A GREAT CRUISE EXPERIENCE: Emerald Princess Cruise Review by jilbymitch
Overall Member Rating
A GREAT CRUISE EXPERIENCE
Destination: Baltic Sea
Entered embarkation building and process from there was smooth and efficient. We were on board before 1300, directed to out Mini -suite, which we found out to our delight we had been upgraded to 2 days previously. All welcoming crew were very professional and everywhere. Very impressed with cabin layout and big balcony with 4 seats. Cabin steward very obliging and cabin well cared for. Needed more EU power points, only 1 to charge media devices in bathroom.
Went off armed with maps to explore and found our way to Horizon buffet for lunch, very well set up.
Thus begun a great cruise with very few complaints except breakfasts taken in Horizon where the food always seemed to be cold. More
We ate most meals in either of the Anytime dining rooms and every meal was lovely, the waitstaff and Maitre D very attentive and we rarely had to wait long for a 'share' table and met some lovely, interesting people from many corners of the globe.
We were one of the very lucky 11 people who enjoyed the SUPERB Chefs Table dining experience which was worth every dollar and more. One of the highlights of our cruise. Also ate at Sabatinis to celebtrate a birthday and we loved the ambience and the food and superb service, especially 'corny' rendition of 'Happy Birthday', sung by our waiter! We enjoyed the Pizza outdoors when we needed a quick snack, loved 'Afternoon Tea' on the days we got there after getting back form day onshore and on at sea days when we had light snack lunch.
We made full use of 'Coffee' card in International cafe, and I enjoyed delicious non-coffee cold creations introduced to me by Johannes, Customer Service Director we met there on day 2 who was more then hospitable towards us our whole cruise.
We met some other Aussies whilst 'sailing away' from Oslo whom became firm cruise buddies.and met on back deck bar every afternoon for drinks, sometimes in wild weather.
The Wheelhouse became our favourite bar and were very well looked after there by friendly familiar crew and enjoyed the Jazz Duo . Also moved on to other bars depending on Princess Patter music programme.
Only made it to a couple of shows in Princess Theatre but enjoyed those.
We booked our selection of port excursions after purchasing John Lawrences DVD prior to cruise. A definite MUST!
We walked around Oslo, Aarhus, Tallin and did excursions in Warnemunde, to Rostock, St Petersburg, Catherines palace 1st day, canal cruise 2nd day but traffic made it a long drawn out day.
Did excursions in Helsinki and Stockholm as big cities to explore on own in a few hours.
Overall, our best cruise experience so far with each past cruise quite different. Big plus was Laundromats, downside there having to have enough American dollars, would be much easier to buy tokens or swipe cruise card.
Found all crew very obliging and courteous, with minimal language barriers considering the many nationalities.
Chose independent disembarkation which we changed on last evening as didn't want to get off too early as were checking in Copenhagen hotel for 5 nights post cruise. Our luggage was waiting for us on dock and we had a reasonable wait for taxi which we expected.
Have already decided on Regal Princess Mediterranean cruise next July but a bit concerned re reviews on Royal Princess so far. Will keep eye on them. Less
Cabin review: ABD310
Mini suite very comfortable and well appointed EXCEPT for lack of suitable power points to use adaptors to charge media devices,Bathroom good size though would have preferred separate shower cubicle. A bit noisy occasionally with crew corridor opposite.Comfortable bed.
Port and Shore Excursions
Walked into town then found our way to Gamla Stan, longer than expected walk but well worth it once there. Lovely weather. Enjoyed drink along canal on way back with Sunday crowds.
Spent 5 days here post cruise. Stayed at Radisson Royal Blu. Great hotel and good location.
Did Hop on Hop on hop off bus to see all sights.
Caught train north to Freidensborg and Castle. Also day out to Roskilde to Viking Museum which was well worth the trip.
Interesting, stopped at Sibellius monument. Commentary good.
Temppeliaukio Church (The Rock Church)
Crazy crowds, too many cruise ships in. Church interesting but too packed.
Lost member of tour who didn't get back to his very worried wife at Coach. Waited for 1/2 hour then tour guide gave her phone numbers and map and we left her there! Don't know if she ever found him!?
Enjoyed walking around dock area, town hall interesting. Walked though Castle grounds but closed due to private function. Went to WW2 museum, very depressing.
Rostock City Tour
The very wet weather ruined what could have been a great day to the very beautiful Schwerin Castle and lake cruise. Lunch included beer house, pretty average.
Was also marred by obnoxious man who insisted on chain smoking close to tour group even when people complained to tour leader and was spoken to.
Stopped at St Marys church in Rostock, v interesting.
Very ornate and well organised. Lovely gardens.
Neva River Cruise
Traffic was ghastly from onset as some Summit in town. St Catherines Palace beautiful and would have liked to spend more time in gardens but rushed back to coach to get to lunch. Lunch was obviously at Restaurant run to feed cruise ship crowds. Very dubious "Russian" food and watered down Vodka but Russian folk dancers were entertaining.
Back to ship via Church od Spilled blood but not enough time to go in. Very touristy markets for some souvenirs then back to ship just in time.
River Neva cruise ok. Buildings very drab from river. Commentary ok. Young guy ran along beside boat for most of trip then appeared back at dock for 'his reward', new angle on making tips!
Stockholm Old Town Tour
Did coach to town then walking tour with rather officious guide. Walked though old town and Palace. Had lunch at cafe in main square. Very expensive.
Caught Hop on Hop off bus for tour around and out of town. Very interesting. Very crowded with a few other cruise ships in town , great views. Got off at Old town and wandered around there, enjoying local fare lunch in side street cafe.
Easy stroll back to ship via markets on dock.