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165 Princess Emerald Princess Cruise Reviews

Let me start by saying we are not picky and the type to gripe about little things. That being said I was very disappointed in our cruise on the Emerald Princess. We did the same cruise last year on the Caribbean Princess and was very happy ... Read More
Let me start by saying we are not picky and the type to gripe about little things. That being said I was very disappointed in our cruise on the Emerald Princess. We did the same cruise last year on the Caribbean Princess and was very happy with that cruise. We chose Princess again because of the food, I feel Princess has a lot better food than Carnival so we went with Princess. The food did not disappoint, it was very good and the service in the dining room was great!!! The problem we had was this boat has very few activities on sea days, this was a spring break cruise so the average age was much younger than what is usually on this ship. I still have no idea who the cruise director was, never heard or saw him/her. There are things like bridge and knitting classes, line dancing classes things you would see in a senior citizen home. Almost every show was an attempt to sell something. The ship is a nice ship almost the same as the Caribbean Princess but the entertainment was lacking to put it nicely. If you are 75 years old you will love it as it will be just like a nursing home if you are young and have kids re think this cruise!!!!! Since most gratuities are automatic the bar staff could really care less it took forever to get a drink or refill and they acted as if it was a hassle to serve a drink. We loved Princess last year but this cruise makes me look at that line very different now. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
My father and I went on the Emerald Princess (dubbed the money pit later by me). Our destinations were Rotan, Belize city and Cozumel. The cruse was great except the elaborate prices for anything other than iced tea or water. Also the ... Read More
My father and I went on the Emerald Princess (dubbed the money pit later by me). Our destinations were Rotan, Belize city and Cozumel. The cruse was great except the elaborate prices for anything other than iced tea or water. Also the gratuity that is charged for ordering a drink at the bar. And I have never seen a casino that charged for drinks to players and then charged gratuity to boot (until now that is). The food was average on the buffet and dinner was a 7 out of 10 I would say so not to bad there. The shows were the best part of anything aboard except they let kids sit anywhere and all of the screaming kids accompanied by bad parenting skills were distracting to everyone including the performers. Drink prices if you are not clever enough or are to honest to pour out a bottle of mouth wash and smuggle food coloring /vodka in the mouthwash bottle are $9.50 + $2.95 gratuity for a very small glass - screw driver, Scotch and water so on Wine was anywhere from $7 to $22 a glass depending so no big deal there. I think that's about normal. Beer was $6 per or 5 for $25 about what I pay at a pro game NBD there either. Mixed drinks like the "Isaak" were $15 along with Margareta's and any other frozen mixed drink that required as far as I can tell 2 brain cells to make. I cant figure out why the price difference because the content was the same. $15 for a Margareta and $15 for a Blue Margareta or a long island iced tea which has several shots I think. And last but not least is the shore excursions... Holy Cow!!!!! Looked but not booked... went ashore and got them at least half price from locals as I am used to doing this and I speak the language very well and I tip and tip very well at least 20% according to effort of my provider not because someone makes me do it. swimming with the dolphins was $169 per aboard the ship for 1/2 hour. booked the trip with a local including driver round trip and lunch 2 hour tour was $99 .... for 2 (WAMO). Didn't get to Belize city due to bad seas. ( not the captains fault) But we trolled along to Mexico at 4 knots to waste the day instead of cruising on and spending more time in Cozumel. No itinerary refund BTW just an "We are sorry but thanks for your port and docking money anyway". Unless you just love being at sea and watching daytime shows that are for kids or have kids in them like all of the bars... (who lets their kids in bars with a bunch of old drunks?) Or fantastic night time entertainment (really the best part of the whole ship trip) with again a bunch of screaming brats running wild. (they even let them run wild on formal night in the dining room). Some peoples .. and their children... I am back to flying folks! I'll spend my time and money there not on the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope this helps someone who is thinking about but has never been on a cruse.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
I have cruised 3 times with Carnival and enjoyed each one. Was given a chance to try Princess and thought it would be a step up. The ship was okay. Our cabin was a balcony and we enjoyed coffee there in the morning. Our bathroom had a ... Read More
I have cruised 3 times with Carnival and enjoyed each one. Was given a chance to try Princess and thought it would be a step up. The ship was okay. Our cabin was a balcony and we enjoyed coffee there in the morning. Our bathroom had a urine smell and it took some cleaning and shower curtain change to help improve the smell. Cabin steward was not as happy or helpful as we have experienced on Carnival. There was a sewage smell in some of the common areas. That was unpleasant to say the least. Food in the dining room was ok. Liked Carnivals selection better. Our servers in the dining room were great. The buffet was awful. The selection was small and the food that was supposed to be hot was cold by the time we walked to out table. Breakfast was so bad we opted to eat cold cereal and coffee on our balcony on most mornings. We will cruise again but it wont be with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
This was an interesting experience for my wife and me... My 4th cruise, her 5th or 6th- and our 3rd Princess trip. To be honest, I'd known ahead of time I wold not be thrilled with the ports, but we were just making an attempt to have ... Read More
This was an interesting experience for my wife and me... My 4th cruise, her 5th or 6th- and our 3rd Princess trip. To be honest, I'd known ahead of time I wold not be thrilled with the ports, but we were just making an attempt to have a break from our everyday lives. The good: Embarkation from Houston was pretty seamless. We had arranged for transfers from the airport to the cruise through Princess and that went well, though there was (as always) a pretty extensive wait to get on the ship. We had flown out the day before and stayed close to Hobby so there was no stress regarding timelines. Once on the ship, our stateroom was ready and very nice- first time for an inside cabin. Our room attendant was great (Supatra, from India) and we had no issues with our accommodations. My wife is sensitive to motion sickness so we were a little apprehensive about being inside- but really quiet overall and a pleasant experience. The ship: Crew was almost without fail polite, courteous, and pleasant. I had very few times when I was not greeted in passing any of the crew. The Emerald Princess was well-kept and clean- maybe the best of the cruises I have experienced. Not so good: Ports. (But I mentioned that previously)- In Roatan, Honduras we opted for a nature walk through an outside agency on western end of the island- it was not the best, but we *did* get off the ship. We weren't able to do anything related to water this trip so our options were limited. The ship did not stop at Belize due to weather; at Cozumel we got off the ship and went briefly to the terminal/shopping area. Really not a fan of these kinds of areas!! Shipboard food: We tried a variety of options, met with differing outcomes. Buffet food (Horizon) was the worst of 3 Princess cruises. Bland, not hot, I don't know. Disappointing. Rolls were outstanding!! Specialty dining (Crown Grill) was also disappointing- waiter was great but food so-so. My wife's filet was good but my steak was overcooked and tough. Sides were not as hot as they could have been. Dessert was good. International Cafe- best overall food experience- and lattes!!! (Get a coffee card...) We had a number of lunches here and service was always good. Entertainment: We didn't see much, but what we experienced was not the best. Piazza steel drums and piano- not good. Piano- not good. Outstanding? Stephen Burke from England- guitar, singer. We followed him pretty much nightly from one venue to another. So- Overall, an OK experience but not one worth repeating. As an aside, I'm not into partying and drinking, and the ports weren't exciting so, in all fairness- this cruise might not have been the best choice. Also, comparing this to my previous cruises (Princess Panama Canal and Alaska and RC Europe) just isn't fair. For some this might have been just what they needed to "Come Back New".   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Overall cruise was good, all days in port were sunny and warm. All three "at sea" days were cloudy. Last day was day from "you know where"!!!! Ship arrived back in port 4+ hours late (due in port at 7am) because of fog ... Read More
Overall cruise was good, all days in port were sunny and warm. All three "at sea" days were cloudy. Last day was day from "you know where"!!!! Ship arrived back in port 4+ hours late (due in port at 7am) because of fog which caused an untold amount of problems, especially missed flights (ours included at 1:55pm). All Princess could say was "thank you for your patience", offering no other assistance to passengers. After all, they had already gotten our money...thank you, bye now!! Nice ship with a friendly and helpful crew. Tried one "happy hour" at the Wheelhouse bar, not worth the hassle unless you are there an hour before......had to wait 30 minutes to get served !! Food..... not impressed with the buffet food !!! We have sailed 7 other times with Princess and have always enjoyed the offerings at the Horizon Court. Let's say, this time the food was not as in the past. We don't do the main dining rooms because we prefer the casual atmosphere of the buffet. Did have a great meal at Sabatini's, portions on the small side, but extremely good !!!! Worth the extra cost. Entertainment was good, not the best, but not the worst either. Have enjoyed many great show in the past. Shore excursions..... didn't take any. "Been here, did that" !! Did look at the offerings...... very expensive !!! Something is changing with Princess, can't quite put my finger on it, but we're going to take a break from them.   Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We always enjoy cruising and nothing terrible happened on our latest voyage on Emerald Princess from Houston Texas. But the bar is set high for ships sailing our blue oceans and Princess fell far short of the competition. I shall dwell on ... Read More
