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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose this cruise because of the price and cabin. Having sailed with Princess before and in a rear-facing cabin which we loved. The only thing that was not as expected was the restaurant. We normally opt for Any Time dining and usually ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the price and cabin. Having sailed with Princess before and in a rear-facing cabin which we loved. The only thing that was not as expected was the restaurant. We normally opt for Any Time dining and usually eat late 8.30pm and have not had much trouble getting a table for two, but on this cruise, everybody seemed to want to eat at that time and tables for two. The system when this happens is that you are given a pager and they call you when a table becomes available. This worked very well as the bar is adjacent to the restaurant and was handy for pre-dinner drinks. I think the longest we had to wait was 15 minutes, no time at all. The shows were a bit low on the quality side and having cruised with Princess many times we have noticed that the resident dancers seem to be doing less and less. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
On boarding the sapphire princess for the second time the CPS meet and greet car was amazing. On board within 20 minutes. The cabin was very clean we were on Deck 14 at the front this is situated behind the pizzeria. The only problem I can ... Read More
On boarding the sapphire princess for the second time the CPS meet and greet car was amazing. On board within 20 minutes. The cabin was very clean we were on Deck 14 at the front this is situated behind the pizzeria. The only problem I can say is people above on the walkway going for cigarettes with their stilettos on also cabin L302 is opposite the lift which can me noisy and a lot of traffic. Weather was bad from Southampton so we did not leave until 1:30am supposed to leave at 4:30pm this meant that you missed Copenhagen. They gave everybody a refund for missed port tax of 12.63 dollars. We also had many problems with ship accounts not working and the TV in the room would constantly stop working which they never fixed. In main the food in the Horizon self service was good, not always hot but if you think like mash potato is going to be cold then put it in a dish and ask the to heat it up. The staff are very friendly and will get you water and tea or coffee when you are sat down. Remember to order room service FREE at least once. The coffee shop on deck 5 is good as you can have FREE sandwich hot or cold, cake also. You will have to pay for tea in a tea pot there cost of $1.89 . There is a pizzeria restaurant on deck 5 which is good more choice as for deck 14 it is made by the slice as many as you wish put only 2 variety’s. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
I had never been to Alaska (or Canada) before, and I already had experience with Princess, so we booked this cruise. First off, the ship was really nice, way better than the Star Princess (which desperately needs an upgrade). The beds ... Read More
I had never been to Alaska (or Canada) before, and I already had experience with Princess, so we booked this cruise. First off, the ship was really nice, way better than the Star Princess (which desperately needs an upgrade). The beds are very, very comfortable. I booked a mini-suite, which I prefer over the suite due to the combination tub/shower. (I disliked the separate shower in the suite because it's tiny and there is nothing to hold onto). There was plenty of sitting room in the living area, plus there are two tv's in the stateroom. I enjoyed the overall look of the ship, which seems to have undergone an upgrade. The dining was good news/bad news: The Michaelangelo and Da Vinci dining rooms served very good food (included in the fare). The Crown Grill was just as outstanding on the Ruby as it had been on the Star (try their filet mignon!) and well worth the $29 charge. However, the Share by Curtis Stone and Salty Dog restaurants (which are not included in the fare) were major disappointments. The entertainment activities need improvement. There just isn't enough to do on the ship during the day. I enjoyed the night time entertainment in the various venues, and I really appreciated the first-run movies at my disposal. But there really isn't much to do before dinner. I would recommend replacing the often obnoxious trivia games with something more substantive, such as a lecture series. The service was really, really good. I cannot say enough about the consistent helpfulness of everyone I encountered. Bravo to Princess' training department! The ports were pretty good: Loved Skagway especially. I recommend taking the train ride there. I also enjoyed viewing Glacier Bay although I think it was twice as long as it should have been. But still, very beautiful. I would definitely go again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We enjoyed the cruise around Japan with the view to visit Hirosaki Castle Park for Sakura or Cherry Blossom which usually peak between 22Apr to 1May. It was our main highlight and we cherished the beautiful sakura. Short 15min walk from ... Read More
We enjoyed the cruise around Japan with the view to visit Hirosaki Castle Park for Sakura or Cherry Blossom which usually peak between 22Apr to 1May. It was our main highlight and we cherished the beautiful sakura. Short 15min walk from port, 40 min direct train trip from JR Aomori to JR Hirosaki and 20 min walk to Castle. Park entry was free. Views were fantastic. Public holiday due to Emperor Hirohito abdication and Emperor Naruhito ascending to throne, meant the place had lots of food stalls, crowd and festive ambience. Feel very safe and pleasant throughout. Cruise overall was alright. Weather and food was good, generally. Enjoyed the Princess production shows like To Be Born Wild ( rock n roll ) and Secret Silk ( great display of props but audio vocals were muffled eventhough seated in centre of thearte ...needs imporvement). Other guests entertainers were a bit dull but I give credit to Dominic Duo at the Wheelhouse Bar. We danced to their tunes. Food quality and service in the main dining room were alright but not always in the Horizon Court as it is very busy with people and lacks the ambience. Food quality can be unappealing sometimes. Same goes with breakfast room service. Did not use the pizzaria but enoyed the matcha ice cream from the parlour. Port visits were not that attractive but there were farewell local dance and Samurai performances in Sakata and Aomori. People were very welcoming and taxi drivers were very polite and very fair in their fares and please take back any small change and receipt given out of politeness to them. No need for tips. Service with a smile. We did a bit of shopping in downtown Busan after we figured how to use their Metro. Get entry to right train platform as you can't walk over to the correct platform if wrong like other city metros. We wasted our ticket but it is alright. A small price to pay for the adventure. Busan was lively downtown in Art Street. 1 USD to 1000 Won ans 1 Aud to 800 Won. Prices are in their 000s. A small drink at a street vendor cost me 3500Won or 3.5USD. Views across Kanmon Straits between Kyushu and Honshu, was interesting if you happen to know about the great sea battles fought here that created the Kamakura Shogunate in 11th Century. However, I much prefer the nightime view of Busan Bridge which changed colours every 30 seconds. Our ship sailed under it at about 10.30pm. on its way to Sakata. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We are from the Bay Area and booked a 6 am fight out of San Jose to LAX. We were up at 330 am so we were tired and excited. We got an uber to a breakfast place near the airport called Bread and Butter. It was really good and very ... Read More
