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Sail Date: February 2017
This was our 1st cruise as elite members , we were looking to be fed ,watered and entertained as well as our last 14 cruises, with just maybe a little more service or recognition .we are average working class people who enjoy cruising for ... Read More
This was our 1st cruise as elite members , we were looking to be fed ,watered and entertained as well as our last 14 cruises, with just maybe a little more service or recognition .we are average working class people who enjoy cruising for our hard earned money. We highly disappointed with the emerald princess We live in new zealand , chose this cruise to see the fiords and visit hobart . Not disappointed with aspects of this part of the cruise , but as to the ship itself ,not happy at all . The vibration thru some parts of the ship are very questionable & daunting . The elite status gave us a 1 time mini bar which we were informed pre - cruise we could change for 2 coffee cards . when tried to do on board , they told us could not be done , they have never heard of such nonsense. We did not use any other elite entitlements after that, due to any more disapointments. This is probably our last cruise with princess, have really enjoyed the last 15 years with them, but sadly it has ended in a negative. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2017
We chose this cruise for the opportunity to see NZ and Australia. We did not think that that the ports of call were at all interesting. Fjordland National Park cruising was disappointing (after having seen fjords of Norway especially) ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the opportunity to see NZ and Australia. We did not think that that the ports of call were at all interesting. Fjordland National Park cruising was disappointing (after having seen fjords of Norway especially) I expected to see more beautiful countryside in New Zealand, but found that it was very bland. I guess that a person should tour through interior of NZ in order to experience the cultural side and the beauty. We will not travel back there to do so however. Ships excursions were costly and not as good as other places we have cruised to. We did think that The Emerald Staff did a good job in organizing the disembarking and re entry to ship from tours though. We ate in The Crown Grill once ...vegetables were not tasty, potatoe was dry, steak was decent, but not above average. The overall food temperature was "warmish" The service was a little slow. The experience at Crown Grill did not encourage us to try other specialty restaurants. We found that the food was much more tasty at The Buffet, even though it was crowded most times. We found that the local people of NZ and AUS were some of the most friendly arouind the world. But cruising NZ does not give a person a good view of the country. Our overall experience of this trip was below average. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We wanted a Cruise that would in compass New Zealand and Australia, Princess fitted the itinerary adequately. However although we enjoyed the cruise overall we felt that it didn't reach our expectations and lacked the little bit extra ... Read More
We wanted a Cruise that would in compass New Zealand and Australia, Princess fitted the itinerary adequately. However although we enjoyed the cruise overall we felt that it didn't reach our expectations and lacked the little bit extra appeal that might make us automatic returning customers. As this was our first Princess cruise we are not sure whether it was just this particular Ship Emerald or the general cruise line itself? The ship seemed difficult to find ones bearing at times and to get to specific area like the Share Restaurant and Adigo Bar. The dining arrangements were much the same as other cruise lines, we were anytime dining in the MichAelangelo restaurant. The food was good the menu was much the same every evening and was lacking in variety, the restaurant staff lacked etiquette at times and would clear your plate before your partner had finished their meal something I would expect in the Horizon Restaurant which in fact was the exact opposite. Both Speciality Restaurants the Crown Grill and Share were enjoyable and made up for the disappointment in the other restaurants. Everything about Horizon restaurant was terrible probably the worst we have accounted. We did book some excursions and these were good but heavily over priced as normal for cruise lines, however the debacle at Gisborne with the tenders due to the rough waters leaves a lot to be desired, not that anything could have been done about the weather and safety was paramount but the the lack of water, shelter and basic information to let people know what's going on was poor. We found that thoroughout the cruise the lack of visibility of ship officers was noticeable compared to other ships which seemed odd particularly when things might be going wrong and safety might be of some concern. Like the Tender debacle mentioned above, people standing all the way up on either side of staircases whilst watching or listening to events in the Auditorium during rough sees us only asking for an accident to occur it was probably by sheer luck nothing occurred. Oddly the announcement over the ships intercom warning people to hold on to rails during rough sees seemed pointless if they are obstructed as I mentioned above. Overall we had a good cruise not great it could have been considerably better but this was lacking on this particular Princess Ship, not sure we will try Princess again it would have to have a spectacular destination and itinerary and probably a different ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
