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I had been on two previous Princess cruises before I had children. In fact my wife and I took our honeymoon on a Princess cruise, so know that I boarded knowing what the cruise would be like in general terms. My wife had cruised extensively with princess as a child, and it has always been her family's go-to cruise line. That all being said, i think this will be the last time I cruise with Princess. The experience has soured me to the idea of cruising with my family in general. I had heard the jabs that others made about Princess, that it's an "old people" cruise line catering principally to empty nesters with excess cash and too much time on their hands. Unfortunately this cruise has proven those insinuations to be true. The ship was chock full of elderly Americans who seemed to think that I was imposing on them by having my children with me. Other parents that I spoke with on the trip agreed that the environment was not conducive to letting their children enjoy themselves. Granted, there was a children's area with supervision but for context, on a ship of 3000+ guests, there were fewer than 30 in my childrens' age range. This meant that there were almost no family friendly events or entertainment. The traditional dining had a fixed children's menu with only a handful of options, and people in the dining room (who were eating dinner with us at 5:15 pm I might add, like we were in seniors' discount hours at IHOP) gave us dirty looks every time our children made noise (which we tried hard to minimize). The ports of call had very few family-friendly excursions, and the bungalows we rented in Princess Cays had significant maintenance issues. The shopping area in St. Thomas where we docked was depressing, dirty, and sold only overpriced jewelry and trash semiprecious stones. On the subject of semiprecious stones, NO I DO NOT want to buy any of your ammorite or whatever worthless rock you are peddling at the onboard jewelry shops today. And the last thing I need is a preroll advertisement for it on my stateroom TV when I am trying to relax. In fact, other than the Lido deck pizza place, and the trident grill, I was unimpressed with most of the specialized services on the ship. There were few drink options for children, or those who do not consume alcohol, and at the outrigger bar where they advertised fresh juices and smoothies, the staff seemed totally perplexed anytime I ordered one. Often having to go to the kitchen to procure ingredients, or even having to take the standing menu off the bar to look up what went into one of their "specialty smoothies". Last and somewhat surprising for a cruise line that caters to seniors, they now charge a $10 fee for afternoon tea (which was one of my favourite activities when cruising as a couple). The final slap in the face was when we disembarked. Our flight was at 11am, so they had us leave the ship at 8:15, which would have been fine, except the bus company they use for their port transfers is apparently run by a bunch of monkeys, who's ineptitude was not helped by the Princess staff yelling at them, rather than fixing the situation by, oh, I don't know, FINDING ANOTHER BUS WHEN OURS WOULDN'T GO INTO GEAR?! Seriously guys, you do this every day, get your act together. We almost missed our flight, and that is the last kind of anxiety I need when I am traveling with my children. Don't waste your time with Princess, next time we will be looking at Royal Carribean or someone like that, their water slides and desktop play-structures looked really fun when we were docked next to them at St. Maartin.

Parents with young children should look elsewhere

Regal Princess Cruise Review by swhitmell

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2020
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
I had been on two previous Princess cruises before I had children. In fact my wife and I took our honeymoon on a Princess cruise, so know that I boarded knowing what the cruise would be like in general terms. My wife had cruised extensively with princess as a child, and it has always been her family's go-to cruise line. That all being said, i think this will be the last time I cruise with Princess. The experience has soured me to the idea of cruising with my family in general. I had heard the jabs that others made about Princess, that it's an "old people" cruise line catering principally to empty nesters with excess cash and too much time on their hands. Unfortunately this cruise has proven those insinuations to be true. The ship was chock full of elderly Americans who seemed to think that I was imposing on them by having my children with me. Other parents that I spoke with on the trip agreed that the environment was not conducive to letting their children enjoy themselves. Granted, there was a children's area with supervision but for context, on a ship of 3000+ guests, there were fewer than 30 in my childrens' age range. This meant that there were almost no family friendly events or entertainment. The traditional dining had a fixed children's menu with only a handful of options, and people in the dining room (who were eating dinner with us at 5:15 pm I might add, like we were in seniors' discount hours at IHOP) gave us dirty looks every time our children made noise (which we tried hard to minimize).

The ports of call had very few family-friendly excursions, and the bungalows we rented in Princess Cays had significant maintenance issues. The shopping area in St. Thomas where we docked was depressing, dirty, and sold only overpriced jewelry and trash semiprecious stones. On the subject of semiprecious stones, NO I DO NOT want to buy any of your ammorite or whatever worthless rock you are peddling at the onboard jewelry shops today. And the last thing I need is a preroll advertisement for it on my stateroom TV when I am trying to relax.

In fact, other than the Lido deck pizza place, and the trident grill, I was unimpressed with most of the specialized services on the ship. There were few drink options for children, or those who do not consume alcohol, and at the outrigger bar where they advertised fresh juices and smoothies, the staff seemed totally perplexed anytime I ordered one. Often having to go to the kitchen to procure ingredients, or even having to take the standing menu off the bar to look up what went into one of their "specialty smoothies". Last and somewhat surprising for a cruise line that caters to seniors, they now charge a $10 fee for afternoon tea (which was one of my favourite activities when cruising as a couple). The final slap in the face was when we disembarked. Our flight was at 11am, so they had us leave the ship at 8:15, which would have been fine, except the bus company they use for their port transfers is apparently run by a bunch of monkeys, who's ineptitude was not helped by the Princess staff yelling at them, rather than fixing the situation by, oh, I don't know, FINDING ANOTHER BUS WHEN OURS WOULDN'T GO INTO GEAR?! Seriously guys, you do this every day, get your act together. We almost missed our flight, and that is the last kind of anxiety I need when I am traveling with my children. Don't waste your time with Princess, next time we will be looking at Royal Carribean or someone like that, their water slides and desktop play-structures looked really fun when we were docked next to them at St. Maartin.
swhitmell’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages Under 3
Ages 3 to 6
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA
The cabin was clean and well maintained, though for a young ship like the Regal, that is not overly demanding. The Steward was friendly and kind. Really, being able to retreat to my stateroom with a hotdog from the Lido deck was one of the few true pleasures of my cruise.
Riviera Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews