Regal Princess Reviews

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12 User Reviews of Regal Princess Cruise Ship

Princess Plus: a Review of the Regal Princess
Publication Date: January 22, 2017

The Regal Princess the newest in the Princess fleet takes what we love about its ships and betters it:

More pizzazz in the piazza. The Regal’s stunning atrium is way bigger, giving a spacious and open feel to the hub of the ship. It’s all done up in marble and glass, with lounges that jut towards the center and tables positioned to eye all the action.

And action there is. In turns there was a steel drum, different bands and juggler, as well as the Captain’s Welcome champagne waterfall, a balloon drop and on our trip, even a groom whisking his bride across the dance floor.

The International Café is as good as always, with its 24-hour offerings of terrific quiches, sandwiches, salads and desserts.

A robust buffet with better navigation. Princess has always had the best buffet at sea, with quality unmatched by the other mass market lines. This new Horizon Court stretches out on both sides of the ship, with a Pastry Shop in between think “H” shaped.

Part of the buffet, “Horizon Court Bistro,” has lighter fare (Note: you can tell the difference because the furniture is white while in the regular

buffet, it’s brown. This is important because my first time there, I got seriously lost.)

There’s never congestion or seating issues, and the options are seemingly endless from American fare to Asian, some even with spice.

To this foodie’s delight, there was papaya and smoked fish such as mackerel, Mahi-Mahi and trout at breakfast (there was even an “everything chocolate” section the last morning). There were good choices at lunch, but dinner is where the really special stuff made an appearance: poached salmon; shrimp; cheeses such as Stilton, Port Salut, Havarti and camembert; and dried figs, dates and apricots.

Desserts at lunch and dinner such as opera cake, peach cobbler, various mousse-y-cakes, pineapple upside down were nearly always of good quality. And you could always rely on fabulous rolls at every meal, which varied from sunflower seed-studded to focaccia.

Love that Norman. The Norman Love desserts are knockouts as yummy to eat as to look at. The main dining room had several a kind of tiered chocolate, meringue thing, and a chocolate and pistachio dome. The Crown Grill featured a milk chocolate peanut butter bar.

MUTS is now a must. The Movie Under the Stars big screen is not just bigger than previous ships, but the picture is much sharper. We were really taken aback by the difference. It’s now actually worth watching a movie you’ve been wanting to see on that screen. And you get a blanket and popcorn to boot.

What could be improved

Like all the cruise lines and all their ships, not everything is perfect, and the Regal is no exception:

MDR a mixed bag. The main dining room food was fair, with a few decent dishes amid a sea of mediocrity and sometimes, dishes that just weren’t quite right. A mixed seafood skewer early on and lobster tail on form night were well prepared and flavorful. But the Red Snapper and Beef Wellington failed on both.

Design flaws. The Regal has some of the same weirdness in layout of other Princess ships, such as some dining rooms that can only be accessed by certain parts of the ship.

And the jogging track on Deck 18 was clearly an afterthought. While it has wide separate lanes for joggers and runners, it’s a small track (seven laps=a mile) and when we tried to use it one day, we were shooed away, as the crew was doing maintenance there at 6 p.m.

A small room with a view. The standard balcony staterooms are smaller on the Regal than the Caribbean Princess. If you can afford it, it’s a good ship to spring for a mini-suite, a Princess specialty. If you pick the right ship, itinerary and time a year, you’ll not pay much more for a mini-suite, yet the difference is enormous. Think full-sized couch vs. two chairs. More storage space than we could even fill.

The bottom line

Princess still deserves the crown for the best all-around cruise experience and the Regal delivers its best. Even the “Love Boat” “crew” thinks so.

 

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South America
Publication Date: February 11, 2006

This was our 14th cruise and the first on a Princess ship. Our cabin was a portside Oceanview Double With Balcony on the Aloha Deck near of the stern of the ship.

We sailed on a 14-day South America cruise from Buenos Aires (Argentina) to Montevideo (Uruguay), Puerto Madryn (Argentina), Stanley (Falkland Islands with tender service), Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego, Argentina), Punta Arenas (Chile), Puero Montt (Chile with tender service), and Valparaiso (Santiago, Chile). Every port was most interesting. Saw lots of different types of penguins, visited several estanias (ranches) with demonstrations of horsemanship and horse breaking, sheep shearing, and a Chilean rodeo with lots of good lunches, a motorized catamaran wildlife cruise, a narrow-gauge train ride at the â?oend of the worldâ?. Plus cruising around the Cape Horn and glacier viewing. During the entire cruise, we had good weather and smooth seas. The two earlier cruises bypassed the Falkland Islands due to rough seas.

FLIGHTS - Princess used America Airlines for the flight to Buenos Aires via Miami from Los Angeles - very long flight (going was over 13 hours plus a two hour layover in Miami) and Lan Chile Airlines from Santiago

via Lima (Peru) back to Los Angeles (12 hours with an one hour layover in Lima). The seats were too close together and half of the audio and video entertainment and in-flight announcements were in Spanish.

CHECK-IN - Faster than usual. During initial check-in, a digital camera records your photograph. Each time thereafter when you leave or re-board the ship, your ship ID card is scanned and your photograph is displayed to the ship's security personnel. Thus, eliminating the need to carry a second form of ID with your photograph (driver's license, etc.). Also, every time you re-board the ship, all carry-on items (purses, cameras, etc.) are scanned just like in the airports.

SHIP - This is one of the larger-sized ships that Princess calls its Explorer class. It has 11 decks with three groups of three elevators. The ship carries 1,596 passengers with a crew of 660 and was built in 1990.

CABIN - Our room seemed smaller than on previous cruises that we sailed on. Its square footage was 210 as compared the similar Holland America ships who average is 264. There are lots of small drawers in the single bedside nightstand, in the small desk next to the bed, and in the clothes closet. The queen bed consists of two single beds pushed together and fitted with bedding for a queen size bed. There is no space for the storage of the suitcases as the space under the beds is less than six inches tall. We used the overhead shelf in the closet, the floor in the closet, and the knee well space under the desk. The bathroom contains a raised toilet (very noisy whenever flushed), small sink, shower, and two medicine cabinets.

VERANDAH - It has two small plastic chairs and a small table. The partition between the verandahs on this ship are permanent sealed and may not be opened for easy access to the adjacent cabin if you travel with other passengers who are staying next door as we were.

IN-CABIN TV AND SOUND SYSTEM - A small TV set with a 14-inch screen showed about 11 channels â?" some via satellite (CNN, ESPN, TNT, etc.) and others previously recorded movies, etc., with a mixture of Spanish and English. There were no separate audio channels into the cabin, nor a special channel for hearing all ship announcements as on other ships. Approximately 50 percent of the time at sea, the satellite stations werenâ?Tt available including the shipboard Internet service.

LAUNDRY - There are two self-service laundry rooms with irons.

DINING ROOM - The Palm Court room has two sittings - Early (6:00 p.m.) and Main (8:15 p.m.). The serving of dinner was slow every day as the servers appeared to be understaffed; frequently the table captains perform some of the server's duties, etc. The overall food seemed bland.

OUTSIDE ON DECK GRILL - Next to pool and serves hot dogs and hamburgers.

UPSCALE DINING - There is no upscale dining room. The only other place to eat was back to the buffet line (Cafe Del Sol), which is open 24/7. In the evenings, there was a small corner of the room where you could sit and order from a menu but the food came from the buffet line.

TIPS - There's an automatic assessment of $10 per day per guest and 15% is added to all drinks.

EVENING ENTERTAINMENT - At an Argentina and Chile ports, local professional dancers and musicians were provided. The other nightly entertainment were the typically "Broadway" type of dance shows, the single singer, comedian, magician, etc.

MOVIES - Movies were shown in the movie theatre.

INTERNET - Has an Internet cafe serviced via satellite with about 12 computers which a charge of $21 per hour and the service seemed as slow as a dial-up telephone line.

BARS - The ship has about four bars including the Dome (the highest forward looking area) being located in the same room with the casino.

CAPTAIN'S PARTY - The same as usual.

SHOPS - There seemed to be fewer.

OVERALL OPINION - I'm sorry, but I'm not impressed with the Regal Princess. It is a large ship with small cabins, seems poorly maintained, and doesnâ?Tt have enough crew to promptly service its passengers â?" especially in the dining rooms, bars, tour office, reception desk, etc.

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South America
Publication Date: February 11, 2006

This was our 14th cruise and the first on a Princess ship. Our cabin was a portside Oceanview Double With Balcony on the Aloha Deck near of the stern of the ship.

We sailed on a 14-day South America cruise from Buenos Aires (Argentina) to Montevideo (Uruguay), Puerto Madryn (Argentina), Stanley (Falkland Islands with tender service), Ushuaia (Tierra del Fuego, Argentina), Punta Arenas (Chile), Puero Montt (Chile with tender service), and Valparaiso (Santiago, Chile). Every port was most interesting. Saw lots of different types of penguins, visited several estanias (ranches) with demonstrations of horsemanship and horse breaking, sheep shearing, and a Chilean rodeo with lots of good lunches, a motorized catamaran wildlife cruise, a narrow-gauge train ride at the â?oend of the worldâ?. Plus cruising around the Cape Horn and glacier viewing. During the entire cruise, we had good weather and smooth seas. The two earlier cruises bypassed the Falkland Islands due to rough seas.

FLIGHTS - Princess used America Airlines for the flight to Buenos Aires via Miami from Los Angeles - very long flight (going was over 13 hours plus a two hour layover in Miami) and Lan Chile Airlines from Santiago

via Lima (Peru) back to Los Angeles (12 hours with an one hour layover in Lima). The seats were too close together and half of the audio and video entertainment and in-flight announcements were in Spanish.

CHECK-IN - Faster than usual. During initial check-in, a digital camera records your photograph. Each time thereafter when you leave or re-board the ship, your ship ID card is scanned and your photograph is displayed to the ship's security personnel. Thus, eliminating the need to carry a second form of ID with your photograph (driver's license, etc.). Also, every time you re-board the ship, all carry-on items (purses, cameras, etc.) are scanned just like in the airports.

SHIP - This is one of the larger-sized ships that Princess calls its Explorer class. It has 11 decks with three groups of three elevators. The ship carries 1,596 passengers with a crew of 660 and was built in 1990.

CABIN - Our room seemed smaller than on previous cruises that we sailed on. Its square footage was 210 as compared the similar Holland America ships who average is 264. There are lots of small drawers in the single bedside nightstand, in the small desk next to the bed, and in the clothes closet. The queen bed consists of two single beds pushed together and fitted with bedding for a queen size bed. There is no space for the storage of the suitcases as the space under the beds is less than six inches tall. We used the overhead shelf in the closet, the floor in the closet, and the knee well space under the desk. The bathroom contains a raised toilet (very noisy whenever flushed), small sink, shower, and two medicine cabinets.

VERANDAH - It has two small plastic chairs and a small table. The partition between the verandahs on this ship are permanent sealed and may not be opened for easy access to the adjacent cabin if you travel with other passengers who are staying next door as we were.

IN-CABIN TV AND SOUND SYSTEM - A small TV set with a 14-inch screen showed about 11 channels â?" some via satellite (CNN, ESPN, TNT, etc.) and others previously recorded movies, etc., with a mixture of Spanish and English. There were no separate audio channels into the cabin, nor a special channel for hearing all ship announcements as on other ships. Approximately 50 percent of the time at sea, the satellite stations werenâ?Tt available including the shipboard Internet service.

LAUNDRY - There are two self-service laundry rooms with irons.

DINING ROOM - The Palm Court room has two sittings - Early (6:00 p.m.) and Main (8:15 p.m.). The serving of dinner was slow every day as the servers appeared to be understaffed; frequently the table captains perform some of the server's duties, etc. The overall food seemed bland.

OUTSIDE ON DECK GRILL - Next to pool and serves hot dogs and hamburgers.

UPSCALE DINING - There is no upscale dining room. The only other place to eat was back to the buffet line (Cafe Del Sol), which is open 24/7. In the evenings, there was a small corner of the room where you could sit and order from a menu but the food came from the buffet line.

TIPS - There's an automatic assessment of $10 per day per guest and 15% is added to all drinks.

EVENING ENTERTAINMENT - At an Argentina and Chile ports, local professional dancers and musicians were provided. The other nightly entertainment were the typically "Broadway" type of dance shows, the single singer, comedian, magician, etc.

MOVIES - Movies were shown in the movie theatre.

INTERNET - Has an Internet cafe serviced via satellite with about 12 computers which a charge of $21 per hour and the service seemed as slow as a dial-up telephone line.

BARS - The ship has about four bars including the Dome (the highest forward looking area) being located in the same room with the casino.

CAPTAIN'S PARTY - The same as usual.

SHOPS - There seemed to be fewer.

OVERALL OPINION - I'm sorry, but I'm not impressed with the Regal Princess. It is a large ship with small cabins, seems poorly maintained, and doesnâ?Tt have enough crew to promptly service its passengers â?" especially in the dining rooms, bars, tour office, reception desk, etc.

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Alaska
Publication Date: July 29, 2001

Embarkation My parents, husband, and I had an early 6:45am flight from SFO to Vancouver. The flight was delayed by 30 minutes due to a computer problem. We arrived in Vancouver after 9am, exchanged some money for the cab fare, and hopped on a taxi for a 20 minute ride to the cruise ship terminal at Canada Place. The cab fare was about $28 CAN including tips. Since we were early, we had a chance to stop by the various shops and eateries underneath the Pan Pacific and Fairmont hotels right next to Canada Place.

We arrived 1/2 hr. early at the cruise ship terminal before their doors open at 11:30am. It was a wide open area where you can grab chairs and sit anywhere. This was a little chaotic since it was not clear where we were suppose to line up for registration so everyone just bunched up by the double door. When the doors opened everyone rushed it to wait behind the line based on the first letter of their cabin number (A, B, C, …etc.) Here is where we registered and picked up our cruise cards. After

registering, you had to wait in another line to go through a metal detector and have your carry-on bags x-rayed. And in the last line, you show your cruise card to a Princess Cruise employee to enter through another area to have your picture taken and finally get onto the ship. by the way, we were disappointed the cruise cards were still the white flimsy paper kind and not at all like the hard credit card-like type we received on Dawn Princess.

Anticipating a private balcony cabin, we immediately went to look for it. To our surprise, my parents were also upgraded to a cabin with a balcony and right next to ours. The reasons for embarking early are to beat the crowds as well as take advantage of the buffet on the Lido Deck (Deck 12) for lunch.

We attended the required passenger emergency drill with our life jackets right before setting sail. This time they didn't have to do a roll call. We were late for our 5:30pm sailing because we had to wait for a Royal Caribbean ship to back out of the dock first. The best view for sailing would be on the Sun Deck (Deck 14), the Lido Deck (Deck 12), or in the enclosed Dome Casino (Deck 14). Going under the Lions Gate Bridge should not be missed. You arrive about 30 minutes after leaving the dock, but you might be late for dinner if you are first seating at 6pm.

Food There is 24 hrs. dining and no midnight buffet. The main Palm Court dining room, buffet in Cafe Del Sol, Bravo Pizzeria, and the hamburger bar.

We all thought the food was excellent in the Palm Court dining room. We lucked out with sitting at a table with a window facing the back of the ship. We enjoyed the regular cruise food (king crab, lobster tail, prime rib, salmon, escargot, baked alaska, cherries jubilee, …etc.). Their bread is baked fresh 4 times a day and it is excellent! The pasta during lunch was outstanding. Coffee, tea, iced tea, and water are free anytime, but you have to pay for sodas and liquor. If you like a before dinner snack, attend the afternoon tea event at the dining room for tea and finger food sandwiches and desserts.

I didn't care for the Cafe Del Sol buffet, but it is a great place to grab a quick bite and it's a good place to sit and chat or enjoy the view with the large windows. They seemed to serve the same food daily, but their items do vary between breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

We tried the pizzeria once and in my opinion Roundtable Pizza is much better. And, they only make 4 slice personal size pizzas. We didn't try the sandwiches at the hamburger bar, but we were able to get some fries as snacks.

Entertainment We thought the evening shows were average. There was a broadway musical, a country music theme, a rock music theme, comedian, magic show, and acrobats. I only liked the comedian and magic show. We were annoyed with people who were trying to save a whole row of seats. In fine print, the Patter says "as a courtesy, we do ask guests not to reserve seats", but we think there should signs with bold print.

They had fairly new movies playing in the Princess Theater 3 times a day. Any movie you missed would play on the t.v. in your room the following day.

We had a funny and energetic marine research naturalist, Brent Nixon, on board who gave several lectures about Alaska and its wildlife. Each of his lectures were outstanding and we learned a great. His shows were packed every time and on the completion of his last lecture received a standing ovation. He has been to Alaska so many times on the cruise ships that he was able to provide us with the approximate time of when we might spot whales and orcas in the water when the ship passes by a specific spot in the ocean. During these times, he would survey the waters for wildlife and broadcast his sightings from the bridge.

Activities There were the usual golf putting tournaments, dance instructions, team quiz contests, shopping seminars, wine tasting seminar, napkin folder, ice carving, galley visit, cooking demonstration, art auctions, bridge card game, workout, group exercises, bingo tournaments, casino with slot machines, roulette, black jack, craps, hot tub, sauna, ping pong, bridge visit, shopping on board, …etc. There about 4 shops on board and they offered sales on different items each day. My husband and I each picked up a thick Princess Cruise logo fleece jacket for only $29.99 each.

Service We felt the service offered on board was excellent. Our cabin was cleaned several times a day. It seemed that every time we left our room, it would be cleaned when we returned. I don't know how the stateroom steward was able to keep track our comings and goings.

Our waiter, Jeremio, and assistant waiter, Guillermo, were excellent. We were exceptionally surprised to have the dining room captain, Constantino, and maitre d', Guiseppe, come greet us on a daily basis. This was hardly done on any of the 4 other cruises that we have been on.

When we docked at Skagway, we actually saw the maintenance crew washing the windows and painting the outside of the ship. Talk about keeping it ship-shape.

