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What we Loved and Hated About Our Emerald Princess Cabins – Cabins To Avoid (Real Photos)

If you are taking a cruise on the Emerald, Crown or Ruby Princess you may be wondering which cabin to pick.

I have just disembarked the Emerald Princess, after a wonderful cruise around the British Isles, Channel Islands, Ireland and France.

Whilst I stayed in a midship balcony cabin, I had family who stayed in an aft balcony. I’ve also stayed in the past in inside cabins on a sister ship, meaning that the design is identical.

This post is based on my experience cruising in these cabins.

Many Ships Are Similar to The Emerald Princess

Emerald Princess was originally built in 2007 and was last refurbished in 2019.  It has that “traditional cruise ship” feeling, unlike the more modern Royal Class ships.  She holds up to 3,080 passengers and weighs 113,561 tonnes.

This post is relevant to cabins on the Emerald Princess, Crown Princess, Ruby Princess, P&O Ventura and P&O Azura.

Emerald Princess is part of the Grand Class of cruise ships operated by Princess and has sister ships Crown Princess and Ruby Princess.

It is also worth noting that P&O operate the Ventura and Azura, and those ships are also virtually identical. 

I travelled on P&O’s Ventura for a Christmas Cruise, so felt I already knew my way around as soon as I boarded the Emerald Princess! 

In This Post We Explore:

  • Inside Cabins
  • Outside Cabins
  • Balcony Cabins
  • Aft Balcony Cabins
  • Mini Suites
  • Cabins with Premier Service (Suites)

We will also look at cabins to avoid.

Inside Cabins – Emerald Princess Review

Inside Cabins normally sleep two people, and are between 162 and 234 sq feet.  Some rooms can accommodate 4 guests.  These are normally the cheapest cabins available.

The majority of cabins are around 162 sq feet, but the wheelchair-friendly inside cabins are far more spacious.

p&o ventura inside cabin review

My family stayed in an inside cabin for 12 nights onboard P&O’s Ventura and this review is based on that cabin which is identical to those found on Emerald Princess.

Cabins normally have a double bed, which can easily be converted to two twins, depending on your needs. 

Just speak to your cabin steward, they are always happy to help.

p&o ventura inside cabin review desk

Some cabins have two Pullman beds that can be pulled down from the ceiling, making them a good, budget option for families.  

They can support the weight of adults, but are far better suited to children!

What We Loved About The Cabin:

  • The separate closet/storage area outside the bathroom.
  • The storage space and drawers within the main cabin itself.
  • The beds were super comfy.

What We Didn’t love: 

  • The older style of traditional cruise ship décor.  Lots of wood and beige.  Personal choice of course, but I prefer the décor of more modern ships like those of the MSC fleet or the newer Royal Class ships.  On Emerald Princess upgrades such as new TVs are noticeable.  In the cabins on P&O’s Ventura, which are identical, the TV are older, small and are wedged on top of a display cabinet.
p&o ventura inside cabin review TV
  • Small shower with shower curtains which meant lots of water on the bathroom floor after you have had a shower.  Manageable for someone my height (5ft 6) but tricky for someone taller.

I am a big fan of inside cabins, as it saves money that can be spent on a soda package, excursions, speciality dining – or another cruise!

One problem people mention is that it is easy to sleep – and sleep – and sleep in an inside cabin.  There is no daylight to wake you up. 

I now pack my daylight alarm clock, which gently wakes me up in the morning.  To learn more about daylight alarm clocks, check out my review here:

Outside Cabins – Emerald Princess Review

The outside cabins on the Emerald Princess are almost identical to the inside cabins in style and design. The average size is slightly bigger, at 179 sq ft. They can also sleep up to four people, with some cabins having pull-down/Pullman beds.

They have either a porthole or a bigger, square window, depending on which deck you are on. 

Oceanview cabins are the next step up to an inside cabin and are a good choice if you think you would miss having natural light in your cabin. 

It is a cheaper option than a balcony, but still gives you views of the ocean – albeit with no actual outside space.

