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What do You like & dislike about Royal Princess

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We have B2B cruises coming up on Royal Princess & like to know likes & dislikes .It would be our first cruises on this ship  We understand that no ship is perfect , for every one ;but ,it will help us to be prepared  

 

 TIA 

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Love Alfredo's, Seaview Bar, Enclave, tiered seating over MUTS (main) pool, evening water show, buffet layout and outdoor seating, Retreat pool. And the new cabin category, Deluxe Balcony with an actual seating area without having to pay all that extra for a mini-suite.

Dislike much smaller cramped casino and smaller night club, neither being a deterrent to sailing her in the slightest 

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LiKe :  the large atrium, the buffet.

Dislike:  No sky walker,  the wheelhouse is so small. Room a little smaller, balcony’s much smaller. Larger crowd.

Overall:   Very nice ship, but I prefer the Grand class.  To bad the are being phased out.

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LOVE: Alfredos, gelato bar

LIKE: Beautiful interior, huge buffet

DISLIKE: No skywalkers, no promenade deck, confusing layout that results in crowds/bottlenecks, tiny balconies

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Just now, ceilidh1 said:

LOVE: Alfredos, gelato bar

LIKE: Beautiful interior, huge buffet

DISLIKE: No skywalkers, no promenade deck, confusing layout that results in crowds/bottlenecks, tiny balconies

Should add to the dislike: Theatre too small for this size ship and no drink tray in theatre!

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The traffic bottlenecks are directly related to the lack of a wraparound Promenade: no alternative to go front to back on Deck 7 on the outside deck rather than the congested interior.

Other Dislikes are the public areas in general: Crown Grill and Wheelhouse Bar essentially sharing one space diminished attractiveness of both. And Club 6 is just a boring (and very overcrowded during the Elite Lounge hours) square box excuse for a dance venue.

Likes are all the alternative dining offerings. And The Enclave in the Lotus Spa: best thermal suite at sea I have seen outside of those built by Canyon Ranch. Also the Retreat Pool which was surprisingly uncrowded on my short Royal cruise.

 

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Well mostly love that the amazing MattO is the cruise director! I really loved the buffet setup - we have tended to avoid the buffet on other ships but on the Royal we really enjoyed it. Love the big atrium, the little gelato and crepe cafe, Alfredo’s, the beautiful Princess theatre, and the nightly fountain show. I loved having a sofa in our deluxe balcony room and the bed was dreamy.  It truly is a beautiful ship. But there were a few things I missed - like the Deck 7 promenade where you can walk all the way around the ship and up to the bow. I also really missed the Explorer’s Lounge. The Princess Live venue is fine for game shows, but for group trivia activities it just is a poor setup. I like having tables where you can sit together,  face each other and have conversations while playing. It was kind of awkward at times. The balconies are definitely a little small and I never got used to the Lotus Spa being on Deck 5 - I like it better high up and a little more secluded. And DH loves his Casino time and plays mostly Craps. Occasionally I will join him and play some slots but the Casino is surprisingly small and really packed with equipment so you are kind of cozy with your fellow players. It made me a little claustrophobic! Overall those are just minor issues. Royal is a lovely ship!

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Like- it's beautiful and the Buffet

Dislike-Lack of pools, teeny balconies, not only the size of the casino but the layout and location.  I don't smoke but I vape and the smoking room by the casino is terrible.  

 

Put me down like the others for preferring Grand Class.  

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Oh yeah, I forgot Princess Live...hate it.  Went in there once for Bingo and have never been back.  

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We were just on the Royal Princess--here were my top loves:

* Ship décor--elegant ship with a lot of wood and marble

* Buffet food--premium stuff like poached salmon, exotic cheeses, dried fruit like dates

* Norman Love desserts--don't miss the Chocolate Dome in the MDR

* International Café--24/7 good quality food (sandwiches, desserts, quiches)

* Piazza--always something going on

* Mini-suites--if you can afford them, they're very comfortable

* Relaxed vibe

 

Been on Princess, RCI, HAL and Celebrity; 25 cruises in all. Princess is far and away my favorite. - Musing About Cruising

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Some contrasting views and agreements to above:

I like Princess Live in that it is the venue for all the fun game and trivia events and with Matt O' it was great.  Seating is what most people complain about and it could be better but isn't horrendous as some people seem to think.

 

Love the Alfredo over Grand class in that its menu has more stuff, like calzones, soup, salads, besides pizza.  One of my favorite places to go for lunch a couple times over the cruise.

