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This was my 6th Princess Cruise. We chose this cruise for the great itinerary, a great price promotion, and also because we love the Royal Princess (this was our 4th time on this ship). The central piazza is gorgeous and the ship never felt crowded! I had heard that Matt "O" was the Cruise Director since December and was hoping he would still be onboard . . . and happily HE WAS!! He remembered our family from 2 years ago and really makes you feel special!! His entire staff (Dieter, Noah, Ryan, Kassia, Natalie, and Lucia) were also incredible. Collectively our family of 4 participated in a LOT of activities hosted by them (trivia, game shows, Karaoke, Bingo, Zumba, Escape Room, Stargazing, Dancing Under the Stars, and Mardi Gras Party) and had a BLAST. Matt is especially entertaining to watch: a great dancer and so witty! We enjoyed all of the entertainment around the ship and wished we could be everywhere at once. The new musical show "The Secret Silk" was amazing: the sets, beautiful costumes, and the vocals!! The comedian Troy Thirdgill was hilarious. We loved all the variety of music onboard from the Island Sounds of Tyrone Babb, the great vocals and party dance sets of Evolution, classical music of Romantica String Trio, and the easy listening and dance music of the Sunset Quartet. We were immediately drawn to the flamboyant Perry Grant entertaining on his piano in his unique style with audience participation at the Crooners Bar. He had everyone laughing and we joined his growing group of FANS!! We found the options for food VERY good. We mostly had breakfast from the Horizon Court or the International Café and a couple of times in the Dining Room. We had the early seating Traditional Dining in the Allegro Dining Room Room which worked well as we could then get to the shows in Princess Theatre or activities in Princess Live! The food was delicious and we often each ordered more than one appetizer or main entrée to share. Our waiters (Dmitry and Dmitro) were wonderful and quickly learned our habits. The head waiter Constantine often helped out and made sure everyting was okay. We had another great experience in the Crown Grill but were sad to learn that lobster tails were no longer offered as part of the family share plattter. Alfredos is a great alternative for lunch or dinner and it is located off the Piazza area where you can listen in on all the action. We purchased the coffee card as always but unfortunately it is no longer accepted at Gelatos. The bar staff were very attentive but not pushy. Rout at Princess Live! Bar was really friendly and even spelled your name and home country on our specialty coffees. We purchased the 10-day Enclave package and found it to be a very relaxing and de-stressing environment. I wish they would provide face and body lotion in the shower/change rooms. The Fitness Centre is great with a lot of choice equipment. The in-cabin TV was great and we enjoyed watching The Wake Show and some of the Princess Live! Game Shows. Even though there was a great selection of movies, we only managed to watch one as we were kept very busy with ship activities! MUTS is always a hit! The pools and hot tubs were wonderful and we especially enjoyed the adults only Retreat Pool. We enjoyed the creativity and artistry of the fruit and vegetable carving as well as the ice carving demos. Our cabin steward Romano was really great. He seemed to work around our schedule magically to have our room cleaned, stocked with ice, and the beds made up and ready for the night. Every request was fulfilled promptly and with a smile. Ports: 1)Fort Lauderdale - Pre-cruise, we stayed at the Crowne Plaza Airport/Cruise hotel because of its proximity to the cruise terminal and the complimentary airport shuttle. We took taxis to the beach area and also to the Jungle Queen Riverboat which we enjoyed. 2)Princess Cays - DH and one son went on the Rock Sound & Eleuthera Scenic Drive Tour (I had done it 2 years ago) and enjoyed learning about the culture of the island. I enjoyed the Glass-bottom Boat cruise. We all enjoyed swimming, snorkeling, and pedal boating in the afternoon. Great BarBQ lunch! 3)St. Thomas - (Morning) St. Thomas Island Drive provided a great overview and we really enjoyed the Banana Daiquiri and shopping at MountainTop. (Afternoon) Two Island Snorkel & Beach Getaway by Fastcat- Great snorkelling at both locations. Saw lots of fish and turtles! Afterwards, the rum punch was overflowing and there was also soda if you preferred. 4) Martinique - We arranged a "North Island Tour" with Beyond the Beach. Our tour guide Sebastian was absolutely fantastic! He was full of information, history, and passionate about this island. We did so much: Niesson Rum Distillery tour & tasting, went for a dip at Carbet Beach, St. Pierre ruins, another dip at Gendarme Waterfalls, Alma River in the rainforest where we enjoyed a fresh coconut drink from a Rastafari guy, and finally the Balata church. A wonderful day! 5) Grenada- We had a private taxi tour with Sheldon from Royalty Taxi and Tours. His van was spotless and we again learned so much from him and saw so much in the 5 hours. He manoeuvred the narrow, windy roads expertly! We visted the Dougaldston Spice Estate, the Gouyave Nutmeg Processing Station, the Diamond Chocolate Factory, Grand Etang National Park and Grand Etang Crater Lake, and Annandale Falls. We only had time left to drive up to Fort Frederick and had a great view of the port. 6) Bonaire- We had reserved with Compass Bonaire but their boat was out of commission. Fortunately they were able to place us on one of their competitors Epic Tours . . . if not we would have missed out on the BEST snorkelling of all!! We were taken to 2 different locations where fish and coral were plentiful. The 2 guys Michiel and Thijs were a lot of fun. We were served water or sodas earlier on and then rum punch, wine, or prosecco after snorkelling. A day in paradise! 7) Curacao- We did the 8.5 hour Princess "Hato Caves, Willemstad, Museum, & Ship Lunch Break. It was a full day but we saw a LOT. The caves were a highlight. Unfortunately there was no time for shopping. I skipped the lunchbreak at the ship to shop at the mall near the port. DH later brought me a sandwich from the International Café. 8) Fort Lauderdale- Post- Cruise Princess tour "Everglades Airboat Ride & Flamingo Gardens and FLL airport drop-off". Our tour guide Tom was amazing! At Flamingo Gardens we enjoyed the narrated tram ride, the flamingos and peacocks, and the Aviary. We sighted a few alligators during our Everglades airboat ride which was very exciting and received complimentary souvenir photos! There was also a snack bar and an alligator show onsite. This cruise was wonderful in all aspects and there is something for all tastes and interests! We look forward to cruising on the Royal again as well as any other Princess ship in the future!! Highly recommend this ship and itinerary!!

