The Trip Of A Lifetime Onboard The Regal Princess

I’m not someone who ever thought about cruising, it hadn’t entered my head as a holiday option for me and my family, until now. Where do I start with telling you about Princess Cruises and more specifically the Regal Princess?

We boarded the Regal Princess in Southampton, for a 12-night British Isles Cruise, which also incorporated France.

At first, we were a little nervous about potentially being seasick, and nervous about being onboard for such a long time. We soon realised we shouldn’t have been worried at all. The seas were calm, there was a balcony in our stateroom (bedroom), and we could simply relax and enjoy the cruise.

If you’ve never cruised before, it’s very similar to boarding a plane whereby you need to go through passport control and have your luggage checked. It’s a seamless procedure that is very well organised, and far easier than at an airport.

My family and I didn’t know what to expect as first-time cruisers. Was the ship going to be full of elderly couples, was there going to be anything exciting to do, would we get bored of the same food?

We noticed some younger couples, a few families, and yes! a few oldies, but oh my word it was such a great experience. There were comedy shows, magic shows, dances, quizzes, swimming, movies under the stars, musicals, auctions, and spa treatments. Moreover, there were kid’s clubs, piano bars, sun decks, sports facilities, a casino and endless events.

Honestly, what were we thinking? Bored, that’s one thing we needn’t have thought about! From the moment we awoke to the moment we jumped into our stateroom bed, there was something for us all to do on the Regal Princess.

The Trip Of A Lifetime Onboard The Regal Princess

Our Stateroom had a steward (all rooms do), someone who looked after the room while we were out, would do the cleaning, make the beds each day, drop off letters and the ship’s daily itineraries. Romeo, was our steward, and he kept our room immaculately clean. He would greet us with a smile every day and ask if we needed anything else in our room; always eager to help.

Breakfast was served in a choice of restaurants from the World Fresh Marketplace in Horizon Court, to Symphony, Allegro, or Concerto dining rooms. Horizon Court was huge, and the buffet options were endless. Spread out beautifully, everything from cereals and toast to cooked breakfasts, eggs your-way, fluffy pancakes and fresh fruit were available. You could find fish, salads, smoothies, and everything else you may want for breakfast. The World Fresh Marketplace even has its own pastry shop for sweet treats!

If we fancied breakfast in our stateroom, it was easy to order either through the MedallionClass® App, or via our in-room order form.

Speaking of the MedallionClass® App, this was the best way to navigate around the cruise ship. It’s an all-in-one App to book events, order food and drink, check the ship’s daily itinerary, and so much more. You can even see where your shipmates (friends and family) are currently located onboard the Regal Princess and follow a route to find them!

Something for Everyone Onboard

The Regal Princess first set sail in May 2014, and for a 10-year-old vessel she is in excellent condition. The ship holds 3,560 guests in 1,780 guest cabins plus 1,346 crew, and weighs just over 142 tonnes. She’s a beauty!

As previously mentioned, we were given a daily itinerary of everything that was going on that day. It included things like yoga mornings, pilates classes, LGBTQ+ club activities, food demonstrations, wine tastings, boardgame sessions, complimentary spa treatments, and indoor or outdoor movie timings.

We went swimming and lounged in one of the hot tubs, watched a blockbuster movie on the big screen, and enjoyed cocktails and ice cream on the lido deck. The weather was on our side in late April and early May as we travelled the British Isles. Sunshine shone and it was relatively warm during the daytime onboard. The evenings were another matter entirely as we needed our jumpers and jackets on the lido deck, and we may have even had a hot chocolate and pizza slice to keep us warm on the odd occasion!

Back inside and things were hotting up, because each night there was a show to see, a dance to take part in, a bar to sit and relax at, or casino to visit. As our daughter is under 21 (she’s 12), we couldn’t take her into the casino, but I did manage a little visit myself, and won $67 on the roulette wheel.

The Trip Of A Lifetime Onboard The Regal Princess

At the heart of everything onboard the Regal Princess is the Entertainment. So, if you’re into fun, laughter, music, and learning something new then this is definitely the ship for you. We went to see some big production shows, and some smaller shows. We watched well-known singers, up-and-coming singers, and even a Broadway show performer. It was also great fun to take part in some evening quiz shows, watch guests being hypnotised, and dance at the piazza.

Each day brought something new and different, from the entertainment to where to dine. We had plenty of dining options, including Alfredo’s Pizzeria for pizza and pasta, and Ocean Terrace for sushi and Japanese dishes. Crown Grill was the steakhouse, with prime rib and lobster on the menu, or Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria for a 5-course extravaganza. The Crab Shack was a pop-up seafood restaurant that made an appearance just once during our cruise. Royal Afternoon Tea was served in one of the main dining rooms, and Trident Grill was on Deck 16 next to the pools, for burgers and hot dogs.

We spent our last evening on the Regal Princess doing a few sports activities. This was great fun as we went on the golf driving range, played shuffleboard, and used the miniature golf putting course. There’s also a sports court, ping pong table, running track and 1-mile walking track onboard. Other guests were playing pickleball, which took up the centre court and looked like loads of fun.

More from The Regal Princess

We stopped at 8 different ports on the British Isles Cruise. Ports included Weymouth, (Cobh) Cork, Dublin, Greenock (Glasgow), Lerwick (Shetland Isles), Invergordon (Loch Ness), South Queensferry (Edinburgh), and Le Harve (France). We docked at around 7am each morning, and woke up to new views and surroundings, this was my favourite part of the cruise.

I enjoyed having a cuppa (hot chocolate for me) on the balcony before anyone else was awake, while watching the ship dock. Then we’d head for breakfast at around 9am, and disembark for a day of sightseeing and adventure on land. Each port had a local tourist information stand for all the cruise guests to pick up local maps, enquire about buses and trains, and buy some souvenirs.

Princess Cruises also offer shore excursions, where you pre-book a tour and they take you to your chosen destination, attraction or historic site. We opted to plan our own time in each port.

The Trip Of A Lifetime Onboard The Regal Princess

Whether we were getting on or off the ship we had to show our Medallion in order to prove that we were guests on the Regal Princess. We could have stayed onboard whilst the ship was in port as many of the guests did, but we wanted to explore new places.

All-inclusive packages start from £699 with Princess Cruises. This includes all food and some drinks, entertainment, your stateroom, a medallion, and so much more. Speciality restaurants have a surcharge, certain drinks are to be paid for, and shore excursions along with spa treatments are an added extra cost.

Whilst cruising with Princess Cruises there is also the option to upgrade your package to either Princess Plus or Princess Premier. These have a huge range of added benefits from extra drinks packages to speciality dining, multi-device WiFi use, crew appreciation, and even unlimited premium desserts. They also include things like OceanNow Delivery (food delivered to you wherever you are on the ship), or Princess Prizes and Photo Packages. Whatever you want from your cruise you’ll find it within one of these packages.

We are already planning our next cruise, but where shall we go?

For more information about the Regal Princess, you can visit the Princess Cruises website, or catch them on Instagram @princesscruises

The Trip Of A Lifetime Onboard The Regal Princess – Words by Rachel McAlley

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