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Background: 3 20-somethings, 2 had cruised before (2 Caribbean cruises on Celebrity – Reflection and Silhouette), and 1 was new to cruising. Overall Impressions: I will share my impressions of Princess and my impressions relative to Celebrity. A lot of these you could call nitpicking, but I am pointing them out to give a full impression. Bottom line: I liked Princess and would cruise again if the itinerary was right. If a Celebrity ship (esp. Solstice class) fit the bill then I would choose them over Princess. The itinerary was exhausting due to the # of ports – not relaxing like a Caribbean cruise, but we saw a lot of cool things. Demographics: the majority were older than us (seemed to be 50s+). It was what I expected, and didn’t mind at all. There were not a lot of children, which I also wanted and expected. Similar to Celebrity I would say, maybe age was older on average – which could be due to the itinerary, but that is speculation. Ship: The Regal Princess. I liked the ship – I wish we had more time to enjoy it, or rather wish the weather was warmer. I knew the negatives before booking – the ‘biggest’ downside for me was no mid stairs, but this was somewhat alleviated because we had a forward cabin (E110). I naturally compared it to the Celebrity ships I had been on and for me there were pros and cons to the Regal. Nothing that would stop me from sailing on it again though. Pros: - The ship is beautiful and well maintained - I loved the main pool layout – it was pretty to look at and I loved the shallow bits. Too bad it wasn’t warm enough to enjoy. For me I liked it more than Celebrity. I thought it just looked elegant. - I loved the aft pool and retreat pools – I really like the shallow bits. I like the solarium on Celebrity but didn’t ever spend time inside b/c I wanted to be outside, given the Baltic weather an indoor pool would have been useful. Cons: - No Aqua Spa Café equivalent. I missed my protein drinks and a less crowded breakfast venue (unfortunately the International Café on Princess only had pastries). - The piazza – while large, seemed enclosed compared to Celebrity’s open-to-the-top-deck atrium. I missed the glass elevators from Celebrity – the Princess mid ones are glass but the atrium is only open in the piazza. - No mid stairs past deck 7 - a bit annoying. I generally avoided the elevators b/c I don’t like being packed in. - The buffet – too spread out – always crowded (it was cold outside which didn’t help I am sure) – too many people asking for drinks – a designated waiter/waitress would have been nice. - No 2 tier dining room and set time MDR seemed way in the back - like an afterthought - I personally don’t love the outside lines as much as Celebrity. It wasn’t bad – but when I see a Celebrity ship I pause and think how good it looks. Cabin: we chose E110 (fwd) to get the larger balcony. I loved this room. The 1st and last nights we felt the most motion (empty hangers banged and the open closet door banged. The 3rd bed was the couch and was as long as the other 2 beds. Companion found it fine to sleep on. I liked the closet – we fit our 3 suitcases open there (2 large and 1 carryon size). Ample hanging room. Loved the shelved closet. Bathroom layout was nice – I liked the counter space and shelves. I liked that the trash was open (no doors to touch). The shower was fine – no curtain sticking issues. They provide body wash and a combo shampoo/conditioner. I wanted a separate conditioner so I just picked one up in port. Embarkation: easiest thing ever. Copenhagen was a port for many due to the staggered on/off boarding. I assume that played a big part here. Left hotel at 1130a. At port by noon. 235kr set rate from hotel. No security and check-in line. Cabins were said to be ready after 1p but we decided to check and got in right away. Out luggage arrived within the next 30min. So smooth! Hard sell on the drink package – a bit annoying. It was weird not to have an all you can drink package (like we had on our 1st 2 cruises), but not worth it due to packed itinerary. We just bought drinks when we wanted them (they have some 2 for 1 deals) – prices are, on average, less than Celebrity. We ate lunch out back – and we had private dining b/c