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This was our 12th cruise with Princess, a 14 night (or 2 x 7 night) cruise to the Eastern and Western Caribbean out of Fort Lauderdale. We chose this because we had 2 birthdays in our group of 6 and wanted to be in a port on both days so the itinerary appealed. While we were aboard, 2 of our group also renewed their wedding vows so that made it extra special. First Medallion cruise, and we're all from the UK so got our medallions on check-in. In general I thought the medallions worked well, we didn't use all the features or apps, and the drink ordering and delivery was a bit hit & miss (one time it worked, another time it didn't) but I think the technology is a huge step forward for Princess and I can envisage it will open up a lot of new opportunities (e.g. why not tie the photos to your medallion and then you can view the images digitally instead of printing hundreds of photos that NOBODY buys?). We did anytime dining but eventually we were sitting at the same table in the Concerto every night so it worked well for us with the same excellent waiting staff (Rommel and Lenn). I thought the food was very good, lots of choice in the buffet, exceptional curries, but the dining room menu was repeated again the 2nd week with some variations, but we now know our favourites (crème brulee and souffles as good as ever). Entertainment very good, production shows are excellent and although repeated 2nd week, still worth a 2nd look, especially Bravo and Born To Dance which was exceptional. Also the Beatlemaniacs were excellent with 2 shows the first week, though I didn't enjoy the comedian the 2nd week and I get bored with comedy magic shows as well. The Regal Princess is a beautiful ship, lovely public areas and plenty of bars and entertainment spaces. Staterooms are nice but ALL the balconies are small. There is still an element of 'sell-sell-sell' and I wish they would dump the art auctions, I attended one once and never again, it was awful. Otherwise the staff are all lovely and friendly. We booked 3 Princess excursions; - a beach bungalow on Princess Cays (not worth the money), a St John On Your Own, and a debark tour (cruise of FL intracoastal, Las Olas, and transfer to Miami airport...enjoyed the boat cruise, Las Olas is not that interesting and went to Miami airport via FL airport and the ship which we were NOT expecting), and for the other ports (St Maarten, Falmouth, Grand Cayman and Cozumel) we researched and booked our own personal/private tours online in advance). In summary we had a great 2 weeks, thanks again Princess.

Very good overall

Regal Princess Cruise Review by CT-Edin

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2020
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Mini-Suite with Balcony
This was our 12th cruise with Princess, a 14 night (or 2 x 7 night) cruise to the Eastern and Western Caribbean out of Fort Lauderdale. We chose this because we had 2 birthdays in our group of 6 and wanted to be in a port on both days so the itinerary appealed. While we were aboard, 2 of our group also renewed their wedding vows so that made it extra special. First Medallion cruise, and we're all from the UK so got our medallions on check-in. In general I thought the medallions worked well, we didn't use all the features or apps, and the drink ordering and delivery was a bit hit & miss (one time it worked, another time it didn't) but I think the technology is a huge step forward for Princess and I can envisage it will open up a lot of new opportunities (e.g. why not tie the photos to your medallion and then you can view the images digitally instead of printing hundreds of photos that NOBODY buys?). We did anytime dining but eventually we were sitting at the same table in the Concerto every night so it worked well for us with the same excellent waiting staff (Rommel and Lenn). I thought the food was very good, lots of choice in the buffet, exceptional curries, but the dining room menu was repeated again the 2nd week with some variations, but we now know our favourites (crème brulee and souffles as good as ever). Entertainment very good, production shows are excellent and although repeated 2nd week, still worth a 2nd look, especially Bravo and Born To Dance which was exceptional. Also the Beatlemaniacs were excellent with 2 shows the first week, though I didn't enjoy the comedian the 2nd week and I get bored with comedy magic shows as well. The Regal Princess is a beautiful ship, lovely public areas and plenty of bars and entertainment spaces. Staterooms are nice but ALL the balconies are small. There is still an element of 'sell-sell-sell' and I wish they would dump the art auctions, I attended one once and never again, it was awful. Otherwise the staff are all lovely and friendly. We booked 3 Princess excursions; - a beach bungalow on Princess Cays (not worth the money), a St John On Your Own, and a debark tour (cruise of FL intracoastal, Las Olas, and transfer to Miami airport...enjoyed the boat cruise, Las Olas is not that interesting and went to Miami airport via FL airport and the ship which we were NOT expecting), and for the other ports (St Maarten, Falmouth, Grand Cayman and Cozumel) we researched and booked our own personal/private tours online in advance).

