I was reading a professional travel writer review yesterday on most of the cruise lines. She/He reviewed them in order of how they ranked them. She/He seems to think that Carnival corporation has had a negative impact on the HAL product.
Has anyone traveled Princess before and after Carnival merger? If so, have you notice any decline in the Princess product? Maybe things that they charge extra for now, that they didn't charge for before? Maybe changes in the decor, service , food quality or helpfulness/atitude of the crew?
The writer ranked Princess below Celebrity, RCI, HAL, and Disney.
We were on Holland America Zuiderdam last year, after the Carnival merger.There were still many HA loyalists, but the decor of the ship was more deco than on past cruises and the "mood" was different. Having only been on Princess before we researched the ship before booking and only knew of the changes from the write-ups. The Caribbean Princess in Sept will be our first one since the merger. I really hope that the integrity of the past cruises holds up.I read a very bad review earlier, but I'm reserving my personal cruising opinion until we sail her ourselves.She's will have had a few more months at sea under her belt. The Holland America ship was in her first year as well and had some bad reports but we didn't have the troubles that were reported.Lynne
we were on the golden princess in
december . I too was apprehensive
with the carnival takeover , and the
daily tipping charge . we enjoyed
the cruise immensely . the food was very good to excellent . the
service was perfect . the wait staff
were attentive ,and catered to our special needs . I wrote princess a
glowing letter. we are booked on
celebrity mercury in december for the
mexican riviera . we have been on
celebrity many times and enjoyed it .
hard to choose between celebrity and
He's gotta be kidding. Below RCI??? I think it's his observation-lounge obessession.... Princess has the best pools, the best crew, the best dining accomodations (though not necessarily best food), best bang-for-your buck, best selection of itineraries, best user-friendliness (embarkation, etc.), best range of on-board choices for a mature (regardless of age) audience, and some intangible quality that attracts the best mix of passengers in terms of affluence, age and interests. The quality of the Princess product is completely predictible. If you don't like what they happen to serve up, that's one thing. But, if you do ...nobody serves it up better than Princess. And, honestly, in terms of the things rated by the survey, I can't tell ONE BIT of difference between Princess before and Princess after. It wasn't broke, and there's been no attempt to fix it.
Given that the ratings/reviews at Galaxsea.com are riddled with spelling and grammar errors (even though the site emphasizes that their ratings are supposed to be professional, as opposed to reviews written by everyday cruisers), I am not inclined to take their ratings very seriously.
The P&O and Carnival merger has actually done some good things for Princess, like they now have enough ships to cover all their iteneraries so there are ships in the Caribbean in the summer and so on. I don't think it has had any effect on Princess other than they aren't so strapped for cash but will give a definite answer when I return form the Golden Princess's 5/23 sailing should be fun. Hopefully there won't be too many little kids as school isn't out yet, keeping my fingers crossed.
I haven't noticed any difference since the merger. I would place Princess on an equal footing with Celebrity. If you don't have kids under highschool age, I wouldn't put anyone under Disney. And if you're not over 40, I wouldn't put anyone under Holland America. Of that grouping, I would put Princess and Celebrity tied for 1st, RCI 2nd, HAL 3rd and Disney 4th. If you added NCL and Carnival, I would place Carnival in a 2nd place tie with RCI and NCL 3rd ahead of HAL. In my opinion, the review was biased.
We have sailed on Princess both before and after their takeover by Carnival but have not noticed that much of a difference. (the pasta course has been dropped from the Dinner menu but whether before or after I do not know) We have also been on RCI and NCL and whoever thinks that RCI beats Princess needs a lobotomy. Prior to the eventual takeover RCI and Princess were trying to merge and we reckoned that this would create the best line going; add the ships of RCI to the service and staff of Princess and you would have had an unbeatable combination. Alas it was not to be and now we have an even larger conglomerate. The thing that worries me the most is the way that Carnival seems to alter it's new build orders: place an order for a certain sized ship with a certain yard and then think which one of the various operators will end up with it (Queen Victoria/ Arcadia for example) At the end of the day all we will end up with is a standardised product with slight variations depending upon the end user line.
Progress? I think not!