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Sail Date: January 2018
Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. It was the in-between that fell flat. This was mine and my husband's (no children with us) 7th Princess cruise, and our worst. It was a 5-day cruise on the Crown Princess to Grand Turk and ... Read More
Embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. It was the in-between that fell flat. This was mine and my husband's (no children with us) 7th Princess cruise, and our worst. It was a 5-day cruise on the Crown Princess to Grand Turk and Amber Cove, Dominican Republic. Very disappointing. On the first day we discovered our favorite pool on the back of the ship was closed and remained closed all week. The pool at the estuary was being re-tiled, so it was also closed all week. That left only two pools open for over 3000 guests. The ship is going in for refurbishing, and the entire crew seemed to have a don't care attitude. The food was horrible, and the service was worse. We saw our cabin attendant when we checked into our room and not again until we were departing the ship. The very last night I got a virus and was medically escorted from the ship at departure, so we weren't given the opportunity to print out our folio of expenses. I have called Princess twice this past week to have it emailed to me. I still don't have. The worst part was we were travelling with four other couples, three of which had never cruised Princess, and one couple who had never cruised at all. That couple said they were looking for the wow factor and was very disappointed. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
What follows is purely opinion. Nothing should be construed as a statement of fact. This was our first ever cruise. We wanted a short cruise to see if we liked cruising at all and if we would get seasick. It was freezing in NJ so we ... Read More
What follows is purely opinion. Nothing should be construed as a statement of fact. This was our first ever cruise. We wanted a short cruise to see if we liked cruising at all and if we would get seasick. It was freezing in NJ so we did this last minute to get warm, booked everything including air travel less than about 30 days before the sail. First, I had always heard that on today's modern cruise ships you don't feel the ocean. Lies, damn lies. From Ft. Lauderdale to Grand Turk there were waves. They had to close all the pools because of the water sloshing back and forth in the pools, 2-3 foot pool waves anyone, and sometimes it would escape the pool and splash on the deck. I and my wife were generally OK however we heard from various people that their roommate was laid up with seasickness. Because of what I learned about ship movement I would get the lowest cabin mid-ship. Also, there are 3 main dining rooms, same menu in each however, one is in the stern (aft). I would try to get into one of the midsection main dining rooms, less rocking while eating. FYI, my wife was getting her hair done for the formal night and there was a swell. She told me some of the staff fell down. FYI, on this particular cruise there was a nice mix of ages from 20 somethings to 80 year olds. A few preschoolers. Very few teenagers and school age children. We liked this. Overall I liked the ship. Decent number of pools and hot tubs, nice promenade that circled the ship however there were stairs to get to the front part of the promenade this might be a problem for some (except in bad weather they closed the stairs to the front), nicely decorated dining rooms, nice interior, ship not too large, nice number of entertainment venues (i.e. bars with musical entertainment or trivia contests), theatre was OK, there was also a disco in the top aft section. However, some of the activities like learning to play a steel drum were in an interior conference room. Dinning in the main dining room was OK. The food was OK and the service was really great. I did not have any out and out misses. Some days I liked the food better than others. I thought the equivalent was Ruby Tuesdays maybe a little better, my wife thought it was a definitely a step up from that. Again, not 5 star New York restaurant but definitely reasonable, especially for what we paid (got a last minute dal for about $100 per person per day that included port fees, taxes and gratuities). Did not particularly care for the buffet. Generally we ate in a MDR for breakfast and dinner when we could and embarkation day we also made it on in time for lunch in the MDR. We scored a great table for 2 (table 132 in Botticelli MDR). The only problem is that because we booked so late we only got a 5:30 seating which was just a tiny bit early. One last thing about the Botticelli, it can get noisy from the conversations at dinner, I think there may be too many hard reflecting surfaces. We dressed up for formal night (I did a Tux, most of the men did dark suits or similar). In general the wait staff wore different outfits each day. There were fresh flowers on the table. Our wait staff remembered our drinks. The head waiter stopped by our table once or twice during the cruise. Generally nice little touches that made dining in the MDR an experience. Also ate pizza near one of the pools. Pizza was decent. I prefer ultra-thin crust NY style however the pizza on board was definitely acceptable. On the pool level they also have a place for burgers, bratwurst, BBQ, grilled chicken. The burgers were good, so was the grilled chicken, I did not think the BBQ brisket was up to snuff. There was also an international cafe on deck 5 that is supposedly open 24 hours (was never up in the wee hours to test that). They