Emerald Princess Cruise Review to Hawaii

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 20

Overall rating:

3.4 out of 5
Emerald Princess

15 Night Hawaiian Islands (Los Angeles Roundtrip)

Sail date: January 03, 2019

Ship: Emerald Princess

Cabin type: Balcony

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

Emerald Princess provides a strong cruise to Hawaii with 5 days out, 5 days in the islands and 5 days back. The ship is a little tired on the interior, and the dining component oddly off its game on this particular cruise. It appears to have reverted to a time 3-4 years ago when Princess upgraded its menus and service much to our delight. The Crown Grill and SHARE are both 4star. The sailing was pleasurable even in rough(ish) seas and chilly air until the Islands. For cruisers who enjoy days at seas this is, was and will continue to be an excellent package. We trust the tweaks will be made.


4 out of 5
with platinum status embarkation is a breeze. the embarkation manager helpe us through a sticky situation professionally and with courtesy.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
The Crown Grill superb; SHARE by Curtis Stone more superb; anytime dining not up to par menu wise, service wise. food was good; service spotty; unusual

Wheelhouse Bar

3 out of 5

nice place to set and listen to the musicians before or after dinner. good bar, comfy chairs, pleasant service

Speakeasy Cigar Lounge

2 out of 5

drab, dreary. no windows. one tv usually on something booring unless there's a satellite game on. the smoke is not terrible; however a full room is pretty intense

Crown Grill

5 out of 5

TOP drawer steak house. Great service. Good menu and extremely well prepared food with plenty of steaks and chops to choose. The onion soup and steak tartare appetizers are not to be missed.

Crooners Martini Bar

4 out of 5

pleasant place to relax with a view in the middle of all the action


4 out of 5

quiet, roomy well kept secret far from the madding crowd.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
the arts and craft s by hawaiian couple was terrific; the lounge acts esp.Tiki Dave and Jon Jones very well performed. did not see stage shows (all the same); with more rainy chilly days on the Pacific in midwinter much of the outdoor activities and musical parties were postponed. the swimming pools pretty much void of swimmers.


3 out of 5

nothing special. tight slots. mainly older machines. comfortable


3 out of 5
Tiki Dave and Leialoha t errific. Jon Jones in the lounge very entertaining. Did not attend stage shows (they are all the same) or Comedians/Magicians (all the same)

Children's Programs

no kids

Service and Staff

3 out of 5
The wait staff in the anytime dining room seemed confused and were not familiar with the menu or preparations....most unusual. We did find one waiter who we stuck with for half the cruise breakfast lunch and dinner who was the typical easy going, attentive and knowledgable Princess hospitality worker...with an e xcellent assistant. Room stewards (for some reason ours switched in the middle of the cruise) were up to par. For the most part the front desk, bus boys, bartenders were serviceable. There appeared a lack of fun on the job which is, again, not typical Princess.

Ship Quality

3 out of 5
Aside from some obvious rust on our balcony, the ship was spotless, shiny and well kept. Oddly, the anytime dining for breakfast and lunch was offered only in the dining room as far aft as you can go and down as far as you can go. Having a stateroom forward this made for a daily 4x ship long walk for our dining. The evening anytime dining was midships...quite a bit shorter.

Cabin / Stateroom

4 out of 5
Bed great as always. TV's are old technology in need of an upgrade. Closet and storage space plenty. Comfortable couch. Balcony, aside for some visible rust was also good for lounging and reading with 10 days at sea.

Ship tip

Always call early in the day for a dining reservation IF you elect anytime dining.

Ports of call

Honolulu, Oahu

4 out of 5
a great city. we toured the island as usual ending up on the north shore sunset beach and spent the afternoon watching the surfers (great stuff). also visited the University Of Hawaii.....beautiful tropical campus and Diamond Head (overrun with tourists and locals running/walking---not much parking). Traffic in Honolulu matches LA and MIAMI for insane drivers and parking lot throughways. But there's always great POKE right around the corner.

Nawiliwili, Kauai

4 out of 5
Took the tour to the canyon. Recommend highly. Excellent tour narrator/driver. Canyon is breath taking. A two or three hour bus (big) tour well worth it and priced well.

Lahaina, Maui

4 out of 5
stayed in Lahaina for some preplanned shopping. was up to snuff. terrific polynesian and state side clothing, shoes (lots of leather). dined at the COOL CAT in one of the malls. Delightful.

Hilo, Hawaii

3 out of 5
Toured with a ship offering "Bon Appetit Moving Brunch" which took us to three of Hilo's finest homes with food service at each. We mistook this to be a gourment/foodie event because of the the Bon Appetit affiliation. IT was not. The houses, some with their owners, were great from an architectural, historical and view points. The food was pre prepared an more like tapas than a plated meal. It was tasty and used hawaiian ingredients for the most part...hardly gourment fare. Highly overpriced unless you are looking to visit three luxurious homes in the city.

Ensenada, Mexico

3 out of 5
Ensenada has been cleaned up. Almost unrecognizable. Gone are the beggars and street urchins and filth. The shops and restaurants (fish tacos are prime time from the baja gulf) were fun, interesting, almost laid back. There are some excellent Mexican art and clothing stores if you know what you are looking for. Otherwise every known piece of Mexican folk art and toys are well represented and if you know your bargaining skills, well priced. From people seriously considering to NEVER go into Ensenada again, to people who would return in a heartbeat.....it's a big boy port with lots to offer.


3 out of 5
Princess is not the best at moving around people a la Disney, but it gets the job done with minimal annoyance. Customs was a breeze.

Traveler Photos

the north shore winter surfing competitions The macademia capital of the world Orchids a go go
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