9 Southampton to Cruise to Nowhere Princess Royal Princess Cruise Reviews

We booked this 2 nighter as we had never sailed from Southampton and only ever done Caribbean Fly Cruises in December/January/February. The journey to Southampton was a good one and parking was relatively simple but we had asked for a ... Read More
We booked this 2 nighter as we had never sailed from Southampton and only ever done Caribbean Fly Cruises in December/January/February. The journey to Southampton was a good one and parking was relatively simple but we had asked for a disabled space (due to doors having to be opened really wide to enable my husband to get out of the car) but this was totally ignored and we had to park where the able bodied had parked. Not too much of a problem as we did arrive early and it was not too far to walk to the terminal building. Check in was fairly slow but this was to be expected as there would be 3600 people waiting to get on. We were on board by 12.45pm (we got there are 12pm) and went directly to our cabin which was very easy to find. On first impressions it looked good but fairly small considering it was a balcony cabin, we have had far bigger inside cabins on other ships. Everything was pristine and looked good. We did not encounter any problems with anything in the room everything worked as it should have done but the loo took a long time to flush, you had to press the button 3 or 4 times but not a major issue.We took the time to look around the ship before our luggage arrived in the room and were impressed with the majority of the areas around the ship. The sanctuary is absolutely beautiful but very pricey. To use the sauna and steam room it is $49 dollars but we were told it was for the length of the cruise - 2 days, way too expensive.Beer prices are very expensive $6 for a 440ml can of Boddingtons, $5.50 for a spirit and $1.95 for a mixer plus 15% gratuity on every drink. I personally object to the $11.50pppn gratuity charge added to your onboard account for tipping. Our stateroom steward was really nice and attentive so I would rather have given him the money personally and it not go into a pot and shared out. If Princess paid the staff a reasonable rate they would not have to rely on tips. You pay enough money for your cruise without being penalised by extra charges. The 15% gratuity on drinks is charged whether you have a waiter bring it or you fetch it yourself!!! We loved the ship but would not go with Princess on principle - its P&O all the way for us as you know what you are paying and its in sterling. Also when Princess take your credit card details at the start of your cruise, when it is converted to sterling from dollars you are ripped off again - P&O charge in £s the whole time so you know exactly what you are paying. When we booked this cruise we were told there was one formal night and one smart casual. When we got on board we received the Princess Patter in our room and it said both nights were smart casual. As we had taken formal dress we thought we would have stood out like a sore thumb so we checked with the Atrium staff and they said that the Captain was going to announce at Muster which night would be the formal one. At Muster no mention of the formal night so we asked an Officer and were told - We do not have formal nights on a 2 night cruise! We checked again with the Atrium and they said the same. The next night we received our Princess Patter and guess what, the dress for that evening was Formal???? If the Atrium and Officers can't get it right, I now know why on Princess Cruises people do not dress to impress!!On the evening before disembarkation (the formal night) we rang the Atrium and asked about putting suitcases out at night as on previous cruises this has been the norm. We were told they need to be out by 9 pm! Great, you are still having your meal and you need to run back upstairs and get changed out of your formal gear to put it in your suitcase and then go back in your scruffs to finish your meal - I don't think so. We knew this could not be right so we asked our Cabin Steward and he said put it out when you are ready, be it 1 o'clock, 2 o'clock whatever it will get taken downstairs. Now you know why I would rather have given the tipping money to the Cabin Steward, he knew more about procedure than the more highly paid staff and Officers!All in all I can only say the ship is beautiful but the way it is being run will not encourage me to go back on a Princess Cruise again. I have had one truly awful experience on Princess in 2005 and a good one in 2011 but this has just confirmed that I will be reverting back to P&O again and I will not deviate again.Sorry about the length of this review but I thought I would say it is as I see it!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
This was the ship’s first ‘shake-down’ cruise with passengers and we accepted that not everything would be functioning – the maiden voyage was still a week away, and there was still a huge amount of general organisation and staff ... Read More
