We just returned from our 7 day cruise aboard the beautiful Royal Princess. We arrived at the pier in Ft. Lauderdale at about 1:30pm. There was quite a line of people, but it moved quickly. Once we were onboard the ship, there was no one waiting to welcome us or direct us where to go. We found a phone and tried to reserve a spot for the Captain’s Table, but we were too late, and were put on a waiting list. We finally found our cabin after that. Our cabin was very nice (Aloha Deck 12 cabin 332), spacious, and had lots of storage. The bathroom was spacious and contrary to what I read on some reviews, the toilet paper holder was right next to the toilet. Shortly after we arrived our cabin steward introduced himself and asked if we would like a glass of champaign, we had a port side cabin so it looked out over the water…it was a gorgeous day.
Muster drill came right after we were in our cabin for a bit, and it was painless. We then set out to find “Alfredo’s” and had a pizza and a salad, which were both very good. The captain made an announcement that we were about to set sail, and we went to one of the decks outside. When we started out, the captain sounded the horn to the tune of “The Love Boat”!! It was really neat, and everybody was laughing. The people on the shore cheered. It was great.
We explored the ship after that, and it was indeed very beautiful. I read a lot about the Royal Princess in some of the reviews. There was always mention about the lack of elevators. I do believe there could have been more elevators, but it really didn’t bother us too much. We were forced to use the stairs more often which isn’t a bad thing. Usually when you did use the elevator, more often than not it was full of people. It in no way ruined anything for either one of us.
As far as the crew staff, except for one tall young male in “Alfredo’s” who was rather unfriendly, we found all of the staff eager to please and friendly throughout the ship.
We had reserved late seating and went to the “Symphony” dining room. We had a table for two. I have to say that we didn’t care for it in there. Our table was squeezed in-between two other tables that were very close. There was no way you could have a conversation without the other table hearing you. The lighting was very bright in there as well; as my husband puts it “it was fluorescent like”. That was the last time we ate in there. We then went to anytime dining and never had to wait. We went to the “Concerto” dining room for that, and it was more intimate. My husband didn’t think the choices on the menu were anything special. The food was ok in the dining rooms, not fantastic, and on other cruises that we took it seemed that there were more choices. We ate a few times in the Horizon Court which I thought was fantastic, and exceptional, with a vast array of choices. We always found a place to sit, and the staff was super friendly and nice. Next to the Horizon Court is the Horizon Bistro. That was really good as well, with lots of different choices of foods. Near there is the Pastry Shop with all kinds of free desserts, hot desserts, waffles, pastries, croissants etc. etc. you name it. We had some salads and a sandwich in the International Café, and it was excellent! We had Pizza by the pool area, I think it was called Prego Pizzeria, and we thought the pizza was delicious.
Before going to dinner in the evening, we seemed to always end up at the Wheelhouse Pub. We had drinks and listened to live music anytime we went there. It was very pleasant.
Finding a place to sit outside wasn’t a big challenge. You always have those people who get the chairs right by the pool, but we prefer a more secluded place to relax and it was never an issue finding a place to sit and read. We didn’t go to any of the shows so I can’t comment on that, but we did hear the Beatles Band one night in the Atrium, and they were FANTASTIC!
On this cruise we stopped at Princess Cay, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten. We tendered into shore for Princess Cay, and the island is beautiful. In St. Thomas we took a private sailboat ride to St. John, and on St. Maarten we took a cab ride to Orient Beach for the day. Orient Beach was absolutely beautiful. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there, strolling along the beach and taking in the beautiful white sand and aqua blue water. There is a nudist section of the beach which made it “interesting” to say the least for people watching. I would recommend for adults to go to Orient Beach..we loved it there.
In Summary, we enjoyed our vacation very much on the Royal Princess. The ship is beautiful and pristine, staff friendly, food very good; cabin was great with great current movies to watch. We had a wonderful time and would most certainly go back.