11 New York (Brooklyn, Red Hook) to Caribbean - Eastern Princess Royal Princess Cruise Reviews

As always, I’ll try to make my review as comprehensive to help as many readers as possible. Embarkation – very smooth. We arrived in Brooklyn by 1:00 and lines were short and personal efficient. Cabins – space is efficient, as on ... Read More
As always, I’ll try to make my review as comprehensive to help as many readers as possible. Embarkation – very smooth. We arrived in Brooklyn by 1:00 and lines were short and personal efficient. Cabins – space is efficient, as on most cruise ships. I appreciate the fact that you can remove the hangers, (something Cunard doesn’t have). The cabins have a large flat-screen TV hung on a wall opposite the bed (great idea). They offered a wealth of movies and TV shows, which you could stop and restart like a DVR. Our cabin steward, Isidro, was extremely professional and a gentleman. Some downsides include the fact that the shower has pumps used for shampoo and body soap. The ship is missing drawer space above the bed, which is found on many other ships. The balconies are extremely small, barely big enough for two chairs. We used the balconies mainly to dry clothing. Dining – Food was well prepared throughout, although on very bland side. Desserts were colorful, but not particularly imaginative. In fact, because our MDR table was near the exit, several nights I walked over to the gelato parlor and (with one punch of my coffee card) got a decent sundae. While we had anytime dining, we settled into one table and time after the 2nd night. Although it was obvious that the dining room wait staff was shorthanded, our waiter and assistant remembered our names and preferences – and they were always friendly, upbeat and professional. The Royal Princess has an attractive and comfortable space for the buffet with a user-friendly design that makes dining a pleasure. It’s far less crowded than other Princess ships. Kudos to Princess for having waiters who quickly and consistently brought drinks to diners at their tables AND the omelets station provided delivery of omelets to tables – a welcome difference vs. the consistently inconsistent beverage service that I experienced in the buffets on several Celebrity ships. Also, Cunard’s royal QM2 does not provide that service. Unfortunately, the Royal Princess still has two sets of menus for each side of the buffet (Horizon Court and Garden Café). This frustrates passengers, who have to navigate both to see what choices are available. As always, the International Café in the Piazza is popular, with a nice selection of salads and sweets – and in the morning, one can find a selection of delicious continental-breakfast items in that should please most palates. Public Rooms/Areas – This ship has one of the largest (maybe the largest) outdoor movie screen at sea, which was popular, though, in the evening, seemed relatively quiet. One of the best design features of this ship is the 2-lane running and walking track. It is located on a high deck with limited accessibility, so runners and walkers weren’t disturbed by those not exercising. The ship has many places for sunbathing on fully-reclining chaise loungers. On the very small Promenade Deck (should be called the Not-For-Promenading Deck) there were cushioned chairs and lounges that don’t recline. In fact, unless one went to the smoking area on deck 17 (something, in 2014, cruise lines shouldn’t have), you couldn’t find a fully reclining lounge in a quiet area. Activities – On this 10-night sailing with 6 sea days, there were numerous dance lessons and trivia contests – also, guest lecturers gave presentations on most days at sea (navigation at sea, pilot training in the military, etc). The evening shows included an excellent Nat King Cole impersonator and good Elton John impersonator. Princess still has some of the best production shows at sea; though, like other cruise lines, these shows never seem to have a storyline that ties them together. The casino was very busy most times of day, as was the gym. The latter, however, is in a place where it acts as a passageway from one sunbathing area to another. Another downside is the fact that the spa is located 12 decks away from the gym, thus preventing guests from using a steam room or spa unless they paid for the spa. The Stairway Problem- On embarkation day, the crew opened the crew-only stairs so passengers could get to their muster stations. No one thought much about it until we got underway and realized the center bank of elevators had no nearby stairway. This has been mentioned many, many times in previous CC reviews…….and for a good reason. Mid-ship elevators (which were mostly small) were always crowded and stopped on nearly every deck. Our cabin was on mid-ship Deck 14, with the buffet on Deck 16. On other ships we would take the stairs; on this one we had to either take the elevator or walk forward or aft to find stairs. It was the topic of complaints daily on nearly every elevator ride. Also, some of the elevators had up/down arrows which, instead of facing outward, faced sideways. In other words, you couldn’t detect which elevator was arriving. Ports of Call St Thomas—We’ve been there many times, so we opted for a ride to Sapphire Beach, one of the prettiest and least crowded. It’s far less busy than Magen’s Bay or Coki Beach. St. Thomas still has the biggest racket on open-air trucks (cabs). They