After all the hype, my Wife and I were excited to sail on the Royal Princess. It was our thirtieth cruise and our seventh on Princess. What a disappointment. This cruise was a low end Carnival Cruise on a ship with a Princess name. One item sums up the entire experience. They charge you for juice after 10:00 am.
First the good. The Atrium is large and beautiful. The Buffet on the Lido Deck, The Horizon Court is one of the best organized and managed at sea. It was far better than any buffet I experienced on either the Oasis of the seas or The Allure of the Seas. Our Balcony cabin was ore than adequate (although everyone complained about the location of the toilet paper dispenser) The Ship is new and the Princess Live TV Studio, although gimmicky, is a nice addition. Overall, the food was good, the dining room serrvice very good and the cabin service vey good as well.
Unfortunately, the bad weighs the good. It was as if, Princess/Carnival was trying to cut corners thinking that nobody would notice, unfortunately, everyone did.
The most common complaint is with the elevators There is no central stair case above Deck Seven (7) . This puts a lot of pressure on the elevators. The elevators are almost always full, skip floors when full and don't even operate in synch. Not all call buttons summon all elevators to a floor. Sometimes you have to wait 5 to 10 minutes for an elevator.
All shows in the theater were only 35 minutes long. Moreover, 5% of the seats, those on the extreme edges offer a very limited view of the stage.
As noted above, Princess charges for all juices served, including orange juice, after 10:00 am.
There is very little live music on board, except for the stage show band, 1 piano player and a singer in the atrium. There is no dance band, there is no "on deck" reggae band or rock band. On deck, the music is recorded music and even in at least one of the production shows, the music is recorded.
Overall, the ship is beautiful, but with only three public venues (The Princess Theater, the Vista Lounge, and Princess Live) all the venues are over crowded and the service exceptionally slow. If you choose "anytime dining" and arrive between 6:30 pm and 7:30 pm. expect to wait a minimum of 30 minutes, with a beeper in hand.
In sum, this was not the Princess experience I expected or was accustomed to. I would not sail this ship again.