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648 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

Weather in Washington state has me wanting to go south every winter and this year was no different except my wife couldn't make the trip. This year my sister came along for her first cruise ever and I'm sure many more after the ... Read More
Weather in Washington state has me wanting to go south every winter and this year was no different except my wife couldn't make the trip. This year my sister came along for her first cruise ever and I'm sure many more after the trip we experienced. We flew into Ft Lauderdale and transferred to the ship about 11am and walked in, got checked in and walked aboard, it was that smooth. We took the self guided tour around and gave my sister the lay of the land. The Regal Princess is a beautiful and large ship but even for a first timer, my sister was able to navigate with very few issues. After the tour we had lunch in the Horizon court Buffet. Great layout to accommodate a large group and a variety of dishes to choose from much of which changed each day. The food itself was very good and hot dishes where hot and the cold dishes cold. Anyone who has cruised many times knows that isn't always the case. Service everywhere was outstanding. From the Horizon court to the servers out on deck to out amazing waiter and assistant in the Symphony dining room. We couldn't have asked for more polite and professional servers. We found Milan and Milos, our any time waiter and asst. on the first night and asked for their section each night when we came in. These two men made my sister feel so special from the attention, recommendations, running to gather out wine from vines and evert other small detail they attended to. They will be leaving Regal and going to the Island Princess so if you have the opportunity, ask for them. Our room was fine and pretty much just like all the others, small balcony. For the most part our room steward was fine but didn't see him much. He kept thing clean and beds made. We asked for thing and he got them. Laundry took a bit longer than we anticipated. The Cruise Director Dan is the BEST I have ever experienced. He does an amazing job of entertaining you and keeping you informed without coming across as selling anything but good times. We loved him. Princess Cays was another great day. The island is clean and well organized. Servers took care of your needs wherever you sat and the outdoor BBQ was nice. WE wondered outside the gates and did some shopping with locals and My sister found an Italian leather purse tucked away in the corner of this shop and got it for $20 a real deal. St Thomas is recovering and getting back to its old self but still has a way to go St Marteen has even further to go for recovery but they are working on it. So much damage it may take a couple years to fully recover. All in all it was an amazing vacation. My 17th with Princess and my sisters 1st and I'm sure its her first of many. Thanks so much to the Crew of the Regal princess, we will see you again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
As a first time cruiser, I cannot compare my experience to any other ship or company. That being said, I am not a first-time traveler. Here we go! Initially, we were extremely excited about this trip because upon purchasing we knew we ... Read More
As a first time cruiser, I cannot compare my experience to any other ship or company. That being said, I am not a first-time traveler. Here we go! Initially, we were extremely excited about this trip because upon purchasing we knew we were purchasing exactly which countries we wanted to visit prior to the changes (Bahamas, St-Kitts, St-Thomas). However, soon after our cancellation deadline passed Royal changed one of our ports (as they hold the right to change ports at any moment for absolutely any reason). The reason for the change...it was too far and the boat would not have enough gas. What?! I am pretty sure this could have been determined prior to the package being set in motion and claiming sales. Nevertheless, we rolled with the hit and St-Kitts was changed to San Juan. Hurricane season hit and St-Thomas and San Juan were no longer available (this we could understand as no one can do anything about changes to nature). Royal decided to send us to Bahamas, Cozumel, and Costa Maya. For those that have never been to Mexico these two ports may sound pleasant, but for someone that has been twice before... not pleased. Considering an all-inclusive trip to Mexico is much cheaper than a cruise, we were extremely upset and disappointed and made our displeasure known to our agent and Royal. This is where things go more displeasing. Royal basically threw Policy at us stating that they have to right to change ports and so on. They were very short in their replies and did not seem interested in trying to come to resolve in the matter (NOTE; Royal faced a class action lawsuit soon after Hurricane Harvey due to the policies they keep to). We asked for a credit, they said no, we asked for a refund but were told us no, we asked for some kind of compensation for all this inconvenience which ultimately turned our honeymoon into an overpriced trip back to Mexico. Royal finally provided us with a second dining voucher (60$ value) as well as a Spa voucher (119$ value). They stood by their policies and stated that although the ports changed for our safety we would still have access to the many amenities the ship had to offer. We were not and are still not impressed with the way things were dealt with on a customer service level. I know this may sound as though we are spoiled/privileged and demanded that they give us everything we asked for but this is not the case. It is not being told "NO" that is the issue, it is how you are told "NO" that determines one's experience (for the purpose of this review I have not gone into detail about our communications with Royal Customer Service). Now let's get to the actual cruising experience. FIRST IMPRESSION: The Allure of the Seas is... breathtaking! driving to the port and seeing this monster of a ship is definitely a site to see. We were very impressed with how smoothly embarking and disembarking was (granted there were lines and a waiting period but that would be the case when 6000 people are all going to one place). We immediately reserved our specialty restaurants and activities, or in other words, we mapped out our week upon arrival. This allowed us to wander around and familiarize ourselves with the boat. For those that do not wish to wait in line to reserve your restaurants or activities, no worries, you can do it all from your stateroom TV. We found this extremely convenient. There is also the option of calling restaurants from your stateroom (the phones have a one-touch dial for various departments or press "0" for a directory). Another great thing with the stateroom televisions is that Royal has a number of channels dedicated to your onboard experience (Navigation, Shopping, Recorded seminars/talks that you may not have attended, Competitions, Itinerary, Etc). Needless to say, great idea and very helpful. DISCLAIMER: this is a very, VERY BIG BOAT! there is a lot of walking and elevator rides to be taken. This is not a bad thing to us, and the boat has some beautiful sites that make the walk worth the while. OUR STATEROOM; Walking into our stateroom for the first time was very pleasant. We expected a much smaller cabin with a tiny window but it was quite the opposite. The ocean view window was very large with a perfect amount of exposure to the sea. The bed (2 doubles pushed together to make a King, which we could not feel the split) was very comfortable and clean (no bed bugs or stains). The stateroom attendants did a great job prior to our arrival. Our stateroom was located to the front of the boat which meant that we could feel the rougher moments more than those in the middle of the ship. For those wondering if you feel the boat moving a lot, there are moments that the ship does sway and you do feel yourself swaying left to right at a very slow speed, aside from those moments you do not feel a thing. We recommend either sitting down or making your way to the middle of the boat. DISCLAIMER: If you plan on staying in your room throughout your voyage, take the hit and get a large room with all the amenities you desire. This does not mean that our room was bad, on the contrary, this just means that we have heard people complain about the room size (not on this trip) but never spent a moment in the room. Your room should be for sleeping, showering, and getting changed. It should also be used as a meeting point for families because we cannot stress enough...THIS IS A VERY BIG BOAT. DINING AND FOOD; We all know the deal with all you can eat vacations, so be prepared to eat to your heart's desire. The ship has many dining options, from specialty restaurants, fine dining, complimentary dining, anytime dining, and buffet. It also has a Starbucks if you just gotta have your Bucks. We did not try every restaurant on the ship so we cannot review them all. That being said, here is what we can say about the food and locations we did try. -The WindJammer: The WindJammer Buffet was absolutely perfect, my wife is a vegetarian and had all the options she could ask for. The food is always fresh and quickly changed if the quality or quantity changes. If seating becomes issues they kindly remind guests to make room once they are done (guests can also leave with their foods and eat elsewhere if they so choose). The buffet is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. -American Icon: This complimentary dining experience allows you to either reserve for a private table or show up at will (for breakfast or dinner) and sit at a table with other guests you may or may not know. We reserved the two times we ate there. The dining room itself is very nice and pleasing for those that enjoy a warm ambiance. However, in the spirit of honesty, we did not enjoy the food. The issue is that due to the size of the room (big) and a number of people they can serve at once, the food is very similar to what you would find at a large catered wedding. Good but not great. We both experienced moments with several of our dishes which left us with one word "bland". Another guest mentioned that the food on this ship was not as good as other ships he had been on and after eating at this restaurant we can understand. Luckily we always have the WindJammer. The service was okay. Friendly waiter and staff, however, it can take some time for the food to arrive or to be greeted as they seem overwhelmed. DISCLAIMER: If you have a show or event to make let the waiter know immediately, order everything you wish to eat at the start and the service will be much quicker as they do not want you to miss your reservation. - 150 Central Park: Dining done right. There wasn't a moment that we did not enjoy. From our very knowledgeable waitress to the decor and ambiance, and finally, the delicious food, 150 Central Park is a must. If you are given a voucher for dining upon purchasing your trip, use it here, and if you did not receive one then pay the entrance fee to eat here. 5 Star experience is all we have to say. -Giovanni's: We avoided all pasta or Italian dishes prior to eating here and we were right for doing so. Giovanni's has a beautiful environment, as though you were going back to Italy and dining with the dearest of friends. The staff was very helpful with their recommendations and provided great insight on the menu based on your preferred flavors and dishes. Another great experience was having the Chef come to your table and get feedback on your dining experience. If you enjoy Italian cuisine then you have to stop by Giovanni's. DISCLAIMER: be prepared to eat when you come here. Traditionally, you have multiple courses in one sitting. They encourage you to try multiple dishes as you are welcome to as many as you so chose (it is an entrance fee and not pay per item. All Specialty dining works this way). We cannot stress how many other dining options can be found on the ship, so many that we could not try them all and others simply because of dietary restrictions and choices. ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES; Hats off to the people that make all of these fantastic shows and events happen. If enjoying yourself on what some call a "family" boat is a concern it should not be. The variety of entertainment is mind-boggling. A daily itinerary is left on your stateroom door which will give you the hourly play by play of what is happening on the ship and where. The ship also has user-friendly touch monitors on every deck with a "what to do" button and a map of the ship for easy guidance. We highly recommend reserving your shows the moment you step foot on the ship as most specialty shows can sell out quickly, leaving you on standby ("reservation" simply implies that you can enter the hosting room and choose your seats prior to others. you do not have reserved seats). The aqua theater is home to some absolutely phenomenal acrobats, divers, and entertainers. Great for everyone on the ship. The headliner, Travis Ledoyt, is a splitting image of a young Elvis and could not have done a better job captivating an entire theatre. He is extremely humorous and backs it all up with an incredible voice. Mama Mia was done justice by it's energetic and talented cast.The ship also holds the daily team and individual sporting competitions which allows guests to walk away with a potential medal. As marketed, the wave rider, wall climb, and zip line are all complimentary after signing waivers and receiving your access bracelet. TIP: save these events for sea days if possible. DISCLAIMER: The activities and shows change on a daily basis. Much like the restaurants, we did not have the opportunity to try everything. ONBOARD SERVICE: Due to the experience, we had with Royal Customer Service we were very concerned that we would experience the same treatment onboard. This was not the case. The staff were all so friendly and welcoming. We loved the diversity that is experienced on the ship. Our stateroom attendant, Ethel, made every day special in some form of way. She always took a moment to speak with us and not always about our cruise experience, but as though a friendship was being formed. we could not express how important this was to us. She deserves all the praise in the world. Every dining experience began and ended with a smile and some form of appreciation. At guest services, we were always dealt with in such a way that was courteous and helpful. Surprisingly, one guest mentioned this was her second voyage on the Allure, her first time was in 2013. She claimed that the service diminished since then. If this is true then we can only imagine how much further the staff went to appease the guests. DISCLAIMER; We did overhear and witness moments when employees were spoken down to by superiors or supervisors. The employee's demeanor and spirit were instantly altered for the worse.They seemed more deflated and demoralized. We truly hope that Royal reminds their management teams to respect their employees as they work hard and are the front line of our overall experience. PORTS AND EXCURSIONS As we previously mentioned, we had been to 2 of our 3 ports before. I, on the other hand, have been to all 3. Was it what we wanted, absolutely not. Here is a summary of the Ports. -Bahamas: The best water you can ask for. Friendly locals. Highly recommend seeing the Atlantis Hotel on Paradise Island. Leave early to beat the lines if you venture there alone. -Cozumel: By far the most Excursion options provided by Royal. Not the biggest fan of this port but can still find some good gems here and there. Worth choosing a full day excursion. DISCLAIMER; Always remember, when in Mexico, don't forget to tip. Not to worry though because they will always remind you to... -Costa Maya; much like the Bahamas, choose your excursion based on the amount of time spent at this port. It is a very nice port with a lot of things to see. We did prefer it to Cozumel as it was built for cruises. There are no beaches close to the port so be prepared to take a cab ride out. CONCLUSION; We made the most of our trip and are grateful that we have the privilege to experience such vacations. We thank every staff member that helped make our week memorable and enjoyable. We are looking forward to cruising again in the future, however, our takeaway here is to always read the policy prior to signing anything. Would we voyage with Royal Carribean again? Maybe but not an easy buy. As a company, they did not win us over. Luckily, their employees made up for their policies and lack of rapport. That being said, The Allure of the Seas is a great ship and should be experienced by both avid and new cruisers. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
This was my first ever cruise and I can honestly say, I'm hooked. I can't believe I haven't cruised before. I want to say thank you for all the help from cruise critic forum and reading these reviews. Prior to the cruise, ... Read More
This was my first ever cruise and I can honestly say, I'm hooked. I can't believe I haven't cruised before. I want to say thank you for all the help from cruise critic forum and reading these reviews. Prior to the cruise, our itinerary changed multiple times. This was due to the hurricanes but also to do with the ship having a fault which made it run slower. The itinerary changed three days before we left to Bahamas, Cozumel and Costa Maya. I wasn't happy with this change but by this point I felt I had no choice but to go with it. I arrived at the port around 12:30-1pm. I got out of the taxi and someone offered to take my bags. I had the luggage tags attached and before I even had the chance to tip, I was asked for money. I'm not used to the tipping culture (I'm a Brit) so I did find this rude but let it go. Checking in was so simple. Straight up to the desk, gave my credit card and had my picture taken then I was given my SeaPass and off I went. On-board, I headed straight to sort my wifi out. After having to wait 20 minutes and for three different people, I was told I'd have to come back as they didn't have my details listed. The wifi was included in the price of my cruise and I had evidence of this. I went back several times and it was finally sorted about 7pm. I wasn't happy with the service as the person helping me was very rude. I had cabin 14279. When I first opened the door, I understood the meaning of cabin fever. It seemed tiny! I did have a queen sized bed, table and chairs, tiny wardrobe (although fine for one person), shower and toilet. I was so impressed with the shower water pressure and heat of the water. Also the little bar to put your leg on whilst shaving was perfect. After unpacking and putting my suitcases under the bed, the space was fine for one person. Two people would have been tight. There is so much I could comment on but I'd be here all day. I loved how many activities were on-board. I tried the rock climbing, flow rider, I watched Mama Mia, Blue Planet (literally the best show I've ever seen!), comedy show (saw it twice as it was so good) and the casino was fun. I bought the drinks package onboard, wish I'd bought it before as it was cheaper. I did however make great use out of the package and tried lots of nice cocktails. The food was great on-board. I enjoyed Central Park Café for breakfast and lunch. They had yummy little breakfast burritos and the best caramel latte. Lunch had a great salad selection and fresh fruit cups. I looked at Johnny Rockets for breakfast but I didn't like the menu. Michael who greeted me at American icon was lovely. So friendly and happy. I always asked to be seated with other people. I met some lovely people at dinner. I had an incredible time. I found all the staff wonderful. The only issue I had was with someone form Guest Services who was very rude when I asked to buy a travel adaptor. Overall I highly recommend this ship There's so much to do if you love a big ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
this was our first royal cruise our waitress were great we were on Table 444 in the Grand room they could not do enough for us food was good the only thing I did not like was we we to the Italy restaurant part of the package we were ... Read More
this was our first royal cruise our waitress were great we were on Table 444 in the Grand room they could not do enough for us food was good the only thing I did not like was we we to the Italy restaurant part of the package we were given a different menu than the one outside the place just because it was not dinner there part of package was lunch only but the menu should have been like the one out side.Getting on and off the ship was great no problem they have it all under control..I would have like more food to be open at night. the place had little to chose from. The shows were great if was like being on NYC the ice skating was also good. I think the parade was cute. we watch it too. You could have more games around the pool. there was no problem finding a chair near the pool. We had room service 3 times I like the idea they called to make sure you are awake .the staff in the buffet were good we forgot something they got it for us. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We went on our first cruises this year. It was for a 60th birthday for a close family friend with a group of 20 people. It was a blast. Other than challenges with the luggage, the over all experience was absolutely superb. We ... Read More