no one else wanted to be in the cold I suppose. Itinerary: in/out of Copenhagen, then we sailed to Oslo, Arhus, Warnemunde, Tallin, St. Petersburg (Overnight), Helsinki, Nynäshamn. We had 2 sea days – one after Warnemunde and one after Nynäshamn . This was definitely port intensive – the 5 day stretch from Tallin to Nynäshamn was intense. All ports were docked, except Nynäshamn was tender. Oslo, Tallin, and Helsinki – we walked from the ship to the city Arhus docked in a commercial port so you had to use the complimentary shuttle buses. Warnemunde was 3hrs each way from Berlin. St. Petersburg – about a 10-15min drive into the city Nynäshamn is about 1 hr from Stockholm via public transit. Dining: MDR/Allegro – 8p seating. I didn’t love the one level – wasn’t as grand as on Celebrity. I liked being by a window since it stayed light until 1030p or so. The MDR is always hit or miss for me – there are a few memorable dishes and the rest blend together. There were 3 of us and had a table of 4 to ourselves. There was no sommelier, assistant waiter handled drinks – they were the sommelier along with our waiter recommending wine. Allegro dining room is a bit hidden - up to 7 and down. Kind of a pain to locate and we couldn’t seem to remember how to get here until mid way through the cruise. Buffet/Horizon Bistro/Court: Never really got the difference between the Bistro and Court. Was always crowded, which I did not like. It was nice to have silverware already on the table, but a couple times they looked like they had been used but not replaced. Didn’t seem each table had a designated server so 2-3 different people would keep asking if you wanted drinks. I would ask for bottled water and/or cappuccino at the table instead of getting these ahead of time. International Café: Always seemed chill. Got an afternoon snack here. Too bad they didn’t have something other than pastries for breakfast. I missed the equivalent of an Aqua Spa Café – from a business, pre-plated, and healthy food POV. Bars: We enjoyed the 2 for 1s at Crooners. Tried Club 6 and Wheelhouse Bar and the Piazza Bar. All were fine. All servers were good, a couple were standouts. Sea Days: I bundled up (shoes/socks/pants/sometimes leggings underneath/shirt/sweater/rain jacket) so that I could sit in the sun and read. A couple times I was out in zip offs (with short only). I do tend to be cold. Dress: We wore Dresses every eve. We had 2 formal nights. We didn’t bring full length dresses b/c of the space to pack. Activities/Entertainment: The best was violinist Chris Watkins – we loved him! The Beetlemaniacs were good too. Didn’t care for the comedian – I missed having a really funny show (like Sin City). The 3 production shows were good – I liked the Opera themed one (Bravo) the best. Fiera had cool sets. The Spectacular show was cute but no storyline, just strung together songs. I felt the average talent was higher for the singers and dancers than on Celebrity. But Princess didn’t get into any acro/cirque type acts. They also had a magician – The Confusionist. He was funny and did close up card tricks. I tend to be skeptical….but he was good. Fountain shows were fun – wld have been nice to see in the dark. Spa/Fitness Center: did not use spa. Tried to use the large room in fitness center when classes/seminars not in session but there always seemed to be something in there – so I had to workout outside to have enough space. A couple times it was super windy. Celebrity had a smaller room to use next to the fitness class room, which was nice.. Didn’t use the jogging track but loved it was a separate track – I remember dodging chairs on Celebrity. It made sense to have all sports stuff in one area – like on Celebrity they had the basketball court at the front – which was loud. Disembarkation: smooth. Used princess transfer. I had a 1145a flight on SAS to Oslo. Had a 635a meeting time. At airport 40min later. Smooth process. Walked to the other terminal (all are connected once through security). At the airport way too soon, so killed time in the lounge. They called us out about 645a and we were driving to the airport at 655a. I was at the airport by 730a and in the lounge shortly after 8p. I chilled in the lounge. I left the lounge at 11a. My flight was at 1145a.

Enjoyable Cruise with Packed Itinerary on a Lovely Ship

Regal Princess Cruise Review by euro_101

5 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Background: 3 20-somethings, 2 had cruised before (2 Caribbean cruises on Celebrity – Reflection and Silhouette), and 1 was new to cruising.

Overall Impressions: I will share my impressions of Princess and my impressions relative to Celebrity. A lot of these you could call nitpicking, but I am pointing them out to give a full impression. Bottom line: I liked Princess and would cruise again if the itinerary was right. If a Celebrity ship (esp. Solstice class) fit the bill then I would choose them over Princess. The itinerary was exhausting due to the # of ports – not relaxing like a Caribbean cruise, but we saw a lot of cool things.

Demographics: the majority were older than us (seemed to be 50s+). It was what I expected, and didn’t mind at all. There were not a lot of children, which I also wanted and expected. Similar to Celebrity I would say, maybe age was older on average – which could be due to the itinerary, but that is speculation.

Ship: The Regal Princess. I liked the ship – I wish we had more time to enjoy it, or rather wish the weather was warmer. I knew the negatives before booking – the ‘biggest’ downside for me was no mid stairs, but this was somewhat alleviated because we had a forward cabin (E110). I naturally compared it to the Celebrity ships I had been on and for me there were pros and cons to the Regal. Nothing that would stop me from sailing on it again though.

Pros:

- The ship is beautiful and well maintained

- I loved the main pool layout – it was pretty to look at and I loved the shallow bits. Too bad it wasn’t warm enough to enjoy. For me I liked it more than Celebrity. I thought it just looked elegant.

- I loved the aft pool and retreat pools – I really like the shallow bits. I like the solarium on Celebrity but didn’t ever spend time inside b/c I wanted to be outside, given the Baltic weather an indoor pool would have been useful.

Cons:

- No Aqua Spa Café equivalent. I missed my protein drinks and a less crowded breakfast venue (unfortunately the International Café on Princess only had pastries).

- The piazza – while large, seemed enclosed compared to Celebrity’s open-to-the-top-deck atrium. I missed the glass elevators from Celebrity – the Princess mid ones are glass but the atrium is only open in the piazza.

- No mid stairs past deck 7 - a bit annoying. I generally avoided the elevators b/c I don’t like being packed in.

- The buffet – too spread out – always crowded (it was cold outside which didn’t help I am sure) – too many people asking for drinks – a designated waiter/waitress would have been nice.

- No 2 tier dining room and set time MDR seemed way in the back - like an afterthought

- I personally don’t love the outside lines as much as Celebrity. It wasn’t bad – but when I see a Celebrity ship I pause and think how good it looks.

Cabin: we chose E110 (fwd) to get the larger balcony. I loved this room. The 1st and last nights we felt the most motion (empty hangers banged and the open closet door banged. The 3rd bed was the couch and was as long as the other 2 beds. Companion found it fine to sleep on. I liked the closet – we fit our 3 suitcases open there (2 large and 1 carryon size). Ample hanging room. Loved the shelved closet. Bathroom layout was nice – I liked the counter space and shelves. I liked that the trash was open (no doors to touch). The shower was fine – no curtain sticking issues. They provide body wash and a combo shampoo/conditioner. I wanted a separate conditioner so I just picked one up in port.

Embarkation: easiest thing ever. Copenhagen was a port for many due to the staggered on/off boarding. I assume that played a big part here. Left hotel at 1130a. At port by noon. 235kr set rate from hotel. No security and check-in line. Cabins were said to be ready after 1p but we decided to check and got in right away. Out luggage arrived within the next 30min. So smooth! Hard sell on the drink package – a bit annoying. It was weird not to have an all you can drink package (like we had on our 1st 2 cruises), but not worth it due to packed itinerary. We just bought drinks when we wanted them (they have some 2 for 1 deals) – prices are, on average, less than Celebrity. We ate lunch out back – and we had private dining b/c no one else wanted to be in the cold I suppose.

Itinerary: in/out of Copenhagen, then we sailed to Oslo, Arhus, Warnemunde, Tallin, St. Petersburg (Overnight), Helsinki, Nynäshamn. We had 2 sea days – one after Warnemunde and one after Nynäshamn . This was definitely port intensive – the 5 day stretch from Tallin to Nynäshamn was intense. All ports were docked, except Nynäshamn was tender.

