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We have just returned from back to back cruises on this ship. The first part of the cruise was a southern Caribbean trip and the second focused on the Eastern Caribbean. At the start of the first segment we were told that because of Hurricane Tomas we would have to reverse our itinerary and so instead of 2 days at sea followed by Aruba we went immediately to Princess Cays. The stop at Dominica was cancelled and a stop at St Kitts was substituted (rather unfortunate because we were due to call there on the second leg anyway). We found the first part of the trip rather rough - we assume because of the bad weather. However this was the first time we had a cabin so far aft (a balcony cabin on Aloha deck) and we were very conscious of the ship's movements and that contributed to the awareness of rolling motion. Problems with our bed Princess needs to inspect beds more often. This was the worst bed we have ever slept on on any ship. When I sat on it I felt the boards under the bed and it was impossible to sleep on it. After several complaints the mattress was eventually replaced. We were on the Emerald Princess in its inaugural year (on a Med cruise)and had no problems but clearly there has been a lot of wear and tear since then. Princess needs to make sure that the beds are up to standard. Food Not as good as on previous cruises. Beef was offered too many times and often we found it hard to find something we liked. Would have preferred more fish or chicken dishes. Some of the formal meals were not good e.g. the pheasant on one formal night was really inedible. Afternoon tea was as good as ever! Smoking Princess needs to rethink it's policy which permits passengers to smoke on balconies. We were really bothered by smoke from the next balcony and on the second leg of the cruise we saw people smoking cigars and a pipe which are supposed to be banned (except in the speakeasy). Music Skywalkers is used as a quiet lounge during the day and we were quite annoyed by the level of loud music which everyone hated. Eventually it was stopped - thanks to the cruise director. Excursions On the whole okay but the selection for Barbados on the second leg was pretty limited. They should add a more upscale beach option - perhaps an hotel on the St James coast. Many people seem to take taxis. Perhaps Princess can be persuaded to give our more information for individual travellers. We discovered later that some passengers on a Celebrity ship which was visiting St Kitts at the same time as we did (on our second leg) had been robbed at gunpoint. This put a bit of a damper on things and made quite a few passengers nervous since it was a ship's excursion. This can happen anywhere but is still troubling. Selling Too many photographers in your face all the time and too much promotion of jewellery etc. which got very annoying. Service personnel We had a great cabin steward - Jose and we really liked the Chief Steward Billy and our waiters Antonio and assistant Carlos. We found excursion staff and some personnel at the front desk were quite rude and unhelpful. Entertainment We had great difficulty in getting seats in the theatre because we had anytime dining and it was always full about 30 minutes before each show. We liked the English lounge singer who was a great expert on Cole Porter and Irving Berlin. Classical quartet was a nice welcome option on one evening in the Explorers lounge. Casino staff were great - we really enjoyed lessons on roulette and blackjack. Overall - a good experience (subject to the reservations expressed above).

Good - but room for improvement

Emerald Princess Cruise Review by cassandra44

Trip Details
We have just returned from back to back cruises on this ship. The first part of the cruise was a southern Caribbean trip and the second focused on the Eastern Caribbean.

At the start of the first segment we were told that because of Hurricane Tomas we would have to reverse our itinerary and so instead of 2 days at sea followed by Aruba we went immediately to Princess Cays. The stop at Dominica was cancelled and a stop at St Kitts was substituted (rather unfortunate because we were due to call there on the second leg anyway).

We found the first part of the trip rather rough - we assume because of the bad weather. However this was the first time we had a cabin so far aft (a balcony cabin on Aloha deck) and we were very conscious of the ship's movements and that contributed to the awareness of rolling motion.



Problems with our bed



Princess needs to inspect beds more often. This was the worst bed we have ever slept on on any ship. When I sat on it I felt the boards under the bed and it was impossible to sleep on it. After several complaints the mattress was eventually replaced. We were on the Emerald Princess in its inaugural year (on a Med cruise)and had no problems but clearly there has been a lot of wear and tear since then. Princess needs to make sure that the beds are up to standard.



Food

Not as good as on previous cruises. Beef was offered too many times and often we found it hard to find something we liked. Would have preferred more fish or chicken dishes. Some of the formal meals were not good e.g. the pheasant on one formal night was really inedible.

Afternoon tea was as good as ever!



Smoking

Princess needs to rethink it's policy which permits passengers to smoke on balconies. We were really bothered by smoke from the next balcony and on the second leg of the cruise we saw people smoking cigars and a pipe which are supposed to be banned (except in the speakeasy).



Music

Skywalkers is used as a quiet lounge during the day and we were quite annoyed by the level of loud music which everyone hated. Eventually it was stopped - thanks to the cruise director.



Excursions

On the whole okay but the selection for Barbados on the second leg was pretty limited. They should add a more upscale beach option - perhaps an hotel on the St James coast. Many people seem to take taxis. Perhaps Princess can be persuaded to give our more information for individual travellers.

We discovered later that some passengers on a Celebrity ship which was visiting St Kitts at the same time as we did (on our second leg) had been robbed at gunpoint. This put a bit of a damper on things and made quite a few passengers nervous since it was a ship's excursion. This can happen anywhere but is still troubling.



Selling

Too many photographers in your face all the time and too much promotion of jewellery etc. which got very annoying.



Service personnel

We had a great cabin steward - Jose and we really liked the Chief Steward Billy and our waiters Antonio and assistant Carlos.

We found excursion staff and some personnel at the front desk were quite rude and unhelpful.



Entertainment

We had great difficulty in getting seats in the theatre because we had anytime dining and it was always full about 30 minutes before each show.

We liked the English lounge singer who was a great expert on Cole Porter and Irving Berlin.

Classical quartet was a nice welcome option on one evening in the Explorers lounge.

Casino staff were great - we really enjoyed lessons on roulette and blackjack.



Overall - a good experience (subject to the reservations expressed above).
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