We went on our first cruises this year. It was for a 60th birthday for a close family friend with a group of 20 people. It was a blast. Other than challenges with the luggage, the over all experience was absolutely superb. We weren't prepared for the cruise as we had over packed clothes and shoes. We were up set that we weren't allowed irons on board, but to be fair the laundry was provided as a complimentary service - at lease we know for next time. We enjoyed the islands - although Labadee was a bit too hot for us. The last thing I'd like to say is that every thing on board is quite expensive so be prepared to pay $3.50 for a regular bottle of water (and an 18% service charge will be added to your bill for every service). So ensure you register your credit card - as it makes life much easier. All it all we enjoyed our experience, It has made us catch the cruise bug and we will definitely go again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I have never cruised before and I was a little worried about being on a ship with over 5000 people. I was completely won over - there was so much to do and we never had to wait in line (except for one excursion where we had to wait for ... Read More
I have never cruised before and I was a little worried about being on a ship with over 5000 people. I was completely won over - there was so much to do and we never had to wait in line (except for one excursion where we had to wait for the bus, but never when we were on the ship). There is something for everyone. I did not go with my kids but the entire time I kept thinking, "my kids would love this!" and I even think my husband would go and that is saying a lot because he typically does not like crowds. The shows were fantastic. I knew I would like Grease, but that wasn't even my favorite show! Thin Line was so good I went twice. And Columbus was very funny and I would've seen it again if there was enough time. Getting on and off the ship was so easy, in fact I drove and parked in the lot by the boat and it was only about 20 yards from the ship. I would go on this ship over and over again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This being our first cruise we were not sure what to expect. The question remained up until we sailed, what would our experience be like and is cruising for us. I will answer this question at the end of the review. We sailed out of Ft. ... Read More
This being our first cruise we were not sure what to expect. The question remained up until we sailed, what would our experience be like and is cruising for us. I will answer this question at the end of the review. We sailed out of Ft. Lauderdale arriving the day before. Transportation to the hotel was provided by the hotel. We had a great meal at a local seafood restaurant and transportation from the hotel to Port Everglades was seamless. Embarkation could have gone any smoother. From the time we arrived at Port Everglade until we walked onto the ship was 45 minutes. Princess has this process down pat. A note to the wise. Ensure you have everything you may initially need when you first board the ship (meds, sun screen, swimming suit, etc.) as it may be a couple of hours before your luggage is delivered to your stateroom. No big deal thought. This gives you time to grab something to eat and start exploring the ship. We entered the ship in the piazza. It was spectacular to say the least. Very clean and well put together. We made our way to the pool deck for a quick meal and to explore the amenities on that level. We were not let down. Several pools and places to sit. The giant screen TV is awesome. At 1:00 we were allowed to go to our stateroom. We had a balcony stateroom for this cruise on the Aloha Deck mid ship. It was very clean and tidy and offered all the space we needed for the cruise. Our cabin steward was the unsung hero of our cruise. He came in behind us virtually every time we left the room to tidy up. if we needed something it was there right away. Most of the time we had what we needed before we even asked. My wife and I considered upgrading to a mini suite for our next cruise but after thinking about it for no longer that we spent in the cabin we would not benefit from it. We were hardly in our room but I will say the balcony was great. A must have. The ship was very well maintained. We always sow several crew members cleaning and ensuring everything was presentable. The service on board is commendable. Even the high traffic areas such as the piazza and pool deck were always very clean. The staff could not have treated us any better. We saw four ports on this cruise. Princess Cays, Bahamas, Montego Bay, Jamaica, Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, Mexico. We did on shore excursions at three of the ports. Chairlift/Bobsled/Duns River Falls in Jamaica, Swimming with dolphins and the sea turtle farm in Grand Cayman and zip lining in Cozumel. All three were a blast. I would suggest doing your research into the proximity of the excursion to the port. In Jamaica it was a 1.5 hour ride each way to our excursion in Ochoa Rios. that took up the entire day, This is not fault of Princess in my eyes but it did not leave time to take in more of the culture. More words to the wise. I would highly suggest booking all your on shore excursions through Princess just as we did. We were very well taken care of and not once did we feel unsafe at any point. If you think you can get off cheaper but booking with a local DO NOT be late for departure. The ship will leave you. If you book through Princess they will wait as we found out. Our group was late getting back from our excursion in Jamaica and the ship was there waiting. I can't say enough about the dining opportunities on the Regal. No matter what your taste is you will find it on board. Buffet, casual or formal all were great and the service spectacular. The only entertainment we took in was the tail end of the comedy show. Troy was so funny. Don't miss this show. There were a lot of other opportunities however we spent most of our time on the ship on the pool deck and exploring. The fitness center is well furnished and maintained. nothing like a view over the ocean while working out. Disembarkation is actually planned out very well but took a while. We had to vacate our room by 8:00 AM and it was not until 10:00 we were able to leave the ship and get our luggage. I understand the reasoning behind that though. As I mentioned earlier we were not sure what to expect or if we would even enjoy cruising. Those questions have been answered. This experience exceeded our expectations ten fold. The staff was great, food excellent, excursions a blast and time spent on board very relaxing. To us it beats flying to a resort and spending a week or more at one location. We saw four different countries and met a ton of wonderful people. We enjoyed this so much we have already booked our next cruise with Princess. BRAVO PRINCESS and thank you for such a memorable experience. See you next March. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I'd like to recognize certain staff members on Freedom by name.  INygomi, our stateroom attendant was friendly and very accommodating to my mother's needs for like, 14 pillows (I swear he worked 24/7 he was ALWAYS there!). The ... Read More
I'd like to recognize certain staff members on Freedom by name.  INygomi, our stateroom attendant was friendly and very accommodating to my mother's needs for like, 14 pillows (I swear he worked 24/7 he was ALWAYS there!). The servers in Issac's dining room Alan, and Archana, who were so friendly and attentive and happy, not to mention hard workers. I'd also like to make sure to recognize the wonderful and perfect service we got at Chops from servers Michelene and Luz these two ladies were professional, and genuine. You just can't starve on this ship, they feed you until you explode, and then ask why you're not eating more. I'd also love to mention your entertainment staff member "Marky Mark" for his energy that was endless, his true aura of happiness and excitement, and his excellent beat box skillzz.  The bartenders at Olive or Twist were amazing and knew my order before I even sat down (Guinness girl here.) The deluxe beverage package was def required for me. We took a shore excursion to the Tulum ruins and 5th avenue with GABRIEL in Cozumel (through Royal Caribbean.)  I need to make sure I talk about how wonderful and passionate this man is for his job.  He was so genuinely interested in the ruins, and made sure everything went smoothly.  He was literally running at certain points to make sure everything ran on time and we were not inconvenienced in any way.  This man is a gem! I can't say enough positive things about him! We felt so lucky to have met him. In Costa Maya we went on a private beach day to Maya Chan.... GO THERE! YOU WON'T REGRET IT! Most beautiful experience ever. The few bad things were: 1. Out dated décor... it was like 1991 threw up all over the state rooms. It was clean, but very old... the hunter green is just horrid. We were in a junior suite. 2. We were on time for our turtle excursion in Georgetown. (booked through royal Caribbean). We were tendered there... they took so long getting us on the tender to the island that by the time we got off the boat and walked DIRECTLY to the designated meeting tent, we were told our excursion had already left. We were refunded, but that left the whole day for us with nothing fun to do on the island. We just took the tender back to the ship instead. 3. Windjammer was so crowded at times with no other options, It was as if I needed some anxiety medication just to walk in there. 4. The machines to re-fill your soda cup were just so far away from your stateroom (literally no matter what state room you are in). I know they do this on purpose but it's annoying and I mean the machine doesn't dispense anything unless you have the special cup, so I feel like with knowing there won't be any waste, why would they do this? 5. Why do the bars close at like 2:30 am? We are on a cruise ship! They should be open all night long.... we aren't on land, we pay a lot for this vacation... if I want to drink and dance at 4 am then I feel like I should be able to at one bar that is NOT the casino. 6. The push to buy products in the spa was pretty harsh. I don't need 150$ in massage oil thanks. The push to buy literally everything as an extra was intense. But you learn to ignore it after 2 days. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was our first ever cruise and we decided to go on the Royal Princess for our honeymoon. Having never cruised before we were apprehensive but we loved every minute of it! We started off by spending 4 nights in a nice apartment in ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and we decided to go on the Royal Princess for our honeymoon. Having never cruised before we were apprehensive but we loved every minute of it! We started off by spending 4 nights in a nice apartment in Holywood, Fort Lauderdale. This place itself was beautiful and ideal for travelling in between Fort Lauderdale and Miami. We did a few of the usual tourist things (Miami Heat, Miami Beach etc.) but most of all just enjoyed relaxing in the Holywood area. One recommendation for Fort Lauderdale if you are staying there pre or post cruise would be the Jungle Queen tour. On to the cruise itself. From the moment we stepped onto the ship we were looked after superbly. All of the staff on board were exceptional and no request was ever too much. Our Cabin was a deluxe balcony. Something we were worried about before coming was having a small cabin and we didn't need to be, There was more than enough room for our huge suitcases and for us to move around. With so much to do on the ship we both said for next time we would look at a smaller room. The design of the room was nice and modern and was well looked after by the stewards. For dining we did a mixture of the anytime dining (food was exceptional, something I know princess have been critised for before), alfredo's (superb pizza) and we tried the buffet one evening. The buffet itself for me was a little disappointing. Don't get me wrong when we went to the buffet at lunch on sea days was very good, lots of variety and surprisingly good quality for a buffet. Just on the evening we went the selection was poor and what we did have wasn't the best. That said we only tried it one night. There was a great mixture of entertainment throughout the cruise, we were pleasantly surprised with the quality and variety throughout the cruise. My personal highlights was the vocal impressionist Tyler Bryce and the Voice of the Ocean finale. I think they may have uncovered a future star with the winner. The on-board band and resident entertainer were also high quality. Also worth mentioned the princess live. Quite impressive to have a TV studio on-board and it was fun getting involved with this. I won't go over all of the ports as already rambled on but two to pick out. A highlight was an excursion in St Thomas where we did the Kayak, Hike & Snorkel adventure at Cas Cay. Would highly recommend the three hour trip, great variety and great guides. It was both fun and educational. On the negative side we went on an excursion in St Lucia that we would not recommend. It was a scenic drive to the sulphur pits, a working plantation and catamaran journey back with a brief stop for a swim. The catamaran element was fun but the rest was tediously boring despite the guides best efforts. The last thing that made our cruise great was the people. We made some good friends on board and was well looked after by the bar staff. In particular worth a shout out to the team at Bellini's (Nemo, Ariel and Val). Service was excellent and they themselves were like a comedy team. Had so much fun. Hope you found this useful. We were first time cruisers and are already looking at booking our next one! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
My mom and I took the Allure of the Seas as our very first cruise and were awe-struck by its size! The service was impeccable and the staff were all just amazing and friendly. I read another review on here and can't help but agree ... Read More
My mom and I took the Allure of the Seas as our very first cruise and were awe-struck by its size! The service was impeccable and the staff were all just amazing and friendly. I read another review on here and can't help but agree that the nickel and diming is a bit aggregious. For the cost of what is essentially a 4 or 5-star hotel on water, I would expect more things on the ship to be included in the price. You constantly had to check to confirm what what was and was not included. Also, while it is great that the cruise offers drink packages, there was a huge difference in the ulitimate package and the basic sodas package. There needed to be one in between for just wine and beer or something similar. A cost of $58 per day per person for drinks included came out to $1K for 2 people for 7 days with tax. Even at $13 for the highest price cocktail, you still had to drink 4.5 to break even each day. I felt like I ended up spending a lot more money than I should have because of being on the ship. I was also a bit frustrated with the amount of "travel" and exceptions I encountered. The Ft. Lauderdale airport or perhaps just American Airlines there won't let you check a bag more than 4 hours before your planned departure. Having departed the ship at 11:00 AM, I had to sit in baggage claim for 2.5 hours before I could go through security. There was nothing to eat or do and I had no choice but to wait. You would think due to the number of people who are coming off of cruise ships that they would at least allow you to check your bag then go through security and wait at a restaurant. Overall, we had an amazing time full of memories and were happy we went but I am not so sure that another cruise is in my future--I may just need to go back to all-inclusive resorts where I can find a spot and stay there. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was my first cruise. There were 14 in our group sailing together, with 3 of us sharing one stateroom. Definitely get a ocean balcony room. It made the room feel larger. We were on the 7th deck and we didn't feel much of the boat ... Read More
This was my first cruise. There were 14 in our group sailing together, with 3 of us sharing one stateroom. Definitely get a ocean balcony room. It made the room feel larger. We were on the 7th deck and we didn't feel much of the boat moving. You could feel it on the promonade deck though and in the theaters. The ship was clean and didn't feel too crowded despite having about 6,000 people on board. Entertainment was great. Solarium section was great, much more quiet than the other pools which got crowded very early. Lots of rude passengers though so be ready. Had a big issue with the ultimate beverage package which was supposed to include Starbucks, but it didn't. Had to spend 2 days and several hours arguing with a service manager to fix it. Very annoying so read the fine print on everything before you buy. Food: Food was very good. We mostly dined in the main dining room for dinner and Windjammer for breakfast and lunch. We dined at Giovanni's, which was excellent. Izumi was very good as well. Both were worth the extra money. Didn't go to Chops but ordered the Fillet twice from the main dining room and it was wonderful. Entertainment: 70's night was the best. The game shows were fun as well. Ports and excursions: Snorkeling with the turtles in Cozumel was crowded but we did see turtles. Jamaica was overrated and very poor. I was surprised at Labadee and how much I actually liked it, except for the harassing shops. We did the Safari Snorkel excursion and it was a lot of fun. The beaches were crowded. Disembarking: Amazing how fast and efficient the ship was at getting everyone off at port. Got off the ship, got my bag, and through customs in about 45 minutes. Packing: I packed way too much. I only used about half of what I brought but definitely bring an extra back or extra room if you plan to shop. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Took this cruise to celebrate my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary. This was also my 1st cruise & I've always dreamed of going to the Caribbean. We were a party of 10, 6 adults & 4 kids! If you've never done a cruise ... Read More
Took this cruise to celebrate my in-laws 50th wedding anniversary. This was also my 1st cruise & I've always dreamed of going to the Caribbean. We were a party of 10, 6 adults & 4 kids! If you've never done a cruise before, here are some keep points. 1. Definitely do the all inclusive packages available. It will reduce all the stress of coordinating the trip & expenses. 2. The staff are a huge help and are very courteous. They count on the extra tips at the end of your trip! 3. Indulge, but carefully! Since you don't pay anything with cash or credit cards up front, your tab at the end of your cruise may be a bit of a shock....it adds up fast! 4. Excursions are fun, recommended, but allow yourself time to shop. Some of your port times are short, and need to allow time should you run into a delay (speaking from experience). 5. Really take the time to do some of the activities on the ship. They're fun & you paid for the experience. 6. Some of the dining experiences do recommend reservations. I highly recommend it! Where as the dining (breakfast, lunch & dinner) are included, there are some that are not. I would recommend doing at least one of those nicer dining experiences too... 7. And lastly, getting on and off the boat! (Arrival & departure) allow yourself plenty of time, because that is probably the most chaotic part of the trip. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Exceptional service! Crew members seem to genuinely enjoy their job and make the passengers feel like family. I was very impressed with Royal Caribbean's approach to cleanliness. Handrails, counter tops, etc. we're ... Read More
Exceptional service! Crew members seem to genuinely enjoy their job and make the passengers feel like family. I was very impressed with Royal Caribbean's approach to cleanliness. Handrails, counter tops, etc. we're constantly being sanitized and their was a hand sanitizer dispenser located at the entry of every dining facility and numerous other locations throughout the ship. Onboard entertainment was excellent and well suited for the variety of passengers. The sheer size of this ship is impressive. I'm concerned that this, being my first cruise, has set a standard that will be difficult to beat, or even match, on a ship of smaller dimensions and amenities. My wife, who is a veteran cruiser, and prone to motion sickness, said that she could barely detect any movement on this ship and went the entire cruise without the use of any Dramamine (which she had stocked up on). Will definitely cruise with Royal Caribbean again! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
