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

Amazing cruise through the Panama Canal!

Emerald Princess Cruise Review by ScottG

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2020
  • Destination: the Panama Canal & Central America
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony

My wife and I have multiple things to celebrate (35th anniversary, both healthy after medical scares, etc...) and decided that a two week cruise through the Panama Canal was just the ticket.

We enjoyed everything about the cruise. Both embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly and the staff was very friendly and helpful. Our last 2 cruises were on RCL and the staff on those ships treated us like we were annoying if we asked for anything. On this trip on the Emerald, the staff treated us wonderfully, from the front desk to our steward, the dining room, and bar staff. We spent a lot of time at the back of the ship by Terrace Pool. The bartender and staff learned our names and called them out whenever we walked out onto the deck!

We splurged more than normal on this cruise and had a mini-suite. We loved the extra room and spent quite a bit of time on the balcony. The only minor complaint would be that the couch in our room seemed quite old and uncomfortable. It should be replaced.

The food was pretty good. I found it to be more of a variety than other cruises I've been on, but still got to be repeated too much on a 15 day cruise. But, we did not go hungry!

We had some wonderful excursions, and the trip through the canal was awesome! The commentary offered was really great.

We also met some really nice people from all over the world.

All-in-all, we had a great 15 days!

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

Mini-Suite with Balcony

Cabin was very clean and had no issues. The couch is pretty old and should probably be replaced, but it was still functional.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Cartagena (Colombia)

We did an independent tour of the city. We loved it. We learned a lot about the history of the city, and saw the important sites.

Fuerte Amador (Balboa)

We took the Monkey and Wildlife excursion and loved it. We were able to experience 3 different kinds of Monkeys, and got a great tour of the city.

River Cruise & Scarlet Macaw Sanctuary

We had a great time wiht a really good tour guide. We learned al about Costa Rica and once again saw Monkeys on the boat tour. The Macaws were all in cages which was a little disappointing, but there were wild Macaws hanging around the sanctuary so we got the best of both.

View All 26 River Cruise & Scarlet Macaw Sanctuary Reviews
San Juan del Sur

We did the Grenada carriage ride and boat tour. Our tour guide was excellent and very knowledgeable. We learned a lot about Nicaragua and enjoyed the tour of the city. We had a really good lunch in a local restaurant. We were surprised at how much we enjoyed this port.


We did not do an excursion but took a cab into the city. It was a nice, quaint, clean city, but there was not much to see. Ended up back at the boat early to swim and have a drink.

Puerto Vallarta

Took a cab down to the Malecon and spent the day exploring on our own. Found a couple of good restaurants, one for breakfast, one for lunch that were VERY good. We enjoyed walking the boardwalk and around the city before returning to the ship in the afternoon. A very enjoyable day.

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