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junglejane

Just back from first time on Royal -- misc impressions

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Thanks for your review.  Food is so subjective.  Clearly you saw a difference from your other cruises. We were on Royal in July.  It was our 3rd or 4th time.  Alfredo's vegetarian pizza was just as good as it always was.  MDR food was the same as always.  We don't do pub lunch so I can't comment on that.

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Thanks for the review - we'll be doing the Royal for the first time in May.    On the Doubletree questions:   We've done it a couple of times and it works very well.   As already noted - you must sign up when you check in.    For the return after your cruise, they tell you when you are dropped off to make note of the location (an island across a couple of lanes of traffic).  Once you have your luggage, walk across and make sure to sign the 'sign in' sheet - if there are too many people for one van, they take people in the order they signed the list.    The shuttles run usually about every 20-30 minutes. 

 

As to the cost - to use the shuttle, I believe you must reserve your room using their "Cruise Package' rate.    That provides you with the shuttle, free parking for the length of your cruise, and free breakfast before heading to the port, so it's a pretty good deal.   You might be able to pay for just the shuttle - best to call the hotel directly and ask.

 

Edited by Kartgv

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We booked the hotel using points and still got the free shuttle. However we weren’t parking a car during the cruise. I believe that booking the Cruise Package rate gets you free parking during the duration of the cruise.

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Thanks for sharing your review! I was on this cruise, too, and it was also my first time on a Royal class ship (this was my 20th cruise on Princess). I had some mixed feelings as well. Overall the ship was beautiful and I loved the Piazza which was bigger and had more seating. I also enjoyed the updated decor and more modern feel to the ship in general. The larger shower was a huge plus along with the ledge so I wasn't balancing on one leg to shave (still don't like the clingy shower curtain though). For the most part I really enjoyed the food...only a few things I had that I wouldn't have again. We ate at Alfredo's once and it was very good. We didn't make it to either of the specialty restaurants or the pub lunch. We only ate in the dining room 4 nights because the service was just so slow, but I've come to expect that. We really enjoyed the updated buffet. It did take a day or two to get used to the layout, but the selection and quality was very good. And it was a huge plus to always find seating, whereas on most other ships you seemed to wander around forever looking for a table.

 

As to the negatives, I didn't like the Princess Live venue. I don't get the point of having a TV studio on board, which it was rarely used for, and it was used for the majority of the trivia and game shows. We play a lot of trivia and various games and the layout was not conducive to playing in a team. There are also no tables so you either have to hold your drink or set it on the floor. The seats were uncomfortable, and the times when we did all the evening events, it was too long sitting in those chairs for almost 4 hours. I much prefer the Explorer's Lounge on other ships. I also thought the Vista Lounge was poorly designed because you couldn't get to the middle seats because of how large the chairs were and the tables didn't move. I wonder if that's why the venue wasn't used very often. I also preferred that the Princes Theater on other ships has the small tables that come out of the arm rest. Similar to Princess Live, there was no place to put a drink.

 

The biggest negative was our stateroom. We had taken an upsell offer to a deluxe balcony R729 which was the very last cabin before you got to the aft suites. The vibration was unbearable! We had been in aft rooms on other ships and never noticed this constant vibration. Especially at night; it felt like someone was shaking the bed or there was an earthquake. After several sleepless nights we went to the Guest Services desk and talked to someone. They moved us to a deluxe balcony E201. You couldn't feel a thing in this room other than the normal motion of the ship, which was fine with me. We slept so much better in this room, and in a strange way, it was almost too quiet compared to the aft room. This cabin was above the theater so when there were shows on or during rehearsals in the day you did hear thumping music and some vibration, but it was short lived and completely quiet at night.

 

Overall, I really enjoyed the ship and would sail on her again. I think my favorite ship is still the Sapphire, but my next couple cruises are on the Regal and Majestic so I'm interested in checking out the other Royal class ships.

 

Happy Cruising!

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28 minutes ago, junglejane said:

We booked the hotel using points and still got the free shuttle. However we weren’t parking a car during the cruise. I believe that booking the Cruise Package rate gets you free parking during the duration of the cruise.

Thank you for the shuttle information, I appreciate it.  If we use this hotel in the future, we would use hotel points as well.  We would also be flying into Long Beach and not parking at the hotel.

Edited by Italy52

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5 hours ago, Italy52 said:

Is there a cost for the shuttle to the pier from the Doubletree?

 

No, it is complimentary from the DoubleTree.

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21 hours ago, scottca075 said:

 

I find the tracking capability creepy at best and would be very uncomfortable with it if I had my grandkids with me.

 

Creepier than how your cell phone location is tracked 100% of the time if it is turned on when you are on land?

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Nice information! We won't be on for a long while, but I like reading about everyone's adventures. Funny you mentioned the mid ship elevators, we never take those. We are usually aft and will still take the stairs 99% of the time. Our Alaskan cruise on the Grand seemed packed always in the Piazza areas... can't wait to see the size difference 😉 

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23 hours ago, United_11 said:

Thanks for sharing your review! I was on this cruise, too, and it was also my first time on a Royal class ship (this was my 20th cruise on Princess). I had some mixed feelings as well. Overall the ship was beautiful and I loved the Piazza which was bigger and had more seating. I also enjoyed the updated decor and more modern feel to the ship in general. The larger shower was a huge plus along with the ledge so I wasn't balancing on one leg to shave (still don't like the clingy shower curtain though). For the most part I really enjoyed the food...only a few things I had that I wouldn't have again. We ate at Alfredo's once and it was very good. We didn't make it to either of the specialty restaurants or the pub lunch. We only ate in the dining room 4 nights because the service was just so slow, but I've come to expect that. We really enjoyed the updated buffet. It did take a day or two to get used to the layout, but the selection and quality was very good. And it was a huge plus to always find seating, whereas on most other ships you seemed to wander around forever looking for a table.

 

As to the negatives, I didn't like the Princess Live venue. I don't get the point of having a TV studio on board, which it was rarely used for, and it was used for the majority of the trivia and game shows. We play a lot of trivia and various games and the layout was not conducive to playing in a team. There are also no tables so you either have to hold your drink or set it on the floor. The seats were uncomfortable, and the times when we did all the evening events, it was too long sitting in those chairs for almost 4 hours. I much prefer the Explorer's Lounge on other ships. I also thought the Vista Lounge was poorly designed because you couldn't get to the middle seats because of how large the chairs were and the tables didn't move. I wonder if that's why the venue wasn't used very often. I also preferred that the Princes Theater on other ships has the small tables that come out of the arm rest. Similar to Princess Live, there was no place to put a drink.

 

The biggest negative was our stateroom. We had taken an upsell offer to a deluxe balcony R729 which was the very last cabin before you got to the aft suites. The vibration was unbearable! We had been in aft rooms on other ships and never noticed this constant vibration. Especially at night; it felt like someone was shaking the bed or there was an earthquake. After several sleepless nights we went to the Guest Services desk and talked to someone. They moved us to a deluxe balcony E201. You couldn't feel a thing in this room other than the normal motion of the ship, which was fine with me. We slept so much better in this room, and in a strange way, it was almost too quiet compared to the aft room. This cabin was above the theater so when there were shows on or during rehearsals in the day you did hear thumping music and some vibration, but it was short lived and completely quiet at night.

 

Overall, I really enjoyed the ship and would sail on her again. I think my favorite ship is still the Sapphire, but my next couple cruises are on the Regal and Majestic so I'm interested in checking out the other Royal class ships.

 

Happy Cruising!

Yikes, now you have me worried.  We are in room # R726 in a couple weeks!

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On 10/15/2019 at 2:09 AM, scottca075 said:

 

>>Thanks for the review.

 

I find the tracking capability creepy at best and would be very uncomfortable with it if I had my grandkids with me. All these new "tools" carry a dark downside.<<

 

 

Completely agreed.  You can get a RFID-blocking passport holder or bag for under $20 at Amazon.  We already do this with our credit cards and are pretty sure it will work on our upcoming Medallion cruise.  For those people it doesn't bother, that's your decision.  It doesn't mean cruising is not for us, just that technology that tracks us is not something with which we're comfortable.

 

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16 hours ago, caribill said:

Creepier than how your cell phone location is tracked 100% of the time if it is turned on when you are on land?

 

Just as creepy.

 

I don't have any of the location permissions turned on for any of my apps to know my location. I do get that by pinging it is possible to have your movements recreated, but it isn't the same as when you tell Google, et al "sure, know where I am every minute, what I am near, etc".

