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I have always thought of what it would be like to ring in the New Year aboard a cruise ship...this 10-day sailing fit in well with my vacation plans and came at a very good reduced rate that I could afford - since I typically cruise solo and have to pay double! Also - I have been on several other Princess ships and want to try them all. I found the Royal to be almost identical to the Regal - which I have sailed on twice, and remains my favorite Princess Ship. New Years Eve was lots of fun - with 4 different style parties going on at the same time. I like option! The itinerary was more port intensive than I like...but then it was 10 days and at least the port calls were back to back for the most part. Plus I got to visit ports I've never been to before - St Thomas, Martinique, Grenada, Bonaire and Curacao. The ship was full - but never seemed overcrowded - except for sea days...but there were plenty of places to retreat to for peace and relaxation. The staff was not as friendly, helpful, gracious as they have been on other Princess sailings...but overall - it was a fantastic journey and great way to start the new Year!

Great way to start the New Year

Royal Princess Cruise Review by Gogoddess5

3 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2017
  • Destination: Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Interior
I have always thought of what it would be like to ring in the New Year aboard a cruise ship...this 10-day sailing fit in well with my vacation plans and came at a very good reduced rate that I could afford - since I typically cruise solo and have to pay double! Also - I have been on several other Princess ships and want to try them all. I found the Royal to be almost identical to the Regal - which I have sailed on twice, and remains my favorite Princess Ship. New Years Eve was lots of fun - with 4 different style parties going on at the same time. I like option! The itinerary was more port intensive than I like...but then it was 10 days and at least the port calls were back to back for the most part. Plus I got to visit ports I've never been to before - St Thomas, Martinique, Grenada, Bonaire and Curacao. The ship was full - but never seemed overcrowded - except for sea days...but there were plenty of places to retreat to for peace and relaxation. The staff was not as friendly, helpful, gracious as they have been on other Princess sailings...but overall - it was a fantastic journey and great way to start the new Year!
Gogoddess5’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Interior
Cabin IB
Was very pleased with my inside mid-ship cabin. It was one of the side-ways cabins...I found it much more spacious than the standard interior cabin of a shipmate...in fact - I found it to be more spacious than the last standard balcony cabin I had on the Regal! The "L" shape provided more cabinets and storage space, and completely separated the sleeping area from the bathroom/closet...making it feel more spacious.
Marina Deck Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Island Tour
    Took the tour that took us to the top of the mountain where you could view Megan's Bay...Banana Daq's were just ok - not best as claimed. We made several stops for photo-ops. Beautiful scenery
    View All 264 Island Tour Reviews

The Cruise Director (Matt O') and his staff were fantastic & fun! A very energetic, friendly and personable group of young people. Onboard entertainment was varied and well coordinated. The Production Shows were well done. Note: On the full ship - if you arrived late for the shows in the Princess Theater - it was almost impossible to find seating - both the early and later shows were full - SRO. Recent released films were shown for MUTS - Wonder Woman, The Kingsman and Guardians of the Galaxy were shown...when football didn't dominate! Also - I love the on-demand movies offered in the cabins! The three shown for MUTS as well as many others offered, were all on my "must-see" list - so it was a great opportunity to get caught up. The Casino staff were friendly and helpful - and the slots were paying off. I witnessed several "jackpots"! The Enclave (Thermal Suite) is my favorite place on the ship - I buy a pass as soon as I board! You can pay a daily rate - but if you plan on using the whirlpool, thermal beds & sauna often, it's worth it to buy the pass and works out to about 1/2 price. There's a limited number of passes sold...so it's never crowded...in fact the most people I've ever seen in there at one time was 5 ppl. (including me). The Sanctuary continues to be one of those areas you must book as soon as you board as reservations go fast. I was able to get a 1/2 day reservation for one of our port days...but honestly...I'm not sure I'd reserve it again on the Royal...the staff/service just weren't up to par as on other ships. There were plenty of quiet spaces in the area of the Retreat Pool (Adults Only) and other places on deck without paying the extra charge.
I prefer Anytime Dining and because I like to dine late...there's never been a problem getting seated almost immediately. The Horizon Court Buffet was crowded at peak times (8am - 10am) and (5:30pm to 7:30pm)...I found if you go outside the peak dining times it was a much better experience. Also -don't settle for the first selections you see - peruse the entire area before you start digging in...at times the selections varied from one area of the buffet to the other. My favorite - and discovered after I'd already eaten - was the Asian Noodle/Soup Bar in the Horizon Café...on a different evening this same area was the Mongolian Stir Fry Station...make your selection from the veggie bar, choose your meat & sauce and they prepare it to order. The coffee-card is another good deal, and is good at the International Café as well as the specialty coffee-station in the Horizon Court. I didn't use my card up - but it's good to know I can still use it on my next Princess sailing - oh, and I found out crepes from the Gelato Cafe' are no longer included with the coffee-card purchase as it was in the past.
My only issue besides my cabin steward - was that my cruise card kept getting de-magnetized. I finally realized it was my cell-phone case. So - be sure to keep your cruise card away from your cell-phone cases or anything else with a magnet. The front desk staff cheerfully provided a replacement each time. Seems there must be some newer technology to prevent the cards from being so sensitive - maybe?
This was my 8th Princess Cruise and I am so looking forward to the next one!