Great time – but not the ship for me
Terry | October 3, 2020 | Princess Cruises | Royal Princess
I have sailed with princess Cruses 30 times now, and they will continue to be my preferred cruise line.
I sailed on The Royal Princess for its 3 day pre innaugral cruise when it was first commissioned. There were lots of technical problems on this very very short cruise, but as with any new ship, these are to be expected. I decided at the time, that I would take a full cruise with The Royal when I next had the opportunity.
I have just returned (last week) from A Caribbean 10 day cruise on this vessel. The cruise itself was great, and I had been to all the ports of call before, so, knew what to expect from each Island. The start wasn’t a great one, in that when we arrived at the embarkation centre in Ft Lauderdale, we joined the preferred passenger line (as we are elite members). However, no one was monitoring this line, and there were lots of first time cruisers in the line also.
The ship had just come from Europe, so needed a full customs inspection. Therefore, the wait was HUGE. The queues were going right outside of the embarkation centre, there were no refreshments, and it was very very hot. Cruise port staff were not very proactive. Despite knowing in advance that the ship would need to undergo a full customs inspection, the letters sent out to us stated at what time e should arrive at the cruise port. We waited over 2 hours from first joining the queue, to actually getting to the check in counter, and then another 45 minutes after that. Surely, Princess should have let their passengers know about the delays that would ensue under the circumstances?!
However, we were on holiday, so, you kind of shrug off these things, knowing that you had a fabulous cruise ahead of you.
The Royal Princess is a formidable vessel, and, as you would imagine, being a new ship, is immaculate, and very modern interior design,
The staterooms are lovely, with a large TV screen on the wall, that had access to a wide variety of films to view on demand (No charge), and many informative port and shopping videos to view at any time too. On first entering the ship, it is very impressive, opulent and beautiful. However, there are lots if things that make this ship not one that we would sail on again:
The majority of the Balconies are overlooked by by other balconies, and a lot overlooked when walking on the glass bottomed walkway.
The Horizon Court is HUGE. However, the flow is very strange, and different food choices are at different ends of it. It isn’t an easy place to navigate around at all – unlike on the other Princess ships.
The passenger flow around the ship in general does not seem well thought out at all. To get to different areas of the ship often involve a rather convoluted way around.
The spa facilities are wonderful – a very modern and opulent facility. However, even to access the sauna and steam room, there is a charge – which is not the case with the other Princess ships.
There is, as any Princess Cruise passengers already know, an amazing array of food choices/restaurants, Pizzeria, burger bar etc. The Royal Princess also has a great little Sushi bar – but, to eat here, you have to pay. that oddly be fine, if it was like any of the other specialty restaurant like the Crown Grill, or Sabbitinis, where you pay a cover charge – but, this isn’t the case. You pay per order of sushi, and the choices are set. So, eating here can be very expensive indeed. Paying a surcharge would have been fine
We found the best bar to be Crooners – exceptional staff (Joanne & Imran). A great social gathering, and nothing was too much trouble for the staff.
The service in Princess theatre was very “patchy” with staff not being particularly attentive or bothered.
The anytime dining facility is great – easy to get a table for two, with no, or very little waiting. (However, the tables for two are so close together, you may as well be on a table for four or 6)
We ate in the anytime dining restaurant quite a lot, and we were always allocated the same table, which was great for us, as we got to know the waiting staff, the Head Waiter and the Matre D pretty well. the service was exceptional.
The production shows were very good, but we didn’t particularly enjoy some of the other guest entertainers.
The stateroom stewardess was not great, we would ask for things,and she would say that we had to ring certain departments for it – e.g. changing some of the mini bar items (this has never been an issue on any other cruise we have taken). She did whats he had to do – but certainly didn’t go out of her way at all
There was plenty of room to relax on deck, and never an issue finding a sun lounger, or getting into a swimming pool of Jacuzzi.
There was an Elite/Platinum lounge every evening between 5-7pm – but, again, as with most of these things, no one was actually monitoring who went in there, and one of the waiters there often told passengers to bring their friends with them, despite them not being Elite/Platinum passengers. Tis may seem a very petty point – but, if these kind of things are set for certain passenger groups, they should be reserved for them – otherwise there is no point in having them as a perk for well travelled passengers.
The Piazza was a well maintained and social area, always busy and a great place to relax and people watch
We had a great time, as always – however, The Royal Princess seems too far removed from the other ships in the fleet, and if you have travelled on many of the other ships, then this one is just “too different”.
Next year we are sailing on The Grand again
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