We always enjoy cruising and nothing terrible happened on our latest voyage on Emerald Princess from Houston Texas. But the bar is set high for ships sailing our blue oceans and Princess fell far short of the competition. I shall dwell on the negative in my notes here, but really to be a warning about items I found distasteful and distracting. There were positives as well which I listed too. I will never sail with Princess again, so this is my one-and-only review. Clearly, many customers like their ships and stay with them. On our ship, a couple was listed in the most traveled on Princess with 198 cruises for 1400+ days at sea! That is impressive - 4 years of sailing! - Maleficent's husband (these opinions are mine and may not fully represent those of my dear wife) CONS: * Be AWARE that any big change to your booking may cancel all or part of your shore excursions, dining reservations, upgrades, and credits! Princess appears to take great pride in stealing from customers by charging for these services and then "forgetting" about them once the passenger arrives! I am serious. We split a party of 4 from one cabin into two and all the bookings vanished for the boys we moved (so it was not obvious to us). Discovering this too late while already leaving port made it impossible to recover without "evidence". Yes, they would do NOTHING for us since we failed to bring WRITTEN PROOF for any pre-paid activity or benefit. Their records of our payments were erased entirely and all I heard was "it is not in our computer", which (as you know) means "I think you are a lying customer". They really do not trust you to be correct; I suppose that many customers must be attempting to scam the company and those White Uniformed "officers" have lost faith in humanity. * When our nephew lost his ship card, we were challenged to prove he had the Beverage Option - even though they gave it to him at departure and all our party could show our tags. They simply do not think the customer is to be believed. DO NOT SAIL WITH THESE THIEVES! * Anytime dining means "NOT being able to eat at ANY TIME" - thus, only certain times are open for reservations. Basically, from 6 pm - 8 pm, you must show up and wait in line, which can be 40+ minutes on some nights. * The $25/person upgrade dining was just okay; not bad, but about what you get for that price on land. * The "free" food was average; the pizza was popular but I did not think it so grand. Orange juice was watered down too much, but pine apple juice was okay. * Service for ice cream (really a frozen ice milk) is NOT self-service. Although this appears to be an upgrade, it just creates a long line to get food (on other lines, it takes 30 seconds to get a cup of custard). * At the buffet, you have to sit down to get any drink (other than water or tea), so add 10 minutes if you wish to take your food to the pool or stateroom. * They have the smallest cups for juice (about 3 oz) unless you ask for a large and convince them you will drink what you order (again, the lack of trust in customers). * The entertainment was a band (aka "orchestra") of 5 with the cruise director singing. He was listed as vocally trained and can sing better than me, but not so good as in Broadway-class shows from the other lines. * The magician was fairly good at slight-of-hand but his "tricks" were taken from his own Magic Store (which he plugged) and could be done by anyone; although he did them well, they were fairly obvious as the 3-rope trick is an old stand-by. Then, he showed his kids' video for 10 minutes to plug their acting careers! He gets "Dad Points" for that, but it was boring. * The daily newsletter (event listing) was NOT available at the customer service desk or at kiosks around the ship (like Carnival, Disney and others do) - so don't lose it or forget it - you get ONE copy per cabin! * My primary gripe was with the Shore Excursion desk; the nameless White Uniform man there was rude and of no "service" at all. I admit that my worst side came to the surface as I challenged him at the end of my first visit that I would resolve the ticketing problem and prove him wrong (Princess cancelled half of my group's tickets) even after he insisted that the "computer is always correct". I called my travel agent (Debbie at Cruises Only is a SAINT) who was helpful and found the record of our purchase. Sadly, she never could convince Princess of that fact and the issue was never resolved. I still have two paid tickets to see Belize that Princess refuses to refund to me - again, be cautious and BRING WRITTEN PROOF OF EVERY PAYMENT TO THESE SCOUNDRELS!! PROS: * The ship is basically clean, but typical in appearance without any special options. * Good wait staff & room staff too! This is nearly universal as these are the hardest workers at sea that you will encounter on any cruise line. These folks were delightful, funny, engaging and also helpful. * Our teens really loved it - first cruise so all was new and they found a good group to join and create friendships. We were concerned about not having enough in their age group, but (although true), it was not a problem. * The cruise director does not use the PA (public address) into the state rooms to announce activities - this was great as even my favorite line (Disney) interrupts my daytime naps too often to tell me about ice carving... * The medical staff was nice & friendly. Our nephew god a wood splinter in his finger from the hot-tub (sigh, some ship maintenance needed there), but they helped him remove it. They waived the $45 fee as well (but, of course, they should have). * The Beef Chili from room service was great! And that service was quick and accurate and the stewards were very kind and helpful - don't forget to tip those folks! * The add-on for drinks was a hit for our teen-age nephews who ordered every possible "virgin" beverage as much as 10 times per day! * The room steward has the key to unlock the connecting doors on the balconies! On all my other cruises, this became a 24-hour request to get that door opened, so this was easier and quicker than normal. However, when they did work on our deck, all the doors were opened for an hour and then everyone of them locked again, so we had to ask twice... * The other passengers were kind and gracious; at every meal, we shared a table and had very pleasant conversations with young and old alike. NOTES: * Be aware that the promenade deck, which provides a full 1/3 mile covered circuit of the ship is NOT on one level. I have never seen this before - you must go up from level 7 to 8 at the bow and back down as you make the loop. If stairs are a problem, then you cannot walk around the ship on that level. * On the 2-for-1 happy hour, be aware that you will get two of what you order, not your friends drink for free! Yes, they told us, but I just did not expect them to double my order rather than halve my bill (stupid me). Good drinks but very slow service when they are busy (35+ minutes per round). * If you drink, bring your bottle of wine per adult - was worth having it in our room. * The port of Houston is plagued by fog in some seasons (read more from others), which may delay departure and/or arrival. Be prepared in your travel planning for this as it seems to be likely. Our captain warned us every night about this possibility, which I suppose is good, but every time he talked on the PA to the entire ship (including staterooms), the news was never good. * Although our 15- & 16-year old boys loved the ship, they did not spend time in the teen lounge after day 2; it was an initial meeting place for the kids to bond in groups who then found the sports decks, gym and food areas to be their haunts as the ship's dedicated areas for them held little appeal. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Our cruise out of Houston was delayed about 18 hours. Though they blamed the delay on traffic in the channel, then weather, the fact is that the ship was still being provisioned more than three hours after we were supposed to leave. Our ... Read More
Our cruise out of Houston was delayed about 18 hours. Though they blamed the delay on traffic in the channel, then weather, the fact is that the ship was still being provisioned more than three hours after we were supposed to leave. Our scheduled departure time of 4:00 would have been impossible considering that trucks were still lined up and being offloaded after 7:00. Add to this a pallet of champagne was dropped on the pier as well as one of tomatoes was tipped over, the level of incompetence at Houston was unmatched by any port we have sailed out of. Then there was the pallet of luggage that was dropped into the water. It was recovered, but the people affected weren't told what happened until their soaked bags were delivered to their door. Two people in our group were affected, so I saw very closely how this was handled. Once the proper supervisors were notified, they did take care of cleaning..oh and a bottle of wine for the inconvenience. After all of our delays, we finally left on Monday morning about 10:30. Our first stop in Honduras was cancelled, so Costa Maya in Mexico was added. The docking there was aborted because of the weather. Our next stop was in Belize. Somehow, even with our cancelled port the day before we were late. Most of the water based shore excursions were cancelled because of the weather, but that was to be expected. We were able to book a tour on the pier. Our final stop was in Cozumel. We arrived on time, but for some reason we were kept on board for about 45 minutes while another ship was docked. This resulted in the shore excursions being cut short. While we can't blame the weather issues on Princess or the port, the initial delay was not weather related. If you are scheduled to sail from Houston I urge you to look into changing your reservation. The Port of Houston does not seem to be ready for large passenger ships. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We went on our 1st cruise on the Princess Caribbean. It was great. Our last cruise was on the Emerald. When we arrived at the terminal it was a nightmare to park and board, We stood in line for over 3 hours just to check in. When we ... Read More
