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1. Name of ship-Emerald Princess 2. Room #D112 3. Category-IE 4. date-Jan 17- Feb 2 of 2019 If you find anything helpful let me know with a vote! 5. Pros- Stewart and dining room staff were excellent to us. Several outlets in the room. 6. Cons-no dinner menu on mobile app like Carnival, Captain’s log not updated, no kids schedule, no steak on the daily menu, dinner buffet very unpleasant. 7. Room- I believe 162 sq feet, so not the smallest we’ve been in. The mirrors in the room help the room feel bigger. The 2 lower beds can’t be put together because of the uppers. Of course, you have to watch not to bang your head if the Pullmans are down (even if they are up, the hang off the walls). 8. Outlets- The most we’ve had with 4, usually only get 1 or 2. (see pics) 9. Bed=A: Princess has very comfortable floor beds, the uppers are not as nice. 10. Pillows= I bring my own but they seem fine. 11. Heating and air= We stayed comfortable but we always bring a little fan for white noise and air circulation. 12. Metal walls= The doors took magnets very well. 13. Bathroom- Pretty small, shelf space is ok, could use more since it’s so small. (see pics) 14. shower size= Smallest, drain backing up, soap smells like lilac flowers and men don’t want to smell like flowers. Hand soap smelled like lard. Carnival has a nice citrus scent, same company so they should use this instead. 15. noise= The room was almost in the front of the ship, with only rooms above and below, so it was very quiet. 16. Smoking= The smoking areas are improving and was restricted to the casino (of course) and one side of the ship, mid-ship 1 floor above the Lido deck. 17. smooth= The first couple of nights where rough we all got sea sick (this is a first in all our cruises). Rough waters on the way to Kuai. Our room was in a bad spot for rough waters. 18. weather= All the days we had good weather and not too high, maybe a high of 82. 19. Ship GPS= Was last updated 100 miles away from Hilo and stopped being updated the entire time we were in the Hawaiian Islands. Pretty sorry Captains log. 20. internet= super slow but I’m told that is typical for the middle of the Pacific Ocean. 21. Dining= The buffet upon boarding was not very good. Even the desserts that looked good were pretty bland. Very good in the dining room with a lot of Hawaiian theme meals. Thanks goodness we only went to dinner in the buffet once because it was horrible. They only open one side of one buffet (despite having the ability to open up to 3, including one the opposite side using the same kitchen), so the line goes clear back to the elevators. We were told it is like this everyday and refuse to open the line before 5pm despite the crowds. Going though is of course a slow process and just like lunch, the food is not very impressive on the buffet. 22. seating room- We were always able to find a table for the buffets, but would often have to search, sometimes being quite far from the buffet. Our dinning room table which seated 8 was right around the corner from the kitchen in a semi-circular niche, anyway, it was a good area for us and our server Tami (Toe-mee) was great, especially to the kids. 23. laundry= We were at the front of the ship, the laundry was in the back so we were happy we had facilities, it’s a good walk back and forth. I think it was $2.50 for each. Per Cruise Critic 24. Personal Background Information=This was my 12th cruise and we often travel with my family with 2 young boys currently 5 and almost 2. We went with my parent in laws that have been on over 50 cruises and our good friends and this was their first cruise 25. Travel To Port of Embarkation=Flew from SC (ATL) to LAX. We rented a couple cars at the airport, stayed the night and the drop off is around a mile away (Herta?). They offer shuttle service, but there was a lot of other people waiting, so we killed some time and came back to be told they were on an hour lunch. You would think on a cruise day they would have a back up person to run the shuttle, so we walked the mile back to the ship. 26. Hotel Info (if any)=La Quinta, Inglewood (see TripAdvisor review) was a comfortable stay with nice clean rooms that had a good breakfast including bacon. It seems the hotels there are either really good or really bad, so we went with the better for $131 after all the taxes and fees. 27. Embarkation=We arrived much later than we usually do (about 2) so there was hardly any delay getting our cruise cards and boarding the ship. 28. Stateroom=D112 was small but not surprised for an interior room. The upper beds hung off the wall instead of going into the ceiling, so they took some space. Nice big mirrors to help the room seem bigger, decent about of bathroom shelves. (see pics) 29. Ship Info=This ship is pretty crowded, I was told the last referb they installed more cabins/less space to get on around 300 more passengers and it definitely shows during congregating times like the theater, peak buffet times, tendering, etc. We have been the same class ship that didn’t have these many passengers on the ship and was much more comfortable. It also shows on how tiny the cabins/bathrooms are. 30. Dining= As mentioned before, the buffet is disappointing but the dining room was very good. They did serve lobster on this cruise as well as escargot (a couple of our favorites) and both were very good. I’ve had other cruises where they did serve them, but wasn’t very good. 31. Activities= - Children's Clubs: No kids schedule and informed us that the youth center