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1,680 Princess Emerald Princess Cruise Reviews

We eagerly flew off to Copenhagen for two days to start our Baltic cruise vacation. Copenhagen is definitely on our list for a return trip. The city is lovely, people friendly, food expensive but good. We booked transfers to the hotel with ... Read More
We eagerly flew off to Copenhagen for two days to start our Baltic cruise vacation. Copenhagen is definitely on our list for a return trip. The city is lovely, people friendly, food expensive but good. We booked transfers to the hotel with Princess, and it really was an easy process. Had I known how really close the Radisson Blu is to the train station, I might have tried that, but with both of us still recovering from surgery, I had not wanted to risk starting the trip with any difficulty. Emerald Princess is much like the other Princess ships we have sailed on, too much Las Vegas glitz for my taste, but Princess has really good itineraries, good prices, and up until this sailing, we have been happy with them. We were the last of the Baltic sailings and perhaps that had something to do with the lack of anything interesting to do on sea days, ring toss in the Piazza, really!! The port lecturer was excellent, as good as any we have heard. The big problem for us was the food quality. Second night out, I sent my dinner back twice, and finally opted for another menu choice. Some nights, the beef had a decidedly odd aftertaste. One night, the potatoes looked so odd, like the old Playtex nursing bottles. One of our table mates suggested that the head chef really needed to look at what was being served. I don't expect real gourmet when so many passengers are being served, but after five cruises on Princess, we are sailing on Celebrity in January to try them out. We did book our shore excursions with one of the Russian agencies and were very happy with that decision. We saved a lot of money and had wonderful days. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Finally getting around to sorting out the pictures and reliving the wonderful time that we had aboard the Emerald Princess. We flew in the day before the cruise started and stayed at the gorgeous Phoenix Hotel, what a lovely place to ... Read More
Finally getting around to sorting out the pictures and reliving the wonderful time that we had aboard the Emerald Princess. We flew in the day before the cruise started and stayed at the gorgeous Phoenix Hotel, what a lovely place to stay, nothing was too much trouble and it is conveniently situated for walking to all the major sites. So fully refreshed we set off for the ship at around 2pm, straight through the suite line and on to the ship in 20 mins. We had been planning for this cruise for 6 months and had listened avidly to the wonderful DVD sent by John Lawrence who incidentally was on board lecturing as well. A truly lovely man with a wicked sense of humour. Anyway we thought that we knew exactly what to expect but boy were we blown away by all the wonderful sights. Firstly the ship, it was clean-ish, our room wasn’t the cleanest I have ever seen but I had brought the ever trusty Clorox wipes so it was soon sparkling and clean.The bedroom steward Alan was nice enough but did seem a little distracted at times. We are not high maintenance so really didn’t bother him after getting things sorted the first day. We did not find the food to be to our liking, a very subjective subject I know so won’t dwell on it, but I have never been in an Italian ‘restaurant’ that didn’t have aglio olio e peperoncino or tiramisu. Ah well. The Horizon court we tried once, and then opted for the International cafe. Still the good thing was we certainly didn’t gain any weight and had fun trying restaurants ashore. We managed to ‘do’ most of the ports on our own following Johns advice and excellent directions. Not people for rushing around trying to see everything, as long as we get a feel for the place thats good enough. Quite funny to watch people with their maps on street corners turning themselves round and then the map. We loved Estonia and plan to go back to explore, what a gem of a country and such lovely people. Tallinn is extremely ‘touristy’ but thoroughly enjoyable. Found a wonderful Italian restaurant here. Helsinki we walked into the town which took about 40 minutes followed the water and enjoyed lovely scenery, we wandered around the market square and looked at the senate cathedral, then stopped for a quick bite in one of the lovely cafes on the esplanade. We walked back a different way and found some lovely antique and second hand shops. Stockholm was another longish walk into the town, the Gamla Stan was lovely to stroll around, Nobel Museum fascinating but as this was such a short stop we didn’t venture further afield Oslo was not quite what we were expecting, it seemed quite dirty to me lots of paper and garbage on the streets and many homeless people begging, I hadn’t expected that at all. We took the train up to the ski run which was fun and then on to the sculpture park and caught the tram back to the harbour, it was a full day. Aarhus was a shambles, firstly the ship docked in a container port, so no-one was allowed to walk off everyone (apart from tour people) had to get on a shuttle bus which went around to the cruise terminal which in turn was about 10- 15 mins from the town, no transport available. So that seemed to take for ever and the last shuttle back was 1.5 hours before the ship was due to leave which made the stop quite short. The city itself isn’t really geared up for tourists, no HoHo bus and very little in the way of tourist transport, we walked over to the ‘must see’ Den Gamle Bye and it was very interesting, quite long lines waiting to get in though, and then strolled back through the town. I must say that this place could be replace by somewhere a little more interesting, many, many place seem to have alot more to offer than Aarhus. The stop in Warnemunde was probably our favourite, we took the efficient train to a lovely town called Stralsund, a truly Gothic place, absolutely lovely, then came back an wandered around Warnemunde. Since we were staying in Europe after the cruise we couldn’t see the sense in travelling 3 hours each way to Berlin. We had a lovely day, Warnemunde is just charming and such a lovely promenade and beach area. Good food too! Now for St Petersburg, We had a visa for the first day so set off map in hand on the local bus to the metro station, bus was very crowded and went all the way round the dock area squeezing more and more people in, still it was good practice for the metro. Luckily the nearest metro is the end of the line so although busy as least we got a seat. The trains are an experience in themselves, they hurtle along seemingly very close to the walls and stop suddenly, the doors aligned exactly with the doors on the station. It was only two stops to the main street - Nevsky Prospect, so we left with nearly everybody else and were swept out into the street. A short walk to the right we found a HoHo bus and spent 2 hours travelling around the city. That gave us a good overview. Then off to the Hermitage (just from the outside) and the enormous square, over the bridge to the peter and paul fortress and on to the Aurora battle ship, which unfortunately wasn’t accepting visitors for some reason, never mind we got great pictures of the outside, then on the walk back we stopped at Tsar Peter the Greats original log cabin, this was amazing, apparently it had been preserved by Catherine the Great and as we had loved the experience of the metro we studied the map, (they have help points with maps in English and other languages at all stops) and travelled on the red line, fascinating to watch everyone and we managed to squeeze into a seat at one point. Back on Nevsky P we stopped for a quick bite at a fun blini cafe very cheap and good. Suitably refreshed we went to the church on the blood and then off to St. Isaacs. Both amazing experiences. As we didn’t have to get back to the ship we thought that we would have dinner ashore, so remembered that we had passed the St Petersburg Cafe close to the Church on the Blood, so went in there, very nice food and there was also a floor show, so it was a very nice day. We walked to the Grand Hotel to pick up a taxi back to the ship, cost the equivalent of $50. Second day we opted to take the ships tour to Peterhof, and we really wish that we had done it ourselves on the first day and then explored the city on the second day. Loads of busses arrived at the same time and we were rushed through the gardens, certainly not enough time to enjoy the fountains, and then whisked through the main house. We were back at the ship with 5 hours to go before sailing, a very disappointing waste of the afternoon. So we had a great time, but are so glad that we did the research so we could do our own thing, I would have hated to be confined to ships tours and rushed everywhere. We didn’t see much of the entertainment, there always seemed to be a crowd outside the theatre when we went near, so mainly just listened to the bands and relaxed. It certainly is a strenuous time but oh so enjoyable. We left the ship under our own steam as we were staying in Copenhagen for one more night before heading off to Germany and the rest of our tour. There were plenty of Taxis despite the warnings from the tour office that there would not be many there.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
My Dad and I flew to Florida 2 days before we set sail on a 10 day Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the Emerald Princess. We stayed at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina and enjoyed the view of the harbor from our 10th floor tower room. We ... Read More
My Dad and I flew to Florida 2 days before we set sail on a 10 day Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the Emerald Princess. We stayed at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina and enjoyed the view of the harbor from our 10th floor tower room. We used the Bed & Breakfast pre/post cruise ship package which included shuttle service to the ship. Since this was my Dad's last cruise, he's 87 and starting to slow down, we decided to go 1st class and choose a Penthouse suite for this cruise. I was doubly pleased when I learned these suites where located in the mid-ship area, less motion, when the seas are angry. It was a real treat to have the priority status on embarkation and it did not take very long to board the ship. When we entered our cabin, we knew we were going to enjoy this trip! I had done my research when booking this cruise and luckily got the room we wanted. Dad was sooo pleased!! We had a beautiful fresh flower arrangement, a one time free bar and soft drinks, luxury shampoos/conditioners, body lotions, bath gels, bath salts, jacuzzi and a clear glass shower, 2 TV's, moderate size closet, free laundry, plus the same amenities in all the other cabins. Approximately, a half-hour after we entered our room, we were given a welcome aboard bottle of Korbel champagne. Heaven!! We had a DVD player, but the ship did not have any DVD/CD's...they said the disks were being damaged so they stopped that service. Bring your own!! When we went out to the balcony, and were surprised to see 2 teak deck chairs, a dining table, another small table, and 2 lounge chairs. The lounge chairs were turned towards the balcony dividers between each cabin, because they we too long, to face the sea, when the foot rests were fully expanded. I turned the lounge chairs around anyway,and left the foot rests