Family Easter Cruise with Amazing Cruise Director and Staff!!

Royal Princess Cruise Review by Arya3

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: March 2018
  • Destination: Southern Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
This was my 6th Princess Cruise. We chose this cruise for the great itinerary, a great price promotion, and also because we love the Royal Princess (this was our 4th time on this ship). The central piazza is gorgeous and the ship never felt crowded! I had heard that Matt "O" was the Cruise Director since December and was hoping he would still be onboard . . . and happily HE WAS!! He remembered our family from 2 years ago and really makes you feel special!! His entire staff (Dieter, Noah, Ryan, Kassia, Natalie, and Lucia) were also incredible. Collectively our family of 4 participated in a LOT of activities hosted by them (trivia, game shows, Karaoke, Bingo, Zumba, Escape Room, Stargazing, Dancing Under the Stars, and Mardi Gras Party) and had a BLAST. Matt is especially entertaining to watch: a great dancer and so witty! We enjoyed all of the entertainment around the ship and wished we could be everywhere at once. The new musical show "The Secret Silk" was amazing: the sets, beautiful costumes, and the vocals!! The comedian Troy Thirdgill was hilarious. We loved all the variety of music onboard from the Island Sounds of Tyrone Babb, the great vocals and party dance sets of Evolution, classical music of Romantica String Trio, and the easy listening and dance music of the Sunset Quartet. We were immediately drawn to the flamboyant Perry Grant entertaining on his piano in his unique style with audience participation at the Crooners Bar. He had everyone laughing and we joined his growing group of FANS!!

