The Emerald Princess
Justin and I sailed aboard the Emerald Princess from January 18-28, 2014 roundtrip from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. We visited Nassau (Bahamas), St. Thomas (USVI), Dominica, Grenada, Bonaire, and Aruba with three additional days at sea. Cruising the Caribbean is a fantastic way to see many different islands with the convenience of being able to relax in one place each night. All of the food and entertainment on board is included, as well as transportation between islands. It is a great way to get an overview of an island so you can decide which places you’d like to re-visit! We blogged about so many of the islands and our adventures each day, but now you can see where we called home for 10 days! Here is a photo tour of the Emerald Princess.
The Emerald Princess is a part of the Princess Cruises fleet of ships. Here are some facts about the ship:
Passenger Capacity: 3,082 passengers
Crew On Board: 1,200 crew members
Inaugural Cruise: April 11, 2007
Ship Christeners: Florence Henderson, Marion Ross, Erin Moran & Susan Olsen (television’s favorite mothers & daughters)
Cabins with Private Balconies: 881
Our cabin was one of the 881 cabins on board with a private balcony. Our stateroom had one huge, comfortable bed, a desk, a fridge, a flat-screen TV, plenty of closet and drawer space, and one (small) bathroom! People often complain about the size of the bathroom and shower, but we were able to make it work – no problem! Our cabin was on the Riviera Deck (deck 14), cabin #709 (R709). We loved this location! Just down the hallway was the Terrace Pool and a great view from the back of the ship, and one deck above us were the buffets!
Looking out to our balcony
Reflections of our balcony
Outer Areas of the Ship
The Terrace Pool
The Terrace Pool at the back of the ship (deck 14) offers a fantastic view of the ocean as the ship sails ahead. This is an adults-only pool, so if you’re looking for a little bit of quiet relaxation or want to take a dip in a pool without children, this could be a great place for you. However, it’s close proximity to a bar and the buffet makes it a little bit busier than some other locations, and it might be difficult to find a lounger (especially on a sea day!).
Let’s walk from the back of the ship to the front (or, in ship terms, aft to forward)!
Movies Under the Stars
Lots of loungers facing the movie screen
Here is the Calypso Reef & Pool as well as the area with Movies Under the Stars. You can take a dip in the pool while watching a movie or concert on the big screen. At night, they put plush covers on the loungers along with blankets and pass around popcorn while showing some of Hollywood’s latest films. There are also two hot tubs here for ultimate relaxation.
Bars and area near Neptune Reef Pool
View of Neptune Reef Pool with Movies Under the Stars in the distance
Neptune Reef Pool
The Neptune Reef Pool is another pool that is welcome for all passengers, young and old. This one is likely the most popular pool as there isn’t the noise from the movie screen, and it is right in the middle of the ship. It is near the Pizza and Ice Cream bar, and the Trident Grill. On sea days, there are often pool games and events put on by the cruise staff at this swimming pool. There are also two hot tubs here.
Up the stairs we travel towards the front of the ship!
Loungers near the Sanctuary
Lotus Spa Pool
The Lotus Spa Pool was our favourite place to swim and relax. There were always plenty of nearby loungers available, and the pool was never crowded. This is another adults-only pool. It also has a swim-against-the-current machine that allows you to add some more vigorous exercise to your swim if you wish! Another nearby area is The Sanctuary, which is a private, quiet zone with cabanas and separate attendants that work there to assist you. To reserve a place here, you must line up early and it is an additional cost. This really didn’t interest us as if we wanted a private retreat, we would just hang out on our balcony. We also didn’t have a problem getting regular lounge chairs around the Spa Pool area. If you have some extra money and want even more relaxation, this may be the place for you! Personally, I don’t think it is worth the extra cost (I’ve heard everything from $15-40/day!) but many people obviously think it is worth it, as these spots sell out like crazy!
Walking towards the front of the ship
Walking around the front of the ship
You are able to walk right around the front of the ship. Inside, you will find the gym with plenty of cardio machines with views of the ocean, as well as weights. You will also find the Spa located nearby if you’re in need of some pampering!
The Promenade Deck
The Promenade Deck
The Promenade Deck
The Promenade Deck is located on deck 7 (and part of deck 8). It is a deck that wraps around the entire perimeter of the ship. The Promenade Deck is incredibly popular for those who like to walk or jog while on vacation. There are fantastic ocean views from this area from all sides of the ship. There are really comfortable chairs to sit on and read a book in the shade.
Inside Areas of the Ship
Club Fusion is a lounge area of the ship where many events take place, like trivia, Bingo, and Princess Pop Star (karaoke contest). There is a stage at the front for performances.
The Explorer’s Lounge is a popular lounge, especially in the evenings. During the day, you might catch an art auction here. In the evening, there are live bands, comedic acts, and game shows.
The Piazza is the central area of the ship that is always pretty happening! Many locations are right here in the heart of the ship: all of the shops, many information desks including the Purser’s Desk, entrances to the dining rooms and casino, the International Cafe, Crooner’s Martini Bar, the Internet Cafe, and Vines Wine Bar. Many small performances happen in the central Atrium, such as musical performances, jugglers, and Cirque de Soleil type acts. Sometimes the professional photographers will take formal night photos on the stairs. Celebrations such as the Champagne Waterfall and the Balloon Drop happen right here in the Atrium.
Central Elevators in the Piazza
Crooner’s Martini Bar
The International Cafe was a very important place for me on the ship – it’s where all of the yummy coffees are made! You can purchase a coffee card for $31 and it gets you 15 punches – one for each coffee consumed. They make amazing lattes, cappuccinos, iced coffee beverages, espresso and my fave, Americanos. If you don’t use up all of your punches on this cruise, you can save it for your next cruise. Also, with a coffee card, you can consume unlimited cups of brewed coffee or tea, which tastes a lot better than the coffee served up at the buffet.
In the Atrium
Vines Wine Bar with Sushi and Tapas
At Vines Wine Bar, you can sample all kinds of wine by the glass or bottle. With any wine purchase, you have access to sushi or tapas dishes. While we didn’t try anything this time around, I’ve had the vegetarian sushi in the past and it was fresh and fantastic!
There you have it! The Emerald Princess is such an amazing ship and we had such a wonderful time on board. The cruise ship was immaculate from top to bottom – the staff do such a spectacular job not only cleaning, but taking care of all of the passengers. We felt like the Emerald Princess was such a welcoming and positive environment, and we really felt like it was our home-away-from-home, at sea! We hope that you enjoyed reading all about our voyage of the Caribbean Sea on board the Emerald!