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We took this cruise several years before on another Princess ship and enjoyed it immensely. This time - not so much. First the downside. Originally the ship was built to hold 2800 passengers. Princess stuffed an additional 500+ passengers by making all the cabins, inside and outside smaller. For the first week the Princess theater could not accommodate all the additional passengers with only two evening performances per night. Passengers were upset so for the rest of the voyage, the ship relented and scheduled three performances a night. Various food lines were much longer this time but you soon learned to avoid the "rush hours." Because of extra passengers, access to enjoy popular entertainers at the piano bar and the ship's nightclubs was often difficult compared to the past cruises. Initially the dining room service was mediocre but improved a little as the voyage continued. One time we walked out after waiting a half hour without any dinner service. Another time I could have been arrested for assault. I grabbed the head honcho by the shoulder and wouldn't let him go until he called over one of the Filipino waiters to take care of our table. I feel that the larger number of passengers put much more pressure on the kitchen leading to delays and rushed meals. Chicken was always overcooked and dry - so we soon learned to avoid it. When steaks were offered, It was difficult to get it rare. The buffet often had better choices than the regular dining rooms. The good news is that the prime rib (when served) was very nice. The movies played "under the stars" and in the Princess Theater were entertaining. The "enrichment" lectures during the day were well done and interesting. Because of the additional passengers, the land tours were almost all sold out before you even boarded the ship. However we discovered that the private tours on shore were just as good and only half the price that Princess charged. As a long time stockholder, I appreciate the desire for Carnival to squeeze as much profit out of each ship as possible. If this was your first cruise, then I suppose you might have accepted all this as normal. But my advice for all the rest, is to avoid the "new" Emerald Princess - whether for Alaska or the Pacific runs. For future cruises make sure the other Princess ships like the Pacific or Coral Princess have not been remodeled to hold more than the original 2200 to 2800 passengers. You have been warned.

Traveling the high seas in steerage class

Emerald Princess Cruise Review by billmero

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2018
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Interior
We took this cruise several years before on another Princess ship and enjoyed it immensely. This time - not so much. First the downside. Originally the ship was built to hold 2800 passengers. Princess stuffed an additional 500+ passengers by making all the cabins, inside and outside smaller. For the first week the Princess theater could not accommodate all the additional passengers with only two evening performances per night. Passengers were upset so for the rest of the voyage, the ship relented and scheduled three performances a night. Various food lines were much longer this time but you soon learned to avoid the "rush hours." Because of extra passengers, access to enjoy popular entertainers at the piano bar and the ship's nightclubs was often difficult compared to the past cruises. Initially the dining room service was mediocre but improved a little as the voyage continued. One time we walked out after waiting a half hour without any dinner service. Another time I could have been arrested for assault. I grabbed the head honcho by the shoulder and wouldn't let him go until he called over one of the Filipino waiters to take care of our table. I feel that the larger number of passengers put much more pressure on the kitchen leading to delays and rushed meals. Chicken was always overcooked and dry - so we soon learned to avoid it. When steaks were offered, It was difficult to get it rare. The buffet often had better choices than the regular dining rooms.

The good news is that the prime rib (when served) was very nice. The movies played "under the stars" and in the Princess Theater were entertaining. The "enrichment" lectures during the day were well done and interesting. Because of the additional passengers, the land tours were almost all sold out before you even boarded the ship. However we discovered that the private tours on shore were just as good and only half the price that Princess charged.

As a long time stockholder, I appreciate the desire for Carnival to squeeze as much profit out of each ship as possible. If this was your first cruise, then I suppose you might have accepted all this as normal. But my advice for all the rest, is to avoid the "new" Emerald Princess - whether for Alaska or the Pacific runs. For future cruises make sure the other Princess ships like the Pacific or Coral Princess have not been remodeled to hold more than the original 2200 to 2800 passengers. You have been warned.
billmero’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin IC 1431
It was very tiny and narrow. Worst I have ever seen on any ship. Even had folded beds on the walls. Every time my wife and I got out of bed, we usually painfully bumped our heads. We also heard numerous complains from those who had balconies - the balconies were roomy but the rooms were also much smaller than on other Princess ships. One gentleman said that he had a suite but never, in all his years as sailing, had never seen a suite as small as his.
Lido Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews