6/25/09 Baltics - Emerald Princess: Emerald Princess Cruise Review by ldubs

Emerald Princess 5
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6/25/09 Baltics - Emerald Princess

Sail Date: June 2009
Destination: Baltic Sea
Embarkation: Copenhagen
This was our ninth cruise; 4th in Europe and 3rd on Princess.  Other Princess cruises were on the Grand and Crown.

Travel To Port of Embarkation: SFO to Copenhagen with a connection in Dulles.  Flew economy on United/SAS. Both have no leg room (I'm 6'4" - wish JetBlue or Southwest flew international routes!).  Had a 1 hr 15 min connect time in Dulles which turned out to not be a problem at all.  In Copenhagen, one of our bags did not show up.  One of the two bags remaining on the carosel looked similar to ours hmm.  We called the number on the tag and got in touch with the husband (in California) whose wife was traveling to visit her mother outside of Copenhagen. He contacted here and sure enough, she had taken our bag by mistake.  Unfortunately, she was already on a train heading out of Copenhagen. Even though we had not purchased a transfer the Princess rep at the airport offered to assist and worked with the SAS folks More to arrange for our wayward bag to catch up with us.  The bag was eventually delivered to the ship prior to sailing.  The help given by the Princess and SAS folks is very much appreciated. 

Hotel Info: Stayed in room is small relative to US standards.  Bathroom however is large and stylish.   Staff is very friendly and helpful.  The Square seemed to be popular with pre & post cruise passengers.  Location is one block from Tivoli and Stroget.  I would not hesitate to recommend this hotel.

Stateroom: We travel on a budget and had an inside cabin on deck 10.  Room was clean and included a mini fridge.  Closet/storage space was ample for the two of us.   As the comedian said during one of the shows, with almost 20 hours of daylight, an inside cabin might not be so bad.  Actually, with the route taken, I'm sure a balcony would be enjoyable.  
Ship Info:  This is a very large ship with 3,000+ passengers.  However, it never seemed that crowded.  I spent alot of time reading on deck 15 and most times it did not seem crowded.  There are plenty of places to go if you want to be by yourself.  Ship is well maintained.  The public areas on decks 5, 6, & 7, as well as the dining rooms are very impressively decorated. 
Dining:  Food in the main dining room and horizon court/caribe is very good.  Don't expect it to be like a four-star restaurant, as you will be disappointed.  However, while not "four-star" it is very good.  Personally, I found the main dining room menus to be disappointing overall.  As a result we skipped it several nights and went to the buffet instead.  Both have good variety. We did not use any of the specialty dining venues. 

Activities:  When on board I prefer to relax and read so did not participate in many activities.  However, the days were full of the standard compliment of things to do if that is what you like.  
Service:  Outstanding in my opinion.  See comments under "travel to port" above.  Room steward, MDR staff, and staff at the  buffet were friendly and willing to lend a hand.  Guest services was friendly and helpful in response to our questions.  
Entertainment:  I'm not a big fan of the ship's big production shows.  The two I went to were standard fare and entertaining if that is what you like.  I enjoyed the comedian and especially the crew talent show (wish there had been more actual crew and less cruise director staff).  

Summary:  Ports of call almost every day which is what we look for.  Overall, a very good experience. Less

Published 07/14/09
Helpful? Thank ldubs

Cabin review: c517

Inside cabin c517 on deck 10.  Quiet, plenty of storage for two.  Included a mini fridge.  HVAC works great.  Not far from midship elevators. 

Port and Shore Excursions

Took the ship's "on your own" bus. We had done research on a walking tour and had a very nice stroll through the old town for about 4 hours. Very picturesque & a pleasant surprise. Not all shops take other than Polish money.

Read 55 Gdansk Reviews

Took the ship's shuttle and wandered ov our own along the esplanade and to the two churches. Overall a pleasant walk for a few hours.

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Day 1, left late morning on a Princess excursion called Rasputin, Romanov & Revolution. Saw the Hermitage & palace. Impressive palace and museum. A lot of walking which is OK with us, but was tough for those with mobility problems. Tour guide was very knowledgeable. Probably good we had a late morning tour as there was a lenthy customs delay for the morning tour groups.

Day 2: Catherine's Palace and Peterhof. Again, this was a Princess excursion and the guide was very knowledgeable. The rebult palaces are impressive to be sure, but it got to be a little overload for me. My favorite was the 400 acre Peterhof gardens with the 150 fountains. The 70 degree weather made this all the more enjoyable.

Overall, St Petersburg just has a kind of bad vibe to me. Very structured tours with no free wandering-around time that you normally have in other places. I would rather have spent 2 days in one of the other ports.

Took a Princess excursion which was very well done. Saw the Vasa, Armory Museum, and Gamla Stan. Tour leader was very entertaining. I would downgrade this only because the time in port was too limited. I would have liked to have had a full day.

On our own. Outstanding medieval town. Easy to get to either by walking or the ship's bus. Strolling through the old town was one of the best 4 hours we spent. Again, I wish the ship had been in port longer.

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