1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Regal Princess
We chose this cruise because it was on the Regal, the newest Princess ship in the Caribbean lineup, and because of the itinerary. We were on the 15th floor in a Mini Suite, as there four in our family. Embarkation in Ft Lauderdale went fairly fast, but I kind of felt we were rushed aboard. Disembarkation was also painless. We had a late flight, so we stayed aboard until about 8:45, and our luggage was easy to find, and no lines for customs at this time. The terminal had lines of taxis readily available to take us to the airport. Pros: fairly new ship, no elevator or plumbing issues, leaks from the pools, etc. We were under the Lido deck near the glass walkway, and only occasionally heard someone scraping chairs across the floor above us. The food and service in the Main Dining Room (anytime dining) was excellent, and we had no major complaints. We ate at both Sabatinis and Crown Grill, and had superb service in both. If I was going to complain about either, it would be the wait times between courses was pushing the "too long" side. The basic layout of the ship was pretty similar to the Grand Princess, so it was pretty easy for my wife and I to find our way around. The mini-suite was actually quite roomy for 4 of us, with plenty of closet and drawer space scattered through the room. We never felt crowded in this room. We found the Princess Theater to be ample large enough for the showings, but had to be there at least 30 minutes early if we chose to see the early showings. Cons: the design of the Regal class seems to block off being able to access the front of the ship, something we enjoyed on the Grand Princess. Nothing like the feeling of seeing the ocean ahead without having to look around the edge of the ship. We were not impressed with the Horizon Bistro/Court design and layout, and sometimes found it confusing. The main walkways were too narrow for the "throngs" during feeding times. We were pretty disappointed in the variety and quality of the foods on the buffet at all meals, though we only ate 1 supper and 1 lunch in this area. There was no promotion for a Pub lunch that we saw or heard during this cruise, which surprised us. We found Alfredo's pizzas to be very mild, nearly flavorless, and the wait staff in Alfredo's were apparently having a bad day. The mini-suite cabin balcony is no larger than any other balcony room balcony, meaning while the suite was ample big enough for 4 of us, you can't sit 4 around a table in the balcony. The audio in the theater was always way too loud. They have divided the wheelhouse bar and placed Crown grill on the back side of the bar. The only way to the Crown Grill was to walk past the bar. Also, the bar had a loud (yes all of their amplified sounds were way too loud) stage and there were no walls separating the 2 spaces, just pony walls with short pieces of glass on them, so the music from the stage in the bar would blast into the Crown Grill, were we were supposed to be able to relax. Nothing like trying to enjoy a relaxing meal when you can't hear the rest of the party talking. Watch out for the Miss Texas sales shows. They run long and stagger their "giveaways" to keep you there the whole hour and 45 minutes. Somewhat cons: The Regal has a "Live" studio, and has taken to running programs out of there and recording them and you can pick them up in your cabin on the TV after they are recorded. This is a plus. The negative is that this has pretty much phased out the Vista lounge, or relegated it to primarily bingo and movies. We only found ourselves in Vista 1 time, and that was to catch a replay of a MUTS movie that we wanted to see, and had missed. Another side effect of phasing out Vista for entertainment was they were using center Plaza level for entertainment, which is nice, but they were putting some bigger shows on there, and there is not enough seating for the crowds. Biggest Con... don't get your hopes up over the Medallion system. I think Carnival Corp way overplayed their hand in this, and while a couple hundred passengers had their medallions and were in medallion class rooms, they were quite willing to share that there was an IT guy nearby as they could never get into their rooms. The rest of it was just hype. There are touch screens (right? in an Anti-Norovirus world, who wants to use touch-screens?) everywhere near the elevators with CGI effects of fake underseas. If you were in to kiddie-style social media stuff, you can go online and create an animated character, but if you walked by a touch screen, you had to log into your profile to see it, and if you did, all it did was swim around in bottom of the deep blue sea, and you have no option to log your profile back out. I am sure there is some future benefit to this, but it is nonsense at this time in the short life of the Medallion class Regal Princess. Near the end of the cruise, I felt like Princess was "converting" their meaning of Medallion class to mean type or quality of service. We felt that the service we received from the staff on board the Regal was the same as we received on the Grand - superb, so we were still lost on the whole Medallion thing. We did not use wifi, as we really wanted this to be a "get away" vacation, so no comment on the "Best Internet Experience ever offered on a cruise ship". Shore excursions: We enjoyed Princess Cays, but found the BBQ lunch somewhat disappointing and messy. They used smaller paper plates and plastic ware, and we saw a lot of folks lose their food as the paper plates were fairly flimsy. My opinion: the site is owned by Princess, and is equipped with a dish washing area, so outfit it with the same plates and silverware used in Horizon Court, and it can be used for all of the cruises that stop there. I found the glass-bottom boat excursion disappointing. I found the boat to be a bit run-down, and while they had a full boat, they didn't make folks fill up from the rear, and we were the last 4 on the boat, and had to walk across everyone's knees and toes to get to the back of the boat. The glass was dirty from the top side with trash on the glass as well. The sun had gone behind clouds when we started our tour, and we only got 15 minutes in when the rain started, and they turned around and went back. Fortunately Princess refunded the whole tour since it was rained out. On to Ocho Rios... we enjoyed our excursion to Dunns River Falls, but were disappointed in the tour operator when it came to the Dolphin and shark show. It was supposed to be a 4-hour excursion on a short day in Jamaica, but they took 5.5 hours of our port time, returning us to the ship with only 40 minutes left before all-aboard. My advice: get a taxi to take you to Dunns River falls and then to the Dolphin show and then to the shopping district, if you choose. Everything is close to each other, but walking will take too much of your time on a short day. On to Grand Caymen. We had really been looking forward to this one, but the seas were too high and winds were too strong to run the tenders, so it was cancelled. However, the trip's redeeming port was Cozumel. We really enjoyed this day, as it was a 12-hour port day, and there was no stress involved in it. 6-7 hour days in ports seems too short to really get a feel for the other stops, but this one had the right balance. The Atlantis Sub was great, well worth the money. Overall, we all enjoyed our cruise. We were able to spend some time in the pool, and crowd our way into a hot tub a couple of times. We were not into lounging on deck chairs in our bathing suits, but there appeared to be plenty of space for that, although crowded on Lido deck. We weren't impressed with the sail-away party, but hey, that probably just isn't our thing, so won't let that be a negative against Princess or the Cruise Director. Speaking of which, we felt he was great, and enjoyed his jokes and sense of humor. If you are a frequent cruiser with Princess, you might find the menu boring after a couple of cruises, as we saw a lot of similarities to the menu on our Alaska cruise on the Grand Princess a few years ago. There are some regional cuisine changes, so take advantage of those. However, if you are new to cruising, when you are looking over the menu, take advantage of your time, choose more than one appetizer if you see something that sounds new. A lot of the day-to-day appetizers changed every day, so you may not get a second opportunity to try them. Same with the desserts. FYI - the desserts offered in the dining rooms most often does not match what you might get in the International Cafe or in Horizon buffet. The wait staff tend to enjoy their work, especially if you are friendly to them, and will occasionally offer extra off-menu appetizers or desserts to you. We did not find any issues with Regal Princess being stingy with butter as others on this site have complained about. There were always at least enough butter for 5 dinner rolls on a table for 4, and if we needed more, were quite prompt in serving it up. Noro... there was a scare where (reportedly) about 20 folks came down with a gastro thing a day after our Jamaica stop, but we never heard if it continued to spread and were not affected by it. However, at this stage, everything changed in the dining experience. In Horizon, everyone was told to wash their hands when entering the court, and we were handed plates and silverware/napkins instead of picking up our own plates. All food was served by staff from behind the counters so we never had to touch food handling utensils or food. I felt this was a good thing, and perhaps this should be the way they service food in the buffet area all the time, just to avoid the risk of spreading Noro. In the main dining room, we no longer found butter or rolls on the table, but were offered them by the wait staff, served via tongs to our plates - so we could not handle the containers, I would suppose. I am sure they would never serve left-over rolls or open butter from one sitting to another...

