First and foremost I would like to say that the Regal Princess is absolutely gorgeous. I liked so many things about this ship from the Piazza, Princess Live, Swimming Pools, Spa, and other public spaces. I especially liked the way the main pool was designed. It allowed for lots of room for wadding.
Itinerary. Eastern Caribbean. Please, Please bring back 4 ports. Princess Cays was cancelled due to high wind and 5 sea days on a boat (especially this one) is way too long. If you are not going to bring back 4 ports then please, please have more activities!!!! So boring.
Dining Room. It was pretty hit or miss. The beef in the main dining rooms was so incredibly grainy. If you like the outback special sirloin, then you probably wont have any problem with the beef. However if you do have a problem then I suggest that you choose anything but steak.
Buffet. I think the food was much better in this location. And by far the best variety I have seen on any cruise. This is saying a lot since I usually despise any kind of buffet.
Fish and Chips. Do make sure to try the fish and chips in the Crown Grill during some sea days. The head Chef is British and they are fantastic!!!
Kids Club. There were only about 50 kids from the age of 3-16 aboard the ship, out of 3,550 passengers. 25 kids were 3-8. It didn't bother my son one bit. He had a great time in the kids club. He kept asking to go back...it actually shocked us that he wanted to go there so much since there were only about 1 or 2 other kids in the room at any given time.
Family. While the kids club was fun...there was very little for younger families to do together. The putting green only had adult clubs. The golf simulator also only had adult clubs. The basketball court was very popular with adults and it was difficult to have time out there with our son. The water fountain was available for the kids to run through 9-11 am on certain days. And nothing planned for families to do things together. We ended up playing a lot of Bingo...
MORE ON FAMILY. We had anytime dining. On the morning (9am) of the "formal evening" day, I tried to call to make a reservation in the dining room since I knew they would be extremely busy since it was the first formal evening. I was told they were already full for reservations because they were only allowed to take reservations for 30% of the dining room and the earliest was 7:45pm. I told them that accommodating my 530 pm request was a win/win situation since early dining meant my 5 year old wouldn't be fussy and screaming through the restaurant. My words fell on deaf ears. I asked to speak to the Maitre'd, I was told that he wasn't available until 5pm. So then I went to the pursers desk. They looked at me like I was crazy. So then I hunted down the assistant cruise director and told him our situation. He said this is easy and made it happen. In the long run we ended up with a standing 545 reservation but I couldn't believe that it took me going to that level to accommodate something that should have been a priority. Oh and by the way when we showed up for our reservation at 545 the people who hadn't made a reservation were told they would have to wait an hour. Set reservations on the first date probably is the best way to go if you prefer to dine before 8pm.
I will say the staff was extremely friendly to our son and did go out of their way to say hi or stop and talk to him. I have read some reviews about the staff being unfriendly towards their kid and I can honestly say that did not happen even once in the seven days. It was the complete opposite.
SHOWS and entertainment
The shows were top notch. Kuddos. Some of the entertainment was great. One thing that bothered me was that in the Piazza the music was always old and waltzy. I like all types of music but some variety would be great. I know, I know, some people only go on cruises to show others that they learned a few steps in dance school but a couple nights of fun maybe even somewhat current music would have been a nice variety. There might have been more fun current music aboard the ship but if it started after 10pm, I wouldn't have known. I would have liked to have seen more entertainment in the piazza during sea days. The culinary show hosted by the head Chef and Maitr'D was pretty entertaining.
THE ENCLAVE in the Spa
Beautiful peaceful space. With that said...I have been to better hydro-therapy pools. There were some inconsistencies. For instance some days the tiled chairs were heated more than on other days.. Sometimes there were aromas in the steam room, sometimes not. I have never been to a Sauna that was heated to about 82 degrees. Nit picking, I know. Over all I enjoyed it.
This was my 3rd cruise with Princess and my sons 2nd. In the past we have enjoyed sailing with Princess. We are in the minority of the younger generation and we do enjoy dressing up (both smart casual and formal) for dinner. We find that the shows are tasteful and appeals to a classy clientele. However with said, I would not choose this cruise ship or itinerary again. I found myself bored. I mean BORED! I have never wanted to get off a ship before it was time to leave (even with 10 day cruises)...but I was ready to leave on the 6th day.I also want to have more activities to do together as a family. If Princess wants any hope of getting families back on board this ship they are going to have to do a bit more to cater to families.
I would not recommend this particular stateroom. I heard music, mostly bass from the lounge directly beneath the room every single night. It usually stopped by 12am but there were a couple of nights that I was annoyed trying to fall asleep. Also the shipped moved differently back there more than any other place on this boat. The movement is hard to describe..but we believe it either had to do with the propellers, stabilizers or something with the engine. Either way the movement was annoying. We looked for the same movement slightly further up at the crown grill and did not feel the movement.