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Royal Princess West Coast Debut - March 23rd-30th REVIEW


ceilidh1
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Disembarkation: This was pretty standard. We had a late flight so requested to be off in the later groups - we were given a 10:25am time. The elite waiting area was in Vista and there was tea, coffee, juice, and pastries available. Disembark got off to a slow start as they were waiting on clearance from customs so I think the first walk off group didn't get called until just after 8am. It did go smoothly from there, though there were a few times they had to stop calling groups as there were lines at customs. Our group was called at 10:15am and we walked off and collected our luggage. The customs line was very long (only 4 officers at this time) and we didn't get out of the port until 11:10am...I was surprised we went through customs to be honest - I had assumed that because we started and ended in LA we would not need to. I guess it was required due to our time in Mexico? No forms were needed, just a quick glance at the passports, asked if we had anything to declare and waved on our way....

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Conclusion: All in all, I would rather be on a cruise than at home or work any day. We had a good time and got to make some family memories and spend quality time together. I was disappointed in the service on Royal - it was definitely not the standard I am used to with Princess. Add to this this the fact that I didn't love the layout of the ship and missed some of my favorite places from other class of ship and I think I would be hesitant to sail her again. I am glad we experienced this class as now I know that I prefer slightly smaller ships with Princess. I do have three more booked on Royal that I will be cancelling but will probably find others to replace them with.

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6 hours ago, Astro Flyer said:

Do they still use the port’s tenders instead of the ship’s tenders?  That could another factor when several ships are in port.

They used the ship's tenders to get our group over from the ship to the port. Not sure about the other groups. Going back to the ship was the port's tenders and this was a much faster process.

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I almost forgot the gelato bar on deck 5. You fo need to pay for gelato but it was very reasonable. I think around $3.50 for two scoops and a topping or you could get sundaes it was really good and we spent far too much time in there!

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Thanks for your review.  Sorry that Princess messed up your kids soda package.  Don't you hate that?  You go on vacation to have fun; and when things go wrong, you want them fixed in a reasonable amount of time.  The good thing is; you made family memories.

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6 hours ago, Vinolady1 said:

Thank you so much for your review.  We are doing the same cruise on Royal this coming Saturday.  Just wondering, we are 2 "young" seniors, but were there lots of kids on your sailing?  

I expected lots more as a lot of areas were on spring break. There were just over 300 and for the most part very well behaved. They tended to mostly be in the pool area and I hardly noticed kids around the ship.

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Forgot to mention that they also charged DS card $65 for ocean medallion accessories that he certainly did not purchase. This was one issue that was resolved quickly and easily but still required another trip to the front desk! Make sure to carefully check those folios regularly!

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We were also on this cruise and just down the hall from you in E-614.  E-614 was a deluxe obstructed view balcony and we could look between lifeboats 14 and 16 but they definitely blocked some of the view.  Actually it was interesting to watch them lower the lifeboats.  The comedian (AJ Jamal) had a funny joke about that in his second show.  I also wrote a review and I had the same comments about other things that you did.  The buffet was good but there was no logic to the food placement - the good part is that there was plenty of seating.

 

Several of your replies talked about tendering in Cabo.  We were also on an excursion (whale watching) so we met in the theatre and when they called us we went straight to the tender.  The tender was a combination of those from Cabo and the lifeboats from the Royal.  The seas were pretty choppy and that definitely slowed things down.  We tendered back to the ship about 5:30 PM and it was easy.  The Carnival Splendor was also in port in Cabo and that slowed things down a little I'm sure.  The real limiting factor in Cabo is not the speed of the tenders - they only have a finite number of slots the tenders can use so they stagger them so a tender is not blocking the entrance/exit waiting for a slot to dock.

 

One little nitpicky thing we had was the Princess Patter for Mazatlán.  It referenced a free shuttle from the ship to the downtown area.  Perhaps this existed many years ago but it does not exist today (it would put taxi drivers out of business!).  They need to update things.  We took a taxi downtown and walked back.

 

Sorry to hear that you had so much trouble with the Crown Grill.  We were there on embarkation night (we had made reservations online).  Actually I didn't know about the coupon book but we never saw one in our cabin.  The ambiance and service were excellent in the Crown Grill - I had the ribeye and it was awful - you didn't miss anything.

 

It sounds like you had a nightmare with the soda cards.  We can't drink enough to warrant a paying for an all-inclusive drink package so we solved that problem by having at least one margarita off the ship in each port!

 

On past cruises the only useful coupon I had seen was a discount on duty-free liquor if you bought it on the first night.  We got the discount anyway.  I will have to remember the BOGO Crown Grill for the next cruise.

 

We didn't really care about the bathrobes but I think they appeared on the third day.  You probably had the same cabin steward(ess) as we did.  Patricia is from Brazil she took care of us very well and I give her high marks.  I always judge a cabin steward by how often we DON'T see them.  We were not easy to predict - some mornings we got up early and some mornings we slept in.  With one exception when we returned from breakfast the room was done.

 

Anyway - like you we prefer smaller ships.  The Royal is a beautiful ship and I thought they spread out the crowds pretty well - it didn't seem that crowded.  We live in the Central Valley so for us either Los Angeles or San Francisco is about a four-hour drive.  I'm sure we will sail the Royal again and next time we will be more savvy.

 

Cheers,

Harold & Donna

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1 hour ago, travelphreak said:

We were also on this cruise and just down the hall from you in E-614.  E-614 was a deluxe obstructed view balcony and we could look between lifeboats 14 and 16 but they definitely blocked some of the view.  Actually it was interesting to watch them lower the lifeboats.  The comedian (AJ Jamal) had a funny joke about that in his second show.  I also wrote a review and I had the same comments about other things that you did.  The buffet was good but there was no logic to the food placement - the good part is that there was plenty of seating.

