REVIEW: If the new 3,500-passenger Regal Princess ship were a delicious hot drink, it would be a sweet, frothy cappuccino. The elegant coffee and cream decor conveys class that’s soothing and tasteful. Spend a week on board this beauty and your body and soul will be reborn.
When you walk into the soaring atrium you’ll be wowed by its extreme glamour. Luxurious furniture is set on creamy marble floors and surrounded by gleaming brass elevators, sparkling glass staircases and sugary crystal chandeliers.
The glitzy space sets the tone for the rest of the ship – this lady has class and puts you under a spell that makes you think you’re royalty.
As it turns out, the Regal does have royal connections. It’s the sister ship to the Royal that was christened last year by the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.
The new Regal is just as lovely and has a feature that the Royal didn’t receive – an extra pool at the back of the ship. If the Royal is the epitome of Kate class, the Regal would likely be the younger sister Pippa who has a dash of cinnamon spunk.
Spunk can be seen in the SeaWalk, a signature feature of the ship. It’s a glass-bottom walkway on the top deck that extends 28 feet over the side of the ship like the handle of a coffee cup. This allows you to see the ocean 128 feet below your feet, if you have the courage to look down.
Also on the upper deck is the Sanctuary, an adults-only quiet haven with upscale padded loungers and curtained cabanas. Enjoy a picnic of gourmet goodies and a private massage or spa treatment.
The top deck also has the main pool which features a nightly show of dancing fountains and colourful lights choreographed to music. Afterward you can cuddle under a blanket with popcorn and watch movies under the stars on the giant TV screen.
Princess has taken musical theatre to a whole new level with the launch of the Las Vegas-style show “Feira.” It’s a love story set in an old-world fairground and combines elaborate stage sets with movie screen backgrounds. This unique combination of reality and fantasy makes you feel like you’re riding the rollercoaster and carousel with the characters. The dancers and singers are stellar and their flamboyant costumes contribute to this riveting musical extravaganza.
Whenever you’re in need of sustenance, prepare to feast on fabulous food. There are 12 restaurants including three dining rooms that also offer private areas for special menus such as the Chef’s Table Lumiere and Wine Maker’s Dinner.
Even the smaller restaurants are big on offerings. The Ocean Terrace has seafood such as caviar, sushi and oysters. The Horizon Bistro Pastry Shop is where you can watch pastry chefs demonstrate their skills in cake decorating and chocolate sculpting. Vines is a wine, sushi and tapas bar.
If you feel like splurging, for a cover charge of $25, try one of the specialty restaurants such as Sabatini’s for Italian cuisine. Here you can book the Tuscan Wine Tasting event and sample some of the 20 Tuscan wines available. Or dine at the Crown Grill. It’s rated as one of the best steakhouses at sea – the Angus Beef rib-eye steak is succulent.
For your favourite libations, have a Bellini in Bellini’s, a martini in Crooners, whiskey at the Wheelhouse or a tropical treat at the SeaView.
Also visit the Lotus Spa. The thermal suite has a hydrotherapy pool with a cascading rain shower and therapeutic jets. Relax on soothing waterbeds or enjoy steam and sauna rooms featuring different humidity and aromas.
With all there is to enjoy on board, it may not matter where the Regal sails. However it cruises the Mediterranean, Greek Isles and northern Europe in summer and the eastern Caribbean during winter. Call 888-PRINCESS.