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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
As you will read from many other reviewers; this was "the worse" Princess cruise I have been on -- and I have been on many, many Princess cruises. Something was terribly wrong with 50% of the interactions on this cruise. To ... Read More
As you will read from many other reviewers; this was "the worse" Princess cruise I have been on -- and I have been on many, many Princess cruises. Something was terribly wrong with 50% of the interactions on this cruise. To be fair, I would like to give you a balanced overview. THE GOOD: Our room steward "Randy" was THE BEST we have ever had. He should be training for Princess on how to take care of Guests. The International Cafe people were very friendly and helpful - but they need more staff for the service - everyone goes there. Two casino people really stood out (Hans and Mario) - they were very professional and helpful to guests (more on the casino later) I liked the new market place for eating and for the layout, colors and seating - the food -- that will be later too. The Crown Grill - excellent Chilean Sea Bass and steak for others. Best food and service. The fitness center - the dry dock brought mostly new equipment. I'm always at the gym on shore and the cruises - they did an excellent job here. And, there were 45+ people in the gym at all time -- just goes to show - if you build it, they will come ;) Traditional dining - good fish, nice salmon, excellent asparagus. THE BAD Customer service desk - clueless people, no help or service. It seemed that half the crew must have been new to the cruise industry and all the guest were the guinea pigs. And they were just plain rude at times. You would be talking with them about a problem - the phone would ring and they would cut you off and spend 5-10 minutes on the phone before coming back to you. Casino manager ( I won't mention names - I do have them, but it's not worth mentioning) shut the casino craps table down around 11 or `11:30 and forced everyone to leave - over and over - who does that? (more on the craps table under horrible) Drinks - every night the same thing at the craps table - hour to an hour and a half before they would come to ask if you wanted a drink. If you wanted one before that, you had to stop gambling and go to the bar to buy one. Why would they do that? The food in the new market place - average - and that is being generous. I did like their sandwiches for lunch. Food over all here was far below what you would normally expect from Princess Cruises. I will say their salads were fresh ! Traditional dining - this is the sad part - 50% of the time the meal was good, the other 50% of the time - I couldn't eat the food. The beef stroganoff - couldn't cut the meat with a steak knife - much less chew it. Braised beef - let's just call it braised fat. Their steaks - I wanted medium rare - it took them four times - each one was rarer than the previous one. People at my table were "mooing" because it was such a joke. The 4th steak was perfect. Their lamb - one bite was all I could do - so bad. The excursion for snorkeling at our 2nd port was nice - but the boat was way too small for the number of people who went on the excursion. THE HORRIBLE: Two main things stand out that really ruined this cruise. As others have said, the excursions were ruined for people and Costa Rica was the worse. Hundreds of people missed their buses because Princess wouldn't let you off the ship - seriously - they kept people in the Princess Theatre with no stickers or organization - when they finally let people out - row by row, dozens of buses had already left. So yes, hundreds of people missed their excursions in Costa Rica !! They reimbursed everyone - but it was the one big excursion I wanted to go on. People were standing in the heat of the day on the dock while they waited. Most excursions were cut in half for their time. Someone mentioned that this happened near the beginning of the cruise and people talked about it for the next week and a half - that is an understatement - people were furious - including me. I will give credit to Gary McNeil - he owned up immediately for all the problems and took full responsibility. Princess should be happy to have people like him. Craps table in the casino - okey, something is up with this and Princess needs to look into the issue. The table was "re-done" in the dry dock and new dice were added. 14 days of playing and every player lost every night. The dice would land and bounce at 90 degree angles. The dice would stop rolling and then "suddenly" flip over one more time. Many players there were commenting on what was up with the dice and table. We've played craps for years in Vegas and on cruise ships. NEVER have I seen the dice act so weird AND have 100% of the people loose at the table for 14 days straight. I'm not accusing them of anything - BUT - they need to look into this. We will not be playing craps on our next cruise with Princess. This is serious folks. FINAL WRAP UP: We did not come back "RENEWED" you will find from other reviewers, this cruise really hurt Princess's reputation in so many ways. Which is sad for me, I really liked them a lot until this cruise :( Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We chose this cruise for the full Panama Canal transit. We were on board for the first 15 days from LA to Ft. Lauderdale. The ports visited were Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco Mexico, San Juan Del Sir Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, full transit ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the full Panama Canal transit. We were on board for the first 15 days from LA to Ft. Lauderdale. The ports visited were Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco Mexico, San Juan Del Sir Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, full transit of Canal, Cartegena. This was our 12th Princess cruise and as usual embarkation was smooth and efficient. We enjoyed all the ports and took several excursions - more on that later.The ship had just come out of dry dock. Our balcony cabin was fine except that the balcony had numerous paint chips/rubber pieces all over. In order to get the door to lock we had to slam it. Numerous problems with elevators, laundry facilities didn't work, problem with toilet that was resolved fairly quickly. The food was just ok except for the Crown Grill which was excellent both times we went. Buffet was lacking in selections the few times we ate there, dining room ok, enjoyed the triple smoked burger at the Salty Dog Grill, wanted to go to Planks for the BBQ but was closed the several night we wanted to go. The service in dining room was wonderful, our sever was organized, efficient and very funny. We ate about 1/2 our dinner meals there. Bar service in Crooners was excellent as well. Entertainment was not bad, the production shows ok, comedian was fine, several guest entertainers were fantastic and a few others I could have skipped. Crooners pianist fine, the party band was ok but the other 2 entertainers were ones we checked out once and that was it as didn't enjoy. The destination speaker was outstanding, the other speaker Leo Rossi who talked about his time in rock/roll was interesting. The really ugly part of the cruise were the shore excursions and the staff there. Our Puerto Vallarta excursion was a big disappointment as we only did 1/2 the tour and spent the last 15 min listening to our guide give a sales pitch for his products. We complained to desk and asked for a 50% refund. It took 4 days to hear back and after several lies they refunded us 25%. That was bad enough but the whole fiasco that occurred with the Costa Rica excursions is unforgivable. Except for tender ports we have never met on board somewhere before getting off for an excursion. For some reason this cruise we had to meet in the Princess Theater each day BUT there was no organization, no stickers or tours sitting together. For Costa Rica they had 1 gangway open and lost control as we were all leaving for excursions in long lines, people merging in from all over. We were in the 4th row of Princess Theater - made it to our bus but had to wait over 90 min for everyone to get there due to fiasco. Many people stood out in heat for over an hour, tours were cut short because they started too late - just a general incompetence. People complained to the desk but nothing happened - no apology letter, nothing - no acknowledgement of mistakes or loss of control. Just ridiculous. So bad that for last week of cruise it was a continuing topic of discussion everywhere. I filed a complaint with Princess upon returning home, they responded but all I heard during phone call was excuses - not a real understanding or comprehension of what had transpired. Disembarkation was fairly seamless despite a bit of confusion with the transfer buses. Overall despite everything we enjoyed the cruise but don't think we will be sailing Princess anytime soon as this definitely didn't live up to expectations based on our past experiences. There are other cruise lines such as Celebrity that have better customer service in my opinion. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
E733 Suite: Great view back of the ship. Suite class has free unlimited laundry service, exclusive great breakfast daily at Crown Grill, one time bar set up, large balcony/room Crown Grill and Share: food and service excellent Salty ... Read More
E733 Suite: Great view back of the ship. Suite class has free unlimited laundry service, exclusive great breakfast daily at Crown Grill, one time bar set up, large balcony/room Crown Grill and Share: food and service excellent Salty Dog: dissapointing Club class dining: excellent service, food menu is the same as regular dining room but it has additional one dish they cook in the dining room/not by table side, generally food is awful! Lido deck food: poor selection, poor set up, not a pleasant experience up there. Suite in room dining: still limited choices like sandwiches and burgers etc, better than regular cabin room service menu. Laundry service: slow, usually take about 36 hours Ship itself: average.... Entertainment: very limited, usually evening entertainment compose of solo entertainer in the Princess theater, lots of comedians and magicians! 15 nights cruise, had 3 production shows. Staff: good cabin steward, work hard...but there are little more than few that not working, like seeing one by our cabin sitting on the floor everyday..hiding away! Internet: very slow Spa: very high pressure selling, after my massage I was pressured to tip more on top of mandatory 15% included. Share and Crown Grill...Excellent food and service. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
It left from Vancouver, so that meant less flying to or from the ship as we live in British Columbai. The Emerald has just come out of a refit that took place in Victoria. There were new carpets in the cabins and in the public areas. ... Read More
