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LIVE-ish: A 'Royal' Riviera Ride (Royal Princess Live Blog, January 2020)

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Royal Princess anchored in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. (credit: me)



Hello and welcome to my live-”ish” blogging of the Royal Princess as it visits the Mexican Riviera! We’ve actually been on the Royal since January 4th but I wanted to get my bearings and also take advantage of the vast amount of offerings and space that this vessel has to offer (read: "come back new" or something like that). Many of you have already been on the Royal Princess before and have also cruised the Mexican Riviera so this might not exactly be the comprehensive review you are looking for. I endorse @BruinSteve and @JennyB1977’s reviews of the January 4 sailing. They’ve given a great quick breakdown and overview of what to expect for the sailing and what a smooth sailing on this ship and itinerary entails. 


Instead, I’ll be posting quick/long thoughts when something arises and also some pictures throughout. Full disclosure, I have also taken inspiration from the many “low-key” live threads and “live-ish” threads that have existed here in this forum and appreciate the thoughts they’ve shared with all of us along their trips. I’ll be on the Royal doing the same itinerary for two more weeks, until I debark on February 1. 


I’ve also started this thread as a means to give back to those who I’ve gained info from and also be a way for you all to channel your questions about the Royal Princess towards here and allow me to find those answers for you! Maybe you want to know if your favorite crew member is still onboard and how long they’ll be on the ship or maybe you want to drop a hello to someone? Menu pictures? Venue costs? I’ll try my best to get it all (after all, running around the ship is a great way to get that cardio in!), but I can’t make any promises, so please do accept my apologies in advance if I do not end up getting back to you.


Thoughts about the January 11-18 sailing

[Sailing conditions/Weather]

The cruising parts went pretty smoothly, although the previous week really reflected even more of a tropical paradise as the weather was perfect that week. The sailing this past week included a lot more clouds but...don’t worry, there was no rain in sight. Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta were still hot enough to make you want to dive into the ocean for a quick swim. The wind picked up significantly along the two sea days coming back to Los Angeles and was very chilly, and the ship rocked quite a bit more than the previous week, but I expected that and it wasn’t enough to trigger seasickness, at least for me. In my opinion, the windiness rendered certain areas, such as the Retreat Pool area and ping pong tables, relatively unusable, and the walking track on deck 18 a possible hazard if not exercising some caution. 



The crowd’s average age was significantly higher than the January 4-11 sailing, as the crowd went from ~350 kids to ~60 kids. Marcus, the CD, said we’d have “like 12 kids” onboard this upcoming cruise, but I don’t believe it, because I’ve already seen so much more than that. Still, the demographic means nothing because the crowd last week was just as great and lively as ever and we met some amazing people. The open deck party on the night of Puerto Vallarta was still hopping and people definitely knew how to have a great time. 


[Entertainment/Cruise Staff]

The biggest issue the ship had this week was the theater. I do add all of this in to allow people to be a bit more reasonable with their expectations if they’re on the sailing this week or the following week. During the January 4 sailing, everything went smoothly. But the theater broke down beginning on the day of Mazatlan this past week, when “The Secret Silk” was scheduled to be performed. The production show was postponed to the sea day after Puerto Vallarta. But that night, ED Ron Goodman came out to announce that the show’s second performance at 10PM that night would be cancelled as the theater had been deemed mostly inoperable and unsafe for the performers, and was responded back with a sea of groans. The last sea day saw the theater somewhat functional for the culinary cooking demonstration in the morning but it was finally deemed fully inoperable by the time it was over (as per CD Marcus), with the kitchen backdrop still there for the Voice of the Ocean and throughout the rest of the night. Last I checked, at time of muster on Saturday afternoon, parts of the Secret Silk set they had managed to install were still there, flanking the sides of the stage. In the end, two production shows (The Secret Silk and Encore) were hampered or cancelled. 


