guitarist. It was enjoyable and fun with Tui and Ian truly taught us all the how to tricks. I sincerely learnt more from Ian than Tui but, loved playing with the cheerful and fun loving Tui. Miley, Tui's wife taught Hula dance and we had a joint performance. Wish more passengers came to watch us as the quality was truly fantastic as those that did attend told us. We enjoyed all of them. There was zumba twice a day, and other exercise programs for those interested. Most women and some men were interested in arts and crafts and the small conference room could only hold so many people. The cruise Director's staff could only have 1 or 2 sessions, after signing up first come first served. Running, lining up to get tickets was a pain in the neck when you are there to relax! Later on when this pattern discontinued, arriving 10 minutes to the start of the class meant, no room to sit or the class being started already and us turned back, without any more classes to be held. When there was enough supply of the craft, and we could join in, some women would not want to share the easy to include 4 persons table to accommodate one more. It was always the women of color that were friendly and generous. This ship seemed to have many folks from South East USA, some from Canada and a few from UK besides many from CA fortunately. The fun loving Californians were the best with an open mind and friendliness. A few of the others seemed to have their noses up in the air turning face to some of our greetings, when asked if we could join them at the table for arts and crafts, would refuse!!! It surprised me, not having seen this behavior on past cruises. Some of the cruise director's staff was also a little rude, which I found to be unacceptable, though, we wrote it off to long hours of work. Imagine if the wait staff or cabin steward behaved this way......... The negative? 28 days is a long time with 18 sea days interfacing same folks despite over 4000 people on board including the crew. We noticed quite a few arguments, disagreements among passengers and poor crew also being picked on. Not an easy situation. This made me not want to take any more long voyages, such as the world cruise! Medical center is another story. When we went there, it surprised and scared us that the medical staff did not know what was Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia. I will give credit however for knowing a much more rarer disease called Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. I liked their open mind to learn and be prepared to face if there was an emergency, despite the necessary drug not on hand, they had something close and similar,for treatment of a rare form of hemophilia, should I were to have a gusher with no clotting ability; which was a relief. After reading the article on cruise critic about Medical centers on cruise ships are more like an Urgent care center, I truly feel perhaps a little upgrade may be necessary on longer voyages to save more lives in an emergency situation, when no land is available within a few hours flight. Just look at the average age of passengers on longer voyages! Its better to invest in saving lives than hiding facts on mortality rate. As always, lotus spa had excellent masseuse and we enjoyed their services, though at a higher rate. The salon service was well used and busy staff tried to fit us in. The quality of products used was excellent. The place was clean, except for the fact that non spa users messed up the locker rooms and rest rooms with wet swimming clothes and showers. This needs to change with separate rest rooms for them. These passengers do not have to shower in the Lotus spa locker rooms, when they have their own cabins IMHO. This is a major issue on Princess ships. Public rest rooms were clean when due to the urgency, we HAD to use them. There were people assigned only to public rest room cleaning, who did a pretty good job, both in men's and ladies sections on all the decks. Service by the cabin stewards goes without saying as everyone has experienced mostly nothing but, the best! Wait staff, despite the stress are really good, caring and go out of the way, walking extra mile to please passengers. After I was ill, I requested a spinach - arugula smoothie for medical reasons. In spite of the chef not being able to prepare at breakfast, one of the head waiters went and prepared it every other day for me. Hats off Princess!! Our head waiter at dinner was also extra vigilant to make sure my no garlic and no salt restrictions were followed to the T. When steamed vegetables came and I found it difficult to eat, he took the trouble of persuading the chef to make it more tasty with special sauces on he side or by grilling, etc. That is a big kudos to these gentlemen. I am sure all the rest of the head waiters were just as good! Even in Horizon Court, chef came out and prepared special meal for me after hearing my needs on a couple of days when we ate dinner there. I liked the fact that room service is still complimentary, although, the menu is not varied. Its awesome to have warm milk and cookies, fruit in the room without having to pay for it. Shore excursions were all filled up by the time we booked our cruise - sort of last minute, 4 weeks prior to the sailing. As such, can't complain. It turned out to be great in a couple of ports where we could not get any shore excursions. Had we known before hand, we would have opted to rent taxis and do our own tours. We were able to see more in less time and only what truly interested us, spend more time where we wanted to, etc. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise because we like long cruises and this 28 day cruise looked interesting. All-in-all it was an excellent cruise, the ship is exceedingly well run and organized. Our cabin steward was the best we have ever had. With only ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we like long cruises and this 28 day cruise looked interesting. All-in-all it was an excellent cruise, the ship is exceedingly well run and organized. Our cabin steward was the best we have ever had. With only 9 ports, many days were spent at sea. The entertainment staff did a great job of providing many, many activities during all those sea days. We could learn to hula, play the ukulele, juggle, dance, make new crafts every day and probably more that I can't remember. We had at least 2 lectures every day, one by the naturalist onboard and the other, first about automobiles and second half of the trip about DNA. We even had one session about model trains. All this in addition to the usual ship board activities and games. There was an excellent Bible study daily and Sunday services by the same person. My biggest complaint was about the food which was very disappointing although well presented. Many of the meats were tough, lobsters so small I felt guilty about eating those little babies. Embarkation was a nightmare but disembarkation was well organized and smooth. We took only 2 of the ship's tours, a luau in Honolulu and a bus tour in Papeete. The bus tour was good, the luau less so ( a whole evening of hula dancers while we sat on hard picnic benches). We took local tours found at the various ports for the other islands. Hanicapped cruisers should note the number of tender ports where those using wheel chairs or walkers could not disembark. I took a $5 each way shuttle to the beach on Bora Bora. Would I take this cruise again? Probably not. There were a few too many sea days even for me. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We choose this cruise simply because some friends were going, and also because French Polynesia was on my bucket list. Also liked leaving from L.A. and arriving in L.A. (no flying involved). There were ample activities, so many that it ... Read More
