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We chose Royal Princess for our New England/Canada cruise because it was new, even though we were a bit concerned with some of the adverse comments on Cruise Critic. Unfortunately the reviews were mostly correct. Despite the fact that Princess very kindly gave us an upgrade to a mini-suite, we disembarked somewhat disappointed, and we still feel that way. Here is why. We thought the Royal Princess was a difficult ship in which to move around. Even after 7 days we were not able to easily find our way. One of the main reasons for this is that the ship does not have a central staircase that allows access above level 7, which is not very helpful. You have to go forward or aft to find the stairs, which we prefer to use instead of the elevators, which are often very crowded. And, it is so difficult to know whether you are walking forward or aft. This frustrated us several times every day. Surely it would not be difficult to devise some sign or marking that provided an indication of the direction in which you were walking. We do not enjoy large meals every day so often use the buffet instead of one of the main dining rooms. We like the informality of it. However, the buffet in Horizon Court and Horizon Bistro on deck 16 had the most illogical food layout that we have ever seen and this made for a frustrating experience. For example, why would the milk/cream not be with the oatmeal, or the jam and marmalade with the toast, or the salad dressings with the salads? And why were the desserts in the Horizon Bistro when the other food was in the Horizon Court? And every day the layout seemed to change so that you spent the first 10 minutes of every meal walking around the very large buffet areas trying to figure out what items were on the menu. There were passengers everywhere asking stewards where to find certain food types. The food quality in the buffet was fine, but compared to the superb buffet on the Celebrity Equinox, which we sailed on in 2013, the food selections were limited and uninspiring. Not much changed at every meal. Maybe Princess expect that most people will not visit the buffet more than a couple of times per cruise. We did venture to the formal dining rooms on three occasions, and the food was very good, as was the service. No complaints at all. But the cruise wasn't all bad. The ship is new and beautiful. Despite the very large number of passengers on board, it hardly ever felt crowded. The staff were pleasant and helpful. We thoroughly enjoyed the on-board entertainment, although there was a surprising lack of enrichment activities, particularly those related to New England. We pre-purchased excursions from Princess for every port and they were well organised and reasonable value. We especially liked the end of cruise tour of New York prior to our transfer to JFK airport for our evening flight home. We had a great driver and tour guide and think it was good value for money. We would highly recommend it for those whose flight home is late on the day of disembarkation. Will we sail with Princess again? Possibly, but not on Royal Princess.  

A Little Disappointing

Royal Princess Cruise Review by AJPNZ

Trip Details
We chose Royal Princess for our New England/Canada cruise because it was new, even though we were a bit concerned with some of the adverse comments on Cruise Critic. Unfortunately the reviews were mostly correct. Despite the fact that Princess very kindly gave us an upgrade to a mini-suite, we disembarked somewhat disappointed, and we still feel that way.
Here is why. We thought the Royal Princess was a difficult ship in which to move around. Even after 7 days we were not able to easily find our way. One of the main reasons for this is that the ship does not have a central staircase that allows access above level 7, which is not very helpful. You have to go forward or aft to find the stairs, which we prefer to use instead of the elevators, which are often very crowded. And, it is so difficult to know whether you are walking forward or aft. This frustrated us several times every day. Surely it would not be difficult to devise some sign or marking that provided an indication of the direction in which you were walking.
We do not enjoy large meals every day so often use the buffet instead of one of the main dining rooms. We like the informality of it. However, the buffet in Horizon Court and Horizon Bistro on deck 16 had the most illogical food layout that we have ever seen and this made for a frustrating experience. For example, why would the milk/cream not be with the oatmeal, or the jam and marmalade with the toast, or the salad dressings with the salads? And why were the desserts in the Horizon Bistro when the other food was in the Horizon Court? And every day the layout seemed to change so that you spent the first 10 minutes of every meal walking around the very large buffet areas trying to figure out what items were on the menu. There were passengers everywhere asking stewards where to find certain food types.
The food quality in the buffet was fine, but compared to the superb buffet on the Celebrity Equinox, which we sailed on in 2013, the food selections were limited and uninspiring. Not much changed at every meal. Maybe Princess expect that most people will not visit the buffet more than a couple of times per cruise. We did venture to the formal dining rooms on three occasions, and the food was very good, as was the service. No complaints at all.
But the cruise wasn't all bad. The ship is new and beautiful. Despite the very large number of passengers on board, it hardly ever felt crowded. The staff were pleasant and helpful. We thoroughly enjoyed the on-board entertainment, although there was a surprising lack of enrichment activities, particularly those related to New England. We pre-purchased excursions from Princess for every port and they were well organised and reasonable value. We especially liked the end of cruise tour of New York prior to our transfer to JFK airport for our evening flight home. We had a great driver and tour guide and think it was good value for money. We would highly recommend it for those whose flight home is late on the day of disembarkation.
Will we sail with Princess again? Possibly, but not on Royal Princess.
 
AJPNZ’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MC
Our mini-suite on the Caribe Deck (Deck 10 mid-forward/starboard) was very good, with a nice layout although the balcony was tiny. It was very quiet. There was lots of storage and a large closet. The bed was very comfortable and there was two large flat screen TVs - one in the seating area and one opposite the bed. The bathroom was spacious and the shower had good water flow.
Lido Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins