Royal Princess Cruise Review by CK57: Great way to see Med
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Great way to see Med
Royal Princess was great for a new ship overall. While you can take apart the ship you go home with your overall experience, which for us was great. The trip was about the ports and not necessarily the ship. We had the best cabin on the ship. Best dollar for value, largest balcony on the seas, and a super layout that was premium for dollar spent. Having spent over a year in preparation for the cruise we were not disappointed or let down other than perhaps in the entertainment. We moved back to a larger ship in hopes of seeing some top entertainment and production shows. While the ship has the theater to delivery it failed with the line ups and productions. Pitiful costumes and 30 minutes shows that were really minimal teasers. One good show was the finale. Overall dining experiences were good, not great, unless you pay for the premium restaurants. Crown Grill was disappointment. Design was poor, matire D was very unsocial, and service poor, food no better than MDR. We were able to get More
into Chef's Lumiere dinner which was fantastic and worth every penny. Not able to get into the Wine dinner so cannot review. We had anytime dining and had better dinner in the There are many areas that are just wasted space, seldom used by anyone and Princess needs to take note and make some changes before the Regal comes out. Crooner's had a good piano player and service was good. Bellini's was empty 24-7 and Vines was dull, while service was OK. There is no separation from the large atrium and many surrounding venues suffer from this, Vines especially. The Wheelhouse needs more separation from Crown Grill. Music and noise bleed over into Crown Grill kill things in CG along with views into life boats. Some designer had their head in sand when the thought you would like to view the inner workings of lifeboats while eating dinner. They should draw the blinds over the windows or put in a picture to hide the views. Sabatini's was great and staff along with their supervisors are all on board to make your dinner enjoyable. Crown Grill was exactly opposite. Alfredo's Pizzeria was dead space and the Ocean Terrace was about the same. These areas need to be revamped. Gelato's was Ok and the Pastry Shop was a definite winner with their 24 hour menu. We did not utilize any Princess Tours so cannot comment on these. We had lined up our own and worked out just fine. Getting off using the Tender in Cannes was very slow. This was the first time the ship actually had to tender in and they must have been learning. We had to stop the ship shortly after leaving port as one of the tender boats had not been properly secured and they had to lower it and re secure.
The Sanctuary was nice and when the ship moves to work out of Florida it's going to get some heavy use. Be prepared to get up early to secure a spot. If you don't like to be around deck hogs you will have too. The deck staff never will just pick up towels and free up chairs around the pool from the deck hogs which would go along way to make a general pool experience enjoyable. Instead as happens people go out and throw down towels and a book to block out their territory with only plans to stay on deck a couple hours. As a result it was difficult to find a chair anywhere around the pool. Bar service around the pool was also lacking, regardless of which deck or area except the Sanctuary. We did not use the SPA's so no comment, or the sports decks, facilities.
The water and light show is a total joke and waste of investment. They need to rip this out pronto and put in another pool. Casino is large and not easy to get around with a maze layout. We did not find the machines to be rewarding, but they are there and during the enter 12 days quite busy.
Crooner's lounge was the only venue where the piano entertainer actually worked to engage the audience and he did a great job. The positioning of the piano along the atrium hurts the venue and distracts from the experience. Had they moved the location to an end of the area opposite the bar, and or allowed for a circle around the piano for people to sit it would have been much better. He made it work best he could.
The stateroom staff was great, and room service always on time. We had balcony breakfast and dinner and both were highlights of the trip. Staff was great and food plentiful, on time, and very enjoyable.
Now, cabinn M107 is special. Only M108 compares. These two cabins are located at the front of the ship on Marina deck and are directly above the bridge. Because of this the decks extend out over the bridge wings and are extremely large. Yes, even while we were at sea we could go out as our doors were located on the side of the ship, and not forward. We have a large picture window facing forward which from our bed had great views. The deck was 40 feet wide and 8 feet deep across the front. The side over the wing went out 23 ft. There is enough room to host a part of 30 people if you wanted. They only give you small table, and two chairs with foot rests which is kind of crazy. For the balcony dinner and breakfast the room service staff brought a larger table and this was nice. We really enjoyed the location and never felt any motion during the cruise, never. I felt more motion in the restaurants from propeller motion than I ever did in the cabin. For you C-Pac users there is extra outlet under the bed but bring a 220 round plug to access it. The only 110 outlets in the bedroom area are behind the TV which is just left of the picture window.
When you walk into the cabin the bathroom is on the left, and just past this it opens up to a sitting area with a Loveseat on left, and desk on the right. At TV is on the wall to the right of the sliding door to the deck. This area has a wall which separates it from the bedroom area. This is more like a suite than a mini suite, except there is only one sink, and the shower tub is a combo. I would not doubt this cabin gets a different category rating than it currently has as it is the best value for the money on the ship by far. Less
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Cabin review: Royal Princess M107
M107Fantastic. Closet space gracious, balcony huge, quiet room, views excellent, lighting great, two windows forward and side views. Best cabin on the ship. Separate bed area from sitting area and these separate from bath area.
Port and Shore Excursions
We had a group of 8 on a private tour that saw all the sights and all of us felt as though it was the best route to go. The size of our group was just right for this tour. We used Nikos Loukas for our Tour planning.
We disembarked and were able to load our luggage directly beneath the bus we took for our tour. Group size was 12 and the bus was large enough for 30 people which was great because we could switch seats from side to side on the bus. This is a great way to see Barcelona in a day. Luggage was secure and our guide was great. Not only of the sights but of the pick pockets. He had warning codes to tell us when we needed to be extra alert and our group was being worked. This is such a nice way to see all of the city and Mount Serrat in a single day. We say the La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi Park, Olympic Stadium and of course Montserrat. Super day.
Private tour with Rome In Limo with group size of 6. Perfect size for group and we enjoyed a beautiful lunch at a vineyard that looked up on San Gimignano. A great way to see Tuscany and the village life. We also visited the town of Volterra first which great also.
We actually did this on our own. We were able able take the public rail to see the Blue Mosque first, then the Hagia Sofia, then Underground Cistern, the Grand Bazaar, and Spice Market without taking any formal tour. We walked our way back to the ship from the Blue Mosque and again saw all the sights we wanted without taking a ship tour with significant savings.
Again we had a private tour, this time with only four of us and guide, and driver. Our guide was very knowleged on the history and we enjoyed this tour as well seeing everything we wanted. This was called the Ephesus Tour and Terrace Houses with Private Ephesus.
This time we had a group of 6 utilizing Rome in Limo to tour up the Amalfi coast. This was very enjoyable and we had a great lunch overlooking the coast in a local restaurant at a nominal price.
Private tour of 8 worked out perfect with Rome In Limo. The guide was great, and we picked up additional guide to get us thru the Vatican and St. Peter's Bascillica. No way that we could have seen so much, or learned as much without the experience and knowledge of the guides to get around the city and explain all the sights. You could spend several days in Rome and I would come back as there is just so much to see and enjoy. Our tour was excellent.
Venice is the one and only. You have to visit Venice to grasp the size and atmosphere. It is no doubt touristy and you need to approach Venice without hype to do too much, unless you have an extended period of time. We got to Venice a day early before embarkation and stayed at the Molino Stuckey which we enjoyed. Being out of mainstream Venice was great and we had a very nice dinner on the grand Canal.
Food and Training
Oceana was a dirty ship.
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