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This is my totally over-comprehensive review of my second cruise ever. We chose this cruise for our honeymoon and this itinerary because I had heard so many good things about Grand Cayman. I realize how over-inclusive it is, but I hope it provides anyone who doesn’t quite know what to expect an idea of what to expect. Embarkation: Getting from the airport to the ship was a little crazy as multiple ships were boarding thousands of people at the exact same time. Once we reached the terminal, however, embarkation was surprisingly easy. With the medallions, we just zipped through with no problems whatsoever. Ship: The décor aboard is stunning. However, echoing other reviewers, the ship is laid out in a manner that is not very conducive to getting around easily. Aside from the difficulties getting bow to stern, getting up and down is hard as well. The main public areas are the pool deck/buffet on level 16 and the Piazza on Level 5. Getting from one to the other is a challenge every single time because getting an elevator is a nightmare. To make matters worse, on every floor, you press one button for some of the elevators and another button for the two panoramic window elevators. What do people do? They press all the buttons and climb on to the first elevator to arrive. The result is you stop at almost every single floor on every single trip – with no one getting on or off. Our room was on level 14 so getting to and from the Piazza (level 5) was daunting. Walking all the way forward or all the way aft made it easier to catch an elevator, but I doubt it actually saves any time. I’m all for taking the stairs, but not many people can skip the elevator and climb 10 flights up from Piazza to the Pool. Perhaps that’s just their way to keep bathing suits out of the Piazza. Medallions: When they work, they are amazing, and when they don’t work exactly the way they were designed, they still work fine. For instance, it was hit-or-miss whether my medallion would unlock our room on the first try. In some bars, the bartender could charge me without even looking at my medallion, while other times, I had to hand my medallion to them. Having to occasionally hand a bartender a medallion to order a drink does not count as an inconvenience, so I am a fan of the medallions. Buffet: The food selection and qualify was excellent. If you can’t find something good to eat at the Buffet, that’s a you problem. That said, we mostly skipped the buffet and enjoyed other options. Dining Room: We had nothing but terrific experiences at dinner. Our first dinner took about 45 minutes total. For some reason, each dinner after that was about 90 minutes. Dinner was an event for us each night so we had no qualms about investing the time. There are plenty of other excellent options if you don’t want to spend that kind of time on one meal. Once we realized dinner would take an hour and a half, we just planned accordingly (i.e., if you are eating a 6:30, don’t expect to make an 8pm show). The waiters and staff are all fantastic. The food quality and selection are spectacular. We had to wait for a table a few times, but it was never an inconvenience. They just took our name and said come back in 15 minutes. No problem. Formal nights were not particularly formal. Most people were closer to business casual than formal. A few people wore tuxes, but others wore short sleeve shirts. My wife wanted to dress up more, but felt awkward around people who were in shorts and t shirts. I think most people would be relieved to know that the “formal” dress code is not too strict. Other Food Options: Up by the pool, there is a pizza counter and a burger counter (not to mention the entire buffet). There is no such thing as bad pizza, but the pizza by the pool was nothing special. Same for the burgers. They were good in a pinch, but not worth spoiling your appetite over. We tried to save our calories for the extravagant dinners. The Italian lunch place was a pleasant surprise for us. We stopped by on a whim and were blown away. The pizza is good, but the other items are amazing! They had raviolis that come in a boiling sauce that is worth dying for; the capressi salad plate is top notch; and even the regular house salad is amazing. We only ate here twice, but they were some of the best meals we had aboard. Our favorite place to eat by far was the coffee shop in the Piazza (and I don’t even drink coffee). My wife bought a coffee card that was probably the best money we spent on the trip. I think it was $30 for 15 coffees – more than 2 per day for her and she drank them all. We usually skipped the crowds at buffet in the morning and instead had lattes and breakfast sandwiches, donuts and/or yogurt parfaits in the piazza by the coffee shop. At lunch they had sandwiches (my favorite was the ham and swiss croissant), salads, and mini desserts. It was such a convenience and a treat. Entertainment: Our fellow passengers were mostly in their 70s so the entertainment is heavily tailored for an older demographic (we are in our mid-40s). Still, our first stage show, Born to Dance, blew us away. The production value and professionalism of the dancers and singers was shockingly good. I never saw a misstep or a heard a missed note. After seeing that show, we made it a priority to see the dancers every chance we could. These were not second-rate wannabe performers – they were all truly gifted professionals. Pro tip – you need to find a seat for 8pm shows by 7pm. By 7:15, you would be lucky to find more than 2 seats together. We saw seasoned cruisers find their seats and then pull out books or playing cards to pass the time. Seems kind of weak sauce, but hey, they got the seats they wanted. Conversely, you could walk into the 10pm shows and find decent seats even after the show has started. Once we learned to skip the 8pm