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Let me begin by saying that I really enjoyed the British Isles cruise ( 12 day, summer 2018) that I just completed. This was my 3rd Princess cruise and my 5th total cruise. The amount of information that I learned from the abundance of ports was fantastic. That said, the ship itself, along with the passenger service desk, disappointed. I am not a person to whom food is important, but I can say that the food was abundant and quite tasty. However, the design of the ship in general and the 2 food courts side by side proved to be quite confusing at meal time. You were never quite sure what was open - even with blockers positioned - some people were still in those areas. Could you enter or couldn't you? Was the food ready or not? Also, the various categories of food were not necessarily in the same spot each day. Cereal would be in one place one day and in a different spot the next. This forced the passengers to roam around looking - and the narrowness of the walking areas only added to the difficulty, thereby making food time a chore. I would suggest overhead signage clearly displayed: meat, vegetarian, dairy, themed meals, breads, desserts, soups. As a soup person - and a vegetarian - there was not too much in the way of soup for me. In addition, the foods were not always marked as vegetarian and I found myself having to ask. While discussing food I should speak about the beverage package. On other ships, there are beverage/juice areas all over the ship. You can get orange, apple and cranberry any time that you desire. Not on the Royal Princess. If you have not purchased the beverage package, you are only entitled to juice for breakfast- not other times of day. And there was the unfortunate experience of my daughter who was approached by a waiter who said," You have been upgraded. Promotion for you." - and then offered her an Irish coffee. The problem was that there was no real upgrade - then he simply asked for her room card to charge her. At passenger service we were told that she probably just misunderstood what he was saying - that it was her fault. I requested to speak to a higher authority who, indeed, subsequently erased the charge and said that she would speak to the individual waiter involved. I may be wrong, but I do believe that the charge should have been erased without my having to get angry. Another time, I stopped by passenger service to request an explanation of my account as there were many credits ( a nice thing to have, but you should understand them). Instead of the service person going over the account, she simply handed us a print-out. I would have thought that she would offer to review it with a full explanation. There was no line at all at the time, so there was no time pressure for this young woman. The cabin was fine, possibly a bit smaller than ones that I have had on other cruise lines. I guess my main criticism ( and one that I talk about with a perpetual smile of disbelief) is that the library is an oversized closet with essentially no room to play any games or read; yet the spa seems to take up a large percentage of the square footage on the ship. If you want to play Scrabble or any other game, you have to take it out from the library and go to another location. It really is the size of a large closet with 2 tables only - usually taken by the puzzle doers. So, if you want to remain in the vicinity of the library, you are relegated to the lounge area just outside of the library where there is piano entertainment, a singer, or the servers taking drink orders. I offer that this atmosphere does not lend itself to Scrabble or to any other activity that requires quiet. The remaining issue with the design concerns the location of the gym. There is an ample gym, but finding it might take you the 12 days of the cruise. I've left the best for last: Matt O is just the best entertainment director ever. He himself is unbelievably wonderful and the entertainment that has been secured is unparalleled. We loved everything. The shore excursions are terrific and, considering the number of people on this ship, very well-organized and well-executed. The cabin stewards were delightful and helpful. The lecture guides for the ports of call were fabulous as was the talk about the workings of the ship - from its construction to the cruise planning to all the safety measures in place. And finally, the itinerary of this cruise was a traveling tour de force. So, in summation: For me, the ship is large and not well-designed; that is offset by the wonderful itinerary and entertainment. If Princess could address the issues discussed herein, you would have a cruising experience of perfection.

Not my favorite princess

Royal Princess Cruise Review by shellybythesea

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Let me begin by saying that I really enjoyed the British Isles cruise ( 12 day, summer 2018) that I just completed. This was my 3rd Princess cruise and my 5th total cruise. The amount of information that I learned from the abundance of ports was fantastic. That said, the ship itself, along with the passenger service desk, disappointed. I am not a person to whom food is important, but I can say that the food was abundant and quite tasty. However, the design of the ship in general and the 2 food courts side by side proved to be quite confusing at meal time. You were never quite sure what was open - even with blockers positioned - some people were still in those areas. Could you enter or couldn't you? Was the food ready or not? Also, the various categories of food were not necessarily in the same spot each day. Cereal would be in one place one day and in a different spot the next. This forced the passengers to roam around looking - and the narrowness of the walking areas only added to the difficulty, thereby making food time a chore.

I would suggest overhead signage clearly displayed: meat, vegetarian, dairy, themed meals, breads, desserts, soups. As a soup person - and a vegetarian - there was not too much in the way of soup for me. In addition, the foods were not always marked as vegetarian and I found myself having to ask.

While discussing food I should speak about the beverage package. On other ships, there are beverage/juice areas all over the ship. You can get orange, apple and cranberry any time that you desire. Not on the Royal Princess. If you have not purchased the beverage package, you are only entitled to juice for breakfast- not other times of day. And there was the unfortunate experience of my daughter who was approached by a waiter who said," You have been upgraded. Promotion for you." - and then offered her an Irish coffee. The problem was that there was no real upgrade - then he simply asked for her room card to charge her. At passenger service we were told that she probably just misunderstood what he was saying - that it was her fault. I requested to speak to a higher authority who, indeed, subsequently erased the charge and said that she would speak to the individual waiter involved. I may be wrong, but I do believe that the charge should have been erased without my having to get angry. Another time, I stopped by passenger service to request an explanation of my account as there were many credits ( a nice thing to have, but you should understand them). Instead of the service person going over the account, she simply handed us a print-out. I would have thought that she would offer to review it with a full explanation. There was no line at all at the time, so there was no time pressure for this young woman.

The cabin was fine, possibly a bit smaller than ones that I have had on other cruise lines. I guess my main criticism ( and one that I talk about with a perpetual smile of disbelief) is that the library is an oversized closet with essentially no room to play any games or read; yet the spa seems to take up a large percentage of the square footage on the ship. If you want to play Scrabble or any other game, you have to take it out from the library and go to another location. It really is the size of a large closet with 2 tables only - usually taken by the puzzle doers. So, if you want to remain in the vicinity of the library, you are relegated to the lounge area just outside of the library where there is piano entertainment, a singer, or the servers taking drink orders. I offer that this atmosphere does not lend itself to Scrabble or to any other activity that requires quiet.

The remaining issue with the design concerns the location of the gym. There is an ample gym, but finding it might take you the 12 days of the cruise.

I've left the best for last: Matt O is just the best entertainment director ever. He himself is unbelievably wonderful and the entertainment that has been secured is unparalleled. We loved everything. The shore excursions are terrific and, considering the number of people on this ship, very well-organized and well-executed. The cabin stewards were delightful and helpful. The lecture guides for the ports of call were fabulous as was the talk about the workings of the ship - from its construction to the cruise planning to all the safety measures in place. And finally, the itinerary of this cruise was a traveling tour de force.

So, in summation: For me, the ship is large and not well-designed; that is offset by the wonderful itinerary and entertainment. If Princess could address the issues discussed herein, you would have a cruising experience of perfection.
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