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I will admit, this was only our second cruise on Princess as my wife and I are Diamond level on Royal Caribbean so I may be a bit "under the influence" of RCI's style, however, I did take an honest look at the differences and similarities. Some general impressions. I found the ship a bit "cut up" in that it was difficult to get from one end of the ship to the other EXCEPT on floor 7 which was their version of the promenade. It just seemed like we kept having to either go up or down and then across, rather than go straight from bow to stern or visa versa. Also, I found some of the ceilings a little low and felt cramped in the buffet and some other venues. (The buffets also seemed broken up with a number of different, smaller locations close together with some open and some closed, but all serving the same fare.) The food was very good in the dining room but I found the food at the buffet to leave a lot to be desired. The outside "grill" served the typical hot dogs, hamburgers etc and the food was hot BUT there was usually a line as they serve only a few people at a time with only one person cooking and one serving. Food was good, but the lines, not so much. The outdoor big screen TV was fun for viewing football etc. Their version of the "adults only" pool/sanctuary carried a charge, which I found quite off putting. We use the Solarium on RCI with no charge and missed that option on Princess. The entertainment was good but not very well attended. I found the bar venues comparable to RCI and the "pub lunch" we were able to have at the Wheelhouse venue was very good with nice 60's - 70's R & R playing in the background. Also, we found the convenience of the onboard laundry room quite convenient (What about it RCI? If it works for Princess why not your ships???). I didn't use the internet as the cost was quite high and we didn't get any "free" time like we do on RCI but the impression from signs I saw disclaiming the slow speed was that it was probably "typical" of on board wifi, meaning "not very good". For the first time in over 15 cruises, I got sick and had to spend 2 days quarantined to my room. The med staff was efficient and the cost reasonable although I felt like a criminal when I was chastised for not coming IMMEDIATELY to them when I felt ill. It didn't seem to matter that I had self restricted myself to the cabin once I felt ill. They take gastrointestinal issues quite seriously as they sent someone twice a day to my room to "disinfect" it. We tried Anytime Dining for the first time. My Brother-in-law got married on the cruise (which is why we were on Princess and traveling during Thanksgiving week) so there were a lot of folks who knew each other and the "anytime" feature allowed folks to get together for dinner in differing groups . I did not really like the experience. First, the service was not particularly good or even as you do not have the same wait staff each night where they gain some understanding of your patterns, preferences and are motivated for their gratuities etc. Also, with part of the ship on set seatings and part on anytime, I found myself waiting in line for dinner a number of times, which was a new experience. All in all, I think I will stick with our second seating preference going forward. We missed our port at Belize City due to weather and our stop at Roatan was less than exciting and I missed Cozumel due to the quarantine (I did miss golf with the guys but we had been there twice before in the last 15 months) so I think it will be a while before we go back to the Western Caribbean. We did hear some negative feed back from others in our group about excursions but no first hand experience. All in all, it was a pleasant cruise but nothing memorable and I find the RCI formula a bit more to my liking so my best guess is we head back to what is familiar and where we have our diamond "perks". I do think that had the ship been going to more exciting ports, the cruise might have felt better.

OK, but

Emerald Princess Cruise Review by 71Bruin

Trip Details
I will admit, this was only our second cruise on Princess as my wife and I are Diamond level on Royal Caribbean so I may be a bit "under the influence" of RCI's style, however, I did take an honest look at the differences and similarities.
Some general impressions. I found the ship a bit "cut up" in that it was difficult to get from one end of the ship to the other EXCEPT on floor 7 which was their version of the promenade. It just seemed like we kept having to either go up or down and then across, rather than go straight from bow to stern or visa versa. Also, I found some of the ceilings a little low and felt cramped in the buffet and some other venues. (The buffets also seemed broken up with a number of different, smaller locations close together with some open and some closed, but all serving the same fare.)
The food was very good in the dining room but I found the food at the buffet to leave a lot to be desired. The outside "grill" served the typical hot dogs, hamburgers etc and the food was hot BUT there was usually a line as they serve only a few people at a time with only one person cooking and one serving. Food was good, but the lines, not so much. The outdoor big screen TV was fun for viewing football etc.
Their version of the "adults only" pool/sanctuary carried a charge, which I found quite off putting. We use the Solarium on RCI with no charge and missed that option on Princess. The entertainment was good but not very well attended. I found the bar venues comparable to RCI and the "pub lunch" we were able to have at the Wheelhouse venue was very good with nice 60's - 70's R & R playing in the background.
Also, we found the convenience of the onboard laundry room quite convenient (What about it RCI? If it works for Princess why not your ships???). I didn't use the internet as the cost was quite high and we didn't get any "free" time like we do on RCI but the impression from signs I saw disclaiming the slow speed was that it was probably "typical" of on board wifi, meaning "not very good".
For the first time in over 15 cruises, I got sick and had to spend 2 days quarantined to my room. The med staff was efficient and the cost reasonable although I felt like a criminal when I was chastised for not coming IMMEDIATELY to them when I felt ill. It didn't seem to matter that I had self restricted myself to the cabin once I felt ill. They take gastrointestinal issues quite seriously as they sent someone twice a day to my room to "disinfect" it.
We tried Anytime Dining for the first time. My Brother-in-law got married on the cruise (which is why we were on Princess and traveling during Thanksgiving week) so there were a lot of folks who knew each other and the "anytime" feature allowed folks to get together for dinner in differing groups . I did not really like the experience. First, the service was not particularly good or even as you do not have the same wait staff each night where they gain some understanding of your patterns, preferences and are motivated for their gratuities etc. Also, with part of the ship on set seatings and part on anytime, I found myself waiting in line for dinner a number of times, which was a new experience. All in all, I think I will stick with our second seating preference going forward.
We missed our port at Belize City due to weather and our stop at Roatan was less than exciting and I missed Cozumel due to the quarantine (I did miss golf with the guys but we had been there twice before in the last 15 months) so I think it will be a while before we go back to the Western Caribbean. We did hear some negative feed back from others in our group about excursions but no first hand experience.
All in all, it was a pleasant cruise but nothing memorable and I find the RCI formula a bit more to my liking so my best guess is we head back to what is familiar and where we have our diamond "perks". I do think that had the ship been going to more exciting ports, the cruise might have felt better.
71Bruin’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BA B318
Typical Balcony Room. However, very good closet space but the room itself felt small, with only a chair, no couch. Bathroom was adequate and very typical. Their design cuts off the room with the back wall of the closet and no view to the door from the bed chamber.
Aloha Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins