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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Last minute "Drop & Go" getaway from cool Florida weather. We were assigned a Deluxe Balcony room as our usual choice of a mini-suite was sold-out. For a ten-day Caribbean cruise, the room was adequate, with a small ... Read More
Last minute "Drop & Go" getaway from cool Florida weather. We were assigned a Deluxe Balcony room as our usual choice of a mini-suite was sold-out. For a ten-day Caribbean cruise, the room was adequate, with a small couch, but we missed the additional storage capability of the minis. The first day, our stop at Princess Cay was wisely aborted by Captain Nick Nash (our current fave) due to very windy conditions and rolling seas. We watched the tender rocking during the test launch and quickly decided to stay onboard before Captain Nash's announcement. So off we went. We loved the itinerary: St. Thomas, Martinique, Grenada, Bonaire, and our favorite island Aruba. The weather was wonderful in all ports. The ship, which we were very familiar with from previous sailings, was beautiful with little sign of wear and tear. The consist was all adults save for two (2) children we barely noticed. Dining was terrific throughout the entire cruise. We ate in the Symphony ATD and we requested and was given a regular 7:30pm table for two. We enjoyed the guests at the adjoining table - eventually a couple reserved that table as well and we had a fun and friendly conversation each night. Service in the DR, unfortunately, was inconsistent but this did not significantly diminish our experience. The food was excellent in the MDR. We had our traditional Prime Rib for night 1 delivered exactly as ordered, followed (not in order) by fish entrees, veal, duck, pork, and other beef selections -all terrific. Included were two or three Curtis Stone entrees - notable the Seafood Stew and the Pork Belly, both were very good. Look for the Norman Love Chocolate Journey desserts offered a few times during the cruise - incredible! Some last words about MDR dining: for those who complain about this venue, where do you all eat every night on land? Tablecloth tables, reset silverware, attentive non-intrusive service, and well-presented gourmet quality dishes - that's only a very special occasion dinner for us and usually a $150-$200 check to go with it. We found the MDR dining to be a primary value point for us on this cruise. We purchased the Gold 10 wine card but were disappointed that a listed Chablis was not available in the DR, but was in the Vines and Crooners Bar. We urge Princess to reevaluate their wine program to allow a wine card to be used in other venues and not just the DR. There's a new wine list, easy to navigate, with a few new selections including Chateau Lafite Rothschild 2010 & 2012 at $ 1,600 or a Chateau Petrus at $5,288. Me thinks Princess would be better served by adding some less expensive Bordeaux and other labels that may actually sell. Let's face it: If I could afford a $5,000 bottle of wine onboard, I wouldn't be on Princess. That said, the Gold Card program (average of $30/per bottle - choose up to $45, pay any difference above $45) worked well for us. We ate in the Crown Grill one night - we both wanted the Veal Chop. A rather indifferent waiter actually tried to talk us out of that choice. We found his demeanor odd for Princess - he was fixated on the percentage of meat to fat on the chop. The Veal chop btw, was excellent and had little fat content. We had the nice Silverado Cab with our meal there served in a very nice Silverado balloon glass. We only used the Horizon buffet twice, both times offered plenty of good choices. We think the back open deck is one of the best areas on the Royal. Also visited Alfredo's for a lunch - very, very good. The personal-sized pizzas at Alfredo's are far better than what's available at the pool deck. The much-discussed pool deck pizza has indeed changed but not for the better. While it wasn't awful, I can't imagine why Princess would change what was a winning and distinguishing formula if not to eventually discontinue or charge for the service. We understand Celebrity did this with their poolside hamburgers. Entertainment was a mixed bag. We missed the production shows but had seen them all before. We did not catch any main theater performers either. The Princess entertainment formula is pretty consistent these days: a singer/pianist for the Crooner Bar (Perry Grant), a party band (Rhapsody), a string quartet (missing, but they had a terrific violinist with his band on), a lounge band (Topaz), and a guitarist (Tony Delaney - he did a Bob Dylan set the last day). A steel drum player, excellent one at that, also performed. The fine ship's orchestra, led by the inimitable and irrepressible Gordon of model train fame were fabulous. We saw them do a trimmed down "Jazz Cats" show at the Wheelhouse a couple of nights and they also fronted the World Orchestra show in the Atrium near the end of the cruise. Top flight musicians - all of them. For the record, the Jazz Cats are: Gordon on sax and flute, Chris on trombone, trumpet, and flugelhorn, Ian on Piano, and the terrific Patrick, late of the Syracuse Symphony on drums. Riley, the fine orchestra guitarist, also performed solo for a couple of gigs and was excellent. We enjoyed conversing with the musicians and learning about why they continue to perform on cruises (gigs for real musicians are few and far between on land). The performers put on a fine Ye Olde Pub Night show in the Vista Lounge one night which we thoroughly enjoyed. Afterwards, the jolly, sotted policeman from the show stripped off his costume and took us upstairs to the 19th deck (putting green) for a Star-gazing event. He was very knowledgeable about such matters but the cloudy conditions somewhat foiled his efforts. Still, lots of fun! On the subject, new to us was the Retreat Pool area becoming the Retreat Lounge one evening and hosting the ever-popular BOGO (+$1) late night event. This is a brilliant idea - the lounge is reset with couches and nice lighting under balmy Caribbean skies. A full moon shown down. Cognacs were ordered. Everything was cool - until DJ Q showed up and forgot that the volume was on 11. Not to knock the estimable Mr. Q, but the Retreat Lounge vibe is not a Brooklyn disco circa 1977. On that topic, we heard more disco on this cruise then we did in the 70's - and for us, that's not a good thing. Anyway, we had to retreat from the Retreat Lounge to fend off hearing loss and a headache. We later told Gordon that the Jazz Cats would have been just splendid up there. DJ Q totally misread the vibe. I suppose disco is progress of a sort since in our early cruising life we had to deal with WW2-era music ad infinitum! We did not notice any aggressive selling onboard for this cruise. We thought staff was considerably off in numbers from past years. Still the staff were in fine form throughout the cruise. Our stateroom steward, Nat from Thailand, was excellent. We're back on in 60+ days for the crossing and the British Isles initial cruise for the season. We look forward to it! Great job, Royal Princess, and deserving of five stars for this cruise despite a few quibles. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We are Elite members of Princess Loyalty so normally we pick Princess out of Ft. Lauderdale. We have been on the Regal many times, however each time we feel the service and quality of food and entertainment is not as good as it was when ... Read More
We are Elite members of Princess Loyalty so normally we pick Princess out of Ft. Lauderdale. We have been on the Regal many times, however each time we feel the service and quality of food and entertainment is not as good as it was when the ship first came out a few years ago. They have decreased the wait staff in the dining rooms and Anytime Dining is not any time. If you want to make a reservation, there are only three (3) times available: early or late. You can stand in line and get a reservation buzzer that will tell you when a table is available, however every time we were notified and were walked to our table, there were a lot of tables that were empty but had not been remade. The waiter has to remake his tables along with serving the seated guests in his area. One night, the Head Waiter pulled out waiter aside to remake three (3) large tables, meanwhile we sat and waited for him to bring our food from the kitchen. The first two nights it took 2 hours once we were seated to be served food and dessert. Thus we missed the late show. The same smaller staff is noticeable in the Horizon Buffet area. Also, Princess is the only line in which if you request a balcony room, you only get two (2) chairs to sit on during the cruise inside your room. If you want a sofa, you have to upgrade your room type. The Mini-Suite is nice in that you have a sofa and 2 TVs, however the bathroom is equipped with a tub/shower which is not good for seniors with replaced knees and hips. There is a good chance of a fall as the surface is slippery. The Loyalty cocktail party was great in Club 6, but when we had to move to the Vista Lounge due to a problem with Club 6, it was horrible. The Vista Lounge is the worst designed portion of the ship as the seating is impossible and there is no bar. Took 10 minutes to get our drink each night and the walkway to get the appetizers is dangerous when the ship is moving. The Vista is not a lounge, but a theater and should only be used for that purpose or they need to redesign and put an actual bar in, similar to the Emerald Princess. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Princess Cruises has always offered a spectacular, sensational cruising experience. This cruise, my fifth with them (and I've sailed other lines including Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, and Disney), was smooth from start to finish. The ... Read More
