Poor Ship design

Regal Princess Cruise Review to Caribbean - Eastern

Contributor Level: Third Mate
Experience: 4-6 cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 14

Overall Rating:

3 out of 5
Verified Review
7 Night Eastern Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale Roundtrip)
Sail Date: January 03, 2016
Ship: Regal Princess
Cabin Type: Balcony
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 2 years ago

This was our first cruise on Princess. We were delighted to find out we got a nice upgrade to a mini suite in the middle of the ship; C403, until we realized why. This ship has no stairs in the middle, only elevators. This ship design is confusing with stairs that come to a dead end and elevators that don't go to every floor. It is not "user friendly". With no middle staircase, everyone was forced to use the elevators. This caused a bottleneck at the elevators which were always overcrowded and very slow. So we started going to the forward or aft and found that the aft elevators only went down as far as level 6 and the stairs came to a dead end. We had to walk to the middle of the ship to go lower. Should this ship ever have a true emergency, it would be utter chaos. Muster stations were all inside the ship at various locations such as dining rooms or theaters. Curious as to why, we went outside to find that there was no place on this ship where you could walk all around its parameter. The casino was located below the shopping area and had a spiral staircase in the middle. For people who had issues with smoke, this caused a problem as the smoke would rise up into the shopping area. Needless to say, I did not go to any of the shops and avoided this area of the ship completely. We also found that the dining room capacity was insufficient to accommodate "anytime dining" as there was always a long wait. We also thought the menu was limited and could use a few more choices. Also frustrating was that everyone "saved" deck chairs on the movie deck and if you weren't there by 8:00 am, there was none to be found. On other ships, they enforced the 30 minute rule for saving deck chairs but not here. Many chairs would be saved with no one sitting in them for hours! Now for the good points: The service and food was excellent. We went to the Crown Grill one night and both the service and food lived up to expectations. There were hand washing stations outside the buffet and the bathrooms were always clean. The buffet on Lido was well organized with plenty of seating on either side. The servers were always pleasant and efficient. A big plus was the free movies on demand in the stateroom (especially since the entertainment was limited and theater was usually full) which we utilized on sea days. This ship has a very nice sports deck but the track is very small. 7 laps =1 mile. Overall, I felt that this ship did not meet the standards I found on other cruise lines. Too many passengers and not enough venues. We spoke with other passengers who assured us that the other Princess Ships (besides Royal) were not designed as this one and were more user friendly. I would not sail on the Regal (or Royal) Princess again.

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