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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 01-01-2009, 06:59 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cape Coral, Fl.
Posts: 1,329
I'm sure you'll fine the Emerald up to the same standards as all the other Princess ships. We'll consider another 10 night cruise aboard but next year but I'll be looking to get more of a saving for booking last minute. Sailing dates & cabin location aren't all that important to us.
BTW- we'll be on the Crown in Feb so it should be interesting to see differences since the two ships are similar in size.
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 01-01-2009, 07:56 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Clifton Park, New York
Posts: 103
We're generally easy to please, so I'm not concerned about anything being a bit "off," as long as they haven't chopped services too far. I suppose every outfit has to cut back expenses as much as possible these days.

Speaking of price, it's dropped a few hundred per person since we booked back in September. Fortunately we get the advantage of the lower prices as long as it's not one of those "1-day" sales to help fill the ship.
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 01-01-2009, 04:21 PM
jack2007's Avatar  
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: uk
Posts: 452
I was fortunate to sail on the Emerald on the third cruise she made which was in the Med in 2007 so my experiences were alot earlier than yours.
I was really impressed during my week on the Emerald and found the Horizon Court to have decent food, and a pleasant place to stop for something to eat.Sometimes one side of the Horizon was closed but one could always find a table.That said I had all of my evening meals in the dining room with anytime casual dining.Again provided you were happy to be put on a table with others there was always a table available.
As a non smoker I also had concerns about whether my enjoyment would be spoilt by excessive smoke but on the cruise I was on it was barely noticable and just once it was slightly annoying in a shared lounge but for the most part the smokers were invisible.Maybe I was fortunate on my cruise.
I thought there were some exotic teas offered on my cruise maybe things have changed or you were expecting a greater variety.
I can't comment on the size of the seats as I found them ok but for the popular shows yes you do have to get there about 20mins beforehand if you want a seat.
Regarding the trivial comment...well I have to say that on most cruises I've been on they are extreemly tight with the prizes they give out.It's not just princess.

Regarding the food ... didn't know about the specials ( I was on anytime ) & didn't think to ask but I found the quality, preparation and service was very good.Maybe that was because the cruise I was on was also the naming ceromony cruise but I'd prefer to think it was the normal princess high standard.
I had icecream a couple of times in the dining room and it seemed normal enough to me.

My cruise on the Emerald was a delight and certainly gives me a warm glow when I think of princess but I realise everyone has different experiences even on the same cruise and can see things in a different way.
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 01-01-2009, 05:22 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cape Coral, Fl.
Posts: 1,329
It's always interesting to get another opinion. I notices my differences based upon having cruised on the Diamond last Nov, the Grand in Jan, the Dawn in June, and the Island in Oct. We'll also be on the Ruby this coming Jan & Crown in Feb so I can compare some future experiences & will be sure to comment on them.
BTW - I just talked to my neighbor last even who was also in the Emerald during an Atlantic crossing earlier this year & questioned him on the seat width. Sure enough he also thought they were mighty tight. The one good thing is that they can't make them any smaller.
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 01-01-2009, 05:52 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 28
We just got back from the Emerald two days ago

We had a wonderful time. Yes, there were lots of kids, but since we brought a 15 year old and an 18 year old I can't complain. For us the many kids helped. Our 15 year old said it was the best cruise ever for him (#4).
I really liked the fact that there are a few programs specifically for the 18-20 cruiser (at least at Christmas) as I was concerned about how our older son would meet friends without the teen programs.

We had great success in the dining room. We chose fixed seating and had wonderful wait staff who got to know us. I wonder if some of the less successful meals came from the open seating, the staff don't have the same incentive?

My boys and I were less thrilled with the buffet (my husband disagreed with us)and found it less satisfying than RCI and Celebrity. Not enough variety and too many stew like dishes (felt like left overs). I never starved though! I never quite sorted out the difference between Caribe and Horizon.

Shows were fine, but I don't try to go to one every day so I was satisfied.

Smoking was not an issue on this cruise (except one cigar which drove me from a deck chair). I even noticed they had one non smoking casino night. I guess that is one of those things that will vary from cruise to cruise.

The staff on Princess (this princess) were superb. Knowledgable, friendly and outgoing. No complaints at all about the staff.

I would go back on the Emerald, and indeed, I am, next New Years!

  #16 (permalink)  
Old 01-01-2009, 06:35 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cape Coral, Fl.
Posts: 1,329
Originally posted by kflynn04:
We just got back from the Emerald two days ago

We had great success in the dining room. We chose fixed seating and had wonderful wait staff who got to know us. I wonder if some of the less successful meals came from the open seating, the staff don't have the same incentive?
When you say less successful, are you referring to food quality or service.
Our cruise was traditional seating & we had a so-so waiter. He didn't let us know about specials that other waiters along side our table did. I can accept the fact that some cook ruined a few meals but a good waiter #1 shouldn't serve it & #2 just don't drop a burnt meal on the table & say "enjoy" and never bothered to ask why I didn't eat it.

This wouldn't have occurred more than once if we had chosen any time dining since we would have a different waiter each evening.
Traditional waiters probably do better in additional tips since they have the same people each evening & why would anyone bother to tip additional into the big pot when changing waiters each evening unless you were totally enthused about the whole cruise.
  #17 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2009, 01:59 PM
penny3333's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Alabama
Posts: 10,602
Hi RichC, thank you for a great review. I, too, noticed a difference in the ice cream. Not in the sorbets or gelato, but the ice cream was definitely not what it used to be. Maybe they changed vendors, it's definitely not Ben & Jerry's or Mayfield I'm with you on the larger ships, they're beautiful, but it doesn't seem like they have the crew/passenger ratio worked out properly. I'll post a review and link to pictures shortly of the Royal, she's a great little ship. She'll be heading out on a world cruise soon, sure wish I was on her.
  #18 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2009, 02:38 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Cape Coral, Fl.
Posts: 1,329
Thanks Penny3333, At least now I know it's not just me that can see the difference. I don't think they buy their ice cream but make it on the ship. We'll be on the Ruby & Crown at the end of the month & it should prove interesting to see if they follow the same recipe or do their own thing.
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