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166 Princess New York (Brooklyn, Red Hook) 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
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
Actually, we just wanted peace and quiet. We only had three stops and it was a nice change, not having to get up early and get off the boat to have a day full of go go go. It was very relaxing. If you just need time to totally unwind, this ... Read More
Actually, we just wanted peace and quiet. We only had three stops and it was a nice change, not having to get up early and get off the boat to have a day full of go go go. It was very relaxing. If you just need time to totally unwind, this is a great way to do it. We had no set plans, entertainment was good, dining was good (our waiters were very attentive to our needs), we ate at the buffet most of our lunches (food was good there too). Our evenings were spent playing table games in the casino after we went to the show. There was always something to do during the day if we wanted to be busy. We traveled with another couple that were looking for the same kind of "down time". Three ports were plenty for us, and each port was pleasant. Bonaire was the most friendly. There was plenty of nice shopping there as well. The only disappointment of the ship...no saunas unless you paid extra for that package. Very bad for the new Regal ship. We will probably not book on this ship again because of that. The fitness room is on one end and the spa is on the other end of the ship. Definite error on the design of this beautiful ship. We enjoy working out, then relaxing in the sauna. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I recently returned from the 10 night Princess Regal repositioning cruise from New York to the Caribbean and ending in Ft. Lauderdale. We took this identical cruise on the same ship in 2015 and after sailing over 35 cruises, we thought ... Read More
I recently returned from the 10 night Princess Regal repositioning cruise from New York to the Caribbean and ending in Ft. Lauderdale. We took this identical cruise on the same ship in 2015 and after sailing over 35 cruises, we thought this was one of the best we had ever done. We were excited to do it again in 2016. Unfortunately, there were some clear downhill differences. The ports of St Martin, Antigua, and Bonaire leave much to be desired as all three are practically the same sleepy islands. By changing one port to something with a little more to do (such as St. Thomas or Aruba) would go a long way in not being less monotonous. The food went from a 9+ last year to a 4+ this year. While there was certainly plenty of food to be had (and a buffet with a large variety) nothing seemed to have any flavor. Everything was so bland and without flavor I would often have no idea what I was eating unless I was told. Also, the dining room menu did not offer the extensive variety as the year prior. It was just not to standard we expected or experienced prior from Princess. While the majority of the staff is absolutely wonderful, I don't know if there were a lot of new employees that had recently started because on three occasions I asked a question of a dining staff and they didn't speak English well enough to understand and answer. Twice they had to get someone else to help. The evening show entertainment is top notch. Their shows Bravo, Fiera, and The Voice at Sea are the best of the best. They were truly spectacular (though sadly heard that the following cruise was going to be the end of those particular shows). Besides those shows, there was a miss on the rest of the activities. This cruise has 7 out of 10 days at sea and the lack of activities or anything cultural was a blatant miss. I heard many others also complain that the only activities seemed to do with a beauty service to sell you something. The band they had as their Caribbean music group (Xcite) was about 4 notches down from last year's entertainment. I traveled with my mom and was in a handicap balcony cabin. The cabin was plenty spacious and other than a lack of shelving the bathroom was perfect. My cabin steward James was fabulous and one of the best I've ever had. I may try this repositioning cruise one more time. I did love the fact that this was like an active 55+ community with hardly any children. If they hire a new chef, offer better daily activities (other than art auction, bingo, and pushing spa services) it could be back to a 9 or 10. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
NYC to FLL via Regal Princess - with 2 pre-cruise nights in NYC. We were on the very, very early morning flight from Edmonton to Toronto to Laguardia Airport. Perfect flights, connections and timing with Air Canada. Can't say enough ... Read More
NYC to FLL via Regal Princess - with 2 pre-cruise nights in NYC. We were on the very, very early morning flight from Edmonton to Toronto to Laguardia Airport. Perfect flights, connections and timing with Air Canada. Can't say enough good about the fine help and signage at YYZ airport. Security and US Customs both quick, cheerful and top notch. Arrival at LaGuardia exactly on time and as great luck would have it, ours was the VERY first luggage off! We called an UBER who was there literally within 5 min which was another miracle considering LGA traffic! Further Heavy traffic meant a one hour drive to Manhattan but we didn't care being Uber isn't based on time. We considered it to be a New York tour! $34.16 US. EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE. Our hotel, The French Quarters, is very highly rated on TripAdvisor for good reason. Let's say "we are thrilled". The big thick towels and Keurig machine are great touches at this point in a travel day! Supper at the restaurant right here - Bourbon Street Grill - also excellent. $45 for 1 drink, 1 grilled chicken wrap, and 1 pulled pork sandwich. Huge portions and delicious- we could easily have shared one meal. Ambiance fantastic. The nearby streets are lined with great looking Bistros, of all persuasions. We could stay here a month and just eat! After Diner, we walked to Winter Gardens where we had prebooked tickets to the musical "School of Rock." I booked great seats B 104 and 103 a few days ahead. Very expensive and a real indulgence! The walk was a casual 15 min - easy peasy. The show is excellent due to the awesome cast of 18 children and adults too of course. The story itself, follows the book/movie to a T. After the show, we walked back and felt perfectly safe. Our hotel room, though right facing the street, still allowed for a good night and a sleep in! Unheard of for me. In fact we almost missed breakfast !! Breakfast here at The French Quarters is a simple little buffet, but perfect - yoghurt, boiled egg, cereal and fruit. And of course coffee and juices. The sunroom, where this mini buffet is, though quaint and ambient was freezing! I expect that in the summer it's sweltering! We enjoyed every minute of this lovely gem of a guesthouse. Let's keep it our little secret! Our