(from The Voice of the Ocean on Friday, 1/17/2020)

(L - R: sitting- production vocalist mentors, Ashley and Dillon; standing- Marcus, Barbi, contestant, Andrew, contestant [winner])


The guest entertainers, Andrew Geater (brand new to the Princess entertainment family), AJ Jamal, and Barbi McCulloch, were great. I don’t have high expectations for entertainment and am easily entertained, so I enjoyed their performances. Andrew is a tenor vocalist and gave two shows. Barbi is the guest soprano onboard Royal Princess (primarily featured in “Encore”) until November 2020. AJ Jamal is the comedian. The party band, One Way, left today on the 18th, so we have a new party band, Fe Fe & the Sentiments, from England, taking over.


I have not participated in the game shows or trivia, so I cannot comment on them at this time. I plan to try some of them in the coming days if the time aligns. 


For those of you who actively engage with the cruise director and their staff on the Royal Princess, here is an update of who’s onboard. The CD, Marcus Prince Juanta, joined in November 2019 and will likely be here until around March/April 2020, before he weds his fiance in June 2020 (she’s the production cast manager onboard). He has been excellent and I find him very personable. His assistants are Aris (from Indonesia), Rich (from Australia), Timur (from Ukraine), and Jonny (from England), who just joined today (I believe from Grand Princess). His junior assistants are Shannon (from Australia) and Tarran (from the UK). Together, they make up the #RoyalBoys squad, as they call it. Andrew (from Canada), longtime assistant CD, departed on January 11th. Matt O, the esteemed Royal Princess cruise director, is long gone and is currently on Island and will move onto Grand in April for 3 months.


For the loyal Wake Show watchers, Marcus does engage with the guests if you drop a card into the box next to the Princess Live! Cafe. His wake shows are the longest out of any cruise director’s wake show I’ve ever watched before, and are roughly 50-70 minutes long, depending on the day. He goes through the day’s events, then brings on a crew member (can be an Asst. CD, shopping concierge, etc.), then features a “life at sea” interview with a crew member to talk about life working onboard. 



I have found the food has been good. I am not a picky eater and will eat almost anything, so I found the buffet and MDR perfectly sufficient for my needs. Allegro late traditional dining went perfectly smooth and was another great experience. I will add something, though: bigger ships need more crew (or less guests), because the crew work too hard with too little breathing room. We started off our dining in Concerto on the first week and we had an absolutely wonderful waiter, but the service flow overall was not up to par and staff did appear pretty stressed. Anyways, we’ve also had good cabin stewards so far. We’ve been staying in inside cabins because we like being out of the room exploring whatever there is to see, so we don’t mind the interior cabins. Water pressure and A/C have all been working great. New kinds of soap, though, or at least I haven't seen them before (I will attach a picture below). Lotion tubes are still being distributed. Note that all mattresses, as it seems, on the Royal are still the old ones, and come with some type of mattress pad placed on top. Also note that if living in sideway inside cabins, people walking by in the hallway may be loud and that doors slamming shut can vibrate walls and be generally disruptive. Of course, none of this can really be helped.




Well, this is a controversial one because I know it varies widely across ships and regions. But so far, I’ve had a blissful experience working on MedallionNet and God forbid it experiences hiccups after I post this! Downloading and uploading speeds aren’t perfect at all, but I mainly just browse the web, so there isn’t much I do. Watching YouTube videos has been painless thus far, but that's as close as I'm going to go in terms of "streaming," if it even counts. If you’re Platinum/Elite, the discount is much better once onboard, so note this. For me, it cost $224.99 total for four devices for 28 days. (Speedtest picture attached below -- test taken at around 11:30PM, PST on 1/18/20) -- refer to the helpful list made by steelers36 here for prices.



[Back-to-Back (B2B) -- “In-transit Guest” Process]

For those of you who have not done a B2B in San Pedro, I do want to describe some of that here. All B2B cruisers were expected to meet at Club 6 by 9:45AM. Princess is incredibly efficient with its disembarkation at San Pedro and an announcement was made at 9:53AM that all colors were already called to disembark. We were shortly escorted out into the terminal at around 9:55AM. The steps are as per the following:

  • Upon taking the escalator down from the ship gangway, turn left and walk straight towards passport control (customs) past all of the luggage laying out in the terminal. Don’t follow the ropes/stanchions/fences that guide the disembarking passengers. At the end of your walk, right before the desks, you should be to the left of those desks. A customs officer will check your passport and in-transit card, so have that ready. 
  • Then, walk out towards the exit of the building along the circular route behind the tall blue wall.
  • You will exit the terminal, passing a “no reentry after leaving” sign. Turn right and head forward on the sidewalk, in the direction of the bridge (not away from it). You’ll be walking all the way towards the entrance of Berth 92.
  • Enter Berth 92 and show your in-transit card. You’ll be taken to a separate security screening on the outside of the tent that everyone else will go through. Any personal items you're carrying will need to be scanned. 
  • Then, you will rejoin and enter the terminal like everyone else. But, show your in-transit card for the nth time, and a worker there will direct you to the far corner at the other end of the terminal, separating you from the new guests.
  • Sit on the chairs along the side marked by the sign that indicates “in-transit guests”. Once the call is made for "in-transit guests" to board, you will need to show your in-transit card twice more so that those supervising the area will ensure you are allowed to actually approach the walkway towards the ship.

We only sat for about 20-30 minutes in the terminal before we were the first guests to be let on. We got back on the Royal Princess at about 10:45AM. Though I read many dreadful reviews of the B2B process in San Pedro, I found it to be relatively seamless (albeit, not well-guided due to lack of proper signage) and this was my first impression of a B2B so I thought it worked out just fine. Note that there was a decent amount of walking and the infrastructure at San Pedro just isn't the best, so make sure you make preparations and request assistance ahead of time if you think you might even need it just a little bit. 


[Other Miscellaneous Thoughts]

The ship’s condition is fine. There are spots of rust and dust here and there, but not visible/irritating unless you actively choose to find them and get bothered by them. Stateroom and buffet carpets could use a refreshing, but it’s not exactly essential. Some panels near the piazza spiral staircase could use a bit more reinforcement because they rattle when stepping on them. Speaking of those staircases, the spiral stairs between Plaza Deck 5 and Fiesta Deck 6 vibrate more than ever when the ship is in motion. Another weird miscellaneous thought: if you really want to get a feel for how long the ship is, go onto one end of Emerald Deck 8 or Dolphin Deck 9 and look down the other end. Also, I feel like I might be the only person to notice this, but the Love Boat horn's last two notes on this ship don't really seem to make the right pitch. Anyone else think that or am I just crazy?


We attended the Captain’s Circle Party each cruise and found the service fine and the drinks/snacks fine for what they were. Captain Nick Nash gave some details about the new Princess ships that I don’t think have been mentioned elsewhere (in contrast with the press releases made): 188,000 GT / 5,000 passengers. That sure ruffled some feathers, and understandably so, because Princess is definitely alienating some clientele with that kind of size. Of course, P&O is going that way too so we’ll see what happens in a few years, when details of the new Princess ships come out. (Officers picture attached below; apologies for the glare, Captain)



A quick overview altogether of what the ship is like after a couple of weeks doing the same itinerary -- in case you hadn't figured it out, the dinner menus are the same week after week (per itinerary) and the entertainment has varied just a small bit each week. In my scenario, the ship is as much a destination as the destinations themselves, as a lot of days are spent on this vessel, so things could get old for you, but only if you let it become that way. Overall, I have greatly enjoyed my time on the Royal Princess, having met some wonderful people, witnessed beautiful scenery, and experienced priceless moments, and will never take this privileged experience for granted. If you have any questions, please let me know! Thank you for reading all of this if you have and I look forward to showing some more glimpses of life onboard the Royal Princess.


I leave you on this first post with a few beautiful sunsets seen on this itinerary.