It left from Vancouver, so that meant less flying to or from the ship as we live in British Columbai. The Emerald has just come out of a refit that took place in Victoria. There were new carpets in the cabins and in the public areas. The Fresh World Marketplace is a makeover of the Horizon Buffet. It is beautiful. The colours and the accents and the new furniture make the area a very comfortable place. The layout of the serving stations is much improved so that not everyone has to be in a long line to go past the food. If you want salad, you go to the salad area. If you want a sandwich, they are in a separate station. Planks and Steamers are new at the rear of the FWM in the evenings. It appears that you get a lot of food for the extra $12. Share is a dining experience. Six courses are artfully arranged on smaller plates and taste delicious. Magic To Do was presented twice. An incredible production show. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
We were looking forward to Pacific coast stops but Princess revised the itinerary by four days to allow for additional time in dry dock. Vancouver embarkation was smooth as silk and the three day cruise to Los Angles was uneventful with ... Read More
We were looking forward to Pacific coast stops but Princess revised the itinerary by four days to allow for additional time in dry dock. Vancouver embarkation was smooth as silk and the three day cruise to Los Angles was uneventful with two ok production shows and many onboard activities. Dined at Curtis Stone "Share" restaurant which was absolutely superb. Also dined at Steamers which was not ready for prime time. Muscles were dry lacking in cream sauce and some of the clams were cold. Others we spoke with had a much better experience, so they must have improved during the cruise. The new "Fresh Market" is a huge improvement over the crowded Horizon set up. Much more space to maneuver. We used Michelangelo any time dining room which was excellent throughout the cruise. The Dining Room Captain and door assistant were friendly and efficiently processed the many any time diners. Everything we ordered was elegantly severed and tasted great. The Panama canal crossing was made exceptional by a very knowledgeable speaker. She had a informed and unique way of expressing the history of the old canal while informing us of the construction required for the new canal. Our cabin was spacious and kept very clean by our steward. Having a bath tub and the additional shower space was a plus. We had been to all of the stops on other cruises except for Huatulco Mexico where we took a "land & sea" excursion through Princess. The contract company handling the excursion was disorganized so the excursion started and finished an hour late with a lot of waiting time in between sea & land portions. Sights along the way were good. The enrichment destination speaker was outstanding (same lady gave the canal talk). She was very thorough and gave great advise in the time allotted. The fitness center was well equipped and clean. All in all it was a very nice relaxing cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a short 3 day cruise from LA to Vancouver. It is spring break so there were lots of young people and kids onboard, many celebrating special events like birthdays. We dined in both the Crown Grill and Share and the food was ... Read More
This was a short 3 day cruise from LA to Vancouver. It is spring break so there were lots of young people and kids onboard, many celebrating special events like birthdays. We dined in both the Crown Grill and Share and the food was great. Service in the main dining room and the food seemed the usual Princes approach. There was concern expressed by someone that since the ship is heading to dry dock in Victoria that there would be less staff and poor food supply but that was certainly not the case. The staff told us that during the 3 weeks in dry dock, their jobs continue, as they must serve the 1000 construction workers who take up residence on the ship and work 24 hrs a day to complete the dry dock tasks. The only difference is that their days are shorter. On another note, Princess has made a decision to remove all the barrel chairs from the balcony and ocean view staterooms. I find this to be a ridiculaous move as do many others. I had disussed my concern with corporate relations and was told that if I ask for chai, I will get it. Many people on Cruise Critic had indicated that they had asked their stateroom steward and had been told that a chair was not available any longer. I did not ask the steward. I went to the Passenger Service desk soon after we boarded and asked for a chair. I happily got one within 1/2 hour of asking. I do have a bit of a caveat, though.This ship is heading to dry dock and maybe the few chairs that they may have available on board right now might disappear once in dry dock. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because friends of ours saw it online and wanted to go to Hawaii. We departed from San Pedro. Departure was great. Long Beach is lovely. We were on board in no time at all. Smooth sailing! Weather was not the best, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because friends of ours saw it online and wanted to go to Hawaii. We departed from San Pedro. Departure was great. Long Beach is lovely. We were on board in no time at all. Smooth sailing! Weather was not the best, very cold in California. Disembarkation was also not a problem. Princess does that well. The ship was not in top form. The hot tubs had barely any jet power and were very old - definitely time to replace them. The ship itself was fine but very dated and the furniture in the Piazza was old and torn and stained. The Explorer's lounge was actually disgusting and had stained chairs that had lost the padding in the seats. I could smell urine at times. There is very little room there