Launched in 2007 and carrying 3,000 guests, Emerald Princess has been a longtime favourite for many cruisers. It’s not hard to see why, the beautiful 113,000 tonne vessel has plenty of room for three main dining rooms, a theatre, nightclub and more over 19 decks.
I recently explored Emerald Princess in Southampton before it set sail for The Canary Islands. Here’s eight things I think you should definitely do onboard…
Taking that first step onboard a cruise ship is amazing – the shoulders instantly drop and a warm welcome from the crew promises a memorable, care-free time at sea.
Once you’ve taken a moment to admire Emerald Princess’s Grand Atrium, head up to the inviting Adagio Bar on Deck 16 for a cocktail – it’s perfect way to begin any cruise (or in my case, tour).
Alternatives; The Vines Wine Bar or The International Café for tea and coffee.
One thing I’ve secretly come to enjoy from years of cruising is the onboard spa and relaxation rooms. Dedicating some time here one afternoon really helps you unwind and truly get into ‘cruise-mode’. Emerald Princess has a well equipped Lotus Spa and Fitness Centre with an adult-only pool. I passed through this area on my tour and found it to be very similar to P&O’s Ventura (you can view my blog on this ship by clicking here).
New to Emerald Princess on deck 16, guests can enjoy shareable and enticing meals in a swanky, yet sociable environment. The onboard chef informed us that families, friends and fellow guests are often wow-ed by their speciality dining experience. Share by Curtis Stone menu includes; Wild Mushroom Ragu, Butter Poached Lobster and Beef Cheek Pie, and sides of melted leeks and braised kale.
Mid-ship on the pool deck is a large screen above the pool and bar that periodically plays movies to watch comfortably from a sun lounger. Whether it’s a hot sunny afternoon in the Med or a cool evening in the Channel, I was pleased to hear the ship caters for the weather with drinks on ice and blankets.
At the front of the ship is The Sanctuary. I really love this adult-only area as it offers guests a relaxing and quiet outdoor space away from busier decks. I’d relish this spot during a sail away, or for simply reading a book on a sea day. For those who love getting pampered on holiday, luxurious massage beds beneath a draped gazebo are available here too!
The Princess Theatre at the front of the ship is spectacular, and a typical cruise will host a variety of entertainment acts from guest comedians to musicals.
Alternatives for a night out; The Explorers Lounge, Skywalker Nightclub and Gatsby’s Casino.
I was told during my tour that Princess Cruises do the best burgers at sea (as voted for by Cruise Critic), but unfortunately I didn’t get to try it this time. If you want to beat me to the chase, head to The Salty Dog Gastropub and try “The Ernesto” with a craft beer.
What I did get to try was some of dishes available in the main dining rooms. The beautifully presented courses inside Botticelli included; Trout Amandine, Chateaubriand of Beef Tenderloin and a Milk Chocolate-Hazelnut Soufflé!
Like many cruise ships, Emerald Princess comes with a fitness centre and sports deck to work off those extra calories. I can’t say I’m a frequent gym-goer on land (let alone at sea and on holiday), but a leisurely swim in one of the four pools, a round of basketball, or a brisk walk around the race track definitely sounds more appealing! If nothing else it’s a good way to work up an appetite for dinner, and after seeing all the lunchtime temptations in Horizon Court buffet, this would be a real possibility!
I waved goodbye to the ship as it sailed for The Canaries and I was super envious of all the guests settling in to their cosy cabins onboard Emerald Princess. Are you holidaying with Princess Cruises soon or have you in the past? Let me know!
Click here for some of my other cruise ship tours.Thanks to Princess Cruises UK for the tour. All opinions are my own.Features images by Nutty Pear / Miss Nicklin.