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I have not done Cruise Critic in awhile, but even though I have a zillion things to play catch-up on, I feel that I have a responsibility to share my opinion of the Royal Princess. After all, I read all of the reviews previously, which were quite varied. I am now convinced that 2 people can take the exact same cruise and walk away with 2 completely different opinions. So, here is mine… My husband and I have been cruising a lot for the past 12 years, but even more so during the past 5 years because my job has flexibility; having a computer on-board has made a huge difference. We are big Royal Caribbean people, although we have traveled on Princess with mixed reviews. We chose this ship only because of the itinerary and dates, which fit my schedule perfectly. Without a doubt, this was one of the best cruises we have taken, if not the best. Let’s start at the beginning… check-in was speedy and our cabin was ready when we boarded the ship. We did not have to wait until after lunch! I wasn’t happy with having to put on life jackets during the drill, but if that’s my only complaint, I’ll go with it. Entertainment was non-stop. I read that individuals did not have much to do, and I wonder now what ship they were on. On some nights, there were 2 main shows and 2 funny game shows. The music around the ship was outstanding, and there was something for everyone. Every show was well organized, and I think it was some of the best entertainment I’ve seen on a ship… maybe not the very best individually, but as a group, it was definitely the best. I found the same true on sea days, although we took some long naps to allow us to stay up until all hours of the morning, so we missed some of this. However, there were games, cooking demonstrations, line dancing, pool games, and so much more. My hubby was proud that Princess kept its Veteran’s get-together; kudos to Princess. The staff IS the best at sea. I have very high expectations, and they surpassed every one of them. Ron Goodman is the most organized and professional cruise director, with a heart as big as gold. He genially wants every guest to have the time of their life on the Royal. He will go out of his way to say hello to you, and he is very visible. His experience and perfectionism is evident in every activity planned and within every staff member on his team. And what a team… every member of the cruise staff is out and about. They never walk by without saying hello and asking you about your cruise. They know so many passengers by name. Kudos especially to Gary, Anna, and Debs; they made our cruise. Without a doubt, Gary is the funniest individual that I ever met. The Liars Game Show was hysterical, although we were on the Marriage Match Show that makes us a bit prejudiced for this one! The main shows were amazing, and I thought the Princess singers and dancers were phenomenal. In addition, the captain and his entire crew were out and about. In addition, they were quite approachable and willing to chat. As for the Royal herself, she is an eloquent ship. I loved the Piazza, because it was large enough to host activities. The Ball Drop on the last night gave me chills!! Yes, the carpet could be replaced in some venues, but that will happen, I’m sure. We had an inside cabin, which was small… although, looking back, we were never in the cabin, so it was fine. I do a lot of school work (I teach on-line), so I use my computer from our room; I would have liked a couch or another chair besides the one at the desk… but that’s just being particular. The shower needs doors, as the curtain is just plain outdated and rather disgusting, but our room steward kept it clean. He was quick and efficient, too, wanting to keep us happy. Sometimes, we left and had to come back to the room because we forget something, and our room was already clean! Pretty awesome, Frankee!! We had anytime dining, since 5 p.m. was too early and 8 p.m. was too late for us. We had mixed feelings about this, although it worked out perfectly! We never had to wait more than a few minutes for a table of 2! The food in the dining room was not as lavish as Royal Caribbean for me; I missed my escargot every night. But, it was acceptable… the lobster was outstanding. BUT… I loved the buffet, which I usually am not a fan of. The buffet is set up very differently, and since they have more than one line, you get through it quickly, even at the busiest of time. I found the food really good with a wide range of choices. One lunch, there was a wide variety of sushi, displayed beautifully. The Mongolian Night buffet was a highlight of the food for us!! My only challenge is that individuals missed both these events, and it would help to spread the word. We met a couple who was really upset to miss the sushi. In addition, we liked the small pizza restaurant on the ship, whose name I cannot remember. I’m not talking about Sabatino’s or the pizza by the pool. This was a wonderful, small, intimate restaurant with wonderful antipastos, soups, and pizza… probably the best thin crust pizza at sea! We did not go to the specialty dining restaurants, because quite frankly, we didn’t want to take the time away from the ship’s activities. For whatever it’s worth, they were never crowded! Interesting, right? We already left a deposit for our next Princess cruise, and I would love to join Ron again next Christmas. I’m not big on the holidays since my mom passed away, so this cruise was really special. We celebrated my birthday and our anniversary, too. It was a vacation not to forget!! Please feel free to e-mail me any specific questions you may have… I will respond quickly. beginningsteps@bellsouth.net

Probably our BEST cruise yet!!

