1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Princess Cruises
  4. Emerald Princess Review
  5. Emerald Princess Cruise Reviews

157 Princess Emerald Princess Cruise Reviews

We are 2 women. I am in my late fifties, my travelling companion in her seventies. Originally my parents (also in their seventies) were to join us for the cruise in the adjacent mini-suite, but had to cancel at the last minute due to an ... Read More
We are 2 women. I am in my late fifties, my travelling companion in her seventies. Originally my parents (also in their seventies) were to join us for the cruise in the adjacent mini-suite, but had to cancel at the last minute due to an urgent health issue. This has no bearing on my review of this particular cruise. My companion had never cruised or left Australia before. I am an experienced traveller, often solo. This was my first ocean cruise. Previously I have cruised for up to 14 days on a small ship expedition off Kimberley WA coast and a river cruise in Russia. We are both of average fitness with no mobility problems. We chose the New Zealand itinerary over Christmas for the ports and shore excursions available around New Zealand sailing out of Sydney Harbour and the personal recommendation of at least 6 people regarding Princess Cruises. We used the Princess Sydney Airport shuttle bus both ways. Both the embarkation and disembarkation process and passenger experience was severley compromised by poor communication, lackadaisical service and in fact misinformation on the part of Princess staff/contractors on the ground and on board ship. We had been upgraded to Club Class - thank you - but were not informed of this until we had been standing in various queues for more than 3 hours at the Sydney terminal. There was nothing on the Cruise Personaliser and we or our travel agent were not informed. We were told to get into one queue and then another and then we were appartently in the wrong queue. Honestly this mob could not run a chook raffle. We were even told at one point that they had run out of trolleys - "go and look after your own bags" - after being told by another Princess staffer that they would be looked after between getting on the bus and cabin. Then after considerable panic, some nice young man turned up with more trolleys. The beginning of the cruise was marred considerably as it took my companion the first 3 days to get over it! Disembarkation was just as disorganised. We had done everything we had been told - as always - to the letter. We were called "light blue 6" so we made our way to where we were told only to be told by Security to "wait until you are called" We said "We have been called". We made our way down to the luggage and mine went missing for more than an hour. Another woman and I were both given "lost luggage vouchers" before some sheepish young bloke turned up with my bag. As far as i know, the other woman is still waiting. Cabin (mini-suite) OK, maitenance very poor. Shower/bath outlet blocked so showering in ankle deep water that took up to 20 minutes to drain (after 2 minute shower) - plumber materialised 48 hours after complaint - apparently no one had noticed prior to this. Speaking to other women on cruise - this is the first thing that they check - they clean their own outlet pipe of hair and other debris left by previous occupants! Yuck!!!!! Toilet broke while room steward on time off (Day 5 Auckland). Bowl overflowing and down back wall. Managed to stop before the dirty deluge reached the carpet, after wading in - not happy. Paged steward - no answer - pager clearly not put through to anyone else. Contacted Passenger Services and demanded help - not taken seriously. Plumber took 3.5 hours to arrive. Strange little man came to mop up water - did not clean bowl. Eventually saw supervisor 3 days later, who called me a liar - not a high point Princess! Complimentary bottle of cheap wine not really appreciated after that experience! Food repitive, average, sometimes poor - inedible - even CS Share. Room service - most times something - like milk - left off tray. Entertainment disappointing. High point of trip - the marvelous Ana (Club Class dining room hostess). Perhaps Princess need to make her a trainer in customer service and common sense! On-shore excursions generally as expected although expensive for what is provided. Akaroa - Southern Alps including train to Arthur's Pass. As with all the excursions considerably overpriced. I might be nice to at least get a biscuit to go with the cold weak coffee. Disappointing when driver left an elderly couple behind with their bags and coats still on bus after 5 minute photo stop. They could both be clearly seen by all of the other 20 passengers on this particular bus hurrying back to whithin 2 metres of the bus front door! Driver told repeatedly, but they were left to catch up at next stop an hour or so later on another bus - not good enough! Driver's name - Gary. He was clearly seen being interviewed for the "Reflections" DVD for this cruise. In Dunedin after city tour, bemused when "complimentary shuttle bus back to ship" costs $10 NZ one way! Bemused when on boarding found "gift for you" card for prepaid internet access. Apparently they were the "only cards that we had printed". People who had prepaid drinks packages had to ask for refunds as it was cheaper to arrange on board. Far too often there were language problems including incorrect drinks orders - or perhaps just convenient excuse for appalling service. Most of captain's and other announcements not audible from inside room. Some were - why not all? Told by steward to "open the door". If it is important enough to make an anouncement about then it needs to be heard throughout the ship. Sometimes by the time I realised that there was an announcement going on and got to the other end of the long skinny mini-suite to open the door - the announcement was over! The biggest bugbear was the door to our cabin / mini-suite. One or both of our cruise cards needed to be reactivated no less than seventeen (yes 17) times for the 14 days or our cruise to operate the door. Strangely the magnetic strip worked just fine for everything else - only the door was a problem! Just as well as my companion used hers to spend an awful lot of money in the ship's retail precinct. That was the only time except overnight on the bedside table away from lights etc. that she removed the lanyard from around her neck - as for both of us. She doesn't actually carry a phone and her bag did NOT have a magnet! It got to the stage that my companion would not leave the room without me for fear of not being able to get back in. We made contingency plans so that we did not miss various bookings because we couldn't get timely entrance to our room. Each foray into the queue at Passenger Services took from 5 - 30 minutes. Yes - I timed it! Yes, I, in particular do understand the concept of magnets, phones etc. as I hold post-graduate university qualifcations in medical physics. Other passengers also had problems with their doors and batteries etc were replaced - particularly if at least one of the passsengers was male! I have never had this problem before and no - I do not believe that this was our fault. Twice we were told that this would be checked out - it was not and of course on the last morning of the cruise my companion's card ceased to work yet again - right on queue! It was particularly disheartening to see our cabin steward and one of his nasty little mates appearing to have a good laugh at my elderly companion attempting to gain entrance to her own room and failing. It may be fine in some cultures to treat middle-aged and elderly wormen as invisible - not in mine. Please remember that it is my generation and older particularly in Australia and like countries who DO have the disposable income along with the opportunity, health and fitness in retirement to use it; but we are choosey where we spend it - and we are becoming silent no more regarding poor service and downright rudeness. "Princess Cruises - Come back New"...................... Princess Cruises - Come back broke and disappointed! Princess Cruises - don't come back at all! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
The repositioning cruise was chosen because it seemed to be well priced and was a nice way of returning to Australia. The ports were an annoying interlude between the sea days. No bridge Director on board yet lots of sea days. Sorry ... Read More
The repositioning cruise was chosen because it seemed to be well priced and was a nice way of returning to Australia. The ports were an annoying interlude between the sea days. No bridge Director on board yet lots of sea days. Sorry Princess now sailing on Cunard. On the previous leg the Cruise Director told the bridge Director they could take all the equipment if they wanted as they were not doing bridge anymore. Entertainment was poor. Even most of the comedians were rubbish. The dancers and singer were the same motley lot. Very little classical music or performances. Holland America have shown the way with BB Kings Blues Club and the Lincoln Centre strings. After a couple of weeks you notice the breakfast menu in the Dining Room and Buffet never changed. The food in the buffet was nearly all carbohydrates or over stewed vegetables. The salad selection never varied. Come on chefs you can do different things with the same ingredients. The Detox salesman gave a great lecture on the hidden dangers of carbohydrates. The chefs should go to the lectures. Many of the passengers are type 2 diabetics or on the cusp. But Princess turns out the very food that can kill them. It reduces their customer base? Even if they just get very sick they wont cruise any longer. The night club was a joke. 4 Frank Sinatra tunes in a row at midnight! There were no special effects. The DJ said she was only hired to play music. Couldn't operate the lights or smoke machine. W anted to shut down at midnight because there was a party in the crew bar. Endless Beatles and other 50-60 year old music. The clientele may be getting on in years but they do go out of a night. To top it off the arrogant Cruise Director kept poking fun at people who went to the night club. No wonder there few people there dancing. The Expert of ports was giving wrong information. X the unknown quantity and spirt the drip under pressure. He seemed more intent on frightening people onto the ships tours. He kept on about how the tribes were formed from ancient man rather than point out the things to see in each port. No shuttles in Dubai or Thailand. hence you were left at the mercy of taxi drivers who wanted exhorbitant Mafia like fares. Tenders ashore were a joke. From the time you queued to getting ashore took 2.5-3 hours. Lectures were given in a monotone and were merely like someone reading from a book. The history of WWII was covered in 5 minutes. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise as we wanted the convenience of sailing from Southampton and we wanted near on guaranteed sunshine. We have also sailed with Princess many times and are Platinum members. Embarkation was perfect no complaints top ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we wanted the convenience of sailing from Southampton and we wanted near on guaranteed sunshine. We have also sailed with Princess many times and are Platinum members. Embarkation was perfect no complaints top marks. First night alarms crew called to muster station because of smoke in Engine room dealt with very well by the captain and crew couldn't have been better. Cabin mini suite was spot on clean and large, cabin steward excellent. Second sitting dining fixed in Botticelli very good waiters, brilliant table companions. Entertainment was a bit mixed fantastic Peter Howarth and The Beatles tribute act sailaway from Gran Canaria brilliant. Sam Cane and David Copperfield very good enjoyed both acts. Princess dancers although quite good male singers let it down and the magic to do show was terrible awful worst I have ever seen just our opinion of course other people seemed to enjoy it and some others felt same as us. Excellent speaker on Second world war Atlantic convoys and other war ship related talks very good we only missed one. Otherwise we chilled out in sun swimming pool was a touch cold even for me but I braved it a few times. There seemed to be plenty to do on the sea days but we tend to do our own thing read etc. Cruise directors interview and question and answer with audience with the Captain was also good Captain William Kent is great raconteur had us laughing at the Platinum and Elite cocktail party, cut backs there no nibbles and one drink only. Food in buffet was good mostly but a bit samey and international was always packed so we didn't bother. Food in main dining room