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Having just returned from our 10-Day cruise on the Royal Princess I felt compelled to do something I don't usually do....write a cruise review. I have seen many of the reviews regarding the Royal Princess and just feel that I must share our experience. My wife and I have sailed on a total of 9 Princess Cruises, as well as RCCL, NCL and Disney, and quite frankly have never really had a bad experience on a cruise, however, we have settled into Princess simply because it best fit our needs. We have very much enjoyed the Grand Class ships and there was nothing on the Royal that we did not enjoy as much or more. We had no problem at embarkation, arriving at the terminal about 11:15 and were having pizza at Alfredo's about 12:10. The Royal is a beautiful ship with an absolutely stunning Atrium and Piazza area that is really well laid out. The lack of the center staircase had no effect on us, and after the opening day I just didn't see it being a problem. While the lack of the Promenade is something of a disappointment it becomes much less so when you see all of the other wonderful walking areas throughout. I liked the changes with the opening up of the Crown Grille and Wheelhouse Bar areas as well as the location of Sabatinis. The new Spa location is outstanding and obviously is a better marketing location for the product. The pool deck is well laid out and roomy. Overall the public areas on this ship are quite nice. Room: We are always on the Lido deck and this time enjoyed a Mini-Suite. The Mini-Suites are really well laid out rooms with plenty of area and an excellent use of storage. The bathroom is the largest we have had and the full sized tub was really nice. The veranda is the same size as the standard balconies of the Grand Ships so there was no difference there, however, they try to put a larger table on it which takes up too much room, making it seem a bit tighter. Dining: As always the food was very good. We ate 5 nights in the MDR with pretty much the standard array of menus, good selection, however, I had a few things that I felt were not quite as good as some past cruises. Service was really good on 4 nights and on the other night we were in an area where the crew just didn't have it together, not terrible service, just not good. We loved our dinners at both the Crown Grille and Sabetinis, wonderful food as always and the service was fantastic! We ate 3 nights in the buffet, which is so much larger and roomier than the Grand Class of ships. Food choices were almost overwhelming and quality was quite good. If I have a complaint it is that they are trying to do too much in the Horizon Court and it becomes quite overwhelming and you spend too much time walking around. The breakfasts in the Horizon Court are good and we only grabbed lunch there a couple of times which of course, offers a lot of choices. For lunch we usually just grab a slice of pizza or a burger poolside. We also enjoyed Alfredo's two times and found this to be a wonderful spot for pizza and antipasto. My personal favorite spot it to enjoy the International Cafe on deck 5 for a coffee, sweets or really wonderful sandwiches. We also enjoyed the Gelato shop a few times for some enjoyable ice cream. We used the pool area much more on this cruise than previous ones since it just never was very busy on the Lido deck and was easy to find a nice area to lounge, although you do need to play the sun to get the shadier areas if you are looking for that. I also did the pass for the entire cruise in the Spa to use the steam rooms, whirlpool, showers, and stone beds and I must say I absolutely enjoyed this area a great deal, spending about 2 hours there each day. Ports of call were fine, we've been to all of them quite a few times and don't really worry about our stops in the Caribbean, we get off to shop a bit, enjoy a beach bar, things like that. I love the Grand Ships but the Royal was fantastic and I would look forward to a return trip on it again....as always the service was fantastic and I especially thought the bar staff were really good on this ship. Oh, one last thing, we did the all-inclusive drink package on this cruise which is new to Princess and while we are not big drinkers by any means we really enjoyed having it. It includes soda, coffee, bottled water and gelato as well and in our case we had 3-4 drinks during the day, a couple of glasses of wine at dinner and an evening cocktail or two and definately got our moneys worth when we threw in a few cappucinos, ice cream and sodas.  

Our Favorite Princess Ship Yet!!

Royal Princess Cruise Review by Culinarycruiseguy

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2014
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
Having just returned from our 10-Day cruise on the Royal Princess I felt compelled to do something I don't usually do....write a cruise review. I have seen many of the reviews regarding the Royal Princess and just feel that I must share our experience. My wife and I have sailed on a total of 9 Princess Cruises, as well as RCCL, NCL and Disney, and quite frankly have never really had a bad experience on a cruise, however, we have settled into Princess simply because it best fit our needs. We have very much enjoyed the Grand Class ships and there was nothing on the Royal that we did not enjoy as much or more.
We had no problem at embarkation, arriving at the terminal about 11:15 and were having pizza at Alfredo's about 12:10.
The Royal is a beautiful ship with an absolutely stunning Atrium and Piazza area that is really well laid out. The lack of the center staircase had no effect on us, and after the opening day I just didn't see it being a problem. While the lack of the Promenade is something of a disappointment it becomes much less so when you see all of the other wonderful walking areas throughout. I liked the changes with the opening up of the Crown Grille and Wheelhouse Bar areas as well as the location of Sabatinis. The new Spa location is outstanding and obviously is a better marketing location for the product. The pool deck is well laid out and roomy. Overall the public areas on this ship are quite nice.
Room: We are always on the Lido deck and this time enjoyed a Mini-Suite. The Mini-Suites are really well laid out rooms with plenty of area and an excellent use of storage. The bathroom is the largest we have had and the full sized tub was really nice. The veranda is the same size as the standard balconies of the Grand Ships so there was no difference there, however, they try to put a larger table on it which takes up too much room, making it seem a bit tighter.
Dining: As always the food was very good. We ate 5 nights in the MDR with pretty much the standard array of menus, good selection, however, I had a few things that I felt were not quite as good as some past cruises. Service was really good on 4 nights and on the other night we were in an area where the crew just didn't have it together, not terrible service, just not good. We loved our dinners at both the Crown Grille and Sabetinis, wonderful food as always and the service was fantastic! We ate 3 nights in the buffet, which is so much larger and roomier than the Grand Class of ships. Food choices were almost overwhelming and quality was quite good. If I have a complaint it is that they are trying to do too much in the Horizon Court and it becomes quite overwhelming and you spend too much time walking around. The breakfasts in the Horizon Court are good and we only grabbed lunch there a couple of times which of course, offers a lot of choices. For lunch we usually just grab a slice of pizza or a burger poolside. We also enjoyed Alfredo's two times and found this to be a wonderful spot for pizza and antipasto. My personal favorite spot it to enjoy the International Cafe on deck 5 for a coffee, sweets or really wonderful sandwiches. We also enjoyed the Gelato shop a few times for some enjoyable ice cream.
We used the pool area much more on this cruise than previous ones since it just never was very busy on the Lido deck and was easy to find a nice area to lounge, although you do need to play the sun to get the shadier areas if you are looking for that. I also did the pass for the entire cruise in the Spa to use the steam rooms, whirlpool, showers, and stone beds and I must say I absolutely enjoyed this area a great deal, spending about 2 hours there each day.
Ports of call were fine, we've been to all of them quite a few times and don't really worry about our stops in the Caribbean, we get off to shop a bit, enjoy a beach bar, things like that.
I love the Grand Ships but the Royal was fantastic and I would look forward to a return trip on it again....as always the service was fantastic and I especially thought the bar staff were really good on this ship. Oh, one last thing, we did the all-inclusive drink package on this cruise which is new to Princess and while we are not big drinkers by any means we really enjoyed having it. It includes soda, coffee, bottled water and gelato as well and in our case we had 3-4 drinks during the day, a couple of glasses of wine at dinner and an evening cocktail or two and definately got our moneys worth when we threw in a few cappucinos, ice cream and sodas.
 
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