The cruise operator recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and launched the Regal Princess with a star-studded ceremony that harkened back to the old TV show, “The Love Boat.” After embarking the ship in the Bahamas, we were on board to enjoy all of the festivities.
Some history: In 1977, Princess Cruises was the inspiration for “The Love Boat,” one our favorite Saturday night television shows. The series aired for 10 seasons and brought cruising into the mainstream. Watching “The Love Boat” as kids was one of the experiences that inspired both of us to become interested in travel. Today the show is still in worldwide syndication, is aired in more than 29 different languages, and is viewed by millions of fans in more than 93 countries. We two Baby Boomers were thrilled to take a “ship” down memory lane and hobnob with original cast members, most of whom reunited (with a host of guest stars) for the Regal Princess naming ceremony.
Of course the real star of the day was the Regal Princess herself. With so much activity on board, we knew immediately that the ship that would be a great destination. And it was.
With 19 decks and nearly three football fields of length, the Regal Princess is a grand dame. The ship is a thoroughly modern vessel, boasting world-class entertainment, gourmet cuisine with flexible dining times, a “Movies Under the Stars” poolside theater, The Sanctuary (an adults-only oasis), and a chef’s table dining experience (where you can sit close to the chefs and watch them as they cook).
The ship also gives you a way to walk on water: The Princess SeaWalk® is a 60 foot long glass-bottomed walkway that juts out from the side of the ship and sits 128 feet above the ocean, giving you the experience of life as a super-human. When you’re out on the SeaWalk, you experience breathtaking ocean views as you stroll above the sea.
The food on board the Regal Princess can be described as exceptional. In addition to the three main dining rooms, there are a plethora of niche options to please every palate. Additionally there is a huge selection of less formal offerings, including coffee and pastry shops, a hamburger grill, an ice cream bar, and a gelateria! Needless to say, we were never hungry.
If you love chocolate (who doesn’t?), you will love Chocolate Journeys, a premium chocolate experience that offers passengers opportunities to taste inspired creations crafted by Norman Love, one of the world’s foremost experts in chocolate. The chocolate tiramisu with mascarpone cream and espresso gelato is not to be missed. If that doesn’t fix your chocolate addiction, try the premium chocolate and wine pairing, or indulge in an antioxidant chocolate body treatment in the Lotus Spa.
Speaking of the spa, the Lotus has 18 treatment rooms in which guests can receive a multitude of spa experiences from aroma stone therapy to youth-enhancing facials. With a sophisticated, contemporary decor, it rivals just about any spa we have visited on land.
Viewfinder Tip: Take advantage of the Lotus Spa and the Enclave when in port because they are less crowded.
Adjacent to the Lotus Spa is paradise. Literally! Otherwise known as the Enclave, this private, co-ed retreat is a space where you can really relax, unwind, and rejuvenate your mind and body at your own pace. If you are in need of a pick-me-up or just want to escape, spending an hour or two here is a must.
In the center of the Enclave is a hydrotherapy pool with therapeutic air jets and a cascading rain shower. The Enclave also has heated stone beds and soothing waterbeds. There are steam rooms and saunas including a Hammam, a Turkish-style steam bath; the Caldarium, a warm ceramic chamber that pumps out steam infused with herbal aromas; and the Laconium, a warm dry chamber that warms the body gradually to help with purification and detoxification. If all of this isn’t enough to untangle you from the stresses of modern life, the Enclave also has four different sensory showers with mood lighting and your choice of aromas; tropical rain, cold mist, rain shower, or Siberian shower.
No matter how relaxed we get, we still like to be connected. Technology and staying connected with the outside world (and our readers!) is important to us, and Princess has made this seamless aboard the newest ship. When you’re on the ship, you can connect with fellow cruisers using Princess@Sea Messenger, a free mobile messenger feature that makes it easy to share updates and make plans from your Smartphone or tablet browser.
We love cruising because it’s a great way to see several places on the same trip, try new cuisine, relax, treat yourself to a spa day, or do nothing at all. The Princess Regal is a great ship with something exciting and new and for everyone. Come aboard, they’re expecting you!
What are your favorite amenities on a cruise ship?