On the road again or rather the high-seas, I boarded the Emerald Princess for Princess Cruises’ first Academy at Sea since the pandemic. The Emerald Princess set sail from my childhood haunt of Dun Laoghaire and headed north to Belfast before it will cross the Irish Sea and port in Liverpool followed by Glasgow where the group will disembark.
Not a Flight in Sight
The Emerald Princess anchored a few kilometres off the coast and tenders transferred passengers from Dun Laoghaire Port to the ship. The ease of passing through the harbour versus an airport was very apparent with the process taking a couple of minutes and while the cruise isn’t taking in the sunny shores of warmer climates, I don’t miss trying to prove my suitcase meets the required measurements of cabin luggage or having to semi-disrobe with belt, boots and the contents of my pockets in trays. It was effortless and easy and the tender took twenty minutes to reach the Emerald Princess.
A Warm Welcome Onboard
Onboard the beaming Rebecca Kelly could be heard and then seen with familiar faces from across the trade ready to enjoy a few nights in the hospitality of Princess Cruises. Every member of staff is smiling, welcoming and either expert actors or genuinely happy to see us.
I grabbed a quick snack at the salty Salty Dog Grill, one of the pool-side eateries offering handmade gourmet burgers including Princess Burger or Triple Smoked Burger – perfect comfort food. Ever conscious of my expanding waistline (a consequence of endless travelling), I opted for something healthy – cheese and bacon fries (potatoes are a vegetable). Delicious.
A welcome plate of chocolate-covered strawberries and macaroons awaited my arrival in my cabin. Accompanying it was a note welcoming & thanking guests for their continued support.
Rooms are well-configured with state-of-the-art televisions, plenty of storage and fabulous linens and pillows. The soothing classic decore hides hidden touches such as sensor lights that brighten when you get out of bed, leading your way around your room.
What I have always loved about Princess Cruises is there are no gimmicks, it is classic cruising with fantastic food, exceptional service and understated decor that is relaxing and calming. Despite the gloomy weather, this is an excellent way to spend a few days.