Emerald Princess - New Year's 2013

Emerald Princess Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern


Contributor Level: Purser
Experience: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 5

Overall Rating:

4.0 out of 5
Verified Review
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Sail Date: December 27, 2012
Cabin Type: Balcony
Traveled As: Large Group
Reviewed: 4 years ago
The crew was very friendly. Our steward Thawong was very helpful and did what ever he could to accommodate our kids and group. Waiters (Slobo and Wytold) in the Michelangelo anytime dining room were very attentive and friendly. The ship's welcome back party for past guests was a raffle and a movie showing of Princess' new ships. We then received a free drink ticket. In the past, we received unlimited drinks with food, music and dancing. The theater has stadium seating which makes it hard to get up quickly if you have to leave with kids. Carnival has bench seats with more room. There was no kid pool and all pools were a minimum of 5 feet up to 7 feet. Our cruise was cut 4 hours short when getting on due to the norovirus inspection.

The dining room was very hot in the section we sat in for dinner. The other side was cool, but nothing was done. The rooms were hot too most of the time.

Princess offered a 12 hour ice cream and pizza bar, but no salad. Carnival offers a 24 hour ice cream and pizza bar, more pizza varieties, Calzone and salads.

The pictures were not digitally set up on the ship. The TVs in the room do not have a digital folio that shows the dinner menu or your room charges like Carnival.

TV selection not that great. I know I am on a cruise, but there were not a ton of activities to do. It is a relaxed environment. The band was not great and did not play for long periods of time. They were also in a weird spot on the ship. It was hard to see them.

I like the no smoking rule on the ship. (Smoking only allowed in the lounge and the casino). Things closed early though on the last night so the ship could tally up everyone's bills. I like the kiosk for printing your current bill. This way you do not have to wait in the purser's desk line.

No children camps for toddlers where you can drop them off.

The disco/Club was all the way at the back of the ship and they did not always play club music. Sometimes Karaoke was done there instead of one of the lounges with a stage. That seems like a waste.

I liked the gelato - 3 scoops for $1.50. Cafe was great and so was the wine bar. Free Tapas with a glass or bottle of wine.

I like that a 4 digit code was needed for the safe in the room instead of using a credit card.
The Captain was professional and ended up saving a woman's life who had a heart attack on board.

Overall, I liked the cruise and the ports of call. My family and I had a great time. I think Carnival caters more to kids and has larger balcony rooms. Shower was super small.

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
Breakfast and lunch were just okay. Dinners were great, but red meat was not offered every night like on past cruises. Carnival has great food all around and more variety. they also switch up the food: Indian, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, etc.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
I felt that the cruise band was just okay and could have been better. I have been on Carnival where the deck bands were amazing.

Entertainment

3 out of 5
There were a lot of movies under the stars (more than usual). I think Carnival has more activities for all ages.

Children's Programs

3 out of 5
Since Princess usually has older passengers, it was not toddler friendly. Also, the pools were well above 5 feet deep which meant only tall people or experienced swimmers went in.

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
Staff was friendly around the whole ship.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Ship was nice, but I did not like the layout, especially the lido deck. I like Carnival's better. The back Lido dining area reminds me of a hospital cafeteria and is dated. Carpet was dusty.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
Stateroom was tight. Carnival balcony room seems larger because you have a couch, 2 chairs and 2 beds. Shower is tiny and tight.

Ship Tip

No lines at the casino - EVER! Do not put your room key next to a magnet (camera case, purse, etc.) because it will deactivate your card and it will not work.

3 out of 5
Taxi people very pushy. Like the dancing. 1 section looks like a "bad neighborhood" because there is only ice cream and 1 shop for sun glasses. Rest of shops are out of business.
5 out of 5
It rained, but beaches were very clear and clean.
5 out of 5
Taxi was expensive too, but baby was free. Beach required a fee, but there was a lifeguard.
5 out of 5
I wish th food was not taken away so fast. Nice little private place. Elite members got to go to their own part. Makes the regulars feel like 3rd class.
5 out of 5
Beach was nice. Shopping okay. Taxi to beach was $50 for 4 people round trip.
5 out of 5
Shops were okay. Never made it to beach.
5 out of 5
Very nice and organized compared to Miami. Miami is a zoo and takes 2 hours to walk through the terminal.
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