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If you are interested in a relaxing, enjoyable Caribbean cruise, rethink the Emerald Princess (or its sister ship, the Crown Princess) as the choice. We embarked from Fort Lauderdale on January 15th for a ten day Southern Caribbean Cruise. Let me summarize my observations: 1. The ship is much too large. With over three thousand passengers, you are always in a crowd. In order to maximize revenue producing franchises, such as the art auction, the photo gallery, and the casino, Princess has eliminated the card room, cut the library down to a closet size room, and created a Internet Lab where you almost sit on the lap of the next terminal user. Public areas are also downsized making lounges, Galleria,and other locations as crowded and "enjoyable" as a Airport waiting area. 2. The worst feature of this ship is the most touted "Movie Under The Stars." The loud blaring sound from the sixteen speakers make it almost impossible to sit in the Neptune Pool area. For some reason, Princess has decided to play loud James Bond type movies during the day producing even more deadly noise. Our attempts to have the sound level reduced were met with impolite disdain from the Deck Manager. People were constantly leaving this area and going to the other pool, the Calypso which was overcrowded with limited shade areas. In addition if you should take a cabin with balcony in the forward section of the ship on the higher decks you will constantly hear the blaring the the sixteen speakers! Princess must realize that they have created a noisy environment. For a charge of $20 a day per person, you are allowed to sit in The Sanctuary and enjoy the cruise. Obviously, Princess is more interested in increasing its revenue then providing for your comfort. By the way, very few people actually watch the Movie. In the evening there is never more then ten to twenty souls viewing the large screen. 3. The Horizon Court has a low ceiling creating a closed in and very warm environment. The staff was excellent and courteous. However the food items were unimaginative and below previous standards. Particularly bad was an area where sandwiches were stacked in an unattractive manner and where passengers had to reach in with their hands to get one. It was obvious to our party (six people) that the standards of Princess have slipped since their acquisition by the Carnival Corporation. I would make the following suggestions. 1. If price is your main criteria, I would consider Carnival against Princess since the amenities and service of Princess have now approached the lower level of Carnival. 2. If you must travel with Princess, avoid the Emerald and Crown and any other Princess ship with over 2,600 passengers. 3. If you are willing to spend a little additional money, consider Celebrity. Celebrity provides a level of customer satisfaction similar to what Princess was previously known for. An aside; If you are planning to rent a car at Fort Lauderdale before or after the cruise, we found out the hard way, not to consider Enterprise. All the other rental agencies provide free shuttle transportation to and from the Terminal. Enterprise does not participate in the program. It cost us $30 for two trips back and forth to the Terminal. Any savings that you may think that Enterprise is providing is lost in the inconvenience and additional cost of a taxi. We hope this information helps you with your cruise planning.

Emerald Princess: Not the Best for A Cruise.

Emerald Princess Cruise Review by Barry Gordon

Trip Details
If you are interested in a relaxing, enjoyable Caribbean cruise, rethink the Emerald Princess (or its sister ship, the Crown Princess) as the choice. We embarked from Fort Lauderdale on January 15th for a ten day Southern Caribbean Cruise. Let me summarize my observations:
1. The ship is much too large. With over three thousand passengers, you are always in a crowd. In order to maximize revenue producing franchises, such as the art auction, the photo gallery, and the casino, Princess has eliminated the card room, cut the library down to a closet size room, and created a Internet Lab where you almost sit on the lap of the next terminal user. Public areas are also downsized making lounges, Galleria,and other locations as crowded and "enjoyable" as a Airport waiting area.
2. The worst feature of this ship is the most touted "Movie Under The Stars." The loud blaring sound from the sixteen speakers make it almost impossible to sit in the Neptune Pool area. For some reason, Princess has decided to play loud James Bond type movies during the day producing even more deadly noise. Our attempts to have the sound level reduced were met with impolite disdain from the Deck Manager. People were constantly leaving this area and going to the other pool, the Calypso which was overcrowded with limited shade areas. In addition if you should take a cabin with balcony in the forward section of the ship on the higher decks you will constantly hear the blaring the the sixteen speakers!
Princess must realize that they have created a noisy environment. For a charge of $20 a day per person, you are allowed to sit in The Sanctuary and enjoy the cruise. Obviously, Princess is more interested in increasing its revenue then providing for your comfort. By the way, very few people actually watch the Movie. In the evening there is never more then ten to twenty souls viewing the large screen.
3. The Horizon Court has a low ceiling creating a closed in and very warm environment. The staff was excellent and courteous. However the food items were unimaginative and below previous standards. Particularly bad was an area where sandwiches were stacked in an unattractive manner and where passengers had to reach in with their hands to get one.
It was obvious to our party (six people) that the standards of Princess have slipped since their acquisition by the Carnival Corporation. I would make the following suggestions.
1. If price is your main criteria, I would consider Carnival against Princess since the amenities and service of Princess have now approached the lower level of Carnival.
2. If you must travel with Princess, avoid the Emerald and Crown and any other Princess ship with over 2,600 passengers.
3. If you are willing to spend a little additional money, consider Celebrity. Celebrity provides a level of customer satisfaction similar to what Princess was previously known for.
An aside; If you are planning to rent a car at Fort Lauderdale before or after the cruise, we found out the hard way, not to consider Enterprise. All the other rental agencies provide free shuttle transportation to and from the Terminal. Enterprise does not participate in the program. It cost us $30 for two trips back and forth to the Terminal. Any savings that you may think that Enterprise is providing is lost in the inconvenience and additional cost of a taxi.
We hope this information helps you with your cruise planning.
Barry Gordon’s Full Rating Summary
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