OK, first of all this is our fourth cruise, our 1st on Princess. We booked this cruise to visit four of my sisters in the Islands. We've sailed on Norwegian, Celebrity and Disney. We flew into the L.A. area a few days early and stayed at the Crown Plaza in Redondo Beach, nice hotel and staff. Nice pier to hike around with good seafood to boot. We took an uber over to the Reagan Presidential Library and enjoyed it very much. Worth checking out in beautiful Simi Valley.
The Emerald Princess was going for an 18 day re-fit at the end of this cruise, and it was very much due. I will commend the vessels maint. crew for constantly painting and varnishing whenever the weather permitted. I was told the buffet dining rooms were getting a complete makeover. Also, a new medallion system would be used for passenger access. Embarkation was a breeze, well organized, everyone was very helpful. The entire process took about 20 minutes and we were in our cabin. We booked very late so the best we could do was a room (E311) with an obstructed view on Deck 8. The room was not as big as the new cruise ships, but clean and well maintained. Bathroom and shower were on the small side but what I expected on a vessel built in 2007. Our cabin attendant Nester kept the place spotless the entire voyage. Although the view was obstructed you could still see the ocean going by. On the down side, since the window doesn't open the room can get a bit stuffy at times.
For lunch we ate at the Horizon Court Buffet the first couple of days. You won't starve, but just your average fare there. About the 3rd day we started having lunch at Botticelli's on Deck 6 Aft. It was set up for open seating just for lunch and the food was better. For supper we ate mainly at Michaelangelo's and Da Vinci main dining rooms. The menu's between the two really didn't change much, so after three days at sea the food was not so good. I will say they know how to cook Salmon to perfection, but after many, many Salmon suppers I won't need to eat it again for quite awhile. One item that didn't sit well with me concerning the menu was the "Side Menu" with the higher end items (Maine lobster, steaks, ect), at an additional cost. We both loved getting our morning coffee at the International Cafe on Deck 5 Piazza for a small fee. And their freshly made sandwiches and pastries were always excellent. We had "anytime" seating for the main dining rooms and almost always sat with other couples and got to visit people from all over. I would say most of the crowd on this ship were in there 70's to mid-80's. A very nice group of people, we felt young being 56 and 65.
We only took two of the offered excursions because we were meeting family on two of the islands. The whale watching in the bay at Maui was great, Humpback Whales that seemed to be everywhere in that bay. It was fun! There wasn't a cruise ship dock there so we had to us the ships Tenders. Added a few minutes getting off the ship, but no big deal and it was kinda fun. We took the wine tasting excursion during our stop at Ensenada, Mexico and absolutely loved it. Well organized and very smooth. They gave us two free bottles of wine and we couldn't be happier!
We only attended one show the entire trip, for about ten minutes the first or second night. We were content sipping on wine and finding cozy spots on the ship to kick back and read. We probably won't do another Princess cruise based on the food issues. We just got spoiled on Celebrity. The crew on this ship went above and beyond to make you feel at home, we especially liked the "Main Dining Room Singers"!
Disembarkation was smooth, we caught an uber to John Wayne Airport, no problems! We volunteered to give up our seats and ended up staying another day in Santa Anna, so we visited the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda. Another day well spent.
Overall, this was a great room. The bed was super comfy and the sheets were excellent. Very clean room thanks to "Nester", our cabin attendant!
loved this excursion.View All 70 Whale Watching Reviews
Visited with family.
Hiked around town and ate out at Duke's!
Loved this tour!!View All 64 Winery Tour Reviews