Regal Princess Postcard #5 – Southampton & Disembarking


This morning just before daybreak we glided into Southampton. Unusually and something new for us, we arrived at at different terminal from the one we left from and this morning we are at the Ocean Cruise Terminal. Not sure of the circumstances but it did provide a great photo opportunity of QM2 who docked at the City Terminal.


As is our final morning routine, we took breakfast in the Concerto Dining Room which apart from being just that bit early for us was still very enjoyable with excellent service once again. I think our first evening experience should be forgotten and put down to a couple of inexperienced waiters. Our meeting point for disembarking was at 9:00 in the Symphony Dining Room and the transit from ship to shore went smoothly.


Despite the inconsistencies with some of the service we received along with the intermittent Medallion App we have enjoyed our time onboard Regal Princess. The last 2 days resurrected any future chance of us cruising with them again at some point.

A big bonus is they now have a vegan menu in the MDR which will certainly be taken into consideration in the future. Who knows, Princess might even take the lead and include a dish or two in one of the speciality restaurants. Now that would be good if anyone from Princess Cruises ever reads this.

So until the next time…….

Regal Princess Postcard #4 – Sea Day 2

We have reached our final day on board Regal Princess and we have received our disembarkation luggage tags so will be off the ship by 9:00 tomorrow morning.


It’s been a strange day in as much we have done very little except for walking 21 laps (3 miles) of the exercise track just before some heavy showers arrived. The rest of the afternoon we have just sat and chatted and made the most of our drinks package. We sat within close proximity of the Prego Pizzeria so we were constantly being tempted by a slice or two to compliment our imbibing.



On this cruise, there has been much talk about the Medallion App and its lack of functionality on this ship. It has worked well on occasions then gone missing for long periods. The crew don’t seem to be using it either, often going back to pen and paper to take orders. If it worked properly on this cruise then it would be amazing. Sadly it hasn’t and it’s only highlighted how poor technology can be when it fails to deliver.


Early evening I met up with a Twitter friend Simon Evans who then came with me to say hello to some fellow bloggers Paul and Carole, be sure to check out their website and YouTube channel for some useful and entertaining cruise reviews. (


Unfortunately, the time spent with these guys was far too short and I had to make my excuses to leave and get ready for the evening. I thoroughly enjoyed the brief time spent with them and only wish that I had more time at my disposal. Maybe our paths will cross again soon sometime in the future.


Tonight’s evening meal was in the Concerto Dining Room and was a vast improvement from our last visit. Service was excellent along with the food and I can only highlight there has been a lack of consistency in this department.


With cases needing to be out before 10:00 which we did prior to going to dinner. The Vista Lounge was our destination for our last evening onboard and a final opportunity to enjoy the house band Meridian.

Regal Princess Postcard #3 – Sea Day 1

Today was the first of two sea days before we return to Southampton. After yesterday’s breakfast in the Horizon Court, we decided to use the MDR this morning. Although it was less crowded, we still didn’t receive the experience we were expecting. The crew just didn’t seem to know exactly what they should be doing at times which left us baffled, it was almost like some had never done the job before. 


After breakfast, I went back to the cabin for a post-breakfast nap as I didn’t feel like I had slept enough despite the really comfortable beds. It also gave me the chance to write some of the blog for publishing later in the day.  For lunch, we decided to try something different and went for a pizza at Alfredo’s. As it was a sea day, by the time we had gotten around to booking they only had tables from 3:30 onwards. We ended up booking then went up to the pool deck for a few drinks to pass the time.  I have to say, Alfredo’s is quite possibly the best meal we have had so far and staffed by the crew who were on par with what we have come to expect onboard a ship. Even Nicole was able to eat pizza with the vegetarian one modified so that it was vegan.


We had our evening meal booked for 7:00 but when we tried to rearrange it for something later were told not possible and to just turn up. So we will try this and if we can’t get in, it’s up to Horizon Court for their curry evening.  I took time out to go and explore the ship some more and because of the strong winds, the open decks were deserted. I love it when the weather is like this, and it makes an amazing backdrop for some of the photographs. It has also given me something photo-wise to post today.





I don’t want to grumble too much but we are not finding the Princess product on this cruise a good fit. There are positives but there are more negatives than we would like. Even our inexperienced cruise companions are noticing certain things which to me speaks volumes. I know from previous experience that a ship can feel totally different from one cruise to another having done back to back cruises in the past, so perhaps we have just hooked a poor one for us. There are certainly a lot more older passengers on here than we are used to so maybe that is contributing? Nicole summed it up this morning, saying the ship feels soulless and I have to agree with her.  We are enjoying the company of our friends but seeing their disappointment when certain aspects are not as good as they ought to be is making us feel rather guilty.  Anyway, we have another full day tomorrow and hopefully, things will improve. 



Regal Princess Postcard #2 – Rotterdam, Netherlands

We thought we would have a welcome extra hour in our very comfortable bed due to the clocks going back early this morning but what we neglected to consider was we would be visiting Rotterdam so we would be adjusting to their time zone too (GMT+1). What we essentially had could be called a time change-time change!!



We took breakfast this morning in Horizon Court which was super busy, had we not been caught out by the time change, we had planned to go to the dining room. We will be better prepared tomorrow.

We seized the rest of the morning before our arrival at Rotterdam to explore the ship a little so we now have a better idea of the ship layout.

Our stop at Rotterdam today was the first time we have visited a foreign port since November 2019 and it was a great feeling to step onto foreign soil again.