Oslo, Tallin, and Helsinki – we walked from the ship to the city

Arhus docked in a commercial port so you had to use the complimentary shuttle buses.

Warnemunde was 3hrs each way from Berlin.

St. Petersburg – about a 10-15min drive into the city

Nynäshamn is about 1 hr from Stockholm via public transit.

Dining:

MDR/Allegro – 8p seating. I didn’t love the one level – wasn’t as grand as on Celebrity. I liked being by a window since it stayed light until 1030p or so. The MDR is always hit or miss for me – there are a few memorable dishes and the rest blend together. There were 3 of us and had a table of 4 to ourselves.

There was no sommelier, assistant waiter handled drinks – they were the sommelier along with our waiter recommending wine.

Allegro dining room is a bit hidden - up to 7 and down. Kind of a pain to locate and we couldn’t seem to remember how to get here until mid way through the cruise.

Buffet/Horizon Bistro/Court: Never really got the difference between the Bistro and Court. Was always crowded, which I did not like. It was nice to have silverware already on the table, but a couple times they looked like they had been used but not replaced. Didn’t seem each table had a designated server so 2-3 different people would keep asking if you wanted drinks. I would ask for bottled water and/or cappuccino at the table instead of getting these ahead of time.

International Café: Always seemed chill. Got an afternoon snack here. Too bad they didn’t have something other than pastries for breakfast.

I missed the equivalent of an Aqua Spa Café – from a business, pre-plated, and healthy food POV.

Bars:

We enjoyed the 2 for 1s at Crooners. Tried Club 6 and Wheelhouse Bar and the Piazza Bar. All were fine. All servers were good, a couple were standouts.


Sea Days: I bundled up (shoes/socks/pants/sometimes leggings underneath/shirt/sweater/rain jacket) so that I could sit in the sun and read. A couple times I was out in zip offs (with short only). I do tend to be cold.

Dress: We wore Dresses every eve. We had 2 formal nights. We didn’t bring full length dresses b/c of the space to pack.

Activities/Entertainment: The best was violinist Chris Watkins – we loved him! The Beetlemaniacs were good too. Didn’t care for the comedian – I missed having a really funny show (like Sin City). The 3 production shows were good – I liked the Opera themed one (Bravo) the best. Fiera had cool sets. The Spectacular show was cute but no storyline, just strung together songs. I felt the average talent was higher for the singers and dancers than on Celebrity. But Princess didn’t get into any acro/cirque type acts. They also had a magician – The Confusionist. He was funny and did close up card tricks. I tend to be skeptical….but he was good. Fountain shows were fun – wld have been nice to see in the dark.

Spa/Fitness Center: did not use spa. Tried to use the large room in fitness center when classes/seminars not in session but there always seemed to be something in there – so I had to workout outside to have enough space. A couple times it was super windy. Celebrity had a smaller room to use next to the fitness class room, which was nice.. Didn’t use the jogging track but loved it was a separate track – I remember dodging chairs on Celebrity. It made sense to have all sports stuff in one area – like on Celebrity they had the basketball court at the front – which was loud.

Disembarkation: smooth. Used princess transfer. I had a 1145a flight on SAS to Oslo. Had a 635a meeting time. At airport 40min later. Smooth process. Walked to the other terminal (all are connected once through security). At the airport way too soon, so killed time in the lounge. They called us out about 645a and we were driving to the airport at 655a. I was at the airport by 730a and in the lounge shortly after 8p. I chilled in the lounge. I left the lounge at 11a. My flight was at 1145a.
euro_101’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
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Entertainment
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Cabin Review