Regal Princess Western Caribbean 7-day January 14-21, 2018

Regal Princess Cruise Review by DKH2

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2018
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
We chose this cruise because it was on the Regal, the newest Princess ship in the Caribbean lineup, and because of the itinerary. We were on the 15th floor in a Mini Suite, as there four in our family. Embarkation in Ft Lauderdale went fairly fast, but I kind of felt we were rushed aboard. Disembarkation was also painless. We had a late flight, so we stayed aboard until about 8:45, and our luggage was easy to find, and no lines for customs at this time. The terminal had lines of taxis readily available to take us to the airport.

Pros: fairly new ship, no elevator or plumbing issues, leaks from the pools, etc. We were under the Lido deck near the glass walkway, and only occasionally heard someone scraping chairs across the floor above us. The food and service in the Main Dining Room (anytime dining) was excellent, and we had no major complaints. We ate at both Sabatinis and Crown Grill, and had superb service in both. If I was going to complain about either, it would be the wait times between courses was pushing the "too long" side. The basic layout of the ship was pretty similar to the Grand Princess, so it was pretty easy for my wife and I to find our way around. The mini-suite was actually quite roomy for 4 of us, with plenty of closet and drawer space scattered through the room. We never felt crowded in this room. We found the Princess Theater to be ample large enough for the showings, but had to be there at least 30 minutes early if we chose to see the early showings.

Cons: the design of the Regal class seems to block off being able to access the front of the ship, something we enjoyed on the Grand Princess. Nothing like the feeling of seeing the ocean ahead without having to look around the edge of the ship. We were not impressed with the Horizon Bistro/Court design and layout, and sometimes found it confusing. The main walkways were too narrow for the "throngs" during feeding times. We were pretty disappointed in the variety and quality of the foods on the buffet at all meals, though we only ate 1 supper and 1 lunch in this area. There was no promotion for a Pub lunch that we saw or heard during this cruise, which surprised us. We found Alfredo's pizzas to be very mild, nearly flavorless, and the wait staff in Alfredo's were apparently having a bad day. The mini-suite cabin balcony is no larger than any other balcony room balcony, meaning while the suite was ample big enough for 4 of us, you can't sit 4 around a table in the balcony. The audio in the theater was always way too loud. They have divided the wheelhouse bar and placed Crown grill on the back side of the bar. The only way to the Crown Grill was to walk past the bar. Also, the bar had a loud (yes all of their amplified sounds were way too loud) stage and there were no walls separating the 2 spaces, just pony walls with short pieces of glass on them, so the music from the stage in the bar would blast into the Crown Grill, were we were supposed to be able to relax. Nothing like trying to enjoy a relaxing meal when you can't hear the rest of the party talking. Watch out for the Miss Texas sales shows. They run long and stagger their "giveaways" to keep you there the whole hour and 45 minutes.

Somewhat cons: The Regal has a "Live" studio, and has taken to running programs out of there and recording them and you can pick them up in your cabin on the TV after they are recorded. This is a plus. The negative is that this has pretty much phased out the Vista lounge, or relegated it to primarily bingo and movies. We only found ourselves in Vista 1 time, and that was to catch a replay of a MUTS movie that we wanted to see, and had missed. Another side effect of phasing out Vista for entertainment was they were using center Plaza level for entertainment, which is nice, but they were putting some bigger shows on there, and there is not enough seating for the crowds.

Biggest Con... don't get your hopes up over the Medallion system. I think Carnival Corp way overplayed their hand in this, and while a couple hundred passengers had their medallions and were in medallion class rooms, they were quite willing to share that there was an IT guy nearby as they could never get into their rooms. The rest of it was just hype. There are touch screens (right? in an Anti-Norovirus world, who wants to use touch-screens?) everywhere near the elevators with CGI effects of fake underseas. If you were in to kiddie-style social media stuff, you can go online and create an animated character, but if you walked by a touch screen, you had to log into your profile to see it, and if you did, all it did was swim around in bottom of the deep blue sea, and you have no option to log your profile back out. I am sure there is some future benefit to this, but it is nonsense at this time in the short life of the Medallion class Regal Princess. Near the end of the cruise, I felt like Princess was "converting" their meaning of Medallion class to mean type or quality of service. We felt that the service we received from the staff on board the Regal was the same as we received on the Grand - superb, so we were still lost on the whole Medallion thing. We did not use wifi, as we really wanted this to be a "get away" vacation, so no comment on the "Best Internet Experience ever offered on a cruise ship".

Shore excursions: We enjoyed Princess Cays, but found the BBQ lunch somewhat disappointing and messy. They used smaller paper plates and plastic ware, and we saw a lot of folks lose their food as the paper plates were fairly flimsy. My opinion: the site is owned by Princess, and is equipped with a dish washing area, so outfit it with the same plates and silverware used in Horizon Court, and it can be used for all of the cruises that stop there. I found the glass-bottom boat excursion disappointing. I found the boat to be a bit run-down, and while they had a full boat, they didn't make folks fill up from the rear, and we were the last 4 on the boat, and had to walk across everyone's knees and toes to get to the back of the boat. The glass was dirty from the top side with trash on the glass as well. The sun had gone behind clouds when we started our tour, and we only got 15 minutes in when the rain started, and they turned around and went back. Fortunately Princess refunded the whole tour since it was rained out. On to Ocho Rios... we enjoyed our excursion to Dunns River Falls, but were disappointed in the tour operator when it came to the Dolphin and shark show. It was supposed to be a 4-hour excursion on a short day in Jamaica, but they took 5.5 hours of our port time, returning us to the ship with only 40 minutes left before all-aboard. My advice: get a taxi to take you to Dunns River falls and then to the Dolphin show and then to the shopping district, if you choose. Everything is close to each other, but walking will take too much of your time on a short day. On to Grand Caymen. We had really been looking forward to this one, but the seas were too high and winds were too strong to run the tenders, so it was cancelled. However, the trip's redeeming port was Cozumel. We really enjoyed this day, as it was a 12-hour port day, and there was no stress involved in it. 6-7 hour days in ports seems too short to really get a feel for the other stops, but this one had the right balance. The Atlantis Sub was great, well worth the money.