This was the ship’s first ‘shake-down’ cruise with passengers and we accepted that not everything would be functioning – the maiden voyage was still a week away, and there was still a huge amount of general organisation and staff training to do – but all the staff proved to be really friendly and helpful and the level of service was good.Our initial impression as we drove onto the dock was that the ship looked more RCCL than Princess. Gone was the vertical stern structure that you find on the Ruby and Emerald ships, together with the cantilevered bridge supported by the angled struts; but the Princess stack profile was still there as was the blue glass.Once on board it was clear that the general internal layout seems much the same as the older ships – a good point if you like it, not so good if you don’t - and you would have thought they would have overcome the problem of the rear dining room that cannot be accessed without changing levels. But the larger size has meant a much grander central atrium with more bars, shops and eateries, with the new Alfredo Pizzeria and a seafood bar that you pay for – though I am sure sushi used to be free at Vines. Potentially this space should be buzzing when the ship is full of passengers - but we were only 50%. They tried out the champagne waterfall and that went well with good views all round.The theatre at the front looks to be smaller than usual, but is apparently the biggest in the fleet, and a real plus is that it’s column free. However access to the end of the rows, for those of us who like to leave early sometimes, is not so easy now. The new separate television studio is a great idea and will work well for demonstrations and talks. The public circulation spaces on the stateroom floors seem low (a short person could touch the ceiling easily), and the stairs feel tight (with very high handrails), as do the lifts. The library is small as is the Internet Café - we assume they expect everyone to have their own laptops/tablets. The carpets in the lift lobbies reminded us of Cunard but the traditional Princess idea of having different coloured carpet in the port and starboard corridors has gone – a pity.Overall the décor is very ‘brown', lots of dark 'wood' panelling - and where it is not dark it's a beige colour. It felt old fashioned. The deck space is generous and the water feature between the two main pools looks good. The walkway with a glazed floor overhanging the sea is fine, but it's a gimmick, and it means that the stateroom balconies below it are completely open to public view. Using the front of the ship at high level to be a pay-for sun deck is a good idea we thought, and moving the spa to a lower deck is even better.On the food front there are three main dining rooms, the Symphony, Concerto and Allegro (accessed by stair and lift only). Any time dining is our preference and the food and service was fine, and the wine seemed reasonably priced. The rooms are still too low in our view and the décor was again uninspiring. There are no new specialty restaurants, Sabatinis looks the same as usual, and is now lower down in the ship, but the Crown Grill is now more open to the Wheelhouse bar, prices are a reasonable 20 and 25 dollars. There are also a ‘variety of other specialty 'offers', held in part of the upstairs buffet in the evening,at a 20 dollar premium. Upstairs the buffet is split into two, the Horizon Bistro - more geared for salads and sandwiches, and the Horizon Court, where there are more hot choices and Chinese, Italian counters etc – the food range was not well sign posted and you have to look hard to find what you want. We thought the Bistro had much the best feel with its bright off-white tables and chairs – we also liked the new higher ‘bar style’ seating.Our standard balcony cabin seemed small. The entry door was very narrow as was the entry corridor. There was no sofa but the bed was large and comfortable. We looked in a couple of rooms with single beds and they looked very crowded. The bathroom is not generous - a well-designed integral basin and worktop is spoiled by no provision for a soap dish, and whoever designed the toilet paper dispenser behind, and under, the unit, should be shot. There are no UK spec plug outlets in the room - but maybe the ship won't sail out of Southampton again, but there is a good sized flat screen television – unfortunately with an unbelievably clunky operating system - or perhaps it had not been sorted out yet. The balcony was also very narrow. You felt that the cabin had been seriously cost engineered and the junior suites that used to have the more generous balconies at low level are now the same as all the other cabins.Overall we were under-whelmed, we had looked at the promotional videos again at home the night before and were expecting something more radical, it’s just more of the same and, in one to two instances, less of it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We are back from the 14th-16th June 2night cruise. A lot of what we experienced and our thoughts about the Royal Princess are echoed in previous reviews so rather than just repeat what has already been said we will try and highlight other ... Read More
