We chose this cruise as we wanted to totally relax and as we had been to St. Thomas and St. Maarten before and LOVE both these ports, we knew we could just meander about, take our time and enjoy the sea days as well as ports.
This cruise was to celebrate our retirement and was perfect in every way. Having been on numerous cruise lines in the past as well as 4 other Princess cruises, we found ourselves always saying "this is much better on Princess." An example … my husband purchased a drinks package - I do not drink much at all so did not feeling if I wanted an occasional drink, I could buy one. On other cruise lines, both of us would have to buy the drinks package, they wouldn't let one person only in the cabin buy one. For dining, we had any time dining as each day is different and we wanted the flexibility of different times / meeting different people. We never had to wait, no matter what time we chose. On other cruise lines, unless a reservation was made, there was definitely a wait! Medallion class ship - way ahead of the curve on other lines - as you approach your door, the medallion unlocks it, you tap to get on/off the ship, order food/drinks, etc - well done Princess. My favourite though was abilitiy from the app on our phones to find my husband - the best!
The staff - very customer-service focused. Again on other ships at breakfast, you automatically got your own coffee/juice at the buffet which I always do. On Regal, as soon as you sat down, someone was there offering coffee and whatever type of juice you would like. Similarly, when finished, the plate was taken away. While they were very unobtrusive, they were there magically when you needed them. Dining room food was amazing. Again, on other cruise lines, to get the level of food we had in the dining room, we had to go to speciality restaurants. No need on Regal - the food was top class in the dining room with lobster, lamb, Beef Wellington, etc and many other quality choices normally only served in the specialties.
Entertainment: - again ahead of the curve - not only with their production shows and props which were totally amazing and professional but they had the rights to "the voice" - which the called "Voice of the Ocean - with same stage set-up with chairs/judges, etc. - well done Princess! As always, we love "Movies under the Stars". Cruise director was great and a natural comedian - I always judge the entertainment by how good the cruise director is and this one did not disappoint!
Lots of choices also in other eating venues - the International Café is one of our favourites with cappuchinos, lattes, etc. but I could also get my favourite soy milk if I asked for it. Breakfast sandwiches, fabulous voghurt parfaits, lunch salads, sandwiches, deserts that are out of this world and much more and all free. Some other cruise lines have converted their cafes into Starbucks that is not free - these things all add up.
Alfredos is another free restaurant that makes fabulous home-made pizza, calzones, pasta, etc. - a real find and scrumptious.
Outside food such as the grills, BBQ's ice cream are available constantly and great.
We love the ports on this cruise. For us the idea was to relax with not too many shore excursions as our last cruise on a different line was chock full of excursions in Europe so the idea was to take it easy - mission accomplished. Princess Cays offered a free beach trip with wonderful catered BBQ lunch and everything you could want including the turquoise clear water of the Bahamas. A very relaxing day. For us, we love to wander around St. Thomas and St. Martin is our favourite island. The shops in both locales are great and for us, we love there are so many, especially jewellery as it is a great way to compare and get the best deals. St. Martin has the benefit of the dutch and French side including the myriad of shops in Phillipsburg and the great boardwalk next to the beach which is also stunning with a great backgroup of mountains reaching as far as the eye can see. We went to Maho beach area as we had stayed in a hotel there before and it was great to see it had totally recovered from the hurricane. Lovely mall at the port - Havensight which we adore walking around on our way back from town. The main thing about these ports - totally safe and amazing friendliness of the residents - make you feel valued.
Sea days offered lots of options with line dancing, bingo, unusual competitions, etc - just wonderful. This cruise, I can honestly say, made me feel I do not want another cruise line, except Princess - the best cruise out of the 16 we have taken to date!
We also had a VIP casino offer on this cruise and the casino spoiled us with many lovely gifts and amazing service.
Cabin was our favourite location at the back of the ship - we always feel like we are in our own world back there - very quiet. The cabin (as with everything on this ship) was super clean and spotless! More room that some other ships in aft balcony cabins with a larger balcony area as well. Large TV right across from the bed was great and love the fact that Princess has the clothes area behind the main room next to bathroom with much more room (and hangers) than other cruise lines
rented a clamshell for the beach to provide shelter from the sun - lots of room with north or south beach options and tons of clamshells with great locations next to the water - well worth it!View All undefined undefined Reviews
Love the shops in St. Thomas and the friendliness of the residents to make us feel welcome. Great options for shopping with a very long street filled with shops. Although there are souvenir, liquor store and clothes shops, we love the fact they have quite a few jewellery shops as we shop around and after going into 4 or 5 stores, get a dramatic discount if we advise what the last shop offered. Well worth it. Although we did not do an excursion this time, Meghan's Bay or the sky ride are well worth it also.
No question this is our favourite island. We have stayed on it many times and love the diversity of both the dutch and french side. Again, very long street with multiple shopping options but also a fabulous boardwalk next to the beach with ice cream, restaurants, etc. Phillipsburg is lovely but we also love Maho area with the Sonesta / Ocean Point hotel - fabulous beach where the planes take off/land next to. Many lovely sun bathing beaches also such as Divi, Mullett Bay, etc. Marigot, the french capital is very european looking with patisseries, cafes, and marvellous food creations and shops. It is also beautiful driving around the island with so many high mountains and weaving roads - a true paradise for the senses with something for everyone - you cannot go wrong with St. Martin or St. Maarten!