We went on our 1st cruise on the Princess Caribbean. It was great. Our last cruise was on the Emerald. When we arrived at the terminal it was a nightmare to park and board, We stood in line for over 3 hours just to check in. When we finally got on the ship they immediately had a muenster drill and everyone was starving and very tired. Did not find the crew very informative or friendly. They seemed kind of confused and lost. More than once going to eat at the grill or Pizzeria the staff were very deadpan and unfriendly. The food in both the formal dining rooms and the buffet we sub-par at best. Out average time to eat in the dining rooms took 1 1/.2 hrs or sometimes more. There was not a lot of live entertainment going on. Certain parts of the ship smelled really bad.... like mildew and sewage. We did enjoy our excursions (one which was booked not thru the ship). Not enough smoking areas. When wanting a beverage you really had to hunt someone down and search for an open bar. Then when we arrived back to the terminal it took forever to disembark and get out of the parking lot. Our experience on the Princess Caribbean was like night and day compared to the Emerald. We will definitely sail with Princess again but NOT ON THIS SHIP!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
congratulations Princess Lines this was my first and last ever cruise, singlehandedly Princess lines with the assistance of an arrogant self opinionated cruise director took two weeks of my life that I will never get back. I had hoped to ... Read More
congratulations Princess Lines this was my first and last ever cruise, singlehandedly Princess lines with the assistance of an arrogant self opinionated cruise director took two weeks of my life that I will never get back. I had hoped to propose to my partner in a romantic setting but the cruise was so bad it didn't seem appropriate time or place. lets get the good things out of the way first. the staff (less entertainment) were fantastic and couldn't do enough for you. we were blessed with a personal waiter who's only ambition was to ensure that we enjoyed the most fantastic food. The chefs produced the most exquisite culinary delights on a daily basis hundreds of times a day. my partner is a coeliac and choice was limited but our waiter Mo went out of his way to try and accommodate her needs. the staff and the chefs were a credit to the cruise. the ship was immaculately clean and the staff worked tirelessly to maintain the standard. the cabin was clean well serviced and comfortable with every need catered for. however the entertainment was at best a joke and ruined what I was hoping a holiday of a lifetime. piano player that lacked any personality in the piazza who partially played tunes and played bum notes all over the place, equally the violinist and pianist lacked any spark clearly they hated what they were doing. the pub bar ever night featured a non fluent English speaking singer that sang from a computer screen wrong words and awkward silences as she tried to catch up with the words. john Denver was in a dessert as apposed to a desert, humorous but typical of the second rate entertainment. looking forward to the entertainment in the ships theatre I was equally generally disappointed, the resident dance group had two 30 min evening of unco-ordinated un rehearsed bouncing around the stage, lead singers were terrible, I've seen better and more entertaining school nativity plays. all introduced by an over exuberant compare who presents like a children's TV presenter. the queen present was excellent and entertained for nearly an hour. this was even tainted by waiters wandering backwards and forwards through the lines of seats disturbing the audience delivering drinks other acts were hardly headline acts, one from opportunity knocks. for those who don't know its an historic X Factor type show in black and white. other theatre extravagances included a violin recitals. through the day there were numerous table top sales each descended into a jumble sale type event. how many art sales can be done on a cruise, nearly every day one was held. who in there right mind thought up a knitters and natters group and a lecture using twitter and turned out to be on how to send n email, not surprisingly the computer broke down and took a lot of frantic fiddling to sort out. other lectures included acupuncture and the stars at night, one lecture interesting but over and over again tiresome. despite the two fires and the crew running around in life jackets while the passengers looked on in bewilderment. I thought it was women and children first not captain and crew and then the rest, an explanation from the captain that there was nothing he could do about it. other entertainment included Bingo for goodness sake to pay nearly 3k for a holiday I don't expect to see bingo on the menu, but the crowning glory was the three days at sea and the golf was being played. the cruise director for what reason I don't know cancelled the daytime entertainments to accommodate the golf. I was told that about 100 people asked to watch the golf, 3000 passengers on the cruise which means that 2900 passengers views were ignored. two TV channels in the cabin showed the golf and it was on every TV monitor in public areas and on the main screen next to the pool. in effect those who didn't like the golf were forced to seek other entertainment or confine themselves to their cabin. the attitude of the cruise director was "Oh well I can't entertain everyone all the time." I agree but to go out his way to provide a disgustingly poor entertainment and not care about it is beneath contempt and is exactly the way I feel he views the passengers. With contempt. when challenged I found him arrogant , rude unhelpful and self opinionated. some of the films shown were modern up to date films but mostly were old and pasted their sell by date and would have been seen by most people. there's more but you get the general idea. Day trips thankfully were outside the influences of the entertainment team and were what you made of them, information on the ports was available and good maps of the area were on hand. time on shore was sparse only 6 hrs at most ports, longer would have been nice. I was disgusted with the treatment of the disabled. ship staff were fantastic and got the disabled off the ship. at many ports they were then segregated away from the group and subjected to nearly 1 hr sitting in the hot sun. in conclusion the entertainment was CRAP with regard to the administration very poor communication and returning calls. had I known what I know now with regard to administration I would have cancelled. My name is Nick, the booking is in my name, my credit card paid for the cruise, my credit card paid for the cruise bill at the end. my email address is used by princess lines, but still they insist calling me Brenda despite assurances from customer services that they wouldn't. returning call they don't. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
This was our first cruise holiday, and we were expecting a relaxing two weeks with good accommodation, top quality dining and some reasonable entertainment. Our first disappointment was the 'stateroom', a cabin area of small ... Read More
This was our first cruise holiday, and we were expecting a relaxing two weeks with good accommodation, top quality dining and some reasonable entertainment. Our first disappointment was the 'stateroom', a cabin area of small proportions with bedding which to say the least had seen better days. Our steward called his superior and she was horrified at the state of sheets and pillows. These were changed immediately but not a lot better than the originals. We had chosen anytime dining and as food was identical in any of the main three restaurants we decided to eat at the Michelangelo. The quality of cooking was to say the least variable, but one aspect certainly was an inability to cook fish. Scallops were overcooked and on one occasion returned to the kitchen as they were unrecognizable both by us and our very good waiters. Fillets of Lemon Sole did not taste of anything and as we live 50 metres from a fish market we do know what fish looks like and how it should taste. The meat dishes fared a little better and we did receive three good steak dishes, but on our final evening everything was overcooked and tough. A new style of Apple Strudel arrived one evening which consisted of two slices of thick pastry with tinned apple mush between. Apple Strudel should be a confection of thin pastry rolled up round a filling and baked.(see Oxford English Dictionary) Lunchtimes were buffet style and of variable quality, but at no time could one honestly say the food was good. Smoked Salmon made guest appearances, and if you enjoyed this on a daily basis you had to ask and a small dish would arrive, not exactly fine dining! The two main pools on the boat played loud 'music' and one showed films most of which were not 'A's. We would not recommend this cruise boat to anybody who was looking for quality food, quality entertainment and relaxation.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Picture yourself on floating old people's home being 'entertained' by the staff of a Butlins Holiday camp circa 1975 and you'll come close to imagining our unfortunate experience with Princess Cruises so-called 5 star ... Read More
Picture yourself on floating old people's home being 'entertained' by the staff of a Butlins Holiday camp circa 1975 and you'll come close to imagining our unfortunate experience with Princess Cruises so-called 5 star cruise in May. Toilets blocked all the time with poor communication about sorting it out. This resulted in me wading through urine at one point. The average age was about 75 and I can assume Princess knew this in advance given the activities on offer during the day. Mahjong anyone? Fancy doing some knitting? Playing some bridge? Or if none of that tickles your fancy, why not join us at a Freemason meeting? I kid you not. Night time entertainment was even worse. Remember those Summertime Specials they put on the telly in the 70's? If you thought they were a thing of the past, think again. Princess Cruises just can't get enough of Disneyland costumed wenches singing 'any old iron'. And top of the bill .... wait for it ...... Bernie Flint! I believe he won Opportunity Knocks in 15BC or thereabouts. I could go on. And on. Suffice to say we made a formal complaint. Stuff happens, I get that. Surely a reputable company like this would at least address our complaint in a professional and understanding manner. We waited over four months for a response which I can now paraphrase as 'thanks for your feedback, tough luck'. We have been not one penny in compensation but they generously offered to pay back the £20 they'd overcharged us for something. We're still waiting on that £20 , a perfect example of the true esteem Princess Cruises holds for its customers. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
We were really looking forward to our cruise, our first cruise was with Princess 15 years ago and since then have cruised with Star, Celebrity, Holland America, Seabourne & APT. When we got on the ship this was the first one that we ... Read More
We were really looking forward to our cruise, our first cruise was with Princess 15 years ago and since then have cruised with Star, Celebrity, Holland America, Seabourne & APT. When we got on the ship this was the first one that we didn't receive a welcome drink... The ship left Quebec at 5pm and the muster was on when we left, we spoke to many people in our muster area - most of who had been on many other cruises, nobody could understand why the muster was organised to coincide with our departure...very disappointed. We initially had any time dining but found that the dining room was empty or the waiters were cleaning the tables, we changed to the late dining and this was much better and our wait staff were great. The food was very average, I was disappointed that the menu didn't take into account the food from the area that we were in. I was told that the ship is stocked in Quebec and no fresh food is put on at any of the ports and it showed by the last couple of days on the cruise. We went to the first high tea they held on the ship, it was about 1/4 full, we were offered one small bread roll then a scone and a couple of cakes....very disappointing as I have had much better high teas at my local coffee shop. The entertainment was disappointing, the stage shows only seemed to last 30 minutes and the bands an hour or so. We would usually meet our friends at Club Fusion before dinner and listen to the band, after dinner we were going back to listen to more music and they had bingo on...really at 9pm!! This is the first cruise that we have been on that our average bed time was well before midnight, I felt sorry for the bands as there were very few people there and wait staff having nobody to serve. The spa/salon staff were all very nice but you get sick of the hard sell of their products ever time you go there and you end up getting put off going. The cabins are a good size but the shower/bathroom could be a bit larger. Typically the day trips are expensive and we hired a car or organised our own outings. A lot of the crew on this cruise were coming to the end of their contract and you could tell. The captain I saw once on the formal night pouring the champagne waterfall..he was there for all of 5 minutes and we didn't see or hear from him again. There really was nothing stand out about this cruise... The entertainment was average we have usually had a band playing around the pool area when we left ports but NOT on this cruise. I have always raved to my family and friends about how much I haves loved the cruises we have been on but this trip has almost put us off cruising altogether. We were away for 5 weeks and the 10 days on the cruise were a major disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
The land tour by Globus thru Princess was exceptional. We started in Budapest, Hungary for two nights and toured Vienna, Austria, Prague, Czech Republic, Dresden and Berlin, Germany. We then took a ferry across from Rostock, Germany to ... Read More
The land tour by Globus thru Princess was exceptional. We started in Budapest, Hungary for two nights and toured Vienna, Austria, Prague, Czech Republic, Dresden and Berlin, Germany. We then took a ferry across from Rostock, Germany to Copenhagen, Denmark. The whole trip was fun, enlightening, met new friends on the tour and enjoyed everywhere we stayed. We boarded the Emerald Princess and was overwhelmed with its size. When we opened the door to our mini-suite it was very worn and not so clean. Old soap was left in the tub and the bed dipped in the middle. I had paid extra to surprise my husband. I can say the room was large and had a nice balcony. We had arrived late from our tour and did the muster station then went back to our room to freshen up for dinner. We had the 6:00 seating and were late by 15 minutes. The head waiter said we couldn't come in even though we had a set table. He sent us to the anytime dinning and they said we had to wait 40 minutes. We were so hungry that we went up to the cafe and everything was picked over. We ate a few bites and went to our room. One morning my husband got up to brush his teeth and brown water came out of the faucet. We called the desk and they said they cleaned the tanks and it was okay to drink. My husband went down to the desk to talk to them after it didn't clear up. When he left I went out side my stateroom and several of the people were out asking what happened to the water and they were not happy. We bought a bottle of water for $3.50 to use. We were clearly disappointed with Princess. The next day I cancelled all but 1 Princess tour (Russia for 2 days). In each port we either hired a taxi to take us to all the places for the day or walked to all the places the tours would have taken us. We enjoyed talking to the locals and having coffee or lunch with them. Back to the Emerald Princess....food was inconsistent with meat being tough or no flavor, entertainment wasn't that great, port/shore excursions were very expensive. Our 2 day Russian tour cost $600/each but it was really worth it! The ports that we visited we would gladly revisit. All in all, we had a terrific trip with the exception of things that happened on the ship. We will not take another cruise with Princess and we will not recommend them to our friends. To us it is a step above Carnival. I know others on this trip thought the same thing about the food, service and entertainment and they had been on other Princess ships. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
What a disappointment. After having cruised with Princess Cruise lines this has been the worst yet. The best tip I can give is to avoid their excursions all together. They are outrageous in price and provide poor service. You are better ... Read More
What a disappointment. After having cruised with Princess Cruise lines this has been the worst yet. The best tip I can give is to avoid their excursions all together. They are outrageous in price and provide poor service. You are better off finding an excursion off the ship after you dock each port. We had a complaint at one of our excursions and instead of trying to take care of the customer the excursion desk just led us on a wild goose chase. To make things worse their excursion manager, lied repeatedly when confronted with her superior. The overall attitude of the personnel was poor as well. Eighty percent of the crew seemed uninterested in their jobs and the passengers which reflected in their subpar performance. Our cabin steward falling into this category as well. He did the bare minimal to keep our room appear as if it were clean but not once was our balcony tables or chairs cleaned off in our 10 day voyage. If fact it was dirty before we even checked in and Princess charges us $11.99 gratuity each day for his poor service? They were so concerned over a virus that broke out during the cruise but what they fail to realize is that you can get just as sick from bird poop on the balcony chairs and tables. There is also an automatic 15% gratuity charged on all bar bills.... outrageous for the water-downed drinks which are expensive enough. They are also deceptive in their bar receipts because in addition to a automatic 15% charge there is another line for more gratuity which if you are not careful you may fill out giving them more of a tip. I don't mind tipping and in fact tip 20% or more for good service but I like it to decide how much I tip. When gratuity is already added each day then there is no reason for the crew to go above and beyond exceptional service. The buffet was subpar as well, same thing day after day...boring. On a positive note we loved our server, Michael, at the Da Vinci as well as Luis from Mexico. They went out of their way to make our dinners exceptional and we appreciate them for their charm and great sense of humor. As far as the excursion desk goes, they should all be fired especially their so called manager Roxanna who has the personality of duck tape. A word of advise to Princess Cruise Lines: THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT ESPECIALLY IF YOU WANT THEM TO UTILIZE YOUR SERVICES AGAIN! Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Comparing the Emerald Princess to other ships we have been on, many things were missing. Primarily, the quality of food was inferior. We actually never found anything we were crazy about, which is unusual for us. Wait, just remembered this ... Read More
Comparing the Emerald Princess to other ships we have been on, many things were missing. Primarily, the quality of food was inferior. We actually never found anything we were crazy about, which is unusual for us. Wait, just remembered this apple strudel at breakfast, only in the main dining room, that was superb! MMMM! But that's it! Some things were downright disgusting, especially in the buffet restaurant. No lobster, no chocolate night, no BBQs by the pool deck. Eggplant fritter was two limp, gooey strips of suspicious zucchini-looking material dredged in raw corn meal. Actually crunchy like sand. Yuck! Even the desserts were so-so. Not worth getting fat over. I think we may have lost weight on this cruise! Never have left dessert on my plate on other ships. Scrambled eggs were grainy, watery and dense, could not even eat. So tried an omelet next day. Like rubber and greasy. We actually resorted to Frosted Flakes and oatmeal by week's end if we could not go to the dining room. Orange juice was always warm, watered down, you had to get your drinks from the staff which sometimes did not come until you were just about done with meal (no juice or milk machines as on other cruises) Buffet setup was crowded and stressful. After a day or two we stopped going there, except on formal nights, we had no choice. We did not have room to pack our fancy clothes; on Jet Blue, the extra luggage charge discouraged us. As far as dining, we don't like sitting with other people or waiting for a table. Probably like most folks, since we always seem to get stuck with loudmouth, classless, poop heads. Solution? Ask the anytime dining maitre'd for a table for two and reserve it all week. Worked out great. Would have preferred one more secluded by a window (they put them pretty close together), but will ask for that next time. Entertainment was just fair, except the comedians were very good. Productions were OK, not "WOW" like ones on Holland America. They tried really hard, the shows were just not exciting. (We enjoyed karaoke more then the shows!)Cruise Director Peter was pretty boring, but his assistants were awesome and funny for games and trivia(Frenchie, Mark, Ryan) The pool band STUNK. Lead singer was worse