I’m just back from enjoying the delights of Scandinavia and Russia from on board the Regal Princess Ship. There was no ‘typical day’ on board, but there was definitely a theme. In short: wake up, eat, disembark and sightsee, eat, get on board, hot tub, drink, eat, dance, sleep. Repeat.
For the longer (and more helpful) version of my ‘typical’ day on board the Regal Princess Cruise, carry on reading for everything you need to know.
My Scandinavia and Russia Princess Cruise was 11 days of fun in and around the waters of:
St Petersburg, Russia
Wake up times
Some of the excursions, like the Hermitage, are best enjoyed EARLY. I’m sure one of the St Petersburg days I painfully set my wake up call for 5.30am, but at least I got to see the sunrise from my balcony.
Others are just half a day. For example our cycling in Copenhagen was a 10am start. The great thing about Princess Cruises are that they’re totally flexible and you can create your own cruise, the way you want to enjoy it.
My wake up times ranged from 5:30am to 8:30am – I like to mix things up a little.
Breakfast on board the Regal Princess was a choice of ease and feast at the Horizon Court buffet breakfast on level 16, convenience and laziness with room service, luxury a la carte at the dining rooms or a quick bite at the International Cafe on level 6.
I’ve never eaten so many egg and ham muffins as I did on my Regal Princess cruise. They were the mainstay of the room service breakfast, which I obviously went for with those early starts, and they were easy to pick up fresh at the International Cafe too.
And also, YOU COULD ORDER ROOM SERVICE FROM YOUR PHONE
I only managed one a la carte, at the Concerto Restaurant, on our last day. I actually ended up with a cream cheese and bacon bagel, which is what I’d been eating at the buffet. There was all kinds on the menu though – eggs in every way, pastries, pancakes, yogurt…
The buffet at Horizon Court on the Regal Princess was the best way to enjoy breakfast IMHO. Quick, easy, huge selection, nice and bright at the top of the ship, and you could help yourself to as much
bacon fruit as you liked. And there was endless cawfee too.
Every day after breakfast I was stuffed, as is the way on a cruise.
Days at sea
On our cruise we had two days at sea, two glorious days, which meant you had to find your entertainment on the ship. There were things going on all day from quizzes (we went to one) to Russian doll painting, to gameshows, movies, dancing classes, sales, beauty lessons, and arts and crafts.
My personal favourite ‘activity’, which unfortunately I never made it to, was the Elevator Roulette.
“Elevator Roulette – join us for this fun game of chance with the Cruise Director’s staff. Bet on which door will open. Outside Vista Lounge.”
Sad I missed that one. Too busy in the hot tub.
You can see the wealth of options in the daily ‘patter’ you get delivered to your room, or you can use the app that’s free to access. On my sea days I went to the gym, enjoyed the spa, ate, relaxed in my room and hung out with my friends. See, you can make the cruise suit you.
Ultimate Ship Tour
On day two, an at sea day, we went on the Ultimate Ship Tour. Three hours to explore the deep depths of the kitchens, the laundry, the hospital, the theatre and the Captain’s hangout.
Few facts from the excursion for you…
– There’s a man in the laundry who spends 13 hours a day ironing shirt sleeves.
– There is in fact a morgue on board, I saw it. Dr Wilhelm told us it’s the number one question people on the tour ask.
– Captain Tim is really friendly and as well as overseeing the ship, he’s also qualified to marry people on board. There’s a wedding chapel and everything.
– There are hundreds of costumes backstage on an incredible rail that goes upwards, like a huge winding staircase, floors high. Remember the doors on Monsters Inc? Like that.
– As kitchen staff you progress through the different food types as you’re promoted, from cutting carrots up to slicing steak. The amount of food the ship gets through is unreal.
On the tour we got to see the anchor room, the whole ship is anchored by that green pulley system you see there. The red connections are a distance marker so you know how much you’ve pulled the anchor up, or put it down.