Excursions In Juneau we went on the Wildlife Sightseeing Quest. It was well worth the $105 per person price. After docking we took a bus to the other side of Juneau and got on a catamaran for a 3 hour cruise in Auke Bay. We saw eagles, sea lions, porpoises, and a large number of humpback whales up close. One whale even breached (leaped out of the water) which is a rare occurrence. Unfortunately, I missed it, but some passengers were able to capture it on film. The crew provided drinks and snacks and a binocular per 2 passenger. You could stay warm inside the first 2 decks and look out the large windows or go outside on the upper deck to get a better view.

If you didn't want to pay for a Princess sponsored tour, you could join one of the many independent tours offering their service just outside the pier when you leave the ship. A tour to the Mendenhall Glacier was only $10, but I don't know what it entails.

After our excursion, we had plenty of time to look around at the stores by the pier since we were not required to be back on board until 8:30pm, but it was rainy and we didn't want to miss our dinner.

In Skagway, we decided to purchase a tour from an independent dealer. We chose M&M Brokerage a little walk from the pier. They are the ones with the big sign by the pier about a free northern lights show with each tour ticket purchased. We took the van tour to the Yukon via the Klondike Highway paralleling the White Pass Railway tracks. We originally had tickets for the White Pass Railway, but I cancelled them and took this tour instead which was less expensive and one in which I felt could get better views. The van fit 20 passengers and we made several stops along the Klondike Highway to look at different waterfalls and sceneries. We even drove to the Canadian boarder and come back so we could take a picture by the "Welcome to Alaska" sign. If you plan to do this tour, bring insect repellent or wear pastel colored clothing which doesn't attract as many mosquitoes. There wasn't a mosquito problem in downtown Skagway.

Speaking of downtown, I didn't really care for it. Unlike Juneau or Sitka, Skagway felt more like a tourist town than a real town. We did shop at the Skagway Outlet Store (S.O.S) which was brimming with shoppers because of their reasonable priced souvenirs. Other than that, we took the 20 minute walk back to the pier and visited the Sea Princess cruise ship docked next to the Regal. We had a buffet lunch on the Lido Deck, toured its atrium, and took some scenery shots from its open deck.

We had been lucky with the weather throughout our trip except for that one rainy day in downtown Juneau. But our day at Yukatat Bay to view the Hubbard Glacier was exceptionally beautiful. Not a cloud in the sky and it was fairly warm with some people sunning in bathing suits. The captain was able to get relatively close to the glacier so we could see and hear part of the glacier calving (pieces breaking off) that sounded like thunder in the distance. We stayed in the bay for over an hour and the captain kindly re-positioned the ship several times so the right and left sides of the ship was facing the glacier. Unfortunately, we had to leave when another cruise ship arrived to view the glacier.

In Sitka, this was the only time we had to get on a tender to access the pier. We took the Sea Kayaking Adventure tour leaving at 7:30am. On the pier, we don on our rain gear and life jacket for a motorized Zodiac cruiser (inflated yellow craft) ride to a tranquil cove to get on a 2-person kayak. After some brief instructions, we got on to our kayak and followed our guide down the cove. We saw salmon jumping out of the water and a deer. Only several weeks before, there was a brown bear in the area. The water was so calm and peaceful. When the guide spoke, we could hear her voice echo off of the high mountains surrounding the water. This was our first time kayaking and we had a blast. The 2 hours in the water went by too fast. Afterwards we were provided hot apple cider and clam chowder. Finally the Zodiac cruiser ride back to town where we walked through the many shops on our way back to the pier for the tender. The stay in Sitka is short so we had to be back on board by 12:30pm.

Disembarkation

We did our laundry just like everyone else, packed the day before, tagged our luggage with the appropriate colored tags, and had our luggage outside our cabin before dinner. On disembarkation day, we got up early and had breakfast and waited for our tag color to be called. Of all the cruises we have been on, this was the smoothest I could remember. And for some reason, they skipped a number of colors and called our color before the scheduled time. It was sad to leave some good friends we made and a week of pampering, but there is no place like home to get back to reality.

Tips

1. You must bring binoculars. Preferably several if you going with your family.

2. You can also bring your walkie-talkies to communicate with other family members on board. The ship also rents them, but I don't know the cost.

3. You might need insect repellent if you will be taking excursions in Skagway.

4. Tag your checked in luggage with the airlines with the Princess Cruise tag you received with your cruise ticket. This way, after you de-plane, your luggage is automatically transferred to the ship.

5. We did not purchase the bus transfer tickets between the airport and the ship knowing that the cab fare would be less than $30 CAN. I think the bus transfer tickets were $20 per person.

6. After dinner, get to the theater early to get a good seat.

7. When you dock at the various ports, another Princess cruise ship might be at the same dock. You can use your Princess cruise card and visit the another Princess cruise ship to have lunch just as long as you don't incur any charges since your card is not valid on the other ship.

8. There are 2 laundry rooms (Decks 5 and 10). There is no charge for the washer or dryer, but you will need to pay $1 US to buy the detergent. Go early since they are usually packed. There are also several irons and ironing boards.

9. Don't buy whale bone souvenirs. We read that if you do, it will be confiscated at customs.

10. Humpback whales might be spotted close to Juneau. Orcas might be spotted on the last evening on the way back to Vancouver passing Johnstone Straits.

11. During the summer, Alaska has close to 18 hours of daylight so it will be difficult to spot the northern lights. Unfortunately, all our nights were overcast.

12. Remember to set your clock back one hour on your way to Juneau and one hour ahead after the evening in Sitka.

13. If you must communicate back home via email, I suggest visiting the Juneau or Sitka library to see if they have computers instead of paying a fee at the internet cafe. by the way, you can also rent laptops with wireless connections on board for a whopping $7.50 US per 15 minutes.

14. The suggested gratuity for your stateroom steward is $3.50 per day per person, for your waiter is $3.50 per day per person, for your assistant waiter is $2 per day per person, and paying the dining room captain and maitre 'd are up to your discretion. You can also pay the gratuities with your credit card to earn extra frequent flyer miles.

