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IslandLover June 18th, 2010 03:10 PM

Has anyone cruised on both Princess & Carnival?
If so, which do you like better and what are the differences?

Trip June 18th, 2010 03:58 PM

Let me preface this by saying I have cruised both lines and enjoyed them all. Princess will give you a low key, more elegant feel. No hairy chest and belly flop contests...less around the pool kind of entertainment.

While I have enjoyed the food on both, I would tip my hat towards Carnival for food & entertainment.

You know what fits better for you, pick one,and you won't be unhappy, either way...

nlb1050 June 18th, 2010 05:21 PM

Our first 3 cruises were with Princess. I agree with trip about Princess being more elegant. And though it has been awhile since being on Princess I loved their food and find Carnival just as good but not as fancy.

I did find that we liked the entertainment more on Princess but Carnival's is not bad.

john_galt June 18th, 2010 06:23 PM

I've been on Carnival four times and Princess two times with another booked for 2011 (Crown Princess). I go on Princess when I can afford it and Carnival when I can't. Princess is a nicer experience all the way around. Carnival embarkation/debarkation can be a pain! . I've never had a bad experience with Princess. The mini-suites on Princess are the best value at sea! I've found that I can book a better room on Carnival much closer to sailing. The best Princess rooms book farther in advance.

Kimbopolo June 18th, 2010 06:57 PM


Originally Posted by john_galt (Post 1298405)
The mini-suites on Princess are the best value at sea!

I don't want to hijack this thread but, john galt, this statement intrigues me. I'm not even sure I know exactly what a mini-suite is. Could you elaborate on why the ones on Princess are the best value? Thanks! ;)

Fern June 18th, 2010 08:33 PM


Originally Posted by Kimbopolo (Post 1298409)
I don't want to hijack this thread but, john galt, this statement intrigues me. I'm not even sure I know exactly what a mini-suite is. Could you elaborate on why the ones on Princess are the best value? Thanks! ;)

Kim, I don't think you're "hijacking"!

I'm not John, but I can tell you why we love the mini-suite's on Princess ship's. The cabin is a little larger than a balcony cabin, there's a bathtub in the bathroom (not just a shower) and there are two TV's. There's also an "extra" bed. I know this is NOT important in the grand scheme of things, but to us it IS important. Why? Because DH likes to stay up late and watch TV, while I would rather just go to sleep. We find that the Princess ship's suit us.

Snoozeman June 18th, 2010 09:52 PM

I have a cruise friend who really really really likes the Princess mini-suites.
I've visited his a few times and they are nice, but I take other things into consideration.
I think Princess is a great cruise line.

skymaster June 19th, 2010 08:08 AM

We too, have done Princess a LOT, and Carnival a WHOLE LOT! I truly love Princess, and would do it a lot more often,but they don't offer many cruises out of Florida. I think the overall experience aboard Princess is a bit more upscale than Carnival, RCI, or NCL. It's a very good cross between Carnival and HAL in my opinion. ie: upscale, but not stuffy! :rolleyes: Some of the very best shows I've seen at sea have been aboard Princess, but they don't offer much in the way of karaoke, or talent shows for the cruisers. (Important to me, but not to most folks.) Bottom line is that I'd recommend Princess in a heartbeat!


Donna June 19th, 2010 10:30 AM

Next Princess cruise, mini suite :-) I actually enjoyed both, but a bit more towards Princess...I was very impressed with their food and even the buffet for dinner was up there...A bit more laid back over Carnival, but its basically a person preference as to what you like in a cruise ship....Also the itinary is equally important when choosing a cruiseline/ship.

Where are you looking to cruise? If its by chance, Alaska, for sure look into Princess, they do it well.

katlady June 19th, 2010 11:54 AM

Okay I wanted to see a Princess mini suite. They look nice. Here is Rudy Princess Cabin D427.

john_galt June 19th, 2010 12:21 PM

Mini-suites are typically 323 square feet. I tend to stay on board and enjoy the space. The tub is a big plus. The balcony is large compared to Carnival. I try to book an aft room when I'm on Carnival because the regular balconies are shallow. Carnival is fine if you don't intend to spend a lot of time in the room. I thought the food on the Victory and Conquest was as good as any on Princess. However, the Horizon Court buffet on Princess rocks!