and I found this true in the theatre as well. If you don't go 40 minutes before any show you won't get a seat. Still we were on a cruise so the basic run down state of the ship did not have any effect on our fun. I found the buffet to be overcrowded and we were herded into areas at different times and could never find any seats. The furniture here was old and sticky too. I did not like the vibe there. The pools were great. I was in them a lot. Clean and well kept. They were semi warm as well. Lots of room on the deck to sun. We really did not have to wait for chairs out there much at all. The entertainment staff were great. They had me laughing more than once; Cruise director Duke and Asst Director Mark were fantastic. Lots of fun. I miss them a lot. They were very interactive with the staff. Empara from Chile was so funny. She was really fun to interact with. The service was okay. Lucy in the Explorer's lounge was great. Our room Steward was good, but he looked rushed and not really too friendly. He gave good service though. The ports were amazing. I mean its Hawaii right? But Ensenada was fun too. We did a whale watch in Maui and that was fun. We did the tour of Pearl Harbour which was nice but I was not aware that it would be extra to tour Big Mo. Our cabin was not quiet. We were right under the lido - neptune pool, and next to storage mid-ship and we heard loud bangs very early and late. One night they were power washing the pool decks and it was very loud. The sideways inside rooms are wonderful though. Big, roomy and lots of storage. Overall the trip was fun. The dining rooms had good selections. The waiters were good but once again, seemed rushed. I had the overall sense that Princess is trying to cut back and even the International cafe seemed to have less choices, as did the buffet. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Excellent cruise again. Easy embarkation. Our suite was perfect. The food and service were perfect. Entertainment was top notch. Disembarking was easy and very quick. We loved being on the ocean for a total of 10 days. ... Read More
Excellent cruise again. Easy embarkation. Our suite was perfect. The food and service were perfect. Entertainment was top notch. Disembarking was easy and very quick. We loved being on the ocean for a total of 10 days. Really the only thing disappointing was that we were not able to get off the ship at the stop on Maui as it was by tender boat and my husband is handicapped so he was not able to get on the tender. However, we were able to watch whales and dolphins and seals from the ship which was wonderful. We received wonderful service from the staff on the ship and were always treated with extreme care and concern. The entertainment was great. The shows were Vegas quality. They are always packed but Princess does a good job setting aside seats for this disabled and their partners. We will try to do our future cruises with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because of the time spent sailing and for a get a way. The embarkation and disembarkation went very, vey well.The food in the dining rooms was super. Very, very good, the help was so great. Just loved our server and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the time spent sailing and for a get a way. The embarkation and disembarkation went very, vey well.The food in the dining rooms was super. Very, very good, the help was so great. Just loved our server and helper. I didn't take advantage of the entertainment but my husband and sister-in-law hit all the shows, even the small lounges and loved them all. We have been with Princess a long time and have made many trips with them and yes we would go again. We are now elite passengers and we love the extras that go along with that. Once again loved our trip as we usually do with Princess and will be sailing with you again. I also enjoyed the shopping aboard and got some very good deals. Another favorite of mine was the casino and I did very well with that too. See you on our next voyage!!! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose a 16 day cruise to Hawaii to celebrate my wifes 50th birthday. The ship ( Emerald) is 12 years old but it was fine for our needs. Food: The buffet had choices and always found something to eat. The 24/7 cafe is very ... Read More
We chose a 16 day cruise to Hawaii to celebrate my wifes 50th birthday. The ship ( Emerald) is 12 years old but it was fine for our needs. Food: The buffet had choices and always found something to eat. The 24/7 cafe is very good as was the burgers and fries by the pool. We had a great time relaxing on the sea days to / from Hawaii. Great Pizza by the pool. Movies under the stars was great and food in general was good. Always a choice of options and waiters were always happy to assist and or change dishes as needed. Wine options are not great if you like sweet wine. 5 pools to swim in and always free space and not crowded. Gym is very good and plenty of space on the decks. The sanctuary is great if you need privacy. Dining room was very good but not excellent. Shows were ok but not fantastic. Crowd was too old to go to a disco but were always happy to go line dancing etc. All staff were friendly. Room attendant was efficient and serviced our needed. Ports in Hawaii were all good. We both had a great time and would go on Princess again. Read Less
Emerald Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.5 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 5.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 4.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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