I hope that Carnival is successful negotiating the bid for Princess. In my book, Carnival is awesome at "managing" the industry and at delivering a high quality product. As far an investors are concerned, the price per earning will be better served with Carnival.
In my perspective, Carnival got a "bad wrap" for a while; probably rightfully so. However, they offer many entertainment options and more fish and vegetarian dining options than any other mass market line, save Celebrity, offer.
My parents just returned yesterday from a two week Sydney to Auckland cruise on the Regal. They were extremely unsatisfied with the quality of entertainment and dining choices. They loved the cruise and ports, but they were very disappointed with the product. (Pictures and review to follow). I understand that this cruise was under RCI management. Most of their fellow passengers swore that they would never cruise Princess again.
Carnival has a reputation for deliving a high quality product at different price schedules. They have done very well with Windstar Lines, with Cunard and with their original line. They manage each line with a differnent angle in mind; however, they learn from each.
From an investor's prespective, I predict that Princess with be a subsididary of Carnival.
You can not expect the "older Princess ships" to have the ammenities of the newer Princess ships. O fcourse you will not have the same experience on that ship as you would on the Grand or Golden. I know that the older Carnival ships do not offer the same options as Carnival's Triumph and Spirit. Just a fact of life that newer ships have more options such as dining options.
The Regal would still have been under Princess' management, not RCL. Though I have not sailed on Regal, I believe Princess has an excellent product, superior to Carnival. And I have sailed on Carnival.
I sincerely doubt any regulatory group would allow Carnival to acquire P&O/Princess. That would allow one company to almost have a monopoly on cruises.
I've sailed on quite a few Carnival cruises and even more Princess cruises. If indeed Carnival is successful, I would suspect that they would operate the lines independent, just as they have done with HAL and their other subsidiaries.
However, as Theresa said, the RCI/Princess deal has not gone through yet, and I would highly doubt that the Regal was under RCI management. It is my understanding that the lines would operate separately, and there would be no reason (after the merger) for RCI to operate a Princess ship.
That being said, Theresa is correct in that older ships do not offer the options the newer ones do and have less dining and entertainment options.
P&O PRINCESS rejected the entreaties of her latest suitor when the line spurned a hostile takeover bid from Carnival Corp. in favor of an earlier proposal from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. The rejection Dec. 16 of
the $4.61 billion bid set up a battle between Carnival, cruising's largest
operator, and RCCL, the No. 2 supplier, for third-place operator P&O Princess. "Our response to Carnival is based on two clear criteria," said Peter Ratcliffe, P&O's chief executive, "value for our shareholders and deliverability. The proposal falls short on both counts." Carnival chairman Micky Arison and Howard Frank, vice chairman, were to have taken their case directly to P&O Princess shareholders in London on Monday. Carnival's offer follows last month's announcement by Royal Caribbean and P&O Princess of a $5.9 billion merger agreement.
Rix - I couldn't disagree with you more. I have sailed Carnival, Princess and Celebrity and I can tell you that Carnival has nothing on the other two lines for service. I have never received the shabby service and poor response to a bad problem on Princess and Celebrity as I did on Carnival.
There is also the fact that regulators in the United States and the European Union will most likely not allow Carnival to acquire P&O Princess as it would give Carnival Corp to big a market share.
Also, since the merger between RCL And P&O Princess has not happened yet, there is no way RCL was in charge of the Regal Princess cruise that your parents were on.
Rix,,, sorry to hear that your parents cruise didn't live up to expectations, but the others are right. It would have had nothing to do with RCI. They aren't even close to having any kind of deal in place. As of now both are totally seperate cruise lines as they were before the merger talk began.
I wonder if Carnival is bidding for RCI just to raise the bidding price. It's done in business all the time. I can imagine that Carnival would love it if Princess had to pay more than they felt able to pay. I think it's all a matter of "you want it, so we want it too!". Kind of reminds me of two children fighting over a toy.
Regulators aside, I would prefer to see P&O acquired by Carnival Corp. Their track record of operating companies under separate management is far superior to RCI's. IMHO, Celebrity has suffered drastically under the management of RCI. Just my 2 cents, I could be wrong!
Just another thought here - If Carnival Corp acquired Princess, that would put two of their divisions in direct competition with each other - HAL and Princess. Especially in the Alaskan market where those two are the premier lines with the most established land tours. That would only hurt both HAL and Princess.