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1,680 Princess Emerald Princess Cruise Reviews

We seem to have been on a different cruise to the previous reviewers.................. Pros: the crew, the cleanliness of the ship, our cabin steward and the staff in the International cafe. Cons: Our basic concerns were with the menus ... Read More
We seem to have been on a different cruise to the previous reviewers.................. Pros: the crew, the cleanliness of the ship, our cabin steward and the staff in the International cafe. Cons: Our basic concerns were with the menus and the quality of food being served. We are Elite members and have been sailing with Princess for quite some years and we were very disappointed with the range and quality of food in the Horizon and the very slow service in the main restaurants. We complained about the amount of beef dishes that were on the menu daily - firstly to the Head Chef of the Horizon Court who seems not to have the words "can do" in his vocabulary but blamed his superiors We then wrote a written complaint to the hotel manager and it took him a few days to respond - it may be just coincidence before the Captains Club formal event and his answer was ut us "Carnival's fault". The gym was so disappointed - most of the equipment, in particular the bikes and the cross trainers - needed major work and calibration mainly due to the fact that they are not designed for obese people who tend come and watch movies in the gym for some reason. The coffee on the ship was absolutely lousy and we a premium coffee card - even the staff agreed with us about the standard of the coffee. We took an excursion in Madeira and for four hours we were subjected one couple whose baby was crying continuously. When it rained the Lido Deck was like a skating rink because the drains could not cope with the rain water and some people on the deck were worried their cabins would get flooded every time it rained. The lounges were always full of people and were during the day with flip-flops and booze . We will never travel again on the "Grand class ships" as we have had the worst travel experiences on those ships . We are also Elite members on other cruise lines and will be more inclined to book with them in future ! Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
I have cruised few times with RCL and Celebrity and this is first time in Princess. do not understand why so many good comments on this ship ? no way they said they prefer Princess than Celebrity, are they getting pay to write their ... Read More
I have cruised few times with RCL and Celebrity and this is first time in Princess. do not understand why so many good comments on this ship ? no way they said they prefer Princess than Celebrity, are they getting pay to write their comments ? this is not the real Princess I would have expected. stateroom is OK, however, we cannot find any smiles from the crews as much as we see from RCL and Celebrity. are they all being under paid ? the layout design of the Sabatini breakfast area in the top floor is so small when compare with other 2 cruise lines and how can all fry eggs are pre made and not make to order. how can toast are pre made too, they are all cold and hard ! fruit selections are the same through out the 14 days !! plain hot water is yellowish with coffee taste in all water station and I complained to them and no one can fix this problem !!!! what a joke !! hall way design in this ship is real bad, specially in the Sun deck, how can people always bump into each other going in and out of the stateroom floor and the sun deck !! the main dining room in 4th floor is so small that I still prefer the two story dinning room from RCL and Celebrity. the only one good thing I like in this ship is the international café which offer fresh made salad daily. I will only give a ONE star to this Emerald !!!! really disappointed. Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
My wife and I booked the Baltic cruise in order to travel with a family member who we promised to go with a few years ago. We expected the worst and were not disappointed. There were a few thousand geriatric travelers, mostly from Britain ... Read More
My wife and I booked the Baltic cruise in order to travel with a family member who we promised to go with a few years ago. We expected the worst and were not disappointed. There were a few thousand geriatric travelers, mostly from Britain and America, which made it something akin to a floating nursing home. It was hard for me to believe that these people were my peers, people that were young during the rebellious 1960's. The furnishings of the ship were extremely tacky, the staff overly pleasant and uncomfortably obsequious (they probably detest the passengers who have nothing better to do with their money). The passengers seemed mostly the type that live in the suburbs or in gated communities, bourgeois that is. In Saint Petersburg, the few thousand tourists from the ship were herded like cattle into waiting buses, which took us to the signifcant palaces, churches and museums where we were led like sheep bumper to bumper with other tourists. As if I went to St. Pete to see a Titian or a Rembrandt or an amber room or some of the other extravagances that my peasant family had to suffer for. We were informed in detail about the Czars and Czarinas and shown the opulent palaces and expected to stare at appropriately dumbstruck at their beauty. The last 100 years of Soviet history was remarkably absent from the narratives. It was all Catherine this and Peter that, Nicholas this and Elizabeth that, to the point of asking for mercy. We went on a number of tours and on each one we spent our time with other tourists in palaces, churches and museums (as if they alone were the essential fabric of the country). The only somewhat non-painful days (no, they too were painful) we really had were the ones where we walked about cities pretty much at random and did not go on tours, but rather used public transportation. But still, we had to return to the prison of the ship in a few hours time in order to not be left behind. The towns of Gdansk and Tallinn, specifically have been restored beautifully, but it is tourists that you will be spending your time with there. In fact, all the tours had something of a Disneyland (where I've never been) quality about them (fake that is). The food was adequate and plentiful, although I wouldn't think that a reason to travel, especially since the chef made no attempt to provide the national dishes of the cities we visited. Really, I can't figure out why anybody would waste their money on a cruise or on the frivolous tours that accompany them. It was all so boring, inauthentic and aseptic. But that is probably why people do choose to cruise and tour. They want a sanitized edition and history of the countries they visit. They have no desire to walk the streets or mingle with the actual people of these "foreign" places. These people travel to see tourists. So all in all, the trip was miserable. It even ended miserably when you are treated like a suspect at the airports, all due to the foreign policies of America and the western European countries. I should mention that we did not go to a single lecture or show, rather spent our time in our tiny cabin reading. I am not condemning people that cruise, it simply isn't our thing. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was my first cruise with this line and it will be my last. Firstly they dropped the price by £300 approximately three weeks after I had paid in full. Nothing was offered to soften the blow. Moral learned don't book more than 90 ... Read More
This was my first cruise with this line and it will be my last. Firstly they dropped the price by £300 approximately three weeks after I had paid in full. Nothing was offered to soften the blow. Moral learned don't book more than 90 days in advance and then any price adjustment will be passed on. Ballroom dancing, consisted of a non promoted session in the small ballroom, without a host. Just a long playing CD. This session was in the late afternoon. There were three or four very basic ballroom lessons on some mornings. Ladies this ship does not have Dance Hosts. The Balcony Suite was much smaller than those on the Queen Victoria as was the ballroom and the food, dress code and comfort were not in the same league. My next one will be back with Cunard who can teach this outfit how to treat passengers. The ship was overcrowded and queuing was the order of the day; for meals, theatre, seats in any of the bars and for services. This ship has too many passenger for comfort by about 200 staterooms. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
1. It took almost 3 hours to check in. The queue was mainly outside and we had to stand through the whole process. We went at the exact allocated time e mailed to us which said was to prevent all of this. Given the there were so many older ... Read More
1. It took almost 3 hours to check in. The queue was mainly outside and we had to stand through the whole process. We went at the exact allocated time e mailed to us which said was to prevent all of this. Given the there were so many older people and people with disabilities, the priority boarding seemed busier than the regular boarding. 2. Our toilet blocked x 3. Each time the ship rocked, the toilet water emptied into the shower room. My friend was unaware of this on the first occasion and thought I had left the shower room soaking. She showered, not realising she was wading through toilet water /urine. She was very distressed by this. 3. The ship was late to leave Southampton. We arrived in Barcelona very late. We had booked a half-day tour and planned to spend a half -day going around on our own. We only had time for the tour and nothing else. The ship got in at 12 noon but we did not get off until 2 pm. The tour was rushed and we had no free time. This was the first organised tour I had ever been on. I felt like a herded sheep. It was certainly not worth the money as was so rushed and all we saw of Barcelona. 4. There were queues throughout the cruise. We had to queue for so many things and hours were wasted in queues. It seemed like organised chaos. 5. The first time we went for breakfast, it took 40 minutes from getting to the buffet area to actually being able to sit down and eat. They regularly closed parts of the buffet area, making it a challenge to find a seat. We often had to queue for food, for drinks, to find a seat and then to wait for the table to be cleared. There was not enough staff for the first part of the cruise. I think additional staff may have come on at Barcelona. 6. Every single day, our toilet stopped flushing for a period of time. 7. I was not aware smoking had been banned from balconies until after the cruise was booked and paid for. There were only 2 places outside where you could smoke. As the journey was rough a lot of the time, Deck 7 (one smoking area) was closed. Deck 16 was not sheltered and very busy. This left 2 inside smoking areas, a part of the casino (open most days) and the cigar lounge. It was packed full with not enough seats and as a result was far to smoky. I do not like smoking indoors but felt I had to on occasion. My clothes and hair etc ended up stinking. 8. The menu of the TV in the cabin was blocked so could not be altered. It was fixed so that when there was writing on the screen, it could not be read. 9. Many things were over priced. This includes drinks, tours, bottled water etc. 10. Wifi was exceptionally expensive. I do not think there is a need for such expense when it is so cheap to provide, even onboard a ship. 11. The entertainment was abysmal. It reminded me of Butlins in the 1970’s. We tried various shows but did not manage to sit through a full one. It was dated and aimed at the 75+-age range. It was also mainly poor quality. I have seen much better at street fairs, karaoke and on a ferry. What was on the main stage is usually something you would see in a little bar or something. 