 

Several of your replies talked about tendering in Cabo.  We were also on an excursion (whale watching) so we met in the theatre and when they called us we went straight to the tender.  The tender was a combination of those from Cabo and the lifeboats from the Royal.  The seas were pretty choppy and that definitely slowed things down.  We tendered back to the ship about 5:30 PM and it was easy.  The Carnival Splendor was also in port in Cabo and that slowed things down a little I'm sure.  The real limiting factor in Cabo is not the speed of the tenders - they only have a finite number of slots the tenders can use so they stagger them so a tender is not blocking the entrance/exit waiting for a slot to dock.

 

One little nitpicky thing we had was the Princess Patter for Mazatlán.  It referenced a free shuttle from the ship to the downtown area.  Perhaps this existed many years ago but it does not exist today (it would put taxi drivers out of business!).  They need to update things.  We took a taxi downtown and walked back.

 

Sorry to hear that you had so much trouble with the Crown Grill.  We were there on embarkation night (we had made reservations online).  Actually I didn't know about the coupon book but we never saw one in our cabin.  The ambiance and service were excellent in the Crown Grill - I had the ribeye and it was awful - you didn't miss anything.

 

It sounds like you had a nightmare with the soda cards.  We can't drink enough to warrant a paying for an all-inclusive drink package so we solved that problem by having at least one margarita off the ship in each port!

 

On past cruises the only useful coupon I had seen was a discount on duty-free liquor if you bought it on the first night.  We got the discount anyway.  I will have to remember the BOGO Crown Grill for the next cruise.

 

We didn't really care about the bathrobes but I think they appeared on the third day.  You probably had the same cabin steward(ess) as we did.  Patricia is from Brazil she took care of us very well and I give her high marks.  I always judge a cabin steward by how often we DON'T see them.  We were not easy to predict - some mornings we got up early and some mornings we slept in.  With one exception when we returned from breakfast the room was done.

 

Anyway - like you we prefer smaller ships.  The Royal is a beautiful ship and I thought they spread out the crowds pretty well - it didn't seem that crowded.  We live in the Central Valley so for us either Los Angeles or San Francisco is about a four-hour drive.  I'm sure we will sail the Royal again and next time we will be more savvy.

 

Cheers,

Harold & Donna

Do you have a link to your review? I also enjoy reading other peoples take on things!

Were you on the zodiac whale watch? That's the one we took - and yes, the seas were pretty choppy!!

 

 

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13 hours ago, ceilidh1 said:

I almost forgot the gelato bar on deck 5. You fo need to pay for gelato but it was very reasonable. I think around $3.50 for two scoops and a topping or you could get sundaes it was really good and we spent far too much time in there!

No Gelato  the Grand. I would have gladly paid

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34 minutes ago, ceilidh1 said:

Do you have a link to your review? I also enjoy reading other peoples take on things!

Were you on the zodiac whale watch? That's the one we took - and yes, the seas were pretty choppy!!

 

 

We were on the larger boat (150 or so passengers) but we were probably following the same 3 whales.  I needed to stay out of the direct sun or we would have chosen the zodiac tour.  The whales got within 150 ft. or so.

 

I'm having trouble with the CC site - when I try to put the link there it wants to repeat everything from me and all 26 replies.  I should show up on the third page.  The title is "Cruise Review - Mexico March 23-30 Royal Princess".

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A comment about disembarkation at Port Everglades with no real complaints.

 

The usual form was left in my mini-suite requesting my disembarkation requests.  Since I had an independent hotel reservation for a day in Fort Lauderdale prior to my embarkation on Nieuw Statendam, I asked for the latest possible disembarkation time.  Instructions said to take the form to the Front Office or leave it for the Cabin Steward to take it and send it on its way.  I did the later.  My disembarkation time was for 7:15 A. M.!  I suspect my disembarkation form never reached the Front Office and I was assigned the earliest time available.  Other than a very early arising time with a very early Horizon Court Breakfast, I was OK with this.  Absolutely no crowds in the Terminal to employ a Porter and get luggage, get through Customs/Immigration, and get a taxi to my hotel.  Once at my hotel, while my room was not ready, I was able to enjoy its facilities to my satisfaction.

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OP, thank you for your review.  I like to hear about the good, bad, and the ugly.  The issues that you had with the soda card would have driven me nuts.  My last cruise didn’t go so well; actually it was awful.  That said, I’m looking forward to my first cruise on the Royal Princess.  Take care and thank you for sharing.

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2 minutes ago, MsSoCalCruiser said:

OP, thank you for your review.  I like to hear about the good, bad, and the ugly.  The issues that you had with the soda card would have driven me nuts.  My last cruise didn’t go so well; actually it was awful.  That said, I’m looking forward to my first cruise on the Royal Princess.  Take care and thank you for sharing.

Hopefully all the glitches will be sorted out by the time you sail - have a great time! This was definitely an anomaly and not what we are used to - I'm putting it down to the staff being overworked, overwhelmed, and just burnt out!

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Just now, ceilidh1 said:

Hopefully all the glitches will be sorted out by the time you sail - have a great time! This was definitely an anomaly and not what we are used to - I'm putting it down to the staff being overworked, overwhelmed, and just burnt out!

 I hope everything is worked out by the time I cruise.  Going with two of my lifelong besties so I hope it’s as close to perfect as possible 😊

Thanks again!

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  • 9 months later...
On 4/1/2019 at 12:38 AM, caribill said:

 

Princess Live! replaced Explorers Lounge on the Royal class ships.

 

It seats about the same number of people as Explorers did, but in a much smaller area.

The chairs feel like you in the center seat flying coach!  All of the chairs on Regal/royal feel narrow, but Princess Live is the worst.

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