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I had planned to park on site, but I figured out that Regal was leaving from Terminal 21 and guessed (correctly) that it would be returning to Terminal 2 so we went with Park ‘n Go and were very satisfied coming and going. Perhaps the passengers who care about which terminal are a small minority, but I would have found it useful to get an email from Princess with this information. Thanks to the many Cruise Critic members who provided advice that led us to a successful parking choice. Embarkation involved about a 30 second wait (at 12:30!). Again, based on Cruise Critic advice, we immediately signed up for the ship tour and the Sanctuary. The former was a snap. The latter took a half hour, despite only three parties being ahead of us. Some process improvement is needed here. It’s the first (and hopefully last) time I’ve had to use a rain umbrella while on board a cruise ship. In the end, we had no trouble finding good lounge chairs, despite the ship being sold out, and cancelled the Sanctuary. Overall, I would rate the ship, the cabin and the crew attitude as very good to excellent and we were well pleased. The photo staff was great to work with. We particularly enjoyed the food at the Horizon Court and the International Café. The entertainment was not so much to our taste, so we mostly passed, but there was no shortage of opportunities to keep occupied. The ship’s trumpet player did a series of three bush survival lectures which my wife particularly enjoyed. At $150, the ship tour is no bargain, but we found it worthwhile. Ashore, we did the Martha Brae river raft in Jamaica and Xplor Adventure Park in Mexico, both of which are outstanding and highly recommended. The latter is quite expensive. Indeed, out of 5600 passengers and crew, only one passenger and two crew members elected the tour, beside my wife and me. It was worth every penny. Disembarkation was similar to embarkation, except there was no 30 second wait. We walked right off. How Princess accomplishes these miracles on a sold out ship, I cannot say. From reading other reviews, I’d say we had some unusual good luck. So, are we lining up our next cruise on Princess? Well, no. It all fell apart at dinnertime. First, there was the scheduling. The maître d’ was available on boarding, and we did talk to him, but after that none of the headwaiters or the Passenger Services staff would share any information on how to reach him. We figured out his phone extension, but there was no voicemail. In the end, we wrote him a letter, and he was gracious and helpful. He said he had been on board only three weeks, was not aware that it was so hard for people to contact him, and promised to sort it out going forward. That was only part of the MDR experience. The service was, shall we say, variable. But the principal shortcoming of the entire cruise was the dull, insipid food. It was not so much the preparation as the menus that failed. This was my ninth cruise and I had never before been bored by the dinner menus. I last cruised with RCCL and, with the possible exception of the entertainment, Princess was superior in all respects, save the dining room. They would do well to consider cutting back on the elaborate selection in the Horizon Court and shifting the savings to improving the dinner menus in the dining room.

Almost Excellent

Regal Princess Cruise Review by 57eric

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2017
  • Destination: Caribbean
I had planned to park on site, but I figured out that Regal was leaving from Terminal 21 and guessed (correctly) that it would be returning to Terminal 2 so we went with Park ‘n Go and were very satisfied coming and going. Perhaps the passengers who care about which terminal are a small minority, but I would have found it useful to get an email from Princess with this information. Thanks to the many Cruise Critic members who provided advice that led us to a successful parking choice.

Embarkation involved about a 30 second wait (at 12:30!). Again, based on Cruise Critic advice, we immediately signed up for the ship tour and the Sanctuary. The former was a snap. The latter took a half hour, despite only three parties being ahead of us. Some process improvement is needed here. It’s the first (and hopefully last) time I’ve had to use a rain umbrella while on board a cruise ship. In the end, we had no trouble finding good lounge chairs, despite the ship being sold out, and cancelled the Sanctuary.

Overall, I would rate the ship, the cabin and the crew attitude as very good to excellent and we were well pleased. The photo staff was great to work with. We particularly enjoyed the food at the Horizon Court and the International Café. The entertainment was not so much to our taste, so we mostly passed, but there was no shortage of opportunities to keep occupied. The ship’s trumpet player did a series of three bush survival lectures which my wife particularly enjoyed. At $150, the ship tour is no bargain, but we found it worthwhile. Ashore, we did the Martha Brae river raft in Jamaica and Xplor Adventure Park in Mexico, both of which are outstanding and highly recommended. The latter is quite expensive. Indeed, out of 5600 passengers and crew, only one passenger and two crew members elected the tour, beside my wife and me. It was worth every penny.

Disembarkation was similar to embarkation, except there was no 30 second wait. We walked right off. How Princess accomplishes these miracles on a sold out ship, I cannot say. From reading other reviews, I’d say we had some unusual good luck.

So, are we lining up our next cruise on Princess? Well, no. It all fell apart at dinnertime. First, there was the scheduling. The maître d’ was available on boarding, and we did talk to him, but after that none of the headwaiters or the Passenger Services staff would share any information on how to reach him. We figured out his phone extension, but there was no voicemail. In the end, we wrote him a letter, and he was gracious and helpful. He said he had been on board only three weeks, was not aware that it was so hard for people to contact him, and promised to sort it out going forward.

That was only part of the MDR experience. The service was, shall we say, variable. But the principal shortcoming of the entire cruise was the dull, insipid food. It was not so much the preparation as the menus that failed. This was my ninth cruise and I had never before been bored by the dinner menus. I last cruised with RCCL and, with the possible exception of the entertainment, Princess was superior in all respects, save the dining room. They would do well to consider cutting back on the elaborate selection in the Horizon Court and shifting the savings to improving the dinner menus in the dining room.
57eric’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
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