had Paninis, salads, deserts, in the morning they had donuts (here you had to pay for coffee, did not try it). I generally liked the food at the international cafe. In general the coffee on the ship was mediocre, but I drank it, I will pretty much drink anything although I would prefer Jamaican Blue or good pure Hawaii Kona. There is a coffee card you can buy, on such a short trip (5 days) it was not worth it. Might give it a try on 7 days or longer. We did not try the pay for dining rooms. We pre-bought water which I thought was a good idea. We bought the soda package, I think we broke even, probably would do that again. We're not drinkers so it was cheaper to buy drinks and wine by the piece. They also had buy one drink get one for a dollar at select times of the day. The only true miss on the whole cruise was a basic margarita in the Wheel House bar, really bad, and they overcharged me a dollar or two. The entertainment was generally good. We went to two of the shows in the theatre. Something called Encore and another about the 70s. Liked those two shows. Not sure younger people would like the 70s show because they would not get it without living through the time period. There was a disco party up on the pool deck one night. That was fun, not sure what they would do if the weather was bad. They also had live musical entertainment in many of the bars/lounges and in the piazza. Really liked the string duo (woman playing cello and one playing violin). The steel drum guy was pretty good (he also taught the steel drum lesson) as well as the band that played at the various things like the disco party and last night balloon drop. The movie under the stars was also fun. I was disappointed in the Mardi Gras event. It could have been much better and should have been held in club fusion and not the piazza. The enrichment stuff was a little lacking. However we did like the steel drum lesson (will probably buy the same steel drum for our granddaughter that they use in class) and I liked the talk on how the ship operates that was given by a third mate. The star gazing was not great because it was a full moon so the stars were washed out. Can't really blame that on Princess, luck of the draw. FYI, they use a pre-recorded tape for part of the star gazing. I did not object to that but others might mind. Stumbled on a lawn bowls contest one day. I am sure it was in the daily newspaper (a must read) however did not see it. It was run by a very nice young woman from the cruise staff. She had an English (or maybe Australian) accent. I didn't win. Overall the service was great, dinning staff was excellent. Cruise director was a lot of fun. Port excursions. There is not that much to do on Grand Turk. I did do one of the snorkeling excursions, Horseshoe Reef and Round Cay. I hadn't gone snorkeling in a while so this was fun. FYI, the water was chilly, just not cold. The group that actually ran the excursion was I believe Chukka Caribbean Adventures. Very nice, I was very happy with it. However, I think you can find better snorkeling off the Florida Keys. The diving is probably wonderful because of the "wall" but I did not try that. We also did a bus excursion, The Grand Turk Experience. I thought it was interesting, some people might not. Again it is a very small Island. I believe that most tourists to Turks and Caicos go to the bigger island in the chain. We also walked up the beach to Jack's Shack for a drink. The Dominican Republic is bigger. Puerto Plata, is main the city near where the ship docked. Puerto Plata and vicinity is probably worth two days. We did the Heritage Puerto Plata with lunch excursion. It was OK. I don't like just sitting around the cruise port so this was a reasonable choice. You get to do a rum tasting at one of the distilleries (they call it a tour of the distillery but I think of it as really just a tasting and buying opportunity in comparison to what Wild Turkey does for a tour in Kentucky), we saw the fort, a small local museum, the town plaza. You get a taste of the local environment. If I were younger and in good shape I would have done the waterfall swim excursion, sounded great but a little too strenuous for me. Some of the other activities sounded nice but not enough time. They try to get you off the ship early on disembarkation day (i.e., by 8 or 9 AM) and our flight was not until 7 PM. We had a lot of time to kill. By the time we decided to do an excursion most of the tours were filled up. The one available was a short tour of Fort Lauderdale and a boat ride on the intercostal. It was fun. We started early so we had extra time on the bus so they did an impromptu stop near the beach so we could stretch our legs, walk on the beach, or pay a small fee and walk out on the fishing pier. I have been to Fort Lauderdale, I like the city and if our travel plans had worked out I would have stayed an extra night either before or after at the beach area. I thought the sales staff in the onboard jewelry stores were a little pushy. However, that is easy to avoid, just don't go in. Locally we stayed at the Hampton Inn Ft. Lauderdale/Plantation the night before sailing. They have a free shuttle from the airport and to the port. YOU NEED TO BOOK THE SHUTTLE TO THE PORT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, THE TIME SLOTS FILL UP FAST. Nice little hotel. Nice little outdoor pool and hot tub in the back. Walking distance to two shopping areas. The shopping areas have restaurants and one has a liquor store with a good wine selection if you want to buy wine for the cruise. We brought on two bottles. Embarkation and disembarkation went OK Overall I would go again, assuming food and service did not decline. I would just try to get a mid-section cabin. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Experience overall was okay, cabin was great (Caribe-10 with balcony forward), not many kids, we (early 50's) were often the youngest in a common room by a decade or so. The food was up and down. The dining room was fantastic, ... Read More
