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Emerald Princess Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,737 Reviews

5th Cruise - Emerald Princess - Some Good, Some Bad

Emerald Princess Cruise Review by Shanfelt

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Nov 2014
  • Destination: the Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony

Houston Bayport is a great option for us in the Midwest. We loved the relaxed pace and boarding was efficient and smooth. Great facility, only wish there were more itineraries out of there.

Having traveled on the Royal in Feb, we fell in love with the Belini Bar and the Sushi Bar. I wish Princess would expand Vines to include pay Sushi and Belini like the royal. The way it works now (on ships other than the royal) is that you have to buy wine and you get some very basic Sushi. I notice that it is empty a lot of the time.

Our evening dining service was very slow. Late sitting dinner typically took several hours, with appetizer being served 45 min after sitting. I was curious as to why that was and I noticed that my waiter spent many round trips getting wine and bar drinks for all the tables in the area. That extra duty, not typical of our other cruises, took him out of the area for 40% of the time. No wonder so slow. I recently read that they have eliminated wine stewards, perhaps that is the issue?

Horizon Court was bland, over salted and smelled very dank. Apparently a prior cruise had flooding due to bad weather so I was o.k. to overlook. Lines were long during normal times. My wife and I decided to use the formal breakfast more often just to avoid the issues.

This was a rare Princess cruise with 700+ children on board. Very fun atmosphere compared to the typical crowds. Youth departments did a great job of providing entertainment so hats off to them.

We were disappointed with the shows as there was a lot of muscle clad guys ripping off shirts and skimpy dancers. I saw more than 10 families walk out each night. Comedian was pretty much for adults as well. Having been on Princess for 5 cruises, I have come to expect this but I would ask that if more than 10% of the cruise are children, can you not tone it down just a tad. Maybe not rip off shirts? Raunchy Vegas is old and expired. Cruise lines that provide more wholesome entertainment are thriving. Time to step it up a tad (my opinion). Tired of dance tributes with ex-Russian ballet dancers. After a while, it is just repetitive and boring.

Lost one island due to weather, staff on board did a good job of coming up with another days worth of events.

Watches and jewelry were surprisingly affordable. We were on board for our 20th anniversary. Worth looking at if you are in the market.

A little more rust than I am accustomed to. Balcony was pretty rusty and so were the doors when disembarking. Having just come off the Royal, I guess I was just spoiled.

Room Steward was great! Extra tip and a comment card.

Overall, pretty good trip… Not amazing nor excellent. Seem like the crew is beginning to suffer under cutbacks? Carnival Corp (owns Princess): People take Princess for the elegance and service. This is starting to really suffer. Had a long talk with some folks on board about their experiences with Disney cruises. Family and I may just shoot for Amazing next time.


Shanfelt's Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Cabin Review

Balcony

Room was fine.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Beach

Water was dark and dingy, beach jammed with too many people. we purchased a canopy and we were surrounded by 100+ others with no view. I guess that is what I should expect. Won't do that again.

View All 460 Beach Reviews
Deluxe Sail, Snorkel and Beach Party

Seas were too high for snorkeling. They did it anyway. Poor execution. Beach was amazing, secluded and had a bunch of great water toys (Fury Tours) I would do the beach again in a heartbeat, not interested in the snorkeling again.

View All 84 Deluxe Sail, Snorkel and Beach Party Reviews

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Shanfelt
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