November 2014 - Emerald Princess to Caribbean - Western
I booked this cruise strictly because I have always wanted to sail on this particular ship. I booked with no knowledge of the Houston port or looking at the itinerary.
We sailed the Sunday after Thanksgiving. No problems with Princess transfer from airport to the cruise terminal. Ride wasn't as long as specified. Overall we were at the airport at 10:45, at the cruise terminal by 12:00, had a short wait in line for the bus to pull in. We ended up being onboard the ship by 12:45. Rooms were ready, dropped off luggage, went to the dining room for lunch. Food and service here were good.
Overall we had good service in the dining rooms for dinner, we had the anytime dining. Never waited more than a couple minutes. We dined with others and also by ourselves. Food at dinner was good. Overall I found the buffet choices for breakfast and lunch to be lacking, especially lunch. Also peculiar the buffet was closed on one side almost all the time. Long lines for pizza, burgers. I also didn't like milk not being in cartons, no chocolate milk. Also husband likes cream of wheat, they had it one day only. This being my 4th cruise with Princess, it was a little umipressive. I also found when on the Grand the international cafe seemed to also have better choices. Not sure if that varies from ship to ship or not. We did dine in the Crown grill one evening, food and service both excellent here.
Overall our cruise was marred by a horrible excursion in Belize. The weather and excursion started off fine with a long bus ride. Once we got to the boat to take us to Lamanai it began to lightly rain. At this point the sale of ponchos began. Once in Lamanai the rain really started to pick up so that it poured, we were unable to take any good pictures, and really didn't get to see much of anything. The boat ride back was awful. Pelting rain in the face, water poured down our backs, to the point I had my camera in a case, inside another bag, covered with a towel. When we got off the boat for lunch my new camera was in a puddle of water and now doesn't work. I then had to camera to take any photos of the ship. In speaking with a front desk rep, I asked if they had anyway of a camera for me to borrow. His reply was the cruise was almost over why did I need to worry about taking any pictures now. So while my husband and I usually take a sea day and get up early and walk the ship taking photos - didn't happen. I got a few with my cell phone, but those won't be of any good quality to really have any good photos. So I don't really have much in the way of anything to remember the trip. We booked the excursion as we had previously done the same to Altun Ha and had a wonderful time, this really has not given us the best impression now of Belize.
Bought the drink package for myself, hubby just really doesn't drink enough to do the package himself. He did take advantage of the Wheelhouse bar happy hour specials. Wait staff in the Wheelhouse bar were exceptional. They at least help to make up for some of our disappointment.
In the end my husband and I don't really care to sail with Princess again at this time. This overall was my 16th cruise and I usually never complain on anything. Just had to be a more depressing trip. Really wish the excursion had just been cancelled.