folded under the chairs. Perfect!! I then placed the small table between the lounges so we could put our drinks/books on it whenever we were outside. We spent a lot of time outside. The fresh air and looking out at the sea was relaxing. Bring your binoculars and cameras. We were invited to the 2 formal dinners that were having, but we chose not to go...we each got a boutonnier and 8 large chocolate-coated strawberries prior to each dinner. Wonderful!! Another perc we enjoyed, was breakfast at Sabitin's every morning. No long line-ups and the food was great!! Suite passengers also can have one free dinner at either Sabitini's or the Crown Grill. Since this trip was for Dad, he choose the Crown Grill...I had the rock lobster and Dad had the beef chop. It was so huge, he was unable to get through half of it. The meal was excellent...also, when you order carbinated water or alcohol, you will be billed for it. Normally, these dinners are $25/person...we went to Sabitini's 4 nights later and had another wonderful meal. I highly recommend taking advantage of these 2 restaurants, they're worth it. You can also order breakfast, lunch and dinner in your room or out on the balcony. We only ordered lunch once this way, as we enjoyed going about the ship for our meals. We also ate at the Horizon and Cafe Carib once, and found the food was good, there's a large selection to choose from. Our lunches were spent at the International Cafe, the soups and small sandwiches were soo good. We never made it to any of the entertainment shows, we're early risers and by the time 9/10 o'clock rolled around, we were beat. We did go to the Princess theatre, and saw "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" at 10 in the morning....great movie! At night, the theatre is used for the live entertainment. We tried to see "Looper" a few days later, but they had problems with the projector. We did 4 Island excusions...We enjoyed them all!! Antigua--Nelson's Dockyard, Shirley Heights & Blockhouse Barbados--Atlantis Submarine Sceninc Adventure St. Kitts--Scenic Railway Ride & Circle Island Drive St. Thomas--Paradise Point Aerial Ride & Mountain Top On Grand Turk, we spent most of the afternoon at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville, the food and beer was good, but expensive. We enjoyed the entertainment and the use of the pools! Overall, my Dad and I had a wonderful time and great onboard services! I know it is $$$$ to pay for a suite, but nothing can replace the joy my Dad experienced on his last voyage....it was worth it!!! There are other free or discounted amenities that come with suite passengers...the spa, portraits, shops etc...we didn't participate...we just took our time and enjoyed ourselves. The service from our cabin stewart and waiters was excellent, we filled out the information cards the ship provided to voice your opinions. If I can ever afford to go Suite again, I'll certainly do it! Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
I just completed my 15th cruise with Princess, and I've noticed that service has dropped dramatically. On this 16-day transatlantic, I booked low on the ship, due to problems with seasickness...and this time, music from the crew ... Read More
I just completed my 15th cruise with Princess, and I've noticed that service has dropped dramatically. On this 16-day transatlantic, I booked low on the ship, due to problems with seasickness...and this time, music from the crew quarters drifted upward. When I reported the problem to passenger services, the night manager appeared in our room and offered us EAR PLUGS! (After some discussion with this young lady, she went to find the problem and got the music turned down...but the problem reoccurred three more nights.) I was also asked "what time do you go to bed?" so that the crew could play their music loudly until then....HA! Had I had my TV volume too loud anytime, day or night, I would have been asked to turn it down...why does the crew have special privileges? Our Princess Circle representative was absolutely no help on disembarkation. She was late to the lounge, was more interested in the coffee, pastries and flirting with the bartenders to make announcements. When my 87-year-old mother asked her about the timeliness of getting to our flight, the Princess Circle representative started waving her arms and acting very condescendingly to the passengers. We got notification of our group departure via the woman's walkie-talkie, as she was too busy talking to the staff to assist us. I'm an Elite member of Princess Cruises...but I'd have to think long and hard if I wanted to go again. Better service on Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
My sister-in-law and I came for a rest and a holiday where everything was to hand...and that is what we got! We flew into Miami and quickly settled into the Intercontinental Hotel following the exhausting queue to get into the country! ... Read More
My sister-in-law and I came for a rest and a holiday where everything was to hand...and that is what we got! We flew into Miami and quickly settled into the Intercontinental Hotel following the exhausting queue to get into the country! One couple had been waiting in the passport queue for two and a half hours! It was a re-play of the situation we experienced when we cruised in 2010 despite their protestaions of computer failure and change of shifts. Following our speedy transfer by coach to the ship,boarding was smoothly executed even though one of us had packed their Boarding Card in their suitcase. The staff were all pleasant and most helpful. Our stateroom at the rear of the ship was actually made up as a double when we arrived. Our steward had not wished to offend two ladies travelling together and said he would make two singles a little later when we had had time to relax a little and have some lunch. This was completed by the time we arrived back from lunch and was a measure of the excellent service he gave us throughout the cruise. We braved the choppy sea (nothing like the English Channel!) to go over to Princess Cays and in fact only got caught in one short sharp shower. The rain was warm and we sheltered only momentarily under cover near the BBQ. Although the sea was incredibly choppy, it didn't spoil our sleep and felt ready to have a look at St Thomas and Magen's Bay. Having been before, I was a little disapponted at the lack of commentary as we crossed the island but a swim with the pelicans in Magen's Bay was worth it. The stay at this beach is a little short. In Dominica (our next port of call),we travelled on the train around the main port and also to the botanical gardens. we had a very knowlegeable and interesting young man to guide us. some walked through the gardens and others less mobile moved slowly on the train with a commentary by the driver.Theis tour was ended with a delicious glass of rum punch a few yards from the ship. Although the tour we took in Grenada was for people with limited mobility, we were disappointed at the lack of stopping time at certain interesting points. Arriving in Bonaire, we were delighted that the sun decided to make an appearance.However, our trip to the beach at the Spice Beach Resort wasn't very successful. Of all the beautiful beaches there are, this one is steeply shelved over an outcrop of coral reef. it seemed to me to be a little sad to prefer to swim in a pool rather than a beautiful turquoise sea. I couldn't recommend this tour. Aruba was something else entirely and our tour (4 hours)around the island and a stop to swim for an hour was just sublime! Our guide was amusing, interesting and well informed. The activities onboard weren't really for us although we did enjoy SHOWTIME, even if it was rather loud and a wonderful guitarist in the Adagio Bar. Our dining experience was not particularly good in Anytime dining. We felt that the staff were rushing us and the plate was gone before the cutlery had hardly touched the plate. Staff constantly hovered in an overbearing way instead of discreetly as good service should be. We were not impressed by the quality of the food although we did have some good meals. In the end we took ourselves to the Horizon Court where we had excellent choice and the ability to try various "new to us" food. Those who don't try it shouldn't comment on the quality (how can they?). It was very good indeed....and the Sushi....just great! We dined in peace and quiet and yet the staff were eager to serve without being in our faces all the time. I think the Da Vinci was the better of the two Anytime dining rooms. The staff around the ship were generally helpful. Would some of them PLEASE be very firm with passengers at the muster station? NO use of mobiles means just that and yet people were happily chatting away on them in front of staff. At moments like that staff need to be assertive. People who don't listen cause all the problems in an emergency situation and this should be pointed out quite clearly.....the safety of ALL of us depends on this! The one really poor area was the ship's tannoy system....it's impossible to hear it in the staterooms. Disembarkation was smooth and efficient at the end of the cruise although the method of disembarkatiion at our ports of call meant we lost precious time on the islands! Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
There have been several negative reviews on this ship, so I thought I'd add my own more positive review. But read ALL the reviews and make your own mind up if this is for you. Pre-board notes: We arrived in Copenhagen from ... Read More
There have been several negative reviews on this ship, so I thought I'd add my own more positive review. But read ALL the reviews and make your own mind up if this is for you. Pre-board notes: We arrived in Copenhagen from London (and Phoenix, AZ) night before the cruise, Thursday evening, about 20:00, and stayed at the Copenhagen Marriott. Can't rave enough about that hotel. Took the train from the airport to Copenhagen H main rail station (easy, fast, about 12 minutes), then a taxi to the Marriott. Barring tugging our large bags, we could have easily walked it from the train station to the hotel. Marriott was packed of course. Next morning, cruise day, lobby was stacked to the ceiling with cruise bags, those departing and those who arrived early that morning from the positioning cruise, so it was chaos. We spent the morning walking Copenhagen (Little Mermaid park & town), and, later, in the concierge lounge waiting where we met some Canadians who were waiting for their room to be cleaned. It's there we learned about the virus outbreak en route from Ft. Lauderdale (see last paragraph). Two of our group (who arrived that morning via Iceland Air from Seattle) used the Princess "transfers" option from the airport. Two of us at the hotel did not since we had come in by train. No real difference. Embarkation: Marriott has a bus every hour or so to the pier. We took a taxi (150DK, 20 minutes). We waited until 15:00 to avoid the rush. Good move. We waltzed in, through security, got our key cards, and were on board within 15 minutes. Very smooth (when you have all the requisite paperwork in your fist as you arrive). Photo taken. No help getting to cabin from the boat staff, but no big deal finding cabins for anyone who has been on a cruise before. Cabin: Mine E727 mini suite, 8 deck. My friends had 2 outside obscured, and 1 inside. We had the full gamut of facilities. Cabins are smaller than, say, the Holland America ships, but okay. Mine was bigger, with a nice sitting area and a small balcony, enough room for the 4 of us to have an evening cocktail party when we could. Cabin, balcony, head and closets were spotless. Doors on cabinetry were loose in my cabin but tight in the other cabins so I expect mine had fallen victim to rug rat occupancy at one time or another. Outside obscured was just big enough. Inside cabin was same size as outside but had a problem in that cooling in her inside was tricky. One click of the temperature button up or down moved the cabin temp several degrees at a time. Tough to get it right according to her. All cabin stewards were the usual friendly and efficient. Noise: None in my cabin, and I was directly above the dance floor in one of the club public rooms. BTW Room service: Used it every night to get peanuts and free snack for our evening cocktail parties, and occasionally to get some booze. Took about 15 minutes typical, and 30 minutes worst case. Room service answers in about 3 rings. Didn't try any actual food in the room. Baggage arrived shortly after we did. That was anticlimactic. I was just relieved United had not shipped my checked baggage to Singapore! More than enough wardrobe space, shelf space, hangars, etc., for one person in a mini-suite. Outside cabins have slightly less wardrobe space but each of us had a cabin solo, so no issue. Plenty of shelf space in the heads. I had a bath tub, which I consider useless. Rest had showers only. Plenty of hot water pressure any time of the day or night. Lighting in the cabins was more than adequate and there were convenient light switches every where you looked. Phone system worked fine. Electronic door locks failed for me 3 times during the cruise, and for my friends several times, but I discovered early on it was because I put the card in my wallet with my chip-and-PIN cards when on tour and the key card failed immediately after that. When I carried the key card separately, it worked the rest of the cruise. That's no excuse for that card key system, but it is a solution. Boat: It is huge. Impossible to get bored like we did on the half-that-size boats on HAL through the canal. There's always something going on, and the Baltic 11 day has you at a port pretty much every day so no real time to get bored. As another poster mentioned, the lifts failed on a regular basis, but engineers seemed to get them back on soon after. There was a lot of passenger waiting for the lifts many times but I took the stairs mostly so I had no issues. Still, from my cabin on 8 deck, it is a hike to the Lido buffet on 15 deck. Rest of the boat was clean throughout, including the public heads. PS. My traveling partners found there were fewer public heads than on other boats, and you have to search them out. The ship's crew also tried to discourage you from using the public heads due to virus issues. Food lines: We anticipated the inevitable lines on this boat from all the posts. Not so in our experience. We did not dine together all the time. Some of us used the free style dining and others used the buffet. None of the food was exceptional. People, read this: Ship food is genrally bland! The days of the gourmet dining for all are long gone with the SS France and Queen Mary. The food does have taste, just not a lot of it. One of us (the one with the money) dined in some of the specialty dining rooms. She said the food was good, not great. Better than "average". One poster said the buffet system sucked, that only some of the lines were open some of the time. This was not our experience. There are 2 main Lido deck buffets (identical) and one Caribe Cafe line, usually themed. With the possible exception of breakfast on the early morning tour days, and immediately after a day tour returned, there was rarely a line at any of the buffets of more than 5 or 10 people, and it moved very fast. What WAS a problem was seating. Occasionally crew would close one of the buffet seating areas. This congested the remaining 2 areas and seating could difficult to find. It was usually too cool to eat on the many available outdoor tables. Those of us who tried the dining room said the food was pretty average. They did note that, at a table for 10, our two had steak and it was good while two other people at the same table had the same steak and they couldn't even cut it. There were frequent lines at the purser's office and at the tours desk. Those could be avoided by visiting the purser's desk early or late and the tour desk immediately as it opens. Formal: We've done so may formal nights on so many cruises we didn't even bother bringing our formal gear. We feel formal nights are more a South pacific or Caribbean or Med cruise thing anyway. Tours: Tough one. We booked 1 tour each port, then ended up canceling most of them and doing a self guided tour, mostly because of tour cost. We looked at, but did not use, some of the non-Princess tour companies. To us, and by that I mean perhaps only to us, the Baltic Sea is a small place. You could pitch a rock from the port you were berthed in today and hit the one you were going to tomorrow. So the architecture, churches, museums, and general sights are about the same, place to place. We did Stockholm, bagged Helsinki (Princess has local bus service, ship to downtown, every 15 or 30 minutes, most ports, so we did our own tours), did the Hermitage and Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg, the train tour to Berlin from Warnemunde. We walked the others. Some of our group did one or two others but said it was a mistake for the money. The Russia tours are pretty much the only way to go. The Russian tour guides were exceptional and well educated. St. Petersburg is a traffic nightmare so you spend a LOT of time in traffic. And there is the problem of Russian visas, so stick with Princess tours there. The Berlin tour was good but way overpriced for what you got. By that I mean Princess rented a train (which had seen MUCH better days immediately following WWII) to haul us to Berlin (about 3 hours). No air conditioning - okay in May near the sea, but probably not so okay later on in the summer. Then a bus takes you on a tour but there are really only a few things to see in Berlin -- Checkpoint Charlie, the (remaining) wall, Brandenburg Gate. Now the train station is right at the boat pier. You could walk to the station (5 minutes), take the frequent Deutsche Bahn train to Rostock and the DB ICE high speed train to Berlin, round trip, 1st class, for about $60, and have air conditioning, nice seats, a bar and restaurant car, and be in Berlin in 2 hours. Then a taxi or local tour will take you from Berlin Main train station to see (literally) all the sights for about $50. Add a nice lunch at the Berlin Westin (like Princess provided) for about $25 but do you really need that nice a lunch? Get on the train on the way back and wave your wine glass to the Princess charter train as you speed past it. The Princess tour was $300. You do the math. Tour hint: There is no penalty for booking the tours in advance and then canceling them, provided you pay attention to the posted cancel times, about 24 hours prior to arriving that port. Canceling means you just drop your tour tickets in the box by the tour desk. No waiting in line. So make a best guess as to which tours you want when you book the cruise, and then drop the ones you don't once you're on board. Other general boat stuff: We rarely use the theater and the crochet classes (I'm not joking here!) so can't comment on those. Internet is available and very slow, except just after tours and early evening when it is too congested to even log on. The Internet lounge, with banks of Windows PC's, is usually available, except at those same congested times where there is a wait. Hint: Bring your own iPad or similar. When available, WiFi is ubiquitous in all public areas. Note: Pay attention to the Internet connect time "packages". They're deceptive. You would think the more time you buy the less you pay. Not so. Each package lists the actual "per minute" cost (like unit pricing). BTW I had WiFi in my mini-suite but I was immediately above one of the lounges, all of which have WiFi. My other friends did not in their cabins. Other: Coffee lounge was nice. Good coffees & espressos. Wine bar/sushi bar also very nice. Good champagnes, okay wines. Drinks: Alcohol - spirits & beer -- reasonable. Wine, not so. Never bought any soft drinks. Tips: Cabin gratuity was okay for us, solo in the room, at about $10/day. Last HAL cruise we took, friends had 3 in a room. Automatic $30/day tips was NOT so reasonable, but they had the purser's office change that without issue. Pay attention. Pizza and burger bar: Okay. It's fast food. What do you expect? Ice cream bar was pleasant. Outdoor movie: On our cruise, blankets were provided. Was also pleasant. Disembarkation: If you are shlepping your own baggage, you MUST disembark by 05:15 or so. Taxi times: Avoid 08:00 to 10:00 if you need a taxi. Too many people leaving the boat at the same time. You could miss your plane or train. We departed at 06:45, walked off the boat, picked up bags right off the gangway, and were in a taxi in 5 minutes. No fuss. Taxi to train station at rush hour, 20 minutes, 150DK. Trains to airport about every 20 minutes. Don't try the ticket machines. The ticket window inside the station door, left side, will get you a ticket (English spoken. I mean, how complicated to understand is "One, airport"?). Those of us who used the Princess transfer package to the airport found it worked just fine. All in all, we were all pleased. We wouldn't do the Baltic again, but it was the experience we wanted, and the boat exceeded our expectations given its size and some of the bad vibes on these boards. Virus: We learned about the boat's virus problems positioning to Copenhagen from Ft. Lauderdale from some Canadians who had just disembarked and were waiting with us in the Marriott. For OUR first 3 or 4 days, on board, it was like a prison in the public areas. In the buffets, you touched NOTHING! Not even salt & pepper in the tables. Gloved staff handed you whatever you wanted. If your hand touched their ice tea glass, they looked like you had just handed them a bar of enriched plutonium! You want to feel like a pariah? But, after the 4th day, the procedures were lifted and life was normal. One further note: A suite two doors down from me was being cleaned one day just before our cocktail party. We all watched. It looked like a hazmat team was cleaning! Full hazmat suits with head covers! No explanation. Oh well. No one that we know of was taken ill on board. All in all, an okay experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
Background first. Married 25 years, this was our anniversary cruise. Both of us have cruised Carnival before and DD and I did Alaska in 2003 on Star Princess, so I knew a little about Princess but DH did not. We stayed in FLL one night, ... Read More