was on the whole good but I was a bit limited as I don't eat meat didn't seem as much choice. Vines was good enjoyed tasting different wines and we could have gone to Elite and Platinum bar at 5pm I think on sea days cocktails $5 but we didn't. Ports of call all good Las Palmas nice port we did our own thing really nice beach lovely promenade large ice cream no more to be said. Tenerife we did a ships tour to Puerto de la cruz enjoyed it coach dropped us and we did our own thing very nice we have been to Tenerife before but to Cost Adeje area so this was something different dramatic seas and coast line loved watching surfing and para gliding beach black sand but beautiful lido recommend a trip there if you go well worth it. Lanzarote had a great time went to the national park stark and beautiful volcanoes, Camel ride was a must and great fun only down side the wine tasting was a bit disappointing one very small glass each want to try any others 2 euro's didn't bother but otherwise very good tour. Madeira we had been before but not done the toboggan. Didn't disappoint so much fun wanted to do it again. Cable car ride very good and walked around botanic gardens just a shame about the fire damage terrible for the islanders sad to see it. Love Madeira. Last port Vigo we have been several times so went to Bayonne La Real on a ships tour what a great choice. Taken to a hotel set in the old castle beautiful views of the sea from the terrace great coffee lovely tapas and cakes wine at 9.30 in the morning. We did our own thing after a quick guided tour and found a fiesta going on lots of stalls a procession with band etc then walked down the promenade looked in little shops would have liked more time really nice day recommend the tour. Your thinking why the poor rating for this cruise well all was going excellently until the last night if you have been on Princess Baked Alaska night!!! We had really gelled with our table mates 6 of us on a table for 8 but other 2 didn't turn up. Waiters good had a laugh with head waiter. He on the last night decided to put two women on our table who couldn't get a table in anytime dinning. He didn't ask just brought them over bearing in mind we are on fixed dining and our last night. Not pleased but would have been okay if one of them wasn't so drunk she didn't know where she was. Loud was not in it she pointed at my starter and nearly put her finger in it and said what is that. I politely answered her but we were all very embarrassed and angry she then proceeded to drink my glass of water because she was so drunk she didn't realize it was mine. she thought she had ordered drinks started trying to get a girl waiters attention from another station and when shed didn't respond immediately started calling her horrible names. She was so drunk it was appalling I tried to be polite but didn't want to look at her. One of our table mates left the table to complain. The headwaiter tried to brush it off. As these two woman left the table at the end of their meal the drunken one Swore at us it was terrible. We asked to talk to the Maitre D after the head waiter and another different one tried to smooth it over and said Maitre D on the phone to Los Angeles we said we will wait. Maitre D did apologize but it was too late our last night was ruined. She should never have been let into the dining room or put on our table there where many empty tables around us including one for two. How had she been allowed to get into this state in the first place awful not only for us but our waiters who did their best in a terrible situation. To top that I have complained to Princess but so far have received no response apparently they have 28 days by ABTA guidelines and answer complaints in date order. Okay a guideline is nothing if they took this complaint seriously they would have answered by now. We have been lucky enough to do a few cruises but I cannot see us going with Princess again mistakes happen but I think this is too big a mistake and to receive no response is appalling. We will be taking our custom elsewhere and feel disappointed that our loyalty is not appreciated by Princess. This was a good cruise totally ruined by a Head waiter who didn't do this job correctly. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Entertainment was poor mainly quizzes. Room was dirty and not cleaned properly items from previous guests and dust every where sheets were not changed for the fortnight we were there. Staff on reception were rude and did not get back ... Read More
Entertainment was poor mainly quizzes. Room was dirty and not cleaned properly items from previous guests and dust every where sheets were not changed for the fortnight we were there. Staff on reception were rude and did not get back to you when they said they would. Over all I was highly disappointed as expected better food in horizon food court was like school dinners and left under lights too long as was forming a skin on items, however the serve dinner in the golden crown was amazing even though you had to pay extra for it. I would advise to get the drinks package if you can as it was well worth it as the drinks price where just crazy. I would suggest taking extra money as at some of the ports you have to pay for the shuttle to and from the ship as it is not included. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Choose this cruise for our 25th wedding Anniversary and because it was going to the North Cape. The scenery was beautiful the Norwegians were lovely as always but the cruise left a lot to be desired. The staff were very rude on the ... Read More
Choose this cruise for our 25th wedding Anniversary and because it was going to the North Cape. The scenery was beautiful the Norwegians were lovely as always but the cruise left a lot to be desired. The staff were very rude on the whole except for our cabin steward and restaurant waiter. The food was often cold and there were not very good choices compared to other and often cheaper lines. You could rarely get a table in the Horizon or the international café because selfish people would not move on and nurse a coffee for hours and the staff would not ask them to move, forcing you to either get up at the crack of dawn and not budge yourself or have to keep getting a take away. Tips were automatic so staff don't bother to try hard and if you buy a drinks package the staff ignore you because they don't get tips.. Very expensive drinks , shore excursions and goods on board. It is much cheaper to sort out your own excursions. Although I except they have to maintain the ship as there is a very tight turn around there was far too much being done on one cruise at the expense of the passengers. This was our first and last Princess Cruise, we would rather go on P and O which up to now looked bad but after that cruise looks wonderful!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Cabin A437. Far too small for two adults and one child; 3rd bed is lowered by steward each evening and is immediately over the main bed. It is unsettling for the sleepers who may as well be in a small bunk bed! Balcony was in need of ... Read More
Cabin A437. Far too small for two adults and one child; 3rd bed is lowered by steward each evening and is immediately over the main bed. It is unsettling for the sleepers who may as well be in a small bunk bed! Balcony was in need of painting and repair with rust and broken lock to next cabin. Could not get balcony door to lock. You can hear the next cabin's toilets flush and TV, etc. Drinks packages: Overpriced for what you get! Especially the soda package that promises soft drinks, mocktails and hot chocolate, however, there are just 5 mocktails to choose from that are basically slush puppies in a plastic child's cup; soft drinks are limited to fountain only cola and sprite. Overcrowded: The small pools are surrounded by deck chairs which are in no way sufficient for the vast number of passengers - hence people are up very very early to unfairly reserve them :( Also, the pools were full of small children all the time (mostly unsupervised) with teenagers and adults feeling uncomfortable to enter as you feel you are in a goldfish bowl - if you have any issues about your body shape or size you won't have the confidence to enter. Many women did not go in as everyone just stared (or ogled) at them! Entertainment: Even for cruise ship standards, the live entertainment was very poor. Any entertainer worth seeing was therefore in high demand by the passengers who, just like the deckchair reservists, arrived at the venues hours before to get the limited seats. Food: As you expect from a luxury liner the food was abundant with dining rooms (fixed or anytime), specialist areas (at extra costs) and large buffets. First-time cruisers will find this a good experience but others will compare the quality and variety against other cruises they have previously been on and realize the chooses, options and quality is less than expected. Fleeced: This ship seems to have a fundamental business policy that is all about making as much money as possible from the passengers who have already paid a small fortune already. Be prepared that every talk, event, shop, dinning room waiter, etc, will do their best to offer 'specials' that when totted up could cost you a lot of money. Staff: Most of the staff and crew will bend over backwards to assist and help. Obviously this is in accordance with the Princess training and expectations. However, it needs to be considered that their pay is low, they work long hours and work for 9 months of the year without a holiday. Their pay is also linked to a daily gratuity charge to each passenger on board. But are they getting all the tips you expect them to receive. You will not see any steward, waiter, cleaner or bar tender that is British or American which seems to be unfair... could this be that they are cheaper? Not sure. Remember that the gratuity is descretionary which means you can go to the reception on board and cancel it altogether and then tip who you want; you can pay less of the gratuity; you could opt not to include tips from your children, etc. It's up to you! Alcohol: You are not allowed to take any on board other than a 70cl bottle of wine per passenger. Any bought in the duty free shop or at shore will be kept until you disembark for home. This is the policy of all the cruise companies I've been with but I feel is nothing more than a way of forcing you to buy over priced drinks from their own bars! Tip: buy your duty free from shops on shore. For example, I bought x4 bottles of x1 liter of Smirnoff red label vodka in Gibraltar for £20 with the same product costing £44 on board... still cheap at 44 quid but remarkable at £20!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Chose the cruise based on its destinations and also for its reputation of good food and comfortable beds which I have to say I wasn't impressed with. Cabins are noisy and aluminated with light from outside the cabin door which you ... Read More
Chose the cruise based on its destinations and also for its reputation of good food and comfortable beds which I have to say I wasn't impressed with. Cabins are noisy and aluminated with light from outside the cabin door which you can do little about. The beds are too soft and we both suffered bad backs and necks during our cruise. The entertainment provided on the stateroom television is excellent though and at no extra cost to watch a wide selection of the latest movies. Dining was uninspiring, not a wide selection of choice and generally very average. On occasions you would get a good selection of food. The specialty restaurants that you pay extra for though are excellent if you can afford it. The onboard Pizza that is available throughout the day is very good. Service seemed very hit or miss, sometimes felt the staff didn't have enough time or patience with you and other times they couldn't do enough. Activities onboard are poor, was sold on the idea of the putting green and golf simulator but the putting green was poor and I never saw a golf simulator. There was 1 table tennis table supplied with poor equipment that was usually occupied by children. There is supposed to be an adult only area at the back of the ship for swimming but found on occasions large groups of teenagers occupying the area. Movies under the stars though is probably the highlight of the ship, it's really good and always something on. Evening entertainment was hit and miss. Had about 2 really good nights from 14 where we saw a good show, musician or comedian but was left most nights pretty bored and would usually fall back on movies under the stars. Probably worth pointing out I'm in my early 30's and my wife is in her late twenties. The entertainment is definitely aimed at the older generation as is the ship in general I feel. There is a gym but I would say avoid unless you want to risk getting a bug. I saw that many of the crew members used the gym some of them coughing and sniffing over the equipment so not surprised I picked up a bug from here which I then spent the rest of the cruise trying to recover from. Hygiene on the ship was not of the same standard of other ships I've been on. I'm not convinced on these hand gels and believe only washing your hands properly is the way to sanatise yourself. Hand gel stands were placed near to food courts but not always used by passengers and very rarely used properly either I observed. The shore excursions provided are excellent and provide you with plenty of time to explore. However I was confined to my cabin due to illness for 2 ports so missed out of on a life long ambition on going to Florence & Pisa which was mainly the whole point of the cruise so I was pretty devastated to say the least. We were given a bottle of wine by passenger services as a small gesture for the problems we encountered which was nice but it won't make up for missing out on Florence. Worth pointing out that if you do get confined to your cabin you are supposed to get a team of cleaners to decontaminate your cabin to prevent spreading the bug. But the team that visited me just made basic errors, failed to clean the toilet or shower, didn't wipe light switches, we had to ask to get our bed linen changed not done automatically. The whole process seemed flawed and my wife was allowed to still walk around the ship but was expected to still use the shower room that hadn't been cleaned properly? So any surprises why illness gets spread around the ship? Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
First the few good points: Embarkation was very smooth and we were quickly on board without any fuss. Although we only had an interior stateroom it was spacious enough for our needs and what we expected. Some of the staff are ... Read More
First the few good points: Embarkation was very smooth and we were quickly on board without any fuss. Although we only had an interior stateroom it was spacious enough for our needs and what we expected. Some of the staff are fantastic, polite, always smiling and willing to help. The Movies Under the Stars is a nice feature but obtaining a sunbed is a nightmare which I will elaborate on later. Now the not so good points: Princess constantly tout the slogan "Come back new" but should really change it to "Come back skint" as this ship is constantly trying to get you to part with your money. Flyers everyday in your cabin selling spa treatments, painting auctions, photo studio offers etc. We should have realised what to expect when we went exploring around the ship and found the casino to be one of the biggest areas crammed full of gaming tables, fruit machines and other ways to get you to part with that dollar. A painting auction in the bar - really?? Hint: We are here to relax and enjoy ourselves not to be bombarded and pressurised into buy, buy, buy. We expected the drinks to be pricey from our experience on other ships but crikey their prices are extortionate to say the least and then they have the cheek to add a 15% service charge on top to cover tipping the staff even though you are already paying $12.95 each per day in tips. (Which coincidentally you can ask to be removed, even though they don't advertise this fact). We opted for the anytime dining option as we have used it before and allows you to eat at a time that suits you but for many nights we would walk down to the restaurant only to find a massive queue of people waiting for a table. Once we were seated at a table we found the food to be bland and of very poor quality. The speciality restaurants received rave reviews so they can produce good quality food that is edible. One day my partner's Apple Strudel arrived cold and when she told the waiter his attitude was it's meant to be like that and walked off. On arrival we had a problem with our luggage and had to jump through hoops to try and sort it out even though they promised a resolution very quickly. At the end of our 14 days they still had not sorted anything out as promised. The shore excursions are a total rip off. We booked to see the Trevi Fountain in Rome and when we arrived they were cleaning it so it was not in operation. Our tour guide admitted she knew that they would be cleaning it this morning so why not adjust the itinerary to suit and visit it later in the day? Our tour bus was meant to be a luxury coach but my seat was broken, not fastened to its anchor points and kept moving about. On our way back the air conditioning packed in on a day when temperatures were over 100 degrees with no windows or vents to open. (We did complain but never even received an apology). In Barcelona we were told it was quite a walk from the ship so we opted for the shuttle bus which you had to pay for (no surprises there). I asked how long we would be on the bus and was told 15 minutes, I timed it at just under 5 minutes!! The entertainment was abysmal, with singers, comedians and hypnotists the order of the day. Don't get me wrong some of the singers were great but I've seen better acts in a working men's club. To say they have a supposedly all singing, all dancing theatre they only put on 2 cabaret style shows the whole fortnight, which incidentally were excellent. Our cabin steward was the most miserable I've ever met, yet when we walked by other stewards they always had a smile on their faces and would always speak. Trying to get a sunbed was a task within itself unless you were prepared to get up at 6am and throw towels on 5 or 6 beds then go back to bed as some people were doing. Some were even putting towels on beds then going off the ship on a shore excursion hoping their towels would still be in place when they returned later that day. This ship is supposed to have had a revamp but it looks really tired and dated with paint and wood flaking off on the interior furniture. Our bathroom sink was chipped and the bed sheet had a hole in it the size of a 5p piece. The ports we visited were generally very good except Genoa. Why stop here? When I asked people what they thought of their day out in Genoa everyone replied with the same response ... *censored* Disembarkation was well planned but in reality the timing slots are that close together that in the luggage collection area it was chaos with many people wandering around bumping into each other trying to locate their luggage. So there you have it a honest and unbiased review of the Emerald Princess cruise liner. Overall we did enjoy ourselves but at a cost and with our experiences we have decided not to cruise with Princess again. There are better cruise liners out there to spend your hard earned money on! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This is the first time my wife and I have ever cruised and it was primarily as a result of recommendations by friends who have all been on various cruises with different providers. Typically we book our hotels and travel independently ... Read More
This is the first time my wife and I have ever cruised and it was primarily as a result of recommendations by friends who have all been on various cruises with different providers. Typically we book our hotels and travel independently choosing hotels and activities which allow us to relax and enjoy some quite quality time in pleasant surroundings with attentive and respectful service. We were admittedly late in booking our cruise with your company as being a little bewildered with the variety of options from different companies we took a long time choosing which unfortunately limited our options. Generally upon arrival things were handled well, check in was prompt and courteous and we found our way to our cabin which, whilst smaller than we are used to, was adequate and clean. At this point I have to commend the cabin steward who was both pleasant and diligent. However what became apparent during our stay was the inadequacy of the bed, the booking clearly stated a queen size bed and literature waxed lyrical about the quality. So you can imagine our dismay to find what we actually had was two beds pushed together. Whilst this might be acceptable if they had been sprung divan bases the beds comprised two metal framed singles with inner wire supports giving a hard and prominent ridge in the middle of the bed where the two metal frames joined. We were told that whilst this was unfortunate nothing could be done to rectify this situation and that we should take this up at the end of our trip with customer services. We enjoyed the setting off and the entertainment on deck as we sailed out of the Hamble. In the evening we went to dinner, having chosen the flexible dining option, and were shown to our table with minimal delay. Unfortunately this was one of the few times we had a smooth transition into the dining room. Generally the staffs were pleasant enough but we were constantly shuttled between deck 5 and 6 each evening which admittedly got a bit wearing and confusing and on more than one occasion we were treated to a rather surly greeting at the dining room entrance before being routed to the adjacent deck which quite clearly implied an “are you too stupid to know where to go” rhetoric. Generally the food in the dining room was of good quality but generally the food was only ever tepid. Only on two occasions could the food be said to be hot, once when I had a fish pie and once when my wife had Escargots. Both my wife and I had wine with our meals and on far too many occasions they kept consistently bringing the wrong Rose wine to the table despite my wife being very clear on the name of the wine she wanted. On one occasion they bought the incorrect wine only to replace it with another glass of the wrong wine. It is accepted that this happens occasionally, but the frequency of occurrence was too high to be acceptable particularly when once they know they have brought the incorrect wine they are then at a bit of a loss what to do about it as the system appears not to allow them to replace the drink as it flags on the system as a dubious purchase too soon after the previous one, thus making it uncomfortable for both the guest and the waiter. I personally have to say that I was not a fan of the bench style seats that most of the 2 person tables utilised against a divider. Certainly they are too low and seat you at a significantly detrimental position to the table for both dining and conversation with your partner. Unfortunately the limited options on tables for two with two chairs meant having to wait long times for their availability. We had considered sharing a larger table but had quickly noticed that guest on tables for more than 2 had to wait until that table had filled before anyone took their orders. Having witnessed one couple waiting 20+ minutes for their table to fill we put up with the bench seats, which incidentally are extremely uncomfortable in a suit. Within a few days of eating in the restaurant we noticed a distinct variability in how quickly, or not, we were attended to. It soon became apparent that, policy or not, the staff were trying to synchronise the rows of two people tables so as to aim to serve certain courses at the same time to all tables and ultimately aim to have the tables finish at about the same time. Not only did this result in some evenings feeling rushed and on others being ignored and hence lengthy meals, it also meant that dishes were coming from the kitchen and sitting waiting for others to come out in what seemed to be a deliberate delay aimed at this synchronisation. Additionally staffing levels in the restaurants seemed to vary quite significantly with some evenings seeming deserted compared to others with the predictable outcome of poorer service levels. On the last formal night my wife and I were seated in the foyer area (another story) and being both dressed smartly but casual decided to see if we could go straight to an early dinner (17:45) rather than get changed into something more formal. The girl at the door point blankly refused suggesting that we should eat at the buffet if we did not want to dress formally and that normal dinner is not accessible otherwise. Dinner is arguably part of the package and to not be able to access it anywhere other than the restaurant which required formal dress on three evenings is unacceptable. Surely it should be that the normal dinner is accessible to guest in a separate area if they do not wish to dress formally? We did get changed and went back down to dinner only to be seated next to two couples, the gentleman both being dressed in slacks and casual shirts one of which was a broad check. Obviously it was quite annoying that the concept of formal dress