These two ships are recent additions to Princess Cruises and my wife wanted to sail with the Royal Princess. We just did the reposition cruise on the Royal from the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal down to Fort Lauderdale with three stops in the Caribbean.
It is hard to answer when people ask me what is the best cruise line for baby boomers and just as hard to compare ships because it really is up to your personal taste and desires. But having taken 22 cruises and having sailed on the Royal with 2600 guests with Princess Platinum or better cards, here are some observations. The sweet spot of the ages on this cruise was say mid 60’s to early 70’s, so we now fit it perfectly. That is kind of strange since we used to think the people were older, now they are our fellow baby boomers.
The Royal is a nice big glitzy ship with 3560 guests and 1700 crew but you don’t feel too crowded. There are some large spaces like the Piazza atrium which some felt was too much for their taste but most people liked it. We noticed there is no problem finding a seat at the bar lounges and around the Piazza atrium’s three levels. That was nice.
I must say the food and the Royal’s singers and dancers were the best I have seen. Also we had no problem at all with our anything dining getting in without any wait. Those are a big part the cruising experience right there.
Smaller things people were complaining about were no stairs above deck 8 on the center of the ship. Shower curtains rather than glass doors. A small balcony in their cabins.
But as the cruise got on you saw many positives like I have mentioned above with the food, shows and no wait to dine. There is Alfredo’s Pizzeria, a new no fee restaurant with is nice for lunch and a full size Gelateria bar serving ice cream and Italian crepes. The SeaWalk on the side of the ship was fun to walk across and look down 128 feet to the ocean under your feet.
The Movies Under the Stairs on Pool side was amazing. It is the largest movie screen of any cruise ship. It look great even during the day. The sound qualify was amazing and resulted in some great pool parties during the day.
The Princess Theater has the most up to date technology and the digital props on stage were amazing.
I loved the Royal’s ship horn which plays part of the Love Boat Theme which I capture here as we were leaving Antigua. The passengers on the Carnival ship next to us got a kick of it and cheered us goodbye!
The Royal Princess (and Regent Princess) are beautiful ships and you should give them a try. They will be sailing the Caribbean this Winter through April.