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This is a review of the Royal Princess cruise to Princess Cays and Grand Turk in December, 2014. The views and opinions in this review are mine alone and represent my experience on the Royal Princess. DW and I have cruised several times, primarily on Princess. We are from the Midwest and fly to ports out of MCI or OMA. This particular cruise was not nearly full of passengers. Princess staff reported 2,100 guests onboard. We never felt crowded or hurried. Ratings are 1-5 stars with 5 being best. The sections: * Princess Customer Service *Pre Cruise Accommodations *Embarcation *The Ship *Service Personnel Onboard *Food *Entertainment *Excursions *Surprises and Overall Impressions ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- *Princess Customer Service: I have never had anything but excellent customer service from the folks at Princess. We work through a TA, but have had several occasions to visit with Princess directly. They are always helpful and cheerful. Rating 5 stars. *Pre Cruise Accommodations: Since we live half a country away from Florida, we always fly in a day before departure. We are Marriott Gold members so we try to stay at a Marriott near the cruiseport. This trip we stayed at the Courtyard Cruiseport Ft. Lauderdale. They provide complimentary shuttle service to both the airport and from the hotel to the cruiseport. We found the accommodations to be very good with the only complaint being that the Courtyard brand does not have complimentary breakfasts. Availability of coffee service is limited to what the Bistro serves. The shuttle to the cruiseport was efficient and on time. Rating 4 stars. *Embarcation: We used the short line because of our Platinum Captain's Circle status. This is a big time saver and it was only 20 minutes through security, filling out the forms, and checking in. Several Princess staff along the way to help passengers move from one area to another. Rating 5 stars. *The Ship: Specifically chose this cruise and ship because of the new design. We were not dissapointed. The piazza area is expanded with new a new sit-down restaurant (Alfredo's) in this area. Comments about the ship I read before booking included concerns about the lack of stairs in the middle of the ship, unavailability of eleavators, and tiny staterooms...especially the balcony rooms. The lack of stairs was not a major issue with us. We simply used the stairs forward and aft if we needed to use the stairways. Elevators were for the most part available within a short time (30-60 seconds). Remember this cruise was only 2/3 full of passengers so that may have had an impact. Princess got smart at embarcation and had staff in each of the eleavators upon arriving onboard to press buttons and guide passengers. As for the rooms ... we originally booked a balcony stateroom but were offered a mini-suite upgrade at a reasonable price and took that option. We were starboard midship mini-suite and thoroughly enjoyed our stateroom. With a full tub and shower there was plenty of room. Full sofa with an additional tv helped the situation where one person wanted to read and the other watch tv. Interactive tv programming is available with movies or a limited number of tv series also available. The shipboard accounts are also available on tv. A most impressive feature was the onboard intranet. The Princess patter was available on smartphones with all activities visible. It worked great! If you travel with CPAP equipment (both DW and I do) it is possible to order distilled water for the equipment prior to sailing. We brought our own extension cord with us as it had been necessary on previous sailings. The interesting part was that there were NO outlets on the bed headboard side of the cabin. We aquired another longer extension cord from our cabin steward, but had to string two cords together to get power over to the headboard side of the cabin. This is a design flaw. I understand that having outlets every 6 feet is not possible, but one outlet near the head of the bed would be much appreciated. I needed to remind myself that on a moving ship it is best to use the assist bars when entering and exiting the tub. Climbing over what seemed a too tall edge of the tub was a bit difficult. The balcony was one of the angled configuration with plenty of room for two people to breakfast or just read. Rating 4.5 stars. *Service Personnel Onboard: Our cabin steward was very good. We had two issues which he solved very quickly and to our satisfaction. We did not dine in the MDR often, but when we did the staff there were welcoming and helpful. Horizon Court staff seemed constantly rushed but still smiling and helpful. Rating 5 stars. *Food: DW and I both thought the food was a step down from previous cruises on Princess and other lines. The Horizon Court food was repetative and not seasoned well. The taco bar offering was very good, but most desserts were simply not tasty. MDR food was good with adequate portions. We really enjoyed the food at Alfredo's. This is a new meal offering and is not an extra cost. They have pizza (better than other pizza onboard) and other Italian dishes. The baguettes were very good. The food was always well presented wherever we went. Rating 3.5 stars. *Entertainment: In the main showroom the shows were very good. Singers and dancers were very talented and professional. The shows reminded me of Vegas reviews with the one on the last night particularly well done. The magician (David Katz) was fabulous. We saw his shows in both the main showroom and other venues. Whenever he preformed, we were there and he produced some amazing tricks with cards. The comedians were tired and not really funny. Rating 4 stars. *Excursions: We had been to Princess Cays before and just leisurely strolled the beach area and had lunch there. Princess has made improvements since we were there last with more areas being covered with roofs. The Grand Turk excursion we took was "Hop onand Hop Off" and it was OK. Visited some museums where no on got off the bus and a lighthouse. Not an expensive excursion which showcased the island. Our driver was informative and knowledgeable. Rating 3 stars. *Surprises and Overall Impressions: A couple of things in this area. We were impressed with the upgrades to seating throughout the ship. Comfort seems to be more of a priority now. There was a noticeable emphasis on seating for two. The ship itself is a step up from other Princess ships we have been on. The sea walk was cool to see once or twice. Not a show stopper. The dancing fountains were ok but not something I would describe as a must see. As to the size of the stateroom...we had a mini-suite with an angled balcony which served us very well. Plenty of space both inside the cabin and on the balcony. The jogging/walking track: A couple of tips here...the track is divided into two lanes, one for jogging and one for walking. This is not an area for a group to stand 4 across discussing where they will go for dinner. Those of us who walk/jog for exercise enjoy this time in the sea air. I don't want to sound like an exercise snob, but, really, people, if you are walking or jogging on the trank and cannot see the lane identification notations...you are walking the WRONG direction. There are exercise stations around the track which were being used by several passengers. It is seven laps to a mile. Kudos to Princess for being involved in the Komen Foundation in research for a breast cancer cure. I participated and enjoyed the walk. DW and I prefer Princess to the other lines we have sailed. We have yet to experience a perfect cruise but appreciate the overall attitude of staff and a feeling of being welcome onboard. The value factor with Princess has not yet been topped. The Princess Royal met our expectations and exceeded them in many ways. We had a very enjoyable trip. Can't wait for Jan 9 and a Panama Canal cruise on the Island Princess.  

Royal Princess Grand Turk Cruise

Royal Princess Cruise Review by arejbeeRB

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2014
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
This is a review of the Royal Princess cruise to Princess Cays and Grand Turk in December, 2014.
The views and opinions in this review are mine alone and represent my experience on the Royal Princess. DW and I have cruised several times, primarily on Princess. We are from the Midwest and fly to ports out of MCI or OMA. This particular cruise was not nearly full of passengers. Princess staff reported 2,100 guests onboard. We never felt crowded or hurried. Ratings are 1-5 stars with 5 being best.
The sections:
* Princess Customer Service
*Pre Cruise Accommodations
*Embarcation
*The Ship
*Service Personnel Onboard
*Food
*Entertainment
*Excursions
*Surprises and Overall Impressions
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*Princess Customer Service: I have never had anything but excellent customer service from the folks at Princess. We work through a TA, but have had several occasions to visit with Princess directly. They are always helpful and cheerful. Rating 5 stars.
*Pre Cruise Accommodations: Since we live half a country away from Florida, we always fly in a day before departure. We are Marriott Gold members so we try to stay at a Marriott near the cruiseport.
This trip we stayed at the Courtyard Cruiseport Ft. Lauderdale. They provide complimentary shuttle service to both the airport and from the hotel to the cruiseport. We found the accommodations to be very good with the only complaint being that the Courtyard brand does not have complimentary breakfasts. Availability of coffee service is limited to what the Bistro serves. The shuttle to the cruiseport was efficient and on time. Rating 4 stars.
*Embarcation: We used the short line because of our Platinum Captain's Circle status. This is a big time saver and it was only 20 minutes through security, filling out the forms, and checking in. Several Princess staff along the way to help passengers move from one area to another. Rating 5 stars.
*The Ship: Specifically chose this cruise and ship because of the new design. We were not dissapointed.
The piazza area is expanded with new a new sit-down restaurant (Alfredo's) in this area. Comments about the ship I read before booking included concerns about the lack of stairs in the middle of the ship, unavailability of eleavators, and tiny staterooms...especially the balcony rooms. The lack of stairs was not a major issue with us. We simply used the stairs forward and aft if we needed to use the stairways.
