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Emerald Princess Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1788 reviews
1 Award
Emerald Princess (Photo: Princess Cruises)
Emerald Princess Dining
Emerald Princess Cabins
Emerald Princess Activity/Entertainment
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Editor Rating
4.5
Very Good
Kerry Spencer
Cruise Critic Contributor

Emerald Princess entered service in 2007 as one of the largest ships in Princess Cruises' fleet. As far as modern mega-ships go -- with a passenger capacity of more than 3,000 -- Emerald Princess maintains the high level of service it was celebrated for when it first launched. But it doesn't boast the features so frequently offered by the ultramodern mega-ships -- there are no climbing walls or water slides and the only zipline you're likely to encounter is on one of the ship's more energetic shore excursions. But what the ship does really well is balance modern needs, without over-the-top gimmicks, with rich and well-constructed excursions, allowing passengers to make the best of both the ship and the destination.

Pros

Friendly crew, well-crafted shore tours, improved specialty dining

Cons

Long queues to enter main dining rooms and upselling in the spa

Bottom Line

Relaxed atmosphere with dining and entertainment options for all ages

About

Passengers : 3,080
Crew : 1,200
Passenger to Crew : 2.57:1
Launched : 2007
Shore Excursions : 942

The ambiance of the ship is relaxed. Perhaps because passengers focus their energy on exploring the destination, evenings seem to be less about glitzy affairs and more about relaxed dinners. Although the ship's glamorous Skywalkers Nightclub -- with fabulous floor-to-ceiling glass windows providing never-ending ocean views -- offers the perfect opportunity for cocktails and dancing into the early hours.

Updates to the ship's specialty dining options -- Sabatini's is replaced with SHARE by Curtis Stone and The Salty Dog Gastropub has been introduced in the Wheelhouse Bar -- give the ship a fresh gourmet edge. SHARE feels like the kind of ingredient-led restaurant you'd find in the culinary centers of New York City or London's Borough Market. Foodies and those with an appetite for current dining trends will especially enjoy the sharing-style concept of the restaurants.

The ship's updated entertainment program is a little more hit and miss. We loved "Voice of the Ocean" and so did our fellow passengers who were whopping and cheering along as contestants battled it out onstage. The atmosphere during the live final is goose bump-inducing -- fully charged, but also family orientated.

While "Magic to Do" also had the Princess Theater packed, we felt it lacked a clear narrative, therefore making it difficult to follow. The vocal performances did however have star quality and conveyed the feeling of watching of a Broadway show.

The central Piazza remains a passenger favorite. Recreating a theatrical Italian-style piazza, the vibe lies somewhere between a bustling shopping plaza and an outdoor square. This is something Emerald Princess does really well, bringing passengers together in a mixed-use space. Kids -- and adults for that matter -- are entertained by various performers in the Piazza, plus there's Vines, the ship's wine bar, to one side and the International Cafe to the other, which creates a buzzy but overall relaxed atmosphere.

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Movies Under The Stars is another win for the ship. The concept is simple: Install a large open-air movie screen above the Calypso pool showing a program of new release and classic movies day and night. Crew dish out the popcorn and thick cozy blankets are available for when it gets cool. What's not to love?

If you're looking for a cruise with a solid entertainment program, but without gimmicky rides and slides, and one that has a more relaxed dining vibe, you'll enjoy this ship.

Fellow Passengers

Most passengers are North American and British, with the passenger ratio leaning more toward the British. (On our sailing the Brits accounted for about 76 percent.) However, you'll encounter cruisers from all over the world; on our sailing passengers represented 43 nationalities. When the ship repositions to Australia in November, we expect the ratio to tilt more toward passengers from this region. The average age is typically over 50, but during school breaks (winter, midterm and summer), the ship attracts an overwhelming number of families with children. 

Emerald Princess Dress Code

Daytime: Daytime wear includes leisurewear for warmer days lounging around the pools and casualwear, such as khakis/jeans and polo shirts/T-shirts or tunic tops and casual pants for women.

Evening: The dress code on Emerald Princes is also relaxed in the evenings. There is one formal night on one-week cruises and at least two formal nights on cruises of 12 to 14 nights. Most men wear suits, though a number wear black ties, while most women opt for cocktail dresses rather than all-out formal evening gowns.

Not permitted: In the dining rooms, items such as shorts, pool wear, distressed jeans and baseball caps are not permitted; shoes must be worn at all times.

Read more about Princess Cruises.

Find an Emerald Princess Cruise from $399

More about Emerald Princess

Where does Emerald Princess sail from?

Emerald Princess departs from Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, Port Everglades, Seattle, Southampton, Southampton, and Manhattan

How much does it cost to go on Emerald Princess?

Cruises on Emerald Princess start from $399 per person.

Is Emerald Princess a good ship to cruise on?

Emerald Princess won 1 award over the years.
Emerald Princess Cruiser Reviews

Best cruise ever,

(Ronald) Mona In the Spa massages were mind blowing. her gentleness and attention to detail is one of the reasons why I keep returning to Emerald Princess.Read More
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tsunamicum

6-10 Cruises

Age 60s

My Cruise to The British Isles on The Emerald Princess.

The Specialty dining onboard The Emerald Princess ( The Crown Grill and Sabattini's), were AMAZING. Our cabin steward (Chad), was the best service we have ever had on a cruise ship.Read More
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clapton

6-10 Cruises

Age 60s

lots of fun

Princess Emerald is a great ship, the staff is wonderful ,the food is awesome and the excursions were great! My husband and I had a great time.Read More
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Furbieismydoggie

6-10 Cruises

Age 70s

Absolutely fantastic

THANK YOU Princess for a wonderful two weeks that went by way too fast and thank you staff and crew of the Emerald Princess for making me feel like a Princess.Read More
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Ms Wiz

2-5 Cruises

Age 70s

Princess Cruises Fleet
Grand Princess
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