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Regal Princess is a truly beautiful ship and even a year into service still has the new feel about it. Is it perfect? Of course not. Are there flaws and problems? Yes and to be honest, some problems were very surprising having sailed with Princess many times before, ok so we're Elite members. EMBARKATION/CHECK IN We live in Fort Lauderdale about 15 mins from the port so becoming "cruise-a-holics" is quite easy, we were doing the B2B Christmas and New Years cruise again. No fault to Princess but getting to the port was crazy Sunday Dec 20th. Eight ships in port, including Allure, caused back-ups on all roads leading to the port. We spent 30 mins getting over the 17th Street Bridge (A1A) as traffic turning into Eisenhower Blvd both directions off A1A was completely backed up from the security check point. Fort Lauderdale PD could have sent a car out to ease the traffic congestion, but hey it was the holidays. Embarkation was smooth if a bit chaotic, we were informed the ship was sailing at maximum capacity over 4000 passengers. Princess' advertised sailing capacity (double occupancy) for Regal is 3,560 so we expected it to be a bit crowded with lots of kids on board, we were not disappointed. Everything on board is organized and run smoothly, even if the ships layout can be a bit confusing for the first few days..... midships elevators don't go to every floor, to get to one of the MDR you have to go up/down stairs if you're on the wrong side of the ship. ENTERTAINMENT/ACTIVITIES/EXERCISE: We went to most shows, all were excellent. The singers and dancers on Regal are top class. The activities on board are you usual ship's entertainment, Trivia, Karaoke, Battle of the Sexes etc...... Chase (Aussie) is a character........ "oooostrich and oooooooouuutopus". The Irish comedian on our Christmas sailing was just hilarious. Ok we did go to the "late night" show which was a bit more adult themed than the earlier one and he even continued his show 20 minutes later because he was enjoying the crowd so much. Nice to see an entertainer who enjoyed doing his show so much he didn't want it to end. The gym is very well layed out with plenty of cardio equipment and separate weights area. Even when the gym had is usual "rush hour" I never had to wait to use the equipment. Everything is still nice and new and works. One feature I absolutely LOVE about this ship and unlike so many other cruise ships, is the walking/jogging track is NOT located on the sun deck. Most modern ships walking/jogging track is above the pool deck and strewn with sun loungers, sunbathers, plates, empty glasses all day, making a bit of exercise impossible until the sun is gone. Regal Princess has a separate walking/jogging track on deck 18 (Sports Deck), with main access only by stairs. there is an aft elevator but it's kind of disguised. The only other ships I've sailed on that had separate walking/jogging tracks are RCL's Allure and Oasis of the Seas. FOOD & BEVERAGE: The food on Regal Princess is excellent as is the wait staff service. For those who turn their noses up at eating dinner at the buffet, the selection and quality of food was the best for any cruise line we've sailed on in the past few years. And something we both loved, as late night diners, the buffet stays open later than any other ship we've been on. Even when they do close there is not that mad rush to close down. Breakfast finishes at 11.30am, most mornings they were still serving breakfast up until noon at the aft section. The International Cafe in the Atrium is open 24hrs. A blessing when you get the munchies after a late show and a few beers. The toasted Cubano sandwich is a must. Bar service in some of the bars was a little bit slow and you sometimes had to jump up and down and wave at the bar tenders to get their attention. I guess "only" being 6' 2" isn't tall enough to be seen. CABIN: The balcony cabins are SMALL as are the balconies. Your chair will fit facing the ocean but just try sitting on it, ouch my knees. We sailed on the maiden voyage of Norwegian Breakaway a few years ago and the balconies are on a par with Regal. Two chairs and a table and the balcony is practically full. I never thought we'd encounter balconies as small as again, but we did on Regal. We had some minor problems that we reported on embarkation day that took a full week to be resolved. The reading lights over the bed did not work and took a full week to be fixed. Also for the first week we had no cold water in the bathroom, except in the toilet I guess? Taking a shower with scalding hot water is one way to fully wake yourself up in the morning without caffeine.. Overall the cabins are nice, new and clean. Michael our cabin steward was excellent. I swear he must sleep in the corridor somewhere as every time we left or returned to the cabin, there he was, folding towels etc..... DISEMBARKATION: Sorry to end the review on a sour note, but disembarkation was a bit of a disaster. We both have Global Entry cards and we know RCL have an expedited line at their terminal building. I emailed and called Princess a few weeks before our cruise asking if they also had a Global Entry line or expedited line for passengers holding Global Entry cards. Their reply; NO. I don't know why, but we brought our Global Entry cards with us in our passports anyway. When we disembarked the ship and collected our luggage I saw a HUGE sign above the immigration/customs area "Global Entry". I asked one Princess employee could we use our Global Entry cards as the lines were very long. I am a Permanent Resident (Green Card holder) and my spouse a US Citizen, because of such both of us were told to go into the "Non US Passport" line because we complete a single customs form. I asked her did she understand what Global Entry was, she replied yes but because you visited Rotan, Honduras there was extra security and I had to be finger printed. I always get finger printed when using Global Entry at airports, so explained that was stand procedure for both US and not US passport holders. Another Princess employee came over and sternly told me to "get back in line and stop making a fuss". I didn't know I was "making a fuss" just by asking if I could use the Global Entry line. Overall I spoke with five Princess employees in the terminal building who all told me I could NOT use the Global Entry line, one gentleman physically stopped me even going up to ask the immigration official could I use the expedited line. It took a lot to refrain me from just physically removing his arm from across my chest and not physically moving him out of my way. I bit my tongue, calmed down and with my tail between my legs, returned to the long immigration line. 1 hour 15 minutes later waiting in the Non US Passport line we finally reached an immigration officer. I handed him my passport with the Global Entry card and asked why I couldn't have used the expedited Global Entry line. He looked at me with a puzzled look on his face and asked; "who told you that? Of course you could have used the Global Entry line". I think at this stage steam started coming out from my ears, but I just had to grin and bear it. It's a shame the cruise had to end with such incompetence by the Princess employees in the terminal as overall everyone working on the ship was so friendly and competent in their job. Would I sail on Regal Princess again? Yes sure, it's a great ship but I'd book one of the "mini suites" that are the size of a standard balcony on most other ships. And don't forget your Global Entry card if you have one. Just don't take any heed of the Princess representatives in the terminal.

