28 New York (Brooklyn, Red Hook) to Canada & New England Princess Royal Princess Cruise Reviews

Chose cruise because of the location of stops and Princess's reputation. This was my fifth trip with Princess. The ship was great looking, with very modern decor. However, appeared to be too large (too many people on board) for ... Read More
Chose cruise because of the location of stops and Princess's reputation. This was my fifth trip with Princess. The ship was great looking, with very modern decor. However, appeared to be too large (too many people on board) for Princess to manage properly. Too much disorganization and confusion. Too much waiting in lines (getting on and off ship, plus use of facilities onboard). Food not very good---especially the premium dining such as Crown Grill. The steak was a horrible disappointment and the comfort of eating like eating in a bar. I would have been more at home in tee shirt and jeans. Definitely not worth the extra $29 per person extra cost. I had anytime dining. Big mistake. Should have been called "When Available" dining. Had to wait one to two hours to be seated after appearing at dining room. Food in dining room not as good (fresh tasting) as food in buffet or other places on ship; such as hamburger grill, etc. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
My wife and I sailed on the Royal Princess along with her sister and 94 year old mother. As platinum level Princess cruisers, we're fairly experienced on the Crown class of ship, and were really interested to experience the newest ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on the Royal Princess along with her sister and 94 year old mother. As platinum level Princess cruisers, we're fairly experienced on the Crown class of ship, and were really interested to experience the newest class. The first impression is how lovely the ship is, inside and out. It is stunning, almost everywhere you look. If we had never cruised on Princess before the review could end here. Unfortunately, here are the negatives. We have also sailed on the Caribbean, Ruby, Crown, and Sapphire. Our room on the Royal was a deluxe balcony. Other than the shower itself, my impression was that it is about 10% smaller than similar rooms on other Princess ships. Even the drawers were smaller. The balcony, as pointed out by several other reviewers is quite small, but adequate for two people. Getting to your room is also different on the Royal. The elevators have been made smaller even though 400 more passengers are aboard, and you will likely experience significant waits during peak times. The Promenade Deck is now that in name only, as there is no longer a lower deck that allows access to all sections of the ship. Plus, the middle stairway is between decks four and seven, no longer accessing the entire ship. The lifeboats/tenders are stowed outside the general trim of the ship, and the machinery they require now blocks the view on most of deck seven. They also are an unattractive view from lower balconies. In these areas we were so disappointed that we decided we would not deliberately seek to book on this class of ship in the future. In fact, we called our travel agent while aboard and changed our upcoming reservation on the Regal Princess to a mini suite. Hopefully we will be a bit happier with these accommodations. Now to the positives Horizons has been completely redone. The food now rivals that served in the dining rooms below. It is divided into two areas, Horizon Court and Horizon Bistro. The difference between the areas is mostly in the seating and lighting, as the food from both is easily accessible. There are many more "hot" stations where meat is cut and a host of servers really make this an attractive dining alternative. My wife and I agree that the food in the dining areas was better than on other Princess ships as well. Less formal dining on deck 16 was about the same as on other Princess ships, featuring quite good pizza and burgers. The casino was smaller, but better laid out than on other Princess ships. The Princess Theater felt smaller, but that could be an illusion. The cup holders have been removed, but seating is still comfortable. The Retreat area is new, but we felt it was mostly so Princess could rent the cabanas around the pool. The lighted fountain show was never in operation on our cruise due to weather, so we haven't seen it to comment. The Movies Under the Stars screen is newer, brighter and sharper than on earlier ships. The television in the cabins is ok, but the newer interface and lack of a schedule are a bit of a bother. Overall, the crew seemed friendlier than on other Princess ships. Since Princess has announced a third ship in the Royal class, they are apparently wedded to this format. Hopefully they will address some of the concerns many of their "experienced" passengers are expressing about the new ships.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
This was my second cruise, first time sailing with Princess The cruise was amazing...luxury and relaxing The "tour" from NY to New England and Canadá is very relaxing and more seniors orientated. The SPA is great as well ... Read More
This was my second cruise, first time sailing with Princess The cruise was amazing...luxury and relaxing The "tour" from NY to New England and Canadá is very relaxing and more seniors orientated. The SPA is great as well as the activities. The Shore Excursions are well planned but some are expensive. Its a great opportunity to stay a couple of days in New York and then cruise. The dinning experience is good...The buffet has a lot of options as well as the Restaurants. Our Waitress was always happy and trying to help. The young activities are not as Royal Caribbean and thats because of the more senior orientated cruise. The Mini suite is excellent for 3 passengers...The main bedroom has two individual bed that converts into a queen bed and the sofa area has an excellent sofa bed with privacy curtains so it makes the sofa area like a little bedroom. The Bathroom is ok for a 7 night cruise but i think is a little small for more than 2 people on the cabin. The balcony is kinda small for the suite. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
First, a small introduction. My wife and I are Platinum Members and have cruised 11 times, all previous voyages were on Grand Class ships: Ruby, Emerald, Crown, etc. We have only sailed with Princess Lines. We are both 62 and in good ... Read More
First, a small introduction. My wife and I are Platinum Members and have cruised 11 times, all previous voyages were on Grand Class ships: Ruby, Emerald, Crown, etc. We have only sailed with Princess Lines. We are both 62 and in good health. We have always had a good experience with Princess Lines with only a few small problems that were readily and graciously resolved by the staff. We have always stayed in a regular balcony stateroom at mid-forward. My review can only compare the Royal Princess with other Princess ships and not other cruise lines. The Royal Princess is a beautiful ship, both inside and outside. I personally think the overall colors and patterns used are effective and pleasant to look at. Much of the ship stays with the design of the Grand Class ships with some modifications. Some modifications work well, but others do not which I'll discuss in more detail. The Atrium has been enlarged and the new design has added shops, bars, chairs and tables. I think the new design works exceptionally well and is easier to move around in and through. The Italian specialty restaurant is directly off the Atrium. We did not eat there but my wife and I thought it was a convenient location for a specialty restaurant. The photo gallery is also located in the Atrium. I have mixed feelings about the photo gallery design. I think the older design that has it away from the Atrium was easier to manage and find your photos. But I think it will vary from person to person how they feel about it. The Lotus Spa has been moved so the entrance is off the Atrium. In some ways this might be more convenient because it is in the center of the ship and within easy access for all passengers. However, it seemed odd that it wasn't next to a pool. It is a very nice spa with a new area called The Enclave. If you want to use the saunas or The Enclave, you have to book for the entire cruise and the expense doesn't make that a good value unless you don't do anything else but go to the spa everyday. They offer specials, especially near the end of the cruise and one should watch for them. I want to call attention to the lack of a mid-ship staircase between deck 7 and the top deck at mid-ship. You can only use the elevators between deck 7 and top deck. What makes the design worse is the elevators are not properly programmed and synced to accommodate the flow of passengers that need to use the elevators. Passengers had to wait unacceptable amounts of time. It was a disgruntlement with every passenger I talked to about it. My wife and I decided to use the staircase and elevators at the forward section of the ship and that worked much better for us. There are stairs available at mid-ship in case of emergency, but they are narrow, hidden and only used by the staff during normal operations. I think the design fails completely and needs to be changed. The main dining rooms are very similar and in the same locations as the Grand Class and work well. The food was good with just a couple minor complaints that was resolved by our staff in a gracious and friendly manner. The menu allows you to select from the specials for the night or from standards. One thing some passenger don't know is that you can order food not listed on the menu like a hamburger or a slice of pizza. We have always chosen traditional dining and early sitting. We have not experienced problems with having to wait for a table like some have with anytime dining. Early sitting always allowed us enough time to eat and then leave to get a decent seat for the major shows. We always choose one night to eat at the Crown Grill. It has always been special and well worth the extra $25 per person. The food has always been prepared well and the service has always been excellent. It is a special treat and if you go early, it is a quiet and secluded dining experience. It makes for a nice romantic interlude. The Horizon Court has been redesigned and it is much better. You can walk through from starboard to port side and the buffet is much easier to manage. There is also a new area within the Horizon Court called the The Pastry Shop for those who have a sweet tooth. The food is about the same as before with some things very good and some things not so good. You have to explore for yourself and discover what you like and don't. Our balcony stateroom was mostly like the balcony staterooms we had on the other ships. There is not a lot of space and I noticed that a set of drawers has been removed. The bath has a much improved design but it is still a small bathroom. The