We might book a cruise from San Francisco roundtrip to Alaska (10 nights) for next August. My concerns are: I don't see a lot written about it. There doesn't seem to be a comprehensive children's play area like the newer Princess ships. Also, I'm wondering if this ship attracts a more older crowd, especially since it's sailing to Alaska for 10 nights. It IS summer, though. As much as I want to see Alaska and to be able to sail out of San Francisco (VERY close), is a dream-come-true...however, if I could hope that another more "family friendly"ship (Princess or another line beside, Crystal) will sail out of there in 2003 or 2004, I wouldn't mind waiting. I'm really torn! This a chunk of money that my husband is VERY reluctant to spend, so it better be good! Anyway, if anyone has some insight about the Regal Princess where it concerns kids and families, please let me know! Oh, also, I hear there is not a lot of places to view the outside. Is this really a big factor?? Thanks!
Assuming you are the same person, I answered your other post about the Regal on Cruisecritic (Bill B).
The Regal had a Youth Center (located aft on Sun Deck) added when it was renovated in 2000.
It is true that compared to many other ships, the Regal does not have a lot of outside viewing areas. However, you can 'get around' this. Assuming you want an inside triple (you mentioned 'cheap seats' in your othe post), book a Cat. I that will accommodate a third/fourth person as close to the stern as possible on Baja. This will give you easy access to the aft outside Baja deck - in effect the largest 'balcony' on the ship! It is then only a flight of stairs up to the aft hot tubs on Aloha, and just one more flight to the Cafe Cabana 24 hr. buffet on Lido. The inside rooms on the Regal are as large (190 sq ft.) as any outside and balcony rooms. We have booked B303 for our 48-day Far East and Transpacific; and can't wait to step out onto our 'balcony' aft on Baja!
My family and I sailed the Regal to AK on a 7 day inside passage in June.(4 yrs ago) There were plenty of kids(not too many) but at that time the ship had NO facilities for kids and teens. My two early teen son's though had a great time(no thanks to Princess) and made several good friendships aboard. The food and service was very good aboard the ship. The average cabin layout and size are truly excellent.(you get some of the biggest or more sq ft for your money than most ships) I can say that the ship does not lend itself greatly for outdoor viewing of the beautiful Alaska sights. The ship does not have many locations to view the passing sights from the inside of the vessel. That said , we are booked again on her from SFO in june 2002. I really enjoy the sea time and have always wanted to sail from SFO. The longer sailings do attract an older crowd, but we all love days at sea and cool weather. My wife does not especially like the Regal because of the viewing situation but I am hoping the added days at sea might make her cruise more relaxing and less rushed.
Thank you for your replies. I'm still trying to make up my mind. My husband said we can book it IF I agree to pay more every month on our mortgage. <g> He's more concerned that we'd be sailing on 3 cruises in 5 months and that adds up to M-O-N-E-Y. So, I want to make DARN sure that this Regal Princess cruise is worth every penny we spend. My only other option is to wait till 2003 or 2004 and see if we can swing an Alaskan cruise out of Vancouver or maybe even one from SF if they decide to repeat that intinerary. Decisions! Decisions! If money weren't an issue, we'd be on it in minutes, no questions asked! OR if they were they running a SUPER bargain.
Bumble Bee, you mentioned an aft cabin and you are going to be on B303. We have B295 on hold till 12/1 and I was concerned that it might be TOO far aft (don't care for the teeter-totter effect. My TA said the deck is shorter and it isn't as far back as it looks. You say there is a door out to that "balcony" right off the hallway there? Well, it may not be totally private, but it beats nothing at all! <g> Thanks!
Re: Regal Princess for kids and families?To Bill B
Bill, I re-read your post and then looked at my brochure. You're right! Everything is easily accessible from back there. Tell me, though-----have you actually STAYED in an aft cabin there before this new 48 day booking? I'm curious to know if there is a lot of movement. I just CAN'T fathom being on a ship for 10 nights and having chronic motion sickness because our cabin is in a poor location. I prefer midship, but no cabins are available. My TA seems to think this aft location is good, as you do. Does that back deck get much "traffic" and are there any chairs out there? I'm surprised that you chose an inside cabin for such a long voyage. But, maybe it makes it more affordable that way! <g> Please e-mail me to fill me in on more specifics of the ship. I really want to hear more! Thank you.
Re: Regal Princess for kids and families?To Bill B
I haven't been on the Regal yet, but did spend 22 days in an extreme aft cabin (A743) on the Ocean Princess for a Panama Canal repositioning (San Juan - Vancouver). It was wonderful!... and like the rooom we have booked on the Regal, offered easy access to the aft deck. It doesn't feel as though one is 'stuck' inside... we were literally three steps away from our huge 'balcony' aft on Aloha... it just wasn't private (although many times there was no one out there).
Our room on the Ocean was only 135 sq. ft., and on the Regal it is 190 - almost half as big again... which I'm sure will seem huge in comparison.
There is slightly more pitch aft than amidships, but this is negligible; and the roll is exactly the same everywhere throughout the ship on any given deck. In a storm you're going to feel motion no matter where your room is located. I don't believe anyone who is prone to seasickness would get sick in an aft room, and not in an amidships room when in heavy seas.
Check out <http://members.tripod.com/PARNAMI/RegalPrincess/index.htm>