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

Chlorophyll more like borophyll

Emerald Princess Cruise Review by SCOOTERNINJA

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Jan 2020
  • Destination: the Panama Canal & Central America

Because I am generally a really positive person that tries to see the good in everything, I will start off with that. Edward the cabin steward was fantastic and just a great guy. He genuinely cared and worked hard. The food was generally pretty good in the dining room and the dining room staff was fun to interact with and they worked hard. Although - it makes no sense how we can be travelling through Mexico and Central America and get literally none of the amazing fruits of those countries on ship (papaya, mango, plantains etc..). Also great were the ports (specifically Huatulco and Punta Arenas)...but I am reviewing the ship here because of the large amount of sea days. I did learn that the US has a flight to Huatulco and I plan on doing that in the near future.

Now to the negative - the entertainment was terrible and I found myself watching movies in the room most nights. At least the movie selection in the room was good. During the day there was no discernible entertainment. The 'entertainment' at night mostly consisted of Frank Sinatra singers and the like. While I may be relatively young for this cruise, I do know that 'old' people like a little more fun and variety than that. Trying to find something to do or eat after 9 PM, there was literally nothing. The one bar that was open (on the top level) had nobody there other than the bartender and cocktail servers. As a poker player, I figured that I could at least play poker for fun in the casino...but the poker table had an absurd 18% rake which took all possible fun out of it because statistically you are going to lose even if you play extremely well. I've been on other cruise ships and the entertainment on them was awesome, so my review isn't naively written.

Also the customer service left a terrible taste in my mouth. I received a $100 Princess gift card for my birthday from a relative in light of the upcoming cruise (after the cruise had been booked). I tried to use the gift card online for excursions and internet but that was not possible as it only accepted credit card payments. I called customer service twice and they acted like they tried to help but stated that the gift card could only be used on the ship and that I couldn't use it to pay for internet and excursions. However, when I attempted to use the gift card on the ship, the person I spoke to on the ship said that I could not use it on that cruise but laughingly said that I could apply the amount to a future Princess Cruise. He literally didn't give a damn. I just had a terrible time on board the cruise ship, why would I want to go on another cruise with Princess? So now I have a worthless gift card that a family member spent good money on as a birthday gift. I didn't even know how to reply when they asked how I enjoyed the gift card for fear of hurting their feelings. Shame on Princess for its gift card scam!!

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

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Puerto Vallarta

Ubered to an all-inclusive beach resort and had a fantastic day with drinks and food included for $50 a person. Also made a quick stop at the Malecon. I've been to PV a lot and knew what to expect. Fun city!

Fuerte Amador (Balboa)

Panama was VERY hot and humid when we were there. Went to the mall and toured around Panama City on our own.

Cartagena (Colombia)

Took taxis around Cartagena. What a great city!!

Los Angeles

The wait to board was hours with everyone in a room with uncomfortable chairs.


Toured the local area in taxis and then spent some time on the beach. The people and local food was outstanding!

San Juan del Sur

The beach is nice. Nicaragua has a long ways to go in catering to foreigners. I did enjoy the $1 beers however!

Arenal Volcano

The hot springs were fantastic. But the Arenal Volcano is just too far away and you spend most of the day on a bus. I probably wouldn't recommend the tour as I am sure there is something great to do closer to port.

View All 2 Arenal Volcano Reviews

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