Regal Princess December 8, 2019 - 7 Eastern Caribbean Cruise
The ports of call included the princess private island in the Bahamas, Saint Martin, and Saint Thomas.
I began my journey on Southwest airlines arriving into Fort Lauderdale around mid-day. After collecting my luggage I proceeded to introduce myself to the Princess staff in the luggage area. At the end of each baggage carousel there was a princess attendant which helped us find our transfer. I was surprised how many Princesses staff there were and how easy they were to find. The airport was extremely busy on this day and still they were easy to find. After arriving to the cruise pier we easily went through customs checked ourselves in and boarded the ship. Having the Medallion made this process extremely easy fast and efficient. Everybody moved very smoothly through the lines and allowed boarding to happen quickly.
Here are some tips for having the Medallion Class service.
- It is important to download the Medallion Class app to your phone or tablet so that you can utilize the services that are available. You must set up an account both with the Medallion Class app on your phone or tablet as well as set up your own Princess account online using the cruise personalizer.
- Complete the online check-in.
- After completing the online check in with your cruise Personalizer, it will allow your medallion app to send you your medallion.
- Get yourself ocean ready - fill out the information that is required. There is an area within the app, that you will see circles and each circle will have an orange mark on it. These marks will turn green once you have completed filling out the required information.
Each circle will ask a task, like taking a photograph of yourself, this will be used on the ship every time you scan your medallion. You will need to scan your passport or other ID, this will allow ease check in at the cruise port. You will need to set up your credit card account for app purchases. One of the options is going to ask you to pick out your medallion and place your order for it. When browsing through the different medallions I found it difficult to find the free option, which is the lanyard with the plastic case. If do not want to purchase any of the options like a bracelet, watchband, clip or a necklace, you can click on your shopping cart. Your free Medallion will be there. You then can proceed to check out and they will ship you your medallion free to your home. Make sure you choose the option to register your personal home address to ensure they ship it to your house. Otherwise it will ship to our home office or the address listed under the Travel Agency it was booked under.
The Medallion serves as many functions on the ship. It acts as your room key, as you approach the door the computer recognizes your medallion and it unlocks the door. This makes it easy when you have both hands full. When you go to the bar and you ask for a drink they can immediately recognize you as your photograph appears on their computer screen. One medallion will recognize both parties in the room. This will allow one medallion to be used when ordering drinks services or paying for items. This is easy when you have a drink package or a water package. This also helps the Staff recognize you quickly knowing your name and becoming easily friendly with you.
The medallion can be used to find your roommate or friends that you are traveling with. When scanning your medallion into the computer screens in the public areas, Faces on little bubbles will pop up on different parts of the ship showing you where your friends are. The medallion definitely replaces the standard cruise card and in my personal opinion the next level of helping cruising customer service.
I did not understand the full use of the phone app until I was on the ship. When not on the ship the app always directed me to the website. When I attempted to buy a shore excursion or fill out personal information, it prompted me to the website. The app really does allow nice communication between roommates. The downside is that you see more people with their phones. Your Medallion is fully functional without you having to carry around your phone.
The Regal Princess is decorated very tastefully. Very easy to get around, and great spaces with different themes. At night, the pool area can turn into a movie theater, a water show, or just a nice hang out with multi-colored lights everywhere. There are three cover charge restaurants on board- an Italian restaurant, a steakhouse, and a seafood restaurant. They also have a sushi bar that you can pay a cover charge for. We selected any time dining which made things very easy. We were able to dine among the three main dining rooms and always getting a table right away. They have many social spaces around bars pools and hot tubs. The adults only area called the sanctuary provides a nice quiet space away from all of the music and loud noise of the TV in the main areas. The downside of the sanctuary is that it’s at the front of the ship and it was always windy and hard to communicate with the person next to you because you felt like you were in a wind tunnel.
Our first stop, Princess Cay’s private island was a very delightful day. They had a buffet available for everyone to eat a complementary BBQ style lunch. You could utilize your drink package just as if you were onboard at all the bars. There were many places to sit, sun, swim and snorkel. Princess' private island also has an adult only area in which you can relax without children or families around. The beaches are maintained beautifully and really makes for a nice day in the sun and the ocean.
Our second stop was to St. Thomas US Virgin Islands. Today we chose to go on the zip line excursion. We drove higher up into the mountains and zip line down six traversing lines.
The extreme zip lining company did a great job of making first timers feel very comfortable and safe for this excursion. I would highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for a little adventure and getting great views at the same time. At the top of each zip line podium we saw views of Saint Thomas and beautiful Megans Bay. After our excursion we were able to walk around town and enjoy downtown. Downtown is only a short walk for the pier. If you don’t feel like walking there are shuttle transportation services available all along the walk area.
Our third stop was to Saint Martin. Our ship docked on the Dutch side of the island. Due to inclement weather our excursion was canceled and refunded. We decided instead to walk around town and do some shopping and enjoy the people. Your clients can get an $8 round-trip ticket for the water taxi to bring you into town. You can use this ticket to go back-and-forth as many times during the day as you like. There is a beach right in town that you can use to swim and sun. However the sun chairs are all at cost. Most of the restaurants up and down the beach own the beach chairs and you can pay a nominal fee to sit for the day. These charges also include a few complementary drinks and give you the ability to order from the local restaurants with service right to your sun chair. Saint Martin has a lot of great shopping and is easy to walk around.
The remainder of the days were spent enjoying all that the ship has to offer. On our sail back to Fort Lauderdale the captain spotted an orange floating device out in the distance. People were reporting calls of whistles. To make sure that there are no people in harms way the captain made the decision to turn the ship around to go check out this orange floating device. After much anticipation and waiting it was determined that the orange floating devices which looked like a lifeboat we’re actually an oil boom that had been floating. We were all glad to know that no one was in harms way.
The disembarkation process is pretty standard to what we are all used to. The medallion did make this process quicker and more efficient. There were less times standing in line and getting off the ship was very quick.
In comparison to other Princess Cruises that I have done this was one of my favorites. What made my experience better overall was the efficiency that the medallion created. In conversations with many guests onboard it was interesting to hear that most of the returning Princess’ clients were reluctant or hesitant to use the medallion services. Some people prefer the standard cruise card that they’ve used for years, I find that for people who are not tech savvy the medallion can create an issue both with set up and use on the ship. Being well-versed in understanding the app as well as the website will assist you infeeling more comfortable using the service. It’s also important to check to see which ships have the current medallion service.
I personally feel that Princess is a great leader in adult style cruising. It’s a very relaxed atmosphere and supplies great customer service. If you have any questions about the set up process or using the medallion feel free to reach out to me on an individual basis. I appreciate the opportunity and a learning experience and looking forward to sharing this all with you.
Thank you Christine Hadden, AAA Queensbury