 

Oh and to add to the creepiness, your phone doesn't even need to be turned on to be tracked. As long as the battery is in it, you can be tracked.

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1 hour ago, mindy2 said:

Yikes, now you have me worried.  We are in room # R726 in a couple weeks!

I hope it's better by the time you get on! We talked to several passengers who felt the same vibration even though they were closer to midship. But then some people said they didn't feel anything noticeable.

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I can understand why some don’t like it, but as the mother of two teenagers, I love the tracking feature in the Medallions.  And the tracking feature is one of the reasons we chose to sail on the Royal.  I felt fine giving my kids the run of the ship knowing that I could always find them and that they could always find me.  And it sure made it easy for DH and me to find each other — no more need to coordinate schedules over breakfast or leave post-it notes on the door.   And, by the way, no need to carry your phone to use the tracking option — just sign in to your account at one of the monitors by the elevators.  

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55 minutes ago, Rosemary222 said:

I can understand why some don’t like it, but as the mother of two teenagers, I love the tracking feature in the Medallions.

 

You won't love it when a creeper hacks the system to track your two teens. Just like creepers hacked into the video monitoring of children's rooms.

 

People would be horrified if they understood the implications of all the new technologies, from facial recognition to "Alexa", her creepy cousin "Siri" to tap & go and more.

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Appreciate the concern, but personally I’m not that worried about a creep stalking my teens on a cruise ship — people are out and about on a cruise ship, so if a stalker were aboard, he or she would have an easier time following someone in person, if that’s what they were inclined  to do.  I’m more worried about not being able to find my kids in the event of an emergency or them not being able to find me if, say, a stalker really was following them.   And the medallions don’t have cameras — only tracking technology — so they can’t be used as spying devices.  But I know each of us has our own comfort level with technology, and opinions differ, so I respect the view of anyone who chooses not to use a medallion, just as I respect people who have opted not to own a smartphone.  
 

Now monitoring cameras installed inside the home — that is something that concerns me and I would never do.  
 

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I'll add that we got the 4 device unlimited internet package. We waited to get it until onboard, once again following the excellent advice from CC folks to wait to get the discount for platinum/elite. We were able to use iMessage on our phones with ease to text each other onboard and family back home. We didn't try FaceTime but did use WiFi calling. Initially I didn't even realize WiFi calling would work onboard, and was startled one day when my phone rang despite being in airplane mode. After that I silenced it but then later in the cruise, we used WiFi calling to call our DD and her BF to congratulate him on passing the bar exam.

 

We actually only used 3 devices, our 2 iphones and our one iPad, but the package costs the same as two individual unlimited packages, and meant that we didn't need to sign in or out to use the iPad. So we never used DH's free platinum minutes because they weren't needed.

I've read posts elsewhere reporting or fearing that people would get deluged with marketing just for walking with their Medallions near the art auction. We didn't experience anything like that (marketing plugs) and I'm not sure how it even happens. Maybe it's because we didn't use the Ocean Ready apps after boarding and signing up for the internet package. We found it easier to just locate and message each other using iMessage. We had the apps on our phones but didn't try to use them. We also checked our folio carefully and didn't have any incorrect charges.

IMG_0755.PNG

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On 10/14/2019 at 8:45 PM, junglejane said:

Alfredos’ pizza crust was uncrispy with the overall effect being similar to Chuck E Cheese......

 

As for the Medallion, we liked it as a convenient form of a cruise card that didn’t get de-magnetized or easily lost. We didn’t try to use any of the features on the app. ......

 

But he mentioned that he picked that time to call because, based on my Medallion, he could see that I was in my room. I can see pros and cons of the tracking capability.
 

Alfredos: I was able to pick up the pizza with my hands the 1 time I ordered it. That crisp. But I mainly had:

- Night 1: Ensalad Alfredo (mozzarella, plum tomatoes, roasted veggies, radicchio) / Rollata di Melanzane (eggplant) / Apple Tart

- Night 2: Caprese / Veggie Pizza / Tiramisu

- Night 3: Antipasto / Minestrone / Calzone

 

1st drink ordered thru Oceans Now is free

 

When I lost my medallion PSD told me exactly where it was (casino). They made me a new one with my name / voyage and deactivated the original one. But I got it anyway 

 

What's done poorly: Room Service!!

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