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130609-008-1024x682©I posted a number of Andrew Sassoli-Walker’s pictures yesterday to show many of the fine features of Royal Princess, and I think those images of the atrium, the theatre and other aspects of the ship all look good. Now for a couple of things that don’t look so good.

First, there’s the absence of a promenade deck. Princess have made no secret of this: their website says

The Royal Princess Promenade deck will have limited access to passengers. In order to transit fore/aft from the forward passenger area, passengers will have to go inside the ship.

130609-009-1024x682©and if you have a look at the deck plan you’ll be able to see what they mean. There are two open areas along the promenade deck (one amidships, the other aft) that are clearly meant for passenger use, but the rest of the deck is simply for easy access to the boats. These are down at deck-level, they are not lifted above the deck and nested in the way that they are on the Grand Princess class ships or on Oriana/Aurora/Oceana. The picture at the top is looking straight down from the Sea View bar onto the mid-ships passenger area on the Prom deck. But have a look also at another of Andrew’s picture alongside – this shows that passenger area in relation to the boats and shows how that passenger area is squeezed off by the boats. (There’s be more boats the other end of the passenger area as well.) So definitely no walking around the Prom on this ship, or indeed on the P&O version when it arrives in 2015.

130609-001-1024x682©The other area of concern to me is the balcony size. Again, there’s one of Andrew’s pictures alongside. This is mainly of the cabin, but you can just see the balcony through it. Note how the chairs have been placed facing each other, not look out. Andrew tells me that it is possible to re-arrange the chairs to some extent, but I don’t think you could stretch out in them. I’ve done some digging on the dimensions of the balconies on this ship, and others in comparison, and here’s what I’ve found:-

  • Grand Princess class standard balcony: 45 sq ft or so – about 9ft by 5 ft;
  • Grand Princess class C-deck balcony: 81 sq ft or so – 9ft by 9ft;
  • Royal Princess balcony: 36 sq ft – 9ft by 4 ft;
  • Celebrity Solstice balcony – about 54 sq ft.

That’s definitely a small balcony, and gives no room for manoeuvre to catch (or avoid) the sun at all. I’m pretty sure I don’t like it.

(I ought to say that the responsibility for these observations, comments & conclusions is mine – Andrew did not supply these pictures in order to make a point, they simply occurred to me when I saw them.)

Finally, as a comparison, here’s our favourite, the C deck balcony on Ventura.


2 Responses to “Royal Princess – a couple of negatives”

  1. tom h says:

    What I don’t like is that the Skywalk looks down directly into people’s private balconies, What’s that all about Princess?

  2. Andrew O'Ball says:

    Tom thanks for your great comments and observations about the new Royal Princess. We have cruised well over 10 times with Princess and quite frankly were getting tired of the each boat beginning to look very much the same. That being said we were excited about the new Royal Princess launch and a new look and feel. But I have been hearing some negative press lately. My initial observation is why is the aft pool gone. It was a favorite of ours on all the Princess ships. We would have breakfast there, then lay out and read then grab lunch, and then later in the evening after dinner and the shows come out to just watch the ocean. It was a quiet adult only pool and the configuration excellent and with easy access to the bar and Horizon Court buffet it was wonderful. We always made sure we had an aft balcony stateroom not far from this pool. Albeit they have created another adult only pool topside I don’t think it will have the same appeal as the aft pool on the older Princess ships. It was a great spot for sail aways as well. It was a prominent design feature that set Princess ships apart from all the others. What are your thoughts on the removal of this feature as I’d be interested to hear. Regards, Andrew and Brad Kitchener – Waterloo Canada.

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