Great cruise but disastrous disembarkation

Regal Princess Cruise Review by WowOnTheBeach

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2015
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Balcony
Regal Princess is a truly beautiful ship and even a year into service still has the new feel about it.

Is it perfect? Of course not. Are there flaws and problems? Yes and to be honest, some problems were very surprising having sailed with Princess many times before, ok so we're Elite members.


EMBARKATION/CHECK IN

We live in Fort Lauderdale about 15 mins from the port so becoming "cruise-a-holics" is quite easy, we were doing the B2B Christmas and New Years cruise again. No fault to Princess but getting to the port was crazy Sunday Dec 20th. Eight ships in port, including Allure, caused back-ups on all roads leading to the port. We spent 30 mins getting over the 17th Street Bridge (A1A) as traffic turning into Eisenhower Blvd both directions off A1A was completely backed up from the security check point. Fort Lauderdale PD could have sent a car out to ease the traffic congestion, but hey it was the holidays.

Embarkation was smooth if a bit chaotic, we were informed the ship was sailing at maximum capacity over 4000 passengers. Princess' advertised sailing capacity (double occupancy) for Regal is 3,560 so we expected it to be a bit crowded with lots of kids on board, we were not disappointed.

Everything on board is organized and run smoothly, even if the ships layout can be a bit confusing for the first few days..... midships elevators don't go to every floor, to get to one of the MDR you have to go up/down stairs if you're on the wrong side of the ship.

ENTERTAINMENT/ACTIVITIES/EXERCISE:

We went to most shows, all were excellent. The singers and dancers on Regal are top class.

The activities on board are you usual ship's entertainment, Trivia, Karaoke, Battle of the Sexes etc...... Chase (Aussie) is a character........ "oooostrich and oooooooouuutopus".

The Irish comedian on our Christmas sailing was just hilarious. Ok we did go to the "late night" show which was a bit more adult themed than the earlier one and he even continued his show 20 minutes later because he was enjoying the crowd so much. Nice to see an entertainer who enjoyed doing his show so much he didn't want it to end.

The gym is very well layed out with plenty of cardio equipment and separate weights area. Even when the gym had is usual "rush hour" I never had to wait to use the equipment. Everything is still nice and new and works.

One feature I absolutely LOVE about this ship and unlike so many other cruise ships, is the walking/jogging track is NOT located on the sun deck. Most modern ships walking/jogging track is above the pool deck and strewn with sun loungers, sunbathers, plates, empty glasses all day, making a bit of exercise impossible until the sun is gone.

Regal Princess has a separate walking/jogging track on deck 18 (Sports Deck), with main access only by stairs. there is an aft elevator but it's kind of disguised.

The only other ships I've sailed on that had separate walking/jogging tracks are RCL's Allure and Oasis of the Seas.

FOOD & BEVERAGE:

The food on Regal Princess is excellent as is the wait staff service. For those who turn their noses up at eating dinner at the buffet, the selection and quality of food was the best for any cruise line we've sailed on in the past few years. And something we both loved, as late night diners, the buffet stays open later than any other ship we've been on. Even when they do close there is not that mad rush to close down.

Breakfast finishes at 11.30am, most mornings they were still serving breakfast up until noon at the aft section.

