Next year I am doing a 12 day England Itinerary (ports of scotland, England and ireland and one of France). I am just wondering if anyone else has done this cruise, or have any information about Princess or the Royal? I am a previous Carnival cruiser and looking for a "step up".
The Royal Princess is a stately lady, one of the forerunners in design of today's ships.
She is getting some age on her, but I have sailed on her twice and would again, if opportunity allowed, in a heartbeat. Looking at her, some may say she is 'dated', but she is kept in immaculate shape.
She has all outside cabins and bathrooms have tubs/showers.
Stepping up from Carnival to Princess (especially the Royal) you should find a difference, I have always found that the Royal has had a very loyal following and lots of repeat Princess as well as Royal passengers.
> Next year I am doing a 12 day England Itinerary (ports of
> scotland, England and ireland and one of France). I am just
> wondering if anyone else has done this cruise, or have any
> information about Princess or the Royal? I am a previous
> Carnival cruiser and looking for a "step up".
We did the British Isles on the Pacific Princess and at that time it was a 14 day trip. I wonder what they cut out? It was a wonderful cruise but one that keeps you hopping as we hit a new port almost every day and we didn't know when we'd ever be back, so we had to take shore excursions at every port - $1400 worth. We found Scotland to be the prettiest place but all were interesting but one does get their fill of castles. (G)
Leaving tomorrow for 10 day Regal Princess cruise to Alaska
"I have always found that the Royal has had a very loyal following and lots of repeat Princess as well as Royal passengers."
Yes, indeed. Last summer, I met Joe and Lorraine Arntz, who were on their 208th Princess cruise (they also have taken over a hundred cruises with other lines), aboard MV Royal Princess. Joe & Lorraine like MV Royal Princess so well that they spend over 200 days per year cruising aboard her.
"I am just wondering if anyone else has done this cruise, or have any information about Princess or the Royal?"
MV Royal Princess is an incredibly innovative ship when Princess introduced her in 1984. Among other innovations, she was the first cruise ship with a "full circle" Promenade Deck for walking and jogging, the first ship with only outside cabins (though some are obstructed view), the first ship to offer standard staterooms with balconies, and the first cruise ship with an indoor lido buffet area, the first cruise ship to have an atrium lobby (albeit only two decks high), and the first cruise ship to separate public spaces into two areas -- the topside area (Lido Deck) for active and casual outdoor spaces and the lower area (Riviera Deck and atrium) for the quiet and more formal spaces. As a result of such innovative design and consitent maintenance, she still seems quite contemporary even though she might not have a few facilities that you would expect to find on newer ships. On the "plus" side, though, her small size lets her enter many ports where larger vessels cannot go -- and there are several such ports on her itineraries from Southampton. Your itinerary probably will include several of these ports.
The most obvious omission in her design is the absence a children's center and a teen center -- which reflects the fact that very few families with children were cruising in the early 1980's. Nonetheless, she does offer programs for children and teens whenever more than fifteen are aboard. There were over two hundred children on my cruise aboard MV Royal Princess last year, and the program handled them with no problem and very little if any disruption to adult activities.
MV Royal Princess has only one main dining room, which offers only "Traditional Dining" with assigned first and second seatings. The Lido Cafe, the precursor to the Horizon Court on Princess's newer vessels, does offer 24x7 food service with a variety of options including breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner buffets. The lunch buffet also has featured cuisine when the ship is at sea. After the lunch hour, the starboard side of the Lido Cafe becomes a pizzeria and remains a pizzeria thoughout the evening. The port side of the Lido Cafet operates as a bistro from 9:00 PM until 4:00 AM, when a buffet line reopens with a continental breakfast (hot breakfast begins at 6:00 AM). I found the food to be outstanding at each of these facilities.
MV Royal Princess also has only one showroom, unlike Princess's newer vessels, so she cannot offer a choise of two or three shows each evening as Princess's newer vessels do. Nonetheless, she offers a different show each evening. The stage area also is too small for some of Princess's recent production shows like "Pirates" and "Odyssea." Nonetheless, she manages to offer a good mix of entertainment with a different show each night. The musical revues are quite creative, and she features several headliners as well. IIRC, there's also a pianist and a vocalist in the Princess Court (the Promeande Deck level of the atrium), live music for dancing in the aft lounge, a complete casino (all of the games, but fewer tables than aboard larger vessels), dancing to live music in the aft lounge/night club, and karioke and dancing most evenings in the disco (located above the Horizon Court). The disco and the casino usually operate well into the wee hours for those who like to party -- and the bistro on the Horizon Court continues to serve its full bistro menu if hunger sets in.
During the daytime, MV Royal Princess seems to offer most if not all of the activities that you would expect to find on a cruise ship -- pool games (weather permitting), bingo, shuffleboard, bridge lectures and tournaments, dance lessons, port lectures, culinary demonstrations, art auctions, putting contests, wine tastings, etc., on days at sea. You also will find a fully equipped fitness center and spa and a separate beauty salon. The library doubles as a "quiet room" and offers computers for connection to the Internet (for a fee, of coures).
There's plenty of space for everybody. Even with cool daytime weather at sea, I never encountered crowds at any of the scheduled activiteis.
Overall, this ship is a slight notch below the newer MV Sun Princess, MV Dawn Princess, MV Sea Princess, and MV Ocean Princess, but vastly superior to MV Grand Princess. I would return aboard any time without hesitation.
Thanks so much for the info everyone! Especially you Norm!! I also have to ask, I am getting the cheapest cabin available. (fully obstructed views). I could possibly swing the balcony (not without a little bit of work on my part of course) and I had heard that the balconies are hard to get out of at night when the beds are made and the room isnt any bigger with the balcony. Do any of you believe that it is worth the 1000 per person to upgrade to a balcony just to have the 50 sq ft of balcony room?
I agree with Janie's comment. I don't go on cruises to hang out in my cabin, so I usually book the least expensive cabin and accept whatever upgrade I get with gratitude and invest the savings in the stock of the cruise line! When you accumulate enough shares, the dividends will pay for your cruises. If I were booking a honeymoon, though, I would book he best suite that I could swing financially, for the obvious reason that I probably would be planning to spend significantly more time there than on a normal cruise!
The real ("ordinary") shares of P&O Princess Cruises Plc., the parent company of Princess Cruises, trade on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol POC. If you have prefer to buy shares on an exchange here in the States, there's an "American Depository Receipt" (ADR) equivalent to four ordinary shares that trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the same symbol.
Oh Royal Princess is such a wonderful ship. Nothing like the cookie cutter megaships they're building these days. I sailed her last September on a New England/Canada cruise. Met Norm when we were in Boston (Hi Norm. Hope all's well with you.). She is one of the most beautiful ships afloat, graceful lines, beautiful rooms. Also she has a great crew. We had our favorite bar waitress and we tended to go back there eveery evening before dinner. I think that for the most part, the food is better on the smaller ships since the kitchen staff doesn't have as many people to cook for. The cruise was gorgeous. I won't be cruising for the next few years and hope I'll find Royal still doing her thing when I come back.
Took this same cruise year before last...this was the cruise (Royal Princess) that sold me on Princess Lines..have taken 3 since...before that we were a Costa, Holland America kind of family....they are good but Princess is for me