Once again we chose to cruise on Princess Cruises due to previous amazing experiences. The itinerary was great, the staff super friendly but I must say that the food this cruise on the Emerald Princess sorely missed the mark on options, taste and food quality. Having been on previous Princess boats we had very much enjoyed the freshness, and flavour of the meals provided. This trip was a flop. Food was so bland lacking in flavour. It all tasted the same. It was quite disappointing to come back to the ship to know the food would have been better at a local pub or sorely to say, McDonalds or some other fast-food restaurant. We did enjoy the one specialty restaurant, Sabatini's. The food here was amazing as was the service. The Salty Dog Grill and Pizza place became our go to as at least the food had flavour there and really was the only food redemptive qualities of the ship. We did our homework and asked many previous Princess cruisers and we didn’t find one that did not believe the food to be substandard on this cruise.
Covid has changed a number of dining experiences and this added to the whole experience as well I am sure.
It is also disappointing as cruising with Princess had become more and more nickel and diming you on everything. International Cafe had a great Gelato bar, but of course you had to pay for it, upselling at the spa. Most entertainment options were things that they wanted money for. I really don’t think a closed in floating city is the place to be selling extremely fragrant perfumes and such either. Smoking may be gone, but the new enemy are people bathing in horrible amounts of fragrance making it very difficult to participate in any of the lounges or Princess theatre due to the inability to have fresh air. Drip coffee ran out part way through the cruise and they were serving instant coffee all over the ship unless of course you invested heavily into the ships coffee card. If the prices on these cards weren’t so insane it might be a great option, but simply allowing for one coffee a day shouldn’t be a big deal. As well there were a few things that were promised to us and due to who knows what there were so many excuses given but no resolutions. It was disappointing in that regard. We didn't receive the room upgrade that was promised due to a mix up and a full ship so we were crammed in one of the smallest staterooms with no option for a Queen bed for my husband and I on a trip to celebrate our 30th anniversary. There was no acknowledgement on the occasions that were requested and again apologies flowed but nothing to make up for their failure to provide.
Interior 3/4 passenger Cabins are not configured well for the 4 people at all. There are a number of things that could be done to make it more comfortable for 4 people to stay in a room, one being eliminating the very large desk area. There is nowhere to put luggage and trying to move around is difficult. The steward even commented that it was really hard to even clean our room so we didn't get the fine service Princess is known for. There were a few Princess touches that were lacking this time.
Booked our own private ebikes and had a grand ole time exploring the island on our own. Loved it, what a great port.