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Royal Princess Review

Royal Princess
Royal Princess

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Royal Princess
4.0 / 5.0 Cruise Critic Editor Rating
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Pros

Lots of dining options, many game shows and busy daily schedule

Cons

No aft pool

Bottom Line

Modern ship with a traditional take on cruising


About

Passengers 3,560
Crew 1,346
Passenger to Crew 2.64:1
Launched 2013
Shore Excursions 297
Chris Gray Faust
Cruise Critic Managing Editor

Royal Princess Overview

Like other Princess Cruises ships, Royal Princess embraces many traditional components cruisers love and, through partnerships and technology, adds extras appealing to first-time cruisers.

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It combines a full afternoon tea with craft cocktail presentations. Bingo, trivia and game shows dominate the daily program and hosts special destination-themed events, like Puppies (or Parrots) in the Piazza, depending on the itinerary. Evening entertainment is mostly production shows and music events; you can also watch a recent release at Movies Under the Stars.

The modern and high-tech OceanMedallion, a personalization technology, is meant to make your cruise more convenient and service more intuitive. OceanMedallion, a small disk replacing the keycard, is used to open cabin doors automatically, embark and disembark, register food and drink preferences and many more, particularly when paired with several apps.

Unfortunately, on our Alaska sailing, OceanMedallion didn't live up to the hype. Spotty Wi-Fi hindered ordering drinks using the app in most locations or finding our cabinmate using OceanCompass. Similarly, bartenders or waiters rarely consulted iPads; most interactions used our room number, like always. The MedallionNet internet, billed as strong enough to stream, was inadequate to download email. The hotel director told us the system works better outside Alaska, but at least passengers on our sailing seemed to enjoy wearing the Medallions, even if they eschewed pulling out their phones.

Royal Princess shines in its partnerships and programming, even if these lack major signage and branding within the daily Princess Patter. Chocolatier Norman Love's Chocolate Journey desserts stand out from the menu. The North to Alaska enrichment lectures, such as a talk by Libby Riddles, the first female Iditarod winner, were excellent. The Princess Luxury Bed by sleep expert Dr. Michael Breus is one of the comfiest we've experienced at sea. Animal Planet- and Discovery Channel-branded shore excursions were passenger favorites.

A nice choice for people who love a traditional cruise's comforts and rituals, Royal Princess is big enough, with an impressive array of restaurants, to appeal to first-time cruisers. It's not trendy, but it's hard to be bored here -- that's enough for most Royal Princess passengers.


Inclusions

Included with your cruise fare:

  • Meals in the main dining rooms, buffet, both pizza restaurants and at select other eateries
  • Room service
  • All theater shows and Movies Under the Stars
  • Most daily activities, unless otherwise noted
  • Kids programs
  • Use of the gym, but not most classes

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Daily gratuities ($12.95 per person, per day, or $13.95 per person, per day, for those staying in suites)
  • Automatic beverage and spa tips (15 percent for both)
  • All drinks beyond water, tea (including iced tea), coffee and select juices in the buffet
  • Use of The Enclave Thermal Suite
  • Entrance to The Sanctuary adults-only sun deck
  • Spa treatments
  • Shore excursions
  • Wi-Fi
  • Special activities, such as bingo and wine or beer tastings
  • Photos and artwork

Fellow Passengers

Princess passengers are typically people who seek casual elegance and shy away from overt trendiness. On Alaskan sailings, you'll find more first-time cruisers who have chosen the ship for the destination, while on warm-weather sailings, you'll find more repeat passengers. Americans dominate, on both routes; expect more people from around the entire country in Alaska and a more local audience when the ship sails from a U.S. homeport.

Many families choose Princess; multigenerational groups (grandparents, adult children, grandkids) enjoy the dining and entertainment options and the line's solid family programs, particularly during the summer and holidays. During the Alaska season, the average age is mid- to late 50s; on warm-weather itineraries, the average age skews higher into the 60s (except during school holidays).


Royal Princess Dress Code

Daytime: Casual, with shorts, T-shirts, jeans and leggings most common inside the ship. Bathing suits and cover-ups are the main outfits on the pool deck.

Evening: Smart-casual most nights leans toward casual than smart; many wear the same attire during the day and at dinner. Women wear capris, nice jeans/pants; men wear khakis or nice jeans. Two formal nights on most cruises are laid-back -- few jackets, ties and beaded dresses. Men wear a dress shirt and nice pants; women wear maxi or cocktail dresses.

Not permitted: No swimwear, casual jeans (defined as ones that are frayed or with holes), tank tops, ball caps or shorts are allowed in the restaurants at dinnertime.

For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Code: Princess.


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Deck:
Gala Deck
Plaza Deck
Fiesta Deck
Promenade Deck
Emerald Deck
Dolphin Deck
Caribe Deck
Baja Deck
Aloha Deck
Riviera Deck
Marina Deck
Lido Deck
Sun Deck
Sports Deck
Sky Deck

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More about Royal Princess

Where does Royal Princess sail from?
Royal Princess departs from Los Angeles, Tokyo (Yokohama), Vancouver and Whittier.
How much does it cost to go on Royal Princess?
Cruises on Royal Princess start from $369 per person.
Is Royal Princess a good ship to cruise on?
Royal Princess won 2 awards over the years.

Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice

  • 2017 Best Overall
  • 2017 Best for Public Rooms

Royal Princess Member Reviews

Royal Princess
lindabushaw2
Sail Date: Feb 2020
Cruised same itinerary last February aboard the Royal Princess. This year, the Royal Princess was a completely newer and larger ship....Read More
Royal Princess
drsalch
Sail Date: Nov 2019
Despite a very generous offer of future casino credit, we're not enthusiastic about returning to the Royal Princess....Read More
Royal Princess
Bwana Tom
Sail Date: Jan 2020
We'd been on the Royal Princess before and found it still be a very beautiful and well maintained ship....Read More
Royal Princess
wdmor
Sail Date: Jan 2020
Overall we enjoyed the Royal Princess. The staff is excellent with the exception of our room steward who was just average....Read More

Princess Cruises Fleet