Princess is not the cruiseline for me.

Emerald Princess Cruise Review to Hawaii

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 3
Helpful Votes: 44

Overall rating:

3.7 out of 5
Emerald Princess

28 Night Hawaii Tahiti & Samoa (Los Angeles Roundtrip)

Sail date: February 01, 2020

Ship: Emerald Princess

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: L247

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

This is a great trip if you have the time and like days at sea. (We love sea days!) This was our first Princess cruise and we weren't that impressed when comparing Princess to other cruise lines we have used. The food is good but not fantastic--the buffet was definitely sub-par. We met many other cruisers who wouldn't think of using a cruiseline other than Princess. The Emerald is quite large (3,000+ passengers) but to Princess' credit, it didn't seem crowded. We were lucky to have taken our cruise at the time we did because no ships are cruising now (COVID-19)


5 out of 5
A very smooth experience

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
This was my first Princess cruise. The food was good but not outstanding. The one place we thought was extremely good was Share. The buffet was not very good. The food in the main dining areas was good. The Salty Dog on deck 17 was always good, but how often can one eat a hamburger or hot dog?

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
Lots and lots to do on the many sea days. The cruise director and staff were mostly English and really overdid it regarding American English being incorrect. I thought the comments were amusing at first but really grew to resent them after a while. It felt as though they were putting down the very people who are responsible for their income!


3 out of 5
The shows were ok,at best. The onboard production staff were similar to what would be expected from a high school musical group in their presentation. The entertainment that was brought in from outside the ship varied from ok to good. The volume in all of the entertainment was much too LOUD. (So they believe that because the audience is older the attendees cannot hear?) The show band, violinists, and pianists were very good.

Children's Programs

No kids

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
It seems most of the staff are overworked but still managed to provide good service. Our steward was very good about providing the service we expected.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
All of the public areas on Emerald are beautiful. The ship is laid out well but with 17 decks moving around was somewhat difficult. The library was the smallest and least well-stocked I have ever experienced on a cruise ship--bring your own books or kindle. The entire ship was very clean at all times.

Cabin / Stateroom

2 out of 5
Our cabin was quite small. but had plenty of storage space. The bathroom was minuscule. There was only room for one chair in the room so that one of us was forced to sit on the bed. Our steward, Manuel, was very attentive but we didn't get to know him well because he seemed to be overworked servicing many, many cabins.

Ship tip

The prices on drink packages (alcohol, soda, water) were very high. Don't expect to get any sort of water, other than tap water, in your room unless you are willing to pruchase it!

Ports of call

San Pedro (Los Angeles), California

3 out of 5
Spent 2 nights before our cruise began in a hotel near the port. There were many restaurants in the area.

Honolulu, Oahu

4 out of 5
We attended Germaine's Luau which was an excursion sponsored by Princess. Totally miserable experience. The "roast pig" was actually shredded pork

Lahaina, Maui

3 out of 5
Extreme problems with the tender operation. The ship's departure was delayed more than two hours because the tendering was so slow.

Nawiliwili, Kauai

4 out of 5
Pleasant town. Did not do an excursion so we walked around the town looking in shops.

Pago Pago, American Samoa Did not visit port

American Samoa would not allow the ship into port because of COVID-19. We were diverted to Hilo on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Cross International Dateline Did not visit port

Ship didn't cross the dateline

Apia, Samoa Did not visit port

Samoa would not allow the ship into port because of COVID-19. Another night on the Big Island.

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

5 out of 5
Best stop on the entire cruise. Excursion around the atoll by boat. We were able to swim in the beautiful blue water. Fantastic place!

Papeete, Tahiti

3 out of 5
If you are looking for black pearls Papeete is the place for you. We strolled around the shopping area which is mostly jewelry shops. Another tendering operation but with no problems.

Moorea, French Polynesia

4 out of 5
Beautiful place. We did not do an excursion because we had been to Moorea before.


5 out of 5
We walked off the ship when we wanted to.
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