Emerald Princess Cruise Review by arjay1949
- Sail Date: April 2016
- Destination: Canary Islands
It's my fault - I should have done my homework better. The Emerald Princess is smaller than the Island, yet carries almost 1000 more passengers. It really should be renamed the 'SS Sardine'.
The good - our cabin was very good. Immaculate and kept so by a very friendly and efficient cabin stewardess. It was on C deck, so had a very generous balcony, only half of which was overlooked by the deck above. So far so good.
The crew were (mostly) very friendly and helpful - although some were clearly quite new to the job. I say mostly friendly. The security staff retain their facial impressions of a bulldog chewing a wasp at all times of course. No change there.
And if you had a query which resulted in 'computer says no' you were in for hours of fun. All very polite incompetence of course.... Clearly the Princess 'suits' don't like their staff using their own initiative.
The dining staff were very good...the food mostly OK, but not as good as the Royal or Regal.
The bad - Overcrowding. The Emerald Princess is seriously under-resourced for 3000 passengers. 2000? - maybe, but 3000? - no way!
The Horizon Buffet is way too small, both in seating capaclty and serving areas. Unless you took breakfast at 6.30 sharp - or after 10.15 - you stood virtually no chance of finding a seat without using very sharp elbows. This is not a ship for the meek.
The seating in public areas - around the Piazza for example - is woefully inadequate. If the weather was less than perfect, you constantly encountered hoardes of lost souls wandering aimlessly looking for that elusive seat, giving up and taking their tea and cakes back to the cabin to eat on their own. This overcrowding is a serious problem on this ship, which will probably backfire on Princess eventually - although there are probably several thousand new potential customers who will need to discover it all for themselves, so they'll not change anything, I suspect.
Such a shame, after the excellence of the Island Princess in 2013 (before they added another 121 cabins to that ship!)
The worst example was the Skywalker 'disco'. Because the trip was Southampton to Southampton, there were a lot of Brits on board, but sadly rather too many 'Ronnie Pickering/Reggie Kray wanabee' types, with their attendant partners. These folk simply took over the very small disco, the female of the species reserving their seats with little handbags, and returning to 'dance' on teetering heels with Ronnie/Reggie on the tiny dance floor.
Ordinary folk who deigned to visit this enclave stood no chance.. and usually just walked around forlornly for a bit, sighed and left.
The ugly - this overcrowding seriously affects the ambience of the ship. On more than one occasion, I witnessed snarling altercations over individual chairs. The Ronnie/Reggie 'ladies' usually won.
The meek may inherit the Earth. They are certainly very unlikely to find anywhere - other than their own cabins - to sit down on the Emerald. That's for the chosen few.
Had it not been for the overcrowding it could have been a very good cruise. As it was, it was our first and last on the Emerald Princess.
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