The sail in is fascinating with all the industries dotted along the channel making it a very interesting spectacle. With clearance given and with showers forecast, we set off to take a look at the Cube Houses and then visit Markthal indoor food market.

We stopped for a few drinks before making our way back to the ship in the rain. We have had a great day in Rotterdam and it’s been fantastic to finally see somewhere other than the UK.

Tonight was the first time we have been on board a ship over Halloween and we weren’t quite sure how much Princess would embrace the occasion. The display below of pumpkins showed some very special and clever talent from some of the crew.


Regal Princess Postcard #1 – Southampton and Embarkation

We awoke to torrential rain this morning but by the time we left home to drive to Southampton most of the storm had passed over. We had a nice drive down electing to go cross country and not risk any holdups on the motorway. We arrived at the port at 12:45 and joined a queue for the Carnival testing center, actually entering just before 1:00,  we then joined a very long queue along with passengers from Iona who were also embarking today. We were never asked to show our embarkation slot group and I very much suspect people ignored the instruction to only turn up for their window. In the end, we queued for about 2½ hours.

After testing, we made our way to the terminal, dropped the car off and continued the check-in process. A slight delay while we waited for the test results to come through and when they did embarkation through the green channel was pretty swift. Instant access to the cabin with cases arriving soon afterwards

Looking out from our balcony, we noticed that the testing center was now completely deserted so I rest my case about everyone turning up at the same time. 

After meeting up with our travel companions, we all struggled to get to grips with the Medallion App because the WiFi was down and so resorted to the old fashioned way to order drinks.

The delay in getting onboard really made an impact on how the afternoon panned out and if I am honest, it’s not been the greatest of starts for us. When so much is geared around the technology which then doesn’t work properly, it is rather disappointing. However, we muddled on but have not done things in a way that we would normally do on our first day. 

After sailaway, the internet and app suddenly started working again and we made the decision to eat in the Horizon Court buffet instead of the MDR for the first night. It just seemed the most simple option given the circumstances plus we were all very hungry. It was here that the Medallion App started to come into its own, drinks ordered arrived within just a few minutes and our disappointment with it was soon forgotten.  We stayed in the buffet all evening just chatting with our group, catching up with their worlds and occasionally grabbing something to have a nibble on while putting the drinks package through its paces. One thing we were all complaining about was having low battery levels on our phones, so we are going to have to monitor our usage, I do have a portable battery charger but it’s another device I could do without having to carry around.  Tomorrow, we will hopefully get a chance to explore the ship which is something that we normally do on the first day. So far we have seen very little and I am keen to see what it is like, however, we also have Rotterdam to deal with too. 

Regal Princess 4 Night Sampler Cruise Preamble

Back in 2018, we introduced 3 of our friends to the world of cruising, it was a great success and they have always said they would like to do another one and this cruise is the result. I spotted this cruise one weekend and it seemed to fit the bill for another get-together and when I sent out a WhatsApp message, the response was favourable so not long after we all booked.

I last sailed Princess back in 2009 and we came away thinking if maybe the right itinerary came along with a matching price then we would certainly consider them again, but 12 years later on, it never seemed to happen and during that time, Princess has been busy rebuilding their fleet and improving their image. We were impressed with some of the more recent reviews which have been very favourable, so what better than to try a taster to see how they fit after all this time.

Regal Princess is what the cruise line has categorised as a Medallion Class ship and this is because they have developed a whole new system to replace the old cruise card set up and with modern technology, you now have a medallion that is linked to a phone app, and just about everything can be done via the app/medallion. It opens your cabin door, you can use it to make purchases, order drinks, book dining, entertainment and lots more. You can even track your friend’s whereabouts on the ship if they allow that particular function.

Cabin selection was simple, with only 4 nights we decided to get somewhere midship which provided easy access to the main areas. We all have a balcony cabin but suspect the actual balcony won’t get too much use at this time of year.

The itinerary at the time of booking and later confirmed was as listed below, however, this was not the original route as there was a stop in Guernsey which was removed due to the island deciding not to accept any cruise ship visits in 2021 because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The result of which was Princess simply deciding to replace it with just a sea day and not another port.

Date Location Arrival Departure
Saturday, October 30, 2021 Southampton, England 5:00 PM
Sunday, October 31, 2021 Rotterdam, The Netherlands 12:00 PM 10:00 PM
Monday, November 1, 2021 At Sea
Tuesday, November 2, 2021 At Sea
Wednesday, November 3, 2021 Southampton, England 7:00 AM

One of the things that also attracted us to this cruise was for an extra £30 per day you could purchase Princess Plus which will cover you for the following extras.

  • Wi-fi package
  • Premier drinks with a service charge (to a max 15 per day)
  • Premier soda package (minors only)
  • Crew incentive included

At that price, you really cannot go wrong, and it remains to be seen how long it will remain at that price as it does seem to be unbelievable value.

Travelling these days does not come without the complications of Covid-19 testing and on this cruise, a negative Lateral Flow Test was required to board and because it visited a European Port (Rotterdam), another test within 2 days of returning along with a completed Passenger Locator Form for each person. On the 24th of October, the 2-day test was downgraded from a PCR to a Lateral Flow Test in an attempt by the UK government to help cut the cost of returning to the UK. I expected to be able to use the free service but unfortunately, you still need to go down official channels and a list of authorised test providers went live on 22 October with prices starting at £18 and going up to £39. The passenger locator form cannot be completed until you have an official booking reference from one of the companies on the list, and for this cruise, we ended up selecting Boots who had a fee of £21.00.

So if you are reading this, we have had a negative test result prior to boarding and we are all systems go.