Fodor’s Expert Review

Ship Overview

Princess Cruises
Cruise StylePremium
Ship SizeSmall

One of Princess Cruises’ largest ships, Emerald Princess made her debut in 2007. She follows Princess Cruises’ plan of “evolution” not “revolution” in ship design and features the most popular elements of previously launched vessels in the fleet.Read More

With dramatic atriums and Skywalker’s Nightclub (the spoiler hovering 150 feet above the stern), Caribbean Princess is a supersize version of the older Grand-class vessels with an extra deck of passenger accommodations. Not quite identical to Caribbean Princess, the younger ships in the class, Crown, Emerald, and Ruby Princess have introduced more dining options. Several signature public spaces have been redesigned or relocated on these ships as well—the atrium on Crown, Emerald, and Ruby Princess resembles an open piazza and sidewalk café; Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria is found on a top deck with views on three sides and alfresco dining; and Skywalker’s Disco is forward near the funnel (where it’s topped with a sports court). Inside spaces on all three vessels are quietly neutral, with touches of glamour in the sweeping staircases and marble-floor atriums. Surprising intimacy is achieved by the number of public rooms and restaurants that swallow up passengers.

Princess Cruises may be best known for introducing cruise travel to millions of viewers, when its flagship became the setting for The Love Boat television series in 1977. Since that heady time of small-screen stardom, the Princess fleet has grown both in the number and size of ships. Although most are large in scale, Princess vessels manage to create the illusion of intimacy through the use of color and decor in understated yet lovely public rooms graced by multimillion-dollar art collections.

Princess has also become more flexible; Personal Choice Cruising offers alternatives for open seating dining (when you wish and with whom you please) and entertainment options as diverse as those found in resorts ashore.

Lovely chapels or the wide-open decks are romantic settings for weddings at sea with the captain officiating.

  • 15 passenger decks
  • 2 specialty restaurants, 3 dining rooms, buffet, ice cream parlor, pizzeria
  • Wi-Fi, safe, refrigerator, DVD (some)
  • 4 pools (1 indoor), children’s pool
  • fitness classes, gym, hot tubs, sauna, spa, steam room
  • 9 bars, casino, 2 dance clubs, library, 2 showrooms, video game room
  • children’s programs
  • dry cleaning, laundry facilities, laundry service
  • Internet terminal
  • no kids under 6 months, no-smoking cabins

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Pros
Cons
Movies Under the Stars on the huge poolside screen have proven to be a big hit
The Wheelhouse Bar serves complimentary pub lunch at noon
The adults-only Sanctuary is a private deck with posh loungers for a fee
Priority dining reservations are extended only to Elite Captain’s Circle members
The terrace overlooking the aft pool is a quiet spot after dark, but the nearest bar often closes early
Opt for Anytime Dining and you may encounter a wait for a table

What to expect on board

Staterooms & Cabins

Layout
Amenities
Accessibility

On these ships 80% of the outside staterooms have balconies. The typical stateroom has a seating area with a chair and table; all have ample storage. Minisuites have a separate seating area, a walk-in closet, a combination shower-tub, and a balcony, as well as two TVs. Larger deluxe suites have separate sitting rooms and walk-in closets, some with sofa beds. Two Family suites have interconnecting staterooms with a balcony and sleep up to eight (D105/D101 and D106/D102). Some staterooms can accommodate three and four, and some adjacent cabins can be connected through interior doors or balcony dividers.

Decorated in attractive pastel hues, all cabins have a refrigerator, a hair dryer, a safe, and bathrobes to use during the cruise. Bathrooms have shampoo, lotion, and bath gel.

Twenty-five staterooms are wheelchair accessible on Caribbean Princess and Crown Princess; Emerald Princess and Ruby Princess have 31.

Food & Drink

Food

Passengers choose between two assigned dinner seatings or open seating; breakfast and lunch are always open seating. Dinner options include reservations-only Sabatini’s and Crown Grill (both with cover). Casual options with a cover charge are The Crab Shack—adjacent to the Lido buffet, which serves shellfish, and The Salty Dog Gastropub, where pub fare includes gourmet burgers. The International Café serves light snacks, panini, and pastries, most of which are complimentary, although there is a charge for specialty coffees. Lido buffets on all ships are almost always open. A pub lunch is served in the Wheelhouse Bar, and a pizzeria and grill offer casual daytime snack choices. The wine bars and ice cream bars charge for artisan cheeses and premium ice cream. Ultimate Balcony Dining and Chef’s Table options are available, as are afternoon tea and 24-hour room service.

Entertainment

Nighttime production shows tend toward musical revues presented in the main show lounge, and performers might include comedians, magicians, jugglers, and acrobats. Live bands play a wide range of musical styles for dancing and listening in the lounges and each ship has a dance club. The cruise director’s staff leads lively evenings of fun with passenger participation. Movies Under the Stars with popcorn and other movie fare are a popular option.

Spa & Fitness

Spas operated by Steiner Leisure offer the standard treatments, including a variety of massages, body wraps, and facials, as well as some designed specifically for men, teens, and couples. Medi-Spa treatments are also available. The spas’ thermal suites have relaxing aromatic wet and dry saunas and heated loungers that are complimentary for those in suites, but a fee is charged for everyone else. Complimentary to all are saunas and steam rooms adjacent to men’s and women’s changing rooms.

QUICK FACTS

SHIP STATS
Entered Service
2007
Number of Cabins
1,532
Passenger Capacity
3,080
Crew Members
1,200
Passengers to Crew Ratio
2.57
Gross Tons
113000
Width
118 feet
Length
951 feet
CRUISE LINE INFO
661/753–0000 or 800/774–6237

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