Princess Cruises’ 3,092-passenger Emerald Princess was the largest ship of her kind when she launched in 2007, but now her size feels downright manageable. Onboard, recent refurbishments mean you’ll find a mix of old and new: Modern touches include flat-screen TVs as well as Wi-Fi, although dropped signals are a common passenger complaint. A late 2015 dry dock added a host of new features, including the Salty Dog Gastropub and SHARE, Curtis Stone’s first restaurant at sea, where diners can share plates of fresh charcuterie and buttered lobster at communal tables.
What We Love
The Wedding Chapel: Call us sentimental, but a captain performing legal nuptials and vow renewals in full uniform never gets old.
Friendly Crew: They may not be the fastest servers around, but we found the crew super friendly. From day one they remember your name and favorite beverage, and they never need a reminder to keep your cabin stocked with ice.
The Game Is On: Sports fans will enjoy live football game broadcasts on the jumbo poolside screen during the “NFL Onboard” tailgating-style parties.
Best Known For
SHARE: Aside from the bland buffet at Horizon’s Court, eateries on this ship are above average in quality and quantity. A notable new edition is Curtis Stone's SHARE. Don't miss the twice-cooked duck and the fresh pastas at the warm and inviting eatery. It's worth the $39 cover charge.
A Superb Spa: Skip the banal back rubs and frilly facials in favor of the Lotus Spa’s Asian-style treatments, including muscle-melting Thai massages.
The Piazza: Come here, to the heart of the ship, for live entertainment and an impressive wine bar.
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Who It's Best For
A Mature Crowd: Whether they’re couples, singles, or small groups, Emerald draws mostly over-40 passengers.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
This Ship Goes to Sleep: On busy itineraries, guests are exhausted after active excursions and hearty dinners. The casino, bars, and Skywalkers Nightclub empty out early every night.
Design Feels Dated: This ship launched in 2007, but the interior design feels like a tropical cliché from decades past. Fabrics celebrate the Caribbean with floral prints, and you’ll also see cheesy artwork and light pinewood that, sadly, shows every scratch.
Chanize Thorpe is a New York-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Brides and Uptown.
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Emerald Princess at a Glance
- Line: Princess Cruises
- Class: Grand
- Number of Passengers: 3092
- Ship Size: Mega
- Launch Date: 2007
- Refurbish Date: 2015