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Old 01-17-2009, 01:32 PM
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Here are a few of the pictures we took. The Royal is a great little ship. Embarkation was a breeze since there were so few passengers. We arrived around noon and were on board in less than 20 minutes enjoying some lunch. She didn't handle the rough seas very well, but I thought it was fun. Had we not been upgraded to deck 8, we couldn't have gone out on our balcony for the first 3 days, the waves and spray were that high. Nothing Princess could have done about the weather, we had rain for 10 of the 14 days, but at least it was warm. We couldn't get into St. Bart's because it was too rough to tender, plus we had lost so much time from rough seas getting down there. By the time they would have been able to tender everyone on shore, it would have been time to leave.

The selection of food was really good, we had escargot and lobster a couple of nights. I'm not a big fan of lobster on a ship, so I enjoyed different offerings. They had ice cream and cookies every afternoon from 3:30-4:30. I still believe Princess has the best pizza. The ports were fantastic and it was a lot easier to get on and off the ship. I heard various counts from 740 something to 1004 passengers, so I'm not sure how many were actually on board.

We were a little disappointed that they didn't offer glass of champagne on New Year's Eve, but they did have a champagne fountain on the next to the last night for 15 minutes. I couldn't stay up long enough.

As you might expect, they didn't offer as many ammenities on board as the larger ships, but they had all of the basics. Library, pool, gym, spa, salon, a semi sanctuary area, two shops, casino, and they switched from Sabatini's to the Sterling Steak House on different evenings. The ship was immaculate, service was fantastic, and you were able to get to know more of the crew.

I'd not hesitate to sail her again, but I don't think I'd try a world cruise on her. Maybe I would, but I'd definitely have to hit the lottery to be able to play in the casino They only had 3 video poker machines and there was only 1 passenger on board that had any luck. He went home with the rest of our money

This was the first time we've had really bad weather for a Christmas cruise, but it sure beat the stuff we came home to. Right now I'd be ecstatic if I were on board with it raining and the wind blowing. It would be in the 80s, we're in the 20s with the wind blowing and possible snow.

I'm watching for a really good price to get on board another ship-soon!
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Old 01-17-2009, 03:16 PM
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Looks like you had a good time, although Ron doesn't look happy in his coat and tie.

The ship looks very pleasant in your photos. I wouldn't know how to act with so few passengers, but I would like the more personalized service.

The original casino was removed when the ship was the Minerva (after Renaissance went out of business). Princess put the casino back but I am not sure if it is in the same place as originally installed.
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