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We have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Norwegian, and wanted to try out Princess with this 3-day cruise. My review will mostly compare this ship to others we have been on. Embarkation was not pleasant. I'm not sure whether this relates more to the port or the cruise line. We took a taxi directly from the airport to the port. It was a little early; we arrived around 10am. Did not board the ship until around noon. Once they opened the doors, there were several bottleneck areas that were poorly managed by port workers shouting out what to do next. Lots of "hurry up and wait." I like that you can bring a bottle of wine onboard without a corkage fee. This is a unique benefit that we've only encountered before on Celebrity. Once on board, we explored. The ship is clearly new and well maintained. Common areas seemed plainly decorated compared with other cruise lines. Our balcony room felt spacious, and I liked the clear separation between bathroom and sleeping area. The balcony was smaller than other ships, but I'm not sure why you would need more space unless you had loungers. Large flat-screen TV in the room had a nice selection of free movies from which to choose. We enjoyed the layout and feel of the adult Retreat pool area. However, this area was very crowded on the at-sea day and it was not as quiet when there was a band playing at the main pool. It is hard to find loungers in the shade at either the main pool or adult pool. The food was good, but not great. The buffet area is very spread out, and the choices are not as varied as I have seen on other ships, especially at dinner. Breakfast had some unique selections like Nutella-stuffed French toast. (Still haven't come across Greek yogurt on any ship I've sailed.) We ate at the buffet one night (which you will have pretty much to yourself at dinnertime). We ate in the main dining room one night and at the pizza restaurant another night. Both were very good, especially the seafood in the main dining room. But not as good as Celebrity and Norwegian. The entertainment was also mixed. The headliner comedian and illusionist were fantastic! However, we went to a couple smaller game shows at the Live theater, and they were sparsely attended and lacking in excitement. We avoided the casino, which was smoky, typical of most ship casinos. Overall, we felt the ship had less energy than some other ships we've been on. We're early birds, so this wasn't a terrible let-down for us. The tendering process to Princess Cays also seemed poorly managed. More "hurry up and wait," even for those who said they had priority tendering tickets. We enjoyed a relaxing day at Princess Cays, which is pretty and well maintained though rocky as others have mentioned. Easy to find shaded loungers if you exited to the right. Of note, the outlying bar that we were near closed down early. Overall, we didn't love the layout of this ship compared with others. It seemed there were hidden areas on the 5th-7th floors that we missed until the last night. (We should have consulted our map.) Also found it strange that there was not a sports bar on board with TVs. Since sailaway was on Masters Sunday, I had to watch the tournament from our stateroom (and the broadcast only started after we were out of port). The gym was clean, but small for the size of the ship. I did not have to wait to use the equipment on our at-sea day, however. The spa was one of the nicest I've seen on a ship, although we did not use it during our short cruise. The room steward kept our room clean, but this is the least interaction I've had with a steward on any ship. Disembarkation was a breeze. We chose express walk-off, which we feared would be more "hurry up and wait." But we were able to walk off immediately. Compared with the other ships we've sailed, we would probably choose Celebrity or Norwegian for our next cruise.

1st Time on Princess - Mixed Feelings

Regal Princess Cruise Review by carolinacruizn

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2015
  • Destination: Bahamas
We have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, and Norwegian, and wanted to try out Princess with this 3-day cruise. My review will mostly compare this ship to others we have been on.

Embarkation was not pleasant. I'm not sure whether this relates more to the port or the cruise line. We took a taxi directly from the airport to the port. It was a little early; we arrived around 10am. Did not board the ship until around noon. Once they opened the doors, there were several bottleneck areas that were poorly managed by port workers shouting out what to do next. Lots of "hurry up and wait."

I like that you can bring a bottle of wine onboard without a corkage fee. This is a unique benefit that we've only encountered before on Celebrity.

Once on board, we explored. The ship is clearly new and well maintained. Common areas seemed plainly decorated compared with other cruise lines. Our balcony room felt spacious, and I liked the clear separation between bathroom and sleeping area. The balcony was smaller than other ships, but I'm not sure why you would need more space unless you had loungers. Large flat-screen TV in the room had a nice selection of free movies from which to choose.

We enjoyed the layout and feel of the adult Retreat pool area. However, this area was very crowded on the at-sea day and it was not as quiet when there was a band playing at the main pool. It is hard to find loungers in the shade at either the main pool or adult pool.

The food was good, but not great. The buffet area is very spread out, and the choices are not as varied as I have seen on other ships, especially at dinner. Breakfast had some unique selections like Nutella-stuffed French toast. (Still haven't come across Greek yogurt on any ship I've sailed.) We ate at the buffet one night (which you will have pretty much to yourself at dinnertime). We ate in the main dining room one night and at the pizza restaurant another night. Both were very good, especially the seafood in the main dining room. But not as good as Celebrity and Norwegian.

The entertainment was also mixed. The headliner comedian and illusionist were fantastic! However, we went to a couple smaller game shows at the Live theater, and they were sparsely attended and lacking in excitement. We avoided the casino, which was smoky, typical of most ship casinos. Overall, we felt the ship had less energy than some other ships we've been on. We're early birds, so this wasn't a terrible let-down for us.

The tendering process to Princess Cays also seemed poorly managed. More "hurry up and wait," even for those who said they had priority tendering tickets. We enjoyed a relaxing day at Princess Cays, which is pretty and well maintained though rocky as others have mentioned. Easy to find shaded loungers if you exited to the right. Of note, the outlying bar that we were near closed down early.

Overall, we didn't love the layout of this ship compared with others. It seemed there were hidden areas on the 5th-7th floors that we missed until the last night. (We should have consulted our map.) Also found it strange that there was not a sports bar on board with TVs. Since sailaway was on Masters Sunday, I had to watch the tournament from our stateroom (and the broadcast only started after we were out of port).

The gym was clean, but small for the size of the ship. I did not have to wait to use the equipment on our at-sea day, however. The spa was one of the nicest I've seen on a ship, although we did not use it during our short cruise.

The room steward kept our room clean, but this is the least interaction I've had with a steward on any ship.

Disembarkation was a breeze. We chose express walk-off, which we feared would be more "hurry up and wait." But we were able to walk off immediately.

Compared with the other ships we've sailed, we would probably choose Celebrity or Norwegian for our next cruise.
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