being open would be decided day to day. Our kids enjoyed the activities when they went. Our 5 year old has been on 7 cruises and doesn’t always like the kid’s clubs, but he enjoyed this one, so credit to the staff for this. 32. Staff & Service= Service overall was very good, was not happy as mentioned before the lack of planning and communication from the kids club. 33. Entertainment= Entertainment was very good and we especially enjoyed the naturalists that came onboard so we could learn so much about each island, the food, the people, just too much to mention. Very enjoyable. The small venue magic show was good and family friendly. He really talked up how good the theater production was going to be, but it was not. It was very dark and all over the place and even involved a murder scene behind a lite up sheet. NOT family friendly so I regretted fighting the crowds to see this one. 34. Shore Excursions= - Hilo: Docked at a pier and getting off the ship was pretty quick. The port is very unwelcoming. There are no welcoming signs and nothing to tell you that you are even in the paradise Hawaii, just dilapidated buildings everywhere in the port. The port authorities match the scene, very rude, yelling at passengers as they are trying to make their way. We rented a car and drove up to the volcano house and the views are really grand, I esp noticed and enjoyed the smell that reminded me of barbeque. We travel to the lava walls and was impressive the size of this thing. We went to Richards very busy very tiny black sand beach then back to the ship. When we got back the ship, around 4 an there was hardly any traffic but the port authorities’ moods where no different. It’s a shame the only interaction we had with Hawaiians on this island was anything but “Aloha”. - Honolulu: Took the bus and decided it was the wrong choice for our party of 3. We should have taken the 16.50 and put it toward a rental for ~$60 and would have done more time traveling to do what we wanted instead of a lot of waiting for the right bus to ride. We did go to the top of diamond head (~20 minute walk from the bus stop to even get into the park) and took us around another hour to go up the long winding path then the 270+ stairs to get to the top. The views are spectacular. It was tiring but even little kids where climbing to the top. We stopped at the palace on the way back to capture some pictures but we had run outta time to do anything else because we have a 4:20 Luau excursion to go to. Germain’s Luau: We planned on taking an Uber, but figured it out to saving only $15 PP so we made a very good choice to just book through the ship. This gave us better seating as well as a roomy tour bus to kick back and relax and learn about the island from our 82 year old escort Ron, what a nice man. Not sure how anyone can write a bad review of this place. We brought a grandma and without even asking a worker told her when it’s time to eat, you stay right there and I will bring your food to you and true to his word, that’s what he did long before our table was excused. The food was very good and ran 3 buffet tables on both sides so the lines went pretty quick. The show was great, the crowd interaction was great. We got some of the most gorgeous sunset pictures ever. The whole thing was a great experience. - Maui: We rented a little Hyundai (which I would recommend a small car or sports, not a jeep for all the tight corners) and made it all the way to Hana. We got an early start so the traffic wasn’t bad. Going back was definitely longer because we didn’t have to hardly every yield at the bridges on the way there but we did on the way back but still maintained a much higher speed than the posted 15MPH. We did most of our stops on the way back including the black sand beach with the lava cave (tube was closed, which was a huge disappointment) but the beach was awesome and not very crowded. The smoothed lave rocks to feel is a very unique experience and much better than Richards black sand beach that is super, super tiny and crowded. We captured pictures of few waterfalls, the peninsula on the large waves crashing the shore. I have to mention the spectacular sunrise peaking over the mountains has been some the best pictures taken on the cruise so far so you probably don’t want to miss that. - Kaui: Booked a helicopter tour on the internet with Safari and our young pilot Paka was very professional and enjoyed his knowledge and love of the island. I was pleasantly surprised being sat in a middle seat how good my views where, possibly better than a window seat because I had a clear view over the pilot’s shoulder as well has the huge clear door, much larger than all the other choppers that were there. The only way to have gotten a better view would have been if the doors were off. Air worked well and told us he likes to run it cold to help with sickness. Another bonus is the price is the same no matter what tour time I booked. Looking at the other helicopters on the airstrip, this was the best one (unless you want the doors off). It also was the best priced. A+ rating for these folks!! 35. Disembarkation= We got priority disembarkation which cuts out some of the line but you end up on the gangway in line with everyone else. There was a lot of people on this cruise so it did take a while, maybe 45-60 minutes, but the line was steadily moving. 36. Summary=Ship was tight, buffet much to be desired, dining room was good and the Hawaiian Islands were awesome. If you found anything helpful in this review, please let me know with a helpful vote!