We are from the Bay Area and booked a 6 am fight out of San Jose to LAX. We were up at 330 am so we were tired and excited. We got an uber to a breakfast place near the airport called Bread and Butter. It was really good and very inexpensive. We took an uber around 11 am to the pier from the restaurant. It was so surreal to see the enormous Royal, which would be home for the next 7 days. Since our daughter was celebrating her Sweet 16 birthday we decided to book a suite a 102.. and make it a surprise on what room we booked. When we dropped off our bags we we ushered into a medallion line. i kept asking if this was line for suites everyone told me yes. We and everyone else were given number 5. We were checked in and asked the lady about suites and she had no idea so she called her supervisor and asked if there was a special area or a person to walk guest on. The supervisor said, " Because you're medallion pre checked you just sit with everyone else. No special area or walk on host." OK/// Even Carnival has an area for suites but we were tired and glad to find a chair to rest. The kind lady next to me overheard that we were in a suite and told me to go up to the lady calling out numbers. We did. she apologized and said to go right on. The ship was beautiful and so impressive. Our cabin on Aloha deck A102, was also amazing. A really gorgeous bathroom with a deep soaking tub and separate shower. We met briefly with our steward, Edsell. We were so hungry and tried to find the dining room for lunch, that was open but no one seemed to direct us right. We stumbled onto Alfredo's and what a delicious place this was. We had the vegetarian pizza and Hawaiian pizza. we also tried the tiramisu for dessert and it was clearly the best dessert we had. all week. We went to the room and unpacked and rested. After mustered we made reservations at the crown grill for dinner. It was complimentary with suite privileges. I had the prawn appetizer and filet mignon with baked potato. My husband had the same and my daughter had the steak tartare and lamb. She loved it. Not sure if I would eat raw beef. We were full for dessert. The wait staff was excellent. Our room steward tried his best but when we asked him to exchange the mini bottles for all sky vodka, instead of the various other liquors. he told us to call room service, which I did. Room service directed to tell our room steward for this request.. Finally we had a room service drop off our pre purchased liquor bottle and we told him and he took care of it. We also asked our steward if we could have menus to order dinner since we wanted to just relax in our cabin. He again told us to call room service. My husband just went down to the restaurant and took pictures and we did receive it. Room service was fantastic. Always early and a white table clothe was et out. We did the ultimate balcony dinner and it was amazing. I recommend this highly. We had so much food and it was fresh. The lobster was way better then what is offered in the regular MDR. The nice thing about it was my daughter was able to order food from the regular menu and eat with us. We tried to see if she could get our UBD menu but they can not separate so it would have been another 100 dollars for an additional one person. My daughter and husband did the scuba diving tour in Cabo. It was so cold and the visibility was not good but that is Mother nature. In Mazatlan we went to the beach in the golden zone. We did jet skis.. The rental is 60 dollars for half an hour. My husband and daughter did fresh oysters from a beach lady. She had a table and just through oysters out on a table and shucked them..They were very fresh and no-one got sick. In Puerto Vallarta we did the Eco tour which was amazing. We stopped in a tiny village called san jose and ate fresh tortillas. Then to the jungle to go on a hike. We also ate homemade tortilla with beans and guacamole from a traditional farm. Delicious and I could have ate a dozen.. Our tour guide discussed the birds and plant life in this region... Very interesting. We ended on a beach ( non swimmable) for a bbq lunch. Really enjoyed this and the people were nice and friendly. Just make sure to have hiking boots and bug spray. We used Sabatini' for breakfast which was amazing. Our highlight was the Pub lunch on our last day. The food was ok, Club class had amazing pastas. It did take awhile to get served. We bought the thermal pass Enclave but were so disappointed that we got a refund. It was so crowded it was hard to find a space to sit. The Spa had foam in it , which I know want harm you but it is not pleasant to bath in.. People were not pre-showering which grossed me out. And a lady had a band aid on her foot. We were refunded, but were pushed to use our money instead on a massage or other service. We said no and then she said the salt rub needed to be returned or she would need to charge me for that. Thankfully we did not open them and gave it back. Only one refund was done, so a trip to guest services to rectify. I did not like also, there was no sea view just a dark tomb with people walking back and forth.. It was not for us. Holland America has the best thermal suites in my opinion. We had a great time and I love cruising but we prefer small ships. Please ask any questions. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
My family of 5 just got off of Royal Princess. We have cruised on NCL, RC, and Carnival. This was a first for us on Princess line. I was very excited to try a new cruise line and compare to my other cruises. Well let me start of with the ... Read More
My family of 5 just got off of Royal Princess. We have cruised on NCL, RC, and Carnival. This was a first for us on Princess line. I was very excited to try a new cruise line and compare to my other cruises. Well let me start of with the bad; the food is the worse I’ve seen and ate. My family and I stayed hungry the last two days of our voyage. We even tried the specialty restaurant that we paid for. Medicore food and same choices everyday. The breakfast hours finished early and it seemed like they wanted less people to dine for breakfast. What I noticed is they didn’t want us to dine in the dining room. They tried to have people dine more at the buffet. Either one was a joke for food. Even the steaks and seafood at the specialty restaurant was not good. I was on the Carnival Horizon in December and there food was hands down the best! They had fresh squeezed green juices in the morning and also they let you dine for breakfast until 2:00pm on seadays as brunch. Also not much to do on the ship very boring. Although there were kids on this voyage it seemed as it was for a older crowd. It was okay for me for the first 3 days then it got boring with nothing to do. Shows, club and entertainment was not up to date. Now for the good part; extremely clean ship and all public areas. Our room was very clean. We had two mini suites. Oh forgot inbarkation was a mess they could find my medallion so took a while to get on. The pool area was clean and well kept. Our room steward was very nice. Every employee was very nice to us. They seemed like they were well taken care of Princess company unlike other ships were the employees look over worked and angry. I like how the employees were not pushy or they didn’t expect any tips. I like how Princess employees were the best from any other ship I’ve been on. Made us feel comfortable they didn’t make us feel obligated to tip. The other thing I liked on Princess is they serve you coffee juice water and also ice cream as like on other lines it’s help your self and people make big messes. I liked the fact that there was no food droppings or dirty plates every were in the buffet or around pool area. The cleanness, comfort and class beats all the ships I’ve been on. I went to the spa and it was amazing! Loved their spa, the massage rooms were so big and comfy. Had the most relaxing massage. The medallion digital badge is good but when they are charging you, you don’t know how much they are ringing you up. You won’t be able to keep count if you wanted to. I also loved the cafe on the 5th flood were they served specialty coffees and pastries. My favorite spot throughout the entire cruise. Bottom line the food bothered me the most. It was the most disgusting food I’ve ever had. Other then that the ship is nice and the employees are nice, it’s extremely well kept ship. Most likely I won’t cruise with them because the food matters to me. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
We cruised with our 10-year-old daughter on Royal Princess. The top priority for us is a quiet place to stay. Balcony cabin A111 was at the great location with the quiet level that meets our standard. Food: We were pleased with ... Read More
We cruised with our 10-year-old daughter on Royal Princess. The top priority for us is a quiet place to stay. Balcony cabin A111 was at the great location with the quiet level that meets our standard. Food: We were pleased with our assigned dining table for 4 every night. The fine dining was delicious. Horizon Court buffet had a generous selection of food every meal. We enjoyed later at night wandering around there just to walk around; and to sit down for a bite if we couldn't resist, even after our dinner! Entertainment: All staffs were very professional. The cruise director Matt O was a whole new level of professional! His passion, talent and enthusiasm made every show memorable. He brought laugh and happiness every where he went. He was the shinning star on Royal Princess! Camp Discovery: The new junior program was just rolled out a few months when we cruise. Some of the staffs were not well-trained to handle multiple requests with all kids around; the skee ball machines either were broke down, or not allow to play due to other reasons. My daughter did enjoy the slime making activity. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Nice ship. The new Medallion Service is a winner. Each guest has a little medallion that pretty much does everything. You can track members of your party, helps you with directions, unlocks you door as you approach, is used to all ... Read More
Nice ship. The new Medallion Service is a winner. Each guest has a little medallion that pretty much does everything. You can track members of your party, helps you with directions, unlocks you door as you approach, is used to all purchases of any kind (the ship is cash less), and other things. I purchased my internet ahead of time for a flat rate of $55 and it was by FAR the fast I've had at sea. Download speed was usually 4mbps or better. I think you could stream Netflix or Prime Video but I choose to download movies and TV shows which worked great. Buffet area is the best organized I've seen on my 5 cruises. Anytime and Traditional dinning are good as always on Princess. This ship did not have a Curtis Stone venue which we thought was great. I don't think the ship had any of the Michelin Chef on this ship. We missed this We attended the Entertainment Show every night. It was good not great. The Princess Live Game shows were great fun, and you could watch them On Demand the next day. Wish there were more. Other activities were pretty much cruise ship standard. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
This cruise was a mistake.The cost of the shore excursions was over the top in price.We were following one shore excursion and you could not understand the Tour Guide anyway so thank god i didnt pay for that.Every time they had an ... Read More
This cruise was a mistake.The cost of the shore excursions was over the top in price.We were following one shore excursion and you could not understand the Tour Guide anyway so thank god i didnt pay for that.Every time they had an announcement over the ships intercom you had to then listen to the whole thing again in Japanese and some times this could take up to 5 mins. Another let down was the rundown condition of the Club Class Mimi Suite we had.It is starting to show its age and for what you pay it just isnt good enough.You could hardly open the door to the balcony, the area around the fridge was horrible with screw caps hiding holes from who knows what.Cabinet doors that did not stay shut. Draws that did not slide to open and the list just goes on and on.But i think the main problem was the Shower being over the bath.Do they not get that most of the people on board are elderly and find it extremly hard to use this setup.The only thing that saved this trip for us were the people in the Club Class restaurant who were the best and they are George Gilbert and Pachi i thank them very much for making every meal experience amazing,Thank you again Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I've been waiting 50 years to go on a cruise and I hate to say that I picked the wrong ship and the wrong cruise line. The size of our mini-suite was great and the beds were comfortable but the furniture was rather outdated and worn. ... Read More
I've been waiting 50 years to go on a cruise and I hate to say that I picked the wrong ship and the wrong cruise line. The size of our mini-suite was great and the beds were comfortable but the furniture was rather outdated and worn. The couch was a tired green with a few holes and the furniture on the balcony needed an upgrade. The food in the buffet was worse than Golden Corral and there was very little entertainment on the ship. The three sea days we were bored to tears and ended up watching movies in our room each night. I guess if you are 75 or older you might enjoy this cruise with nightly Bingo and knitting classes or playing cards on deck but my daughter and I were so disappointed because we had heard and seen videos from friends who have been on cruises and were told of all the deck parties and all the fun activities on the ships. We never saw any or maybe if we would have known that there was a LGBT convention we would have picked another cruise because there were tons of activities for them or if we had known that 90% of the passengers were over the age of 70, we would have picked another cruise. I wish I could say that the dining was at least good, but I can't. The table we had assigned to us for the whole cruise each night sat over one of the engines I guess, because the whole table and all of our chairs shook every night except one and that is because we were still docked in St. Thomas. There were several menu choices each night but the food was just ok. I had again heard stories about how wonderful the food is on a cruise and how you come back home with a few extra pounds and I can honestly say that I didn't. Our two wait staff that we had for the week were super nice though. I have to give them credit for that. Siti and Dadang were great. The service on deck and out by the pool area was not so great. If you wanted a drink while sun bathing you had to go and get it yourself because there was never anyone walking around asking if you wanted a drink. Also if you decided to grab a slice of pizza, which by the way was the best thing I ate all week and needless to say we ate sliced pizza every day, you could never find anyone to bring you a glass of water or iced tea. It would have been nice if they would have at least had some sort of beverage stations set up around the ship to get a drink without having to pay $10 for an alcoholic one. I believe half the trip I was dehydrated from lack of water. Oh and let me fore-warn you to NOT TAKE PART IN THE TEETH WHITENING in the LOTUS SPA. WHAT A RIP OFF. We got suckered into it because we were told upfront that the cost would be $129 each for teeth whitening that would last 2 to 3 years. Well, after the process was done, you then get told that for it to last 2 to 3 years you have to pay an additional $249. WOW. So the $129 that I just paid is only good for a few days! So I broke down and bought the additional packets that were $49 for 12 treatments, which I was told was only good for 1 week of whitening AND WHEN I GET MY CREDIT CARD PRINTOUT THE GUY TAKES IT UPON HIMSELF TO ADD A $39 TIP. WOW was all I could say. The only good part about the whole cruise was the ports we visited. That was what I was most looking forward to was seeing the beautiful blue waters and that did not disappoint. We enjoyed a nice bus tour of St. Thomas and we had a great time walking through all the shops and open markets of St. Maarten. I will say that come Saturday morning, the day we got back to Ft. Lauderdale, I was up at 5am and ready to get off the ship! At least if you carry your own luggage off, you can disembark at 7:30 instead of waiting until 8:30 or in some cases 9:30 depending on what floor you were on. If I ever decide to go on another cruise I will certainly do more homework of the ship and will probably chose Royal Caribbean for sure! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our first time on the Regal Princess and our fourth cruise aboard a Princess Ship. The Regal is Medallion ready and we loved the system. I could track my son, husband and other shipmates. There was one glitch in which I ... Read More
This was our first time on the Regal Princess and our fourth cruise aboard a Princess Ship. The Regal is Medallion ready and we loved the system. I could track my son, husband and other shipmates. There was one glitch in which I couldn't locate my daughter because she is a minor not staying in my cabin. It is to protect minors, but there was no way (yet) to let me add her. Our loop hole was that my son could track her as he was another minor. Every dining experience was good. Our favorite speciality dining and the only one we did was Sabatini's. It's excellent! I highly recommend the short ribs in the main dining room on lobster night. I just ordered surf and turf and had the lobster tail on the side. We only ate breakfast in the dining room once, but wish we'd done it more often. We met lots of nice and interesting folks every time we shared a table. In Princess Cay we just did a beach day and rented a clam shell. It's nice to have shade access if necessary. My mother in law did the glass bottom boat tour and said it was "Okay." (Not too thrilling). In St. Thomas we taxied to Red Hook and took the ferry over to St. John and then took another taxi to Trunk Bay Beach. It was a beautiful beach. There is a snorkeling "path" with some signs to read. It's not the best snorkeling I've ever seen, but it was still pretty. There are no chairs or umbrellas. We were only approached once by a lady living there selling bracelets. My daughter had to have one. The trip across the two islands was scary, but we made it. The roads and steep, winding and they drive on the opposite side of the road but still have the steering wheel on the left side. In St. Maarten we just grabbed a taxi and planned to go to Little Divi but the driver (Uncle Al's Taxi) talked us into Mullet. He was a GREAT driver and was basically a tour guide the entire drive. He charged us $8 per person one way. We got to the beach around eleven and planned to stay until 2:00. We thought Al would go drive more people, but he stayed at the beach chatting until we were ready to return. There were local ladies selling merchandise, massages and hair braiding on the beach. My daughter wanted braids so I said she could get three. I agreed to a massage without discussing a price (mistake). While I was off getting my massage my daughter got 14 ($42) braids and the massage lady told me I owed her $80. Good Lord, I am sure I could have argued, but I set my hubby to an ATM since I didn't think I'd need as much cash as we spent. Al drove him to a nearby casino. The chairs were two plus an umbrella for $15. What I thought would be a cheap taxi ride day ended up costing about $211---take away the massage and braids and it was just $89. My son bought a burger and a soda which was ten bucks I believe. After the ports, we had two relaxing sea days that went all too fast. The comedians were great and we enjoyed the shows we went to. We also went to several of the game show events in Princess Live...Voice of the Ocean, The Married Couples game, Majority Rules and Battle of the Sexes. All were entertaining...more so if you participate in the last two I mentioned. Cory was the cruise director and I thought he did a really nice job. The galley tour after the food demonstration was interesting. My husband and I did the $25 wine tasting in Allegro. We learned about six different wines. I managed to drink it all and I rarely drink. I could feel it when we were done. Next time I'll sign up for the $40 per person one to get better food. That one is less people and is held in Sabatini's. The pool area was very nice and I didn't feel like it was too crowded. We were at the end of spring break season for public schools. I think there were only 300 children aboard out of about 3500, so a very small percentage. My 15 year old daughter really had a great time with the teen center. It's basically just a hang out. They have their own hot tub. My son (10) spent a lot of time at the basketball court and none in the kid program. I don't know why he didn't go there....just didn't want to. He used to participate when he was younger. To sum it up, I'd definitely do it all again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I wanted to embark from San Francisco and the timing of this was perfect for spring break. The embarkation and disembarkation were extremely smooth and trouble free. The ship is very efficiently run. I loved how the docking in San Diego ... Read More
I wanted to embark from San Francisco and the timing of this was perfect for spring break. The embarkation and disembarkation were extremely smooth and trouble free. The ship is very efficiently run. I loved how the docking in San Diego and Ensenada were very close to downtown. The tendering in Santa Barbara was very slow with over a 30 minute line heading back to the ship for the last 2 hours onshore. Another positive were the comedians onboard. They were great! And the Scottish vocalist was also excellent. One other entertainment option that was enjoyable was the Voice auditions and competition. We wished there were more good entertainment options than these. The days at sea were very boring. They even repeated the same paper craft activity both sea days. We found the Da Vinci dining experience to be horrible. Several wait staff were rude (when I dropped my fork and politely asked for a new one, the waiter took his time returning with a replacement and made a snide comment about how he guessed I could have a new fork when he finally did bring me one). The maitre d's were also not welcoming or nice. There was always a wait for a table between 5 and 7pm with buzzers given out. When I called for a reservation earlier in the day, I was told there were none available. There were very few tables for 2 guests and sharing was required for a shorter wait. When we agreed to a shared table one night after waiting for some time, we were shown to an empty table for 10 and told we couldn't have a menu and order until the table was filled and we couldn't be told how long that might be. On another night, we witnessed the hostess taking money from a passenger to get seated more quickly. Overall this left us with a negative opinion of the Grand Princess dining experience. The only other negative experience was the condition of our balcony. There was a tacky, discolored mesh tile on the balcony (like you find around swimming pools sometimes). It was warped and not laying flat, so you would trip over it if you were not very careful. The furniture on the balcony was stacked up in a corner and did not look like it had been cleaned in a long time. All cruise lines have their pro's and cons, but after sailing on other lines recently, I was not impressed with the overall Princess experience. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary (stops in Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel) and the fact that it was recently refurbished. It was also a great price since we booked six months prior. This cruise was during our ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary (stops in Grand Cayman, Roatan, Belize, and Cozumel) and the fact that it was recently refurbished. It was also a great price since we booked six months prior. This cruise was during our daughter's Spring Break as well as her 16th birthday. She was very excited to travel to so many Caribbean countries in one week. As for the ship itself, we took a Princess cruise to Alaska in 2013 and were very surprised to find the Caribbean Princess had the exact same layout as the one we sailed on then (don't recall the name). It made things easier to find as it was familiar to us, but it was slightly disappointing to feel like we'd been here before after so many years. We wanted an aft facing mini-suite but they were sold out even six months in advance, so we ended up midship. This was absolutely fine, but I think the aft facing provides the best views since you can see both side of the ship while in port. As for the food, the Coral and Islands dining rooms had good decor, great service, and a nice menu. We ate in the Crown dining room for our daughter's birthday and had excellent service and food (the filet Mignon was the best). Well worth the extra $29 per person. We also ate in Steamers, but weren't impressed. The menu is intentionally extremely limited (only clams or fried seafood, nothing broiled) and the placement of the restaurant is where the ship rumbles and shakes during the whole meal. Not worth the extra $12 per person, for us. The International Marketplace buffet was fresh and tasty and we didn't grow bored as the selection kept changing (veggie lasagna was the best!) Entertainment was the best by far of my five previous cruises. The dancing and singing were top notch and the Voice of the Ocean competition was well done (congrats to Hannah on her win for Abba's Dancing Queen!) Most activities were targeted for the very old (e.g. arts and crafts). Average age was 65, I’d guess. Also, each time there was something we were interested in seeing it was at 9:00 a.m. after a late night, so we didn't attend anything other than Bingo and that was as expected. Finally, I was pleasantly surprised at the Casino's selection of slots and variety of table games. I enjoyed myself at the Casino three of the nights (even though I didn't end up winning - big surprise). One downside of this itinerary on Princess is you change clocks four times. Twice one hour behind, then twice one hour ahead. Made for a wonky jet lag experience every morning. On Carnival, we stayed on ship’s time no matter the port time. All in all, it was a wonderful vacation. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
We lorikeet the Mexico 7 day cruise for the convenience and price. The weather is always perfect and this time the ocean was completely smooth for the entire trip. The ship is giant, the buffet is huge and the crew were all friendly. The ... Read More
We lorikeet the Mexico 7 day cruise for the convenience and price. The weather is always perfect and this time the ocean was completely smooth for the entire trip. The ship is giant, the buffet is huge and the crew were all friendly. The new medallion system was interesting but not fully implemented for our cruise. I hope that the new screens and WiFi will help eliminate the excessive paper usage on the ship. The spa was disappointing, it would be nice if you weren’t always pressured into buying expensive products. Also, there are only 3 small pools. One 3’ deep circular pool, a five foot deep rectangular pool just next to it and then another rectangular pool that was for adults only on the back of the ship. On one port day only the circular pool was open and it was extremely crowded. It would be nice if a ship this large had one more pool for everyone to enjoy. The kid center was brand new with all of the updated activities. Our son (8-12 group) said some of the staff were impatient but it wasn’t enough of an issue to deter him from going. Overall we had a great time and would definitely go on this itinerary and ship again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Some friends wanted to cruise and invited me along. I have been weary of cruising because I really like traveling to places and thoroughly immersing myself into the culture of the place I am visiting. I did ALOT of research on our ... Read More
Some friends wanted to cruise and invited me along. I have been weary of cruising because I really like traveling to places and thoroughly immersing myself into the culture of the place I am visiting. I did ALOT of research on our destinations prior to the cruise to hit a highlight in each port. I was able to figure out what places I would like to revisit - or not. The ship was beautiful and was very easy to navigate - after a day. The Cruise Director Matt O' and his staff: Sin, Dan, Andrew, Justenn, Phil, and Hunter were all great! Very personable, REAL people. No stuffiness there at all. The food was good. We spent more time enjoying the specialty restaurants and pop-ups. The dining room was good. Our waiter was a little stuffy at first and we weren't sure that he was our kind of person. But the last night, he pulled out the stops and showed all his personality. We did go a little wild and definitely caused a scene in the dining room. We figured this is probably why he was so stuffy the rest of the week - because he probably knew right off the bar that he had a rowdy group and he was trying to keep the decorum of the dining room intact. I did enjoy the variety of choices in the buffet the couple of times we ate there. Retreat pool was great. We didn't travel with kids, but it was fun to see the teenagers participating in different activites throughout the week. The only real problem that I encountered was one couple who insisted on keeping their scooters in the hallway. This made it extremely difficult to navigate the hallway with my own scooter. We spoke with the couple and that didn't work, so we contacted guest services. They immediately addressed it with the couple and the couple continued to leave their scooters in the hall. The ship staff continued to address the issue, and the scooters were eventually not in the hallway anymore. International Cafe was a great place to grab a quick bite. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
The staff on princess cruise made my vacation the best vacation ever!!! Everyone was so attentive kind and very helpful. Anytime I needed directions they always knew how to direct me. The steward kept my room clean and even after it was ... Read More
The staff on princess cruise made my vacation the best vacation ever!!! Everyone was so attentive kind and very helpful. Anytime I needed directions they always knew how to direct me. The steward kept my room clean and even after it was cleaned and I took a nap my bed was later remade and of course I loved the chocolate left on my bed each night. The waiters were awesome as well making sure my meal was the best. The entertainment on the ship was awesome. We got to know the staff very well and they were all so nice and friendly. We had a lot of laughs playing games and watching the different activities. I love Ed that we could grab a pizza slice late at night for a good snack. This was my first cruise and I now have fond lasting memories of the best vacation I’ve ever had. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
This was a short 3 day cruise from LA to Vancouver. It is spring break so there were lots of young people and kids onboard, many celebrating special events like birthdays. We dined in both the Crown Grill and Share and the food was ... Read More
This was a short 3 day cruise from LA to Vancouver. It is spring break so there were lots of young people and kids onboard, many celebrating special events like birthdays. We dined in both the Crown Grill and Share and the food was great. Service in the main dining room and the food seemed the usual Princes approach. There was concern expressed by someone that since the ship is heading to dry dock in Victoria that there would be less staff and poor food supply but that was certainly not the case. The staff told us that during the 3 weeks in dry dock, their jobs continue, as they must serve the 1000 construction workers who take up residence on the ship and work 24 hrs a day to complete the dry dock tasks. The only difference is that their days are shorter. On another note, Princess has made a decision to remove all the barrel chairs from the balcony and ocean view staterooms. I find this to be a ridiculaous move as do many others. I had disussed my concern with corporate relations and was told that if I ask for chai, I will get it. Many people on Cruise Critic had indicated that they had asked their stateroom steward and had been told that a chair was not available any longer. I did not ask the steward. I went to the Passenger Service desk soon after we boarded and asked for a chair. I happily got one within 1/2 hour of asking. I do have a bit of a caveat, though.This ship is heading to dry dock and maybe the few chairs that they may have available on board right now might disappear once in dry dock. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2019
Wanted to go to Hawaii with our granddaughters. This is our third cruise on the Ruby and I have to say since our last cruise on Princess, the food has returned to it’s past excellence. The MDR staff we had were exceptional. Not sure if ... Read More