New York Day was also FREEZING....and I say that as an Albertan who was wearing her down winter coat! I had tossed in gloves "just in case". Thank goodness but ....my warm hats are all at home. Shoot!!! We wandered about Times Square, shared a salad at Bubba Gumps and decided on last minute matinee tickets for BEAUTIFUL which is the story of Carol King's life. Having owned her 8 track, cassette tape, CD and now we both have her music on our phones, we thought this a good bet. Last minute bargain tickets were great but we were a bit disappointed in the show itself. A lot - the majority of the songs - were ones she had written but not performed herself. Rather they were performed by the Drifters and others. Certainly part of her story, but simply not our taste. Also the Sondheim theatre is perishing cold with uncomfortable seats! Not a patch on Winter Gardens which is gorgeous! Glad we went though - just one of those "once in a lifetime" things! We enjoyed a little more browsing Times Square after the musical but the cold certainly sped up our walk back to The French Quarters! Popped in to Walgreens - have never seen such costly toiletries in my life!!!! Stupid us - who would wait til Times Square to buy their mouthwash??!! Dinner back at French Quarters seemed like a warm and comfortable idea which it was indeed - a great repeat of last night's good food and service! Awesome to be cozy back in our adorable room, with its hot water and huge screen tv. Prince Michael settled into an Islanders vs Boston hockey game which he's wishing he'd bought tickets for! There were 3 NHL games on within an hour. Aargh- blew that! Well today was the exciting boarding day which doesnt grow old. After a second great night at French Quarters (and btw, I'll never stay anywhere else in NYC!), and a second perfect breakfast, we called another UBER who was there in four minutes! Yes, four minutes in New York City. Am I sold on uber or what!? It was a 54 minute trip for $38.51 Traffic was crazy - took that long to go 9.6 miles! However, once at the port, I've never been whisked thru the security and check in process so quickly. The Brooklyn Red Hook staff have A LOT to learn about pleasantries, but we'll get lots of smiles and politeness on the ship. So for now we bit our tongues and followed their barking orders, glad at least for their efficiency! Boarding started at noon with the usual stampede. Excellent to see some familiar faces as we embarked! Flor from Mexico waiting for us in the International Cafe and Ivan from Serbia smoothing the way to our perfect time and table in the dining room where Ana looks after us. Our STATEROOM - Emerald deck 08 room 623. Balcony is a good size with lots of room for the two chairs and a little table. However it is a Fully Obstructed Balcony room. We were very curious as to what that would look like? To sum up, our opinion is that we'd happily book this room again as the $$ savings were significant enough to pay for our two luxury days in NYC. Plus it is right across from the laundry room. I had a big load washed and dried before we even set sail! We get free "send away" laundry as we're elite status but.... sometimes you want your stuff back sooner than three days! I did hear one lady furious about having a tender outside her balcony. She is yet another case of not paying attention to what YOUVE booked. She's likely the one with the "wrong" dining time too! I think that the PORT OF NYC-Red Hook, and Quebec City offer the most beautiful sail a ways. Vancouver comes in a very close three way tie! Sadly it was raining today so sail away wasn't as lovely as it can been. We could see lady liberty from our quote fully obstructed balcony unquote no problem though. Also governors island was particularly nice in it's fall colours. DINING ROOM - Anytime Symphony ... We prefer a fixed time so choose a table for two and waiter which will work after we board the ship and see how the first night goes. Yummy yummy to start the dining experience with those amazing crispy spring rolls, and wind up with hazelnut chocolate soufflé. Life could be worse! We wandered around the music venues and beautiful ship. The welcome aboard show doesn't hold appeal when you've just seen two Broadway shows!! Must settle in for a relaxing day at sea coming up!!! It feels good to unpack, knowing it's for 10 days! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My wife & I chose this particular transitional cruise because it left from our home port of NYC to the Caribbean, because it was fairly reasonable & it avoided flying both ways from it's final port of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. ... Read More
My wife & I chose this particular transitional cruise because it left from our home port of NYC to the Caribbean, because it was fairly reasonable & it avoided flying both ways from it's final port of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Since we had been on 6 previous Princess cruises, but none since 2011 & the ship, Regal Princess, was only two years old, we expected to have the latest in ship accommodations, but were disappointed in some of them! Firstly, the ship had some of the smallest cabins that I have ever seen in my 54 cruises! Secondly, the ship did not have a covered pool, but the picture that I saw of it,before booking, seemed to have one! This caused us not to be able to use the pool or hot tubs for nearly a week, since it rained for the first six days or so. The ship's interior, although beautiful, seemed dated already, having few large open areas, but rather being compartmentalized, causing one to possibly miss one! The entertainment was top notch, however, & varied enough to please everyone. However, the noise level at some of the events was ear splitting. Lastly, the food at all the venues was excellent & didn't repeat itself too much, except at breakfast, which was understandable. For the money,( I got an insider price of $499. per person for platinum members) was good, but if I had paid $999, per person, as originally suggested, i would have felt cheated! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise to visit some islands we had not been to, and to snorkel their reefs. This was our first Princess cruise and our first 10 day cruise. The embarkation process was a breeze, and we went directly to lunch and ... Read More
