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We chose this cruise for the ports in Norway , particularly in the Arctic , we wanted to see. I have cruised before with Celebrity and MSC ( and enjoyed both) but for my husband it was his first time. We found the clientele were mostly British or American habitual cruisers and it became a bit wearing to constantly hear " cruise stories". The ship is nice but showing her age and the decor is a bit old fashioned. Our cabin - balcony on deck 14 - was lovely - lots of space for clothes and hangers. Bathroom - as usual quite small was perfectly adequate. However because the weather in Norway was cool and wet ( stormy at times) we spent quite some time indoors and it would have been nice to have had a sofa rather than just one tub chair and an upright chair - MSC has sofas in their equivalent cabins. The balcony was nice with 2 lounger chairs and a small table. The bed was very comfortable. We chose anytime dining and preferred to have a table for 2 rather than share - we never had to wait long and mostly walked straight in. (usually dined later - after 8.30pm) The restaurant food was very good - always found something we liked. The 3 formal evenings were a bit of a let down - nothing special apart from people dressing up - we did not enjoy them and would avoid in future - think they are a bit of an anachronism - trying to re-create the time of the great liners but missing the mark. We ate once in the Crown Grill which was excellent and well worth additional 39 dollars charge as a treat. The entertainment was mixed - some very good and some bad - but the theatre always seemed to be full. The on-board singers and orchestra were particularly good. There is plenty happening during the day of the quiz/ bingo variety if you like that - but there are also lots of ways they are trying to make you spend money - art auctions ( the art was awful in our opinion - could not see why anyone would pay for it - it does not fit with a holiday environment and the huge space they take up in the middle of the ship for the gallery could be much better utitilised. We took 2 Princess excursions - glacier walk and tour of Lofoten islands - they were good but very expensive - we only took them in places where we felt it would be difficult to arrange ourselves. You can get much better deals in the ports or online. In a couple of ports the ship was docked in a remote location and coach transfers were needed - this was free in Bergen but not in other places -think this should be included wherever possible. Unfortunately the poor weather on much of our cruise meant that we could not take advantage of the sundecks and Movies Under the Stars as much as we would have liked. This also caused terrible jams in the buffet because there is insufficient seating there when everyone needs to be indoors if the outdoor seating of which there is plenty on the sundecks cannot be used. We often ate in relays as you had to scour the area for seats and then get food to ensure you could sit down to eat. The buffet was very average - they closed one servery at 9 am just as everyone appears for breakfast. It is the only place to have lunch -apart from the pizza or burger bar so is always crammed then. On sea days only they did pub style lunches in another bar - they were popular so why only on sea days? Princess really need to think about their itineraries and capacities as it was crazy that 3 big restaurants were closed when people could not get a seat in the limited buffet area. The captain was very good at updating us about bad weather etc which caused us to miss one of our ports. We had every confidence in him and the crew from a safety perspective. We were horrified however to watch an acrobatic blancing act in a piazza surrounded by passengers and on a hard terrazzo tiled floor - the lack of thought of safety of both performers and onlookers was astonishing. We also did not like our full names being posted outside our cabin door - you can remove the card but they replace it!! We have never come across this before - and in this age of identity theft etc we think it an unsafe practice. Hotels would never reveal names of guests and we do not think a huge cruise ship is any different.

Great itinerary but a few disappointments...

Emerald Princess Cruise Review by PoppyH

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
We chose this cruise for the ports in Norway , particularly in the Arctic , we wanted to see. I have cruised before with Celebrity and MSC ( and enjoyed both) but for my husband it was his first time. We found the clientele were mostly British or American habitual cruisers and it became a bit wearing to constantly hear " cruise stories". The ship is nice but showing her age and the decor is a bit old fashioned. Our cabin - balcony on deck 14 - was lovely - lots of space for clothes and hangers. Bathroom - as usual quite small was perfectly adequate. However because the weather in Norway was cool and wet ( stormy at times) we spent quite some time indoors and it would have been nice to have had a sofa rather than just one tub chair and an upright chair - MSC has sofas in their equivalent cabins. The balcony was nice with 2 lounger chairs and a small table. The bed was very comfortable.

We chose anytime dining and preferred to have a table for 2 rather than share - we never had to wait long and mostly walked straight in. (usually dined later - after 8.30pm) The restaurant food was very good - always found something we liked. The 3 formal evenings were a bit of a let down - nothing special apart from people dressing up - we did not enjoy them and would avoid in future - think they are a bit of an anachronism - trying to re-create the time of the great liners but missing the mark. We ate once in the Crown Grill which was excellent and well worth additional 39 dollars charge as a treat.

The entertainment was mixed - some very good and some bad - but the theatre always seemed to be full. The on-board singers and orchestra were particularly good.

There is plenty happening during the day of the quiz/ bingo variety if you like that - but there are also lots of ways they are trying to make you spend money - art auctions ( the art was awful in our opinion - could not see why anyone would pay for it - it does not fit with a holiday environment and the huge space they take up in the middle of the ship for the gallery could be much better utitilised.

We took 2 Princess excursions - glacier walk and tour of Lofoten islands - they were good but very expensive - we only took them in places where we felt it would be difficult to arrange ourselves. You can get much better deals in the ports or online.

In a couple of ports the ship was docked in a remote location and coach transfers were needed - this was free in Bergen but not in other places -think this should be included wherever possible.

Unfortunately the poor weather on much of our cruise meant that we could not take advantage of the sundecks and Movies Under the Stars as much as we would have liked. This also caused terrible jams in the buffet because there is insufficient seating there when everyone needs to be indoors if the outdoor seating of which there is plenty on the sundecks cannot be used. We often ate in relays as you had to scour the area for seats and then get food to ensure you could sit down to eat.

The buffet was very average - they closed one servery at 9 am just as everyone appears for breakfast. It is the only place to have lunch -apart from the pizza or burger bar so is always crammed then. On sea days only they did pub style lunches in another bar - they were popular so why only on sea days?

Princess really need to think about their itineraries and capacities as it was crazy that 3 big restaurants were closed when people could not get a seat in the limited buffet area.

The captain was very good at updating us about bad weather etc which caused us to miss one of our ports. We had every confidence in him and the crew from a safety perspective.

We were horrified however to watch an acrobatic blancing act in a piazza surrounded by passengers and on a hard terrazzo tiled floor - the lack of thought of safety of both performers and onlookers was astonishing.

We also did not like our full names being posted outside our cabin door - you can remove the card but they replace it!! We have never come across this before - and in this age of identity theft etc we think it an unsafe practice. Hotels would never reveal names of guests and we do not think a huge cruise ship is any different.
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BB R201
The cabin was right next to the extended bridge on deck 14 - was quiet but quite a way from main activities - we didn't mind this. Was interesting to see the activity on the bridge and the view from the balcony is not limited by it.
Would like a sofa. Bed comfortable and lots of clothes and storage space.
Aloha Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins