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We flew from the east coast, spent two days at the Hyatt Regency in Long Beach (booked on our own so we can go early to the ship) and then took a one week cruise down the coast of Mexico, stayed in our Penthouse Suite and then took the 15 day cruise to Hawaii. We had never been to Long Beach and wanted a change from the familiar Caribbean cruises we take to escape our winter blues. We were able to catch up with old friends who had relocated to California, eat some great meals and go to the Laugh Factory across the street from the Hotel. The Hotel is a 20 minute taxi ride from the San Pedro pier and in a very good location. We have stayed in Penthouse Suites several times and this room, although a little shabby (the Emerald is going into dry dock for some major changes in April), has a brand new comfortable bed, two TVs, a walk in shower (plus tub). The sofa bed's cushions kept coming out and we had a minor flood that was quickly repaired. A narrow balcony held two jammed together lounges and a small table with chairs. We never used it as we sprung for the Sanctuary for the whole trip and were often the only couple up there. We raced to sign up (a stupid move - the weather was cold and windy for most of the cruise) as having a suite does not give you first dibs. Oscar and his staff treated us like royalty, bringing us tea and hot chocolate. On the Mexico cruise there were some young families, replaced by Baby Boomers for Florida. The whale watching tour in Cabo was cancelled at the last minute due to weather and the other tours in Mexico were terrible. Just skip them. We were very disappointed in the excursion desk. Usually Princess is top notch in loading the buses, this time the Wheelhouse bar was used and was a zoo. However on Maui a bus broke down on the other side of the island and the ship waited over two hours for the excursion to return, so that is a reason to book through the ship if you plan on going far. The change over for the Hawaiian cruise (leaving all your stuff in your room is a great perk) on returning to LA was wacky: We were sent off the ship around 11:00 am, directed to go out of the terminal and come in the other door with no guidance. About 100 of us were briefly dazed and confused, but we made it back on and went to lunch. For the first cruise the cruise director was Kaylee. (She was very enthusiastic and excellent at the marriage game) but upon our return to Long Beach she disappeared and was replaced by Duke. Wow what a hoot. The cruise staff, Mark A. and Mark C., Kimberly and two other replaceable young women, threw themselves into the games with abandon. The games, and especially the very seriously attended trivia, were always standing room only. Forget the production shows. They are old repeats (only the 1920's tap dancing show is good) . The two comedians were excellent. Keith Bender did a late night adult show that was fabulous. People kept bringing in chairs, sat on the floor and stood. We had breakfast every morning at the Crown Grill. George has whipped his staff into a frenzy of excellent "immediately" service. At night the food was pretty good (lamb chops, onion soup, grill salad terrific) but the quality of the meat has gone down since Carnival took over. The steak on the main dining menu was not edible on more than one occasion (DO NOT ORDER steak Diane). Do not go to Share upstairs. It is awful; six lousy courses. I hear they are bringing back the Italian restaurant on the two new ships. The pizza and ice cream on deck is good. The hot dog is very good, the hamburger OK, lack of quality meat problem again. Bingo fun and Princess (unlike Celebrity) gives away mega bucks on the final cover-all. Over $4,000 on last day of the cruise. The smoking in the casino is awful. Gamblers get very few perks. Very little off a cabin price, maybe a cheap bottle of wine and religiously those chocolate covered strawberries (yuck). NCL and Celebrity do better by gamblers. Nice variety of slots though. Our stateroom attendant Jim was the best we have had in 50 cruises. Always a smile, efficient and caring. The ship was about a third Canadians. I have to say that they are the nicest people. Everyone was friendly and kind. We made some friends to play Trivia with and had a great time. I really loved every minute of the cruise. My husband said it was too long. You have to like sea days (we each read 5 books). We would do it again without Mexico. Hawaii is beautiful. Went to Polynesian Cultural Center in Maui ( fun day). Hilo is sad would prefer Kona port. Honolulu is amazing, Kaui is gorgeous. Went to Canyon and fern grotto. Enjoyed.

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Emerald Princess Cruise Review by Travelartist16

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2019
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Penthouse Suite with Balcony
We flew from the east coast, spent two days at the Hyatt Regency in Long Beach (booked on our own so we can go early to the ship) and then took a one week cruise down the coast of Mexico, stayed in our Penthouse Suite and then took the 15 day cruise to Hawaii. We had never been to Long Beach and wanted a change from the familiar Caribbean cruises we take to escape our winter blues. We were able to catch up with old friends who had relocated to California, eat some great meals and go to the Laugh Factory across the street from the Hotel. The Hotel is a 20 minute taxi ride from the San Pedro pier and in a very good location. We have stayed in Penthouse Suites several times and this room, although a little shabby (the Emerald is going into dry dock for some major changes in April), has a brand new comfortable bed, two TVs, a walk in shower (plus tub). The sofa bed's cushions kept coming out and we had a minor flood that was quickly repaired. A narrow balcony held two jammed together lounges and a small table with chairs. We never used it as we sprung for the Sanctuary for the whole trip and were often the only couple up there. We raced to sign up (a stupid move - the weather was cold and windy for most of the cruise) as having a suite does not give you first dibs. Oscar and his staff treated us like royalty, bringing us tea and hot chocolate.

On the Mexico cruise there were some young families, replaced by Baby Boomers for Florida. The whale watching tour in Cabo was cancelled at the last minute due to weather and the other tours in Mexico were terrible. Just skip them. We were very disappointed in the excursion desk. Usually Princess is top notch in loading the buses, this time the Wheelhouse bar was used and was a zoo. However on Maui a bus broke down on the other side of the island and the ship waited over two hours for the excursion to return, so that is a reason to book through the ship if you plan on going far.

The change over for the Hawaiian cruise (leaving all your stuff in your room is a great perk) on returning to LA was wacky: We were sent off the ship around 11:00 am, directed to go out of the terminal and come in the other door with no guidance. About 100 of us were briefly dazed and confused, but we made it back on and went to lunch.

For the first cruise the cruise director was Kaylee. (She was very enthusiastic and excellent at the marriage game) but upon our return to Long Beach she disappeared and was replaced by Duke. Wow what a hoot. The cruise staff, Mark A. and Mark C., Kimberly and two other replaceable young women, threw themselves into the games with abandon. The games, and especially the very seriously attended trivia, were always standing room only. Forget the production shows. They are old repeats (only the 1920's tap dancing show is good) . The two comedians were excellent. Keith Bender did a late night adult show that was fabulous. People kept bringing in chairs, sat on the floor and stood.

We had breakfast every morning at the Crown Grill. George has whipped his staff into a frenzy of excellent "immediately" service. At night the food was pretty good (lamb chops, onion soup, grill salad terrific) but the quality of the meat has gone down since Carnival took over. The steak on the main dining menu was not edible on more than one occasion (DO NOT ORDER steak Diane). Do not go to Share upstairs. It is awful; six lousy courses. I hear they are bringing back the Italian restaurant on the two new ships.

The pizza and ice cream on deck is good. The hot dog is very good, the hamburger OK, lack of quality meat problem again. Bingo fun and Princess (unlike Celebrity) gives away mega bucks on the final cover-all. Over $4,000 on last day of the cruise. The smoking in the casino is awful. Gamblers get very few perks. Very little off a cabin price, maybe a cheap bottle of wine and religiously those chocolate covered strawberries (yuck). NCL and Celebrity do better by gamblers. Nice variety of slots though.

Our stateroom attendant Jim was the best we have had in 50 cruises. Always a smile, efficient and caring. The ship was about a third Canadians. I have to say that they are the nicest people. Everyone was friendly and kind. We made some friends to play Trivia with and had a great time. I really loved every minute of the cruise. My husband said it was too long. You have to like sea days (we each read 5 books). We would do it again without Mexico. Hawaii is beautiful. Went to Polynesian Cultural Center in Maui ( fun day). Hilo is sad would prefer Kona port. Honolulu is amazing, Kaui is gorgeous. Went to Canyon and fern grotto. Enjoyed.
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Cabin Review

Penthouse Suite with Balcony
Cabin S3 R405
R405 Penthouse suite. Great location, mid-ship and only steps from elevator. large, comfortable, good bathroom. Poor lighting over sink, massive storage, narrow balcony, needs more outlets ( bring plug). Best steward. Beautiful orchid plant, fruit, free water, laundry. Best breakfast in world in Crown grill. Very comfortable bed.
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