Regal: my first review of her (10/21/17 Canada)

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#1
PA
3,130 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
First time on Princess and this cruise fit into my schedule is why I choose these dates. 5 nights on the Regal (10/21/17) from NYC to Saint John and Halifax. I originally booked through princess but later got a competing offer online that was too good to pass up so canceled and booked with them and also got some OBC. A short while after that, princess price dropped and less than 5 minutes on the phone with TA got me the price drop. 550 PP for minisuite (MC) L225 and I retained my OBC as well. This must be an off week as the cruise the week adjacent to mine was going for 2200 PP for the mini (which wouldnít be worth it as that approaches Haven pricing on NCL or yacht club on MSC). I feel fortunate and was thrilled with the pricing.

My only previous cruise experience was 2 times on the NCL Breakaway (BA) so I may make comparisons from time to time and my references are all from the perspective of a new cruiser to princess in an effort to educate newbies and old timers alike. So feel free to ask any question no matter how small, because thatís how you learn!

BROOKLYN PORT
I preferred Brooklyn to Manhattan even though it was a longer drive. 25 vs 40 bucks a day for parking and the terminal was mostly better than Manhattan. However, Brooklyn needs a PA system because any directions the lady was shouting to the crowd of 3000 people were not heard correctly and we all started to go toward the gate when she started talking. But it was a false start and we were told to sit back down. Talk about being deflating. They need a better system of filling out the health forms rather than ďfightingĒ for a writing utensil then waiting to deposit them in a box in the middle of the terminal. I donít know why you donít do this at the main desk when you check in. Also do not get in the line at the front counter right inside the door as we were told erroneously. That apparently is for people doing the lunch on board. When you enter the terminal you go to the right and show your boarding pass and ID and then you get in line to be body scanned. Then thereís a line you wait in and you are directed which station to go to register. It was much faster than NCL and very efficient. We had to change what credit card we were using and even that didnít take long. Of course since health forms and pictures arenít done here, thatís why itís so fast, as we later discovered.
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10/16/16 Breakaway Haven Spa Suite, Bermuda. 1st cruise ever and had a blast

12/11/16 Breakaway to Bahamas. I am addicted so had to go again quickly on my 2nd.

10/21/17 Princess Regal to Canada. Celebrating a milestone!
review https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2575289








#2
PA
3,130 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
EMBARKATION
We arrived shortly after 10 and we got boarding number 2. Yippee! I am not sure how far the numbers go up though, but knew this was good. Our picture was taken aboard the ship at 1227pm. This was different than NCL where when you checked in and gave your CC you had your picture taken. We took a few pics of the piazza and were eating pizza at alfredos at 1255. You must try the pizza. And you can special order so donít be afraid to tell them your pleasure. They looked at my gf funny when she asked for a Hawaiian without pineapple though. But she likes to live dangerously and repeated the order for the nice lady, who had a quizzical look.

We then set out to explore the ship and made our way to the cabin. It was ready and very nice. Iím glad we had the extra space as we were doing an ultimate balcony dinner and it was too cold to be outside. There are many pics and videos of cabins online so Iíll just make some observations. The room has your typical card slot to keep things turned on when you are in the cabin and has a delay so when you leave your room it all doesnít get instantly turned off. The amount of light switches and what they control can take some time to figure out. Especially the lights over the desk. You will have fun figuring all this out. Reward yourself with a beverage when you do figure it all out. There is a nice small ledge close to the door to put your keys/wallet etc if you are so inclined. Itís a great paper collector too. This was heavily used during out trip.

Iím glad we had a tub in the minisuite because pics Iíve seen of the shower stall are too tiny and not as much room to hang wet stuff. That being said, the tub was extremely slow to drain and you showered in a pool of water every day. But since the pool outside was too cold, maybe this was their attempt to make us happy. There was a nice fancy faucet to just set the temp and forget it for the hot water. And the pressure was good. The toilet positioned at an angle is weird but you cannot really change it without some plumbers tools and I did not bring mine. I have to say I was impressed with 100% button success. On the BA last year, we had to press the button 4 or 5 times to get it to flush but on regal, we had 100% success every time we pressed the button. Very rewarding.

Thereís ample room and hangars to hang things and you can ask for robes to be delivered to the room but my guess is if you weigh over 200 lb they really wonít close and they donít have larger ones, we asked. The life vests are on top of the closet, unlike on the BA which are under the bed. You must take the vest to muster but donít wear it to muster or you will look like a newbie. And make sure you donít drag the straps either or you will fall and be in the med center for a tour you donít want. The bed is a queen as advertised (bit too small for people used to a king) and beds are all subjective but we found it reasonable to sleep on. Not the best, not the worst. You have high and low pillows to suit your preference. Light switches next to the bed are nice but why on a new ship isnít there at least one outlet next to the bed? There are table lights fastened into the end tables next to the bed and they have their own switches which is nice.

