Newcastle Upon Tyne, England.
CruiseClout score: 95.0
Emerald Princess: Traditional elegance with a modern twist
Launched in 2007 and carrying about 3,080 guests, Emerald Princess is one of the largest ships in the Princess Cruises fleet. She offers nearly 900 balcony staterooms from which to take in the colorful sunrise over the ocean, or capture a breathtaking sunset sail-in to a romantic city like Venice.
Leisure days spent onboard in the Piazza-style atrium are relaxing and entertaining, with the nearby International Cafe and Vines Wine Bar fulfilling your cravings for warm cookies, toasted paninis and even hand-rolled sushi.
Whether you're getting refreshed with a workout in the fitness center or putting your feet up at Movies Under the Stars, your experience on Emerald Princess is sure to be unforgettable. She also features several swimming pools and whirlpool spas, wedding chapel, conference center, internet cafe, 24-hour passenger services desk, shore excursions desk, art gallery, and several bars, lounges and entertainment venues.
Who will like sailing on Emerald Princess
Emerald Princess is a ship for all ages and tastes — she really does offer a little something for everyone. Princess Cruises is an American company so the ships are very Americanized. My voyage sailed from Southampton, U.K., and the majority of passengers onboard were from the U.K. and the U.S.A. — there was a nice mix.
Where Emerald Princess sails
Emerald Princess sails itineraries to Northern Europe, the Canary Islands, Mediterranean and Caribbean. I spent 11 nights aboard Emerald Princess on a Canary Islands voyage and it was certainly a vacation to remember. Her crew is superb and very attentive, and the food was absolutely delicious.
Here's a 2-minute video from Princess Cruises about their Mediterranean sailings.
Emerald Princess offers a wide variety of onboard dining venues. You'll find everything from an outdoor grill serving burgers to a fine-dining Italian restaurant serving the freshest Maine lobster.
Da Vinci and Michelangelo are the ship's anytime dining venues, with Botticelli being the fixed dining restaurant. Speciality options include the Crown Grill, Sabatini’s, Crab Shack and Ultimate Balcony Dining — an additional fee per person applies of $25 to $100.
Café Caribe and the Horizon Court are both buffet venues and are open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night snacks. On the outer decks, you'll find the Pizzeria and Ice Cream Bar, which serves the Best Pizza at Sea according to USA Today, along with the Trident Grill, where you can enjoy burgers, hot dogs and fries. The International Café on Deck 5 is open 24 hours a day and serves a wide selection of sandwiches and cakes. The Wine Bar, also on Deck 5, offers tapas.
The Princess Theater is the main auditorium on board and offers production shows and other stagings on a nightly basis. Another very popular evening and daytime choice is Movies Under the Stars, which is located mid-ship on Deck 16 where movies are shown up to three times per day, weather permitting. Gatsby’s Casino is another popular choice and offers slot machines, roulette, craps and more. There is also a small video arcade located on Deck 17, just outside of the kids clubs.
Bars & lounges
Emerald Princess offers a public space for everyone. From the excitement and thrill of Gatsby’s Casino to the more relaxed atmosphere of Crooner’s Lounge, each area offers a different theme and varied entertainment. Other lounges include Vines, Adagio Bar, Mermaid’s Tail, Skywalkers Nightclub, Club Fusion, Speakeasy Cigar Lounge and the Princess Theater.
Spa & wellness
The Sanctuary is where solitude seekers will be able to escape completely to this plush, outdoor spa-inspired setting with signature beverages, light meals, massages, attentive service and relaxing personal entertainment. The Lotus Spa also offers you the chance to renew your body, mind and spirit. It features spa treatments, beauty salon services and the latest in gym and fitness equipment, as well as personal trainers and a variety of different classes that are available throughout the day.
On a Princess ship, young kids and teens have their own kind of fun — and their own place to hang out. The onboard youth and teen centers are fully equipped with everything from the latest video games and movies, to arts and crafts, foosball tables, board games and jukeboxes. And for the littlest ones, you'll find activities like kids' karaoke, pizza parties, pajama nights and more.
This ship's activities run the age-appropriate gamut for those under 18 — from Princess Pelicans (ages three to seven) and Shockwaves (ages eight to 12) to Remix (ages 13 to 17).
Accommodation options aboard Emerald Princess range from the modest and comfortable 162 to 182 square feet inside cabin, to the 460- to 687-square-foot Balcony Suite, which features a seating area with sofa bed, walk-in closet, full bathroom and an over-size balcony. Oceanview, Balcony, Mini-suite with Balcony and Family Suite with Balcony are all also available. During my cruise aboard Emerald Princess, I called a balcony cabin on Baja Deck my home and had more than enough space to enjoy.
Danielle Fear sailed on Emerald Princess as one of the journalists and bloggers who are occasionally invited aboard to write about the ship as guests of Princess Cruises. See Cruiseable's Ethics & Disclosure policy.
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Top highlights on this ship
- Movies Under the Stars
- The Best Pizza at Sea as voted by USA Today
- One of the largest atriums in the fleet
- The Crown Grill American Steakhouse
- Sabatini's Italian Restaurant
- The Crab Shack
- Vines Wine Bar
- Lotus Spa