We choose this cruise simply because some friends were going, and also because French Polynesia was on my bucket list. Also liked leaving from L.A. and arriving in L.A. (no flying involved). There were ample activities, so many that it was hard to choose what to do. They even had a speaker do seminars on antique cars, which was heavily attended by men. We were surprised and pleased that they had Sunday church, and daily Bible studies. No Bibles in the rooms, though. Daily craft classes, dance classes, trivia, games, you name it. The food was good. Sometimes we just opted for the fettuccini because we knew it would always be so good. Chocolate Journey desserts were always superb. We did Crown Grill one night which was simply amazing. If you like lemon, get the lemon dessert. I won't forget that one. Ports of call were great, but like on any cruse, there isn't enough time to see everything you want to see. When opting for an excursion, do the 4 wheel drive in Bora Bora and Moorea, either through Princess or privately. Way better than driving partway around the island in a school bus and trying to take pictures through trees and telephone wires. We rented cars and that was a hassle. Next time we would take public transportation. There are always private people or shuttle busses willing to take you anywhere. Negatives? Too many people. Shows crowded; you had to go 45 minutes early or you wouldn't get a seat. Spa services way too expensive, and high pressure to sign up. Positives? Bar personnel very relaxed, no pressure to buy anything. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
28 days to Hawaii and the South Pacific. I've been on Princess before and thought they were one of the better ones. I'd really think twice using them again after this. Embarkation was a mess with long waits. The ... Read More
28 days to Hawaii and the South Pacific. I've been on Princess before and thought they were one of the better ones. I'd really think twice using them again after this. Embarkation was a mess with long waits. The entertainment was not sufficient for the number of passengers. They did increase shows after the first week. Most activities were crowded with people lining up over an hour in advance and many not able to participate. Information was often inaccurate or sketchy. ie. Having a contest, unsure where to drop the cards, unsure when the drawing would be. Specifically asked about an activity and told there would not be one, then I happen to notice it in the daily news the next morning for that morning. I was surprised with poor service at poolside and the international coffee cafe. Prior cruises had much better service. Certainly there were staff members that exemplify good cruise service, but more than a few that fell short. We witnessed cash tipping in some of these areas where we also had poor service. Kinda made the automatic gratuity useless. Some excursions were wonderful as expected. The kayaking on Hilo was VERY disappointing. Although the guides were high energy, the trip itself was much more work and much less scenery than expected . Germaine's Luau was also a BIG disappointment. Food was mediocre, seating was uncomfortable picnic bench style with limited visibility of the stage from many of the tables. I have been to other Hawaiian luaus and really enjoyed them. The hot tubs were lukewarm. Complaints from many guests had them raise the temp a bit, but not enough to call it a 'hot' tub. We loved the movies under the stars. Good movies, twice a day. I would say they should have one pool in an atrium for at sea or bad weather days. Because this was a long cruise there were a large number of seniors as they are most likely able to leave for an extended period. I hate to say it, but this was one crabby group on the whole. Cutting lines, getting in fights, writing in complaints to the daily morning show... my goodness it was exhausting behavior (which of course had nothing to do with Princess). I'd be very reluctant to do any kind of senior cruise based on this experience (and I am in the age group). Unfortunately, with over 3 weeks onboard there was an illness being passed around. I guess that's almost inevitable no matter how hard they try to get people to wash hands and use hand sanitizers. We both got sick a week apart near the end of the cruise. Doctor called everything the 'flu' even though no fever, chills, aches, etc...Respiratory with coughs, stuffy head, fatigue.. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We choose this cruise because we always wanted to go to Bora Bora and the cruise included Hawaii, American Samoa, Tahiti, and Moorea. The Emerald Princess was a nice ship but it was starting to show wear. The seats in the explorer ... Read More
We choose this cruise because we always wanted to go to Bora Bora and the cruise included Hawaii, American Samoa, Tahiti, and Moorea. The Emerald Princess was a nice ship but it was starting to show wear. The seats in the explorer lounge were like sitting in a hole. On a positive note, the beds were great and very comfortable. We stayed in a mini suite which gave us breathing room during a 28 day cruise. The food was hit or miss between average and very good. Service was very good in all the dining rooms. The trivia contests were fun and we met wonderful people. On a negative note, embarkation and disembarkation was chaotic and long and the worst we had ever experienced. The last 8 days at sea were a little long, wish they could have broken that up with a stop.....somewhere. Overall we had a fantastic time and met wonderful people that we will remain friends with. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Itinerary seemed perfect and we were looking forward to a month long cruise. The Princess crew was fabulous as usual but there are a few we would change. The dress code should be enforced specifically in the evenings. We even saw ... Read More
Itinerary seemed perfect and we were looking forward to a month long cruise. The Princess crew was fabulous as usual but there are a few we would change. The dress code should be enforced specifically in the evenings. We even saw passengers in their princess robes in the theater and many were dressed to go to the beach or do yardwork. 2)The bands were playing music from the 80's and 90's and the dance floors were always empty. They were good but not playing for the ship's demographics. 3) The food was mediocre at best, after 28 days we were still eating the South American fish and the menu was basically the same every couple of nights. Very slight variation in the dining room. 4) Passengers were reserving seats in the theater 1.5 hours before the shows began so if you wanted to see the 8 Pm you had to be thrre as soon as previous show endef if not the 1.5 earlier. Theater doors should be opened 15 minutes before when you have this sort of crowd. 5) Hawaiian Ambassadors were great and the ukulele and hula classes were very enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Out of Los Angeles, home port. Lots of sea days, but so much to do every day and night. Fantastic entertainment staff. So many unique shows and activities. Food is buffet is like most ships. No variety for breakfasts, Same every ... Read More