The sofabed was comfy to sit on but we didnít open it to inspect it otherwise. We never sat at the desk but found it spacious and used a few drawers. The steward put our ice bucket in the fridge after the 1st day but I donít know if this is the norm or not. We never use ice. The in room phone is very crackly but we called to get our UBD dinner set up. Thereís an extra chair in the corner to hang your clothing on if you need to or you could sit on it of course. The balcony door was very hard to open but that assured us we would be safe from any waves that got as high as deck 16. The balcony is the same size as the BA (except for that time I got the angled one on the BA and enjoyed that space) so we didnít know any better if this size was good or bad relative to other princess ships. There is a light switch to turn off your outside light if you would like.

I did not like that the air vents were directly above my bed. We donít have hot air heat at home and we were very dried out every morning. The positive about this is that if you want heating or cooling that itís virtually instant. Iíve seen videos online of the regal showers and I have to say Iím glad I sprung for the tub in the mini.

WARNING: in bad weather this room creaks worse than a 100 year old with joint problems. We had force 10 winds (scale only goes up to 12) and for 2 days and one night we heard the room constantly moaning and groaning. It definitely affected our sleep and we would never stay in 225 again. I was pleased the bathroom door stayed in place through it all (no rattling or swaying). The noise in the walls and ceiling was just crazy and constant. Also someone apparently tried to jamb something up in the corner of the ceiling to stop the noise prior to our cruise. On the BA last year we had pretty big waves and wind and never heard this type of room noise. My guess is itís luck of the draw with regards to room structure. Also I wanted to say that noise from the retreat pool area above was only heard one day at 9 am. I never heard it early morning. I was worried about noise from above but I wouldnít worry about deck noise here. And the convenience outweighs it anyway.
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10/16/16 Breakaway Haven Spa Suite, Bermuda. 1st cruise ever and had a blast

12/11/16 Breakaway to Bahamas. I am addicted so had to go again quickly on my 2nd.

10/21/17 Princess Regal to Canada. Celebrating a milestone!
review https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2575289








#3
PA
3,130 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
THE SHIP

I always try to study the deck plans so I know my way around before I board, but admit the accordion one they gave us came in handy! One note for people staying forward is that if you take the elevators to 6, you must go to the theater, the casino or club 6. Those are your only choices. The club was open as a pass through most times except one time closed for elite activities. I thought it weird there was no hallway to avoid any of these areas. Even when you get off and go past the spa there is a public walkway on that deck. We explored the ship from top down. Elevators go to 17 but if you want to go to 18 or 19 and get some really cool views, you must hoof it up the steps to those observation areas. I didnít go there except while in port, but imagine itís nice and peaceful up there during transit. You could probably even sunbathe topless and no one would know. The free retreat area on 17 is an adults only area with a pool, 2 hot tubs, rental cabanas and a nice amount of seating. We did not use this area at all due to weather and the pool not being heated. The pool on 16 was moderately heated but not enough for us. Outdoor temps were 60s. We did a tour of the sanctuary and found it to be pleasant but surprised there was no pool since it was a pay area. Maybe thereís a wilder crowd on other sailings but I found no need for such a paid quiet area on this sailing. I counted maybe 10 to 20 kids and no wild and crazy behavior at all. Heck I wondered if the ship was really even full as allegedly all ships sail full.

There are 2 hot tubs on 17 but we never tried them out. We spent time on 16 in those tubs, which were hotter than the breakawayís. Never had to fight to get in and always a seat. Waiter even offered us a drink one time. It was fantastic being on lido deck so we had such a short walk to the cabin and could pick up food from the pizza joint or the grill on the way back to the cabin. Also we could check out the crowd in the hot tub before deciding to get changed and get in or not. But there was never a crowd! The terrace pool aft 17 was the smokers lounge. Since the pool was ice cold we never went back there again but it looked like a nice retreat.

Deck 16 near the pool has pizza, a bar, and a grill. The grill menu changes at night so make sure you get there when you need to or you may miss out on the ribs or other things that are only served at a specific time. I believe it changes at 5pm to evening stuff. Also even if it looks closed, itís open. We had no crowds and thought it was closed one time but nope, the guy doing prep on the side would make you what you want. I didnít think the brisket was good but the dogs were and the pizza was as well. Also if you have your soda cups they just fill them at the bar without you even showing your cards. Nice when you have hands full of other food. Again the lido was fantastic, I can imagine how much fun it would not be if I had to take an elevator to get a drink. Gosh the exercise! Love the lido deck! Did I say that before? And strangely enough even 2 months before sailing, most of the minis were still available on lido. Unsure why they arenít more popular. Perhaps the creaking?