Cabin E110
We chose E110 (fwd) to get the larger balcony. I loved this room. The 1st and last nights we felt the most motion (empty hangers banged and the open closet door banged. The 3rd bed was the couch and was as long as the other 2 beds. Companion found it fine to sleep on. I liked the closet – we fit our 3 suitcases open there (2 large and 1 carryon size). Ample hanging room. Loved the shelved closet. Bathroom layout was nice – I liked the counter space and shelves. I liked that the trash was open (no doors to touch). The shower was fine – no curtain sticking issues. They provide body wash and a combo shampoo/conditioner. I wanted a separate conditioner so I just picked one up in port.
  Regal Princess Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Aarhus
    - Did on our own. Mandatory shuttle bus (complimentary). Had to queue to get bus tickets – got #31 our of #21 – was called soon after #21-30. Number called at 1250p and in town at 110p.
    - Rainy day.
    - We looked inside at the Arhus Cathedral (Aarhus Domkirke) and climbed 150 steps to the top - the windows were dirty.
    - Then we looked at the Resistance Museum (Besaettelsesmuseet) which was very interesting and served as Gastepo headquarters.
    - We ate lunch (I tried Tuborg Classic beer) and tapas. We headed back to the ship shortly after 5p.
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  • Helsinki
    - On our own. Walked off – took 30 or so min but was nice out.
    - Senate Square and saw the Lutheran Church.
    - We took the tram (the lady driver was a real treat) to the Rock Church and to hop on/off to Sibelis Monument (the guy let us hop on/off for free).
    - We took a taxi to Market Square.
    - We went inside the Orthodox Church - Uspenki Cathedral.
    - We ate Lunch at Havis. We tried the Luomu Leevi beer.
    - We were back at the ship at 330p - there was a long line to get back on.
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  • Oslo
    - Did on our own. Walked off the ship from Filistad port. Maybe 20min to the main drag, but it was fine - there were shops and eateries right away.
    - We headed to Bigdøy first. We toured the Viking Museum (which was very interesting - I enjoyed the displays). We went to the Fram museum to see the Arctic explorer ship. It was cool to go inside.
    - We grabbed lunch on the water.
    - We walked to the Akershus Fortress and toured the castle
    - We took the #12 tram to Frogner Park to see the Vigeland Sculpture Park.
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  • Stockholm
    Stockholm (Nynäshamn) 7a-6p:
    - On our own.
    - We were up at 6a. They made tender ready announcement at 7a. We rushed down and got #1 tender boat. They walked us to ships tender. It was about a 15min boat ride. We walked 15-20 min to the train station in Nynäshamn and caught the 35x bus to Västerhinge Station at 745a.
    - The train from bus was right there. We arrived at Stockholm Central just before 9a.
    - It was raining so we took a cab to the Vasa Museum. I enjoyed the Vasa Museum. I got a cappucino, a cardamom pastry - kanelbulle, and a sprinkle ball.
    - We walked to the Abba Museum but there was a wait and we wanted to see the 1215p Changing of the Guard. We walked to the castle. We watched the change - some of the songs the marching band played reminded me of Disney.
    - We walked around Gamla Stan - it was so pretty and the views on the water were stunning.
    - We ate lunch at Cultur Bar and Restaurang and Catarina met us at 2p. It was fun to catch up.
    - Close to 3p we walked back by City Hall and caught a 349p train. We were back in Nynäshamn at 510p and walked 15min. We got on the tender at 545p - there was a line but it kept moving. The tender process was all very smooth.
    - Stockholm was very pretty. I wish we had more time. Lot of time in transit – more so b/c of bus to train transfer.
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  • Tallinn
    - On our own. Walked from ship to town. We were in the city from 830a to 430p.
    - We walked the Old Town. We climbed the Town Hall, saw Fat Margaret, went into the Church of the Holy Ghost (a medieval church), saw the Wheel Well, City Walls, Russian Orthodox Cathedral (went inside), the Toompea Castle, went into the Dome Church (with coat of arms).
    - We saw Vistas from the Patkuli and Kohtuotsa viewpoints.
    - We ate lunch at Leib and had the Pearu IPA.
    - We also stopped and had Saku light and dark.
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