After 6 cruises with the Princess line, and with declining satisfaction with said cruise line, we we opted to try the Royal Caribbean Oasis and the Allure. We also went on the Celebrity Reflection. We loved our experiences on all three ships. But when we heard the new Royal Princess had come out, we thought we would try again, to see if things had changed. Unfortunately, they had not.
This is a first for us. Usually, we write to commend, not to complain.
From the start at embarkation, we found that there was extreme confusion with this process, therefore taking a lot of time to get on the ship. Then we finally were able to rush up to the sanctuary to book it for the entire week, as we had done on our cruises in the past. The system to book had changed dramatically, which again took up so much time, that lounge availability was gone. We had learned from standing with other guests in that line, that there was even difficulty in getting chairs around the regular pools. When we finally got to speak to an attendant, we and the other many passengers behind us, were informed that the only thing available for the week, was one cabana at the price of $1,080.00 .We as well as the other passengers standing the in the line, in the heat for so long, were surprised we were not advised sooner as to the status of availability. Whereas as we were there for a rest, and not for a fight each early AM for a chair around the other pools, we felt this expensive option was our only choice. On a positive note, that was the only good experience on the ship with fabulous service, amenities and a terrific wait staff . Unfortunately, this was "an unexpected big expense.
The food in the dining rooms was less that adequate. We had "anytime dining", but neither restaurant we tried was any good. We only used the dining rooms twice, as each time the food had undersized portions for a male, over or undercooked food, was unappealing to the eye.... just plain not good. Our thoughts pertaining to the food seemed to be the major consensus of many of the guests we spoke to during the week. We did however, enjoy ALFREDO'S, THE INTERNATIONAL CAFE , and surprising, THE HORIZON buffets.
For the most part, the ship was beautiful, but many of the changes didn't work. The extended Piazza was great, but the size made sacrifices to ones convenience and comfort. No mid ship stairway, elevators were very small, which created long waits to go even one floor up to the room areas or to the front or back of the ship. Cabins and balconies were smaller, with little room to walk around another person. On a good note, the drawer and closet space was very good, the shower size was better, but one still had to live with the constant adjusting of the shower curtain to prevent leaks to the floor. We had to ask for robes, extra towels, lotion and shower caps everyday.. We were surprised, as we had requested these items on our personal profile sheet. Even this had not been the case on previous trips.
The entertainment was just adequate, except for the comic Miguel Washington, who was fantastic. There were also not many exciting show choices, just a lot of Trivia and games.
Music on the big screen at the regular pool, was extremely loud and not conducive to the sanctuary purpose. Many of the guests complained about that, and then the music was turned down. This was not a major problem to us.
The glass walkway over the ocean was not only a waste....as we hardly ever saw anyone on it... but, it also allowed passengers to look down into balconies and cabins on especially Decks 15 and 14.
The disembarkation was better, perhaps because we were Platinum members.
Sorry we had to give such a poor review of the ship, but until we hear things have changed for the better, through Cruise Critic, we will be cruising with Royal Caribbean. Again, extremely disappointed.
Neil and Marilyn
from Boynton Beach, FL