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Emerald Princess, UK and Ireland

3

We are almost Elite status with Princess, so we have sailed with them many times before. If this had been my first cruise with them, i would not look to return to Princess.
i know most of the cruise industry are still recovering from the pandemic and have staff issues, but we had been with Celebrity in March this year and saw very little noticeable change in service, quality of product or general experience.
The issues on this ship were:
1/ Shortage of staff meant that one of the 3 main dining rooms was closed, so the remaining two were busy.
2/ Only one side of the buffet was open ever, again meaning the open side was busy.
3/ Aside from the Rock opera show and one other production, the main shows were a comedian, violinist (two nights), Judy Garland tribute (great singer, but sang relatively unknown songs!) and a Hypnotist. The dancers were NEVER around the ship doing other things and, frankly, were not the best quality we have seen. The entertainment was probably the worst i have seen on Princess.
4/ Princess always make a lot about music around the atrium. This ship was different and did not have much other than classical music in the atrium.
5/ The food was probably the lowest / cheapest quality we have ever had on Princess. Princess used to be out favourite line for the amazing desserts on offer. This cruise killed that loyalty. Pretty much everything they served was like cheap all inclusive hotel desserts - synthetic, low sugar tasteless goop. So bad that i complained to one of the managers that i had not seen such poor quality, tasteless food on any of my 20+ cruises.
6/ Poor amout of seating around the atruim / bars - i think they had still not put back chairs since the end of the pandemic as getting seats in some of the bars was almost impossible.
7/ The water transfer back from Guernsey was a shambles and we had to stand outside for over an hour in the queue.
8/ They are definitely trying to recoup past years losses by jacking up the excursion / transfer prices. Compared to local prices, they were scandalously expensive. Port transfers into Belfast were $18 per person return....a cab for 4 people was £15.
9/ Drinks - the cocktails are pretty much a glass of ice with a splash of alcohol. Total rip off.

Princess are also not being very creative on cruise offers onboard. The only offer is the low deposit and OBC. Contrast that with low, shiftable deposit with category upgrades and oBC from Celebrity and i ended up booking another £10k of cruises on Celebrity. Nothing on Princess....
All the above said, we did have a nice time, but i wouldn't do the round the UK cruise again as the weather is so changeable and it was all a bit 'samey.' The staff were all pleasant and service was good, but I will not rush back to Princess on the back of the drop in quality of their product.
As a Carnival Shareholder, i will be writing to the UK VP of Carnival, as i am concerned about their value / product direction.

John
Post Date: 03/07/2022
Score
Cruise Overall
3
Ship Overall
3
Dining
3
Service Onboard
3
Accommodation
4
Public Rooms
4
Boarding & Disembarking
4
Excursions
3
Value for Money
3
Review Images
Customer Reviews
LINDA wrote a review in Aug, 2021
We handed over the keys to our car right outside the terminal of the Regal Princes, so it was easy to get to the ship. Boarding was easy considering the Covid testing etc, but our luggage was right ou...
Peter wrote a review in Sep, 2021
Went on a 3 night Seacation 3rd to 6th September. Thought we'd give Princess a try after hearing many recommendations. Not sailed with them before but this was our 12th cruise. The Medallionclass app ...
Gary wrote a review in Sep, 2021
We had an excellent first time Princess cruise experience and would definitely cruise with Princess in the future. One particular thing stood out was the service and friendliness of the crew on board,...
Karen wrote a review in Sep, 2021
We cruised on a 4 night UK cruise from Southampton to Belfast. The Regal Princess is a beautiful ship, the medallion worked really well, we travelled with friends and it was really useful to be able...

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