ABOARD ROYAL PRINCESS – Today is a sea day. The skies have turned sunny and the seas bright blue. The only constant is the wind, which continues to rock us along even as the captain has plotted a course to shelter us as much as possible.
This morning we opted to choose room service for breakfast. It’s great to dine on your balcony. Our only suggestion would be expand the menu. Apart from the usual continental fare, the main event is an egg muffin sandwich. Still, 24/7 room service is nice.
On sea days, you expect the pools to be busy, and this day was no different. There is a regular pool, a kid pool and a splashy “Bellagio-style” fountain on Lido Deck 16. But we especially appreciate the adult-only pool area on Deck 17, which includes The Sanctuary, where you can rent a cabana or a pool chair for half or full days. The cabanas go for $80 for a half day, and include food and beverage service. But you have to act fast. Reservations are only taken the day before, starting at 8 a.m., and we were told the line is already 25-30 deep when they open. You can also rent deluxe pool chairs by the adult-only pool, as well as smaller cabanas. Also note there are free loungers by the adult pool as well.
If you want an alternative, try the Outrigger Bar at the back of the ship on Deck 16. You can grab one of the tables by the railing and enjoy scenic vistas and an umbrella-infused coc
ktail at the same time. You forego the pampering, but for $80 you can afford to pamper yourself.
For lunch we try Alfredo’s Pizzeria by the atrium. Here you have lots of choices for a hand-tossed pizza. Add a mixed green salad and finish it off with an apple tart and you are good to go. Delicious.
Mid-afternoon finds us in the Bellini Bar, also by the atrium. A good bellini can rank right up there with a martini, and these were both good and in generous proportions (unlike the birthplace of the bellini – Harry’s Bar in Venice, where the portion is small and price large). Taking place below us was a cha-cha dance class. Pam tells me the cha-cha is so easy even I can learn to do it. One more bellini and I think she might be right.
The Lotus Spa on Deck 5 seemed to be doing a brisk business. While we typically forego spa treatments on cruises, if you are looking to be rejuvenated, reconditioned or revived, this is the place to do it.
For evening entertainment, the Princess Theater hosts a different show every night. This cruise featured a tribute to The Beatles, illusionist David Cats and the ship’s singers and dancers. Over in the Vista Lounge, it was rock and roll from the 50s and 60s. Then there’s “Movies Under the Stars” on the big screen poolside, featuring “World War Z” and “Man of Steel.”
We decide to pay a visit to the Princess Casino. Wish us luck.
Photos by Gerry Barker