Background first. Married 25 years, this was our anniversary cruise. Both of us have cruised Carnival before and DD and I did Alaska in 2003 on Star Princess, so I knew a little about Princess but DH did not. We stayed in FLL one night, pre-cruise, at the Dania Beach Marriott Fairfield Inn and Suites. Nice hotel, very clean. Great staff. Free parking in their well lit lot. We caught the shuttle from the hotel to the port in the morning. The round trip shuttle is $41 per couple, paid in cash. The shuttle company did not take credit cards. The shuttle driver loaded our bags into the trailer and off we went. There were quite a few Celebrity hotel guests on the shuttle and we dropped them off then stopped at the Princess port. Arrived at the port around 11:30 and got in line. We were in group #8. Once they opened the ship for boarding, we were moving quite nicely. We were in our cabin no later than 12:15. Dropped our bags and checked out the dining room menu. No one tried to chase us away from the DR, in fact we were invited in. We chose to check out the buffet and other options instead. Grabbed some pizza and burgers and a table on the Lido deck and watched the rest of our fellow passengers embark. Wandered around the ship for a little while, got our coffee card then headed back to our cabin and met our steward, Chutipol. Chuti for short. He was fantastic. He had our names memorized by the next morning and kept our room neat and clean. Our luggage was in our room by 3 and I put everything away while a typically nasty Florida summer afternoon thunderstorm raged outside. The weather cleared by the time we had our muster drill, which was quick. The audio kept cutting in and out on usat the muster meeting place, which became annoying, but it was over and done with and time for our sailway meet and greet. We met shipee and Pennrod and bocaraton at the Outriggers Bar on deck 16...Hi all !!! The Celebrity ship pulled out ahead of us then off we went! We did dinner in the dining room on the first night, no lines or waiting in the Michelangelo DR but there was a wait in the DaVinci DR, and the prime rib was very good. The cream of mushroom soup was also very good, and it showed up in the buffet later in the week. Bonus for me!! For dessert, DH got the sugar puff clouds in vanilla sauce....oh they were good. I got the flourless chocolate cake, then dipped it in his leftover vanilla sauce....yummy! Monday was Princess Cay. We stayed on the ship, hitting all 4 pools, until around 2 then decided to head over to the island to check it out. We've been to Half Moon Cay (Carnival's private island) and I can honestly say I prefer HMC to Princess Cay by a large margin. I did like the sidewalk/walkway that Princess Cay had over walking thru the sand at HMC, but that was about all I preferred. The beach was not nearly as nice as HMC, and it just seemed more crowded. We also encountered some less than friendly workers here. Maybe it was because it was hot and muggy and almost time to go back to the ship, but one lady was really snippy about showing our cruise card to leave the Princess side and go to the vendors outside the gate. The funny part was the fact that she didn't even ask to see the cards when we came back in to the area. Oh well....not everyone is on vacation! We ate dinner in the buffet tonight as the DR menu didn't really grab our attention. There were alot of sunburned cruisers on the ship that night. Tuesday was our first day at sea and first formal night. We just bummed around the ship and went to the adult pools as the kids had taken over the main pools. There were about 800 kids on board but they seemed fairly well behaved, nothing like the kids I've seen running amok on Carnival. So kudos to those parents and the kids too!!! Dinner was in the dining room and it was great. We did have to wait about 45 minutes for a table for 2, but we were there right at 7, which seemed to be a popular time. I had a smoked duck appetizer that was very good. And the grilled beef tenderloin. DH had the cornish hen. Service seemed a little slow in the DR tonight, not as quick as the first night. But they may have been busier as it was the at sea day and the first formal night. Nothing to complain about, really. Wednesday was Ocho Rios day. I had heard alot about OR, from the CC boards and from co-workers who had been there. The island itself was beautiful from the harbor, so lush and green. We didn't book an excursion here, just walked into town to do some shopping and sightseeing. From the time we left the port gate area (docked at the James Bond pier) to the time we got to the shopping areas, it was one vendor after another asking us to buy what they were selling. And we were offered just about everything. We repeated a polite "No thank you" and kept walking. No real harassment, but if I tell you no thank you the first time, don't ask me the same thing again and again. And the "respect" thing got real old, real fast. I never felt truly uncomfortable but never felt more relaxed like I did in Grand Cayman. 'Nuff said. Dinner tonight was in the buffet - Bavarian night. I'm Pennsylvania Dutch and grew up eating alot of German food. It was very good. Roast suckling pig, spaetzle, sauerkraut, wienerschnitzel, red cabbage, different sausages, potatoes, and apple fritters. YUMMY!!! Thursday was Grand Cayman. We booked a Fat Fish jetski excursion to stingray city and were looking forward to this trip as we had heard so much about it. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint us in the least. Ray, our driver, picked us up on time, and gave us a mini tour of the island on our way to the jet ski landing. Once we got there, Steve and Lee gave us some quick instructions and off we went. We had some slower folks on the trip with us, but Lee kept going back and making sure they would catch up to the rest of us. We got to the sandbar and each of us fed a stingray and held a stingray. I really felt kind of sorry for the folks who had booked a trip on one of the big boats as there was one guide and 40 people crowded around him. There were 7 jetskis on our trip, with a total of 12 people max. Lee made sure each of us got to feed a stingray and hold them and take plenty of pics. After we got done on the sandbar, we went over to the reef and snorkeled for about 30 minutes or so then headed back to the landing. DH had a blast running the jetski. The water can get a little choppy and it was a bouncy ride but it was alot of fun. Of all the excursions I've taken in the different cruise ports I've been to, this is my second favorite.( Horseback riding in the mountains in the Yukon is still #1). I can't recommend Fat Fish enough. Great customer service, great guides, clean, well maintained equipment, convenient pick up and drop off service right at the downtown area, I could go on. Again, fantastic excursion. We got back on the ship and got ready for the Captains Circle party. Our invite was for 5:15. We should have skipped the party, if you want to call it that. Weak (that's an understatement) drinks and "eh" appetizers. After the party, we walked around the ship and checked out everyone else in their formal attire. We saw alot less people dressed up tonight. Had dinner in the DR as it was lobster night. Instead of waiting for a table for 2, we sat with 2 other couples. The lobster was good, as was the rockfish that DH had. Dessert was carrot cake (very good) and cheesecake (another very good choice). And it was another early night tonight, as our excursion and all that walking around town really wore us out. Friday was Cozumel. The weather was overcast all day. We did the Princess Palancar Reef snorkeling excursion. Met our crew on the pier and boarded our catamaran for our cruise to the reef. It took us about 45 minutes to get there. We only had about 30 or so people on the excursion so it never felt crowded. Got a quick snorkeling lecture and off we went. The reefs here were absolutely beautiful. We saw turtles and lots of fish and coral and rays. And a drop off that was kinda scary. It was hard to believe we had spent over an hour in the water. Then it was off to Playa Mia for our lunch and beach time, then back to the ship via the catamaran. The lunch was actually pretty good, a sandwich, potato wedges and fruit slices. It was open bar on the catamaran after we were done snorkeling and at Playa Mia. No one in our group got crazy but we all had alot of fun. Once we got back on the ship we took quick showers then did some shopping right at the pier then got back onboard. We docked at the International Pier, which was 3 miles from downtown Cozumel. Our excursion was a 5.5 hour trip, so we didn't have alot of time to spend to go downtown so we picked up a few souveniers and headed back on board. We went down to the DR and found another less than impressive menu so we went back to the buffet. Saturday was our last sea day so we just kicked back and relaxed. Got our bags packed up and ready to go then did dinner in the buffet again. Sunday - Our disembarkation group was Purple 1, and we met in the casino at 9:20. We had to be out of our cabins by 8 so we hung out around the pool area on the Lido deck then went down to the casino then headed out when we were called. No problems, found our luggage, went through customs, called our shuttle and were back at the hotel where we left our car by 11. Overall, the food was good. We actually ate at the buffet more than the DR as alot of the DR menu selections were not to our tastes. We never had problems in the DR, just preferred the buffet. We never made it to the DR for breakfast or lunch. We didn't see any of the shows or participate in the bingo games or scavenger hunts or anything like that. We wanted to just relax on our balcony and enjoy the peace and quiet. We never went to MUTS, as the weather was just too hot and muggy to sit outside and watch a movie but plenty of other folks did. We did watch some movies in our cabin. Our cabin was perfect for the 2 of us, and the balcony was more than adequate. There were times we had a slight case of Caribe balcony envy but we got over that pretty quickly. For the most part, our fellow cruisers were polite and considerate, but there was an occasional line jumper at the buffet. Oh well, he needed that piece of cake more than I did, so I guess I'll have a cookie. I'm not going to let a few inconsiderate folks tick me off and ruin my vacation. The ship was beautifully decorated and fairly well laid out. Our cabin was forward and the food was aft, so we burned a few extra calories heading to the buffet or the international cafe. And we did try to do the stairs whenever possible. I did go to the gym a couple of times. In the morning it was very busy, but by mid-afternoon, just about all the treadmills were open and the ellipticals were available as well. I'm very glad I did not book a Lido deck cabin in the areas between the elevators / stairs and the pool. Heavy foot traffic to get to the pools and lots of noise. And the port side of the lido deck near the bar was the smoking area. There were alot of times you could smell the cigarette smoke when you came up the stairwell, so I'm pretty sure the cabins were affected as well. And the hallways were usually warm too from the doors being open constantly. I would not recommend this area to anyone unless they didn't mind the smoke. One thing I do wish Princess would do would be to publish the times the DR was open in the Patters. The times are different, depending on whether it's a sea day or port day, and we never could find out where the times were posted. We looked in the cabin portfolio and the Patters and found nothing. I also wish Princess would post the menus in the elevator / stairwell areas. I think they did when we were on the Star Princess in 2003, but I could be mistaken. There were too many times we would go from the forward Baja deck (11) to deck 6 aft only to read the menu and decide we didn't really like anything they were offering. I will be adding this to my cruise review survey that I received in my email inbasket before I arrived home. We never encountered a rude or indifferent staff member (except for that one lady on Princess Cay) and were greeted with smiles throughout the ship. Great service all around. We will definitely return for another cruise on Princess in the future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
