In Honolulu, we boarded a sailing that started in Vancouver – our final destination was Sydney and we spent a total of 20 days onboard. This was our first time on the Royal class ships and we found it an improvement over the older Grand class. The Royal is showing her age, but then so were a majority of its passengers (I’m in my late 60’s – I can make that joke)… Overall we found the ship easy to navigate, very clean and very comfortable with an outstanding crew.
We had a mini-suite, forward on the Aloha deck and our steward, Normad was terrific. This was our first cruise post pandemic, and while we missed a few of the little things (like chocolates on the pillows at night) in reality it wasn’t an issue. The room was very comfortable and if there’s one concern it’s that the couch is a bit saggy. As has been well documented, there are minimal electric outlets in the room and adapters / power outlets are a must if you have more than 2 devices that need any power. There’s plenty of storage to be had – clothes for 2 people for 20 days fit nicely. The tub in the bathroom was great – much better than the RV-sized shower in a balcony room. My only minor issue was with the balcony itself – it was narrow and the 2 chairs, 2 footstools and round metal table did not leave much room for moving around. A smaller table would have been just fine in our opinion.
We really did not have a bad meal on board – we booked a time in the Concerto dining room before boarding and on our first night, requested the same table / wait staff every night. After a bit of discussion at the door, they agreed. Our waiter Alfredo and his assistant Paul were amazing – no other description comes close. Food was good to very good – it’s not a Michelin star kind of place but we only had 1 or 2 dishes between 4 people over 20 days we didn’t care for. We had dinner one night in the Crown Grill and that was great – they have really good French onion soup! We also attended the Super Tuscan dinner in Sabatini’s and were a bit disappointed – none of our party of 4 thought the dinner was worth the $70 per couple charge. The Horizon Court / Bistro always seemed to be stocked with good / solid food and the International Café was a good place for a quick bite, especially when we had to get off the ship in Papeete at 5:30 AM to get a ferry for our excursion on Moorea. One of our party tried the sushi bar and he was happy with it. Alfredo’s was good as was the pizza / grill locations on near the pool. We did not do the Chef’s Table as we’ve experience that before. We managed to not starve on our 20 days cruise….We did not partake of the Princess drink package but our traveling companions did and they never had an issue.
In Auckland we booked an e-bike tour through Viator and had an excellent time. Power to the Pedal and the owner Eddie was a fantastic guide. Very informative pointing out interesting sites with stops and taking pictures where were emailed to us afterwards. He also provided some recommendation on places to eat after our ride.
Overall all an exception morning in Auckland – it’s a beautiful city and Power to the Pedal is a great way to see a part of this wonder place. Highly recommended.
Moorea is unbelievably beautiful ! We booked a ATV tour through Viator and had a terrific time riding through the pineapple fields, up to Belvedere Lookout and Magic Mountain. Highly recommended.