The International Cafe in the Atrium is open 24hrs. A blessing when you get the munchies after a late show and a few beers. The toasted Cubano sandwich is a must.

Bar service in some of the bars was a little bit slow and you sometimes had to jump up and down and wave at the bar tenders to get their attention. I guess "only" being 6' 2" isn't tall enough to be seen.

CABIN:

The balcony cabins are SMALL as are the balconies. Your chair will fit facing the ocean but just try sitting on it, ouch my knees. We sailed on the maiden voyage of Norwegian Breakaway a few years ago and the balconies are on a par with Regal. Two chairs and a table and the balcony is practically full. I never thought we'd encounter balconies as small as again, but we did on Regal.

We had some minor problems that we reported on embarkation day that took a full week to be resolved. The reading lights over the bed did not work and took a full week to be fixed. Also for the first week we had no cold water in the bathroom, except in the toilet I guess?

Taking a shower with scalding hot water is one way to fully wake yourself up in the morning without caffeine..

Overall the cabins are nice, new and clean. Michael our cabin steward was excellent. I swear he must sleep in the corridor somewhere as every time we left or returned to the cabin, there he was, folding towels etc.....

DISEMBARKATION:

Sorry to end the review on a sour note, but disembarkation was a bit of a disaster. We both have Global Entry cards and we know RCL have an expedited line at their terminal building. I emailed and called Princess a few weeks before our cruise asking if they also had a Global Entry line or expedited line for passengers holding Global Entry cards.

Their reply; NO.

I don't know why, but we brought our Global Entry cards with us in our passports anyway. When we disembarked the ship and collected our luggage I saw a HUGE sign above the immigration/customs area "Global Entry". I asked one Princess employee could we use our Global Entry cards as the lines were very long. I am a Permanent Resident (Green Card holder) and my spouse a US Citizen, because of such both of us were told to go into the "Non US Passport" line because we complete a single customs form.

I asked her did she understand what Global Entry was, she replied yes but because you visited Rotan, Honduras there was extra security and I had to be finger printed. I always get finger printed when using Global Entry at airports, so explained that was stand procedure for both US and not US passport holders. Another Princess employee came over and sternly told me to "get back in line and stop making a fuss". I didn't know I was "making a fuss" just by asking if I could use the Global Entry line.

Overall I spoke with five Princess employees in the terminal building who all told me I could NOT use the Global Entry line, one gentleman physically stopped me even going up to ask the immigration official could I use the expedited line. It took a lot to refrain me from just physically removing his arm from across my chest and not physically moving him out of my way. I bit my tongue, calmed down and with my tail between my legs, returned to the long immigration line.

1 hour 15 minutes later waiting in the Non US Passport line we finally reached an immigration officer. I handed him my passport with the Global Entry card and asked why I couldn't have used the expedited Global Entry line. He looked at me with a puzzled look on his face and asked; "who told you that? Of course you could have used the Global Entry line".

I think at this stage steam started coming out from my ears, but I just had to grin and bear it.

It's a shame the cruise had to end with such incompetence by the Princess employees in the terminal as overall everyone working on the ship was so friendly and competent in their job.


Would I sail on Regal Princess again? Yes sure, it's a great ship but I'd book one of the "mini suites" that are the size of a standard balcony on most other ships.

And don't forget your Global Entry card if you have one. Just don't take any heed of the Princess representatives in the terminal.
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Cabin Review

Balcony
Cabin BB A312
To be honest, the standard balcony cabins on Regal are very small but the balcony was tiny tiny tiny!!!!
We always book a balcony cabin that has at least a couch/table chair area, this had neither. We had a look at the bigger cabin beside us (A314) on disembarkation day and it was a little bit bigger but it's classed as a Mini Suite. We've sailed in Suites, Junior Suites and Mini Suites on other ships and Regal's Mini Suite is like a standard balcony cabin on any other cruise line.
Holland America's standard balcony cabin is practically identical to Regal's Mini Suite, couch/table area and a tub in the bathroom.
We were warned by the Princess sales agent when we booked the cruise that the balconies were very small, I appreciated her honesty. I'm only 6' 1" tall but couldn't sit in the chair and face the ocean. I never felt my legs were that long until I tried to relax in the morning sunshine on our first sea day. My solution was putting both paws up on the railing.
The bathroom is also tiny, again we've been used to having a decent sized bathroom and a tub with most other cruise lines. Our cabin had a shower and if I had a cat I certainly wouldn't dare try to swing it in the bathroom.
Have any other passengers on Regal come close to dislocating their shoulder trying to reach for the toilet paper after sitting on the throne?
No cold water in cabin A312 the entire first week of the cruise, both sink and shower. Scalding your body in the morning is not advised.
Marina Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins