We are going to be sailing for the second time to the Mexican Riviera this winter. This will be our third cruise and so far, we have done all on Princess (Dawn and Golden). We have been pretty happy both cruises, but lately I have been giving in to "the grass is always greener" mentality and wondering if we should give another line a try?
Our likes: Lounging by the pool, low ratio of children to adults, great food, actual formal nights (and casual nights that are still give you the chance to be a little fancy), great service, feeling of luxury, celebratory/party events or venues (but not a "party all the time" feel), interesting lectures/educational opportunities, art auctions.
Our dislikes: Crowds, noise, tons of kids/teens, party atmosphere all the time, getting nickeled and dimed, garish decor.
We have watched various cruise shows and have seen the sport activities (rock wall, surfing, golf, etc) but aren't necessarily going to take advantage. I like to shop.
Age-wise, I guess we are fairly young in terms of the cruise world (42 and 38), but don't mind hanging with an older crowd. We don't have kids.
So, is Princess our ideal line or should we give others a try based on our likes/dislikes?
Thanks in advance!
__________________ Dec 2007 - Mexican Riviera - Dawn Princess Sept 2009 - Alaska - Golden Princess Nov 2010 - Mexican Riviera - Oosterdam
We've been on Princess, NCL, RCI, Carnival and Celebrity. We're in our 50's and also prefer not to have a lot of children around. Except for a 5-day cruise on NCL (very inexpensive and there were lots of toddlers) all of the cruise lines have done an exceptional job of keeping the kids out of my line of sight once we boarded. We've found that the longer the cruise, the older the crowd so I try not to book cruises during summer vacation and I look for 10 day cruises. (I also avoid spring break like the plague!)
Some cruise ships do not have a kids' program and that usually excourages their parents to book elsewhere.
I think that some of the ships that have multiple swimming pools have one that is "adult only" so you won't have to listen to Junior shout with glee as he's learning to swim.
Most of the lines have gotten a bit more casual, but the Celebrity Mercury did have exceptional service and a lot of people dressed well every evening. I also miss some of the formality.
As for nickle and diming, they pretty much all do it unless you go with the more expensive "all inclusive" lines. I hope this gives you some of the information that you want.
We have sailed on both Princess and Carnival and my wife and I (44 and 49) like Carnival better then Princess! Just make sure you go while the little rug rats are in school and you will hardly notice the ones you do sail with.
Caribbean Princess 07
Carnival Valor Feb. 08
Carnival Holiday Dec 08
Carnival Triumph Feb 09
Island Princess coming in Nov. 2009
I would recomend one of the Solstice-class Celebrity ships.
Carnival Liberty New Year's Eve 2007
Liberty of the Seas 5/2008+11/2009
Allure 1/16/ 2011
Independence of the Seas 12/29/2013 Top-notch!
Unless you have a particular gripe about Princess that would be remedied by going to another cruise line -------I would stick with Princess. I have the same likes and dislikes as you do and I learned my lesson - if it ain't broke.................... I strayed away from Princess this past summer and although the cruise was ok I found that I really missed Princess. But that's just me.
My wife (45) and I (49) have cruised on Princess, HAL, NCL, RCI, Carnival, and Premier (first Disney cruise liner). My wife and I found Princess and HAL to have a more mature crowd. NCL and RCI had a few more children onboard depending on the school calendar. Carnival had many children, but the night activities belong to the adults. Of course Disney is Disney.
It sounds like you would be happiest on Princess and HAL followed by NCL and RCI.
Carnival would be OK too if you like alot of late night activities; go for the morning room service, sleeping in and then stay out until late at night. The kids on that ship tend to have grouped children activities throughout the day.
If you want to do Mexico Rivera you have only NCL ,Princess , HAL and Carnival.
If you want quiet you might want to try Princess or HAL to Hawaii from California.
The only problem is if you don't like sea days ,Hawaii has 5 days each way.
I prefer sea days over port days.
SS Ithaca , Volendam , Mariner of the Seas (x2) , Veendam , Coral Princess , Island Princess (x3) , Emerald Princess,Sapphire Sapphire (x3),Diamond Princess
As has been said previously.. as an older couple..we prefer cruising when the kids are in school...and we also prefer 10 to 14 day cruises now.. In picking a cruise ship it is important to see what the ports are..We have cruised Celebrity, Princess, NCL, Premier, Dolphin, Carnival and Royal Caribbean.. Let me add it's not the kids, it's the parents who let the kids loose to do whatever on cruise ships... those parents saying.. their children/teens do not need "camp".. We are doing an NCL trans-atlantic next week and yes, it's less expensive, but the people I've met on line are avid cruisers..most likely middle age..and a few talk about their kids (not going). Princess the one time we were on it in April for two weeks definetely had an older crowd.. Celebrity has a mix..not so much in the 20 and 30's, but active 40's and up.. Age is in the mind..remember that.. I myself don't like to hang around with old people..lol..But, I'm open to other lines..but at heart until I finish this cruise on December 12th.. I lean towards Celebrity for the mix of ages, service and excellence...
We like Holland America for all the things you like. "Lounging by the pool, low ratio of children to adults, great food, actual formal nights (and casual nights that are still give you the chance to be a little fancy), great service, feeling of luxury, celebratory/party events or venues (but not a "party all the time" feel), interesting lectures/educational opportunities, art auctions."
We've sailed on RCCL, Celebrity and HAL's Oosterdam to the Mexican Riviera. Each ship offers something different in food, staffing and service and even in cabin size.
Of all three ships we enjoyed the Oosterdam the best. It's a beautiful ship; the service and staff were outstanding.
I have been on 7 lines, including Pirncess. I think, by your description, you would like HAL and Celebrity. (my favorites, followed by Princess, for the very reasons you stated) Not as many kids on these lines, and if anything, they are slightly more elegant and upscale, than Princess.
Stay away from Carnival, NCL, and RCI-tons of kids everywhere. These are FAMILY lines-so yes you will see plenty of kids.
Disney also has tons of kids, but is more elegant than other family lines-Disney also does very well their adult only areas, so it is possible to get away from the kids on Disney.
I usually look at the itinerary first, then price, cruise line is third choice in my priorities.
I would love to eventually try Amazara and Oceania. I do think they would be a good choices for my preferences-but they are more expensive. Perhaps I will get to book one of them for a big anniversary celebration.
Equal opportunity cruiser since 1998-4 Carnival, 4 RCI, 3 HAL, 3 Princess, 4 Celebrity, 3 NCL, 1 Disney
I have now achieved-
ONE HUNDRED DAYS ON A CRUISE SHIP!!!!!!!!!!
139 days total