was being applied in a haphazard way penalising some and allowing others. Dinner on the last evening was nothing short of a fiasco, we were shown to our table which had not been cleared and re-laid. Then it was partly laid and the waiters disappeared. After about 5 minutes I got up and appropriated two water glasses from another table which caught the eye of a supervisor across the room, he came and poured some water. Eventually we got a menu and managed to order. Of note was that we then had to chase to get some rolls on the table and then chase further for some butter. Our ordering caused considerable consternation from a couple two tables down who had been waiting some 20 minutes to have someone give them a menu with the lady having to get up and complain to one of the supervisors before someone attended them. The couple to my right had to refuse water 5 times each time someone would bring them glasses only to take them away when they stated they didn’t require water. They were also told that there was no white wine left which sounded absolutely preposterous but then the couple on my left confided that they hadn’t been given the red wine they ordered despite being reassured it was the same one they had been drinking all fortnight which, this not only was insulting to the couple’s intelligence but also was dishonest. The couple two tables down had to complain further when another couple got their dinner before them despite arriving in the restaurant some 30 minute later. Needless to say despite the large variance in our arrivals all 6 tables were served deserts and coffees at about the same time. On our ship days we ate in the buffet a few times, generally this was a most unsatisfactory experience. At any one time over the lunch period there only ever seemed to be one buffet section from the four available that seemed to be open. Typically lunch meant wandering around until you found a table that was unoccupied, in itself no mean achievement. If you wanted to keep your table you then had to leave something at your table while you got your lunch. Unfortunately if it was something impersonal such as a tray or drink then that did not serve to prevent other people from occupying that table when you were gone. If you had anything bulky that prevented you carrying a tray, such as my wife’s bag or my camera, then you were so far from the active buffet station that you felt that one of you had to stay to look after your valuables while the other went and got their lunch. Then very often you had to walk the length of two buffet areas to join a queue for food which inevitably involved significant jostling and pushing as too many people vied for too little space. Popular items were almost impossible to get to as people competed for that option. Once you had your food, which often took a not inconsiderable amount of time, you then had to walk it back to your table and then your partner could get their food. Invariably by the time you got your food back to the table it was cold as it was only ever lukewarm at the start and you rarely got the opportunity to eat together. If you wanted more or a desert then often while you were eating the buffet station closed and a new one opened so you had to then hunt the current open station before you could eat something else. On one occasion the buffet station closed between my wife getting her food and my subsequent attempt. Quite clearly there was an inadequate amount of facilities for the amount of people resulting in something far from a relaxed or enjoyable dining experience. It was something more akin to how you imagine a cheap package holiday buffet to be but with less seating. Breakfast was a similarly disappointing experience. The quality of some of the cooked breakfast items was poor, in particular the sausages and bacon while other cooked breakfast staples such as mushrooms and fried tomatoes seemed non-existent. In general the breakfast seemed to have been conceived on an American concept of an English breakfast rather than a universal approach. In the mornings most stations appeared to be open but seating was virtually inaccessible. On one occasion we had to sit outside in the rain (fortunately partly undercover) as this was the only place available. Another morning we had to sit outside again, which initially was quite pleasant until the maintenance staff decided to replace and varnish stair and balcony rails in the seating area at around 9:30 - 10:00 am. On a few occasions we had to go and hunt cutlery, condiments collecting what was needed on an ad-hoc basis which as you can imagine was far from enjoyable and resulted in the food becoming cold. Generally the boat felt very crowded and noisy, below decks seating was at a premium and the first few days we were often jostled out of the way by people trying to get to seats being vacated by other guests. Ultimately we learned to be more assertive but that is hardly something you want when you are on holiday. One day we went for a coffee and stood waiting for a table only to be informed by one gentleman that he had been waiting for nearly 30 minutes and there was a couple in front of him. Needless to say we gave up on the idea of a coffee that day. Invariably if you wanted to sit in the foyer area around the piano or coffee bar then there was a wait followed by a burst of running to snag a seat. Things were no better in Crooners or the wine bar. Often the problem was people just using the seats to sit and read or just relax. They could not be blamed for this as there was nowhere else for them to go to do this but it did block access to these facilities. The situation was not helped by selling opportunities organised for “the few”. On an already crowded ship it is reprehensible to close the Explorers Bar for half the day at a time just to sell a few paintings to a handful of individuals. If it had been just the one day it would still have been inexcusable but multiple days is just beyond belief and totally detrimental to the well-being and comfort of the other cruise guest. The overcrowding made itself apparent on a number of evenings. On one in particular we could not get a seat in the Wheelhouse bar nor could we find a seat in the Explorers bar or adjacent lobby area, the Foyer area around the piano was full as was Crooners and the Wine bar. Most evenings meant getting an early meal and then finding a seat before the scheduled diners came out and filled the seats. Because of the lack of seats it made it very difficult to access much of the entertainment. Moving from one area to the other often meant not getting a seat in your target venue when you got there and then finding you had lost your original seat. We tried staying put in one area but there were significant 45 minute plus breaks between much of the entertainment and invariably meant you had to sit through something you were not interested in before something you had waited for came on. We are early fifties and found much of the entertainment on board inappropriate for our age group. Bingo, Sudoku, knitting and sexy legs competitions are not really things that appeal and quite frankly suggest a lack of imagination. The abundance of quizzes in the various bar areas was also of note and clearly suggests a “what can we do cheap and for minimal staff and resource input” approach to the entertainment schedule. One person a microphone and some poor quality slides are far from quality entertainment. In general the day activities had more in common with 1960’s Butlin’s than a luxury cruise experience. Some entertainment was aimed at relaxation, the pianist, a trio and the guitarist but for the most part with all the people jostling for seats and the constant noise of people milling around, talking and using the coffee bar etc. it was like trying to relax at London Victoria station. At no time during the cruise did we get a sense of peace and quiet unless we were in our room. Part way through the cruise we discovered the Sanctuary, then we discovered it was $40 to go in. Clearly Princess are aware of the lack of a relaxing atmosphere on ship as you have spotted an opportunity to cash in on the one option that exist to get some peace and relaxation. Overall much of the entertainment was good but where it mattered, mainly in the theatre and some of the key acts, it was poor. The Gala show was dire, I would like to say that was just my opinion but the resounding lack of applause confirmed otherwise. It was a lacklustre and discontinuous parade of poor quality cameos none of which was well received. In particular the magic was badly executed and lacked imagination with clumsy presentation leaving the audience in no doubt how it was done. The magician stands out for being particularly bad both in the gala show and his separate stage performances. Before his show in the Explorers bar he approached members of the audience about whether they would be willing to partake, in itself commendable, unfortunately when people declined he seem to take it as an affront and was quite rude to them so as to belittle them and infer it was their problem not his as he was superior anyway. I recall his words when someone declined along the lines of “if you had let me finish what I was saying” which is quite curt and easily construed as rude. Generally his act was poor dropping props and messing up tricks, most of which are available in any toy shop these days. The female comedienne was excessively coarse and I am far from being prudish, her act had the air of a working man’s club and at time bordered on inappropriate, mocking of people with physical and mental issues implied or otherwise is inexcusable and not humour. Crudeness is not necessary to make a good comedy act as the male comedian proved being both funny and entertaining without unnecessary toilet humour. Nearly all the entertainment in the Princess Theatre was mediocre and of only 30 minutes duration the longest show being the Gala show which lasted the billed 53 minutes which given the poor quality was one show that would have benefited from being shorter, 53 minutes shorter. The Princess Theatre gave the clearest indication of just how overcrowded the boat was for the provided facilities and entertainments as on more than one occasion we spoke to people who had been waiting >50minutes to guarantee a seat for 30 minute show. During the gala show there were people standing in the aisles and down the sides of the theatre which talking to other guests was repeated for the second show. Yet more guests we spoke to hadn’t seen either show as they were unable to access the theatre due to the lack of space. In addition the layout of the ship and the theatre meant that at the end of each show one half of the theatre streamed out through the Wheelhouse bar. This meant that if you had been lucky enough to snag a seat to enjoy some quieter time with one of the acts you were regularly interrupted by hundreds of people traipsing through the bar all in loud animated conversation. On a few evenings we tried to watch the films shown on the large screen. Once again this proved to be a less that satisfactory experience. The first night we managed to get two loungers and settled down to watch a film. Unfortunately we had to get straight back up again as the loungers are the same ones used by bathers during the day and are still wet. Now having wet clothes we managed to acquire some towels and spread them over the wet loungers. This helped but as we discovered on subsequent evenings it doesn’t take too long for the wet to penetrate up to 4 layers of towels. The routine soon became watch film, change clothes. On one evening we were not served, due to lack of staff available in the screen pool area, for around 3 hours. This also meant that during this time no tables were cleared and plates and old glasses were left on the small tables by the loungers. As like below decks, during the day somewhere to sit/lay was at a premium. We did note that towards the end of the cruise they announced that any unattended loungers would be cleared after 15 minutes not 30 minutes as previous so this clearly wasn’t just a perceived problem. Above decks, where you sat greatly influenced the level of service you obtained. It was not the fault of the staff but clearly they were overwhelmed by request before they even got to the higher decks or to the further extremes. Scheduling of above deck entertainment was poorly thought out with a band or discotheque playing in one area and a film in the other. The net result for many of the positions around the pools was that neither was clearly discernible and just resulted in an irritating cacophony of noise. We did notice that the above decks areas seem little utilised later in the evenings something that obviously pushed people downstairs into the overcrowded lounge