Emerald Princess Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Contributor Level: Purser

7+ cruises


Helpful Votes

4 out of 5

Emerald Princess - New Year's 2013

Sail Date: December 27, 2012

Reviewed: 4 years ago

Traveled As: Large Group

Room Type: Balcony

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.
Ship Quality
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.
Food and Dining
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.
Cabin / Stateroom
Stateroom was tight. Carnival balcony room seems larger because you have a couch, 2 chairs and 2 beds. Shower is tiny and tight.
Service and Staff
Staff was friendly around the whole ship.
There were a lot of movies under the stars (more than usual). I think Carnival has more activities for all ages.
Children's Programs
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.
Onboard Activities
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.
Destinations and Excursions
Destinations were nice, but one stop was cut short at the last minute.
Basseterre, St. Kitts
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.
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
Taxi was expensive too, but baby was free. Beach required a fee, but there was a lifeguard.
Princess Cays (Cruise Line Private Island)
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.
St. John's, Antigua
Beach was nice. Shopping okay. Taxi to beach was $50 for 4 people round trip.
Castries, St. Lucia
Shops were okay. Never made it to beach.
Ft. Lauderdale (Port Everglades), Florida
Very nice and organized compared to Miami. Miami is a zoo and takes 2 hours to walk through the terminal.
Bridgetown, Barbados
It rained, but beaches were very clear and clean.


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.

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