We are back from the 14th-16th June 2night cruise. A lot of what we experienced and our thoughts about the Royal Princess are echoed in previous reviews so rather than just repeat what has already been said we will try and highlight other areas . We have done a number of short cruises so knew that we wouldn't get to see or experience everything however for us we saw this as an opportunity to experience 2 days of what we thought would princess showcasing a new an innovative ship as well as a first time experience with Princess Cruises. We normally sail with P&O, NCL or RCI. With all the hype surrounding the ship we were looking forward to 2 exciting days however we were somewhat disappointed, not just the ship but the whole experience.To start, there Is no doubt that the ship is amazing from the outside, and in our opinion in places stunning inside, however we found some areas were very dark, dark wood, decor etc uninspiring. For us overall and first impressions of the ship was that it did not have that initial WOW factor. Embarkation was the longest wait, slowest queues and generally the most chaotic experience and to top it all we were checked in by a very dis-interested check in person. From other reviews it seems like delays and waits were a common issue. Not sure why as we have travelled out of Ocean terminal several times and have never had any problems. Keeping in mind that both 2 night cruises did not have full compliment of passengers, so not sure how they would have coped if it was full. The welcome onto the ship was poor, at the end of the walkway two members of staff directing passengers either left or right depending on room numbers. Once onto the ship passengers were by passed the Atrium and ushered directly to the elevator lobby mid ship. A big disappointment,the first sight of the Atrium is the initial Inside Wow factor for us, and the hub of the ship, and where were all the various staff welcoming you on board, representing the restaurants taking bookings, spa raffle, etc etc.?On a positive note cabins were ready on embarkation. We booked a Deluxe Balcony which is the category we normally travel on P&O and so thought we knew what we would be getting, size wise. However we were very shocked, the cabin, balcony and bathroom all very very small and felt cramped. We have no idea how more than 2 people would manage in here, but yes there was a sofa bed, and when set up would mean there would be no way to get to the balcony or move around maybe a problem if you travel with young children and want to end the evening sitting on the balcony whilst they are asleep. Storage space was also very limited. The balcony was just a ledge with two narrow chairs, and one very small table size of a footstool. Interestingly the room directory mentions ultimate balcony dining experience, but we have no idea how this could be achieved in such a small space. We did sleep well the bed was very comfortable, pillows large and squishy, air con worked very well, the TV and ship info did not, no kettle allowed in room so reliant on room service for beverages.. This room felt smaller than the standard cabin on other cruise lines, and we are still wondering what bit was the deluxe, no extras, not even bath robes, in our opinion this grade of cabin is not worth the money. We used horizons restaurant for lunch, good food, lots of choice, friendly staff, nice light airy decor in the bistro, gloomy dark wood in the other section. Nice outside seating/dining area to back of ship. The main Pool deck area was pleasant enough, there is a good selection of sunbeds, rattan furniture and comfy chairs however, although there seemed a lot of seating i think this area might become challenged on hot sunny sea days when the ship is full and there are lots of people wanting to sunbath. This area also has the movie screen which had amazing picture quality even in bright sunshine as well as great sound quality. We did notice that you cannot walk a full circuit of the ship without changing levels up and down steps which was a shame and whilst walking the various top deck levels it just felt like there was a lot of empty space, maybe on the longer cruises this is filled with sun beds? What was missing for me was the aft pool, this is an area on other ships I just love. The aft area of the Royal was kind of empty, nondescript really. From the main pool are moving forward is the very nice Adults only area, pool, cabana's, comfy sun beds and standard sun beds. Relaxing music playing etc. Further forward the Sanctuary, a really gorgeous pay to use area however would be well worth it even if only once. We had seen this online and had planned to spend a day here however only to find out it was not available until the main cruise starting on 16th - very disappointing.We were excited about the sail away however this turned out to be nothing special at all. The cruise director was on the pool deck, a few people got up to dance and a DJ played music. As we sailed away the ships horn played the love boat theme and that was it really. I think Princess could have made more of an effort. The sea walk did have the wow factor, well the first and second time we walked across after that it was just the sea walk. What seemed to amaze most passengers was the fact that the balcony cabins below could be seen easily, just something to think about if planning to book one. Service across the ship was excellent to poor, excellent being in the Crown Grill, good in Horizons and poor from our room attendant who was most of the time invisible. Generally most staff were friendly and said hello or had a chat. We did notice that we did not see one senior officer around the ship. The public address system did not work in our room nor on the outside decks so when the Captain announced we could not tender in Guernsey I had to open the cabin door slightly so we could hear what was being said, and then at 12.30 we heard nothing as we were by the pool, we never did see or hear from the Captain again.MUT's yes we like this idea however it was a little disorganised. The first night the sun beds had the MUT's comfy cushions, pop