Just got back from the Royal. Its a very nice ship, but we probaly won't sail on her again. Lets start by saying it had the best selection and quality of food we have ever seen, and having the pastry shop all on it's own is perfect. We never had problams with finding a table in the Horizon Court. We ate in the main dining room once and it was once to many! Food was good, but who want's to sit for 1 1/2hrs for dinner? We finished our main course and sat for 35min waiting for the dessert menu and coffee, and yes we told our waiter three times as he was going back and forth. Finally when he did arrive he tried to say he had two tables with eight people each and we only had four, so i guess he thought that allowed him to ignore his smaller tables. We saw a young couple at a two person table just get up and leave over the same thing. We mentioned this to the staff at the door on the way out and just got a shrug of the shoulder. On the plus side,during formal night's they put on a very impressive dinner in the buffet. Unlike our last cruise on the Carnival Dream where on elegant night they seemed to punish one for not going by only offering a very small basic food selection in the buffet line.
The service onboard was fantastic and there was always someone there to offer you a beverage. But I wished Princess would offer better ice tea,this stuff was just flavered water at times.
Reasons for not returning are several. Lack of music all day long, good at times on Lido deck but very limited.Offerings in the piazza was almost always geared towards senior citizens.Now don't get me wrong since we fall into that group also but how much piano playing can one take? The ship only has two pools, really missed the aft pool found on other Princess ships. Never had a problam finding a deck chair as long as you don't want it near the main pool or anywhere in the sanctuary. We saw towels and books placed on chairs at 7:00AM and no one showed up untill noon!! Wish Princess would enforce there own policy that they show on there web site and clear the items after 30min of no one showing.
Overall there was a lack of things to do and just about everything was in the Princess Live studio which has to have the worst seats I have ever seen. Could not stay in there for more than 10min. Really missed the promenade deck. There is two small areas on each side that allowed quite areas to relax on deck seven but again the lack of chairs.
We had our adult kids with us this time and had room L218, a mini suite. Tight but still able to get around, just had to stay get close at times. The larger tub/shower was nice and had more than enough storage for the four of us. Our daughter said the sofa bed was great and our son slept in the pull down bunk in the overhead. He's 6'2" and still was able to get a good night sleep. Wish they had designed the room with the main bed near the balcony rather than near the entrance door. We go to bed early and our kids had to keep going back and forth thrue the"bedroom" to use the bathroom or to leave and return from going out.
So overall we had a great time and enjoyed the ship, but once is enough.