Crowded trip to Paradise

Emerald Princess Cruise Review by Travel N

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2019
  • Destination: Hawaii
  • Cabin Type: Interior
1. Name of ship-Emerald Princess

2. Room #D112

3. Category-IE

4. date-Jan 17- Feb 2 of 2019

If you find anything helpful let me know with a vote!

5. Pros- Stewart and dining room staff were excellent to us. Several outlets in the room.

6. Cons-no dinner menu on mobile app like Carnival, Captain’s log not updated, no kids schedule, no steak on the daily menu, dinner buffet very unpleasant.

7. Room- I believe 162 sq feet, so not the smallest we’ve been in. The mirrors in the room help the room feel bigger. The 2 lower beds can’t be put together because of the uppers. Of course, you have to watch not to bang your head if the Pullmans are down (even if they are up, the hang off the walls).

8. Outlets- The most we’ve had with 4, usually only get 1 or 2. (see pics)

9. Bed=A: Princess has very comfortable floor beds, the uppers are not as nice.

10. Pillows= I bring my own but they seem fine.

11. Heating and air= We stayed comfortable but we always bring a little fan for white noise and air circulation.

12. Metal walls= The doors took magnets very well.

13. Bathroom- Pretty small, shelf space is ok, could use more since it’s so small. (see pics)

14. shower size= Smallest, drain backing up, soap smells like lilac flowers and men don’t want to smell like flowers. Hand soap smelled like lard. Carnival has a nice citrus scent, same company so they should use this instead.

15. noise= The room was almost in the front of the ship, with only rooms above and below, so it was very quiet.

16. Smoking= The smoking areas are improving and was restricted to the casino (of course) and one side of the ship, mid-ship 1 floor above the Lido deck.

17. smooth= The first couple of nights where rough we all got sea sick (this is a first in all our cruises).

Rough waters on the way to Kuai. Our room was in a bad spot for rough waters.

18. weather= All the days we had good weather and not too high, maybe a high of 82.

19. Ship GPS= Was last updated 100 miles away from Hilo and stopped being updated the entire time we were in the Hawaiian Islands. Pretty sorry Captains log.

20. internet= super slow but I’m told that is typical for the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

21. Dining= The buffet upon boarding was not very good. Even the desserts that looked good were pretty bland. Very good in the dining room with a lot of Hawaiian theme meals.

Thanks goodness we only went to dinner in the buffet once because it was horrible. They only open one side of one buffet (despite having the ability to open up to 3, including one the opposite side using the same kitchen), so the line goes clear back to the elevators. We were told it is like this everyday and refuse to open the line before 5pm despite the crowds. Going though is of course a slow process and just like lunch, the food is not very impressive on the buffet.

22. seating room- We were always able to find a table for the buffets, but would often have to search, sometimes being quite far from the buffet. Our dinning room table which seated 8 was right around the corner from the kitchen in a semi-circular niche, anyway, it was a good area for us and our server Tami (Toe-mee) was great, especially to the kids.

23. laundry= We were at the front of the ship, the laundry was in the back so we were happy we had facilities, it’s a good walk back and forth. I think it was $2.50 for each.

Per Cruise Critic

24. Personal Background Information=This was my 12th cruise and we often travel with my family with 2 young boys currently 5 and almost 2. We went with my parent in laws that have been on over 50 cruises and our good friends and this was their first cruise

25. Travel To Port of Embarkation=Flew from SC (ATL) to LAX. We rented a couple cars at the airport, stayed the night and the drop off is around a mile away (Herta?). They offer shuttle service, but there was a lot of other people waiting, so we killed some time and came back to be told they were on an hour lunch. You would think on a cruise day they would have a back up person to run the shuttle, so we walked the mile back to the ship.

26. Hotel Info (if any)=La Quinta, Inglewood (see TripAdvisor review) was a comfortable stay with nice clean rooms that had a good breakfast including bacon. It seems the hotels there are either really good or really bad, so we went with the better for $131 after all the taxes and fees.

27. Embarkation=We arrived much later than we usually do (about 2) so there was hardly any delay getting our cruise cards and boarding the ship.

28. Stateroom=D112 was small but not surprised for an interior room. The upper beds hung off the wall instead of going into the ceiling, so they took some space. Nice big mirrors to help the room seem bigger, decent about of bathroom shelves. (see pics)

29. Ship Info=This ship is pretty crowded, I was told the last referb they installed more cabins/less space to get on around 300 more passengers and it definitely shows during congregating times like the theater, peak buffet times, tendering, etc. We have been the same class ship that didn’t have these many passengers on the ship and was much more comfortable. It also shows on how tiny the cabins/bathrooms are.

30. Dining= As mentioned before, the buffet is disappointing but the dining room was very good. They did serve lobster on this cruise as well as escargot (a couple of our favorites) and both were very good. I’ve had other cruises where they did serve them, but wasn’t very good.

31. Activities=

- Children's Clubs: No kids schedule and informed us that the youth center being open would be decided day to day. Our kids enjoyed the activities when they went. Our 5 year old has been on 7 cruises and doesn’t always like the kid’s clubs, but he enjoyed this one, so credit to the staff for this.

32. Staff & Service= Service overall was very good, was not happy as mentioned before the lack of planning and communication from the kids club.

33. Entertainment= Entertainment was very good and we especially enjoyed the naturalists that came onboard so we could learn so much about each island, the food, the people, just too much to mention. Very enjoyable.

The small venue magic show was good and family friendly. He really talked up how good the theater production was going to be, but it was not. It was very dark and all over the place and even involved a murder scene behind a lite up sheet. NOT family friendly so I regretted fighting the crowds to see this one.

34. Shore Excursions=

- Hilo: Docked at a pier and getting off the ship was pretty quick. The port is very unwelcoming. There are no welcoming signs and nothing to tell you that you are even in the paradise Hawaii, just dilapidated buildings everywhere in the port. The port authorities match the scene, very rude, yelling at passengers as they are trying to make their way.

We rented a car and drove up to the volcano house and the views are really grand, I esp noticed and enjoyed the smell that reminded me of barbeque.

We travel to the lava walls and was impressive the size of this thing.

We went to Richards very busy very tiny black sand beach then back to the ship.

When we got back the ship, around 4 an there was hardly any traffic but the port authorities’ moods where no different.

It’s a shame the only interaction we had with Hawaiians on this island was anything but “Aloha”.

- Honolulu: Took the bus and decided it was the wrong choice for our party of 3. We should have taken the 16.50 and put it toward a rental for ~$60 and would have done more time traveling to do what we wanted instead of a lot of waiting for the right bus to ride.

We did go to the top of diamond head (~20 minute walk from the bus stop to even get into the park) and took us around another hour to go up the long winding path then the 270+ stairs to get to the top. The views are spectacular. It was tiring but even little kids where climbing to the top.

We stopped at the palace on the way back to capture some pictures but we had run outta time to do anything else because we have a 4:20 Luau excursion to go to.

