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Emerald Princess Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1,813 reviews
1 Award

Panama Canal, new locks

Review for Emerald Princess to the Panama Canal & Central America
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10+ Cruises • Age 70s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms

Additional details

Sail Date: Jan 2020
Cabin: Balcony

Have done the historic locks 3 times from Atlantic to Pacific, so joined friends to see the new locks going from Pacific to Atlantic. Somehow, I was expecting more differences between the old & new locks, but either way it’s quite the engineering marvel even if you’re not too technically inclined. Did enjoy the stop at Fuerte Amador on the Pacific side and being able to get off to see the visitor’s center, not an option on any of our previous trips. The other ports were enjoyable, didn’t feel overly crowded like on some other itineraries where there are often multiple ships in port. This was our second Princess cruise, we have cruised more often on Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. I like the “vibe” on Princess, in this case there were very few young kids on board which made it more relaxing. Emerald appears well maintained, staff were generally pleasant and helpful, there were a few outstanding crew members that will go far if Princess is smart enough to recognize their skills. We traveled with 3 friends, plenty to do with or without traveling companions.

Cabin Review


Forward balcony cabin. In general I prefer mid to aft location but got a better price for this location. Was glad to have a covered balcony, the balconies below us were not covered and we could see down onto peoples’ heads, so be aware this is a difference. Size was fine, was glad to have a working refrigerator (some lines have eliminated this amenity) and daily ice provided. Very impressed with large screen TV on the wall with a large selection of On Demand movies and TV shows at no charge. Not crazy about shower curtain rather than door but at least it wasn’t “clingy.” Plenty of closet space and shelves.

Port Reviews


Enjoyed seeing some of the local artists handicrafts and some delicious local food.

San Juan del Sur

Long bus ride but the tour of the nature preserve was great. There was a group trapping migratory birds and we were able to observe their process and ask questions. We were served a delightful lunch prepared on site.

Fuerte Amador (Balboa)

We have never stopped at this port on previous canal transits, so we did enjoy seeing the visitors center and museum with a lot of the history of the canal on display. We also walked around the old colonial city and enjoyed a very refreshing local beer.

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