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Creds: I'm an 18-time cruiser, wife a 25-time cruiser, but our first on Princess. My first time flying to Europe to catch a boat; she did it once before. Complications for us, that relate to the cruise: Both retired, we figured it'd be dumb to fly over, cruise, fly right back. So, we self-planned a few days in London after our direct flight from Tampa; a "buffer"/safety night in Copenhagen before embarkation. At the other end, we did another half-day in Copenhagen before flying to Amsterdam, then training across the north coast (Ghent, Belgium was a magical, surprise revelation) to Paris for a few days before Chunneling back to London for our return flight. For the cruise, that meant that we were expecting travel stress (hotel-changing, train/air schedule worries, BA pilots' strike worries) with the 11-day cruise in the middle of it all to be our respite from stress. It pretty much did exactly that. Like all cruises, it was nice not to have to pack up every few days and move on. Regal Princess provided our comfortable moving hotel through the Baltic. The ship was very clean, very comfortable, possibly the most luxurious-feeling ship I've ever been on. We like included alternative venues for meals on a ship and Regal had a few. However, our best meal was the comp (with our booking) upscale steakhouse dinner. Of course, being a comp meal meant that the downside of it was that it was the very first meal we had on the ship - we had no choice - they were getting their commitment to us out of the way so they could make room for upsell diners who wouldn't reserve the first night. For whatever reason, our embarkation at Copenhagen was the fastest on record for either one of us. We did already have medallions for this cruise, which may have helped. (For the unfamiliar, Princess Medallion cruises provide a round RF medallion instead of a key card. Cabin doors, maitre-d's, and clerks can literally see you coming and who you are. Half the passengers wore them on the free neck-ribbons; we bought wrist bands. Apparently, those sci-fi movies with people swiping their wrists before entering someplace is now, and it's aboard Princess Medallion cruises. Aside from the sci-fi aspects, it was probably more convenient than a card. One aspect of the Medallion business is that Princess highly encouraged its use for many things: locating your cabin-mates, chatting, internet/intranet, games, casino, restaurant booking and so forth. But all these actions seemed to require downloading yet another app onto your phone to use and then trying to figure out how to make the app work like all the glitzy encouraging promotions make it look like. I had pre-purchased internet for the whole cruise, but "The Best Internet at Sea" only seemed to work ½ to ¾ of the time. If I'd get an internet cafe person's help, they'd race through what, to them, is a boring re-hash of simple steps, only to have my lack of a photographic memory apparently be my undoing. ("Turn this on, but that off, sign on, sign off, but it that's off, sign this off, see, simple?" I was able to locate my distant wife's position one time and never again. Neither of us were every able to get the chat thing to work. (Should mention that our last HAL cruise also had chat then would never work.) All that aside, the cruise was a fine one on a nice ship and provided the stress-free respite we needed in the middle of this European larger trip.

First Princess cruise - Mostly a good choice

Regal Princess Cruise Review by SailorToCruiser

Trip Details
Creds: I'm an 18-time cruiser, wife a 25-time cruiser, but our first on Princess. My first time flying to Europe to catch a boat; she did it once before.

Complications for us, that relate to the cruise: Both retired, we figured it'd be dumb to fly over, cruise, fly right back. So, we self-planned a few days in London after our direct flight from Tampa; a "buffer"/safety night in Copenhagen before embarkation. At the other end, we did another half-day in Copenhagen before flying to Amsterdam, then training across the north coast (Ghent, Belgium was a magical, surprise revelation) to Paris for a few days before Chunneling back to London for our return flight.

For the cruise, that meant that we were expecting travel stress (hotel-changing, train/air schedule worries, BA pilots' strike worries) with the 11-day cruise in the middle of it all to be our respite from stress. It pretty much did exactly that. Like all cruises, it was nice not to have to pack up every few days and move on. Regal Princess provided our comfortable moving hotel through the Baltic.

The ship was very clean, very comfortable, possibly the most luxurious-feeling ship I've ever been on. We like included alternative venues for meals on a ship and Regal had a few. However, our best meal was the comp (with our booking) upscale steakhouse dinner. Of course, being a comp meal meant that the downside of it was that it was the very first meal we had on the ship - we had no choice - they were getting their commitment to us out of the way so they could make room for upsell diners who wouldn't reserve the first night.

For whatever reason, our embarkation at Copenhagen was the fastest on record for either one of us. We did already have medallions for this cruise, which may have helped. (For the unfamiliar, Princess Medallion cruises provide a round RF medallion instead of a key card. Cabin doors, maitre-d's, and clerks can literally see you coming and who you are. Half the passengers wore them on the free neck-ribbons; we bought wrist bands. Apparently, those sci-fi movies with people swiping their wrists before entering someplace is now, and it's aboard Princess Medallion cruises. Aside from the sci-fi aspects, it was probably more convenient than a card.

One aspect of the Medallion business is that Princess highly encouraged its use for many things: locating your cabin-mates, chatting, internet/intranet, games, casino, restaurant booking and so forth. But all these actions seemed to require downloading yet another app onto your phone to use and then trying to figure out how to make the app work like all the glitzy encouraging promotions make it look like.

I had pre-purchased internet for the whole cruise, but "The Best Internet at Sea" only seemed to work ½ to ¾ of the time. If I'd get an internet cafe person's help, they'd race through what, to them, is a boring re-hash of simple steps, only to have my lack of a photographic memory apparently be my undoing. ("Turn this on, but that off, sign on, sign off, but it that's off, sign this off, see, simple?" I was able to locate my distant wife's position one time and never again. Neither of us were every able to get the chat thing to work. (Should mention that our last HAL cruise also had chat then would never work.)

All that aside, the cruise was a fine one on a nice ship and provided the stress-free respite we needed in the middle of this European larger trip.
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Cabin Review

Cabin A415
Changed down two decks from our original mini-suite cabin. Found out that the skydeck walkers could peer into your cabin. This cabin was perfect! Being under the skydeck meant that our line of 8 or so cabins had a designed bulge outwards to mirror the skydeck. That meant that we had a larger than normal deck space for our class of cabin. Being on the bow end of the group gave us the most square footage of all.

General cabin size for a mini was great. My wife would be happy with a basic balcony cabin to save some (irrelevant to me) dollars. This was just enough larger to say "comforable!" Full-size couch (sleeper maybe?), long desk vanity opposite. A LOT of storage. I really liked the handy shelf going out the door (sunglasses, whatever)

Bathroom was good-sized. Would like two sinks, but it was okay.
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