The process of boarding in Fort Lauderdale was easy, fast, and efficient. We arrived around 11 AM and were checked in and on board the ship by 11:20. Staff was helpful and courteous. We went to the buffet and our cabin was ready by 12:45. Embarkation was better than any of our past cruises.
The Royal Princess is a fairly new ship and as such is in excellent shape. The crew does a marvelous job in keeping things polished and looking like new. The configuration of this class does take a bit getting used to. One cannot go fore and aft on any deck except the Promenade deck. Additionally, the only exterior deck where one can walk the length of the ship is deck 17. It makes getting around difficult for some older guests.
We booked a balcony cabin on the Rivera deck aft. For us the location was perfect, near the elevators and a direct shot to the buffet and the fitness center. However, the cabin was smaller than most balcony car in’s on other cruise ships. The balcony itself was pitifully small that it reminded me of a French balcony on a river cruise ship! Totally inadequate!
The fitness center is located aft on deck 17, very unusual location. The venue is long and narrow, but has adequate cardiovascular equipment in very good condition. There could be a few more stationary bicycles though. The weight machines were totally inadequate for a ship of this size. This may be due to the space restrictions of the center.
The port lectures were outstanding. Shopping venues were not pushed. Port information included recommended sites, transportation, and availability of free internet. Additionally, a British navel historian gave a series of lectures on the navel battles of WWII. These presentations were excellent and exceedingly informative.
The entertainment offered on Royal Princess was some of the best I have experienced. Perhaps it was because of the repositioning, maybe not. Nonetheless it was very good from the production shows to the guest entertainers. The only criticism was that the ship’s orchestra was too loud overpowering some of the entertainers. I was told that the sound levels were set by corporate. (I find this hard to believe.)
The food aboard the Royal Princess was excellent, especially in the Horizon Court. The pastries and desserts were second to none. Food in the Symphony dining room was good but the nightly menu options could have been better. Service in all venues was wonderful. James and Camille as our dining room waiters were superior.
On Board Activities:
There was plenty of activities available during sea days. The cruise director, Matt, and his staff were very engaged. There were dance classes, games, singing, etc. Lots to do for all tastes.
We took ship sponsored excursions in Bilbao and LaHavre. Both were excellent and worth the money.
Internet was available throughout the ship. Connections were somewhat slow but workable. Time was sold by the minute rather than by the day, not the best with slow connections.
Leaving the ship was orderly, especially because we choose to walk off. Our group was the 2nd to leave. We boarded the bus fir our transfer to London Heathrow Airport arriving in ample time to check in and make our flight.
Somewhat small for a balcony stateroom. Near the back of the ship, close to elevators, fitness center, the Buffett dining. Balcony was pathetic in size! Cabin was quiet and well kept. Bath was typical of a cruise ship: small but adequate.
Due to weather we were unable to dock so we missed on our trip to Normandy, the prime purpose of our trip.
Was OK but nothing special. Guide didn't seem very interested in the group.View All 18 The Guggenheim Museum Reviews