Royal Princess Cruise Review by Banjo_uk: Maiden Iberean Voyage
Overall Member Rating
Maiden Iberean Voyage
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
With it being a maiden cruise, I did not expect things to be perfect but the niggles were minor and easily explained or sorted.
Embarkation was not as smooth as it could have been, we were given a time for our deck but no one took any notice and it was a bit of a scrum in the terminal at times.
Once on board though, it was peace and serenity all the way; we found out that although the ship has a capacity of 3,600, there were only 2,700 for this first trip. Pity they said they were full and did not offer any upgrades!
Stateroom was fine apart from the door not closing properly, it needed a good tug to latch and the bathroom extractor fan was poor which meant it stayed hot and steamy for a long time. I'm sure it will all settle with use.
One thing that surprised us was the lift floor announcements, they were deck number, not deck name as in other Princess ships, several commented on this. It took 5 days for the brass plaques to appear in the lift More cabs.
No colour co-ordinated carpets to differentiate between port and starboard either which caused some amusement at times.
One design flaw in my eyes is the lack of central stairwell for the upper decks midships, it was a long walk to the forward or aft ones, or a long wait for a lift.
Food and beverage service was typical Princess standard, the crew, as you might expect, got better as the week went by and I have nothing but praise for all of them. The Horizon Court self service is much bigger than any other I have seen and the Pastry Shop is a fine addition.
Entertainment, as ever, had it's highs and mediocre parts but it can't be easy pleasing everyone all of the time. The Princess Live TV studio is an interesting new feature and watching a magician close up had everyone's chins on the floor!
The pool areas are well laid out and the adults only retreat was our favoured spot, there were few issues with some of the hot tubs but they will be sorted quickly I would imagine. Not sure I would pay $80 for a 'private' cabana though, if it was in The Sanctuary, it might be different.
$149 for a week will get you access to The Enclave, a new innovation for this ship. Basically it is a private (ish) hydrotherapy pool complete with water beds, hot stone benches, Hammam steam room as well as some swanky showers etc.
A great new innovation is the ability to access the itinerary and your stateroom account on your phone through the ships WiFi and they also have interactive pods where you can print out your own statement at any time.
If you have sailed with Princess before, you will know the format and what to expect and all of the expected 'new car' glitches will have ironed themselves out soon. Less
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