1 Princess Royal Princess Cruise Reviews for Fitness Cruises to Canada & New England from New York (Brooklyn, Red Hook)

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
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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