Royal Princess Cruise Review by BTuttle
- Sail Date: June 2015
- Destination: British Isles & Western Europe
- Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
The Royal Princes had some outstanding features and a few spots to improve. I'll tackle them by category:
Cabin - We had a mini-suite (L217) and the room was very comfortable. Plenty of space to move about. The bed was comfortable. The actual tub (rather than a tiny shower) with shower was great. Decent room in a bathroom on a ship. The major disappointment is the balcony. This is basically a space to stand when entering and leaving a port. Two chairs and a small table but honestly two people can't comfortably sit on the balcony at the same time. The other draw back was the TV selection. Princess had ESPN Caribbean which while sailing the UK during Wimbledon week consistently showed Billiards, Horse Riding and Cricket. We did not get to know our Cabin Stewart very well but he did his job efficiently and timely. All-in-all we enjoyed the room.
Dinning - Breakfast at the buffet is always busy but a good broad selection. Bacon and Eggs, French Toast or Waffles, Fruit, Cereal, Pastries, Biscuits and Gravy, etc. We only ate lunch on-board on sea days and it was good. We did the Wheelhouse bar with a proper English lunch (Fish & Chips, Ploughman's Lunch). The second sea day we did the buffet and it had an acceptable selection. I did tacos and nachos. Dinner was a mixed bag. In all cases the food was outstanding, especially the deserts for the 50th anniversary Chocolate Celebration. Truly outstanding. The service was a mixed bag. In our first cruise we had the outstanding fortune to find a table captain (Irena) who was engaging, polite, knowledgeable and fun. We requested her every night. No such luck on the Royal Princess. The staff seems to be trying but just not excellent at their trait. We enjoyed our experience each night but it could have been better. FYI, in Anytime Dinning, the queuing and seating process is less than smooth.
Entertainment - We tried a variety of entertainment options and were a little disappointed overall. The main band for the cruise was Xcite. The were okay but tried to cover too wide a music selection and were too limited in their number of available songs. They repeated songs way to frequently. The first show we went to was an on-board comedian. I have never before gone to a comedy show and never laughed. It was terrible. Fortunately this comedian left after a few stops and the follow on comedians we good. We went to the Beatles Tribute show and it was the highlight of the entertainment on the ship. Three standing ovations. The crowd did not want to leave. Many of the theater shows showcased four singers. This was okay for three of the four but one of the gentlemen (I hope he was sick and a little off his game) was constantly off key. As a whole however we enjoyed the theater shows and would advise sitting in. One comment for Princess... Seriously consider a sports bar somewhere on the ship with real ESPN and live sports action from around the world. The ship was like a dessert for spots lovers.
Excursions - We used Princess offered excursions on all days except disembarkation day. We were very please with the excursions. While it may sound a little hokey, the Footsteps of the Beatles tour was great fun. lines at Blarney Castle made it impossible to see (or kiss) the stone. Giant's Causeway is amazing. Normandy tour was outstanding. The Scottish Highlands are beautiful. In Dublin do the half day tour with Trinity College and St Pat's then cab it to the Guinness Storehouse in the afternoon.
Other passengers - This cruise had an older audience. I am 53 years old and felt young amoung this crowd. That is not to say that there were not younger people on board but largely the crowd was 55 - 70 years old.
Embark and Disembark - Both were amazingly simple. Easy on at out scheduled time and easy off at our schedule time. Southampton Port - Kudos.
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