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Royal Princess Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,684 Reviews

First Timer Princess Cruiser - Solid Traditional Cruise Ship & Experience

Royal Princess Cruise Review by Cannavaro

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Feb 2020
  • Destination: the Mexican Riviera
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Balcony

Overall score would be closer to 4 than 3 stars.

Royal Princess was a solid traditional cruise ship and experience for their great service and good food. As a couple in their mid 30's, we felt we were the youngest on the ship and most of the activities/clientele weren't really catered to us(which is fine because we expected this) but I would not recommend this cruise line for anyone under 40 years due to that. For a lazy, relaxing, no frills get away... this cruise will check all the boxes regardless of age.

Departed to Mexican Riviera 2/22/20 for 7 nights in a deluxe Balcony for $524 pp. Booked last 'minute' in mid January. Itinerary was great except it was cold/chilly due to overcast weather the two days leaving LA and the two days returning back to LA. Weather in Mexico was sunny but not hot enough to go into the water comfortably. As this was a 'traditional' ship with plenty of deck space, we barely utilized it due to us not bringing any jackets/sweaters.

Medallion and embarkation were highlights on this trip. Made checking in easier, purchasing, ordering room service, getting drinks a complete breeze.

Ship was clean. Cabins could of used a deep clean in the cabins. Bathroom was a good size. The ship layout was rather confusing and zig zagged all over the place. Balcony was small as expected but plenty of space for a cup of coffee or a sunset photo.

MDR was another highlight on this trip. The food and service were great, above my expectations. Multiple entrees/desserts every time and prompt, courteous service by Ryan & Alla.

Production show was solid. We saw colors but hand to stand through due to no space. Comedian AJ Jamaal was okay. I thought he would be funnier but his jokes catered to a much older audience. All entertainment on the ship catered towards eating or drinking or some other game/session around the main Piazza room. It was either horse racing, zumba, or champagne party. If you have a 7:15 MDR seating most likely it will be tough for you to get to most of the main 'activity' events. My wife and I did win the raffle for the SPA so that was exciting as well!

Service was great all around. Our cabin steward came by two times a day but diminished in quality over time towards the end of the cruise.

We did our own shore excursions which was the best choice.

Cabo - 'Glass Bottom Boat' Paid $20 USD for a private boat tour at the cabo dock to Los Arcos. Went to The Office restaurant on Medano beach which was very pricey for Mexico but was delicious. Best 'pulpo' octupus I've ever had.

Mazatlan - Hidden gem of the trip. Booked Maria's Happy horses for 30 minute ride for $15 USD PP. Ended up being a 45 minute trip with great photos. Booked direct through her on her website. Can ask locally on the beach as well for her. Ate at Malokay and Lety's for a whole fried red snapper for super cheap and hung out on the chairs which were included for a purchase.

Puerto Vallarta - Pretty tourist town. Plenty of restaurants and bars along the restaurant to drink and hang out in the Malecon. Went to St Guadalupe and Hilton for a day pass.

All in all it was a good trip. First time to Mexican Riviera(prefer caribbean) and first time on Princess. I got a good value for the trip and had a good time due to the good food and service. Couldn't ask for much more. Due to my demographic and needs, I'd prefer a little bit more excitement and buzz on the ship to keep me occupied than just bingo and trivia.

Here is a more indepth review with photos:

https://boards.cruisecritic.com/topic/2739251-princess-first-timer-review-royal-princess/


Cannavaro's Full Rating Summary
Cabin
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Balcony

Solid size cabin and bathroom. Was clean.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Medano Beach

Booked a glass bottom boat tour at the dock for $10 usd PP and was dropped off on Medano Beach after. Ate at The Office.

View All 8 Medano Beach Reviews
The Arch (El Arco) & Lover's Beach

Booked a glass bottom boat tour at the dock for $10 usd PP and was dropped off on Medano Beach after.

View All 37 The Arch (El Arco) & Lover's Beach Reviews
Horseback Riding

Booked $15 pp for 30 minutes on Marias Happy Horses. Hung out and ate at Malekoy and Lety's afterwards for cheap drinks/food.

View All 7 Horseback Riding Reviews

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Cannavaro
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