All cabins have a closet/wardrobe area like below:

emerald princess balcony cabin storage

Balcony Cabins – Emerald Princess Review

A standard balcony cabin is 231 sq ft.  Some balcony cabins can accommodate four guests with one bed coming down from the ceiling and one “rollaway” bed. 

We had the room set up as two twin beds.

I stayed in a standard balcony cabin during my cruise on the Emerald Princess. We were onboard for Christmas day!

emerald princess balcony cabin

To see the cabin in more detail, watch this video:

What I Loved About My Balcony Cabins On Board The Emerald Princess

  • Super comfy Princess twin or double beds.
  • The storage space and drawers within the main cabin itself.
  • The separate closet/storage area outside the bathroom.
  • Lots of mirrors.

What I Didn’t Love About My Balcony Cabins On Board The Emerald Princess

  • Small shower with shower curtains which meant lots of water on the bathroom floor after you have had a shower.  Manageable for someone my height (5ft 6) but tricky for someone taller.
emerald princess balcony cabin storage bathroom
  • The balconies on Princess Cruise ships are rather cramped and narrow.  There is enough room for two chairs and a coffee table, plenty big enough for two average-sized people – but with little room to spare.
  • The lights outside the bathroom/closet areas were operated by a sensor.  When I got up to go to the bathroom in the night, it was so bright! Also when I was choosing clothes from the wardrobe, the light would go out and I had to move about to get the light to come back on. I saw many people that said that they had stuck something over the sensor to stop it.

Aft Balcony Cabins – Emerald Princess Review

On our cruise, my parents had an aft balcony cabin, suggested to us by the group travel agent, Emma Otter.  This cost no more than a standard balcony cabin, but had one major drawback, an obstructed review.

emerald princess balcony aft cabin review

What We Did Love About Our Aft Balcony Cabins On Board The Emerald Princess

  • Little disturbance from other passengers, right at the back of the ship, no passing traffic.
  • Huge balcony, around three times the size of the standard balcony.
  • No views of other balconies or lifeboats when you looked down – just an uninterrupted view of the wake.

What We Didn’t Love About Our Aft Balcony Cabins On Board The Emerald Princess

Our balcony had a structural beam on it.  This obscured the view from inside the cabin.  Once outside on the balcony plenty of room to sit in front of the beam – or behind it if more shade was needed.

emerald princess balcony aft cabin review
  • Small shower with shower curtains which meant lots of water on the bathroom floor after you have had a shower.  Manageable for someone my height (5ft 6) but tricky for someone taller.
  • Some vibrations when docking, (but none when sailing.)

Here’s the video review I made of the cabin:

Mini Suite Cabins – Emerald Princess Review

The Mini Suites on Emerald Princess are the middle ground between a Balcony stateroom and a full-size suite.  Although we didn’t stay in a Mini-Suite Cabin, I was lucky enough to stay in one during a Press Trip on the Sky Princess. 

I really enjoyed it, particularly the luxury of having a bath instead of a shower! 

 The specification was the same, although with more modern decor than that on the Emerald Princess.

sky princess mini suite balcony cabin review
Me in a Mini Suite on Sky Princess

You get more space a few extra benefits, but not as many as if you were paying for a suite. For many it is an affordable upgrade without paying suite prices.  They are usually around 323 sq ft.

Mini Suite on Emerald Princess have:

  • A separate sitting area in your suite, with a sofa bed and a coffee table
  • A curtain so that you can separate the sofa bed from the main bed area, creating two bedrooms
  • An extra TV – the usual one facing the bed, and a second in the sitting area
  • A better bathroom that has a bath and a massage shower
  • An upgraded bed, that has better pillows and a plump mattress topper
  • Additional balcony chairs – up to four (instead of the normal two)

Club Class Mini Suites

These premium Mini Suites that have some additional perks, but are not any larger.

Emerald Princess Club Class Mini Suite perks:

  • Priority embarkation and disembarkation queues at the start and the end of your cruise
  • An even comfier bed
  • Bathrobes provided for each guest for the duration of the cruise*
  • A half bottle of red wine and a half bottle of white wine in your Mini Suite on embarkation day
  • Evening canapes served in your room (on request)
  • Access to an exclusive seating area in the Main Dining Room, with additional menu options to choose from.