We chose this cruise to visit some islands we had not been to, and to snorkel their reefs. This was our first Princess cruise and our first 10 day cruise. The embarkation process was a breeze, and we went directly to lunch and immediately met interesting people. This was repeated at nearly every meal. The food was excellent, but my wife wanted more choices. The cruise staff was also excellent: funny and engaging, yet there needed to be more activities (like dancing, etc.) as there were so many sea days. The activities that existed were made fun by the staff and their personalities. The stage shows were very good, as was showing the World Series games and the Halloween party. I enjoyed Alfredo's (although the service could improve) and the Cafe and other food venues. The cafe could use regular coffee and tea, so that you wouldn't have to go all the way up to the bistro. The ship is gorgeous and well designed and decorated, but there are several dead ends and flow problems getting to certain areas. It was easy to get disoriented and I heard this complaint from several guests who had been on these ships many times. The public areas were beautiful, as was much of the music, although more of it would be better. The snorkeling trips (Antigua and Bonaire) were well organized, beautiful, and the crew made the trips more fun than anticipated. These vendors should be commended. The cabin was spacious, well-designed, with plenty of storage. The steward had the cabin returned to perfect condition every (and I mean every) time we returned. The disembarkation was well-organized and easy. We had an early flight, and we walked off, went right through customs, and out to a taxi with barely any line to slow us down. The Princess staff could not have been more helpful in directing us. I would travel on Princess again as the overall experience was wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I am Elite on Princess and I absolutely love this cruise and have done this itinerary 6 times, and have already booked next year's. There is a large group (growing larger each year) who make a point to take this cruise. We met on ... Read More
I am Elite on Princess and I absolutely love this cruise and have done this itinerary 6 times, and have already booked next year's. There is a large group (growing larger each year) who make a point to take this cruise. We met on Cruise Critic and have formed close and lasting friendships. We plan many activities, from dinners together, to excursions, and a real celebration on Halloween. This year we started by meeting in the Piazza (a modern day marvel) in costume, and walked into the anytime dining room (we had made arrangements first because there were over 100 of us). We were warmly greeted. At 9:00 pm we all met in the Piazza and commenced a flash mob dance (still in costume) to Happy. One of our roll call members had choreographed it and we ran through it the day before. Very well received and filmed by the ship's videographer. We then went on deck for the Halloween Deck party. For the last 2 years Princess assigned our roll call our own videographer and she travelled with us on excursions, dinners, Halloween, etc. They prepared a special Cruise Critic DVD of our cruise and had a private screening for us the last sea day. I can't say enough good things about the way Cruise Critic is treated by Princess. We have a couple of members who do the bulk of the work contacting the corporate headquarters to make arrangements for various things, and they are always received warmly and professionally. Heck, we had almost 200 at our Meet and Greet and several officers attended. As for the ship, I can't say enough good things about her, and her crew. The Cruise Director, Martyn Moss, and his staff were top notch and the programs they offered were amazing. I only went to a couple of shows, but what I saw was outstanding and very entertaining. Very professional singers and dancers. And the stage is a modern miracle. Food - well presented and very well done. Everything from the mind-blowing buffet to the Crown Grill and everything in-between, is memorable and begs you to come back. We did the Crab Shack one night ($29.00 upcharge, as are all of the specialty venues). The food was excellent. I'm from the Jersey Shore and really appreciate great seafood. I wish they had kept the price at $20.00 (since we already pay for our food in our fare) because raising the fees up 33% was a very hefty increase. I've been to these islands several times, so I did no excursions. I wandered around and shopped a bit. We stopped at Antigua (one of my favorites) and it was their Independence Day so many of the shops by the ship were closed and almost none were open in town. We also stopped in Bonaire and St. Maarten. Both lovely islands. We had a lot of rain, both at sea and on the islands, but that didn't interfere with my enjoyment. We docked in Ft. Lauderdale on a Sunday and decided to spend an extra night there, as airfares were very high on Sunday. I love adding a day to an already incredible vacation. Are there a few things I'd like to see changed? Of course, but I do not let that spoil all of the positives. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We live in upstate NY, so embarking in Brooklyn, NY was fantastic. They made us VIP so we got on the boat in a breeze. The Regal Princess is a very nice ship, but I think most cruise ships are nice. We wanted a longer cruise that you ... Read More
We live in upstate NY, so embarking in Brooklyn, NY was fantastic. They made us VIP so we got on the boat in a breeze. The Regal Princess is a very nice ship, but I think most cruise ships are nice. We wanted a longer cruise that you didn't hop on, and hop off the boat every day to explore an island. This cruise seemed to fit that bill. We stayed on the ship a lot longer, and loved it. We didn't do any specialty dining, but spent a lot of time in the casino, which they treated us pretty well. All the food was great on the boat. No complaints. All the servers and room stewards are amazing people. They can't do enough for you. Next time I will buy the coffee card, which was $32, because I found myself buying cappuccino a lot, their specialty coffee is delish. Our room, which was a balcony, was really nice. We are planning on the same cruise next year, definitely. Only negative was Antigua, not a pretty place, kind of seedy. Very very poor. You really need to do an excursion if you go there. I wouldn't do anything on your own there. We're pretty easy to please, we enjoy good food and the casino. Only saw two shows, which were really really good, but did other things on the other evenings. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We went on this cruise two years ago and met some wonderful people. We kept in touch and when they told us they were going again we decided to surprise them. It made for a great time! We love cruising with Princess and we'll be doing ... Read More