Kimbopolo June 19th, 2010 01:29 PM

The Princess mini-suite is larger than our Cat 11 ocean suite on Fantasy = 220 sq ft. cabin and 30 sq. ft. balcony. But I have to say, that cabin felt HUGE!!! (Especially compared to my first cabin = oceanview).

We have booked a Cat 11 suite on Triumph = 275 sq. ft with a 65 sq ft balcony which will seem huger still. Comparable in size to a Princess mini.

Thanks for the info - I'll have to remember to book a Princess mini-suite some day.

dhudd June 19th, 2010 03:50 PM

Yes we've cruised both. We do prefer Carnival. Princess is very low key and they do not take hardly any pictures at all. It was our anniversary, and they wouldn't take any photos at all. They also don't do any towel animals and that sort of things. They are very "British". Don't get me wrong, we did enjoy our cruise with them, but we like Carnival better.

Donna June 19th, 2010 07:14 PM

I think the tub with the mini suite would do it for me, looks very spacious.....Next time!

Fern June 19th, 2010 07:36 PM

I think it really depends on what kind of cruiser you are. If you're out all night, at the pool all day, on shore at every port, a mini-suite probably won't be worth the $$ to you.

If your main destination is the ship, you'll love the Princess mini's :D!

Dave & Dianne, did you go to the photo department and ask if they'd take your anniversary pictures? One reason we like Princess is that there's not always a camera in your face :) .

Trip June 19th, 2010 07:54 PM

Call me crazy..but the one time I had a tub on a ship..I had no desire to use it....gimme a shower any time on board:)

Fern June 19th, 2010 08:01 PM

Trip, we didn't take a bath in the tub either, but it made the shower larger :) !

Kimbopolo June 19th, 2010 08:57 PM

The tub was wasted on us as well.

Dutchman June 22nd, 2010 11:00 AM

The difference is looks, Princess is 2 steps up and also $$$$. Carnival is $$ and Princess is $$$$ for equal cabin. It was a nice change but then back to Carnival.

spacewoman June 23rd, 2010 12:20 PM

My cruise history is Carnival, Carnival, NCL, NCL, Princess, Carnival, Carnival

Let me say I have NEVER had a bad cruise. I had one issue with Carnival over trying to switch out guests, angrily posted about it, got blasted about it, but I digress. My issue was misinformation, we had a great cruise despite the mess.

Our one Princess cruise was on the Crown Princess out of Brooklyn, 9 days I believe. Our itinerary was Grand Turk, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and Bermuda. We chose Princess for the itinerary. This cruise was in 2007 and the balcony cabin cost us $1,300 a piece. They were UNBELIEVABLE in how they move passengers. We got there about 10:30 and were boarded within 15 minutes. Getting off was just as fast.

To give price comparison, our CCL cruise the following year we got for $882 a piece for 8 day (hubby got military discount), our friends cabin (balconies on both of us) $1003 a piece. We did Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Grand Turk. Carnival's embark and debark at the Manhattan pier is a NIGHTMARE. Does that stop me from sailing them? No.

Here's my apple to apple comparison between the two:

Crew---- Equal, both outstanding

Decor---Carnival, Vegas style (for lack of a better word) maybe on the gaudy side; Princess - very classy

Food-- I give a one-up to Princess. Why? For me it was the seafood choices. Captain's dinner night, hubby and I said we'll eat at the buffet, don't feel like dressing up. I walk through the buffet first to see what's there, I think I died and went to seafood heaven!!! Lobster, littleneck clams, steamed mussels, king crab, etc. Rest of the days there was always quite a variety of fish available as well as sushi (not counting you could purchase at the wine and seafood bar). This is my tastebud opinion. There is NOTHING wrong with Carnival's food, it too is very good, I just gave Princess the edge with the Lobster, King crab.