In summary we had a great 2 weeks, thanks again Princess.
CT-Edin’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Mini-Suite with Balcony
Cabin MA
Lovely minisuite with plenty of interior space but very small balcony (ALL the balconies on Regal Princess are small). Bathroom clean but rest could have been cleaner, coffee table not dusted and hairs/dust in drawers so I wiped everything down with a damp cloth. Well equipped and a hairdryer that is actually useable. Bed supercomfy but felt like a dip in the middle. Our cabin steward (Lauro) was great.
Riviera Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Cozumel
    We booked a tour with Cozumel Activities, our driver was Hugo Mendez. It was easy to book the tour and we asked to see the Mayan Ruins at San Gervasio, try some chocolate tasting, and to visit a beach for some time there. Hugo met us at the cruise terminal – initially it was a bit confusing as there were so many people but we managed to find each other and get started on the tour. Hugo took us around some of San Miguel town initially and then to San Gervasio ruins. It costs about $8 each to visit, you pay $5 in the first entrance (which is the government fee) and then $3 in the next entrance (which goes to the tour companies). You can do the ruins on your own but as we had limited time, we hired an official guide for $20 to take us to the key sights and I felt this was worth it. The ruins are spread out over a wide area of jungle. Take insect repellent. You will also see iguanas and other wildlife. It was interesting but not as spectacular as Chichen Itza so be aware of that. After we left the ruins, we were taken to a tourist centre to try some chocolate, but there was also tequila, tacos, some info about the Mayan culture, how tequila is made and shopping. It was a bit touristy, lots of opportunity to spend money or give tips, but it was generally OK and we enjoyed the tequila tasting but limits on liquids when flying meant we couldn't buy any. After this stop, we went to Buccanos Beach Club, which was $20 each for loungers/showers/beach/pool/restaurant and bar etc. It was reasonable and a nice beachfront but fairly busy. After this, we were driven back to the ship. Hugo is very friendly, professional, polite and drives carefully, he is obviously very proud of his Mayan heritage and his island. The bus was comfy and well equipped with a cooler of iced water which is a nice touch. Cozumel is a nice place to visit but be aware that tips are expected everywhere and tourism is a key industry here so it might feel a bit overwhelming if you're not used to that. In summary we enjoyed our personalised tour and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Cozumel Activities.
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  • Falmouth
    We took a private tour with Jamrock Journeys (tour guide Marc) and a small minibus with a big tooty horn (Marc explained about this). He met us outside the cruise terminal and recognised us straight away as I'd sent a photo so we could recognise each other. I asked for a maximum of 2 hours driving, to see some nice views, and to have some beach time where we could have a drink and some lunch. Marc customised the tour very well accordingly. Very interesting tour, initially Marc showed us some of the sights in Falmouth town, with an explanation of some of the buildings. Then we drove first to Rio Bueno which is bypassed by the main road, a small very typical Jamaican settlement off the beaten track. Then onto Discovery Bay, where Columbus landed. We drove through the bauxite plant to the top of the hill for some great views, the hill was also where the bobsleigh team (Cool Runnings) practiced karting downhill. Onward through Puerto Seco via the heritage park and smelling the pimiento leaves to Runaway Bay, and to Ocho Rios which was very busy with 2 cruise ships arriving, and with hindsight, I would have skipped going there as the traffic was heavy. We doubled back to Mamee Bay and to the Bamboo Blu Beach Bar for some beach time and lunch. Then back to Falmouth and the ship.
    Marc was very informative and patient. We saw and experienced some of the "real" Jamaica, away from the main tourist sights. I think the tour bus would benefit from some audio as it was sometimes hard to hear what he was saying over the engine noise. Also you should budget about $10 pp for a lounger at the beach bar. The beach was busy but a little quieter further away however you are restricted as to where you can go on it. The food at the beach bar was average but they serve very good rum punch. In summary, I would recommend Jamrock Journeys, we had a good varied day.
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  • Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
    Very good intracoastal waterway cruise, visit to Las Olas Boulevard (not that interesting) and transfer to Miami airport - but via Fort Lauderdale airport and the ship as Princess combined 3 tours into 1 bus (not expected and took longer that we were expecting). The bus ride was bumpy and uncomfortable, I actually felt sick when we arrived at Miami airport.
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  • Grand Cayman (Georgetown)
    We chartered a boat with Tours Cayman. Met at the cruise terminal by Shane, who escorted us onto a private bus that took us to the Yacht Club and onto the boat which was huge but great for the 6 of us. We had Denny as first mate and Kimmi as captain. First stop was to the coral gardens for some snorkelling and swimming. We were thrilled to see 3 stingrays here amongst the fish and corals. Next stop to the Stingray City, ahead of this Denny gave us a talk about the rays and how they are handled. When we got there, there were lots of other boats with many people but our stop felt very personalised as there were just 6 of us. Denny coaxed one of the rays and handled it carefully, and we all posed for some photos with it, and fed it some squid. It was very placid and did not seem to mind being handled. Our next stop was at Rum Point for some lunch. This is a really nice spot with a lovely small beach, plenty of shade if you need it, and good food. We had a really great jerk chicken wrap and a couple of cocktails. There are very clean restrooms, and a small shop as well as the bar & kitchen. After lunch, we got back on the boat and stopped at Starfish Point, this is a lovely natural beach with shallow water, and lots of starfish, again we were shown how to handle them by Denny and took some photos. We then headed back to the Yacht Club across the bay and left the boat to be collected by Shane and taken back to the cruise ship. This was a fantastic and memorable day, and I would highly recommend chartering a boat privately if you can, as it is more personalised and flexible. Arranging the trip with Tours Cayman was very straightforward, the staff are friendly, professional and knowledgeable and we really enjoyed our trip.
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  • Princess Cays
    For the cost $199 plus another $50 to add 2 extra people to the 4, the value was not worth it. We had to go to 3 different desks at the resort to find out which actual bungalow we'd been given, so the initial instructions weren't clear. I wouldn't do this again.
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  • St. Maarten
    Toured with Amigo Tours, tour guide Wellington. Private tour, we visited Oyster Bay, Coralita Bay, Orient Beach (lovely beach and stopped for a drink at one of the beach bars), then Marigot and back to the Dutch side to Maho Beach (very crowded) to see the planes fly over. Weather wet but still very warm. Good tour, with a guide who has a great sense of humour, is very personable, and drives safely.
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  • St. John Tour
    Did the St John On Your Own which was essentially a ferry to St. John but doing independently would have been tricky so we booked the Princess option. I originally booked the morning slot but arrived on board to find it had been changed to the PM slot but this was due to the operator not Princess. On arrival in St John, at Cruz Bay, we went to the National Park Visitor Center, picked up a map and walked the mile long Lind Point trail to Honeymoon Beach (gorgeous) where we spent an hour swimming and sunbathing before hiking back. Its an easy walk and the beach is so beautiful.
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