We went on this cruise two years ago and met some wonderful people. We kept in touch and when they told us they were going again we decided to surprise them. It made for a great time! We love cruising with Princess and we'll be doing it again I'm sure but this time it was just a little disappointing. First was the dining room staff, service wasn't as good as we had come to expect with Princess, this was our 6th cruise with them. Secondly we got just the slightest feeling that some of the staff members were less than happy to be waiting on us. I wrote it off as just being the way I was perceiving it but it was there none the less. And for the first time I had a problem with another guest that I felt went unresolved. He decided to do cannonballs in the pool on the night when everyone was dressed for Halloween. My wife was wearing a rather expensive dress and after splashing pool water all over us, while we were sitting at one of the Cabanas (we had previously asked if that was OK and were told yes) we complained, first to the guest in question, he responded by doing it two more times, and secondly to the attendant who said "I can't stop him from swimming" even though there were signs everywhere saying "No Jumping or Diving." Princess did clean the dress for us at no charge so that was good but after we told the attendant about it and he said he couldn't help he told us we had to buy a bottle of Champagne to stay at the Cabana, even though that is where they chose to have Happy Hour that night. Princess is a good line to cruise with if you haven't cruised with, let's say Celebrity. If your expectations aren't really high you'll have a good time. Unfortunately when your prices are as good as Princess' you end up with some less than dignified people as your fellow passengers and that can put a damper on your cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We took this re positioning cruise from 10/27-11/6. The Experience was great. From the time we got on until we got off the Princess Company kept the standards high and they did everything they could to give you a great cruise experience. ... Read More
We took this re positioning cruise from 10/27-11/6. The Experience was great. From the time we got on until we got off the Princess Company kept the standards high and they did everything they could to give you a great cruise experience. From the Dining room Matre d to the guy that sweeps the Pool deck, everyone takes pride in what they do, and to make your experience exceptional. We had a balcony B511 on the Baja Deck and we were centrally located on the ship. We heard nothing, We were close to the elevator and the Laundry. The Shows were good but short, 30-35 min. The down side is to get a seat in the theater you needed to be there 40 minutes before the show. They need to fix that. We saw really good shows though. We did not do any shore excursions because of the cost. They are extremely expensive. There is a casino that we do not use the odds are with the house and they win all the time! It is easier not to gamble and shop the Islands. We stopped at St. Martin a great port with great shopping, Bonaire, a beautiful port, and if you are a diver I hear it is a place to go. We loved this small dutch Caribbean town. Friendly , nice people and they want our business. Then we went to Antigua. The town is a toilet! You get harassed by the cab drivers as soon as you clear the gate. They have a lot of stores, but you have to fight your way through the cab drivers to get there. I did not get a very warm or safe feeling in this port. If I were Princess and any other Cruise ships, since I have had this same experience in Antigua before, I would seriously consider changing that port to Aruba or Curacao. I understand they have no control over what goes on in the port but a discussion with the officials may be useful. That is the only negative I had about this wonderful ship and its great Crew. Take a cruise on the Royal princess it is excellent. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Repositioning from NYC to the Caribbean aboard the wonderful Regal Princess Summation – • We had a wonderful repositioning, 10-night cruise from NYC to Ft Lauderdale. Details will be included after the Summation We used: ... Read More
Repositioning from NYC to the Caribbean aboard the wonderful Regal Princess Summation – • We had a wonderful repositioning, 10-night cruise from NYC to Ft Lauderdale. Details will be included after the Summation We used: • Princess EzAir (recommended) • Princess transfer from LaGuardia to the Brooklyn Pier (recommended) • Sailed on the Regal (Stunningly gorgeous) • Our first Repositioning Cruise (awesome) • Booked a bit later (got a great price) • Had a Balcony on the Lido deck (very nice) • Buffet laid out much better than the Ruby Class Ships • Used the gym (very good) • Pools were great (used the Retreat pool mostly) • Didn’t use the Spa • Did go to the Crown Grille (OMG) • Princess EzCheck (disembarkation Air & Luggage service OUTSTANDING!) • Took a taxi from Ft Lauderdale to FLL (no luggage to worry about, - see above - cost $18 w/ tip) Detailed Review – I am 57 and my wife is 55. We are Princess Platinum cruisers and have been on RCCL as well, but like Princess better. We booked the 10 repositioning from NYC to Ft Lauderdale around the beginning of September and got a balcony stateroom for $729 per. I did see prices for $699 but decided not to push things ($73 per person per night for a balcony? Really!) We are from Boston, so I was toying with the idea of saving a few bucks and taking Amtrak to NYC, then flying back from FLL. I checked Kayak and one way was going to be about $530 each. On the advice of my wife, I checked roundtrip using Princess EzAir. We got a round-trip (Bos – LaGuardia, FLL – Bos) for about $350 each (AA, with a connection in DC – Reagan airport). Not knowing the airport, NYC or traffic we got the Princess transfers ($30 each, money well spent). There were Princess representatives at the luggage area awaiting our arrival. After we got our luggage, we were led to the bus. Painless and carefree. There was a bunch of traffic and it took us about 90 minutes to get to the pier. If we got a taxi it would have been much more expensive. Once at the pier, folks were loading our luggage quickly. I found it much better than Port Everglades. The longshoremen in FL seem to be more interested in getting tips than tending to your luggage. In NYC, the guy seemed surprised that when I gave him a few bucks and was thankful rather than entitled (again, these are my impressions). Embarkation – As a point of reference, it was about 1:00 PM. In Port Everglades, this is usually the busiest time. In NYC, the only way to get aboard faster is to stand on a catapult and be launched over the side of the ship. Princess has this down to a science. As Platinum members, we get priority, but the regular line was non-existent as well. We got our cards quickly and were on our way to explore the ship. Cabin – We were on the Lido deck – cabin L119, forward. This was a smaller stateroom in comparison to the Ruby class Balconies. The balcony was shorter as well. There are Deluxe Balconies, maybe those would be a bit bigger. The bed was VERY comfortable. My wife wanted to pack it and bring it home. Our steward was Melissa from the Philippines. She was nice, but seemed to be new. We had an issue with the balcony door, it would stick, when it was closed, I had to lift it and slide it to open it. I told Melissa and she had the repair team there the next day. Another thing about the room was that if you left the balcony door open there was an insane whistle that forced you to shut the door. Walking through the hall, you could easily tell who left their doors open. We love the sound of the ocean at