Germain’s Luau: We planned on taking an Uber, but figured it out to saving only $15 PP so we made a very good choice to just book through the ship. This gave us better seating as well as a roomy tour bus to kick back and relax and learn about the island from our 82 year old escort Ron, what a nice man. Not sure how anyone can write a bad review of this place. We brought a grandma and without even asking a worker told her when it’s time to eat, you stay right there and I will bring your food to you and true to his word, that’s what he did long before our table was excused. The food was very good and ran 3 buffet tables on both sides so the lines went pretty quick. The show was great, the crowd interaction was great. We got some of the most gorgeous sunset pictures ever. The whole thing was a great experience.

- Maui: We rented a little Hyundai (which I would recommend a small car or sports, not a jeep for all the tight corners) and made it all the way to Hana. We got an early start so the traffic wasn’t bad. Going back was definitely longer because we didn’t have to hardly every yield at the bridges on the way there but we did on the way back but still maintained a much higher speed than the posted 15MPH. We did most of our stops on the way back including the black sand beach with the lava cave (tube was closed, which was a huge disappointment) but the beach was awesome and not very crowded. The smoothed lave rocks to feel is a very unique experience and much better than Richards black sand beach that is super, super tiny and crowded.

We captured pictures of few waterfalls, the peninsula on the large waves crashing the shore.

I have to mention the spectacular sunrise peaking over the mountains has been some the best pictures taken on the cruise so far so you probably don’t want to miss that.

- Kaui: Booked a helicopter tour on the internet with Safari and our young pilot Paka was very professional and enjoyed his knowledge and love of the island. I was pleasantly surprised being sat in a middle seat how good my views where, possibly better than a window seat because I had a clear view over the pilot’s shoulder as well has the huge clear door, much larger than all the other choppers that were there. The only way to have gotten a better view would have been if the doors were off. Air worked well and told us he likes to run it cold to help with sickness. Another bonus is the price is the same no matter what tour time I booked.

Looking at the other helicopters on the airstrip, this was the best one (unless you want the doors off). It also was the best priced. A+ rating for these folks!!

35. Disembarkation= We got priority disembarkation which cuts out some of the line but you end up on the gangway in line with everyone else. There was a lot of people on this cruise so it did take a while, maybe 45-60 minutes, but the line was steadily moving.

36. Summary=Ship was tight, buffet much to be desired, dining room was good and the Hawaiian Islands were awesome.

If you found anything helpful in this review, please let me know with a helpful vote!
Travel N’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Ages Under 3
Ages 3 to 6
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin IB
Room- I believe 162 sq feet, so not the smallest we’ve been in. The mirrors in the room help the room feel bigger. The 2 lower beds can’t be put together because of the uppers. Of course, you have to watch not to bang your head if the Pullmans are down (even if they are up, the hang off the walls).

8. Outlets- The most we’ve had with 4, usually only get 1 or 2. (see pics)
9. Bed=A: Princess has very comfortable floor beds, the uppers are not as nice.
10. Pillows= I bring my own but they seem fine.
11. Heating and air= We stayed comfortable but we always bring a little fan for white noise and air circulation.
12. Metal walls= The doors took magnets very well.
13. Bathroom- Pretty small, shelf space is ok, could use more since it’s so small. (see pics)
14. shower size= Smallest, drain backing up, soap smells like lilac flowers and men don’t want to smell like flowers. Hand soap smelled like lard. Carnival has a nice citrus scent, same company so they should use this instead.
15. noise= The room was almost in the front of the ship, with only rooms above and below, so it was very quiet.
Riviera Deck Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Ensenada
    Ensenada: We walked to the Riviera of Ensenada, an old luxury hotel that is completely free to tour and have a bar that is famous for their Margaritas that only cost a few bucks. I enjoyed the walk and especially the cost. They have vendors in the courtyard selling many items, even hand made for your souvenirs for cheap.

    We then walked over to watch the fountain show synced with Latino and US music and was pretty impressive. I’m sure the night show would be even more spectacular.

    The arroyo (brook) Ensenada was almost dried up showing a lot of trash and smelled pretty bad. They did have a boat in the bay picking up trash.

    Overall I really enjoyed my visit to Ensenada.
    View All 509 Ensenada Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Ensenada Cruise Port Review
  • Hilo
    - Hilo: Docked at a pier and getting off the ship was pretty quick. The port is very unwelcoming. There are no welcoming signs and nothing to tell you that you are even in the paradise Hawaii, just dilapidated buildings everywhere in the port. The port authorities match the scene, very rude, yelling at passengers as they are trying to make their way.