The seawalk was a fun glass walkway to walk over the ocean and everyone should try it once. Or a few times if you are scared of heights. It will help you get over it. Try it at night too, I had zero issues then for some reason. Probably because I couldnít see the sharks lurking below ready to feast. The fountain shows next to the pool are neat to watch and are totally weather dependent. Watch them when you can because they may be canceled later in the trip. One thing I did notice for people trying to watch football once during the day is they were staring directly into the sun but they didnít turn the ship to accommodate this issue nor did they move the sun. So be warned of this. People were watching with hands over their heads to block the bright light. Thereís an assortment of seating both in and out of the sun and even some fancy cushioned sofas. A welcome from the hard loungers. Even if this was a more crowded cruise, I believe things are spaced out well enough to enjoy yourself.

We did not spend a lot of time on deck 7 except to go in the upper theater entrance and had muster in the art gallery. However ďprincess liveĒ is there and we saw Ďtrue or mooí in the studio and it was pretty funny. Definitely a good spot for a rainy day and seating inside deck 7 is pretty nice. I bought the obligatory 40 dollar ship model in the gift shop. Also they have some unusual things in the gift shop. Never saw tightie whities in any gift shop before. One note, if you try to use a credit card and the machine is offline, they will give you a blank stare because no one has ever tried to do this before apparently in the history of the world. I had to stand there 5 minutes. What they do in the end is charge to your room then your CC when the system goes back up but the girl was like a deer in headlights when I wanted to do this. I felt bad.

Deck 6 is where you get on the ship and get your security pic taken, and as stated above, yummy alfredos is there for your dining pleasure. We ate there twice. Also walking through the casino itís tempting to do the Ďclaw machineí to win cash instead of stuffed toys and I do believe the machine is rigged. One time I released the lever and it continued to go to the top. But still it was a unique thing to do and took much longer than losing 10 bucks at a slot machine. The smoking area of the casino is on the exterior side of the ship and I really didnít smell smoke on a walk through because the main aisle is smoke free I believe. I played a little on the machines just in case someone wants to give me casino rate on the ship someday. Should also note here that if you want the allegro dining room you canít get there from the mid section of deck 6. Weird design but you only have to come down the aft elevators/steps once and get off 6 to realize you are trapped.

Deck 5 is where the spa is and you can walk by without being accosted by sales people. On the BA they would frequently have hoards of employees out there trying to rope you in. Kind of annoying after the 1st day. I felt no pressure anywhere on this ship and upon embarking and eating in alfredos was the only time anyone approached us to buy something (wine event). The piazza is the center of the interior world on this ship and is a huge reason I booked this ship. It has enough seating and things to do during bad weather and it seems so much larger than the BAís atrium because it is! The atrium on BA is horribly crowded and tiny. Itís more a nightclub stage vs the beautiful and classy and spacious piazza. Lots of dancing classes to watch people and things like a bean bag toss. Little things to help pass the time. The international cafť has wonderful beef steak pie and the cheesecake was fantastic. The muffins in the morning were good as well. This is a great spot to get some free food. I regret not trying some of the sandwiches but ran out of time.
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10/16/16 Breakaway Haven Spa Suite, Bermuda. 1st cruise ever and had a blast

12/11/16 Breakaway to Bahamas. I am addicted so had to go again quickly on my 2nd.

10/21/17 Princess Regal to Canada. Celebrating a milestone!
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#4
PA
3,130 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
ULTIMATE BALCONY DINING

After muster we contacted room service and the waiter said heíd be right down to discuss the menu. I asked if there was crab instead of lobster and he said no but they had salmon. I was ok with that but it just seemed like he didnít want to substitute nor had a list of things and I was lucky to get what I got. You get half bottle of champagne, one alcoholic drink, salad, crab for an app, yummy birthday cake, a chocolate and raspberry dessert and other things which no way could we eat for dessert. The bday cake was a small square with the princess logos on and was cool. Oh almost forgot about the other apps because we didnít really eat them. I think one was salmon with crackers and one was probably caviar or something. I forget now. It takes many many trips for him to set up the table/cloth, glasses, silverware etc so just sit back and relax. Also, while the weather was too cold for outside, I donít see how this really would work on the small balcony. The person in the rear of the table could never get out if they had to. Also they had a photographer in the room because you get one free 8x10 which is 25 dollar value. We bought 5 more pics for 90 bucks downstairs and got the cute ship USB as well. I think there was 6th pic free also. Speaking of pictures, I found out why princess doesnít ask your room number when they take your pics. You have to look for them in the gallery. Insanity in this 21st century world. On the BA they ask your room number then they all come up on the screen for you.

