cruising emerald princess january 7-17. anyone else up for sum fun on the seas.
Tagged: Emerald Princess RSS
SHIP: Emerald Princess
SAIL DATE: 2 May 2010 Sunday, Ft. Lauderdale, Fl
Princess Cay, Day at Sea (Formal), St. Maarten, St. Thomas (Formal), Grand Turk, At Sea
RETURN DATE: 9 May 2010 – Sunday, Ft Lauderdale, FL
Passengers known to be on- board: 3,177
Word of note: I don’t pretend to be a regular cruise ship critic, nor do I expect to be considered one.
I have my favorites, just like everyone else, but that is not the point of this review. There are no direct comparisons between cruise ship lines, just observations and my own opinions are expressed here.
GLBT Get Together:
In all fairness to our first meeting host, we were encouraged to form our own groups/sub-groups and organize any outings, community “family” dinner arrangements or future get together ourselves. Most of the participants had already arranged for private shore excursions either from the ship or outside vendors. Onboard were several members of the GLBT community attending one of the seven weddings that would be conducted throughout the voyage. To the best of my knowledge, these were your typical mainstream weddings. Seems like most everyone in the GLBT group was in either the late or early sittings. Likewise, we had made arrangements for specialty dinning just like everyone else or were committed to eating with their respective wedding party members. We found one couple we shared an open setting with one night.
Most of us arrived as couples and there were a few “single” guys. By the way, none of them were on the internet chat rooms like this. With the exception of one person who decided to remain reserved and told me that he recognized me as a chat room participant.
Sunday, 2 May Hosted, 6:30pm, Adagio Bar Deck 16 Aft w/bubbly
Monday, 3 May, Expected to be hosted, but was not. 5:30pm, Adagio Bar, Deck 16 Aft
Tuesday, 4 May, Hosted, 5:30pm, Tradewinds Bar Deck 16 Forward w/bubbly
Please Note: Outside, bar closed shortly after we arrived.
Wednesday, 5May (No Host) 5:30pm, Tradewinds Bar, Deck 16 Forward
(We did not attend, a few showed up.)
Thursday, 6 May – NOTHING
Friday, 7 May, 6:00pm Sailaway Get-Together, Adagio Bar, Deck 16 Aft
Saturday, 8 May – NOTHING
My partner and I found the ship to be very pleasant, with friendly staff members. The ship had lots of places to go to get some down time if need be. The library is very, very small, even though I had brought some of own reading materials; I was unable to find time to read.
There are several complaints that we would like to see corrected:
(1) Bedding, OMG we had to have our cabin steward swap out our bedding for new ones following our first night onboard. The mattress were very well used and sagged in the middle and along the edges on the parameter. Since there are no other seats other than a dressing chair and a single chair, we could see why people would choose the bed in place of the chairs. Sleeping the first night was like holding on for dear life, thinking you were going to roll onto the floor and both of us woke up sore lower backs. Our room steward was very polite and said he would check with his supervisor to see if new bedding was available. To our surprise things were changed that very morning! Better yet, if you are concerned about having the same situation, order the “egg crate mattress covers.” They are some hard mattress to deal with.
(2) Could somebody please help re-do the Lido eating area on Deck 16? What a mess! There are two serving areas which people obviously ignore the signage which tells them to “EXIT ONLY” or “ENTER” Even greeters are posted, but they don’t tell them to go in the proper entry. Hot stuff, cold stuff, it was a hodge-podge of food not in any particular order. Refreshment stations are located outside these areas and were not very well provisioned. For instance, no ice, no cups, no sugar. Eek! What is going on here?
The itinerary was not the point of this particular cruise for us. It was strictly a getaway since my other half has, put it in simple words “one of those types of jobs.” We had a great time on Princess Cay we rented the cabana in the “Sanctuary Section” no children, adults only and no strollers as in walkers, just wanting to see what was behind the gate. The entrance was hosted by one or several of the crew members; you had to be renting to gain access. One drawback is that this area sits high atop the beach with little access unless you’re a mountain goat/rock climber, or you just want to walk back though the main gate and walk down to the beach itself. The beach was rocky to say the least, and I would recommend that you wear water moccasins if you have them. The Sanctuary area included cabana’s 19-25 inclusive. The rest room was located next to cabana 13 which was used by crew staff as a staging area for lunch service to the guests who ordered lunch buttered in to them in the Sanctuary.