corn was bought around and blankets available. The second night, no comfy cushions and when we asked where they were the attendant said, good point, it's accommodation who do that but they haven't. No offer of let me find out for you. This was a featured event, so why wasn't it organised, someone should have ensured everything was in place. Water Fountains- advertised in Patter as a feature, the first night they came on at 10.05pm and lasted no more than maybe 5 mins. Nice touch, good to see etc. the second night they were due to come on at 9.45pm. More people than at the first night gathered, they came on again for a few mins. People started to leave the area and then suddenly they came on again longer this time and even more impressive, they ended and again more people left, suddenly they were back on again. So again the question is if is was a new feature why wasn't more made of it? The weather and sea conditions overnight and the next day were mix, at times there was a fair swell and although the ship seemed to handle it well we did notice it rolled quite a bit, will be interesting to see how she handles in very rough weather. Our cabin was at the back so we did experience that wiggle as well as some thuds as if the back of the ship was being dropped in the water, could have been the wind hitting the side of the ship hard to tell, all in all though it was a smooth and very quite ship.Day time Pool deck movies - now I know it's going to be very hard to show a film that will please 100% of passengers but please Les Miserables on a Saturday afternoon, nothing wrong with the film itself but a little hard going when you are trying to relax by the pool. We just thought it a strange choice, but like I said hard to please everyone.As we couldn't tender in Guernsey there was no sail away, now even so surely the CD and entertainments team could have done something on the pool deck, but no the last day for the 2 night cruisers just came and went. I had read online before we sailed that the outside fountains area will be a stage where the entertainments team will dance etc, maybe they could have showcased an extract of that.Overall it was nice to get away for a couple of days, and yes overall we did enjoy the cruise, we got some rest and relaxation as well as saw the parts of the ship we wanted to however it did feel a bit like you were left to just get on with it. Yes this was a preview cruise No it wasn't highly discounted infant we paid the same for this cruse as a four night on a speciality cruise on P&O in April. When we booked we knew possibly we were paying over the odds however is was a great opportunity to see a brand new ship and spend a couple of what we thought would be exciting days in board. However Princess did not deliver. If this was a shakedown cruise then they should have advertised it that way and reflected that in the price. I can't say I would not book with princess again however it would not be my first choice. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
I have just returned from a two night break to expereince the new cruise liner, that the Duchess of Kent will be opening. The videos of the cruise look amazing but actually when you finally do embark after the chaos queing its ... Read More
I have just returned from a two night break to expereince the new cruise liner, that the Duchess of Kent will be opening. The videos of the cruise look amazing but actually when you finally do embark after the chaos queing its disappointing!! It doesn't have the wow factor at all. The promenade isn't what i thought, a few shops here and there.  If you have children under 3yrs they can not use the pool even if wearing swimmers. No facilities for them to play, although as ship didn't have many children we were allowed to as a one off. There is kids clubs for 3yrs and older which do have some great games etc. The children are not supposed to sleep in the bunks if younger than 10yrs, even though they new the ages of my children when we booked. Balcony rooms are a lot smaller than other ships. Some good parts, movies under the stars, with popcorn!! The Horizon buffet area was set out well, food was very nice. The spa looked great but we didn't use as very expensive! Watch your bill!! Paid before we left, charges of $11.50pp every day added on as gratitutes even though when you buy a drink 15% is added on. You can get this taken off, but i feel it should be explained before you embark. Summary, wouldn't waste my money again!! If you are 60yrs and over, very rich then this cruise is for you!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We have just returned from the first Preview sailing on the Royal Princess. Considering the ship was only about 50% full the check-in and boarding seemed rather chaotic. We went straight to our Deluxe balcony cabin and first impressions ... Read More
