Review: Emerald Princess
Cruise - Ocean Cruise
First time with Princess Cruises
53 people found this review helpful
We left home at 9.30am to drive the 96 miles to Southampton; unfortunately it was a bank holiday weekend and whilst the traffic on the M1 was running freely the M25 was a nightmare, accidents on the clockwise carriageway were causing the anticlockwise traffic to bunch up with those that chose to see what was going on.
We arrived at the port around 12.25 to meet our ship, the Emerald Princess. Launched in 2007 she is one of the largest in the Princess fleet – 113.561 tons with a total of 1,539 guest cabins and just under 900 of them with balconies, there are also 31 wheelchair accessible cabins.
With priority boarding we were soon on board ship and greeted by a happy band of crew members, directed to the lifts and on to our balcony cabin on Riviera deck, we were met by our happy cabin attendant who gave us all the information we needed to enjoy our cabin and all the services he was able to provide for us.
So, Emerald Princess what’s she all about … Dining, we chose freedom dining for a change in the main dining room (MDR), eat at whatever time you like during the evening but be prepared for a wait if it’s busy, and it was whatever time we went. All the food served was of an excellent quality with plenty of it with extra’s if required – no complaint from me – well perhaps one, I love fish and it only appeared once on the menu if you don’t count the lobster.
There are three MDR’s on the ship plus numerous other places to eat, Sabatini’s the Italian restaurant, the Crown Grill for your steaks and sea foods, the International Café for coffee, light meals and deserts, Café Caribe for you Caribbean / Mediterranean food and not forgetting the Horizon Grill the main buffet. The list of places to eat (and I would add at this time that food was available 24 hours a day and not just snacks, a full dinner was available throughout the night if so desired). Out on deck, burgers, pizza’s, hot dogs and ice cream were always available.
With calm seas throughout our cruise we had time to enjoy the sunshine by one of the four pools, needless as you cruisers will know sun beds were at a premium and difficult to find on occasion’s .All the pools were in pristine condition and were frequently checked for water quality, the seven whirlpool spas were also in constant use.
Movies under the stars were very popular and blankets and sun bed cushions were provided for those that wanted them.
The Lotus Spa and fitness centre I’m told was very good and well equipped, my better half spending up to two hours each morning availing herself of the facilities, me, I prefer deck walking.
Fancy a drink? Try the Explorers Lounge, the Wheelhouse bar, Crooners bar or even the Speakeasy Cigar Lounge if you’re a smoker, there are also three outside deck locations for the smokers. as smoking is not permitted on balconies, if caught a fine is added to your on-board account.
There are all the usual facilities found on most cruise lines such as the libraries, shops, Internet café, art gallery, duty free boutiques, kids and teens’ centres and a medical centre.
The Princess Theatre we visited each night and was very impressed with the performances, some great song and dance routine’s from the resident’s ships troupe, a brilliant Freddie Mercury tribute act and a comedian that actually made me laugh, and believe me that makes a change. A good view of the stage and ample legroom added to the enjoyment.
So to sum up, we had a great cruise on the Emerald Princess, the ship is in excellent condition having had a refit in 2012, its kept spotlessly clean and there was hardly a sign of rust to be seen anywhere on its gleaming white paintwork. The food was great with plenty of alternatives available, the Horizon Grill’s food was always piping hot with plenty of choices for breakfast.
A ship worthy of a second look if you are considering a Princess cruise, so much so we have booked another for August – can’t wait.
53 people found this review helpful
This review is solely based on the opinion of a Silver Travel Advisor member and not of Silver Travel Advisor Ltd.