Number of Cruises: 3
Cruise Line: Princess
Ship: Regal Princess
Sailing Date: December 27, 2002
Itinerary: Auckland, New Zealand to Sydney, Australia
Cruise Line: Princess
Sailing Date: December 27th, 2002
We left from Auckland, New Zealand.
Boarding began at 12 noon, we arrived about 12:30pm and did not get thru the
process til 2pm. You go from one line to another, many a procedure. Once aboard
the boat, we wished to unpack but did not get our bags until almost 9pm. We had
to wear the clothes we boarded with to the dining room that evening. It was
frustrating wondering what was taking so long. Once we received our bags, our
steward, Gemma, was kind enough to store our luggage in a steward locker. If she
had not I don't know how we would have be able to walk around the room.
Food: I thought the food was good, my friend did not. This would be a matter of opinion. I thought they had the best salads at dinner, and I don't like salads. They have a wonderful little Italian place called Bravo that has pizza's and a better selection of dishes after 6pm. They have a Bistro, well kept secret, on the deck with the pool. That was a very good meal also. The 24 hr dining room is not that great. I thought it could have been better, since I am not into all the cakes and sugar. Just a note: when you board the ship buy the coke card, it gives you soda's from the fountain for $30 the entire cruise. The drinks are very expensive and this is the best deal I found. Also it kept me from a possible hangover.
Crew and Staff: The staff was fine. The entertainment director was a bit annoying, just too happy all the time, and saying the same things constantly, began to sound like a broken record. But the stewards, the dining staff and the actual entertainers were excellent. They had a guy named Mike who reminded me of "Chandler Bing" from friends, he even sounds like him.
Activities: Well let me tell you, they have trivia contests, bingo, shuffleboard, art auctions, napkin folding, to name the popular ones. This cruise line is for an adult crowd. Not catered to the middle age nor younger crowd.
Boarding: The lines for boarding the cruise are very long and slow. This has to be the worst ship for activities. We are onboard 6 days at sea and really not having a lot to do. Watched every movie offered every day, that past 2 hours. They take alot of pictures and hope that you buy them, ranging from 7.95 to 21.95. If you don't buy them quickly, you may never find them again, because they keep putting new pictures up. Have someone take a photo from behind with a digital and save several hundred dollars yourself. They stands are left up for awhile and you can just stand there and take your own photos. The biggest event on this cruise was the Kentucky Derby, one of the wood horses was actually stolen and held for ransom; it appeared on the race day.
Clothing: Some people really dressed up and others did not. They did not enforce their formal nights, which I find to be distasteful. If I have to wear it so do you. We even saw people in jeans in the dining room. The dress is quite lax. But you do see quite a few tuxedo's. Bring a sweater onboard because it is cold just about everywhere especially in the lounge areas and showplaces. We had the New Year's Eve cruise which added another formal night and that was fun. Champagne in the lobby and a big party. It just lasted about 30 minutes after New Year and then everyone went to bed. As I said the age group for this cruise was late 50's.
Rooms: They were actually bigger than most, 190 sq. ft. Still you do lack closet space and hangers are scarce. The tv is up on the wall in the corner. We had a big window which allowed us to watch the huge waves as we crossed the rough Tasman Sea. The boat is older, and the stabilizers are not the best. Many people did get sick on the boat. If you stay midship, you should be better of.
Overall, make friends with your dining companions and watch the shows in the evening entertainment. I would pass the first night, it was a bad comedian who did a review of Charlie Chaplin (I told you this was for an older crowd). But the singers and dancers are very good. They do have some good tours but I would do my own instead of theirs, they were expensive and time consuming. You are always waiting for someone to get back on the bus to go to the next place and have of the places are not worth the money. The kangaroo and koala's zoo's are worth it but still a cab ride their and back is cheaper than the tours, and at your own leisurely pace. You can always get cabs right off the dock and alot of the stops you can walk to the center of the town. Their is no night activity except the casino and how much money can you really want to loose....The disco is poor, not their fault, again the age group is not there.
Would I do this voyage again, NO. I will stick to 7 day trips were the age group is more to my liking. Happy Sails.....