still charge per person, which makes a round trip anywhere expensive. Antigua - We had day passes to Sandals, which is a wonderful way to spend a day on at a large and beautifully landscaped property that sports an impressive beach that is not crowded and a huge pool. The property is gorgeous – the non-motorized water sports, drinks, and food are free – the staff is professional and friendly. Aruba- We spent the day at the beach snorkeling. We’ve been there before – so, we took off on our own and headed for the public beaches via public buses for a day of snorkeling. Other notes - As Elite passengers, we came onboard with the expectation of 24-hour laundry. However, on this sailing, we were informed that laundry turnaround would be 72 hours. The reason we were given is that there were too many Elites onboard. Unfortunately, for me and many passengers, this became a problem because of the amount of clothes we brought. We also had ongoing problems with Internet service. We realized it would be slow, but it kept crashing in our cabin. We had to resort to keeping our cabin door open to get a signal….not good. Luckily the Internet café manager gave us credit for our problems. Alternate Dining: Regarding Sabatini’s, the atmosphere, appetizers and service were excellent. However, four of the seven guests at our table received entrees that were bland tasting and lukewarm – the manager of the restaurant apologized, but took no action regarding the bill. I mentioned my disappointment at the purser’s desk and was refunded my upcharge. Disembarkation- Smooth. Just a hint—for the first time, we hired a porter to carry our luggage – we were surprised that he was able to escort us past the lengthy immigration lines – we had no wait! We are not sure if bypassing the immigration lines is officially permitted or if the porter did something improper. Unfortunately the ship construction issues, (particularly the stairways and tiny balconies) and the laundry problems have reduced my rating of the ship to 3 stars.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
My husband and I are very experienced travelers on both land and sea. We’re Platinum members on Princess, and have traveled on the Golden, Star, Crown, Caribbean, and most recently on the Royal. I don’t plan to rehash all the ... Read More
My husband and I are very experienced travelers on both land and sea. We’re Platinum members on Princess, and have traveled on the Golden, Star, Crown, Caribbean, and most recently on the Royal. I don’t plan to rehash all the negatives written about this ship, because I really do not think they are all that significant. Yes, the balconies are smaller….yes, there are no mid ship elevators, yes, shady areas are on the scarce side (unless you are willing to pay about $40 per person per day for the Sanctuary), etc. But it’s still a lovely, new, ship with an efficient, friendly and welcoming staff and I wouldn’t hesitate to sail on the Royal again. I will agree that where the Crown Grill was excellent, Sabatini’s was lacking and just OK on this ship, and that the comedy and illusionist artists left something to be desired, but, as far as ship entertainment is concerned, the Princess vocalist and dance productions were very good. While the fact that we met a wonderful group of people from right here on Cruise Critic helped to enhance this cruise experience on the Royal, my overall opinion is that she is a beautiful ship….but different from the ships I have listed above. As a postscript…..during this cruise I experienced a potentially serious health issue which required immediate attention. I could not have been more pleased with the professional care and attention that I received from Dr. Dillon Belton, as well as from Tim and Telma of the Royal’s nursing staff. I felt secure knowing I was in good hands, and I’m happy to report the problem was taken care of so the vacation could continue. So go........you'll like a lot about her....but keep your mind open to change. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
The Royal Princess is certainly beautiful, but she missed the mark in a few places. The Enclave--was essentially a room with a hugh hot tub, 2 steam rooms and a sauna. The loungers weren't heated and the price was $$$ expensive. On ... Read More
The Royal Princess is certainly beautiful, but she missed the mark in a few places. The Enclave--was essentially a room with a hugh hot tub, 2 steam rooms and a sauna. The loungers weren't heated and the price was $$$ expensive. On most other Princess ships these things are FREE. In the men's locker room, there was no seating. Amazing. When an older gentleman nearly hurt himself trying to dress, 2 plastic chairs were put into the locker room. The Swirls Ice Cream booth on deck 15 was no more than an afterthought. No refrigeration with a tin of sugar free ice cream stored in a WINE bucket with ice. No sugar free in Gelato's at all. This might not seem a big deal, unless you are diabetic like I am. The Horizon Court--is just too big. You would settle for items with the belief that this was all....only to discover 75 feet further were completely different choices. Very frustrating. Always seemed crowded. The Piazza--Very beautiful and very large....always seemed noisy. Dance classes and other practice classes were out of place there and should be relocated. Whether eating, having a drink or just trying to relax, music, song or