I’d definitely recommend the Ultimate Ship Tour, to get a better appreciation of the ship and how much goes into the day to day running, but just be warned it is three hours long. But you do get to hang out with Captain Tim and drink Champagne at the end so all good.
Check out what’s included on the Ultimate Ship Tour here.
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So if it’s not a day at sea, then you’ll have arrived in port somewhere. Woohoo!
– If I look tired, it’s because I was
Princess Cruises really try to help you enjoy your days off the ship. In every port they put on easy options to get to the city centres to do your own sightseeing. Or, you can join one of the many many tours Princess put on. It’s totally up to you.
Here’s what I did:
Hamburg – just went for lunch.
Tallinn – transfer into the city and then explored the city myself.
St Petersburg – incredible two day sightseeing tour, and an evening at the ballet.
Stockholm – transfer into the city and then explored the city myself.
Helsinki – Land and Sea tour with Princess Cruises.
Copenhagen – bike tour into and around the city.
Oslo – could walk into the city, and then I had to go home.
The great thing with the Princess excursions is that you can create your own cruise to be as guided or independent as you like. I really liked the days when we could explore a destination by ourselves, but then I loved being shown round St Petersburg with someone who knew what was what and I could ask questions to, too.
Check out our St Petersburg itinerary on Princess Cruises
Princess Cruises encourage you to spend your days off the ship however you like, but I enjoyed the fact that if you book an excursion through them, they’re guaranteed to wait for you.
– Bit nippy on the Helsinki boat tour!
The ships got into every port so early that if you were organised and ready you could really make the most of your days and see the cities before anybody in them was even up. It definitely paid to be an early riser on the Scandinavia and Russia itinerary.
Back on board – the Sail Away
Generally you’d be back on board at around 3ish, but it totally depends on your excursions and personal adventure. Then you can join all the fun things to do on board with those who’ve been at sea all day, check out the hot tubs, or just relax.
The ‘Sail Away’ is an important part of any cruise. It’s a chance to enjoy the drama of moving away from the coastline, and to toast it with a glass of wine, in my case, Champers.
My favourite sail away was when we were in the jacuzzi with our Margaritas.
You can watch the Sail Away from the comfort of your room, any of the levels, or, as I discovered in basically my last hour on board, there was a lower deck (deck 6) viewing platform at the back.
I was generally in the Retreat at the back of the ship or in my room. Captain Tim would come on the radio, offer a few fun facts about what we’d just seen and what was to come and then play the Love Boat song, that the ship is known for, over the tannoy, via the horn. Fully enjoyed it every time.
Dinner on the Regal Princess
On embarkation you’ll be assigned a dining room out of Concerto, Allegro and Symphony and that will be your room for the cruise. They’re all pretty much the same and serve the same menu, splitting them like this just helps to keep waiting times down. We were Symphony all the way.
There are two menus at each restaurant. The usual, featuring burgers, pastas and steak, and then the other one changes daily. We had Pad Thai one night, Southern Fried chicken another and the seafood special another.
There are other restaurants you can book into as you please…
The Winemakers Dinner – a delicious 5-course meal served with specially matched wine (extra charge $40pp).
Crown Grill – speciality steak restaurant hidden away at the back of the ship (extra charge).
Sabatini’s – an Italian restaurant with an amazing dessert selection (extra charge).
Alfredo’s – a tasty pizza restaurant.
Horizon Court Buffet – everything you could ever want set out for you.
My favourite meal was at the Crown Grill. The steak was delicious. Unfortunately a singer started up SO loud halfway through the meal, with a super enthusiastic band member on the hi-hat cymbal which made my head pound. One end of the table couldn’t hear the other and it kinda killed the vibe. So go there, but sit at the back so you can actually talk to each other (#grandma).
My fellow passenger Vicki, from MakeTimetoSeetheWorld.com has put together a more in depth guide to the dining options on board the Regal Princess.
On the drinks package we were on we could order whatever drinks we wanted, whenever. For some reason the days seemed so short and went so quick I didn’t even make a dent on the wine list. I did however get to try a few cocktails, from the comfort of my hot tub. I’ve been on a cruise before, in the Caribbean, and everyone seemed to be drinking from morning till night. This was not that kind of cruise.
