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We have been regular Princess cruisers since 2011, mainly on longer cruises on the Dawn/Sea Princess, with a couple of cruises on the slightly larger Diamond and Emerald. The older ships (Dawn/Sea) are like a comfortable pair of old slippers and generally we now know many other passengers too. Boarding the Royal for the first time - and without knowing any other passengers, the first impression is of sheer size and almost overwhelming. Totally agree with previous comments that traffic flow is very poor, shown before we'd even left port and had to muster in the TV studio. Getting out again was just chaotic, with people in the narrow passageway going in both directions. On the positive side, our luggage was at the cabin before we were - and that is a first, but even as Elite passengers, the queue to board was extremely slow, with delays at check-in, X-ray and boarding. The tip here is probably to board later, when the mad dash to board has subsided. With 4,000 passengers, a queue is inevitable. We had an exploratory walk around and agree with the comments regarding the short jogging track, but as anyone who has travelled UNDER the open decks will tell you, early joggers or even lead footed walkers are a real pain. The cabin was no better than the Emerald and just more modern than the Dawn, yet no power socket on the bathroom side of the bed and no UK socket. In fact, two fewer power outlets than on the older ships. The TV set system is totally different, with about 6 'live' TV programmes (no Channel 24 sports), no map of the ships location, just a web cam and a sales pitch for the Reflections DVD. A positive however is that the TV is connected to the ship's entertainment hard drive, so you have 24 hour access to all programmes, rather than a broadcast schedule. The downside is that the simplified remote has no sleep timer, just volume and channel buttons. These can be a bit slow, so when there is an announcement over the speaker system in the corridor, by the time you have found the channel on the TV, the announcement is over anyway. The bathroom is just as cramped as all ship's bathrooms, but if you are unlucky enough to contract the noro-virus (my wife did on the very last night at 1am..., you'll be very grateful for the location and close proximity of wash basin and toilet pan! A bit of accidental ergonomic genius probably. Agree that no central staircase is a pain (we were C535) and it is a long, long walk from one end of the ship to another and even if you make an effort to use the stairs rather than lifts, you'll need to be fit. The staff as always with Princess were excellent, but after a less than ecstatic fixed dining experience on night 1, we opted to use the buffet from then on. Now with any buffets, particularly large ones such as here, you have to play the common-sense card.. If a dish has been around for a while and it is something like eggs Benedict or scrambled eggs, even fried eggs, don't expect them to be soft and runny, because they never are. The staff will always do a fried egg to order, sunny side up anyway. We never asked for poached eggs, whereas we would on the Dawn. Generally, we found the buffet food more than acceptable with a huge variety. As above, better to make two or three visits and pick food that has just come out and still fresh. In the piazza, we generally had lunch there as the pies/quiches were heated to order and the limited salads were superb - and I am not a salad person. Prawn, radish and shaved fennel, (heap of prawns) or chicken and pineapple in alight curry sauce were daily favourites and the steak and kidney pie more than acceptable. The entertainment side of the cruise was excellent and unlike a previous poster, we knew only too well that David Copperfield, was on British TV back in the 1970's, along with Lenny Henry and Tracey Ulman. Top act along with Chris Watkins, violinist, the Beatles Tribute band, David Cats and David Knight - all except David Cats we'd seen before. As a new ship, the production shows except for one, were colourful and well presented with a cast of 17. The piazza band , Indigo, were excellent and we enjoyed the entertainment, though scheduling just 2 Beatles shows was 1 too few as people who did not get there early would have missed out. As for itinerary, no complaints and as usual, we did a mix of walk off, Princess tours (4) and HoHo buses. As mentioned before, we were not part of a group and the ship is so huge, that you might strike up a conversation with a couple on day one, never to see them again! The weather wasn't warm enough to be out on deck so we didn't get to enjoy the outdoor areas at all. Would be cruise on the Royal again? Probably not, but that is as much to do with size as anything. Would we suggest visitors to the UK did this round GB cruise as a taster for Scotland and Ireland? Yes. Biggest surprise? How much we enjoyed the HoHo around Liverpool. Advice - buy Beatles Exhibition tickets on line. We gave up after queuing for half an hour just for tickets.

Modern but massive

Royal Princess Cruise Review by socram13

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Trip Details
We have been regular Princess cruisers since 2011, mainly on longer cruises on the Dawn/Sea Princess, with a couple of cruises on the slightly larger Diamond and Emerald. The older ships (Dawn/Sea) are like a comfortable pair of old slippers and generally we now know many other passengers too.