    We rented a car and drove up to the volcano house and the views are really grand, I esp noticed and enjoyed the smell that reminded me of barbeque.

    We travel to the lava walls and was impressive the size of this thing.

    We went to Richards very busy very tiny black sand beach then back to the ship.

    When we got back the ship, around 4 an there was hardly any traffic but the port authorities' moods where no different.

    It's a shame the only interaction we had with Hawaiians on this island was anything but "Aloha"
    View All 13,198 Hilo Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Hilo Cruise Port Review
  • Honolulu
    It's a lot of waiting for the city bus, its cheap but too time consuming so unless you go to Hawaii every month, rent a car. It took pretty much the whole day to use the bus to go to Diamond head, then ~20 minute uphill walk to even get into the park to even start our ascend to the peak. Views are great and had to get my "I climbed Diamond Head" t-shirt at an ABC store (popular convenience store in the islands)
    View All 13,198 Honolulu Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Honolulu Cruise Port Review
  • Luau
    - Honolulu: Took the bus and decided it was the wrong choice for our party of 3. We should have taken the 16.50 and put it toward a rental for ~$60 and would have done more time traveling to do what we wanted instead of a lot of waiting for the right bus to ride.

    We did go to the top of diamond head (~20 minute walk from the bus stop to even get into the park) and took us around another hour to go up the long winding path then the 270+ stairs to get to the top. The views are spectacular. It was tiring but even little kids where climbing to the top.

    We stopped at the palace on the way back to capture some pictures but we had run outta time to do anything else because we have a 4:20 Luau excursion to go to.

    Germain’s Luau: We planned on taking an Uber, but figured it out to saving only $15 PP so we made a very good choice to just book through the ship. This gave us better seating as well as a roomy tour bus to kick back and relax and learn about the island from our 82 year old escort Ron, what a nice man. Not sure how anyone can write a bad review of this place. We brought a grandma and without even asking a worker told her when it's time to eat, you stay right there and I will bring your food to you and true to his word, that's what he did long before our table was excused. The food was very good and ran 3 buffet tables on both sides so the lines went pretty quick. The show was great, the crowd interaction was great. We got some of the most gorgeous sunset pictures ever. The whole thing was a great experience.
    View All 44 Luau Reviews
  • Helicopter Tour
    - Kaui: Booked a helicopter tour on the internet with Safari and our young pilot Paka was very professional and enjoyed his knowledge and love of the island. I was pleasantly surprised being sat in a middle seat how good my views where, possibly better than a window seat because I had a clear view over the pilot's shoulder as well has the huge clear door, much larger than all the other choppers that were there. The only way to have gotten a better view would have been if the doors were off. Air worked well and told us he likes to run it cold to help with sickness. Another bonus is the price is the same no matter what tour time I booked.
    Looking at the other helicopters on the airstrip, this was the best one (unless you want the doors off). It also was the best priced. A+ rating for these folks!!
    View All 63 Helicopter Tour Reviews
  • Los Angeles
    Nice port with places to visit near by, like Battleship USS Iowa Museum, nice free pic opportunities for free from the outside.
    View All 520 Los Angeles Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Los Angeles Cruise Port Review
  • Maui
    - Maui: We rented a little Hyundai (which I would recommend a small car or sports, not a jeep for all the tight corners) and made it all the way to Hana. We got an early start so the traffic wasn't bad. Going back was definitely longer because we didn't have to hardly every yield at the bridges on the way there but we did on the way back but still maintained a much higher speed than the posted 15MPH. We did most of our stops on the way back including the black sand beach with the lava cave (tube was closed, which was a huge disappointment) but the beach was awesome and not very crowded. The smoothed lave rocks to feel is a very unique experience and much better than Richards black sand beach that is super, super tiny and crowded.
    We captured pictures of few waterfalls, the peninsula on the large waves crashing the shore.

    I have to mention the spectacular sunrise peaking over the mountains has been some the best pictures taken on the cruise so far so you probably don't want to miss that.
    View All 13,198 Maui Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Maui Cruise Port Review