This was my 4th Princess Cruise (also been on Avalon, Azamara, Oceania, HAL, Voyages to Antiquity). My 1st Princess cruise was in June 2012, did a 12-night British Isles aboard the Caribbean Princess in an obstructed OV (felt ship itself ... Read More
This was my 4th Princess Cruise (also been on Avalon, Azamara, Oceania, HAL, Voyages to Antiquity). My 1st Princess cruise was in June 2012, did a 12-night British Isles aboard the Caribbean Princess in an obstructed OV (felt ship itself was too big for British Isles itinerary but overall a very nice experience); 2nd was in Dec 2012, a 15-night Hawai'i cruise (L.A. round-trip) aboard the Golden Princess (inside cabin). I will never forget this cruise because of the great Hawai'i cultural facilitators who taught us how to play the ukulele and hula dance, and highlight for me was performing in the Farewell evening Passenger Talent Show with 70 other ukulele playing passengers; 3rd time was in Nov 2013 on a 15-night Panama Canal Full Transit cruise from Ft. Lauderdale to L.A aboard the Island Princess, excellent all around experience in an inside cabin. This review is for February 2017, we sailed aboard the Emerald Princess for 12-nights from Auckland to Sydney: The itinerary was impeccable, the food was very good, but over-all it really felt like Princess cut back on the little things that used to make Princess a cut above the rest. For example, this was my 4th "wine-tasting" event ($13 per person), and for the first time, it did not include the "complimentary shot glass" at the end with the dessert wine - This s very minor, but the biggest thing that our cruise was missing on board was a live, full time, port expert lecturer. This time, the only way to get any port information was to watch the tv in the cabin, which re-ran old episodes of a previous port lecturer, which would have been fine, except that the taped lectures were in reverse order of our Auckland to Sydney ports. We relied heavily on the kind locals at each port to give us port information and maps (as the Princess Patter cartoon maps emphasized shopping). Only when we were cruising in Milford Sound did they finally bring on board a "NZ park ranger" to talk over the public address system. Unfortunately, the PA system was very hard to hear and it didn't help that 2 very rude ladies from Spain insisted on screaming in my ear as they talked to each other the whole time, so I could not hear a word of the Park Ranger. When I asked them "por favor, I cannot hear" they spoke even louder to each other, ignoring others around us trying to hear the park ranger. Another disappointment was the Specialty Dining at the Crown Grill. We decided to forego the extra expense when their menu clearly emphasized "only one item per course per person" which was a change from 2012 when we 4 were allowed to try multiple dishes per course, and thus we were able to try almost everything on the menu as we shared our plates. Also, this was the smallest inside room I've every experienced - D123 (Deck 9, Forward). There was only one straight-backed chair that came with the vanity/desk, and no other chair/sofa in the room, so we had to use our lower twin beds for seating. Luckily we are not "room service" people, so we did not need the extra seating, but it did feel very cramped. The room steward parked his cart near our cabin but that did not bother us, especially as he was very attentive and quick in his duties. The closet space and bathroom space was adequate for 3 of us (as we are light packers). The service of all staff we encountered: servers, hosts, maitre-d's, room stewards, passenger service officers, casino staff, International Cafe servers, are all beyond reproach. While Princess corporate management may have cut back on little extra touches and niceties for the passengers, the front line staff is consistently excellent in professionalism, manner, and attention to detail and prompt service. I most highly commend our maitre'd, Carlos from Spain, for his kind attention to my daughter who has a "peanut and all tree-nuts" food allergy. He reassured her food safety for lunch and dinner every day by nightly presenting her with the next day's menus so that she could pre-select her meals, and the cook-staff ensured her food was not contaminated. Regarding the talent on-board, the Princess cast only presented 3 times in 12-nights, and the various talents brought on board for a show or two were average. While there was no crew or passenger talent show, we did enjoy the cooking demonstration presented by Executive Chef Giuseppe Pollara with Matre D'Hotel, Luigi Pascale. All ports in NZ & AU are fabulous and very easy for us to do on our own. In Akaroa, we booked with Princess the "Swim with the Hector Dolphins" excursion for $199 US. The local outfit was beyond reproach and told us before suiting up: "on this morning's excursion, no Hector Dolphins were spotted, and very unlikely you will be able to swim with them this afternoon", and they gave up