Before taking my first cruise the thing that intrigued me the most was what passengers did all day during a Sea Day and whether the time spent at sea would suit me. Would I get bored, I wondered? Is there enough to keep the sports and games-averse amused? And most importantly, what if I just want to chill out and enjoy some R&R – could a cruise ship meet my luxury-loving needs?
During my 10 days cruising Scandinavia and Russia with Princess Cruises all these worries were quite literally soothed away. Our vessel, the Regal Princess, had so many cosy corners where I could rest, relax and indulge my sweet tooth and the facilities at places such as the on board spa quite literally blew me away. (Try the therapeutic air jets and see what I mean!)
To demonstrate just how much indulgent fun you can have on a Sea Day here’s my round-the-clock recommendations for the best things to aboard Regal Princess. Think of it as a
lazy luxury guide to cruising!
Best things to do aboard Regal Princess – Diary of an indulgent Sea Day
8.30 Breakfast in Bed
I’d usually indulge myself with a lie in on holiday but when I’m cruising I don’t want to be snoozing when I could be eating! Luckily Princess Cruises will bring breakfast to your cabin (and don’t charge for the service) so I can tuck into bacon and pastries and peruse the Princess Patter while wrapped up in my duvet.
Cruise tip: Order breakfast in bed online via your My Princess account before going to sleep the previous evening.
9.30 Lotus Spa
Although a day in bed watching movies on the 4K TV is tempting there’s one thing that can convince me to come out from the sheets – a Swedish massage! The Lotus Spa on board Regal Princess hides an impressive 18 treatment rooms, including two luxurious Couples Villas, with expert therapists who can work away any knots you may have worked up by buying way too many souvenirs on port days. (Just me?)
In addition to treatments you can also cocoon yourself in The Enclave, a blissful thermal suite complete with hydro-therapy pool, cascading rain shower, heated stone beds, soothing water beds, Hammam and steam experiences. The warm air, soft lighting and powerful jet streams make it easy to lose yourself completely to daydreams – I never knew a cruise ship could be this relaxing.
12.30 Lunch at Allegro
Is that my belly rumbling again? You’re never far from a great feed on the Regal Princess but as I tend to suffer from buffet overwhelm I take myself to Allegro for an a la carte lunch followed by a visit to the Horizon Bistro to see what pastries and sweet treats they are baking up this lunchtime.
Open from 5am to 11pm the Horizon Bistro Pastry Shop swiftly becomes my favourite section of the ship, particularly when I’m craving a late night tea and cookie fix.
14.00 Screenings on the Lido Deck
As we’re cruising the Baltics in May it’s not quite warm enough for a swim – not for this wimp anyway – but on a clear sea day it’s perfect weather to lay out under a towel and watch a movie or concert on the largest screen at sea. We catch Sam Smith, Shania Twain and Cirque du Soleil over the course of our cruise, as well as an evening screening of The Greatest Showman, complete with blankets and popcorn, as part of Movies Under The Stars.
16.00 Cheeky Quiz and Gelato
What’s a Sea Day without a bit of Afternoon Trivia? We gather the team and meet in the Vista Lounge to put our general knowledge to the test and delight ourselves by not coming last. We celebrate with hot fudge brownie sundaes from the Piazza’s gelateria – there’s no calories at sea, right?
17.00 Cocktails in the Hot Tub
There are a generous number of Jacuzzis dotted around the Regal Princess and it’s our groups preferred location for Sea Day sundowners. Wait staff kindly whip up Pina Coladas and Mojitos and deliver them to the hot tub where we sink down into the water to escape the fresh sea breezes.
19.00 Champagne Waterfall
Feeling mellow and pruned I plod back to my room to get ready for the evening. I call room service to request a pot of tea (you can take the girl out of England…) and sip it on the balcony while watching seagulls race the ship. After some pampering down time it’s time to glam up for dinner and find out what the evening has in store for us.
This evening the atrium is hosting a champagne waterfall that guests take turns to fill while I (admittedly) sit back and drink a glass of bubbles, content to watch the fun from a distance. There’s a live band getting everyone in the mood for the evening and we have a quick dance (strut) as we head to the formal dining room.
20.00 Wine Maker’s Dinner
As this Sea Day is all about indulgence we have a dining experience lined up that’s even more sumptuous than the usual fine dining offered in Symphony and Concerto. We’re seated inside a semi-private wine cellar where the chef pairs 4 sublime courses with wine from Tuscany that’s been recommended by the wine makers’ themselves.
22.00 Show Time
My favourite way to end the day is with some good old fashioned cabaret at the Princess Theatre.
Cruise fact: Regal Princess has the largest Princess Theatre and can seat 925 guests.
Princess have a number of rotating shows – featuring a range of genres from Motown to show tunes – that the regular cruisers are well versed with but as I’m new to Princess Cruises I decide to see all of them over the course of this cruise. On tonight’s programme is Fiera!, a multi-media musical set in a fairground with tunes from Gaga, Michael Jackson and a little bit of Pitch Perfect style medleys thrown in. I love every minute of it.
I travelled as a guest of Princess Cruises on a Scandinavia and Russia cruise on board Regal Princess – find more information on departure ports and dates here. Highlights include 2 visa-free days in St Petersburg and the freedom and flexibility to plan your own days in port. Discover the best bits on the itinerary here.
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