shows, life got much easier. The house band played a lot of soft rock from the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s. Everyone else seemed to love it, but I would have liked to hear some more current music from time to time. They made a big deal about having a Beatles cover band on board mid-way through the cruise. I’m not anti-Beatles, but I’m clearly not the target market for that kind of show. The game shows were surprisingly entertaining. Yes, it is a little dorky to “film” game shows as if people will actually watch them in their staterooms, but the witty banter from the hosts and forced awkwardness of making people do things like guess their wives’ bra size was pretty entertaining. We just embraced it and enjoyed the goofiness of it all. Ports: We stopped at Princess Cay, Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Princess Cay was exactly what you might expect: a beach resort. We had no problem getting a tender to and from the ship, no problem finding a beach chair, and no problems getting food. Easy. We had a great time in Jamaica. I overheard a lot of people say they were not getting off the ship because they don’t care for Jamaica. Their loss. We did the bobsled/Dunn’s river excursion and had a great time. Grand Cayman was a bust due to weather. The water was rough and 6 ships were all trying to tender their passengers to just a few tiny piers. Once ashore, we were supposed to go to the stingray sandbar but half-way out we turned around because of a mini-mutiny on our excursion boat (it was raining and enough people were angry enough to convince the captain to pull the plug on the whole trip). Getting back to the ship was a nightmare as the authorities had to close our tiny pier because waves were breaking over it and knocking people down. None of this is Princess’ fault, of course; they were assigned a woefully inadequate pier for their tender operations. Cozumel ended up being our favorite stop. The port is touristy but fun and light-hearted; it knows how exactly obnoxiously touristy it is and does not pretend to be something it isn’t. Our excursion on the Fury Catamaran was super-fun (although snorkeling with 40-50 other people in a tight group is a little strange and claustrophobic). The free margaritas helped. Ship Activities: Again, the demographic was mid-to-late 70s so the activities were pretty tame. Knitting was literally one of the daily activities offered. The cruise director staff were nothing short of adorable. My one note was that their witty banter was pretty obviously canned/scripted. They would ask a group a question and then pretend to hear the answer they needed to spark their funny but canned response. This was especially obvious for the ones speaking English as a second language: “Did you say ‘final answer?!’ That’s a different game show!” hahaha. It made some activities feel like they were just going through the motions. Still, on-board activities were going on every minute of the day. Sometimes we had so much trouble picking one thing to do, we ended up doing nothing: “We can’t go to X, because then we would miss Y, and if we go to Y, we miss Z.” Then, once we picked an activity, we couldn’t help but think that we were missing something better somewhere else: “I wonder if that trivia challenge would have been better than this line dancing.” This is, of course, insane, but the FOMO was real. Pool: The pool was only two flights of stairs up from us, but we rarely went. Too many people “reserve” pool chairs for the day before 8am by placing towels and pool bags on them and then leave them empty until about 11am. We could not find chairs anywhere near the pool even though most of the chairs around the pool were empty. That’s annoying but not uncommon in many resort hotels. It is what it is. You really have to commit to the pool or the Piazza because they are literally and figuratively worlds apart. Two comments that don’t quite count as complaints: First, we loved the coffee bar in the Piazza so much, we would have liked a second coffee bar somewhere else on the ship. It was not easy for us to get to the coffee bar and it was sometimes overcrowded. Second, drinking water was hard to come by. Bottled water was $3-4 per bottle, but even if you are willing to pay that much, it was not always readily available. Tap water was free, but hard come by. Example: after a dance class, most of the participants were sweating and could have used some water, but there was none readily available. When we went to the gym, we would bring empty bottles from our room, go to the buffet and fill them up (trying not to look at the food), and then on up to the gym. A few strategically placed coolers full of ice water would have gone a long way. If I had one complaint, it was the passengers. Being old is fine, but being uncool is not. We met a lot of truly wonderful people, but too many times we witnessed people rudely making ridiculous and obnoxious demands. We saw a couple without a dinner reservation rudely demand a table for two when none were available in a busy restaurant. They held up the line and had a hissy fit until the MD found them a table in a different restaurant on the ship. We witnessed a woman rudely demand a tender get her to shore immediately despite the fact that the pier was obviously full and the water was extremely rough. The worst was the mini-mutiny on a snorkeling excursion because it was raining and passengers were getting wet. Apparently, you don’t want to get wet before you go snorkeling. Of course none of this is Princess’ fault, and when you get a couple of thousand people together, there are bound to be a few jerks. We didn’t let these people ruin our honeymoon and I hope they find some peace in there lives because they sure seem miserable now. There you have it, my totally insane, overly-inclusive review of my second cruise and honeymoon.