15. If you never disembarked before, you should attend the disembarkation talk the day before.

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Alaska
Publication Date: July 5, 2006

My wife and I just completed our second voyage on this ship. It had been six years since we last cruised the ship and we found it to be in very good shape, in fact it looks better now then it did 6 years ago. We both felt the food quality on Princess has gone down significantly since our last cruise on the Regal. The pasta, breads, salids and most deserts were very good. Most poultry items were also very good, much of the fish and some seafood was not at all fresh or way over cooked. Service in the dining room was fine but nothing special. Out biggest complaint was about smokers being allowed to smoke in unauthorized areas or smoke free areas. Many non-smokers were unhappy with the ships total lack of enforcement reguarding smoke free areas.

The ship handeled the Pacific Ocean well and had a very" solid" ship feel vs the box ships of more recent designs that float on top of the water. We'll miss the Regal when she leave the Princess fleet next year. The new generation of mega ships on Princess just doesn't fit

us.(other than the 2 former R ships)

I must confess, that I think were headed back to Celebrity Cruises on the Century class of ships.

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Alaska
Publication Date: July 5, 2006

My wife and I just completed our second voyage on this ship. It had been six years since we last cruised the ship and we found it to be in very good shape, in fact it looks better now then it did 6 years ago. We both felt the food quality on Princess has gone down significantly since our last cruise on the Regal.

The pasta, breads, salids and most deserts were very good. Most poultry items were also very good, much of the fish and some seafood was not at all fresh or way over cooked. Service in the dining room was fine but nothing special. Out biggest complaint was about smokers being allowed to smoke in unauthorized areas or smoke free areas. Many non-smokers were unhappy with the ships total lack of enforcement reguarding smoke free areas.

The ship handeled the Pacific Ocean well and had a very "solid" ship feel vs the box ships of more recent designs that float on top of the water. We'll miss the Regal when she leave the Princess fleet next year. The new generation of mega ships on Princess just doesn't fit

us.(other than the 2 former R ships)

I must confess, that I think were headed back to Celebrity Cruises on the Century class of ships.

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South America
Publication Date: January 29, 2006

Overall, this was a fantastic cruise. Princess was great overall, with only a few exceptions. We didn't like being charged extra for yoga classes, computer classes, wine tasting and corking fees. The gym is small and the entertainment was amateur. The food was definitely a highlight all the way around, and our stateroom with balcony was perfect.

Next, I'll review some of our port experiences. First of all, I'm so pleased to say we made it into every single port. We heard terrible stories of missing Puerto Madryn and Stanley because of high seas and wind. However, when we were in Stanley, the seas were calm and beautiful. We feel so lucky that the weather helped us have such a good experience. The sun even came out when we passed Cape Horn! I can hope future travellers on this itinerary have our luck because it made a difference.

Puerto Montt- We booked with Princess the white water rafting trip down the Petrouhe River. This was a fantastic trip, down class III rapids, and in the most beautiful valley with the Osorno Volcano in the background. When the sun finally came out, it

was in the 80s, and the trip operators provide protective gear. We didn't see the city much, but our companions did some shopping and loved the seafood market.

Scenic cruising past the Amalia Glacier- We had to bypass the Pio XI Glacier for weather, but Amalia was beautiful. We're definitely glad we woke up at 0630 to get on deck early to get pictures. It was very windy, rainy and cold but worth it.

Puento Arenas- we just walked around on our own; saw the Magellenic Museum, Sarah Brun's house and a very interesting cemetery. Overall, not real impressed with this city but had an enjoyable day.

Ushuaia- A HIGHLIGHT! Despite the rain, we really enjoyed this very charming city. We chose Princess' "Railway and Ensenada Bay" tour and we were extremely disappointed. I would not recommend this tour to anyone; it was a very slow moving train that drove through a forest. Ushuaia is much to quaint and fun to spend time in the woods. We ate at "Freddys" who served the biggest crabs I have ever seen! The shopping was great and the people were so friendly.

Port Stanley- We chose Princess' "Sparrow Cove Penguin Tour". This was the best tour we could have picked, and access to this part of the island is restricted to those on a tour. We had a rough 4x4 ride to get to the colony, but came upon hundreds of penguins. What we loved most is that we could mingle with them! They nipped our fingers, jumped on our feet and were so curious. We took several rolls of film, but it was worth it! Port Stanley otherwise is very sleepy, and expensive since it's in the British Pound.

Puerto Madryn- I had heard this was a boring town, waiting for tourism to give a boom, but we found it wonderful! We asked for advice at the tourist office, who told us to rent a cab to Punta Loma to see sea lions. It cost $20 for 4 of us, and although we only saw 2, the scenery was breathtaking. We wanted time to shop, and see a tango show, which we spend the afternoon doing.

Montevideo- We appreciated stopping here, since it's obvious it's not necessarily a tourist destination. Very clean and upbeat, this city is wonderful. We walked around the market, had a wonderful lunch outside and did some shopping. Unlike other destinations on this trip, few people spoke English so a dictionary or Spanish speaking comanion is helpful.

Buenos Aires- We will definitely return here on vacation. Our only regret is that we didn't plan to stay a night or two here on the end of the trip. It's glorious and metropolitan and glamourous all in one. Florida street, the pedestrian walkway in the center of town is humming with activity and shops. We asked a hotel concierge for a restaurant recommendation, and found Cabana Las Lilas just what we were looking for. We had outdoor seating, with a huge array of appetizers and absolutely the best steak we had ever eaten. Accompanied by some of the fiest wine in Argentina, this was truly an experience.

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Alaska
Publication Date: July 27, 2002

This was our third cruise, but our first one on Princess. We were very pleasantly surprised. Our trip was a 10 day roundtrip cruise out of San Francisco up the inside passage. It was beautiful! Other passengers said the ship was old, but we didn't notice it at all. My husband and I are fairly large people (400+ lbs), so we were a little concerned that we wouldn't be comfortable in the rooms or even in any of the chairs. But we were fairly comfortable the whole time. Our room was comfortable and we even fit in the bathroom and shower comfortably. My husband's only complaint was that the beds were too short, as he is 6'5" tall. At dinner, they always made sure we had the chairs with no arms so that we could be more comfortable. We enjoyed the food, especially the evening meals. We tried a lot of the pasta and everything we tried was wonderful. After the 2nd day, we usually ate lunch upstairs at the Cafe Del Sol buffet on deck 10. They had typical buffet food, but then also had a daily special with

different entrees that were wonderful. Usually there was a theme, such a mexican, italian, international...etc.. They also had a good variety of desserts. It seemed like it was the most popular place to eat during the day for both breakfast and lunch.