12. The activities were again aimed at much older age group. Most of the talks were about physical ailments such as back pain and arthritis. They had a veterans group and a knitters and natters for example. We were left so, so bored. Something I have never experienced on a cruise. There is usually too much to choose from. 13. The company must have known prior to the cruise what the age group was and should have made this more public. There was no list or notification of who or what the “entertainment” was before we set of. This would have given a clear indication of the age range the cruise was aimed at. We would not have gone on this one if we had known this. Wartime songs, song sheets, sing a long, Bernie Flint! To name a few. 14. They ran out of milk at one point. How could this be for such a basic thing? 15. English breakfast tea was only available sometimes. They continually ran out and it was a challenge to try to find some or to wait for a long time before staff found some. 16. I got very sick after eating at the crab shack one night. I do not know for sure what the cause was however. 17. Marseille port was a shambles. Nowhere did they tell us we had to wait in yet another queue to buy a ticket for the shuttle bus. We waited for about half an hour in the queue for the bus, only to be told when we got to the front that we had to have a ticket before hand. We then had to wait in another queue for a ticket before getting back in a queue for the bus again. It took over an hour overall. There was only one person selling the tickets, who was also giving port information. This is just appalling for a ship for over 3000 people. 18. The shuttle for Marseille was overpriced. There was apparently a local bus for only $2. I heard some had complained about the over charging of $8 each way (which we paid). Some said they got a refund. We did not. 19. If the ship docks far beyond the town / port, surely shuttles should be inclusive and not an additional charge, nor even more queues. Extortion! 20. We paid for a tour a whole day tour in Florence. It was way too busy. In fact of the 3 tours, we had to walk at a snails pace. There were at least 30+ tours going to the same spots at the same time. We were crowded and again herded like sheep. We only lasted about 15 minutes before asking to leave and meet up with them later to get back to the ship. Despite having paid for this, we could not bare it any longer and went off and did our own thing. 21. In Corsica, we were deafened by the microphone / speaker system on the tour bus not working. Each time it was switched on, it screeched. This did not deter them from continually trying to put it on. They did this to the point where I practically begged them to switch it off and I then had a headache. The tour guide then spoke without this, so could not be heard. Surely this should have been sorted/ in place before the tour took place. 22. Yes there was nightclub but it was usually empty with no atmosphere at all. I know the cruise company cannot force people to go but again, if we had known the cruise was aimed at a much older age group, we would not have gone on it. 23. The DJ in the nightclub had very little of the music we requested and she tended to play the same tracks every night we were there. This got monotonous. In the age of the Internet, surely the majority of music can be accessed. If they had been in my local club, they would not have lasted more than a week. 24. We were offered water and coffee on our first night in the dining room. We accepted without realising it had to be paid for. We did not know we had to specifically ask for un- bottled water and regular coffee for it to be included. 25. The drinks packages were excessive, over priced and inflexible. For alcohol, it was $49 per day but you had to buy for the whole 14 days, even for the days when you were off the boat. I don’t know many people who would drink that amount daily for 14 days! 26. We got charged room service for asking for a shower cap! 27. The photographers were very poor. I have never seen such horrible photos; even of people we met who were very good looking. They even managed to make babies look bad. 28. Other issues we had although I cannot blame Princess for but added to this being the worst holiday / experience of our lives included: a) Fellow guests wanting to debate Independence with us at every meal time, to the point we stopped going for dinner. Some being positively rude about it and making nasty comments. b) The weather and resulting rough seas, making my friend very sick and preventing access to the pools and decks for long periods, sometimes whole days. 29. Some of the movies were fantastic however the TV availability was very poor and so repetitive. Given this became our main source of entertainment; we ended up watching things more than once, just to pass the time. 30. The waste of paper. There was too much mail sent to our cabin every day and much of it repetitive and of no use. It would have been better to include port transport information for example, in the daily guide. This could have made getting off and on the ship smoother and faster. 31. Maintenance being done whilst we were on the ship, for example painting on the balcony and working on the toilets/ water systems. Surely this should be done when the boat it is not in use. This happened one day after another, so became inconvenient. 32. Due to the ongoing issue with the toilets, they were regularly worked on later in the evening, as were other problems, involving workmen being outside the cabin and making such a noise to prevent us from sleeping. 33. Lack of communication. For example, I rang to advise our toilet had stopped working one evening at 9.30 pm. I was advised someone would be there to fix it soon. As I had not heard anything by 11.40 pm and was keen to get to bed, I rang again. I was advised the whole area had been broken and they were working on this. I said I was keen to get to bed and asked for an estimated time of them coming to our cabin, only to be advised they did not need access as were working on it from outside. Surely they could have called me to inform me of this to save me waiting up for over 2 hours. 34. Given all our poor experiences with getting off the ship. We opted for the last disembarkation. We were due to get in to Southampton about 7 am. We decided to book to get off at 10.30 am. The plan was for us to stay as late as possible in the cabin, have breakfast then head off. It was not until after we did this were we told we had to be out the cabin by 8 am! This meant carrying all our stuff around for at least 2 ½ hours. To top this, we were then advised the breakfast area closed at 9 am! This is just ridiculous. I am well aware there is a turnover time but surely they could clean the rooms of the people who get off early first and continue to service them as more people get off. This outraged me. There was no leeway at all. To make it worse, they decided to close part of the buffet area at this time also. It was pandemonium up there, people with bags and cases, trying to get breakfast in limited areas, trying to find a clean table, seats etc. It was like a zoo!. The boat was also late at getting in, so made our wait even longer. We got a note in the evening to say this did not effect our time to get off then later at night, another note to say this was delayed. A fitting end to a disastrous holiday. 35. My sister was on time to pick us up but took about 40 minutes to get through the traffic jam at the port, caused by the next groups of people getting on as we were getting off. Again, more organised chaos. It is not like this is new to the company. Surely they could organise this better. I know it can be. I have cruised before and had such a contrasting experience. The last one was perfect in comparison with no issues what so ever. 36. I wrote a complaint about some of the above issues on Day 7 of the cruise. We were asked to meet with the Customer Services manager On Day 11 or 12. She asked what could make the remainder of the cruise better, my friend asked for a helicopter off the ship! We were offered a meal in one of the paying restaurants. I felt insulted by this. Between us, we spent over £5,000 for this trip. The cost of a balcony cabin, the cost to get to Southampton, the new clothes for the formal nights (of which we went to 1 due to the debating going on), my considerable onboard spend of over $1500, what was spent at the ports etc. It was for my friend’s 50th Birthday. It is advertised as a 5 star experience, a once in a life time experience. I certainly hope never to “experience” this again. We spent all of this and were offered a $20 meal to compensate! Unbelievable. I had said in the meeting that I had offered my friend an all expenses paid cruise in the Caribbean or somewhere, to prove to her it was not always like this but she declined. To add insult to injury, we got a letter after this, acknowledging the complaint and stating “we look forward to welcoming you back on to the Emerald Princess in the very near future” It made me doubt anything I had written or said in the meeting had been listened to at all. A standard response letter perhaps? Having been on cruises before and absolutely loved the experience, I persuaded my friend to come with me on this one. It was meant to be holiday of a lifetime for her. She made all sorts of negative references about her ideas of cruising. I dispelled all of this with facts about how enjoyable my previous experiences had been. She decided to come and saved hard for this “experience of a lifetime” It was just awful! I spent much of my time apologising to her, as I felt very responsible for having persuaded her. All she thought negative about cruising was experienced within the first couple of days. If we were not so close and having been on holiday several times together in the past, this could have ruined our friendship. I could go on but I think the above is more than enough to explain why it was so bad.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
We travel a lot . My husband and I were in a full suite, deck 15. We treated our 5 y/o grandson and son. They were in a cabin a few doors down from us. Our suite was lovely until the first morning. We woke up to thumping, lights shaking, ... Read More