Cabo San Lucas (credit: me), Mazatlan (credit: me), Puerto Vallarta (credit: me)

Edited by snoozecrooze
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Saturday, January 18, 2020

The B2B transition went off without a hitch for the in-transit guests and we were on at 10:45AM, as I mentioned above. After that, it was a nice hour or so spent taking advantage of a somewhat empty ship by the Retreat pool, before the rest of the guests embarked. 



We tried to return to our room at around noon to organize some of our belongings but was confronted with a sign telling us to return at 1PM, which we hadn’t seen before on this ship. I know it exists as we’d seen it on other Princess ships, but it was no biggie. 



Right as we entered the buffet, an announcement was made at roughly 12:53PM that all staterooms were now ready. A quick lunch in the buffet and it seemed like sailaway was already upon us! Some might get jaded by a sailaway party, but for me, it brings out a bit of youth in my soul and there’s nothing that beats the genuine excitement you get from sailing away from the embarkation port. It helps me to renew my energy levels, if you will, after two continuous sea days.


(If you’re curious about muster stations on the Royal Princess, here they are)



Another thing about this week: this cruise was actually oversold. I don't think I've seen these notices by the front desk before, so this goes to emphasize how sold out it is. I know of several move-over offers that were sent out to alleviate this. I missed tonight’s show (AJ is great but I have seen his first show twice now), so I didn’t get Marcus’ stats that he tends to go over on the first night, but I went to the front desk and got the following numbers: 3,614 passengers -- 2,905 from the US. The second most represented country on this cruise is Canada.



The Carnival Panorama is right along with us (as she will, for the rest of eternity, essentially). She actually raced past us as we were just cruising past the southern tip of Catalina Island. #notroadragebutoceanrage



I will try to attach scans of the patters and other various things per day (if I can/remember to get to it) at the end of the day. I will try to conglomerate all scans from the entire month and share it in a folder later on as I get home. Some updates about this week’s entertainment -- Cheaza, a guest vocalist joins the ship this cruise, presumably to replace “The Secret Silk,” which is now off the list. I compared the first day’s patter from this week to that of last week and everything else scheduled for this week seems to be pretty much the same.


And finally, a great sailaway day topped off with a beautiful sunset!13_Sunset.thumb.jpg.7b29eaceedab0c2f9a400418fc2c5eeb.jpg

(credit: me)



Edited by snoozecrooze
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Thanks for the thread, I'm going to be boarding on Saturday (same cruise but with a reversed itinerary), and it's nice to have some up to date info.  It's interesting to see that the ship is still getting overbooked, we actually took the January 25th sailing as a move over offer from the November 30 sailing.  Not sure why, but these Royal cruises seem really popular.

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Since we've gotten the blog jumpstarted, I mostly won't be doing the end-of-the-day summaries like I did for the 18th. Thanks for following along everyone! 🙂

Sunday, January 19, 2020

So, today, the 19th, was a sea day. I told myself I'd get out of bed early to make it to breakfast and some other activities, but I never rolled out of bed until way later. 

We actually have an enrichment lecturer couple, John and Diane Stockham, who talked about Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan this morning. I wanted to go to it but the slumber got to me. Hopefully it will be on the stateroom TVs for later. Last week, nothing from Princess Live was on the TVs but the first week, they were all there -- a little inconsistent.


I'm not ashamed to admit I actually attended the Runway Shopping Show (as many seasoned cruisers like to shun). I've actually never attended this show and I thought, well why the heck not just go ahead and collect a charm bracelet with all the charms throughout the week. It would make a peculiar, albeit maybe a little superfluous, gift for a loved one so there's that.

Grabbed a bite at the buffet for lunch watching the world go by. Today's weather is beautiful, with the water glistening in a sun that doesn't feel too glaring or too hot. Buffet had sushi today, so I just paired that with the wonderful grilled vegetables in the Horizon Bistro section. (If you want any pictures of food, just let me know; I know some do not, so I will not post them regularly!)