Out of Los Angeles, home port. Lots of sea days, but so much to do every day and night. Fantastic entertainment staff. So many unique shows and activities. Food is buffet is like most ships. No variety for breakfasts, Same every day. Only one serving station for dinner. Great ports. We only took private tours, so can’t judge princess tours. Had an act facing room. Our balcony was very small, but loved it. Balcony is like a box, so almost no direct sunshine so you could use it almost all the time even in annul heat and humidity of South Pacific. Lounge acts were very good. They had an Irish singer, Cathay Mulhern who was excellent. One night he did Irish drinking songs in Club Fusion. Very well received. Had an Irish pub show, yesteryear show, and a number of other unique shows. Lots of arts and crafts such as lei making, charge for this, plus fee crafts. Knit and knatter was listed daily in latter and had a good turn out. Pickle ball was also in patter daily. Main dining room had good variety. Since it was a 28 day cruise, most menus were repeated once. 28 day cruise, so most were seniors and some very elderly. Lots of walkers and scooters. Would. To recommend this for kids Embarkation was awful due to Customer. Many did not get on to the ship until almost 5:00 PM Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
we wanted to see south America, where we'd never been. From Santiago, not so much of interest near the coast, but all ports were good. Very dry desert. Lots of poor people everywhere. Some things I wanted to see over 2 hours from ... Read More
we wanted to see south America, where we'd never been. From Santiago, not so much of interest near the coast, but all ports were good. Very dry desert. Lots of poor people everywhere. Some things I wanted to see over 2 hours from port, so not worth it for old people. found the guides everywhere were outstanding. The ship was very nice and well laid out. It had lots of sea days, so they were relaxing. A very good cruise. a little too many sales activities. we did Princess excursions and all were very well done and arranged. Of course, Spanish colonial cities have mainly a church, govt buildings around a square, and a few other scenic points, so you see that everywhere. Inca ruins were very interesting. Costa Rica rainforest drier than I expected, and hoped to see more animals, but rainforest tram was great (and not scary at all like I feared). The nature walk was through a zoo, but you did get to see the animals at least. some excursions were very expensive, so couldn't see all that really we would have liked. After you get there you see where you might have liked to stay longer at places, which is not possible with a group. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Mid march is a great time to get away from a long dreary winter. If you seek a little adventure then I would suggest you sail on the 16 night Andes and South America cruise. We opted to fly in to Santiago and take the Princess ... Read More
Mid march is a great time to get away from a long dreary winter. If you seek a little adventure then I would suggest you sail on the 16 night Andes and South America cruise. We opted to fly in to Santiago and take the Princess transfer to the port of San Antonio. We rode on a modern air conditioned bus. The ride was about an hour and a half. We had no washroom so you may want to use a facility before leaving the airport. We had a smooth embarkation. The life boat drill was held in the a public area with a lot of other passengers. We did not have to take our life jackets. I made sure we sized our jackets to our torsos. One less thing to worry about in an emergency. The itinerary probably had a lot to do with the fact that very few children were on board. The passengers were primarily American, Canadian, Australian, Chinese and United Kingdom. The first port was Coquimbo. We opted to rent a small van with other cruisers. We traveled to popular tourist sites and visited the marketplace. We were vigilant. Keep in mind that vendors want to barter and they do not give fair exchange for your US dollars so you want to firmly have an idea of the currency values. We met a woman who traveled the local bus and had her necklace ripped off her neck. This part of the world is not the place to show off your shiny things. Our sea days were no problem as the entertainment was stellar. We actually found it hard to keep up with the activities. We had sailed on the Emerald in August and the programming was flat. A change in the cruise director made a big difference. We left the ship at San Martin on a Princess overland trip to Machu Pichuu. That trip is worthy of another blog. Truly one of the "wonders of the world". Since we were off the ship, I can not give any information on San Martin or Callao ports. In Puntarenas my husband tried to get on a zip lining excursion but it was booked up. Keep this in mind when you are looking at activities. I found San Juan Del Sur was scrambling to give all of the Princess cruisers something to do and see. I did hear that all going to see the volcano and Granada were pleased with their trip. Be very careful at this port that you get back to the ship. I really recommend a Princess excursion as there is only one way back to the ship. When our excursion was heading back there were two accidents on the road and traffic had backed up. Princess only guarantees they will wait for you if it is a Princess sponsored trip. Two sea days and then a stop at Puerto Vallarta. Most of the passengers were familiar with this location as our fellow cruisers for the most part were experienced travelers. We took the local bus to downtown. We paid one US dollar for two tickets. The price of the food seemed high but the drinks were much cheaper than onboard. We really missed Princess offering "happy hour" so we celebrated on shore. We had two more sea days to finish out our trip. Some thoughts on our ship, the Emerald Princess. She was a really clean ship and the crew were always painting every morning. It is true she is a little worn around the edges but she is still one of my favorite ships. Once you remember that 7th floor (Promenade Deck) is the key to get forward and aft then you can travel anywhere around the ship. All of the important areas such as Customer Service and Captain's Circle flow from the atrium stairway. On the 5th floor is International Cafe. International Cafe is awesome. The staff baked the best and freshest doughnuts I have ever tasted. The morning always included fresh and unusual baking. My favorites were chocolate almond croissants and blueberry white chocolate muffins. You really should consider buying a coffee card on this cruise. It gives you a discount on 15 coffees. The rest of the coffee on board is ............. (not very good)! The food is OK and everyone seems to find enough to eat. We ate in the dining room because we like the personal touch from our servers and I have diet restrictions. The Emerald Princess really is good at food preparation for special diets. Our head waiter got really excited about planing food that I could eat. I would eat lunch in the dining room and my food was waiting for me. This is impressive! I really enjoy having full table linen every night. Some of the other cruise lines have dropped dressing up the tables. Princess still gives the luxurious dining experience. Two observations before I wrap up. Captain Todd's noon address was informative and interesting. I loved that the spa was soft sell and not pushing too much. If only they would stop putting all the paper advertisements in my mailbox. Disembarkation was a complete disaster and if you had a flight before 3 p.m. then you missed it. Not the fault of Princess but of the Customs people. We left the ship at 10 a.m. and got through our customs clearance at 12:45. This experience stops me from giving this trip 5 stars. Princess could have checked in the lineup who had flights that were in time sensitive positions. Some people in front of us were not flying until 9 p.m. Sometimes Princess is slow to think in times of crisis. In closing I must mention what a thrill to talk to many cruisers on this voyage. I was happy to meet fellow cruise critic members. I hope we meet again on the waves! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise because we did not want to go around the horn but wanted to visit S. Am. We have sailed on Princess several times in the past and like to book our next cruise prior to leaving the ship. Princess always seems to have ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we did not want to go around the horn but wanted to visit S. Am. We have sailed on Princess several times in the past and like to book our next cruise prior to leaving the ship. Princess always seems to have excellent entertainment, food, and services. The one downside members of our group mentioned this trip was the lack of Happy Hour at the Wheel House. That has always been a gathering place of many in the past and we were sorry to find it was not included on this trip. Also the wine package was listed as being available prior to sailing and upon sailing they found this also was not available and many wines listed on the wine list they did not have. This did not affect myself or wife as a rule but I did hear other passengers growling about these issues. Overall this was a great cruise again this year. If you ever see Dinesh, tell him hi from the group of 8 from the area of Wyoming. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
The dinning room experience was good.. Great service. Food served hot. We thought the food was good. Quantities are a bit less but that is ok as one can always request a second plate. With back to back cruises the menus were repeated ... Read More
The dinning room experience was good.. Great service. Food served hot. We thought the food was good. Quantities are a bit less but that is ok as one can always request a second plate. With back to back cruises the menus were repeated but still good choices. The onboard entertainment was a good mix however some shows were repeated because of the back to back cruises. The under the stars movies were enjoyable. Internet service of course was poor at best and WIFI in these ports of call was nearly none existent. The embarkation process and disembarkation was smooth. Elevator service was slow. Good job of tendering which can be a mess. We chose the cruise primarily for itinerary, primarily going around Capehorn. The ports wre great and the weather was exceptional good. The captain was exceptional with very clear announcements that could be understood. Overall, it was a great cruise!!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We had been living in in Chile for about 7 weeks and found this cruise. Actually cheaper than flying (before on-board stuff). Great leisurely way to get back to the states. Since we had been in Chile and have been to Costa Rica a few ... Read More
We had been living in in Chile for about 7 weeks and found this cruise. Actually cheaper than flying (before on-board stuff). Great leisurely way to get back to the states. Since we had been in Chile and have been to Costa Rica a few times and Nicaragua, we were not interested in excursions to I can't speak to any of those. This was our 4th sailing with Princess. Crew was always friendly and service was very good. We had main dining room late seating. Food was good and sometimes very good. Dining room had some issues with wine menu, many options were not available. Also, prime rib with no horseradish; twice! Not sure if these are related to re positioning or not? Just odd. Entertainment was pretty good. In Peru they brought on a local group that performed native songs and dances. Appreciated that. Special singers and musicians were good as well as the Princess orchestra and the other acts in the lounges. Better than some ships I've been on. Inside cabin was laid out well with lots of storage. We were on deck 10. Highly recommend. Only cabins above and below us, so no extra noises from theatre, kitchen etc. Bed was comfortable. Cruise staff organized a lot of activities for sea days and we enjoyed the movies on deck. Ports of call - Took the free shuttle to Lima and then taxied out to the coast. The shuttled dropped us at some big mall in the middle of town. Costa Rica port is not very representative of the beauty of CR. I'm sure if you took a tour, you were able to see more of the beauty of this country. The port was dirty and nothing to do. Beach was filthy. Again, not the CR I know. San Juan del Sur Nicaragua was a pleasant surprise. Nice little beach town with restaurants, shops and much cleaner than Puntaranes. Puerto Vallerta was great. Having never been there, we enjoyed the old town and the walk along the promenade area. Half of the cruisers had been on this ship since Buenos Aries, (so 30 days in total). As such there was a real feeling of camaraderie. When we disembarked, the US immigration decided to fingerprint every non US citizen, so the process was very very slow. We ran about 2 hours late and I know there were many people who missed their flights. Not Princesses fault, but they could have been more informative with their announcements on the ship with updates. All in all had a good time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
first we enjoyed the overall cruise . the staff and service was great. the ports were good we took independent excursions La Serena Chile toured with La Citro Verde great tour if you have a chance go for it every where we drove the citons ... Read More
