1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Royal Princess
Never having sailed on Princess our good friends suggested that we join them on the Royal for a 7 day sail to the Mexican Riviera departing April 27, 2019. They entrusted us to do the booking and manage excursions and upgraded dining. We proceeded with 2 deluxe balcony staterooms side by side so we could hang out on the balconies together when we wished. We prepaid our gratuities and our excursions and began our count down (about 80 days from finalizing our purchases). With just 4 weeks until blast off Princess called and offered us an upgrade for about $350 for my wife and I and $350 for our friends. (we did not use any TA's so we dealt directly with Princess) Big mistake on my part as I assumed that all the extra amenities hyped up on the Princess website for mini-suite cabins would apply to us. I called our friends and read them all the extra goodies and they wanted to upgrade as did we. Not being a TA and not originally looking to book a mini suite, I had no idea that princess had 2 types of mini-suites. The "CLUB" mini suites had all the goodies, whereas our extra $350 boiled down to an extra TV and more bathroom space. This way we could watch 2 tv's at once, one for each eye. lol Once onboard we went to the suite concierge, Francisco Galvan and to my embarrassment discovered the phone scam upgrade. Did the Princess rep tell me about the difference in the club mini and a regular mini? HELL NO! If she did we never would have upgraded and encouraged our friends to upgrade. Ok I know that not using an agent was dumb on my part, however for Princess to upgrade us over the phone without a proper description of the upgrade is on them. Funny thing is that once we left the concierge a mysterious posting was made on our private Princess dossier that we were briefed by the Princess sales department on the benefits of a mini suite. This of course was totally bogus as the concierge knew that we were going to take our problem either to the Hotel Manager or the Guest Relations Manager. Someone made this entry in an attempt to cover their rear end. I would swear under oath that they never advised us of the difference in a club or a mini suite. Why would anyone upgrade for just an extra tv and and about 10 more square feet? They wouldn't of course. Not me at least. Ok, enough of this and thanks for allowing me to vent. During the cruise I did get a private meeting with the guest relations manager, Luca Cozzolino to discuss this issue. Mr. Cozzolino handled the situation professionally and to my satisfaction and that of my wife and friends. As they said once in a great movie "What we have here is a failure to communicate". Our impressions regarding the Royal Princess cuisine was somewhat a mixed bag. The dishes in the main dining room were quite average at best with the amazing exception of the lobster served on the second formal night. We all thought it was the very best we ever enjoyed on a cruise. Sailing in the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez , we all had hoped that the shrimp cocktails would feature the famous jumbo delicacies. Nope! We all had a great laugh when the waiter delivered us 4 tiny shrimp that measured under 2 inches. This pennywise and pound foolish chef selection was made by a bean counter that has no idea of how to make a customer feel he picked the right cruise line. Same can be said about the grade of ice cream on the dessert menu. Based on an old fashioned taste test the Royal buys bargain ice milk in lieu of premium grades. Great way to top off a mediocre dinner is with a scoop or two of drug store ice cream. The service that we had in the main dining room was absolutely spectacular. From the busboy to the maitre'd all worked their tails off to please us and several nearby tables. You can tolerate food that's mediocre if your servers are bending over backwards to please you. These folks and your cabin attendant can make or break a cruise vacation. Princess seems to have this part of cruising down to a science. Room service food was pretty sad although we didn't use it much. The much hyped "BEST PIZZA AT SEA" failed to mention the they only make 3 pizzas a day available for room service. The $3 charge is no big deal but we had been craving a Hawaiian pizza only to find out that only cheese, pepperoni and margarita was available. We went with pepperoni and couldn't finish a slice. Again things were hit and miss. The difference between the Celebrity buffets and those aboard Princess are night and day. Almost impossible feeding 3000 to 4000 people with exciting fresh food and snacks on the Royal, Our Solstice Alaskan cruise recently amplified the many awards Celebrity has garnered for dining. Of course people have various types of palettes and tastes so if you read 100 reviews about dining on Princess versus others, you will get a wide range of ratings. Our final night aboard the Royal was a highlight with dinner in the Crown Room. Wonderful window table for 4 with great food. My buddy and I tackled 22 ounce porterhouse steaks with huge baked potatoes. I am not sure how but I actually lost 2 pounds on this cruise. Maybe they did me a big favor by serving crummy ice cream? Find the gelato station because it's great. The minor $1.50 per scoop up-charge is well worth it. One final note is that the elevator waits on the Royal can be very frustrating. Try and prepare yourself by bringing an extra bag of patience aboard. Also try and relax when you wait to embark. So many folks get all worked up into a lather waiting for their call to board. The ground personnel do a great job of getting thousands off and thousands on. Some poor souls had the all night duty of hauling 13,000 suitcases down to the warehouse to be ready by 7am. These cats are exhausted and after a short break start bringing onboard another 13,000 bags. Some people can be grotesque when awaiting to board the ship. Most passengers are asked to come at assigned times varying from Noon to 2:30 It appeared to us that the majority are ready to storm the gang planks at 10 am. Crazy!

Mini Suite upgrade offered by Princess was a scam.

Royal Princess Cruise Review by Terry&Elizabeth

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: April 2019
  • Destination: Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
Never having sailed on Princess our good friends suggested that we join them on the Royal for a 7 day sail to the Mexican Riviera departing April 27, 2019. They entrusted us to do the booking and manage excursions and upgraded dining. We proceeded with 2 deluxe balcony staterooms side by side so we could hang out on the balconies together when we wished. We prepaid our gratuities and our excursions and began our count down (about 80 days from finalizing our purchases). With just 4 weeks until blast off Princess called and offered us an upgrade for about $350 for my wife and I and $350 for our friends. (we did not use any TA's so we dealt directly with Princess) Big mistake on my part as I assumed that all the extra amenities hyped up on the Princess website for mini-suite cabins would apply to us. I called our friends and read them all the extra goodies and they wanted to upgrade as did we. Not being a TA and not originally looking to book a mini suite, I had no idea that princess had 2 types of mini-suites. The "CLUB" mini suites had all the goodies, whereas our extra $350 boiled down to an extra TV and more bathroom space. This way we could watch 2 tv's at once, one for each eye. lol Once onboard we went to the suite concierge, Francisco Galvan and to my embarrassment discovered the phone scam upgrade. Did the Princess rep tell me about the difference in the club mini and a regular mini? HELL NO! If she did we never would have upgraded and encouraged our friends to upgrade. Ok I know that not using an agent was dumb on my part, however for Princess to upgrade us over the phone without a proper description of the upgrade is on them. Funny thing is that once we left the concierge a mysterious posting was made on our private Princess dossier that we were briefed by the Princess sales department on the benefits of a mini suite. This of course was totally bogus as the concierge knew that we were going to take our problem either to the Hotel Manager or the Guest Relations Manager. Someone made this entry in an attempt to cover their rear end. I would swear under oath that they never advised us of the difference in a club or a mini suite. Why would anyone upgrade for just an extra tv and and about 10 more square feet? They wouldn't of course. Not me at least. Ok, enough of this and thanks for allowing me to vent. During the cruise I did get a private meeting with the guest relations manager, Luca Cozzolino to discuss this issue. Mr. Cozzolino handled the situation professionally and to my satisfaction and that of my wife and friends. As they said once in a great movie "What we have here is a failure to communicate".

Our impressions regarding the Royal Princess cuisine was somewhat a mixed bag. The dishes in the main dining room were quite average at best with the amazing exception of the lobster served on the second formal night. We all thought it was the very best we ever enjoyed on a cruise. Sailing in the warm waters of the Sea of Cortez , we all had hoped that the shrimp cocktails would feature the famous jumbo delicacies. Nope! We all had a great laugh when the waiter delivered us 4 tiny shrimp that measured under 2 inches. This pennywise and pound foolish chef selection was made by a bean counter that has no idea of how to make a customer feel he picked the right cruise line. Same can be said about the grade of ice cream on the dessert menu. Based on an old fashioned taste test the Royal buys bargain ice milk in lieu of premium grades. Great way to top off a mediocre dinner is with a scoop or two of drug store ice cream.

The service that we had in the main dining room was absolutely spectacular. From the busboy to the maitre'd all worked their tails off to please us and several nearby tables. You can tolerate food that's mediocre if your servers are bending over backwards to please you. These folks and your cabin attendant can make or break a cruise vacation. Princess seems to have this part of cruising down to a science.

Room service food was pretty sad although we didn't use it much. The much hyped "BEST PIZZA AT SEA" failed to mention the they only make 3 pizzas a day available for room service. The $3 charge is no big deal but we had been craving a Hawaiian pizza only to find out that only cheese, pepperoni and margarita was available. We went with pepperoni and couldn't finish a slice. Again things were hit and miss. The difference between the Celebrity buffets and those aboard Princess are night and day. Almost impossible feeding 3000 to 4000 people with exciting fresh food and snacks on the Royal, Our Solstice Alaskan cruise recently amplified the many awards Celebrity has garnered for dining. Of course people have various types of palettes and tastes so if you read 100 reviews about dining on Princess versus others, you will get a wide range of ratings. Our final night aboard the Royal was a highlight with dinner in the Crown Room. Wonderful window table for 4 with great food. My buddy and I tackled 22 ounce porterhouse steaks with huge baked potatoes. I am not sure how but I actually lost 2 pounds on this cruise. Maybe they did me a big favor by serving crummy ice cream? Find the gelato station because it's great. The minor $1.50 per scoop up-charge is well worth it.

One final note is that the elevator waits on the Royal can be very frustrating. Try and prepare yourself by bringing an extra bag of patience aboard. Also try and relax when you wait to embark. So many folks get all worked up into a lather waiting for their call to board. The ground personnel do a great job of getting thousands off and thousands on. Some poor souls had the all night duty of hauling 13,000 suitcases down to the warehouse to be ready by 7am. These cats are exhausted and after a short break start bringing onboard another 13,000 bags. Some people can be grotesque when awaiting to board the ship. Most passengers are asked to come at assigned times varying from Noon to 2:30 It appeared to us that the majority are ready to storm the gang planks at 10 am. Crazy!
Terry&Elizabeth’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Royal Princess price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA M414
Mini-Suite....bathroom and closet space better than an average balcony room. Shower head very nice and adjustable. Great spot for a vanity with mirror, chair and power outlets. Large sofa never used. Second TV never used. Balcony was the smallest we ever had on a cruise but worse yet we upgraded to this babin without being told that it has an obstructed view with a massive overhang. Taking photos are ridiculous unless you wish to shoot down to the water. Also beware of noise from Deck 16 above. Seems like people are moving chairs from 6am to midnight???.
Riviera Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Cabo San Lucas
    Be prepared to walk the gang plank of about 200 Mexican solicitors that try and work you over unmercifully for side trips, adventures, taxis, shops ect. ect. No joke as this occurs literally the moment you leave the tender all the way to the frontage streets at the port. The vendors offer the typical crap at rip off prices and try and strong arm you to buy. We made a u turn after 15 minutes of pure hell and boarded a tender back to the ship. We have been to Cabo over a dozen times and they have really ruined it, A few years ago they had lots of little arts and crafts stalls at the port that were a ball to shop[. They all have been moved out in favor of in-line shops that pay high rents and are forced to muscle tourists into paying high prices for shoddy trinkets. Lot's of drunks walking the streets carrying mega mugs of tequila. We went back to the ship and had the entire pool to ourselves along with a hot dog and fries that were really tasty. Forgot to mention thet the poolside hamburger stand is the best we have enjoyed on any cruise. Lot's of goodies to but on your burger or dog.
    View All 1,297 Cabo San Lucas Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Cabo San Lucas Cruise Port Review
  • Mazatlan
    Just left the ship to listen to a mariachi group and take a tram to check out a small little complex of souvenir vendors. Bought a sterling bracelet and some post cards. Took the courtesy tram back to the gang plank. Again we have toured Mazatlan in the past a number of times.
    View All 590 Mazatlan Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Mazatlan Cruise Port Review
  • Beach
    This was a Princess excursion and we had a great day at the Hyatt Hotel and Beach resort....all meals and drinks inclusive plus use of the hotel beach, pools, lounges, umbrellas towels ect. all top notch. Our guide Alicia was exceptional and professional. and the bus drive through new and old PV was interesting. Lucked out with a perfect day of sunshine and 80* temps. Tour went from around 9:30 am until 3:45 or so. Just right and priced very fair. If you have the chance do it.
    View All 14 Beach Reviews