We have just returned from the first Preview sailing on the Royal Princess. Considering the ship was only about 50% full the check-in and boarding seemed rather chaotic. We went straight to our Deluxe balcony cabin and first impressions were not that great. The decor was dull and beige and rather old-fashioned, I expected something much nicer. We have sailed on several Princess ships and the cabin looked pretty similar to the older ships. However the minute balcony was a bit of a shock and we struggled to turn the metal and plastic chairs to face the sea, really they only fitted on the balcony when facing each other. We were on deck 15 and the overhang above us was awful and would block any sun. The bathroom only had a shower and an awfully positioned toilet roll holder which meant we just used the spare roll which we popped on the counter by the sink. We were shocked by the complete disorganisation of events onboard. Some information stated that there were two smart casual nights whilst other things said a smart casual and a Formal night. The evening entertainments were altered, we turned up at one venue and asked what was on and no-one had any idea as the time and event and been changed.The Princess Live was horrible, very dark and dingy with incredibly uncomfortable seats. It also does not seat that many people and the view was not good. It seemed a shame to lose a bar with a stage to a venue that you can’t relax in for an evening.The theatre looked smaller to me than the one on the Grand. However I think it has far more seats as the rows are much closer together. The waiters were struggling to take orders and give out drinks to anyone who wasn’t sat at the end of a row and once you had your drink there was nowhere to put it as the side tables have gone. Beware if sitting further back near the end of the row as the high hand-rails will seriously block your view of the stage. The seats themselves were comfortable but taller passengers may find the lack of legroom an issue.The Atrium was a lovely space, light and airy with the tempting cafe full of delicious pastry treats to hand. However the entertainment seemed a bit hit and miss, one minute we were listening to a classical quartet and the next I had a strapping Russian gymnast stripping off his shirt 6 inches from my seat! I thought it was quite entertaining but many of the older passengers did not look amused as it didn’t really fit in with the calm, dignified surroundings. The Vista lounge was a lovely venue with plenty of seating and areas suitable for larger groups to sit together.The main dining rooms also looked very traditional; there was nothing to show that you were on an all new ship. However the staff were good and I felt the service was much better than I had received when using Anytime Dining on Princess before. The food was all delicious but only one small potato with a main course?We used the buffet for breakfast and lunch. I felt that the breakfast selection was rather poor. The layout was a bit difficult but I couldn’t find a waffle station or an egg station which I expected. I don’t know if they were there and I missed them or if they just weren’t available.At lunch there was a larger selection but there seemed to be a huge emphasis on Asian cuisine and on the second day I actually struggled to find anything I wanted. This wasn’t helped by the fact that all of the signs are above the warmers and at only 5ft tall I struggled to read them, it would be impossibility for children or anyone in a wheelchair. The salad selection was very poor and none of the dressings even had labels. The desserts were through in the Bistro area which also had a good selection of sandwiches. I could imagine this will be difficult when the ship is full and people are having to walk around a lot to find what they want. There were so many staff that they were falling over themselves to help (I think they were bored!). However even if you asked for lemonade or water it seemed to take an age for them to get it, I would far rather just help myself. I liked the decor of the Bistro better as it was light and bright but it was also very cold so we stayed on the buffet tables. I noticed that the tables were all in sixes and eights which will make it hard to find a table when the ship is full and people spread out. I did notice a lot more tables for two in the main dining rooms which I thought was a good idea as many people don’t want to share.The pool areas looked lovely although I don’t think I like the cabanas, especially if people shut the curtains as it will ruin the beautiful vista of the pool from the other chairs. The Skywalk was OK but only fun once, I wouldn't want a cabin underneath as there is no privacy. We didn’t get to see the fountain show as it was shown on the formal night and it was so cold that my formal dress was not conducive to standing on the top deck.Overall I thought that the Royal Princess was a nice cruise ship but it wasn’t as special as I had hope. We had already booked another cruise on the ship for next year but I am seriously considering cancelling it. The Deluxe Balcony cabin felt small and the balcony was tiny and I am not happy to spend two weeks in that sort of accommodation. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
I must try to be fair in this review, and take account of the fact that this was a Preview Cruise. I realise we were mainly there to iron out any glitches or problems prior to the maiden voyage, but the fact remains, there were several ... Read More
