We just returned back from Europe after sailing a 7 night western Mediterranean cruise. This was only our 4th cruise so we can only compare the Regal against the Royal Caribbean Oasis/Liberty and Carnival Legend. A little about ourselves - we are a couple in our mid 30's with a toddler. We enjoy new experiences and like to try different cruise lines. This was also the first time we cruised with Princess so we were not sure what to expect. The main reason we chose this cruise was the itinerary and the fact that the ship is brand new.
1. Food was a lot better on Regal than any other previous ship we have been on. We enjoyed it a lot.
2. Liked how they did not nickel and dime us as much as they do on the other cruise lines. For example, bought a soda at dinner and since it was a fountain drink, they gave me free refills. The employees also go the extra mile in hopes of more gratuities like giving an extra plate of lobster.
3. Embarkation and Disembarking were super easy. We never had to wait long and even port tenders took only 5 minutes.
4. Our cruise had 3,000+ passengers but never felt crowded. This was my biggest complaint on Royal & Carnival. We never really had to wait for anything while on the ship.
5. Princess has a dedicated person onboard that provides information about each port. His lectures are also available on Video on Demand in your room. Good for people that want to save some money and do excursions by themselves.
6. Best Video on Demand system I have experienced on a cruise ship. Lots of movies. My son was thoroughly entertained but I had to watch Lego the Movie multiple times and sing "Everything is AWESOME". However, it was only good when it worked.
7. Elevators are much faster than other ships.
8. The ship is beautiful and the artwork/photography is much nicer than some other ships.
Not so good
1. This is an age 50+ cruise with most activities and entertainment aimed towards them.
2. I would not recommend staying at the front of the ship as almost all food options are either in the aft or middle of ship. Needless to say we walked back and forth a lot.
3. Went to both specialty dining restaurants and they were both good but not spectacular
4. Did not like how the buffet was designed. Everything has it’s own section but since there are multiple stations of the same things, many times you had to pass the same food twice to find new food.
5. Shows were not very good at all. During the first show, they singled out all the 50+ years of marriage people and sang songs for them.
6. Spa was ok but did not like the heavy upsell of products. Instead of trying to sell you one bottle of lotion, they try to sell you a 2 month supply! Come on. I'm just there to relax. Also, my wife felt taken advantage of as she had a spa treatment on 2nd day of cruise for $199 for 75mins. On the 6th and 7th day of cruise, I had 60min treatment for $99.
7. My standard balcony cabins was smaller than the equivalent of other cruises. As a result, it did not have a sofa.
8. The biggest issue is the design of the flow of the ship. The passenger flow was just not smooth. For instance, our dining hall was on level 6 aft. However, you cannot reach it if you are on level 6 coming from the front. You have to go up to level 7 then go back down to level 6.
9. Video on Demand would always freak out at night. Never got an explanation but I believe it just could not handle too many people watching at the same time. This also meant that we could not watch regular tv either.
At the end, my wife and I enjoyed the cruise very much. But being in our 30’s with a child, there are probably better options for us. We won't give up on Princess just yet but will have to try other cruise lines before returning.