November 2014 - Regal Princess to Caribbean - Eastern
Let me start by saying that we are easy to please types, believing that any day at sea is better than a day at work. We have sailed on the Grand Princess and Caribbean Princess, along with sailings on most of the big players (Royal, Carnival, Cunard, NCL).
The ship was really pretty and I loved the expanded Piazza area- you could actually find seats or a spot on the railing to watch the activities in the area. We found the food in the Horizon Court/Bistro to be the best we have had on a ship buffet. I thought there were plenty of selections each day to make it not feel repetitive. We never had trouble finding a table. There are servers that bring you drinks, but I must admit I found them slow at times and would have preferred to have a drink station that I could have filled my own drink. I never saw lemonade or punch, so it is water or iced tea. Food in the main dining room was good, but nothing that was truly outstanding.
We felt the entertainment was very good. I know it is subjective, but we had some pretty bad entertainment on our last Royal Caribbean cruise so we appreciated that the singers and dancers could actually sing and dance. The guest entertainers were great- again, some of that is the luck of the draw as to who they have scheduled.
We had a balcony stateroom, just the regular not the deluxe. Cabin C254 on deck 10. We loved the location by the front elevators and stairs. The room was fine for two, but the room would accommodate 4 and the drop down beds were right above the bed which I would not have liked. There was a desk, and then a small built in with the refrigerator and another chair. No loveseat or couch. Balcony was small, but we still enjoyed it.
The sanctuary was nice and we spent two afternoons enjoyed the peace and quiet. Loved that they served tea at 3 pm in the serenity area.
Ports- first stop was Princess Cay. We waited until about 11:30 to get off and we were able to just walk down and onto a tender. We went and got some of the BBQ, which we found very tasty, and ate lunch before finding a beach chair. We had no problem finding two chairs and lounged on the beach for a bit. The water was rocky, so bring water shoes. We headed back to the ship about 3 pm and walked right onto a tender. No lines.
In St. Thomas we got off about 10 am and since we had been there several times before and had always snorkeled we decided to do a tour of the island. We just hoped in one of those open air bus/taxi's and they dropped a few off at the beach and then took 6 of us around the island stopping 3 times for us to get out and take pictures and do some shopping. They offered to drop anyone in the downtown area that wanted to shop more, but we opted to get dropped back at the pier. I wish the guide would have talked about the island, but the way the vehicle was set up we could not talk to her while she was driving, only when we were stopped. Overall it was a nice ride and costs us $25 each.
St. Martin was the last stop, and again we have been there before. We just headed over to the downtown area of Philipsburg and shopped a bit and then went to the beach and rented two chairs and umbrella with 6 beers for $30. They had storms recently so the water was rather murky, not the clear blue that we had there last time we were there. It was super hot, so we only lasted until about 1 pm and then headed back to enjoy the ship.
Overall it was a very nice trip with no major flaws. Could they improve? Yes. Bar service was slow or lacking at times. Some of the servers in the Horizon court were not friendly. I had to ask room steward twice for an extra pillow and to get a robe. None of these things ruin a cruise for me though. We would sail on the Regal again in a heartbeat! Enjoy!