Enjoy the first part of a guest blog from World of Cruising contributor Danielle Fear, aka CruiseMiss, who has just cruised from Southampton to the Canaries on board Emerald Princess
I embarked my first voyage with Princess Cruises aboard the stunning Emerald Princess. Our itinerary lined us up for 12 days sailing from Southampton to Madeira, Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and finally, Vigo. It was a great excuse to head off for some last minute sunshine, although we did get our fair share of torrential rain too.
My first impressions of Emerald Princess were very good. Her atrium was absolutely stunning and led off in numerous directions, calling at several different public spaces including the International Café, Wine and Tapas Bar, Crooner’s Lounge, Boutiques, Reception and a pretty impressive Casino and Cigar Lounge.
The outer decks were ideal, lots of space and lots of sun loungers. I particularly liked the fact that for every pair of sun loungers there was a table, so you would have two beds, then a table, then two beds and so on. Perfect use of the space in my opinion and it was echoed across the entire ship.
Other public areas included Skywalkers, Lotus Spa and The Sanctuary, Wheelhouse Pub, Crown Grill, Sabatini’s, Explorer’s Lounge and of course a whole aft deck on which you could leave the kids! Music to every parent’s ears, I am sure!
I am a big fan of the small touches and Princess Cruises are full of them. Every passenger received a lightweight branded Princess bag – ideal for the beach - and I also had added benefits of being an Elite member of the Princess Cruises Captain’s Circle (my points were transferred across from P&O Cruises). Having experienced the Elite benefits first hand, I have to say Princess Cruises offer one of the BEST loyalty programmes at sea! Complimentary internet minutes, complimentary laundry services, canapés on formal evenings, complimentary wine tasting, and one free mini-bar set up, priority embarkation and a dedicated lounge for disembarkation - these were just some of the benefits available to me!
To extend on my mention of small touches, I also liked the free popcorn which was available even to passengers not watching the movie on the big screen over the pool. The sandwiches and cakes in the International Café on deck 5 were all free of charge as were the tapas plates in the Wine Bar – both being features many other cruise lines charge for.
The drinks measures were also larger than they are on some other cruise ships (had to squeeze the important bit in there!) and I was NEVER charged extra for a “splash” of Diet Coke with my Southern Comfort. As I said, the little things can often make the biggest difference and in this case, they certainly did.
TOMORROW: Danielle turns her attention to the food on board Emerald Princess