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This was our second time on the Royal and the ship remains in good shape. Our trip was for relaxation and we traveled with another couple. Embarkation Embarkation was a bit different than normal in that the Preferred line was longer than the regular one (well over 1000 Platinum and Elite on board). We arrived at around 10:45 and the line stretched all the way back to the north end of the terminal (Pier 2). That said, shortly afterwards we started moving, went through security, got our cruise cards, and then just as we arrived at the Elite lounge, they told us that they were ready to board. So basically after the wait inline outside, we pretty much just kept moving and then were on the ship (all within an hour). When we received our cruise cards, the agents were informing everyone that the cabins wouldn’t be ready until 1:30 but that you could drop your carry on bags in your room. When we got to our room (around noon) it was ready and there were no issues. The Room We had a normal mini-suite on the Riviera Deck. We love to have the extra space and the full bathroom. As anyone who has cruised with Princess knows, there is lots of space for your belongings in both the closet and in the drawers and cabinets. Two interactive televisions are also the norm for the mini-suite – one facing the bed and the other the couch. You can check your account, start and stop movies at your pleasure – well you get the picture. This system is much better than the televisions on the Grand Class and other ships in the fleet. Air conditioning seemed subject to whether the ship was moving or not. It seemed that on port days it wasn’t quite as cool as when we were moving. We had good water pressure and while you couldn’t actually get cold water, it ranged from warm to hot. The bad – that would be the balconies. This is without question the one thing we really don’t like about the Royal Class Princess ships. They are just too narrow. You have to sit sideways unless you want your knees to touch the balcony glass, and if you want to go inside for something the person by the door has to move. Internet I am putting this at the beginning of the review as the Internet was truly a SURPRISE. We are used to slow or non-existing connections on Princess that kick you off line at the most inappropriate time. The Royal must have upgraded substantially because not only were our connections fast, but also pictures and videos loaded without an issue. Thank you Princess!!! Horizon Court/Trident Grill/Scoops/etc To qualify our comments about buffets and fast food, we first have to say that we only use these venues for breakfast or a lunch snack – never for dinner. Horizon Court on the Royal Class ships is so far superior to the other Princess ships that it is hard to describe all the differences. On this ship the buffets are wide open with lots of room and lots of choices. Would we say that the food is 10 out of 10 – absolutely not? Some dishes were great, some so-so, and some bleah. But this is no different than any buffet. Basically though we give the Horizon Court on the Royal a big thumbs up when comparing it to other Princess ships. Trident Grill – this was the second time in the past couple of months that we have been disappointed with the Trident Grill. It appears that they have cut back. We usually have the chicken breast and now it is so small you have to order double meat, and even then it is very tiny. Also they don’t listen to requests such as no lettuce, tomato, fries – they just run it like an assembly line. This seems to be the norm which wasn’t the case before. Pizza/Ice Cream – pretty standard – all good. Bar Service Not much to say other than since the AIBP came to be, the bartenders just don’t seem to care about service. Do they provide drinks, yes – do they have any personality – this is totally dependent on each individual bartender. Their tips are automatic and thus so is their service or lack of service. Fitness Area Lots of machines, not much free weight space. Basically the space is well equipped but it is also a thoroughfare for people going to smoke on the back deck. Kind of weird………….. The Royal also has a running/walking track which is nice. Library Very small and not much of a selection. Sun Decks We never had any problem finding chairs. We also saw Deck Attendants removing towels from empty chairs. Sports Deck Lots of activities – everything from basketball to a batting cage to driving/golf cage. Crooners One of our favorite places for a drink before dinner. Great service and a very entertaining piano player – Joey. Entertainment The bands were good and the band Rhapsody was very good. The comedian was awful, the production shows good. Basically the entertainment was all over the spectrum. Anytime Dining We had a reserved table in Concerto’s. The dining room was a bit of a mystery though. Along with many other reviewers we pretty much have come to the conclusion that the wait staff have been thinned out. Our waiter/assistant waiter were always running but they could never keep up. Dishes were missing, wine wasn’t delivered until part way through the meal, water glasses went unfilled, and several times we asked for condiments that would have to be re-asked for several times. This theme seemed to be the norm and not specific to our specific waiters. Crown Grill We ate here twice and the only words that really do it justice is WOW. We are not strangers to high end steak houses, and both the service and the food at the Crown Grill met our every expectation and would fit right in at many high priced venues. Overall We always have a great cruise and never let little things drag down our experience. This time the little things definitely included the lackluster bar service and that the waitstaff for the most part didn’t meet past experiences. Don’t get us wrong – we are booked on the Diamond already and no doubt will book another couple before the year is up. Did we enjoy ourselves? Definitely. Just mentioning that we continually see little issues that were not present even three or four years ago.

Royal Review - 10 Day Eastern

Royal Princess Cruise Review by RLK33853

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2017
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Premium Club Class Mini-Suite with Balcony
This was our second time on the Royal and the ship remains in good shape. Our trip was for relaxation and we traveled with another couple.

Embarkation

Embarkation was a bit different than normal in that the Preferred line was longer than the regular one (well over 1000 Platinum and Elite on board). We arrived at around 10:45 and the line stretched all the way back to the north end of the terminal (Pier 2). That said, shortly afterwards we started moving, went through security, got our cruise cards, and then just as we arrived at the Elite lounge, they told us that they were ready to board. So basically after the wait inline outside, we pretty much just kept moving and then were on the ship (all within an hour).

When we received our cruise cards, the agents were informing everyone that the cabins wouldn’t be ready until 1:30 but that you could drop your carry on bags in your room. When we got to our room (around noon) it was ready and there were no issues.

The Room

We had a normal mini-suite on the Riviera Deck. We love to have the extra space and the full bathroom. As anyone who has cruised with Princess knows, there is lots of space for your belongings in both the closet and in the drawers and cabinets.

Two interactive televisions are also the norm for the mini-suite – one facing the bed and the other the couch. You can check your account, start and stop movies at your pleasure – well you get the picture. This system is much better than the televisions on the Grand Class and other ships in the fleet.

Air conditioning seemed subject to whether the ship was moving or not. It seemed that on port days it wasn’t quite as cool as when we were moving.

We had good water pressure and while you couldn’t actually get cold water, it ranged from warm to hot.

The bad – that would be the balconies. This is without question the one thing we really don’t like about the Royal Class Princess ships. They are just too narrow. You have to sit sideways unless you want your knees to touch the balcony glass, and if you want to go inside for something the person by the door has to move.

Internet

I am putting this at the beginning of the review as the Internet was truly a SURPRISE. We are used to slow or non-existing connections on Princess that kick you off line at the most inappropriate time. The Royal must have upgraded substantially because not only were our connections fast, but also pictures and videos loaded without an issue. Thank you Princess!!!

Horizon Court/Trident Grill/Scoops/etc

To qualify our comments about buffets and fast food, we first have to say that we only use these venues for breakfast or a lunch snack – never for dinner.

Horizon Court on the Royal Class ships is so far superior to the other Princess ships that it is hard to describe all the differences. On this ship the buffets are wide open with lots of room and lots of choices. Would we say that the food is 10 out of 10 – absolutely not? Some dishes were great, some so-so, and some bleah. But this is no different than any buffet.

Basically though we give the Horizon Court on the Royal a big thumbs up when comparing it to other Princess ships.

Trident Grill – this was the second time in the past couple of months that we have been disappointed with the Trident Grill. It appears that they have cut back. We usually have the chicken breast and now it is so small you have to order double meat, and even then it is very tiny. Also they don’t listen to requests such as no lettuce, tomato, fries – they just run it like an assembly line. This seems to be the norm which wasn’t the case before.

Pizza/Ice Cream – pretty standard – all good.

Bar Service

Not much to say other than since the AIBP came to be, the bartenders just don’t seem to care about service. Do they provide drinks, yes – do they have any personality – this is totally dependent on each individual bartender. Their tips are automatic and thus so is their service or lack of service.

Fitness Area

Lots of machines, not much free weight space. Basically the space is well equipped but it is also a thoroughfare for people going to smoke on the back deck. Kind of weird…………..

The Royal also has a running/walking track which is nice.

Library

Very small and not much of a selection.

Sun Decks

We never had any problem finding chairs. We also saw Deck Attendants removing towels from empty chairs.

Sports Deck

Lots of activities – everything from basketball to a batting cage to driving/golf cage.

Crooners

One of our favorite places for a drink before dinner. Great service and a very entertaining piano player – Joey.

Entertainment

The bands were good and the band Rhapsody was very good. The comedian was awful, the production shows good. Basically the entertainment was all over the spectrum.

Anytime Dining

We had a reserved table in Concerto’s. The dining room was a bit of a mystery though. Along with many other reviewers we pretty much have come to the conclusion that the wait staff have been thinned out. Our waiter/assistant waiter were always running but they could never keep up. Dishes were missing, wine wasn’t delivered until part way through the meal, water glasses went unfilled, and several times we asked for condiments that would have to be re-asked for several times. This theme seemed to be the norm and not specific to our specific waiters.

Crown Grill

We ate here twice and the only words that really do it justice is WOW. We are not strangers to high end steak houses, and both the service and the food at the Crown Grill met our every expectation and would fit right in at many high priced venues.

Overall

We always have a great cruise and never let little things drag down our experience. This time the little things definitely included the lackluster bar service and that the waitstaff for the most part didn’t meet past experiences.

Don’t get us wrong – we are booked on the Diamond already and no doubt will book another couple before the year is up. Did we enjoy ourselves? Definitely. Just mentioning that we continually see little issues that were not present even three or four years ago.
PrincessCruises3, Social Team, Princess Cruises has responded
Hi RLK33853, thank you for your feedback regarding your vacation onboard Royal Princess. We will pass along your comments about bar service and staff to our team. We look forward to welcoming you onboard Diamond Princess soon!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of The Independent Traveler, Inc.
RLK33853’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
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Fitness & Recreation
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