(Beautiful sun and the glistening water)

(Panorama now trailing us in the distance)


I took the KPOP dance class with Marcus and I really appreciate that he has this unique class, like some other CDs have also provided in the past. Anyways, it really got my blood flowing and I was a mess after but it was really fun and I highly recommend all the dance classes.


(a glimpse of it from the previous week - highly recommended!)


Tonight is formal night but we're deciding if we should take it easy this week and visit the buffet on dinners. I have already scanned all menus from the weeks before but I will also scan the dinner menu this week (just not the desserts). Will attach that later today! Encore is also still slated to happen tonight (Marcus giving an announcement right now as I type).


Anyways, if any of you have questions all about the Royal Princess, please, please ask!! I will do my best to help you out or satisfy your curiosity. Cheers and have a great Sunday, everybody!

Edited by snoozecrooze
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The night the theater finally worked!

We dressed up for formal night to get in the mood, but decided to just end up eating our dinner at the buffet and it was so nice to dine at our own pace, not having to wait too long or be overwhelmed by the noise around us. It just feels good having flexibility -- the wonders of a cruise. Tonight had Mexican themed night, so there were tacos, fajitas, and quesadillas galore. (Embarkation night was Asian stir-fry night). Also, they had wonderful, more exotic fruits, such as rambutan and longan (part of the same family as lychees) -- they were such a delight and surprise to see; apparently, they're in season at this time, so it's been such a great treat! Don't be afraid of the "hair" on the rambutan --- the fruit inside is good! And there's also been a lot of persimmons on offer. Get your fruit fixing!




I first hit up the Yes/No game show, making it my first time attending a game show live, and it was such a hoot. The premise is simple, but of course it is so much more difficult in practice. It just made for a good belly laugh and there's nothing better. Marcus and Timur were the hosts, while Tarran was the "voice from above" -- a little mini-controversies here and there when the "yes" or "no"s weren't really caught the first time they were uttered (they were all ultimately penalized), but the whole thing's all in jest in the end.


Princess Live! venue -- filled up ~95% for the Yes/No game show


I rushed to Encore for its 10PM show. Every experience I've had with the theater on any Princess ship is that people have come early to reserve seats and this ship is absolutely no different; last week, people were already in the theater roughly one hour early in the front seats to keep their spot. Anyways, the spotlight of this story is the theater: the theater is working! The tree-stalk things from The Secret Silk were still flanking the sides of the stage but the kitchen set was gone and the Encore set was in its place. Everything pretty much went off without a hitch and I just so appreciated the overall talent of the singers, dancers, and the orchestra. An amazing production -- everyone should see it at least once.


Princess Theater -- I'd say it was ~90% full. The Encore set is gorgeous to me.


I will say that, honestly speaking, some of the voices came off as a bit of a piercing 'shrill' because of how the sound emanated from the speakers --- the output of some of the vocalists just did not sound right and I think it made it more painful for some people, with some covering their ears, rather than enjoyable. To me, the overall effect of the show is that it is greater than the sum of its parts, so the whole production is still great for me. But I can only hope newer-generation ships will feature more advanced theater tech. Of course, it could also be argued that those singers just don't sound well, but that's another debate.


I finished off the night watching the Voice of the Ocean auditions, and it was another kicker. I really thought a lot of our auditionees did amazing and I really commend all of them for getting up there -- quite a few really took advantage of the space on stage and got the crowd involved and I thought that was clever -- others during weeks prior mostly didn't. It was a great time to listen to some great renditions before heading back to retire. I will say, though, this time, the auditionees' identifying #s weren't super clear and apparently anyone could vote now, so...that puts bias on the ones singing later (given the small flow of extra audience members like me coming from Encore) -- a bit of a flaw, so I chose not to vote out of fairness. Speaking of music before retiring, if you're a frequent Crooners visitor, Oliver Holland really is great and he just seems like the kindest person -- he really puts on a great late-night show. Do make it a stop at least once on your cruise here on the Royal Princess.


