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3 Nights On Regal. My thoughts...and a few photos.


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I just returned from my third Princess cruise....3 nights on Regal out of FLL. I thought I'd share my thoughts and few photos. This is just Aquahound thinking, not a professional review, so take what I say with a grain of salt. I know we don't all share the same views or priorities with cruising.

 

Anyhow, we booked this cruise a few weeks ago. We got a good deal on a balcony room and when I saw it was Princess' newest ship, I jumped all over it. I figured it would just be a sampler since it was so short and only went to Princess Cays. I'll break it up since I tend to ramble.

 

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This cruise started out a little chaotic. We showed up at the terminal at 11:00 and already there was a long line outside. It wasn't too long of a wait, but inside the terminal was a bit of a mess. By the time you get to the check-in counter, you need...1 boarding pass for each passenger, ID's, health screening questionaires, and a form declaring whether or not you want to do express walk-off at the end of the cruise. Apparently, someone, somewhere was supposed to highlight one of my forms prior to getting to the counter, but I refused to re-experience the chaos that preceded and they didn't push the matter. No biggie.

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My first impressions when boarding the ship were very, very pleasant. I think Regal is a beautiful ship. Almost the entire interior decor is made of neutral and dark woods. My favorite part of the ship is the area of the Wheelhouse Bar and Crown Grill.

 

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Wheelhouse isn't like the venues on the other 2 ships I've sailed (Ruby and Caribbean). It's a much more classy joint. It's not the Irish pub feel of the other ships. Not that it's such a good or bad thing. I like it both ways.

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As most of you know, Princess tends to board a little later than other lines. The trade off is having rooms ready upon boarding. I don't know if things changed, it's specific to Regal, or this was just a fluke, but it was a good hour or so after boarding until the rooms were ready.

 

We were in D702. Like I said, this was a last minute booking with no real research done into this ship. I learned in another thread how small the rooms are and how narrow the balconies are, so it came as no surprise to me when I saw it in person. This truly was the smallest balcony room in which I've ever stayed. I got used to it but to be honest, I wouldn't like this small room on a 7 night or longer cruise.

 

I didn't take any pictures of the room itself, but here is somewhat of an idea. Can't complain about the view though!

 

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That chair is kinda pointless. It's more int he way than it is useful.

 

The balcony, I did get used to. Yes, it is very narrow and no, it is not as nice as balconies on competitor ships, but honestly, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and we did get used to it.

 

ry%3D480

 

A few more thoughts on the room. This was the first cruise I ever took wherein I never met my room attendant. They did their job wonderfully, whoever they were.

 

Also, we had a problem with water temp in the shower. It would not cool down. It was either hot or scalding.

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Food:

 

Night 1, we ate in Crown Grill. To be honest, I was't too impressed. The meats are not really my flavor. They use way too much peppercorn for flavor. Plus, it was a little too crowded. The staff was rushed and not very personable. I wouldn't say it was a bad experience. It was just ok.

 

On night 2, we ate in the MDR. We had anytime dining and showed up at 7:45pm to the dining room on deck 5. We were seated right away. I was really impressed this night. In fact, dare I say it, I thought the filet in the Surf and Turf dish was better than my Crown Grill filet. Plus, the chocolate dessert, whatever it was, was to die for.

 

Night 3, we did the MDR again. Same dining room on deck 5 was a 30 minute wait at 8pm. We went up to deck 6 and were seated immediately. This night was bad. Nothing was really appetizing to us, so we tried the beef medallions. They were awful. The lobster bisque was awful. The escargot tasted like it was cooked in beef bouillon. Not a good night in the MDR.

 

Regal's claim to fame, in my opinion, is the Horizon buffet. I gotta say, I think it was the best cruise ship buffet I've ever been in. The selection was huge and everything was great.

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Entertainment:

 

I was very impressed by the quality of the entertainment on this ship. The comedian, Robbie Printz, had me in tears and was one of the funniest I've ever heard.

 

The production show was Fiera. As far as singers/dancers shows go, this one was up there. It was excellent. Regal has a great sound system in the main theater, which made this show all that much more great. One tip about the shows on Regal though. See the seats down on the ground floor that are to the far left and far right?

 

ry%3D480

 

Do not sit there! There's about a hundred or so seats on both sides that cannot see into the stage. It's a bit of a poor theater design. In Fiera, there's a lot going on deep in the stage including a roller coaster scene. From these side seats, you can't see it....at all!

 

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Piazza entertainment was every day and every evening and was always great. This band was excellent, as were all the other bands.

 

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If you cruise on Regal, do not miss the Mardi Gras party!

 

There was also a mentalist on board, but he was very predictable. I was able to figure out most of his tricks. I wouldn't go to see him again.

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Princess Cays:

 

After an awful experience last year on CB, we decided to take our time going ashore. We waited until 11 to line up, which proved to be a good idea. It was only about a 5 minute wait.

 

Princess Cays is beautiful. It's my least favorite of private islands, but still pretty nonetheless.

