1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Regal Princess
We sailed on the MSC Seaside for a week and immediately took another week cruise on the Princess Regal. These ships are quite different and attract a different crowd. For this review, I will often compare the two for a more informative review. The embarkation was as smooth as one can get thousands of people on a boat in a few hours.  Yes, we had to wait, but in each case it was no more that twenty minutes in line,  I think this is acceptable. Both ships had port facilities that was meant to handle large crowds, MSC had recently built their own. MSC closed the staterooms until 2 PM on embarkation,  we were able to access our stateroom at 1 PM on Princess. The MSC Seaside is very flashy, and yet elegant with chrome and mirrors everywhere, while the Princess Regal had fancy wood decorations concentrating around the lighting.  Unfortunately the fake wood reminded me of my 1985 Chrysler LeBaron Woody so I was less impressed with this ship.  The MSC Seaside had a open feel in all common areas, while the Princess Regal had many circular areas with seats for a more private feel. The Atrium on the Seaside was 4 levels in height and was impressive with chrome, mirrors, and a very fancy stairway, while the Princess was 3 levels with more of the wood and fancy lighting. The Princess had a medallion (computer chip) which you wear, in contrast to the key card on MSC. In addition, the Princess phone app was more advanced, with lots of features. Unfortunately, the complicated app did not work properly on either of our cell phones despite the phones being a common Samsung Galaxy 7. The computer technician apparently knew the problem and got an older program running on my phone that lacked all the features, while we finally gave up on my wife's phone. The complexity of the Princess software was frustrating. I have done some programming and the app lacks data checking and error recovery subroutines. The MSC app was more limited but work fine. Both ships had hand washing stations in the entrance to the buffet, this should be a requirement for all ships to reduce the chance of illness. The food  on Princess was excellent with fancy presentation and more variety. But, on both ships, we had food that was not up to our standards,and ordered another dish. The table service on MSC was slower than Princess,as the staffing levels are different. At the buffet, Princess had carving station which was a great presentation, however, sometimes, it was the chopped, pressed block of meat, I like meat that has not been processed extensively.  However, the burgers, fries, and pizza on MSC were more tasty as they often fresher as their cruise crowd is more of a burger consumer. Princess had two places to get a pizza, with the fancy location making it to order, which would certainly equal MSC. However the Princess crust was like a frozen pizza, while the MSC pizza crust was nice and chewy. Princess had one lobster night and our server delivered us a second while MSC had a fish platter that was had a half lobster. We loved the taste of the food on Princess formal dinners while MSC was more variable. Overall, the food on Princess was very good and the food on MSC was just good . Subsequent to our time on the Regal Princess the Center for Disease issue it's report on the ship and they failed it at a rate of 77 points. This was a surprise, we did not notice anything unclean in food preparation. The last inspection on the Regal was a perfect 100. When we boarded Princess, we at first thought kids were not allowed on the cruise. There were families on the cruise, but nowhere as many as MSC. Princess certainly attracts a older crowd. Princess was much more laid back with outdoor movies and often provided blankets and seat cushions at night while viewing. MSC had more activities. Princess had all shows in English and more variety than MSC. Two of the nights a comedian performed for the main show and he had a phrase that everyone on the ship started to repeat (it was funny). Princess had a small band that was basically underutilized as much of the music was per-recorded. Some of the members appeared in bar bands throughout the ship. At first I was thrilled to have a band on the ship but by the end, there was little purpose for the band. Princess also had a Beatles tribute band that was entertaining. Princess had older crowd with few kids, MSC had a variably of ages, with many families and baby carriages.  I never say a baby carriage on Princess.  MSC had play areas for small children and teens and probably offered discounts for families.  It as clear the MSC Seaside was designed for family enjoyment .  Both ships had upscale areas in the front of the ship that were off-limits to those who did not purchase them.  Princess had a Serenity deck while MSC when much farther with the Yacht Club.  Yacht Club member had separate quarters, dining, bars, and a butler assigned to them.  It was like a ship within the ship. MSC staff were younger and more male than the veteran Princess staff . The Princess staff was more friendly but our cabin steward clearly wanted us to conform to his schedule which was odd. Princess had staff that brought you your drink at the buffet(if you can find them), I prefer to draw my own drink which was the case on MSC. The internet WiFi on both ships was good, with Princess averaging a faster speed. Both had a WiFi package for less then a hundred dollars for the week, much cheaper than the $30 a day some lines charge for internet access. Neither ship tried the hard sell for additional cost items, this was much better than other cruise lines and a relief. The schedule at Princess ended at 11PM every night and their was little options for food ,activities, or dancing after this time. Princess had a cafe that was open until about 11:30 with some light sandwiches. MSC had longer hours with late night dancing and Pizza and a buffet food options until 12:30 PM. In contrast, we usually travel on Carnival, and they have 24 hour pizza and food options until 1 AM The debarkation was as smooth as one can get thousands of people off a boat in a few hours.  Customs was the bottleneck with even slower lines on MSC because of the foreigners. In summery, the cruises on Princess were generally older and more laid back. MSC had more activities with foreigners, families, and a younger crowd. In a nutshell, if you like to retire at 11PM and you like good food with a fancy presentation, Princess is for you, while MSC is for those that can stay up to 1 PM, like an international crowd with families, enjoy pizza, burgers and decent food.

