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Embarkation – Painless! Best ever in our 20+ departures from Port Everglades. Arrived early, let into the terminal about 11am and on board 30 minutes later. Impressions of the ship – Really liked the decor, felt warm and well appointed. Not garish as some ships design can be. Layout is adequate with most ‘destination’ venues contained between decks five and seven or up on Lido deck. This ship was noticeably bigger, compared to the Princess Grand class ships. Felt like we were walking farther than on past Grand class trips. It never really felt very crowded; design helps to break spaces into smaller areas that seemed to feel more comfortable. The only real crowd concern we repeatedly encountered was getting in/out of the aft MDR. Main pool layout on Lido deck was very unappealing – not enough pool space for this ship to support warm Caribbean cruising. The entire space was exposed to the MUTS experience, not separated like on Grand class ships. They need to fix this on newer designs to maintain appeal into the future. Dining – MDR was as expected. Food was good but not great, the dining process took it’s time too - over the course of 90 minutes or more. Staff here was not consistent and appeared rushed and inexperienced. We felt food from the Horizon Court buffet was equally appealing, but the layout was confusing, no real consistency or clear indication of which lines were serving. Horizon/Caribe was never really crowded, aside from peak times in the morning before port disembarkation. It was nice to have the seating on the aft terrace, but that was fairly windy when the ship was underway. Crown Grill was outstanding, it felt less intimate because it’s open to the adjacent bar and traffic corridor. Alfredo’s was tasty, menu here could be expanded (no blanco pizza). International Café was as expected based on prior experience on other ships. Never got a chance to try the Seafood bar, maybe next trip!? Entertainment – Plenty of variety. Massive amount of options in the early evening but after 9:30-10pm there wasn’t much other than music and dancing. Theater shows were crowded and the seating layout was constricting, less accessible on this ship. Casino was fair for this size of ship, but the entire aft of this deck reeked of smoke. Between Casino and Churchill’s smoking they might’ve benefited from more aggressive ventilation systems on this deck. Piazza – Loud! Most enjoyable in the morning with no entertainment, enjoyed many early morning coffees while planning the day. Performers below and piano entertainer above, plus general crowd noise – made it challenging to enjoy any one performance without interference from another. Lack of center stairs – No issue for us, we detest climbing stairs. Noticed that there are center stairways between decks four and seven – probably where most essential and important. Not really sure why this is such a concern? Elevators – At times they arrived promptly and we were able to transit directly to destination deck. About 30% of the time we were less fortunate, either waiting interminably or once on board we were subject to a tour of every floor on our way up/down. Programming of these elevators is an issue, it shouldn’t be difficult to address and Princess is remiss in resolving this problem. Bottom Line – We will continue to defer to Grand class ship itineraries, but if/as needed we will be comfortable cruising on the Royal class ships. These Royal class ships need a top deck makeover to be more appealing in warm Caribbean climates. Pool spaces need to be redefined – you cannot support the warm climate trips with only two pool spaces (sorry, the aft wading pool on Regal doesn’t count). Grand class ships had the most functional top deck facilities in the industry – too bad Princess didn’t recognize that!?

Nice Ship, Nice Trip!

Royal Princess Cruise Review by msw.delafield

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2015
  • Destination: Eastern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Premium Club Class Mini-Suite with Balcony
Embarkation –

Painless!

Best ever in our 20+ departures from Port Everglades.

Arrived early, let into the terminal about 11am and on board 30 minutes later.

Impressions of the ship –

Really liked the decor, felt warm and well appointed. Not garish as some ships design can be.

Layout is adequate with most ‘destination’ venues contained between decks five and seven or up on Lido deck.

This ship was noticeably bigger, compared to the Princess Grand class ships. Felt like we were walking farther than on past Grand class trips.

It never really felt very crowded; design helps to break spaces into smaller areas that seemed to feel more comfortable. The only real crowd concern we repeatedly encountered was getting in/out of the aft MDR.

Main pool layout on Lido deck was very unappealing – not enough pool space for this ship to support warm Caribbean cruising. The entire space was exposed to the MUTS experience, not separated like on Grand class ships. They need to fix this on newer designs to maintain appeal into the future.