I first would like to list the things I did not know about that may help first time cruisers like me. First, there is a dress code for the main dining room and they do not enforce it however, you will fill out of place if you try to dress ... Read More
I first would like to list the things I did not know about that may help first time cruisers like me. First, there is a dress code for the main dining room and they do not enforce it however, you will fill out of place if you try to dress down on formal night. The flowrider with the boogie board my son was very interested in however, you must be 52 inches tall and he was 51 so they did not let him do it. The zip line has the same height requirement but you must also be atleast 75 lbs (which my daughter was not) and you must have socks and tennis shoes to ride it. So the flowrider and zipline and rock climbing wall were all not options and my kids were very excited about them being on the ship so that was a let down. The ice skating rink is small and will meet capacity so get there early if you want to get in. It is usually open on sea days a few times. You must have socks for the skates. The casino takes CASH and there are only two claw type machines that you can slide your sea pass card on. So if you like to gamble take plenty of cash or you will be hitting the ATM with heavy fees. The main dining room was sufficient and eating lamb chops, duck, shrimp, steak, etc there gave us no need to eat at the specialty dining places so I would not be able to tell you about any except the "chefs table" which we actually won in a raffle on board. It was the best meal in my life and was a special 6 course dinner with wine pairings from the chef with explanations of each special dish from the chef himself. I have never nor will I ever have such a special dinner again probably in my life. I have no idea what it cost but it would be worth it!!! It is very exclusive as there were only 5 other couples at the dinner. Excursions: Haiti =do not do the water slide as it is so slow most people had to push themselves down it. The dragon coaster was so much fun and you sit your little one in front of you so they ride with you. My 7 and 10 year old loved it. The aqua park is for the active people...i only made it up one slide and it was hard. Make sure you do an excursion in Cozumel or you will feel lost unless you are not scared to venture out past the gates.Only shop in the recommended shops or you will end up with fake jewelry etc. If you do the tequila tasting take it slow they will give you as much as you want. Jamaica's red stripe beach was okay but not very exciting so I wish we had spent the extra money to go to dunns river falls. Margaritaville in Jamaica was so much fun and I would make time for it. Snorkeling in Channukab park in Cozumel was good and they gave free life vests which I recommend because the water is a little rough. Go to the bar and ask for a crazy coconut (you wont regret it). Some kids got stung by jellyfish when doing the dolphin excursion at the park and they didnt let us see the dolphins at all. Taxi from the port was 12 usd. The ship was massive and always had more activities than what we could do. The kids loved the kids club so much they wanted to go all the time. Take my advice and make them go atleast once and they will love it. Make sure you sign them up as soon as you board the ship to avoid a line later. Also sign waviers for flow rider and zip line or you will be in a two hour line there as well. The sign up for those is next to the flow rider bar area and it doesnt matter if you did the one on line or not you will still have to wait in line because they can not do it without an armband. Overall I loved the ship size, all the raffles, dinning choices, bingo, casino, kids club, room attendants, shopping specials, pool area was ok but wish it had a water slide for kids, and the customer service overall was awesome! I will be sailing Oasis again as soon as possible! Last but not least, you will have to wait for a table if you do the my time dining and you can only eat in one of the main dinning halls. I would change this and do the set dining. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Hello everyone, We celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary in the royal Caribbean oasis of the seas. I have shot the best moments, ship and the islands we have visited and composed the below video. You will get a good glance about the ship ... Read More
Hello everyone, We celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary in the royal Caribbean oasis of the seas. I have shot the best moments, ship and the islands we have visited and composed the below video. You will get a good glance about the ship and the activities https://youtu.be/odv7KY_BhSc We flew into Ft. Lauderdale a day early on our own. We stayed at the Red Carpet Inn. It was a decent hotel to sleep. We had breakfast at the restaurant itself. We then took a shuttle to the port, very close by about 11:00 am. Check in was so easy. Much faster and more organized than i have thought. We couldn't get in our room until 1:00, but enjoyed lunch at the Windjammer.Great new way for a lifeboat drill. You don't have to have your life jackets. This ship is just absolutely amazing from the moment you walk in. It is unbelievable how beautiful it is. The different "communities" make it very easy to get around. We had a balcony room. The room attendant Joan was very attentive and personable. She kept room very clean. Room service was excellent. I have ordered decoration package and cake ($75+$20) to give surprise to my wife. They have delivered exactly at the specified time and everything went as planned. We had reserved dining at 8:30 PM. We found an excellent waiter/staff and requested his table each night. Entertainment was excellent! The theaters are wonderful. We had booked our tickets online. Do not miss the Oasis Show in the Aqua Outdoor Theater. I'm still in awe of how they are able to do this show on a moving ship! There are so many places to go and so much to do you can't possibly do it all. At night besides going to the shows we went to the Jazz Club, Latin club, Comedy Club, Pub and Casino. The Casino is "very alive" almost all the time. Shore excursion were awesome. I cannot explain it here in just words, one must experience it. First time snorkeling, First time climbing Falls, First time doing Kayaking in the ocean and many more. Had traditional food in Haiti, Jamaica (Jerk chicken) and Mexico (Tacos). Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This was our first ever cruise and I have to say, it was spectacular! I think we might be those people that end up getting addicted and go on cruises several times a year (At least I hope we do)! Oasis of the Seas was a spectacular ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise and I have to say, it was spectacular! I think we might be those people that end up getting addicted and go on cruises several times a year (At least I hope we do)! Oasis of the Seas was a spectacular ship! You will never get bored and we only wish that we were able to stay longer so we could have seen more of the ship. Believe it or not, there were things we were discovering even on the last day of the trip! To do this review justice...I will talk about some specific things about the cruise. Embarkation was a BREEZE! We arrived around 11 am and I cannot tell you how thrilled I was that it was less than 15 minutes and we were on board. However, disembarkation was hardly as nice. We ended up getting stuck in the opal theater for hours waiting for our number to be called. Now, one of our favorite topics....food! We did 'my time dining' and will probably continue to make that choice in the future. Our dining room was the American Icon Grille and I can say it was fantastic! It was no Chops (which we went to one night and cannot say enough amazing things about it...it is worth every penny!) but it was high quality food and service. We never left hungry! All in all, our cruise was fantastic. We would do it again in a heartbeat! We got back home on a Sunday night and by Monday we were already planning our next cruise, which we are going on next March. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was our first cruise. We chose HAL because without exception, everyone we know who has cruised has raved about it. So we booked a back-to-back: transatlantic from Ft. Laud to the Azores and up the coast of Europe to Copenhagen for ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We chose HAL because without exception, everyone we know who has cruised has raved about it. So we booked a back-to-back: transatlantic from Ft. Laud to the Azores and up the coast of Europe to Copenhagen for 17 days, and a follow-up Baltic 12-day circle back to Copenhagen. The Good: Our cabin, a verandah on the Verandah Deck, was comfortable if small. But we didn't spend much time in it. We overlooked the tops of the life vessels but had unobstructed ocean views. Our cabin stewards were delightful and we LOVED the towel animals they made each night (yes, it's SOP on a cruise but we loved them anyway.) Our bathroom was small, of course, but had plenty of storage, including a shelf under the vanity and a roomy cabinet. The closets were pretty big for a small cabin. Our suitcases fit under the bed, barely. The food was plentiful and very good. We enjoyed open seating so sat with new people every night, which was interesting. The Pinnacle service was excellent and we loved the menu and preparations. All the dining-room staff at the Lido and Pinnacle were outstanding. We also enjoyed the specialty meals on the pool deck, with the oompah band and German dishes when we were in Warnemunde. We enjoyed trying out the different bars - I think there were 11 of them, each different in character. We went to one main stage show and didn't enjoy it that much, but we loved the piano bar where a young woman played and sang and sort of became everyone's granddaughter. Her replacement for the Baltic leg was a slicker, more polished performer with a Vegas-style line of patter and we didn't enjoy him as much. The piano-violin duos who played every evening were terrific. But by far the best entertainment was the BB King Blues Band in the BB King Room. They were fabulous musicians who put on a wonderful show every night that was sadly under-attended. But we were there almost every night. We enjoyed most of the lectures. One lecturer, a retired captain, was very entertaining and filled with tons of fascinating information. The other one was more professorial and managed to make his fascinating subjects a little windy