We are seasoned cruisers having been on 9 ships over the past 8 years. We are middle-aged, mature with grown children, in good physical condition.
We prefer newer ships and try to book them as often as possible. So far we enjoy the overall organization and venues of the Celebrity line most. But Princess we've found to be a close 2nd, offering good things that others do not. And the Royal Princess is NO different (other than more elegant) and NO disappointment.
In advance of sailing we noted a mixture of mediocre reviews about this ships' design. And yes for sure; the central elevators are often too busy as upper stairways are not present around them. But the congregation is always avoidable, by simply walking forward or aft within the corridor on your floor (to other elevators that do have stairways around). Inconvenient? A bit. A reason to get upset and disregard all the positive features of this ship? Heck no, not even close.
The Royal Princess has More
all-around good space that is gorgeously appointed. We have not seen a prettier, more classy, well-laid-out central ship anywhere. Everything is perfectly shinny and new with bright features and open areas. Other areas from the adult atrium to the sun decks were never overcrowded or poorly maintained either. If you are disappointed by them, your expectations are just plain unrealistic and you should opt for a more expensive venue. There is no better value than Princess.
Food and entertainment were fine too. The dining rooms and menus are all good with plenty of choice and good service. The Beatles show is excellent fun.
We had a great mini-suite that had more storage and a better bathroom (even a full tub) than any other ship we've been on. And we cannot understand why some have criticized the size of the balconies. There is plenty of room for both chairs, their accompanying footrests, the small table and two people...unless maybe you weigh 400+ lbs.! The smart televisions offer 24-7 movies and shows of all kinds, no charge. And our stateroom service was perfect too.
Embarkation was average with some lines at 1:30p. But nothing bad or abnormal. Disembarkation was similarly good. We walked right off the ship early and had minimal lines (beyond the usual few minutes waiting on Customs and taxi).
Bottom-line: The Royal Princess is an excellent platform for your relaxed vacation. Above average in many areas and below in just one (central elevators). Have realistic expectations and enjoy her wonderful offerings and crew. Feel free to email if you have specific questions. Less