The Royal Princess cruise ship was launched in June, 2013, so we basically had a new ship. Our voyage lasted from September 3-15. We had a balcony room on the port side, mid-ship, E406. Our room steward was Naisey, a pleasant young mother from the Philippines. Most cruise staff were from the Philippines, but also from 38 other countries. We had service from staff from Serbia, Bosnia, Poland, Ukraine, Mexico, India, and Macedonia. Our table #290 was served by James and Marlo, both Filipinos men in their early 30's on a standard 6 month contract. Our head waiter was a friendly, older Italian gent, Roberto.
Our room was comfortable but not that large for 3 people, with a double bed and a sofa-bed. Nice bathroom with shower, and a small desk and large flat-screen TV in the main room. We enjoyed smooth seas and pleasant weather, with one rather windy day. One felt little motion while sailing, due to the largeness of the vessel and its auto-stablilizers. The food on board was truly superb, as was the entire staff. We used the library a lot. The Internet was quite expensive@$.79 per minute, so we bought a package for only 100 minutes -- plus the service was sometimes down -- my only real criticism. I used the exercise room twice on our two days at sea, but we never used the pool or hot tubs. A giant, outdoor movie screen showed films by the pool deck #16.Three evening singing and dancing entertainments were offered, the mostly Australian performers. While the bulk of the passengers (ship held 3000, but was not full) were from the U.S., others came from the U.K., Canada, Australia, China, and India. Our fellow cruisers were largely a mellow, cordial group. Few children or teens, mostly couples in their 50's &60's. Each passenger was issued a blue, plastic identification card which acted also as a room key and charge card. The cards were scanned each time we left and re-boarded the ship, and our backpacks regularly went through x-ray scanning for security. The ship was always clean and gleaming. There were hand-washing areas near all dining areas, and hand-sanitizer stands throughout the ship. I would give the highest rating for how Princess organized everything down to the smallest detail -- quite impressive. All being said, we were lucky to sail on the Royal Princess, and had a wonderful time! This was our sixth cruise, and I would now put Princess second only to Holland American...