 

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You can walk as far as you want in both directions, and the buffet was pretty good. My biggest gripe about this island is the early shutting down of bar service. They close all the bars at 2. Why is that? :confused: The last tender is at 5, yet all the bars close 3 hours prior? That makes no sense. Someone said perhaps they need to clean up and get back to the ship for other jobs, but it's not like Princess is the only line with a private island. I've never seen bars close that early on Great Stirrup Cay or Coco Cay, and they tender just like Princess does. Whatever...I think that's something Princess needs to work on.

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A couple things I loved about Regal:

 

Coffee Bars. I'm a coffee drinker and I like my Latte's and Cafe con Leche's. Regal has 3 coffee bars. One was in International Cafe, one was next to Princess Live, and the other was up in the Horizon Bistro in the pastries section. This made getting coffee easy and convenient from anywhere on the ship.

 

Vines. I love Regal's wine bar. We went there every evening before dinner and enjoyed the free tapas that were served with wine purchases. What I really liked was, they served wine flights. It was a great way to sample different wines and if not for the flights, I never would have known there was a Zinfandel out there I really love (Sextant). Our waiter every evening was Elvis and he was excellent and very friendly.

 

Beer. I'm a beer snob. I loved the Seawitch IPA.

 

ry%3D480

 

A couple things I hated about Regal:

 

The aft pool is a joke. It's nothing like the pools on Grand Class. It's tiny, cramped, and uncomfortable. Plus, the entire section in front of the pool seemed to attract every cigarette, cigar and pipe smoker on the ship. The stench around that pool was more than I could bear. It's great for the smokers, but bad if you don't smoke.

 

Yes, those mid stairs are pitiful. Why? Why not build them all the way up? I read about the complaints here on CC but when we boarded, I saw the stairway and thought..huh? What's the complaint. So I started walking up toward my room on deck 9. Then I understood. At deck 7, this is what you run in to:

 

ry%3D480

 

What a stupid design!

 

Also, I really did not like the lack of a promenade deck. This walk reminded me of my days on commercial ships.

 

ry%3D480

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SeaWalk was cool.

 

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Just, don't pretend it's so new and innovative. I get a kick out of a cruise line touting something as new and innovative...and they all do it...when in fact they weren't the first to do it. Enchantment of the Seas did the Sea Walk years ago.

 

ry%3D400

 

ry%3D480

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Just off also.

Agree with most of the comments here .

 

Horizon Court was a highlight

No center staircase a low point . Big mistake affecting mostly those with midships cabins wanting to go up a deck or two . Always crowded elevator ,

lots of " I'll wait " being heard .

Booked a Mini Guarantee @ a Great Flash rate .

Received a midships mini on deck 15 right under the Seawalk .

Was afraid that it would be dreadfull but it wasn't bad .

Most guests on the Seawalk are looking straight down to the water and not at us on the larger than most other balcony.

I would never book a midships cabin on purpose . No stairway is just too inconvenient .

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Regal sure is a pretty ship.

 

ry%3D480

 

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The Lido deck was ok. I can't say I'm a huge fan of the fountains. It made for a nice display at night, but I think the space could have been used a little better in the day time.

 

ry%3D480

 

ry%3D480

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Another thing both DW and I really liked was the artwork around the ship. Most were actual destination photos in the hallways and we kept finding ourselves stopping and adoring them...either remembering having been there, or dreaming about going. This picture in particular was really interesting. If you ever see it, you have to observe it close up to really appreciate how they did it. It's in the future cruise sales area.

 

ry%3D400

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A couple things I loved about Regal:

 

Coffee Bars. I'm a coffee drinker and I like my Latte's and Cafe con Leche's. Regal has 3 coffee bars. One was in International Cafe, one was next to Princess Live, and the other was up in the Horizon Bistro in the pastries section. This made getting coffee easy and convenient from anywhere on the ship.

 

Vines. I love Regal's wine bar. We went there every evening before dinner and enjoyed the free tapas that were served with wine purchases. What I really liked was, they served wine flights. It was a great way to sample different wines and if not for the flights, I never would have known there was a Zinfandel out there I really love (Sextant). Our waiter every evening was Elvis and he was excellent and very friendly.

 

Beer. I'm a beer snob. I loved the Seawitch IPA.

 

ry%3D480

 

A couple things I hated about Regal:

 

The aft pool is a joke. It's nothing like the pools on Grand Class. It's tiny, cramped, and uncomfortable. Plus, the entire section in front of the pool seemed to attract every cigarette, cigar and pipe smoker on the ship. The stench around that pool was more than I could bear. It's great for the smokers, but bad if you don't smoke.

 

Yes, those mid stairs are pitiful. Why? Why not build them all the way up? I read about the complaints here on CC but when we boarded, I saw the stairway and thought..huh? What's the complaint. So I started walking up toward my room on deck 9. Then I understood. At deck 7, this is what you run in to:

 

ry%3D480

 

What a stupid design!

 

Also, I really did not like the lack of a promenade deck. This walk reminded me of my days on commercial ships.

 

ry%3D480

 

Smoking was allowed in the aft adults only pool???

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3 night demographics:

 

I gotta say, this was an interesting crowd to say the least. I think all regions were represented by both the worst and best stereotypes. By that, I mean everything from the stuffed-lip Miami crowd (seriously...stuffed lips) to the largest Northeasterners I have ever seen. On the other hand, we met some of the nicest people I ever met on a 3 nighter.....from black card carriers who were very helpful to me about Princess specific things, without acting like elitists, to new cruisers who just wanted to have a nice time. It was a real mixed bag. For the most part though, everyone was very well behaved. That is, except for one of the stuffed-lips who nearly caused a few heart attacks in old men the last night by what she was wearing.

 

All in all, despite the little things that did not impress me, I did put some money down on a future cruise deposit. To the Platinums who helped the young man posing as a newby with advice on the future cruise form, thank you. I have a feeling you're reading this. ;) I'm not one to boast about my cruising experience in person, and I really did want to know how Princess' open bookings worked. So again, thank you. Both of you were really sweet. :)

 

Special kudos go to Mike in Crooners, Elvis in Vines, our room attendant (whoever you are), and the CBP lady who didn't laugh when I told her the only thing I purchased was a hangover (thanks to Mike's espresso martinis in Crooners the night prior).

 

Any questions, feel free to ask. Thank for reading. :)

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Smoking was allowed in the aft adults only pool???

 

 

Oh yeah....and there was lots of it. I didn't see any signs but it was so bad, I just kinda figured it was a designated cigar smoking area.

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Loved your review and pictures, Paul. We were on the same cruise and spotted "lips" all around the ship. We had the pleasure of seeing her by the pool. It was a lot of look......

 

Andrew :)

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Your photos are lovely!!

 

Thank you. :)

 

Loved your review and pictures, Paul. We were on the same cruise and spotted "lips" all around the ship. We had the pleasure of seeing her by the pool. It was a lot of look......

 

Andrew :)

 

Thanks Andrew. Same goes to you. I loved your Flickr pictures. :)

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I would never book a midships cabin on purpose . No stairway is just too inconvenient .

 

I had booked a mid ship interior on the Royal for the first Caribbean sailing for the purpose of being to walk up and down to and from the Piazza. I didn't notice on the deck plans that there wasn't a stairway. When I started to read the reviews I just canceled my booking and booked a cruise on one of Celebrity's older M class ships. I was already down grading from my usual ocean view since the new ships don't offer that, plus the itinerary was as dull a wood. I am so glad I jumped ship for the better room and itinerary even though I had to move to another cruise line.

 

OP thank you for the well balanced review. I have read many complaints about the theater but didn't realize that there was an issue with the view from the side seats. Thanks for posting the photo that gives a clear understanding.

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Thanks for your review. You pointed out the good, not so good in a manner which makes it very readable.

 

I have 25 days booked on Regal for next Fall. Sailing single, I book insides, but I've had a few balconies. Seeing the photo, I know why many prime insides are already booked well over a year out for my cruise. Seriously??? Balcony lovers hold out for those???

 

Disappointed to hear about aft area, as I like to get away from crowds although a longer cruise, Baltic and Transatlantic, won't be like 7 or 10 days in the Caribbean.

 

I'll reserve comment on the center stairs until I see for myself. I'm not an elevator person and on my 2 Emerald cruises don't ever remember using the center stairwell. I use stairs as my mid-afternoon dessert justification! :) As a recent dieter trying not to back track, I gained one pound last year on my 25 day cruise! :D

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OP thank you for the well balanced review. I have read many complaints about the theater but didn't realize that there was an issue with the view from the side seats. Thanks for posting the photo that gives a clear understanding.

 

Thank you. :) In that photo, the movie screen was down because they were about to show a movie. The screen used in Fiera is set back much further into the stage. From those side seats, you can't see the screen at all.

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Thanks for your review. You pointed out the good, not so good in a manner which makes it very readable.

 

Thank you. :)

 

Just one more thing about the rooms. Princess did progress a little with the stateroom televisions. There's a ton of free on-demand stuff, including several music channels. However, they still have not progressed to the televisions being interactive. You still can't order room service or check your account on the tv. With other cruise lines having added interactive tvs 15 years ago, I'm curious why Princess is holding out on these. :confused:

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Thank you. :)

 

Just one more thing about the rooms. Princess did progress a little with the stateroom televisions. There's a ton of free on-demand stuff, including several music channels. However, they still have not progressed to the televisions being interactive. You still can't order room service or check your account on the tv. With other cruise lines having added interactive tvs 15 years ago, I'm curious why Princess is holding out on these. :confused:

Because without easy access to your balance you are likely to spend more money. People who purchase with credit cards will spend more than people who are actually handing out money to pay. It's all psychological.

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