Experience overall was okay, cabin was great (Caribe-10 with balcony forward), not many kids, we (early 50's) were often the youngest in a common room by a decade or so. The food was up and down. The dining room was fantastic, everything Princess is known for. The buffet was mediocre, a few great dishes surround by okay to just bad. Breakfast at the buffet was their best meal. The staff seemed to be in a hurry to close sections of the food service as quickly as they could, very rarely was the whole buffet open. Getting off and on the ship for excursions was efficient and easy. A word of warning about Sharkeeze restaurant in Grand Cayman: the menu is priced in Cayman dollars, the staff makes it seem like you will get a bargain lunch, but US dollars are worth less than Cayman so expect a 25% premium over menu prices. I think this is just a way to charge more when the cruise ships are in port - 5 ships when we were there. Entertainment was okay. The bands in public spaces were very good. We had an 8:00 (late) seating in the dining room which made it impossible to see any of the shows in the theater - so I am unable to review any of those Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our fourth cruise and all with Princess. In a sense we are newbies I suppose, but we have been pleased with Princess and see no reason to go elsewhere. Stayed at the SpringHill Suites. Stay was fine but the shuttle to cruise ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise and all with Princess. In a sense we are newbies I suppose, but we have been pleased with Princess and see no reason to go elsewhere. Stayed at the SpringHill Suites. Stay was fine but the shuttle to cruise port was terrible. In the past they offered free shuttle and arrived within 20min by a van shuttle. This time we were charged $10/pp and in a larger bus it took 1 1/2hrs...unacceptable and most likely will not book there again. Love the Regal Princess. Embarkation was flawless and fast. My wife’s sister and her husband are platinum and were able to board a bit earlier. They were able to book the Sanctuary. SHIP- The Regal and her sister Royal are beautiful. They are large and hold a large number of guests, 3,560. We all found ourselves saying (other than elevators after muster) we never felt the ship crowded. It was always clean and well kept up. SANCTUARY- We love the Sanctuary and enjoy the peace and quiet it offers. The staff is amazing and treats us like royalty. Hats off to Maktum who served us daily and saw to our every need. DINNING- did the buffet the first day and was as expected....crowded, mass rush for food, and hard to find seating. But typical for first day. Food was good, a good variety, but hard to get what you wanted with the crowd. We mostly visited the Symphony DR and were always pleased with the service, selection and quality. We’d eat as a group of six and never really heard a complaint. We’d also do breakfast in the Symphony DR. We did receive a free up charge to eat at Crown. It was fabulous and the waiters were top notch. I’d pay the up charge for the experience again. PORTS Princess Cay... we have never been to Princess Cays and it was nice to catch a tender and walk the beach and grab a bite to eat. The food was just so-so. We were not on long. Next time we’d bring our snorkel gear and hang a little longer. Falmouth, Jamaica... we only went ashore to check out the port and walk a little. The port area is very nice. Once we got through the gate toward town we were hounded by sales of tours and any items you could imagine. There was a lot of police presence there and the farther we walked into town the sketchier it became. We had had enough of the folks approaching us with sales so we just headed back. Grand Cayman... through Princess we did the Stingray Encounter, turtle farm, and Hell excursion. It was a blast and would recommend it. The guys for our Stingray Encounter were faboulous. They would bring the stingrays up and allow us to hold and feed them. Very gentle creatures. Cozumel... through Princess we did the Chocolate Seaside Workshop, Tasting, and Wine Pairing. Nice shorter excursion. Very well done and informative and the wine pairing was very interesting. ENTERTAINMENT- we tried to catch the 10:00pm show nightly and really enjoyed every performance. Also enjoyed other entertainment throughout the ship. After our fourth cruise we feel we are settling into the idea of cruising and have another Princess cruise set for the end of the year on the Coral for a 15 day Panama Canal cruise. We do recommend Princess and if you can try to book on the Regal or Royal...they are beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Princess Cruises has always offered a spectacular, sensational cruising experience. This cruise, my fifth with them (and I've sailed other lines including Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, and Disney), was smooth from start to finish. The ... Read More
