Amid all the hype (and there has been plenty) surrounding the arrival this coming summer of Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas, another ship due to debut in local water first has been cruising completely under the radar – Emerald Princess.
In the world of cruising where, as much as we may not like to admit, everything seems to be about going bigger and bigger, this doesn’t always mean it is better, which is a highly subjective viewpoint and one you will make up your own mind about. But while Emerald Princess may be nearly a decade older and smaller, it will still be the largest ship Princess Cruises has ever delivered to Australian waters – such is the demand in Australia for its cruising style. By the time the ship reaches local shores, it will be less than a year since it last underwent significant renovations – and the ship is certain to still be gleaming like new.
While carrying an extra 400 or so passengers than its fleet-mate Golden Princess, which itself debuted in Australia in 2015/16, Emerald is loaded bow-to-stern with ultra-impressive facilities and will also provide Australia’s first look at many of the latest enhancements Princess Cruises has put in place in recent months to boost the passenger experience, not least of which extend to both the dining and entertainment aspects onboard.
But surrounding all of that and catering to its capacity of more than its 3,000 passengers in 1,539 staterooms over 19 decks, are a wide variety of stateroom categories and options. Flick through the below as we take a look at all the accommodations on Emerald Princess.
Of the total cabin numbers on Emerald Princess, 31 cabins are wheelchair accessible.
Where are they? Decks 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15 (Categories IA, IB, IC, ID, IE, IF)
Spread over eight decks, Emerald Princess boasts 436 Inside Staterooms, each around 15 square metres in size (or up to 17sqm if classed accessible).
Most cabins feature a Queen bed which can be split into Twin beds, however this is not possible in every interior cabin due to their location. Some feature Pullman bedding for a third and fourth guest, but it is important to request the desired bedding configuration at the time of making your booking to heighten your chances of receiving your preference. Each features an ensuite bathroom along with desk, closet, mini-refrigerator & satellite television.
2. Ocean View
Where are they? Decks 5, 8, 14, 15 (Categories OB, OC, OE, OF, OV, OW, OY, OZ)
Offering a similar bedding arrangement to Interior cabins, these cabins are limited to only 222 of them throughout the ship, and only available on four decks. The smallest of these are in fact smaller than an Interior cabin, at 14.6 square metres, however range in size up to nearly 17 square metres (usually wheelchair accessible varieties). Some of these cabins feature either a fully or partial obstructed view of the ocean and all include an ensuite.
Furnishings are the same as an Interior, with beds which in most cases can be separated or joined. Some cabins also offer Pullman bedding for two extra passengers, usually children.
Where are they? Decks 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15 (Ctgy B1, B2, B4, BA, BB, BC, BD, BE, BF)
Undoubtedly the most prevalent stateroom category, with 675 across the ship, the standard Balcony cabin ranges in size from 21.6 square metres up to over 25 square metres for those requiring wheelchair accessibility. Once again, bedding is a Queen bed which in most cases can be separated to Twin beds. All balcony cabins feature an ensuite bathroom.
The balcony is a standard four square metres in size and is furnished with a small table and two chairs. Evening turn-down service comes with a chocolate each evening on your pillow.
A Premium Balcony option is also available, with these staterooms positioned in the rear corners of the ship, overlooking the wake as the ship moves.
4. Mini-Suite with Balcony
Where you’ll find them? Decks 8 and 9 (Categories M1, MB, MD, ME)
If your travelling party is three passengers or more, a mini-suite is the lowest category which offers a separate bed (apart from temporary or removable bedding such as a Pullman), which in this case is a sofa-bed in a separate seating area. Mini-suites start at 30 square metres in size and increase all the way up to nearly 50sqm for a wheelchair accessible cabin, inclusive of the balcony, which is also larger at 5.3 square metres in its own right. Bedding is again a Queen which in most cases converts to Twin beds.
Mini-suites feature two flat-screen televisions – one in the lounge area and another suited for use while in bed. Ensuite bathrooms feature a combination bath and shower.
Club Class Mini-Suite with Balcony: Earlier in 2016, Princess Cruises announced the introduction of the Club Class Mini-Suite stateroom category, which sees passenger services significantly enhanced within the passenger’s existing choice of mini, family or full size suite.
These enhanced services include exclusive access to a private section of many restaurants for dinner each evening, as well as breakfast and lunch on sea days. Priority embarkation and disembarkation opportunities at either end of the cruise are afforded to Club Class guests, as well as full access to a private disembarkation lounge for guests to enjoy one last taste of the ‘Suite Life’ before heading for home.
Also on offer is a complimentary half bottle of red and white wine on embarkation day to welcome guests onboard, upgraded bathrobes and evening canapes to enjoy in your suite.
5. Family Suite with Balcony
Where you’ll find them? Deck 9 (Category S8)
Extremely limited in their available, only two dedicated Family Suites exist on Emerald Princess so you’ll want to make sure you get your booking confirmed well in advance.
Family Suites are set up to accommodate up to eight people across two bedrooms each, with one part of these suites effectively an interconnecting balcony room. Starting at over 42 square metres in size, the addition of the balcony (itself equipped with two loungers and a four-seat dining table) takes your total share of the ship at up to nearly 64 square metres.
For the most part, these suites are two separate accommodations which meet in a shared indoor living and dining area. This allows parents to isolate themselves from the kids if they so choose, with the little ones able to have their own space, including their own walk-in closet and private bathroom. They also have access to a DVD player with a DVD library.
6. Suite with Balcony
Where you’ll find them? Decks 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15 (Categories S3, S4, S5, S6)
At the top of the Emerald Princess tree, there are four sub-categories for the 26 suites:
- Vista Suite: Two of these 91 square metre suites can be found on decks 8, 9 and 10, positioned in the corners overlooking the rear of the ship.
- Penthouse Suite: Two penthouses, each measuring 50 square metres, are sandwiched on decks 10 & 12 at the rear, while Deck 14 features six more in the centre on both sides.
- Premium Suite: The highest positioned suites on Deck 15, there is only one of these 52.6 square metre suites perched in the front corners on both sides of the ship.
- Owner’s Suite: Bookmarking the Penthouses on Decks 12, these corner suites are a supremely comfortable 63 square metres in size, including the balcony.
Each sub-category features a sizeable balcony, separate seating area away from the bedroom, walk-in closet, full size bathroom with individual bath and shower. In addition, guests staying in suites gain access to a wide range of enhanced amenities – CLICK HERE.