I must try to be fair in this review, and take account of the fact that this was a Preview Cruise. I realise we were mainly there to iron out any glitches or problems prior to the maiden voyage, but the fact remains, there were several basic issues on the ship and with Princess that cannot simply be passed off as "teething problems" Embarkation Parking at the docks was straightforward, so in awe of the wonderful first sight of the Royal Princess we I must try to be fair in this review, and take account of the fact that this was a Preview Cruise. I realise we were mainly there to iron out any glitches or problems prior to the maiden voyage, but the fact remains, there were several basic issues on the ship and with Princess that cannot simply be passed off as "teething problems" Embarkation Parking at the docks was straightforward, so in awe of the wonderful first sight of the Royal Princess we entered the Ocean Terminal - to be greeted with queues spiraling both the downstairs and upstairs check in areas. We were given by 2 ladies a green card with a letter on it and advised to grab a seat because it would be at least an hour, "due to the ship not releasing the passes until 11" whatever that meant. Anyway, an hour and 20 minutes later we were called forward to check in, which, along with the security checks were thankfully swift, so within a couple of hours from arriving we were climbing the gang plank. A month ago we boarded the Disney dream by being asked our name and walking alone through the atrium to the applause of the officers and staff, and a warm greeting over the tannoy. Princess chose the alternative greeting. Shove us along the promenade deck, in through a side door, and steered into a packed elevator area along with equally lost passengers and the occasional staff member who didnt have a clue. The biggest Atrium at sea, and we are ushered to the corridors. Big big opportunity lost Princess. We could have said WOW when when came aboard. Instead our reaction was "what the....." Cabin We were in Deck 9 Dolphin 709, a standard balcony room. This is the first big issue I have with the Royal. The room was minute, and this coming from someone who usually prefers inside cabins. The beds were stupidly short. Im 6ft 3" and my legs went well over the end of the bed, not to mention the narrowness, which bing a big bloke was very much an issue. It was rock hard as well. I thanked my foresight in only booking the 2 nighter. Much more in this bed would have crippled me. As we discovered that night, the walls were paper thin. We could hear clearly normal conversations next door, and was treated to Skyfall at 1.00am that morning. Again something I had never experienced before. The bathroom was adequate and cupboard space quite good, so no real issue there. The TV function was poor. The GPS location map didn't work, nor was there any Account access to see what you had spent - standard for every previous cruise I had been on. The Ship Much has been written about the new royal Princess, but I must say, it failed to impress this reviewer. Don’t get me wrong. I love cruise ships. I love the aura, the atmosphere, the grand atrium, the show bars and the quiet piano lounges. The Royal however just didn't offer anything additional that impressed. I'd seen it all before, and though I would no doubt enjoy a trip on her, I view other ships in a better light, with better layout, better organisation, better food and a bigger WOW factor to be seen on Cunard, Independence of the Seas, even the Sapphire Princess. I just didn't take to her. The crew Poorly trained. Over enthusiastic when you wanted to be left alone. Not interested when a bit of assistance would have been appreciated.. My biggest gripe is reserved for the Cruise Director, Ron Goodman, however. I likened him to Hughie Green - oozing insincerity from every pore. Too slick. Too smug. To pleased with himself to be opening his eyes and looking at the obvious issues the ship has. The shows were good - loved the big production number with the lighting in the main theatre, and the ABBA tribute band were better than most act I have seen on a ship. The bar staff tried hard to please, with the best service witnessed in the Wheelhouse bar. The worst at the Seaview Bar. Inept. The bars around the Atrium closed at 11 on the last night, yet the waiter seemed happy to serve their mates but refuse others sat nearby. I expect that behaviour in a dodgy local pub, and not the supposed pride of the Princess fleet. The Restaurants Horizon Court. The first breakfast was horrible. Nothing tasted right or nice. The worst Corned Beef hash I have ever had, and that’s saying something. The bacon was inedible. Eggs were sloppy. Very very poor fayre. The meals in the main dining room were an improvement. Nice Beef Wellington and nice steak on 2nd night, but I wasnt a fan of the decor or layout, however. The waiters were good - fair play to them, they tried and tried to give us what we wanted. Cant ask for any more from them. Overall we paid £300+ each for a 2 day trip which to be blunt was simply not worth it. We willingly paid over the odds expecting to be given a memorable introduction to a wonderful new ship. The entire setup seemed to be with the objective of fleecing you - getting every available buck out of you, but with none of the class or charm offered by Cunard or Celebrity. We were given sub standard fayre, and we left with a firm conviction that we would in future stick with the names we usually stick with.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
I felt that after reading the reviews given so far it didn't paint a proper image of the Royal Princess for future cruisers, so I will give an accurate overview from an experienced cruiser who normally travels with Princess, Royal ... Read More