night, but didn’t do so on this cruise. The Lido deck was nice as we were one deck below the Retreat Pool and on the same deck as the main pool. We were also right near the buffet and the elevators down to the International Café. I recommend this location. We hardly had any movement even coming from NYC during the last days of October. Weather – Out of NYC it was drizzling, then it rained for the next 6 days. It didn’t matter, the cruise staff kept us entertained, the cooks kept us full and the ship was amazing. Food – The Regal did this right. Our usual game-plan for food is, we have breakfast in the buffet, lunch is where ever (maybe grab a slice of pizza at the pizzeria if we are at the pool or buffet) and dinner depends upon what they have in the dining room. This cruise was no different, except we had ½ of our dinners in the buffet. Odd for us as we usually like being served and relaxing a bit. The buffet was that good. We’d see what they were having in the dining room, take a look at what was in the buffet and say what the heck this looks good. This gave us plenty of time to make a show, moves-under-the-stars or to get my usual beat down in rummy from my wife. We also stayed in casual dress. My usual routine was to go down for coffee at the International Café before heading down for breakfast, as my wife was getting ready. We get the coffee card and use about ½ the punches during a cruise, so it lasts us two cruises and we get fresh brewed coffee. I’d walk through the pastry line after getting coffee for a pre-breakfast treat. The pastry chef Vladimir would smile and say “Come on I know you want it.” I dropped a $10 in his hand at the end of the cruise, he was awesome. Yup, I fell for his charms each day. Some days the other coffee-fetching husbands and I would enjoy a coffee, then head back to listen to the hum of the blow dryer, others I’d bring my treats back to the room and enjoy the balcony. Breakfast - (the real one, not the pre-breakfast) was at the buffet. There are omelet stations if that’s your thing, but it’s the usual breakfast fare. Also, the layout of the buffet is better on the Regal. We never looked for a seat, walk a bit either way and you’ll find one. Service was always great. These waiters work so hard. Lunch – When it wasn’t raining, we had lunch at the buffet. The Trident Grill and Pizzeria were great options when we were at the pool. Also, Alfredo’s on the 6th deck is outstanding. My wife loved the eggplant rolled up with cheese and angel hair pasta then baked with mozzarella. The pizza was great. Dinner – We had ½ of our dinners at the buffet, we usually have only 1 or 2 there on usual cruises. We had anytime dining and of the dinners we had in the dining room, we never waited for a table. My wife loves lamb. She had various lamb selections at the buffet on 4 occasions. The one night she opted out of lamb was for prime rib, which I stole a taste of (yum). We had the Crown Grille one night. It was great. The service is excellent; the food was even better. It does come with a $29 surcharge but our meal would have cost $200 easy at Morton’s or Capital Grille. My wife got the lamb chops, I had the filet mignon and I added a pair of lobster tails (no extra cost). The Black & Blue soup is so good, it’s sinful. Get the dessert sampler, your belly says “no more”, but your taste buds say “go for it”, then say “ahhh, thanks”. Entertainment – All of the shows we attended were at the very least fun and at the very best great. As I mentioned there were 6 rainy days. The cruise staff went above & beyond to keep us entertained. The Princess Live shows are fun. The Theater has production shows, which were very good. The bars have different folks each night (sometimes steel drums, piano or singers). There are happy-hour specials two times per night (Crooners at 4 and Club 6 at 10). The piazza has something throughout the day. On one night, the Cruise Director Martyn Moss organized a World Symphony, which was nothing short of fantastic. At the end of the performance, he sang a song, then proposed to his girlfriend (a violinist). Any guy who was thinking of proposing on the cruise had to rethink his scheme, Martyn raised the bar so high with that. Not a dry eye in attendance. Internet – we are Platinum so each of us got 120 minutes of free time so we never came close to using them. Keep in mind that the internet goes through a satellite hook up, so it is slower (in some cases much slower) than your land-based internet speed. The gym – I hit the gym on most days. The equipment is good. I spin at home, so I took a chance and brought my spin shoes. All of the spin bikes has the usual spin clips, so it was a good choice. The spin classes are OK, that said I have two excellent spin instructors at home, so anyone else who at least gets me to sweat is OK. They have a couple of Spinning Bikes (with clips) and a couple of cool simulation spin bikes where you can set up a scenario to challenge yourself against other virtual riders. There are the usual weights and a smith machine along with some usual other leg & arm equipment. The Casino – We hit the casino every night, not crazy money, but for fun. Overall we broke even, maybe a couple bucks to the good. Also, we played bingo and we hit for $300, so it was fun. Ports – St Maartin – It was rainy, so we did some shopping. I got a really good price on a watch at Kay’s Jewelers and they replaced a tanzanite stone on my wife’s ring for free (we bought it there 15 years ago). Antigua – It was a holiday, due to their Independence Day, which was exciting. It didn’t rain until later in the day, but it looked like it was going to pour at any moment all day. We shopped and had a few drinks at a local bar. Bonaire - We loved the island, but never did too much sightseeing. We did some shopping, but didn’t book an excursion because they were calling for rain. We got back to the ship early and went to the retreat pool and had an awesome day there. Disembarkation – We received a pamphlet on Princess’s new EzCheck service. For $25 each, they would take our luggage and bring it to FLL, print our boarding passes and if our bags were overweight, we wouldn’t be charged. Not seeing a downside, we opted for it. It was the best $50 I spent. They took our luggage the last night (just be aware that you’ll not see your luggage again until your home airport) and bring it to the airport. We had our carry-ons and that was it. We had a nice breakfast, and then got off the ship. We didn’t have to search for our luggage and breezed through customs, then caught a taxi to FLL. We skipped checking on our luggage and went right to security. Did I say this was the best $50 I spent? All in all, it was the best cruise we’ve had and are thinking of this itinerary aboard the Regal in the future. If anyone has any questions about this itinerary or review, please feel free to send me an email (ditomsween@gmail.com), please ensure to say Princess review in the subject so I won’t think it’s spam and I’ll do what I can to answer your questions. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We booked the Caribbean Islander cruise from New York to enjoy several relaxing days at sea followed by visits to 3 islands before disembarking in Fort Lauderdale. The Regal is an unforgettable ship - the crew, the food, the shows, the ... Read More