Regarding the service of the dinner in your cabin: If anyone is worried about being awkward, donít. Sometimes he would open the door and see we were still eating and not ready for the next course and I didnít feel it was too obtrusive at all and I normally would be bothered by stuff like that. He also had an assistant with him once service started. This is a wonderful treat and I have to say Iíd do it again. The filet was the best Iíve EVER had, including a local place that Iíve gone to for years. He said itís the same as down in the steakhouse. My gf is not a steak fan but she really enjoyed it too. The salmon was also done wonderfully and since the chocolate dessert had raspberries on it, it was 100% healthy.

The UBD is also a great deal financially for the 100 bucks. Hereís the breakdown with my estimated conservative pricing if I got this at home: 2 apps crab (10x 2) =20; surf and turf (est. 35 in any home restaurant) = 70; 2 drinks (8x2) = 16; 2 desserts (5x2) = 10; bday cake and other extra desserts =15; roses = 10; ship pic = 25; half bottle champagne = 10 and then the apps which I forget what they are would probably be 10 as well so thatís nearly 200 bucks worth of stuff for 100. Just do it! and if the steak really is what is served in the steakhouse Iíd gladly pay 29 for it and eat downstairs!
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10/16/16 Breakaway Haven Spa Suite, Bermuda. 1st cruise ever and had a blast

12/11/16 Breakaway to Bahamas. I am addicted so had to go again quickly on my 2nd.

10/21/17 Princess Regal to Canada. Celebrating a milestone!
review https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2575289








#5
PA
3,130 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
INTERNET
Because my provider didnít do out of country service in Canada, I paid for one month of ATT prepaid service which gave me full phone service in Canada for just 40 bucks. I know some cars have GPS in them but you never know what rental car you get until you are there so I wanted to have GPS for sure to make sure I didnít get lost. Also itís great to check in with family and friends for Ďfreeí using the phone. Remember you need to turn roaming on. I didnít know we had to do this but thankfully the Rogers signal prodded the correct settings on the phone. Very impressed! Iím also aware that Verizon postpaid service has a good plan but I havenít used it. I did not use internet on the ship at all so cannot comment there.

SAINT JOHN

Due to tides you have weird times to arrive/depart. We got there at 5 and the car rental didnít open until 8. We had a muffin at the international cafť and walked a few blocks to enterprise. This walk is doable for most people. Itís a moderate hill and very safe and about 10 or 15 minutes at a very slow pace. I think it took 2 or 3 minutes on an ipad until we were keys in hand and driving away. super-efficient. I believe it was about 65 USD. One word of warning. When you go to get gas do NOT hit Ďfill upí on your gas pump when you prepay. It will hit you will a 150 or 200 dollar preauth that ties up your CC for days. That being said, I used 10 USD worth of gas on my trip here. The drive to St Martin to see the caves is mostly along a 2 lane road. You pass by some nice and some not so nice houses. This is real world Canada! I could never live in such an isolated place but it was very cool to visit. Before you get to the parking lot for the caves there is a neat cove where when the tides are out, the boats literally sit on the ocean floor. Makes for a cool pic. Maybe Iíll come back and post some later on. We were 2 of only 4 people at the caves already. It was nice having the place to ourselves.

You have to wear some kind of sturdy shoes/boots as you will be walking in the ocean. Tons of rocks of all shapes and sizes and if you were in flip flops youíd have a serious issue. The closest cave is the largest and the magnitude of it all is amazing. You can go further out to a 2nd set of caves and that is fun but Iím betting very few people go out to what I call the 3rd set. The rocks get full of seaweed and you really have to pick your path carefully. But there is a huge cove that is absolutely stunning. You could fit probably a few thousand people in there for a concert and I walked all the way to the back of it. It took some time. I could barely see my gf, who waited at the front. In pictures you can zoom and see the little dot she was. I was all alone and this was truly a memorable moment. Coolest excursion I was ever on being so far out in the ocean. Yet dry. I wrote my name in the sand knowing it would be covered by many feet of water in just a few hours. On the way back from the cove, turns out the water already was coming in and we had to do a slight detour to get back to the 2nd cave area. We came at absolute low tide and I highly recommend you do that as well. Looking back to the restaurant in the parking lot, it was amazing at how far out we were. I cannot imagine what it would be like being trapped out there. They should make a horror movie here with a bunch of people entrapped at high tide. I believe the restaurant was open but we didnít walk up to try to front door. Also on the way back you will see a lighthouse sign with an arrow. Do not follow this if you want to see a lighthouse because you wonít. Trust me. Argh.