and boring, but the information was great. We spent a lot of time in the Crow's Nest, reading and chatting. I worked my way through the library and enjoyed the wonderful views. Happy hour there was great. Everything was very clean and organized. Disembarkation for shore tours was very organized, the lifeboat drills were accomplished fast and in a somewhat military manner, with dire threats of being left behind if we missed them, and no matter when we were out and about, there would be someone polishing the brass, vacuuming, or washing windows. The Not-so-good: One suitcase was waiting for us when we reached our cabin. Two hours later, I called to ask about it and was told that the wine bottle in it would be confiscated because we couldn't bring it aboard, which directly contradicted what we'd been told before we booked. (We'd been told we could board with two bottles apiece.) I told them that we absolutely needed that suitcase immediately, WITH the wine, and a few minutes later there it was, wine bottle included. Happy hour is only observed in two of the bars, so if you were in the wrong place, you were out of luck. Not sure why they don't all have it. We didn't buy a drink package because we were quoted something like $1580 each for our 29-day cruise, with no ability to treat someone to a drink - we would have had to drink all that ourselves! So we paid as we went. Most drinks are pretty reasonably priced. Our verandah was a few feet shorter than others in that class, because we were just above the lifeboats. The balconies above us were at least two or three feet deeper. It turned out not to be an issue because the weather was chilly enough that we didn't use it much, but if that's important, don't book a Verandah cabin on Deck 5, the Verandah Deck. We kept getting lost because the passageways all look the same. It would be helpful if the doorways to the passageways were painted different but consistent colors - all port aft on each deck red, all port forward on each deck blue, and so on. Because some of the elevator banks look the same, we found ourselves wandering in circles. Likewise, the brass plaques at the elevators that show a cutaway of the ship with the decks labeled weren't oriented the way you were standing when you looked at them. So if you couldn't tell which way was forward and which was aft, they weren't much help. We'd looked forward to the behind-the-scenes tour but bagged it when we learned that it cost $150 per person, more than some of our shore excursions. Can't imagine how they justify that. There are no trays in the MDR. We understand the reason for that - it really cuts back on the massive food waste - but it's hard to juggle a full meal while searching for a table, especially in choppy seas. We encountered ONE 16-year-old girl on the 17-day leg of our trip. Everyone else was an older adult, sometimes significantly older. That poor girl was bored out of her skull. There were only four younger children on that leg, although some crew families came aboard for the Baltic leg so there were more kids around. As comfortable as this line is for older travelers, I'd think long and hard before bringing anyone under age 20 along. And that's pushing it. The one nightclubby venue was rumored to be closing before the end of the year. Overall, we enjoyed our first cruising experience. There were no surprises - we knew about the older crowd, but that's us! We've booked a second cruise on HAL for next spring. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This was my 1st time cruising w/Royal Caribbean & may be my last. We went on this ship because we had family from Atlanta going & they had been on this ship several times. They love it. We were told several times & from several ... Read More
This was my 1st time cruising w/Royal Caribbean & may be my last. We went on this ship because we had family from Atlanta going & they had been on this ship several times. They love it. We were told several times & from several different people that we will love cruising w/Royal. The food was not good at all, we were moved 4 different times in the main dining and the service was awful! We had to ask for water & bread, it took forever to get our food & when we did it was cold and looked thrown together. Our waiter & his assistant seemed to be confused, they got our orders wrong. This was every single night & at each time we were moved & w/different waiters. I did not understand why no announcements were made regarding anything. When we got to our ports, nothing, no mention of activates or entertainment was announced. There were no activates on the pool deck, no bands, no music, nothing. Spent a lot of time in the spa, but was disappointed on the size of the spa for such a big ship! Only 2 small steam rooms & 1 small dry sauna. I like the rooms hot, but theses rooms were so small, which cause them to be too hot. The steam came out under the seats and would burn your legs and the dry on was so hot you had to put down towels to keep from getting burnt. It only had 4 relaxation chairs & no windows to see the ocean. This cruise was way too much money to be so bad. The charge you for everything & I do mean everything, exp: towels on pool deck, small bag of popcorn $2.50, really! Going back to Carnival!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We are a family of 4...to include a 13 y/o and a 4 y/o. This was our first cruise but every member in my family is already looking forward to the next cruise and trying to decide where we should go. It was not perfect...but honestly, ... Read More
We are a family of 4...to include a 13 y/o and a 4 y/o. This was our first cruise but every member in my family is already looking forward to the next cruise and trying to decide where we should go. It was not perfect...but honestly, if you are looking for perfection on ANY vacation...well good luck with that. It was Excellent however. Like I said, this was a first cruise and there was a bit of a learning curve. I am going to try to make my review a little informational to pass on some of what I learned. Before I go any farther, I will start with the biggest negative that I found on the cruise. If you are traveling as a family, this is something that you really need to know. If you have young children, you will want to pay attention to the kid programs on the ship. We have a 4 y/o so he was an Aquanaut. He LOVED it. He actually looked forward to us dropping him off. The only downside to this is that they are only open from 9am-12pm...then 2pm-5pm..then 7pm-10pm. Now while there is no charge to leave your child during these times, if you are late picking them up, you will be billed for every minute. It is hard to really let go when you are watching your watch. I do consider this to be the biggest failing that RCL had on the cruise. These time restrictions seriously detract from the idea that this is a FAMILY cruise line. This failing was compounded when you consider that the Alahambra (the theatre where most shows are held) is on the other end of the ship and showtimes are 7pm and 9pm. This is not a small ship and it does take time to get from one end to the to other...ESPECIALLY when you have to transverse different floors. That means that you will either be late getting to a show or possibly have to leave the show before it ends to pick up your child. Now to be fair, most shows do not last an hour...but if they did, you are out of luck. OK..rant is over...moving on... When you first get dropped off, everything looks a little hectic and confusing. And you will likely be staring at a VERY long line. The truth is though that the people who run the boarding clearly know what they are doing and you will be through the line very quickly. I was a little surprised just how fast that they move. We showed up at the terminal right before noon and already had our lunch eaten at the Windjammer before our room was ready at 1:30. Let me say this....depending on where you eat on the ship, the food is fantastic. Of those places, you will have the Windjammer, the Main Dining Hall, Room Service, the specialty restaurants like Chops, Giovanis, Johnny Rockets, the pizza place and the Coffee/Espresso shop that also serves pastries/pies and sandwiches. And of course you have The Cupcake shop and Ben & Jerry's ice cream. We did not try Chops or Giovanis. We did eat at all the rest. You will be assigned a seat in the Main Dining Hall. The Main Dining Hall is actually broken down into sections via floors. Our section was the King Lear. You will get the same Wait Team each night. And that Wait Team does make a real and pretty impressive effort to learn you and your preferences. Even after the first night, they had us down to a science. The food is very elegant and very good. You will quickly learn though that this is not meant to be a fast meal. Sit back....enjoy each course. The menu changes every night and offers a wide variety each night to choose from. I will say this..the portions are Euro size. To an American they will seem small. But do not be afraid to ask for 2 starters. It is fine to do so and gives you the ability to try different things. Despite the portion sizes, when you are done, you WILL be full....especially with a couple of starters. If you do not have assigned times and are on the "My Time" dining, show up early to make reservations. As I said before, you have a designated table the entire time for dinner. You will find that the best times fill up fast. I also highly recommend you try the breakfast in the Main Dining Room. Unlike the dinner where seating is assigned, you will be seated at a random table for breakfast. Unless your group fills a table for breakfast, they will also seat you with others. I really enjoyed getting to know the people and breakfast was excellent. The Windjammer is more of a Buffet style. But the food is VERY good. One of the things that my family enjoyed was the wide variety of foods that changes every day. You get to try so many new things. I really wish they had the Mushroom soup more than 1 day though. I had it on day 1 and was craving it the rest of the cruise. You will find that being the buffet, the Windjammer is more crowded....but it is not unreasonable by any means. You will also really enjoy the view. The Windjammer is at the very back of the ship on Deck 11. Across the entire back of the dining area is an arched window section that allows you to view the ocean while you eat. Room Service is something you really should try at least once on the cruise. There is no extra cost except very late at night and the food is both plentiful and equal quality to the Windjammer. Johnny Rockets is a good idea...but is not a terribly good fit for the ship. The idea is a 50's style diner where you can get a milkshake and all the burgers and fries that you can eat. The catch is that it cost $6.99 per person...plus cost per milkshake. The problem with that is that the burgers were good....not exceptional...and they really need to be exceptional when I can get all the burgers and fries that I want down in the Windjammer for free..