the option of a lesser non-swimming excursion (with little prospect of seeing the Hector Dolphins) or a FULL REFUND. They were very kind and honest to let us have the option in advance. (ps: you can book direct with BLACK CAT CRUISES in Akaroa Harbour for a little bit of savings versus booking through Princess, the ship docks right in Akaroa Harbour). We are getting ready for our next Princess cruise, 29-nights aboard the Pacific Princess sailing Nov. 23, 2017 from Venice to Ft. Lauderdale. Bon Voyage, and happy and safe sailing to all. ps: the only reason I rated the Embarkation in Auckland as "Terrible" is because they had all non-VIP wait outside the port building in the blistering sun & heat until 1pm embark time (in all my other experiences we were always sheltered indoors). I did not mind as this gave me 2 hours to explore Auckland waterfront while my husband found shelter in a cafe, but there were some elderly people who had to sit hodge-podge anywhere they could find outside the Princesss port building as they were not allowed inside, and there was very little shade to be found outside. Passengers with privileges were allowed to embark at 11am. There was quite a bit of confusion all around, and when 1pm embarkation began for the common-folk, the queue was very disorganized, a bit helter-skelter, until we got up the escalator to the check-in counter. Everyone was very polite through-out, just disorganized. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
I chose this cruise because it has been on my list of places to visit all my life. I am a gardener and have always heard of the unique horticulture in New Zealand and Australia. Staying one night at lovely affordable Crown Plaza Hotel near ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it has been on my list of places to visit all my life. I am a gardener and have always heard of the unique horticulture in New Zealand and Australia. Staying one night at lovely affordable Crown Plaza Hotel near the port in Auckland I had plenty of time to see the city and prepare for the cruise. The embarkation process was one of the smoothest processes ever. The port was so easy to get to using Uber and everyone was so kind and helpful. I have cruised on the Emerald a couple of times and was not disappointed on this one either. The chef is excellent and prepares the most delicious foods. The activities onboard and excursions were fun. I visited some of the ports on my own which saved money since I knew what I wanted to see. I visited Christchurch in Akara thru the ship tours since we still cannot dock there due to the earthquake damage to the docks several years ago. It was worth every dime. I had a comfortable balcony cabin on deck 14 mid-ship. It was quiet and close to everything. The service was top notch by all the crew. I stayed 3 days afterward in Sydney which was plenty of time to see the sights. I bought a Opal Card and traveled all over public transportation (subway, train, bus, ferries) for 40.00. This cruise is much too far for me to do again since I live in the US. But, it is very popular among Australians and New Zealanders. I spoke to some of them that had done this same cruise as many as 10 times. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
I couldn't find any fault with this cruise. I overnighted at the Mercure Hotel in Auckland and boarded the Emerald Princess the following morning. There were no problems and I loved my outside stateroom on deck 5, near the art gallery - a ... Read More
I couldn't find any fault with this cruise. I overnighted at the Mercure Hotel in Auckland and boarded the Emerald Princess the following morning. There were no problems and I loved my outside stateroom on deck 5, near the art gallery - a perfect position for all activities. The cabin was as expected, with great mattress/pillows giving me a good night's sleep. However, I wish they'd replace the shower curtain with a screen. We were blessed with perfect weather with the exception of seas turning nasty in the afternoon at Gisborne (didn't think much of this port) which delayed the tender operation and made for a scary return journey. I went on a private tour in Gisborne with Gisborne Tours and I wouldn't recommend them - very unprofessional and over-priced at $120. No information or commentary was provided. However, my private tour with Relaxed Tours in Dunedin was fantastic. Everyone enjoyed it. Seven hours with a knowledgeable driver and tour guide for just $70 - a bargain. I booked the Sanctuary for the scenic cruising and it didn't disappoint. Milford Sound is spectacular. The meals remain a highlight on Princess cruises (much better than P&O and a little better than Royal Caribbean). Anytime Dining operated without a hic-cup and I rarely had more than a few minutes' wait for a table. Theatre entertainment could have been better although the Scottish pianist in the Crooners Bar was hilarious - his jokes had the passengers crying with laughter. The singers/dancers remain fantastic, and the cruise director was one of the better ones. All in all a fantastic cruise and I'm looking forward to my next time with Princess. Read Less
PrincessCruises3, Social Team, Princess Cruises has responded
Hi Gamefisher, we're so happy to hear that you had a great experience while on the Emerald Princess. We look forward to welcoming you onboard again soon!
