The Regal Princess — the newest ship in the Princess line — is my favorite cruise ship ever.
Maybe it’s just me, but the decor on most of the cruise ships I can afford seems sort of tacky. There are way too many Greek goddess statues and garish paintings for my taste.
I cruised in December (during its inaugural season) and really enjoyed the gorgeous gold and white Christmas trees and decorations, and not seeing red and green for an entire week.
The Regal Princess offers the following amenities, in addition to good food, soda and liquor fixed-price packages, and continuous entertainment. Here are my top 20:
1) A large health club, with several free fitness classes. (In my 12 cruises on two other cruise lines, there’s always been a fee for classes.)
2) Free Zumba classes — twice a day! If you want to sleep through the 9 a.m. class, the late afternoon session is ideal. It’s held on the outdoor basketball court as the sun is going down and the air is cooling.
3) Free line dancing lessons — nearly every day or night. The instructor was knowledgeable and very patient, and the lessons were great fun.
4) A walk/run track around one of the upper decks. It has fitness equipment stationed around it, too, like a parcourse; a sign next to each piece explains how to use it. It’s a good way to break up 20 laps around the deck!
5) A skywalk. (I think this was a little overrated on the Princess website.) A fairly small walkway next to the pool curves out and extends past the edge of the railing. When you look down, you can see the ocean (or the life boats) directly below. It’s nice, but it’s not like looking over the edge of the Grand Canyon…
6) A much better food layout in the informal dining room (bistro) than on other Princess ships. The area is well laid out and easy to navigate. (The cafeteria-type lines on the two previous Princess cruises I took were poorly laid out, cramped and extremely slow-moving.) It’s as if the designers realized the error of their ways and corrected several issues — including this one — on this ship!
7) Cool face towels. When you return from a shore excursion sunburned and wilted, a Princess employee offers you a cool towel before you board the ship. This is a blessing during the summer, and a refreshing treat anytime.
8) Energy-saving features. A cruise card holder hangs on the wall next to the exterior door in the cabin, and when you pull it out, several seconds later the lights turn out. (I forgot something after pulling the card and got stuck in the pitch dark interior cabin several times, which taught me how it worked. It might’ve been a good idea to post a sign next to the cardholder with that information!)
9) A dancing fountain on the top deck — something like the one at the Las Vegas Bellagio hotel (on a smaller scale). For a short period nearly every evening, the fountain is turned on, colored lights shine on it, and the fountains “dance” to music. It’s a nice touch.
10) Nightly Movies Under the Stars. Every night, you can settle in a cushioned lounge chair on the top deck, snuggle under a light-weight blanket, snack on popcorn or milk and cookies, and watch a recent-release movie.
12) A pop chorus comprised of guests who like to sing. A Princess “choir director” holds a couple of low-key practice sessions during the week, and the volunteer chorus performs for the guests on the final night of the cruise. It’s easy and fun if you like to belt out old rock ‘n roll songs.
13) Emergency drills conducted from an indoor lounge. If you’ve ever cruised, you know there’s a dreaded mandatory lifeboat and muster station drill for all guests the first day. And if you’ve ever stood on the deck in 100 degree heat wearing a bulky orange life jacket for 30 minutes like I have (almost fainted once), you’ll appreciate the luxury of sitting on a couch in plush chairs in an air-conditioned room during the drill.
14) A mini-golf/putting green on the top deck. There’s also a netted room to drive golf balls, with clubs furnished.
15) A netted room with several ping pong tables. Other cruise ships have ping pong tables, but you have to chase the balls you miss all over the deck; the netted walls are really handy.
16) The adults-only pool area is luxe, and so is the nearby Sanctuary — where you can pay a fee and get a fancy chaise or cabana — and an even nicer pool — and all sorts of amenities, for a full or partial day.
18) A batting and pitching cage.
19) A bulls eye shooting simulator. (Really wanted to try it, but couldn’t find time because of all the other activities!)
20) Basketball court
Another interesting item for anyone concerned with cruise ship sanitation and disease prevention: the Regal Princess has two attractive sinks in a little alcove at the entrance to the informal dining area, in addition to providing hand sanitizer pumps. I liked knowing my hands were soap-and-water clean before eating meals there!
If you haven’t cruised on the Regal Princess yet, check it out. You’ll love it!
My other cruise posts:
- Traveling Solo: Why I Love Princess Cruise Lines
- Cruisin’ Solo and Lovin’ It
- 9 Things People Hate about Cruises
- Ode to Lost Luggage
- Mediterranean Cruise: An Adventure in Montenegro
- Mediterranean Cruise: A Day in Santorini, Greece, Climbing a Volcano and Exploring a Mountaintop Village
- Mediterranean Cruise: A Day at the Beach in Katakolon, Greece
- Mediterranean Cruise: Touring Athens
- Mediterranean Cruise: Fabulous Venice
- Mediterranean Cruise: The $847 Hotel Room
- Mediterranean Cruise: Weird Incidents
- Mediterranean Cruise: Souvenirs from Italy and Greece
**This is not a sponsored post; I just like Princess Cruise Lines!**