noise could be heard---always. The Internet Cafe--was always crowded. ...at times 10-15 people waiting. ...too small for this ship. The Princess Theatre--certain seats had no way to exit without climbing over a long row of people. On land this arrangement would not be allowed. Theatre is too small. Shows were 30 minutes long and only ok. ELITE--Laundry service took 3 days for laundry and plain pressing.....Ridiculous. .some items sent out on Monday were returned Friday...... on my following cruise--returned in 24 hours. The Retreat Pool--was nice, but you had to be there by 7am in order to claim a seat......the missing pools were greatly missed. The platform for the water show needs to be replaced with a large pool. The Seawalk--Interesting, but you'd be hard pressed to find someone who walked on it more than twice. Room--movies are a nice touch, but no regular TV to speak of. My mid-aft balcony was small and always found black soot on the floor and seats. I enjoyed the Halloween party and the long time friends who also sailed......I will sail this cruise again next year. Would I jump in line to sail this ship again? No way!!! The CB right after this cruise just made its short Cummings more glaring. Princess missed it with this design---I wont even comment on the missing Promenade deck or the MISSING center staircase. Great cruise, great people......just a bad ship with the cut everything, charge for everything policy princess seems to have adopted. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
My wife and I (We are in our early 60s) needed time away from our jobs, so I was tasked to find a cruise. Being on Princess last minute cruise newsletter, I found this repositioning cruise. The ship was our destination since we have ... Read More
My wife and I (We are in our early 60s) needed time away from our jobs, so I was tasked to find a cruise. Being on Princess last minute cruise newsletter, I found this repositioning cruise. The ship was our destination since we have visited the ports before. Our first experience with Princess was on the Crown Princess which we both enjoyed 4 years earlier. Embarkation: First time using Brooklyn Red Hook port. Amtrak to Penn Station, then a taxi to the port was our plan. At 1230 hours, a long line of taxis, cars and coaches met us at the port (which I expected from previous reviews). Once inside the terminal, a bit of confusion about filling out health forms, then joining the masses. Once a line was formed, it was time for security check, then short wait for check-in clerk. It took less than 45 minutes to get on the ship, past the photographer and finding our room on Aloha deck, aft. The Royal Princess was the newest ship we ever sailed on. True to form, very clean and bright public areas. Since our cabin was in the stern, we got used to walking the long hallways but to our advantage, the aft elevators were very convenient to reach the buffet area. Dining rooms and atrium meant a walk to midship and then waiting for the elevator. Atrium was nice but seemed noisy and once on the bottom floor, crowded especially for formal nights. Dining: We had the anytime dining option. We were lucky to be seated at a table where we felt the chief waiter and his assistant were excellent. We made a point to request his table (didn't need to reserve, just showed up at approximately same time each night - early). Food quality was fine for us. Breakfasts and lunches usually in Horizon Court which were good to very good. I liked the omelet station setup: you make your selection at the designated place, you receive a numbered chit, and find your table. Present the chit to your section waiter and he recovers the order for you. We made one visit to Sabatini's which was fine. Visit to the pizza sit-down area was very good. When we had the opportunities, we ate at the Pub Lunch. Overall, the dining options were very good to excellent. Entertainment: We didn't witness any of the main theater shows. I don't think we missed much: the size of the main showroom, and the short duration shows didn't interest us. The string quartet on board reminded me of Holland America's Adiago group. Ports: We been there, done that. We remained on board the ship and enjoyed the quiet. I was surprised that Princess' private island was not included. On-board activities: the usual trivia contests, art auctions, casino.... There were some lectures but the Patter didn't seem to advertise them, even the public announcements were quiet about the lectures. We were on the roll call and attended the main gathering. Disembarkation: We had transfers to the airport thru Princess and given instructions to meet in a dining room to wait for our group to be called. Found our luggage, past customs and found our bus. Overall impressions: The Royal Princess was very good experience despite the shortcomings already described by other reviewers. Would we cruise on her or her sister Regal, again? I don't think so. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was our first trip on the Royal. My wife and I are both mid 30s and have been cruising for most vacations since we got married. I'll do this by sections: Embarkation Day: We drove ourselves down from Toronto, spent the night ... Read More