bed was too firm for my wife but we asked for a mattress topper and they brought one to us and that worked well for my wife. I understand that the entire fleet is converting to pillow-top beds. If you need more space, you have to get a larger stateroom and pay for it. We don't spend much time in our stateroom except to shower and sleep so the lack of space wasn't a big deal for us. The Retreat Pool is basically the adults only pool. It has been enlarged and moved up to the sun deck and has a much more open space feel to it. They added a bar just for that area, which is very convenient. We think the change of location was a good idea and improved the feel of the area but there is less available shade area. The fitness center is located near the rear of the ship instead of forward. There is a good selection of equipment to use and the design works except the men's and women's dressing rooms are very small and need to be larger. I think the designers figured passengers would do all their changing in their staterooms. Although we don't use the areas set aside for teenagers and children, there are added and enlarged areas and should be a welcomed accommodation to the parents and the children as well. The Princess Theater was changed. The stage is much larger but it seemed to me that the space within the seating area was reduced. We explored the theater when we first came aboard and decided beforehand where we would like to sit and what would be the best way to enter and exit so we didn't have any problems. We heard discussion among other passengers that did complain about the size and accessibility of the theater. The Sanctuary is a very nice place to rent a day or half-day to have a calm and restful atmosphere away from the noise and excitement at the main pool. It depends on the individual whether it is a worth the money. We have used it just once and enjoyed it. A change in design that we were really disappointed in was the Promenade Deck. You can no long walk around the entire ship. It really isn't a Promenade Deck. There are two sections on both port and starboard that you need to access by walking through the ship. The design makes the decks more like large balconies from the public areas. If you want to just go out there and sit, then they will work for you. However, if you wanted to stroll, walk or run on them, you can't. If you want a jogging or walking track, it is located on deck 18 (Sports) that wraps around the smoke stack area near the rear of the ship. It has a nice view of the ocean or port but you have to go around several times to get your workout in. It was somewhat boring for me and my wife on our morning walks. We missed the old Promenade Deck. I don't think the new Princess Live will last. We didn't go, but when we walked past it was mostly empty and didn't seem like much excitement was going on. The area should be turned into a sports bar. The Royal Princess doesn't have a regular sports bar. The entertainment provided by Princess Lines has always been a mixed bag. Sometimes the shows and entertainers are very good and sometimes mediocre. When they are good, they are really good. As for the service, it has always been very, very good on all the ships we traveled on. The general staff was friendly and serviced us well and we didn't have any real complaints. Sometimes you encounter a bartender or some other server that seems to ignore you are there, but every bar or cafe I have been to seems to have one or two of them. If you have a complaint, find a manager and let them know. We have always been graciously accommodated when we found it necessary to complain. My wife and I didn't use the casino but it seemed similar to the other ships we have been on. I did like the addition of a bar area off to the side of the casino. The shore excursions can vary from voyage to voyage. We have been on some that we thought were worth the money and interesting and others that were not. It can be a mixed bag of results. If you do some research and see what others say about the excursions before you select them it would serve you well. In summary we thought the Royal Princess is a very nice ship to sail on but our favorite ship remains the Ruby Princess. We have observed that the average age on the cruises we have been on is 40-70. There are young adults and older adults as well, but a small percentage. We have seen children too, but not very many. We think the Princess Lines caters to our age group 40-70 that we fall within, but there is a lot of things to do and something for everyone on the ship. Our cruise on the Royal Princess was to New England and Canada. It was a wonderful cruise. The age group was much older than usual. We nicknamed it 'The Senior Cruise'. We are 62 and we thought of ourselves as the youngsters. I hope this review of the Royal Princess is helpful and I wish you great sailing!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Out of 18 cruises..This was the last cruise line I have not cruised with .. (haven't with Cunard, and not sure I would any way).. but I have to say we sadly wasn't impressed in my first cruise with Princess . There were all sorts ... Read More
Out of 18 cruises..This was the last cruise line I have not cruised with .. (haven't with Cunard, and not sure I would any way).. but I have to say we sadly wasn't impressed in my first cruise with Princess . There were all sorts of things that lead to me say I will never cruise on them again. .some small .. some not so small. The staff were so hit and miss.. you get a nice person, you get another that acted like he wanted to be else where.. It was not an over all good feel from the crew. No one has to bend over backwards for me.. we are not like that at all..just a smile will do. Our room steward was great..(deck 14).. The room is ok size in the bed area .. (balcony room), what did bother you was small things like the balcony being so small.. middle of the night chairs were hitting door.. but it wasn't so simple to just open door.. there was such suction holding it closed only my husband could undo it.. (strange!) The bathroom was so tiny.. which was ok when all you had to do was shower.. but what about dressing? No one could actually really change in the bathroom , especially if say someone had a shower and now all around you was wet. They need a curtain between the bath/closet area and bed space.. that would give the privacy needed. Shower did not have much water pressure. The shows were just okay. For all of you that think they are so great have you been on the other cruise lines? And the Piazza.. I was expecting to be wowed from what all I read.. but wasn't at all. What they do have down in tours.. holding you in the theatre and going out as a group is a very good idea. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Can't believe I sailed on the Royal for the 3rd time after the first encounter on the Royal but it was for the itinerary. I was traveling with a travel agent friend who doesn't cruise much. Can't say the ship is bad (it is ... Read More
Can't believe I sailed on the Royal for the 3rd time after the first encounter on the Royal but it was for the itinerary. I was traveling with a travel agent friend who doesn't cruise much. Can't say the ship is bad (it is beautiful) but there were little things that kept coming up. Room Steward said this was his last cruise so service was obviously less than great. Being an Elite passenger, you know what to expect when you come into your room. So far so good until I looked for the Elite evening listing of the Cocktails/Appetizers. It's always a time my husband and I enjoyed winding down. No list. Walked around with my friend to show her the ship - then stopped at passenger services and asked if they had the list for the Elite cocktail hour. "Oh, we don't do that any more!" she said. OK, took her at her word. No laundry bags or coupon book available but didn't need them right away. There was only one body lotion too for 2 women! 3rd night my friend and I went out early and walked past the Vista Lounge. Imagine my surprise when we walked in and there was the Elite Cocktail/Appetizer evening set up. Went to passenger service and all they could say was "sorry" and gave me the list for the rest of the cruise. Said she would report it to Captain Circle Hostess but didn't take my room number. Talked to the Captain Circle Hostess myself the next day and she was not happy so did give us a couple of free drink coupons. Night before formal night, put out list on the door for the canapés we wanted for the next evening at 5:00. That night we came back to our room and no canapés. Found our room steward and he said he would deliver them "right away!" 6:00 - no canapés, 6:30 none. At 7:00 I called passenger service and she told me they didn't have a record of me ordering anything. Said steward may have forgotten to turn the request in BUT she would send some to us right away. 7:20 we received our canapés. Went for dinner etc etc. Came back to room about 9:45 and we had another order of canapés. A little warm though. Later passenger service said that person probably couldn't read my handwriting - not smart to blame me and I have very good handwriting!!! The afternoon we came back from Boston, we decided to eat at Alfredo's. It was a little after 5:30. There were 2 other tables seated and both of them were eating their dinners. We ordered 2 salads and 2 different pizzas. Our salads were served. My friend and I spent a long time talking and then realized our salad dishes hadn't been cleared. Finally someone came by, cleared our dishes and said our pizza would be served "soon". It was now 6:30. Alfredo's became very busy by that time and a waiter told us they were busy. We tried to find our waiter and ask about our pizza. No one seemed to respond. At 7:00 we got the attention of the maitre d, Luigi. We asked about our pizzas. He walked away and returned within 2 minutes with our 2 very dry pizzas. I commented to Luigi that this was not very good service. His response was "This is good service, you got your pizzas!!!" No sorry, no comment about the dry pizza. If this is good service, I wonder what bad service it. Twin bed was not as comfortable as a full size bed but realized after looking under the bed that the full size bed has a plump mattress pad - none on the twin. Did find a few Fruit Loops under the bed though! Enjoy the large area for the Horizon Court and Bistro. At times it gets a little confusing especially if you are with someone looking for their meal. Only complaint for breakfast was the omellette - no onions or mushrooms - both times got onions and mushrooms. One potential issue (and this was the first time it happened to me on the Royal) is that the TV's are positioned on the wall so when the TV is on in the next cabin, you can hear their TV. Our issue was that the people in the room next door only turned their TV on at midnight or 1am. The first night this happened, if I had known what channel they were tuned into, I wouldn't have had to have my sound on. After a half hour I called passenger service and they said they would call them. It took another 15 minutes before the TV was turned down but we could still hear it. One night the TV was on at 2am - not loud but still enough chatter and laughter to keep us awake. If there is one thing for passengers to understand - the TV needs to be turned way down at night. Personally I think this is a flaw for Princess although I do like the big screen TV. Just wish we could have CNN back - not Fox or MSNBC! Only tour that I was disappointed in was the bus ride through Acadia Park. Guide said buses can't stop so we just kept on driving. Would have liked to stop and see the coast line and other areas of the park. So just kept on driving with a very boring guide - of course he thought his jokes were funny but they weren't. Enjoyed the tour to Peggy's Cove. Even though it was in full fog, it was a very interesting place. We then drove to the cemetery where some of the Titanic victims were buried. Had seen it before with very few people around but this time there were several groups all trying to see the same thing. Glad I had been able to see it before. Would I sail again on the Royal? Again it would depend on the itinerary. The few things that happened could be perfect next time. But I wonder what my travel agent friend thought about Princess. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
My wife & I were not overly impressed with this Royal Princess experience. It was an experience of some great moments, punctuated with some serious stuff ups. I'm generous to give an overall score of 6/10. Value for money: 4/10. ... Read More
My wife & I were not overly impressed with this Royal Princess experience. It was an experience of some great moments, punctuated with some serious stuff ups. I'm generous to give an overall score of 6/10. Value for money: 4/10. Unfortunatey from Australia, you pay premium prices for O/S holidays. Cruises are no exception, so you want decent value for the hard earned you have handed over. Unlike some previous cruises, we don't feel we got that on this cruise. Embarkation (Brooklyn): 3/10. We arrived just prior to our allocated timeslot (2:00pm) and there was utter panic & confusion from the port staff. There was nothing that you could call a line, just a mass of bodies, looking for some form of direction and several port staff looking like they had lost control of the herd. Our tickets and pre-cruise PR from Princess indicated we had dedicated suite boarding, so I pushed through the thronging masses & headed for that line, but halfway there, was stopped by the port staff (trying to get some organisation of the masses). She viewed out tickets, looked a bit confused and instructed us to join what she called the check in line. After about an hour in line (as we were nearing the check-in desks) I noticed people with the same type of tickets as ours going to the suite line, so decided to check with the staff at the suites desk & was advised that yes, we should be in the suite check-in line. Aside from that, once at the desk, it was pretty quick & easy. Disembarkation (Brooklyn): 1/10. Bag tags and information not delivered the evening prior, so we called the customer service number later that evening. When delivered, our tags were for the wrong disembarkation time. We required early disembarkation as we purchased transfers through Princess for our early connecting flights. Another call to customer service and we were advised we would have to go down to the main desk to have it sorted out. Once disembarked, the port staff sent us to the wrong transfer bus. When we eventually found the correct bus, the bus driver dropped us (& several other passengers) at the wrong terminal. Overall Customer Service: 4/10. In the face to face environment, very good. Over the phone, very poor. In the face to face retail environment, you get what you expect – attentive staff (no doubt searching for an extra tip). The poor customer service experiences we had really left a bad impression with us. The ones that come to mind and are worth mentioning are the embarkation and on-ship disembarkation as previously mentioned. The laundromat token dispensers never worked. The first time I called the customer service line for this, I was told to find another laundromat on board to use. The 2nd time, it took about 15-20 minutes for someone to come, by this time there were another 2 guests waiting to use the facilities. The on-board (in-room) internet...appalling. In summary, phone customer service could care less & they advised I attend the IT room and speak with the on duty manager (but like most speciality staff was only available at certain times). I arrived early for the allotted time & thankfully, I was only 3rd in the line. The manager arrived about 20 minutes late and by that time there were about 20 or so in line. Oddly enough, most in line had the same issues. In my case, he was more than happy to credited back the unexplained double-charging and unexplained data usage. He couldn't however, do anything about the snails pace of the internet, nor the constant connection hangs, etc, etc, etc. Cabins: 7/10. The Suites are small compared to other cruise liners & overall, the balconies are tiny. We were fortunate enough to have one of the few cabins with a slightly larger balcony. The rooms are however, very comfortable, well appointed and the cabin service staff were excellent. We like to spend time in our room and on the balcony, especially of an evening, with a bottle of Champers, so whilst the balcony size was disappointing, the cabin comfort & appointments make up for it. Dinning; 7/10. We had any-time dinning and mainly ate in the Concerto Room. Food was very good and service was a bit hit & miss. We only ate in the Symphony Room once, as the service was poor to say the least. We do have to say though, that the quality of food in the Horizon Court & Horizon Bistro is actually quite good for cruise bistro food and the service there was also excellent. Didn't try any of the speciality dinning on this cruise. Mid-ship lifts: BEWARE, if you have a midship cabin above Deck 7, there are no stairs, only lifts and the lifts can take for ever to arrive, especially to the upper decks. This was a common point of discussion among patrons waiting in the lift area. There are fore & aft stairs however. Shore excursions: 7/10. Standard fare really. One was excellent, a couple were quite good, one was very disappointing, but that was mainly due to the host...boring and more interested in telling everyone what she has done with her life. Conclusion. We provided our experiences to Princess in the post cruise feedback process. I haven't heard back from them, but I hope they received it & try to lift their game. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We chose Royal Princess for our New England/Canada cruise because it was new, even though we were a bit concerned with some of the adverse comments on Cruise Critic. Unfortunately the reviews were mostly correct. Despite the fact that ... Read More
We chose Royal Princess for our New England/Canada cruise because it was new, even though we were a bit concerned with some of the adverse comments on Cruise Critic. Unfortunately the reviews were mostly correct. Despite the fact that Princess very kindly gave us an upgrade to a mini-suite, we disembarked somewhat disappointed, and we still feel that way. Here is why. We thought the Royal Princess was a difficult ship in which to move around. Even after 7 days we were not able to easily find our way. One of the main reasons for this is that the ship does not have a central staircase that allows access above level 7, which is not very helpful. You have to go forward or aft to find the stairs, which we prefer to use instead of the elevators, which are often very crowded. And, it is so difficult to know whether you are walking forward or aft. This frustrated us several times every day. Surely it would not be difficult to devise some sign or marking that provided an indication of the direction in which you were walking. We do not enjoy large meals every day so often use the buffet instead of one of the main dining rooms. We like the informality of it. However, the buffet in Horizon Court and Horizon Bistro on deck 16 had the most illogical food layout that we have ever seen and this made for a frustrating experience. For example, why would the milk/cream not be with the oatmeal, or the jam and marmalade with the toast, or the salad dressings with the salads? And why were the desserts in the Horizon Bistro when the other food was in the Horizon Court? And every day the layout seemed to change so that you spent the first 10 minutes of every meal walking around the very large buffet areas trying to figure out what items were on the menu. There were passengers everywhere asking stewards where to find certain food types. The food quality in the buffet was fine, but compared to the superb buffet on the Celebrity Equinox, which we sailed on in 2013, the food selections were limited and uninspiring. Not much changed at every meal. Maybe Princess expect that most people will not visit the buffet more than a couple of times per cruise. We did venture to the formal dining rooms on three occasions, and the food was very good, as was the service. No complaints at all. But the cruise wasn't all bad. The ship is new and beautiful. Despite the very large number of passengers on board, it hardly ever felt crowded. The staff were pleasant and helpful. We thoroughly enjoyed the on-board entertainment, although there was a surprising lack of enrichment activities, particularly those related to New England. We pre-purchased excursions from Princess for every port and they were well organised and reasonable value. We especially liked the end of cruise tour of New York prior to our transfer to JFK airport for our evening flight home. We had a great driver and tour guide and think it was good value for money. We would highly recommend it for those whose flight home is late on the day of disembarkation. Will we sail with Princess again? Possibly, but not on Royal Princess.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
I'm in my 70s and live in Brooklyn. I prefer to take trips from Red Hook and Cape Liberty. Manhattan is my third choice, and I'd rather not take a plane to the boat unless I'm going to Alaska. Embarkation: We got there ... Read More
I'm in my 70s and live in Brooklyn. I prefer to take trips from Red Hook and Cape Liberty. Manhattan is my third choice, and I'd rather not take a plane to the boat unless I'm going to Alaska. Embarkation: We got there early, and were able to get on board easily. There were 5 of us coming in two separate groups. 2 were told that your doorkey makes the electricity work, while 3 of us were not, and we figured the lights and TV would not be available until proper boarding time. Luckily, our friends got to their room quickly, and we didn’t spend too much time in the dark. Cabin: The rooms were SMALL. I’m used to a room with a sofa. There was non here, just a small upholstered chair. In the small area in front of the balcony was a dressing table on one wall, a cabinet holding the refrigerator, a chair for the dressing table, the upholstered chair, and a small round table. Any time you needed to get to something you had to move furniture. The toilet was tiny and the entrance about 4 inches above floor level. EASY TO TRIP. The shower was nice size. It had what looked like conditioner, and body wash. NO SHAMPOO, NO SHOWER CAP. 1 soap. Chocolate on the bed every night. No cute little towel animals. * My walker is heavy and bulky and I could not get it into the room unless I closed it. Luckily the room steward was very helpful here, and found a place where I could keep it. Dining: We had most meals at the buffet. Anybody who sails knows that if you have a group larger than 4, getting a table is a chore. *And finding one where you may park your walker makes it harder. As for the buffet itself, we had no complaints. We didn’t like all the food there, but there was enough diversity for us to make up healthy meals that tasted good. (I was surprised at how much lox was available.) Unfortunately, we never did figure out the rationale of where various dishes were put. Signage, what little there was, was inadequate. We ate at the 5th floor International Café once. A printout from Princess’ website says that there are no charges at this dining venue. Well, they serve espresso coffee and charge for that, and that’s not a problem. But they also charge for tea and coffee. When I showed the printout I was told that it was not free. When I complained at the service desk, no apologies, no checks with supervisors; just arguments that pointed at other services that were not free, like the Royal Tea. For dinner, we chose to go at our own choosing; 7:30pm each day. The first day we waited about an hour. After standing for some time (I sat on my walker, my friends were not so lucky), they gave us a device that notifies you that they’re ready. They refused to take reservations for the next day. On the second day we waited about half an hour, and still refused to take reservations. Luckily, our waitstaff were very nice, and eager to make our meal truly enjoyable. Our maitre de, on the second night took us to another person at the door, who was happy to make reservations for us at what became our table. Entertainment: Steve White, a comedian opened and closed. Playing the first and last nights. That was a very good thing. He was terrific. They were wise in choosing him. I didn’t get to the piano bar until the last night. My bad. He was very good and I enjoyed it. Sorry I didn’t make it before. It just started too late in the evening for me. Trips: In St. John and Halifax, we decided to take the pink bus tours, where you get on and off as you wish. We’d been assured that we didn’t need a reservation, and so when we got off at St John, we expected to be able to get on the bus. Well, no. they were fully booked. And so we prebooked for Halifax for both tours. *There is a place on the side of the bus were they store your walker. We didn’t get on and off, but enjoyed the sightseeing. The day was somewhat rainy, and though we’d loved to have gone to the gardens, it was not nice, and probably would have been too much walking for us. I’d do the pink bus again anytime. Disembarking: We were set to meet at the casino at 9:30. That’s when we got there, and the line to disembark had already started. We got out without a hitch. Would I go on another cruise on this ship? If the price was right and nobody else was doing it. *Accessibility   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We chose Royal Princess for our Canada & New England cruise because it was a new ship and we wanted to try it. As Platinum cruisers we had been on most of the others. The cruise experience was disappointing, from the lack of oceanview ... Read More
We chose Royal Princess for our Canada & New England cruise because it was a new ship and we wanted to try it. As Platinum cruisers we had been on most of the others. The cruise experience was disappointing, from the lack of oceanview staterooms, to the very slow elevators, to the lack of anytime dining. We dislike interior cabins but were unwilling to pay triple the price for a balcony for such a short cruise. The Royal has more passengers than most of their other ships but the same number of elevators. These elevators are also very slow with the annoying habit of stopping at every deck regardless of whether anyone was waiting or not. Also the doors wouldn't close if anyone pushed the elevator button while they were still open. When you have 40 or 50 frustrated people waiting outside the theater for an elevator, there's a lot of button pushing. After the elevator door opened and closed a few times without moving, eventually someone stuck their head out and yelled "Take your finger off the *** button" and the elevator finally moved. By the time the cruise was over, most people had learned that keeping their finger off the button until the doors closed really did speed things up. We prefer Anytime Dining as we enjoy shipboard activities and often don't want to cut an activity short to rush back to change for dinner. On Royal princess there was no anytime dining. Two of the three dining rooms were reserved for set seating and the third was supposed to be anytime, but it was anything but! Lineups started around 4:30 and by 5:15 the dining room was full. As dinner usually takes about two hours, that meant no more openings until 7:15. If you came anytime after 5:15 or 5:30 you got a pager and were told to wait in one of the public rooms. By 6 pm the Piazza was filled with impatient diners holding pagers and fending off waiters every few minutes who asked if they wanted to order a drink. For the next hour until pagers started going off, no one who actually wanted to sit and have a drink could get near the place. On most cruises when you sit down to dinner with a stranger, the first question is usually "Where are you from?". On this one it was "How long did you wait with your pager?" The beautiful ship, the friendly staff, the great entertainment and food, were unfortunately overshadowed by these annoyances. We will cruise on Princess again, but not on Royal Princess or her sister ship, Regal. Holidays are supposed to be enjoyable, not frustrating. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was our 10th cruise, in 26 years, so we're not the regulars that some posters are. We have cruised twice before with princess,last cruise 2003, and our biggest complaint was the constant hounding to buy something. Thankfully, ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise, in 26 years, so we're not the regulars that some posters are. We have cruised twice before with princess,last cruise 2003, and our biggest complaint was the constant hounding to buy something. Thankfully, that problem no longer seems to exist, our overall experience was wonderful. We selected anytime dining, and because we usually eat early, it was never a problem getting seated. Except for the first night, our main dining room meals were excellent, and the service, just right. We were able to have dinner at the chef's table, which is a worthwhile experience. If you want to do this though, you must make this reservation as soon as you get to your cabin. Our cabin was M105, this is a balcony Mini-suite, on the bow, just above the bridge. You will experience a little more motion here, but the balcony is huge, and the views are fabulous! We found the entertainment onboard, to be very good. We always had more choices than we could do, and everything we attended was fun. The ships crew, and staff were all pleasant, and helpful, and really seemed to like what they were doing.The overall experience on this Princess cruise, was excellent, and a very good value for the cost. Yes, there are fancier, more inclusive lines, and lower cost options, but Princess delivered a wonderful experience for a reasonable fare. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We have done 32 cruises and this was our first Princess cruise. From beginning to end we enjoyed the cruise. We were on deck 12. The ship is new and beautifully appointed. The balcony cabins are a bit small but not uncomfortable. The ... Read More
We have done 32 cruises and this was our first Princess cruise. From beginning to end we enjoyed the cruise. We were on deck 12. The ship is new and beautifully appointed. The balcony cabins are a bit small but not uncomfortable. The balcony is fine for two people. The bathroom is smaller then we are used to. The shower, for a big/tall guy, is very tricky. Our cabin steward Michael was over the top great. Professional, personable and when you went to breakfast the cabin was made up perfectly when you returned after breakfast. As we spend so little time in the cabin these issues weren't that bad but a bit larger would have been better. Entertainment: Like so many other cruise ships the entertainment is either just ok or a waste of time. In the past several years many cruise lines are really cutting back on quality entertainment and Princess is no exception. Many high school productions are better. Breakfast: 3 dining rooms and only 1 open for 2 hrs. for breakfast. So you go to the Horizon Buffet. Same food everyday and not very good. Hot food is usually warm at best. They have a nice touch where the staff bring coffee/tea & drinks so you don't need to go to the coffee/drinks stations for refills. Lunch: 7 days and 1 dining room open twice during the cruise for lunch. Buffet again. Except for a different carving meat each day the buffet was the same. But no sandwiches, at all. You could get some cheese and either sliced ham/turkey and make your own but no sandwich station. There was a pizza station near the pool and not bad but the hamburger/hot dog station was abysmal. Seems they precook the burgers and put them in a warming drawer. You ask for a burger and he puts the precooked burger on the grill to "warm up". You get a burger so well done it looks grey, dry and tasteless. Seems no one goes back for seconds. Same with the hot dogs. The fries are always cold. There is the pool bar between the pizza & burger stations. People would even just get fries to have with their drinks and the poor bartender was constantly throwing away the plates of cold uneaten fries. Dinner: 3 dining rooms, 2 specialty (extra charge) dining rooms, the buffet and two stack areas are your options. Anytime dining is great with no set time and we had no problems with getting a table and a table for 2 was also easy. Thankfully, they designed the ship with many tables for 2. The staff were great and professional and personable. The food is edible, almost institutional in presentation and quality. Some wonderful individual items but each meal had food that hopefully we will never see again. Bars/Lounges: There are many and all nicely appointed. We purchased the drinks package so we didn't need to be passing our cards over and signing receipts and just for the convenience. Forget it! They asked for our card every time we asked of a liquor, soda, specialty coffee, etc. And we had to sign a receipt for each drink and the receipt stated $0.00!!! I know they want to keep an inventory but the receipt nonsense get really annoying. Excursions: Now, they were expensive. But all ships are really upping the pricing on excursions and we have found that we see more, do more and enjoy our own tours. We walk on our own, get a cab and in many places the cabbie is our guide for a fraction of the ships cost. And if the port is special for us , we pay & plan in advance, to have our own private tours. Sometimes the cost is greater but it is the two of us and our driver/guide and not 40+ people complaining and needing to go to the bathroom at every stop. Activities: Other then spa treatments and all the other beauty seminars - trivia - and the awful art department that tries to sell you one the "original works of art" that is just a paper copy, there we no activities on board. No enrichment lectures or port lectures, nothing. Again, the entertainment department downsizing. We wanted to get away for just a week and not use an airline. This roundtrip NYC was perfect as we parked our car in the pier parking lot. Our travel agent got us a great deal on our balcony cabin that was almost cheaper then the inside pricing. And plenty of shipboard credits too. It was a nice getaway and we would sail with this ship again as we keep our expectations low so we are not greatly disappointed. But I will say that all during the cruise we kept comparing the Royal Princess with the Cunard line and it just about every category, Princess was better the Cunard. And they are both owned by Carnival LLC. We have done 15 cruises with Cunard and unfortunately since Carnival LLC took over it is just living off it's former glory. At least Princess is faring a little better. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
I had booked this cruise without reading the reviews. After reading some of the reviews, I was scared to death. I found many of the complaints to be very silly. This is my 3rd Princess cruise and this is definitely the nicest ship of the ... Read More
I had booked this cruise without reading the reviews. After reading some of the reviews, I was scared to death. I found many of the complaints to be very silly. This is my 3rd Princess cruise and this is definitely the nicest ship of the three. It is beautiful and new and all you could ask for as far as the look of a ship. The port of Brooklyn is rather cramped and hard to access, but short of asking the cruise line to sail from somewhere else, what can you do. Luckily we took the Princess shuttle bus and did not have to wait in line behind all the taxis and vans. At first glance, you look at the line to check in and panic, but in truth it was one hour from the start of the line to being on the ship. Seems about average and for a ship this size that was 100% full, not all that bad. This coming from someone who hates waiting in line. Once aboard we proceeded to our cabin. Balcony cabin M115 in the front of the ship on deck 15. From previous reviews, I was afraid that we would wait for an elevator forever. Not the case at all. We never waited for an elevator for over 5 minutes, the entire cruise. I read about the horrible flaw design of not having center stairs going to the cabin decks. Do you think that, if they were there, the 70 year old and older people on the cruise would climb 4 to 8 flights of stairs? The elevators could have been larger, but how picky can you get? The room was pretty much a standard cruise ship cabin. Is it small? Yes, but it's a cruise ship and not a suite. The flat panel TV with much more watching content was really nice. The shower is larger and that's a great feature. Read a review that the balcony was so small that 2 people couldn't fit on it. Really? If so those two people have spent way too much time at the Horizon Court. It is slightly narrower than most, didn't see any difference in width. The overall service on board was good. Our cabin steward was very efficient and friendly. There is a lot of walking. It is a big ship. We had anytime dining and never waited for a table over 5 minutes. We were a party of 2 and prefer to eat alone. This is another big improvement from prior ships that I've been on, many more tables for two in the dining room. OK, I did say there were a few flaws. I found the food at the Horizon Court and Bistro to be average at best. Some days not even average. There is increased seating and never had a problem finding a spot to sit. This style of dining can be hit and miss but in this case more misses than hits. Food in the dining room was good but not great. The meal we had at the Crown Grill was excellent. I was also very surprised that there is not a covered pool area. The other ships that I had been on had them. I feel it would be a great help when taking a cooler weather cruise. I never saw anyone in the pool. For this cruise a big waste of space despite having good weather for this time of year. I also think that the communication could have been better at times. We almost didn't make our tour in Saint John because we failed to fill out the proper form. We just assumed we were stupid until there were a dozen people right behind us that did the same thing. Overall, it was a excellent experience. Again, not perfect but I can't recall anything in life that was perfect. Beautiful ship, good service, most of the ports were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was our first Princess cruise ... the bottom line is that we had an enjoyable time in general but experienced several small issues that could be easily corrected. We booked a mini-suite and found it to be exceptionally spacious with ... Read More
This was our first Princess cruise ... the bottom line is that we had an enjoyable time in general but experienced several small issues that could be easily corrected. We booked a mini-suite and found it to be exceptionally spacious with a full-sized sofa, two flat-screened TV's, a sitting chair, a coffee table, a desk and chair, a full bathtub, a separate closet area with tons of wooden hangers, lots of cabinet storage, and a small balcony. As this is a new ship, all of the furnishings were in great shape, with the exception of the lamp shades, which were perpetually askew. I always appreciate when the mini-fridge isn't pre-stocked, so this allowed us to fill it with sparkling water and other beverages we wanted. Things were kept very clean with the only hiccup being one day there was a blood spot on our bed linens (not sure from whom) -- we called to have them replaced which was done. Our cabin steward was very friendly and attentive. For us, this was a really big ship and we were concerned about feeling like we were always in a crowd, but that really didn't happen. There are enough public areas that are designed to feel like you're on a much smaller ship -- even the main atrium didn't feel cavernous at all. The design "flaw" on this ship is what many people talked about -- there are a number of elevator banks that do not have stairwells near them, so the small elevators are often crowded as you can't just take the stairs in places when you're not going that far up or down. I didn't find this to be a really big deal but people complained about it often -- it just means that you might have to have more patience than you'd like when you're calling an elevator. Also, on some of the decks it can be a bit confusing about how to get from one part of the ship to another. Food varied, with most of it being very good but not excellent. We opted for Anytime Dining in the the main dining rooms and since we typically like to eat after 8 p.m., there were no big lines, although we usually made a reservation. The main dining rooms were actually the most disappointing food-wise. Surprisingly, the Horizon Court buffet became our go-to place for a good meal or snack! They maintain the buffet really well in terms of cleanliness, food quality is really fresh and delicious with a lot of varied choices, and even iced tea and water are delivered via server. i never like those self-serve spigots that many cruise ships have for the buffet -- not only is it more convenient to have a server bring your beverages but it is much more sanitary as you don't have to rely on fellow passengers to practice good communal hygiene. On our last night we had made reservations for their Crab Shack evening -- they take a portion of the buffet dining room and do big crab pots that servers bring -- very fun. Another favorite spot for us was Alfredo's Pizzeria, which is a little sit-down casual Italian restaurant. We enjoyed the Crown Grill steakhouse.(specialty restaurant) but found the seafood bar to be overpriced and underwhelming. Also -- avoid the ice cream at any venue -- I don't know why, but it was just not good -- surprisingly so. If you enjoy coffee and tea, purchase the coffee card on your first day. You get more than enough specialty coffee drinks plus all of the brewed coffee and tea you can manage at the various coffee bars on the ship. We particularly liked the iced lattes at the 24 hour International Cafe, where you can always get a sweet or savory snack as well -- just off of the atrium. My hubby was disappointed in the fitness center -- even though there were three fitness instructors on site and they had a class schedule for the week, they canceled all of the fitness classes except for the last full day of the cruise! He is a spin instructor at home and likes to take spin classes in other venues, plus take other classes and he couldn't. We usually enjoy the spa on a cruise and made sure to make an appointment on our very first night to take advantage of a bonus deal they had for massages (extra time for free). Upon checking in we were each escorted to the locker rooms and told not to leave any valuables in the lockers. We were given no locks, even though the lockers had an electronic lock system. We asked again and were told just to take valuables with us. We were very uncomfortable leaving our clothes in unlocked lockers, but we did. Then I got "shorted" on my massage time, but my hubby got the full time. When I called the next day to tell the manager, she apologized and agreed that if the lockers didn't work we should have been able to just change in the treatment rooms. She also said she'd look into being shorted on my time and call me back, but she never did. Needless to say, we didn't return to the spa -- their loss as we are good spa-goers! Another annoying thing about the spa is that they have some nice relaxation rooms with water features, sauna, etc. but you have to purchase a pass for the whole week. You don't get access to this with a paid