We headed back to town to take a peek at the reversing river. We got there just about as it was time to reverse but unless you stand there about 1 hour you wonít really see it do its thing. We did see where one part of the river appeared to be fighting itself and was actually calm. Then we left and went to the city market which was decorated for canadaís 150th birthday. We got some fish and chips and it was yummy. Lots of local crafts and food to look at. Then we went and found a local supermarket which is a thing of mine for every new country we go to. I like to see if there are any unique food or snack items to be brought back home. I found a few different kind of potato chips so I was happy. Prices were nowhere near as crazy as Bermuda. We returned the car and the nice people at enterprise drove us back to the ship. Also they are not allowed to enter the lot so they drop you off on the street in front of the ship. No biggie, just donít be surprised. In order to leave port, you have to wait for the tide so you can get over a sand bar then we were on our way to Halifax. The captain was good at explaining all this to us. I never saw this reasoning anywhere on the cruise forum and you can impress your friends with the knowledge. This is also the reason that the ship will never wait for you at this port. They literally cannot!
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10/16/16 Breakaway Haven Spa Suite, Bermuda. 1st cruise ever and had a blast

12/11/16 Breakaway to Bahamas. I am addicted so had to go again quickly on my 2nd.

10/21/17 Princess Regal to Canada. Celebrating a milestone!
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#6
PA
3,130 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
HALIFAX:

With a 10 am arrival there is really no need to set an alarm unless you want to watch the docking. Hertz is literally across the street from the ship and was half the price of all the other car rental places (I think we paid 35 USD and the others were up over 70). However we found out why hertz is cheaper. Their office is literally a closet in the building across from the ship. You could probably extend your arms and touch both sides of the office. Only 2 people can stand at the desk and in the office at one time and the guy that works there is very slow to type stuff in the computer and he likes to chat. So while everyone is out in the lobby waiting itís a bit frustrating. So be forewarned. I think it was almost half an hour in there vs 3 minutes at enterprise the previous day.

While the drive to peggys cove was not hard, Iím still glad I had my phone and gps. Again itís pretty much 2 lane local road and very scenic with a variety of homes and tons of water picture opportunities since you literally are next to the ocean for the drive. The driveway to the lighthouse is narrow and you must go 2mph so you donít hit all the tourists that are out exploring, or if you do they wonít hurt your car too much. We arrived during peak lunch hour but found that by the time we were done there, it emptied out nicely. If you can stay until 1 or 2pm you will have a much less rushed time. The rocks and lighthouse are amazing and you really do have to keep on your toes. No handrails here! It truly is rock climbing and you have to choose your footing carefully. I found it fascinating to walk all over the place and sometimes you hit a dead end and had to turn around. Topping it all off was the fact that they had record warmth of 74 I believe and I didnít bring shorts! Iím not complaining though. Last yearís patter showed 40/50 degrees as the normal temps. We had 100% perfect weather. We could have spent hours on the rocks but with gfís knee we had to cut it short. The gift shop had ton of stuff but we didnít buy anything. If you like climbing on rocks and picking out the best path to do so, this place is so much fun. Just donít be an idiot and go on the black rocks. Black means wet and you will fall into the ocean and die. There are newspaper reports on the internet about this if you donít believe me. Be safe!

We decided to go the Ďlong wayí back to town (vs the way we came) and ate at the Finer Diner because we looked at reviews on tripadvisor and it was pretty good. We were happy with the food there and I love eating at local places in strange lands to get a real flavor for what itís like. It is a very scenic drive going that long way back to town and we enjoyed it a lot. Even the buses take it back. We got caught behind the same one on the way home as we did coming out of town. Back in town we just drove around a bit including a trip to the citadel but we just felt like going back to the ship and enjoying so we returned the car and shopped at the port a bit. But the views from the citadel were very cool. The boardwalk in Halifax is located literally next to the ship but itís a bit confusing. Itís not one long boardwalk with tons of shops like Iím used to seeing back home. Itís more like you walk, find a few shops, walk more where there really is nothing, then find a few more shops. We found a nice tourist shop to buy stuff and also at the shops literally at the port, found some very cool metal art. My gf found an elephant made of springs and other metal parts and we got it. I found this stuff more unique than some other ports. Iíd imagine when the boardwalk renovations are done it will be a much better experience.
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10/16/16 Breakaway Haven Spa Suite, Bermuda. 1st cruise ever and had a blast

12/11/16 Breakaway to Bahamas. I am addicted so had to go again quickly on my 2nd.

10/21/17 Princess Regal to Canada. Celebrating a milestone!
review https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2575289








#7
PA
3,130 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
MDR
We only went to the MDR on the last day. We got there at 445 to peek at the menu and no one was there in line. I wondered if we got the time wrong because at 445 on the BA, the line for the MDR was a huge mess with loud impatient people. Then along comes a single woman and she was first in line and we fell in line behind her. When it opened her mother joined her and they showed their cards. The head waiter told them they had traditional dining at 530 in the other dining room and he cannot help them. He said you have a standing reservation there and you cannot be here. I think the woman was trying to say she didnít like her tablemates but the guy said you can move your table. She said she didnít want to make trouble there but the guy stood firm that she cannot go in. So we wound up being first in. I believe our server had 8 tables in the section from how it was setup. He was perplexed that my gf didnít want mushroom gravy on her meatloaf and eventually he understood and called it Ďplain.í Why didnít we think of that? Drinks, salad, entrťe were all done well and served perfectly. However, he never came back to ask if things were ok and did we need anything.

Around 5:50 it all fell apart. We were done for a while, beyond any normal time frame of waiting and he definitely walked past the table many times without stopping. My irritation was piqued when I saw him just filling water across the aisle. Certainly not a priority compared to our table and now the table next to us being finished. He eventually gave us a dessert menu and the next table but waited longer and gave a 3rd table a menu then. It seems like he wanted us all to be done at the same time like an assembly line. Oh itís not a perfect world and itís not possible for everyone to be done at the same time. Then came the Alaskan bake thing which was a total surprise to me. We were not in a time crunch but to have half dinner perfect and the end not, was kind of a let down. Very inconsistent. I do realize they get busy but not coming back to even check on us is really sad. Time out of there was about 630. They gave me the same bday cake as I got for the UBD in my room and no way could I finish it.

ROOM SERVICE

I found this menu to be better than NCL. I ordered lasagna which surprised me when it was served in a bowl like chili. Got a cheeseburger and fries as well as chocolate cake. We had an entire plate full of condiments which was nice. Then a hot dog and fries, and a nice salad. Everything was very good and to top it off we had pizza from deck 16 for good measure. You would not starve even if you had to just order room service. I could eat the room service a few days a week and work my way through the menu.

BUFFET

From all I had read this was supposed to be a much better buffet than I was used to. One objective note is that it has a wonderful layout. 1000% better than the BA. Itís so spread out with so many stations that we never ran into anyone nor was anyone poking us in the back with their plates like on the BA. (not exaggerating) Thereís a distinct front and back section and we never were there when both were open. I guess we missed peak time. I donít remember everything we ate but I do know the beef stew was good and I was disappointed I never saw chocolate mousse but instead they had other strange flavors.

The scrambled eggs were horrible but I didnít realize there was a made to order omelet station in the back of the buffet. I read later on the forum this is better. There was definitely a huge variety of items so I can say with certainty that you will find at least one or two good things no matter how picky you are. One thing different about princess is you sit down and the servers bring your drinks. A nice feature. Oh and the bacon was actually done nice and well, not fatty like so many other restaurants. 2 points for princess! Just a quick note about the soda package. It includes soda and mocktails and itís a steal at about 8 bucks a day. Unless you can drink 6 or more drinks a day, the full booze package just isnít worth it and since we arenít drinkers, just found the soda pack plus a la carte boozing to be right for us. I had many strawberry daiquiris.
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10/16/16 Breakaway Haven Spa Suite, Bermuda. 1st cruise ever and had a blast

12/11/16 Breakaway to Bahamas. I am addicted so had to go again quickly on my 2nd.

10/21/17 Princess Regal to Canada. Celebrating a milestone!
review https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2575289








#8
PA
3,130 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
ENTERTAINMENT

Comedian AJ was super funny. He made the show about cruise ship topics and they were all spot on. I wish I could remember half of his jokes. One thing about the theater is that the end seats were taken 30 minutes before show time. So get there even earlier if you want them. If you want front row or seats up front you can wait until 5 minutes before showtime. No one wanted them. We came down from the 2nd level entrance and scored midway end on the right side seats. Thankfully they are far enough apart that you donít have to get up to let people in past you. Also, Princess live is a very nice place to spend a rainy day. It is a small tv studio with all kinds of interactive shows on a daily basis. We saw Ďtrue or mooí and it was funny and there are a variety of trivia and other activities in there. One reason I choose this ship was for the indoor activities because Iíve been on another ship that didnít have that many and it can feel closed in. This ship seemed so much more spacious and had more places to relax on indoor days. I would cruise this ship in colder weather without hesitation again. Much better than the breakaway for bad weather.