This was our first trip on the Royal. My wife and I are both mid 30s and have been cruising for most vacations since we got married. I'll do this by sections: Embarkation Day: We drove ourselves down from Toronto, spent the night and left our car at a park and fly hotel near Newark Airport. We had arranged a car service in advance and we arrived at the Brooklyn Cruise terminal at 1:45pm. Check in was a bit stressful for some people apparently (One guy got really upset because someone told him he dropped his sunglasses... if you were anywhere near that you know exactly what/who/when!). Boarding was easy with no lines, our cabin was ready, and then we went and got food at the buffet then back to our cabin with lots of time to snap pics of the Manhattan skyline, Statue of Liberty, harbor traffic and things like that. Cabin: We were in Emerald 101 (DZ, obstructed), Fully forward Starboard side balcony. The obstructed is only due to the lack of a glass railing. We didn't notice it at all, and the larger balcony was a perfect size for both of us to lounge on. And we wouldn't trade the views of New York we got on departure for anything! It is a looooooong walk from the forward elevators so i would no recommend it for anyone with a mobility issue. Only complaint about the room was with the closet. Due to being near the bow the ship's movement would cause the hangers in the closet to sway hard enough to clunk against the back wall of the closet, quite loudly. Not a huge deal and we eventually just unhooked all the empty hangers and tossed them in the corner but still a bit annoying. Other thing was a musty smell... not sure where it was coming from... we asked our room steward and he said he'd have it checked but never heard anything else. It was in the hall outside as well so may of been coming from the crew area further forward. The on demand entertainment system worked well. But that said we were very disappointed in the NON-on demand TV channels... 2 ESPN, 4 news, not one of the major US networks and 3 princess channels... The on demand selections were a little limited but still light years ahead of the options on most other cruises we've been on. Dining: Food was good. We did anytime and had no issues at all with the food in either the Allegro or Symphony dining rooms. Service was hit and miss, but seemed to be more due to the assistant waiters than anything else and wasn't limited to one waiter. The 2 times we shared tables we had good times with nice people. No complaints there. The problem with the MDRs though... there is a noticeable fairly severe vibration at times. One night it was so bad it was knocking over centerpieces in Allegro. Waiters and one of the assistant Maitre D's explained it was a design issue with the ship and the designers were supposedly looking for a fix. The Buffet was typical but could be annoying for access as they seemed to open and close rows at random times. We went 3 times for breakfast and all 3 times they started shutting down rows for no apparent reason with people waiting for food to be made and long waits in other rows. We tried Alfredo's twice. Small portions but good food. The Pizza was acceptable but not amazing, and mine came overdone (totally black on bottom, hard as wood) twice before they got it right the 3rd time. the International cafe is my wife's favorite. I found the sandwiches good but she loved all the sweet options. We only tried one premium restaurant, the Crown Grill, but honestly the steak wasn't as good as I would of expected, and my wife's was underdone (she likes medium-well, it was barely above rare). Room service was good, getting pizza delivered in boxes was a cute service despite the extra charge. Casino: Fine, only comment is the gaming tables make access from the smoking area to the non-smoking area annoying. Entertainment: The shows by the troupe were very good. The comedians were also very good. My wife got picked for one of the shows in princess live, and the other shows and games we saw there were all well done. General facilities: The Piazza is nice, but I really think they should move the dancing instruction to another venue, it never seemed to "fit" the space. Elevator access midship is well discussed, I will simply add my voice that the elevators behavior is annoying and there isn't enough of them during peak periods. The forward bank wasn't bad though and having stairs to hop down a deck or 2 from emerald avoided having to use them as much. The MUTS screen seemed a little high and obviously an afterthought to the design... The fountain shows were fun distractions, but I didn't like how the deck was closed off during the day. Kids could of used it as a nice splashpad most days but were not able to. The pools were ok. Hot tubs seemed to be a little small or maybe there just are too few in the normal places? Cruise Staff: Overall all the crew were very friendly. There were issues with delayed drinks, and a couple billing mistakes, but thats been the case on every cruise we've ever been on, so can't really complain. Some crew did go above and beyond to be helpful and friendly, and we rewarded them in kind on the last day. Our steward was fairly good, our room was kept well and he never missed getting us ice or extra clean glasses everyday. The Cruise director and her staff made everything alot of fun. Only complaint was the trivia questions did end up repeating... The shopping staff... well this whole thing has gone downhill. Showing up at the shopping talks has become propaganda for Diamonds/Tanzanite International & Little Switzerland and here's the discount coupons for them. No real Q&A anymore. I don't blame Dominique and the others, there's only so much they can do, and we have our own picks ashore in St Thomas and Aruba anyways. We wouldn't mind so much but have had a horrible time with Little Switzerland and Diamonds International so it gets grating to have to listen to them drone on about how wonderful they are just to get the coupons for some of the other stores and restaurants and the free charms (ok yes my wife is an obsessive shopper so we DO have to go... and she probably wouldn't be as harsh...). The shop staff were all good at what they did, good knowledge of the products in the respective boutiques on board. The Art gallery. Lief and the gallery staff were lots fun and knowledgeable. We really enjoyed all the auctions, and we are really happy with the raffle prizes we got. We were very impressed at the selection on board but sad we lost the auction for the map... Ports: We love St Thomas. We had a nice tour of Antigua though I wasn't feeling 100% so didn't do everything we wanted to, still had a nice day. Aruba we did a ship tour semi-submarine and land tour. We got some great pictures of the shipwreck and fish, and the tour guide was fairly good. We hopped the tram when we got back to the port, got very crowded by the time we got to the end, then we almost couldn't get on the tram back the other way. People had told us the tram was a free and fun way to get around the shopping areas but i wouldn't recommend it if there's more than one ship in port. Smoking venues: This is a sore point but it applies to many people so I'll get into it a little. I don't usually smoke, and my wife only does occasionally. But when on vacation I like to have a few cigars. Unfortunately there is only Churchills on board where you can have a cigar, and very few other places to have a smoke at all. The "smoke free" night in the casino just limits it more. Churchills can only be described as a cubby hole with horrible ventilation. I tried one cigar in there and didn't even finish it, I couldn't enjoy it as other people's cigars were coming through. I get how people don't want to be around smoking and I'm fine with that, but honestly the pendulum swung a little too far on the Royal... Disembarkation Day: We were woken up about 5:30 am by the bow thrusters, which went on and seemed to stay on. They didn't cut off until we were leaving our room after 8am, nearly 2 hours after docking. We went to the buffet for breakfast, then waited in the Piazza for awhile as our flight wasn't until after 1. Got a cab to FLL, and no real issues getting back to Newark. OVERALL: The Royal Princess is a lovely ship but has more of what can only be described as design flaws than i would of expected considering all the hoopla before launch. That said the crew is great and try hard to make sure you enjoy the trip as much as possible. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We just returned from the repositioning cruise taking the Royal Princess from NY to Fort Lauderdale. We had gorgeous warm weather, calm seas, and decent ports of call (St. Thomas, Antigua, Aruba). The food was delicious with very generous ... Read More
We just returned from the repositioning cruise taking the Royal Princess from NY to Fort Lauderdale. We had gorgeous warm weather, calm seas, and decent ports of call (St. Thomas, Antigua, Aruba). The food was delicious with very generous portions. The shows were for the most part, very professional and entertaining. The Halloween party was a hoot, the costumes were amazing as many passengers dressed up for the occasion. What we did not like was the layout of the ship. The lack of a promenade on the promenade deck was a major flaw to us as we always look forward to walking laps around the ship. There was access to about 100 feet of decking on either side of the ship. The low life boats obstructed the views for the lounge windows on deck 7. There were fewer pools on the ship, with extra cabins taking the place of the pools resulting in more passengers and less public spaces. The theater has low ceilings, just two aisles, and none that crossed side to side. To get to seats at the far sides, one would need to cross in front of the stage as there are no side doors on the lower level. Plus there are no mid ship stairs above deck 7, resulting in overcrowded elevators. The one positive improvement that we enjoyed on the Royal was the beautiful Piazza, which was larger than other Princess ships, a plus for those of us who enjoy dancing. There are too many other ships to chose from......... we will not book this ship in the future. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We are experienced cruisers and usually take 2 or 3 cruises per year. Our last 4 cruises have been on Celebrity (Aqua Class). Sine the Royal Princess was new and we previously had good experiences on the Carribean Princess, we excitedly ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers and usually take 2 or 3 cruises per year. Our last 4 cruises have been on Celebrity (Aqua Class). Sine the Royal Princess was new and we previously had good experiences on the Carribean Princess, we excitedly book a Mini-suite. Pros Food quality: Buffet was very good with quality food, great variety and ample seating. International plaza (24 hours) was excellent. Dining room food was good. Pastry area was to die for. The BEST pizza on Deck 16. Hand made, tossed with