We found the options for food VERY good. We mostly had breakfast from the Horizon Court or the International Café and a couple of times in the Dining Room. We had the early seating Traditional Dining in the Allegro Dining Room Room which worked well as we could then get to the shows in Princess Theatre or activities in Princess Live! The food was delicious and we often each ordered more than one appetizer or main entrée to share. Our waiters (Dmitry and Dmitro) were wonderful and quickly learned our habits. The head waiter Constantine often helped out and made sure everyting was okay. We had another great experience in the Crown Grill but were sad to learn that lobster tails were no longer offered as part of the family share plattter. Alfredos is a great alternative for lunch or dinner and it is located off the Piazza area where you can listen in on all the action. We purchased the coffee card as always but unfortunately it is no longer accepted at Gelatos. The bar staff were very attentive but not pushy. Rout at Princess Live! Bar was really friendly and even spelled your name and home country on our specialty coffees.

We purchased the 10-day Enclave package and found it to be a very relaxing and de-stressing environment. I wish they would provide face and body lotion in the shower/change rooms.

The Fitness Centre is great with a lot of choice equipment.

The in-cabin TV was great and we enjoyed watching The Wake Show and some of the Princess Live! Game Shows. Even though there was a great selection of movies, we only managed to watch one as we were kept very busy with ship activities! MUTS is always a hit!

The pools and hot tubs were wonderful and we especially enjoyed the adults only Retreat Pool.

We enjoyed the creativity and artistry of the fruit and vegetable carving as well as the ice carving demos.

Our cabin steward Romano was really great. He seemed to work around our schedule magically to have our room cleaned, stocked with ice, and the beds made up and ready for the night. Every request was fulfilled promptly and with a smile.

Ports:

1)Fort Lauderdale - Pre-cruise, we stayed at the Crowne Plaza Airport/Cruise hotel because of its proximity to the cruise terminal and the complimentary airport shuttle. We took taxis to the beach area and also to the Jungle Queen Riverboat which we enjoyed.

2)Princess Cays - DH and one son went on the Rock Sound & Eleuthera Scenic Drive Tour (I had done it 2 years ago) and enjoyed learning about the culture of the island. I enjoyed the Glass-bottom Boat cruise. We all enjoyed swimming, snorkeling, and pedal boating in the afternoon. Great BarBQ lunch!

3)St. Thomas - (Morning) St. Thomas Island Drive provided a great overview and we really enjoyed the Banana Daiquiri and shopping at MountainTop.

(Afternoon) Two Island Snorkel & Beach Getaway by Fastcat- Great snorkelling at both locations. Saw lots of fish and turtles! Afterwards, the rum punch was overflowing and there was also soda if you preferred.

4) Martinique - We arranged a "North Island Tour" with Beyond the Beach. Our tour guide Sebastian was absolutely fantastic! He was full of information, history, and passionate about this island. We did so much: Niesson Rum Distillery tour & tasting, went for a dip at Carbet Beach, St. Pierre ruins, another dip at Gendarme Waterfalls, Alma River in the rainforest where we enjoyed a fresh coconut drink from a Rastafari guy, and finally the Balata church. A wonderful day!

5) Grenada- We had a private taxi tour with Sheldon from Royalty Taxi and Tours. His van was spotless and we again learned so much from him and saw so much in the 5 hours. He manoeuvred the narrow, windy roads expertly! We visted the Dougaldston Spice Estate, the Gouyave Nutmeg Processing Station, the Diamond Chocolate Factory, Grand Etang National Park and Grand Etang Crater Lake, and Annandale Falls. We only had time left to drive up to Fort Frederick and had a great view of the port.

6) Bonaire- We had reserved with Compass Bonaire but their boat was out of commission. Fortunately they were able to place us on one of their competitors Epic Tours . . . if not we would have missed out on the BEST snorkelling of all!! We were taken to 2 different locations where fish and coral were plentiful. The 2 guys Michiel and Thijs were a lot of fun. We were served water or sodas earlier on and then rum punch, wine, or prosecco after snorkelling. A day in paradise!

7) Curacao- We did the 8.5 hour Princess "Hato Caves, Willemstad, Museum, & Ship Lunch Break. It was a full day but we saw a LOT. The caves were a highlight. Unfortunately there was no time for shopping. I skipped the lunchbreak at the ship to shop at the mall near the port. DH later brought me a sandwich from the International Café.