Princess Cruises has always offered a spectacular, sensational cruising experience. This cruise, my fifth with them (and I've sailed other lines including Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, and Disney), was smooth from start to finish. The food was enjoyable, and this included the formal dining rooms - where the wait staff was attentive - as well as the Horizon Court Buffet upstairs and the other casual eateries. The pizza is understandably well-rated, and this included the delicious gluten-free pizza my wife enjoyed once again. To that end, gluten free options on Princess have expanded since our last cruise two years ago. They offered or had available plenty of GF desserts, GF pancakes or toast made-to-order at any meal (including in the buffets), GF fresh-baked muffins (hot!), and a host of other choices in the formal dining rooms for the main courses and appetizers. The excursions and island destinations were also well-selected. We adventured ashore in each port. Shopping, while not a primary goal for us, was abundant in each port. We aimed to find great beaches - and did so. Some of the beaches we visited were truly unique, and recommended by the helpful Excursions staff even when we weren't booking an excursion through Princess. In addition, we took two Princess-managed excursions (an ATV trek in Cozumel, and a hike up Dunn's River Falls through the rushing water in Jamaica). My only comment for improvement with Princess is to review their Guest Services policies. We had an issue with their GS not addressing one of our issues at all promptly (waited over an hour, called multiple times). Perhaps it was an isolated incident, and in the end it did not dampen our amazing experience. As always, our cabin was incredibly clean and well-maintained, the cabin steward was friendly, and knew our names from the first day. The ship's WiFi has been significantly upgraded even since our in-laws were on this ship this past summer, and is lightning-fast for those who want it. The Medallion Net service is also fantastic for keeping up with events, planning your own calendar of must-do's, and generally navigating the ship / keeping up with your Stateroom Account. The entertainment we saw was top-notch, and the movie selections both for Movies Under the Stars and the in-cabin movies excelled. I highly recommend Princess Cruises above the other lines I have experienced. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
I just returned from my first ever cruise on the Regal Princess, sailing out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. We were on board for 7 beautiful days and had a wonderful time. We had great weather and I can't say enough about how wonderful the staff ... Read More
I just returned from my first ever cruise on the Regal Princess, sailing out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. We were on board for 7 beautiful days and had a wonderful time. We had great weather and I can't say enough about how wonderful the staff was to us the entire time we were on board. Embarkation was handled very smoothly and we were able to get to our stateroom quickly and were surprised to see our bags were waiting for us by the door. The staff worked diligently every day to be sure the ship was clean and ready for whatever we wanted to do. We enjoyed the "movies under the stars" as well as the live shows in the Princess Theatre. Enjoyed the wide variety of food on the 16th deck and the fact that food was always available whether we are in the food court, the bistro, the pizza bar, the ice cream and popcorn stand or in one of the many elegant dining rooms. The only down side I experienced with the food was that it never seemed to be hot. I like my hot food hot and my cold food cold. I understand the difficulty of keeping so much food hot since it was served in so many places on the ship. We booked four excursions, three thru the cruise line and one separate excursion company. The glass bottom boat excursion was a disappointment for the money, We didn't see much and the glass in the boat was old and cloudy. Waste of money. The stingray excursion was great although we didn't get in the water. The time we spent on Princess Cays was very enjoyable and the lunch provided by the cruise line was great. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We enjoy the Princess Cruise line. This was our 13th cruise with them. We have sailed on the Crown Princess twice before, once on a repositioning cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Rome and another time, from Galveston, Texas to Roatan, ... Read More
We enjoy the Princess Cruise line. This was our 13th cruise with them. We have sailed on the Crown Princess twice before, once on a repositioning cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Rome and another time, from Galveston, Texas to Roatan, Honduras and Belize. We enjoyed the International Cafe in the atrium for a light lunch or a snack following a day in the port. Staff made the best tasting (and artistic) cappuccinos! One of my specialty coffees displayed the adorable face of a cat and another one, a beautiful flower. It is the little things in life that make a difference. We dined every evening in the Botticelli dining room on deck 6. We chose traditional dining (first seating at 5:30 pm) and sat with an older couple and their son and daughter-in-law. It was their first cruise. We were very happy to share some of our past experiences with them and answer their questions as best we could. I was surprised that lobster was not on the menu the last night of the cruise. Perhaps this was because it was only a five day cruise? I don’t know, however, I sure missed it. We liked spending time on the promenade deck 7 where one can either walk, just sit and relax, read, watch and listen to the waves and nap. We were pleasantly surprised that the movies onboard were current Academy Award nominated movies. We saw “Wonder” (Movies under the Stars) and “Three Billboards...” in the Princess theatre. We stayed close to the ship in both ports. Next time, we plan on taking in some tours. We found the locals were very friendly and seemed happy and carefree. Everyone in the DR loves our Blue Jays! The weather was perfect and a welcome relief from the frigid north. I found that a five-day cruise is not nearly long enough for us “retired” folk. However, it was a nice break and we enjoyed it very much. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We are Elite members of Princess Loyalty so normally we pick Princess out of Ft. Lauderdale. We have been on the Regal many times, however each time we feel the service and quality of food and entertainment is not as good as it was when ... Read More
