We were not sure what to expect as we've sailed only on Grand Class ships since our 1st Princess cruise in 2005 on the Grand (Galveston to Rome). We have earned Diamond on RCL, Elite on X and we're nearing Elite on PCL. We've also recently started cruising HAL. I offer this only to let you know we've been around the harbor a few times. Of all the ships we've sailed all lines the Princess Grand Class are our favorites. Not only because of the Promenade Deck and the aft terrace but also because we prefer aft cabins and the Grand Class almost perpendicular sterns are the best for aft cabins.
We spent two days in Berlin pre cruise. It was our first time time there and we had a lovely two days. The day of the cruise we took the train from Berlin to Hamburg where we changed for the train to Copenhagen. That train leaves Germany by driving onto a ferry for a 50 minute ride to Denmark. Pretty cool.
A taxi to the ship and we were quickly on the Regal for the first time. Our previous preference already stated we were pleasantly surprised by how we liked Regal. The Horizon Court layout was a very good design. Very easy to check out what was on offer without bothering others. The selection and the food were very good. We gave up dining room dinners a number of years ago so it's buffet eating morning noon and night for most meals. We also like that you can get espresso drinks not only at the IC but also in Horizon Court and outside Princes Live (which by the way is a very poor substitute for Explorers Lounge). The Medallion internet was very fast, the on demand movies were plentiful and the flat screen in from of the bed was nice. The Pub Lunch and the $10.00 p/p High Tea we great. We did not do any specialty dining as our last meal at the Crown Grill was a big disappointment and the Sabatini new menu was not appealing to us.
Time now for the "but"...But the too small balconies were a major disappointment. We knew about the size of course but were not prepared for how much we did not like it. So much so that as we look for future cruise we'll check Princess Grand Class cruises and then X and HAL before considering a Royal Class ship. This is because we spend a lot of time on our balcony, eating, reading & relaxing. It is our favorite spot on any ship and Royal Class comes up short. Another very big negative for us (and this PCL in general) is the truncated Enrichment Lectures and Port Talks. 25-30 minutes. The Port Talk guy was the worst. He raced through a script, no questions, little information and he was out of there. One enrichment lecturer (if memory serves) and that too was pared down. Princess used to have the best Port Lectures at sea! But of course they don't produce revenue so...
To get a seat that wasn't at the margins in the theater you had to be seated 45 minutes ahead of time. Because we ate in Horizon Court this was not a problem for us but many people were foraging for the rare available seat 15 minutes before showtime. The shows and guest entertainers were the usual mix of good to okay.
We did all our excursions on our own with most booked through Viator. One had to be canceled because we were late leaving Kristiansand, Norway and Viator refunded our money before the tour company notified us of the cancellation. In Aarhus we rented a car and drove to the lovely town of Ebeltoft. We got there early enough to pretty much have the town to our selves before the tour busses arrived. Not much to do in Kristiansand so we walked to a nearby park and then around town. A nice but not a knockout day. The canceled tour was in Glasgow so we took a train from Greenock to Glasgow and had lunch and a walk-a-round. In Dublin we did a tour of the city and Glendalough which was very nice. Because we were on Cobh until 10pm we were first off the ship and on a train to Cork for a 10 hour tour of the Ring of Kerry. Fantastic! In Halifax we did a walking tour that was very interesting and we had pricey but delicious lobster rolls for lunch. We took a cab from Brooklyn to Penn Station, and Amtrak had us home before the last passengers were off the ship.
All in all we did have a good cruise and no ship is perfect and all classes have their good and bad points, but for us when it comes to ship's balconies, size does matter.