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Christens Another "Royal" Ship
by Linda Coffman
November 2014—Princess Cruises succeeded royally with
introduction of Royal Princess, the first a new class of ships for
the line, and has followed it up this year with the debut of
sister-ship Regal Princess. The largest ships in their fleet now measure
a whopping 142,229 gross registered tons and carry 3,560 passengers in double
occupancy. After a season of European
cruises Regal Princess made her North American debut in Fort Lauderdale,
Florida this fall. Following her christening by 'godparents' that
included the entire cast of the iconic television series The Love
Boat, she launched her maiden Caribbean season.
While not the world's largest ships these days, the new Royal-class
vessels are certainly a huge step up in size for Princess Cruises.
Loyal past passengers will be pleased that Regal Princess continues the
tradition of Princess Cruises' signature features, as well as
some innovative ones introduced on Royal Princess that expand the on board experience
to a higher level. The atrium is simply stunning with its wide open
space surrounded by intimate places to dine and enjoy cocktails and
One of the first things most people notice about any Princess ship
is their abundance of balconies. With Regal Princess the line has
gone one step further—all outside accommodations feature balconies,
although they are not stepped out in wedding cake fashion as found
on previous ship classes. Instead of the graceful curve of the
Grand-class vessels, Regal Princess balconies march in a solid wall.
My Balcony balcony on Deck 10 (M433) featured a balcony with
clear panels beneath the railing and was deep enough for two chairs
and a small table.
Princess standard accommodations have traditionally featured
numerous amenities and the line continues to provide Regal Princess
passengers with staples such as hairdryers, small refrigerators,
television, telephone with voice mail, personal safe, large walk-in
closet, and robes for use throughout the cruise. Beds are dressed in
European-style duvets and linens and have posh fluffy pillows. Real
conveniences for passengers who must remain in touch with family or
the office are ship-wide WiFi and cell phone connectivity.
Balcony staterooms, a new category for Royal-class ships, is an
extra spacious balcony cabin with a comfortable sofa bed (in place
of a side chair) and some of the upgraded amenities found in
mini-suites, including enhanced bathroom amenities, waffle bathrobe,
and an upgraded duvet.
More space and comforts are available to mini-suite and suite
occupants, including separate sitting areas, luxury bedding and
towels, a choice of pillow styles, and bathtubs in mini-suites.
Additionally, mini-suites feature a decorative central lighting
fixture, a privacy curtain between the bed and sitting area, and
marble-topped counters. Suites offer larger televisions, two sinks
in the bathroom, accent lighting and a glass-paneled shower. Suite
passengers can also take advantage of Regal Princess’ Concierge
Lounge, offering an exclusive space to enjoy refreshments, make
reservations for dining, spa services, and shore excursions.
Thirty-six wheelchair accessible cabins are available in a variety
of categories, including 22 with balcony, 1 suite, 6 mini-suites,
and 7 inside. Oddly, while there are 780 Upper berths in various
accommodations categories, there are no interconnecting 'family'
suites on Regal Princess, such as those found on earlier ships.
If I had to pick the one thing I like best about a Princess cruise,
it would be the Personal Choice Dining concept. I prefer the idea of
eating when I'm hungry and not planning my day around a set
schedule. Tailoring a cruise vacation to my lifestyle is high on my
list of priorities.
Regal Princess still offers set seating dining for traditionalists
who prefer it, but also takes choices to a new level for those of us
who are a bit more spontaneous.
Dining options include:
Symphony, Allegro, and Concerto dining rooms (one traditional
seating, two for personal choice) are elegant and intimate. Each
features sophisticated modern decor, most notable in the aft-facing
Allegro dining room where the Chef's Table Lumiere is surrounded by
a curtain of fiber optic lights that create privacy for the ultimate
dining experience (for an extra charge).
In addition to dining rooms and restaurants, the Trident Grill is
a handy poolside spot to get a burger and fries for lunch. Nearby is
the Prego for pizza and Swirls Ice Cream Bar. Complimentary ice
cream is also served in the Horizon Court for a short time every
Horizon Court is the casual buffet restaurant with sea views from
floor to ceiling windows. Servers are on hand to provide beverages
and assistance. The Horizon Court features the
Pastry Shop, offering a variety of specialty treats and a coffee
bar. Available in the Horizon Court on select evenings are two specialty dining spots
with cover charges—Crab Shack for seafood lovers with a wide variety
of seafood, including crabs to crack themselves; and Fondues, where
a variety of savory and sweet fondues highlight the menu.
International Cafe is an expansion of the patisserie found on other
Princess ships. Open 24-hours, it features specialty coffees,
pastries, salads, panini sandwiches, and tapas. Aside from some
specialty items, there is no charge.
Vines wine and seafood bar serves fine wines accompanied by artisan
cheeses, tapas, and appetizers, for a modest
Sabatini's, Princess' signature Italian trattoria has a central
location off the atrium near Vines. The cover charge that applies is
well worth it for the tasting courses alone, not to mention the
entrees and desserts. Exclusively for full-suite passengers is the
opportunity to start the day with a leisurely breakfast in
Crown Grill is paired with Princess Cruises' signature Wheelhouse
Bar in a warm, inviting setting. In addition to steaks and chops,
seafood items such as lobster are available. Cover charges apply.
The location also features a free pub lunch.
Ocean Terrace Seafood Bar, offers an array of à la carte treasures
of the sea as well as fresh sushi and sashimi
Alfredo's Pizzeria. offering authentic Italian pasta dishes and
Gelato, serving frozen gelato confections and crepes.
Other dining choices for passengers with balcony accommodations are
the Champagne Balcony Breakfast and the Ultimate Balcony Dinner,
served course-by-course. Cover charges apply.
If that isn't enough choice, there's 24-hour room service and you
can even order pizza delivered to your cabin for a nominal service
Regal Princess Preview - Part Two
Cruise Diva's Regal Princess Blogs:
At Home Aboard Regal Princess
Regal Princess Calls At Princess Cays
Regal Princess: So Entertaining
Regal Princess: Art & Architecture
Dining Aboard Regal Princess
The Suite Life Aboard Regal Princess
Guide & Cruise
Cruise Diva's Blog
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