first we enjoyed the overall cruise . the staff and service was great. the ports were good we took independent excursions La Serena Chile toured with La Citro Verde great tour if you have a chance go for it every where we drove the citons people waved .. lunch was a delight the guides where wonderful rating ten plus!!! San Martin Pisco Peru had a combo tour but sea conditions canceled all Islas we did do the tambo Colorado ruins it was interesting returned to port area had comp pisco sours since only half tour negotiated price down tour was Milsy tour rating ok guide for ruins was good Lima we used Haku tours spent entire day city , lunch,, catacombs museum largo great tour Sean Paul was our guide what a first class individual nice nice guy with a great knowledge and love for is area and work.. ratings couldn't be any higher top notch please use them Costa Rica Odysey tour combo tour hanging bridges and zip lining very good only tour that would let some zip most you had to choose one had a good time lunch was very good rating very good San Juan Del Sur used ship excursion long ride it was ok lunch was very nice guide was very knowledgeable was a typical bus ride with stops rating ok Puerto Vallarta own our own good day now for the negative princess lies and deceits' I was told by princess day before arriving wine package price and availability on ship they cancelled it we where informed by princess the time to arrive at pier and that there transfer would get us there at that time so we could see San Antonio didn't happen because we stood in line dragging our luggage for several hours princess also makes it clear about bring wine and alcohol on board from ports well did you know that the passengers on board where informed they could bring it without charges because we arrived on the second half we where treated and not informed as second class hey how about disembarking we followed the guide lines until we realized we where going to miss our flight then we got into line and waited!!princess blamed customs but when we got to customs we zip right through sorry for finishing my review negatively we did enjoy the cruise just not how princess handled the issues will we travel on princess again yes we as a group booked 2019 already Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Chose the cruise for the interesting ports that the ship visited. Cabin (suite) was very nice although the couch was a little worn. Ate in the Horizon Buffet which worked out well-took less time and allowed us to do more activities at ... Read More
Chose the cruise for the interesting ports that the ship visited. Cabin (suite) was very nice although the couch was a little worn. Ate in the Horizon Buffet which worked out well-took less time and allowed us to do more activities at night. Had a couple of nice dinners in the Crown Grill to celebrate anniversary and birthday occasions. Would have liked to see more educational lectures on the sea days. Maybe a little too much selling pressure specially on the sea days. Swimming and deck relaxing was nice on the warm days. Hamburgers and ice cream was good to have on the deck. Interesting ceremony at equator crossing! Cruise Director was terrific and the entertainment was generally enjoyable. Staff was quite friendly and helpful. Ship Shore Excursions were good with nice tour guides. Embarkation was very rapid and easy. Disembarkation was very difficult-long slow moving lines at customs, although in all fairness I don't think it was Princess's fault- there were only 3 or 4 custom's agents for 3000 people! Spent nice day in hotel in Santiago prior to getting on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Our cruise took us, back-to-back, from Buenos Aires to Santiago and then on to Los Angeles. We visited lot of amazing places. About half of the passengers did the entire 30 days. From Buenos Aires to Santiago, all public announcements ... Read More
Our cruise took us, back-to-back, from Buenos Aires to Santiago and then on to Los Angeles. We visited lot of amazing places. About half of the passengers did the entire 30 days. From Buenos Aires to Santiago, all public announcements were made in both English and Spanish resulting in the longest muster drill in the history of cruising. Yes, we carried our life jackets. First of all, without exception the crew was amazing. They worked so hard to make the passengers happy and seemed to enjoy themselves. The ship itself is well maintained. On sea days it was VERY crowded. The Horizon Court was crazy crowded -- sometimes it was impossible to get to the food or find a table. In the piazza, tables and chairs were often brought out of the dining room to provide some extra seating and still it was crowded. There were chair hogs everywhere, not just the pool deck. At least we could retreat to our cabin. For the first time we had an aft wake-view cabin. The large covered balcony was really nice. The cabin showed little wear and tear, and thankfully everything (the plumbing, etc.) worked. Unfortunately I find the “new luxury” beds about as comfortable as a camp cot. We always do anytime dining and ask for a table for two. On this cruise, we were handed a pager several times but the wait was never long. The food was not as great as Princess can do. I don’t know what was going on: Of course they ran out of papaya, but they also ran out of our favorite wine, and they even ran out of strawberry jam! One time we ordered something right from the menu and were later told it was not available. Did someone forget to order groceries? On a Princess cruise, we usually find ourselves in Sabatini’s 2 or 3 times, but this ship lacks a Sabatini’s so we skipped the specialty restaurants entirely. Both the Crab Shack and Crown Grill were $29 per person. Share was a whopping $39 per person. No thanks. Sorry, but the entertainment was pretty sad. Evening entertainment was the same shows and comedians. Daytime activities were mostly boring lectures, silly games, and opportunities to spend money i.e. art auctions, spa treatments, jewelry shows, outlet sales. The best daytime events were talks given by a pair of passengers – a couple who had just finished a 20 month bicycle trip from Alaska to Argentina. They presented two talks about their trip. The Princess Theater was packed. Princess should HIRE THEM to give port and enrichment lectures. The fitness center has the best views on the ship but it needs some fans because it really gets hot in the afternoons. As far as I could tell, they didn’t offer any fitness classes there even though there was a row of spin cycles that were “reserved” for classes. Embarkation in Buenos Aires was quick. Traffic in the port area was pretty chaotic, but once we made it to the terminal, we were on the ship in no time. Disembarkation in Los Angeles was a disaster. So many non-U.S. citizens and not enough officials to process them all. We were scheduled to disembark with a 10:00 a.m. group, but we didn’t leave the ship until after 1:30 p.m. I am sure a lot of folks missed their flights. We still love Princess. Maybe it was just this cruise or just this ship, but there was … No “Welcome Back” card with a collectable destination card attached. No elite bathroom amenities bag. No wine package in the dining room No happy hours. No ice in the water glasses in the dining room. No printed television schedule. No snacks in the disembarkation lounge. No one will notice? Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We wanted to go to South America and Princess provided the best value for us. We took the opportunity to go to Iguazu Falls and Colonia del Sacramento from Buenos Aires before the cruise as well as exploring Buenos Aires itself. Iguazu ... Read More
