My husband and I have been on 47 cruises.This was our 4th Princess cruise. For some reason we don't cruise a lot with Princess. We do, however, have a British Island cruise booked with Princess next year.
We flew from White Plains, NY the day before and stayed at the Westin Beach Resort on an ocean front room that was very nice. Arrived at the port the next day around 11:30 AM. It was very crowded but it moved fast and we were on the ship in 30 minutes. The cabins were already open so we dropped off the bags and went to The Sanctuary to book a chair for sea days. It was already completely booked (at noon). We were able to book the Crown Grill and Sabatini's without any problem. I heard later on that they too were booked for the entire cruise.
The ship is very pretty and elegant. I loved the neutral colors and the pool area as well as the sea walk and the sea view bar. I think, however, that making that area into a jacuzzi sticking out would be a better choice then just walking through it. While on the subject of jacuzzi, on sea days it was tough to get a deck chair. But, we did manage to get chairs together at different locations throughout the pool area. I like shade and DH likes the sun. We were always able to find something. We don't really like to be next to the pool because it's too noisy. I prefer to look out to sea.
Food in the main dinning room (we did anytime dinning) was good. Crown Grill was excellent and so was Sabatini's. Service throughout the cruise was very good. Bar service and drinks were of good quality and I loved the coffee card. Miss those perfectly brewed cappuccinos.
We only managed to go to 3 shows and they were very good. Those singers and dancers work really hard. The cruise director, Sam was good and her assistant, Dan was a riot. He looks like a big baby. Formal night was also The Halloween Bash. Club 6 was disappointing but the party at The Piazza was fun. Lots of funny costumes.
We had a private bungalow at Princess Cays and it was nice. I don't think it was necessary because we were the only ship on the island that day. But I loved the lobster and papaya appetizer that came with the picnic lunch. Service on the bungalow was just okay. I'm glad I didn't book the Sanctuary Bungalow because they have no access to the beach. Since there were very few kids on this cruise, we didn't have a problem with the normal bungalows.
Grand Turks is such an easy port. You just walk out of the ship and go to the pool or the beach. The water was fantastic! We didn't do much but stayed in the water for a long time and then went back to the ship for lunch.
Usually, we book a full suite but on this cruise we had a Mini-Suite. It was my first time on one. I thought it was very cute and roomy enough for 2 people. Plenty of storage and comfortable for a short cruise. The problem with the cabin was the tiny balcony. It really was just to seat and not move. DH removed the big table from the balcony and placed it on the corner inside the room next to the glass door. That area became our bar. He also moved the coffee table and chair against the wall under the living room TV. This way we had more room to walk around the cabin.
Another big problem with the cabin was the temperature. It was warm. I complained the first time and the technician just looked at me and said it is what it is. After so many cruises, I was not about to pay to be uncomfortable. I even asked my steward to leave the extra card that I brought from home in the slot so that the AC would not go lower when I left the room. Not even that kept the cabin cool. I called again and this time I meant business. They sent somebody back and this time they allowed more cold air through the vents. I spoke to other people and they all complained about how warm their cabins were but they didn't do anything about it.
Getting out of the ship was a breeze. The only thing that took a while was waiting for your color to be called. After that it took 30 minutes to be in a cab going to the airport. In summary, I think the Royal Princess is a very elegant and beautiful ship. I would cruise on her again but she would not be my first choice due to the problems with the cabin. I really spend a lot of time on my balcony...