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We have done 32 cruises and this was our first Princess cruise. From beginning to end we enjoyed the cruise. We were on deck 12. The ship is new and beautifully appointed. The balcony cabins are a bit small but not uncomfortable. The balcony is fine for two people. The bathroom is smaller then we are used to. The shower, for a big/tall guy, is very tricky. Our cabin steward Michael was over the top great. Professional, personable and when you went to breakfast the cabin was made up perfectly when you returned after breakfast. As we spend so little time in the cabin these issues weren't that bad but a bit larger would have been better. Entertainment: Like so many other cruise ships the entertainment is either just ok or a waste of time. In the past several years many cruise lines are really cutting back on quality entertainment and Princess is no exception. Many high school productions are better. Breakfast: 3 dining rooms and only 1 open for 2 hrs. for breakfast. So you go to the Horizon Buffet. Same food everyday and not very good. Hot food is usually warm at best. They have a nice touch where the staff bring coffee/tea & drinks so you don't need to go to the coffee/drinks stations for refills. Lunch: 7 days and 1 dining room open twice during the cruise for lunch. Buffet again. Except for a different carving meat each day the buffet was the same. But no sandwiches, at all. You could get some cheese and either sliced ham/turkey and make your own but no sandwich station. There was a pizza station near the pool and not bad but the hamburger/hot dog station was abysmal. Seems they precook the burgers and put them in a warming drawer. You ask for a burger and he puts the precooked burger on the grill to "warm up". You get a burger so well done it looks grey, dry and tasteless. Seems no one goes back for seconds. Same with the hot dogs. The fries are always cold. There is the pool bar between the pizza & burger stations. People would even just get fries to have with their drinks and the poor bartender was constantly throwing away the plates of cold uneaten fries. Dinner: 3 dining rooms, 2 specialty (extra charge) dining rooms, the buffet and two stack areas are your options. Anytime dining is great with no set time and we had no problems with getting a table and a table for 2 was also easy. Thankfully, they designed the ship with many tables for 2. The staff were great and professional and personable. The food is edible, almost institutional in presentation and quality. Some wonderful individual items but each meal had food that hopefully we will never see again. Bars/Lounges: There are many and all nicely appointed. We purchased the drinks package so we didn't need to be passing our cards over and signing receipts and just for the convenience. Forget it! They asked for our card every time we asked of a liquor, soda, specialty coffee, etc. And we had to sign a receipt for each drink and the receipt stated $0.00!!! I know they want to keep an inventory but the receipt nonsense get really annoying. Excursions: Now, they were expensive. But all ships are really upping the pricing on excursions and we have found that we see more, do more and enjoy our own tours. We walk on our own, get a cab and in many places the cabbie is our guide for a fraction of the ships cost. And if the port is special for us , we pay & plan in advance, to have our own private tours. Sometimes the cost is greater but it is the two of us and our driver/guide and not 40+ people complaining and needing to go to the bathroom at every stop. Activities: Other then spa treatments and all the other beauty seminars - trivia - and the awful art department that tries to sell you one the "original works of art" that is just a paper copy, there we no activities on board. No enrichment lectures or port lectures, nothing. Again, the entertainment department downsizing. We wanted to get away for just a week and not use an airline. This roundtrip NYC was perfect as we parked our car in the pier parking lot. Our travel agent got us a great deal on our balcony cabin that was almost cheaper then the inside pricing. And plenty of shipboard credits too. It was a nice getaway and we would sail with this ship again as we keep our expectations low so we are not greatly disappointed. But I will say that all during the cruise we kept comparing the Royal Princess with the Cunard line and it just about every category, Princess was better the Cunard. And they are both owned by Carnival LLC. We have done 15 cruises with Cunard and unfortunately since Carnival LLC took over it is just living off it's former glory. At least Princess is faring a little better.

Nice First Experience, But Not Great

Royal Princess Cruise Review by zak477

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
We have done 32 cruises and this was our first Princess cruise. From beginning to end we enjoyed the cruise. We were on deck 12.
The ship is new and beautifully appointed. The balcony cabins are a bit small but not uncomfortable. The balcony is fine for two people. The bathroom is smaller then we are used to. The shower, for a big/tall guy, is very tricky. Our cabin steward Michael was over the top great. Professional, personable and when you went to breakfast the cabin was made up perfectly when you returned after breakfast. As we spend so little time in the cabin these issues weren't that bad but a bit larger would have been better.
Entertainment: Like so many other cruise ships the entertainment is either just ok or a waste of time. In the past several years many cruise lines are really cutting back on quality entertainment and Princess is no exception. Many high school productions are better.
Breakfast: 3 dining rooms and only 1 open for 2 hrs. for breakfast. So you go to the Horizon Buffet. Same food everyday and not very good. Hot food is usually warm at best. They have a nice touch where the staff bring coffee/tea & drinks so you don't need to go to the coffee/drinks stations for refills.
Lunch: 7 days and 1 dining room open twice during the cruise for lunch. Buffet again. Except for a different carving meat each day the buffet was the same. But no sandwiches, at all. You could get some cheese and either sliced ham/turkey and make your own but no sandwich station. There was a pizza station near the pool and not bad but the hamburger/hot dog station was abysmal. Seems they precook the burgers and put them in a warming drawer. You ask for a burger and he puts the precooked burger on the grill to "warm up". You get a burger so well done it looks grey, dry and tasteless. Seems no one goes back for seconds. Same with the hot dogs. The fries are always cold. There is the pool bar between the pizza & burger stations. People would even just get fries to have with their drinks and the poor bartender was constantly throwing away the plates of cold uneaten fries.
Dinner: 3 dining rooms, 2 specialty (extra charge) dining rooms, the buffet and two stack areas are your options. Anytime dining is great with no set time and we had no problems with getting a table and a table for 2 was also easy. Thankfully, they designed the ship with many tables for 2. The staff were great and professional and personable. The food is edible, almost institutional in presentation and quality. Some wonderful individual items but each meal had food that hopefully we will never see again.
Bars/Lounges: There are many and all nicely appointed. We purchased the drinks package so we didn't need to be passing our cards over and signing receipts and just for the convenience. Forget it! They asked for our card every time we asked of a liquor, soda, specialty coffee, etc. And we had to sign a receipt for each drink and the receipt stated $0.00!!! I know they want to keep an inventory but the receipt nonsense get really annoying.
Excursions: Now, they were expensive. But all ships are really upping the pricing on excursions and we have found that we see more, do more and enjoy our own tours. We walk on our own, get a cab and in many places the cabbie is our guide for a fraction of the ships cost. And if the port is special for us , we pay & plan in advance, to have our own private tours. Sometimes the cost is greater but it is the two of us and our driver/guide and not 40+ people complaining and needing to go to the bathroom at every stop.
Activities: Other then spa treatments and all the other beauty seminars - trivia - and the awful art department that tries to sell you one the "original works of art" that is just a paper copy, there we no activities on board. No enrichment lectures or port lectures, nothing. Again, the entertainment department downsizing.
We wanted to get away for just a week and not use an airline. This roundtrip NYC was perfect as we parked our car in the pier parking lot. Our travel agent got us a great deal on our balcony cabin that was almost cheaper then the inside pricing. And plenty of shipboard credits too. It was a nice getaway and we would sail with this ship again as we keep our expectations low so we are not greatly disappointed. But I will say that all during the cruise we kept comparing the Royal Princess with the Cunard line and it just about every category, Princess was better the Cunard. And they are both owned by Carnival LLC. We have done 15 cruises with Cunard and unfortunately since Carnival LLC took over it is just living off it's former glory. At least Princess is faring a little better.
zak477’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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