(Well, included in the cost of the cruise). And while I did like the shake and it was better than ice milk shakes...I can get Ice cream cones at the pool all day long for free. Now you can get cheese fries or chili cheese fries at Johnny Rockets. But the cheese is more like the Nacho Cheese you find served in a gas station. Since you are paying extra and the food is already so good at the Main Dining Room and Windjammer, you would expect them to melt cheddar on the fries... not use the cheese that they do. The Espresso/Cafe...It is a great place to get your coffee fix and have a quick bite. They have some excellent treats. I highly recommend the Strawberry Key Lime Pie. If I have any complaints at all with this place is that they were out of Half/Half on day 2. Yes, I did ask and the staff actually went in the back to look. Now aside from the fact that this is a coffee place and running out of Half/Half is like running out of Ketchup at McDonalds..... On top of that, by day 3, they had plenty. So were they were really out? If so. where did the Half/Half come from on day 3? The pizza place is probably the place that you want to avoid. As pizza goes, it is pretty bland and not very good. Frankly, as good as the rest of the food that we had was, I am a little surprised that RCL has not done something about that pizza. The Cupcake shop confuses me. First off,,the cupcakes are wonderful. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about the quality of the cupcakes. But they charge for them. With all the incredible treats on board..and even directly across the Cupcake shop, I am not sure why even a delicious cupcake warrants a price when the other treats do not. And Ben & Jerrys.....we all know they their ice cream is incredible. This is a massive ship and you will always have something to do. According to my tracker, I was breaking walking records going back and forth across the ship. Now I am no cross country runner but I do get around..so the numbers were impressive. I will not dig too deeply into the activities as they are all advertised...but you will never be bored. Be ready. Being that this is a big ship..with a lot of people, you will be waiting on the elevator..a lot. And making it to your desired floor without stops will be rare. Listen to my very carefully. Take Sunscreen. I am the person who can burn in a shopping mall. My wife and son tan easily and never have to worry about burning. I used Blue Lizard sunscreen. They thought they did not need it. I did not burn a lick...they both got burned. Shopping is an interesting experience. On the Promenade, you have the regular stores and then you also get the daily kiosk set up. As the days of the cruise pass by, the sales get better...by ship standards. I think that the funniest sales ad was "Price Match Guarantee" on one of the kiosk. We are at SEA. Who exactly are you going to price match to? The port side of the ship? Drink package.. If you plan to do any drinking, this is a no brainer. Drinks cost 10+ dollars per drink on the ship. With the drink package, you pat $59/day per person...and drink all you want. Trust me, the ability to drink all you want and try every drink that they have will FAR outweigh the sticker shock of the drink package up front. They will not serve you any slower if you have the drink package. You will not be getting rock gut because you have the drink package. It really is the way to go. What you will want to pay attention to here is that reality does not change because you are on a ship. If a club or bar is packed, it will simply take the bartender longer to get to you. One thing I did was, if I was passing a slower bar while heading to a different one, I would stop and get a drink to take with me. There is no rule not to walk around with a drink. One thing that my entire family enjoyed was seeing all the countries that the wait staff was from. Every member has a name tag. Right below the name is the country that they are from. We saw Australia. Philippines, China, Russia, Portugal, etc etc. Now you would think that conversing would be difficult based on this. It is not. The entire staff speaks very good to absolutely native sounding english. You will have no issues at all with this. And I can not write this review without commenting on the hand sanitation. This ranges from videos on the TV in the cabin about washing hands to hand sanitizer stations all over the ship. Walking the 40 ft into an actual eating area like the Main Dining Room or Windjammer, they were every 10 ft on each side. And the Maitre'd at the Windjammer...who watched as people entered. He was from Jamaica If he did not see you reach for the Purell, you would hear a loud "WASHEE WASHEE". It became the running joke on the entire ship and frankly..some of the best advertising that I have ever seen. By day 2, if he was not at the door, ANYBODY would say that to you if you had not reached for the Purell. I have never witnessed anybody to politely encourage a group to do something with the effectiveness that he had. I could probably write more...but I have to leave a little surprise. Despite any negatives that I may have mentioned, the service on that ship is fantastic. The staff go far and beyond and made for an awesome vacation. Our biggest problem is figuring out what cruise we want to take next. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was our very first cruise, and we went as part of a family vacation with family members that are seasoned cruisers. We were quite impressed with the excellent service from all the hard working staff onboard. Embarkation went smoothly, ... Read More
This was our very first cruise, and we went as part of a family vacation with family members that are seasoned cruisers. We were quite impressed with the excellent service from all the hard working staff onboard. Embarkation went smoothly, and our cabin was ready shortly after we boarded. The ship is beautifully decorated, and we especially liked the grandeur of the piazza. We found the pools to be a tad small for the size of the ship though, especially the terrace pool. On embarkation day, we had lunch at Alfredo's. Excellent thin crust pizza, and you absolutely must try the veal agnolotti! Our group was signed up for traditional dining in Allegro. While the service was excellent, DH and I found the food to be underwhelming. Dishes came out quickly, but they were rather bland in terms of taste and appearance. Not to be mean, but it felt a bit like fancy retirement home food. The buffet at Horizon Court really exceeded our expectations though, so we ended up having the vast majority of our meals on the terrace. The selection was impressive, and the everything we had was fresh and flavourful. The pastry shop had a great selection of sugarless treats, and I liked that the portions were small, so you could sample a few different treats between a few people. We tried the afternoon tea in the Concerto dining room on our last sea day, and we really enjoyed the warm scones with cream and jam, various finger sandwiches and cakes, although the tea itself was kind of meh. We didn't really partake in any of the shows, casino, or onboard entertainment. It seemed geared towards an older crowd (for reference DH and I are in our early 30s) but Movies Under the Stars was a fun way to end the night, and there was a decent selection of movies and television shows on the tv in our cabin. Overall, we this first cruise was a very positive experience. Great itinerary, even though we missed out on Princess Cays because of the weather. Excellent service, mostly excellent food. Not sure if cruising is really for us. We prefer to travel for exploration and adventure, rather than leisure, and we like to experience a place in greater depth than a few hours in port allows for, but Princess Cruises did provide a wonderful first experience. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
We had a family group of 18 ages from 8 to 76. Everyone had a great time. There were lots of activities for all interests and age groups. The younger ones spent lots of time in the kids pool and Club Hal. While on board, the older cruisers ... Read More
We had a family group of 18 ages from 8 to 76. Everyone had a great time. There were lots of activities for all interests and age groups. The younger ones spent lots of time in the kids pool and Club Hal. While on board, the older cruisers played Basketball, watched March madness in the Sports Bar, played bridge, bingo, trivia [we won 3 times], saw movies, watched cooking demos, entered the putting contest and sang karoke. Off ship some shopped, others fed the sting rays, swam with dolphins, drove jeeps, and looked for Mayan ruins. Cruising is perfect for a large active family as we all met up for dinner. We had early seating for the kids but it worked out for all of us. Do Not plan on Open seating as each night I heard arguments from angry hungry people wanting a table and all were taken. We flew from Pittsburgh on Jet Blue at 7 am. BIG mistake. We got on the air plane, sat, got off the airplane. It had an oil leak...no parts available.... 6 hours later we were still waiting when the announcement was made that it would be at least 2 more hours. People who had same day cruises were crying. Several family groups did not make their cruise. Jet Blue as not helpful . We finally gave up and booked the last 2 seats on Southwest. I am still trying to get my money back from JB. We stayed at Embassy Suites on 17th street. Beautiful grounds with a nice out door pool. Breakfast was free and hot .Taxi's all over charged us. It does not matter what the meter says, The cabbie wants more. I had booked a service to transport the group to the ship. That went well. We all had cabins on deck 4. aft. I booked a year ahead as we wanted cabins that could house a family of four. The bunk in the ceiling is over the queen bed. Be warned that there is not much head room. Service was great. Each night one of our waiters made an origami item for each child. The kids loved it. The last night was a bunny for Easter. I like Holland America because of the atmosphere. They still have a walk around the ship teak deck, they still have towel animals, they still have turn down service and a chocolate on your pillow. It is just pleasant and civilized. The only problem was disembarkation. We were to be first off with our bags, Too many people crowded in our group with circular lines like Disney and later numbers trying to jump the line. It was a big mess. The Grand children loved it and are planning their next cruise. We had a wonderful time. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
My first cruise, I didn't have much time to research before booking, but I was very happy with the Regal. It's a nice ship, big but did not feel too big to me. Many of the other in-depth reviews on here about the boat, it's ... Read More
My first cruise, I didn't have much time to research before booking, but I was very happy with the Regal. It's a nice ship, big but did not feel too big to me. Many of the other in-depth reviews on here about the boat, it's layout etc are pretty accurate and helped with knowing the boat before I got on board and also in knowing some of it's hidden features. Some point form notes on things: - Enclave spa - first spa experience for me - was nice, clean and overall pretty good. I really don't think the dry sauna was working - despite the staff saying it was, it was cooler sometimes than the main area. On another day the pool was a bit cool, but could have been from high use as it was busy. The value is ok at $149, but to me it felt more like $99 would have been fair. - Crown grill - AWESOME - make sure you go if you like steak and seafood. One tip - it's all you can eat, so if you want 2 lobster tails, order two :) The food is really good, I did not try a dining room out, the Horizon Buffet, Alfredo's and Crown were all I needed and I enjoyed them all. At the buffet, walk all around both areas, and the hallway in between where they hide cheeses, shrimp cocktails and more. I was in cabin A732 on the Aloha deck (12) - Deluxe Balcony (DD) really nice room, the bed was comfortable, and bathroom were fine. Some people have complained about the shower size. I'm not a small guy at all and I thought it was fine. One note I do have about being at the back or Aft of the boat is the vibrations from the props - they really do move things - like someone shaking your bed a bit. Not noise so much as the physical movement. It was more than I expected (first time cruiser) and for the first couple nights I did not sleep well. Then I picked up some Advil PM and started taking that each night which helped me sleep through the night. So if you are a light sleeper or are not used to vibrations I would get a room mid-ship for sure. The "ocean" motion of the boat did not bug me in this room, but we had light seas in my opinion, but I can defiantly see how being higher up in bad seas would get things moving :) On the plus side, I really like the location of the room in relation to the elevators and stairs, it was a quiet area of the boat and very few people walking by as it's the back of the boat :) The internet speed was pretty good (for sea based internet) as there is a wifi repeater right at the door in the hallway. The in-room TV was great with good on-demand movies, handy for those lazy mornings. My room steward John was awesome. Room was always in great shape and was friendly. I was on the boat during Spring Break so there were a lot of people and kids (busiest the boat had ever been from what I heard). so it was a different crowd I think than what would normally be on the boat. I'm 40, and it felt like the boat was really built to cater to the 60+ crowd - from the decor, names, features etc. So as a single solo cruiser I would like to try it again in a not so busy time, but I do wonder if the crowd might be a bit older than I'm looking for. Getting on and off the boat was fine. Getting off, from the time I stepped onto the gangway to the time I got in a taxi to go to FLL airport (take a cab, skip the overpriced shuttle bus princess offers) it was only $13 from the docks to the airport. Was about 30 minute and about 10-15 minutes to get to the airport. So don't worry about being off the boat too early. I got off at 8AM for a 11:20 flight and was there with way too much extra time :) Value was good, other than Princess charges 200% for singles which is too high IMO. 150% would be more fair. For a couple the value for what I paid would be really good. I would cruise Princess again for sure, and from my experience I will be cruising again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
Was pleasantly surprised that the complaints about the Emerald Princess were rectified for our stateroom D727 and throughout the ship. I did here people complaining about some of the most nitnoid items that I had to laugh. To the 19 ... Read More
Was pleasantly surprised that the complaints about the Emerald Princess were rectified for our stateroom D727 and throughout the ship. I did here people complaining about some of the most nitnoid items that I had to laugh. To the 19 year old chubby boy whose day was ruined because the plate in the Horizon Court buffet wasn't hot and to the 40 year old lady who pitched a fit in Cafe Caribe because the coffee was brewing and she "didn't think she should have to walk 15 feet to another station" - get over it. There are more of these types but I won't bore you with them here. And these are the people who will write Nast reviews here. Background - we travel solo extensively throughout Europe and the service on this cruise was equal or better than what we expect - so no complaints at all. 1) Karn, our steward, was very welcoming and efficient and kept the room in tip top shape. 2) all of our servers were very engaging and fun from risqué jokes to card tricks to remembers our names. 3) food was great, well presented, tasty and warm. 4) essentially while on the ship everything that was promised was delivered. Now - we are in a digital age and Princess has to catch up as their pre-cruise information sharing is horrendous. "Additional Charges Apply" is NOT an acceptable answer when I'm looking for the cost of a beer, the charge for the Crown Grill, or the charge for the thermal spa package. Knowing that prices can change is one thing but Princess should be able to come up with a price list on the website maybe 2 weeks before the cruise. Also when a booked customer sends an email requesting this information the at the minimum should get a response! Princess GREAT job on the cruise HORRIBLE job with getting information to this first time cruiser pre-cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was out first cruise. We were a family of 4 with two balcony rooms side by side on the Aloha deck. This was great for us as we were just below the pool deck, teen club and Horizons food court. The cabins were in good condition and ... Read More
This was out first cruise. We were a family of 4 with two balcony rooms side by side on the Aloha deck. This was great for us as we were just below the pool deck, teen club and Horizons food court. The cabins were in good condition and we had an excellent cabin steward. We choose anytime dinning and had no problems getting seated. We would go early most nights but did go late a couple of times. Plan on spending at least 2-3 hours for dinner, service was a little slow. Sabitinis would be open for lunch some days serving pizza. I would recommend this. The shows that we went to were good. We went to 2 comedy shows and 2 shows featuring the ships performers. There was also a The Voice competition that was entertaining. There was things going on everyday on the boat, just pay attention to the planner they leave you everyday. We did get one moving in under the stars. During sea days we would spend it on the pool deck. I liked the splash deck at the front of the boat. Less people but a little more wind. The service at the pool / Lido deck is questionable. You would have to flag a waiter down to get something. I would just go up to the bar most times, much faster and the bartender also have better personalities. The children had a good time at the teen lounge. It was a great place for them to meet the other teens on the boat. We had a good time at the ports. We only did shore excursions in Limõn and Ocho Rios. In Limōn we did went to the canal and rain forest. Seen a bunch of wildlife. Great tour. Ocho Rios we did Mystic Mountain, the bobsled ride and Dunn River Falls. I think it would have been better if it wasn't so crowded. The Regal Princess was diverted to the island and was there the same day as us. In Aruba we went to Palm beach an relaxed. Took the city bus. In Columbia we got a taxi for the day. $100 for the day. The driver would get out and walk with us telling us about the city. Well worth it. He didn't speak good english, but the children speak Spanish and would translate for us. We just stayed on the boat in Panama. Going through the canal is a pretty cool deal. You receive a certificate for a partial Panama Canal transfer. Getting on and off the boat at all location was a breeze. Overall we had a great time. Not having been on another cruise we have nothing to compare it to, but can't complain. I would do another cruise on Princess. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
The Celebrity Constellation was a wonderful ship to visit on our first cruise to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. My husband did the research and planning, and his homework was fruitful, because we experienced a celestial voyage. ... Read More
The Celebrity Constellation was a wonderful ship to visit on our first cruise to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. My husband did the research and planning, and his homework was fruitful, because we experienced a celestial voyage. The "spot-on" attention to so many details made up for any minor inconveniences. Our boat was not too big, but it still offered many of the luxuries and amenities seen on bigger boats, which we checked out to consider for future visits. Our favorite activities involved the entertainment and shore visits. We found the live band, and theatrical performances to be "top notch' (even by NY standards). Cozumel and Key West were destinations we have not had the opportunity to explore until now, and we're glad that we did, because there were so many interesting historical sites, restaurants and unique shops to investigate. We dined in both the San Marco Restaurant and the Oceanview Cafe and were pleased with most of the meals. The service that we received on the ship from the concierge, and shore excursions personnel to the many waiters and attendants was always amazing. It was a great ship and voyage that I would recommend to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016

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