The Emerald Princess is just that, a jewel within herself. She was birthed in 2007 and is one of the largest cruise ships in the Princess Cruises fleet. She is also one of the most beautiful cruise ships that I have had the opportunity to sail on. Her decks are all very well lighted with beautiful marble flooring.
We departed the Houston Bayport Cruise Terminal shortly after 4pm for a fun-filled 7 day Western Caribbean Cruise. Being the week before Thanksgiving, the crew was busy decorating the ship with Christmas decorations. The promenade staircase was beautifully decorated and there were beautifully decorated Christmas trees in every public area on the ship. The atmosphere was set and we were off to a wonderful vacation. I spent the first couple of hours exploring the ship before preparing for the Muster Drill. The Emerald Princess has so much to offer…Gatsby Casino, The Lotus Spa where you can get everything from Top-To-Toe and The Piazza is the place where lots of people just hangout to people watch , indulge in card games all while enjoying pastries, finger sandwiches, and perhaps a drink or two from the International Café. She truly is an Emerald!
Our first day at sea there were plenty of onboard activities to keep everyone busy. After a quick breakfast, we participated in Zumba classes. I enjoyed watching the many multi-generations working out together and having a really fun time. Also during the day were classes including line dancing and ballroom dancing. The Big Screen Movies gave you the opportunity to watch movies or concerts by Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé and Tina Turner’s. Generally, it was standing room only as everyone enjoyed music from all genres and for all age groups.
There is an ‘adults only’ area onboard the ship called the Sanctuary. You will find padded sunloungers and a pool for lots of solitude and relaxation.
We arrived at Cozumel, Mexico where the ship actually berthed in Puerta Maya. The weather was comfortable around 79 degrees overcast with showers throughout the day. We spent the day at Playa Mia Grand Beach Park. This is a beautiful white sandy beach with water sports (kayaks, sailboats, paddle boats, a water trampoline, Ping-Pong tables, snorkeling equipment), a self-service buffet, an open bar and so much more. It was a day to sit under the palm trees to read your favorite book or go for swim.
There were several pools for families with children of all ages. They offered outdoor massages, hair braiding and temporary tattoos. If you wanted to try a hand at cooking authentic Mexican food, cooking glasses were also available. There were also souvenir shops to buy a gift or two.
A big down pour chased us away from the beach and into the huge covered tent area where we enjoyed the self-service buffet with great tasting Mexican food until the rain subsided.
Dinner tonight was at the beautiful Crown Grill. Their menu was full of premium steak and seafood. The appetizes and special desserts are very upscale.
Our second port of call was Roatan, Honduras. It is the largest of the Bay Islands in Honduras. This was another day of fun-filled activities. December is their rainy season so there was plenty of rain to go around. Nonetheless we spent some time walking through one of the most beautiful nature trails that I’ve ever seen. It is strategically located next to the cruise port which gives you easy access to the public beach as well.
But the best adventure of all was when I decided to go zipling. It is just adjacent to the Mahagony Bay Cruise Center as is the Nature Trail and the beach. Extreme Zip Line Adventure (at Mahogany Beach) was truly a thrill of a lifetime. You actually zip line through lush jungle vegetation, over ravines and creeks, mangroves and lagoons, enjoying the wealth of our natural resources at altitudes of 70 feet or higher and distances of 1600 feet. There are hundred year old trees and approximately 1.1 mile course. It was most exhilarating!
The Mahogany Beach is also there where you can get bar service and food. Complimentary beach lounge chairs.
If you decide you would rather not walk to the beach area you can use the sky cables to ride across back and forth to the ship.
For dinner we decided to head to The Crab Shack …Take an order of King Snow crab, shrimp, corn on the cob and potatoes from Joes’ Crab Shack and super- size it. Its best way to describe it. This was truly a seafood extravaganza.
After dinner I attended the Princess Production Show with the Emerald Princess Singers & Dancers. Their nightly shows are really engaging and lots of fun. This night was the 70’s Disco. I everyone enjoyed walking down memory lane and remembering when life was bit simpler.
Our next port of call was Belize. We opted not to do any shore excursions but decided to do some shopping at the Tourism Village (Souvenirs, arts and crafts, jewelry, watches, clothing, and lots of replicas of Mayan artifacts).
The weather was a bit rainy, but no one was complaining. Nestled among the shops is the Moho Chocolate Factory where chocolate products are made for cocoa grown locally. You can taste and purchase chocolate products right on the spot.
After a fun really fun day in Belize, dinner tonight was at Sabatini’s where they specialize in authentic Italian specialties. The setting is reminiscent of a Tuscan Villa. This was another great hit.
After dinner, we headed for the nightly entertainment. The Spotlight Showtime included Comedy Magic and Illusion. Everyone really enjoyed the show.
Final day at sea I decided to take on another challenge of [email protected] For thirty minutes we enjoyed a class learning simple words and phrases that could really come in handy when ordering your meals and/or drinks… I think the most important words we learned were Por Favor and Gracias! I think these two words can take you a long way when vacationing on a cruise ship.
Another really awesome presentation held today was [email protected] where a fascinating presentation on all things technical on the Emerald Princess. It is simply amazing to learn how much education is required along with many years of sailing aboard various vessels is required in order to prepare for the Captain’s exam.
In spite of all the technological advances including GPS systems, the Captain and his crew still have to know how to manually chart the course of each sailing. With all the technological advances they need to be fully aware of where they are and how to navigate the ship in the event of an electronic failure.
There was information in regards to the ship’s stabilizers and how they function and why it is so important to always have a pilot come aboard the ship to assist during the arrival and departure of each vessel. A wealth of information for the cruise enthusiast!
I would strongly recommend this ship and itinerary to guest of all ages without any hesitation.