We travel a lot . My husband and I were in a full suite, deck 15. We treated our 5 y/o grandson and son. They were in a cabin a few doors down from us. Our suite was lovely until the first morning. We woke up to thumping, lights shaking, tv shaking. Horrible! Low & behold, we were directly under the treadmills. I was told we were under the spa and when you look at the ship staterooms online it indicated the spa. If I knew there were treadmills above us I would never have booked the suite! There is no notification that it will b a noisy suite. If a cabin comes with an obstructed view, you are aware of it and pay less for that cabin. We paid top dollar and could never relax in our suite. I notified the customer relations person who initially was not helpful. I asked for a meeting with hotel manager. He suggested keeping three machines closed. The next morning it was quieter but it didn't last. Every time I heard noise I would go to spa to c what machines were being used. The spa person said she was told by the customer relations manager that she could not shut down any additional machines. I called the hotel manager every time I heard the thumping. Finally I called corporate princess and they gave me $1150. We basically paid close to $14,000 for the two cabins. The $1150 is an insult! However it stilled ruined the trip. I felt lie I had to go thru hoops. The interesting thing s the the treadmills on the other side of (port) were rarely used. Since the entrance to gym was on our side of ship those machines were the first to b used. Food was horrible. I have never had food so bad on a hip! In addition it took us 4 nights to b able to get Mac and cheese fr our grandson. We were told that every restaurant would be able to accommodate us except whenever we asked a waiter they had no clue what we were speaking about. Finally we found a waiter who managed to get us the Mac n cheese! After leaving each port there was never a scheduled sail away party. There was only one day it was written on the daily schedule. New years eve was nothing special. We had to pay to have champagne at midnight. On a celebrity new years eve cruise, they provided a glass of champagne to everyone and there were wonderful acrobats at stroke of midnight. All princess had was line dancing on upper deck, balloons in the piazza! Princess Cay was no way as nice as the Holland America island. Also they nickel and dimed you for everything. What was supposed to be a wonderful holiday cruise with family was a bust! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
I am resubmitting this as I am unable to find my original review. My husband and I took his son and our 5 year old grandson on the Emerald Princess for their Eastern Carribean New Year's Eve cruise. My husband and I have been on ... Read More
I am resubmitting this as I am unable to find my original review. My husband and I took his son and our 5 year old grandson on the Emerald Princess for their Eastern Carribean New Year's Eve cruise. My husband and I have been on numerous cruises all over the world and many different lines. We ALWAYS book full suites/penthouses. We booked L107 Lido Deck for us and a second cabin nearby for the kids. Our first morning we woke to THUMPING, LAMPS SHAKING, TV SHAKING, BATHROOM DOOR SHAKING. It was our first morning and at sea. So we planned on a leisurely day waking up whenever we did. Who could sleep with all the racket. It was 7 AM (our time). Turns out our bedroom was directly under the treadmills. When we booked the cruise the web site indicated we werr under the spa which is quiet. I called the hotel desk immediately plus notified our steward. Our steward, Jeffrey, was wonderful. He brought his supervisor to our suite to hear the thumping. The supervisor, Sammy, contacted customer relations manager, Anthony, who said he would see what he can do. Meanwhile the thumping was all day long. I asked for a meeting with the Hotel Manager Peter which was granted. In the interim the customer service manager offered to move us to a mini suite on deck 9 (we were on deck 15) and near our kids, that was the plan. If I wanted a mini suite I would have booked one! My husband and I explained to him that this was unacceptible. We were planning on having great holiday cruise with family and now we can't even stay in the suite we paid $10,000 for. The hotel manager suggested they would try to pinpoint which treadmills were affecting our suite and close them down for the mornings. They put out of order signs on the first 3 treadmills. The next morning it seemed quieter. Too good to be true because the thumping started. I called Hotel Manager again. Basically for 4 days I was calling the Hotel manager. i would go up to the spa to see what machined were being used. Sometimes it was the second 3 machines. In the meantime they have about 20 treadmills all along the front of the ship. The ones used the most were the ones on the starboard side above our suite. Whenever i went to the gym to check there was never anyone using treadmills on the port side. The woman at the spa desk said the customer relations manager instructer her not to close off additional machines. Maybe if they tried closing machines 1-6 we would not have had any issues. Finally while at sea I called Corporate Princess. After being passed to a second person they said they would look into it. It wasn't until day 5 that the customer relations person called our cabin and provided us with compensation. Considering we spent over $10,000 for our suite and we paid for the kids cabin, in addition to a few thousand in shore excursions, drinks, special restaurant, gambling, the $1150 they gave us is in an insult. This is the first complaint. Food was horrible. I have never been on a cruise where the food has been so bad. Even in the Crown restaurant it was not up to standards I am familiar with . Not to mention it took 4 days before I got a waiter to give mac and cheese to my grandson. Although EVERYONE on board said asking for mac and cheese was no problem no one seemed to be able to get it for us. Our first night in the Michelangelo dining room they said they didn't even have a kids menu! Finally the next night we got a kids menu. it wasn't until the fourth night we ate in Michelangelo and had a waiter named Wotold who managed to get us mac and cheese. Every night after that we made sure we sat at his table as he seemed to be the only competent waiter. The coffee in the Horizon was all water! We love a good cup of coffee in the morning. It was the pits. But in the evening the coffee was fine in the Michelangelo so why couldn't be the same in the Horizon. New year's eve was a major disappointment. They did not offer complimentary champagne. You had to buy a bottle if you wanted a glass of champagne at midnight. We have been on other cruise lines for new Year's and always was given a glass of champagne. The evening activities on New Years was terrible. Your choice was the top deck with the band and the activities group leading in line dancing or the inside piazza with balloons dropping. That was it! As i said this was the worst cruise ever! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
My family and I were very disappointed at the quality of Princess cruises. There was not a single thing that didn't go wrong during the cruise. Our toilet broke (we waited for someone to come fix it for over an hour), the guest ... Read More
My family and I were very disappointed at the quality of Princess cruises. There was not a single thing that didn't go wrong during the cruise. Our toilet broke (we waited for someone to come fix it for over an hour), the guest services desk was unhelpful and rude, terrible shows, and I even found several pieces of hair that were not mine on my pillow!!! As for the food- the Crown Grill was a better dining option but there is a surcharge. Lamb rack was delicious! Also heard good things about Sabatini's. However, the regular buffet, Michelangelo, and Botticelli dining rooms (anything that is free) provided bad service and even worse food. I am not a snob when it comes to traveling but if I've paid a decent amount on a cruise I would expect staff members to put a bit more effort in ensuring customer satisfaction. Also, you can expect to be constantly pestered to buy spa packages and drinks. I really do not recommend this cruise ship at all. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
There were so many disappointing aspects to this cruise, it's hard to know where to start. Nine out of ten staff and crew with whom we interacted were not interested in us, at best, to downright rude and/or uninformed. The dining ... Read More
There were so many disappointing aspects to this cruise, it's hard to know where to start. Nine out of ten staff and crew with whom we interacted were not interested in us, at best, to downright rude and/or uninformed. The dining room menu options were unappealing and the food itself was seldom better than just OK; beef was tough, turkey was undercooked, and the pasta dry. (And we are not fussy eaters!) Dining room service was extremely slow. One night we waited a full 35 minutes between courses. Our table for three had a bread basket with four dinner rolls, and we were never once offered more. When we were missing a silverware setting one night, the waiter responded to our request with "Yes, we're going to set up." When he did bring silverware approximately 5 minutes later, he offered no apology and didn't even respond with a "You're welcome" when we thanked him twice. The host responsible for seating guests at AnyTime Dining often did not accompany us to our table, but rather just pointed towards it and yelled out from a distance of 30-40 feet to a nearby waiter the table number we had been assigned. The head waiter stopped at our table just once and said, "Everything good, no?" and then immediately moved to the next table. The beds were uncomfortable and the bed linens worse than what you would expect in a discount motel chain. Our beds were made with only a fitted bottom sheet and a comforter ... no top sheet. When I complained to the Customer Service Director, he acted shocked, telling me there should be a fitted sheet, a top sheet, and a comforter. Within a half hour, a supervisor appeared at our door and we soon had top sheets. I then made it a point when talking to other passengers to ask if they had top sheets. None did, so the Customer Service Director is either an accomplished actor or doesn't have a clue as to what's happening on his watch. The bed linens were not changed nightly, as could be easily ascertained by the size and location of the holes in the sheets! As we disembarked, I tried to determine if the comforters were changed out between sailings. I seriously doubt that they are....no evidence of anything but sheets on the cabin stewards' carts, and comforters clearly visible at the foot of beds which had been stripped. The public restrooms were not always clean, and in some the bare trickle of water was insufficient for hand washing.....right under the signs advising of proper hand-washing techniques! Drinks were good and reasonably priced, but never delivered with a napkin. The drink stewards did not wipe down the table unless asked, even when they were clearly in need. The food in the casual dining areas was usually quite bad and the service lacking in these areas also. When I asked one waiter for silverware one morning, he walked about 20 feet away and stood there for nearly a minute, looking around as if he hoped someone else would come by to get my silverware or as if he didn't know where the silverware was kept. Then he turned around, reached for the silverware right behind him, brought it to me, and wordlessly put it down. He did not offer juice or coffee, or tell me that someone else would be bringing it. I was offered juice and coffee about midway through my breakfast. The door to our balcony would not stay in position unless it was locked (which of course it can't be when you're on the deck), so we got to listen to it SLAM shut and then SLAM open over and over again. I guess the same was true of neighbor's door, because we got to listen to their door, too! Not very peaceful. We asked twice for it to be fixed, but it never was. The adult pool is a total joke. It's surrounded by high walls on all sides, so the sun never really shines in this area. It wouldn't matter anyway.....there were only 10 or 12 deck chairs at this pool! There were plenty of chairs available elsewhere, but both main pool areas had a lot of noise pollution with the big-screen movies and bands that played so loudly that conversation was impossible. The Sanctuary looked nice and we had intended to spend time there until we found out that there's a daily cover charge ($20 for the full day, $10 for a half day). When I returned home, I looked for information on Princess' website about this cover charge and didn't see it disclosed anywhere. The cost of internet service