areas. On a number of occasions staff cleaned the windows while guest were using the deck areas resulting not only in inconvenience but large wet areas that had to be negotiated and water trickling through the floor from higher sun decks. My wife and I took advantage of all the shore excursions which were of great variability in terms of quality and organisation. We were often surprised at the poor quality of some of the coaches often having dirty seats and curtains, chipped and cracked screens, non-working air conditioning and externally rusty with large holes and corrosion. Being told that the coach has a toilet but that we shouldn't use it as it doesn't really work that well is not really how we expected a tour to start. St Petersburg was most enjoyable with a competent and knowledgeable tour guide. At times it did feel like the tour had been padded to make it last longer as we visited some places twice, once for a look and photo opportunity and then again later in the day to visit a place of interest at the same location. Places visited appeared to be expecting us and we were efficiently and courteously processed in and out of the various buildings. This was in complete contrast to some of the other tours. In Denmark we were not expected at Kronborg and had to stand around like lost children while various discussions and arguments entailed about who would be responsible for us. In Sweden the guide was most condescending, talking to the guest like they were small children and then at lunch again they were not expecting us so we had to mill around in the street while they readied the tables. Eventually they let one of the ladies in so she could use the facilities before finally allowing us all in. Once we sat down we were presented with water that was a mix of sparkling and still as they tried to rapidly fill the jugs from both taps at the same time as they clearly were not ready to receive guest. In Tallinn the guided tour primarily comprised the guide walking us somewhere before inviting us to have a look around and then moving to the next spot. They did take us to the square for coffee and pastries and on arrival the guide extolled the beauty of the square particularly in the sunshine before cramming us all in the basement of an adjacent café where even the waiting staff were getting cross about the lack of space. Poland was the worst experience, the guide had very poor command of English and given a coach full of English speakers was a bad start. He then wore a loudspeaker on his chest which was useless as he proceeded to walk in front of us all broadcasting to any oncoming strangers but not to the group. The visit then moved on to Malbork Castle where the guide informed us we would have a new guide, this did result in a slightly uncharitable cheer from the coach. When we arrived at the castle our guide disappeared and returned with the new guide before regrettably informing us she only spoke Polish. We stopped for an agreeable lunch marred mainly by how tightly packed we were into the hall. Many people had to try and eat with one hand as it was nigh impossible to eat with two given the tightness with which we were seated. When it came to dining on the tours a feature that marred all dining (and some visits) was the bringing together of all tour groups at the same time in the same place. Whilst this is understandable from a catering and logistics point of view, when it comes to rest-room facilities it became a nightmare. On one occasion only having 3 unisex cubicles for around 300 people who have just been eating and drinking suggest a distinct lack of thought to the process. Given this was a feature rather than an exception using the toilet where possible became a fixation of most people on the tours thus detracting from the experience of the visited site. Post tours the return to the ship was often greeted by the inevitable queue to get back on board. In itself not unexpected but not helped by the often bored and discourteous manner of some staff in particular the security staff. In one instance my wife’s passage was blocked by an arm thrust in front of her by one of the security team without a word being spoken or even the benefit of eye contact. When she was finally allowed to proceed it was indicated by the am being removed, a grunt and a wave of the head. At no time did the member of staff acknowledge her, speak to her or even make eye contact. This was hardly the warmest or friendliest welcome back to the boat after a long hot day. Whilst it is appreciated that security is important and there is a need to scan items a part of that process, it was disconcerting to have to scrabble inside the scanner for items that were too light to push aside the screening mats. Often there were no trays to put smaller items in so this became a necessity on more than one occasion while the security team watched impassively. Overall the experience was not a good one. Generally we were left with the impression that the boat was overcrowded. Staff seemed to become less enthusiastic as the cruise wore on, perhaps due to more people than usual? Non restaurant dining was also marred by too many people and too few places to eat. Breakfast was a crowded affair with nowhere to sit and a jostle to get your food. Restaurant dining was spoiled by tepid food, poor seating and an endeavour to synchronise tables. Entertainment was inadequate in frequency and content and all venues overcrowded. The cruise often felt like a poorly run “Costa” package holiday geared primarily to maximise profit at the expense of the guest comfort and well-being. Living on the south coast we are aware of a growing trend to cater for pensioners and a decline in standards associated with that approach to a level perceived by the purveyor as “what they can get away with” as many pensioners have lower expectations of service and quality, this cruise certainly had many of those hallmarks. Given the costs of the total package, the content and quality of the cruise fell way below expectations and represented extremely poor value for money. The excursions were also for the most part of questionable value for money and sometimes felt like you were being taken for a ride figuratively as well as literally. We did take this up with Princess on our return and received a curt reply along the lines of "couldn't care less what you think". Given the package, with everything, cost was not inconsiderable it shows the level of disrespect Princess and Carnival have for their guest. Hope this helps others thinking of cruising for the first time, we certainly will not do it again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We are into double figures for cruising now and our first cruise with Princess. We were looking forward to this cruise as it was something different with new locations being covered. The cruise was booked on a last minute flash sale and is ... Read More
We are into double figures for cruising now and our first cruise with Princess. We were looking forward to this cruise as it was something different with new locations being covered. The cruise was booked on a last minute flash sale and is not our main cruise holiday for this year. Southampton check in was excellent as we had been given priority due to the level of cruises we have done with sister companies in the group,40 mins we were on ship . As this was last minute we had booked an inside which is what you expect ,cleanliness was good on inspection and the room steward as per usual introduced himself. Like with many American lines no kettle was provided so if you wanted a warm drink was either a walk to the café or room service ( not a main issue ) but be aware . We have been on Azura its sister ship and was surprised in how dated the ship felt ,very dark wood used giving a dated appearance, casino was large as per usual and generally a lack of places to get a drink on an evening ,only two actual bars outside of entertainment lounges internally. We were on freedom dinning so when we decided to venture for our meal the queue was into the main atrium so the first night we sampled the self service, which on first impressions we couldn't fault ,all displayed as expected. Again finding a table was an issue. The next day we returned to the dinning room and the only way to get a table for two was to take a buzzer irrespective of time you decided to go down ,generally we had a 45 minute wait ,on the two occasions we did this we wished we hadn't, the food and menus offered in the restaurant were the poorest we have sampled on any cruise ship, the waiters were not welcoming and table etiquette needs to be resolved , cool ,greasy food were the delights we had, on one occasion I asked for melon as an alternative to a starter and two pieces of just cut of the melon arrived with a mint leaf ,not fanned or nothing ( is this 5 star standard cuisine ?) In the daytime we could not fault the pizza & burger bar and likewise the self service which we used the most as was much better than the freedom dining. The room was at typical inside, nothing to fault although during our trip the steward didn't clean used glasses leaving them until he decided to change on an evening, the sink plug broke and dust was present on the internal fans, small details but princess claim to be 5 star . The biggest gripe I would say is the cost of the drinks and special dinning , we have sailed on many and this was the expensive of them all ,as all is in $ on board we brits pay an additional premium but to be lumbered with a no option 15% tip on all drinks making two glasses of wine circa $20 £18 is very expensive ,we didn't bother with any bottles as the started at $30 plus even for the cheapest . Lager was circa $6.50 ,cocktails were same price as wine but what we sampled were disappointing. The drinks package is $49 + 15% tip per day per person ,so the choice is yours !!! Entertainment was good in the day and plenty on an evening but not many places to just get a drink after a show etc, we spent more time in our room watching the in house movies ( all latest release) than drinking. This is not our normal chosen activity but a general guide of the ship layout . Our first stop was zeebrugger (Bruge visit) ,we booked a non princess excursion which means you have to meet them outside the port gates,( a bus is provided ),so remember this if you book an indepenndant. Copenhagen was next , would recommend this as plenty to see with various famous statues ,good shopping arcades and the Tivoli gardens all in walking distance but be prepared with good walking shoes, we did 8 miles that day . We had to abort Helinsbourg in Sweden due to bad weather so having an extra sea day to Oslo ,Norway. We got the hop on hop off bus which takes you around and shows you all the sights, royal palace, statue park and opera are all good stop offs. The area around the dock is all new so plenty to do . Disembarkation at at Southampton was good again , one of the best as we were off for 9.00am in the morning. Despite the good start, we felt very disappointed in what princess offered ,not the 5 star they advertise ( well below RC) and even below P & O on food and friendliness, lets say I wouldn't rush again to book with them again, even with flash sales. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Friends invited us on this cruise, and it was lovely catching up with them. Norway is magnificent, beautiful scenery. Cruise was expensive so I was expecting great things. Unfortunately not. First drinks ordered were a fiasco, ... Read More
Friends invited us on this cruise, and it was lovely catching up with them. Norway is magnificent, beautiful scenery. Cruise was expensive so I was expecting great things. Unfortunately not. First drinks ordered were a fiasco, like dealing with dumb and dumber. Asked for a shandy and waiter didn't know what this was. So told him half beer half lemonade. Received half beer half lemon cordial. Supervisor gets involved and after fawlty towers Manuel scene I finally get my drink, this took about an hour friends had finished theirs. They even took half a beer away - God forbid I have a complimentary drink. Ship is old, bathroom floods. Menu said eggs cooked how you liked, waitress told me not possible, too many people. So either over poached or or runny. Lame shows Queues for coffee Positives - comfy beds and pillows Great steak place, we had to pay, but the only way to get a descent meal. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our second Princess cruise in 6 months (we usually cruise with Celebrity) and our first on the Emerald Princess. Although we’d lowered our expectations after our first Princess experience – this one week cruise was liberally ... Read More