treatment and you cannot buy a day pass. We found the service on the ship to be fine but not really committed. For example, on our first night we wanted to go to Alfredo's and arrived a full half hour before the listed closing time but were told they were closed. When we came back the next day we mentioned this to a supervisor who basically said "yeah, that happens sometimes." That is a representative example of what a lot of the service was like, with a few positive exceptions. We went to see a comedian in the theater one night -- he was amusing but did a lot of the typical cruise comedy topics. Surprisingly, this theater doesn't have little cocktail tables or even cup holders, so it was uncomfortable to have brought my scrumptious bellini (made with peach and pomegranate) with me and hold it on my lap (but I wasn't letting go of that -- definitely go and get yourself one at the bellini bar). Wifi is available and, as with so many cruise ships, is quite slow and expensive. However it does work on most places on the ship. We had some bad luck with ports (not the fault of Princess) -- no whales on the whale-watching excursion in Bar Harbor (50% refund), couldn't stop at the Bay of Fundy (weather) so went to spend two days in Halifax. The second day in Halifax was a bit of a bust as somebody saw a guy with a rifle downtown and they basically shut down Halifax for most of the day and canceled the excursion we were already on the bus to take. So, all in all, we had a good time on this cruise even though there were some aspects that could use fixing. We would definitely consider another Princess sailing if we were able to get a good deal again!   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Princess accomplished their objective of small ship feel on a large ship. On October 18th,I was whisked ito my cabin by Princess. Even tho I was on the 15th deck : no problem finding an attended elevator at the embarkation. I had been ... Read More
Princess accomplished their objective of small ship feel on a large ship. On October 18th,I was whisked ito my cabin by Princess. Even tho I was on the 15th deck : no problem finding an attended elevator at the embarkation. I had been warned about crowding on the Royal Princess Elevators so I didn't leave my cabin when I heard lots of people passing in the adjacent passageway. Only happened twice during the seven day cruise. So the elevators were no problem for me, although some elevators seemed small for such a large ship. And fellow passengers complained that there were just too many elevators midship. Hard to tell where the next elevator would be arriving. But I have been on forty-five cruises and I have learned not to complain about too many elevators. Had great evening dining , traditional, second seating with Jeff the waiter who made my seven dinners on the ship so enjoyable. My cabin steward Raul, was exceptional, also. I had three things I wanted my cabin steward to do and they were accomplished efficiently and in a reasonable time frame. Unusual compared to some of my experiences on much smaller ships. The weather was bad in Halifax but the captain warned us well in advance.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Embarking was a pleasure!! Quick & room ready! The ship is beautiful and nicely designed. The dining rooms were center so the walk from dinner to the show was shorter than other ships that have the dining room aft. The theatre is small ... Read More
Embarking was a pleasure!! Quick & room ready! The ship is beautiful and nicely designed. The dining rooms were center so the walk from dinner to the show was shorter than other ships that have the dining room aft. The theatre is small compared to other lines, so it fills quite early.The shows were good with great special effects in the special ones. The cooking show was the best ever - not to be missed! The sky walk was unique, but very slippery when wet, which was most of the time. Food was good with a nice variety in the dining room as well as the buffet. Service was always good. The other options were the International Cafe - great! & the pizza parlor - great & a favorite!! The 2 tender ports in New England were no problem and the time to go to and fro was quick.The TV stations really need to be more people friendly with "normal" shows & not all varities of just news shows. I enjoyed this ship and wish it would depart from NY/NJ to the Carribbean! I miss sailing Princess from this area to the islands! Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We decided to go on a cruise on the Royal, as we are booked next April for a Transatlantic cruise and we wanted to make sure this was the ship we wanted to sail on. The Royal was indeed a grand ship. Although she was larger than the other ... Read More
We decided to go on a cruise on the Royal, as we are booked next April for a Transatlantic cruise and we wanted to make sure this was the ship we wanted to sail on. The Royal was indeed a grand ship. Although she was larger than the other Princess ships we have sailed on, so much of it was exactly the same as the smaller ships, we felt right at home. Yes there was not an outside deck to walk on on the 7th deck, but there were small areas outside that you could sit at and enjoy the sea and weather. Yes the elevators were busy, but more particularly during meal hours, which is to be expected. Yes there was no staircases mid ship, but we did not miss them at all. Yes the balconies were smaller, but could be used to sit and enjoy the weather and a libation. Yes the cabins were smaller, but clean, comfortable, cozy and lots of storage space. Yes the Sea Walk is not a great addition, but it was fun to walk on once and stare down at the ocean. I read a lot of reviews and these seemed to be some common concerns by a lot of cruisers. We were at the back of the ship, our favourite spot, in a deluxe balcony cabin. The cabin was a good size, not quite as big as expected, but big enough for us to get around. The bathroom was a fair size and they had fancy new shower heads which made for nicer showers. And yes a little foot shelf area for leg shaving, or just putting any shower products you wanted. The new flat screen TV's are a great addition, and the newer movies showing were a welcome treat. Must comment on our cabin Steward Carlito who was just great. He was quiet, professional, and always smiling, a very nice Steward. Thank you Carlito. The food was amazing at our dining room. We have always liked traditional dining as it allows us to meet people and make new friends. We dined at the Allegro, late dining and had such great servers, Jowel and Milan. They were funny, professional, attentive, and we were delighted to have them serving us. Hope to see them again in April. Also the small alcove we were in, with just four other tables surrounding us, was really different from the other large dining areas on the smaller ships. Loved it! The Horizon Food Court was the biggest we have seen onboard any ship, huge. It was always very busy and sometimes finding a seat was challenging, but we did always manage. We did not eat there a lot, we prefer the dining rooms for breakfast and lunch, but it was great for an afternoon snack. All the dining areas we visited had very good food. We had a lot of fun at Crooner's bar, where we would meet up with our friends every night before dinner. We made friends with one of the servers, John, and he made sure we were in his section every night. He enjoyed us as much as we enjoyed him. We often had martini's and he'd balance the glass on his forehead and nose and pour the drinks that way. It was very amusing, he never dropped a glass, or dripped a drop. Good going John. We went to several ports, but sadly Mother Nature decided she was going to limit some ports, so we spent our last two days in Halifax, we did not get to St. John. We went to the Vanderbilt Mansion in New Port, met some friends in Boston, who showed us around, just walked around Bar Harbor, and of course spent two days getting to know Halifax. We were fine with everything, not much you can do about the weather. We went to a couple of the shows, which were okay, but we enjoyed the individual singers, and musicians better. The pianist, singer, from Canada, Kory, was very good, and the violinist, Chris, were our favourites. Went to three shows for each. We are Platinum members on Princess, and we very much enjoy sailing with them. Their disembarkation process is fine. The only concern I have ever had is their embarkation process, it always seems painstakingly slow. They are trying now to change that, but their new system did not seem to work this time either. Hopefully someday they will get a handle on this. Loved the cruise, can't wait till April. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was our first cruise on Princess. We chose the Royal Princess because of being new and large. I think they were wonderful to cruise with. I had traveled with Celebrity Solstice last year and wondered if they would be as good. I was ... Read More
This was our first cruise on Princess. We chose the Royal Princess because of being new and large. I think they were wonderful to cruise with. I had traveled with Celebrity Solstice last year and wondered if they would be as good. I was pleasantly surprised. Embarking was fast and I was having lunch by 12:30 in the buffet. Our room was ready and the room steward Elisa was exceptional . We enjoyed Alfredos three days for lunch pizzas and calzones which were wonderful. They helped us celebrate a birthday with cake at dinner at the steak house, balloons and sign for door and choclate covered strawberries in the cabin. I really enjoyed the entertainment nightly and loved sitting right up front bottom floor. Nightly we enjoyed going to the casino. We had room service and enjoyed everything. The Crown grill was very good fillet , lobster and the best scallops my husband had eaten. The choclate cake ended the celebration. I want to say the people on the ship were giving 100% to make our trip enjoyable. We did the walk off with our luggage which was good. Also they have a laundry and you can press your clothes there which is a plus. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
First, let me preface my review by stating that my opinion of the ship and the cruise is soley based on my experience, and will probably differ from other cruisers who were on the same cruise as I was. Embarkation at the Brooklyn Cruise ... Read More
