Being from Southampton, I'm use to the comings and goings of huge cruise ships and it always puts a smile on my face when I hear the ship horn before they leave the dock especially at New Year when the clock strikes midnight. I come from a merchant navy family so cruise ships have always been very present in my life so being able to work with Princess Cruises and experience the behind the scenes of some of their most luxurious ships allows the cruise ship geek in me to become all excited.
A few months ago, Princess Cruises held a blogger event on board Emerald Princess which was launched in 2007. Emerald Princess is one of the largest ships in the Princess Fleet, weighing in at 113,561 tonnes. The ship features seven whirlpools, four standard pools as well as a range of eateries, spas, theatres and even a wedding chapel across its nineteen decks. We were able to go right up to the top deck and even though heights do not bother me usually, I couldn't quite look over the edge without feeling a little wobbly.
After checking through security, getting our passes and making our way on to the ship, we started our tour with nibbles and refreshments while we waited to be led through to one of their speciality restaurants, Share by Curtis Stone. Share is available on Emerald, Ruby and Sun Princess cruise ships and is dedicated to having a dining experience more so than a meal. The menu offers enticing charcuterie, composed salads, handmade pastas and premium quality meats plus an array of decadent desserts if you can fit it in. We had a talk from the head chef and he was so passionate about the restaurant and the food, I didn't want to leave.
After our talk in Share, we were then given a full tour of Emerald Princess. It's incredible inside, stunning interior and art work covers the walls and there is something to look at around every corner. It took a lot for me to actually step off the ship and not hide in one of the state cabins until it left port. After a lot of walking across numerous decks we were seated in the Botticelli Dining Room for an exquisite three course lunch. The service was amazing, each of the waiters were friendly and quick to inform us of what we were eating. It was a really enjoyable experience and the perfect way to end the day onboard Emerald Princess.
As I said, we're lucky in Southampton that we get to see the comings and goings of many cruise ships, there is always one of the incredible liners docked to marvel at and dream about boarding to sunnier climates. I'm dying to book a cruise and the more tours I do with Princess, the closer I get to actually doing it.