On the Royal and the Regal go to the top of the center stairs, just above deck seven, and push open the crew only door and take a look. Voila' there actually are center stairs heading up to the top of the ship.
We were located on deck 8 & on a few nights I was tempted to use those crew stairs to get to deck 7 but the wife stopped me.
Rich, you hit several of my biggest complaints:
pools with no shade;
constant music and entertainment in the Piazza; not a place to relax any more;
constant music and MUTS by the main pool;
tiny balconies, except the Owner's suites, which are usually covered in soot;
and one you didn't get, but Host Mike did:
intense strobe light flashing into the audience in the Princess Theater; had to close my eyes at times.
Oh, there's shade if you don't mind sitting by the main pool & listening to either MUTS of the constant blare of the music.
The limited chairs by the Retreat pool in the shade were OK if you were on the ship when in a port but on a sea day people would hog them... towels, books, bags, etc.
I'm bringing a large brimmed hat to the next Princess show if the flashing continues.
Did I mention that there was no dark turkey meat at Thanksgiving. Only turkey breast. I asked for some at the buffet & was told that the roasted turkey was for display only.
OK....enough of the complaining about the new ship....for now.
There were some new features that we did like (somewhat).
- There were more items available in the buffet than other ships.
- I didn't find the show lounge to be bad as far as the view and the missing side isles but the missing pop up trays are disappointing.
- Large basketball court on deck 17 if wasn't being used for Zumba.
- Windows in the Horizon court went all the way to the floor for better viewing.
- Seating on deck 16 behind the buffet area was nice, comfortable early in the morning before the smokers arrived.
- Interactive TV was real nice but I miss not being able to connect my video unit for personal movies.
- Better quality desserts & selection. Even the pies were somewhat better.
- The coffee cards are not being able to be used on other ships for unlimited drip coffee & up graded teas.
- Larger internet café.
- The shooting simulator on deck 17 was a nice addition but the crew staff guy that ran the operation most days wasn't the most pleasant person to deal with. His attitude reflected that of someone who didn't want to be there most times and wasn't helpful in the least. He told you how to calibrate the rifle (standing only) and you had to do it his way or he wouldn't let you shoot. Other staff didn't care one way or the other & were very friendly.
- Dripped coffee now served at the buffet. It's better but still much to strong for me - That's more of a personal thing.