Elevators were for the most part available within a short time (30-60 seconds). Remember this cruise was only 2/3 full of passengers so that may have had an impact. Princess got smart at embarcation and had staff in each of the eleavators upon arriving onboard to press buttons and guide passengers. As for the rooms ... we originally booked a balcony stateroom but were offered a mini-suite upgrade at a reasonable price and took that option. We were starboard midship mini-suite and thoroughly enjoyed our stateroom. With a full tub and shower there was plenty of room. Full sofa with an additional tv helped the situation where one person wanted to read and the other watch tv. Interactive tv programming is available with movies or a limited number of tv series also available. The shipboard accounts are also available on tv. A most impressive feature was the onboard intranet. The Princess patter was available on smartphones with all activities visible. It worked great!
If you travel with CPAP equipment (both DW and I do) it is possible to order distilled water for the equipment prior to sailing. We brought our own extension cord with us as it had been necessary on previous sailings. The interesting part was that there were NO outlets on the bed headboard side of the cabin. We aquired another longer extension cord from our cabin steward, but had to string two cords together to get power over to the headboard side of the cabin. This is a design flaw.
I understand that having outlets every 6 feet is not possible, but one outlet near the head of the bed would be much appreciated.
I needed to remind myself that on a moving ship it is best to use the assist bars when entering and exiting the tub. Climbing over what seemed a too tall edge of the tub was a bit difficult. The balcony was one of the angled configuration with plenty of room for two people to breakfast or just read. Rating 4.5 stars.
*Service Personnel Onboard: Our cabin steward was very good. We had two issues which he solved very quickly and to our satisfaction. We did not dine in the MDR often, but when we did the staff there were welcoming and helpful. Horizon Court staff seemed constantly rushed but still smiling and helpful.
Rating 5 stars.
*Food: DW and I both thought the food was a step down from previous cruises on Princess and other lines. The Horizon Court food was repetative and not seasoned well. The taco bar offering was very good, but most desserts were simply not tasty. MDR food was good with adequate portions. We really enjoyed the food at Alfredo's. This is a new meal offering and is not an extra cost. They have pizza (better than other pizza onboard) and other Italian dishes. The baguettes were very good. The food was always well presented wherever we went. Rating 3.5 stars.
*Entertainment: In the main showroom the shows were very good. Singers and dancers were very talented and professional. The shows reminded me of Vegas reviews with the one on the last night particularly well done. The magician (David Katz) was fabulous. We saw his shows in both the main showroom and other venues. Whenever he preformed, we were there and he produced some amazing tricks with cards. The comedians were tired and not really funny. Rating 4 stars.
*Excursions: We had been to Princess Cays before and just leisurely strolled the beach area and had lunch there. Princess has made improvements since we were there last with more areas being covered with roofs. The Grand Turk excursion we took was "Hop onand Hop Off" and it was OK. Visited some museums where no on got off the bus and a lighthouse. Not an expensive excursion which showcased the island. Our driver was informative and knowledgeable. Rating 3 stars.
*Surprises and Overall Impressions: A couple of things in this area. We were impressed with the upgrades to seating throughout the ship. Comfort seems to be more of a priority now. There was a noticeable emphasis on seating for two.
The ship itself is a step up from other Princess ships we have been on. The sea walk was cool to see once or twice. Not a show stopper. The dancing fountains were ok but not something I would describe as a must see. As to the size of the stateroom...we had a mini-suite with an angled balcony which served us very well. Plenty of space both inside the cabin and on the balcony.
The jogging/walking track: A couple of tips here...the track is divided into two lanes, one for jogging and one for walking. This is not an area for a group to stand 4 across discussing where they will go for dinner. Those of us who walk/jog for exercise enjoy this time in the sea air. I don't want to sound like an exercise snob, but, really, people, if you are walking or jogging on the trank and cannot see the lane identification notations...you are walking the WRONG direction. There are exercise stations around the track which were being used by several passengers. It is seven laps to a mile. Kudos to Princess for being involved in the Komen Foundation in research for a breast cancer cure. I participated and enjoyed the walk.
DW and I prefer Princess to the other lines we have sailed. We have yet to experience a perfect cruise but appreciate the overall attitude of staff and a feeling of being welcome onboard. The value factor with Princess has not yet been topped. The Princess Royal met our expectations and exceeded them in many ways. We had a very enjoyable trip.
Can't wait for Jan 9 and a Panama Canal cruise on the Island Princess.
 
arejbeeRB’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
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