Tuesday, September 24, 2019

The Royal Princess in Alaska - Another Cruiser's Perspective

Before we head back onto yet another ship (the Golden Princess coming up tomorrow!) followed immediately by another three weeks on the Royal (in Mexico!), I'd like to share another cruise passenger's perspective on the Royal Princess-in-Alaska experience. If you remember, earlier this month I did an interview with first time cruisers Chelsea and her daughter Emily. Today I have yet another viewpoint.

Joyce, a Deb's Days blog reader, was cruising with her husband on the Royal last week. I got the opportunity to visit with Joyce and she was kind enough to share some of her thoughts on the cruise. She even did a bit of a comparison between Princess and other lines she's been on. Read on to find out what she thought...
  • “First, we are not real fond of cruising. We like that it can get us to places we have never been and provides bed and meals and entertainment. We kind of get tired of eating and sometimes want our comfort foods from home. 
  • The Royal did have a lot of choices and was better food than Carnival for the most part. Carnival does a better job of food around the pool area (but then we were in the Caribbean) and their omelet stations were great. It wasn't made that clear you could get one at the buffet on the Royal. We liked Norwegian's food and with their specialty dining we enjoyed the Teppanyaki restaurant.
  • The Royal was well organized (sometimes the Magic didn't seem to be) and the dining rooms well managed.
  • The Royal had great entertainment and stuff to do all day. Carnival is very lacking here but we did go on a warm-weather cruise so people left the ship a lot for the beaches. 
  • It may seem silly, but I rather missed the towel animals left on our bed as the other two lines did. It just seemed like a little special touch from your steward.
  • Cabin: Royal was nice and I enjoyed the large closet and comfy bed and large TV. Carnival and NCL both had bigger cabins with sitting areas. Carnival had more desktop/dresser - type space because it was across from the couch.
  • Our specific cabin M504 wasn't bad. For Alaska, the overhang (the Seawalk) didn't bother us. I also was not bothered about being below the Horizon Bistro. We couldn't hear any sounds of chairs on the floors like some people had reviewed they had. They might have been on a different ship, though. We liked being one floor below where we ate most of the time and closer to the upper decks for viewing during the cruise when we weren't enjoying watching glaciers from our balcony!
  • For the most part, we liked the Medallion. Most of the time it didn't work coming up to our cabin. We would have to take it out and touch the screen. Not a big deal. Embarkation was easy and having workers know who we were was nice. It made it a friendlier atmosphere. The APP needs some work! We kept getting logged out even while on the ship. We did like the big screens to look at the happenings around the ship when our phone app wasn't working.
  • Overall we thought the Royal was a beautiful ship with great workers, but I might not recommend her for Alaska mostly because of her size and cruise restrictions. Her size did not seem to be a problem for eating and entertainment (maybe because of the early hour we ate breakfast and the number of repeat cruisers onboard). It also didn't feel like there were more than 3700 cruisers on the ship, for the most part. We didn't even explore every area of the ship! We did miss being able to go around the front of the ship like on Carnival. But it would be colder on an Alaska cruise anyway. Being on the top with the barriers helped with the cold during cruising and trying to find those elusive whales!
  • We liked the Rangers coming onboard. We liked the itinerary. We would have liked more time in Ketchikan.”
Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Joyce!