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Regal Princess Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,594 Reviews

Beautiful Ship, Great Cabin, Bad Service + Fellow Cruisers

Regal Princess Cruise Review by somewheretropical

6 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Feb 2020
  • Destination: the Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Interior

This was my first cruise with Princess Cruises. My brother selected this line, ship, and itinerary. Myself and our group of 3 others are in our thirties. What surprised me is that this cruise wins the award for absolute worst fellow cruiser atmosphere of all my 10+ cruises. We came across many people we shared the ship with who were very entitled and treated the staff and other cruisers very poorly. This was quite a disappointment. At the Outrigger Bar at the very back of the ship one night there was a guy who got angry at the bartender and started screaming at him very loudly. Everyone fell silent and was gawking at this exchange. Finally another couple went and broke up the confrontation and the man came back two more times to yell more.

We experienced extreme line breaking. Obviously if there is someone with a disability or who has difficulty walking or standing I definitely offer them my spot or offer to help them carry things, etc. The offenders of breaking in line were perfectly able-bodied, entitled people who do not care about anyone but themselves. This was worse behavior than children on a Carnival ship. In spite of the overwhelming negative experiences we had with fellow cruisers there still were great people...our neighbors at the main dining room were a delightful couple that we enjoyed having conversations with. I'm not saying everyone was bad but the poor behavior definitely stood out on this cruise.

The ship itself was extremely beautiful. It had luxury high end finishes and an ornate design. The Ocean Medallion system was spectacular! I thoroughly enjoyed this upgrade and hope that other lines follow suit and begin implementing this sort of technology. The seawalk was a very cool feature of the ship.

The Regal Princess was somewhat difficult to maneuver in my opinion. I usually have the layout of a ship memorized by my second day but I struggled for my first several days finding my way on this ship.

Our cabin was outstanding. We loved the layout and the size. It blows the competition out of the water for the size and comfort of an interior cabin. The bed was comfortable and the decor was nice. Our cabin steward was above average. Our room stayed clean and tidy for the entirety of the voyage.

Dining was below average compared to other lines. It seemed like we were having the same food every day. That's great if you find something you like and want it every day. I felt like we had limited options for lunch if we didn't want to have specialty dining. The Trident Grill was underwhelming. The burgers lacked flavor and were cold.

The Horizon Court buffet was a train wreck. The lines at the buffet for both lunch and breakfast were long. Also, the seating for the buffet was ridiculous. There definitely wasn't enough seating for diners. It took longer to find a seat than to get your food. Again, I felt very angry and sad at the amount of times I saw people grab ahold of a newly available table instead of offering it to people using walkers or having a hard time with mobility. The entitlement just boiled my blood. There were times I would have liked to have stayed seated after our meal to talk but felt guilty because others couldn't find a free table so we would offer them ours and leave prematurely.

My favorite food on the ship was at Alfredo's however it was a small dining area with limited seating, was always crowded and had the worst service I've ever experienced on a cruise ship (more on that later).

I did enjoy most of my meals in the main dining room however the dining experience was very poor. We were asked to go to a different dining room every night. We attempted to dine at Concerto and were asked to walk to Symphony. Symphony was a completely different deck and at the very back of the ship. We were told that Concerto was full even though there were visually 20-30 tables empty. We asked if we could wait and get a pager or something and were told that they "don't do pagers" even though there was a desk full of pagers right beside this lady. The Symphony dining room felt like we were sitting right above the propellers. We literally felt every single wave. It was an uncomfortable experience for someone in our group who was prone to sea-sickness. This was a very disappointing aspect of the main dining room experience. We felt that we were treated very poorly by the hostess staff.

