A Travellerspoint blog

January 2014

Royal Princess

Sea Days

sunny 70 °F

Our final two days were at sea heading back to Ft. Lauderdale. We had fair winds and following seas, which made the transit very comfortable. Sea activities were pretty typical. Princess does, however, show lots of movies and we enjoyed "Enough Said" in the main theater.
The Royal Princess is a fine ship, but offers nothing really innovative:

Good Points:

  • The Horizon Court Buffet was extensive and the food was very good. We ate there 5 nights, and didn't go to the dining room (a first for me on a cruise ship). As more and more prefer the open seating dining, it seems as if Princess has expanded their buffet options.
  • The shows are shown three times per night, allowing viewing with just about any dining schedule
  • The crew was very professional and very friendly. They were always ready to lend a hand, answer a question, and help in any way possible
  • The large Piazza was wonderful and elegant. Princess does a bunch of activities there throughout the day.

Low Points:

  • Having no stairs associated with the center elevators meant that you had to walk to the forward or aft elevators to get quickly to some of the places only a deck or two away.
  • I had no internet access in our cabin, though they implied that the ship was fully wifi. This is not the industry standard for a new ship.
  • In the Horizon Court/Horizon Bistro there is no drink station. Drinks are served by the pretty efficient wait staff. However for Breakfast, they have readily available only coffee, orange juice and milk, and perhaps tea. If you want anything else the waiter has to go to a different part of the lido to get what you want. Not very efficient.

All in all it is a great ship, but I think I like the older ship layout better - seems to be a little easier to get around.

Princess Live entertainment center - they broadcast various activities live around the ship:

Bingo in the Vista Lounge:

The Library:

Fair Winds and following seas:

Next stop - Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas to Key West and the Bahamas on February 22. Stay tuned!

Posted by rpickett 06:53 Archived in Bahamas Comments (0)

Royal Princess

St. Maarten

sunny 80 °F

We arrived in St. Maarten on a beautiful day. We got off the ship at about 7:50am to participate in our second dive expedition, again booked through Shoretrips, as Princess offers no certified diver shore excursions. The water was clear, but there were about 8 foot seas, which makes getting out of the water with about 40 pounds of equipment challenging. There were a variety of reef sharks, some rays and many other fish to be seen. Compared to St. Thomas, St. Maarten is much better diving. I am not sure I will dive St. Thomas again, as there is only one dive/snorkel site that you can get to, and it isn't very good.

The Adults only pool area:

The Sanctuary - a reservations only adult retreat - charges for use:

Deck 5 patio outboard of Crooners Bar:

The Seafood Bar - extra charges depending on what you order - tapas prior to dinner

Posted by rpickett 06:37 Archived in Netherlands Antilles Comments (0)

Royal Princess

St. Thomas

sunny 80 °F

We arrived in St. Thomas this morning to some nice warm weather and sun shine. As we have both been to the islands many times, we use this opportunity to scuba dive. Princess does not offer any certified diver shore excursions, so I booked our excursions using Shoretrips - a superb company that you can access from the on-line booking page of the Shellback Cruises web site. St. Thomas does not have very good diving, but it is still getting underwater and seeing some fish. Dinner tonight was at Sabatini's featuring Northern Italian fare.

Posted by rpickett 09:09 Archived in US Virgin Islands Comments (0)

Royal Princess

Sea day #1

sunny 70 °F

We headed south today, but it was still a little chilly out. Enjoyed sleeping in and reading Pat Conroy's latest book.

Posted by rpickett 08:57 Archived in Bahamas Comments (0)

Royal Princess

Princess Cays, the Bahamas

sunny 70 °F

For dinner last night we went to the Crown Grill. If you are not using fixed seating dining, going to the specialty restaurants the first night is a great opportunity, as they are essentially empty! We both had 8 oz filet's with endless Maine Lobster tails. Both the food and the service were excellent as was the Simi Landslide Cab that we had for wine. The cost was $25.00 per person.
After dinner we went to the theater for the welcome aboard show. I was extremely crowded and too small for the opening night crowd. The theater on this ship holds only 900 folks and the ship capacity is about 3800. As a result, other than the first night, the shows are shown three times during the evening, so all types of diners can catch a show no matter when they eat.
Today was Princess Cays. It was cool in the Bahamas - perhaps a little to cold for swimming, so we stayed on board. We were tendering also, and it was about a 20 minute ride in from the anchor point to the beach. The ship was nice and quite and we enjoyed ourselves.
It is becoming a little tedious not having a stairwell in the middle of the ship. Although there are six elevators, you have to wait just to go several decks down or up, when stairs work perfectly.
Tomorrow is a sea day and then St. Thomas, where we will be diving.

The Sky Walk:

The Horizon Court and Piazza:

Posted by rpickett 12:45 Archived in Bahamas Comments (0)

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