Way over-inclusive review from a newbie cruiser

Regal Princess Cruise Review by wwwdc2

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: February 2019
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
This is my totally over-comprehensive review of my second cruise ever. We chose this cruise for our honeymoon and this itinerary because I had heard so many good things about Grand Cayman. I realize how over-inclusive it is, but I hope it provides anyone who doesn’t quite know what to expect an idea of what to expect.

Embarkation: Getting from the airport to the ship was a little crazy as multiple ships were boarding thousands of people at the exact same time. Once we reached the terminal, however, embarkation was surprisingly easy. With the medallions, we just zipped through with no problems whatsoever.

Ship: The décor aboard is stunning. However, echoing other reviewers, the ship is laid out in a manner that is not very conducive to getting around easily. Aside from the difficulties getting bow to stern, getting up and down is hard as well. The main public areas are the pool deck/buffet on level 16 and the Piazza on Level 5. Getting from one to the other is a challenge every single time because getting an elevator is a nightmare. To make matters worse, on every floor, you press one button for some of the elevators and another button for the two panoramic window elevators. What do people do? They press all the buttons and climb on to the first elevator to arrive. The result is you stop at almost every single floor on every single trip – with no one getting on or off. Our room was on level 14 so getting to and from the Piazza (level 5) was daunting. Walking all the way forward or all the way aft made it easier to catch an elevator, but I doubt it actually saves any time. I’m all for taking the stairs, but not many people can skip the elevator and climb 10 flights up from Piazza to the Pool. Perhaps that’s just their way to keep bathing suits out of the Piazza.

Medallions: When they work, they are amazing, and when they don’t work exactly the way they were designed, they still work fine. For instance, it was hit-or-miss whether my medallion would unlock our room on the first try. In some bars, the bartender could charge me without even looking at my medallion, while other times, I had to hand my medallion to them. Having to occasionally hand a bartender a medallion to order a drink does not count as an inconvenience, so I am a fan of the medallions.

Buffet: The food selection and qualify was excellent. If you can’t find something good to eat at the Buffet, that’s a you problem. That said, we mostly skipped the buffet and enjoyed other options.

Dining Room: We had nothing but terrific experiences at dinner. Our first dinner took about 45 minutes total. For some reason, each dinner after that was about 90 minutes. Dinner was an event for us each night so we had no qualms about investing the time. There are plenty of other excellent options if you don’t want to spend that kind of time on one meal. Once we realized dinner would take an hour and a half, we just planned accordingly (i.e., if you are eating a 6:30, don’t expect to make an 8pm show). The waiters and staff are all fantastic. The food quality and selection are spectacular. We had to wait for a table a few times, but it was never an inconvenience. They just took our name and said come back in 15 minutes. No problem. Formal nights were not particularly formal. Most people were closer to business casual than formal. A few people wore tuxes, but others wore short sleeve shirts. My wife wanted to dress up more, but felt awkward around people who were in shorts and t shirts. I think most people would be relieved to know that the “formal” dress code is not too strict.