I leave you with another beautiful sunset, sponsored by mother nature:



Tomorrow (today....late nights are not a good idea for my sleeping patterns..) -- CABO


Questions? Requests? Please ask! Thanks for stopping by! Hope you're doing well and enjoying the read!


Edited by snoozecrooze
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Welcome to a beautiful morning from Cabo San Lucas! The official announcement was made at roughly 9:45AM that guests could begin boarding the first tender ("water shuttle"). Tender tickets are picked up at Symphony Dining Room (deck 5, midship). Based on previous weeks, tender tickets are usually no longer needed by around 12-1PM.20200120_095046.thumb.jpg.20774eabfa0a6ae18cd518b19f9000b7.jpg20200120_095051.thumb.jpg.94ac33466c80fdf84f16f578ea0310c0.jpg

Today, we will be one of three ships in Cabo, with the Carnival Panorama and Norwegian Gem being the other two. 



Catch up with you all later as we begin to bake under the hot sun.

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Your photos are excellent; the sunsets in particular are drop-dead gorgeous.  And I for one wouldn't mind more food photos!  Although maybe not, if the rest of the food looks like that fruit, which is obviously an alien life form from a galaxy far, far away. 

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Is the SUNSET QUARTET still on the ship?  We enjoyed them wherever they were entertaining on the ship.  We had enjoyed them on a different ship so were delighted to find them again-usually in Wheelhouse.  The Singer (Marie?) is married to the drummer in the group.  We were on the ROYAL Jan. 4-11.  Always wondered about Secret Silk and Encore so were glad to have opportunity to see them--especially Encore!  Secret Silk was somewhat difficult to follow the story--would have appreciated an explanation prior to seeing it.  High praises for Marcus as he was amazing  cruise director-also enjoyed him on the STAR!

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A possible farewell to Cabo..?

Well, friends, I do apologize for not making updates as they come, but I don't have international data roaming on my plan and didn't want to "live-tweet" for the blog either because I want to be able to draw some conclusions before making the posts -- hence the "live-ish" -- but thank you all for understanding! 


El Arco from the tender boat


CABO! My first time to the Mexican Riviera was just on this ship a mere two weeks ago, so I know many seasoned cruisers might find Cabo boring or possibly "one and done," but I do find it a great escape from my neck of the woods. We kickstarted our day eating breakfast at Horizon Court, a first in forever, because we end up skipping breakfast most of the time on our cruises. We took it a bit slower, because we wanted to avoid the mad rush for tenders and went down to Symphony at 12 noon when Simone Smith-Smith (Assoc. Hotel GM) and Marcus informed us that tickets were no longer needed! The efficiency of this ship is so great. Also, just something to add, both cruises before this had Marcus give periodic announcements throughout the morning on the speakers, but this time, no shipwide announcements were really ever made for water shuttles, barring the ones ED Ron made between 9:45 and 10:15 and that was basically it. So, just wanted to let people know that processes are evidently always being evaluated and modified (is it better? up for debate -- I know the announcement thing was trialed for some time so that people didn't have to congregate in the dining room the entire time they waited, but who knows if this was really better?)


Before I explain what we did in Cabo today, I need to preface that our next and last cruise here, the January 25-February 1 itinerary, was modified, to avoid having 3 ships in Puerto Vallarta on January 29. Therefore, Royal Princess was shafted and will now visit Cabo last instead of first. The Cabo day on the 30th will have a dreadfully short port time, from 6AM to 1PM, so for us, personally, there is a chance we might not be able to experience this place again for the time being.


Therefore, we decided to soak it all in and instead, walk around the entire marina to Playa Medano. We walked briskly and savored the experience of walking on the soft sand once we arrived (can you tell we don't really live near a beach yet?). We walked all the way until we stopped at a great spot for some R&R; it was away from the chaos but still close enough to not feel like we're deserting the place (it was somewhere in front of Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos Beach Resort). The spot was an oasis, perfectly balancing the warmth from the sun and the breeze from the ocean. I went for a quick last swim in the beautiful turquoise Cabo water (which was actually kind of chilly, so you just have to dive in or you'll shiver forever) before we left and just like that, it was time to head back. A blissful day enjoying the sights and sounds of the coast and the ocean.




This turquoise water, priceless.


We got back to the tender pier at around 5:45, but it felt so much later than that. There was no line for the Royal (and we'd been going back around this time before and there's never been a line for Royal tenders at the pier at this time but Carnival's Panorama tends to have a different story) and we were bid farewell with a beautiful sunset. [Sidenote: the tender pier was such a mess earlier in the day with 3 ships in; it's a miracle that 3 ships worth of passengers keep piling in regularly at Cabo]. We took a Cabo shoreside tender back, as Princess wanted to get as many passengers back as possible. They're bumpier, but get the job done.


Another beautiful sunset, courtesy of mother nature


We went to the buffet for dinner and I got way too much food and took too long to finish. Tonight was Bavarian night. Pictures attached!


Cool ice sculpture, courtesy of the ship's master sculptors














I then decided to catch up to the Majority Rules game show at 9:30, halfway through. It was kind of raunchy, but hilarious as always; the picture (with one of the questions) speaks for itself.


Princess Live ~90% full


I debated if I should go to Andrew Geater's show, but I already went last week so I decided to try and check out the new Trivia or Dare game show (which was recently created) that followed right after Majority Rules. There's some kinks in the whole delivery that need to be smoothed out, but it's fun; more people participating would really help crank it up. The ones who went up were troopers, and I still enjoyed the experience. Coming with a group of friends/family and having someone volunteer = key to a good time.


Princess Live ~25% full


In the Piazza, Fe Fe & the Sentiments were cranking out mostly contemporary pop hits -- I can't tell if I prefer the 80s/funk vibe with One Way or the contemporary-indie-ish vibe with Fe Fe that I'm sensing, but people are having a good time regardless.


Fe Fe & the Sentiments in the circular stage


Well, this was a long post, so I do apologize if anyone found it too lengthy. But I do try to be somewhat comprehensive, because I find myself very fully engrossed reading others' detailed reviews, so I try to do the same for those who just so happen to be like me. Remember to check out the patter and menus attached below if you're interested!


Questions? Requests? Please ask! Thanks for stopping by! Hope you're doing well and enjoying the read!



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On 1/19/2020 at 9:41 AM, HBCcruiser said:

Thank you for the B2B info! We are sailing on the Royal in April doing a B2B with the Mexican Rivera followed by the California Coastal cruises. This info is very helpful!

hi!! glad my info on the B2B is helpful for you all! if you have any other questions about the Royal, the itinerary, etc., just let me know! thanks for reading!

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On 1/19/2020 at 11:03 AM, Vexorg said:

Thanks for the thread, I'm going to be boarding on Saturday (same cruise but with a reversed itinerary), and it's nice to have some up to date info.  It's interesting to see that the ship is still getting overbooked, we actually took the January 25th sailing as a move over offer from the November 30 sailing.  Not sure why, but these Royal cruises seem really popular.

hey @Vexorg, I was browsing through the roll call for 1/25 and yeah, I feel a bit sad about the port time for Cabo. Hope you all can still have a good vacation as it's expensive regardless and changes can frustrate things. We shall see if the cruise is overbooked next week, but the cruise is officially marked as "sold out" on the website already.


The Royal cruises doing the Mexican Riviera runs are indeed, really popular; we've been essentially at capacity so far and this itinerary is basically the West Coast version of the 7-day Caribbean runs. Families very much gravitate towards these trips.


If there's anything I can help you with about the Royal, just let me know! Thank you for reading!

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On 1/19/2020 at 11:09 AM, PCWalton1 said:

Thank you for doing this review. Marie and I will be on Royal for the May 2 cruise. I usually do a live review and will most likely do another. Great to get all the advanced info. 😀

Hey @PCWalton1! I noticed your history of live reports and am making a guess that this might be your first Princess cruise? (or at least your first in a while?) Anyways, welcome (or welcome back!) -- I'm hopeful you will enjoy and love the Royal as much as I am. If you have any questions, please let me know! Thank you for reading and I hope you have an amazing cruise in May!