Also regarding the tv, itís so much better than NCL. Many free PPV type movies, tv shows, etc. much better choices to sit down and relax with after a long port day. I donít know about you but after a day walking in the ocean and climbing rocks, I really donít want to do any other ship activities but eat and rest. This was a nice welcome. We also watched what I believe was cricket. Nothing like expanding your horizons with learning other sports. On the cold weather days something was always going on in the piazza and we saw people dancing, bean bag toss, and the champagne tower.

DISEMBARK

On the BA you went to the desk next to the guest services and picked what tag you wanted for your time to disembark. But on princess, they tell you when you can get off even though you fill out a form with your preferences. I question the need to even do this then. We wanted self assist to carry our own stuff and even though that was on the preferences sheet we filled out, we didnít get it. I had to go down to guest services and stand in line to get this fixed. One GREAT thing they have is someone walking the line to try to assist before you get to the counter. The very nice lady had me fixed up with about a 3 minute wait to get my self assist tags. Very very good princess! Also you meet 645 or 700 I believe in the casino for disembark. It was not crowded and it was very easy to get off. There were no lines this early at customs and I didnít even see any porters. Normally in manhattan Iíd pay the porter to take my luggage and cut in the customs line for me then to my car but no need for that here. Super easy disembark. Matter of fact, I donít think any porters were even around.
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10/16/16 Breakaway Haven Spa Suite, Bermuda. 1st cruise ever and had a blast

12/11/16 Breakaway to Bahamas. I am addicted so had to go again quickly on my 2nd.

10/21/17 Princess Regal to Canada. Celebrating a milestone!
review https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2575289








#9
PA
3,130 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
SUMMARY:

Regal is an excellent ship and if it was in the northeast more often Iím sure Iíd sail her again. Or if the price was right like this trip. Though I doubt a mini can ever be had for $550 again and I got lucky. I would say this is a better cold weather ship than NCL breakaway for sure. There are many more indoor places to hide on a bad weather day. Also, at least on this trip, there were virtually no kids and it was an older crowd compared to the BA. The hot tubs were warm and the access to food on lido deck is THE reason to stay on that deck. I would definitely try another cabin on that deck and hope not to get such a creaky one. The ports were interesting to explore with a car rental and you should not hesitate to rent while you are up there. If you have any questions, no matter now crazy, Iíll attempt to answer them.

Casino info: I had been writing this review over the course of a few weeks but now as this goes to press, I have some new info. PLAY in the casino even if you hate gambling. I just got some very good casino rates out of FLL for the next 2 months and we put well less than 100 through the slots. Examples of these deals include 14 nite on the carribean for 509 balcony (mid ship balconies are priced 3100 on the site!) and other 10 and 11 nite trips for about 400. Then there are the crazy regal deals for 149 and 199 for a balcony for 7 nites! Even an inside for 99 bucks. The air is also on sale now and the week before Christmas would only be about 40 bucks for air. Thatís crazy! so put money thru the slots, you will not regret it!

Delays in posting this have enabled me to add this update. I was able to take advantage of one of the casino offers for an obstructed balcony for 169 in January on Regal vs the 719 list price. I was lucky enough to snag one with a view over, and not through, the boats. Very very thrilled to be sailing on her again with 2 more days than last time. I will eat more from the IC this time! And maybe even get to enjoy the retreat with warmer days. Something tells me it will be a tad more crowded given the warmer climate.
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10/16/16 Breakaway Haven Spa Suite, Bermuda. 1st cruise ever and had a blast

12/11/16 Breakaway to Bahamas. I am addicted so had to go again quickly on my 2nd.

10/21/17 Princess Regal to Canada. Celebrating a milestone!
review https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2575289








#10
21,698 Posts
Joined Aug 2013
Sounds like you really enjoyed your first Princess Cruise on the Regal. I guess I may have to place an ďenrollment feeĒ on the slots to avail of your amazing rates!


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#11
Central Illinois
135,356 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
Very much enjoyed reading your extensive and well-written review, thanks!
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Bob

Past Cruises

Celebrity: Mercury
RCCL: Adventure, Allure, Brilliance, Enchantment, Explorer, Freedom, Independence, Jewel, Legend, Liberty, Majesty, Mariner, Monarch, Navigator, Oasis, Radiance, Rhapsody, Serenade, Sovereign, Vision, Voyager
#12
101,729 Posts
Joined Jul 2000
Wow. This is an excellent (and I mean excellent) review/report with lots of great information.