8) Fort Lauderdale- Post- Cruise Princess tour "Everglades Airboat Ride & Flamingo Gardens and FLL airport drop-off". Our tour guide Tom was amazing! At Flamingo Gardens we enjoyed the narrated tram ride, the flamingos and peacocks, and the Aviary. We sighted a few alligators during our Everglades airboat ride which was very exciting and received complimentary souvenir photos! There was also a snack bar and an alligator show onsite.

This cruise was wonderful in all aspects and there is something for all tastes and interests!

We look forward to cruising on the Royal again as well as any other Princess ship in the future!!

Highly recommend this ship and itinerary!!
Arya3’s Full Rating Summary
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Dining
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MB A230
This was our first time with 4 in a room, but it was a really nice-sized cabin. We liked how the sofa converted to a comfortable single bed and the other bed dropped down right above it from the ceiling. This meant that you could still access the desk area and the balcony without obstruction. There were 2 TV's and a curtain to close off the area from the main queen bed. The bathroom was small but functional and the shower/bathtub combo was larger than in the balcony category. The balcony was small but nice.
Marina Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Snorkeling
    We had reserved with Compass Bonaire but their boat was out of commission. Fortunately they were able to place us on one of their competitors Epic Tours . . . if not we would have missed out on the BEST snorkelling of all!! We were taken to 2 different locations where fish and coral were plentiful. The 2 guys Michiel and Thijs were a lot of fun. We were served water or sodas earlier on and then rum punch, wine, or prosecco after snorkelling. A day in paradise!
    View All 145 Snorkeling Reviews
  • Curacao
    We did the 8.5 hour Princess "Hato Caves, Willemstad, Museum, & Ship Lunch Break. It was a full comprehensive day and we saw a LOT. The caves and Boka Tabla National Park were highlights. We got to dip our feet in the water at beautiful Knip Beach. Unfortunately there was no time for shopping. I skipped the lunchbreak at the ship to shop at the mall near the port. DH later brought me a sandwich from the International Café.
    View All 12,456 Curacao Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Curacao Cruise Port Review
  • Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
    - Pre-cruise, we stayed at the Crowne Plaza Airport/Cruise hotel because of its proximity to the cruise terminal and the complimentary airport shuttle. We took taxis to the beach area and also to the Jungle Queen Riverboat which we enjoyed. The narration of the intracostal waterways was great and he also told quite a few jokes. As a bonus, we sighted a manatee!
    View All 12,456 Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades) Cruise Port Review
  • Island Tour
    We had a private taxi tour with Sheldon from Royalty Taxi and Tours. His van was spotless and we again learned so much from him and saw so much in the 5 hours. He manoeuvred the narrow, windy roads expertly! We visted the Dougaldston Spice Estate, the Gouyave Nutmeg Processing Station, the Diamond Chocolate Factory, Grand Etang National Park and Grand Etang Crater Lake, and Annandale Falls. We only had time left to drive up to Fort Frederick and had a great view of the port.
    View All 52 Island Tour Reviews
  • Island Tour
    We arranged a "North Island Tour" with Beyond the Beach. Our tour guide Sebastian was absolutely fantastic! He was full of information, history, and passionate about this island. We did so much: Niesson Rum Distillery tour & tasting, went for a dip at Carbet Beach, St. Pierre ruins, another dip at Gendarme Waterfalls, Alma River in the rainforest where we enjoyed a fresh coconut drink from a Rastafari guy, and finally the Balata church. A wonderful day!
    View All 47 Island Tour Reviews
  • Princess Cays
    This tour took you away from the beach to experience the life and culture of the locals. The conch demo and sample was great. We participated in the Junkanoo (DH played the cowbells) and tried to weave a bookmark with palm leaves. It was fun and very interesting!
    View All 12,456 Princess Cays Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Princess Cays Cruise Port Review
  • Glass-Bottom Boat Cruise
    The cruise itself was nice and at first we did not see any fish, only coral. We were given samples of coral to look at and a chart of fish in the area. The glass bottom was a bit dirty and needed to be clean. We suddenly started to see more fish. We were each given bread to toss out and fish began to surface and we were treated to great views! One alternative to snorkelling.
    View All 8 Glass-Bottom Boat Cruise Reviews