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16 hours ago, Colo Cruiser said:

Awesome live! Thanks for taking the time to post all the photos and info.  😎

Hey Colo Cruiser, back at ya. I obviously took some cues from you for the "low-key" ish thing from your Sky review. Thanks for reading!

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14 hours ago, sunsetbeachgal said:

Wow, what a great review and pictures.  The Royal is my favorite ship, I was sad to see her leave Florida, but the West Coast deserves a beautiful ship like the Royal. 

Going on the Sky on Saturday. Hope I like her as well as Royal! 

Thank you so much for the kind comments, @sunsetbeachgal! Yes, sunsets are one of my favorite things to capture from a cruise; I just don't get those types of views on a normal basis so these are special for me. 


Super excited for you getting to cruise on Sky! Report back and let us all know how it goes! She looks beautiful and I'm hopeful you'll have an amazing time! Bon voyage!

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10 hours ago, rdsqrl said:

Your photos are excellent; the sunsets in particular are drop-dead gorgeous.  And I for one wouldn't mind more food photos!  Although maybe not, if the rest of the food looks like that fruit, which is obviously an alien life form from a galaxy far, far away. 

hey now, @rdsqrl, you just gotta try 'em. embrace those weird looks people give you when they see you eating those alien life forms LOL. 


Thank you for your kind comments! I included some pictures from the Bavarian Night buffet for you, though not any of my own plates just yet. Hope it helps! If you have any further questions about the ship, just let me know! Thanks for reading!

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On 1/19/2020 at 12:23 PM, CarelessAndConfused said:

Thanks for sharing!  I love vicarious threads, patter uploads and any discussion about the Royal.

Hey @CarelessAndConfused, I've been noticing your threads in the forum, and I'm assuming you have a cruise on Royal (or Princess in general) soon? Don't be afraid to ask me anything if you're curious or confused, haha. Thanks for stopping by!

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8 hours ago, DormMom said:

Is the SUNSET QUARTET still on the ship?  We enjoyed them wherever they were entertaining on the ship.  We had enjoyed them on a different ship so were delighted to find them again-usually in Wheelhouse.  The Singer (Marie?) is married to the drummer in the group.  We were on the ROYAL Jan. 4-11.  Always wondered about Secret Silk and Encore so were glad to have opportunity to see them--especially Encore!  Secret Silk was somewhat difficult to follow the story--would have appreciated an explanation prior to seeing it.  High praises for Marcus as he was amazing  cruise director-also enjoyed him on the STAR!

Hey @DormMom! I checked my patters again and yes, they're still on! Download my patters for a glance at what's still going on this week! 🙂


Yeah, Secret Silk was a bit hard to follow for me too. They try to cram in so many song numbers and don't have enough dialogue or narration that clearly moves the storyline forward, and of course, not enough time, so it's hard to understand. Still a technological feat for a ship theater, as we both can attest to, though. Yes, Marcus is super!


Thanks for stopping by! Let me know if you have any other questions!

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7 hours ago, Jasperdo said:

Excellent "live-ish". Great photos. My wife and I have done the Mexican Riviera many times, but not on a Royal class ship yet.  

Hey @Jasperdo! Thank you so much for the kind comments! If you've done this itinerary many times, I might suggest trying a Royal-class someplace else for a better opportunity to have an all-fresh experience (or you can also make the ship the destination and the itinerary secondary haha). I think the ship has come to fit well for the market for this itinerary, and I feel that the cruise staff have taken it upon themselves to try to make it fun for the passengers. Of course, it's probably more crowded during high-traffic times (e.g. showtime) in high-traffic areas (e.g. theater, dining rooms, etc.) than say, Sapphire, so take that element highly into consideration. But overall, if you plan your days out well, you should have a great time! Thanks for stopping by and let me know if you have any other questions!

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