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Emerald Review 12th July 2014

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    Emerald Review 12th July 2014

    Here is a review I've just posted in the review section:

    I travelled with my husband and daughter to Southampton and the traffic was (as usual) very busy, arriving at 2pm. I had heard that embarkation could be long and protracted but actually we went through the booking in and security stages very quickly; very impressed, in cabin at 2.30. Our mini-suite was lovely, with two tvs and an enormous couch. Our steward welcomed us and brought us a glass of champagne and very quickly our suitcases arrived too. I stayed in the room to have a bath(oh how I loved having a room with a bath for the first time; I had brought with me what seemed like the entire stock from Lush so I could bathe in luxury every day) whilst the others went to the buffet.

    Later, we did the muster drill, our cards being scanned to keep a record of everyone present; a good idea. There was a sail-away party on deck from 4pm but we preferred to relax on the balcony with a glass of wine (Princess allow passengers a bottle of wine/champagne each to use in the cabin). Mini-suite cabins on Dolphin deck are completely exposed no overhang at all. This meant that star gazing every evening was fabulous. I used a large umbrella for shade (if necessary) during the day.

    We had registered for anytime dining and we like to share a table with other passengers. After only two days the lady at reception recognised us and would confirm that we would like to share (I was impressed by this because she must see hundreds of passengers every evening). It is a great way to meet new people and make new friends. We didn’t have to wait for a table ever. The food generally was very good and I have no complaints at all about it. I was pleased that it mostly came piping hot too.

    I spent the majority of my time by the Calypso Pool because I like the MUTS (watched several films and concerts, plus a couple of football games). I always found a place to sit inthe shade, sometimes even a sunbed was available! The pools on Princess are fresh water and at a comfortable temperature so I swam every day. Towels were always available and, if not, I would ask a pool steward who would get me some straight away.

    I didn’t use the (Horizon Court) buffet (deck 15) much at all, I don’t do breakfast and order coffee and tea using room service each morning (doubles as an alarm clock). For lunch I usually got a hotdog or burger from the Trident Grill or a piece of pizza from Prego Pizzaria, both very tasty. Next to the pizza place is Scoops, ice cream is available there. I did walk through the buffet some time and itseemed to be well stocked with a variety of foods. At the back of the ship on deck 15 is Caribe Cafe and this opens out onto another pool area with a lovely view of the wake. I came here once for coffee and it was very relaxing to sit watching the wake. On deck 5 is the International Cafe which I had a look at, has some wonderful-looking food but I didn’t try any (prefer to eat on deck).

    On the last two days we decided to try the formal lunch (only on sea days I think) and it was super. I recommend it; again, we shared a large table with other passengers. On the last sea day we also did the formal afternoon tea. Mmmm,warmed scones with jam and cream; just delicious. I asked for my usual Earl Grey tea and got my own pot, but didn’t want the sandwiches or cakes offered (I had of courserecently had a formal lunch!)

    Entertainment-wise, there was a full schedule and we enjoyed going to the Explorers most evenings to see Kelvin the CD host quizzes. Daft fun and hugely entertaining. There would also be a show in the Explorers that we tried to attend plus the Princess Theatre shows nightly. It made for busy evenings. We had a variety of acts, several comedians; Berni Flint, Gary Thompson, Jeff Stevenson, Taffy Spenser, the marvellous Steve Larkins as a Freddy Mercury tribute singer; hypnotist David Knight (who also did an interesting talk about hypnotism later in the cruise), a couple of pianist/comedyentertainers; Darren Bethel and Maria King, plus other entertainment I can’t remember. I attended and enjoyed all the production shows in the Princess Theatre, particularly the Disco one and What a Swell Party. Films were also shown here during the day. If you can, go along to the Meet the Cast Backstage Tour on thefinal sea day, really interesting and we had a good chat to the dancers and singers. Also, make sure you go to the Culinary Demo on the last day in the Princess Theatre; a galley walk-throughfollows. I sat on the front row so I could get all the lovely aromas.

    I had a look at the Sanctuary area ($20 for half a day $40 for full day); very comfortable looking double and single sunbeds in sun, partial shade or full shade. Didn’t have time to try it out but spoke to a table companion who did. She said the beds were sooooo comfortable and relaxing and she was served snacks and afternoon tea too. Just below the Sanctuary is the adult only pool. I tried it on the last sea day and it is a nice pool. It has a wave machine so that you can swim against the wave. There are two Jacuzzis. Inside is the gym and Spa area. The toilets also contain a steam room and a sauna.

    On the first sea day we all signed up for the Murder Mystery event that would cover the whole cruise. We had no idea what was going to happen but it turned into a bit of extra fun. It was hugely enjoyable and I would love to do it again.

    We stopped at Barcelona, Ajaccio, Civitaveccia, Livorno, Genoa, Monte Carlo and Gibraltar. We did our own tours at each place, having been to them all before.

    Because we are Platinum passengers (Princess takes all our P&O cruises into account as well as Princess ones) we got to wait at Club Fusion with tea/coffee/juice and pastries. It was just as well because wewere delayed by about an hour getting off. Platinum passengers also each get 250 minutes internet (14 day cruise). This is handy if you want to keep in touch with family or do research.

    I am sure I’ve forgotten so much more to tell you, but sadly that is all I can remember just now. Just to finish by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed my cruise and itwon’t be my last with Princess.

    Hopefully the glitches I have experienced getting this uploaded will have sorted themselves out now (odd spacing, words running together etc).

    Bernie Flint, Jeff Stevenson and Steve Larkin as Freddie Mercury, oooh it's like Saturday night TV all over again, New Faces, Opportunity Knocks and Stars in their eyes ... Can't wait!


      Emerald has come in for some mixed reviews of late, so how pleasing it is to find someone who mirrored my own feelings for this ship.

      Like you we took breakfast in bed every morning, gave the buffet a big swerve most days, and when we did use it Cafe Caribe, with a table on deck was a far better option. Other lunches were from the on deck grill, pizza bar, and best of all, lunch ashore in ports.

      I found the MDR food better than many recent cruises and the entertainment 'acceptable', the star being Steve Larkin.

      A good cruise experience, nothing fantastic, little to complain about and value for money............Wilba


        Nice Review you make it very tempting to book a cruise with Princess ,the entertainment looked very good indeed...Taffy


          Originally posted by Taffy, Wales View Post
          Nice Review you make it very tempting to book a cruise with Princess ,the entertainment looked very good indeed...Taffy
          Hi Taffy
          We have always enjoyed Princess ships. If ever Steve Larkin is on don't miss him, he does an excellent Freddy Mercury tribute and the atmosphere is always great. Hope you are enjoying the good weather on the Welsh coast. We are hoping to go to Llandudno soon. Regards LINDA
          Greenaway, Cheshire


            Brilliant review AJ. I really enjoyed reading it. Glad you had a lovely cruise. LINDA
            Greenaway, Cheshire


              Good review AJ, sounds as though you made the most of your cruise and had a good time. I did wonder if your embarkation might be delayed as the ship underwent a deep clean after we were all disembarked an hour earlier than usual.

              For anyone going on a Princess cruise I would recommend the unlimited soda package at $8 a day. We kept well hydrated with a good variety of non alcoholic drinks throughout, which would have cost individually a great deal more. This was particularly useful when the buffet was restricted later on in our cruise. I also got the coffee select card and enjoyed some delicious speciality coffees from the International Cafe, the white chocolate iced lattee was very more-ish!


                Lovely to read a positive review, I'm glad you had a good time.............................................. ............Carol


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