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Embarkation - We live nearby, left home at 1pm, got to the port by 1:30 and were onboard by 2pm. No lines or waiting. Prior to the cruise I read Cruise Critic forums and others commented on the easy late boarding and the cabin. They were correct, so thanks Cruise Critic members. Cabin M108 - Fabulous. We would book this room again. Food – We always enjoyed the food quality and variety. We ate at Sabatini’s first night, Crown Grill on formal night, the buffet two nights to make the shows, and Anytime Dining the rest of the time. The main dining room and buffet desserts were far better than any other ships we have sailed. The Crown Gill on formal night was a fabulous experience in all regards: atmosphere, food, dessert, service. Can’t help but smile at all the “Happy Honeymoon” songs. The Crown Grill dessert sampler is not to be missed. The filet was tender and perfectly grilled. At $25.00, this was a bargain IMHO. Main Dining Room - Beautiful and nicely laid out so it is not too loud to talk. The service was quick. We did not have a bad meal and our dining companions that cook, had no complaints. The bread was the best we had at sea. Delicious coffee, better than other ships. Buffet – One of the best buffets at sea. Lots of variety for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Who knew all the different foods people ate at breakfast. This ship made perfect fried eggs in a circular form. No waiting at the omelet counter to get a fried egg. Princess waiters come to your table and ask if you want drinks or coffee. They are constantly cleaning the tables. Another plus is that when you get back to the ship after 3pm from a tour, you can still get real food at the buffet. On Celebrity, all you could get was a cookie if you came back late or you had to order room service. So Princess really does the buffet right. We were surprised at all the people enjoying the night buffet. We counted hundreds of people eating diner around 5- 6 pm, and many were dressed up. The horizon court section of the buffet is also very pretty. Pools - Clean and fun and on par with the Celebrity pool area that we loved. This ship had many covered areas to sit out of the sun. Loved the retreat pool. I don’t understand the Sanctuary. It was always empty when I looked in. Running Track – Best at sea. No running through the deck chairs like Celebrity. There are some exercise stations around the track that were fun to do. 7 times around is 1 mile. Fitness Center - Top notch. There were over 25 treadmills, and many ellipticals and bikes. We never went at peak hours, so it was never crowded. The weight machines were nicer than our gym at home. There were benches and free weights up to 100 pounds and cold washcloths. Bars - Club 6 was one of the most beautiful rooms at sea and on par with the beautiful Epic Haven bar. BOGO at 3-4 pm is not to be missed. The drinks were buy 1 get one for $1. The seats filled up early. Great Fun! The Piazza - Princess really did a great job with their 3-story Piazza. This area is beautiful and on par with the Celebrity’s atrium. Though we love NCL, the Epic lobby area paled in comparison to the Princess main lobby. Lots to do, people watching, dancing, entertainers, eating. The Princess marble and glass stairs and crystal sculptures were breathtaking. Entertainment – We saw three production shows and one comedian. The singers and dancers were fabulous IMHO. We died laughing at comedian Steve Moris and I bought his CD. Shopping - The cosmetics store was bright and pretty and we spent some money there. Great selection on Estee Lauder and OPI. Princess Cays - We always have a great day at their beautiful beach. St Thomas - Walked the 99 steps to Blackbeards castle. Been doing this for years. Lovely place to get a drink. Dominica - We often take the ship tours, but this time with family it was not convenient. At the terminal, we hired driver Curtis Labassiere in Dominica for a driving tour of the island. He was charming and informative. His large van was full of gas (I checked) and the AC and everything worked. Dominica is a charming island to see and the people are very friendly and eager to be helpful. No one was ever pushy or rude. Granada - You can walk to the fort and around the town. We took a taxi to the beach and had the best drinks ever. Some taxis had empty fuel tanks, (we checked) so be careful when hiring a taxi on the islands. Gorgeous Island. Bonaire - Walked city. We always support the Bonaire Humane Society tent in the plaza. Aruba - Palm Beach. Took bus to the beach and cab back to the ship. Aruba is Miami Beach with a Dutch / casino flair. Very nice. I don’t understand the bad or mediocre reviews. The ship restaurants will bring you any food to make it right. I did not like my fish one night, and asked for the beef wellington and it was delicious. I read people disliked not having stairs at midship. I can assure you no one died waiting for the midship elevators. Most people were not using the fore or aft stairs, but waiting for those elevators. We only waited a few minutes for an elevator at any location and it was a good time to chat with other passengers where we heard most were having a great time. People forget that when staying at a land based hotel, sometime the rooms are across the street or the pool is long walk. (Think Disney World or Las Vegas). We thoroughly enjoyed the Royal Princess. The 10-day itinerary to the southern islands was great. The ship is gorgeous. The people were friendly. There is no cleaning or cooking! I can’t wait to go again!.

