Just returned from the 3 day sampler cruise on the Regal Princess, the newest ship on Princess Cruise Lines. It was their first voyage from a U.S. port. Boarding process was quick, easy and flawless. We had a mini-suit. Baggage was delivered to our door swiftly and the room was available immediately. The ship was in immaculate condition. The staff was helpful and courteous at all times. The ship sailed a few hours late. The only stop was Princess Cay (a small section on the island of Eluthera). The sailing was smooth as most big ships are.
The Ship has lots of places to eat, drink or just sit and people watch. There was music everywhere and they crammed a significant number of events, attractions and shows into such a short cruise. No one could possibly say they were bored. There was an interesting mixture of the upscale with the cool. A piano player singing standards at the Wheelhouse bar, a jazz violinist in the Piazza, a steel drum/calypso band on the lido deck near the pool were all nicely spread around to give you just enough of everything. The shows, Fiera and Spectacular were just that: Spectacular! Kudos to the troupe and their directors. The Princess Theater, where these shows took place is the largest at-sea indoor theater I have ever seen. It is a beautiful facility. They also use it for late night movies. Speaking of movies they ran concerts and movies on the giant movie screen on the Lido deck but the real treat was the night they ran a first run movie. The deck chairs were covered with a "Movies Under the Stars" cover. They served popcorn and hot chocolate and they had warm blankets for those who felt the chill of the night air. Nice, very nice. The food was excellent with a huge variety in the Horizon Court and nice specialities in several of the other free eateries. We did not try any of the specialty restaurants because it was such a short cruise. Our regular dining was in the Concerto dining room and the food there was very good, with a nice selection that changed each night. On the menu they kept several items the same each night so that a fickle eater could fall back on whatever he or she had the night before. Now for some disappointments - The elevators are puzzling. In some of the banks there are elevators whose up and down call buttons are not linked to the others in the bank so, at times you would be facing one way and an elevator behind you would suddenly be there. The Vista lounge, where the nightly comedian entertained is a smallish room with non-functional seating. Barrel shaped chairs took up too much space and were more a nuisance than an asset. Because it is first come first seated late comers crammed in, standing in the aisles and doorway and blocking the view of those seated already. I would suggest they have staff on the doors and close the room off once capacity is reached. One last negative. There were several rooms closed for private parties during this cruise. I hope they don't make it a habit of cordoning off areas that are for public use. We were having drinks in a lounge and were told that at six a private party had reserved the area. Not nice. Back to the positives. The stars of the "Love Boat" TV show are the godparents of the ship and they were on hand for the cruise. This was a nice touch for the older crowd who remember the show and its stars. The Piazza is a phenomenal space, allowing for performers to do their thing in a central location while people on three decks can look down and see the show. The same space was used for dancing to Beatles tunes played by a four piece Beatles look alike band, a hot rhythm and soul show by a little combo called Evolutions and on one evening, a violin quartet playing classical music and an opera singer one afternoon. A great use of space. Disembarkation was organized and uneventful. All in all we had a great time and would recommend this ship on an expanded itinerary.
The balconies are too small. We had a mini-suite and the balcony furniture, two chairs, a table and a footstool were awkward to use and difficult to maneuver around. The two TVs in our room was a great idea. I watched football while my wife watched whatever she could that wasn't football. However, due to the close proximity of the two sets the remote controls controlled them both simultaneously. The bathroom/bathtub was a great feature, especially with the handheld shower head. There was plenty of closet and storage space and the beds and pillows were very comfortable. The light switches were a little confusing at first but not rocket science. there were outlets to charge your personal items and sufficient lighting throughout, although the balcony didn't have a light (unless I just missed it). This cabin is mid to aft so the elevators were a walk either way. But, if you don't want constant foot traffic outside your door, this is a good location. Did not feel the movement of the ship, and that is another advantage of staying near mid-ship.