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This was our second cruise. We cruised before on Liberty of The Seas with Royal Caribbean International. We were excited about trying a different line. After a good flight with American Airlines (yes you heard me correctly) from Heathrow to Miami, we stayed one night at the Intercontinental West Miami. A very nice choice. Usually, I like to arrange all of my own transfers and tend to rent a car but this time we opted for the total package with Princess and it was very relaxing not to have to stress about directions and getting to the pier on time. Embarkation at Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades was less than pleasant. A dreary cattle-shed with long lines and attendants pushing metal sofas across the lines to cut you off in order to manage the line. Very chaotic. On reaching the counter, there seemed to be a scramble as the line ended and it was a case of pushy people jumping in to get checked in before you. I found this whole experience so much less enjoyable than Miami. Once onboard, we found the ship to be beautiful. Immaculate, spotless and very upscale. Whilst smaller, i found the Piazza more tasteful than RCI's Royal Promenade and I enjoyed the fact that you could walk down a passage on Emerald and not know what was around the next corner. My wife found the layout of this ship very annoying whilst I liked it a lot. Others have complained about decks not running all the way through. Here's a tip; step outside on deck 7 and walk front to back on the Promenade Deck then go back inside and use the next set of elevators. Our cabin was smaller than RCI but very nice and the drop-down bed from the ceiling was very innovative. Our cabin steward Jose Jr was first class and kept the room spotless. Princess have a complimentary fruit bowl and you can order fresh supplies daily; a very nice touch. Our only real complaint was that the buffet was chaotic and as others have said, had no sense of organisation. One breakfast time I even heard an English cook lose his temper and use the F word to one of his Phillipino colleagues and clearly in earshot of passengers. I'm not a prude but this is totally unacceptable behaviour. The food was pretty good in quality but totally disjointed in layout and having two buffet areas just added to the sense of confusion. The food overall was good. Evening meal buffet was a joke....vegetarian sushi which was warm and wrapped in filo pastry? No sauces or ginger condiments. Ghoulash next to piri piri prawns? I found the buffet to be way way below the standard we experienced in the Windjammer on RCI. That said, evening formal dining in the main restaurants was very good. I never had a cold meal and we both agreed that the filet medallions which were always available were of a better cut than those served by RCI. Service tended to be slower on a table for two. On two nights we sat on a table for 8 and service was spot-on both nights. We ate at Sabbatini's and had pre-dinner drinks in the adjacent Adagio bar. A lovely evening. 8 courses so go there hungry expecting to eat a lot. You order main and dessert but the rest they chose for you and serve silver-service style tableside. The only slip-up was when our waiter announced the pasta course and then left us for several minutes allowing the plates to go cold. When he returned with the trolly, my wifewas about to mention it when he apologised and produced two hot plates. Attention to detail was excellent. The food quality was sublime. The truffle ravioli and the veal chop are to die for. I must contradict a previous post; there in NO charge for the ice-cream bar, the delicious pizza bar, pop corn or the poolside Trident Grill....it's all included in the cruise price. We found Tim Donovan and his cruise staff to be outstanding. The London Pub Night was a bit corny but I loved it. Good clean old fashioned fun. The staff gave it 100%. The service staff could, on accasions be a bit surly. Others have mentioned this. I agree, Most were brilliant, but there were occasions when some were bordering on being frosty. Our daughter is nearly 5 and she went to the Princess Pelican's most days. This is located aft and is a really big facility. There is a two-storey adventure jungle, computers, a crafts table. The staff were wonderful. Baby-sitting is available in the club from 2200-0100 and is $5 an hour charged in 15 minuted increments. One evening we paid $3.75 only. The children have huge bean bag beds to sleep on in front of a big tv. My only criticism is that on the first and last night of the cruise there is not after hours sitting. They will try to accommodate your wishes but the first night is for registration only and the last night they close at 10pm. We saw two comics onboard but did not see the production shows. As others have said, the photos were pure extortion so we gave them a miss. I found onboard drink prices to be cheaper than RCI but not by much. A 16oz Bud Light was $5.46 including 15% gratuity. A cocktail was about $6.75 and measures were very generous. All-in-all we had a great cruise and despite the minor criticisms, i have no hesitation in recommending Princess.

Sun,Sun,Sun!!!

Emerald Princess Cruise Review by Andy Fitch

Trip Details
This was our second cruise. We cruised before on Liberty of The Seas with Royal Caribbean International. We were excited about trying a different line. After a good flight with American Airlines (yes you heard me correctly) from Heathrow to Miami, we stayed one night at the Intercontinental West Miami. A very nice choice. Usually, I like to arrange all of my own transfers and tend to rent a car but this time we opted for the total package with Princess and it was very relaxing not to have to stress about directions and getting to the pier on time. Embarkation at Fort Lauderdale's Port Everglades was less than pleasant. A dreary cattle-shed with long lines and attendants pushing metal sofas across the lines to cut you off in order to manage the line. Very chaotic. On reaching the counter, there seemed to be a scramble as the line ended and it was a case of pushy people jumping in to get checked in before you. I found this whole experience so much less enjoyable than Miami. Once onboard, we found the ship to be beautiful. Immaculate, spotless and very upscale. Whilst smaller, i found the Piazza more tasteful than RCI's Royal Promenade and I enjoyed the fact that you could walk down a passage on Emerald and not know what was around the next corner. My wife found the layout of this ship very annoying whilst I liked it a lot. Others have complained about decks not running all the way through. Here's a tip; step outside on deck 7 and walk front to back on the Promenade Deck then go back inside and use the next set of elevators. Our cabin was smaller than RCI but very nice and the drop-down bed from the ceiling was very innovative. Our cabin steward Jose Jr was first class and kept the room spotless.
Princess have a complimentary fruit bowl and you can order fresh supplies daily; a very nice touch. Our only real complaint was that the buffet was chaotic and as others have said, had no sense of organisation. One breakfast time I even heard an English cook lose his temper and use the F word to one of his Phillipino colleagues and clearly in earshot of passengers. I'm not a prude but this is totally unacceptable behaviour. The food was pretty good in quality but totally disjointed in layout and having two buffet areas just added to the sense of confusion. The food overall was good. Evening meal buffet was a joke....vegetarian sushi which was warm and wrapped in filo pastry? No sauces or ginger condiments. Ghoulash next to piri piri prawns? I found the buffet to be way way below the standard we experienced in the Windjammer on RCI. That said, evening formal dining in the main restaurants was very good. I never had a cold meal and we both agreed that the filet medallions which were always available were of a better cut than those served by RCI. Service tended to be slower on a table for two. On two nights we sat on a table for 8 and service was spot-on both nights. We ate at Sabbatini's and had pre-dinner drinks in the adjacent Adagio bar. A lovely evening. 8 courses so go there hungry expecting to eat a lot. You order main and dessert but the rest they chose for you and serve silver-service style tableside. The only slip-up was when our waiter announced the pasta course and then left us for several minutes allowing the plates to go cold. When he returned with the trolly, my wifewas about to mention it when he apologised and produced two hot plates. Attention to detail was excellent. The food quality was sublime. The truffle ravioli and the veal chop are to die for.
I must contradict a previous post; there in NO charge for the ice-cream bar, the delicious pizza bar, pop corn or the poolside Trident Grill....it's all included in the cruise price. We found Tim Donovan and his cruise staff to be outstanding. The London Pub Night was a bit corny but I loved it. Good clean old fashioned fun. The staff gave it 100%. The service staff could, on accasions be a bit surly. Others have mentioned this. I agree, Most were brilliant, but there were occasions when some were bordering on being frosty. Our daughter is nearly 5 and she went to the Princess Pelican's most days. This is located aft and is a really big facility. There is a two-storey adventure jungle, computers, a crafts table. The staff were wonderful. Baby-sitting is available in the club from 2200-0100 and is $5 an hour charged in 15 minuted increments. One evening we paid $3.75 only. The children have huge bean bag beds to sleep on in front of a big tv. My only criticism is that on the first and last night of the cruise there is not after hours sitting. They will try to accommodate your wishes but the first night is for registration only and the last night they close at 10pm. We saw two comics onboard but did not see the production shows. As others have said, the photos were pure extortion so we gave them a miss. I found onboard drink prices to be cheaper than RCI but not by much. A 16oz Bud Light was $5.46 including 15% gratuity. A cocktail was about $6.75 and measures were very generous. All-in-all we had a great cruise and despite the minor criticisms, i have no hesitation in recommending Princess.
Andy Fitch’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BC C522
Caribe deck has 30& larger balconies but they are overlooked from above and you overllook deck 9 below. This cabin is mid-ships and has a lauderette with irons and spray bottles provided a few steps aft.
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