Emerald Princess Suites

If you want to treat yourself you can upgrade to a Princess Suite.  Emerald Princess has some fantastic Suite options, giving you all of the perks of a Club Class Mini-Suite, as well as a long list of additional extras as well.

The size of these suites varies a great deal, from around 460 sq ft for a Vista suite to a huge 777 Sq Ft for an Owners Suite.  

I have never stayed in a suite on a cruise ship, although I have been lucky enough to be invited to look at the suites of friends who have been lucky enough to stay in them!

Emerald Princess Suite Perks include:

  • Priority queues for embarkation and disembarkation, and for shore excursions/tenders
  • Priority lines for booking shore excursions and for guest services desks
  • Priority booking for the speciality dining venues
  • Access to the Club Class Dining area of the Main Dining Room with its extra menu choices
  • Access to the exclusive Lotus Spa Thermal Suite
  • An upgraded room service menu to choose from
  • A free mini bar in you room, a fruit bowl
  • Tea served in your suite

Do Princess Cruises Provide Bathrobes?

* Worth noting that Princess advertises bathrobes as being a perk in some cabins.  We had no bathrobes in our balcony cabins but discovered that you can order bathrobes to your room via the App at no extra cost.  Shame it took us about a week to discover this – there is no mention of it in the room

Do The Cabins on Emerald Princess have TVs?

All cabins on the Emerald Princess come with TVs. There are flat-screen TVs on the wall at the foot of the bed.  They have a good range of films and box sets and a selection of live TV channels, like CNN or BBC News.

princess cruises tv
Emerald Princess TVs

These TVs were probably upgraded in the ship’s last refurbishment in 2019. 

When I travelled on the P&O Ventura, which is virtually identical, the TVs were old, small and balanced on the top of the storage unit.  Much less satisfactory!

Do The Cabins on The Emerald Princess have Kettles?

All the cabins on Emerald Princess came with a kettle and some tea/coffee-making facilities.

If there aren’t the tea bags that you’d like, feel free to take them from the buffet back to your room, I always do.

Emerald Princess kettle

Do The Cabins on The Emerald Princess have Safes?

All cabins on Emerald Princess have safes. These are a good size and can be found on one of the shelves in the wardrobe/closet area outside the bathroom.

Cabins to Avoid – Emerald Princess

We had no problems with any of the cabins my family stayed in on the Emerald Princess. 

I normally would choose a “guaranteed cabin” to save money and the cruise line pick the location. 

I am perfectly happy and able to walk great distances, and nothing much disturbs my sleep! 

Not everyone is the same though, and I perfectly understand people choosing their cabins very carefully.

Deck 14 – Below The Buffet

The buffet is situated towards the back of deck 15.  You may find additional noise – chairs scraping etc if you have a cabin on deck 14 (Riviera Deck) that is below the buffet. 

The buffet shuts at 10 pm in the evening though, so late-night noise is unlikely – but you may be woken earlier than you would like.  You may also experience noise from crew members cleaning/preparing food or cleaning away at the end of the day.

Deck 14 – Below The Pool Deck

Facebook groups about cruise ships often mention problems with the noise from pool decks. Again, the “problem cabins” are on deck 14 (Riviera Deck).

There are a lot of rooms that are situated directly underneath the wooden decking of the pools, and when guests wake up nice and early to secure themselves a deck chair, they will often scrape it along the floor to get it into position. 

That noise can carry and disturb you if you are trying to sleep. 

Other complaints concerned cruise members cleaning the lido area late at night, or early in the morning.

Deck 8 – Above The Theatre

Deck 8 (Emerald Deck) at the front is directly above the theatre, so may not suit those who wish to go to bed earlier or have children whose sleep may be disturbed.

Balcony Cabins at The Front of The Ship

Emerald Princess doesn’t have forward-facing balconies (except in two Premium Suites), but it does have some that are situated close to the front of the ship.

These balconies may be out of bounds during particularly high winds, but even when you are allowed to use them, people complain that they are too windy to sit out on. 

It may be worth avoiding the very front cabins if possible.

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