is about 15% higher than Royal Caribbean's, and can only be used after paying an activation fee. The fee is admittedly nominal (about $4) but, coupled with the higher-than-expected per-minute charge, was enough of an irritant that we decided to look for internet cafes at the ports of call instead. Our ship had no available cabins at the time of sailing, and our Cruise Director announced that there were just 98 children on board....some of whom were teens. Yet the "Movie Under the Stars" featured the Muppets movie about 4 or 5 times. The one movie we might have wanted to see ("War Horse") was scheduled for 5 PM on formal night. Whose dreaming up these entertainment options for a ship where probably more than 95% of the passengers are older than 50 and fewer than 1% are under age 10? I would have thought than one afternoon showing of the Muppets would have satisfied this crowd and we could have moved on to something a little more interested for the adult population. We were given two coupon books for the three of us in our cabin. When we asked for a third, we were told there was a limit of two per cabin. Funny they don't limit the fare to two per cabin, and they expect tips from all three. (As an aside, we tipped our cabin steward but no one else....the first time ever that we have failed to pay at least the recommended gratuities. There just wasn't any service in the dining rooms that merited a tip. I doubt that it's actually the waiters' fault. With such rampant inefficiency and lack of customer service, it almost has to be attributed to a ship-wide morale issue, training, and/or staffing levels. However, I won't pay for something I didn't get and feel that those crew members who want to do a good job will migrate to ships that promote and enable good customer service.) All the pools and hot tubs were closed until we left our first port. We heard it was because the chlorine didn't get delivered in Ft. Lauderdale. Various pools and hot tubs were closed at other times without explanation. For example, on hot afternoon, only two of the four hot tubs in the main pool area were open. Both open hot tubs were extremely crowded, so it wasn't lack of demand that caused the other two to be closed. We sailed on the Grand Princess in 2001 and thought the service and food were excellent. This time both get one star out of ten. I don't think we'll ever try them again. Many passengers we talked to shared the opinion that Princess has gone WAY downhill! Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
This is a brief account of the recent cruise we took aboard the Emerald Princess. We were aboard for 20 days visiting many Caribbean Islands, it was to be a relaxing well-earned holiday with warm sunshine and good food, to Escape ... Read More
This is a brief account of the recent cruise we took aboard the Emerald Princess. We were aboard for 20 days visiting many Caribbean Islands, it was to be a relaxing well-earned holiday with warm sunshine and good food, to Escape Completely as the princess slogan proudly suggests. It was a Holiday from Hell, never to be repeated. We have to admit that this cruise has seriously questioned our love-affair with cruising and would strongly advise others not to trust Princess with their holiday dreams as they are not worthy of your custom. Our view was far from an isolated opinion, many other passengers had said that Princess had deteriorated to an intolerably low level compared to the past. Where to begin, it is difficult to explain without sounding bitter and resentful, so I will try to list the Positives and negatives......... Positives............. * Good sized cabins with more than adequate cupboard space although the shower cubicle was on the small size. * Improved smoking policy - but still falls short of modern day standards. * Comfortable Bed. * Crown Grill Restaurant was excellent for service and quality - an odd observation was that more Crew eat here than passengers even at $25 a head surcharge. * Excellent coffee in the International Cafe at $4/cup (coffee machine unreliable) * Plentiful food to satisfy most. * Ice cream parlour served free icy cream - quality low! * The visiting Entertainment Acts were generally good. Negatives............. * Food quality extremely poor at all venues except those with a cover charge- worse we have ever experienced. Another unusual observation was that no ship's Officer ever ate at the any of the main restaurants. Why? What do they know? * Economies impose by Princess are very evident everywhere. The Horizon Grill Buffet had very limited choice at lunch resulting in passengers leaving to join long queues at the Trident Grill and Piazza parlour on Sea days. Buffet restaurants on all other past ships have always been very busy, not on Emerald. * Free coffee at most restaurants was undrinkable. * Impossible to make Tea as hot water not boiling. * Inadequate number of restrooms / toilets in public areas for the volume of people - always queues. * Princess openly recommend that passenger's use their stateroom toilets and avoid using the public restrooms accepting that they have a serious capacity/ design failure. * Public area toilets were always in a mess due to the use of paper towels and never kept clean due to the lack of a resident attendant, but Princess knows best. * Inconsistent approach to hand sanitation - not available at most food preparation/eating areas. A recipe for a Norovirus outbreak when coupled with the lack of toilet hygiene standards. * Princess own rules never policed or enforced - Reserving Sunbeds caused many sea-day scuffles. Reserving Theatre seat due to ships being over capacity. Wet seat in the Buffet cafe were a constant annoyance Princess dress-code not enforced whatsoever - why have a code? * Customer services was a disgrace and a misnomer. From behind a desk they typed the request/complaint for Princess Management's amusement since they showed no desire to investigate or seek a resolution. One example being that a significant number of Brits requested a Rugby sporting event to be screened on any one of numerous 42" TV's, but were totally ignored by Princess management. Great customer service, Princess - must try better next time! * Their Broadway Show Theatre entertainment reduced to a 30 minutes - maybe this is a positive! * The Theatre is an attractive venue but far too small to satisfy the ship's capacity (640 seats for 3400 passengers) * The Promenade deck on the Emerald is so narrow that it can only accommodate chairs as normal loungers are too big, which makes the Promenade deck always empty. (Although it does maximise space for more cabins) * Low staff morale was very evident indicated by the many sour faces which became infectious to many passengers. * Gratuities are similar to other cruise lines. Our service was definitely not worthy of the guideline $460 for the cruise. (No wonder the crew could afford the surcharge at the Crown Grill) When compared to the HAL Noordam/Westerdam or the Celebrity Constellation/Millennium the Emerald Princess and its sister ships have only 20% more public space but have 70% more passengers(3400 compared to 1980). This obviously leads to congestion in public areas which is probably the cause of many of the complaints but does NOT excuse their hygiene standards. I would be one of the first to suggest that Cruising is a very good value for money experience having done many cruises in the past but the recent Princess cruise leaves us with serious concerns for our health and well-being aboard any of their vessels if the Emerald is typical of their product. I noted that RUBY Princess contracted Norovirus during the last week of our cruise, I think we were fortunate not to have experienced the same. They need to sack their management and start again with a new business model with the customer at its heart. PRINCESS ( we escaped from YOU ) CRUISES. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
The ship is wonderful and well taken care of. Food was excellent throughout although it was repeated in the buffet often and got a little boring, it was still very good. The age of the average guest on this cruise was 70-- and boy can ... Read More
The ship is wonderful and well taken care of. Food was excellent throughout although it was repeated in the buffet often and got a little boring, it was still very good. The age of the average guest on this cruise was 70-- and boy can those guys push and shove. Lots of handicapped people, including my husband! The crew and staff are well equipped for that population and were nice and smiling and respectful day after day. Entertainment bordered on average. Production shows were good and so was anything the cruise director's staff put on. Comedians weren't that good, nor the jugglers. There were some sour chamber music played often in the Piazza, and also a hula hooper and a Chinese balance spinner. Ho hum. The lounge acts were good, however. Ports were awesome-- just never enough time in them. We had some great days in Greenock Scotland, (super tour of Loch Loman and a Wool area) Reykjavik Iceland (went to Blue Lagoon and was disappointed and a wonderful day in Greenland with natives doing music and so friendly This itinerary is delightful. Internet sucked on the ship. What a waste! Embarkation and Disembarkation were well organized and easy to follow. Compliments to Princess on that. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
I booked the cruise room almost a year ago. My room is next to my parents room. When I check in, they told me my room has be change to other Deck. How can they change my room without let me know??? My kid was travel with me. It is very ... Read More
I booked the cruise room almost a year ago. My room is next to my parents room. When I check in, they told me my room has be change to other Deck. How can they change my room without let me know??? My kid was travel with me. It is very inconvenience for us. Cause they change my room, so I need to go up and down many times everyday to my parent's room. My room should be on Deck 12 and they move me to Deck 8. And they can't change back cause other people took that room already! We check in at 14:00 with 3 luggage. I only got one around 17:50. So we need to wear jeans to the dinning room. After dinner, there still one missing. I went down and found they put my luggage in the lobby. They lost my tag so I need to take it back to my room by myself. When I book the cruise, I said we don't want share table with others. But they put us with other people. And the reception told us, no more tables. If you don't like, go eat in some other restaurant! The room service line always busy, the buffet area is always hard to find seat, waiter always talk to each other, they always serve you without smile. The food is not good, the soup always too salty. I booked a SPA for my parents. But the reception told them there is no reservation made for them. The attitude is very bad. After 10-15 mins. The manager came in and checks again. She found their reservation and the manager said they need to pay more for get the service. The package I booked is $279 and they ask my parents pay $399! My kid was sick at last night. Cause they collect all the luggage already so my dad went down to ask the nurse see if they have medicine for the kids or not. The nurse said, paid $130 first then I'll answer your question. Again, very bad attitude! We took Celebrity Cruise before. Their service, room, food and show is much much better then Princess! We paid more than $3000/person. And this is what we got. We will never take Princess again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
We returned from our cruise on April 7, 2011. If and when we choose to take another cruise, we will not be choosing Princess Cruise Lines. The negatives: The food in the dining rooms was mediore at best. Same food as at the buffet but ... Read More
