03 November 2015

Regal Princess interiors, 10 May 2015

We interrupt the advertized programming to bring you this entry of interior images from onboard Princess Cruises' newest ship, the Regal Princess. I would also like to take this opportunity to let my Finnish-speaking readers know that the latest issue of Ulkomatala is out, featuring amongst other things an article on the 50th anniversary of Princess Cruises, as well as four articles by yours truly.

Regal Princess

IMO 9584724
Built 2014, Fincantieri Monfalcone, Italy
Tonnage 142 714 GT
Length 330 m
Width 38,40 m
Draft 8,60 m
4 380 passengers
6 Wärtsilä diesels, combined 62 400 kW
2 propellers
3 bow thrusters
3 (?) stern thrusters
Speed 23 knots

The Regal Princess made her first call at Helsinki on 10 May 2015. She was the largest cruise ship to have called in Helsinki at the time (although she lost the title in a few months to P&O's Britannia), and Princess Cruises arranged a press tour of the ship to commemorate the occasion together with the Port of Helsinki.

Since the Regal Princess is essentially a brand-new ship with very little history to wade through, let's get right down to business of the interior photos, shall we?

Our tour of the ship started up on the bridge, where Port of Helsinki's managing director Kimmo Mäki (left) exchanged commemorative plagues with Regal Princess' Captain John Foster.

Deck 17 - Sun Deck: The Regal Princess has a whopping 19 decks, but our tour started from deck 17, which houses pool areas, the fitness center, as well as childrens' and teenagers' lounges.

The Sanctuary is an adults-only deck area forward on deck 17.
The Sanctuary also includes an extra-cost spa pavillion for rent.
Aft of The Sanctuary is the Retreat pool, with private cabanas for rent. On the right is the guide of our little tour, Michael Korhonen. I don't know where Princess pulled a Finnish staff member to guide us, but he was definately a hit amongst the visitors.
According to our other guide, cruise director Geof, the Regal Princess has the largest fitness facilities of the Princess fleet.
Deck 16 - Lido Deck features cabins forward, a pool area amidships and restaurants aft.

The main pool area, with Princess' trademark Movies Under the Stars screen. (Okay, these days every other mass-market cruise line has them too, but Princess were the first to feature them).
The SeaWalk glass-floored corridor is cantilevered outside the ship. Not as interesting when the side with the SeaWalk faces the quay, I'm, afraid.
The aft part of the ship is filled by the buffet restaurant (I continue to be puzzled by the placement of the buffets on cruise ships, but that's probably just me being Finnish). The restaurant is divided into two distinct areas: this is the Horizon Bistro...
...aft of which is the (in my opinion) more attractively styled Horizon Court.
Deck 7 - Promenade Deck: Next we leap down several deck filled with cabins and go back to the public rooms. Deck 7 houses the upper level of the Princess Theatre show lounge forward, followed by various bars and lounges.

What would be a mass-amrket cruise ship without an art gallery.
Another must-feature is a multi-deck Atrium; in the case of the Regal Princess it spans decks five, six and seven.
I must admit I'm not a huge fan of the Regal Princess' interiors overall, but the Ocean Terrace seafood bar on the Atrium is quite attractive.
Michael explains Princess Cruises' 50th anniversary celebrations to us.
Regal Princess and her sister Royal Princess feature a Princess Live! television studio, where programmes shown on the cabin televisions are produced. Personally, I don't quite see the appeal.
Aft of Princess Live! is the traditionally decorated Wheelhouse Bar.
And accessible through the Wheelhouse Bar is the Crown Grill, an extra-cost steakhouse.
Finally, right aft on deck seven is the Vista Lounge, a venue for music performances and standup comedy. I find the name extremely ironic, as the lounge could have windows on three sides, with amazing views overlooking the wake of the ship; instead, it has no windows.
Deck 6 - Fiesta Deck has the lower level of the Princess Theatre forward, followed by the ship's casino and various restaurants, including two of the ship's main dining rooms. Unfortunately the tour did not include a visit to any of these.

Princess Theatre, looking forward towards the stage...
...and looking aft. I like the rest of the decor, but the seating looks like it's from the 1980s - and the unadventurous design schools of the 1980s at that. Definately not an attractive space and not one you'd expect to find on a brand-new ship.
The Casino.Another thing that I personally don't see the appeal of.
Deck 5 - Plaza Deck: Here we find the ship's spa forward (following the current trend of placing spas low on the ship), the reception, as well as various spas and restaurants.

The Enclave at Lotus Spa is, I believe, another extra cost feature.
The reception lobby. Placing the reception outside the Atrium is a feature I find puzzling from the point of view of orientation.
Prior to leaving the ship, we were served lunch at Sabatini's, one of the ship's extra-charge restaurants. I'm afraid the lunch was not very memorable; it wasn't bad, but if this was the normal extra-cost fare they serve, I'd give the restaurant a pass.
A parting shot of the glitzy atrium.
Next time we will probably return to the previously advertized programming with the Azamara Quest. Stay tuned!

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