There are a few bars on board:
Vines – best Champagne on the ship
Bellini’s – overlooking the piazza
Club 6 – the late night bar made for dancing
Piazza Bar – served HUGE Margaritas
Outrigger Bar – outside for the best views
The clientele on the Regal Princess would totally depend cruise to cruise but for my route, the Scandinavia and Russia cruise, there were 42 nationalities on board including a large proportion of Canadian, Australian, Japanese and British.
Of course this didn’t matter, it just meant our group of English aged 30ish stuck out quite a bit, and that the Club 6 dancefloor was ours.
The Fiera show was my favourite on board entertainment. Basic storyline was of a father not wanting his daughter to get with the guy she liked – standard. But it was all the singing and dancing to modern songs throughout that I enjoyed.
We also watched Bravo, bringing out the classics like Dreamed a Dream and You Raise Me Up. There was another show, a Motown one, which my fellow bloggers enjoyed. By then though I decided it was time to enjoy my room. It’d been a LONG time since I’ve stayed in one room for 10 nights, and will be a long time again. One of the best things about cruising by the way – you don’t have to move around at all.
Every night there would be some sort of musical entertainment in the Princess Piazza. It was the perfect spot thanks to the trio of beautiful spiral staircases. The best night was The Beatles, the crowd were genuinely going wild.
There was a core group of us that would end up in Club 6 at night, making friends with the DJ (shout out to Jeff), drinking gin and generally having a lovely time on the dance floor with the few other people who would pop in there.
BALLERINAS ? In Saint Petersburg I went to see Swan Lake at the Alexandrinsky Theatre. Spoiler: after seeing me and @xameliax dancing around outside they didn’t ask us to join the cast. ? The ballet was incredible and amazingly @princesscruises had sorted us out with second row tickets. Being that close you could see their expressions, hear the blocks in their ballet shoes as they came back down from leaping through the air – it really was amazing. I love watching people who are passionate in their work and to get to this level and skill they all were. ⚓ Travelling by Regal Princess cruise ship means you can get off and on if you want at the ports, and you can join trips and excursions as you please. If ever you find yourself in Russia, I’d def recommend the ballet. ? I used to do ballet, until I was about 12 I think. Loved watching them pirouetting around the stage. Im interested to know if you have any long lost childhood skills? ? #russianballet #ballet #stpetersburg #comebacknew #discoverprincess #princesscruises @princesscruises #cruiselife #imanidiot
The best evening entertainment though was when we went to the ballet in St Petersburg, of course – an incredible experience that you can book as an excursion with Princess Cruises.
I had a balcony view state room. Obviously every day was a beautiful view and sound to wake up to, but I think if you were looking to save a bit of money then you could opt for a room without a window – there are so many other places to see out from on the ship. Because of the breezey weather, and the fact I had ten friends on board, I didn’t actually sit on my balcony once.
I did see this sunset though…
My bed was super comfy although for the first few nights I feel like I was barely in it thanks to late nights and early mornings. Towards the end I made the most of my room with an early night or two. Just lying on the bed falling asleep to the sounds of the waves was incredible, knowing that I was perfectly safe in my lovely room.
One of the best things about ‘going out’ on the ship – as in, going to Club 6, was that you were only ever an elevator away from your bed. Dreamy.
I had a bathroom (with a great shower), a dressing area, a fridge and a desk. I was very happy with my room – number 306 – right near the lifts, and thoroughly enjoyed the services of my room steward Eduardo. He would tidy my room every day for me, leave me chocolates as a turn down service and on the first day had left all these chocolate covered strawberries for me to devour.
I also loved how quiet the ship was at night. Every night I’d dropped off within about 5 minutes of putting my head on the pillow.
I hope this clears up any questions you had about a typical day on board the Regal Princess.
If you have any other questions at all, just let me know below!
Check out Princess.com for more information on what they do, where they go and how much.
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