November 2014 - Regal Princess to Caribbean - Eastern
I sailed on the Regal Princess, 7 night Eastern Caribbean sailing, November 9, 2014. This was the first full 7 night sailing for this new Princess ship out of Fort Lauderdale since spending its first couple of months in Europe. Many of the crew was new to the ship so there was a learning curve for all. I was part of a conference group of over 900 and a smaller group of 20 friends.
The Regal is beautiful and my favorite Princess ship yet. Although I was very busy with conference activities I tried to see and participate in a variety of ship’s activities.
Embarkation: I found embarkation pretty easy considering the 900+ group. Cabins were ready when we got on the ship which was a pleasant surprise. Having sailed on the Sapphire and the Golden Princess this year I found many similarities when navigating the ship.
Cabin: I found our balcony cabin, mid ship, on the Riviera deck (14) to have plenty of room for the two of us. My “cruise buddy” and I have sailed many times together and there were plenty of hangers, shelves, and drawers, for all of our stuff. The bathroom was fine and the little step in the shower for leg shaving was very welcome. The balcony was standard with two chairs and a small table. My only complaint was the, hard as a rock, bed!! I am used to a nice Tempurpedic at home so almost always request a foam mattress pad. I was told there are none on the Regal. Our room steward was very kind and put an extra duvet on top of the mattress and this helped.
The Ship: There are many options for sitting, relaxing, listing to music, snacking, drinking, and just visiting on the ship. The sky bar and walk way were neat. The spa did a great job. I love the Piazza for people watching, relaxing, and listing to music.
Daily Activities: I really didn’t get to participate in daily activities but the friends I was sailing with found there to be plenty to do during the day.
Evening Activities: I went to one of the shows and comedy. Both were very good. Several in our group went to the shows every night and were very impressed. We did have a few in our group who were very disappointed with the lack of night life on this sailing.
Food: I found the food to be the best Princess has to offer. I honestly didn’t get anything I didn’t like. The Buffet is probably the best on any of my 30 cruises. My group of 20 wanted to do anytime dining which is not what I usually do. We found ourselves waiting with a beeper every night for dinner whether there were 4 of us or 10 of us dining together. I prefer traditional cruise dining unless I am on Norwegian. They do freestyle the best. The only specialty restaurant I tried this sailing was the Fondue this was held on the last two nights of the cruise in the Bistro section of the buffet. It was Excellent!! Many in our group ate at the Crown Grill and loved it. The international café is wonderful for snacks and goodies.
Princess Cays: I didn’t get off the ship this day. My group enjoyed the island and BBQ. Some even took one of the tours.
ST. Thomas: We did the ship’s Champagne Snorkel and Sail to St. John and it was a blast. I highly recommend this excursion. Those who didn’t want to snorkel were shuttled over to the beach in a smaller boat. Snorkeling was great with sea turtles, stingray (I didn’t see one), and many beautiful fish. On the way back there were complimentary snacks, beer, champagne, rum punch, soft drinks, and bottled water. Fun music and a fun crew.
St. Maarten: In St Maarten I arranged a private tour, with Joyce Prince, for 18 of us. Joyce is great and our tour perfect. Maho Beach, where the jets land, is a must. Joyce took us to a nice open air market for shopping and several beaches.
Disembarkation: Princess does this process very well. No constant overhead pages. It seemed pretty streamlined.