We returned from our cruise on April 7, 2011. If and when we choose to take another cruise, we will not be choosing Princess Cruise Lines. The negatives: The food in the dining rooms was mediore at best. Same food as at the buffet but you got to have a waiter serve it to you. One dinner was even sub-par. Wine was terribly overpriced. Elected to try their specialty restaurant Sabatini's. Appetizers were quite good, service was excellent, but the entree was completely unedible. My husband's lobster was rubber and my fish was basically raw with some disgusting batter on it. The food was our biggest disappointment, but it seemed like they were nickle and diming us for everything. $20/person per day at the Sanctuary; $40 for 30 minutes of virtual golf - no way can you play 18 holes in 30 minutes! Wine tasting was another $25/person. Bottled water - which was offered at dinner by the waiter like it was a bottle of wine = $3.50. Wonder how many people said yes to the water not knowing they were going to be billed for it?! All 4 pools have no shallow end -- primarily 5'3" - 7' deph. So I couldn't even get in the pool because I don't swim! The "Movies Under the Stars" pool started showing movies at 10:00 a.m. No headphones so the sound was blaring constantly. Movies?? Videos of concerts, etc. Even the night time movies were second rate -- very few people bothered to go. Didn't bother going to any of the performances in the main theater as there wasn't anything very exciting going on - such as, one night was a band playing Beatles music with a video of the Beatles running behind them. One of the comedians was fairly entertaining, which we went to twice in one of the lounges. The entertainment advertised as "street performers" in the Piazza were lame. A string quartet is BORING! The piano player was okay if you had 10 minutes to kill before going somewhere else, but couldn't sit there for very long without getting very bored. Hula hoop performers....could definitely done without them. Three nights were non-smoking nights at the casino. Which is stupid since the casino has a permanent non-smoking section.Now for the positives: Service was excellent! All wait people were very helpful and pleasant. The balcony mini-suite was very nice and plenty of room - including the closet with lots of hangers. We ordered the free continental breakfast in our room each morning, and our hats are off to their pastry chef. Very flakey and fresh. If you wanted to watch TV, they had current movies and TV shows. Antigua - the highlight of our trip was swimming with the Stingrays in Antigua. Such fun. About 20 of them swam around us and ate out of our hands. I'm only 5'3" so was concerned I wouldn't be able to just stand in the water, but it water was only up to my arm pits so I was very happy. Pictures they took of us turned out great!Barbados - Also, a very enjoyable side trip was in Barbados but the Safari Adventures. We took the noon tour so there were only 8 of us and we had a great tour guide -- lots of fun and rum punch!St. Thomas - Since we aren't shoppers, in St. Thomas we headed to Frenchtown for lunch. Craig & Salley's is closed on Mondays so had lunch at Hook, Line & Sinker. Lovely view -- and the best food we had the whole trip! If there's a negative about this place is that they don't have air conditioning but they keep the windows open so there is a breeze.St. Kitts -- we paid the $99/person for the scenice railway tour. It was okay but on some levels boring - not much to see. They did offer rum punch and had 3 girls that moved from car to car singing island songs.St Lucia - we hired our own taxi tour guide for $50. Turned out to be a good decision. We stopped at a roadside lunch truck for BBQ Pork and Chicken. What a beautiful island. The views were breath taking.Princess Cays - a waste of time unless you really want to give Princess more money -- rental of a pool noodle was $5/day, private cottage a mere $199. Nothing there so not really worth taking the tender to shore. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
Princess cruises, shame on you. Am an experienced cruiser, 30+ at this time, and have cruised with Princess, Celebrity, Holland America, and some other smaller cruise lines. After not cruising with Princess for 10 years, decided to give it ... Read More
Princess cruises, shame on you. Am an experienced cruiser, 30+ at this time, and have cruised with Princess, Celebrity, Holland America, and some other smaller cruise lines. After not cruising with Princess for 10 years, decided to give it another try. What a disappointment, cannot begin to tell you how horrible this ship is run. Embarkation went not too badly, but once on the ship, left to own devices. Booked Anytime Dining but quickly realised that they don't run it properly (started with no reservation for the first night) so quickly got a permanent table and time from the Maitre'd which worked out much better. Long lines for dinner every night at the dining room, not what you wanted to see on a cruise ship, and many angry people in that line. Around the pool (all 3 of them) people were saving seats from the crack of dawn, if you got up at 9 a.m. there was nowhere to sit - and if you happened to leave your pool towel in your cabin (what the hell is that all about anyway) there were no towels available around the pool decks and we were told to get them from our cabin. The worst of all was seeing several people slip and fall on the wet pool deck (3 in the space of 30 minutes) and no pool attendant in sight to help. Passengers were going to the rescue of these unfortunate people. What was the reaction from a crew member who was told that people had fallen and the deck should be wiped down "There is a sign warning that the deck is wet". Upon complaining to passenger services, the front desk manager had nothing to say but "sorry". That giant jumbotron showing movies night and day is lovely at night, but during the day it is a non stop noise machine. The sound is so loud it throbs right through you if you are sitting level with the speakers, and there is a loud hum. Nowhere to escape the noise. Food was mediocre at best. The buffet is too small for this size of ship, plates ran out quickly, food was not refilled fast enough, and salad on hot plates is not very appetizing. The food selection also was limited at the Horizon buffet. Apparently there were better selections at the Caribe, but we didn't find out about it until day 8 of a 10 day cruise. The dining room menu also was unimaginative and boring. Who wants meatloaf or fried chicken on a cruise ship. Even the deserts were not very tempting. Sabatini's specialty restaurant was the one bright spot - well run, attentive staff and a lovely menu. Food was delicious there, and that was well worth it. They are not taking hand washing seriously enough - not like other cruise lines that stand at the entrance to all dining venues with the hand wash ready to squirt in your hand. Here it was voluntary, and not too many people I saw using them. Entertainment venues were overcrowded and again, seat saving in the theatre had people going an hour in advance to get a seat. Also, the times of the shows conflicted with the most popular dining times, making it difficult to get from the dining room at the back of the ship to the theatre at the front, on a very very very long ship!!! Had a lovely mini suite with a balcony, and a great room steward, but while eating breakfast on our balcony, which is overlooked by higher decks, we were showered by a room steward washing a balcony up above us. When asked to stop, he simply replied that he had to wash the balcony - even though we were sitting there eating breakfast. There were many people on this ship who felt like I did - and consequently do not plan on cruising with Princess again. I am sorry to be so negative, but this ship really has to pull up its socks. I won't comment on the ports of call, because it's the caribbean, and all the islands have their own charm and appeal to different interests. My main beef is with the ship and not the itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
Boarding was fine - the staff was readily available and helpful. We got 2 cabins so our two kids would have more room. Our cabin steward, Elvina, was terrible. She seemed bothered whenever we asked her anything and did not do a good job ... Read More
Boarding was fine - the staff was readily available and helpful. We got 2 cabins so our two kids would have more room. Our cabin steward, Elvina, was terrible. She seemed bothered whenever we asked her anything and did not do a good job cleaning up our cabins. When my daughter had breakfast in bed, I found bread crumbs still on her sheets in the evening - Elvina did not even bother making the bed. We were assigned to anytime dining. The waiters were all terrible - they seem to think that since they were being tipped anyway, there was no reason for them to even try. The food was edible but not good. They served the same boiled chicken at lunch for 10 days!!! The entertainment on board was very limited - you either shopped or went to the casino. The shows at night were good but there was nothing to do during the day. We spent 10 days at sea watching TV in our cabins during the day!!! I had a lot more fun on HAL and RCCL. The staff at the children's club was terrible. There were a couple of heavy lazy Mexican women who did not organize any activity for the children. My daughter went to the club one evening and the staff would not do anything with her. She was stuck playing a wii game and when she wanted to change game, they were too lazy to get her another game!!! We met other parents on board and they all had similar complaints and found the staff to be extremely lazy. Princess Cays was the only fun point on this cruise. We spent the day swimming and my two kids had a great time snorkeling. We will NEVER cruise with Princess again. Next time, we might go back to RCCL or try Celebrity. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
Having cruised many times on various Cruise lines, the vast majority have been great with no real complaints. This last cruise was on the Emerald Princess to the Western Caribbean. It started off great until we got on the ship and ... Read More
Having cruised many times on various Cruise lines, the vast majority have been great with no real complaints. This last cruise was on the Emerald Princess to the Western Caribbean. It started off great until we got on the ship and everything went down hill from there. Although the food was good, the service for everything thing else was the worst we had experienced in all the years we have been cruising. Let's start with the cabin, which was a suite, with no towels, tissues, soap etc. We had to request everything over and over again in order to get the necessary needs of the day. Since we had no pool towels in our room, we hope to get some at the pool, but we were told to come back in two hours. We finally did get to sit and relax for a few moments when a rowdy family sat next to us and were creating all sorts of problems, We asked for their cooperation but they were pretty nasty and security was called and WE were asked to move to another location, even though we had been sitting there awhile. That night we thought we had a reservation at the restaurant but when we arrived, we were told to get to the back of the line and wait until they could seat us. That took a half an hour. Well we thought we would try our luck at the casino but when I won, they refused to pay, this happened 3 times until the other people at the table starting to complain. The table was then closed because people were winning and they did not like that. After a couple of more service issues, I requested to speak to customer services. In so many words they told us that they were sorry but would not do anything to assist us and as far as they were concerned the case was close and not to correspond or call them. Well as an Elite Member of Princess I was expecting a lot more. This was by far the worst service we had ever received anywhere on any vacation. All I can say is Bon Voyage Emerald Princess, your not Gem. We will never sail on any Princess ship again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
