Fodor’s Expert Review
Construction on the Regal Princess began in 2010, and it sailed its inaugural cruise on May 20, 2014. The Regal Princess is one of the bigger and newer ships in Princess’s line of cruise ships, sailing primarily to the Caribbean and around Europe, as well as trans-Atlantic voyages between the United States and Europe. The Regal Princess was one of the ships featured on The Real Love Boat and is the sister ship to the Royal Princess, which is nearly identical.Read More
The heart of the Regal Princess is the multi-deck piazza, located appropriately in the center of the ship. Complete with multiple grand staircases, it’s overlooked by the Ocean Terrace sushi restaurant, Crooner’s Bar, and the shops of Princess. The piazza is a hub for ship activities, including dancing lessons and live music, and is perfect for people-watching.
This ship has everything you need for a relaxed vacation without going over the top. You won’t find a rambunctious dance club or over-the-top activities. You’ll enjoy a spa with a laundry list of services for everybody, hot tubs under the stars, and game shows that will keep you laughing as you sip on the countless drinks that can be delivered right to your seat.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
What to expect on board
Staterooms & Cabins
Decorated simply in browns, taupes, and creams, the Regal Princess offers four different room types. Interior (without a window), balcony (both standard and deluxe options available), mini-suites, and suites. There are no oceanview cabins, but an impressive 1,438 cabins on the ship have a balcony. The Regal Princess has 50 adjoining staterooms, perfect for friends’ trips or family vacations. Up the ante on your cruising experience by splurging on a balcony room for a particularly relaxing vacation. For those that book a suite, you’ll receive access to a special concierge and lounge, where you can enjoy small bites, drinks, and assistance with dinner reservations, excursions, and anything else you might need.
The Regal Princess has 36 wheelchair-accessible staterooms: seven interior cabins, 22 balcony cabins, six mini-suites, and one full suite. Wheelchair-accessible cabins are spacious enough for full turning in a wheelchair. They have roll-in showers with a fold-down bench seat and grab bars, an accessible desk, and an easy-access closet. While most of the chairs on board have arms, the staff are happy to help swap them out for you. Princess Theatre and Princess Live! Both have pretty narrow seats with immobile arms, but if you choose a seat at the end of the row, you’ll have an armless chair. The spa and cabin offer complimentary robes, but they are one size fits all, which won’t fit you if you’re larger than a size 18.
Food & Drink
The Regal Princess offers countless dining options, both included in the fare and those that come at an additional cost. The buffet at Horizon is open from early to late and has a wide variety of options that changes throughout the day, depending on the meal. Standouts include the rotisserie chicken, crepes, and pork belly roulade. In addition to the three formal dining rooms that serve a rotating multi-course dinner daily, you’ll find sandwiches around the clock in the International Cafe. Pizza, hotdogs, and tacos are available poolside, and Alfredo’s offers Italian food just off the Piazza.
While known for its steaks, the Crown Grill steakhouse, $29 per person, serves an excellent lobster tail, and the black and blue soup is superb! Sabatini’s serves upscale Italian food, including handmade fresh pasta and seafood, for $25 per person. Be sure to try the Grana Padano cheese fondue and the wine-braised beef cheek pappardelle.
If you’re a sushi lover, you’re in luck because the onboard sushi restaurant, Ocean Terrace, offers a variety of rolls (for a fee). You may, however, find the sushi to be a little peculiar, with a slightly sweet sauce and rice that isn’t quite right. For a particularly unique dining experience, book a seat at the Chef’s Table Lumiere as soon as you get on board. The multi-course meal is unlike any other on board and a memorable experience.
Use the MedalianClass app to order a selection of included food and some specialties (for an upcharge) to your room or anywhere else you are relaxing on the ship.
The drinks and bars aboard the Regal Princess are plentiful. Regular coffee, tea, iced tea, and juice are included in the standard cruise fare, while specialty coffees, alcoholic beverages, mocktails, and other drinks are available for purchase aboard or if you purchase a drink package. Zero alcohol and soda packages are available in addition to the alcohol-inclusive Princess Plus and Princess Premier drink packages. In addition to the many bars on board, drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) can be ordered using the MedallionClass app or with any of the wait staff aboard the Regal Princess.
The daily newsletter you’ll receive the night before in your stateroom will inform you of the following day’s onboard entertainment. There is a wide variety of options, including trivia on subjects like the 70s and classic rock. Be sure to attend the staff-produced game shows (and get there early for a seat!) for an hour of belly-rolling laughter as contestants play a variety of games for the crowd’s amusement. You’ll find plenty of shopping opportunities on board, along with a Vegas-style casino. You’ll also find daily bingo, Deal or No Deal, and other entertainment by the casino for an extra fee. There’s a variety of other entertainment, including live music, friendly competitions, comedy shows, magicians, dance lessons, fruit carving demonstrations and much more.
Spa & Fitness
Relaxation is the name of the game on a cruise, and with the comprehensive offerings at the Lotus Spa, it’s easy to do. The spa offers all the typical treatments like massages, body scrubs, and facials, as well as medical spa offerings under the supervision of the on-staff doctor. Spa treatments booked in advance of the cruise garner hefty discounts, while services booked on board come at full price. The Enclave, located in the spa, is where you can enjoy a full thermal suite with a hydrotherapy pool and jets, a Caldarium, and a Hammam, at an additional fee. Additionally, you’ll find a full salon on board the Regal Princess, where you can get your hair cut and styled, manicures, pedicures, and other services.
There are several pools onboard for those that like to swim, although later in the day, laps are difficult due to the number of people enjoying them. The Lotus Spa fitness center allows you to work out on your own or hire a personal trainer, or take an exercise class, including pilates and TRX suspension training. Some fitness classes may require a small upcharge for passengers with a standard fare.
Key cruising tips
Health & Safety
There are no vaccination or testing requirements for cruising on the Regal Princess. Princess has rolled out “TrulyTouchless™” services, including touchless payment, safety training in your stateroom, and digital entertainment. Medical-grade disinfectant is used to clean public areas and staterooms, with sanitizer and hand washing stations throughout the ship.
During the day, resort wear is appropriate. Most evenings, the dress code on the Regal Princess is smart casual, dresses, slacks, blouses, blazers, and button-down shirts. On formal nights, the dress code is more elevated, with recommended formal attire including evening gowns, cocktail dresses, dark pant suits, tuxedos, etc., although it’s not strictly observed.
Princess might not be specifically designed for families with young children, but that doesn’t mean that programs and services aren’t available, just in a slightly more limited fashion. Children ages 3-7 will enjoy the Treehouse, with pajama movie nights, Animal Planet puppets, and a Lego boat-building contest. The Lodge is for kids ages 8-12, with talent shows, dancing, and competitions, while teens, ages 13-17, will enjoy the Beach House.
The service aboard the Regal Princess is simply fantastic. The wait staff are attentive, the room steward thorough, and the spa staff kind and welcoming. Room service via the MedallionClass app allows food, drink, and necessities like hangers to be delivered to your room or anywhere else on board with just a few clicks.
Princess Cruises charges a daily gratuity rate based on the cabin booked on a per-person basis. As of February 20, 2023, $16 for interior and balcony cabins, $17 for Mini-Suites, and $18 for Suites. Additional gratuity is not required, although many guests tip their room steward and other staff on top of the daily gratuity. Cash gratuity is recommended when on excursions, although there’s no specific amount required.