First, let me preface my review by stating that my opinion of the ship and the cruise is soley based on my experience, and will probably differ from other cruisers who were on the same cruise as I was. Embarkation at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal (Red Hook) was terrible. Waiting in line for over an hour to get processed while priority cruisers zipped through the line in no time at all. Most of the agents were there to process the priority cruisers and the rest of us (the majority) were treated like second class citizens. Ironically, I became a priority cruiser on this cruise and look forward to my next cruise so I can get this treatment. Red Hook needs to add more agents when the large ships are in port and process the priority passengers in another area. Hopefully I will never have to cruise out of this port again. Once on board, the wait for an elevator to our room took a while. The lack of stairs in the middle of the ship is a poor design. You have to go to either the front or the aft elevator section to use the stairs. A review of our room is separate. If you book a room on deck 8 (Emerald), don't book one over the Princess Theater. Way too noisy. We don't use the MDRs on board and prefer to dine in the Horizon Court or Bistro. Service was terrible. The lack of staff in these areas makes service a disappointment. On a majority of visits, I had to go get my drinks since I was not being served by any of the staff, It was like I was invisible. With few exceptions, most didn't smile or seem happy to be there. The food was okay, but lacked the usual items you would get in a restaurant, I like rice, but could not find any. Vegetables were usually steamed, which I don't care for but will tolerate. The selections were more for foreign cruisers than American passengers. I suippose the chefs wanted to show off their ability to cook many varieties of food. The entertainment was okay, nothing spectacular. We enjoyed the RCMP band at the end of the cruise in Halifax. Most of the other entertainers were more geared for the Titanic than a Princess cruise ship. Where were all the good bands playing 60's, 70's and 80's music? The Royal is a beautiful ship. I especially enjoyed the Skywalk that extends out from the side of the ship and has glass floors so you can see the ocean below. The atrium is very beautiful as well. Due to the terrible weather during our cruise, we were unable to see the dancing fountains near the pool area. I was looking forward to seeing that. Due to the nor'easter we encountered on this cruise, we missed stopping at St. Johns, Newfoundland. Instead we spent two not so great days in Halifax. Except for our excursion to Peggy's Cove, most of our time was spent aboard ship, due to the weather and a terrorist incident in Halifax that canceled many tours and had most of the passengers requested to remain on board the ship. (Never a dull moment when cruising). I will probably sail on the Royal again some day, but in the Caribbean, not in New England. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Let me start with dinning, originally we selected 6:00 pm setting but it was changed to 5:30 pm. Service was slow, we waited over 40 minutes for main course. Our waiter kept saying kitchen line is long. Later we discovered that management ... Read More
Let me start with dinning, originally we selected 6:00 pm setting but it was changed to 5:30 pm. Service was slow, we waited over 40 minutes for main course. Our waiter kept saying kitchen line is long. Later we discovered that management combined 5:30 and 6:00 dinner group into one setting end result was overwhelmed kitchen staff. Food itself missed the mark. As to the buffet food layout were not efficient & confusing, and little variations of menu item. I suppose if you prefer quantity over quality you should be happy. Quirky side, if you want to order an omelet you need to find the station and make an order, in turn, cook will hand you an order sheet and you need to hand over to your waiter at your buffet table. You will receive your order now if you want any condiments go back to buffet line and select your desired item. Found Taco station, they have Taco shell laid out at opposite end of meat. Take a shell go back to other end of line start filling the shell. Go figure! We purchased soda package which was mistake, they should include regular coffee within soda package Elevators are slow and constantly crowded due to not enough elevators in mid ship area. The ship was beautiful and large balcony cabin was a plus. Lots of storage space, comfortable bed. Our cabin staff, staff was very efficient and very helpful. We attended a couple of the shows in the Princess theater and they were all well done. They perform the same show at least twice a night, so if you miss the early show you can catch the later hour. We purchased soda package which was mistake, I should have purchased Coffee package. Other than that they nickel and dimed you at every time, no free coffee and two bucks for bottle of water.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Second cruise on Princess, but much larger ship. Liked the ship and décor very much. Specialty restaurants were great; winemaker's dinner excellent; dining rooms food hit and miss; breakfast buffet good. Never saw much of the ... Read More
Second cruise on Princess, but much larger ship. Liked the ship and décor very much. Specialty restaurants were great; winemaker's dinner excellent; dining rooms food hit and miss; breakfast buffet good. Never saw much of the entertainment as the early shows can interfere with dinner and the late shows were too late for us, but we are used to that. We make our own arrangements for all the shore excursions online as the ship is more expensive and too many people to deal with. Loved all the ports as we had only been to Boston before this cruise. All in all a very good itinerary and good ship but a little large for us. Exiting and entering in ports at dock went smoothly. The tenders had waits but not long. We used the ship for transportation from and to the airport to dock, and all went smoothly - a very nice big bus. Never smelled smoke inside or out (a miracle), and the cabin was always made up nicely. I asked for robes, but none were there and the steward brought some immediately. Also asked for a top sheet, which was also done immediately, as you only have the duvet which is so thick, heavy, and hot that I cannot sleep under it. Wish you had a thin, cotton blanket in the room to use if you wished. All in all a very good cruise, and have put down a deposit for a future cruise with Princess. But will definitely get all details about the room before booking. We had a aft facing balcony listed as a premium balcony on the Aloha (12) deck. It had no cover from the deck above; it was less deep from room to railing than the floor above and below. None of the above was given in the description. Some overhang from the deck above to shade and deep enough for loungers with foot rests (as deeper balconies had) would have been worth the extra money for that premium designation, but this deck was not even as good as side balconies as they have overhead covers. I am sure I called and asked about the overhang because of the same problem with another cruise, but the phone people do not know every deck on every ship and so you cannot really find out the details. Since it was not an obstructed balcony, they do not feel the need to describe decks differently. Don't pay for a premium deck unless you know exactly what you are getting for the money. Very disappointing! Room was fine but nothing special for a balcony room. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was our 21st Princess Cruise, our fifth Canada/New England Cruise. I have elite status with Princess and booked a BA balcony cabin last March. I drove to the Best Western off exit 5 and I287 in New Jersey the day before and we stayed ... Read More
This was our 21st Princess Cruise, our fifth Canada/New England Cruise. I have elite status with Princess and booked a BA balcony cabin last March. I drove to the Best Western off exit 5 and I287 in New Jersey the day before and we stayed the night. We had dinner at the Ruby Tuesday next to the motel and had breakfast at the motel prior to leaving for Red Hook at 11 AM on Saturday morning. We arrived at the port and parked the car at noon, checked the bags in and entered embarkation building after filling out our forms. Embarkation: We were directed to the handicap lane since I was carrying a cane. It only took us 10 minutes to get our cards and be on our way to the ship. We were in our cabin by 1 PM. Cabins: The cabin A443 (cat. BA) was attractively decorated and good sized for the price. The balcony, while good size and offers good privacy. The bath room was nice and we enjoyed the shower. Cabin service was efficient and unobtrusive. I got a free mini bar set up and we enjoyed it. Took advantage for the free laundry for elite members on one occasion. The 10% discount in the shops was used more than once. Public Areas: The public areas are nice and never feel crowded. The ship doesn't feel 142,000 grt. Enjoyed the small intimate bars. They had good shows on board and the comedians were great. The bars had a buy 5, pay for four beer special on the Lido bars. I got this all cruise long and put them in the cabin fridge. A bottle opener was in the room. There was plenty of activities to keep you busy all day including lectures and classes of all kinds. I went to the free wine tasting for elite members and enjoyed the library on board. You will not be bored on a Princess ship. Dining: We opted for anytime dining and after waiting in line the first night for what seemed forever, I wrote a nice letter to the Maitre d’hotel requesting a table near the door at 8 PM as my wife has a problem standing long times. We got a nice letter from the Maitre d’hotel and stickers for our cards with our table assignment which was table 215 in the Concerto dining room near the door at 8 PM/ Our waiter was excellent. We ate all our evening meals there and had good company every night. We went to open seating for breakfast in the Dining room every day when not on tour. The attendance in the main dining rooms was far less that capacity due to number eating in Lido. We requested tables with a short walk since my wife hurt her knee on the first tour. We had pizza several times for a snack. All the restaurants were nicely decorated and the food in all the Dining rooms was generally good, but not up to Celebrity standards. The food in the Lido was also good and we had breakfast there before tours and lunch when in port. Tours: We did tours in two ports. We did the Doris Duke mansion in Newport and the wife enjoyed it. We also did the whale watching in Bar Harbor and got money back as we saw no whales. We had a tour planned for St. John’s but they by passed the port due to bad weather. We did no tours in Boston and Halifax as we were there four times before and had seen it all. Disembarkation: This was smooth we did express walk off and were to meet in the Concerto dining room. We arrived at 8 AM expecting to leave at 8:45 AM and were told we could go right away. We were in our car and on our way by 8:20 AM. The trip home went smooth and we were home by 5 PM. We stopped only to use the rest rooms, get gas and have lunch at the Dutch Pantry at milepost 150 off I80 in Pennsylvania. We went to Denny near home for dinner and refilled the gas tank prior to going into the house for the night. Overall, I was satisfied with the cruise and have booked a Princess cruise for Alaska in the spring.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