 

Wheelhouse Bar/Crown Grill- yes they are kinda intermingled, but you just walk through bar area to host(ess) for Crown Grill and the restaurant itself is mostly separate.  Food the same as on other ships.

 

Lack of promenade is regretful, but not a game changer to me.  Have been on Royal two times in the past few months and never really felt crowded in (as did on our recent DCL cruise especially at the elevators!)  Maybe between dinner times one had to weave through people in the piazza area but I was just getting from point a to b and not spending much time in that area.

 

As far as balconies go, book your cruise early and pick one of the balconies that are on an angle and you have a very nice size balcony instead of the normal (I must admit smaller than would like but ok) balconies.

 

Not into pools or casinos, so the fact they are smaller doesn't bother me in the least, but can understand for those that do.  

 

Also loved that it had its own gelato shop.  Now there are the good desserts!  Some of the Norman Love desserts were good, but on the whole, I would enjoy a good gelato ice cream over the normal Princess ship dessert offerings.

 

I don't do buffets, but have looked over Royal's and Grand Princess's.  I like Grand's better in that it is not so huge!  By the time I look over everything that is offered on the Royal, all I have picked is cold by the time I go to eat it.  Like the more intimate set-up like on the Grand if I am "forced" to do buffets (usually due to port days and tours in order to eat lunch).

 

Finally, deluxe balconies are a great choice for those that want to stay within the regular balcony category.  Unfortunately, I have gotten used to the bigger bathrooms in minis/suites and now book either CC mini or WS when available (was able to reserve one of only two WS on the new Enchanted for a 14 day Med. cruise in 2020! Yeah!)

 

But all in all, like the royal class ships the best (except for the availability of WS's on Grand class ships).  We will be on the Regal in August, and best of best, Matt O. will be our CD!!!!!!!!

 

Pooh

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The Royal is absolutely gorgeous!  She just sparkles and shines .

 

Likes (some aspects may apply to other ships in the Princess fleet): 

-Some balconies are larger (midship) ... try to book early to get one of these.  You can tell by the deck plans which ones these are.  

- The mini-fridges actually work as fridges 

- Dancing fountain shows at night up on the top deck

- On demand TV -- nice large mounted TV on the wall 

- Medallion Enabled 

- WiFi is phenomenally good 

- Alfredos (best service throughout the entire ship)

- The food was great throughout the ship

- Seawalk was a cool feature

- Retreat pool area (no charge and adults only) 

- Everything was sparkling clean throughout the ship

- Bathrooms are a nice upgrade from older ships (nice large square sink and actual shower doors ... no more clingy curtain.  

- Excellent beds and bedding, towels, robes, etc. 

- Balcony flooring doesn't have that filth catching blue matting 

- Plenty of storage space

- Soundproofing of rooms seems so much better than on older Princess ships

- Interactive screens throughout the ship with times and location of events and how to get there from where you are

- Royal tea time in the Piazza 

- Matt O (if he stays on the Royal) is the best cruise director of all!  

- Crooners -- just fantastic!!  Much better seating arrangement than on the Grand Class

 

 

Dislikes:

- Venues for shows / activities couldn't possibly hold all the people in attendance (way too small ... you have to either go 45 minutes early or stand the entire time)

- MDR dining room staff seemed geared towards 1000 less passengers being onboard (they were completely overwhelmed!) 

- Buffet was total chaos and lacking in table service for made to order items 

- No turkey sausage / bacon in the buffet or MDR at breakfast (many people were requesting it so it's not as though it would be wasted)

- Unwillingness of some dining / bar staff to fulfill a simple request 

- Inability to reserve a table in the MDR for anytime dining after 5 PM or before 8 PM (very inflexible dining times, even at specialty restaurants)

- Smoking allowed in the casino (except on formal nights) 

 

 

 

 

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Like:

-Alfredo’s

-Princess Live

-Medallions 

- The tv in the room was the biggest tv I have had in a stateroom and the movie selection on the TVs were amazing.

-The food in the main dinner room was delicious. 

Dislike: 

-Casino location

-Embarkation and disembarkation were terrible. 

-Long lines getting off the ship in ports.

-Location of the gym

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Drove to LA for the first voyage in the west coast.  Was tired of always sailing on the Grand out of SF.   

I disliked the balcony.  We paid extra for caribe deck which on the Grand the balconies are a lot bigger.  You can only sit sideways on the balcony it is SO small and we have a larger balcony because of a h/c room.  My husband in his power wheelchair could barely move around.  The rooms are also smaller.

I much prefer the Grand.   

Medallions were nice.  Even though mine stopped working on day 3 opening my door.   We also had cards so I just used my card and never bothered getting a new medallion.   