I felt that after reading the reviews given so far it didn't paint a proper image of the Royal Princess for future cruisers, so I will give an accurate overview from an experienced cruiser who normally travels with Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. Overview:-Stunning ship from outside and interior. The atrium must be the the most impressive centre point of any ship I have seen and princess have done well to make it a destination of its own full of bars, restaurants and eateries, all of which are beautifully designed. The entire ship was sparkling (as it should being a few days old )Embarkation:-As quick an easy as any other cruise line. With a grand entrance to the piazza. Public Rooms:-Princess have done a great job with integrating bars and restaurants to compliment each other. E.g. Wheelhouse and crown grill. Sabatines and vines. The show lounges look great and I have to agree with other reviewers that the main theatre looked pretty small but I loved having the vista lounge back instead of club fusion which featured on other recent ships. Princess live is interesting but I didn't really attend anything in this area so hard to give a review on, I must say I liked the explorers lounge and feel I will miss having this area to the ship. Club 6, the new lounge/late night entertainment venue is stunning. Well designed and a great idea to bring it closer to the atrium area. I do feel that it was a miss not to have an dedicated observation lounge which I think princess passengers would have enjoyed being of the older clientele . The shops look very similar to other princess ships, just more spread out and the casino looked as to be expected. Bars:-So many bars to choose from you will not be disappointed. Crooners looks great but very similar to how it is on other ships. Other bars include Bellini's, wheelhouse, vines, lobby bar and sea view bar. Have to say I was a little disappointed in the sea view bar. I think they could have made more of this in terms of using it as a mini indoor observation lounge, but still a great idea. Restaurants:- again, very similar to other ships in terms of main dinning rooms but these have been enhanced and are truly stunning with spacious seating and more tables for 2 than ever before. Sabatinies has been expanded and located to near the piazza. Looked fab. As does Crown Grill. Both of these restaurants have a reasonable fee of $20-25. Alfredo's the new pizzeria is great. Amazing food , atmosphere, menu and its fee free. The sushi bar in the main atrium looks beautiful and food delicious but never got a chance to try. Main difference on this ship is the horizon court/bistro. This area has been majorly expanded and Princess have taken this to another level dividing it into a bistro for a quick bite, and court for a substantial buffet meal including indian, Mexican, Chinese and others. They have also incorporated the crab shack and fondu in this area-for a small fee. Top deck:-Fantastic top deck with the largest pools I have seen at sea. Movies under the stars has been expanded and the screen is double the size. I feel princess could make more of this at night by putting a few movies on instead of one or two. The adults only area is wonderful, especially the sanctuary and pool area. Stunning and the best in the industry! Cabins:- We had a standard balcony cabin on caribe deck. Very comfortable cabin but I was slightly disappointed with the shower curtain coming back. Think the way other cruise lines have gone with the glass door is the way to go. TV is great as is the new entertainment system "movies on demand" Crew:-Excellent and friendly crew who seem to be getting to ropes with the new ship. Give the staff a few weeks to settle in and this will be up to scratch. Overall, great 2 day cruise. We have booked in September which we are very excited aboutAnd feel the little niggles will have been sorted out by the. The ship as I have previously stated is wonderful, a huge improvement to other princess ships with the azing piazza, expanded pool deck and fabulous dinning options. Royal Princess is now a real contender in its industry. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We booked this Cruise in January 2013 to celebrate a friends special birthday. We have sailed with Princess on five previous occasions and have been upgraded to Platinum status. Princess have, for the past year made a huge deal about this ... Read More
We booked this Cruise in January 2013 to celebrate a friends special birthday. We have sailed with Princess on five previous occasions and have been upgraded to Platinum status. Princess have, for the past year made a huge deal about this Cruise with loads on videos and emails. To be honest, we were very excited at the thought of going to this trip.   Embarkation was fine. As a Platinum guest we had priority. We were lucky enough to be amongst the first new guests on board. The looked great. Although the length of the ship does not seem any longer than other ships we have been on, Crown Princess, Sea Princess, Ruby Princess it is a lot taller. Everything smelt brand new. The Atrium is a marvel. top points to Princess for the new design. The layout of this was somewhat different from the norm, which was a pleasant surprise.   Upon embarking, as one does, we headed straight up to the Horizon Court. The Horizon Court was very light and airy with the décor being very pleasant. Instead of the usual buffet lines, the design is totally different with long self service counters with a variety of different foods. Unfortunately, a lot of the food was repeated and what appeared to be a great choice turned out not to be. The hot food was not hot. The food was very bland with many passengers making derogatory comments. The service was good.   