Royal Princess Reviews

Passengers: 4,380
Crew Members: 1346
Length: 1083 ft
Tonnage: 141,000

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  • Editor's Rating

    Beyond compare!!
    • Cuisine

      4.0
    • Service Level

      5.0
    • Value for Money

      5.0
    • Ship Décor

      5.0
    • Public Rooms

      4.0
    • Staterooms

      5.0
    • Kid's Programs

      4.0
    • Daytime Activities

      4.0
    • Nightlife

      4.0
    • Shore Tours

      5.0
    • Itinerary

      4.0
    • Alternative Dining

      4.0
  • Average User Ratings

    4 User Reviews

Royal Princess Editor's Review

Overview

The all new Royal Princess; 141,000-tons and 3600 berths, debuted in June, 2013.


 
Best For People Who Want

People who want the best Princess experience possible - active nightlife, gourmet cuisine, spacious spa, adults-only sections, 24-hour food, great stateroom TV

Should Be Avoided By People Who Prefer

Small, destination oriented ships, all-inclusive cruises

Onboard Experience

Any ship officially named by Kate Middleton, wife of Prince William, is an important ship, Since new "Royal Princess"  maiden voyage on  June 16, 2013 the new ship remains in Europe offering Mediterranean cruises through October 29th. Then she makes her transatlantic repositioning to Ft. Lauderdale, her American home port.

See the Naming Ceremony Video

Her keel was laid in October 2009. At 141,000-gross tons for 3600 passenger berths, she is the largest Princess cruise ship ever built. A sister ship named Regal Princess is also already under construction and will debut in spring of 2014. There is also an option for a third sister ship should the cruise line choose to build it.

Some of the new attractions on Royal Princess include cantilevered walkways with glass floors on deck 16 where guests can stroll out over the side of the ship with a view of the ocean over 100 feet below. The ship has 19 decks in all, with the uppermost full deck holding the Sanctuary (adults only) area up front and the kids' and teens' special areas aft.

Entertainment options include full-screen 3-D movies, a "television studio" where a Good Morning show will be video-taped daily in front of a live audience along and special musical events presented at night, and the largest production show theater Princess has ever built.

An much larger atrium based upon what is already available on Emerald and Ruby Princess will serve as a focal point for the new ship with a much more "lively" neighborhood feel. A coffee barista and gelateria will anchor the atrium surrounded by simulated al fresco seating (it is actually inside, but feels like a street setting) for a variety of popular Princess restaurants.

There are several 12-day cruises on three different itineraries in Europe before the transatlantic crossing. From Ft. Lauderdale the ship will only offer Eastern Caribbean cruises to St Thomas, St Martin and the private island Princess Cays in the Bahamas. Cruises are already on sale through 2014 at the Princess web site and travel agents everywhere.

One of the nicer technical features will be a ship-wide Wi)fi network that will be free to access with smart phones or laptop. This is not Internet service (that will still have an extra charge) but it is a shipboard network that will enable people to communicate with one another and to get updates from the ship's servers on shipboard activities, etc.

The Sanctuary and the Retreat Pool, fully forward on deck 17, are tranquility areas for adults only. Access will cost $15 for a half day or $25 for a full day. Inside are a dedicated bar, two hot tubs, a swimming pool and several deep and cushy chaise lounges.

For a special treat there are four Sanctuary Cabanas, an additional $80 per half-day, which include a TV with headsets, robes and slippers, welcome cocktails and healthy snacks (dried fruit and nuts). They also have optional mini-bars and selections of fine wines and imported beer. Two other cabanas contain two massage tables for couples; prices based on the treatments selected.

Cabana dwellers can also order a gourmet picnic; a premium bottle of wine paired with antipasti, artisan sandwiches, pizza and fresh-baked desserts. These come in $40, $60 or $80 options, all good for two people. All cabanas have Wi-Fi access, and all devices have headsets to maintain the tranquility. 

Decor

Royal Princess has a grand Atrium almost 50% larger than current Princess ships, but it also opens up to several other public venues giving it and even grander atmosphere. It will also tend to feel "awake and alive" during more hours of the day and night.

The public area on deck 17 has the "sea walk" - a 60 feet long glass enclosed walkway that extends 28-feet out from the edge of the ship. Through the glass floor you can look down to the sea 128-feet directly below. Directly adjacent is the deck area with two large pools, a swim-up bar, a massive outdoor movie screen for the Princess-innovated "Movies Under the Stars" and an island area between the pools that becomes a stage for a technology-driven dancing colored lights and fountains show at night. There will also be nighttime deck parties with a DJ on another stage close by.

The Sanctuary and Retreat Pool areas are both designated as adults-only and situated together at the forward end of deck 17. The attraction is the peace and quiet, with a tranquility rock garden setting with live topiary plants. There are deck chairs in a quiet setting so adults can relax in the sun or opt for even more secluded cabanas where one can order optional picnic baskets with "artisan snacks" and a premium wine.

Public Rooms

Deck 16 contains a special thrill: The SeaWalk, a structural outcropping that takes guests 28-feet beyond the edges of the ship, with a glass floor showing the 128-foot drop to the open ocean below. For balance, the opposite side of the ship has its own outcrop with glass floor as part of the SeaView Bar. The view below should keep drinkers in their seats.

One most ships the bridge is the widest part of the ship because of the bridge wings, but on Royal Princess the two Sea-view extensions together comprise the widest part of the ship.

The most interesting new entertainment venue by far is the brand new "Princess Live! Television Studio." Although neither daily television shows nor T.V. production rooms are new to cruise ships, this will be the first ship with a dedicated live television studio, including an audience, to tape daily cruise shows for onboard broadcast. The room has a modular design, much like a regular television studio, so staging and seating areas can be easily reconfigured to suit a variety of entertainment offerings.

Princess entertainment director Marlin Hall describes it as a "brand new high-tech venue based on a television studio with modular seating (for 280 guests) for a variety of performances such as television talk shows or theater in the round." The shows, which will be taped with a live audience, will include music performances as well as passenger participation game shows, which he says have become a staple on Princess over the years. Everything done there can be seen live in the audience, over the stateroom television and re-broadcasted on the television systems later in the cruise.

Early risers are welcome to come and watch the live broadcast and taping of the daily cruise director-hosted talk show, "The Wake Show." Here the cruise director will chat with various entertainers or ship's personnel - whomever he can manage to rustle up early in the morning, to come and discuss what cruisers may see that day or later on in the cruise. The "Wake Show!" will be presented to the studio audience plus simultaneously broadcast live to the staterooms. It will also be repeated on stateroom televisions throughout the same day.

For musical entertainment, Vice President of Entertainment, Martin Hall, stressed that Princess Live! will also be a unique venue for onboard musical artists to perform "unplugged and in the round" for a more intimate connection with the audience. The adjacent Princess Live! Café will surround passengers with interactive, wall-mounted video screens showing the ship's position, ports of call, points of interest and even international newspapers. The Café will serve up specialty coffees, teas and freshly squeezed citrus juice, plus will offer a selection of fresh-baked croissants and pastries in the morning.

The main showroom, Princess Theater, is where the ship's production shows and "state of the art movie presentations" take place.

There will be some design enhancements over previous ships - such as lower ceiling and an architectural lighting effect that appears to completely envelop the walls and ceiling. The theater is the largest in the fleet and will "present the signature production shows and high impact award winning entertainers in the evening, with special enrichment presentations (lectures on ports of call, for example) and a premium movie-going experience during the daytime," according to Hall.

The other new venue, the Deck Seven-aft "Vista Lounge" (a signature Princess venue throughout the fleet) will be for "more intimate entertainment" with "cutting edge light and sound technology" that will pair the best of previous Vista Lounges with another signature Princess venue, "Club Fusion," the late-night dance clubs on late-model fleet-mate Princess ships. The showroom includes a spacious dance floor and will feature live dance bands, late night comedy, rock 'n roll shows, cabaret, and special theme night parties.

Most Princess ships have atriums, but the Piazza here is twice the size, and restyled as a social hub where guests can gather for coffee, gelato, sweet treats, fine wine, pizza, martinis, cabaret-style entertainment and more. The key is opening up the surrounding venues -- like visiting a vibrant European city center.

There are restaurants like Alfredo’s Pizzeria, Vines Wine Bar, and Gelato. The International Café for coffee and free pastry is open 24 hours a day. Other charmers will be Vines, a wine-tasting bar that will also serve tapas; and Ocean Terrace for sushi, ceviche and caviar, overlooking the Atrium on deck 7. 

Cuisine

There is a large variety of cuisine available:

Aft on deck 17 (the pool deck) are two connected Lido restaurants that together can seat 1,400 people, including 200 tables for two -- almost twice the size the corresponding eateries on other Princess ships. The first, Horizon Bistro, will feature cuisine theme nights like Brazilian churrascaria or British pub fare. Self-service is provided from dedicated “action stations” for easy access. Guests in bathing suits are welcome for “grab and go” food like sandwiches, yogurt and pastry.

The second, Horizon Court, offers five meat carveries, a rotisserie, five soups, hibachi grills, pasta and salad bars and more. Rai was especially proud of the only Lido pastry kitchen at sea with a 24-hour dedicated chef and staff baking fresh croissants, waffles and French toast for breakfast, classic desserts for lunch and dinner, and flambé in the evening – including a fountain of chocolate.  

Restaurants

Princess has always featured smaller, quieter dining rooms to give the ship a more intimate feeling. One of the Royal Princess dining rooms, Concerto, will offer a unique dining experience called “Chef’s Table Lumiere.” Once guests are seated, a curtain of thousands of fiber-optic light strands descends from the ceiling glowing with soft colors. Dinner is a wine-paired tasting menu.

Similarly, the Symphony and Allegro Dining Rooms feature a private dining experience called the “Wine Cellar,” where up to 12 guests will enjoy a special menu developed by noted winemakers pairing their best vintages with classic carved meats like crown of veal rack, lamb Baron and veal rack a l’Orlov.

Sabatini’s – the signature “tasting-menu” Italian restaurant on all Princess ships -- has some new twists on Royal Princess. Guests can order a la carte for dinner, and also get lunch there for the first time. Another first is the Pub Lunch to be served in the Wheelhouse Bar and adjacent Crown Grill, consisting of traditionally British fish-and-chips or bangers and mash. 

Princess Grille offers the most extensive gourmet menu at a per person cost of $25.

Service

The best Princess workers available have been sent to its newest ship to make sure it gets off to the grandest start possible.

The waiters are gracious and the room stweards are efficient.

Watch out for drink prices - on a cocktail they will charge you for the liquor and the mixer sepatrately (50-cents for soda water in a whisky-soda), then an 18-percent service charge is added. By the time they are finished a $5.99 drinks comes to over $8.00.

Tipping

Princess now adds the gratuity onto your shipboard account for your convenience. The average is $10 per passenger per day.

Entertainment

The most interesting new entertainment venue by far is the brand new "Princess Live! Television Studio." Although neither daily television shows nor T.V. production rooms are new to cruise ships, this is the first ship with a dedicated live television studio, including an audience, to tape daily cruise shows for onboard broadcast. The room has a modular design, much like a regular television studio, so staging and seating areas can be easily reconfigured to suit a variety of entertainment offerings.

Princess entertainment director Marlin Hall describes it as a "brand new high-tech venue based on a television studio with modular seating (for 280 guests) for a variety of performances such as television talk shows or theater in the round." The shows, which are taped with a live audience, include music performances as well as passenger participation game shows, which he says have become a staple on Princess over the years. Everything done there can be seen live in the audience, over the stateroom television and re-broadcasted on the television systems later in the cruise.

Passengers are welcome to come and watch the live broadcast and taping of the daily cruise director-hosted talk show, "The Wake Show." Here the cruise director will chat with various entertainers or ship's personnel - whomever he can manage to rustle up early in the morning, to come and discuss what cruisers may see that day or later on in the cruise. The "Wake Show!" will be presented to the studio audience plus simultaneously broadcast live to the staterooms. It will also be repeated on stateroom televisions throughout the same day.

For musical entertainment, Vice President of Entertainment, Martin Hall, stressed that Princess Live! will also be a unique venue for onboard musical artists to perform "unplugged and in the round" for a more intimate connection with the audience. The adjacent Princess Live! Café will surround passengers with interactive, wall-mounted video screens showing the ship's position, ports of call, points of interest and even international newspapers. The Café will serve up specialty coffees, teas and freshly squeezed citrus juice, plus will offer a selection of fresh-baked croissants and pastries in the morning.

Royal Princess' entertainment venues Princess Cruises Executive Vice President of Fleet Operations, Rai Caluori, and Vice President of Entertainment, Martin Hall, also showed us the main showroom, Princess Theater, where the ship's production shows and "state of the art movie presentations" will take place. 

We watched a stage show, and while the cast was sizable (12 people) the show it self was standard cruise ship fare - costume changes and dance steps. No full-book Broadway shows.

The other new venue, the Deck Seven-aft "Vista Lounge" (a signature Princess venue throughout the fleet) is for "more intimate entertainment" with "cutting edge light and sound technology" that pairs the best of previous Vista Lounges with another signature Princess venue, "Club Fusion," the late-night dance clubs on late-model fleet-mate Princess ships. The showroom includes a spacious dance floor and features live dance bands, late night comedy, rock 'n roll shows, cabaret, and special theme night parties.

Cabins

The staterooms are fairly standard for Princess ships - not much new there except for the interactive television system that will include television shows and movies on demand at no additional cost.

Otherwise the balcony, insides and mini-suites present nothing new from previous Princess ships. There are suites available. 

Passenger Cabins
 Total
  • 1,780 (1,438 outside - 342 inside)
Suites with private balconies
  • 40 Suites
Mini Suites 
  • 306
Deluxe Balcony cabins
  • 360
Balcony cabins
  • 732
Inside cabins
  • 342
Additional/Upper Berths
  • 780

 

Wheelchair Accessible Cabins:  36 including: 29 balcony and 7 inside

Cabins with Private Balconies:   1,438 (81 percent of all outside cabins)

Fitness/Spa

The massive Loyus spa will offer all kinds of services including a thermal suite with spectacular views. There are acupuncture and even "non-surgical facelifts" on tap. Haircuts, pedicures, manicures and more.

Children's Facilities

Kids from 6 months to 17 years old have their own dedicted spaces - separated by age groups

  • 6 to 36 months
  • 3 to 7 years
  • 8 to 11
  • 12-14
  • 15-17

 

 

 

Attire

The ship has formal nights and although the dress codes are suggested expect most people to adhere to the guidelines. Even tuxedos will be seen as long as this ship is new, although nice suits will do just as well.

Daytime is casual - jeans or shorts are all right, although a smart "country club casual" is common.

Fellow Passengers

Many Princess enthusiasts and loya cruisers will take this ship solely because it is new. Average age is mid 40's although expect to see people in all categories. This is not a "senior citizen" ship by any means, but it also is not a "rock & roll" crowd. Sophisticated, educated but still young at heart people enjoy Princess cruises the most.

Royal Princess Ratings

  • EDITORS
  • 5.0
  • USERS
  • 3.5
from 4 reviews
DETAILED RATINGS
  •  
    EDITORS
    USERS
  • Cuisine
    4.0
    4.0
  • Service Level
    5.0
    3.3
  • Value for Money
    5.0
    3.1
  • Ship Décor
    5.0
    3.2
  • Public Rooms
    4.0
    3.0
  • Staterooms
    5.0
    2.9
  • Kid's Programs
    4.0
    1.6
  • Daytime Activities
    4.0
    3.5
  • Nightlife
    4.0
    2.8
  • Shore Tours
    5.0
    2.7
  • Itinerary
    4.0
    5.0
  • Alternative Dining
    4.0
    4.2

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