From the moment we stepped onboard Emerald in Istanbul there was a complete lack of elegance and sophistication we had found on numerous cruises before aboard the Princess line. The ship was tired, the crew burned out and there was a complete lack of concern. The bedding looked like they had cleaned the floor with it and the bathroom towels were ragged and tattered. We have cruised Princess several times before although it had been three years ago this time and the difference was shocking.
For those of us who enjoy the late seating dining this unbeknownst to us eliminated the evening shows. Show times were 6 and 7:30 instead of the traditional 10 PM show after a nice dinner. The entertainment was nonexistent. The Princess Employee Talent Show are you kidding me you could hear the dogs barking 60 miles away in Istanbul. The first full day was a day at sea and we tried to go up to one of the pools but there were no towels left so we got to sit on the dirty deck chairs and watch the unsupervised children strangling one another as the played some version of "King of the Mountain". Jumping, diving, screaming and carrying on it was a complete free for all. The toilet in our stateroom stopped working and the list continued. We were in shock as I began to think that somehow I wound up on a Carnival ship.
I wrote a letter and emailed it to Princess corporate. About 48 hours later I received a telephone call from the Customer Services Director stating that he had heard from the home office and want a meeting with me. With nothing to lose and hopefully something to gain I agreed. We discussed the aforementioned issues along with horrible food both overlooked and undercooked, the free for all buffet on the Horizon Deck and the fact that you had to just about beg to get a glass of lemonade from the staff. There were people complaining every time we turned around. These were legitimate complaints and for the many that tried to speak with someone on staff they told how they were ignored and dismissed. At the end of my meeting the Customer Services Director requested that I meet with him again the second week which I agreed to do and I never heard another word from him.