Written by on Wednesday August 12, 2015
Moya and I felt very excited and privileged to be asked to join Royal Princess on the Scottish leg of her tour of the British Isles. Upon our arrival at Greenock we were greeted by the sight of this magnificent ship. Boarding was a surprisingly easy experience and before we knew it we were in the spectacular Piazza. The Piazza scales three floors and provides sophisticated and refined surroundings. It felt very grand!
The Piazza is very much the hub of the ship where you can relax with a coffee listening to a string quartet or you can dance the night away with a jazz band. Up in the Crooners bar you can listen to some very charming and entertaining piano accompaniment or you can sip on a decadent champagne cocktail at Bellini’s bar with a bird’s eye view of the entertainment below.
On our first night on board one thousand balloons hung from the ceiling of the Piazza just waiting to be dropped onto the floor below. This was part of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations and the balloons held tickets for magnificent prizes and coupled with fantastic live music, this drew in the crowds. We liken the atmosphere to that of New Year’s Eve, everyone was dancing and singing across the many floors of the Piazza.
Our room was an interior cabin that was fairly spacious with plenty of hanging space for clothes, and was perfect for our needs as we intended to explore as much of the ship as possible. Although the weather was very typical of the Scottish climate we still managed to explore the outer decks of the ship. The ship has a running/walking track, pitch and put, full sized sports hall for basketball, volleyball, tennis etc, you can even play table tennis should you be inclined to do so. We braved the Scottish climate and enjoyed the outdoor heated hot tub which was very pleasant. This can be found on deck 17 where you can relax on a sun lounger (in warmer climates), enjoy a gentle swim or even watch a ‘Movie under the stars’. Deck 17 also includes the fabulous Sea Walk where you can look down towards the moving waters below, what a great experience!
Royal Princess really does have something for everyone. The children’s facilities are excellent, although there were very few children on this particular cruise due to the itinerary and time of the year.
If you prefer to have an adult only experience the sanctuary is the perfect place to be. You can hire a private cabana with your very own steward catering for your every whim or simply relax on one of the ultra-padded sun loungers exclusive to this area of the ship. This is perfect for complete relaxation away from the buzz of the rest of the ship. There is also a fabulous spa on board, but like the sanctuary there is an additional charge worth budgeting for. Should you like to keep fit or feel that you have over indulged (which we did), Royal Princess has a well-equipped Fitness Suite and additionally they run regular fitness classes. We took the opportunity to give Zumba a try, it was great fun and made us feel a wee bit better about that extra treat or two enjoyed in the International Cafe.
Three of the four nights on board we dined in the main dining room. The food was excellent and we would highly recommend the Fettuccine in a parmesan basket which has become a bit of a Princess favourite amongst passengers. The main dining room has a good range of choice for every palate.
We also had the opportunity to experience Sabatini’s speciality restaurant; truly a dining experience recommend to everyone. Our waitress had a great personality and extremely knowledgable so we took her lead on her recommendation of what to order and which wine to compliment the food. This experience costs $20 but we feel passionately that it is worth every penny, especially if you have a special occasion to celebrate or just fancy something a little different. Some of our colleagues visited the Crown Grill and had an equally enjoyable experience but if you prefer something a little less formal, the buffet dinning provides you with a taste of many different cultures.
The entertainment was greatly varied throughout the day as well as in the evening. We thoroughly enjoyed the shows in the main theatre and the acts in Vista Lounge. If you are a night owl, you can dance the night away in Club 6. Royal Princess even has its own TV studio, the Live Lounge which broadcasts its own TV shows which became a daily highlight of ours whilst in the cabin. We were very fortunate to be able to experience a behind the scenes tour of the ship, taking in the bridge, immaculate kitchens as well as a sneaky peak at the crew only areas. There is no shortage of entertainment on board so look out for the ‘daily patter’.
Finally but no less important the staff and crew on board are outstanding. Our cabin steward made a great effort to address us by name and was always very courteous. The bar staff were very knowledgeable and always had a joke and a laugh with us. They never failed to surprise us with their ability to remember what we liked to drink! Nothing was too much trouble for the restaurant staff and we even had some table entertainment from singing waiters. The pleasant attitude of the staff contributed to an overall excellent experience.
Elaine Graham, Customer Experience Manager
Moya Stewart, Customer Relations Manager