We were on the Royal for 49 days from FLL to LA. The Royal is not my favorite Princess ship. There is absolutely no major problems with her. In fact we are booked on her for a November cruise. But given a choice I would opt for a smaller ship like the Ruby, Diamond, Star, or Coral. .
1. There is no Skywalker's. Skywakker's is not only a disco but also a quiet place to find solace during day to read or do whatever. Club 6 is no match for Skywalker's. We rarely saw anything going on in Club 6 at night mainly because it was so cold in there.
2. The balcony space for a regular balcony cabin is less. You have to sit sideways.
3. There is no Explorers Lounge. The bands plays in the Atrium. At peak times you can't find a seat there. Too crowded.
4. The is no promenade walkway on Deck 7. They have these platforms you can stand on with some deck chairs. The walking track in on Deck 17.
5 The Buffet is actually two buffets in tandem sharing a common space. It is huge area and takes a bit of time to figure out. I am not a picky eater but the food there was not of my liking. Never heard of some of the food served there. I usually managed to find one or two things I liked. But there were a couple times I just left without eating anything. Good news we never had a problem finding a empty table.
6 Live takes up the space that would normally go to the Explorers Lounge. I prefer the Explorers lounge. Live is mainly for game shows and the like.
7. This is the first ship we did not use the casino. We did the first night and that was it. We usually play the slots a few minutes every night. But not in that casino.
8 The Entertainment in the Princess Theater was excellent to good. Encore and Silk were excellent.
9. We found embarkation and disembarkation to be very good, We live about 20 miles from San Pedro. We were home within one hour after leaving the cabin.
10 On the other hand the Royal is my wife's favorite ship. She is prone to motion sickness. The is the first cruise out of 30 plus cruises where she never got motion sickness, even once. And that was traveling though some of the world's roughest waters. I think the ship is so big it doesn't react to the wind and water as much as smaller ships.
11 It seemed to me that the shower was larger but the bathroom was smaller. I don't know if hat was true or not, But it felt that way. For us that is a good trade.
12 No aft pool. Just one major pool midship Since we don't use the pools that did not affect us.
13 We do not use the spa but it looked really nice.
14 The Royal had on demand TV and movies. The internet was fast enough. I was able to watch a Netflix movie on my laptop.
15 For this cruise the port lecturer was excellent. They also had good enrichment lecturers.
16 We had a charge that did not belong to us. Passenger service was excellent. Problem resolved within minutes.
17 We always RSVP for the MDR for ATD, Did not have todo that on the Royal. We had to wait 10 minutes just once. But we ate before 6:00 or after 7:30. The food was OK for the most part. I found the meat to be very tough on the first leg, excellent on the second leg and tough again on the third leg. It was the same menu, chefs, and recipes for all three legs. So I am wondering the meat quality changed with different suppliers. I solved the problem by mainly eating fish. The most part we enjoyed the food in the MDR. Breakfasts in the MDR were pretty good. In fact we just ate there rather than the buffet which was also good for breakfast.
18 Both specialty restaurants were excellent.
19 The Skywalk was a dud. We did it once and that was it. After a while we never noticed it. From we we saw I don't think anyone else noticed it either. They did not do the fountain show every night. We never saw it even once after 49 days. .
20 They handled the extra 1000 or so passengers in good manner - never felt crowded.
21 The Royal has the same amount of elevators for 1000 more passengers. However for the most of the day it was not problem. It was a problem during peak times just before or after meals.
22 The cruise itself 49 days from Florida to LA around South America was one of our all time favorites. We met some really nice and interesting people - many from CC. I would do this cruise again in second!! (As soon as I pay off all the loans for this cruise.!)
All in all the Royal was a good ship and I enjoyed her a lot even though I prefer the smaller ships.