This was our second Princess cruise in 6 months (we usually cruise with Celebrity) and our first on the Emerald Princess. Although we’d lowered our expectations after our first Princess experience – this one week cruise was liberally peppered with disappointments. We were excited to have booked a mini suite, and whilst my husband was happy to have a bath to use (I prefer showers), the bathroom was disappointing in that the same basic toiletries were supplied, with no extra frills. Additionally, although the ship is supposed to have had a major refit, they obviously forgot the toilet seats as ours was scratched and had dubious looking brown stains ingrained within. Needless to say, much extra paper was used in covering it on each visit! We were offered a fruit choice to be delivered to the room, but after 2 days it still hadn’t arrived and had to be re-requested. We also expected a larger balcony, and whilst the seats reclined and had footstools, there was barely enough room for two of us to sit comfortably at the same time. Our major source of disappointment with this cruise, however, stemmed from the various dining opportunities - involving both quality of food and the service provided. We knew from our previous cruise that the Horizon Court and Café Caribe buffets were both small and overcrowded with limited choices, but we didn’t expect such poor quality of food. Whilst looking appealing, we soon became familiar with the saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’. The cakes and muffins were beautifully decorated, but were often dry and inedible. Toast at breakfast was mass produced in advance and resembled hard and dry floor tiles (not that I’ve ever eaten a floor tile) and the French bread could have been used as a secret weapon if we were attacked by pirates. Being vegetarian, the lunchtime options were very limited (more about this later) and in the end I settled for a sandwich and chips. We, along with most passengers it seems, selected anytime dining. During our last cruise in November, after the first night, you could request a dining time for the following night from the maitre d’ and all seemed to go smoothly. On our way out of the dining room on the first night, we requested a table for the following night, and Romeo (a surly man whose name does not fit his personality) barked that we had to telephone the ‘dine line’ to book a table. As a rule abiding person, I duly telephoned the dine line at 8am the following morning, only to be told most emphatically, that tables could not be requested in advance. Even when I said that I was following instructions, we were told that we couldn’t request a table. We again mentioned it to the charming Romeo who was adamant that we should phone the dine line. We didn’t bother again. Instead, we had to queue each night, often being given a table buzzer to let us know that we could be seated. Now, whilst we are friendly people and like meeting new people on cruises, we prefer to eat at a table for two, so that we may or may not chat to people alongside. On one particular evening, we, and the couple behind who also requested a table for two, were seated at tables that were so close to each other (no more than two inches apart) that we might as well have been seated at a table for four. As it happens, they were friendly and we had a very enjoyable conversation, but still….. As mentioned earlier, I am a mainly vegetarian, (I will eaten some limited fish) and the options for dinner were extremely limited. One evening the chef ‘forgot’ to prepare a vegetarian option (although the maitre d’s equally surly assistant argued that this wasn’t so – perhaps she couldn’t read a menu!). In fact, Miss Misery, Romeo’s sidekick, liked to argue most things we said. It was only thanks to a lovely trainee manager called Maria from Peru that I managed to get a meal most nights as she took great pains to bring me forward menus and to arrange alternatives if necessary. However, the chef was either very poor at making ‘off piste’ meals, or simply couldn’t be bothered as a vegetable soup consisted of cut up vegetables floating in salty water and a mushroom pasta dish was so watery it needed its own flotation device. There was also the mystery of the magical appearing broccoli. One evening my husband Malcolm requested some broccoli with his main course (how unreasonably demanding of him). The waiter, on bringing his meal and being asked where the broccoli was, told my husband that there was none left on the ship. Anywhere. The following evening, being seated at a different location, with a different waiter serving us, Malcolm again requested broccoli. Amazingly, a large portion appeared with no difficulty at all! You may think that perhaps the ship had taken another delivery of broccoli, but as we had been at sea that day, we think it unlikely to have been helicoptered in especially for us. We leave you to draw your own conclusion to this. However, our greatest criticism must be reserved for the Afternoon Tea Incident. I love formal afternoon teas, but can rarely persuade my husband to go to them, so I was delighted when he agreed to join me and another couple we befriended, to tea on a rainy sea day afternoon. After we had been seated at a table for 8 (with four people we had never met before), Malcolm quickly nipped back to our room for something. The waiter appeared and started pouring out tea for everyone. I asked if he could pour tea for my husband too as he would be back in a minute. After shouting aggressively, ‘Who?’ and my repeating this three times, he refused to pour out the tea, saying that he would do it when my husband returned. He then proceeded to pour out the tea, wagged his finger at me and shouted ‘And don’t complain if it’s not hot!’ I was left speechless (an unusual event for me) and the others on the table (who I had never met before) said that he had been ‘unbelievably rude’ and one American lady said ‘Well, you’ve been schooled haven’t you!’ They all agreed that I had done nothing to warrant this outburst and were shocked by it. When my husband returned a couple of minutes later (his tea was still hot) I told him what had happened. At that moment the Head Waiter came along to ask if everything was alright and Malcolm told him what had happened, and pointed out the waiter to him. Malcolm asked if the head waiter would deal with him, or would he like him to. The head waiter was apologetic and said that the waiter would be dealt with by him. Later that day, the Food and Beverage Manager (Sildui) called the room to apologise for the incident and said that the waiter had been disciplined. He seemed to think that a second hand apology would suffice. It won’t. I said how embarrassed I had been by his behaviour and how it had ruined my tea experience. He didn’t seem too bothered by this and just apologised again. The following day, Luciana (the supervisor at Passenger Services) also called to apologise. She said that it was all they could do and thanked me for bringing this to their attention. When I said that I was dissatisfied with this, she said that she could do no more (no mention of a face to face meeting, or a meeting with senior staff). When we said that we will bring it to the attention of Head Office she said that was fine! Don’t they care about leaving the customer satisfied?? We will certainly be communicating with Head Office! One other thing that was apparent, and may account for the poor service, food and the fact that the staff seemed totally disinterested in the passengers, was the fact that there were no senior officers or staff in attendance on deck. We only saw the cruise director twice, on stage, when we attended shows, and his staff were only present when they were running quizzes. The captain was conspicuous by his absence. Unlike Celebrity where the officers make themselves known to passengers and can really see what is happening on the shop floor (or deck in this case). In order to get some on board credit, we have put down a deposit for a future cruise. However, we checked that it is totally refundable, as unless there are serious improvements made, and our ongoing tea issue is resolved, we will be availing ourselves of this refund. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Booked this cruise without hesitation after a princess cruise two years ago which was outstanding. First problem occurred with the lifeboat drill, it took forever , the muster point we were at had very little seating which meant sveral ... Read More
Booked this cruise without hesitation after a princess cruise two years ago which was outstanding. First problem occurred with the lifeboat drill, it took forever , the muster point we were at had very little seating which meant sveral people with walking difficulties having to stand for a long time. Prior to the actual drill there were numerous pointless announcements. Thereafter the cruise was OK, but just OK, long wait for everything from drinks to tables to lifts. On a positive note the cabin was great with a very comfortable bed and the ship was very clean. The service was poor a lot of the time, and many of the staff lacked the sort of customer service skills you usually experience on a cruise. Finally the excursions were a massive rip off, 99$ dollars each for a short tour of Guernsey. Will not travel with princess again, it all seemed to be about the money. Drinks package was not worth having as often once the waiters saw your sticker they lost interest and you were left waiting. We had a two hour wait for disembarkation, and drinks were only provided for the elite group. Sorry princess, feel very let down. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We picked this cruise to get a break and some spring sunshine. After 400 plus previous nights with Princess including several cruises on Emerald, and other cruises on Royal Caribbean, Ocean Village, Cunard, Discovery, Nobel Caledonia, ... Read More
We picked this cruise to get a break and some spring sunshine. After 400 plus previous nights with Princess including several cruises on Emerald, and other cruises on Royal Caribbean, Ocean Village, Cunard, Discovery, Nobel Caledonia, and so forth, this was a bitter disappointment. Some aspects were very good - embarkation, our cabin (a minisuite) and our excellent cabin steward, friendly staff, disembarkation. Many other aspects were not good. Food - wonderful food to remember is one of the big features in Princess' advertising. Three examples to give the general flavour. On night two I picked chicken from the menu. It was as tough as old leather. I asked for salmon as a replacement - arrived with the outside barely cooked and the inside almost raw. Night four, we ate up in Horizon Court and I picked what looked to be nice beef stew. Now, I cook beef stew to be tender enough to cut with a fork. This, I couldn't even cut with a knife. Night seven, as my main course I picked the 'famous chef special' chicken and leek pie which arrived on its own, no vegetables, no nothing. On removing the top I found the innards to be half air, no leek at all, and the chicken bits were tough and grissly. By this time another chap at our table was rejecting the unsatisfactory replacement for an unsatisfactory replacement for an unsatisfactory first choice, so I gave up. My basic impression is of an inability to cook basic meat, fish, poultry properly and consistently together with poor supervision of food leaving the galleys. We complained verbally and in writing. By reply, we received a printed 'sorry' card together with six chocolate coated strawberries. All very nice, except the six strawberries were instead of and not in addition to the canapes we had ordered. There was a plus point. We didn't gain weight. Entertainment - general standard far below what we are accustomed to on Princess ships. Only two production shows for this 11 night cruise. The length has been cut from the hour plus of a few years ago to only 35 minutes. The standard of solo entertainers was variable - some good, some poor. Many daytime entertainments seemed geared more to making on-board sales than to entertain. Much was made of the ship running a 'The Voice' competition - which, basically, is getting the passengers to entertain themselves. Lotus spa - grossly overpriced Staff training - many, many times I formed the impression of staff trained to 'deliver an item' in one particular way irrespective of what the customer wants Drinks -weak and expensive. Another matter. For our previous cruise, Princess deducted the final payment from my bank account twice, making me unexpectedly overdrawn. Luckily I noticed just before a couple of direct debits were about to bounce. My bank was very nice about it and Princess said they would give (me and my wife) a meal at a speciality restaurant on my next cruise in recompense. Guess what? Yes, a meal for one.. Front desk.... Oh dear. Some staff's English was too basic for their task Other passengers' impressions. For me, the 'killer' was several experienced cruisers each who was on a Princess ship for the first time all telling me they will never cruise with Princess again. They were comparing with Thomson, Royal Caribbean, P&O, Silver Seas. My big question ......We hadn't cruised with Princess for over a year. Is our poor experience typical of current Princess, or is it unique to this particular freshly refurbished ship at this particular time? I don't have an answer. . Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was our 17th cruise - the 4th with Princess, the remainder with P&O. Our previous Princess ships were the Island, the Regal and the Royal, so we knew what to expect - or so we thought! It's my fault - I should have done ... Read More
This was our 17th cruise - the 4th with Princess, the remainder with P&O. Our previous Princess ships were the Island, the Regal and the Royal, so we knew what to expect - or so we thought! It's my fault - I should have done my homework better. The Emerald Princess is smaller than the Island, yet carries almost 1000 more passengers. It really should be renamed the 'SS Sardine'. The good - our cabin was very good. Immaculate and kept so by a very friendly and efficient cabin stewardess. It was on C deck, so had a very generous balcony, only half of which was overlooked by the deck above. So far so good. The crew were (mostly) very friendly and helpful - although some were clearly quite new to the job. I say mostly friendly. The security staff retain their facial impressions of a bulldog chewing a wasp at all times of course. No change there. And if you had a query which resulted in 'computer says no' you were in for hours of fun. All very polite incompetence of course.... Clearly the Princess 'suits' don't like their staff using their own initiative. The dining staff were very good...the food mostly OK, but not as good as the Royal or Regal. The bad - Overcrowding. The Emerald Princess is seriously under-resourced for 3000 passengers. 2000? - maybe, but 3000? - no way! The Horizon Buffet is way too small, both in seating capaclty and serving areas. Unless you took breakfast at 6.30 sharp - or after 10.15 - you stood virtually no chance of finding a seat without using very sharp elbows. This is not a ship for the meek. The seating in public areas - around the Piazza for example - is woefully inadequate. If the weather was less than perfect, you constantly encountered hoardes of lost souls wandering aimlessly looking for that elusive seat, giving up and taking their tea and cakes back to the cabin to eat on their own. This overcrowding is a serious problem on this ship, which will probably backfire on Princess eventually - although there are probably several thousand new potential customers who will need to discover it all for themselves, so they'll not change anything, I suspect. Such a shame, after the excellence of the Island Princess in 2013 (before they added another 121 cabins to that ship!) The worst example was the Skywalker 'disco'. Because the trip was Southampton to Southampton, there were a lot of Brits on board, but sadly rather too many 'Ronnie Pickering/Reggie Kray wanabee' types, with their attendant partners. These folk simply took over the very small disco, the female of the species reserving their seats with little handbags, and returning to 'dance' on teetering heels with Ronnie/Reggie on the tiny dance floor. Ordinary folk who deigned to visit this enclave stood no chance.. and usually just walked around forlornly for a bit, sighed and left. The ugly - this overcrowding seriously affects the ambience of the ship. On more than one occasion, I witnessed snarling altercations over individual chairs. The Ronnie/Reggie 'ladies' usually won. The meek may inherit the Earth. They are certainly very unlikely to find anywhere - other than their own cabins - to sit down on the Emerald. That's for the chosen few. Had it not been for the overcrowding it could have been a very good cruise. As it was, it was our first and last on the Emerald Princess. Shame. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We choose Emerald Princess on a taster cruise to try the Princess line, we were bitterly disappointed. Embarkation and disembarkation was good The cabin was basic and the toilet smelt of stale urine, the shower curtain was very old. ... Read More
We choose Emerald Princess on a taster cruise to try the Princess line, we were bitterly disappointed. Embarkation and disembarkation was good The cabin was basic and the toilet smelt of stale urine, the shower curtain was very old. Our cabin steward kept the cabin clean and was very helpful. The Botticheli restaurant was ok but the food on an evening was just 3 courses, no cheese and biscuits as an extra and you had to buy any coffees. The Horizon buffet food was cold every day we visited in the hope it would get better. The breakfast was terrible, the sausages were either under cooked or burnt, the choice was minimal. The show in the theatre was only 35 minutes long. It was difficult to get a seat in any of the bars and the service was slow. We were disappointed as they advertise that you come back new !!! This wasn't the case. We will stick to P and O in the future as they give a much better service. We have sent a review to Princess but have not received a reply. We choose Princess as we thought they would be an enjoyable few days in the hope we could book a full cruise in the future. Even the shopping arcade was disappointing with a very limited supply of perfumes. There was no kettle in the cabin, you had to go and buy hot drinks, we tried this but there were no seats in the small cafe area. It is such a shame. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
First of all, we have travelled many times with Princess and I normally rate them highly. I was so disappointed to find the usual Princess standards had fallen off a cliff onboard Emerald Princess. What happened to all the crew? The ... Read More
First of all, we have travelled many times with Princess and I normally rate them highly. I was so disappointed to find the usual Princess standards had fallen off a cliff onboard Emerald Princess. What happened to all the crew? The ship was so under staffed it was annoying. It took ages to get a coffee in the Piazza... there was always a queue... it was ridiculous. The same can be said of the many bars around the ship, just not enough staff. We had the drinks package, but I don't think we got the most out of it because it took so long to get another drink etc! Embarkation was good and we were on the ship in no time. We found our balcony cabin (Baja 307) which was fine. A standard Princess cabin. It did feel old though and I think Princess needs to up it's game (excluding the new Royal Class). I've travelled on Celebrity and the newer Royal Caribbean 'Quantum' class.... both are way ahead in terms of interior design. One thing that they have got right is the beds! Wow! Wonderful! We ate in the main dining room, which was only just fine. Clearly the food quality has dropped and again, the lack of staff was visible. The second night, we ate in the Crown Grill. The food was good, but the service was far too slow. My steak was very over cooked, but I had already waited too long, so didn't complain about it. The weather was good for the first 2 days, a lovely sail away from Southampton and the following day we used the Gym in the morning followed by a good run on the Promenade Deck... it was bliss. Our day in Guernsey was let down by the weather - showers, cold and windy! However, we made the most of it and enjoyed our look around St Peter Port. The trip on the tender was not so nice and I was very glad to get off! Yes I would sail with Princess again, if the price and itinerary was right. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Very disappointed the entertainment was very poor nothing like the tv show the cruise only had 2 short shows with the dancers and couldn't believe that there was no show on last night just a film the food wasn't very hot and the ... Read More
Very disappointed the entertainment was very poor nothing like the tv show the cruise only had 2 short shows with the dancers and couldn't believe that there was no show on last night just a film the food wasn't very hot and the queue to get food but you had to wait most of the time to find a table even in the waiter service restaurants you had to queue to get in also the organisation to get us on and off the ship at 2 port was a nightmare we got handed a ticket and you had to wait for your number to be called we waited over a hour both to get off the ship and to get back on the ship it wasn't just me complaining a lot of people were I'm disabled and most of the ports we went to was very hilly that is not emeralds fault the cabin was very nice and i liked going on the balcony there was a lot of wardrobe space and the beds were very comfy the maid was always wanting to come in our room when we were in she even woke us up after a late night talking with friends which we was not happy about as we wanted o sleep it was my husbands first cruise and he said he doesn't want to cruise again but if he did he wouldn't go with emerald again we saved up for this cruise and we were gad to get home. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was our first Princess cruise, we have done many cruises on other lines. We were really looking forward to trying a new cruise line but unfortunately we were very disappointed and would not sail with Princess again. The ship was ... Read More
This was our first Princess cruise, we have done many cruises on other lines. We were really looking forward to trying a new cruise line but unfortunately we were very disappointed and would not sail with Princess again. The ship was nice, the same layout as P&O Azura and Ventura which we have sailed on before. The crew were good, friendly and helpful. The food was really awful, we couldn't believe how bad it was when we first arrived and went to the Horizon Cafe on deck 15. All I could find that I could eat was bread and cheese, nothing seemed to match and the quality was poor. We hoped it was just a blip and things would improve. The food in the main dining room was even worse. There was no Sommelier, so a glass of wine was just plonked in front of us by the assistant waiter, not asked to try it or look at the bottle, not a big deal for some but something I would expect in a good restaurant. We were never asked if we would like another drink or an after dinner liqueur. Breakfast in the main dining room was just as bad, waiters walking round offering big bowls of jam and nothing to put them on, toast ordered but never arrived, watered down orange juice. The smallest towels I have ever seen on a cruise ship. Old fashioned television system where you can't view your account and you can only watch a film when it rolls round at a certain time. No kettles and before we booked we were told we could request one for the cabin but this was not true. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Cruised with Princess for the first time and doubt I would go with them again. Emerald is a large ship with plenty of things to do and places to eat, drink or just sit and relax, generally the ship was clean and tidy. The cabin was okay ... Read More
Cruised with Princess for the first time and doubt I would go with them again. Emerald is a large ship with plenty of things to do and places to eat, drink or just sit and relax, generally the ship was clean and tidy. The cabin was okay although not cleaned very well, there were stains on the cupboard doors, dust on the light switches, a broken mirror, the same crumbs on the table all week long, the carpet never vacuumed, the bathroom floor stank of urine, there is no kettle or iron in the cabin. Dining in the dining rooms, de vinci and michelangelo was poor, food was below restaurant standard, I'd give it 3 out of 10, had steak pie one night that had no steak, beef wellington with raw pastry, if they served veg at all it was tasteless and over cooked, eventually gave up on dining rooms and ate in horizon buffet where food was a little better but finding an empty table was always a challenge. Entertainment was average, nothing special and like many of the activities things only ever lasted half an hour! Service from the staff was again average and most of the time too in your face, the second you finished your food they'd swipe away the plate and constantly hover over you to sell you drinks. The ports were good though excursions very expensive so made our own arrangements, the day in La Rochelle was spoilt slightly by the very long queue and 45 minute wait for the bus back to the ship, the tenders to Guernsey were a disaster, total lack of organisation, waited over an hour to leave the ship - they tried to blame fog but visibility across to Guernsey was not a problem, the crewe and staff were amateurish and simply poorly organised. Everything on board was very expensive, there was a 15% gratuity charge added to everything you brought including drinks at the bar. They also charge ever passenger $25 per day for gratuities including the children which is an utter disgrace - be warned and have this taken off on your account immediately. Overall Princess are too sloppy, standards are too low, staff poorly trained, food below average, poor organisation, prices way too high, their strap line is 'come back new' - it should be 'come back poor', I came back but would not sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Two words to describe it, below expectations. Our cabin steward was very efficient with what he could be in control of but we never got bathrobes! He can't supply what he does not have. It took two days to get pre-bought water two ... Read More
