Our family recently completed a 16 day Transatlantic cruise on the Emerald Princess.
Ship - The Emerald is a beautiful ship, multiple restaurants, bars and lounges. We had a balcony stateroom (usually have a mini-suite but they were almost double the price of a balcony stateroom on this cruise) which was a little cramped for three persons. The third bed dropped from the ceiling so it was not in the way except if one had to use the restroom during the evening. We especially enjoyed the Adagio lounge on the 16th floor at the back of the ship. This was probably the most geriatric crowd we have ever encountered - I would estimate the average age to be in the 75 year range. Many "typical" New Yorkers aboard, and if you don't mind hearing how great they are, or being told by some how to do things you will survive just fine.
Ports - The itinerary was a great one - left from Copenhagen and visited Oslo, Glasgow, Dublin, Belfast, Iceland, Greenland (missed due to weather), St. John's NF and St. John NB. Iceland far exceeded any of our expectations - suggest the "Golden Circle" excursion. Skip the Blue Lagoon as it is over rated. We also did an excellent excursion to Culzean Castle in Scotland - much better than Edinburgh in our opinion. We had eight sea days which, unless you keep occupied can get a little boring.
Entertainment - We thoroughly enjoyed the singers and comedians they brought on board. The ship's Broadway shows were also quite good. The biggest disappointment was the lounge performers. There was a piano/singer in the Crooners Bar that was absolutely terrible - he had no idea of how bad he was, but he sure was loud and off-key. There was a European band called Cactus Jack that played primarily in the Explorer's Lounge. If you like american music with a distinct European accent they are your cup of tea. Also was a duo named Allan & La Donna - to be avoided at all costs!
Staff - Overall the cruise staff were OK, but many did not seem to enjoy being there. We found the wait staff at Da Vinci to be very personable. Cabin stewards were disinterested. The Captain was one of the most friendly we have encountered. The Cruise Director Lee Childers is exemplary - outgoing and extremely helpful. On of the CD staff (Karen from the UK) ran a lot of the games, including trivia. She was the consummate drama queen, even breaking into tears when a passenger criticized her.
Food - On the whole the food was pretty typical for Princess. The Da Vinci anytime dining restaurant started out poorly but continuously improved through the cruise. I would rate their food a consistent 7 out of 10. The Horizon Court food on the other hand is poor (very). Two or three times a day you have to avoid the "Charge of the Overweight Brigade" to get to the buffet. Anyone whom wishes to see why our country is in such poor physical shape only has to take a cruise. Watching 200+ pounders carting around two or three heaping plates of food will send you to the gym in a heartbeat. I would be hesitant to rate the Horizon's food? above a 3 out of 10.
Summary - To me there are no bad cruises, only a few bad moments. We always enjoy Princess or Celebrity cruises and this one met our overall expectations.