We are Elite members of Princess Loyalty so normally we pick Princess out of Ft. Lauderdale. We have been on the Regal many times, however each time we feel the service and quality of food and entertainment is not as good as it was when the ship first came out a few years ago. They have decreased the wait staff in the dining rooms and Anytime Dining is not any time. If you want to make a reservation, there are only three (3) times available: early or late. You can stand in line and get a reservation buzzer that will tell you when a table is available, however every time we were notified and were walked to our table, there were a lot of tables that were empty but had not been remade. The waiter has to remake his tables along with serving the seated guests in his area. One night, the Head Waiter pulled out waiter aside to remake three (3) large tables, meanwhile we sat and waited for him to bring our food from the kitchen. The first two nights it took 2 hours once we were seated to be served food and dessert. Thus we missed the late show. The same smaller staff is noticeable in the Horizon Buffet area. Also, Princess is the only line in which if you request a balcony room, you only get two (2) chairs to sit on during the cruise inside your room. If you want a sofa, you have to upgrade your room type. The Mini-Suite is nice in that you have a sofa and 2 TVs, however the bathroom is equipped with a tub/shower which is not good for seniors with replaced knees and hips. There is a good chance of a fall as the surface is slippery. The Loyalty cocktail party was great in Club 6, but when we had to move to the Vista Lounge due to a problem with Club 6, it was horrible. The Vista Lounge is the worst designed portion of the ship as the seating is impossible and there is no bar. Took 10 minutes to get our drink each night and the walkway to get the appetizers is dangerous when the ship is moving. The Vista is not a lounge, but a theater and should only be used for that purpose or they need to redesign and put an actual bar in, similar to the Emerald Princess. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We had been to all these ports before - we went to get out of the cold and be warm for a week. We had been on the Regal 2 years ago, so it very familiar. Embarkation and disembarkation were flawless. The staff were very good and were ... Read More
We had been to all these ports before - we went to get out of the cold and be warm for a week. We had been on the Regal 2 years ago, so it very familiar. Embarkation and disembarkation were flawless. The staff were very good and were not intrusive. The food remains very good - the best of all the cruise lines we have been on. The activities were geared to our age group. The ship entertainers were average. We had a larger balcony room and enjoyed the extra space. We love that this ship has on-demand movies and shows in the cabins. The casino was a hit, even though I just broke even. We enjoyed all the Canadians on this cruise as they are so friendly and easy to get along with. We had a great time and overall everything went well. We will continue to be Princess cruisers Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
We have sailed with Princess on 8 occasions which has included 1 previous trip on this ship so we knew what to expect about its age and condition. However in my opinion it is time to completely refurb or retire this ship as it is really ... Read More
We have sailed with Princess on 8 occasions which has included 1 previous trip on this ship so we knew what to expect about its age and condition. However in my opinion it is time to completely refurb or retire this ship as it is really getting too shabby and the constant sewage smell on the promenande deck makes it really unpleasant, The food quality is OK in the main dining rooms but appalling in the buffet - cold, drab and 'boring' food - no theme nights on our trip at all. Steak restaurant well worth the cover charge with great staff. At the main dining room our table for two request was met with a nightly 'eye roll' and grimace from the lady at the front desk - even when we made it clear we didnt mind waiting for a table it was the same response. If they dont want to accomodate this then they shouldnt offer it. The Happy Hour became a free for all with other guests carrying off baskets full of bottles and then drinking to oblivion on the promenade deck - who would have thought building beer bottle towers would have been a good idea on a moving ship ! Sun lounger hoggers abounded with no action taken and therefore it was difficult to get a good spot in the shade. Cabin was fine and as expected for an inside cabin and the cabin steward an absolute hero. There were some great passengers to chat with which always make for an enjoyable cruise but i'm not sure we will come back to Princess - giving Celebrity a go next time ! Read Less
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