Wanted to go to Hawaii with our granddaughters. This is our third cruise on the Ruby and I have to say since our last cruise on Princess, the food has returned to it’s past excellence. The MDR staff we had were exceptional. Not sure if this was because we had the girls with us or not, but we had amazing service. This is the first time we had come in contact with the kids program and both granddaughters (8 & 17) were very happy with their experience. They really loved the whole cruise. We were told by many, that Princess was not a good line to take kids, but I disagree. I have absolutely no complaints about Princess and the Ruby, if only some passengers would up their game and realize they are not the only persons on earth. We were able to have my daughter son-in-law-law come aboard pre-cruise for a Bon Voyage visit, they had never cruised, so this was an excellent opportunity for them to check out our trip. The staff was also very attentive and kind to them also. We have never been disappointed with Princess Cruises. We did not go to all the shows, but what we did see, we enjoyed immensely. The cruise director was quite engaging and friendly. And he had a great crew to back him up. Our cabin attendant just got on the ship the same day we did, so he was extremely attentive and friendly. The staff at the International Cafe were all very friendly, not a bad one in the group. We also got amazing service in Vines. I have to admit, on this cruise I did not run into on crew member that looked pain or over their job. They all made eye contact and had a smile. Due to bringing guests onboard for the Bon Voyage we were allowed to check in first, so embarkation was extremely smooth. Got to say though, disembarkation was quite a bit slower, they were very behind in timing, as we had a ride waiting for us. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was my first time going on a cruise, and it sure didn't disappoint. We booked this cruise during my school spring break, and for my parents' 25th anniversary. (They got married on St. Thomas during a cruise on the old Crown ... Read More
This was my first time going on a cruise, and it sure didn't disappoint. We booked this cruise during my school spring break, and for my parents' 25th anniversary. (They got married on St. Thomas during a cruise on the old Crown Princess. They went on the Sun two years later.) Unfortunately, my mom couldn't go, so it was just me and my dad. Some of you may remember my thread in the forum. Anyway, this cruise is 7 days and the itinerary is Princess Cays, Falmouth, Cayman Islands, and Cozumel. It left from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In Florida, we stayed at the Crowne Plaza hotel, and it sure was nice. Nice view, pretty spacious, no bugs. From a window further down the hallway, I could see Regal next to Carnival Conquest. We took the hotel's shuttle service to the port, which we waited about an hour for. They must have a thing for Celebrity Cruises, as the first ship they called for was Silhouette, then Edge, then Silhouette again. Finally, they called for Regal and Conquest. I felt bad for the couple who came a bit late who needed to get to Silhouette. Very nice people who I talked to for a while. It took us a while to get into the port because there was a bunch of tankers that kept pulling in. Not to mention the mile long line of taxis. Speaking of, we should have just called a taxi from the hotel. Once we got into the port, we had to drop off one person at Celebrity Edge, then we had to go all the way around to Carnival Conquest, passing numerous other military and cruise ships, including Harmony of the Seas. After Conquest, the rest of us were dropped off at Regal. Inside of the Princess port, we went through security and got our medallions. I got blue and my dad got gold. My mom also would have gotten gold. For some reason, my dad's medallion was defective. He had to go to the front desk twice to fix it. The first time, he got a new medallion. The second time, they said it was a problem with the account. I had no problems with mine. I like how it unlocks the door by walking in front of it. It's nice if your hands are full. But, what if you don't want it to unlock and you walk past? Does it stay unlocked? So, about this ship. What a beautiful ship. I could tell how proud of it the crew was. It wasn't very crowded. The crew and passengers were all very nice. No matter where I sat down to eat, whether it be Horizon Court or on the Lido Deck by Trident Grill, somebody came up to ask about drinks right away. The food was awesome, even though I didn't eat much. The ice cream is the best you'll ever have in your life. I had about 2 vanilla cones a day. We had the unlimited internet, but I wasn't impressed. It was pretty slow. Well, what should I expect from internet at sea? Our stateroom was mini suite M428. It was gorgeous. The balcony was big since it was at the end of the Sea View Bar. Our steward was Kleynard, or Kley as we call him, and he was absolutely awesome. He was so nice, did a great job cleaning, and would always leave us chocolates. He even would convert the couch for me to sleep on and would fold all my blankets. When he would come in the morning, he would convert it back to a couch. Thank goodness, I have no idea how to do that. If I go again, which I want to when I'm a bit older, I would certainly book this same stateroom if possible. The entertainment was really good. I loved the Sail Away celebration, with all the dancing and singing. That Love Boat horn sure was something else. That was a nice touch. Anything Love Boat related on a Princess ship is a nice touch. I'm not a big movie watcher, but I did end up going to Movies Under the Stars a couple times. The first time, I came late and still got a good seat. I got popcorn from Swirls and a blanket from Calypso Cabana. When I sat down, the head cushion fell and hit me in the head. I go to fix it and my ice cream and popcorn spill. I'm such a clod. A mom notices and sends her daughter to get me napkins. I said it was unnecessary, but she still got them anyway. The second time, I watched Crazy Rich Asians in a hot tub, which I found to be pretty stupid. Most of the movies they played were stupid. But, you couldn't drag me out of those hot tubs even if you tried. The pool was absolutely freezing, so I sat in the hot tubs talking my head off. No wonder I ended up with sun poisoning. I looked like a tomato, I was burning, had the chills later, and then my eyes swelled up shut. Ouch. I sure did like the concerts, though. I watched Elton John and Bryan Adams from the hot tub, both of which I like. What I find weird is that they start playing movies before it gets dark. They start setting up way before. One of the people I talked to had been on about 20 Princess cruises and was complaining that they played a lot of Tina Turner concerts and was tired of it. She also said that their first time on Regal was the first time they used medallions and it was full of problems. I was in the teen lounge once, and it was pretty cool. There were computers with PlayStations and a hot tub outside. There's nothing really to discuss about ports, since we didn't do any excursions. We did go onto the islands, though. Would I go again? Heck yes. I would wait a little while because I had crippling homesickness every night on this cruise. Overall, I loved this cruise and would want to go again on this same ship. (I'll post photos later, since they're all on my phone. I'll either send them to the computer or do it on my phone. If I can post videos, I will do that too. I got a good one of the Sail Away party, the Edge setting sail, people waving to us, and the horn.) Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We took this cruise mainly to get away and to have the option to depart from Los Angeles. Thankfully, after we returned home both of us left the voyage confident we had made a good decision. The food was excellent and being our fifth ... Read More
We took this cruise mainly to get away and to have the option to depart from Los Angeles. Thankfully, after we returned home both of us left the voyage confident we had made a good decision. The food was excellent and being our fifth Princess cruise we felt that all of the eateries on board were excellent. The Horizon Court Buffet was the biggest surprise. It was outstanding! A huge variety with many different selections each day. Crown grill as always was excellent as was our first visit to Sabatini's. Both places the service was top of the line, with fun and knowledgable wait staff. Our room was kept immaculate by our steward. The only minor downer was that the bed had not been transitioned to a Heavenly Bed yet but we were told it was coming soon to our level (Caribe Deck). The other downer was being charged for an excursion that was paid for a few months prior, but I am confident Princess will make it right after I contact my Princess agent.That is why I have focused primarily on Princess cruises. My agent, Phoenix Quevedo, always makes a sincere effort to ensure we are well served. The cruise was great. The entertainment was excellent with something for everyone. The stage design, singers, music and energy ensured we returned every show we could. Speaking of energy, Matt O, was the best cruise director we have ever seen. He has that unique ability to entertain most anyone he comes into contact with. He is not afraid to take a change, ensuring he never allows for routine. A true professional with a God Given talent. We departed after enjoying each day of the trip well rested and actually refreshed. We have already booked our Cabo cruise for December 2019. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Loved this ship! So glad they are making a duplicate with the Princess Sky. This ship is large enough to keep everyone occupied and user friendly too. Loved the mid ship atrium. Gave the Ship a sense of community. We selected this ... Read More