On our cruise July 25th, 2010 on the Emerald Princess from Fort Lauderdale we had a TOTAL power failure for 5 or 6 hours the first night out. After that, well, things just got worse. Oh, and I had made a 7:30 appointment to have my very ... Read More
On our cruise July 25th, 2010 on the Emerald Princess from Fort Lauderdale we had a TOTAL power failure for 5 or 6 hours the first night out. After that, well, things just got worse. Oh, and I had made a 7:30 appointment to have my very first acupuncture treatment ever that night. I went through with it, but imagine this; I'm lying there on the treatment table with pins stuck in me and NO LIGHTS ARE ON, NO AIR CONDITIONING, NO SHIP ENGINE, NO MEANS OF NAVIGATION AND NO LUCK! I learned later that we had drifted almost 24 miles north. Given the winds that night, we were lucky! Had the wind been from the East we COULD HAVE been driven onto the beach North of Lauderdale. Princess had flown an expert into St. Maarten to take a look at the computer/engine problems. We weren't sure we'd leave St. Maarten and if we did we weren't certain we wouldn't have engine trouble again. That first night engine failure took at least four days to get over, what with food spoilage and overworked staff to begin with and all of the passengers just plain exhausted from the excessive heat. Movies under the stars was a great idea and one night we made it ("Date Night") but why did they keep the overhead lights on? Those weren't necessary for navigation and it sure would have added to our enjoyment of the movie had it truly been "under the stars". That, and a LOT more deck chairs in that area. What makes me the angriest about the power failure, though, was that the Captain promised...PROMISED...a full explanation. We never got that. We did get a lousy $300 compensation (which I learned later that $300 is what is normally given for "Mother Nature" diversions, i.e. hurricanes, etc. ENGINE FAILURE IS NOT AN ACT OF GOD, IT'S AN ACT OF SOME STUPID HUMAN BEING or a poorly prepared ship! I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take Princess anymore! PS, nasty letter to follow! It has been said that "you get out of the cruise what you put into the cruise." BS! I didn't put a selfish corporation, a bad engine and a lying captain into MY cruise. However, when we finally did reach port (and yes, we missed going to Princess Cays), we loved the ports, all three of them (yes, Jimmy Buffetville included on Grand Turk...see, we went to see Jerry and Sally the trained conchs and believe me, that tour was worth the money.) What a great, great time on St. Maarten at Maho Beach and at St. Thomas at Megan's bay beach (what a beautiful island.) The Princess food at traditional dinner was awful! Was the ship overcrowded and understaffed? Seemed so. After all, it was built to handle 3010 passengers and we had 3418! The wait staff at our first table was pretty bad but the wait staff (2 persons not the regular 3) was great, Renat and Gabriella. We did have great weather, coming just after Bonnie and just before Colin. That's lucky. Too bad we couldn't have had a better maintained ship (and the ship was beautiful, too!) When we got off, we drove in our own car down to Miami (and on to the Everglades.) But in Miami we saw two ships; one had a water slide and the other a rock climbing wall. The Emerald didn't have either. It seems the Emerald was big, but all they did was add more cabins not more public areas of cruising fun! More money for corporate but you'd think they'd add some features for us passengers! Overall, I wonder if I'll ever travel with Princess again and most certainly not with the Emerald. Maybe next time we'll just bite the bullet and pay for a more luxurious cruise ship. Yes, engine problems happen. But with a well maintained ship they are reduced a lot and when the Captain of the ship says something I expect it to be carried out even if to say "at this time we still don't know the exact cause but here's what we do know right now". Not everyone cares what happened. But I'm sure I'm not the only one who wanted to know what happened. Even now, a week later at home, I don't know what happened. However, I have a feeling the Captain wanted to say something and was prevented by Corporate to reduce the possibility of legal action. Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
EMBARKATION We boarded the Emerald Princess in Copenhagen. The boarding process was simple and efficient, considering the number of passengers involved. The total time to board was around one hour. One annoyance was that Princess ran out ... Read More
EMBARKATION We boarded the Emerald Princess in Copenhagen. The boarding process was simple and efficient, considering the number of passengers involved. The total time to board was around one hour. One annoyance was that Princess ran out of coffee and water in the waiting area. We were able to access out cabins as soon as we boarded which was a pleasant surprise. CABINS Our cabin was an interior on the Baha deck. From the time we arrived there were problems. The suction for the commode did not work. It was repaired on four different occasions. We experienced a loss of ventilation for a twelve-hour period during the second night on board. After four days of problems and numerous calls to customer service, we were able to reach someone in authority who moved us to another cabin on the Aloha deck. The new cabin had no problems. Talking to other passengers we discovered that numerous cabins had problems with their commode suction. The Emerald Princess is a new ship. Problems as described above should be a rarity. SHIP LAYOUT/CONDITION One of the most egregious problems encountered during our cruise was the ship's lack of public area spaces. With over 3200 passengers on board and the inability to use the outside decks due to weather, there were people everywhere. The public areas seemed to be the same size as the Diamond and Sapphire Princess. Both of these ships have 750-800 less passengers. In order to get a good seat for shows and lectures in the Princess Theater and the Explorers Lounge, one needed to arrive a full hour prior to the event. On other ships that we have sailed, arriving thirty minutes ahead of time was more than adequate. One last observation: getting to the Bottecelli Dining Room was nearly impossible. Many folks needed the entire cruise before they found their way to the space. Poorly laid out at best. Finally, the temperature inside the ship was far too warm most of the time. I heard more than a few complaints about the heat. SERVICE The ships crew was staffed by people from 42 countries. Cultural differences were evident. Our cabin attendant and dining room waiters (Philippines) were superb. Friendliness and service was consistently excellent. This cannot be said about the Horizon Buffett. Many of the wait staff were form Eastern Europe. Service ranges from excellent to downright poor. Many staff members displayed "attitude", especially during the breakfast time. Many days we had to get our own coffee and juice while the waiters stood around and watched. ENTERTAINMENT The entertainment offered was poor at best. The production shows were definitely not geared to mature audiences. We walked out of two of the three shows presented. There was an opera singer who was OK and the requisite Magician. The only saving grace was the comedy and (lecture) of Kevin Hughes. He was excellent! Other lecturers put us to sleep. The lady who did the port lectures spoke at length on the history of the area but offered little practical advice (i. e. where to exchange money, transportation, shopping etc.) PORT CALLS The ports selected (Oslo, Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin, Reykjavik, Greenland, and Newfoundland) were excellent. However, the time in many of the ports was so brief, that there was little time to explore on one's own. Additionally, tendering in Edinburgh and Greenland was an adventure by itself. We waited over an hour in line waiting to tender back from Greenland. Due to weather, we missed St. John's Newfoundland altogether. While severe weather in the North Atlantic is not unusual this time of year, Princess might have had a contingency plan in place such as maybe a stop in Bermuda or Princess Keys. FOOD The food on board was not up to Princess standards. We cruised on Golden Princess to Alaska in July, and the food was noticeably better. The main dining room vegetables were consistently undercooked. Desserts ranged from outstanding to not editable. The Horizon Buffet was average at best. A noticeable exception was the Pizza Bar and Hamburger Line. Both were very good. However, since both places were exposed to the elements, one didn't eat there very often. DEBARKATION The debarkation process could have been improved by placing a crew member in each assembly area to keep traffic flowing and passengers under control. There was a great deal of pushing and shoving in assembly areas. We were told to be available for leaving the ship at 7 AM but were not allowed to go ashore until 7:45 AM. OVERALL IMPRESSION We will cruise Princess again but never on Emerald Princess or any other Princess ship this large. It just wasn't worth the hassle. Other smaller Princess ships are more to our liking. I do not recommend this ship to anyone that is uncomfortable with large crowds. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
I don't know why this took me so long to write. I did send a survey to Princess and told them how dissatisfied my husband and I were when we took this cruise. We sailed October 31- Nov. 10, 2008. Needless to say we paid a hefty ... Read More