But once they fixed the engine the vacation was great. Excellent food, didn't bother going to the dining room since they always featured the specials in the buffet too, loved the prime rib, beef wellington and all the ethnic food ... Read More
But once they fixed the engine the vacation was great. Excellent food, didn't bother going to the dining room since they always featured the specials in the buffet too, loved the prime rib, beef wellington and all the ethnic food themes. Excellent breakfasts, lunches were broken up by a good pub lunch in the wheelhouse pub on a sea day, pizza that I'm still craving terribly, and pretty decent cheeseburgers and grilled chicken sandwiches at the grill. Also loved going to the international cafe for lighter fare like chicken salad, sandwiches soups, greek salad and some of the best chocolate deserts I've had. My husband got a soda card, but I was pretty happy with iced tea, lemonade, and orange juice for breakfast. I liked the ethnic themes for food at night. Really made it varied. Fresh fruit and vegetables were always available. Thought I would be going to the movies under the stars at night alot but ended up watching a lot of the movies on the big screen during the day, often in the pool. Liked watching Mama mia while I kind of did water aerobics in the pool. being a bit geeky my husband and I enjoyed watch Star Trek one late afternoon as well. Watched lots of movies in the cabin too. Really liked the romance channel and the old movies. Didn't care too much for the shows, although they had talented dancers and singers, liked those better on Carnival. What we did really enjoy though were the comics. Very definately recommend those particularly the Michael guy who does comedy/magic. He was hilarious. Show just got funnier and funnier as it went on. Not for kids though. Don't know why parents would bring little ones when it clearly stated pg 13. I also enjoyed the parties at various locations where they would teach you group dances and have various contests. I especially liked the aloha party around the pool, that was fun. highly recommend you try one of these. Enjoyed how deep the neptune pool was while I watched movies on the big screen and loved the swim against the current pool adult only pool in the lotus spa. Spent some of our compensation money we got for that one bad night on massages. Too pricey, but I liked the sampler ones. St. John was definately worth taking a ferry over to. It was pretty easy to get to. Just took a taxi to red hook in St. Thomas, got on the ferry for twenty minutes, it comes every hour, then took a jitney once we were there to trunk bay. Very beautiful, nice snorkelling and decent snack food. Love St. John, so beautiful, want to go back there for a week sometime for sure. Its really easy to get to on your own, I felt sorry for the people on tours who only had like fourty minutes over there. We stayed three hours, just have to watch your times and get there early in the morning before the crowds. St. Martin was okay, orient beach had nice powdery sand, but didn't hold a candle to St. John. Some interesting shopping if you went back a street or two on the dutch side from front street. Don't try and walk back to the cruise dock. I about killed my husband getting me to, its way further than it looks. I thought I would have heat exhaustion. Turks and Caicos was okay. Wish you could get to Providenciales since it has the great beaches. This beach was rocky and kind of slimy on the bottem, although pretty and the water was clear. Might enjoy it more with a float. Nice bar, very good bartenders but otherwise not much there. I like how organized Princess is on most things, even fixing the engine. Much better at food, disenbarkation and getting on the ship than carnival or Royal carribean. Not too good of shows, but absolutely loved the comics. Had a great trip in spite of rocky start. Staff were very sweet but sometimes had to get up to get wait staff attention at buffets. Except at dinners when they were very attentive. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
Who we are - couple in 50's and kids 18 & 22. We have been to several Caribbean Islands, including a couple AI's, but this is our first cruise. We are from the D.C. area & are so probably have pretty high standards for ... Read More
Who we are - couple in 50's and kids 18 & 22. We have been to several Caribbean Islands, including a couple AI's, but this is our first cruise. We are from the D.C. area & are so probably have pretty high standards for food. Getting to Port We flew in to FLL the same day & had no problems. Took a 7:30 am flight to allow for delays or cancellations. Took a cab to the port - about $14 for the 4 of us, much cheaper than paying for Princess transfers. Embarkation & Bon Voyage program We had signed up some Florida friends for the Bon Voyage program. The people at check in were a little confused about this & we had to ask several before being pointed in the right direction. However, then we got priority boarding, which was great. We and our friends had a short tour of the ship & then a very nice lunch in the dining room. (Later we saw the rest of the passengers in a long line at the buffet.) Definitely recommend this if you have friends nearby the port. Itinerary - Went to Princess Cays, St Maarten, St Thomas & Grand Turk. Enjoyed all - see port reviews for details. Highlights The ship is just beautiful. We thought all the public areas were very nice & the piazza is truly impressive. We have been to Italy & this really captures the spirit. Sabatini's - the extra charge Italian restaurant was outstanding! They serve a multicourse dinner - multiple hot and cold appetizers, soup, salad, 2 amazing pastas, choice of main course and dessert. Service was impeccable & the view couldn't be beat. Service - everyone from the stewards, waiters, bar staff etc was friendly, helpful and quick to serve however they could. Not so hot Activities - during the at-sea days (2 1/2), there just wasn't much to do that interested us during the day. On the last day, we were downright bored. Yes, we read by the pool for a while, went to a trivia contest & DH won a ping pong contest. But many of the "activities" were just sales pitches - for acupuncture, teeth whitening, places to shop... Also, some things we might have been interested in were only offered one time during the day - for example, yoga was only offered at 8 am! Is there some reason there couldn't have been more times? Or the lectures on the islands - again only offered once & always in the morning. Another annoyance, one time we went to the piazza to see a show (a juggler). The man showed up, looked around at the small audience & left without performing. Poor. Desserts - Really disappointing. There were all kinds of pastries and baked goods available in several venues. They all looked lovely, but most weren't very good. A couple times I got cookies that were hard and stale. The one stand out dessert was a warm chocolate cookie with ice cream & chocolate sauce. In between During the evenings there was more entertainment. We thought the production shows were mediocre, but the lounge acts were very good. Particularly enjoyed Bert the singer and the James the magician. Food in the dining room was pretty good. Soups and pastas tended to be excellent. Other dishes varied & as mentioned above, desserts were generally disappointing. The cabin was fine. It was a small inside one, but was clean & everything worked well. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
We have lived in Ft Lauderdale for 30 years, 5 minutes away, but this was our first cruise. One of our kids dropped us off after 2PM and we were soon on board. As a retired dive boat captain/divemaster the first thing I wanted to do was ... Read More
We have lived in Ft Lauderdale for 30 years, 5 minutes away, but this was our first cruise. One of our kids dropped us off after 2PM and we were soon on board. As a retired dive boat captain/divemaster the first thing I wanted to do was explore this huge ship. The Emerald is a class act. She had just returned from dry dock maintenance and was looking good with new paint and was tastefully decorated for the Holidays. Our mini-suite was D716 which was spotless and large enough for us first timers. We didn't feel cramped at all. The large balcony area was a plus. We could sit and relax, read or just wake up there with morning coffee. I recommend the mini-suite for first timers. My wife commented that the closet space was perfect for what we brought...never heard her say that before about any closet, :-). Meals. Crown Grille, despite $25 surcharge, was good, servers nice. Do not expect Competition Level BBQ here. Usual creative chef grilled meat fare, artistic presentation and an abundance of cheffy drizzle on everything. Colorful, tasty, nice Angus filet mignon and shrimp dishes were a hit. Sabatinis was interesting, $20 surcharge for what? About 2 hours of strange serving shennanigans...just give me a big plateful of good food and leave me alone to eat. If you like ceremony with your great food, have time to chat between the dozen courses while sampling different wines and still smile at the end of this ordeal...you are the perfect customer here! We found the regular dining rooms crowded and had to wait because we had anytime dining. We liked the buffets, pick and choose, lot of fruit, prime rib lunch one day. The free ice cream and pizza was great around the pool. Freshly grilled cheeseburgers always taste great on the Lido. Next cruise we will do buffets and Crown Grille. We weren't traveling with the kids or grand kids so can not comment on the children activities. They said there were 500 kids on board. As an older traveler, I did not miss the 'rock climbing walls, surf machines, zip lines and constant loud noise and bright lights of the circus cruise lines for kids'. The entertainment was good, we wanted to catch every show. Seven days is about all they could go before repeating themselves. Probably the same on any ship. The hypnotist was amazing. We talked to a girl who was on stage and said it was real. I wanted to go to the Casino but the cigarette smoke was so thick I almost threw up my Sabatini marathon dinner. I enjoyed the cruise but will never go near the casino until they go 'smokeless'... What else? Oh, with our own balcony we decide not to use the 'Santuary' at all. It was extra money and with port days and cloudy mornings it would have gone unused. Bottom line: For our first official cruise we chose the perfect ship, time of year and destinations. We already booked Princess again for Western Caribbean. The early disembarking was perfect for us locals...kids picked us up and we were home about 8:30 AM. Read Less
Sail Date December 2009
Overall my family of 4 had a great time. The ship is absolutely beautiful and very clean. Embarkation/disembarkation were very easy and the cashless system within the ship very convenient. The automatic $10.50 tip per person per day is ... Read More
Overall my family of 4 had a great time. The ship is absolutely beautiful and very clean. Embarkation/disembarkation were very easy and the cashless system within the ship very convenient. The automatic $10.50 tip per person per day is also convenient but it feels weird not to tip individual people for their great service (and we did find many employees that went out of their way to serve and be be pleasant)Our cabin was very small but there was plenty of storage room and I never felt closed in. The ship did not feel crowded except at a couple of nights when the main action was in the atrium and when everyone decided to go to breakfast after the drill. The food in the dinning room was ok, but everything else (especially the sushi) was very good. The two specialty restaurants were outstanding. The service in all areas was very good. Friendly staff, happy to do their jobs and do it well. The kids clubs: Remix (13-17) had great activities, but Shockwaves (8-12) was geared to smaller children so my 12 year old was bored after so many days of pool. I think there should be more entertainment in the pool area (ping-pong tables, air hockey, etc)The shows did not meet my expectations and the atrium entertainment got repetitive. The Spa, although expensive, was very good (great sea weed massage and manicure). Did not used the Sanctuary, should be free but perhaps timed by reservation?? The Internet cafe is a rip off. It is very expensive and slow so you are throwing away your money while connecting, really this should be free!! The show about the ports you'll visit the next day is very informative and entertaining. The excursions were very organized and the guides fun and knowledgeable. I would prefer to have lunch on my own though, as the lunches offered by the tour were mass produced in a hotel setting. All the ports were beautiful and the specific places we went to (Ephesus, Acropolis, Pompeii, Vatican, Pisa, Blue Mosque, St Sophia, Cisterns and others) were amazing. The movie under the stars is very nice but they need a better choice of movies. The overall experience was very good. It does seem at times as though they are out just to get your money and this looks cheap(for example charging $15 Venice cards that we did not need or wanted or charging $48 for each soda sticker plus a 15% tip ) Hopefully Princess will listen to their clientele suggestions and improve on a few of these points. Otherwise.. great ship, great itinerary, unforgettable experience!!! Ely Read Less
Sail Date June 2008
This cruise was planned as a trip of a life time and it was. It was a very port intensive cruise and we were going to see Santorini which was the main reason for the cruise. We have been on 3 other cruises but nothing in Europe. We ... Read More
This cruise was planned as a trip of a life time and it was. It was a very port intensive cruise and we were going to see Santorini which was the main reason for the cruise. We have been on 3 other cruises but nothing in Europe. We traveled with another couple who have never been on a cruise before. We opted to fly direct to the ship and not stay at any hotels prior to sailing. The options were just too expensive. The minimum $650/person/night was just a little over the top not to mention the additional charges from Princess to make any changes. The flight was from San Diego to L.A. to Frankfurt to Rome. All separate connections. All eight pieces of luggage from our group made it to Rome. We had not seen them since checking them in at San Diego. The Princess staff was great and met us at the luggage claim and helped to minimize the confusion to get on the bus and off to the ship. They even had someone on the bus to describe some of the sites and we headed to Civitavecchia. We arrived at the port about an hour before sailing. No crowds, no hassle. I don't think it was any more than 15 minutes from the time we got off the bus and entered the ship. The only problem we had was that the cards for identification and charging didn't work for me and Blake. We were sent to the front desk and within a couple a minutes we had new cards and were able to start the process of adding/charging to those final bills. The Emerald Princess is huge. Capable of cruising almost 3100 passengers. During the 12 day cruise we never felt like we in a mix of that many people. There are plenty of elevators and really didn't have to wait too long to get one. The only exception was when we in a port that required "tendering". A lot of people getting off the tender at one time can jam up the best of intentions. The ship is designed so that crowding feeling is non- existent. The atrium was decorated nicely but isn't much bigger than on ships I have been on that are ¾ the size. The size and numbers of shops are lacking but again I think that is part of the design to keep the crowded feeling down. The only time I felt the size of the ship was when we came up to our deck on the forward elevators and looked down the hallway. Our cabins were in the aft section and 300 yards away. We keep our activities to a minimum during the day because as I have said this was a port intensive cruise. The evenings were a different story and we spent a lot of time at the piano bar after dinner. The music was great. In fact, the entertainment at any of the lounges was great. We didn't see any the big production shows. I'm sure that isn't what those hard working dancers and entertainers want to hear. We snuck into a rehearsal and if what we saw is any sampling of the real thing, we did miss something. I can't say enough about our cabin steward. He anticipated our every need. My wife is very picky about her pillows and somehow someway he found one not being used in the upper suites and brought it to her. It made her day. We did find out on other cruises that if you find out that your cabin steward isn't going ashore, you look for some little thing to bring back for him, not spending more than a couple of bucks each time. It can make your life a lot easier when there is something you want that he can provide. Dinner was in the Botticelli dinning room at the late seating. We had very nice table for four. The only complaint I would have about the table was a painting on the wall of a young lady maybe from the Medici family. It looked like one of those paintings at the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. You know the type that the eyes follow you around the room. All the other artwork in the room was marvelous other then that one. The entire room is deigned in the Renaissance Period.The food and presentation of every course was perfect. The timing of the food could have been better. The first three nights was an exercise in patience. Two and half hours was a little much. This was the third cruise this ship had ever made and there was some process gremlins that had to be worked out. We made a couple of inquiries to a few people in charge and the dinner time improved. We booked only four excursions through Princess. Each and every one was great. Princess has a policy of sending out a "secret tourist" out with each excursion to ensure the quality that excursion. In fact one of them turned out to be the drummer at one of lounges we had been at the night before. The excursions were Florence/Pisa, Sorrento outside Naples and Pompeii, cooking class in Corfu, and Ephesus which included a great lunch. Each was a gem. Corfu was a very pleasant surprise. Get away from the port there and see the town. It is Greek but has a lot of Italian flavor. We chose to do Santorini on our own. We took the tram up and the donkeys down. While the donkeys were a real adventure, I think we'll take them up next time and the tram down. Mykonos was the same and we rented quads and scooters to get around. The beaches are beautiful there and not to be missed. This was the also the christening cruise for the Emerald. It was to happen in Santorini but was postponed until Athens out of respect for the cruise ship that had sunk the month earlier and there was a loss of life. The christening was done on Mother's Day so there was a Mother's theme. Marion Ross (Happy Days) and Florence Henderson (Brady Bunch) along with two of the daughters on the shows were the godmothers of the ship. I thought the ceremony was a little long but I guess this is a big thing for a cruise company like Princess. There were speeches by every person in the Princess top offices, a prayer from the Archbishop of Athens and what seemed to me, a last minute, put together dance group that was suppose to be authentic Greek dancers. They were in everyday street clothes. Anyhow the bottle was broken and the ship named. Disembarkation was way too early in the morning. 4 am. We had to make 7 am flights out of Venice. Again we opted out of hotels in Venice because of the cost. We docked in Venice about 7 pm the evening before and dashed out to see Venice. We took the last water taxi back to the ship about midnight. Two hours sleep and on to the airport. In all this was a cruise of a life time. The lecturer on board made every port special. Sure there was some minor problems but they happen on every cruise. Make lemonade out of those lemons. I'm still looking for a copy of that painting at our diner table. I think it will make a great Christmas gift for our cruising buddies. Read Less
Sail Date May 2007
Staff was unfriendly and rude across the board. Bar staff seemed put out and irritated when I ordered drinks. ON top of that they had gratuity added onto every drink. It was not an option to leave less than 15 or 18%. Beyond ... Read More
Staff was unfriendly and rude across the board. Bar staff seemed put out and irritated when I ordered drinks. ON top of that they had gratuity added onto every drink. It was not an option to leave less than 15 or 18%. Beyond irritating. When I passed staff on the ship they never said hi or smiled. They were over it. Upon boarding the ship I saw a crew member near the pool in the smoking section having a cigarette. So gross. This ship needs new leadership from the top down. High end restaurants had bad service. At one dinner we paid $39 extra per person. The waiter neglected us and took no responsibility for the bad service. Another restaurant blamed the scheduling system for the poor service however they didn't greet us after 10 minutes of standing in the entry. This ship missed the ball on so many levels. I'll never sail with Princess cruise lines again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The destinations were fabulous! However, everything else on the cruise was horrific. The food was so bad that when we did discover edible food, we thought we had hit the jackpot! We went to bed hungry when the ship did not have a stop. ... Read More