Only ate in buffet once and it was very nicely laid out.

Disliked the 2 person tables in dining room.  You were right on top on people seated next to you.  You might as well have been sitting at a large table.   

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I was recently on the Royal's epic repositioning cruise around South America.  I do agree with many of the likes/dislikes stated above, so I won't repeat.  I will add that the biggest issue I had was the much much too early traditional time of 5:15 PM.  I immediately changed to Anytime (UGH!, did not like that, I really am a traditional person) and that coupled with the too early show time of 7:30 PM. I will also say that the on board activities were fun and plentiful.   All in all the Royal is a lovely ship and I will cruise on her again in about a week.

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19 minutes ago, voljeep said:

which cabins had shower doors, not curtains ???

That's what I was going to ask.  Just got off, and E625 had a shower curtain.

 

Anyway she's TOO BIG for me.  I like taking stairs when possible, but ended up on elevators a lot.

 

A promenade deck is also important for me.  She has the little bits of deck, but they are hard to find and closed more often than not.  Not being under the boats, they also don't have the shade that I need.

 

Very good food (mostly ate at the buffet) and service.

 

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19 minutes ago, hpeabody said:

I was recently on the Royal's epic repositioning cruise around South America.  I do agree with many of the likes/dislikes stated above, so I won't repeat.  I will add that the biggest issue I had was the much much too early traditional time of 5:15 PM.  I immediately changed to Anytime (UGH!, did not like that, I really am a traditional person) and that coupled with the too early show time of 7:30 PM. I will also say that the on board activities were fun and plentiful.   All in all the Royal is a lovely ship and I will cruise on her again in about a week.

I was on the 4/27/19 Mexico cruise and the MDR times are now 5:00 and 7:15.

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5 minutes ago, 1emerald1 said:

I was on the 4/27/19 Mexico cruise and the MDR times are now 5:00 and 7:15.

 

Yes it was 5 p.m. for us as well on our recent cruise - way too early for us as it turns out. We only made it a couple of times either due to port activities or just not being hungry that early (I'm an afternoon tea fan) - but fortunately we really loved the buffet. I wouldn't go with such an early time again - I'd choose Anytime instead. Plus the two-tops in the MDR, which we prefer, are pretty tight. At the buffet we never had a problem getting a nice table by ourselves next to the window which was very nice.

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5 minutes ago, snaebyllej said:

  I like taking stairs when possible, but ended up on elevators a lot.

 

 

We are booked our our first Royal Princess cruise this September, and I, too, am a "stair person."

 

Can you provide more information on why you "ended up on elevators a lot?"

 

It appears to me from the deck diagrams at the Princess web site, that the Royal Princess has aft- mid- and fore- staircases similar to the other Princess ships that we have cruised.

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It’s a favorite ship of mine!

 

Likes:

newer

awesome food choices

beautiful

shaving foot rest in the shower

bit bigger shower 

Medallion internet and services 

 

Dislikes:

narrow balconies

can be crowded/more people 

Princess Live is too small and not as comfy as older lounges

has to miss ports occasionally due to its huge size combined with wind

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My biggest dislikes are the Passenger Services desk and the Excursion desks.  Very uninformed and sometimes rude people there. Other wise we like most of the other things on the ship. Will be nice to compare the Royal/Regal to the Sky next January.

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In her first post, karatemom2 pretty well covered what I would have said.  Disagree with another poster about the spa--more expensive than on the older ships, esp. for the Enclave as compared to the Thermal Suite, and I didn't like the high ceilings and fairly bright lights (latter more subdued in older ships).  When I had my usual massage, I got a glimpse of the therapeutic pool, which is a new feature for Princess (HAL has had them for some time and their subdued lighting is preferable).  But our biggest complaint is that they did away with OV cabins on Plaza (now the spa on the Royal), which is what we always get on the older ships.  As we did 2-3 cruises/year and my DH could care less about having a balcony, we went for value with a view.  I liked the layout of the  buffet, but the "hot" food was always more "tepid" than hot.  We've been on the Royal twice:  once for a 14-day EB TA to Southampton in Apr-May 2015 ("obstructed" balcony) and once for a 10-day Caribbean cruise in Jan 2016.

 

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Dislike:  the mutilated Wheelhouse Bar & the size of the ship

Like:      the massive balconies on the Lido Deck forward, the buffet, the generous amount of seating in the buffet, the Club Class  Dining area in the MDR, the pictures on the walls by past passengers (although I wish they'd include the location), Alfredo's and the shops that carry Brighton & Chico's stuff.

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