A Fantastic Cruise: Royal Princess Cruise Review by mcfandrew
Overall Member Rating
A Fantastic Cruise
Destination: Baltic Sea
The ship itself is absolutely fantastic. The Atrium is huge and amazing, a lovely place to have coffee or grab a snack from the International Cafe or the Gelato shop. We purchased a coffee card which really came in handy - unlimited hot chocolate! All the bars are well staffed and appointed, with plenty of room for all passengers. It was a little cold so didn't use the pools but the pool deck was large and would be fun in the summer! We purchased a pass to the enclave in the lotus spa which included a pool with jets, four different steam rooms and heated stone beds. They limit tickets to only 50 passengers so it is never too crowded. I would absolutely recommend getting this - it was so relaxing after a workout in the fantastically appointed gym! More
One complaint that basically everyone had was the lack of mid ship stairs, which would lead to lots of lines for the elevators, even just to go up one floor. The easy solution of course is to use the forward or aft stars (which we did), but as 90% of the crowd are old it led to very busy lifts, often having to wait for quite a while as full lifts went past. This could get frustrating for a passenger who can't use the stairs (not us though - we just kept using for forward stairs - it added like 2 minutes to the journal and meant incidental exercise - nothing to complain about!). The theater and vista lounge were both fantastic, as was club 6 (but not very busy with all the oldies on board!). The ship is so huge and well appointed - you have to keep reminding yourself it is a ship and not a resort!
Was super smooth - there were heaps of people there but only waited maybe 20 minutes to get on board with our bags arriving at our cabin maybe 1.5 hours later - no complaints!
We stayed in a mini-suite which was just fantastic on deck 14 (Riviera). Plenty of room for two people - a great amount of storage space, bathroom with a tub and a lovely balcony. I really can't fault it - I heard a few people complaining about the size of the balcony - while it is true that it is small there is enough room to sit on the two chairs. Lets be honest - this is a cruise so it isn't like you're going to be hosting a party on the balcony so the size isn't really a problem
Amazing. As simple as that - bar staff, waiters, our lovely stewardess - all first rate. Really can't complain about anything - we always came back to a flawless room, right down to the iphone recharger cord being neatly wound up and stored!
We loved the on-demand television (watched a few movies) and the wifi was great - we didn't purchase internet but it could be used to look at your room account for free which was very handy
Activities and Entertainment
We went to a number of game shows in the Princess Live! Theater which were always good fun. Lots of competitions, dance class, etc. I saw two shows - Colors of the World and Spectacular! and both were absolutely fantastic!
Port & shore excursions
This is a tough one - from the princess side getting on and off was easy, and there were plenty of excursions to choose from, but personally I would absolutely recommend seeing the ports by yourself - the excursions all felt extremely rushed and you're surrounded by older people with limited mobility so even a short walk results in a chorus of complaints. Also, being surrounded by American accents the whole time makes it feel like you're not even in another country! We actually cancelled a few of the tours because we couldn't stand the crowd - I think it is a bit of a lazy way to see a country!
We had anytime dinning in the Symphony dining room. It was absolutely fantastic - we were usually seated straight away - the longest wait was maybe 5 minutes and that was spent having a drink in the bar so it was fine! We did hear about people waiting on the formal night (with one older gentleman really losing his cool and going crazy at the Maitre-D!), but that is expected as more people use the dining rooms on formal nights. I really can't fault the food - the menu changed each night and everything was prompt and yummy. We also want to the Horizon Court for a few breakfasts, lunches and dinners and we were always happy with the selection, however the staff were a bit slow with water refils (but I'm just being picky now!). The pasty shop was fantastic.
We also ate at the Crown Grill which was well worth the cover charge. Fantastic service and food - they even had a salt menu - I didn't realize these even existed!! I will admit that the smoked salt added an amazing flavor!
This was a bit of a mess to be honest. We had purchased tickets on-board for a shuttle bus to the city center which arrived about 20 minutes late - totally understandable as the port had three large ships in that morning so traffic was crazy! We had issues getting on board in this random princess staff member told us that because we had luggage we shouldn't be taking the shuttle (which made no sense - the luggage bay of the bus was open so we could just throw it in there) - she refused to let us board until I simply said to her "Explain to me what the problem is - we want to go where the bus is going and there is room for our luggage" - it was really weird. It was like she was being difficult just to be difficult! If this was a policy re: luggage we shouldn't have been sold the tickets, especially since the ticket offer came on the disembarkation letter!
The ship is amazing in every way - public areas, staterooms, entertainment, activities, service and food. Everything is just perfect. I would absolutely recommend a cruise on this ship and will be booking in the future - it's just hard being younger and surrounded by so many grumpy old people! Less
Cabin review: R426
Great - really high up but people on the sea walk can't see in. Balcony isn't huge but big enough for two people to comfortably sit out there (ignore people complaining about the size - they're just whingers!). Two TVs with on-demand television was great. No noise issues. Plenty of storage for our two bags. Bathroom isn't huge but bit enough with a full bathI loved it!
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