Overall, we all enjoyed our cruise. We were able to spend some time in the pool, and crowd our way into a hot tub a couple of times. We were not into lounging on deck chairs in our bathing suits, but there appeared to be plenty of space for that, although crowded on Lido deck. We weren't impressed with the sail-away party, but hey, that probably just isn't our thing, so won't let that be a negative against Princess or the Cruise Director. Speaking of which, we felt he was great, and enjoyed his jokes and sense of humor. If you are a frequent cruiser with Princess, you might find the menu boring after a couple of cruises, as we saw a lot of similarities to the menu on our Alaska cruise on the Grand Princess a few years ago. There are some regional cuisine changes, so take advantage of those. However, if you are new to cruising, when you are looking over the menu, take advantage of your time, choose more than one appetizer if you see something that sounds new. A lot of the day-to-day appetizers changed every day, so you may not get a second opportunity to try them. Same with the desserts. FYI - the desserts offered in the dining rooms most often does not match what you might get in the International Cafe or in Horizon buffet. The wait staff tend to enjoy their work, especially if you are friendly to them, and will occasionally offer extra off-menu appetizers or desserts to you. We did not find any issues with Regal Princess being stingy with butter as others on this site have complained about. There were always at least enough butter for 5 dinner rolls on a table for 4, and if we needed more, were quite prompt in serving it up.

Noro... there was a scare where (reportedly) about 20 folks came down with a gastro thing a day after our Jamaica stop, but we never heard if it continued to spread and were not affected by it. However, at this stage, everything changed in the dining experience. In Horizon, everyone was told to wash their hands when entering the court, and we were handed plates and silverware/napkins instead of picking up our own plates. All food was served by staff from behind the counters so we never had to touch food handling utensils or food. I felt this was a good thing, and perhaps this should be the way they service food in the buffet area all the time, just to avoid the risk of spreading Noro. In the main dining room, we no longer found butter or rolls on the table, but were offered them by the wait staff, served via tongs to our plates - so we could not handle the containers, I would suppose. I am sure they would never serve left-over rolls or open butter from one sitting to another...
DKH2’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Regal Princess price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MB M329
Ample storage for a 7-day cruise for 4. Bed layout: queen size for 2, berth for 1, and a couch that had a unique "hide-a-bed" system where the underframe was flipped over for a single bed. The drawback to this bed was it was directly below the berth, and the ladder to the berth was in front of it. Picture the end result as a set of bunk beds, and you got it. We found the balcony to bee too small for room class, but would not sacrifice room space for a larger balcony. The bathtub was a nice addition over a regular balcony room.
Marina Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Submarine Tour
    This crew is great, and the $99 for the excursion was well worth it. Be aware, if you have special needs family members, there is a ladder to get in and out of the sub, and they expect you to turn 180-degrees while descending into the sub.
    View All 85 Submarine Tour Reviews
  • Dolphin Swim
    This was part of a combined excursion with Dunns River Falls. We found that our excursion was not a Dolphin swim, but we could only watch those that did have a dolphin swim. Then, viola, we were too late arriving for the sharks, so we had nearly an hour to kill before the next shark show, so there we were, well past 1:00 on an excursion that did not provide food, trapped in a tourist trap. But no need to fear, they have a buffet for $15 apiece. Oh yeah, don't get too carried away eating food that should be kept at certain temps on that buffet (I don't think lukewarm qualifies)... Needless to say, we found Dolphin cove to be a big disappointment, and we felt like the Tour Agency was in cohorts with the operators at Dolphin cove to trap customers in their environment to force a family of 4 to spend an extra $60 just to eat something. Advice, if you get into this situation, just buy an ice-cream cone or a bag of potato chips and a coke from the gift shop. Stay away from the buffet.
    View All 19 Dolphin Swim Reviews
  • Dunn's River Falls
    Found this port disappointing, as the tour company was playing musical busses, forcing us to stay in Dunns River Falls for over 2 hours on a 4-hour tour, then we were dropped off at Dolphin Cove.
    View All 259 Dunn's River Falls Reviews
  • Glass-Bottom Boat Cruise
    boat looked run-down and was dirty, they didn't have first in seat in the rear of the boat, and we were last on, and had to walk across feet and knees to get to the rear. Rained out after 15 minutes, and Princess refunded to all on that tour.
    View All 8 Glass-Bottom Boat Cruise Reviews