Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Ship: 421 out of 500
Accommodation: 161 out of 200
Food: 267 out of 400
Service: 295 out of 400
Entertainment: 83 out of 100
Cruise: 306 out of 400
Overall Score: 1533 out of 2000
Regal Princess Statistics
Size: Large Resort Ship
Cruise Line: Princess Cruises
Former Names: none
IMO Number: 9584724
Builder: Fincantieri (Italy)
Original Cost: €775 million
Entered Service: May 2014
Length (ft/m): 1,082.6/330.0
Beam (ft/m): 126.3/38.5
Draft (ft/m): 27.8/8.5
Propulsion/Propellers: diesel-electric (52,000kW)/2
Passenger Decks: 17
Total Crew: 1,346
Passengers (lower beds): 3,560
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 39.6
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.6
Cabins (total): 1,780
Size Range (sq ft/m): 161.4-554.3/15-51.5
Cabins (for one person): 0
Cabins (with private balcony): 1,438
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 36
Wheelchair accessibility: Best
Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts
Casino (gaming tables): Yes
Slot Machines: Yes
Swimming Pools: 2
Hot Tubs (on deck): 6
Self-Service Launderette: Yes
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No
Onboard currency: US$
This large, multi-choice family-friendly resort ship has style
Overview. Regal Princess is a sister to Royal Princess, which debuted in 2013. Princess Cruises delivers a consistent, well-packaged cruise vacation, with a good range of entertainment options, at an attractive price, which is why passengers come back again and again.
The Ship. Although large, the ship’s profile is quite well balanced, and is an enhancement of the earlier range of Grand-class ships. In terms of practical design, the lifeboats are located outside the main public room areas, so they don’t impair the view from balcony cabins. The ship features a complete walk-around promenade deck.
An over-the-water SeaWalk, an open deck glass-bottomed enclosed walkway (first introduced in 2013 aboard sister ship Royal Princess) on the starboard side extends almost 30ft (9.1m) beyond the vessel’s edge and forms part of a lounge/bar venue. This is the place to go for dramatic (downward) views, including to the sea 128ft (39m) below, so you can ‘walk’ on water (well, over it). On the ship’s port side is a SeaView bar.
There are two principal stair towers and elevator banks, plus some panoramic-view elevators in a third, central bank (these elevators do not go to all decks, however). The interior decor is warm and attractive, with an abundance of earth tones that suit both American and European tastes. One of the line’s hallmark venues, the Piazza Atrium, has been significantly expanded compared to the older ships in the fleet. This area is the ship’s multi-faceted social hub and combines a specialty dining venue, light meals, snack food items, pastries, beverages, entertainment, shopping, and guest services. It is larger than aboard any other Princess Cruises ship (except sister ship Royal Princess), and has a horseshoe-shaped flowing stairway and lots of mood lighting effects.
The base level includes a large International Café, for coffees, teas, panini, and pastries (and to see and be seen); Sabatini’s, a Tuscan specialty extra-cost restaurant (located just off the atrium itself), with both regular and à-la-carte menus; and a gift shop. Upstairs, level two includes Alfredo’s Pizzeria, Bellini’s (a bar serving Bellini drinks) a photo gallery, reception, and shore excursion counters. On the third level, Crooners Bar has a piano and pianist entertainers; there’s also a small Seafood Bar. The Piazza Atrium is all about food, entertainment, and passenger services, and is the social nerve center of the ship.
The company provides a number of gentlemen dance hosts on each cruise to act as partners for women traveling alone. Each accommodation deck houses a self-service launderette.
Accommodation. There are five main types of accommodation and 35 price grades: (a) Grand Suite; (b) suites with balcony; (c) mini-suites with balcony; (d) deluxe outside-view balcony cabins; (e) outside-view cabins with balcony; and (e) interior cabins. Pricing depends on two things: size and location. Outside-view cabins account for about 81 percent of all accommodation, and all have a balcony; those located at the stern are the quietest and most sought-after.