We booked the Caribbean Islander cruise from New York to enjoy several relaxing days at sea followed by visits to 3 islands before disembarking in Fort Lauderdale. The Regal is an unforgettable ship - the crew, the food, the shows, the activities, everything about it is top-notch and most enjoyable. Our reason for sailing was to relax and enjoy shipboard life. This we did daily. While the weather did not cooperate enough to enjoy our balcony until we actually got to the Caribbean, our mini suite was a haven. The food options were incredible. We dined few times in the dining room, but also took in the Alfredo's pizzeria, the BBQ, and the fabulous buffet. The Pastry shop is indescribably delicious. We also spent countless hours walking the ship, watching the entertainers and just immersing ourselves in the sheer luxury of the ship and its many treasurer troves - boutiques, art gallery, and the like. An amazing holiday and we did come back renewed. We chose not to take shore excursions in the islands because we have been there so many times. We did take the Fort Lauderdale debark tour of the inland waterways aboard a paddle wheeler. Amazing views of the harbour, the many, many majestic mansions along with an informative dialogue by the crew. Since my return, I have booked to go on another 10 day Caribbean cruise on the Regal December 29th, with my neice, her husband and two great-nieces. I look forward to sharing this amazing ship with them on their first cruise. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Chose this cruise for relaxation and the itinerary. Disappointed in the embarkation procedure, with technology today there should not be a reason to stand in long lines, even with elite status. The ship itself is fairly new, cabins well ... Read More
Chose this cruise for relaxation and the itinerary. Disappointed in the embarkation procedure, with technology today there should not be a reason to stand in long lines, even with elite status. The ship itself is fairly new, cabins well laid out and roomy. The dining started a downward spiral. On a gluten free diet. Their procedure is to have the guest preorder dinner in the dining room a day ahead. Nothing on the menu marked gluten free. Not only that but had a headwaiter come over and in an arrogant tone told me we were holding everything up, even though had told our waiter about the gluten free diet. Complained to the maitre d' and he didn't get back to us for days. This way of doing things made one felt put upon. Service in the dining room left a lot to be desired. Our waiter could not fathom that when someone wanted something added, they didn't want something else removed from their order. Led to a lot of confusion. Wrong food delivered twice. On the last night they couldn't [or didn't] find the remainder of a bottle of wine I had. Speaking of wine-their smallest package is for 7 bottles [on a 10 day cruise]. If you're the only drinker that just doesn't compute. Just about none of the food on the buffet was marked gluten free, you're left to your own devices on that. Entertainment was fine-normal sea going type. Great music and musicians. Ports-were only 3. St. Martin, Antigua and Bonaire. Shore excursions were blocked out in Bonaire by the ship. Left to our own to find something on shore. Don't know that we would take this type of itinerary on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Embarkation While I could’ve taken the Elite line, it snaked around the hall, while the “regular” line was very quick. No brainer. Unfortunately, after we got our cruise cards, it took a long time to get upstairs to the ship. ... Read More
Embarkation While I could’ve taken the Elite line, it snaked around the hall, while the “regular” line was very quick. No brainer. Unfortunately, after we got our cruise cards, it took a long time to get upstairs to the ship. Cabins We took a mini-suite, which was a great idea. The cabin is significantly larger than a balcony cabin (though the balcony was still microscopic). We enjoyed having 2 TVs and a large desk. Also, having a bathtub gave more space to take a shower. There was some problems with hot water in the cabin. Once you got it, you couldn’t turn it off. Our cabin steward was attentive, but as has happened once before, upon arrival we got a message that our free Elite laundry might take up to 72 hours to get back. Of course we told him that wasn’t acceptable and he did to his best to get it back to us faster. Public Rooms The public rooms on the ship are lovely. The theatre is large, the dining rooms spacious; though the Allegro (fixed dining room) is still hard to access. I also find the ceilings on Princess dining rooms to be lower than those on other ships. The outdoor Halloween was a lot of fun! As had been mentioned many times, the lack of central stairs causes the elevators to usually be crowded. In addition, in the center court, there are 2 banks of elevators (two with the glass wall, four without). The problem is that most people (me included!) pressed call buttons on both sides. Unfortunately, they were synced. This caused to open on nearly every floor whether anyone was there was or not. The casino may be the most claustrophobic I’d ever seen. While wasn’t particularly small, things were on top of each other. Also, it had to be the LOUDEST casino I’d ever been in. Services The purser’s desk was very helpful for routine items. I particularly impressed with the cruise staff on this ship. When I asked the cruise director on the penultimate night why we didn’t have stargazing, he got on the phone and arranged it for the last night even though it wasn’t planned. The Internet café manager gave me credit for lost time, but also asked that I either use my laptop in a public room or keep my cabin door open. I didn’t like either option, so I took #2, which, to say the least was embarrassing and ended any privacy. However, as I needed to get online for work daily, it was the best way to get a stable signal. Entertainment As I said, the cruise staff was great fun. We played trivia contests several times daily and each member had a great attitude. For evening entertainment, I only attended the production shows. Fiera had no theme and the music flowed with no relation to any (lack of) story. Bravo was a better show, with some actual opera and musical theatre. One major problem on this ship was the fact the late show started at 10pm. Princess spends a fortune on their shows. Why can't get a semblance of a story to them? Those of us in late seating usually didn’t leave the dining room until near that time and then often couldn’t find seats in the theatre. Gym/Exercise Kudos for having a dedicated running and walking track on this ship. Decent assortment