Princess Cruises has always offered a spectacular, sensational cruising experience. This cruise, my fifth with them (and I've sailed other lines including Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, and Disney), was smooth from start to finish. The food was enjoyable, and this included the formal dining rooms - where the wait staff was attentive - as well as the Horizon Court Buffet upstairs and the other casual eateries. The pizza is understandably well-rated, and this included the delicious gluten-free pizza my wife enjoyed once again. To that end, gluten free options on Princess have expanded since our last cruise two years ago. They offered or had available plenty of GF desserts, GF pancakes or toast made-to-order at any meal (including in the buffets), GF fresh-baked muffins (hot!), and a host of other choices in the formal dining rooms for the main courses and appetizers. The excursions and island destinations were also well-selected. We adventured ashore in each port. Shopping, while not a primary goal for us, was abundant in each port. We aimed to find great beaches - and did so. Some of the beaches we visited were truly unique, and recommended by the helpful Excursions staff even when we weren't booking an excursion through Princess. In addition, we took two Princess-managed excursions (an ATV trek in Cozumel, and a hike up Dunn's River Falls through the rushing water in Jamaica). My only comment for improvement with Princess is to review their Guest Services policies. We had an issue with their GS not addressing one of our issues at all promptly (waited over an hour, called multiple times). Perhaps it was an isolated incident, and in the end it did not dampen our amazing experience. As always, our cabin was incredibly clean and well-maintained, the cabin steward was friendly, and knew our names from the first day. The ship's WiFi has been significantly upgraded even since our in-laws were on this ship this past summer, and is lightning-fast for those who want it. The Medallion Net service is also fantastic for keeping up with events, planning your own calendar of must-do's, and generally navigating the ship / keeping up with your Stateroom Account. The entertainment we saw was top-notch, and the movie selections both for Movies Under the Stars and the in-cabin movies excelled. I highly recommend Princess Cruises above the other lines I have experienced. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
I just returned from my first ever cruise on the Regal Princess, sailing out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. We were on board for 7 beautiful days and had a wonderful time. We had great weather and I can't say enough about how wonderful the staff ... Read More
I just returned from my first ever cruise on the Regal Princess, sailing out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. We were on board for 7 beautiful days and had a wonderful time. We had great weather and I can't say enough about how wonderful the staff was to us the entire time we were on board. Embarkation was handled very smoothly and we were able to get to our stateroom quickly and were surprised to see our bags were waiting for us by the door. The staff worked diligently every day to be sure the ship was clean and ready for whatever we wanted to do. We enjoyed the "movies under the stars" as well as the live shows in the Princess Theatre. Enjoyed the wide variety of food on the 16th deck and the fact that food was always available whether we are in the food court, the bistro, the pizza bar, the ice cream and popcorn stand or in one of the many elegant dining rooms. The only down side I experienced with the food was that it never seemed to be hot. I like my hot food hot and my cold food cold. I understand the difficulty of keeping so much food hot since it was served in so many places on the ship. We booked four excursions, three thru the cruise line and one separate excursion company. The glass bottom boat excursion was a disappointment for the money, We didn't see much and the glass in the boat was old and cloudy. Waste of money. The stingray excursion was great although we didn't get in the water. The time we spent on Princess Cays was very enjoyable and the lunch provided by the cruise line was great. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise to princess cay, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. The embarkation was smooth, the food was excellent, and the employees were always cheerful and helpful. We ate one night at the crown grill and had a ... Read More
We thoroughly enjoyed our cruise to princess cay, Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and Cozumel. The embarkation was smooth, the food was excellent, and the employees were always cheerful and helpful. We ate one night at the crown grill and had a superb steak dinner. We also enjoyed having several breakfasts in Sabatinis. It was nice to have a sit down breakfast with a waiter.. We also joined the chefs table dinner one night. If you can afford to splurge, the chefs table dinner is superb! Caribe deck, room 738. The suite was nice and spacious. The balcony is fairly narrow and the room layout is a little ackward. But overall, it was a nice cabin. The steward,Wilson, was available to help as needed. The entertainment in the main theatre was good but getting a seat required arriving at least 20 minutes early so plan accordingly. The comedian was really good! Enjoy! Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
This was our fourth cruise and all with Princess. In a sense we are newbies I suppose, but we have been pleased with Princess and see no reason to go elsewhere. Stayed at the SpringHill Suites. Stay was fine but the shuttle to cruise ... Read More
This was our fourth cruise and all with Princess. In a sense we are newbies I suppose, but we have been pleased with Princess and see no reason to go elsewhere. Stayed at the SpringHill Suites. Stay was fine but the shuttle to cruise port was terrible. In the past they offered free shuttle and arrived within 20min by a van shuttle. This time we were charged $10/pp and in a larger bus it took 1 1/2hrs...unacceptable and most likely will not book there again. Love the Regal Princess. Embarkation was flawless and fast. My wife’s sister and her husband are platinum and were able to board a bit earlier. They were able to book the Sanctuary. SHIP- The Regal and her sister Royal are beautiful. They are large and hold a large number of guests, 3,560. We all found ourselves saying (other than elevators after muster) we never felt the ship crowded. It was always clean and well kept up. SANCTUARY- We love the Sanctuary and enjoy the peace and quiet it offers. The staff is amazing and treats us like royalty. Hats off to Maktum who served us daily and saw to our every need. DINNING- did the buffet the first day and was as expected....crowded, mass rush for food, and hard to find seating. But typical for first day. Food was good, a good variety, but hard to get what you wanted with the crowd. We mostly visited the Symphony DR and were always pleased with the service, selection and quality. We’d eat as a group of six and never really heard a complaint. We’d also do breakfast in the Symphony DR. We did receive a free up charge to eat at Crown. It was fabulous and the waiters were top notch. I’d pay the up charge for the experience again. PORTS Princess Cay... we have never been to Princess Cays and it was nice to catch a tender and walk the beach and grab a bite to eat. The food was just so-so. We were not on long. Next time we’d bring our snorkel gear and hang a little longer. Falmouth, Jamaica... we only went ashore to check out the port and walk a little. The port area is very nice. Once we got through the gate toward town we were hounded by sales of tours and any items you could imagine. There was a lot of police presence there and the farther we walked into town the sketchier it became. We had had enough of the folks approaching us with sales so we just headed back. Grand Cayman... through Princess we did the Stingray Encounter, turtle farm, and Hell excursion. It was a blast and would recommend it. The guys for our Stingray Encounter were faboulous. They would bring the stingrays up and allow us to hold and feed them. Very gentle creatures. Cozumel... through Princess we did the Chocolate Seaside Workshop, Tasting, and Wine Pairing. Nice shorter excursion. Very well done and informative and the wine pairing was very interesting. ENTERTAINMENT- we tried to catch the 10:00pm show nightly and really enjoyed every performance. Also enjoyed other entertainment throughout the ship. After our fourth cruise we feel we are settling into the idea of cruising and have another Princess cruise set for the end of the year on the Coral for a 15 day Panama Canal cruise. We do recommend Princess and if you can try to book on the Regal or Royal...they are beautiful. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
We had been to all these ports before - we went to get out of the cold and be warm for a week. We had been on the Regal 2 years ago, so it very familiar. Embarkation and disembarkation were flawless. The staff were very good and were ... Read More
We had been to all these ports before - we went to get out of the cold and be warm for a week. We had been on the Regal 2 years ago, so it very familiar. Embarkation and disembarkation were flawless. The staff were very good and were not intrusive. The food remains very good - the best of all the cruise lines we have been on. The activities were geared to our age group. The ship entertainers were average. We had a larger balcony room and enjoyed the extra space. We love that this ship has on-demand movies and shows in the cabins. The casino was a hit, even though I just broke even. We enjoyed all the Canadians on this cruise as they are so friendly and easy to get along with. We had a great time and overall everything went well. We will continue to be Princess cruisers Read Less
Sail Date: January 2018