Boarding the Royal for the first time - and without knowing any other passengers, the first impression is of sheer size and almost overwhelming.

Totally agree with previous comments that traffic flow is very poor, shown before we'd even left port and had to muster in the TV studio. Getting out again was just chaotic, with people in the narrow passageway going in both directions.

On the positive side, our luggage was at the cabin before we were - and that is a first, but even as Elite passengers, the queue to board was extremely slow, with delays at check-in, X-ray and boarding. The tip here is probably to board later, when the mad dash to board has subsided. With 4,000 passengers, a queue is inevitable.

We had an exploratory walk around and agree with the comments regarding the short jogging track, but as anyone who has travelled UNDER the open decks will tell you, early joggers or even lead footed walkers are a real pain.

The cabin was no better than the Emerald and just more modern than the Dawn, yet no power socket on the bathroom side of the bed and no UK socket. In fact, two fewer power outlets than on the older ships.

The TV set system is totally different, with about 6 'live' TV programmes (no Channel 24 sports), no map of the ships location, just a web cam and a sales pitch for the Reflections DVD.

A positive however is that the TV is connected to the ship's entertainment hard drive, so you have 24 hour access to all programmes, rather than a broadcast schedule. The downside is that the simplified remote has no sleep timer, just volume and channel buttons. These can be a bit slow, so when there is an announcement over the speaker system in the corridor, by the time you have found the channel on the TV, the announcement is over anyway.

The bathroom is just as cramped as all ship's bathrooms, but if you are unlucky enough to contract the noro-virus (my wife did on the very last night at 1am..., you'll be very grateful for the location and close proximity of wash basin and toilet pan! A bit of accidental ergonomic genius probably.

Agree that no central staircase is a pain (we were C535) and it is a long, long walk from one end of the ship to another and even if you make an effort to use the stairs rather than lifts, you'll need to be fit.

The staff as always with Princess were excellent, but after a less than ecstatic fixed dining experience on night 1, we opted to use the buffet from then on. Now with any buffets, particularly large ones such as here, you have to play the common-sense card.. If a dish has been around for a while and it is something like eggs Benedict or scrambled eggs, even fried eggs, don't expect them to be soft and runny, because they never are. The staff will always do a fried egg to order, sunny side up anyway. We never asked for poached eggs, whereas we would on the Dawn.

Generally, we found the buffet food more than acceptable with a huge variety. As above, better to make two or three visits and pick food that has just come out and still fresh.

In the piazza, we generally had lunch there as the pies/quiches were heated to order and the limited salads were superb - and I am not a salad person. Prawn, radish and shaved fennel, (heap of prawns) or chicken and pineapple in alight curry sauce were daily favourites and the steak and kidney pie more than acceptable.

The entertainment side of the cruise was excellent and unlike a previous poster, we knew only too well that David Copperfield, was on British TV back in the 1970's, along with Lenny Henry and Tracey Ulman. Top act along with Chris Watkins, violinist, the Beatles Tribute band, David Cats and David Knight - all except David Cats we'd seen before.

As a new ship, the production shows except for one, were colourful and well presented with a cast of 17.

The piazza band , Indigo, were excellent and we enjoyed the entertainment, though scheduling just 2 Beatles shows was 1 too few as people who did not get there early would have missed out.

As for itinerary, no complaints and as usual, we did a mix of walk off, Princess tours (4) and HoHo buses.

As mentioned before, we were not part of a group and the ship is so huge, that you might strike up a conversation with a couple on day one, never to see them again!

The weather wasn't warm enough to be out on deck so we didn't get to enjoy the outdoor areas at all.

Would be cruise on the Royal again? Probably not, but that is as much to do with size as anything.

Would we suggest visitors to the UK did this round GB cruise as a taster for Scotland and Ireland? Yes. Biggest surprise? How much we enjoyed the HoHo around Liverpool.

Advice - buy Beatles Exhibition tickets on line. We gave up after queuing for half an hour just for tickets.
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BD C535
Not sure if that is the right category! Modern but midships as per review means either a long wait for the lifts or a long walk to a staircase. Headboard is towards the front of the ship, but no longer an issue for us as the TV is on the wall at the foot of the bed.
No UK power socket and no socket on one side of the bed.
Balcony is small, but a glass screen makes viewing OK. Two decks above the lifeboats, so an unobstructed view.
The only external noise was from adjacent passengers where they had three cabins together and linked the balconies.
Riviera Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

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