Other Food Options: Up by the pool, there is a pizza counter and a burger counter (not to mention the entire buffet). There is no such thing as bad pizza, but the pizza by the pool was nothing special. Same for the burgers. They were good in a pinch, but not worth spoiling your appetite over. We tried to save our calories for the extravagant dinners.

The Italian lunch place was a pleasant surprise for us. We stopped by on a whim and were blown away. The pizza is good, but the other items are amazing! They had raviolis that come in a boiling sauce that is worth dying for; the capressi salad plate is top notch; and even the regular house salad is amazing. We only ate here twice, but they were some of the best meals we had aboard.

Our favorite place to eat by far was the coffee shop in the Piazza (and I don’t even drink coffee). My wife bought a coffee card that was probably the best money we spent on the trip. I think it was $30 for 15 coffees – more than 2 per day for her and she drank them all. We usually skipped the crowds at buffet in the morning and instead had lattes and breakfast sandwiches, donuts and/or yogurt parfaits in the piazza by the coffee shop. At lunch they had sandwiches (my favorite was the ham and swiss croissant), salads, and mini desserts. It was such a convenience and a treat.

Entertainment: Our fellow passengers were mostly in their 70s so the entertainment is heavily tailored for an older demographic (we are in our mid-40s). Still, our first stage show, Born to Dance, blew us away. The production value and professionalism of the dancers and singers was shockingly good. I never saw a misstep or a heard a missed note. After seeing that show, we made it a priority to see the dancers every chance we could. These were not second-rate wannabe performers – they were all truly gifted professionals. Pro tip – you need to find a seat for 8pm shows by 7pm. By 7:15, you would be lucky to find more than 2 seats together. We saw seasoned cruisers find their seats and then pull out books or playing cards to pass the time. Seems kind of weak sauce, but hey, they got the seats they wanted. Conversely, you could walk into the 10pm shows and find decent seats even after the show has started. Once we learned to skip the 8pm shows, life got much easier.

The house band played a lot of soft rock from the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s. Everyone else seemed to love it, but I would have liked to hear some more current music from time to time. They made a big deal about having a Beatles cover band on board mid-way through the cruise. I’m not anti-Beatles, but I’m clearly not the target market for that kind of show.

The game shows were surprisingly entertaining. Yes, it is a little dorky to “film” game shows as if people will actually watch them in their staterooms, but the witty banter from the hosts and forced awkwardness of making people do things like guess their wives’ bra size was pretty entertaining. We just embraced it and enjoyed the goofiness of it all.

Ports: We stopped at Princess Cay, Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Princess Cay was exactly what you might expect: a beach resort. We had no problem getting a tender to and from the ship, no problem finding a beach chair, and no problems getting food. Easy. We had a great time in Jamaica. I overheard a lot of people say they were not getting off the ship because they don’t care for Jamaica. Their loss. We did the bobsled/Dunn’s river excursion and had a great time. Grand Cayman was a bust due to weather. The water was rough and 6 ships were all trying to tender their passengers to just a few tiny piers. Once ashore, we were supposed to go to the stingray sandbar but half-way out we turned around because of a mini-mutiny on our excursion boat (it was raining and enough people were angry enough to convince the captain to pull the plug on the whole trip). Getting back to the ship was a nightmare as the authorities had to close our tiny pier because waves were breaking over it and knocking people down. None of this is Princess’ fault, of course; they were assigned a woefully inadequate pier for their tender operations. Cozumel ended up being our favorite stop. The port is touristy but fun and light-hearted; it knows how exactly obnoxiously touristy it is and does not pretend to be something it isn’t. Our excursion on the Fury Catamaran was super-fun (although snorkeling with 40-50 other people in a tight group is a little strange and claustrophobic). The free margaritas helped.

Ship Activities: Again, the demographic was mid-to-late 70s so the activities were pretty tame. Knitting was literally one of the daily activities offered. The cruise director staff were nothing short of adorable. My one note was that their witty banter was pretty obviously canned/scripted. They would ask a group a question and then pretend to hear the answer they needed to spark their funny but canned response. This was especially obvious for the ones speaking English as a second language: “Did you say ‘final answer?!’ That’s a different game show!” hahaha. It made some activities feel like they were just going through the motions. Still, on-board activities were going on every minute of the day. Sometimes we had so much trouble picking one thing to do, we ended up doing nothing: “We can’t go to X, because then we would miss Y, and if we go to Y, we miss Z.” Then, once we picked an activity, we couldn’t help but think that we were missing something better somewhere else: “I wonder if that trivia challenge would have been better than this line dancing.” This is, of course, insane, but the FOMO was real.

Pool: The pool was only two flights of stairs up from us, but we rarely went. Too many people “reserve” pool chairs for the day before 8am by placing towels and pool bags on them and then leave them empty until about 11am. We could not find chairs anywhere near the pool even though most of the chairs around the pool were empty. That’s annoying but not uncommon in many resort hotels. It is what it is. You really have to commit to the pool or the Piazza because they are literally and figuratively worlds apart.

Two comments that don’t quite count as complaints: First, we loved the coffee bar in the Piazza so much, we would have liked a second coffee bar somewhere else on the ship. It was not easy for us to get to the coffee bar and it was sometimes overcrowded. Second, drinking water was hard to come by. Bottled water was $3-4 per bottle, but even if you are willing to pay that much, it was not always readily available. Tap water was free, but hard come by. Example: after a dance class, most of the participants were sweating and could have used some water, but there was none readily available. When we went to the gym, we would bring empty bottles from our room, go to the buffet and fill them up (trying not to look at the food), and then on up to the gym. A few strategically placed coolers full of ice water would have gone a long way.

If I had one complaint, it was the passengers. Being old is fine, but being uncool is not. We met a lot of truly wonderful people, but too many times we witnessed people rudely making ridiculous and obnoxious demands. We saw a couple without a dinner reservation rudely demand a table for two when none were available in a busy restaurant. They held up the line and had a hissy fit until the MD found them a table in a different restaurant on the ship. We witnessed a woman rudely demand a tender get her to shore immediately despite the fact that the pier was obviously full and the water was extremely rough. The worst was the mini-mutiny on a snorkeling excursion because it was raining and passengers were getting wet. Apparently, you don’t want to get wet before you go snorkeling. Of course none of this is Princess’ fault, and when you get a couple of thousand people together, there are bound to be a few jerks. We didn’t let these people ruin our honeymoon and I hope they find some peace in there lives because they sure seem miserable now.

There you have it, my totally insane, overly-inclusive review of my second cruise and honeymoon.
wwwdc2’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MB R332
We were more than a little pleasantly surprised. I don’t know how anyone could have anything negative to say about the mini-suites on this ship. It was more than adequate for the two of us. It never felt cramped. Among the things we liked: two tvs; excellent selection of free current movies that gets better as the cruise goes on; a large and extremely comfortable bed; tons of storage; gorgeous views; and a well-appointed bathroom. Everything about our cabin was fabulous.
Marina Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Catamaran tour
    This was SO MUCH FUN. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and felt like it was well-worth the price. I would do this tour again in a heartbeat. It's basically a booze cruise to a beach resort and back. If that is your thing, you will love it; if not, stay away.
    View All 124 Catamaran tour Reviews
  • Dunn's River Falls
    The falls are pretty spectacular. Our guides combines two groups of 20+ people to make on group of nearly 50 people. That made the going extremely slow. Definitely wear water shoes -- 100%. Also, they saw don't bring any money because it will wash out of your pocket, but then the guides ask for tips. That was awkward.
    View All 219 Dunn's River Falls Reviews
  • Jamaica Bobsled Experience
    We had a great time. The chairlift to the top of the bobsled is gorgeous. The bobsled is a thrill (it's basically a roller coaster in the middle of the jungle). The jerk chicken lunch was delicious. The dancers entertaining us in line were terrific.
    View All 26 Jamaica Bobsled Experience Reviews
  • Princess Cays
    The shore break is deceptive. The beach sand is wonderful until you are a little more than ankle deep, then it is rock. It's no problem. just don't run into the water expecting a gradual sandy slope.
    View All 554 Princess Cays Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Princess Cays Cruise Port Review