Laid back cruise on the Princess Regal after a cruise on MSC

Regal Princess Cruise Review by Mr Old Car Parts

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: January 2020
  • Destination: Caribbean
We sailed on the MSC Seaside for a week and immediately took another week cruise on the Princess Regal. These ships are quite different and attract a different crowd. For this review, I will often compare the two for a more informative review.

The embarkation was as smooth as one can get thousands of people on a boat in a few hours.  Yes, we had to wait, but in each case it was no more that twenty minutes in line,  I think this is acceptable. Both ships had port facilities that was meant to handle large crowds, MSC had recently built their own.

MSC closed the staterooms until 2 PM on embarkation,  we were able to access our stateroom at 1 PM on Princess. The MSC Seaside is very flashy, and yet elegant with chrome and mirrors everywhere, while the Princess Regal had fancy wood decorations concentrating around the lighting.  Unfortunately the fake wood reminded me of my 1985 Chrysler LeBaron Woody so I was less impressed with this ship.  The MSC Seaside had a open feel in all common areas, while the Princess Regal had many circular areas with seats for a more private feel. The Atrium on the Seaside was 4 levels in height and was impressive with chrome, mirrors, and a very fancy stairway, while the Princess was 3 levels with more of the wood and fancy lighting.

The Princess had a medallion (computer chip) which you wear, in contrast to the key card on MSC. In addition, the Princess phone app was more advanced, with lots of features. Unfortunately, the complicated app did not work properly on either of our cell phones despite the phones being a common Samsung Galaxy 7. The computer technician apparently knew the problem and got an older program running on my phone that lacked all the features, while we finally gave up on my wife's phone. The complexity of the Princess software was frustrating. I have done some programming and the app lacks data checking and error recovery subroutines. The MSC app was more limited but work fine.

Both ships had hand washing stations in the entrance to the buffet, this should be a requirement for all ships to reduce the chance of illness.

The food  on Princess was excellent with fancy presentation and more variety. But, on both ships, we had food that was not up to our standards,and ordered another dish. The table service on MSC was slower than Princess,as the staffing levels are different. At the buffet, Princess had carving station which was a great presentation, however, sometimes, it was the chopped, pressed block of meat, I like meat that has not been processed extensively.  However, the burgers, fries, and pizza on MSC were more tasty as they often fresher as their cruise crowd is more of a burger consumer. Princess had two places to get a pizza, with the fancy location making it to order, which would certainly equal MSC. However the Princess crust was like a frozen pizza, while the MSC pizza crust was nice and chewy. Princess had one lobster night and our server delivered us a second while MSC had a fish platter that was had a half lobster. We loved the taste of the food on Princess formal dinners while MSC was more variable. Overall, the food on Princess was very good and the food on MSC was just good .

Subsequent to our time on the Regal Princess the Center for Disease issue it's report on the ship and they failed it at a rate of 77 points. This was a surprise, we did not notice anything unclean in food preparation. The last inspection on the Regal was a perfect 100.

When we boarded Princess, we at first thought kids were not allowed on the cruise. There were families on the cruise, but nowhere as many as MSC. Princess certainly attracts a older crowd.

Princess was much more laid back with outdoor movies and often provided blankets and seat cushions at night while viewing. MSC had more activities.

Princess had all shows in English and more variety than MSC. Two of the nights a comedian performed for the main show and he had a phrase that everyone on the ship started to repeat (it was funny). Princess had a small band that was basically underutilized as much of the music was per-recorded. Some of the members appeared in bar bands throughout the ship. At first I was thrilled to have a band on the ship but by the end, there was little purpose for the band. Princess also had a Beatles tribute band that was entertaining.

Princess had older crowd with few kids, MSC had a variably of ages, with many families and baby carriages.  I never say a baby carriage on Princess.  MSC had play areas for small children and teens and probably offered discounts for families.  It as clear the MSC Seaside was designed for family enjoyment . 

Both ships had upscale areas in the front of the ship that were off-limits to those who did not purchase them.  Princess had a Serenity deck while MSC when much farther with the Yacht Club.  Yacht Club member had separate quarters, dining, bars, and a butler assigned to them.  It was like a ship within the ship.

MSC staff were younger and more male than the veteran Princess staff . The Princess staff was more friendly but our cabin steward clearly wanted us to conform to his schedule which was odd. Princess had staff that brought you your drink at the buffet(if you can find them), I prefer to draw my own drink which was the case on MSC.

The internet WiFi on both ships was good, with Princess averaging a faster speed. Both had a WiFi package for less then a hundred dollars for the week, much cheaper than the $30 a day some lines charge for internet access. Neither ship tried the hard sell for additional cost items, this was much better than other cruise lines and a relief.

The schedule at Princess ended at 11PM every night and their was little options for food ,activities, or dancing after this time. Princess had a cafe that was open until about 11:30 with some light sandwiches. MSC had longer hours with late night dancing and Pizza and a buffet food options until 12:30 PM. In contrast, we usually travel on Carnival, and they have 24 hour pizza and food options until 1 AM

The debarkation was as smooth as one can get thousands of people off a boat in a few hours.  Customs was the bottleneck with even slower lines on MSC because of the foreigners.

In summery, the cruises on Princess were generally older and more laid back. MSC had more activities with foreigners, families, and a younger crowd. In a nutshell, if you like to retire at 11PM and you like good food with a fancy presentation, Princess is for you, while MSC is for those that can stay up to 1 PM, like an international crowd with families, enjoy pizza, burgers and decent food.
Mr Old Car Parts’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Service
Onboard Experience
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Regal Princess price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews