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Emerald Princess Review

4.5 / 5.0
1,822 reviews

A Panama Canal cruise should be on everyone's bucket list!

Review for the Panama Canal & Central America Cruise on Emerald Princess
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10+ Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Jan 2020
Cabin: Interior

We chose this cruise because of the itinerary. We wanted to go from Fort Lauderdale FL to Los Angeles CA through the Panama Canal. We were not disappointed. The best part, by far, of this cruise was Bill Fall. This incredibly knowledgeable man held several presentations, sharing slides that helped us understand the history and construction of the canal far better than we ever expected.

Next to Bill Fall, the best part was our cabin steward, Jonathan. We have cruised many times on various lines and he is at the top with his genuine helpfulness and positive nature.

Our dining experience was average to better than average overall. Crown Grill was exemplary for a specialty restaurant on a ship - best steaks ever. Anytime dining very helpful to our schedule, though we didn't have the advantage of the same server to accommodate our tastes. The food was better than average overall. We appreciated having outdoor options as well.

Cabin Review


Very clean and lots of space - an interior room. Only complaint was the bed and pillows - guess we missed our bed at home. Bring magnet hooks to put on the wall as it really helps expand your ability to store things.

Port Reviews

Fuerte Amador (Balboa)

Not a whole lot to see here unless you like a downtown setting or a very old city

San Juan del Sur

We signed up for a visit to Granada and that's what we got. But there aren't a lot of highlights in this poor country and we picked a shore excursion that had a long drive and then not a lot to see but it did give us a view of the countryside. Just ok.


This shore excursion was doomed from the start. It was a perfect storm of things that could go wrong and did. An overly enthusiastic extrovert of a guide sort of put people off from the beginning - he was nice and well-intentioned but he just didn't mix with the personalities on the bus. Kudos to him for trying, especially after he cut himself with the broken glass incident. He just didn't have much to work with as "highlights of Huatulco" is sort of a misnomer - there simply aren't any except for the view from the cliff top. We liked the snacks provided but there wasn't time to eat them. He gave a talk on how things are made in a wonderful gift shop but then whisked us out before we could shop!? But then he took us to a Princess store where similar items were being sold and - how about that - did give us time to shop. He said we'll see mariachis and dancers but then took us inside and showed us movies with mariachis and dancers. Sadly, this was probably our worst shore excursion ever in all of our cruises...

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