My wife and I are sitting in FLL afer disembarking the Royal Princess-we had a fantastic time. RP is a real sight, just a beast of a ship when it pulls in alongside most others in port, but that impression pales when you get on board-the common areas like the Piazza, are works of art that run between images of the grand days of luxurious ships to modern state of the art architecture.
Our TA kinda pushed us in the direction of Princess, and I had read several reviews from past RP cruisers who blasted away at food quality, balcony size, and lack of staff. We had some serious intrepedation just before the cruise, but those fears were unfounded. The food was fantastic-from the Horizons Buffet, to Sabatinis, to Crown Grisll, and especially the in-cabin champagne breakfast (we could eat on this for 3 days, there was so much food) to an in-cabin private surf and turf with our own waiter. The food was very good, always at proper temperature, and fresh. We also ate at Alfredos and enjoyed the Pub Lunch. Just great-service was way above par and always came with a smile.
The balconies are not huge in the Deluxe with Cabin class, and we did have a partial obstruction with a lifeboat on the Emerald deck, but we had no probem sitiing together on our balcony (and I am a bigger guy). It might be more challenging if both tried to lounge flat out, but we thoroughly enjoyed our view of the sea, the ports, and the sky, really not a problem with the balcony whatsoever. You can always get and pay for a bigger balcony, but we were completely happy with ours.
I think the highlight was the staff.. Our Steward made sure we had all we needed-ice twice each day, bathrobes, extra towels, etc. I wonder when (or if) he slept....
The staff is personable and professional, but never stuffy. So many of them thanked us for sailing with Princess. They were true ambassadors of the brand, happy to talk about where they are from and how long they have worked for Princess.
The ship is fastidiously cleaned. We had very good weather and seas, a very smooth sailing.
On our previous cruise with another line, we had a great time on the ship and with excursions, but getting on and off that previous ship was a nightmare. Staff all but ruined that trip by being rude. Not so with Princess. Check-in was slightly delayed when the waiting area got full, but a Pincess employee was on the intercom and explained it. Once we got going again in about :30 minutes, we were on the shiip in :15 minutes, stateroom ready for us to drop off our carry-on and go get a bite (pizza near Horizons is quite good). Getting off the ship was even easier-Princess checked our big bags all the way through to our final desitnation-we had breakfast and played cards until about 10:15-just a few minutes through Customs. Our bus was waiting, 5 minutes to the airport. Everyone smiled, thanked us, and wished us a safe trip home. "Wow" hardly does it justice-thank you Princess for having and training people in great Customer Service, on board, but most impressively at the dockl!!!
We already deposited on our next cruise with Princess. Now our only problem is the wait until then...
Thank you Princess!