After lunch we headed to our Cabin. The cabin was very nice. Similar in size to what one would expect. We had a balcony cabin made up with a queen bed. A nice touch was the wall mounted wide screen TV with a great selection of films and TV box sets on demand at no extra cost. The cabin steward was great., Our room was clean and tidy at all times. The guy was polite and unobtrusive. Room service was good and on time.   Princess then, in my opinion really messed up. The first night was billed as a Formal night. The customary champagne waterfall was scheduled. We arrived as billed. No fuss was made of the new ship and the captain said nothing. Only a few drinks were handed around and I didn't see any canapés. A huge opportunity to welcome everyone aboard and to make everyone feel special was missed.   We opted, with our friends for anytime dining. In the afternoon we had phoned and made a reservation. No complaints surrounding this process. The food however was unimaginative, was cold and bland. Very disappointing.   After Dinner, having explored the ship we headed for the Show. The Princess Theatre on this ship has been designed differently than the other ships. Whilst the seats are more comfortable they no longer have trays to put your drinks. Only two narrow walkways now existing from the top to the bottom. The scenery and lighting was excellent as was the sound. The Princess Dancers were fantastic although the show itself was not to my taste.   In my opinion, the real let down of this trip was the Cruise Director and his staff. We have been unfortunate enough to have had the same Cruise Director, Ron Goodman on a previous trip. The guy was never around the ship and I don't think we saw his staff more than once. The guy is totally false.   We were due to visit Guernsey, but due to poor weather we could not dock. Princess had a captive audience. Hundreds of people were milling around the central atrium most sitting bored. The ship hurriedly produced a new Princess Patter but it was clear that the Ship not only had no B plan, but didn't have a C, D or E Plan. A friend of mine approach Goodman and said to the effect, hey, do something, you have a captive audience, this is a new ship, people are bored all he said was, 'thanks for your comments' and walked off. This guy and his team are doing Princess no favours.   All in all, having taken a number of cruises before, our party of 8 all felt let down by this whole experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
This is without a doubt a lovely ship and my review like others will detail some aspects that need improving. It is a subjective thing to write a review such as this but im a firm believer that reviews like this can make other peoples ... Read More
This is without a doubt a lovely ship and my review like others will detail some aspects that need improving. It is a subjective thing to write a review such as this but im a firm believer that reviews like this can make other peoples vacations better for the future. Bare in mind this was a 2 night trip. The Positives. Shows were fantastic and generally all the areas of the ship worked very well. Loved the big bed in the Stateroom along with the massive TV. Food was excellent at all times. Nice selection of films in the stateroom. Loved the idea of a full TV film studio, that’s an excellent choice. Negatives. I do wonder who buys the WiFi package on these ships for some $70 !! Shower in room 530 packed up one evening at peak time, this might just be a glitch. The main Theatre has no room to place a drink. Mid Ship stair well, there is none, you get a lift or nothing. Stairs only front and back. No colour coded carpets on Port / Starboard. Serving staff don’t always understand English. They got it wrong a few times. I asked for Porridge and no one knew what I was on about. No BINGO, oh come on, all ships have something like Bingo to entertain. Missing a trick here guys. No Party feel to this launch week event, where was the Party feel, there was nothing. No Souvenir too, it’s a special week, would you not expect a small gift? Staff in Restraints can be variable, we were a bit rushed the second night and there was not really a choice to come back to same serving staff the next night. We had to book over the phone. Last night no Party feel, they closed the Casino at 12 !! as we had entered UK waters. Could we not have just stayed back a bit, it was the last night? We went to Guernsey and back but could not get off, this was outside the control of the crew and ship of course but could we not at least have seen Guernsey from a point at sea, we saw nothing, we could have been anywhere. The Buffet has no real flow, you go to get some fruit and then wonder where you might get a bowl from. Staff take plates and bits away from you before your really finished. Oh and can we just apply our own tips to staff. This works better on other companies like Thomson's as those guys really work for their tips. All in all this was a good trip and we would go on the ship again. It does need to have a better feel though, it just felt a bit stilted. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Royal Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 3.5 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 3.2

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