We had never been to Australia or the South Pacific. We were sailing on a repositioning cruise on the Emerald in 2015 when Princess had a promotion of a free room upgrade (within class), free specialty dining, and free gratuities. The free gratuities on a 29-day cruise was the deal clincher.
This was our 10th cruise on the Emerald but our first in an interior cabin. We found the onboard activities to be adequate, especially the hula classes and the ukelele classes from New Zealand to LA. The Polynesian Ambassadors, Maile & Tui were fantastic. The food was good, although we were unlucky in that our table of six (usually we were the only couple dining at this table) shared wait staff with two tables that had a group of 14. This large group had evidently not eaten for an entire year because every night most of them ordered multiple appetizers and entrees (on lobster night the group of 14 had 47 lobsters). The result was we were usually the last ones served.
The entertainers brought onboard were, for the most part, mildly good (although some were absolutely terrible). We found the best entertainers to be those who were attached to the ship, the violin duet, the solo guitar player/vocalist, and both piano players. We found ourselves returning to where ever these young musicians were playing.
Our room (C511) was adequate. However, whenever the seas were rough or the ship was going at high speed there was a banging on the wall that shook the entire wall at the head of the bed - we had several sleepless nights until we were given another cabin 4 days before the end of the cruise. We were told our cabin was between fire zones which meant loud noises were generated whenever the metal shifted in the ship. Passenger services told us this affected several rooms on decks above and below us. These rooms should be avoided and Princess should discount these rooms if they are going to sell them.
This tour was quite a treat as we were welcomed into a Marae and then went to a local school where our guide taught and provided with Maori dances and songs - FANTASTIC!!!!!!
There was another Princess ship in port at the same time and the facilities were inadequate to accommodate everyone on the tour we were own - very disappointing.View All 15 Island Tour Reviews
Small group experience (8 people) allowed for going to sites that were not crowded providing a great experience.View All 35 Snorkeling Reviews