All accommodation grades share energy-efficient lighting and key card readers that automatically turn off lights when occupants leave their cabins. All cabins get beds with upholstered headboards, wall-mounted TV sets, additional 220v electrical socket, turndown service and heart-shaped chocolates on pillows each night, bathrobes (on request unless you are in suite-grade accommodation), and toiletries. A hairdryer is provided in all cabins, sensibly located at the vanity desk unit in the living area. Bathrooms generally have a good amount of open shelf storage space for toiletries, and - in a first for Princess Cruises - all bathrooms have hand-held, flexi-hose showers, and shower enclosures larger than aboard other Princess ships (except sister Royal Princess).
Suite and mini-suite grade occupants have a dedicated concierge lounge (towards the aft on Deck 14) - useful for making dining, spa, and shore excursion reservations. They also get more amenities and larger TV sets, and suites get two washbasins.
Some of the most sought-after suites are located aft, occupying the corner (port and starboard) positions.
Dining. There are three ‘formal’ main dining rooms. You can choose either traditional two-seating dining (typically 6pm and 8.15pm for dinner), or ‘anytime dining’ - which allows you to choose when and with whom you want to eat. If you want to see a show in the evening, however, then your dining time will be dictated by the time of the show, which rather limits your choice.
Other dining options. Extra-cost, reservations-required Sabatini’s, located adjacent to Vines Wine Bar on the lower atrium level is an Italian restaurant with colorful Tuscany-themed decor. Named after Trattoria Sabatini, the 200-year-old institution in Florence, it serves Italian-style pasta dishes with a choice of sauces, as well as Italian-style entrées, including tiger prawns and lobster tail, all provided with flair and entertainment by energetic waiters. There’s both a table-d’hôte and an à-la-carte menu. This venue, which is all about Tuscany, also hosts Italian wine tasting.
Ocean Terrace, located on the second level of the atrium lobby, is a seafood bar. International Café, on the lowest level of the Piazza Atrium, is the place for extra-cost coffees, pastries, panini, and more. Vines Wine Bar, adjacent to Sabatini’s - a good place for a glass of extra-cost wine, and some tapas. This is really a pleasant area in which to while away a late afternoon, trying out new wines.
Crown Grill is an extra-cost à-la-carte dining venue, adjacent to the Wheelhouse Bar, on the uppermost level of the three-deck-high atrium, and is the place to go for extra-cost steaks and seafood.
For casual meals, the self-serve buffet venue (Horizon Court) seats 900 indoors and 350 outdoors at the Horizon Terrace, and there are multiple active cooking stations. Sections of the eatery highlight specific themes, such as Mediterranean, Asian, and Italian cuisine; there’s also a deli section. At night, the Horizon Bistro (aft) section is for casual dinners. Certain nights will feature special themes and foods, such as British pub food or Brazilian churrascarria (for steaks). Rotisseries, carvings, hibachi grill, and other active cooking station items are all part of the scenario.
The ship’s bakery (well, part of it) comes out of the galley and into a separate area of the Horizon Court. Called the Horizon Bistro Pastry Shop, it offers freshly baked bread, croissants, pastry items, waffles, and other pastries throughout the day.
Entertainment. The Princess Theater, the ship’s main showlounge, is a two-deck-high venue for the large-scale production shows that Princess Cruises is renowned for. There’s also a ‘Princess Live’ auditorium for stand-up comedy and other small-audience entertainment features. At the stern of the ship (on the same deck) is a Vista Lounge; this is also an entertainment venue, with a large dance floor. Meanwhile, on the subject of dancing, the ship has a number of gentlemen dance hosts on each cruise for women without partners.
Spa/Fitness. The Lotus Spa is located forward on the lower level of the atrium, so it doesn’t take away premium outdoor-view real estate space. Separate facilities for men and women include a sauna, steam room, and changing rooms; common facilities include a relaxation/waiting zone, body-pampering treatment rooms, and a gymnasium packed with the latest high-tech, muscle-pumping cardio-vascular equipment, and providing great ocean views. Some fitness classes are free, while others cost extra. Children and teens have their own fitness rooms adjacent to their age-related facilities.
Spa operator Steiner Leisure is in charge of and staffs the Lotus Spa. You can make online reservations for any spa treatments before your cruise, which could be a great time-saver, as long as you can plan ahead.