The destinations were fabulous! However, everything else on the cruise was horrific. The food was so bad that when we did discover edible food, we thought we had hit the jackpot! We went to bed hungry when the ship did not have a stop. When we got off the boat, we ate on shore and purchased lots of snacks. The menu was not pescatarian friendly and the cooks clearly struggled with seafood. As for our cabin, it was located directly under the aft deck. Every morning the crew dragged chairs over our heads to set- up the deck. We requested another room and offered to pay for an upgrade, but the guest services never got back to us. The excursion assistant manager is so disrespectful that he should be fired! The photographer never showed up for our appointment. We waited for 40 minutes. When we bumped into her, she claimed not to have us on her itinerary. Our luggage was misplaced for disembarkation. Overall, Princess Cruises are the worst. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was our fourth cruise on princess 2nd time on the Emerald. Th is was a 14 day cruise. Starting in Rome. 10 ports ending in Barcelona. I recommend this cruise or any cruise going to th is region of the world, we previously did a family ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise on princess 2nd time on the Emerald. Th is was a 14 day cruise. Starting in Rome. 10 ports ending in Barcelona. I recommend this cruise or any cruise going to th is region of the world, we previously did a family land tour of northern Italy so this would be all new territory. We were picked up at our hotel in the Spanish steps area to the Ship. I think it was about Two hours. This trip was my wife and I first time cruising just the two of us. Getting on the ship was very organized and quick dropped off our bags waited about 2 minutes to get to the check in desk received our cards and off to the ship. We had a balcony 14 deck near the front of the ship, same type size room we had when we did Alaskan cruise Two years earlier. Plenty of room for two and our four bags . One thing to know if you never cruised before we bring a heavy 6 foot extension cord with multiple plug ins. The bed was great room clean and our room Stewart was very good always seemed to know when we would leave room always kept clean . There are two dining rooms we ate Da Vinci, and Michelangelo. We ate breakfast almost every day at Da Vinci. . And Dinner at Michelangelo had the best Materdi Carlos the magnificent And our lovely waiter Franco from Mexico. We had anytime dinning but our table was always saved for us we started with just my wife and I and as we made friends we had a table for 6.the food was good some excellent some ok mostly very very good. Franco always new what we’re drinking and never waited long to receive them. I would not recommend the buffet much. We ate there two times . Excursion We did two from the ship. We did Pompeii from Salerno all I can say was the tour guide from the princess ship was horrible he made up stuff and not one time did he take us to a shady area when it was near 100 degrees. My suggestion make all your excursions before you leave home online with reputable companies. We did a excursion in Kotor Montenegro was booked before we left home. We did this from a group of 6 Aussies we met from roll call. We did a speedboat. Blue cave , submarine caves tour with swimming at the blue caves,a very fun 3 hour tour, we then did The Godfather tour booked from princess , this was a very fun day. Great tour guide if your a fan of The Godfather movies you will enjoy this. Our next paid excursion was also not from princess with family we met from roll call. We did Pompeii again from Naples. This was a fantastic tour our guide his name was Sasha was so knowledgeable his father was also a tour guide I told him what the tour guide from the princess ship told us and he said what load of garbage i showed him the pictures I took from the first tour and what the guide told us about that. He was blown away with the crap the first guide told us. Every time there was shade he took us to the shady spots and explained what was the real history, all ”other ports we did either the hop on bus or just walked the towns. We had some of the best food on land ever.seafood was more then fantastic. One thing if your going to book your excursion from princess do it before you get on the ship most of the good excursions sold out very fast. I do recommend using non princess excursion. We made a lot of new friends in this ship. After dinner we would go to crooners bar see the piano player. We did trivia one night. And we watched a few movies on the deck with greasy popcorn. If you drink much including alcohol coffee and water get the drink package we got ours free with our balcony booking so it was worth it. Drinks are not cheap if you buy your own . Bottle water $2.50. Latte $2.50 each . We had a later time to get off the ship in Barcelona our transportation was supposed to pick us up at 10 but after 3 phone calls they finally got there by11.00 there is no place to sit and almost no shade at the Barcelona terminal. Then they took us to the wrong hotel , this was not booked through princess . One thing I would recommend transfers book from princess. If you smoke they have a cigar smoke room or you can smoke on the 16 th deck ... Feel free to ask my anything you would like to know. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Booked this Mediterranean Adriatic cruise to spend time with friends and to see Montenegro and Sicily. Big mistake to book with Princess even as an Elite level Princess customer the accommodations and service were terrible considering the ... Read More
Booked this Mediterranean Adriatic cruise to spend time with friends and to see Montenegro and Sicily. Big mistake to book with Princess even as an Elite level Princess customer the accommodations and service were terrible considering the price. The Emerald Princess ship is very outdated and I would never book another cruise on this ship. Our cabin was small, hot and noisy. The staff was friendly but their overall service was poor in terms of making improvements. I have cruised with Princess for years but this was my first cruise with them since 2016. Although I had heard unfavorable feedback from friends and family, I was shocked on how much their service, excursions and equipment had declined. This cruise was overpriced based on the experience and I felt Princess is doing a lot of cost savings at the expense of quality. There are additional charges for everything and there drink and internet charges are outrageous. We stayed in Barcelona for a couple of days in a Princess package Hotel. What a mistake, same issues, poor service and overpriced. Paid them $400/night for a hotel we found out you can book for $150/night. Room was not available until late evening and the luggage storage and check in was a cluster. We were disappointed in the ports of calls and excursions. Gave Princess every chance to acknowledge our survey complaints requesting someone to contact us for feedback versus sending this review. We have been a loyal customer to them over the years reaching Elite status in their program. If we experienced this cannot even imagine what new or mid customers experienced. Sharing this to help others. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose because, although this would be my first cruise. the other three people had previous good experiences with Princess. However, all four of us will NEVER sail with Princess again. From booking on there were problems. We were ... Read More
We chose because, although this would be my first cruise. the other three people had previous good experiences with Princess. However, all four of us will NEVER sail with Princess again. From booking on there were problems. We were misled on the use of on board credits; our free premium drink package was not honored until we proved it was legit; food was lukewarm on the buffets while the plates were scalding hot. One real danger to passengers: Princess is very misinformed about passport use. They claimed passports did not need to be carried with you off the ship, and were totally ignorant of when a passport needs to be stamped at entry. Almost got us arrested following their advice. Luckily, quite by accident, we met a Spanish immigration official in Barcelona who gave us the real information. But the real problem was with shore excursions. Be forewarned, Princess will not come to your aid if something goes wrong. Our tour guide went rogue. During the "kidnapping", I tried to call Princess. No phone numbers worked. Their offices were not open. When I finally got someone and gave all the info, including the location,tour number, my name, and all contact info, they hung up and failed to call back. Then for the next five days, they attempted to bury the incident. They never investigated. I forced their hand, and had meetings with all levels of management, including the captain, who took no responsibility and claimed that Princess would never cover up any incident. BTW, after this horrendous experience, I could not leave the ship due to panic attacks until we got to the end of the cruise. I was a prisoner in a billion dollar jail. All Princess staff claimed that no cover up was going on. They never investigated, even 30+ days later and never tried ANYTHING to help. They endangered my life and the lives of 40 other passengers, and showed nothing but neglect and indifference. Keep in mind that Princess Cruises was just fined $20 million dollars for covering up dumping waste in the Caribbean over a five year probationary period by falsifying records and lying during inspections. So the bottom line is: Princess just wants to cash in, and anything else can be bought off, even the health and safety of its passengers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This cruise started out badly. We had to stand outside in the wind and heavy rain to check our bags, then were ushered into a cold tent where we had to wait 3 1/2 HOURS to board! Princess did not take any responsibility for their ... Read More
This cruise started out badly. We had to stand outside in the wind and heavy rain to check our bags, then were ushered into a cold tent where we had to wait 3 1/2 HOURS to board! Princess did not take any responsibility for their problems and did nothing to compensate us for the terrible experience. Don't think we will use Princess again. We chose this cruise because we wanted the sea days and were looking forward to warm weather in Hawaii and on the way. Unfortunately, there were storms coming and going so we were not able to sit around the pool or use our balcony. There were very few things to do on the sea days in the afternoon. Most of the lectures were at 9 or 10 in the morning and we weren't up that early. It just didn't seem to be up to the quality we expected of Princess. We had the late seating in the Botticelli dining room. The waiter and assistant were very good and the menu varied, but the food was bland even when it was described as spicy. The Horizon buffet was good, but the layout made it crowded and difficult to maneuver. The wait staff there were very attentive. The Magic To Do show and the other shows with the singers and dancers were really wonderful! The Magic To Do was like a Broadway show and probably the best show we have seen on a ship. The other entertainers were good - singers, magicians, comedians, ventriloquists, but about the same as you would find on any cruise ship. We did independent tours in Kauai and Hilo. It was very easy to walk around in Lahaina and Honolulu as we were docked or tendered to the center of town. In Ensenada we were within walking distance of the shops and bars in town. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
First ever cruise with Princess, but will also be our last. We have cruised with three other cruise lines previously, never have we been so disappointed. We were thinking perhaps our unpleasant experiences were a ‘one-off’ with ... Read More
First ever cruise with Princess, but will also be our last. We have cruised with three other cruise lines previously, never have we been so disappointed. We were thinking perhaps our unpleasant experiences were a ‘one-off’ with Princess but having spoken with several Elite level passengers who had decided ‘enough was enough’ and that they would no longer cruise with Princess due to ongoing cuts and increasing poor service - we quickly realised a pattern had well and truly formed for the cruise line with no signs of improvement on the horizon. High time this ship went into dry dock. All chairs in the common areas had little to no padding left in them, VERY uncomfortable. Condescending entertainment crew. Sodas in every venue were flat. Entertainment and food were mediocre at best. A real shame, we were hoping to cruise again with Princess but this trip has certainly put us off. Met a couple of lovely elite level couples, if it wasn’t for them, the last 15 days would’ve been a complete write off. I might add, several other elite level passengers we spoke with all stated they would never cruise with Princess again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We choose this cruise for a holiday get away. Princess Cruises were suppose to be upscale over Holland American and Carnival. What we found is an old and tired ship. They did maintenance on the swimming pools while in port (islands) ... Read More
