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Old March 17th, 2006, 11:11 PM
Rev22:17 Rev22:17 is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 4,770


I don't think any of these 3 lines can be rated as "premium" ... that's for Crystal and the like.

According to standard rankings in the cruise guides, "Crystal and the like" (Crystal, Cunard, Regent Seven Seas, Seaborne, Sea Dream, Silversea, etc.) are the "luxury" segment. Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Lines, Oceana Cruises, and Princess Cruises are in the "Premium" segment, and Norweian Cruise Line, Carnival Cruises, and Royal Caribbean International are in the "Mainstream" segment. Some would argue that Princess Cruises has moved "downscale" about half a tier and Royal Caribbean International has moved "upscale" about half a tier, so they now compete pretty much head to head.

My point being, Norm, that maybe you should really try Princess again - you might be pleasantly surprised that Carnival really didn't ruin them. For pete's sake, you have 13 cruises with them - 2 more and you get elite!
And you were one of their biggest promoters until Carnival came along.

Carnival Corporation has the good sense to make changes slowly, at least in areas that customers will notice. Nonetheless, I was really was growing frustrated with Princess before the merger of operations due to (1) noticeable cuts casued by the "cost reduction programme" implemented in 2001-2002 (less entertainment, menu changes, and other cut corners that were very obvious), (2) the extremely poor handling of the situation when "Traditional Dining" is not available for those who want it, and (3) very poor layout of the line's post-Panamax vessels, which now comprise over half of the fleet. On the whole, the decision to merge operations with Carnival Corporation was just hte lasst straw in provoking a change that was already overdue.

Overall, I'm much happier with Celebrity Cruises -- where I have Elite status now (three of my seven cruises with Celebrity count double in the Captain's Club because they were fourteen nights) and typically receive about $400 to $450 per cruise of shipboard credit ($200 for onboard booking and the balance for owning a hundred shares of the parent company).

Hey - Princess has fresh water pools open almost 24/7, real refrigerators, excellent food and service ... and free internet from your 6th cruise on (Celebrity gives you a grand total of 10 minutes at the same level)!

Yes, I prefer the fresh water pools -- but only marginally. The rest is pretty much a wash. Indeed, the next time that I access the Internet from a cruise ship will be the first.

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