I don't know why this took me so long to write. I did send a survey to Princess and told them how dissatisfied my husband and I were when we took this cruise. We sailed October 31- Nov. 10, 2008. Needless to say we paid a hefty price for this Southern Carribean trip and we were so excited since it was our first time on Princess and all we heard were great things. Let me start with the positives: the waiters we had during dinner were fantastic, the room steward was good. The food at dinner was good. The ship was clean and beautiful. As the days proceeded we realized there was something very wrong on this ship. Or things had really changed since our last cruise, which we took a few years back on Carnival. There was never any entertainment after the late seating...and I mean never. There was one comedian and it was at one scheduled time therefore it was standing room only...we were standing outside the open lounge. We went to the specialty restaurant and the food was good...when the bus boy asked us what we wanted to drink I requested a glass of wine and the others (3) requested soft drinks...he smirked and said coke? ice tea? Like it was beneath him to serve us soft drinks. The main waiter asked for a tip at the end of the dinner!!! We were speechless..and like idiots gave him a tip (talk about no class) We arrived at one of the ports and we waited over 1hr in one of the theaters to be called off the ship, it was so disorganized. The the next port people were jammed in stairs and gangway and the cruise passengers were yelling at each other because they thought we were getting ahead of them when it was a crew member that sent us in that direction...I am surprised fist fights did not break out! This was our 8th cruise and I have never seen anything like this. The staff on the ship was rude, inattentive (pool deck, tour desk, buffet,etc) you had to pay for sushi, ice cream, etc.) It seemed like we were always looking for something to do or something to eat. One of the tours that we took in St. Kitts was a train ride...the train derailed. When we returned to the ship a lot of us were requesting some kind of compensation...they were SO rude and did not want to give us any kind of help. To make a long story short, my husband and I went to a cruise show at our local AAA office and there was a cruise rep from Princess. I went up to him very nicely and told him how I loved their itineraries but that my husband refuses to set foot on another Princes cruise ship because of the experience we had on our trip...I did not even tell him the name of the ship and he said and I quote " it was the Emerald Princess right?" I said yes and he said, "we cleaned house on the ship" I cannot believe that Princess did not write back to us and the other couple that was with us, after looking at the complaints that we sent. A good company would have made good for it in some way or other. SO FOLKS THE REASON I'M WRITING THIS NOW IS BECAUSE I JUST RETURNED FROM A CARNIVAL CRUISE THAT WAS EXCELLENT AND CRUISING IS STILL THE SAME AS WE DID BACK BEFORE WE WENT ON PRINCESS. THE FACT THAT PRINCESS KNEW ABOUT THE PROBLEM REALLY INFURIATED US...BECAUSE THEY CHOSE TO IGNORE IT!!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2008
Just returned from the worst cruise I've ever had. Sailed on Princess Emerald over Thanksgiving and I'll never sail them again. Have read many of the reviews about Princess and the Emerald, and here is what I thought. Regarding ... Read More
Just returned from the worst cruise I've ever had. Sailed on Princess Emerald over Thanksgiving and I'll never sail them again. Have read many of the reviews about Princess and the Emerald, and here is what I thought. Regarding embarkation - it went very smoothly. There is a reason Princess tells people that the ship won't board until 1:00 - why do people show up at 11:30 and then complain that they had to wait? The staff was very efficient and we had our bags in the room shortly after boarding. We arrived at the terminal at 1:15 and walked right on the ship. The maitre'd was not available to meet with people until 3:00 for dining changes. What's the rush? Show up early and sit or stand until 12:45. It's up to you - but doesn't make sense to me. Everything we received from Princess recommended that you arrive after 2 to get on board quickly. Disembarking went smoothly; we waited until our assigned time, showed up at the theatre and walked right off the ship. Bags were located and a cab hailed down by the Porter. Now, regarding the cruise itself... For the first three nights I didn't even know what I was ordering in the dining room. They spent so much time trying to be clever with the names of their food, they forgot to add taste. Horrible food. It got better, but that's only because of Maine lobster and crab. Otherwise, I can only remember my excitement to see a peanut butter and banana sandwich on the buffet. Yes, that was exciting. The buffet is the worst I've ever seen - in food quality and design. There is no "in" or "out" - people bumping into each other, all lost. In the morning there were always at least 6 people standing in the middle of an aisle waiting for omelets or eggs. And I've never seen soup and lunchmeat for breakfast. On the final day they didn't even have oatmeal! I ordered room service breakfast most days and ate cold cereal. Had breakfast twice in the dining room and WAS NOT impressed. The poached eggs were overdone and the french toast the worst I've ever had. Horrible syrup, as well. The coffee is HORRIBLE. Don't forget to tip your room service staff. The sandwiches on the room service menu were GREAT and the french fries were fantastic. In the buffet, however, salads during lunch were tasteless. Our balcony room on Caribe was lovely and I loved the oversized balcony, but we seldom used it because of the smokers! I would think Princess would designate a smoking side of the ship like Royal Caribbean. What a shame! The design of the ship itself left much to be desired. On decks 5, 6 and 7 you had to go up or down stairs to get back to your destination. How horrible for anyone handicapped. Our cabin steward, John, made our trip. He was delightful. Our water was mediocre - messed up orders regularly, but had a nice personality. We were surprised with his incompetence since he's been with Princess for 12 years AS A WAITER. Hmmmmmmmm. The head waiter was arrogant. The maitre'd was a joy. I injured my back prior to the cruise, so was shipbound and couldn't partake in the excursions and found virtually NOTHING to do on this ship. The activities are horrible. The MUTS was not used, as the majority of the nights they played football games. During the day you couldn't see the screen. This ship is the same size as the Brilliance of the Seas, which we LOVED - but this one felt like a sardine can. People everywhere - and RUDE people on sea days that used extra chairs to put their feet on, leaving NO place for others to sit. And these were the senior citizens who should have known better! The pools are too small, the hot tubs always full. There was no place to escape the sun near the pool decks; there were far too few lounge chairs in the shaded areas. The drink prices are way too high with no daily specials. The lounges seemed empty most of the time - and I'm sure the $7.50 cost of a drink was one of the reasons! We ate at Sabatini's - the lobster was horrible. Caribbean lobster - tough and some kind of weird "sauce" with it. YUK! And.. last but not least.. the top heavy nature of this ship made it the roughest ride we've EVER been on with calm seas. Would I recommend this ship? NO. Will I ever sail Princess again? NO WAY! And, thank you, Princess, for making us rethink ever taking another cruise! Two of our three shore excursions the group took started an hour late and ended an hour early. I inquired with the desk as to why - and never got an answer. We paid $109 for the St. Thomas full day sail - were shorted in time and never got to St. John's beach. In Aruba we were supposed to have 2 snorkel stops - but they were 20 minutes long each. Way overpriced; booked as a 6 hour excursion, it was changed to 5 when we got on board and in actuality was 4 hours. We paid far more than the 4 hour tour and got no renumeration for this shortage. The hypnotist act was fantastic; two of our 15 traveling together ended up on stage. Amazing! We traveled with novice cruisers and they won't ever sail again. Princess Cays was pretty but over crowded and the Chef's buffet was lousy. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being horrible and 10 being fantastic, this is our first 1-2 cruise. What a waste of hard earned vacation time and money. I would like to thank Jessica, the Acupuncturist, however, for the best $800 worth of treatment I could have gotten. I wish I had gone to her in the beginning; she had me pain free and walking after 3 treatments and I've sought out a Chinese acupuncturist here at home to continue. She was fantastic. Princess was not. Read Less
Sail Date November 2007
I've only sailed with Princess once before but it will be a cold day in Alaska before I ever cruise with them again. Regarding embarkation - it went very smoothly once we were inside the building. But I've never seen so many ... Read More
I've only sailed with Princess once before but it will be a cold day in Alaska before I ever cruise with them again. Regarding embarkation - it went very smoothly once we were inside the building. But I've never seen so many pushy people before in my life and most of them seemed to be seniors. One gentleman faked a bad limp with a cane and got them to take him on in a wheelchair. But amazingly when we would arrive at a port he would be walking normal and switching his cane from hand to hand as he strolled along. Shame on him. Disembarking went smoothly. We arrived at our assigned location and we were off the ship on about 15 minutes, had our luggage and we were on our way. As far as the cruise goes.............where to start. The first night in the dining room was terrible and it seemed as though the wait staff were all new because no one knew what was going on. I figured since it was the first night it was okay. But the second night was the same. We couldn't get our drinks (ice tea) refilled and another couple at our table went an hour before they got anything at all. When I asked our waiter about drinks and refills he gave me the excuse that another dining room had opened at the same time with another 1000 people in it. So I approached the Captain or our section and asked him what was going on and if our waiter and assistant were having to help elsewhere. He said no and that he would have a talk with them. After that our drinks were refilled without having to track someone down. But the food was terrible with not much taste at all. And our waiter could not explain what the evenings meals were. When I asked him about a dish he would just say "that's fish" or "that's pork". And the paring of the vegetables for the meals were supposed to be prepared especially for that dish. It's funny how asparagus was served with almost every meal along with quartered potatoes. On to the buffet............I've never seen anything so ridiculous in my life. The lines started at both ends with people meeting at the middle. There were people sometimes pushing me from both sides and people reaching in from behind me to get items from the buffet. And the selection of food was terrible. Every morning there several types of fish, lunch meat and soup. I like to try new things but not like this. I could never get eggs cooked properly. The egg whites were always runny and clear, not white. The french toast was hard and crusty and the syrup didn't taste good at all. They always had hash browns available, but were only cooked on the outside with the middle being undercooked. And since this is a buffet you would think you could get your own drinks, but they wanted you towait until the wait staff came around to get you something. Most of the time I was done eating before I could get anything to drink. And they wouldn't put out salt and pepper shakers. You either had to season your food before you sat down or ask for little packets from the wait staff. As far as lunch........no better than breakfast. we finally gave up on the formal dining room when someone at a table behind us kept passing out and it took over 20 minutes to get medical staff there. And immediately after that they quarantined the section next to us as they wheeled a older lady out and covered up the table with a tablecloth. Then they had someone come in and put on a hazmat suit and clean it up. As we were leaving the were putting the quarantine tape around our area. We found out that there had been an outbreak of the noro-virus. We finally resorted to eating burgers and fries for lunch and for dinner and we went to the Crown Grill twice. The first time we had a waiter named Greg and he was fantastic and the food was what you would expect from an upscale restaurant. He was very informative and explained the entire menu to us. And then had the kitchen prepare a special arrangement of side dishes and a sampling of desserts. But the second time it seemed as though we had someone who was filling in and not informed about the meals. The food was okay, but not what we would have expected for paying the additional $25 per person. MUTS was okay, but nothing exciting as there were a lot of football games on. Drinks were way over priced. Who wants to pay $7.50 for a drink? It's no wonder the bars were mostly empty. The shows were okay, but nothing spectacular. Most nights it was obvious that most of the performers were lip syncing. The best part of our trip was the shore excursions. Granted they were over-priced, but they were a lot of fun. We wanted to use the hot tubs at night but were informed that all pools were closed at 10pm. Most cruises I've been on have at least one area that's open late, so we didn't get to take advantage of a late night soak in the hot tubs as we usually do. I'm not sure who thought up the layout of this ship but it could have been planned better. We had an older couple at our dining room table with us and we all hit it off really well. When we would leave the dining room, we'd have to take the stairs or the elevator to get to the next floor because you can't go through the ship on every deck. This made it hard for the older couple because the elevators were so busy right after dinner and they'd have to wait for one to open up. I sure hope someone from Princess reads these reviews. And I hope it's someone in charge somewhere because they really need to make some changes with this ship and it needs to start with the staff. I felt like they knew they were going to get their tips because it's put on our cabin bill. But this was the first time I've ever removed the tips and I felt it was the right thing to do. Not wanting to penalize our cabin steward, we gave her cash for the entire period. I know Princess is owned by Carnival, but I'm going back to Carnival after this cruise. I've had better service from a Denny's than on this cruise and it's consistently good service. Maybe Princess should send their wait staff there for training? Our cabin was nice but not as big as I would have expected for a balcony. And we always had the smell of cigarettes or cigars when we on the balcony and the hallway wreaked on the cigarette smoke. But on a good note our cabin steward was great. Read Less
Sail Date November 2007
We chose this cruise for the destination, but sadly the Emerald Princess quickly became a disappointment. Lack of entertainment, sub-par food, and horrible dining room attire rules. Nice shorts and shirt NOT acceptable but jeans and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the destination, but sadly the Emerald Princess quickly became a disappointment. Lack of entertainment, sub-par food, and horrible dining room attire rules. Nice shorts and shirt NOT acceptable but jeans and sports jersey's are acceptable on a Formal night. NO entertainment pool side on either sea days. They turned the music on for ice-carving then quickly turned the unacceptable playlist to very low. I understand the population on the cruise was a little older, but they were happy to listen to our music when we brought out our music player. All the pool guests around us were complaining. The drink package - they really encourage you not to use it, limits and rules for every situation. The spa was nice, although pricey - but that's expected on cruises they increase the price. Positive - I like the hand- washing stations at the entrance of the buffet. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We have cruised with other lines before and decided to try Princess based on a recommendation from our travel agent due to the specific ports we wanted to visit. We did a 14 day cruise with Princess Cruise lines. Never made it to Mykonos ... Read More
We have cruised with other lines before and decided to try Princess based on a recommendation from our travel agent due to the specific ports we wanted to visit. We did a 14 day cruise with Princess Cruise lines. Never made it to Mykonos due to a storm. Food was average but nothing spectacular. Too many starchy foods. Not enough vegetables and fruits. Entertainment was just okay. Not enough planned activities accept pushing bingo games and paper airplane races. Don’t buy a drink package. If on Dolphin Deck, the tinder boats are under you and when they are launched at 6 am, you will be knocked out of bed by the noise. Gym was sub par. Two standard stationary bikes for the whole ship to use. The Sanctuary area is a joke. Don’t waste your money for $80 a day. The art auction staff must all be new as they didn’t have full knowledge on the artist they were selling. Overall staff were not as friendly as on other cruise lines we have travelled on. I honestly do not believe we will ever cruise with Princess in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
The food quality and selection is not what I have been used to on Princess cruise. Was served French fries with a filet mignon. Being on a Mediterranean cruise would have expected a better selection of seafood and fish. King prawns were ... Read More
The food quality and selection is not what I have been used to on Princess cruise. Was served French fries with a filet mignon. Being on a Mediterranean cruise would have expected a better selection of seafood and fish. King prawns were the size of baby shrimps. Although the MichelAngelo waiting staff was really courteous and helpful. Pedro the head waiter was good to find us nice and enjoyable people to sit with. Front desk service is useless they give you the run around! We were booked on a shore excursion on our day of disembarking but the bus couldn’t carry luggage. It would have been great to visit Mykonos but the rough sea prevent it us to port.... the captain decided for the safety of the passenger to continue our route. I’m glad that he made that call for our safety. Princess didn’t live up to their slogan.... Come Back New! I found that Princess cruise line has been going down in quality over the last 5 years. It not what it used to be. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was my family's first cruise on Princess and I have to say we are extremely disappointed. We experienced so many issues, the most important being with poor quality of service. Here is some of what we experienced: - Nights two ... Read More
This was my family's first cruise on Princess and I have to say we are extremely disappointed. We experienced so many issues, the most important being with poor quality of service. Here is some of what we experienced: - Nights two and three we had horrible (and by horrible I mean nonexistent) service at dinner. Our other tables in our large party were literally finishing their entrees and we had yet to receive our appetizers. I still could not tell you who our assistant server was after our 7 night cruise because he was nowhere to be found. On night three no one came to our table for over a half hour. - The toilet in one of our rooms clogged like clockwork every night for the first three nights and instead of apologizing and fixing the problem the plumber essentially accused us of putting something other than toilet paper down the toilet (we didn't). When we would try to call the desk to have someone repair it no one would answer the phone, forcing us to walk to the lobby each time. After the third time the toilet broke, we went back to the desk and I could see one of the women at the desk mocking me as I spoke to her colleague. In front of my face. I work in the hospitality industry and can assure you that while direct and frustrated, I was very polite and calm while interacting with him. Completely uncalled for. Finally the next morning the plumber actually disassembled and repaired the toilet instead of the usual quick-fix from the previous nights. It worked fine after this. - The toilets in the public women's rooms were often filthy and would remain this way for hours. - The currency machines were out of order 80% of the time. The machines to check your account balance were down the last two nights of the cruise, causing insanely long lines at the front desk. When directed to the desk to exchange money, they acted as though guests were a bother. Every crew member we spoke with at the front desk was incredibly unprofessional and far from friendly. - In fact, most staff we interacted with on the cruise were unprofessional, unapologetic, and rude, making it very apparent they do not enjoy their jobs and do not wish to be there. After constant issues, sometimes all you want is a seemingly genuine apology, and we never received that. Not once. - Like I said, the attitude of most staff we encountered was poor to say the least. A couple examples: We watched an employee in the photography studio on the last night of our cruise yell (loudly!) and berate an elderly woman who took a photo of one of her pictures, not realizing this was not allowed. He followed her around the store yelling loudly for everyone to hear, demanding she delete the photo immediately. This was NOT the proper way to handle this situation and everyone around was mortified and embarrassed for her. Another night while shopping in Calypso Cove if you needed assistance from a staff member you would not receive it. Why? The two working were arguing in front of the store. - Want a drink at night? If you are directed to a bar that is supposed to be open until 11pm, prepare to get there only for them to be completely shut down and unable to pour you a drink by 10:30, a half hour before closing time. This happened twice at Adagio. - Spa staff was polite and helpful, until there was a concern with one of the treatments. Their demeanor then completely changed and became curt and defensive. - Disembarkation was chaotic. We did the walk-off option as we had to be off the ship early, and our entire group had to carry our 50+ pound suitcases down over ten flights of stairs because it was impossible to get an elevator. Three of the five elevators were marked 'R' for reserved and the other two were at capacity for over twenty minutes before we opted to take the stairs. Two people in our party who were unable to take the stairs waited over 45 minutes for an elevator. Children, seniors, and everyone in between were lugging their gigantic suitcases down the stairwells. POSITIVES: - Our stateroom, while dated, was always very clean. Our steward Winston was so friendly, always asking about our day with a genuine smile. - The restaurant 'Share' by Curtis Stone was excellent. We loved our food and entire experience here and agree it was definitely worth the up-charge. We wish we came here more than once - The Ports of Call were great. We loved each destination. It should be noted that we did not book any of our excursions through the cruiseline, only outside companies. - Embarkation was smooth, quick, and efficient. As first-time guests on Princess, we are beyond disappointed. After one day of this, we thought 'maybe this is a one-off.' But the continuous issues and unapologetic staff day in and day out made this vacation far from relaxing. We had high hopes and expectations and this cruise did not live up to them. For all of these reasons I would not recommend Princess cruiseline. I have no experience on their other ships but this one specifically was disappointing. I have sailed with three other cruiselines and have never experienced such poor service. My family spent a ton of money for what should have been the trip of a lifetime and while the ports were fabulous (again, excursions not booked through Princess) our time on the ship was stressful, agitating, and honestly shocking. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Emerald Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.5 3.8
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 5.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.0

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