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Emerald Princess Review

4.5 / 5.0
1,864 reviews

Not Exactly what we were hoping for

Review for the Panama Canal & Central America Cruise on Emerald Princess
6-10 Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Jan 2022
Cabin: Mini-Suite with Balcony

Well, let's see, where to start. We had tremendous problems with the Princess Medallion App, which is the only way to check in. Somehow my wife end up with two different profiles (I called them "good wife" and "bad wife") When I added her to my app, I now had 2 different traveling companions. Despite numerous calls to customer support, for several weeks no one was able to fix the problem. One can only uninstall and re-install the app so many times (around 30 times across 3 devices) before concluding that the problem is elsewhere. Because of my 2 wives, neither my wife or myself could complete the check-in process. Finally, about 7 days before the cruise, I got a berating phone message from someone telling me I needed to complete the check-in process on the app, or I would face "series delays" at the port. I called customer support one last time, and finally, requiring the effort of 2 wonderful people, they figured it out and fixed it to the point that we could finish the check-in process.

About 2 weeks before the cruise, Princess cancelled one of the ports, San Juan del Sur. Ok, we were down to 5 ports in 15 days. We thought fine, but if they cancel another port, we were going to cancel the trip. Well, Princess didn't....until about an hour after we were on board, they cancelled the first port, Cartegena. We were still going there, but we wouldn't be allowed off the ship. That's just great!! Can we get off before we leave the port? 4 ports in 15 days isn't what I signed up for. I was told to be "flexible". Flexible usually involves "give and take", so far I have just given (money), and they have taken away (ports). Anyway, off we sailed. A few days later, the excursion we had scheduled for Fuerte Amador was cancelled, and there was nothing else we were interested in, so we stayed on the ship. Now we are down to 3 ports. 1 port we just walked around town, but the other 2 we did have excursions. We received notices for both about "operational changes". The changes always involved something no longer there (a naturalist) or a different time (which also was "less time") Again, gotta be flexible, right? Before the cruise, my wife had booked equal amounts of nights at both main dining rooms, DaVinci, and Bottacelli. After the first night at DaVinci, we noticed that all our Botacelli reservations had been changed to DaVinci. We asked why....no one knew, "but it must have happened before we set sail", said the restaurant manager. Once again, being flexible. After a few days, my wife was looking at our Princess Travel Summary, and noticed that our bus transfer from the port to LAX had disappeared, even though we had paid for them. Another visit to customer service, and that was resolved a few days later.

BUT....none of these items were our biggest gripe. What was, was that Princess promised a "safe" cruise. One with masking and social distancing and all the stuff that we wanted to hear to insure a safe cruise. In fact, Princess's marketing on this subject is so good, that the couple we were supposed to go with, they cancelled, because they thought Princess was too tough, tougher than some of the other cruise lines. Did they keep everything clean? Absolutely. Did any Princess employees enforce the mask rule on the passengers? No. Did they enforce social distancing? Well, these first couple of days, they blocked off every other set of 2 seats in the theatre, and every other table in the lounge. But after 2 days, all that distancing was gone. So, when you combine 1,300 people, many of them whom really don't want to where a mask, and don't care about being socially distant, along with a staff not interested in confronting a passenger, you get a free for all, a situation where it is up to some passengers to get others to comply. If i knew Princess was going to lay that burden on me, I would not have gone. Princess does not enforce their dress code either. I could have been dressed like a total bum and would not have been turned away anywhere, regular or specialty dining. And loud or obnoxious behavior, as one Maitre D told us, nothing he can do about it.

Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony

We had a mini suite on deck 9. Very nice, plenty of room to spread out, nice size balcony. Rommel, our room steward, took good care of us.

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