December 2015 - Emerald Princess to Caribbean
Overall we really enjoyed the Emerald Princess. One day we had scorching hot water all day. It was eventually fixed by the evening so that was good. We had a light bulb out over one of the end table that never got replaced, even though we requested it on the first day. About three or four days later our cabin steward said he had a replacement bulb but it turned out to be the wrong size.....it wasn't that big of a deal but a little strange something so simple was not able to get done quickly.
We normally get a mini-suite type room but I didn't like how the balcony stuck out in the open on the Emerald Princess. Everyone from above can gawk at you while you try to relax which we don't like. Our smaller balcony room had a private/covered balcony and we enjoyed that. However I would have preferred the larger mini-suite room it it had a more private balcony.
Our balcony cabin was a little too cramped for two people to sit side by side but the bed we had was very comfortable. I would have liked to have a small coffee/tea kettle in the room available like Norwegian and celebrity.
We ate primarily at the buffet because it takes so long in the main dining area (same as other cruise lines). Overall the food in the buffet was 'okay' , not outstanding, but there were some items that were better than others. We loved the different themes each night so that made the choices more interesting. We liked that the buffet area was separated from the dining area but it did make moving around quite crowded and awkward much of the times.
The shows were okay - much like other cruise ships. We loved the various lounges to enjoy cocktails. The happy hour (buy one get one $1) should be offered later than 3pm. Starting at 4 or 5pm would have been better.
One afternoon we even watched a movie in the explorers lounge and that was really nice.
The senior staff, for the most part, seemed very courteous, professional, approachable and friendly. However many of the other crew members seemed like they were just going through the motions doing their job. There wasn't much 'chemistry' between them and the passengers like I have found with Holland America crew. It just felt like something was missing interacting with many of them.
However, in the crooners lounge we did have great service one evening (thursday). There was a tall, thin, young 'Italian' staff member who was extremely friendly, charming and professional. Unfortunately, I don't recall his name. He didn't just serve our drinks - he took time to chat with us and I really appreciated that. This is what I found missing by many others we encountered.
The atrium was very small in size and didn't have the same appeal as other larger ones such as the Coral Princess.
The pool areas seemed too small and a little chopped up. The lounge chairs around the Movies under the Stars was set up a little oddly- not as nice as say the Coral Princess.
Grand Turks and Princess Cay islands were both beautiful but we hated the tender to the Princess Island. Too bumpy in those lifeboats. It would be so much nicer to have small shuttle boats dedicated for the island.
Overall it was a nice cruise. No major complaints.