The evening shows were fun. They varied from a magician, to a harmonica player, to a comedian (hilarious Dick Gold), to Mongolian acrobats, to the regular castmember productions. We went every night and enjoyed some more than others, but none were bad. The best entertainment, though, was the naturalist, Brent Nixon. Wow, what a speaker! He gave five presentations on the cruise and every one was great. Everyone was talking about him. He was also very gracious and easy to talk to. It was easy to see that he loves what he is doing.

This was our best cruise so far. I am really pleased with Princess cruises and plan on cruising with them again. I highly recommend them. Most of the people we met on board were repeat Princess cruisers, so many must feel the same way.

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Australia
Publication Date: January 24, 2002

This cruise met all of our expectations - and our expectations were high! This is not a review of the Regal Princess. When I search for cruise reviews, I am looking for information about the ports, which is what you will get here. The Regal was lovely and clean. The food, service, entertainment and management of the ship were all to our satisfaction. Our inside cabin was more spacious than most, with lots of drawers and enough closet space. We are not demanding passengers and just enjoy the overall cruise experience. You can find a great review of this ship with pictures at http://members.tripod.com/PARNAMI/RegalPrincess/ 

We booked our own air between Houston and Los Angeles and made the flight one day early to avoid any possible complications. We arrived in LA in the afternoon and called for the free shuttle to take us to the Double Tree Hotel in El Segundo, very near the airport. A couple we met on our first cruise (to Alaska, the first week of August 1999) live in the area and came to the hotel to have dinner with us that night. We had a nice visit

and caught up on all the cruises they and we have taken in the last 2 ½ years.

The next morning we spent all day with VIP tours for a good look around LA. It was a good way to spend the day, as our flight for Sydney did not leave until 10 p.m. This was a Saturday and the hotel caters to business travelers, so they let us have a late checkout (6:30 p.m.) which allowed us to shower and change after the tour and before heading to the airport. Princess booked us LA to Sydney and the return Auckland to LA. Our flight was on United - 14 hours to Sydney.

While in Sydney we stayed at the Hotel Intercontinental on Macquarie Street - very near Circular Quay, the Rocks area, Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Lots to see within walking distance. It was a very nice hotel (some famous folks named Clinton stayed there) and we would recommend it. We ate 2 or 3 times at a 24 hour restaurant called City Extra at Circular Quay. The food was delicious and the prices were very reasonable. City Extra also has a computer for internet access that was available when we wanted it at $2 AUD for 15 minutes. We also took the recommendation of a previous cruiser and ate at Phillips Foote on George Street in the Rocks. At this restaurant you select and cook your own steak. They had a salad bar and also had hot side dishes to go with the steak. Good food - nice atmosphere. They only give you one plate (we asked for a second one and were told no), so keep that in mind when filling it. We did it the American way and ate our salads while the steak was cooking - then had to use the same plate for steak and vegetables. It looked like the locals finished their cooking, then loaded salad etc. all on the plate at the same time.

The public transportation system in Sydney is excellent. We used Sydney Day Tours and took a half-day city tour and a full day tour to the Blue Mountains. The Blue Mountains were beautiful! We enjoyed seeing the three sisters, walking in the rain forest and riding the world's steepest rail. The only problem with the full day was that it took about 2 ½ hours each way and we only had about an hour and a half to explore the area and eat lunch. The scenery to and from was not especially spectacular. We did see some evidence of the recent fires. It is hard to say whether or not we recommend this tour - guess it depends on if you mind the long bus ride both ways. The city tour was a good overview and probably worth the time & money as an introduction.

We took the ferry to Manly (fun to visit - nice beach), returned after dark and had an especially beautiful view of the harbour lights. We also took the ferry to Darling Harbour and went to the aquarium. The tour of the Sydney Opera House was very interesting. No opal this trip, but we looked. Got some great buys on T-shirts in Sydney (approx. $4 US each for the grandkids - $5 for the adults). These are the embroidered souvenir shirts - very similar to the ones offered on sale aboard the ship for $17. ATMs are easy to find and are the best way to get the little cash you need. Visa or MasterCard are accepted nearly everywhere. Look for change purses made from kangaroo scrotums. They are not a great bargain (about $10 AUD most places) and are not very useful - but are something to generate a giggle as a gift.

We talked to several folks who had taken the pre-cruise tour with Princess and enjoyed it, but were sorry to not have had much time in Sydney. Several said they wished they had just come to Sydney early. Most felt that the Great Barrier Reef was the highlight of their pre-cruise tour. We saved quite a bit doing the three days in Sydney on our own, rather than getting Princess pre-cruise hotel package and transfers. For example, the cab fare for airport to hotel and hotel to ship was a total of about $20 US. That was instead of the $50 US Princess transfers for the two of us. Also, our hotel and SDT tours were much less expensive than those offered by the cruise line. Three days was not enough to see everything, but we covered a lot.

Embarkation went smoothly on Thursday and we began our 14-day cruise on the Regal Princess. Friday was at sea, which we appreciated as an opportunity to rest after our long flight and busy days in Sydney. This was the first of only two formal nights.

Saturday we found ourselves in port at Melbourne. We booked private tours for most ports, but did take a shore excursion offered by Princess in Melbourne. We booked Puffing Billy Train and the Aussie Homestead. We were not disappointed and had a fun day. Karen and Larry who were joining us later in the cruise for private tours of Dunedin and Auckland were also on this excursion. Puffing Billy was only about a 20-minute ride (enough). We toured Warrook Homestead where we were served a good lunch and then we toured the working dairy farm, milked a cow and drank the fresh milk (very sweet and rich). We saw a dog work a flock of sheep and a sheep sheering. We also fed kangaroo, gave a bottle to a calf, walked among the shy wallaby and saw some native birds.

Sunday we were at sea. We like sea days sprinkled in among the ports and always take advantage of them to relax and recharge our batteries. The naturalist on board was excellent and we went to hear each of her talks about the wildlife in Australia and New Zealand. Princess offers a nice variety of things to do if you want to keep busy. If you have any interest in the casino - don't miss to opportunity to get $15 in chips for $10. Also, go for the slot lesson to get your free bingo card. (no lesson required - they just give you the card). We took advantage of all bargains offered--watch the Princess Patter.