fresh dough all day. We ate pizza every day. I enjoyed the popcorn during the movies too. Alfredo's (sit down pizzeria) was no extra charge and we enjoyed that for lunch twice. The Crown Grill was excellent. Sabatinis was just ok ( limited menu, decor so-so, very small portions) Service: Rarely had to wait for drinks. Short lines for most things. Servers got to know us and greet us by name (coffee, casino, Churchill lounge and anther bar). Room steward did a great job. Never intruded and got to know our schedule. Room service was always prompt. Bed: The most comfortable cruise bed we slept on (of all cruises) Spa: Pretty easy to get appointments. I enjoyed them and almost every one went over the scheduled time and was very thorough. The Enclave (thermal suite) had the best steam rooms. Cons The ship design/layout: THE WORST. Everything is "small". Princess sacrificed spaciousness and good flow to cram in extra cabins or venues. -the gym is on the 17. You have to go through the buffet or outside through a sun deck (weaving around lounge chairs). People walk through the gym from the buffet and the smoking area which is conveniently located adjacent to the gym. The gym was cramped and over loaded with as many machines that could be crammed in a small space. -the spa is on the 5th floor. No where near the gym. The spa also has the Enclave which is Princess's verizon of a thermal spa. It is in a darkened area and the tone thermal chairs are not warm. -the casino has so many tables crammed in that you can't have two people at the ends of adjacent tables (ie, Blackjack) No room to sit- if you want to breathe too. A few arguments were witnessed. You could not easily walk through the Casino without bumping into chairs and trying not to jostle people. -the balcony. We have never, ever had a smaller balcony. It was so small my fiancée could not sit forward without his knees up against the glass. Maybe only 35-40 sq ft. Because it was so small we rarely spent time on it. Wasted space in the length of the cabin. Waste of money for a mini-suite. -the theater is so small that they have to run 3 shows every night. Small seats and only one main aisle. You have to walk around the front of the first seats to get to the sides. No balcony/side seating. Small stage. -vista lounge. Small, dim and low ceiling. Very difficult to maneuver and see the stage. -dining room. Instead of one main, open, grand dining room there are three separate dining rooms. To get to Allegro you have to go up stairs, across and then down. The old, "you can't get there from here" -there are NO STAIRS in the center elevator area. Only the forward and aft. That forces you to find an alternate route or take an elevator in that area. Also, one call button doesn't signal all the elevators. You have to push one on each side and in the middle to call for all elevators. -internet area was small, poorly staffed and always had a line. Very cramped. I honestly don't know how wheelchair bound people got around the ship. Summary: I will never sail on the Royal Princess again (or the Regal since it is a similar design). I MAY sail Princess, but I'll stick with a different class of ships. I have learned my lesson: investigate balcony sizing and ship layouts (spa/fitness center) carefully- don't rely on pictures.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
After doing my research on the Royal, it seemed that most of the reviews picked on the same complaints, which should say something, so when the opportunity presented itself to cruise this year, port convenience, cost and itinerary ... Read More
After doing my research on the Royal, it seemed that most of the reviews picked on the same complaints, which should say something, so when the opportunity presented itself to cruise this year, port convenience, cost and itinerary prevailed. Using the reviews as a guide, I had to see for myself, if in fact these issues mentioned excessively, were indeed as big an issue as it seemed. Embarkation--With the overwhelming numbers of platnium and elite passengers, the BVE, and private events, it now seems to take forever for the lesser traveled passengers to be able to board. It seems like we are not as "valued" a guest as the others of "status" There has to be a better way. Just let me touch on the issues that prevailed, first, NO CENTER STAIRWELL---OK everyone, Princess built the ship and did not feel that a full set of stairs was a nessary, so, now, we have an elevator issue, They could be slow(er) at some times, yes, you had to actually push two call buttons, because they had separate systems, I really do not see that as a problem, you can push one button, you can push two. They weren't that far apart. In my twenty five years of cruising, last six on Princess, I have never see the stairways clogged with people, going in either direction, its the rare occasion, that I did run into somone useing the stairs. Most of the time elevators were quick and efficient. Second--Size of cabins/bathrooms/balconies. This is a cruise ship. When building, most cabins are of modular types and just fit together like a puzzle. There is only so much space. I came to the conclusion that most people are comparing the cabins to their homes. If you live in a house with six bedrooms, three of those with ensuites, nine bathrooms, formal living, dining rooms, casual rooms, five car garages, patios to entertain 100's. For sure you are going to find