Royal Princess Cruise Review by BeginningSteps

23 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I have not done Cruise Critic in awhile, but even though I have a zillion things to play catch-up on, I feel that I have a responsibility to share my opinion of the Royal Princess. After all, I read all of the reviews previously, which were quite varied. I am now convinced that 2 people can take the exact same cruise and walk away with 2 completely different opinions. So, here is mine…

My husband and I have been cruising a lot for the past 12 years, but even more so during the past 5 years because my job has flexibility; having a computer on-board has made a huge difference. We are big Royal Caribbean people, although we have traveled on Princess with mixed reviews. We chose this ship only because of the itinerary and dates, which fit my schedule perfectly.

Without a doubt, this was one of the best cruises we have taken, if not the best. Let’s start at the beginning… check-in was speedy and our cabin was ready when we boarded the ship. We did not have to wait until after lunch! I wasn’t happy with having to put on life jackets during the drill, but if that’s my only complaint, I’ll go with it.

Entertainment was non-stop. I read that individuals did not have much to do, and I wonder now what ship they were on. On some nights, there were 2 main shows and 2 funny game shows. The music around the ship was outstanding, and there was something for everyone. Every show was well organized, and I think it was some of the best entertainment I’ve seen on a ship… maybe not the very best individually, but as a group, it was definitely the best.

I found the same true on sea days, although we took some long naps to allow us to stay up until all hours of the morning, so we missed some of this. However, there were games, cooking demonstrations, line dancing, pool games, and so much more. My hubby was proud that Princess kept its Veteran’s get-together; kudos to Princess.

The staff IS the best at sea. I have very high expectations, and they surpassed every one of them. Ron Goodman is the most organized and professional cruise director, with a heart as big as gold. He genially wants every guest to have the time of their life on the Royal. He will go out of his way to say hello to you, and he is very visible. His experience and perfectionism is evident in every activity planned and within every staff member on his team. And what a team… every member of the cruise staff is out and about. They never walk by without saying hello and asking you about your cruise. They know so many passengers by name. Kudos especially to Gary, Anna, and Debs; they made our cruise. Without a doubt, Gary is the funniest individual that I ever met. The Liars Game Show was hysterical, although we were on the Marriage Match Show that makes us a bit prejudiced for this one! The main shows were amazing, and I thought the Princess singers and dancers were phenomenal. In addition, the captain and his entire crew were out and about. In addition, they were quite approachable and willing to chat.

As for the Royal herself, she is an eloquent ship. I loved the Piazza, because it was large enough to host activities. The Ball Drop on the last night gave me chills!! Yes, the carpet could be replaced in some venues, but that will happen, I’m sure. We had an inside cabin, which was small… although, looking back, we were never in the cabin, so it was fine. I do a lot of school work (I teach on-line), so I use my computer from our room; I would have liked a couch or another chair besides the one at the desk… but that’s just being particular. The shower needs doors, as the curtain is just plain outdated and rather disgusting, but our room steward kept it clean. He was quick and efficient, too, wanting to keep us happy. Sometimes, we left and had to come back to the room because we forget something, and our room was already clean! Pretty awesome, Frankee!!

We had anytime dining, since 5 p.m. was too early and 8 p.m. was too late for us. We had mixed feelings about this, although it worked out perfectly! We never had to wait more than a few minutes for a table of 2! The food in the dining room was not as lavish as Royal Caribbean for me; I missed my escargot every night. But, it was acceptable… the lobster was outstanding. BUT… I loved the buffet, which I usually am not a fan of. The buffet is set up very differently, and since they have more than one line, you get through it quickly, even at the busiest of time. I found the food really good with a wide range of choices. One lunch, there was a wide variety of sushi, displayed beautifully. The Mongolian Night buffet was a highlight of the food for us!! My only challenge is that individuals missed both these events, and it would help to spread the word. We met a couple who was really upset to miss the sushi. In addition, we liked the small pizza restaurant on the ship, whose name I cannot remember. I’m not talking about Sabatino’s or the pizza by the pool. This was a wonderful, small, intimate restaurant with wonderful antipastos, soups, and pizza… probably the best thin crust pizza at sea! We did not go to the specialty dining restaurants, because quite frankly, we didn’t want to take the time away from the ship’s activities. For whatever it’s worth, they were never crowded! Interesting, right?

We already left a deposit for our next Princess cruise, and I would love to join Ron again next Christmas. I’m not big on the holidays since my mom passed away, so this cruise was really special. We celebrated my birthday and our anniversary, too. It was a vacation not to forget!! Please feel free to e-mail me any specific questions you may have… I will respond quickly. beginningsteps@bellsouth.net
BeginningSteps’s Full Rating Summary
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