We had a cabin in the forward section of the ship. Had we known that most of the activity would be in the aft portion, we would have chosen a cabin in either the mid-ship or nearer to the aft section. There are three (3) banks of elevators so access is not a problem. Deck 7 mid-ship is a problem area; you must go down or up one deck to get through this area, because one of the three galleys is located mid-ship on Deck 7, so be for-warned about the detour. The ship does have a number of exposed balconies, when I say exposed it is just that, passengers from above can look straight down to your individual balcony, if this is your thing, good; we prefer to have shelter overhead in case of in climate weather or being able to sit on the balcony out of the direct sun.
If you are a “foodie” you might want to try and grab a seat at the Chef’s Table, one of the most sought after dinning venues on board. If you are serious about doing this, look in the daily Princess Patter to get the phone number to call, this is the Patter that is in your cabin the very first day upon boarding the vessel. For example, of the 3, 177 passengers, 52 called in to reserve space, but only 12 individuals were selected. I had heard about this before, but was willing to shell out the $75.00 each to make it happen if selected. The person who took the reservation told me either I would receive an invitation to attend or receive a rejection letter. Everything is included, galley tour during “rush hour” dressed in lab coats. The rush hour turned out to be the lull between first seating and the beginning of the “Any time dinning” folks. We had several appetizers while in the kitchen served along with Champagne. This was followed by us going in mass to the dining room and being seated at the Chef’s VIP table. This was followed up with two types of wine (Red/White) which complimented the remainder of the meal, dessert, coffee or tea. It was outstanding!!! Come on now, how often can you get “Flamed” Roasted Veal Shank & Veal Tenderloin served table side for only $75.00? (Yes, I can fax you a copy of the menu if you would like.) They took two photos (group shot, and a couples shot) with the Executive Chef, Christophe Berlin & Head Maitre d’ Hotel, Nicola Furlan. The photos were delivered to the cabin the very next day. They also provided “A Culinary Courses Journey” cookbook, which was personalized and autographed by the Chef and Head Maitre d’. Married couples received one copy, us singles (LOL) got one each. Oh, before I forget, the Captain Marco Fortezze, joined us in the galley, introduced himself to each of us on the tour.
What can I say, once again over the top! This is another venue which charges a separate fee, $20.00 each + tip. The costmary 15% gratuity is not included, and you need to buy your own drinks and wine if you desire, however the 15% is added in on your drink orders. I must warn you before you start… choose you entrée first, as you will get a small sampling of everything else on the menu before you receive your entrée selection.
Steakhouse – Seafood
Sorry all, did not make this one! We heard from various individuals who did, and they said it was excellent.
Well, what can I say? If you don’t mind standing in line, or walking away with a beeper, that’s fine. If you obtain a beeper and go to your favorite watering hole, order a drink, and the beeper goes off even before the drink arrives, go for it. The range of the beeper is between three decks, so find your favorite watering hole early. Waits were from 5 minutes to 30+ minutes. Of course if you didn’t mind sharing a table, things went a little faster, but if it was just the two of you….and you want to be alone, or meet others and want to sit together … Well that’s another story. There is of course the traditional two dining times. I think we will go back to fixed dining on the next cruise. This is the second time we have tried the “Anytime Dining”, and for some reason, it just does not work well for us. If you want a specialty coffee, you pay! Just regular and decafe coffee and teas are included with the meals.
Note: We found that anything served in the dining room with a sauce/gravy was high in sodium (salt), so, just be aware for those of you on low sodium diets or just don’t like things salty. You can ask for the sauce/gravy to be served on the side.
SHIP ENTERTAINMENT & ACTIVITIES
Well, sorry folks, don’t have much to say on this particular subject. We have attended so many shows over the years; it’s just another show with the same old music and different performers. Sorry to say much like American Idol at sea without judges. We drop in occasionally and always stand up in the back of the second balcony. If we like it what we see, we may look for seats, and otherwise it’s just OK, seen it before. Ship board activities remain the same though most of the various cruise lines. There is a Sanctuary Section on the top deck which you can rent for half day segments at $10.00 per person per segment. Did not do this, but it looked interesting, maybe next time. This is ADULTS ONLY AREA! If I were you, I would check it out. They have bar and food service available at extra cost.
Sort of a secret keep it to your selves if possible: This for the for the EMERALD PRINCESS only, to gain access to the viewing area over the Bridge, go to deck 15 all the way forward. On each side of each hallway, all the way forward, you will find a door marked ‘EMERGENCY EXIT,’ just push the door open and you will go down another very short level hallway, and then exit through another door onto the open deck above the Bridge. You will have access to some very amazing unobstructed views. Bring your camera. One of the doors may be temporarily blocked, just use the other one.
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Hi Guys. I am working on my review of the Emerald Princess which just returned on May 9th. It will take me a couple of days to complete. My computer (WIFI) has been down just before I left and was repaired yesterday, so I am behind in doing my routine stuff here at home. I am shooting for the early part of next week.
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