Porthole’s Five Faves
Five Favorite Things to Love About Regal Princess
Princess Cruises’ newest gem has so many fantastic features, it’s hard to pick just five.
Not to humblebrag, but it’s hard work traveling away from home for business just to christen a cruise ship with some of the most beloved stars of TV, music, and film. But that’s exactly how your hard-working editors spent this past (extended) weekend, taking in all that is wonderful about Regal Princess. When we weren’t talking with the cast of The Love Boat (pics here) or having Charo sign our records (pic here) or sharing hot tub space with Rich Little (pics thankfully withheld), we were trying to narrow down our favorite features of this beautiful ship. Picking just five was extremely difficult, which is why we hardly settled on five at all.
Movies Under the Stars … and the WaterColor Fantasy
Princess’ signature poolside theater is a giant screen that is 30 percent larger on Regal Princess than on other Princess ships. Both day and night you can take in a poolside movie, concert, or sporting event; in the evening, add cozy fleece blankets and complimentary popcorn or cookies to the experience. Also in the evenings (weather permitting), the top deck pools transform into Princess’ WaterColor Fantasy, which brings exciting interactive sound and light effects accompanied by dancing fountains that shoot water up to 33 feet into the night sky. A variety of WaterColor shows are available throughout the cruise to different tunes the likes of Frank Sinatra or Michael Jackson.
The Pastry Shop … and Chocolate Journeys
Somewhat hidden in Regal Princess’ awesomely overwhelming Horizon Court Buffet is a dedicated corridor devoted to freshly baked, divine goodies. Croissants and French toast to start the day, and vogue desserts — like mango brûlée tartlet (!!!) — to top off any lunch or dinner, not to mention tea-time delights. Princess pastry chefs will also conduct demonstrations throughout the cruise, occasionally using some of the delectable chocolates that are part of the line’s “Chocolate Journeys” experience with renowned chocolatier Norman Love.
Club 6 … and the Piazza Nightlife
A calm, unassuming space next to the casino on Deck 6 — perfect for ocean-gazing and book-reading by day — turns into a bumping dance club at night called Club 6. The resident DJ and bartenders make sure Deck 6 lives up to its “Fiesta Deck” alias here with beloved dance hits and flowing cocktails. Of all the places to cap off the day around the elegant Piazza (including Crooner’s, Wheelhouse Bar, and whatever theaters and lounges are hosting shows), Club 6 is the pulse that beats all night long.
The SeaWalk …and the SeaView Bar
Take a walk on the wild side across Regal Princess’ SeaWalk. Of course, it’s either super cool or super scary, depending on who you ask, but you can’t traverse the Lido Deck without at least checking out the SeaWalk, which extends 28 feet beyond the edge of the ship and 128 feet over the ocean. The glass-paneled walkway offers clear views of the waves below and at night it’s illuminated to become a funky walkway past the SeaView Bar, which serves tropical cocktails while bartenders show off their impressive bottle-tossing and mixing skills.
You definitely can’t find this kind of bar on land.
Retreat Pool By Day … and By Night
If you’re in the mood for a quiet pool day, head for the adults-only Retreat Pool for a relaxing escape. Located just outside the Sanctuary (an even more exclusive experience), the Retreat Pool boasts its own Retreat Bar and, if you so chose, Retreat Cabanas that you can reserve for $50 for a half-day. The enhanced experience might include a picnic basket for two that features gourmet lunches and a premium bottle of wine (baskets begin at $40). One evening per cruise, when the sun sets, the Night Sky Lounge comes out. This chic, South Beach–style club (a nominal cover charge applies) lights up for a world of color and sound, including atmospheric pool and furniture lighting, glowing drinks, and a DJ.
— Porthole editors