We joined Regal Princess on its June 2nd cruise out of Venice. Embarkation was fine and we were on the ship at 1pm. The first things that strikes you as you board is the ships sea-walk protruding out of deck 16 which is quite novel. Once you board you can't but be struck by the most beautiful atrium at sea; the scale of the Piazza along with the combination of all the cream and brown marble is something to behold.
We got a great deal (€696pp) on an inside cabin on the week in question, room 412 Aloha deck 12. The colour scheme of the room is again creams and browns and is very tasteful. The layout is also very good, the bathroom is down a short corridor and into the left which gives a nice sense of separation and privacy in a small space. This was the fist time I ever went for an inside cabin but I have to say it was really nice and if you wanted a sense of where you were, you could turn on the webcam TV channel, something you only really think about first thing in the More
morning when you wake up. The rooms are very well insulated also which is a marked difference to the older RCL ships. Across the corridor from our room was a junior suite which I also managed to get a look at and which was as you would expect, really attractive and spacious.
As for the staff I couldn't fault them, they were ultra friendly and this was really noticeable around the pool deck area. I opted for a soft drinks package for the week which was $49 so suffice to say I always had them on call during the day. The Burger and Pizza's at the pool deck were very tasty as was their free Swirls ice-cream; it was much better than what was available on RCL last year. If I was to give Princess one recommendation though, it would be to increase the variety of pizza's at the pool deck, I think there was only 3 types of Pizza so not as good as a previous Celebrity cruise I had been on. The layout of top deck is great, you can access the running track, the Gym, the Basketball court and all the pools really easily and without needing a degree in Orienteering. The Retreat Pool is lovely and quiet while the main pool has a huge screen for movies/concerts etc. which was really enjoyable. This is one area where I think Celebrity does not compete with Royal or Regal Princess, having no large outdoor screens which I now expect as the norm, 'Wake up Celebrity!'. Some older people argue that they don't like the noise of the big screens but if that is the case they could go to the Retreat Pool on Princess; you simply don't have that option with celebrity so I am wondering now will I be disappointed if I go on a Solstice ship again in the future and I am saying this as I would have viewed the Celebrity's Solstice ships are the main competitor/comparator to Royal & Regal Princess.
So to wrap up here, there is no ship at sea as visually impressive as Regal Princess, 'End of! & no debate on this point'. Overall their food and entertainment was very good. Celebrity may still have the edge and probably does in terms of the quality of their Restaurant food and I am thinking here that on occasion the food in the main Restaurant on Regal wasn't as hot as I would have liked it so maybe Celebrity still has the edge here but definitely not in terms of the overall ship. Regal's water fountain show is impressive if short, there movies under the stars is excellent, you get blankets, popcorn, milk and cookies, sweets, pizza and they put special padded covers on the deck chairs for you.
So should you cruise on Regal Princess? Absolutely! The only problem you will have will be that all other ships after that will appear visually inferior and I am thinking here of the Piazza, the Pool deck and the sea-walk which were great. If I were to redesign the ship though I would like to see a two tiered dinning room as oppose to splitting up Symphony and Concerto. Also Allegro is hard to get to so that's one thing to consider Princess going forward. I would have liked if one of the Speciality Restaurants was up where the Sanctuary was so you could look out at the world as you dinned; like the Crows nest on the RCL ships. Less