Entertainment in the theater -- my one up actually goes to NCL, but to compare our subject matter I give it to Carnival. I just like their shows a lot better than Princess. To compare theaters themselves - we have sailed Carnival's Spirit class ships. Their theater is designed with what I would call couches with small tables in front of them with room also to walk without disturbing fellow guests. The Crown Princess has what I would call an auditorium type seating. I'm no size 6 but I'm not a two ton tessie either but I felt the seating was tight. Very hard to share elbow room and the trays that folded up to hold drinks were squishing my belly. Maybe I'm just claustrophobic and don't know it:D If there were open seats in your row everyone had to get up to let people pass and very often you wound up stepping on each others feet.

Cabins - we had basic balcony cabins on both. Princess balcony felt a bit bigger but I'm not really sure if it was. Ample room in both cabins, no real difference.

Alcohol choices --- here in New York, the light beer drinker is drinking Coors Light - Princess didn't have it, period. Carnival runs out on the last sea day they sell so much of it. Bartenders on Carnival told us they always run low going out of New York, not so much other piers. I would say prices generally the same, except at the time, Princess was selling Martinis for $6.50 a big bargain when Carnival is now getting 9 something and our 2006 trip on NCL an apple martini was $10.75:shock::shock: Both offer bucket type pricing, but I can't recall the exact prices. Princess offered 16oz aluminum cans, Carnival 12 oz cans so you'd have to do a per ounce pricing.

Pools - Carnival's always busy hard for folks to find lounge chairs (I'm not a sun worshiper) Always activities around the pool, contests, etc. Did not see that on Princess. I recall pool on Crown Princess being very large by most ship standards. Pool depth started at 5 feet and went to 7.5 or 8 feet. I liked swimming laps in there in the morning. The depth of the pool seemed to keep a lot of folks out of it.

Other tidbits -- Crown Princess you paid for ice cream, Carnival no. Princess had better taste, it was $1.50 or $1.75 for small portion, not bad in my opinion. Their pizza station was right next to the ice cream station. I don't recall if you had to pay for the pizza or not, someone can chime in on that one. Carnival's pizza is supposed to be open 24 hours, but I didn't have any 2 in the morning pizza cravings:rolleyes: so I don't know if that was the case.

Casino-- hated them both, they took my money, how dare they:cry::D

I would do any of the lines again, as I said I have never had a bad cruise (isn't bad cruise an oxymoron?). I'm booked NCL this year - reason? New ship to try, price was right and the timing was right for us. Down the road I'd like to try RCL, Celebrity and Holland, but for us price is usually the deciding factor. When I can spring the extra bucks is when we'll try the other lines as Carnival is generally the best bang for the buck

No matter which line you book I truly do not believe you will be disappointed.


IslandLover June 24th, 2010 02:51 PM

Thanks to all!
Special thanks to spacewoman! I appreciate the detailed comparisons.
I'm just going on my 2nd cruise in December,also 2nd on Carnival. When shopping for this cruise, Carnival was hand downs best price for the itinerary and number of days. But I recently saw a Princess cruise on a discounted cruise site which was close in price so I thought maybe next time we would try a different cruiseline.

Truck Cruiser July 21st, 2010 04:28 AM

So far we have been on 3 carnival and 2 Princess comparison

Food....Carnival wins hands down, from the main dining room to the buffet and specialty restaurants Carnival is much better.

Cabins....Princess's cabins are a little bigger I believe and they are nicer IMHO.

Entertainment....Carnival wins hands down, Princess not even close. Last Princess cruise most lounges were closed by 11pm and the shows, while good wern't as good as Carnival.

Service.....Carnival wins, no comparison....Carnival's waiters and room stewards and bar tenders do a superior job, much better then Princess.

Movies under the stars.....Princess excels here with padded lounge chairs, blankets if chilly out and better movies.

Overall Value.....Carnival, hey why pay more for a lesser product?

again, these are my opinions, my D/W and I are in our upper 40's and like things a little livelier then the Princess crowd seemed to. Last cruise on Princess we were probably some of the youngest on the ship.

Hope this helps

Libragirl July 26th, 2010 04:11 PM

I've cruised both lines and love them both. My Princess cruises have been more memorable, though, because I've done 2 transatlantics, 1 Northern Europe (Baltics), 1 Mediterranean & Greek Isles, and a 15 day to Hawaii and back on them. I love the food on both, but I prefer Princess because they have the best salad bar on any cruise ship I've been on so far!:-)

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