Dining –

MDR was as expected. Food was good but not great, the dining process took it’s time too - over the course of 90 minutes or more. Staff here was not consistent and appeared rushed and inexperienced. We felt food from the Horizon Court buffet was equally appealing, but the layout was confusing, no real consistency or clear indication of which lines were serving.

Horizon/Caribe was never really crowded, aside from peak times in the morning before port disembarkation. It was nice to have the seating on the aft terrace, but that was fairly windy when the ship was underway.

Crown Grill was outstanding, it felt less intimate because it’s open to the adjacent bar and traffic corridor.

Alfredo’s was tasty, menu here could be expanded (no blanco pizza).

International Café was as expected based on prior experience on other ships.

Never got a chance to try the Seafood bar, maybe next trip!?

Entertainment –

Plenty of variety.

Massive amount of options in the early evening but after 9:30-10pm there wasn’t much other than music and dancing.

Theater shows were crowded and the seating layout was constricting, less accessible on this ship.

Casino was fair for this size of ship, but the entire aft of this deck reeked of smoke.

Between Casino and Churchill’s smoking they might’ve benefited from more aggressive ventilation systems on this deck.

Piazza –

Loud!

Most enjoyable in the morning with no entertainment, enjoyed many early morning coffees while planning the day.

Performers below and piano entertainer above, plus general crowd noise – made it challenging to enjoy any one performance without interference from another.

Lack of center stairs –

No issue for us, we detest climbing stairs.

Noticed that there are center stairways between decks four and seven – probably where most essential and important.

Not really sure why this is such a concern?

Elevators –

At times they arrived promptly and we were able to transit directly to destination deck.

About 30% of the time we were less fortunate, either waiting interminably or once on board we were subject to a tour of every floor on our way up/down.

Programming of these elevators is an issue, it shouldn’t be difficult to address and Princess is remiss in resolving this problem.

Bottom Line –

We will continue to defer to Grand class ship itineraries, but if/as needed we will be comfortable cruising on the Royal class ships.

These Royal class ships need a top deck makeover to be more appealing in warm Caribbean climates. Pool spaces need to be redefined – you cannot support the warm climate trips with only two pool spaces (sorry, the aft wading pool on Regal doesn’t count).

Grand class ships had the most functional top deck facilities in the industry – too bad Princess didn’t recognize that!?
msw.delafield’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Premium Club Class Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin M6 L108
Outstanding Cabin!
We were fortunate to upgrade to this cabin when there was a reduction in pricing.
This was a front-corner mini-suite on Lido deck, starboard side.
The cabin was to separate rooms, the main space with balcony door out to the side of the ship and a forward space for the bedroom with a huge window out onto the forward balcony.
Three storage closets for hanging clothing, a fourth with shelving and safe.
Main cabin space had a ten foot long counter/desk, small sofa and table. Only two US plug receptacles.
Bedroom space had the usual bed/s and twin nightstands.
Bedroom had a huge forward facing window – we kept this open night and day.
Two large wall mounted flat screen TV’s – one each for BR and LR.
Bath was standard mini-suite tub, etc.
Oddly, only one phone – on the desk in main cabin space, about 30 feet from the bed. Annoying for wake-up calls as it honestly forced you to get up and go answer.
Also, no (US standard) plugs in bedroom space – need to bring Euro adapters!!

Killer Balcony!!
Easily one of the top 10 balcony’s on this ship!!
Balcony door opened off main cabin to the starboard side of the ship, balcony here was only about 4-feet deep.
But the balcony extended forward and wrapped around the front of the cabin, was easily 20-feet wide by 12-feet deep in front – absolutely huge!!
Enough room to comfortably accommodate over a dozen folk milling around!
Two teak loungers w/side tables and a full teak table with four teak chairs – all had comfortable cushions.
We had fantastic forward and starboard views!
Was most enjoyable to order room service and sit on the balcony as the ship came into each port.
Underway it was windy when coming out the side door, but once in front you were only bothered by wind at the rail. Sitting or standing back towards cabin wall you were out of the wind completely. (Obviously this was different during more severe sea day weather).
Lido Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins