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Emerald Princess Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,737 Reviews

First and possibly last with Princess

Emerald Princess Cruise Review by BradandJulilan

1 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Aug 2018
  • Destination: Alaska
  • Cabin Type: Balcony

We left out of Seattle and we had planned on having time to get some water and other items we wanted on the ship but did not want to take on the airplane. When we landed at the airport it was a crap show from the get go. The staff at baggage claim took about an hour to check confirm what we had purchased even though we all had confirmation numbers. They also check your passport and your id here. Then they had to "Verify that we had transportation" It said it on the itinerary and we had set this all up months in advance. After another 20-30 minutes they finally took us down to the desk where they would tag our luggage and take it. We were in a large party with 16 of us and 3 small children and 3 others under 18. Once we reached the desk they got us our bag tags and verified our passports and id's again. We then followed our escort to the transfer line where our id's and passports were checked yet again before boarding the bus.

Once we got to the dock and started the in processing process we were asked again for our passports and drivers licenses before heading upstairs to the actual desk to be asked yet again for the passport and id to get our cabin card/ship card. After getting this it was a quick stop at the security check point for a picture, then smooth sailing onto the boat and to our cabin. No issues at all.

The first thing we noticed was our bathroom stunk and I mean like worse than a public restroom on a construction site stink. We called the front desk and had this issue addressed. It took about 2 hours as everyone was settling and we were getting ready to set sail.

The cabin was clean and in good condition. The ship did not really show its age and the crew and staff were always working on it. Painting, sanding rails, staining, etc. The elevators had some issues at the end and several went out for over an hour at a time on the last 2 days, but other than that there were no huge issues I experienced. I know my family had issues with their toilet continually running with water and flooding their bathroom. The issue was addressed and fixed in their cabin but went to the next cabin and created another issue before being fully resolved.

When it comes to food I think they are doing a good job but could defiantly improve especially at the buffet, morning room breakfast and room service. The dinning room was great and the food their was wonderful. The menu in the morning/early afternoon is a little slim picking but still good quality.

The Crown Grill was a jewel and worth every extra cent we spent to go there. We had purchased the beverage pass (Not premium) and at the buffet it was pointless. If you wanted a drink you had to go to the bar and get it yourself because the staff was far overworked and would not return for refills. On several occasions the staff didn't even come by to get our initial drink order but as stated far overworked.

Day one was leaving Seattle

Day two was at sea.

When we were at sea we used this time to explore the ship. Try some of the different foods and check out all the different decks. This was when we got a good feel for the ships condition and the amount of time and effort the crews put in maintaining it. We checked out shops and got plenty of drinks. When we returned to our room we noticed the Privacy sign had been removed and the room made up. We didn't think much of it and when we went to dinner we put the sign back in the door and left. Upon returning the sign was moved again and the room was made up.

We pulled back the sheets to lay down for a nap and found the comforter was discolored and had huge yellow stains on it. This was absolutely disgusting. We left it on the ground and it was not replaced the next 2 days.

We found our room Stewart and addressed the issue with him asking him to please honor our request for Privacy and leave our room when the sign is in the door.

Day three was Ketchikan.

At Ketchikan we got off the ship and explored the city. We went to creek city and walked throughout it. We then went to the hatchery for the salmon and walked around a little more to explore the parks and other sights. The family had gone off on a Salmon fishing expedition so we did our own thing and then returned to the boat with no issues. Long lines but they go fast.

Upon returning to the ship we noticed our Privacy sign was removed yet again from the door and our room had been made up. We had only a few short minutes to prepare for dinner at the crown and would be addressing this with his management at a later time as The Crown was an additional cost and we didn't want to miss it. So we quickly changed and rushed out the door ensuring that we put the privacy sign up as we had jewelry and other items laying out that we didn't have time to put away right now.

Dinner was par non and I couldn't be happier with the staff at the crown. Upon returning to the room we noticed that our Privacy sign was gone again. We also noticed that my nephews jacket was missing from our room. I went to the front desk and complained about the issues we were having and was told that a member from Management would be contacting us tomorrow morning. I was okay with this and returned to my cabin. My nephew then came and told me that my father had asked the Stewart to let him in the room and the Stewart opened my room for him. My father and I have not had a good relationship for years and he knows better than to invite himself into my spaces (or so I though) Upon hearing this I was exceptionally frustrated as the Stewart is breaking protocol and procedures by ignoring my privacy sign and now letting unauthorized people into my room. (Family or not I do not have that relationship with them and the crew on board does not know if we are or are not family. This is not a call for a front line member to make for a simple jacket or garment. They could have waited for us to get back or came and asked for one of us to let them in the room to get it.)

Day four was Tracy Arm and Juneau.

This is the day when things went south for us. Very south, very fast.

We woke to pieces of the glaciers floating in the ocean. The bright blues and the beautiful mountains were amazing and breathtaking. The breakfast order from the night before was messed up and they had forgotten some items. No big deal we would be going to the buffet anyway soon and they hadn't missed a beat before or after that one day.

We took in the views and the mountains and enjoyed every moment of the morning.

Around 9:00 AM I received a knock on the door. It was the Housekeeping manager. They stood in the hall until I invited them into my room to discuss the situation. Upon explaining the continual violations of policy and privacy (Hadn't had a chance to explain the unauthorized entry by another person) The manager tells me this is an honest mistake. I Explained the first few times maybe but not after 4 times of ignoring our Privacy sign. He then tries to explain that they need to have contact with passengers or they have to investigate and started giving me the run around ending again with this seems like an honest mistake.

I at this time requested that they leave my room and his manager needed to contact me as this was no honest mistake and what has happened was not ok.

**Quick history: My family and I had not spoken for years and for the last 4 years we had been mending our relationships and working on our issues. (Their issue is they are Mormon and I am gay. My partner and I have been together 8 years and this was our first cruise) This was suppose to be a bring everyone together and have a wonderful trip cruise. The excursions were paid for and the cruise was paid for by my grandmother. My grandmother was hospitalized prior to coming and was not able to attend with us.

A few moments later I went to the front desk and was greeted by Roxana (Customer Relations Manager) She took me to the office of Mario (Customer Services Director) where i explained the situation and what was going on. They sympathized with me and told me it was all unacceptable and that he should not be doing the things he did regardless of if it was family or not. They were going to address it with the Stewart and assured me the trip would be enjoyable and pleasant from here on out. I thanked them for their time and returned to my room trusting it was going to be resolved and we would be able to get back to enjoying our vacation. (During this time I have missed all of the Tracy arm part of the cruise. The fjords, glaciers, waterfalls, etc. one of the main things I was looking forward to)

Upon returning to my room, my partner and I start to plan our day. When all of a sudden there is a knock on the door. I was thinking it would be my nephew or cousins, but it was my dad. He barges in my room past me and starts yelling at me about how he told the Stewart to open the door and he is authorized to be in my room. He continues yelling about how I am blowing this out of proportion and there is no reason to be getting anyone in trouble. I explain that I had asked him not to come in the room and that the privacy notice was in the door each and every time he had. That he could have let anyone in the room and they could have taken our watches, bracelets, luggage and anything else they wanted and we would be screwed because we would then have to prove we even had it.

He continued to yell for a few minutes and I finally yelled back and told him to leave my room and he wasn't authorized to be in my room as he damn well pleased. Once he left I started to wonder about who had told him anything because I had not mentioned anything to anyone except my partner about what was going on.

I went and knocked on his room door to ask who had told him. He told me it was the Stewart who had come and informed him of the situation.

At this point I lost it. This was completely unacceptable and we were ready to fly home. I went back to the Directors office and explained that their staff had basically just ruined years of relationship patching because he needed to go complain about me to my family. This resulted in us not doing excursions that we had already purchased over $500 worth as the hostility would make for a very volatile environment for us and other passengers.

The Customer Service Director and Customer Relations Manager both agreed this was not ok. This was unacceptable and they were apologizing profusely. Everything was good and being worked out and now there was nothing they could even say about what their employee had just done.

The solution was to move us cabins to the other side of the ship. Which we did, but this was not a solution. This was not a fix to the problems that their employee had just created and the years of work he had just undid.

The new room we moved into seemed like a downgrade as the carpets were older and there was a stain that looked like the room had been flooded at some point. The rest of the cabin seemed the same.

At this time my partner started to get sick as a result of all the stress, fighting and issues that had arisen but we were about to get to Juneau and I was hoping he would get back in the race.

We arrived in Juneau at around 3:00 PM and he wasn't doing much better. We had planned on going on our paid for zip-lining excursion but with the issues we could not. So we instead walked the town, bought a few souvenirs and road the tram. It turned out to be a pretty decent day even with the issues we had been having. We returned to the ship and then the room. This is where my partner would be for the remainder of the night.

Day five Skagway:

The weather was not so great and had been raining on us since we got out of Tracy Arm. My partner was still feeling sick and it was a struggle to get him to get up and go with me ashore. We had paid to go gold panning and have a Salmon bake but again could not go as there was a lot of tension. So we instead went and walked the town and took a bus out to the cemetery where we seen a rushing water fall. It was so powerful and dirty as it was pulling the land from above with it. It was impressive to say the least. 300 feet or so and worth every step there (My partner might not agree lol)

Day Six At Sea:

Day Six was at sea and there were no issues at all. On this day my partner was bed ridden and I went and enjoyed some of the onboard activities such as Voice of the ocean, choir, guess that song, and the art auction to name a few.

Day Seven Victoria:

Most of the day was spent at sea but when we got to Victoria at that evening we had a few hours to go explore the city and take in the sights. It was a great little jump off but we wished it would have been a little longer as there is so much to do. My partner was feeling a little better by now and enjoyed the evening with me exploring the city. We were able to see the Parliament buildings lit up which was really beautiful. We got back to the ship and off we went to be at sea until morning when we docked at Seattle.

All in all the trip was ok. It would have been much better had we not had the issues we did but you know what they say. Ship happens.

Thanks for reading this long review. I don't know that we will be booking with Princess in the future but we are defiantly going on another cruise shortly.

BradandJulilan's Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin BC C302

The first cabin we were in had an awful smell in the bathroom. The sheets had stains on them and the comforter was discolored and yellow. The fridge was clean and functioning, the beds were comfortable, the end tables were nice and the furnishings had been maintained well. The second cabin we were in C620 had carpet that was old and looked as if it had been flooded. The rest of the cabin was pretty much on par with the original cabin we had.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


Canada was breathtaking. The views, the people, the city, the history, so many more things to name. My only issue was there was not enough time here.


It was raining and rain it did!!! Again had an excursion to pan for gold and have a Salmon bake but as a result of a staff members actions we did not. We instead walked the town and went to the cemetery to see the 300 foot waterfall. We got SOAKED with rain but it was worth it all!!


We were suppose to go zip-lining but as a result of staff causing issues with my family and I we did not (even though we paid for it) We instead walked the beautiful town and rode the tram. Amazing views


We loved walking this quaint town and seeing the hatchery. Was really a good time. The weather was perfect.


My issues are the amount of time it takes to get on the ship. Continually pulling out id and passports. Line after line. Other than that as expected.

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