Before I went on my first cruise I, like a lot of people, thought cruising was for old people. There. I said it.
There’s a stereotype of cruising that still exists, even in 2018 with the older generation shuffling around on deck, sitting on open topped bus tours and playing bingo whilst sailing the ocean and drinking Baileys.
Well, having now been on three different cruises on three very different ships – I have to say, that stereotype? It couldn’t be more wrong.
Cruising isn’t for old people.
Cruising is for anyone who wants to see the world in style, get a taste for different countries and cities around the globe without the hassle of moving hotels every night or crowded internal flights. Cruising is for people (of any age) who want to meet new people, or keep themselves to themselves, enjoy a party, envelope themselves in some me time, join in with fun activities, see a show or simply get away form it all for a week or more.
Cruising is one of the best, stress-free ways to see loads of different places in luxury. A spacious stateroom, a fully stocked bar, entertainment, friendly faces and best of all – someone else is driving!
Having sailed around the Med with the fun and laughter of Norwegian Cruise Lines, and also on a smaller but Ultra Luxury Cruise with Silversea, I felt like it was time for a change of itinerary and to experience a brand new ship.
Introducing The Regal Princess and Princess Cruises Baltic and Scandinavian Cruise.
Pack your layers, we’re going north!
All aboard The Regal Princess with space for 3,500 guests and a whole lot of class. With luxury beds, renowned stage productions, anytime and speciality dining, super fast wifi and more, the Regal Princess is the perfect way to see the world in style.
Let’s take a look around shall we…
I stayed in a balcony stateroom and I have to say I was really impressed. It was spacious, spotless and perfectly comfortable for my 9 days on board. I suffer quite badly with back problems so for me a ‘hotel’ bed is always a big test, but Princess Cruises have teamed up with leading sleep expert Dr Michael Breus to make sure the luxury beds aboard the Regal Princess ensure you have the best night’s sleep, and they certainly worked for me.
With a spacious bathroom, loads of wardrobe space, mini bar and a tv jam packed with the latest blockbusters it was simply ideal and I felt at home right away. My stateroom steward Carlos was on hand should I need anything at all and room service breakfast could be ordered every morning without charge to enjoy out on the balcony as we sailed into the docks – consider me one happy bunny!
Aside from how comfy the bed is, my next port of call is food and drink (I’m a simple being whilst on my hols!), and the Regal Princess does not disappoint! With a plethora of varied included dining options and some really great specialty dining restaurants you really do have the best of both worlds aboard this ship.
We had the pleasure of trying out Sabatini’s the Italian and The Crown Grill Steakhouse during our cruise and both were simply delicious – well worth booking in for. The Crown Grill was my favourite with one of the best steaks I’ve had in a while and a lovely atmosphere. I actually spent my 30th Birthday dinner in there and the staff were incredible making it extra special!
And as for included restaurants, well you’re spoilt for choice! Of course there’s the traditional buffet, but you also have afternoon tea, International Cafe for coffee, pastries and a light lunch, the main dining rooms for awesome a la carte menus that change each night, Alfredos for a kick ass calzone, ice cream parlours and more!
In all honesty you could dine in the main dining rooms each day and never get bored. The staff are amazing, the wine list delectable and each menu is designed by award winning chef Curtis Stone. The food was amazing on the Regal Princess I have to say and they are totally to blame for my 3lb weight gain!
Ok, but what about the drinks I hear you cry! Well the Regal Princess isn’t all inclusive but if you like a little tipple the drinks prices are very reasonable. With a glass of champagne coming in around $9 and cocktails for $8 you’re sure to enjoy yourself during your cruise. But if you fancied going all out, they also do an AI drinks package which you can pre-book or upgrade to while you’re there.
I like to think of myself as an alcohol connoisseur(!) and the bar selections aboard the Regal Princess were amazing. So much choice, top shelf spirits, quality wines and the bar staff knew their stuff too. Very good cocktails all round and so many bars to try – we didn’t even get to try them all…even though we gave it a blooming good go!
The Regal Princess certainly left us very well fed and watered during our journey and the waiting staff were all amazing. Top marks from me!
Goodness, where do we start. There is SO much going on aboard the Regal Princess from dance lessons, quizzes, live game shows, sports tournaments, art auctions, a vegas style casino and some awesome stage shows. There’s just not enough time to see and do it all!
