Having been on Carnival 12 times, and Princess 6 times, 3 times in the last 6 months, the following is true IMHO.
Princess is the top end of cruising <-- Princess and Carnival are about par, Ship wise Princess is beige where Carnival is Bright Red.
If you like to party, <-- Some partying on Princess, but not a lot.
loud noise, <-- Princess has it's share.
food not high on the list <-- I thought Carnivals was as good if not better
But, if you like a higher level of standards. <-- Princess is definitely not a higher standard by any means.
Who doesn't like to be pampered on vacation <-- Not quite sure what pampering is going on, but the service level is about the same. Other than not having to clean the room or cook the food, I'm still not sure what some people consider pampering.
The food on the higher level ships are out of this world. Superior. <-- Very true, unfortunately neither Princess or Carnival fall into this category.
Dinners are like going into a 5+ star restaurants. <-- If you have really low standards for 5 star restaurants.
Elegant gourmet dinners. <-- Far from gourmet, mass produced banquet fare, just like all the main stream lines.
Shows that are fun, exciting, <-- Mostly boring enough to put you to sleep for the night. Occasionally a good one.
Activities throughtout the day/nite. <-- Not really, but I go to relax.
Staff outstanding <-- Pretty comparable. nothing outstanding.
Extremally good value for the money. <-- As is any cruise.
I have never compared the cost of different cruise lines. <-- Perhaps you should, Princess is a bit higher, but haven't really figured out why.
But if Princess costs a few dollars more, it's well worth the money. <-- Not really, but it depends on what you are looking for and where they go and whether you want to try them.
Very rare do you hear of a nightmare story. <-- You'll hear just as many complaints and horror about Princess as any other line.
Princess has a good reputation... <-- That they are desperately trying to ruin.
Don't get me wrong I've enjoyed every one of my cruises but they are very comparable, neither outshines the other. Go on one and see for yourself.