Emerald Princess Cruise Review to Alaska - Inside Passage
The boat was huge--over 3,000 passengers. So there was lots to do, but an awful lot of people to work around when you were doing it. Made for some long lines getting off at the ports. But the staff was very helpful and I appreciated the truly personal contact. While you could do things online if you wanted to, there was always a PERSON available to help you. So nice.
So many activities on the ship were tied to purchasing jewelry or art or photos ....got very tiresome. And there was a gratuity for EVERYTHING. I bought a cruise cookbook at a wine tasting (for which we had to pay an additional charge) and was told that they didn't have the book right there, but that I could pick it up at the bar later that day. So I did, and found a 15% gratuity had been added on to the cost of the book, because it had been handled by waitstaff. Sigh.
The food was AMAZING. Awesome. Waitstaff was superb. We elected to use the anytime dining and really enjoyed sitting with different people every night.
Entertainment was excellent. The broadway-style shows in the main theater were exceptional, but we particularly enjoyed the ventriloquist and the magician in the lounge, as well as the local entertainer that was brought on board in Skagway.
Princess has a LOT of stuff on the top of the ship (Lido deck on up) and it was difficult to find your way around. I noticed the Holland America ship that we were paralleling throughout the cruise had a much more "flat" top, so that you had a panoramic view from almost anywhere on the top deck and could walk just about anywhere without having to climb stairs to go around something. I would much prefer that open deck to an intrusive outdoor movie screen which really didn't add anything to our experience at all. Most of the time it was too chilly or windy or rainy to enjoy it. Better if they would show the movies on the stateroom screens and open up the deck. But then I guess they wouldn't be able to sell as many drinks, hmmmm?
The scenery was indeed breathtaking.
Our stateroom was quite suitable. Though the shower/bath was small, the tradeoff was that our room was more spacious and we had a LARGE open close space. Very good room attendant.
All in all, it was a very good trip at a reasonable price.
Food and Dining
Service and Staff
Cabin / Stateroom
Just be aware you will be "encouraged" to buy art, jewelry, watches. A lot of the onboard entertainment is tied to this. Also, every time you buy a food item outside of the regular dining, there will be a gratuity. You do not have a choice. It can add up pretty quickly if you are not careful.