My wife and I are considering a 10 day Alaska cruise out of San Francisco on the Regal Princess next May. Has anyone been on this itinerary, or sailed the Regal? We are wondering about the entertainment, passenger demographic, and this personal choice/traditional dining issue. We have always enjoyed traditional, but are willing to try something different. If you choose one or the other, is that it for the whole sailing, or what? The Princess web site didn't really clear it up for me. Thanks for any info you Princess veterans will offer.
Our first Princess cruise was a 10-day roundtrip out of San Francisco. We took it very late in the season....9/24/1984.
It was very warm in San Francisco and Vancouver, which was our first stop. I just looked at our old album yesterday, and I was wearing gauze summer dresses and sandals until we got to the Inside Passage. The cruise was wonderful as we were the only ship left doing Alaska (end of the season). We had the place literally to ourselves.
We didn't have any rain, though it started to drizzle as we left Glacier Bay (was dry until late afternoon) and were heading to Sitka. The captain decided to forego Sitka where we would have had to tender, and took us to Ketchikan, which was fun. Oh, there's a snapshot of my husband wearing a rain poncho and carrying an umbrella, so there was some rain in Ketchikan. After that we stopped in Victoria, totally dry and a lovely day there.
I took a good luck at the port schedules in Alaska for this month, and it is truly horrifying. Waaaaay too many ships in the same port on the same days. We may cancel our booking for this reason, and also because the flight for a one-way Seward-Vancouver run is expensive, time-consuming and a true pain in these days of heightened security at airports.
I strongly recommend round trips from San Francisco. We had, by the way, no rough seas at any time during the entire cruise.
We sailed the Regal in July 02. In May you can expect cooler weather in Alaska and very few youngsters as schools have not yet let out. We had traditional dining. I don't think they had PC at the time as they only have one dining room. There is always 24 hour food service available on the Lido deck. Entertainment was decent.
My wife and I did the Regal last summer. It was wonderful the best of our five Princess cruises. They don't have Personal Choice dining BUT a portion of the buffet is partitioned at night into an alternative dining area. The service in that venue was outstanding. Service all around the ship was great. The food was good. We had a balcony cabin and loved sitting on the balcony watching the world go by.
The ship is beautiful.
Ironically we had seen the ship in port on a previous Alaska cruise and had said we would never sail on it, but we loved it.
There is no small intimate cocktail lounge for a romantic drink. Probably not important to everyone. Other than that the public rooms are well appointed.
One thing we decried was the constant sell sell sell. It looked like a bazaar at times with many, many tables of junk for sale.
I know you'll have a grand time. We have splendid memories of our cruise.
Did you sail the Regal for an Alaska itinerary? From pictures, it appears there is absolutely no forward deck to get a real "wind in your face" experience.
The biggest benefit to sailing the Regal Princess for my husband and me is that Sitmar Fairsky's dance team, Jamie and Jamie McVicar, often sail (or exclusively sail) the Regal Princess. They are two of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet, and wonderful dancers, too, of course!
We sailed on the Regal Princess in the Caribbean in 1994. We enjoyed this ship very much, & our outside cabin was quite spacious. We only had traditional dining. I would not be afraid to go on that ship again. That dance team was also on our cruise.
We sailed the Regal round trip from SF to Alaska and got enough wind in our face action that we didn't last long on deck. The ship turns around at the glacier so everyone gets a good view of the scenery.
We also had that feeling, when seeing the Regal dock on another Alaskan cruise where we were on the larger Dawn Princess, that we'd probably never sail her. But we did and it was enjoyable. We also ran into a couple of wait staff people in the dining room that we had met years earlier on a Sun Princess Panama Canal cruise. Our favorite waiter on that one was now a Head Waiter. Unfortunately we weren't in his section but his counterpart was fabulous.
I agree the staff was excellent. I've been cruising for well over 40 years and our waiter was the best I'd ever had.
They let you stand on the front when approaching the glacier. It is very brrrr cold. I went back to our stateroom and we ordered tea from our room steward and snuggled on the balcony watching the glacier etc. It was a wonderful time.
My wife wisely had never left the balcony.
I was soaked when I got in from the excursion forward, but probably would do it again for the exhilaration.
From what I am reading here, it sounds like the reports for the Regal Princess are glowing. Has anyone sailed the Regal Princess this year? I have read a few reports of her stalling at sea and that concerns me.
I have a friend who just got off of the Regal. She didn't mention getting stuck anywhere.
Here are some of her comments:
The ship is very pretty.
The itinerary was port intensive and very good.
I will say that the shore excursions and disembarking were beautifully run.
I was impressed. This captain was barely seen and nearly not heard.
Never said anything much and what he did say was unmemorable. And frankly a
Captains Circle party held in the Int'l Lounge with every one seated and
bottles of champagne being given away from the stage and no Captain until the end
and all he said was that Princess was acquiring more ships and thanks for
sailing. Oh, whoopee.
Although the service was good in the dining room the food was so so.
Fancy names and no flavor. And this is supposed to be an "award winning"
The selling was as bad as ever. They must have had six art auctions. Yuck.
I They had an inventory sale the last day at sea and were trying to unload junk from former cruises. And the watch sale, jewelry blowout, and on and on. Yuck. If they are
going to do stuff like that they should carve some space out in a place not in
the narrow aisles around the few shops that they have and just do it. Those
that want to shop the sales could and the rest of us would be left alone.
I've sailed about 15 cruises and always avoided the art auctions as being something like those shops in the Caribbean that once were a bargain but aren't anymore. On our last cruise this past April-May, we went with a number of friends and neighbors in our development. Some of them went to the art auction and raved about the values, so we sat in on a few. Well, I've been converted. They really have very good values and they deliver them nicely packaged.
We saw an item that we'd looked in a gallery in our old neighborhood that unframed was over $1,000. My wife ended up getting it for $300 framed. It is a very large item too. And instead of glass, they use plexiglass which is stronger and more protective. So I am now a changed person in regards to these art auctions. Not that we'll buy anymore on future trips because we have no more place to hang them. As it was, we had to give 3 other items to our daughter to make room for this one.