of machines and free weights, but nothing spectacular. Another construction problem is the fact that to get to an outside section of deck, the shortcut was through the gym. Also, unlike other Princess ships, gym guests don’t have access to the spa (steam room and sauna), which is located on Deck 5 and has an upcharge. Finally, I took a yoga class, which wasn’t what I expected. While the instructor said his yoga was more “international” (I’m not sure what that meant), he basically gave a series of commands to do poses, as compared to a more meditational session with the traditional asanas. Port of Call St. Maarten/Martin: We went to Club Orient for some nude sunbathing and swimming, but like most of the cruise, it rained soon after getting there. We didn’t do any shopping in St Maarten (normally we only buy booze in the islands). The prices on board were actually better than on land. Antigua: We got day passes to Sandals Grande Antigua. Well worth it. We snorkeled, swam in their enormous pool, had unlimited drinks (most fun at the swim-up bar) and enjoyed a great lunch of local foods like jerk chicken, escovitch, conch fritters, plantains, etc. Then we headed to their gelateria for some cappuccinos dessert. Bonaire: We booked Compass diving on our own for a ½ day snorkeling trip. Very well organized. Will recognize them in Trip Advisor. Dining The service in the dining was good, not great. The head waiter had an attitude. When leaving one night he asked how much our table enjoyed the cherries jubilee. I explained we never were offered it and he basically told me that I just didn’t remember. The food was average; I ordered fish each night and found it bland at best. Nothing was adventurous or even semi-adventourous. Basic institutional food. One nice touch on Princess is the International Café. Also, I had the coffee card, so I was able to enjoy my cappuccinos and ice cream at the gelateria. I was impressed with the Horizon Court buffet; however, it’s awkward that the Horizon Court Café offered different foods for lunch, which caused people to have to check each one out. Putting the Pastry Shoppe in the middle of the Café made people have to walk there. I think this might be an issue for passengers with mobility problems. We had an excellent meal at the Crowne Grill. The maitre'd was very nice. When we had to wait for our table she brought us wine and limoncello. Disembarkation Fast. We left the disembarkation lounge about 15 minutes before our color was called and got our luggage quickly. The customs/immigration line took about 20 minutes. Recommendations 1. Reconfigure the Internet routers. 2. Hire a 2nd future cruise consultant. There was always a line there. 3. Turn down the volume on the slot machines. 4. Make the 2nd show at night 10:15 or 10:30 5. AND—open that hidden center staircase. We know it’s there! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
10-day Southern Caribbean Repositioning Cruise Brooklyn, New York to Ft. Lauderdale Visiting St. Maarten, Antigua and Bonaire The Regal Princess lives up to her name. She’s regal, beautiful and very, very big. Upon ... Read More
10-day Southern Caribbean Repositioning Cruise Brooklyn, New York to Ft. Lauderdale Visiting St. Maarten, Antigua and Bonaire The Regal Princess lives up to her name. She’s regal, beautiful and very, very big. Upon embarkation (which was very easy) you enter the ship through the Piazza, the main shopping and entertainment area. It soars three stories tall, gleaming with brass, inlaid marble and crystal. It’s a spectacular place to be introduced to the ship. And it's the hub of activity day and night. This was my 50th cruise. I’ve been sailing on cruise ships since I was 13 and I am now 54 years old. I hadn’t sailed on Princess for 15 years; sailing most recently with Celebrity, Royal Caribbean and Holland America. As a brand Princess positions itself as a mass-market, top-tier cruise experience. It lives up to it’s branding fairly well, however there are problems with the ship itself that were lower than my expectations. At almost 150,000 GRT the ship is large. Very large. She’s not as big as Allure of the Seas, but big enough that going back for a forgotten item can take upwards of 10-15 minutes to retrieve and return. It’s not a good choice for anyone with mobility issues or wants the feel of an intimate shipboard experience. Or for anyone who easily gets lost. Because she’s a big ship, she maneuvered through rough seas very well. We sailed out of Brooklyn into a storm and though there were15-18 foot waves and 50-60mph winds, there was little noticeable rocking/movement. The only time we felt motion was when we went to bed on the first night. The hangers in our closet kept banging together. For the remainder of the cruise we never once felt any rocking or movement. This was also true for Allure of the Seas, which is 75,000 GRT larger than the Regal. This is a good ship for anyone concerned with having sea sickeness. Regal Princess has one MAJOR FLAW. There are no mid-ship stairs. Because of this lines for the elevators, which there are 8 mid-ship, can be very long during high-traffic times like embarkation, shows and meal times. We booked a mid-ship stateroom and more often than not, had to wait 5 minutes or more for an elevator. Many elevators just glided by our floor without stopping. I had promised myself to use stairs as often as possible to help curb buffet weight-gain. To do this I had to walk all the way forward or aft to use the stairs. This was a logistical nuisance and added too much time to maneuver through the ship. (Note: Rumor has it that during it's 2017 dry docking they will be adding stairs mid-ship. Let's hope so.) We selected traditional seating for a late dinner. Our dining room was the somewhat lackluster (for a new ship) Allegro Dining Room. We had table 300, a nice round table with a booth and chairs. Our meals were wonderful. Always served hot, nicely prepared, with a good choice of options. Our servers were outstanding. The Allegro served the best food of any main dining room that I’ve ever had on any cruise. Unfortunately, there's a logistical problem with the placement of the Allegro Dining Room. You can’t access it from the deck that it is on. You must either take a very crowded stairwell down from the deck above or use one of four elevators that open up onto a mass of people stuck in line from the stairwell. Princesses’ architects really planned this entrance poorly. It was always hot and jam packed every evening 15 minutes before the restaurant opened. Not good for formal night. We dined in Sabatini’s one evening. The food and service was exceptional. The only drawback was we were seated next to a door leading into the kitchen. It must have also been by a trash bin because throughout most of the diner there was a foul stench waifing by our table. We had sushi one evening in the Ocean Terrace Seafood Bar. It was delicious and well prepared. Though it was al a carte the price was very reasonable and well worth it. We also dined at Alfredo’s several times for lunch (free). The pizzas, soups and pastas were outstanding. Worth the 20-30 minutes it took to individually prepare each individual entree. The coffee house had free pastries and sandwiches that were bountiful and good. The Horizon Terrace and Bistro was adequate. Compared to the buffets that we’ve had on Celebrity, the food was just ok. Selections were abundant, however the taste on many of the dishes was bland and boring. The logistics through the serving stations and the small aisles on both sides of the dining rooms made maneuvering though the area claustrophobic during peak times. One of the quirks with the buffet is that you don’t collect your flatware when you go through the buffet. The flatware is set on available tables. Unfortunately during peak times there’s not enough staff working the dining area. Many times there’s no flatware at empty tables and you have to steal flatware or wait for a server to come by and have them retrieve it for you. My favorite bar was the Wheelhouse Bar. It is elegant and the bartenders were friendly and made great cocktails. We purchased the beverage package and didn’t get our full value out of it, even though we did drink a good amount and had specialty coffees, water and sodas every day. Unless you plan on drinking from dawn to dawn, it would be hard to get your money out of the package…tho we did try to. My partner and I went to the LGBT mixer every night. The first evening was hosted by a ship’s staff member. The other evenings the group was left on our own, which was fine. There was about 25 participants and it was a nice way to meet other LGBT people on the ship. The mixer is proudly advertised in the daily paper/schedule and on The Princess at Sea App. for your smart phone (which was great to use throughout the cruise to find things that were going on). For our cruise the mixer was held at 7pm in the Wheelhouse Bar and then moved to Club 6. One of the disappointing things about the Regal Princess is there’s no forward facing bar/lounge overlooking the bow of the ship. I really missed sipping a cocktail while enjoying the view over the sea from 15 stories up. It’s just a shame. There’s very few few good sea views from any of the interior public spaces except from the lounges on the Piazza. This tends to make some of the spaces seem claustrophobic. A HUGE disappointment was The Sanctuary. It’a a joke. We boarded the ship right when boarding commenced. There were no more than 200 people ahead of us. We immediately went up to The Sanctuary to reserve chairs (I had read that chairs sell out quickly). We waited in a line of 12 people for 45 minutes only to be told that there were no more chairs available. Worse was it was cold and raining and there was o overhead shelter while we waited. The way they book chairs for The Sanctuary is archaic and frustrating for both customer and staff. NOT a good way to start a leisure cruise. If Princess can’t automate chair selection then they should just bundle this area into Suite packages and not offer it to the masses. Entertainment on Princess is mediocre. We had taken a Celebrity cruise a few months earlier and their entertainment was fresh, contemporary and extravagant. The Princess shows in all of the lounges was sophomoric. The singers and dancers were adequate however the production shows were left overs from the 1990’s. Obtaining seats to the main show room was a nightmare. If you were not there 15 minutes before a production there were no seats left. Lastly, I had to work during part of the cruise. I'm an illustrator and brought my laptop and a monitor toward in my room. The wifi, which I bought a 500 minute package for pre-sailing, was a joke. The internet is extremely slow on the ship. Painfuly slow. It would take upwards of 15 minutes to establish a connection to gmail or Yahoo. Forget trying to download or upload anything... or stream video. This is another reason I like Celebrity and Royal Caribbean better than Princess. Their internet is land-speed and can accommodate uploads of files. It's 2016. People want to be connected, even at sea. In the future I’d probably book Celebrity or maybe Holland America over a Princess Cruise. The cruise was nice however it just didn’t have that special quality and touch that Celebrity’s products consistently delivers. If I do sail again with Princess I’d like to try a smaller ship. I have no issue with big ships, in fact I like them. However Regal Princess should have hired better architects to design the flow of the ship. On the flip-side they did hire fabulous interior designers. The ship is beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
What fun, to visit New York City then cruise to the southern Caribbean. We visited some great ports when plenty of time to explore. The Ship was, as always well maintained and sparkling. The crew and staff there for us for any need. ... Read More
What fun, to visit New York City then cruise to the southern Caribbean. We visited some great ports when plenty of time to explore. The Ship was, as always well maintained and sparkling. The crew and staff there for us for any need. We had a balcony in the aft section of the ship. While we had a few scattered days of weather, we never felt any motion in our cabin. The dining was excellent, both in the buffet and formal dining room. Service in both courteous, attentive, and friendly. Princess makes it easy to embark and disembark the ship in a timely manner. We enjoy the coffee card perks . The Captain was visible often and more than friendly as he stood by the gangway greeting passengers. Thank you Princess for not allowing passengers to come into the dining room on formal nights in flip flops, ball caps, t-shirts. We sail often and remain loyal to the Princess Cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My sister and I recently retired. The celebration was awesome, weather wasn't. It didn't damper our mood at all. Was a wonderful experience, between the cruisers and the staff. I never realized they are all merchant marines. ... Read More
My sister and I recently retired. The celebration was awesome, weather wasn't. It didn't damper our mood at all. Was a wonderful experience, between the cruisers and the staff. I never realized they are all merchant marines. Entertainers was well, entertaining. Loved John Bressler. Saw a few movies, which we never go to the movies. Met a lot of fun people and heard interesting stories. I am trying to talk my husband into going next year. Had a fun, relaxing trip with my best friend. The only issue I had and no control over was Bonaire beaches.No beache but beautiful clear scuba divers paradise. Enjoyed lobster dinner, twice. Wish I had more time to meet the group of cruise critics though. They sang God Bless America while passing the New York skyline. So emotional considering I am from New York. Hope to meet you all again if my circumstances allow it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
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