One of my favourite things Princess do is Movies Under The Stars on the top deck – top films on their big screen that you can watch in the open air on the sun loungers under blankets with free ice cream and popcorn – SO CUTE! On our first night we bundled up warm and snuggled in to watch The Greatest Showman with some late night cocktails and lots of singing along!
The stage shows aboard are also very entertaining. Running twice in a night I was incredibly impressed with the talent and production value – what a great cast. Well worth a watch when you’re on board – make sure you come early so you can grab a seat!
SEE MORE: WATCH MY CRUISE VLOGS HERE!
If all that isn’t enough the Regal Princess has a beautiful spa. The Lotus Spa aboard has indoor thermal baths, saunas, steam rooms, water beds, thermal beds, sensory showers and more! We went for a hot stone massage on our second sea day and it was quite frankly heavenly.
With my bad back I’m a bit of a massage pro, it’s always my treatment of choice and I have to say this one was spectacular. With highly trained therapists (and some extra birthday treats throw in for lucky 30 year old me!) it was a wonderful experience.
The massage beds are mechanical so they can be moved to fit the curve of your spine and they’re incredible comfortable. The treatment rooms are very quiet (and huge! where do they find the space on a ship?!) and the body oils all top quality. Well worth booking in for on an at sea day, before a formal night or just if you fancy a chill out!
We were on a Baltic and Scandinavian Cruise around Estonia, Russia, Finland, Norway and Sweden which was incredible. But there shall be more about our destinations in another post – otherwise my bandwidth will expire just from this page!
The cruise had a great mix of overnight ports, sea days and full & half day stop offs – a really great little taster of the cities we visited still with a chance to relax.
Make sure you follow on Twitter @xameliax so you don’t miss my itinerary blog post coming very soon!
TIPS FOR FIRST TIME CRUISERS
Research the Ship Before You Go: There’s so much to explore on every Princess Ship. Take a look at the Princess Cruises website to see what’s on yours so you have some idea of what you want to do and see during your cruise – they go super fast when you’re having so much fun! (Still gutted I missed trying out the Margarita bar!)
Try to Eat and Drink in a Different Place Each Day: I know we can be creatures of habit, and when you find something you like it’s easy just to stick with it. But there’s so much to taste on board with Princess, try to eat in all the restaurants and enjoy a tipple in all the bars too…even if it is tempting to park yourself in vines with an ice cold glass of champagne or in Alfredo’s with a delicious calzone for 9 days straight!
Look Into Organised Tours: Sometimes you want to explore on your own, but other times it’s worth looking into booking an organised tour, and Princess have so many to choose from. From the Russian Ballet to boat tours, local guides and more, Princess have a tour to suit everyone’s abilities and needs and they can really help you get the most out of your time in each destination. Take a look at some of the Princess Cruises Excursions here.
Upgrade to a Balcony: You might be wondering if it’s worth upgrading to a stateroom that has a balcony, but let me tell you – yes, yes and yes. Sipping your morning coffee out there as the boat sails into a port at sunrise, or enjoying a cocktail as you sailaway at dusk, it’s an experience worth the extra money when you book. Opening up those curtains to a new place every morning is part of the real cruise experience and it’s also a fabulous place to hide if you fancy a bit of peace and quiet with a good book and fresh sea air too.
Find Out What’s On: Princess deliver the Princess Patter to your room every day with a schedule of what’s happening on the ship, but you can also take a look at their online portal to find the same. There’s so much going on at all times of the day and night so make sure you check those out and join in with some fun activities on board, don’t be shy!
How was my first experience cruising with Princess Cruises? In short, awesome. Everyone was SO friendly and there to make your stay as comfortable as possible, the food and drink were top notch, our staterooms were stunning and most of all we had a blast!
Oh, and for those who like to stay in touch while they’re on holiday you’ll be pleased to know that Princess Cruises offer some of the fastest and most reliable wifi on the open ocean. AND on the Regal Princess, you can Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and iMessage for free without having to buy wifi codes, how awesome is that?!
Cruises are great for everyone – whether you’re looking to take a romantic couples break, a solo trip or even a trip with friends, you’ll always fit in perfectly with Princess Cruises. We travelled as a group of 20-30 somethings and had a blast but I’d also love to do a cruise by myself or with a (future!) partner, they’re just so fun and you get into the swing of cruise life very quickly!
Cruising is what you make of it but Princess certainly know how to help you make the most of your journey. I’d 100% cruise with them again…who’s up for the Caribbean? Or the Arctic!
Baltic Cruise with Princess – The Highlights