In spite of Alfredo's having the best food, it had terrible service. I visited 3 times. Two of the visits were okay. The third and final was a nightmare. We were seated and then immediately ordered our food. Our salad and appetizers came out and then our server disappeared. We finished our salad and appetizer and sat there for almost 20 minutes. The server finally came out and then said "Would you like dessert?" We answered that we would like our entrees before thinking of dessert. She got a horrified look on her face and ran away to the computer and looked at the screen, looked back at us, and then looked like a deer in headlights. She went to the kitchen. She came back 5 minutes later and brought my pasta and then said that my husband's calzone would take an additional 15 minutes. We decided just to leave at that point. She had clearly forgotten to "fire" our entrees in the computer system so that the kitchen would begin preparing them. This was by far our worst dining experience at sea.

Obviously I love that Regal Princess has an ice cream cone station. What is really great is that its not self serve! It is a station manned by a staff member. I really appreciate this as it prevents people who I don't necessarily want handling cones, equipment, making a mess, being wasteful, etc.

The entertainment facilities didn't have enough seating. If you didn't show up 30 minutes early for a show or comedy act then you wouldn't get a seat. The only entertainment that we got to enjoy was the 80s night dance party in one of the lounges. For entertainment we just played cards in the wine bar. We attempted to visit Churchill's cigar lounge multiple times but it was jam packed with cigarette smokers. Its odd that you can't smoke cigars in the designated smoking area on the deck but that cigarette smokers can smoke cigarettes in a cigar lounge. I would have loved to have tried a cigar but couldn't get in there.

In addition to the poor service from the main dining room hostess and the server at Alfredo's, we also received poor service at the coffee bar. At the coffee bar they were shouting at people like they were children just for asking questions or if someone needed assistance with ordering. It was definitely not service with a smile. Of all the service workers we had contact with, I'd say that maybe 30% of them were friendly, helpful, and had a good overall attitude. The rest were woefully cold, short, and bothered by anyone's presence.

Now for the ports:

Princess Cay - C+ - Although the location was beautiful we were disappointed with our excursion that we purchased. We opted for the Private Bungalow rental for four people. The bungalow looked nice but didn't come with the amenities that I'm accustomed to with other lines. We were hassled by the staff member when we arrived. We were under the impression that we received priority tendering for this excursion but that wasn't the case. We weren't given any instructions on where our rental was or how to get there. We just kind of "figured it out". When we found our rental we entered it and started putting our belongings down and then we were hassled by a staff member demanding to see "proof" of our rental. Our wristbands apparently weren't enough. I had to show him my shore excursion purchase confirmation. This was absurd. This guy was very rude and treated us like we were trying to use the shelter without paying. On HAL with a similar excursion they put you on a shuttle and personally take you to your rental. This was a stark contrast. Also on HAL and on Carnival if you get a bungalow like this it usually comes with some drinks like water, soda, juices, and light snacks like fruit, chips, pretzels, etc. This rental came with NOTHING. You had to walk a long way to get to the buffet and bbq food.

St Thomas - A+ - This is an absolutely beautiful port with plenty of things to do. We usually get on a shuttle and go to one of the island's many gorgeous beaches.

St Maarten - C+ - On this occasion we took the water taxi across the bay to get to a swim-able beach close to the port. Immediately once we stepped off the water taxi we were HOUNDED by hawkers. They were relentless and wouldn't take no for an answer. Some of them started becoming very agitated that we kept saying "no thank you" to all their offers. I felt very uncomfortable while this was happening. At one point I was surrounded by about 10-12 people all shouting at me. It was a scary situation and ruined our time. We went back to the port and ended up just getting some guavaberry coladas. The ladies at the guavaberry place are always very nice and friendly.

Debarkation was a breeze and went very smoothly.

somewheretropical's Full Rating Summary
Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Cabin IB B221

Great layout and spacious for an interior.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

We were suppose to have priority tendering with this excursion and were never given information on how to obtain this. We just had to wait our turn to tender. We were given no information on how to get to our rental or if we needed to check in. We were hassled by a staff member when we arrived at our rental. This rental didn't come with any food or beverages. Other lines with comparable private island bungalows come with soda, water, juice, fruit, chips + salsa and guac, pretzels, etc (HAL and Carnival). It was a long walk to the bar, buffet, and bbq area.

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