the cabins extremely small, and the balcony unusable for what you are used too. I for one live in a very small apartment, with extrememly limited space, and therefore find the cabins quite comfortable, and balcony a godsend for fresh air and sunshine. The bathrooms are there for one purpose, thats it!! I also can agree that that "splash pad" "light show" area is a waste of space, would make better use if whole center was a pool area, with the number of passengers onboard, sea days the pool(s), including the adult pool forward, were extremely crowded to the size of them. My experiences in the dining room seems to be a bit different that most, all the times I went to the dining room for anytime, service was horrible. There was a disconnect between waiter, guest, co waiter, kitchen. I asked for more water twice during my meal, and never got it. Food was limited in selections, buffet had a better offering. To sum it up, the Royal has everthing all other ships have, maybe in different places or sizes, its clean, bright and most enjoyable for ones' long awaited vacation.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Went on the Royal Princess from New York to Ft Lauderdale, have sailed with Princess 23 times. Our son and 4 year old granddaughter came and she had a blast in the kids club, she would have stayed there all day if we had let her. Food very ... Read More
Went on the Royal Princess from New York to Ft Lauderdale, have sailed with Princess 23 times. Our son and 4 year old granddaughter came and she had a blast in the kids club, she would have stayed there all day if we had let her. Food very good as usual staff very attentive and friendly, especially with a young child they spoiled her. The ship is beautiful, just a few set backs with the fact that there are not stairs at the centre elevators but they are there and we heard that they are going to finish them and open them up at the next refit, also that they are going to put the square pool back in the back. They have a new bogo in Crooners between 3pm - 4pm and again at 11pm till midnight, so you buy a drink and get the same drink free, what ever is on the drink list at Crooners, lots of people were drinking Martini's. Will sail on her again in the future, we really enjoy Princess over the other's that we have tried good mix of ages good shows, food is good and like the layout of the ships, really good loyalty program also. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We like sea days and this trip was 6 days at sea out of 10 ending in Fort Lauderdale. The Royal is a beautiful ship the Piazza is awesome. Now the Horizon Court is just wonderful except finding all the variety of foods each night. We never ... Read More
We like sea days and this trip was 6 days at sea out of 10 ending in Fort Lauderdale. The Royal is a beautiful ship the Piazza is awesome. Now the Horizon Court is just wonderful except finding all the variety of foods each night. We never had to wait for a table and I never saw it full. The bakery there was too tempting. Breakfast in Horizon was good the bacon was CRISP but I never found eggs Benedict. We enjoyed the Crab Shack one night. They take a area of the Cafe Carib (Horizon) and make a seperate restaurant out of it. The food there was wonderful and we had crab legs left over. There is a $20 charge per person for this treat. We like to dance and the only dance venue other than the late night club was in the Piazza. I like to dance but having 3 floors of watchers was a little uncomfortable. They really do use the Piazza for lots of venues. The Princess Theater was beautiful and hugh what else could it be. Never saw it totally full and this was a full ship. We enjoyed the difference from all the other ships in the Princess fleet. But have to say I do like the others maybe better. Never used the Princess live. They hosted game shows there but we never made one. They have a great addition for adults only pools.It is called the Retreat and it is just before the Sanctuary on the Sun deck. All in all I liked the Royal but would not book a cruse just because it was on the Royal. I like all the Princess ships. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Overall we loved the Royal Princess. I actually love the new set up. The lack of promenade deck is made up for by the really nice sports deck and walking/running track. The lack of center stairwell was probably the most disappointing, but ... Read More
Overall we loved the Royal Princess. I actually love the new set up. The lack of promenade deck is made up for by the really nice sports deck and walking/running track. The lack of center stairwell was probably the most disappointing, but only in that the elevators were often more crowded than normal...it didn't seem to matter which bank of elevators we used, at peak times they were crowded. However, this was not a deal breaker for me and I would not hesitate to sail the Royal Princess again. We had very good service everywhere we went and the crew were pleasant, even when under fire from a handful of disgruntled people. There are a few kinks that I think will be ironed out as she ages...there were some issues with ezCheck, but in the end it worked perfectly for us. Embarkation was a little confusing, but leaving the ship wasn't too bad. Read Less
Sail Date October 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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