August 2015 - 12 Night British Isles (Southampton Roundtrip) Cruise on Royal Princess
Good Itinerary - Poorly Run Ship
The Royal Princess ship and crew are a major disappointment. I have sailed on 7 other Princess ships so I thought I knew what to expect from Princess. In fact, I took this same cruise 3 years ago on the Caribbean Princess and had a very nice time.
I did manage to find a few things I liked about this ship: The Piazza area is lovely. The in-room TV has been upgraded to include movies on demand. The Horizon Grill area has been expanded to include a Bistro and additional seating. More nightly entertainment is offered. There is a nice "dancing waters" show several times a day.
Unfortunately, the negatives far outweigh the positives: Neither the ship nor the crew are capable of handling nearly 4000 passengers. The elevators are too small and there are not enough of them. You could easily wait 15 minutes for an elevator. There are no public staircases mid-ship past deck 7. Your are forced to use elevators that do not always stop. The food in the main dining rooms is mediocre as was the service. There are more specialty dining options available from $20-$25 per person. On this 12 night cruise we chose specialty dining 4 times. The first night in the Grill was worth the extra money - good service and good food. The other 3 (Crab Shack, Sabatino's and a return to the Grill) were not worth it. Service in specialty dining deteriorated as more people rejected the regular dining rooms.
Plumbing seems to be a problem on this ship. Toilets in public restrooms did not always flush.
The crew is not well trained ( or they don't communicate with each other) but they all have excuses. Too many times when asking directions, we were sent the wrong way.
The British Isles are lovely, but not on the Royal Princess.