Hobart, Tasmania is lovely. We had a private tour to the Huon Valley, which is south and West of Hobart and is beautiful. Look for wood products in this area. The forestry service has constructed a walk 60 feet up, traveling through the treetops for some spectacular views. They call it the Air Walk. It rained while we walked but we all agreed it was appropriate to rain in the rain forest. We then went to Talune Wildlife Park. Most cruise passengers who went to a wildlife center were at Bonorong. We avoided the crowds by going to Talune, which is only slightly smaller. As a result we had lots of interaction with the animals. Many folks had not fed the kangaroos before we arrived so they were happy to see us and eat from our hands. We watched the platypus, cuddled a wombat that slept on the couch in the office and patted koalas and a Tasmanian devil. Stuart, our driver, took us through Battery Park and Arthur's Circus. We returned to the ship in the afternoon for a quick late lunch and then had time to check out Salamanca Place, which is just next to the pier where the ship docked. Mike and Renee, a couple we met on the message boards pre-cruise and 2 ladies, Mary from Fla. and Mary from NY, who we met on our SDT tour from Sydney to the Blue Mountains, joined us for the day. We all enjoyed this tour, our driver and each other's company.

Two days at sea followed Hobart. The next day we were at Fjordland Park, New Zealand. We were up early to claim our deck space, which turned out to be totally unnecessary - but we did see a magnificent sunrise! The day quickly turned gray and misty and the park was not as spectacular as we expected. There were a few pretty waterfalls (not enough recent rain for more) and some really nice scenery. This park, on this day, did not begin to compare with the awesome beauty and the feelings we experienced when viewing the glaciers of Alaska.

Friday, February 1, 2002 we arrived at Dunedin, New Zealand at 8:00 a.m. Dunedin was one of our favorite ports and it is absolutely beautiful! Brian Templeton of Elm Wildlife Tours picked the four of us up on the pier at 8:45 and we began a fabulous day. We saw lots of wildlife, rolling green hills dotted with sheep and stunning ocean views. First stop was the Albatross Colony - very interesting! Then we went to the Elm Wildlife Conservation Area where our four-wheel drive vehicle and we climbed up and down to see lots of fur seals, a hooker sea lion and a few yellow-eyed penguins. We stopped at Larnach Castle and toured the grounds, but skipped the interior. We wanted to have time for a stop at a family farm and shop called Clifton Wool 'N' Things. Ian and Pat Robertson grow colored sheep - sheer them, make their own wool yarn and they knit - weave etc. with the naturally colored wool. They have some beautiful things to sell at very reasonable prices. Wish I had bought a sweater vest she had there! It is a nice little place to visit - for a look at real farm life in New Zealand.

In Christchurch we had booked a full day with Vintage Motor Touring Co. Len Rickard and his 1947 Rolls Royce met us on the pier. What an impressive car (everything, including the paint job, is original) - and all ours for the day! Len gave us a comprehensive tour of the Christchurch area and we enjoyed it. Beautiful gardens everywhere! We would recommend that others book this for just a half day (include Mona Vale). Then be dropped off at the Arts Center - very near the Botanical Gardens, Cathedral Square and most other Christchurch city sites you would want to see. Catch a taxi back to the ship. Len took us to those places, but we would have preferred to be there to wander the area on our own.

We had a really fun "soft" adventure in Wellington. John McKinney picked us up at 8:00 a.m. We were off for a morning city tour - including a stop at a pretty Wind Garden. John did a good job showing us and telling us about his home city. The real adventure began at 10:30, when we returned to the visitor's center where we picked up one other person who had booked the Red Rocks Seal Tour. This was great fun! We went for a sometimes-scary four-wheel drive ride to a beach where we had tea while visiting with the fur seals. We definitely recommend this tour with John. I am super chicken, and I am so proud that I did this - kept my eyes open the whole time too! John had us back to the visitor's center (nice cyber cafe there) by 1:00. We walked to the museum then caught the double decker bus for a ride around the city - got off near the railway station and walked the short distance to the pier. Wellington is very easy to explore on your own. Go for the adventure and do the Red Rocks Seal Tour! He goes out at 10:30 and again at 1:15 or so. You would have no trouble getting to the visitor's center to meet him at 10:30 if you don't want to do the morning tour with him.

Monday was our final day at sea. We had the second formal night as well as the Captains Circle party this night. Everything began to wind down and the end came into sight - darn. We started our packing in the afternoon. The Regal does not participate in the automatic charge to your shipboard account for tips. You can charge them if you want to - just go to one of the bars and they will charge your tips and give you vouchers to put in the envelopes. If you want to give cash - just do that and you will not have any tips charged unless you ask them to.

If you like beaches, you can find some lovely ones in Tauranga. We took our second shore excursion of the cruise here. This was a difficult choice! Many people go to Rotorua and those who did really enjoyed their day (in spite of the rainy weather)! We did the Longridge Farm and Jet boating. We drove by some of the local attractions, had a tour of the Kiwi farm and then the main attraction - the jet boat. It was really fun - we were on a beautiful river and doing a 360 in a jet boat should be on everyone's list of things to do. They had raincoats and passed them out to all the folks who climbed in to the boats - after we got out. We were on the river just as the rain began and we all got pretty soaked. I did not hear any complaints - everyone had a good time!

Bay of Isles is absolutely beautiful. We had the perfect weather for our day there. We did not plan anything for this port - just thought we would play it by ear when we arrived. This was the only tender port. There are lots of things you can book on the dock just where you get off the tender. We took a ferry to Russell and explored this small town easily on our own. We considered doing the Mack Attack (a boat through the "Hole in the Rock", but decided just to soak up the beauty of the area. After taking the ferry back, we walked around and found a cyber cafe, had a great rum raisin ice cream cone and caught the tender back to the ship. This would be our last night on the ship and it was time to finish packing. They asked for most of our luggage to be out before dinner and the rest just after dinner.

