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Emerald Princess Review

We wanna get back on the Sea

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

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Jan 2022
Cabin: Balcony

Just finished this cruise last week. Had a great time as we always do with Princess. Embarkation was quick/smooth with a quick covid test administered by Princess staff just prior to boarding the ship. Also had a sea day covid test done a few days in, so we felt "sterile" among fellow passengers and staff (three negative covid tests received over five days). Had a balcony stateroom on Baja deck that we really liked.... full roof above us (the bottom of Riviera deck) which gave us great privacy. New carpet in stateroom and hallways. Loved the medallion system. Great service in MDR and spec restaurants. Ship was clean. Great Captain (Christopher Lye) aboard, we've had him before. Port sequence was messed up... No Cartegena or San Jose Del Sur stops (Covid issues in ports). Weather was great/smooth seas over the entire voyage. Food was GREAT all over the ship, couldn't be beat. Took excursions in Puntarenas and Puerto Vallarta. Not much to see in Fuerte Amador, you need to taxi into Panama City. New canal locks were interesting, but one time through will be enough. About the only speedbump we would mention is that the shipboard entertainment wasn't up to full speed, yet.... we realize that only 1528 passengers were on board-49% capacity- and crew count was down because of this. Once this covid craziness passes, we think normalcy will return.... you just have to roll with the punches until then. Princess is bending over backwards to appease the health agencies watching them under a microscope, as well as trying to give their guests the best cruise experience possible during these stressful times. Overall, a successful time. Looking forward to our next "sea time" in November.

Cabin Review


standard balcony cabin. Worked well for us. Five-minute walk from everything.

Port Reviews

Cartagena (Colombia)

We were blocked from this port because Columbian authorities pulled a last-minute change for testing passengers before they disembarked into Cartegena, which Princess could not accommodate on last second notice (not Princess fault)

Fuerte Amador (Balboa)

Weekday visit. No land restaurants were open at noon, so we went back to the ship. Mask mandates strictly enforced by the Panamanian authorities on a very hot/humid day (yech!!)


A developing cruise port. You need to take a taxi to get to the main population center in town. We walked around, had a decent lunch at a beachside restaurant, waded along the beach, and returned to the ship. Snorkeling, dive sports is the big draw here. Lots of condo's looking for American investment dollars here. Popular place for Canadian snowbirds.

Puntarenas (Puerto Caldera)

Took a Princess excursion to raft down a Costa Rican River. Two-hour bus ride each way. Required to wear masks while paddling on the river. Had fun, but Princess needs to rethink this mask thing in the jungle.

Puerto Vallarta

Went to a private restaurant/pool/beach in the tourist hotel zone north of P.V. Very relaxing. Infinity pool and the ocean beyond. Great wait staff, food, clean restrooms/showers and reasonable prices. Would do this one over again. Our best excursion on this cruise.

Los Angeles

Had an evening flight out, so we took a Princess excursion to Venice Beach and Santa Monica to kill the day. Had a GREAT driver and tour guide! Very interesting tidbits of California history.

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