than karaoke, always off key and vocals were drowned out by the music. Just got the feeling everything was bargain and corners were cut to the point of being obvious and they did not seem to care. We bought a soda card for $45 but it had 15% gratuity added so was $52. OK, should have told me it was $52. But then, only choices were Coke, Diet Coke, Ginger Ale and Sprite. Sprite Zero? Oh that's in a can, you'll have to buy that. Huh? And when you asked for soda or water in a bar? Long faces because it must not have added to their tip structure. Don't ask for lemonade in a bar, have to go to restaurant to get that. Bottled water was expensive ($3 for a tiny one they pushed as you got off the ship in ports) and tap water tasted bad. Ice cream choices all week were chocolate and vanilla soft serve. Want popcorn or candy with movie? Have to buy it. Never felt so nickel and dimed before on a ship. Dining areas were not glamorous as we had noted on other ships, they were nice. Room stewards work very hard; staff around ship did not seem as friendly as Holland America (whose strictly Philippine and Indonesian staff flashed sparkling smiles non stop and joked with passengers, got to know your names, made you feel special). And on Emerald the crew show was no where near the grand production as we saw on Holland America; there's was AMAZING! Could never find a chaise by the pool, was always crowded with people saving them with towels and no one said anything. Pools were small so we did not go in. People did smoke on balconies even though it was prohibited. Smoke from casino was evident in the entire end of the ship. The beds were very comfortable, shower OK, but tiny. Lines getting on and off ship were pretty long, but well managed. We had a good time on the islands visited and the itinerary was awesome, we did not do any excursions but taxied to beaches and snorkeled. The independent tour with Maximum Chill Out on St. Lucia was great ($65 per person) Ask for Sir Louie, he was great. Had a great time but will not take Princess again. They make you feel like a second class passenger by giving the royal treatment to people who have cruised a million times or ones who pay $20/day extra (there is a "Sanctuary" which you cannot go into unless you pay or are otherwise special.) Everyone should get this treatment as far as I am concerned. You have to cruse with them 20 times before you get a $25 on board credit?? Wow, can ya spare it? We embarked the day after the presidential election to find, they don't have Fox News... are you kidding me? Let me off now... the most watched of all cable news?? Stuck with CNN, we were going nutty. Sorry Princess, that doesn't cut it, we want real news. I guess if you can get on board for really cheap, go Princess. But we won't again. All things compared, they don't measure up. Too many corners cut. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
This was supposed to be a Canada/New England cruise, with a repositioning at the end to Ft. Lauderdale, where Emerald Princess will spend the winter season. We are from Atlantic Canada and took this cruise for the US ports we were supposed ... Read More
This was supposed to be a Canada/New England cruise, with a repositioning at the end to Ft. Lauderdale, where Emerald Princess will spend the winter season. We are from Atlantic Canada and took this cruise for the US ports we were supposed to visit - Bar Harbor, Boston, Newport, New York and Charleston. Charleston turned out to be the only port we actually made it to, other than a service call in Boston, when no one was allowed off the ship except for the 90 passengers who had originally planned to end the cruise in New York. On the second day in Quebec City, we were informed that they were monitoring Hurricane Sandy and were going to stay in calm Canadian waters until the danger from the Hurricane was past. So we entered the "Magical Mystery Tour" segment of the cruise (so named by the Cruise Director), where we visited unexpected ports such as Saguenay, (Quebec), Cornerbrook, (Newfoundland) and Saint John, (New Brunswick). Since we already live in this part of the world, these were of little interest. And I suspect most of the other 590 or so Canadians on board felt the same way. It became obvious after awhile that, aside from avoiding the storm, which certainly cannot be criticized, Princess's main concern was to limit their extra costs in dropping off the 90 New York departing passengers, leaving the 2900 other passengers with very disappointing substitutions for the US ports missed. Magically, we arrived in Boston on the day we had originally planned to be in New York, and the 90 departing passengers were put on buses headed to the three NY area airports, thus minimizing the cost to Princess. We could have easily sailed out around the storm and gone to Nassau, Bermuda, or Princess Cays and still arrived in Ft. Lauderdale on time. In fact, there appeared to be no reason we could not have made full day stops in Bar Harbour and/or Boston, if they had not wasted so much time stalling in Atlantic Canada. So the itinerary turned out to be a complete disappointment. No compensation was offered, and the Captain, who early on acknowledged he was getting plenty of suggestions from passengers on where we could go as alternatives to New York, disappeared from view completely from Boston onwards and was never seen or heard from again. I suspect he left the ship in Boston. It was disgraceful that he did not have the courage to face the passengers, especially at the Captains Circle party for Elite and Platinum members, where he had earlier committed to attend. Added to my frustration was the fact that when he did speak over the public address system early in the cruise, he had such a heavy Italian accent he was barely understandable. Aside the from the itinerary disaster, onboard it was a fairly good cruise. Emerald Princess seems to be in fairly good condition, although apparently is heading to drydock next April. My only serious complaint was that the bed in our cabin was the most uncomfortable I have ever encountered in 20 cruises. The mattress was in desperate shape. A couple of maintenance problems in the bathroom when we boarded were quickly fixed. Our room steward did a competent job, although he completely ignored the "Make Up Our Room" card we placed outside by 8 am in the mornings and it was often noon before our room was done. We have not cruised on Princess for almost 4 years, due to a major disappointment with our last cruise on Star Princess in 2009. The food at that time in the Dining Room was very tasteless, and frankly I was expecting the same this time. To my surprise, the flavor of the food has improved tremendously, at least on this ship, and we were very satisfied with the evening meal. We were on fixed seating in the Da Vinci dining room. Our waiter Johnson was great, ably assisted by Tony. However, breakfast and lunch in the Da Vinci was another matter. Service was incredibly slow and the food often luke warm and fairly bland. Horizon Court food was mixed, but it was never overly congested when we were there. The entertainment was also a mixed bag. Except for the final show, the production shows were poor. Maybe we have just seen too many. The other acts brought on the ship were mostly good, especially the hypnotist, which is something I had never encountered previously on a cruise. The Cruise Director Peter and his staff did a competent job. I really enjoyed the personality of Deputy Cruise Director Frenchie, as well as Ryan, who is crazy. But my main criticism of the entertainment is the impact from having a extra deck added to the latest Princess ships like the Emerald without increasing the public space,especially the theatre. As a result, they now have to do three shows a night instead of two, and they have shortened the shows to about 30 minutes - hardly worth showing up for. And if you go to the first show, as we did, the congestion outside the theatre after the show from people waiting to get into the second show is terrible, all the way back to the mid-ship elevators (which were also terribly slow at peak periods). So, the cruise was a major disappointment. Even with the surprise new ports added to replace the missed ones, we were cheated out of one port day. Absolutely no apology or compensation offered by Princess. Will I cruise on Princess again any time soon? NO! Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
From embarkation things went wrong, it took nearly two hours to get on board, with no toilet facilities available guest were physically distressed. Once on board we were told the suite was not ready , and we would have to wait due to a ... Read More
From embarkation things went wrong, it took nearly two hours to get on board, with no toilet facilities available guest were physically distressed. Once on board we were told the suite was not ready , and we would have to wait due to a deep cleaning process. Towels and soap arrived the following day, with the excuse that they had a virus on the previous cruise. The fist two meals were cold and were returned to the kitchen. We had booked suite L 202 with an unrestricted view , but when we arrived in the room the balcony had a steel plate instead of a glass panel as all other suites had. ( The brochure show L202 as having a glass panel the same as all the others) .As a disabled person I enjoy watching from the balcony the arrival and departure of the ship from the ports. To get the views I had to go on to the open decks to enjoy this. Excursions were excellent , with knowledgeable guides, although expensive they were the best way to see the sites with the given time Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
This Jewel did NOT Sparkle Serious disappointment after months of excitement. I have cruised prior with Celebrity, and I know every line is a little different. I had hoped I would be wowed in the same way by Princess that I had been ... Read More