We choose this cruise for a holiday get away. Princess Cruises were suppose to be upscale over Holland American and Carnival. What we found is an old and tired ship. They did maintenance on the swimming pools while in port (islands) so those staying on board could not use them. Last port, the deck maintenance crew started working a very rusted part of the Lido deck. The last night in the Dining room, the table was not completely set and we had to ask for water. The serving of of the main course was delayed due to an "error??" in the kitchen. and the waiter was spread between 3 or 4 tables. My wife and I are not new to cruising, and we have done about 30. and we know the difference between excellent , average and poor. Formal night is a big nothing, I had to drag a suit with me, Most experienced traveler know how to pack light and look good. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We chose this cruise because my wife is several weeks pregnant. So we wanted to go to Hawaii to avoid any places with Zika. This was our last opportunity to vacation since both of us are very busy and rarely get much time off. And with ... Read More
We chose this cruise because my wife is several weeks pregnant. So we wanted to go to Hawaii to avoid any places with Zika. This was our last opportunity to vacation since both of us are very busy and rarely get much time off. And with the baby coming later this year its only going to be harder. If we had known that Princess was going to be so bad we would have flown to Hawaii and stayed in a hotel instead. Nearly every night we were woken up to loud thumping noises. We have some recordings and you can hear it pretty good even on just a crappy phone mic. It sounded like a very unbalanced washing machine directly above us. We contacted the help desk and our steward. But they wouldn't tell us what it was. It would go away once we said something but then back the next night. Needless to say we didn't get the restful sleep we wanted. Princess offered us $90 off our final bill at the end of the cruise but I felt like it should have been more than that. They told me I would have to contact customer relations. But in the mean time they went ahead and closed the bill. I called the day after I got home and was told I had to email not call. So I did that. It took them a few days and they called me back...not emailed. They said they would offer us $75 per person future cruise credit that we would have to schedule within one year. This was infuriating because we wont be able to cruise again any time soon because of the baby coming later this year. So the $75 per person is worthless to us. Beyond that the Emerald Princess is not in very good condition. There were several things in very poor condition or totally broken. And the food...having cruised with Princess in the past I was expecting a little better quality, but it was not good at all. Overall if Princess hadn't closed the bill and credited us the $150 we would have come away with a more positive experience. But now it feels like Princess is just forcing us to cruise with them again and we already know its probably not going to be good. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We are Elite members with 20 years of cruising. For 2 complete days on Emerald Princess (Dec 6 and Dec7) from 7:00am to 5:00pm there was an extremely loud noise near our cabin. We could not talk, hear each other or relax in our ... Read More
We are Elite members with 20 years of cruising. For 2 complete days on Emerald Princess (Dec 6 and Dec7) from 7:00am to 5:00pm there was an extremely loud noise near our cabin. We could not talk, hear each other or relax in our mini-suite.. There was a metal bumping, beating other metal near our balcony for the whole day. Was it a necessity to do such job on the sea days? Generally, the whole cruise was a disaster. The procedure of entering Fusion Club for “Captain Circle” was humiliating and incredible disrespectful. For example, the Entertaining Director Lisa was more to per-occupied only collecting the invitation from people than showing people how special and important they are. Lisa even did not want to look at the faces of the passengers or reply on our greeting, for example. The Cruise Director was a very young girl, who acted as a child. The "Wake show" was very unintelligent and just low class. The Cruise Ass. Director - a young girl from Mexico - was openly and inappropriate flirting with many men in front of their wives. There was a very poor entertainment, and the main activities on board were "Trivia". The room service was very slow, confusing and often mixed our orders. The room steward was barely working. The spa is extremely expensive. The whole activities were designed just to sell something to people. Our 12 friends who usually cruise with us every Dec.4 to Hawaii did not have any place to dance, because the good Ballroom band played in a very small space of the “Wheel house”. We want to get a refund for 2 of lost vacation days which were created by the fault of the ship. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
As others have noted, Princess was tauted as one of the best cruises/cruiselines but we found it severely lacking. Again as Doxiesmom said about getting lost, we did as well numerous times but somehow always seemed to end up by all the ... Read More
As others have noted, Princess was tauted as one of the best cruises/cruiselines but we found it severely lacking. Again as Doxiesmom said about getting lost, we did as well numerous times but somehow always seemed to end up by all the hundreds of photos, the casino or the Lotus Spa. It was not a diabetic friendly cruise as even though we had purchased the soda package, the only diet soda available anywhere was diet coke. Diet Sprite/Sprite Zero could be had but it cost $2.00. What??? One sugar free option for dessert in the buffet which we ate dinner at each night instead of the main dining room. The Salty Dog was a joke that we paid $24 extra for. Come to find out the last night in the dining room they served those burgers there. Hmm.. Tell me again that food all comes from different kitchens on a cruise? The burgers and fries were great on the pool deck but it was always too cold to eat there. Luckily we did get one good meal in Cabo and that pretty much sustained us until we got back home. We had a balcony which was really nice. Looking down upon others' balconies wasn't interesting as one might think it would be. The latches on the balcony were rusted off as others have said but didn't bother us. However we were surprised our bed linens were not changed in the entire five nights. How do I know? Well the same torn ragged sheet was at the same corner of the bed for the entire time. Entertainment, well we went to the comedians but were not very impressed. The music in the Piazza was just way too loud all the time and the lack of seating in that area was bothersome because there were some people who took up residence there I believe. We did sleep well but the beds must be that memory foam stuff as well as the pillows because we woke up drenched every morning. Overall not the greatest cruise but of course everyone has different opinions. I loved the hair/head massages but the haircut I got was very minimal even though I said take a lot off. The tv was nice, glad they showed movies repeatedly but wish we'd known earlier that they did that. I went to one evening movie in the theater and was surprised that it wasn't edited for language. I'm not a prude but I do think in a public venue like that language and sex should be edited. There were like twenty people in the audience and after the first ten minutes of F-this and F-that, there were five of us left. I stayed because I had seen the movie only a few days prior and wanted to see it on a bigger screen. So I think we'll be sticking with Royal Caribbean. The service and quality of entertainment/food was much better with them and now we know the difference. I'm glad several people liked this cruise. I'm sorry we were not two of them. One other thing, the cleanliness of public spaces was severely lacking. In the Piazza area, there were glasses and food plates left near the elevators on the floor, several coffee cups all over the place, and not one stinking or non-stinking garbage can to be found ANYWHERE. WHAT The heck is up with NO place to throw your trash away???? This was throughout the ship and thoroughly annoying as was the plastic straws everywhere. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Old, dated, stained. Felt like an old Travelodge hotel.Low value. cannot compare to our other 3 cruises with Holland America. We repent Holland America, never again will we sale with the Dirty Princess. Our stareroom steward was great. The ... Read More
Old, dated, stained. Felt like an old Travelodge hotel.Low value. cannot compare to our other 3 cruises with Holland America. We repent Holland America, never again will we sale with the Dirty Princess. Our stareroom steward was great. The stateroom was worn out, the window curtans didnt fit properly. THe food in the Horizon buffet was almost un eatable. THe other resteraunts on board were better but disappointing in many ways. Check your room key card when you use it. Staff gave the wrong key card back to customers and cause lots of problems. Entertainment leader Jen was awesome but most of the entertainment was just so so. When we dis embarked the ship in Vancouver we had to Walk off because our connection was at 11am and we had no help from staff at ALL. My wife and I are in our 70s and I am disabled and we pleaded for help getting off boat but we were ignored by the staff. My wife and I had to drag and push our 5 bags down 4 decks and gang planks to a taxi. Worst expierence we have ever had. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
I chose this cruise for the itinerary but once onboard, completely disappointed with food and the state of the ship. I've been on many cruises prior to this but this was the worst by far. My expectations on the food were gravely ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the itinerary but once onboard, completely disappointed with food and the state of the ship. I've been on many cruises prior to this but this was the worst by far. My expectations on the food were gravely disappointing. The quality has certainly gone down the tubes and temperature of the food was also just slightly warm. The long lines were horrific around the restaurants and trying to find a table in the buffet zones was impossible. The state of the room was also disappointing....tired old furniture, uncomfortable mattresses. Unhygienic bedding, pillows and duvets are not cleaned also very used and pilled On a 10 day cruise I would have expected my sheets to be changed once, not until I asked. Gross! The sofa in the stateroom was something you might find curb side. Very soiled and cushions were sagging. The ventilation in certain parts were emitting stench from,the sewage on board. Walk down certain corridors and it's overwhelming. I couldn't sit long outside on the Sanctuary side for the wafting of sewage coming from the exhaust of ship. Yikes! Is at with a towel over. Y nostrils not to inhale the fumes. Gross! Will not be returning to Princess! Non voyage! Read Less
Sail Date September 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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