Two words to describe it, below expectations. Our cabin steward was very efficient with what he could be in control of but we never got bathrobes! He can't supply what he does not have. It took two days to get pre-bought water two days for soda cups and nvere did get coffee card cups. We had as per norm deluxe balconey and we saw spring breakers from inside cabins walking all around the ship even at the late shows in the theater in bathrobes. It was noticed that some of them had interior cabins. We had to share one pool towel a day between the two of us and at times had to shower with two day old wet bath shower that we had to share. Three massages and never had a towel after. One massage was given a with stringy old faded cabin robe not one from the spa. The service in the sanctuary was none existant also. The only time we had contact with staff would be at 330 for tea and one day I received tea at that time but my pastry came 45 minutes later. The sanctuary was not even a third full so I don't know why it was so poor. There were no towels available around the pools either just crates of dirty wet ones. Main dinning room service was hit and miss also. Some nights like the old days and others three plus hours to eat again the dinning rooms were not full and we never had a wait for a table. Nights with out movies under the stars and no show in the Princess theater. We got on Princess cays at 1145 after waiting 45 mins. for a shuttle and got the last clam shell available There were 3 couples behind us that had pre bought also and were told maybe they could get a refund back on the ship. What shows and acts that were run were excellent. Dress code were not enforced cut off shorts tank tops scruffy hats at dinner and all over the ship at night. If the dress code is not enforceable then eliminate them as it would cut down immensly on luggage cost. All in all disappointing We are a year or two from elite status but if the next cruise is like this I would consider giving up those percs for a different cruise line. I gave Princess a critic on board and when we returned home and have not heard a word in three weeks. All the staff was friendly although they did seemed stressed and over worked. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
The title says it all. Lots of Spring Breakers doing some serious drinking--boys and girls. Glad no one went over board. It was one big party for them......ill leave it there. Our state room (Riveria deck) never got cool, always felt ... Read More
The title says it all. Lots of Spring Breakers doing some serious drinking--boys and girls. Glad no one went over board. It was one big party for them......ill leave it there. Our state room (Riveria deck) never got cool, always felt stuffy. Cabin steward did great job. Many workers seemed overwhelmed by the number of Spring Breakers and just let things go. My problem was with over pricing for the Thermal Suite. More for a single ($99) yet a $65 avg for couples. They didn't turn the FREE steam room in the men's locker room until the 3rd day. When I asked about it, I was told to pay for the Thermal Suite because it worked there. I let that slide. As a diabetic, sugar free isn't just a choice, its a necessity. Great disappointment everyday to find only chocolate (I hate) available at the ice cream counter, receiving the same blank stare when asked about something different. Why the pizzaria with its ovens would share a counter with the ice cream parlor baffles me--Hamburgers are way over at the far end of the pool. I may be in the minority--I did not like the Magic musical. The Comidian was funny. Not enough variety of slots in the casino.....huge area wasted with open space for drinkers.... Thought the Horizon Court food was pretty bland. MDR was good...Crown Grill was great. Other than college kids standing 8 deep at the bars, this was a pretty bland cruise for me.....Not seeing the big deal about the Emerald Princess. Maybe if some things worked better and the crew wasn't punch drunk from the drinkers. Will I sail again during Sprig Break? Never....Would I go out of my way to sail the Emerald? No. Will I continue to sail Princess? ABSOLUTELY This short review is IMHO. After 27 past Princess Cruises, this was the first one I was glad when it was over........That sums it up. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Boy, what disappointment. We have sailed many, many times on Princess, as well as a few time each on Royal Caribbean and Carnival and once on Holland America. We have always preferred Princess because between these 4 lines, their ... Read More
Boy, what disappointment. We have sailed many, many times on Princess, as well as a few time each on Royal Caribbean and Carnival and once on Holland America. We have always preferred Princess because between these 4 lines, their food was always vastly superior, but no more. The food in the dining room was poor at best. The menu choices were lacking, the service not attentive. Many of the passengers were saying the same thing. We sailed with Princess a little more than a year ago and the food portions had gotten noticeably smaller and while the quality was not quite what it used to be, it was still more than adequate. Now it seems that the portions are back to the old, bigger size, but the quality of the ingredients is much lower. The general consensus was that the food on this ship is no better than Royal Caribbean, Holland America or Carnival. On the plus side, dinner at the new gastro pub, The Salty Dog was very good, and the dinner and service at Share, the upscale restaurant that replaced Sabatini’s was the best meal I have ever eaten on a cruise line. But then again, with a $39.00 per person surcharge, it should be. The interior common areas are beautiful, and you can tell that the boat just came out of a 2 week dry dock interior refurbishment. The cabins are typical Princess, nothing to write home about, but nothing to complain about either. The two musical review shows were very good, but the rest of the entertainment was nothing special. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Traveled on the Emerald from Jan 30th-Feb 6th of 2016. This was our 4th Cruise with Princess and don't think we will sail with them again!! Menu was the same thing night after night with some sort of FISH fixed 50 different ways. Main ... Read More
Traveled on the Emerald from Jan 30th-Feb 6th of 2016. This was our 4th Cruise with Princess and don't think we will sail with them again!! Menu was the same thing night after night with some sort of FISH fixed 50 different ways. Main dining which should be special took for ever to get our food but after the 3rd night there was nothing to look forward to. Starters were always shrimp, only one pasta (I ate that for 4 nights in a row with the same country chicken). Horizon court for breakfast, had to sit on a lawn chair because no seating!! Spoiled meat at lunch time. Burnt (brittle) bacon and running eggs for breakfast. Use to walk around on the last night with the baked Alaska, now they just serve you a slice. On the elevator going to Captain Circle special event, a woman standing next to me said I bet he doesn't show. She said this captain never does. She was right he didn't. Need tokens for the laundry mat. It was out on all the floors from day ONE. You had to leave your items sitting in the washer and go to customer service to get your tokens and then walk all the way back to do your laundry! If you are celebrating a special occasion, it used to be the balloon would say that, now everyone just gets the same thing. 2 friends with us won Spa/Salon gift cards. Tried to use them on their hair, could not, only on the high price Spa. Most of the activities are booked to close together. We missed many because when one would end the others started at that time. By the time you were out and on your way to the next activity it was already full. Service to our room was good. Bus tour for sixty dollars in St. Marteen was boring, just rode and seen nothing, that was after waiting in line 45 minutes in the hot sun to get on the bus. Zip Lining in St. Thomas was worth every penny. Helicopter ride in Grand Turk was nice. I guess if I had to sum up what I seen on the ship is it looks like everything was done trying to cut cost and save money. I think this is because Carnival bought Princess. The night show in the Theater were poor, cheap entertainment. They need to wake up !! People go on cruises to feel special, be treated special and live like they normally don't all the other days in the year. I talked 4 people into trying Princess. I feel so bad because I bragged it up and that was not what they saw or received. Disembarkation was bad, our ship docked at a different location than when we had set sailed. We were parked over in the other area, had to keep asking how we were suppose to get over there. No one had an answer. Finally after pulling our luggage off the ship we had to reload onto a bus, drive over there and unload our luggage again!! Very, very disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
I am Elite on Princess and this was without a doubt my least favorite cruise. I am usually very understanding and forgiving but this cruise caused me to wonder if I really want to continue with Princess. Embarkation: We were ... Read More
I am Elite on Princess and this was without a doubt my least favorite cruise. I am usually very understanding and forgiving but this cruise caused me to wonder if I really want to continue with Princess. Embarkation: We were traveling with a sight impaired person and embarkation was awful! Had to sit and wait in line for wheelchairs and there were only 2 available. After 1-1/2 hours, I finally threw a fit and we were allowed to walk in with another group. Cabin: we had been offered to change from OV to interior cabin less than 24 hrs before boarding for a 50% discount, which we accepted. However when we boarded, the name tag was not changed and they had no idea who we were, had no minibar or other Elite perks. Did not get any of our mail. Room steward never replaced beach towels, soap or laundry bags all week. We kept trying to find her to get these things. Our phone did not work - it took 4 days for them to fix it. Patter was frequently not delivered until the morning. Dining: anytime dining - we never had to wait for a seat, but food was mediocre, warm and the service was as slow as I have ever seen. Breakfast in the dining room was terrible, again - mediocre warm food. Horizon Court: terrible service - I had to bus my own table to get a seat and then had to get my own coffee and juice. Passenger Services: we stood in the Elite/Suite line served by one person. The regular passenger line served by 3-4 people went fast and we stood there waiting for someone to help us. They also never answered the phone. Elite Cocktail Lounge in Skywalkers: could frequently not find seating because they did not card anyone and let everyone in - people were bragging about getting in and telling all their friends. This is one thing we always enjoy and it was ruined. Debarkation: long lines as always, people getting their luggage butting in line instead of going to the end; and why do they never have enough customs people? Now any one or 2 of these things would be nothing, but all this - something annoying every day on a short 7 day cruise - was very disappointing. The good: Pizza poolside as always, Crown Grill - food and service, great bartenders in Crooners Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Emerald Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.5 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.0

Find an Emerald Princess Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click