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Aus Traveller

Emerald Princess pro and con

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We have just returned from the 48 night cruise from Southampton. My assessment is as follows:

 

Pro -

Cabin - The ship is in good condition. We had to change cabins during the cruise and both were excellent. We had no problem with the air-con.

 

Beds - Divine.

 

Cruise Director - Matt Thompson (who a lot of Aussies will remember as a Deputy CD) has the new role of Entertainment Director. He does a great job, but it is mainly behind the scenes. He can be seen in his white officer's uniform. Paul Chandler-Burns (I think the name is correct without checking my Patters) is the Cruise Director. He is energetic and enthusiastic, even if he speaks a bit too fast sometimes when making announcements on the stage.

 

Staff - great as usual although our second Cabin Steward rarely cracked a smile.

 

Shows - The Emerald has a production cast of 17 members including four singers/dancers. The new Magic to Do is fantastic and a totally different style of show from Princess' usual production shows. It is a 50-55 minute show of song/dance and magic acts. We were told it takes a lot of rehearsal so maybe that is why there were fewer of the older shows during the cruise.

 

Princess Theatre - It is larger than on the Sun/Sea/Dawn P. I love the fact that the theatre has entrances from deck 6 or seven so the theatre empties much faster than on the Sun class ships. We felt that the best seats in the house were the front row in the 'balcony' overlooking the lowest part of the theatre and the front row of the upper part.

 

Dining times - They used both traditional and anytime. We are accustomed to the traditional on the Sun class ships, but loved the anytime on the Emerald. We usually went around 5.45 and were usually placed on a table that had some people who had booked traditional dining. If we wanted to avoid that table the next night, the head waiter at the door was very understanding.

 

Show times were usually 8pm, but sometimes there was a show at 7pm. To be in time for a 7pm show, we had to mention to the waiters that we wanted to go to a show. Starting at 5.45 we usually left the dining room at 7pm or slightly after.

 

Dining room food was excellent, although the menus were a little bit different from the Australian ones. Now that the ship is operating out of Australia, they will probably change over to our usual menus.

 

Cons - I felt that sometimes the food at breakfast in the Horizon Court wasn't hot enough, but I am having to look for something to put in as a negative!

 

I suppose another negative in the design of the ship is that the Promenade Deck doesn't go right around the ship on one level. If you want to circumnavigate, you have to go up a flight of stairs, walk around the front, then down on the other side.

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Thanks for reporting back!

Glad it was a very good cruise for you!

Emerald Princess has always been a very favorite of ours. :D

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Great report thanks

An experienced cruising friend was on her this last weekend and felt she didn't handle the seas well - what was your experience in heavy seas?

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Thank you, starting to get real excited.

 

Food in the buffet is never hot enough for my liking, on a ship or a hotel, guess they worry about getting sued.

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Great report thanks

An experienced cruising friend was on her this last weekend and felt she didn't handle the seas well - what was your experience in heavy seas?

We felt the Emerald handled the seas well. In my opinion we didn't have really heavy seas. I think 4m was mentioned, but I don't think anything less than 6m really counts. :) The Bay of Biscay was calm and at later times we had sea so smooth flying fish were seen. Probably the roughest was after leaving Melbourne, but the ship only moved about a bit. Our cabin was on deck 14 and forward of mid-ships, so we would have felt the movement if it was bad.

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A negative would easily be the overcrowding and excessive amounts of passengers it carries with that extra deck full of passenger cabins and zero extra public rooms.

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Thanks AT for the report. Looking forward to our first cruise onboard in January. I had a look at some pics of the princess theatre, so when you say the first row of the balcony overlooking the lower part do you mean the row of seats just behind that first balcony part or the row of seats that back onto the balcony?

 

Was it busy in the Wheelhouse bar during happy hour?

 

Thanks for any info/tips.

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Thanks AT for the report. Looking forward to our first cruise onboard in January. I had a look at some pics of the princess theatre, so when you say the first row of the balcony overlooking the lower part do you mean the row of seats just behind that first balcony part or the row of seats that back onto the balcony?

 

Was it busy in the Wheelhouse bar during happy hour?

 

Thanks for any info/tips.

There are two rows of seats in the balcony. The front row has only six seats (these are great) and in the row behind, the four seats on either end are also good because they extend past the six seats in the front row. There is plenty of leg room on these rows for people with long legs.

 

The other good seats are behind and above the balcony in the main upper section of the theatre. The front row there has an unobstructed view. With both these recommendations I would add the proviso that if the person is short (close to 5 feet) then the balcony rail would obscure the part of the stage closest to the audience. People 5'5" and above have no problem.:)

 

People did mention the happy hour deal but I cannot answer the question on how busy it was because we had a happy hour drink in our cabin while getting ready for dinner.

 

The demographics on this 48 night cruise were interesting. On the first leg, the nationalities in order of numbers were: UK, Australia, USA, Canada, NZ then 'others'. In Dubai several of the Brits and Americans disembarked and were replaced with Aussies, with the same happening again in Singapore.

 

It was also interesting cruising during the end of the American Presidential race. Talking to Americans, it seemed to me that probably a bit over 50% supported Donald Trump. They were certainly the most vocal, with at least one man wearing a 'Trump' cap. The Clinton supporters were more reserved in expressing their opinion.

Edited by Aus Traveller

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We did 41days Southampton to Fremantle. We were on deck 8 mid forward and had 10/12 nights of disturbed sleep with plumbing noises in the cabin, fixed after 4 nights, creaking, very bad the first night and was told the ship was built for the Caribbean, not the ocean. As previously mentioned we then had very calm seas until after Singapore. More noises from the door to outside on deck 7 banging, also picked up by deck supervisor when she was in the cabin checking other noises and rectified very quickly. Took several goes to try and rid cabin of very loud creaks and when we rang on the second last night at 1am were told they had 30 phone calls re noise and was due to rough seas even though the navigation report said " seas slight".

The beds are divine, staff generally very pleasant and except for International Cafe, public areas didn't seem crowded and usually not too difficult to get a reasonable seat in Horizon Court

Pam

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Dining times - They used both traditional and anytime. We are accustomed to the traditional on the Sun class ships, but loved the anytime on the Emerald. We usually went around 5.45 and were usually placed on a table that had some people who had booked traditional dining. If we wanted to avoid that table the next night, the head waiter at the door was very understanding.

 

Austraveller - I understand you frequented anytime dining, so why were you seated with traditional diners? Is there no check at the door or do the MDRs cater for both groups now?

 

Thanks for a splendid report :)

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Dining times - They used both traditional and anytime. We are accustomed to the traditional on the Sun class ships, but loved the anytime on the Emerald. We usually went around 5.45 and were usually placed on a table that had some people who had booked traditional dining. If we wanted to avoid that table the next night, the head waiter at the door was very understanding.

 

Austraveller - I understand you frequented anytime dining, so why were you seated with traditional diners? Is there no check at the door or do the MDRs cater for both groups now?

 

Thanks for a splendid report :)

 

Anna, I believe one of the restaurants is Early traditional then changes to Anytime about 7.30pm.

 

Thanks for the review Aus Traveller, sounds great....12 more sleeps for us:)

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Dining times - They used both traditional and anytime. We are accustomed to the traditional on the Sun class ships, but loved the anytime on the Emerald. We usually went around 5.45 and were usually placed on a table that had some people who had booked traditional dining. If we wanted to avoid that table the next night, the head waiter at the door was very understanding.

 

Austraveller - I understand you frequented anytime dining, so why were you seated with traditional diners? Is there no check at the door or do the MDRs cater for both groups now?

 

Thanks for a splendid report :)

At the start of the cruise, the Head Waiter at the door checked to see if the person was on Traditional or Anytime. After we were seated, the waiter asked for our cabin number and noted it down. We shifted around the dining room to different 'stations' and after a short while, the waiters didn't ask us for the number.

 

During the whole 48 nights, the Da Vinci restaurant was very under-populated. Sometimes it was only a quarter full. This could have been because of the particular demographic on this cruise. I am not sure why.

 

I think that the Botticelli Restaurant (aft on deck 6) is for traditional dining only. We went to the Da Vinci on deck 6 on the first night and found that the Head Waiter on the door was excellent at choosing a table for us. Maybe out of habit we went to that restaurant for the whole cruise. The food would be the same in all the restaurants. Every night we were able to walk straight in - the longest we waited was for a minute or so while the Head Waiter returned to his desk. Sometimes when we left the restaurant around 7pm, there would be a queue of around a dozen people waiting to be allocated a table. They would not have waited for more than five minutes, because many of the tables were still empty.

 

We were a little surprised to find even from the first night that some of our table companions said that the particular table we were placed at was their table for the whole cruise. We went early (5.35pm to 5.50pm) so we could go to the early show. I loved the feeling that we had no pressure to rush to be at the dining room promptly after 5.30 so we wouldn't hold up dinner service for our dinner companions (as happens with traditional dining on the Sun/Sea/Dawn).

 

I am pleased to hear that Anytime dining will be introduced to these ships also. On our last cruise on the Sea P (42 nights), we were at a table for 8 and after a while, often there were only four of us at the table, and on occasions it was just us two.

Edited by Aus Traveller

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During the whole 48 nights, the Da Vinci restaurant was very under-populated. Sometimes it was only a quarter full. This could have been because of the particular demographic on this cruise. I am not sure why.

 

Latter on in the evening 7:30 - 8:15 the Da Vinci restaurant, became very busy. We had dinner in there a few nights (we where on anytime) and had to wait 5 - 10 mins for a table.

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Great report thanks

An experienced cruising friend was on her this last weekend and felt she didn't handle the seas well - what was your experience in heavy seas?

 

This is what the seas where like of the coast of Portland, VIC, Australia - 13th Nov 2016

 

15032272_10157732837485635_6626021911578800127_n.jpg?oh=92bf8aa3204fa9321fa66135d24fb0ce&oe=58D1B2ED

 

I thought the Emerald handle what rough seas we had on the cruise not too badly :)

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Latter on in the evening 7:30 - 8:15 the Da Vinci restaurant, became very busy. We had dinner in there a few nights (we where on anytime) and had to wait 5 - 10 mins for a table.

Maybe the crowd later in the evening is a reason why the Da Vinci restaurant was to under-populated in the 5.30 to 7pm timeframe.

 

I agree with your comment that the Emerald handled the seas well, although there were no extreme conditions. By extreme I mean 8m or more.

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It might be of interest that the Captain for the first leg of the cruise from Southampton was Capt William Kent who was usually in command of the Sea Princess. His partner, Maggie, was also on board.

 

During the cruise, Capt Martin Stenzel took over. He is also English and their manner of presenting the noon announcement was very similar.

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At the start of the cruise, the Head Waiter at the door checked to see if the person was on Traditional or Anytime. After we were seated, the waiter asked for our cabin number and noted it down. We shifted around the dining room to different 'stations' and after a short while, the waiters didn't ask us for the number.

 

During the whole 48 nights, the Da Vinci restaurant was very under-populated. Sometimes it was only a quarter full. This could have been because of the particular demographic on this cruise. I am not sure why.

 

I think that the Botticelli Restaurant (aft on deck 6) is for traditional dining only. We went to the Da Vinci on deck 6 on the first night and found that the Head Waiter on the door was excellent at choosing a table for us. Maybe out of habit we went to that restaurant for the whole cruise. The food would be the same in all the restaurants. Every night we were able to walk straight in - the longest we waited was for a minute or so while the Head Waiter returned to his desk. Sometimes when we left the restaurant around 7pm, there would be a queue of around a dozen people waiting to be allocated a table. They would not have waited for more than five minutes, because many of the tables were still empty.

 

We were a little surprised to find even from the first night that some of our table companions said that the particular table we were placed at was their table for the whole cruise. We went early (5.35pm to 5.50pm) so we could go to the early show. I loved the feeling that we had no pressure to rush to be at the dining room promptly after 5.30 so we wouldn't hold up dinner service for our dinner companions (as happens with traditional dining on the Sun/Sea/Dawn).

 

I am pleased to hear that Anytime dining will be introduced to these ships also. On our last cruise on the Sea P (42 nights), we were at a table for 8 and after a while, often there were only four of us at the table, and on occasions it was just us two.

 

Thanks Austraveller and Chez. That's an interesting set up (sharing with traditional diners) and it's good that cruise cards were checked. Looks like the early diners have it easy with no waiting.

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Hi Evon,

 

Nice to read your review!

 

Unfortunately, my bed was a long way short of divine and I would go so far as to say it was the worst bed I've had on any cruise!

 

After discussing with the cabin steward, he advised there was nothing they could do for me - it was definitely one of the new mattresses and as the ship was fully booked there were no spares to swap it over. It had a very deep dip in the middle and I decided to flip/turn it (which I have done on other cruises with success). However, these new beds are "single side" mattresses, meaning they are not designed to be flipped over. I settled for turning it around which helped a little, along with a few towels to pack up the hollow. At times I felt the bed was swallowing me up! I found the pillows a bit too big and soft too but thankfully I was able to get a smaller, firmer pillow.

 

My husband Peter's half was fine (and he did offer to swap, but I didn't want two of us not sleeping!!).

 

All I can say is, if I had purchased this mattress new I would be demanding my money back!! I admit I am a bit of a "Princess and the Pea" when it comes to beds tho ;) :rolleyes:

 

The rest of the cruise was wonderful!

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Hi Evon,

 

Nice to read your review!

 

Unfortunately, my bed was a long way short of divine and I would go so far as to say it was the worst bed I've had on any cruise!

 

After discussing with the cabin steward, he advised there was nothing they could do for me - it was definitely one of the new mattresses and as the ship was fully booked there were no spares to swap it over. It had a very deep dip in the middle and I decided to flip/turn it (which I have done on other cruises with success). However, these new beds are "single side" mattresses, meaning they are not designed to be flipped over. I settled for turning it around which helped a little, along with a few towels to pack up the hollow. At times I felt the bed was swallowing me up! I found the pillows a bit too big and soft too but thankfully I was able to get a smaller, firmer pillow.

 

My husband Peter's half was fine (and he did offer to swap, but I didn't want two of us not sleeping!!).

 

All I can say is, if I had purchased this mattress new I would be demanding my money back!! I admit I am a bit of a "Princess and the Pea" when it comes to beds tho ;) :rolleyes:

 

The rest of the cruise was wonderful!

 

Interesting about the "deep dip" in your "divine" mattress. This was also the case with my husband's side on the Sun Princess back in May. We thought our cabin had missed out on the new mattresses. I guess there were some lemons in the batch Princess received ... or someone was using them as a trampoline :eek:.

Edited by Kinkacruiser

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