Disembarkation in Auckland went a little slower than we had expected. Arrangements were made for Peter Sardi with Backalory Travel to pick us up at 8:00 a.m. We gave this information to the purser's desk, but through a series of goofs - we got tags that were not going to get us off until 10:00. At about 8:45 I went to the purser's desk and told him we had a tour operator waiting for us. He gave us a color tag to disembark right away. That worked out nicely as we were going off between colors and walked right through customs with no problems or lines. There had been some folks trying to take fruit & other forbidden food items off the ship - upsetting the local officials somewhat, and causing things to slow to a snails pace for awhile. We found our luggage and Peter right away. Karen and Larry, who we met on the cruise message boards prior to the cruise, spent the day with us on our Elm Wildlife Tour in Dunedin and joined us for the day to tour Auckland. We mistakenly planned to meet them on the pier instead of on the ship, resulting in a later start for our tour. Peter has a very nice, new, clean 11-passenger van. The four of us and our luggage traveled very comfortably for the all day tour. He is a really fine and knowledgeable young man. He planned a good itinerary for us and we enjoyed our day. If we had all been able to get off the ship earlier, we may have done the Kelly Tarlton Antarctic center - that is the only thing we missed that we'd like to have seen. He dropped us, with our luggage, at the airport about 6:00 p.m. for our flight home at 8:45 p.m. He then dropped our new friends at their hotel - they were flying to Sydney the next day. This was a far better way to spend the day than sitting at a hotel hospitality room, or at the airport. The shore excursions Princess offered for our time schedule were pricey and did not fill enough of our waiting hours. Peter will also meet clients at Tauranga, or take them to Rotorua. He is originally from Hungary - but speaks very good English, is now a NZ citizen and was able to give us as much or more history and description of New Zealand and the Auckland area than any one else could have. We definitely recommend using him as a tour guide.

Auckland airport was comfortable for the few hours wait for our flight home on United. It was 12 hours Auckland to LA. We arrived in Los Angeles at 11:35 a.m. that day, so we got back the day we lost going to Sydney. Our flight to Houston was scheduled for the next day. We went right to Continental and they were able to put us on a flight for home at 4:00 that afternoon. It was OK to spend a few hours sitting at the airport in order to get on home, so we cancelled our reservations for the hotel and settled in for the wait.

Australia and New Zealand are beautiful. The people are fun and friendly. We asked the price of real estate (a bargain!) at each of the ports - in New Zealand especially. Of course we were only dreaming, but what a lovely dream. We remain convinced that cruising is the best way to see all parts of the world that are accessible by water. Cruise enthusiasts know what I'm saying. First time cruisers - if you have found your way to this review, you are doing your research (part of the fun) and you are about to have a fantastic experience! If you would like a list of tour guides we used and web sites for places we visited, just email me at juliejoe@swbell.net. I 'd be glad to send them to you.

Many thanks to Barbara, Glenn (Aussie Traveler), Neil & Chyrl, Jim, Carmine, Bob & June, Ellen and David & Doris. Each of them had posted on one message board or another with questions and/or answers about this itinerary. They were all so kind to answer my email asking for information and recommendations. Every one of them gave me valuable advice that I used in my planning and that I have saved to a word document (without their email addresses) and shared with at least 10 other cruisers. There are not many Australia/New Zealand reviews - but it is becoming a more popular itinerary (rightfully so) and there will probably be more turning up. In the mean time, they were wonderful to spend the time to send me lots of good information.

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Australia
Publication Date: January 10, 2002

My wife and I just returned from a Regal Princess New Zealand/Australia cruise and, since we were very disappointed with the ship and its personnel, I thought it appropriate to write and provide some specifics. This was our fifth cruise and second cruise on Princess.

Our room number was E169. This turns out to be immediately below the shuffleboard game on the deck above. This game creates quite a bit of clatter and noise in the rooms below it. This was not a problem during the day since we were gone from the room quite a bit. However, it was a problem when we tried to sleep. I felt that there should have been a restriction that prevented shuffleboard play after 10 PM. This could have been easily done by posting a sign (as was done on the jogging track) or by removing the shuffleboard game pieces.

This after 10 PM noise situation was reported four times to the ships purser office/reception area (three times personally and once by phone). On one occasion, I reported this noise problem to the reception desk at 11:30 PM and they said they would ask someone

to go up and stop the game. Shortly thereafter the game did cease, however this still did not solve the basic problem.the game should not be allowed to be played after 10 PM.

Each time the ship's staff agreed this was a legitimate problem and something needed to be done about the situation. Each time nothing was done. Some thought signs were already posted; I can assure you that signs requesting no shuffleboard play after 10 PM were not posted. The basic problem here is that none of the ship's staff accepted the responsibility to follow up and make sure the problem was corrected. The bottom line to us was aggravation and a loss of sleep.

I should also comment on our waiter at table 131. He needs some added training on basics. In my experience, ladies are always first. There were several instances when we were all seated and he took the gentlemen's orders first. He also served gentlemen first several times. On several occasions, he served the wrong food to the wrong person and in the case of my wife, he ordered the wrong meal for her. In his defense, he was waiting on 18 people at three tables. I personally feel 18 is too many people to provide "excellent" service to. He also seemed to take it personally when we chose to eat at alternative dining sites. I got the feeling that he was somehow penalized if someone did not show up at his table for dinner. Everyone at the table was chastised several times for missing a meal in the dining room. e.g. "where were you, you missed the best menu of the cruise last night". I felt uncomfortable with this attitude.

Everyone at the table had great difficulty talking to others at the table. We were a table of six (three on one side and three on the other). This seating arrangement combined with the high noise level in the dining room made it extremely hard to hear others at the table. It seemed to all of us that Princess tried to stuff as many people as possible into that room. I wondered if it was because it was the first sitting. One night, the ladies noticed that the tablecloth was very wrinkled and not pressed. Everyone at the table considered the food average. We have had far superior meats and vegetables at local restaurants in the Los Angeles area.

Entertainment was OK, some above average, some below average. Steward service was excellent. The ship is just beginning to show some wear and tear in the rooms. The tours and ports in New Zealand and Australia were excellent. New Zealand was very green and each city seemed to have a personality of its own. There are a number of other areas that I could speak about, however rather than belabor the point, I can summarize the trip by saying "Excellent ports and countries, mediocre ship". It was certainly not as good as the Sun Princess we cruised on. This was our fifth cruise.

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