Well done and thanks for putting so much effort into writing this.

Happy Holidays.

Keith
#14
Austin TX
1,018 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
OMG. Amazing review! We'll be on Regal in January and I may try your slots suggestion. (I never, never gamble, but have friends who do.) Thanks for the great comparison with NCL Breakaway, since I'll be on BA in October. Will be prepared for possible mayhem!
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BabsinTX/Barbara & Bill, Austin TX

Looking forward to:
10/13/18 & 10/20/18--Regal Princess B2B--7-Night Canada/New England RT NYC
10/27/18--NCL Breakaway--15-Night Repo NYC to New Orleans
6/15/19--Viking Orion--Alaska & the Inside Passage
7/6/19--Golden Princess--Voyage of the Glaciers (Southbound)--gets us to Elite!
1/17/20--Emerald Princess--Panama Canal WB
(40thAnniversary!) followed by...
2/1/20--Emerald Princess--28-Day Hawaii/Tahiti/Samoa RT from Los Angeles

Fond memories of: Alaska; Bermuda; Boston to New Orleans repo; Caribbean:Western (4X), Eastern (4X) and Southern (2X); Hawaii; Mexican Riviera (2X); Norway; Scandinavia; One-night Vancouver to Seattle (2X); Pacific Coastal (3X);Panama Canal (2X); & Transatlantic (2X)
Cruise Lines: NCL (14), Princess (12), Cunard (1)
#16
PA
3,130 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
Originally posted by BabsinTX
OMG. Amazing review! We'll be on Regal in January and I may try your slots suggestion. (I never, never gamble, but have friends who do.) Thanks for the great comparison with NCL Breakaway, since I'll be on BA in October. Will be prepared for possible mayhem!
BA buffet setup is just ghastly. i was on her 2 times and really tried for off times as getting food without being pushed then circling for a seat was just not fun.. regal does it right. i dont know why execs dont travel on each others ships to learn.

I did love the dinner at the steakhouse on the BA. do it! got seats in the rear looking out the back of the ship.

The BA excels at outdoor activities if thats what you are looking for though. the water slides, golf and seemed like more parties at nite. I was not into them but saw them on the daily. also played ping pong. good exercise chasing the ball.

when are you going on regal. i'm on the 7th. i do hope you get something out of the slots. i saw it on another posters thread and figured what the hey, why not try it.
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10/16/16 Breakaway Haven Spa Suite, Bermuda. 1st cruise ever and had a blast

12/11/16 Breakaway to Bahamas. I am addicted so had to go again quickly on my 2nd.

10/21/17 Princess Regal to Canada. Celebrating a milestone!
review https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2575289








#17
Canada
769 Posts
Joined Jun 2014
Originally posted by luckyinpa
I was able to take advantage of one of the casino offers for an obstructed balcony for 169 in January on Regal vs the 719 list price.
Originally posted by luckyinpa
i do hope you get something out of the slots. i saw it on another posters thread and figured what the hey, why not try it.
Could you please elaborate on this - how I you 'receive' these special casino offers ?
#18
PA
3,130 Posts
Joined Feb 2016
in october we played about 60 of our own money thru the slots. right after thanksgiving a TA from princess emailed me some good offers

"We hope this deal leaves you dazzled" and it was called sail and play and it had an offer code and promo number in the fine print below the email. at least 7 or 8 offers. many over christmas and i guess they couldnt fill the ships. 500 for the 14 day balcony would have been a dream for me but gf couldnt get away.

i also got this email and saved 30 per person on the room. guess they like me i dont know if the sailed by 2017 is true as i do have obc on my account and they know i'm booked for january

You're about to lose up to $125! FREE Onboard Spending Money applies to up to $125 per guest for voyages over 17 days ($125 for Balcony or Suite / $75 for Inside or Oceanview stateroom), up to $60 per guest for 11- to 16-day voyages ($60 for Balcony or Suite / $40 for Inside or Oceanview stateroom), up to $30 per guest for 7- to 10-day voyages ($30 for Balcony or Suite / $15 for Inside or Oceanview stateroom) and up to $15 per guest for 3- to 6-day voyages ($15 for Balcony or Suite / $10 for Inside or Oceanview stateroom) advertised in this promotion only, booked within 10 days from receipt of this email and sailed by December 31, 2017
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10/16/16 Breakaway Haven Spa Suite, Bermuda. 1st cruise ever and had a blast

12/11/16 Breakaway to Bahamas. I am addicted so had to go again quickly on my 2nd.

10/21/17 Princess Regal to Canada. Celebrating a milestone!
review https://boards.cruisecritic.com/show....php?t=2575289