stevenr597 Posted September 10, 2013 #1 Share Posted September 10, 2013 My wife and I recently completed a Mediterranean Cruise on the Royal Princess. Please note that we are frequent cruisers and have cruised on Cunard, Princess, Azamara, Celebrity, Carnival, Disney, and Royal Caribbean. We were "sold" on the design of the Royal Princess and we had expected a cruise experience similar to the Celebrity Solstice Class Ships. Here is a quick review of our experiences in regards to the Royal Princess: Hits: Embarkation 4/5*: We arrived at the port in Venice at 12:00 P.M. and we were on board within 45 minutes. Our luggage arrived withing 2 hours. Design of Ship: 4/5*: Beautiful, especially the Piazza Style Atrium which was enormous and the newly designed Horizon Court. We did notice many similarities in the design to the Carnival Dream Class ships however. Cabins 4/5*: We booked a mini-suite. We were on the Riveria deck, Port Side, and there was absolutely no problem with individuals on the Sky-Way being able to look into cabins. The balcony was actually larger than is normal for most cabins this side. The cabin was well designed, quite with two T.V.'s. By the way there is a large variety of programs available on the T.V.'s Entertainment: 4/5*: We have head that Princess ships became "dead" at night. This is not what we found Entertainment went well past 12:00 A.M. The broadway style shows were excellent, although somewhat short (30 minutes). There was live music in the Atrium for most of the evening with dancing available. Horizon Court: 3/4*: Princess has enlarged this area and there is an enormous amount of food in both the Horizon Court and Horizon Bistro. The only problem was the size, with a lack of signs as to what food was to be served where. For example, pancakes was one one section, omlettes in another and waffles in a third. Movies Under the Starts: 5/5*: Excellent way to spend a night Staff: 3/4* This is a new ship, the largest that Princess has yet constructed. The staff overall was friendly and helpful, but they definitely had problems with the size of the ship and the number (4,000) of passengers. Piazza Atrium 5/5*: Beautiful. This is where Princess placed there major emphasis on the design of the ship. We loved the Gelateria as well as the International Cafe. Great place to get a good cup of coffee with a pastry during the evening. Theatre 3/5*: Well designed in that over 900 individuals can be seated at any one time. But not outstanding in design. Basic theatre. Misses: Dining Room 2/5*: We had booked anytime dining and we were very disappointed. While there was no wait time, the waiters and waitresses had to serve too many tables (a sign of Carnival Type Cutbacks) and the service at times was slow and poor. The food was mediocre at best. My wife and I thought that Princess was encouraging people to eat at the Horizon Court rather than in the dining rooms. There was no wine steward and ordering wine was not at the level we would have expected. The dining experience was similar to that one would receive at an family type steakhouse or restaurant. Elevators/Stairways 2/5*: The absence of a central stairway resulted in the elevators being slow and overcrowded. At times it was difficult to travel between areas in the ship due to this. Big mistake on the part of the designers at Princess Chair Hogs 1/5*: Many individuals would leave an item on a chair and disappear for hours. This led to a shortage of deck chairs. Unfortuantely these individuals also did this in the Horizon Court attempting to reserve tables near the windows. We had spoke to the management, but they did little if anything to stop this. Tours 2/5*: Hit and Miss. We did notice that unlike Celebrity, Princess did not send a representative from the ship on the tour. Top Decks 2/5*: There definitely is enough pools. The absence of a covered pool can make a big difference in inclement weather. May also be a problem when sailing with a lot of children in the Caribbean. Santuary Deck 2/5*: One had to be at the deck at 8:30 A.M. to reserve it, otherwiseit was booked. There had to be a better solution. The Sanctuary area resulted in one of the nicest areas of the ship being off-limits unless you get up early in the morning and paid a charge to reserve this area. Size of the Ship 2/5*: It is "in-style" to say that these large ships do not feel crowded. This is untrue. On the days at sea you did note that there were over 4,000 people on the ship. Forget about trying to get a deck chair in a good location unless you wished to "reserve" it early in the morning. Summation: We did find the Royal Princess to be a rather nice ship, but it was not up to the standards of Celebrity. One can note that the cutbacks that Carnival Cruise Lines Inc. has instituted on the Carnival Ships has begun to spread to Princess (even members of the crew confirmed this.). We had debated whether Princess was trying to emulate Celebrity or Royal Caribbean. It seems that the Royal Princess is more in line with the experience one would get with Royal Caribbean rather than Celebrity. Princess is moving more in the direction of Mainstream Mega Ships than Near Luxury. Would we cruise again on this ship. It would depend on the itinerary, but if we had a choice we would go with Aqua Class on Celebrity First. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.