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Pre/post cruise: We stayed at the Sheraton Airport/Cruiseport Hotel in Dania, just a few minutes from the airport. We got a good price and the hotel provides free shuttle to/from the airport and charges $10 pp for a shuttle to/from the cruiseport...good deal. And since our flight home was at 7:30 pm the next day, this hotel allows guests to pay $10/hr. beyond the normal late check-out time to stay through 5 pm—which we did and lounged by the beautiful pool. Only problem with this Sheraton is that there are no restaurants within easy walking distance, and the Sheraton's restaurant can be a bit expensive--as are taxis in the Ft. Lauderdale area. Problem solved: there are several near-by places that will deliver food to the hotel...much cheaper (hotel staff can give you brochures).The Emerald Princess and staff were great! We were in a forward balcony cabin (R-210) which was very nice...size about average for similar cruise ships (though being as far forward as we were was a bit bumpy a few days). Our room stewart, Shirley, really exceeded our expectations. She was very attentive and made sure that we had everything we needed. Our dining room waiter Izzy, and asst., Gerry, were wonderful...efficient, friendly, and had great senses of humor. We thought that the dining room offerings were very diverse and quite tasty. We did try both specialty restaurants as well...well worth the added cost. The movies under the stars was a wonderful option for us...we watched three of these movies wrapped in our deck chair blankets and eating the fresh warm cookies and milk that were served. As on most cruises, getting deck chairs on "at sea" days was somewhat problematic, but not to the point of ruining the day. On Princess Cays, lack of lounge chairs was even more problematic...we went back to the ship and sat at the pool (which was just as fine for us). Finding seating in Horizons for the morning breakfast was also a bit problematic, but not too bad if you were willing to sit with fellow passengers and share a table...which we willingly did. Dominica was a very surprising and interesting island...we took a 2+ hour rain forest/waterfalls tour, which we arranged on our own right at the dock with a local tour guide (Ask for Lennox--half the price of the official ship excursion). On Bonaire, another self-initiated internet snorkeling tour on a 42-foot sailboat...great fun (look up Compass Sailing Bonaire with Wim and Marianne...www.compassbonaire.com). Aruba's Palm Beach was perfect (as usual).Relative to entertainment onboad, we really didn't take advantage of much. We had the late (8:15pm) seating. We did go to the Bealtes' tribute band show-- very entertaining and enjoyable. The late-night "blue" comedian's performance was really not worth staying up that late (though some people did enjoy his show).All-in-all a terrific ship, wonderful staff, and a nice itinerary (can't fault Princess for the 2-3 days of rain that uncharacteristically befell us...oh well, no beach, just port shopping). My wife and I met some wonderful people, and really enjoyed our 40th anniversary cruise.

Great Anniversary Cruise

Emerald Princess Cruise Review by TravelerRon

Trip Details
Pre/post cruise: We stayed at the Sheraton Airport/Cruiseport Hotel in Dania, just a few minutes from the airport. We got a good price and the hotel provides free shuttle to/from the airport and charges $10 pp for a shuttle to/from the cruiseport...good deal. And since our flight home was at 7:30 pm the next day, this hotel allows guests to pay $10/hr. beyond the normal late check-out time to stay through 5 pm—which we did and lounged by the beautiful pool. Only problem with this Sheraton is that there are no restaurants within easy walking distance, and the Sheraton's restaurant can be a bit expensive--as are taxis in the Ft. Lauderdale area. Problem solved: there are several near-by places that will deliver food to the hotel...much cheaper (hotel staff can give you brochures).The Emerald Princess and staff were great! We were in a forward balcony cabin (R-210) which was very nice...size about average for similar cruise ships (though being as far forward as we were was a bit bumpy a few days). Our room stewart, Shirley, really exceeded our expectations. She was very attentive and made sure that we had everything we needed. Our dining room waiter Izzy, and asst., Gerry, were wonderful...efficient, friendly, and had great senses of humor. We thought that the dining room offerings were very diverse and quite tasty. We did try both specialty restaurants as well...well worth the added cost. The movies under the stars was a wonderful option for us...we watched three of these movies wrapped in our deck chair blankets and eating the fresh warm cookies and milk that were served. As on most cruises, getting deck chairs on "at sea" days was somewhat problematic, but not to the point of ruining the day. On Princess Cays, lack of lounge chairs was even more problematic...we went back to the ship and sat at the pool (which was just as fine for us). Finding seating in Horizons for the morning breakfast was also a bit problematic, but not too bad if you were willing to sit with fellow passengers and share a table...which we willingly did. Dominica was a very surprising and interesting island...we took a 2+ hour rain forest/waterfalls tour, which we arranged on our own right at the dock with a local tour guide (Ask for Lennox--half the price of the official ship excursion). On Bonaire, another self-initiated internet snorkeling tour on a 42-foot sailboat...great fun (look up Compass Sailing Bonaire with Wim and Marianne...www.compassbonaire.com). Aruba's Palm Beach was perfect (as usual).Relative to entertainment onboad, we really didn't take advantage of much. We had the late (8:15pm) seating. We did go to the Bealtes' tribute band show-- very entertaining and enjoyable. The late-night "blue" comedian's performance was really not worth staying up that late (though some people did enjoy his show).All-in-all a terrific ship, wonderful staff, and a nice itinerary (can't fault Princess for the 2-3 days of rain that uncharacteristically befell us...oh well, no beach, just port shopping). My wife and I met some wonderful people, and really enjoyed our 40th anniversary cruise.
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BC R-210
Cabin R-210. Size adequate. Shower is tight, but workable. Nice balcony...had overhang so people above can't see onto your balcony. Balconies on levels below were quite open and, therefore, not very private. The bed was a good size and my wife and I did not feel at all cramped--and we are full-size adults. Nice new flat screen TV in cabin, mounted on wall so as not to take up valuable counter area. Nice clothes hanging area as well as a doored-cabinet with shelves and a room safe. Also, our luggage fit under the bed which aided our overall storage needs. Only negative is that this cabin is very far forward and there were some bumpy seas. A cabin more mid-ships or aft may handle the waves better.
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