Our first TA cruise.
Embarking at Ft. Lauderdale was fast and very easy - also early!
Ship was largest of Princess ships that we have been on. Extremely clean, extremely comfortable. Great venues and mostly smooth sailing.
Our cabin was on the Dolphin deck and midships. Really great location. Had a love seat which gave us flexibility as to the cabin. Our balcony was on one of the "bump-outs" which gave us a little more room for those times that we were outside. Cabin steward was "adequate" since we only saw her about three times during the two weeks. She did, however, fulfill our phoned requests for ice and hangers.
Had one special dinner at Sabatini's which was very good and service was great. Our dining room team of James and Camille were superb. They were personable, attentive, and learned our names and preferences quickly. There was never a "No" from them or any hesitation. We shared a "corner" of the dining room with two other couples at adjacent tables and we all had the same, excellent service.
My biggest complaint about the food in the dining room was that on one specific night, the choices were lobster with a crab cake, Chateaubriand, or duck - all at the same meal. On another lobster night, they also served pheasant. And the Curtis Stone bowl with clams, mussels and seabass was phenomenal!
The buffet was amazing - while I realize that some items had been served in the dining room - they had the makings of gyros with chunks of meat and freshly grilled veggies made in front of you. One day at lunch they had lamb shanks... and once, they had huge trays of shrimp, clams, and mussels on ice - again for lunch!
Only downside of the buffet was that they use a liquid to make my wife's choice of decaf coffee. Not good. However, simply asking one young woman who was serving juice and coffee at breakfast who then took my wife's card and went to the "Pastry Hall" and retrieved a decaf Americano. Great service without any hesitation.
Most of the entertainment was great. One of the comedians told a number of old, old jokes but the Flamenco dancers that they brought on board for a few hours, the electric violinist, the concert pianist and the new Silk Road production were all excellent. One production show we had seen on a recent cruise.
Service - food service was top-notch. Main desk was very, very good. Excursion desk - really, really BAD. They had no idea what they were doing. They were unable to answer simple questions or to carry on a conversation. Our Bilbao excursion left 45 minutes late and returned 15 minutes early. We therefore lost one of the four hours of the tour. I explained to the guy at the Excursion desk that when we got to the Guggenheim Museum, our guide gave us exactly "twenty-two minutes" to use the restrooms and to see the outside of the building. Not sufficient time to walk around the entire building! The next stop was for wine and tapas at a hotel across from the dockyard. They could have shortened that part! I received a message later that they were returning a portion of the cost of the excursion... I guess that the next time that I happen to be in Bilbao Spain, I might get to see the Museum. (And yes, I was aware that it was NOT planned as an inside visit.} I just didn't like being treated as if the poor excursion was MY fault.
Ports - Bermuda was fantastic. Bought transportation passes and we used the ferry boats and buses and visited Horseshoe Bay (WOW.) Azores were interesting. Lisbon - Princess folks pre-cruise did not know where we were to dock. I found it online at the Portuguese Dockmasters site. Booked a local tapas and wine walking tour. Loved everything that we saw. Le Havre - high winds and rough seas stopped that port. We traveled to Southampton where they arranged buses to the mall. Not a lot to see there (except a beautiful Carnival office building) but what could you do. Numerous folks where disappointed that the trip to the Normandy Beaches - on their bucket lists - fell through.
Disembarking was a breeze. Most difficult part is finding your luggage and that was fairly easy.
We celebrated both a birthday and a big anniversary on this cruise and are planning our next two cruises. Obviously, we would go again.
Similar to other Princess ships but Royal is a definite upgrade.
New and better TV system. Better picture but still same few choices of live TV. Enjoyed a movie that they had shown at MUTS and then in the Theater.
Shower has more room and handheld shower head is an improvement. Also better lighting in bathroom.
Heavy rain upon arrival from airport prevented us from going to a nearby restaurant that I planned to visit. However, nice desk agent at Embassy Suites near dock gave us a coupon which covered part of dinner cost in the hotel.
Went on our own. Took ferry boat to Hamilton, walked around, bought souvenirs, etc.Took bus to Horseshoe Bay and then back to Dockyard to buy more stuff!
Walked through city and then met our planned walking tour for tapas and wine. Loved the city.
As I previously said. A big disappointment.View All 18 The Guggenheim Museum Reviews
Pickup at dock. Then to Bath ( okay) followed by Cotswolds - really nice and Laycock for pub lunch (built 1361!!!!) . Then drop off at our hotel in London.View All undefined undefined Reviews