Emerald Princess Cruise Review to Europe - Northern Europe

Contributor Level: Deck Hand

Experience
4-6 cruises

Review
1

Helpful Votes
0

3 out of 5

Historical Adventure

Sail Date: May 01, 2013

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Oceanview

Ship had just sailed over from Fort Lauderdale so this was its first Baltic cruise of the season. This was our second trip on the Emerald Princess and the experiences were very similar both times.

Germany (the excursion to Berlin), Tallin, and St. Petersburg were by far the best ports (although you definitely need to book excursions to appreciate their historical significance and beauty. Oslo, Helsinki, and Stockholm were all very expensive and easily navigated without tours.

Pros: very friendly crew (knowledgeable and helpful), spacious ship, modern, good size staterooms

Cons: both time on this ship our family has come home sick, first with the Norwalk virus and this time with the flu. In my opinion, not enough is done on the ship to disinfect.

Pros: Berlin, Tallin, & St. Petersburg

Cons: Ship's entertainment & cleanliness

Recommends Emerald Princess? Yes!

Ship Quality
Ship size is great. This particular voyage was not sold out so there were not many crowds. Biggest complaint was that a significant portion of the entertainment was hosted in the piazza so there was never enough room to sit, see, hear, or enjoy what was going on. They also had constant sales in the shops so the walkways were full of tables and people stopping to look. Allocation of activities could definitely be better.

As mentioned above, both times sailing on this ship we have gotten sick while on board. I noticed this time that hand sanitizer is available on the Lido deck but no where else on the ship. We also noticed that rags in a bucket of soap and water were being used to clean tables and shared spaces. We noticed a lot of people sick on the ship, coughing in public spaces etc (on both our respective voyages) and feel more could be done to help disinfect shared spaces. State room cleanliness was fine.
Food and Dining
Again, having sailed on Emerald Princess twice now we had similar thoughts on food and dining both times. The food in the dining room is exquisite, although service is slow. Food on the Lido deck is also good. The pizza stand was sub par, the hot dogs were incredibly salty, and the hamburgers were dry and overcooked.

Breakfast in the dining room this time around was a sub par experience. They were incredibly slow and seemed disorganized. Every time we had breakfast it took at least 20 minutes (and repeatedly asking) for coffee or juice and our orders were never brought correctly.
Cabin / Stateroom
Our particular stateroom was great! Both times we had an obstructed window view which really wasn't obstructed at all. The layout of exterior rooms is far better than interior - they feel more spacious and are generally laid out better.
Service and Staff
For the most part the ship's staff were very friendly and helpful - very professional.
Entertainment
Not the best entertainment this time around. On both cruises we really disliked the scheduling of events. A lot of activities took place in the piazza so they were always incredibly crowded and, in my opinion, un-enjoyable as you could not see, sit, or hear. Additionally, everything seemed to happen at the same time - showtimes conflicted with dinner, movies under the stars overlapped with showtime. There would be lulls in the morning and afternoon then a loaded entertainment schedule in the evening. On the one hand, this was nice because it forces you to sleep in and relax a bit but at the same time it resulted in periods of boredom, at least in our opinion.

The entertainers brought in were exceptional, especially the comedians, Russian fold dancers, and violinist. There were four shows featuring the Princess singers and dancers - on both voyages of ours they were the exact same shows. The dancers were incredible.


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