The PERFECT Caribbean Cruise

Royal Princess Cruise Review by Freestyle Cruiser

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Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2015
  • Destination: Southern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Premium Club Class Mini-Suite with Balcony
Embarkation - We live nearby, left home at 1pm, got to the port by 1:30 and were onboard by 2pm. No lines or waiting. Prior to the cruise I read Cruise Critic forums and others commented on the easy late boarding and the cabin. They were correct, so thanks Cruise Critic members.

Cabin M108 - Fabulous. We would book this room again.

Food – We always enjoyed the food quality and variety. We ate at Sabatini’s first night, Crown Grill on formal night, the buffet two nights to make the shows, and Anytime Dining the rest of the time. The main dining room and buffet desserts were far better than any other ships we have sailed. The Crown Gill on formal night was a fabulous experience in all regards: atmosphere, food, dessert, service. Can’t help but smile at all the “Happy Honeymoon” songs. The Crown Grill dessert sampler is not to be missed. The filet was tender and perfectly grilled. At $25.00, this was a bargain IMHO.

Main Dining Room - Beautiful and nicely laid out so it is not too loud to talk. The service was quick. We did not have a bad meal and our dining companions that cook, had no complaints. The bread was the best we had at sea. Delicious coffee, better than other ships.

Buffet – One of the best buffets at sea. Lots of variety for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Who knew all the different foods people ate at breakfast. This ship made perfect fried eggs in a circular form. No waiting at the omelet counter to get a fried egg. Princess waiters come to your table and ask if you want drinks or coffee. They are constantly cleaning the tables. Another plus is that when you get back to the ship after 3pm from a tour, you can still get real food at the buffet. On Celebrity, all you could get was a cookie if you came back late or you had to order room service. So Princess really does the buffet right. We were surprised at all the people enjoying the night buffet. We counted hundreds of people eating diner around 5- 6 pm, and many were dressed up. The horizon court section of the buffet is also very pretty.

Pools - Clean and fun and on par with the Celebrity pool area that we loved. This ship had many covered areas to sit out of the sun. Loved the retreat pool. I don’t understand the Sanctuary. It was always empty when I looked in.

Running Track – Best at sea. No running through the deck chairs like Celebrity. There are some exercise stations around the track that were fun to do. 7 times around is 1 mile.

Fitness Center - Top notch. There were over 25 treadmills, and many ellipticals and bikes. We never went at peak hours, so it was never crowded. The weight machines were nicer than our gym at home. There were benches and free weights up to 100 pounds and cold washcloths.

Bars - Club 6 was one of the most beautiful rooms at sea and on par with the beautiful Epic Haven bar. BOGO at 3-4 pm is not to be missed. The drinks were buy 1 get one for $1. The seats filled up early. Great Fun!

The Piazza - Princess really did a great job with their 3-story Piazza. This area is beautiful and on par with the Celebrity’s atrium. Though we love NCL, the Epic lobby area paled in comparison to the Princess main lobby. Lots to do, people watching, dancing, entertainers, eating. The Princess marble and glass stairs and crystal sculptures were breathtaking.

Entertainment – We saw three production shows and one comedian. The singers and dancers were fabulous IMHO. We died laughing at comedian Steve Moris and I bought his CD.

Shopping - The cosmetics store was bright and pretty and we spent some money there. Great selection on Estee Lauder and OPI.

Princess Cays - We always have a great day at their beautiful beach.

St Thomas - Walked the 99 steps to Blackbeards castle. Been doing this for years. Lovely place to get a drink.

Dominica - We often take the ship tours, but this time with family it was not convenient. At the terminal, we hired driver Curtis Labassiere in Dominica for a driving tour of the island. He was charming and informative. His large van was full of gas (I checked) and the AC and everything worked. Dominica is a charming island to see and the people are very friendly and eager to be helpful. No one was ever pushy or rude.

Granada - You can walk to the fort and around the town. We took a taxi to the beach and had the best drinks ever. Some taxis had empty fuel tanks, (we checked) so be careful when hiring a taxi on the islands. Gorgeous Island.

Bonaire - Walked city. We always support the Bonaire Humane Society tent in the plaza.

Aruba - Palm Beach. Took bus to the beach and cab back to the ship. Aruba is Miami Beach with a Dutch / casino flair. Very nice.

I don’t understand the bad or mediocre reviews. The ship restaurants will bring you any food to make it right. I did not like my fish one night, and asked for the beef wellington and it was delicious. I read people disliked not having stairs at midship. I can assure you no one died waiting for the midship elevators. Most people were not using the fore or aft stairs, but waiting for those elevators. We only waited a few minutes for an elevator at any location and it was a good time to chat with other passengers where we heard most were having a great time. People forget that when staying at a land based hotel, sometime the rooms are across the street or the pool is long walk. (Think Disney World or Las Vegas).

We thoroughly enjoyed the Royal Princess. The 10-day itinerary to the southern islands was great. The ship is gorgeous. The people were friendly. There is no cleaning or cooking! I can’t wait to go again!.
Freestyle Cruiser’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Premium Club Class Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin M6 M108
Cabin M108 - Port side front corner was Fabulous. The balcony is huge as it covers the bridge bump out. YES - it can be a bit windy and NO - it was never a problem. There were two wood chaise recliners and 4 wood chairs with cushions and 1 round wood table. The balcony is so big you can move the chairs and chaise around to be in or hide from the sun and wind. The first day had the most wind as we headed south. It was less windy as the ship slowly sailed from island to island. We had beautiful flat seas and perfect weather for most of the cruise.

We prefer the front as we love the quietness of leaving port and being able to see where we are going. We saw many flying fish from the front. The balcony was never closed or locked off. The balcony door is a sliding glass door, which was easy to open and there was no concern of slamming doors or fingers, such as the swing bulkhead door on another ship. The balcony rail has solid sides so when you are lying down you can not see through. This never bothered us. If you sit in the chair, you can see over the rail, especially where it narrows at the aft of the balcony. If you want complete shade and no wind, then you may not like this balcony. However, if you love sea views, large open spaces, and the ability to move around a large balcony or are entertaining a large group, then this one is perfect.

There was no problem keeping the drapes closed at night. You can still walk outside at night. In fact, we prefer the darkness at the front because you can see the stars so well. When people leave their balcony lights on and the drapes open at night, it ruins the darkness. So keep the drapes closed at night and enjoy the stars and the moon. Most of us never get to see such a beautiful night sky as when we are at sea.

The room has an entry hall with a large mirror that leads into the salon. The salon has a loveseat, and chair and a desk and with chair. You walk through the salon into the bedroom. There is no curtain or door, but the bedroom stills feels private. The bed faces a large picture window and you can see the ocean while sitting in bed. The mini suite has nice marble counters, nice lighting and two TV’s. The bathroom is the standard mini suite bathroom with regular counter (not marble). There were tons of closet space and storage cabinets. We bring a lot, but did not fill it up. Many nice wood hangers. The ironed sheets were so nice. I’ll have to talk to the MAID about our sheets after this!

The room was beyond our expectations. We have cruised in full suites on Princess and other lines, but we felt like we had great value for the money spent in this mini-suite and balcony. The M105 mini-suite next door also has a large balcony. The room was a large square with a full size couch rather than the loveseat. Either room choice is a good value.
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