First time back on a cruise ship after a few year hiatus. Last cruise we went on out of Miami, I got Norovirus which cured my cruise ambitions (different cruise line) Embarked at Brooklyn, cruise terminal nice, nieghborhood less so. ... Read More
First time back on a cruise ship after a few year hiatus. Last cruise we went on out of Miami, I got Norovirus which cured my cruise ambitions (different cruise line) Embarked at Brooklyn, cruise terminal nice, nieghborhood less so. Embarkation was a breeze, had a mini suite which was a definite nice upgrade. We did not have the elevator experience that most seem to complain about, we are in mid-50's and took stairs more often than not. Having said that, demographic on this cruise was more than 60+ in age. We did the specialty dining at Sabatini's, and the Crown Grill several nights, both in my estimation well worth it. Also did the seafood (crab-shack)? which was less than worth it. Did anytime dining, typically after 1900, zero issues being seated. Wheelhouse bar was our hang out, did not do the drink package, overall I found our bar bill reasonable, between the two of use, one or two pre-dinner and perhaps three after dinner drinks. I would have had to have far more more to equal the drink package, ie. you really got to want to drink more than that to have some value to it. A little too much sales pressure in the spa, be prepared to be sold every possible package there. Never really saw too much other sales pressure, even the photogs were polite, no issues noted. Ports of call: Newport,a pleasant surprise, tender only, we walked our own tour, up through town, to the cliff side and back again, several festivals that day. Very pleasant. Boston, our favorite, walked the Freedom Trainl, even up Breeds Hill monument, healthy workout. Took a cab into town, fare sure varied, obviously first driver recognized us a pure tourist and took the long route in. But our favorite stop. Bar Harbor, tender stop, cute town, heavy fog, glad we did not take bus trip, those who did saw nothing. We walked on the harbor side, did the bar walk, alhough we did not walk on the island, the sign stated we needed a Federal Park permit to enter, not willing to risk an encounter with a park ranger we skipped the island. In town felt that the end of the tourist season was evident at a local restaurant. lousy service, lousy crab rolll, town dirty and over-run with people, probably due to weather. St Johns, a lttle industrial looking, did the hike up to the reversing falls, ho-hum. Farmers market OK, hiked through town, was not over impressed, although local pub had pleasant bartender who I felt should have been on their Chamber of Commerce, nice stop due to her dialogue. Halifax, heavy fog, great harbor walk, really enjoed it, stopped at WW II Corvette got the royal tour by Ian who served on ship for 30+ years, great visit, too bad weather was so-so. Day at sea interesting due to hurricane some 700 miles away, really no issues other than some rolling. glad we went, brought back my confidence in crusing. Would try to take tour of ship, spoke to fellow passenger who just raved about it, sign up as soon as you board. Conclusion, as long as you are not overly dependent on elevators I would do this ship again, not sure about the complaints about lack of elevators, perhaps it depends on which deck you were on, we were on Deck 10 and had either stairs of elevators. Good trip, enjoyed all of it, great wait staff at Wheelhouse Bar, did a great job of representing ship, knew ports of call, made recommendations and gave us a great insight on crew life, well done.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Just back from 7 nights on the Royal. All the complaints are correct - the missing stairs from 7 and up are a hassle. We gave up on riding down to dinner and walked the aft stairs.Overall it was a good time because there is much to like ... Read More
Just back from 7 nights on the Royal. All the complaints are correct - the missing stairs from 7 and up are a hassle. We gave up on riding down to dinner and walked the aft stairs.Overall it was a good time because there is much to like about the Royal. We arranged a 2 night precruise and enjoyed the Intercontinetal on Times Square. Our transport to the port ran late, so we waited in check in lines for an hour. Once on board, our luggage did not arrive until nearly 4:00 so our emarbarkation day was a waste. We enjoyed the MDR on most nights. We had early tradtional seating with a lovely group of people that included some very experienced cruisers. The first night it took over 2 hours for dinner. One of the Elites at our table spoke to the waiters and the rest of the dinners were closer to 1.5 hours. We found the food to be above average for cruise quisine. The service should be better. The food court was as advertised - more spread out and not as congested. Be sure to check all the buffets before making your selections, as you might miss something really tasty if you settle for the first tasty item you see. The entertainment is the highlight of this cruise. I have never seen more talented singers, dancers, and musicians. The magic shows were fair. My only gripe is that we had to wait unitl our final sea day to have all the entertainers working on the same night. Most nights there were 2-3 options, whereas the last night there were 5-6. The cabins were smaller. There is plenty of hanging storage, but not tooo many drawers. With the mini frig, there is only 1 drawer in the corner, 2 on each night srand, and 1 cabinet in the dressing area. The walls are a little thin. We heard the TV from next door the first 2 nights (literally all night). I mentioned it to our steward and he suggested we report it to the front desk. He also told his supervisor. We were pleasantly surprised on night 3 when the noise went away around 10:00. What a relief. This and other little "helps" landed our cabin steward a nice bonus at the end of the cruise.. We asked for and received an early exit off the ship upon our return to NYC. We were concerned about meeting our noon flight at LGA. Our group was called early, we went through customs quicckly, then waited on the bus for 30 minutes for some not so considerate fellow passengers. Our trip to the airport went well and we cleared security with 2 hours to spare. We were crusing the Northern US and Canada, so the outdoor areas of the shhip were nearly useless. If we cruise on the Royal again, I will make sure it is in warmer climes. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Yes, I read the reviews before our cruise but thought maybe we would not be as irritated by the issues we read, so off we go on a 7 day cruise from hell. After a 1.5 hour ride to the pier from LaGuardia we waited in line for over 2 hours ... Read More
Yes, I read the reviews before our cruise but thought maybe we would not be as irritated by the issues we read, so off we go on a 7 day cruise from hell. After a 1.5 hour ride to the pier from LaGuardia we waited in line for over 2 hours to be processed onto the ship only to be told our room keys were lost and we would have to wait while they made new ones. They stated they were very busy but would try their best. Like we could not see the hundreds of people waiting in line for processing and the other thousand trying to board. After about an additional hour and a lot of griping and blood pressure rising we finally received our sea pass cards. Then on to the ship! The atrium was beautiful as we entered and we proceeded to the 6 elevators (no stairs) that were to take us to our room on the Dolphin #9 deck. We waited for 30 more minutes to get an elevator. Finally we arrived to find the smallest balcony room we have ever had. The bath was so small you could not turn around without stepping back into the shower. The arrangement of the toilette left little room to dry after a shower, however the shower stall itself was a bit larger than most. As for the room we could not pass each other at any point. It was clean and the bed comfortable, but allowed only one person at a time in any space. The balcony was hardly large enough to walk onto without fear of falling overboard. The table and chairs were miniscule in size. The shows were wonderful-probably the best on any ship we have been on. The theatre is smaller than most however they did have 3 shows per night which allowed everyone to see them. The food in the main dining room was very good, however, the selection was very limited. It was fine though as they do have a menu that stays the same all week that has a nice variety of pasta, steak, and chicken dishes. We ate off of that menu 3 of the 7 nights. The Horizon Buffet was not up to par. Service was awful. We barely got offered any drinks and no refills which would have been fine if there had been a self serve counter readily available which there was not. The food was the usual tasteless buffet fare. It is arranged so you have to go into different rooms for the courses. It felt very closed in and crowded. As for the casino which is one of our favorite things to do while cruising-it was tighter than I have ever seen. For 7 nights we didn't win one penny. We might have gotten lucky a couple of pulls and won about $30 which was quickly taken back. It is the first of 15 cruises where we didn't come home with some of the money geared for the casino. The staff of this ship does not smile. We could not figure out if they are all unhappy or have been told to be unfriendly. We addressed a couple of issues with our stateroom attendant and were given a rather harsh lecture why she could not do anything about our concerns. This is the first cruise that we did not give extra gratuities to any of our service providers. The whole ship just feels strange and unfriendly. The arrangement of elevators and stairs gives new meaning to the term "you can't get there from here". We were mid ship and that was a big mistake. To get to the dining room you had to walk all the way forward and use elevator and stairs to get there. The whole layout is just a big mess. While a beautiful entry the rest of the ship is not user friendly! All in all, our worst cruise ever. The only saving grace were the ports. They were beautiful, clean, and friendly. Thank goodness that there were 5 days of them on this cruise. The one "sea day" was more than enough. We won't be cruising Princess again. It is back to Royal Caribbean for this household! Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Royal Princess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 3.5 3.8
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 4.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 4.0 3.5
Service 4.0 4.2
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 3.2

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