Day 1 Southampton April 23rd 2016
This was my first cruise on a Princess Cruises ship- the Emerald Princess. The cruise was going to just one port, St Peter Port, and we sailed just 468 Nautical Miles over the three days.
The check-in in the Mayflower Terminal was quick and we were soon going on-board. The first difference to our other cruises on P&O was that our security photograph was taken as we boarded the ship rather than at check-in.
Our safety briefing was in the Casino which on this ship was very large but didn’t have a lot of seating (except at the tables or the machines). Everyone attending had to have their cruise card scanned to prove their attendance. The security briefing was a recording played so loud that it my ears, maybe this was a tactic to keep everyone’s attention?
Now for some negativity, after purchasing a drinks package we went to the Crooners Bar for a drink and for the first time in the cruise we ran into the problem of getting served. But once the drinks arrived they were excellent value.
We went to what is usually our favourite bar on these ships for a pre-dinner drink but Skywalkers was closed for service and the Loyalty drinks service was not operating on this cruise despite all the TV screens displaying welcome signs!
We had booked Dinner in the Crown Grill, one of the special restaurants on board and had the best service of the whole cruise. My New York strip steak was simply one of the best I’ve ever had, the service and attention to detail was excellent and our wine glasses were never empty for longer than a couple of minutes.
After eating we went to the theatre to see ‘I’ve got the music’ which was an excellent show.
Our room on Deck 5
The view from our room!
And this was our room.
I did experiment with trying to stop the charger from falling out of the wall socket until I discovered another US plug up behind the TV. This one had not been used often and the wall socket held my charger in OK.
Day 2 At sea April 24th 2016
This cruise was only visiting Guernsey and the Emerald Princess was travelling so slowly that at noon she was only just due South of Plymouth. This ship maybe a sister ship of P&O Azura but unlike Azura the promenade deck (deck 7) did have stairs to enable walking around the bow.
Lunch was a salad in the International Cafe in the Piazza on deck 5. This space soon became our favourite part of the ship as it was close to our cabin and served excellent food and drinks.
At 1 pm we went to the Explorers Lounge to watch the “Under $1,000 Art Auction”. I did mark several pictures that I was interested in but they were never brought forward to be auctioned. I could have purchased them at a ‘reduced’ price before the auction started,
Here are the conditions for taking part in the auction:
Once the auction was in full swing things moved along (except that the bar had no Korbel Sparkling wine)
After dinner we went up to the Abba night in the Skywalkers Nightclub which ‘opened’ at 10 pm. Surprisingly there was only a couple of waiters available to and soon a long queue formed at the bar. Our orders placed at just after 10 arrived at about 40 minutes later. We did receive double our order as the waiter was most apologetic for the slow service. Even worse this ship allowed smoking INSIDE and soon the whole space was filled with smoke. We drank half our drinks and took the second drinks away with us to try and find somewhere smoke free.
The International Cafe in the Piazza was empty so we could enjoy our drinks and have a snack before bed!
Day 3 April 25th St Peter Port Guernsey
We have visited St Peter Port before and from previous experience know that the it can take a long time to catch a tender to get ashore. So, this morning we skipped breakfast on the ship and caught the second tender leaving for the shore. This meant being in the embarkation lounge at 8 am!
We went for breakfast to Dix Neuf – excellent as before.
and then it started to rain and we had to curtail our walking and concentrate on shopping with a stop for Liberation Ale back at Dix Neuf at lunchtime.We went back to the ship for lunch as the weather did not improve.
Back on board the tender service was stopped because of the high winds and it took the rest of the afternoon to bring back all the passengers onshore. Some tenders had to wait around alongside the ship for upto 40 minutes for a drop in the wind strength to enable them to successfully dock.
The bars were again packed and the Crooners Bar in particular made worse as an area was closed off for 70+ travel agents enjoying the ship (and better service than the fee paying passengers!). Dinner was in the Freedom Dining restaurant. Again the service was not great with neither rolls before the meal or coffee after the meal offered.
The Piazza was packed at 10 pm as as one of the on board bands entertained everyone before a balloon drop at 10:30. This was an excellent way to end the evening!
Day 4 April 26th Southampton
After breakfast we went back to our cabin as We should have asked for our luggage to be taken off the ship but instead it had to come with us to the Club Fusion to wait until our departure group was called.
After leaving the ship we filled the car with flat pack furniture from Southampton’s IKEA, which is just past the dock gates.