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Emerald Princess Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,737 Reviews

Great expectations-awful reality

Emerald Princess Cruise Review by Dr. BobW

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2020
  • Destination: the Panama Canal & Central America
  • Cabin Type: Balcony

Starting at embarkation sitting in an overcrowded hall for the better part of 3 hours - we were not off to a good start! No credible explanation from Princess; no bother to greet the arriving pxs when they finally made it on board.

Balcony stateroom was okay but was very shocked to find torn sheets and stained pillowcases on the bed (replaced 2 days later). Room steward was great as were a few bartenders and waiters, but the vast majority of staff were not engaged, sullen, and in a couple of cases - obnoxious!

Food in all venues was pretty horrible for anyone with a palate (I only had 3 meals which were "good"). Buffet selection was the worst we have ever seen after being on multiple cruise lines. Restaurants were kind of dirty with the worst being the steakhouse where I accidentally knocked about 3/16" of dust off the railing beside our table - ick factor 10. Likewise I ruined a brand new shirt when I leaned against a bar railing and got a large brown stain for my efforts.

For a so-called high end, large ship, the entertainment was, for the most part second rate, and most activities were pretty lame for an older crowd.

Shore excursions offered by Princess were okayish, except for in Panama city where we had to stand in line for 1.5 hrs in the sweltering heat to get on a tender back to the ship without so much as a hint of concern from staff - it is a wonder some of the frailer people didn't collapse!

At long last we come to disembarkation - it was a bit better than the start, but once again no one from Princess directing you where to go for transfers. We got lucky and chose the right line up. If they can do a reasonable job in ports of call, why can't they make the same effort for leaving? Is it because they no longer care about you? I would say so.

We will never use Princess again - there are so many better cruise lines that they can't hold a candle to! Sure, it may be one bad experience, but they are supposed to have corporate standards, so we can only assume that this is what we can expect on other Princess ships too.

Dr. BobW's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review


Kinda smaller than expected - notes as per review

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews


Nothing special here. Very poor quality of equipment - good thing we brought or own.

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A real lame experience. I understand that they need to capitalize on tourism, but.........

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Okay tour but getting back on ship was a big nightmare

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Dr. BobW
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