We have been cruising for about 15 years and go on a cruise every year. Our first 5 cruises were on Princess and frankly we were always pleased with service, food and accommodations but decided to try another line out of curiosity. While we enjoyed the other line we again decided that maybe we should continue to sample and well 5 cruise lines later we finally returned to Princess via Royal Princess. After booking the cruise I found out that Royal Princess had received some very bad press with respect to embarkation, food, location of stairs, long wait for elevators, rude staff, no chairs by the pool and small deck sizes. I frankly was prepared for the worst!
The morning we arrived at the ship we saw the sign for “preferred” walked up and was greeted with “Welcome Back to Princess” ! We were given all our paperwork and proceeded to board our home for the next week. I was sure that we would need to wait for an elevator because of what I had read but we More
had no delay and were pleased to see that our room was ready and waiting for us. We loved our room and balcony. We had arranged for a mini suite and we were thrilled with the amount of space, size of the deck and especially the closets! Wow tons of room! Almost immediately we heard a knock on our door announcing our room steward, Enrique. After introducing himself, Enrique answered questions and told us about the room etc. He made sure that we were comfortable and said not to hesitate to see him for any additional needs we might have. I can honestly say that while saw Enrique our room was in tip top shape every single day of the cruise!
We had decided to have try the Trident Grill for lunch (in fact at their 4 times in all for lunch) and we found it to be fast, easy and very tasty! We didn’t want to spend a lot of time eating because we were anxious to explore this beautiful ship. It actually didn’t take too long to get acclimated to where everything on the ship was located so we went back to the room to unpack, read the Princess Patter and plan our evening events.
Before we knew it we were dressed for dinner and strolling down to Bellini’s to have a glass of champagne – I actually felt like one of the rich and famous. It was fun to just relax and people watch and listen to soft soothing music. Finishing our champagne we went into the Concerto dining room and found we had a wonderful table for two! Within a minute or two our waiter, Bobby introduced himself and wanted to ensure that if we didn’t like something or if we needed something to please make sure to tell him. I have to say that Princess proved to be a step above all the other cruise lines with the caliber of this young man. Bobby really made our dining experience wonderful and of all the cruises and cruise lines we’ve been on I have to say he was the best ever. Bobby was always happy, warm and extremely efficient and everything brought to our table was hot and delicious. I can’t say enough about the food on Princess. It was so good in the dining room that we had no desire to go to the specialty restaurants! I’d like to add that because we had clean plates every night that we had a need to spend time at the gym every day! By the way the gym was pretty spectacular as well.
As far as the pool area we did find it difficult to find chairs that were in the shade. Princess put in lots of tables/chairs so that took away from lounge chairs. I think this could be improved upon. It was in the pool area that some of the staff could have benefited from a few customer service courses. We actually bumped into one of the server’s – we apologized but the server walked away in a huff.
The nighttime entertainment in the princess theater was good but not great. That said, we really loved the group “Spectrum” the lead singer was wonderful and really got the place hopping. We danced every night and followed her from the Vista Lounge to the Piazza to the pool deck. We were also fortunate enough on our last night to attend Colors of the World. This group had just joined the ship and they were fantastic.
When our vacation came to an end we chose to take our bags off the ship ourselves – we found this to be a good decision. We were off the ship in about 5 min! We were sad to leave but have vowed that our next cruise will be a Princess cruise! I think Princess has really gotten it right in that they didn’t sacrifice service like the mega ships. Less