Cruise was great! Embarkation/disembarkation from Port Everglades was the best we have ever experienced. Fast and effiecient. Food was excellent! Never had a bad meal. There were always seats available to eat in the Horizon Court, and ... Read More
Cruise was great! Embarkation/disembarkation from Port Everglades was the best we have ever experienced. Fast and effiecient. Food was excellent! Never had a bad meal. There were always seats available to eat in the Horizon Court, and even when it was busier, we sat outside aft in the warmth! Our cabin (E719) was good, no complaints, other than the bathroom being a bit small (2 of us couldn't be there at the sink at the same time) but the shower was a good size. Our cabin attendant was EXCELLENT! When leaving the cabin to go for breakfast, our room was made up within the 20 minutes we were gone! Always kept the ice bucket filled and in the fridge (as requested on first day) ! Entertainment was good, productions shows great!! Service was always A+, although we had anytime dining, and we did have a couple of slow nights at dinner. The staff in the Horizon Court were excellent! Never had to look for someone to get beverages, etc. They were very attentive, friendly and efficient. The enrichment activities seemed to be pushed towards shopping and not the port itself. Can't wait to get cruising again! Summer 2019 Alaska!! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
Having traveled a number of years ago on Emerald Princess, I was keen to try out this much larger ship. It is interesting that from the outside, it does look a bit like a multi-storey car park, but once inside it is very easy to navigate ... Read More
Having traveled a number of years ago on Emerald Princess, I was keen to try out this much larger ship. It is interesting that from the outside, it does look a bit like a multi-storey car park, but once inside it is very easy to navigate and it takes no time at all to become familiar with the public spaces. We had deluxe balcony cabin M510 on deck 15. Well appointed and spacious, excellent functional bathroom and plenty of storage space. Cabin sound insulation excellent too. What I enjoy most about Princess are the informality and easiness, but the excellent quality of service and food & wine.All of the staff we came into contact with were delightful, very polite and helpful. Food in all areas was exceptional, especially the Crown Grill which is WELL worth the 29 dollar supplement.The enclave in the Lotus Spa is a wonderful place to relax and was certainly worth the 199 dollars for ten days. All in all, a lovely ship, with a lovely relaxed vibe and excellent customer service. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2018
Sailed from 1/19-1/29. This was my first time on the Royal. While it was a beautiful ship with great service, there were a few things I didn't care for. I love pools. For a ship of this size, they needed a few more. You couldn't swim ... Read More
Sailed from 1/19-1/29. This was my first time on the Royal. While it was a beautiful ship with great service, there were a few things I didn't care for. I love pools. For a ship of this size, they needed a few more. You couldn't swim since it was full of people just standing in it. Maybe if they had one just for people who wanted to do laps? I also despised the Princess Live venue. We went to one event in there due to the seating. All of the events in there could have been handled better in the the bar at the back of the ship that was empty most of the time. I'm glad I changed my cabin from M101 to a Mini suite on the Aloha as this cruise was very windy. I don't think i would have gotten much use out of the balcony at the front. I loved my cabin A526 and my steward Prachack was wonderful. We ate in the Allegro every night but 2 at 8:15. Ferdinand was our waiter and Marjita (sp?) was his helper. They were both wonderful, we even got some video with them the last night as we serenaded the room (I'm sure they loved it) with the theme from The Love Boat. We skipped the first formal night since there was football on MUTS (we lost) and went to the Crown Grill on another night. Everyone who said to eat a light lunch that day was right...so much food. One of the best filets that I've ever eaten. The only paid excursion we did was a 4 hour catamaran ride in St. Lucia and it was good. They didn't advertise the free rum punches so that was a nice surprise. And homemade tuna and egg salad sandwiches. In St. Kitts we went to the Carambola Beach Club. $30 for 2 chairs and an umbrella. Nice beach. I recommend the water taxi even if it's a few dollars more than a shuttle. In Antigua and Barbados we just wandered, took pictures and had good local food. St. Thomas is still showing hurricane damage, Paradise Point is still closed and doesn't look like it will be opening any time soon. Found my Bushwhacker at the Rum Hut. We missed Grand Turk due to weather. All in all, a very lovely cruise but next time I'm back on a smaller ship. Read Less
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