We wanted to go to South America and Princess provided the best value for us. We took the opportunity to go to Iguazu Falls and Colonia del Sacramento from Buenos Aires before the cruise as well as exploring Buenos Aires itself. Iguazu Falls are spectacular, but not an inexpensive side trip. Colonia was interesting and pleasant via Buquebus, but probably more expensive than it was worth. For us, a single day walking around Buenos Aires would have been sufficient. Both embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. The staggered embarkation times is an improvement over previous experiences. The Emerald Princess is a pretty typical 3000 passenger ship with the usual decor and amenities. The passenger demographics were definitely older and late night activities were poorly attended. More efforts could have been made to adjust to the obvious earlier preferences. The interior cabin was very functional and well maintained and serviced. Dining was highly variable with some very good serving staff and some quite poor. Most of the food was well prepared, but there were some very notable exceptions. The buffet food was quite good and Princess does a good job of managing lines while controlling access for hygienic purposes. Unfortunately, they don't do nearly as good a job on cleaning the tables. The entertainment was about average for cruise lines, but more efforts could have been made to improve the variety when half the passengers were doing 2 consecutive cruises. Princess staff were pretty grim for the most part. I am not sure what is going on, but not very happy or pleasant compared to recent cruises on other lines. More efforts could have been made to manage crowds for events and shore comings and goings. One good thing was that there was not very much up-selling going on compared with some other cruises where staff seems to be constantly pestering passengers to buy extras. The ports were pretty good with some of the best excursions being wildlife and scenic in their orientation. The excursions to the larger cities (Lima and Santiago) were mostly spent in heavy traffic. We were very happy to have had the experience and it was a good one, but not one that we would repeat. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was a great cruise. The staff were fantastic with interesting ports of call. The problems we experienced were due to poor management decisions and communication. On day one there were a number if beverage choices that were ... Read More
This was a great cruise. The staff were fantastic with interesting ports of call. The problems we experienced were due to poor management decisions and communication. On day one there were a number if beverage choices that were unavailable. By the end of the 15 day cruise most wine choices were 'sold out' . This was caused by some delivery issues, but rather than be upfront with communication about this the poor staff had to apologise every time something was ordered off the menu that was not available. Similar poor communication when laundry facilities were not available in some ports due to environmental rules. Tell the guests what is happening and will understand and be able to make better choices for ourselves while on board. Also, it seems that Princess has become very focussed on selling things. The 'happy hour' has been stopped and there were very few complimentary activities. Many bars were empty .... Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this cruise because we had been wanting to cruise through South America and this ship offered us the best deal and visited all the places that we wanted to see. This was our first time on Princess. We arrived in Buenos ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we had been wanting to cruise through South America and this ship offered us the best deal and visited all the places that we wanted to see. This was our first time on Princess. We arrived in Buenos Aires 2 days prior to our cruise. We stayed at the Novotel Hotel. It was very nice, centrally located, reasonably priced and the service was excellent. We had a buffet breakfast at the hotel which was very good and asked the concierge for recommendations for restaurants in the area. They also helped us book two tours - one was to a Tango Show and the other a city tour. We enjoyed both. Embarkation went ok. The port is an actual working port. You have to take a bus from where your taxi drops you off to get to the ship. They gave numbers as you arrived at the port to check in. It was better to having to stand in line. We had to wait for about 45 minutes and then everything went smoothly. The ship is very attractive, well maintained and easy to navigate. We had a balcony on the Baja deck. It was comfortable, had sufficient storage space, and a nice closet. We had been assigned anytime dining. We did it one night but every day you had to make reservations or wait in line. We asked to be changed to the MDR late dining and they gave us a table for two and two great waiters who took excellent care of us. The service in MDR was great but I have to say the food was mediocre. It tasted good but nothing to write home about. The desserts were excellent. We booked 4 tours through the ship and 4 on our own through the cruise critic roll call. Except our tour Ruta Valparaiso when we got off the ship all the tours were good. Ruta Valparaiso showed up about 2 hours late and we were not able to do the tour. Disembarkation was quick, well organized but the port is about two hours away from Santiago. Overall we enjoyed the cruise, the ports of call were beautiful and we were able to get off at all the ports. Would love to go back to Buenos Aires but not do this whole itenerary again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this cruise as it began the day I retired, and it was a 30 day South America cruise on the Emerald Princess.It included the opportunity to take an excursion to Machu Picchu (two nights off the ship). We embarked in Buenos ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it began the day I retired, and it was a 30 day South America cruise on the Emerald Princess.It included the opportunity to take an excursion to Machu Picchu (two nights off the ship). We embarked in Buenos Aires after a redeye flight. It was a painful 5 hours from airport to ship, but largely not Princess's fault. Immigration was a long slow wait, followed by a slightly confusing customs inspection. The airport was pretty chaotic and it was hard to find the Princess representatives (we used their transfer service). On past cruises, we found this quite easy, but here they were hard to find, poor communication, and long wait for the buses. Then a long drive to the ship (cannot blame them for BA traffic). At the port, things improved--however we had to undergo Argentina customs a second time for some strange reason (again, no fault of Princess). We found our cabin fairly quickly and our steward was nearby to introduce himself. The bags came within the hour. We had a mini-suite, which gives a nice seating area and balcony. We were in D206. The bed is fantastic! The Princess improved beds deserve lots of praise. The furniture was fine but has seen better days with a fair number of scratches etc. Although the balcony is not covered, we never felt exposed or looked down on. There are high walls between them. It did not bother us but there is a bit of rust outside. The bathroom is fine. There was a full tub/shower combination and plenty of counter and storage space. There is one electrical outlet in the bathroom. Our steward was prompt and did a good job. Internet access is expensive and slow most of the time. (Although much improved from our last Princess cruise 6 years ago.) Overall, the Emerald is a nice ship. We felt the decor is beginning to feel a little dated, but it was clean and comfortable. It is a large ship and was full (3100 passengers onboard) but only a few times did we feel crowded. There are enough options and venues it seems to keep people apart enough. We eat often in the dining room, late seating. Overall, the food is not as good as it used to be on Princess, but it is fine. Sometimes, it is great! We only went to Horizon buffet a couple of times, but I was always underwhelmed. There is good variety and lots of fresh fruit always. I would often see people with just plates of fruit. The dining room breakfasts were fine--with a number of decent options (eggs, omelets, hash browns, bacon, sausage, oatmeal, etc.) I felt the dining room lunches, overall were one of the better choices. Usually a number of choices, and most were excellent. Our dining room waiter was fantastic. Friendly and professional. Princess still does pasta fairly well (not quite like the Sitmar days) but usually the pasta was cooked correctly. Fettuccine Alfredo is always available as a choice. We went to the Crown Grill and it was pretty good. Steaks were decent. Not sure it is worth the up charge though. The on deck pizza is ok, but not as good as in the past. The deck hamburgers were ok. The brats were not good but the hot dog and knockwurst were fine. Sometimes they had other items there (like BBQ). It was a decent option when we didn't feel like a full lunch. The BEST food option is the International Cafe. It is open 24 hours. We purchased a coffee card which gets you 15 specialty coffees or teas and unlimited hot tea and brewed coffee. The brewed coffee was decent--the rest of the coffee on the ship is horrid! Rumor is they make it with a syrup rather than brew it--and I believe them. The good news is the cruise helped me reduce my caffeine intake :) The almond croissants, when warm from the oven, are wonderful and became a morning ritual for us (and a lot of other people as word spread!). The vanilla/chocolate mousse was another winner. We don't go to shows much but we did go the the Magic To Do show and enjoyed it. The cast was up to singing Broadway-style. There were many varied cruise activities. The Cruise Director, Paul, was very funny. A high point was the ceremony for crossing the equator. We enjoyed the trivias and game show-type activities. On the first half, there were professional tango dancers on board who were fun to watch. We especially enjoyed the Mystery Room. It was not promoted much, as only 6-8 can do it at a time and you must sign up in advance. There were only 4 in our group and we had a blast doing it. (Yes we got out with 4 minutes to spare). We really enjoy Movies Under the Stars. It's a great fun concept. The shops were typical cruise ship shops. The EFFY jewelry store had many pretty items. We had not cruised on Princess for 6 years and there was a very significant reduction in the selling--which was welcome. Overall, service was great. Everyone was friendly and helpful. Only two exceptions--the buffet staff were sometimes slow in taking drink orders--but they did keep it clean. The front desk usually had a line and it often took 2-3 visits to finally get an issue resolved (for example, the laundromat dispenser charged me but did not distribute tokens. It took 2 visits to get this reversed.). We were pleased with all excursions. We did the Buenos Aires tour of the city (with LaBoca and Recolleta), the Falkland Islands battlefield tour, drive to the end of the world, the Towers of Paine (fantastic) park, Lake Esmeralda, and Machu Picchu. MP was the highlight for us. The tour, while pricey, was first class all the way. They flew 160 of us there on a charter AirBus. We stayed at the Cusco JW Marriott.which is a beautiful hotel located near the main square. We had a lunch, dinner, and two breakfasts there--all very good. Despite the lengthy and sometime strenuous travel to get there, Machu Picchu was incredible. We had a great guide. We appreciated they kept you in small groups of 12-14 people who had the same guide and driver the whole time. This cruise attracts a older crowd of frequent cruisers. I think there were fewer than a dozen children on the ship. They said that of the 3,000 people on the ship, about 2,000 were in one of Princess' top two elite tiers. So many that they had to not have an elite disembarkation lounge. Disembarkation in Los Angeles was a mess, mainly due to US immigration who decided they had to scan all the bags of every non-US citizen. Many people, including us, missed our flights that afternoon as we stood in line for hours to get through immigration. The Princess staff seemed to be doing what they could, but I am surprised they didn't have some plan for this possibility. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We spent a few days in Buenos Aires prior to embarkation. The city was worth a visit and we felt safe in the Recoleta area where our hotel was located. The weather was warm and sunny. On embarkation day, we received our room cards and ... Read More
We spent a few days in Buenos Aires prior to embarkation. The city was worth a visit and we felt safe in the Recoleta area where our hotel was located. The weather was warm and sunny. On embarkation day, we received our room cards and surrendered our passports. The lineups at the terminal moved quickly, and we found our stateroom right away. Our luggage was delivered to our room mid afternoon. The ship was easy to navigate and the elevators aft and forward were often less crowded than the mid ship elevators. The ship can get busy in certain areas during the daytime but if one is willing to explore there are other quiet spots to sit and relax. The pool areas were less busy in the morning; the aft pool less busy at all times. Our oceanview cabin was larger than we expected. The closet was generous in size with a lot of hangers. It was quiet room, the beds were good, and the room steward did a great job. There was only one chair in the rom; we could have used two. We often ate at Horizon Court or Cafe Caribe in the daytime, and had dinner in the dining room. The food was good to very good overall. When the buffet restaurant was too crowded, we always found a free table near the aft pool a few steps away. The service on the ship was excellent. Whenever one sits down, a server would appear and offer to get a drink. Often we just ordered water, but service was always friendly and with a smile. We found that cruise staff throughout the ship were very friendly. The daytime activities were mostly geared toward health/beauty/anti-aging seminars; trivia games, port talks. The casino was generally empty in the daytime; the pools busy in the afternons. We always found empty lounge chairs, even on busy pool days. The itinerary was excellent. Over 30 days and depending on the port we saw deserts, mountains, lakes, glaciers, small towns, large cities, and wildlife such as penguins, seals and sea birds. The highlight ports were Falkland Islands, Ushuaia, Porto Montt, Valparaiso, and Nicaragua. The weather was hot in Buenos Aires, cooler as we cruised further south, cold around Cape Horn, and warmer again/hot as we cruised towards the Equator and beyond towards Los Angeles. Overall, we enjoyed our cruise very much. There were many tender ports, but the tender boats were always efficient. The seas were rough nearing to and around Cape Horn, and for several days afterward cruising north along the coast of Chile, when the ship ventured out of the fiords and into the Pacific. The ship was steady but it did tend to list on some days, and of course it did rock back and forth more often in rough seas. Having said that, we did not get seasick! We recommend this itinerary for anyone seeking to visit remote ports balanced by large cities, lush scenery balanced by remote wildnerness. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was pretty much a bucket list trip for us. We are frequent cruisers but had not been to this part of the world before. We thought that the itinerary that Princess had put together was terrific for a first time visit and it proved to ... Read More
This was pretty much a bucket list trip for us. We are frequent cruisers but had not been to this part of the world before. We thought that the itinerary that Princess had put together was terrific for a first time visit and it proved to be so. We visited Buenos Aires for 4 days beforehand on people's advice and it proved to be very worthwhile. We walked and walked and walked the city, saw everything and felt very safe and the people were friendly. The main streets of the city were very clean but the side streets were under repair and not particularly clean. People need to clean up after their dogs! We stayed in a boutique hotel that was about 6 blocks from the obelisk and was a great deal for $85 a night with breakfast. We were warned about pick pockets but were never bothered. We also do most of what's recommended for safety in any big city, like wearing backpacks on the chest and dressing inconspicuously. We did see a few people carrying their Princess bag around - not a good idea since it screams "tourist with money". We did visit the La Boca section and loved it - very artsy, fun, good deals; but best to take a taxi over and back or take an introductory tour that includes La Boca. Had a meal one night at La Nazarene - probably the biggest and best t-bone ever! MUST be there for a Sunday and wander the the market, and for sure go to the cemetery. Back to the ship. We take 3/4 of our cruises on Princess, mainly for the itineraries and consistency. We had been on the Emerald on a transatlantic when it was new (2008). It is showing it's age a little (some rust) but a solid ship. We were proud of the way it handled Cape Horn. 12 foot seas and 70mph winds - no problem, in fact very stable. We even did a 360 around the Cape for the first time in the season. We usually eat in the Horizon Court buffet and it is not very well designed on this ship - usually crowded in the food serving area. As opposed to later Princess ships like the Royal where the Horizon Court has a fantastic design. We found the food good, however and generally better than our occasional trip to Any Time Dining. The Emerald was one of the early offerings of Movies Under the Stars, which we love. I would probably give this cruise 5 stars if it weren't for the shore excursions. The 8 hour excursion in Santiago was maybe the worst ever. No idea why it stopped (briefly) in Valparaiso and Vina Del Mar. Way too much bus time and very little time on our own. Colonia del Sacramento in Uruguay was also not worth the long bus ride. Easier way to see that old city would be to spend an extra day in Buenos Aires and take a ferry over and back. We also had an unfortunate cancellation (weather) at Isla de Ballestas. We loved the time in Patagonia. Ushaiai is a delightful town at the end of the world. The Chilean glaciers and the Strait of Magellan were awesome. We had a great time on our own at La Serena, Chile and Parasco, Peru. Lima gets a pretty bad rap for safety but we thoroughly enjoyed a quick bus ride to the Miraflores section and , again, walking, walking, walking. The ruins there were a nice surprise and the seaside walk is spectacular. Yummy street tamales and churros. All and all - a great introduction to a fascinating part of our world. Angela Kelly did 4-5 enrichment lectures on board that really put the area in perspective. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was a itinerary that both my wife and i wanted to do and we are very happy we did. The Emerald Princess is still in good shape, seemingly well maintained with a few small areas that needed deep cleaning. Our interactions with most ... Read More
This was a itinerary that both my wife and i wanted to do and we are very happy we did. The Emerald Princess is still in good shape, seemingly well maintained with a few small areas that needed deep cleaning. Our interactions with most of the staff were always positive and there were those who did go above and beyond. Embarkation was a bit chaotic in Buenos Aires but once in the terminal the embarkation went well. Disembarkation was a shambles..more on that later. Dining was very inconsistent with some great meals in the Dining Room and some just bad meals as well. Any lamb meal on the ship was inedible more like mutton. What's having a burger on the every dining menu??? Horizon court was it's usual however some of the speciality nights were excellent. We also dined in the Speciality restaurants, Curtis Stone's Share was a disaster, I ordered lamb and it was bad as everywhere else onboard. Also the serving of the excellent scallops that are offered came cold what a waste. Again inconsistent, 4 good courses, 2 bad courses. Wine has increased in price and the selection was poor with many missing choices. And NO MORE WINE CARD on board and we heard about 5 different excuses why. The ships tour in San Antonio was a BUS TOUR with almost no time to even get of the bus. The first 90 minutes was in the dark! A waste of money. The first 14 days we took all private tours and the second half we took mostly Princess tours, expensive as always but other than San Antonio they were as expected. Disembarkation was a total disaster in San Pedro. I don't know if the blame goes to the Port Authority, Customs or Princess. However Princess should have ensured that passengers standing in line for hours should at least get some water. No one from Princess even showed their face. We were some of the very last passengers to leave the Terminal and get to outside and see a taxi line blocks long. We at least broke out of the end of the line and got stuffed into a Super Shuttle to LAX. While we were standing we heard from a number of passengers who were embarking that day at 1400, no one had boarded and they were sitting on the curb as there was no room in the terminal. And we all pay a Port Charge for that! Can't blame Good Friday for the problems. Overall it was a great 30 day Itinerary which we would recommend. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Emerald Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.5 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.0

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