Royal Princess Cruise Review by K9 Cruiser: Royal Princess - Nov 10-17 - Eastern Caribbean
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Royal Princess - Nov 10-17 - Eastern Caribbean
I don't think this ship lived up to the hype of a "new ship." If I'd never cruised before I might have been more impressed, but some things were lacking. I missed the aft pool/bar area that was adults only. (It's now forward, and no smoking.) The shortage of smoking areas was an issue as well. I don't mind not smoking inside, but I did mind the lack of ventilation in Churchills and the only 2 outside smoking areas were aft, and the one on deck 7 I could not use as it was not mobility cart friendly. This meant a LONG trek from where ever I was to the aft end of the ship where there was pretty much "nothing." No bar, no pool, just some tables, or loungers in the sun. You could use e-cigarettes anywhere except the dining areas, but if somebody complained they would explain it was an e-cig. If they still complained you either had to put it away or move.
If you sail on this ship and require US style flat plugs at your bedside, take 2 or 3 VERY long extension cords and a couple of More strip plugs. There are NO plugs near the beds you can use and NO ADAPTERS! On the desk/vanity area there are exactly TWO plugs. We ended up having to get a heavy duty extension cord from the ship and run it over to the bed across the floor from the desk to power our bipaps and creating quite a trip hazard for me. I did have a power strip, so we used that to create extra plugins since we both use bipaps and had a number of electronic toys to charge. We had to use the 2nd available plug to recharge my cart battery, or swap out one of the 2 plugs to power/recharge something else. We made it work, but it was rather awkward. Also, the room lights require a keycard to come on. The closet light switch is at the door which was weird and awkward. The bathroom is adequate, the shower is way better with a hand held adjustable shower head. LOTS of storage and closet space/shelving.
The elevators were TINY. More people meant more people needing elevators...can we say traffic jam? If you're designing a new ship and you know elevators are always a problem why in the world would you make the elevators smaller???
That was the bad. The good was our room steward who was awesome. He helped us fix or adapt to some of the issues we had at various times. For example, if you like soft feather pillows, you'll LOVE these. I don't. So our steward found me an extra "sofa back" pillow from a suite loveseat, and put a pillowcase on it. It wasn't ideal, but much better than the feather pillows. I suggest bringing your own pillows if you're particular. The BEDS however, were awesome, new and not um, well broken in shall we say.
I heard many complaints about service in various areas, but we never encountered it. Every dining venue we used had exceptional service. No waiting for drinks, plates whisked away as soon as you finished, the next course served in a timely fashion, etc. The waiters and stewards were always cheerful and smiling and helpful. Water glasses refilled before they were empty. On other ships I've had to wait sometimes halfway thru my meal to get water refills, but not on this ship.
Since I utilize a mobility aid (an electric cart) we found most areas were easily accessible for me. Stairs were not an option, but the lack of stairs in the center areas of the ship was a bit of a problem for others. Again, at high traffic times (ports, embarkation, debarkation, muster drill, etc) I had more trouble than most getting an elevator. I did find however, if I spoke up, people made room quite willingly. The hallways got a bit tight, especially when the stewards were doing their thing, but every one happily made room if a utility cart was in the way, etc. I was able to put my cart in our room, but I had to hit the door just right and in other cabins this might have been difficult, but mine did well. Ah, and cart batteries discharge faster in carpeted areas than on "deck" areas. The carpets are pretty thick so require more power to move you about. We just got in the habit of plugging my cart in anytime we were in the room even if it was just to change clothes for dinner.
Overall, I will sail with Princess again, but probably not on this ship. It's just different enough from their other ship designs to be quite confusing and I was lost and turned around til about Wednesday. We're not show people, nor much for pools or hot tubs and definitely not sun bathers. There was still plenty of activities to take part in though. I do highly recommend the massage therapies in the Spa. Also, if you wish to eat in Sabatini's or the Crown grill, make reservations early or go early. The Crown Grill is now combined with the Wheelhouse bar, and not the intimate place it used to be. We chose to skip these options although in the past we loved the Crown Grill. Less
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Adequate if like us you're there to shower, change or sleep. Beds were awesome, pillows less so. On the small side if you require a wheelchair or cart, but the access to the door for these was quite good. Also, it's close to the elevators, but we didn't hear anything from that area. The tp holder is in the strangest place and very awkward to use, so we never did. (Btw - took us 2 days to FIND the tp holder.) We just placed the TP on the sink counter. LOVED the larger shower and hand-held adjustable shower head! Take extension cords and strip plugs. There are exactly 2 US style flat blade plugs available at the desk/vanity area, and if you require cpap or bibaps at bedside you'll need the extension cords, but watch out for them at nite as they trail across the floor. Plenty of storage and closet space. Also new on this ship - you will require your key card to turn on the lights. Just don't forget it when you leave. And the closet light is turned on by the door to the cabin, not near the closet. As I say, it's adequate and we adapted or made things work, but some things were definitely strange.