Loved this ship! So glad they are making a duplicate with the Princess Sky. This ship is large enough to keep everyone occupied and user friendly too. Loved the mid ship atrium. Gave the Ship a sense of community. We selected this cruise because of the many ports of calls. Gave us a good flavor of the Western Caribbean. The medallions were really handy and helped a lot when we got off the ships with identification and getting back on the ship. Often when we disembarked there were other cruise ships. The Princess medallions and the staff would have no lines, while other cruise lines would have lines that snaked all over the pier. The entertainment was amazing and the movies under the stars truly an unique experience. We found the staterooms to be ample in size and both my husband and myself are not "small" in stature. However in all fairness we were not in the rooms much either, as there is so much to do on the ship and we booked all 4 ports of calls shore excursions. Shore excursion are pricier than what you can find in the port, however if safety and getting back to your ship on time is a concern I would stay with the Princess line shore excursions. Overall this was a wonderful experience for our entire family. We did this during spring break and brought our 2 young 20's daughters. The age mix on the ship was perfect. There were many families with small children and a few teens and college age students. The night life was very tame. If you are looking for a party boat this is not your cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
This was our first time with so many passengers, and it was also the ship's first visit to Los Angeles, so there is hope most of these issues will be addressed. The embarkation was a disaster. The shore personnel handed us a group ... Read More
This was our first time with so many passengers, and it was also the ship's first visit to Los Angeles, so there is hope most of these issues will be addressed. The embarkation was a disaster. The shore personnel handed us a group number, then later a letter for boarding. No one knew what to use or what the order would be. Half of the large crowd in the structure could not hear announcements because speakers were broken. It took 2 hours for us to finally board with preferential boarding. Disembarkation was equally chaotic. We were to leave at 0715 but after waiting in long lines finally made it off at 0900. The buffet was huge, and always crowded. Breakfast was a feeding frenzy with passengers wandering about aimlessly, blocking aisles, making a run for food if something yummy was put out. After two days we never went back. The service was wonderful. The food in the dining room was delicious. The Chef's Table Lumiere was excellent. Sabatini's was wonderful with the food and service. We did not leave the ship for the cruise and cannot comment on shore excursions, etc. Nor did we attend many of the events on board. We saw one show, which was quite good, as was the Mexican Folkloric program. As always we thoroughly enjoyed Los Tres Brillantes, but some of the music in the common areas left something to be desired. The shops no longer carry paperback or CDs. The ship was so large we had trouble finding items in shops. The atrium feels somewhat claustrophobic. The deck is so truncated as to be unusable and there were few accessible windows to look out. Otherwise the décor was quite stunning. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
this was our first cruise with Princess Itinerary was good and ease of boarding was great. As always most of the crew are tremendous. We found the entertainment EXCELLENT - the booked main stage performers and stage shows were great. ... Read More
this was our first cruise with Princess Itinerary was good and ease of boarding was great. As always most of the crew are tremendous. We found the entertainment EXCELLENT - the booked main stage performers and stage shows were great. The "orchestra" was one of the best I've heard on a cruise ship. Although there were some main stage sound issues most people wouldn't know it. Food was just average - nothing outstanding - including Crown Grill. We found our cabin comfortable and our balcony enjoyable except for one of our neighbors "vaping" and occasionally smoking pot. We were surprised to find out that the Casino is no smoking except for one area. We couldn't go near it because we couldn't breathe for the overwhelming smoke. Apparently dress code on Princess is just on paper - always saw shorts- tshirts- sandals and ball caps in dining room even on formal nights. We had an issue with our shower for the first five days - unable to shower. Finally day 6 was fixed. Almost half of the cruise - we received a free dinner at the Crown Grill - glad we could shower for dinner. Felt ignored for days. Not sure we want to keep our upcoming 15 day Hawaii booking on Princess?? Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
My family and I were looking for an upgraded cruise line that we would feel comfortable cruising with for the next several years. We plan to take an Alaskan cruise in the near future and decided to try a Princess Caribbean cruise first as ... Read More
My family and I were looking for an upgraded cruise line that we would feel comfortable cruising with for the next several years. We plan to take an Alaskan cruise in the near future and decided to try a Princess Caribbean cruise first as Princess has the majority of the Alaskan cruise market. We have been on other upgraded cruise lines before including Celebrity, Norwegian and Viking. We booked a penthouse suite for ourselves and an interior room for our daughter. The room was beautiful and the deck wrapped around the back and the side of boat as our room was located at the back of the ship. Unfortunately, we weren't able to use the deck after the first 2 days as the room steward never cleaned the floor, the table, the chairs or the cushions. The glass for the fencing was so dirty you could barely see through it. It was interesting, when we pulled into port in St. Marteen, a Royal Caribbean ship was there and those employees were cleaning every balcony so the guest could enjoy what they had paid for. The customer service on the ship was terrible at best. Our room steward never brought ice to our room even though it was listed as a daily room perk. He never stocked our minibar another listed perk. We tried calling room service, guest services and housekeeping but no one ever answered the phone. Guest services did answer 1 time and the person on the other end audibly sighed when I requested things like towels, water, and ice. Finally, I started asking other room stewards on our floor as I only saw ours 1 time the entire cruise. The other room stewards made it very obvious they did not want to help me, but they did after I gave them an additional tip. Needless to say we never got any towel animals either. Of course I would have been happy with a towel of any kind, folded or not. Our daughter was not eligible to eat in Club class dining with us since she was in a different room, even though we paid for 2 rooms included a full suite. So we paid for Anytime dining for the 3 of us. It turns out, there is no such thing on the Regal. There is only 1 anytime restaurant which is not enough. If you aren't there before 6:00 pm, which appears to be the time when the restaurant is full, then you have to wait until 7:30 and then it is first come first serve. You can choose to put your name on a list for a reservation after 8:00 if you prefer. We ended up eating at the buffet most of the time as did most people on the ship. Our first stop was at Princess Cay for a beach day and a BBQ in the Bahamas. The ship was at capacity but they only opened 1 side of the Island for the food during the BBQ and the bar. I went to the bar before 10:00 am to ask the person standing there where the bathroom was located. She told me they didn't open until 10:00. I again stated I just needed to know where the bathroom was and she again stated they didn't open until 10:00 am and I had to come back then to ask a question. So my daughter had blood running down her face from the nose bleed and we couldn't get napkins or tissue because this lady wouldn't answer where the bathroom was located. Fortunately one of the vendors saw us trying to manage the situation and brought us to the bathroom and helped me clean her up. I was very thankful for her help and tipped her as well. When it came time to eat lunch, since only one side of the island was open, the long was LONG. I stood in line for an hour and 10 minutes and when we finally made it there, the only thing left was hot dogs. They closed the lunch down promptly at 1:30 with no consideration for how long the line was taking people to get food and some people never got to eat at all. It almost made me thankful for the gross hot dog we did get. St. Thomas and St. Marteen were the other 2 stops and the shore excursions were very nice. We enjoyed the islands as always. Our daughter is 18. Typically when we take cruises she goes to the activities listed for people her age and finds a group of friends to hang out with for the duration. Thanks to social media, she still stays in touch with some of them which is nice. Regal cancelled every activity listed for her age range. She didn't meet a single person on the ship. There was only 1 club to go to at night and it was constantly playing 60's - 70's music. It was also completely empty. There is nothing for young adults on this ship even though it was the height of Spring Break season when we were there. Getting off the ship in Ft. Lauderdale was a total nightmare. The luggage was not in the location it was supposed to be. We were light blue 4. We found our luggage across the room in brown 6. It took over an hour to get our car out of the garage and the people who worked there were surly at best. This cruise felt like a Carnival cruise with a hefty price tag. We will never take another Princess cruise again. Or any cruise line owned by Carnival. We will go back to Celebrity and enjoy the service and amenities they offer. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
We chose this sailing as it was a good value for a spring break escape with our granddaughters. It was our 47th cruise, but first for our 6 year old and 2nd for our 9 year old. The entire experience was very different from what we ... Read More
We chose this sailing as it was a good value for a spring break escape with our granddaughters. It was our 47th cruise, but first for our 6 year old and 2nd for our 9 year old. The entire experience was very different from what we normally do / enjoy on cruises as a couple. Our focus was for the children to have a good time. As detailed in specific section, our mini-suite was awesome! Our stateroom attendant Ryan was excellent. We sailed the Eastern Caribbean for the upmteenth time. I carefully selected excursions that our girls would enjoy. For convenience and safety, I booked them directly with the cruise line. In St Thomas we did Coral World. I would absolutely recommend the facility for a fun and educational experience. The tour guide was very informative and wonderful with the girls. After the excursion, guests have the opportunity to swim at Coki Beach. I was prepared with swimsuits, but my kids didn't want to leave the touch tank. The other feature they particularly enjoyed as the aviary and feeding the birds. HOWEVER, next time I would NOT book with the cruise line. As has always been my frustration with cruise line excursions, there was far too much waiting in line. We checked in at the pier a few minutes before the scheduled time, then waited in the hot sun for at least a 1/2 hour; then they crammed us like sardines into open air taxes for the 1/2 hour ride to Coral World. The tour ended by 1pm, but our ride back wasn't until 2:30pm. It was too much time to hang out at the touch tank but not enough time to do the beach. Once again we WAITED for a painfully long time while other guest finally decided to come to the taxi. In retrospect, I'd suggest taxis leave as each one fills up. It was hot, boring and a waste of time. Take a cab. In St Maarten we booked the airport snorkel tour and everything was BRILLIANT. We had a minimal wait time, no bus, just walked to the boat (at the water taxi pier.) We had a pleasant boat ride to Maho Bay. The crew dropped a floating dock off the side of the boat for easy access to the water. They provided floatation belts and snorkel gear for those who wanted it. It was a wonderful experience we all enjoyed and would do again. The crew were great; they announced each plane as we could barely see it approaching. It's not quite the same as watching from the beach, but wasn't as noisy or intimidating either. On board you can order food and/or drink at very reasonable prices. We had main dining with a table for four. Probably because we had children we were assigned a table "in the corner." We were directed to the table the first evening with that specific description. A few nights into the cruise, I had noticed a table by the window that had not been occupied and asked about it. They told me it was assigned to a party but they hadn't showed up, so we were delighted when they moved our table number over there for our 5:30pm dining. Our server apparently got sick mid-cruise and we were given another one, so nobody learned our preferences...one of the reasons we prefer assigned dining. Our meals in the dining room were always very good; we actually never chose an entrée from the always available selection. We encouraged our 9 year old to try things from the adult menu and she loved doing so! One evening she said "Mamie, when I order from the adult menu I don't feel like being sassy!" OK, then! We did have dinner on the Lido Deck both formal nights because...I left one suitcase tucked safely in our master closet at home during the chaos of loading the car. It held all of the mine and the girls' formal attire. We didn't realize until we were sorting bags for the porter to take. We made one quick emergency trip to a store as I struggled to remember what else was in that bag. We managed without formal attire, still got some great pictures and didn't go hungry. We loved our two breakfasts in the dining room and wish we had had more time to do that every day. We had room service more on this cruise than all other 47 cruises combined, but the girls loved dining on the balcony...close quarters and all. Horizon Court offered much more quantity than quality, but it was fine. I was very pleased that the grill now uses real cheese rather than plastic wrapped singles they had on our transatlantic. The girls loved having pizza and we all had too much of it. The "ice cream" is extremely poor quality and I won't touch it, but the girls liked it. My husband and I love going to the evening shows, but went only four nights together (one with the girls) and he went alone the final night to Bravo, which I have seen before and don't like. Everyone loved Sweet Soul Music and the adults absolutely loved Born to Dance. Comedian Steve Caouette, two nights in a row, was FANTASTIC!!! We took our girls to Camp Discovery the first afternoon so they could see the area, meet the counselors and get the schedule. There were a lot of kids on board due to it being spring break. Our girls wanted to go there every time the doors were open, but we negotiated family activities and pool time to keep them from being in programming all the time. We were very pleased with the variety offered to the kids and how much ours enjoyed it. The children's pool is too small for spring break! And we experienced issues with a couple older kids pushing and bullying. I sat right on the edge while mine were swimming and sternly advised the three particular problem boys not to put one finger on the little kids. They quickly learned to go to the family pool when my kids were there. My girls also enjoyed the family pool (ranges from 5'3" to 7'3") while we were in it with them. MUTS offered only two family movies, but not at times that worked for us to see them. There were way too many concerts (CUTS?) but at least the volume wasn't as loud as it had been on the Royal in December. We are disappointed our girls didn't get to experience MUTS...maybe next time. Overall, it was a wonderful time. We'd absolutely do it again and purchased Future Cruise Certificates for that purpose. Read Less
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