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My partner and I have been on more than a dozen cruises on several different lines including Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. I really wanted to try Princess because I had read and heard they offered a superior product. That is simply not the case. Frankly, Emerald Princess afforded probably the worst service I have encountered on any cruise line. Aside from our room attendant, Elvira and one dining room waitress, Sandra, the service was terrible, sometimes even rude. It seemed like the crew could not care less about the passengers' enjoyment. The ship itself has a terrible layout. Only decks 7 and 15 allow passengers to traverse the entire ship. All the other decks except the stateroom decks have a blockage requiring you to go up or down a deck or two to move from front to back of the ship. You have to have an engineering degree to figure out how to get to the aft pool and hot tub without going through the dining room. And, there are far too few public restrooms for a ship with 3000+ passengers. Probably the biggest problem is the small size of the main show lounge. It seats only about 800 passengers and there were 3300 on our cruise, meaning that less than half can see a show on any given night. You literally have to grab a seat an hour before show time to insure a seat. Ridiculous! The ship also feels crowded. On the plus side, the pools are all fresh water and heated and there were enough deck chairs even on sea days except by the aft pool (supposedly adults only, but not enforced). They also are not "towel police" like RCL. You don't have to account for each and every towel or pay a $20 fine like Royal Caribbean. Another complaint I had is the excessive drink prices. Alcoholic beverages averaged in price from about $5 to $7 each, much more than other cruise lines I have utilized recently and they measure each and every shot exactly! No free pour allowed. I know they are trying to generate extra revenue, but they could at least pour a decent drink. The cabin is unusual in layout, but nicely appointed. The closet is large, but it takes up cabin space so there is no seating area in the balcony cabins. The bathroom was adequate, but had those awful shower curtains, not the door that is much more common now. I did notice substantial wear in some of the carpet in the hallways and stairwells, something uncommon for a newer ship. And I did not observe maintenance being preformed during our cruise. Even the windows were not washed during the entire cruise and the salt spray significantly clouded the views. The food, in my opinion, was better than industry average. Significantly better than Royal Caribbean, which is my favorite line; however, the buffet was disappointing. It had a smaller selection than even Carnival and a very congested layout at peak times. We dined at Sabatini's and I would have to say that it was probably the best meal I have every had on any ship. Well worth the $20 surcharge. Crown Grill on the other hand was unexceptional, but still quite good. They charge $25 extra per person. All said and done, I would definitely choose Royal Caribbean over Princess and even Carnival was somewhat superior in service.

Princess offers no royal treatment

Emerald Princess Cruise Review by wjack

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
My partner and I have been on more than a dozen cruises on several different lines including Carnival, Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. I really wanted to try Princess because I had read and heard they offered a superior product. That is simply not the case. Frankly, Emerald Princess afforded probably the worst service I have encountered on any cruise line. Aside from our room attendant, Elvira and one dining room waitress, Sandra, the service was terrible, sometimes even rude. It seemed like the crew could not care less about the passengers' enjoyment.
The ship itself has a terrible layout. Only decks 7 and 15 allow passengers to traverse the entire ship. All the other decks except the stateroom decks have a blockage requiring you to go up or down a deck or two to move from front to back of the ship. You have to have an engineering degree to figure out how to get to the aft pool and hot tub without going through the dining room. And, there are far too few public restrooms for a ship with 3000+ passengers. Probably the biggest problem is the small size of the main show lounge. It seats only about 800 passengers and there were 3300 on our cruise, meaning that less than half can see a show on any given night. You literally have to grab a seat an hour before show time to insure a seat. Ridiculous! The ship also feels crowded. On the plus side, the pools are all fresh water and heated and there were enough deck chairs even on sea days except by the aft pool (supposedly adults only, but not enforced). They also are not "towel police" like RCL. You don't have to account for each and every towel or pay a $20 fine like Royal Caribbean.
Another complaint I had is the excessive drink prices. Alcoholic beverages averaged in price from about $5 to $7 each, much more than other cruise lines I have utilized recently and they measure each and every shot exactly! No free pour allowed. I know they are trying to generate extra revenue, but they could at least pour a decent drink.
The cabin is unusual in layout, but nicely appointed. The closet is large, but it takes up cabin space so there is no seating area in the balcony cabins. The bathroom was adequate, but had those awful shower curtains, not the door that is much more common now. I did notice substantial wear in some of the carpet in the hallways and stairwells, something uncommon for a newer ship. And I did not observe maintenance being preformed during our cruise. Even the windows were not washed during the entire cruise and the salt spray significantly clouded the views.
The food, in my opinion, was better than industry average. Significantly better than Royal Caribbean, which is my favorite line; however, the buffet was disappointing. It had a smaller selection than even Carnival and a very congested layout at peak times. We dined at Sabatini's and I would have to say that it was probably the best meal I have every had on any ship. Well worth the $20 surcharge. Crown Grill on the other hand was unexceptional, but still quite good. They charge $25 extra per person.
All said and done, I would definitely choose Royal Caribbean over Princess and even Carnival was somewhat superior in service.
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