This Jewel did NOT Sparkle Serious disappointment after months of excitement. I have cruised prior with Celebrity, and I know every line is a little different. I had hoped I would be wowed in the same way by Princess that I had been by Celebrity. I am sorry to say, that was not the case. Having never done the Southern Caribbean sailing, I was excited to see new islands and enjoy all that the Caribbean has to offer. I had visited Puerto Rico previously and Hawaii and it seemed like a great way to see the islands. Our cruise was off to a good start as we breezed through the check-in process with helpful and happy agents. Then we arrived on the ship. We were "greeted" if you can call it that by the individual charged with scanning our entry cards and taking our pictures. I assume he was with security. No one greeted us to take us to our room. No one asked if we needed assistance. We were left to our own devices and did eventually find our room. The room itself felt dated and worn. Linens had holes, bed coverings were ratty and worn. The sink would not drain upon our arrival, but that was corrected reasonably quickly. Other than an occasional rattle, the room was surprisingly quiet, and the HVAC worked pretty well. Our first dining experience was less than exemplary. We were shown to our table to find many folks were in tee-shirts and VERY casual pants. Nowhere do I expect to find tee-shirts at dinner. I'm sorry, I didn't pay what I did in order to dine with folks who think they are at Chili's or Applebee's. The menu was lackluster and honestly it didn't get better throughout the cruise. Don't expect to be wowed by cuisine on this ship. It lacks seasoning, often wanting for a pinch more salt, or something that would imbue some sense of flavor. The exception to this is Sabatini's or the Crown Grill. Though these are premium dining options, they are well worth the effort if your taste buds need to be woken up after days of bland fig and prune compote. The menu feels as if it was borrowed from a nursing home. Our first day ashore in Princess Cay was pretty much what I expected of it. Thank you to those who posted about the shops just outside the Princess area, great prices, friendly, and authentic products without "made in china" stickers. Next day was a formal night and we chose to be seated at the Crown Grill rather than risk being the only people in the dining room in formal attire. Dinner was great, service somewhat hit and miss. Drink refills were slow and the timing of the meal felt awkward. Our next stop was in St Thomas and we had an amazing time doing the Dolphin Tour! If you can, do it. Great time spent with the animals in the water. A warning though, be prepared to shell out quite a bit for photos. They do send a photographer along with you who takes on average about 50 photos of each person as they interact with the dolphins. They offer a package where you get two prints and a cd of all your photos for $110. Expensive yes, but worth it if you can pull it off. Next day, Dominica. Have to say, this is where things really got bad. The island was hit by a tropical storm about a month ago, and many roads are not up to par. The island's infrastructure is crippled and Princess made no mention of it. The tour we selected was the Emerald Pool and Black sand beach. In all honesty, the Emerald pool is not to be missed, absolutely beautiful. The unfortunate part is that it's on the island of Dominica. I feel somewhat bad about writing this because it is truly not the people of Dominica's fault and I hate to see the cruise line pull away support from the island as they truly seem to need it, BUT, I can't ignore the fact that this was a horrible tour after we left the natural falls and pool. Sitting in traffic on a bus, having a near miss with a construction vehicle, being driven through what at best is an unsavory area and learning all about the interaction between the Chinese and the native populations left us feeling uneasy and somewhat unsafe. To sum it up, Dominica is gorgeous from the ship. We wanted to share our experience on the island with the shore excursions desk, so we did so that evening. The associate we spoke with took down no information, acted as if we were insane, and then informed us that the line was well aware of the problem and had notified us. Well, no warnings were issued. She was convinced it was in the Princess Patter, she poured through them to no avail. To get rid of us we were handed a form to fill out and assured that somebody would be in contact shortly. We took our "please go away now" form, and after a few minutes returned and asked to speak with the manager. He was on the phone, and unavailable, yet when he did make an appearance he was no more help. He simply asking if we had filled out the form. I tried to explain the situation to him and our dissatisfaction with the fact if the line knew there was a problem on the island, they certainly should have notified customers. He then said they were not aware. The associate who had shared with us that they knew then lied and said she had never told us that. Horrible, Horrible, Horrible customer service. What truly bothers me is she had no idea who we were, not that I'm all that important, I can only imagine if a guest in a suite had a similar experience, and was treated this way? I drafted an email to Princess, and received back a form letter indicating how important my opinion is, and they would get back to me in approximately 3 weeks. Must not be that important? We moved on to Grenada, another lovely island, would have rather spent more time there and no time in Dominica. Great tour though when they say "active" tour, they mean it. Took an incredible hike through the rainforest and visited the 7 sisters waterfall. Next up we had Bonaire, another beautiful island and we had reserved the 4x4 journey. Looking forward to a day of fun off road we piled into our Range Rovers only to find out our guide spoke very limited English and handed off the narration duties to another guest on the ship. She did the best she could, but I really don't like paying for a guided tour and having another guest tell me "oh look, there are animals to the right." Another fail. Finally Aruba, absolutely beautiful island, crystal clear waters, everything you could ask for. We had opted for the Mi Dushi cruise and lunch with snorkeling. Don't think you are saving yourself a few bucks by booking the other snorkel trip. These folks do it right and served a fantastic meal of rice, bbq chicken, fish, fresh fruit, and a roll. After the snorkeling they open the bar. This was an amazing and welcome treat after a week of overpriced cocktails on the ship. Do this one if you can, the crew is a lot of fun. We had given up on standard dining by now and had started doing the specialty restaurants. Sabatini's is well worth it, and if you can get him, ask for Daniel. I hear he's going to the Caribbean Princess sometime soon, but if you get lucky he's amazing. Knowledgeable and a bright star in an otherwise challenged cruise. We ate there for the last three nights, so that should say something! All in all, our Emerald Princess experience was less than magical. The itinerary is a great mix of the islands in the region and you get a good feel for the area. The ship itself though is showing a good amount of wear after only 4-5 years of service and leaves a lot to be desired. Beds are uncomfortable, carpeting is well worn and fading or stained. Her crew with the exception of a few shining stars seems to be suffering from the same fate as the ship they sail. The menu was bland and even when something appeared to be "exciting" when it arrived on the plate it was less than notable. I'm doubtful I'll ever sail Princess again. Save your money up and go on a different line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Where to begin... In short, most of the ports and islands were nice. The weather was fantastic, and the specialty restaurants, those that require additional fees to enjoy, were amazing, both in food quality and service. One photographer, ... Read More
Where to begin... In short, most of the ports and islands were nice. The weather was fantastic, and the specialty restaurants, those that require additional fees to enjoy, were amazing, both in food quality and service. One photographer, Rachel, was a dear, and we loved her. But the Cruise Director, Billy London, and the Captain of the Emerald Princess were dreadful and practically ghosts. The Captain has no personality and spirit which I believe trickles down to the crew and therefore the passengers. The Cruise Director and his staff did little to nothing... I never found a fun, exciting deck party, and even the sail away on day 1 was weak... especially compared to the P&O ship that was behind us in the Caribbean... same company but they were rocking! To clarify, I left very positive comments on board for those who deserve it, but everyone needs to be warned about how BAD the EMERALD PRINCESS is as of right now, Nov. 2011. This was the most inactive, unsponsored and dull ship I have been on. Granted, I have only taken two cruises to date, but more likely than not, this will be my last cruise with Princess... it reminded me once again, you get what you pay for... but actually, we did not get a "great deal" on this ship. This attitude of diminished expectations was shared by many other passengers that I talked to onboard, including an amazing couple we befriended who have cruised hundreds of days to date. The biggest complaint I have is the lack of service and bad attitude of many, many crew members. For example, room service did not deliver ice for the drinks we ordered, and responded, "That's not my job..." When this was reported, no response from the "Consummate Hosts at Princess" .... When we had a disaster for an excursion in Dominica, which is likely unsafe and should be removed from Princess itineraries (like other cruise lines have done), we approached the Shore Excursion desk to share with them ... not seeking a refund or anything at that point, but we were dismissed by Ava, who then lied to us about her manager's availability. When the manager, Rex, did come out, he was more useless and lacked more courtesy and professionalism than Ava. I've received better service from big-box store greeters and fast food employees than either of these two and many other Princess team members on the Emerald Princess. A 2nd excursion we took on Bonaire, which is a lovely island, was also a disaster as the guide barely spoke English and our "guide" became one of the fellow cruisers, who knew as little about the island as I did... but did Princess care, nope! I was dismissed and told to fill out a form, which I did, and never received a reply, despite the blue book in our cabin saying they want to make things right while we are on board. I guess I'll be calling my credit card now to take up the dispute that way... again, EPIC FAIL IN CUSTOMER SERVICE AND MANNERS. I was shocked by the lack of service and attentiveness on this cruise and honestly, I was embarrassed that I recommended it to those who traveled with me. I don't know when or if I will try Princess again. Please think twice before you try this line. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Ft Lauderdale terminal was disorganized with lines wrapped around terminal and spilling onto roadways. There has got to be a better way. The bar, wait staff, and crew were generally inattentive and not friendly. I wondered if there ... Read More
Ft Lauderdale terminal was disorganized with lines wrapped around terminal and spilling onto roadways. There has got to be a better way. The bar, wait staff, and crew were generally inattentive and not friendly. I wondered if there was some behind the curtain issues. Dining room service was terrible. We had anytime dining and lines/waits were long. The dining room was noisy. I waited for an ice water refill, and I finally got up to get it myself. Food in the dining room was uninspired, and we gave up after two nights. My favorite was "mystery" chicken morsels that were over cooked to the point of being uneatable. The replacement dish, skewered shrimp was not much better. We moved on to Sabatini's three nights and the Grille one night and had very good service and experiences. However, I learned that the steaks are prepared on an electric grill and not charbroiled. So, don't expect a Ruth's Chris steak experience. The rest of the evenings we went to Vines for tapas or the International cafe. Drink pours were all measured and skimpy. We found this to be true at EVERY bar. I don't mind paying the price if the pour is good and all of it gets into the glass rather than splashing on the bar. I mentioned it to one bartender who explained in great detail the size of the pour but seemed uninterested in the fact that he had poured half of it on the counter instead into the glass. One day in port, we got noticed that our cabin would be entered at 9 AM to sand & varnish our railings! We said "NO,thank you." The surrounding balcony railings were refinished. I was greeted by the crew sanding away on the neighboring balcony 8:30AM, as I sat our our balcony in my pajamas. The smell was overpowering and we lost the use of our balcony for the day. We left a note with the Purser inviting the Officer who authorized this event to come a sit on our balcony for the experience. All we got was a voice message telling us that we should open our door to air out our cabin! We are sailing to Hawaii with Princess in late January, a cruise we had already booked and paid for before this experience. If we have a similar experience, we will not be sailing again with Princess. We filled out the Princess questionnaire in detail and got no response whatsoever from them. Had they addressed our issues, we would not have written this review. If they don't care about their passengers, prospective cruisers deserve to know. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
This is our 2nd time on a Princess ship, with our 1st being our Honeymoon. Another couple was with us on the 1st and it was not a very good experience. We had a fire in the dinning room, right beside our table while dinning, the ... Read More
This is our 2nd time on a Princess ship, with our 1st being our Honeymoon. Another couple was with us on the 1st and it was not a very good experience. We had a fire in the dinning room, right beside our table while dinning, the shows were horrible, and they lost our luggage, but all this aside, I decided to give princess another try and see if it was just that experience with allot of bad luck in the way. We boarded the Emerald and loved our cabin, which was mid ship except for the bathroom wasn't big enough for a larger person, were both skinny people, but a comedian during a show sure let everyone know how he'd pay to see a very large person struggling in one of these bathrooms. The ship was very rough and noisy, and everyone in the dinning room around us noted this to us as well. It was very rocky all the time even though the sea's were relatively calm. It was impossible to get a chair by the pools during the sea days, forget the movie screen pool... people would come out 5 or 6am in the morning and put towels and a bag or something on the chairs, and then leave, and come back during the day sometime.. I saw a fight break out once when someone took their chair, that someone reserved, but wasn't being used for several hours, and when they came to find their towels and whatever gone, they started to hassle the people on the chairs. They need to manage this better! The ports were all about shopping and spending your money, of course... we didn't go aboard any as this trip was just to relax and de-stress and go swimming in the ocean, which we were saving for the cays. When we arrived it was a perfect day, very hot and sunny and calm waters. (I took pictures to prove it). After the tenders launched, the captain announced the water was to ruff and that no one would be going ashore today! We were crushed and disappointed. But so was everyone else. We couldn't understand the reasoning, but then someone told us that this happens allot with princess not going into the cays. What a let down. We had saved our excursions and beach time for this day, only to be let down! Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
We are experienced cruisers on RCI, HAL, NCL and for the last few years on Princess - not so sure about Princess any more. We were on the Ruby last year on the same cruise, so we have a direct comparison, which is not that always ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers on RCI, HAL, NCL and for the last few years on Princess - not so sure about Princess any more. We were on the Ruby last year on the same cruise, so we have a direct comparison, which is not that always flaterring for this year's trip. We flew in on Boxing Day and stayed at the Crown Plaza (cruiseport - nothing special as a hotel) to give us a cushion in case of bad weather. Our flights were on time due to our routing, but it turns out that due to the big snowstorm on the east coast, a couple hundred didn't get to ship in Ft. Lauderdale. From what I overheard, about half of them caught up with the ship in Aruba (including one of neighbours), the others never made it at all. I hope they had good insurance.... Embarkation was smooth and rooms were ready once we got on the ship. Except for elevators that were not always working, the ship seemed to be in pretty good shape. After that, things get more interesting: Dining: We had anytime dining, and found a wait-team we really liked (Ricki "Martin" and "Princess" Diana - our nicknames), but most evenings we could not get to be seated with them if we arrived after 6:45. There was a standing reservation every evening at 8:15 for a large group (30-40) in their area, so their tables often went empty until then even though there were people waiting in the halls with pagers - this is anytime dining ???. Service from other waiters varied from OK to indifferent, with food sometimes arriving lukewarm. Dining room meals were OK. Generally uninspiring, we opted for the buffet a couple nights. Only the New Year's eve and Captain's farewwll diner stood out. Finally, we also signed up for the Chef's Table, but were not invited, even though we arrived early specifcially for this reason, were in one for the first in group 2, called the dining line as soon as we got on the ship (i.e. before 12:00 noon) and met all the qualifications stated. Advertised as being on a first come basis, find that hard to believe. The caribe cafe had some interesting theme menus at diner and sometimes at lunch, but finding out about them was not easy. The diner themes were sometimes listed in the Patter (but you had to know where to look), but lunch themes I never found. The pub lunch is only served in the Wheelhouse bar on sea days. Very good fish and chips, and they added a pretty good chicken curry to the menu this year. They didn't advertise it, but you could ask for English Triffle for desert - it was pretty decent. Coffee: the regular stuff was virtually undrinkable, and seemed worse than last year. We had a buy the coffee card and purchase specialty coffees just to get reasonable java. A small irritation if the coffee machines were not often broken. Kudos to the buffet waiters who went all the way to the International Cafe to get us a cappuccino at lunch one day ! Entertainment: This is an area where they imrpoved over last year. Four production shows (none repeated, as they were last year), several comics, a hynotist, adult comedy shows after midnight, and a good dance band (ICON). WHile they amped up the production shows and overall they were better than last year, the talent level didn't always come yp to the more ambitious production event. Main disppointment was that the best comic was in the Explorers lounge only, a venue that was way too small for the interest he drew. We had to sit on the floor in the ailes. Also had to arrive half hour before the show in the theatre for decent seats. Tim, the CD was MCing lots of events and he was hilarious on-stage - but not that personable off stage. Another improvement was the New Year's party....last year only two venues (all too crowded), this year three (better spread out). It was not a formal night, but you could go a formal black and white ball, the balloon drop in the Piazza, or go to the deck party - which was the main event this year. Only problem was a few rain showers on deck - but it was warm and we were having a good enough time to not care. And after midnight, the ship was cruising by Curaco so we could see the fireworks on the island - quite a show - they lit it up for 15-20 minutes from end to end of the island. But it was not announced - you had to be on deck on the right side of the ship to see it. Cabins: The cabin itself was fine. However, the cabin next door was populated with kids 6 to 10 or 11 years old from several cabins, and no adult staying there. EVERY night they were up late, screaming, jumping from the top bunks, banging on the walls next to us at almost all hours of the night. We knocked on their door at 2:00 a.m. asked them if there were any adults in the room (no there weren't) and asked them to please stop. They did that one night. Next night, same thing again. We called down to passenger services and informed them of the issue, and that there were no adults in he room. They said don't go next door, that's there job. Security quieted them down, but there were still no adults in the room. Next night, same thing, same time (2 a.m. or so). Called down, security came to quiet them down. Finally, we went in person to the services desk and asked them why this was recurring every night. They basically said there was nothing they could do. REALLY ? The cruiseline's policy was that there should be at least one person 21 years of age in a room. They had options, they simply chose not to do anything. As a reward for taling to the fron desk, they ignored our calls on the fianl night...no answer, and when they finally did on the thrid or fourth try, they said they'd taken care of it....but you could hear the kicking on the wall while we were on the call. We finally had to go next door ourselves. When we wasked where the parent were, they told us the cabin number, but when I knocked on the door, nobody answered. Never been mistreated by a service desk like this on any other ship, or even hotels during march break. Add to this the loud rumble of the ship's thrusters at 5 or 6 a.m. EVERY time we were docking or getting ready to tender, just as we were falling asleep, made for rather dismal overall experience - probably would have had a better time if were more awake. Ports - leave this to others as this review is already long enough. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
When we found out that there was a cruise to the Western Caribbean for 10 days, and included 6 ports, I was excited. Royal Caribbean usually offers only 7 day cruises to the Western Caribbean. My first two cruises have been with Royal, and ... Read More
When we found out that there was a cruise to the Western Caribbean for 10 days, and included 6 ports, I was excited. Royal Caribbean usually offers only 7 day cruises to the Western Caribbean. My first two cruises have been with Royal, and I loved them both and have nothing bad to say about either ship I was on (Vision, and Freedom). We have been told that Princess Cruise line was a step above Royal, so we looked it up, found some good deals and decided to try it. My first hint that this was going to be a bad cruise, was when we saw the Oasis of the Seas docked right beside Princess Emerald. Right then and there I felt like I choose the wrong ship, but I brushed those feelings aside and decided I'd give this smaller ship a chance, I hadn't even boarded yet! Check-in was quick and easy. As soon as we got on the ship, I thought "this is small..". It looked really crammed. And old. I felt like I had just gotten on the Titanic. The ceilings were low, and the hallways were very narrow. Also, the ship felt very dim, the lights were not very bright. Our room was very tiny, I don't know what we would have done if we didn't have a balcony.. which was obstructed. The door to the balcony was pathetic, it's a sliding door and has a little elastic thing that you have to pull over the handle to keep it shut. Not impressive. The food was awful.. breakfast was cold and soggy (only ever ate at the horizon court for breakfast), and finding a table was always a challenge. Lunch was not impressive either. Dinner was always had in the dinning room (DaVinci), we had a reserved table and time for the entire cruise. On our second night, someone else was sitting at our table. We went and complained to the head dinning room staff, and they gave us a different table, saying it would be rude to ask the other people to move since they had just started eating their bread. The food in the dinning room also was not good. There wasn't a lot of variety and it was all fancy food, or fish food. What about people who don't eat fish, or fancy stuff? We had to leave the dinning room twice because we couldn't find anything on the menu that we liked. The ports were alright, but I missed out on two of them because I was too SICK to get out of bed. The stabilizers on the ship were HORRIBLE. You could feel the ship rocking back and forth the entire time you were on it. And it rocked so hard that you could heard the coat hangers in the closet banging each other. I had never gotten sea-sick in my life, until I boarded the Emerald Princess. When we called the medical center, all they told us was to go to the store and buy some Dramamine, which didn't even work well. Also, for some reason the pressure on the ship was also bad. I have a migraine the entire cruise. NOT IMPRESSED. And to make this cruise even worse, out of 3000 people, there seemed to only be about 20 people between the ages of 20-30yrs old. The main age range was 65-80 years old. I felt like I was on a retirement home on sea. All the cruise activities seemed to be made for the older age group. Crochet, Mahjon, Bingo, Internet Courses.. etc. The theater shows were the same, they sang songs from the 50's, and dressed the same. I felt very out of place, and as if I didn't belong on this ship at all. There is not much to do when you are at sea, except hang out at the pool. Movies under the stars is one of the things I enjoyed about this ship, but it was hard to find a good chair, because the railings obstruct the view of the screen from a lot of the seats. The jogging track was a joke, If you want to run around in a small circle for a few minutes, then you'd love it. Otherwise it was pathetic. 'The Sanctuary' costs money, money to lie in a chair and relax in silence. Personally, in my opinion the whole ship is about relaxing in a chair in silence. The ship is dead, and boring. Why pay money to do something you can do by the pool?? The ports that I was able to get off and go see (Grenada, Bonaire, and Aruba), were beautiful. The shore excursions were well done. I would have loved to get off the ship and see Dominica, and snorkel in the champagne reed, but I was too sick that day. Also missed St.Thomas, but I had seen it the year before (beautiful). I will never go on a Princess ship again, unless I'm in my 80's. My next cruise will be back on the Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
This was my fifth cruise (2nd on princess) and my husband's first cruise. Overall, the cruise was nice but still disappointed in the lack of friendly staff/service on this ship. The check in process was very easy and quick ... Read More
This was my fifth cruise (2nd on princess) and my husband's first cruise. Overall, the cruise was nice but still disappointed in the lack of friendly staff/service on this ship. The check in process was very easy and quick which was great! Also, the ship was very clean and beautiful. So now for the not so good......Our steward was awful! He did NOTHING to go out of his way! There were two occasions that we asked for extra towels, he acted like we had asked for a million bucks. One morning, I requested that he change our sheets, his reply "WHY?" He then responded "this is not a scheduled day to change linens". Of course, I believe his reply is totally unacceptable. There were two nights that I hung our request for fruit on the door, never did get fruit in our stateroom during the 10 day cruise. Before the cruise, I had told my husband about the animals the stewards make and leave on your bed, well that NEVER happened! I'm not sure that our room was vacuumed daily either. The only staff that we thought were consistently nice and acted like they enjoyed serving us was the staff at Crooners Bar. The staff at the pool bars never smiled and always acted like you were a bother. We do have to give a thumbs up to the servers in the Horizon Court, always there to refill your drinks. Although the morning of disembarkation, there were staff everywhere in the Horizon Court but could not get anyone to help us, I guess they weren't worried about service since we were leaving. The "blowout" sale they had was a huge disappointment. My husband and I specifically asked prices on the shirts we were looking at and were told they were all $6.99. When were checked out, we were charged $18.99 a piece for each shirt. We explained to the cashier we were told they were $6.99, he rudely looked at us and said "NO" they are $18.99. Wow, what happened to customer satisfaction? The food in the dining room was good, not great! The food on the buffet very sub-standard, always the same choices. Drinks were very expensive and lacked appropriate amount of liquor. We used room service twice, both times it took approximately 45 minutes to receive our order and then the staff was rude and didn't smile. Not to fault Princess, but the weather was horrible! It rained 8 of the 10 day cruise. We booked this cruise specifically for two of the ports, St. Kitts and St. Thomas. On the morning that we were suppose to port in St. Kitts we were standing on our balcony anxiously awaiting to dock admiring how pretty the island is. Much to our surprise the ship turned around and did not dock, the captain announced that we were unable to dock due to weather conditions. Okay, I understand safety is the first priority, but this ship is equipped with state of the art radars and weather equipment. Princess should have planned ahead and diverted our course so that we would have been able to dock somewhere else. The 10 day cruise already included 3 days at sea, adding a 4th day is a bit much! Overall, this cruise was a huge disappointment to us and not sure that we will ever cruise on Princess again. In my opinion, tipping should revert back to when the customers tipped based on the service they received! It seems since the tip is automatically charged to your account, the staff doesn't feel the need to give QUALITY SERVICE! Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
My DH and I took this cruise for my 55 birthday and our 25th anniversary. We flow in the day before and stayed at the Hilton Marina. It was a great hotel,great room. The only thing that I thought was funny was as a gold member I get a ... Read More
My DH and I took this cruise for my 55 birthday and our 25th anniversary. We flow in the day before and stayed at the Hilton Marina. It was a great hotel,great room. The only thing that I thought was funny was as a gold member I get a free breakfast, you only can get 1 breakfast sandwich and a banana. I travel all over and that has never happened but no big deal. The next day we were first in line, I was so happy to get away and relax. Boarding was not problem it went very smooth. We were in out cabin by 12.15. This is one thing they do well. We put our things away and went to the buffet for lunch. This is where I started to get a little worried. The lunch was just the worst. I just thought that maybe it was the first meal and things would get better. Wrong! The meals were for the most part the worst I have ever had on any cruise I have been on, and this makes 6 for us. The breakfast was cold and few choices. Lunch was not any better. I hate mushrooms and they were in everything. We had 3 good dinners out of the whole cruise which isn't saying much. I have never eaten so many burgers and pizza on a cruise. The weather was just rotten. This was not there fault however there was nothing to do and no where to go. The people on the cruise we mostly from other countries other than the USA and not very nice, again not princess fault. So if your 65 or older and don't like to do much this will be the cruise for you. When the sun was out which was not often there was just one dull day after another. I think even the crew was bored. The staff was okay nothing to go on about they did there job and that was it. I didn't feel that anyone went out of there way. I will not be back on Princess which is a shame since my first princess cruise was on the crown and had a great time, so BYE-BYE PRINCESS.................... Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
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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