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2017
Going to New Zealand and Australia was a big "bucket list" thing. The Princess cruise/land tour was awesome. We booked an inside cabin since we had mostly port days and spent the day at the Sanctuary during the Fiordland ... Read More
Going to New Zealand and Australia was a big "bucket list" thing. The Princess cruise/land tour was awesome. We booked an inside cabin since we had mostly port days and spent the day at the Sanctuary during the Fiordland cruising. It more than met our expectations. We used Princess excursions because we have found that they have already screened their vendors for the most reliable and knowledgable guides. We once used a van off the pier on a stop on a Panama cruise and the tour guide did not provide any admittance to venues and after fact checking some of the information I found he made things up as he went along. My time is to precious for me to waste so I won't short change myself again and waste my precious time to save a few dollars. The excursions from the ship are now memories I cherish. The land tour in Australia, The Ultimate Outback, had us being cared for as VIPs. We came home knowing we had the best experience possible for the time we had there. The representative/tour guide managed everything for us at every stop. Our rooms were high quality and the meals that were included were wonderful. I came home knowing so much about the Ausie and Aborigine cultures. It was also fun staying at The Four Seasons in Sydney, because I never book five stars. We were able to get extra time through Princess at their rate. Since it is a lot of effort to get from the USA to that part of the world this cruise is a way to make the most of your time and experience the unique part of the world down under. If you have time for the land tour it will be icing on the cake. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
This is a cruise to connect with the dawn princess coming from sydney on the 9/02/17 .embarkation was no problem because there were only 430 new passengers in auckland . We had a shore tour before we got on the ship . It was a bus trip to ... Read More
This is a cruise to connect with the dawn princess coming from sydney on the 9/02/17 .embarkation was no problem because there were only 430 new passengers in auckland . We had a shore tour before we got on the ship . It was a bus trip to davenport with a ferry trip back to the ship on your own ,all in all a very good tour . This was our first cruise with golden princess to test the ship for the future . We just had 11 fantastic days on the dawn princess !! we had fixed dining ,and staff working in the dining room were excellent ,but the meals were not the same standard as on the dawn . Horizon court was fine . The general layout of the ship not very passenger friendly on a short cruise.. 90 % of staff very friendly 10% did not want to be there . disembarkation was a shambels . When things went well they told you so every opportunity , when things did not go to plan they did not tell you untill after the event . We had people passing out in congested hallways leading to the meeting areas. As we got to the luggage pick up area one small peace of luggage was missing , having booked seats on the airport shuttle we had to go and catch that bus . On the bus we talked to several people that had luggage missing ,all the same color and number tag. i contacted princess the next day ,they knew nothing about it . Left all the information required to contact me as soon as they had news of what happened . At this stage 48 hours no news . Overall not a nice experience !! Will we Sail on Golden again "Not likely Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2017
because this cruise departed auckland and returned to auckland first to melbourne down to the south island of new zealand travelling via milford sound , dusky sounds port chalmers ( dunedin), akoroa ,wellington, gisbourne ,tauranga , ... Read More
because this cruise departed auckland and returned to auckland first to melbourne down to the south island of new zealand travelling via milford sound , dusky sounds port chalmers ( dunedin), akoroa ,wellington, gisbourne ,tauranga , auckland travelled alone on this voyage on the golden princess cabin chosen was inside due to economics but next time would choose balcony small but well appointed and comfortable quality bedding clean and tidy cabinets showing some signs of wear ( drawer knobs loose ) Dining : a truly remarkable experience -- wide variety of styles and and top notch food , attentive staff , nice ambiance , Entertainment : broadway production quality well staged - fantasic audio system crystal clear although could do with turned down a notch Activities : endless and varied no one could be bored changing daily Service : your wish is our command type deal nothing too much trouble 24hrs a day attentive obliging friendly staff Shore excursions : well organised , syncronised, knowledgable staff very hot day in akoroa tenders used to take to shore on return at jetty while waiting for tender chilled facecloths and chilled water served ( nice touch ) overall a gratifying experience - top chefs very attentive staff international cuisine and a very clean tidy ship with accent on hygene Read Less
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