We have also sailed RCCL and Celebrity. In May we took our first Princess on the Golden. We really like it and booked another cruise on the Sun Princess for 4/05. Princess compares to RCCL at least we thought so. We felt Celebrity was a little more sophisticated than both lines. The Golden is a beautiful ship, big but only 2,600 passengers which we like. We didn't like the Adventurer and will stay away from mega ships. Just too big. Food was great and my hubby thought even better than RCCL. I guess it depends on the chef!!! Crew were excellent, our room steward was very accomodating. The crew spoke when they saw you and gave a smile. That was a nice touch. As to the liquor on the ship, I don't know but when you buy off the ship that gets picked up one of the last days to take home. I suppose they want you to buy drinks on board makes sense. I don't think you will be disappointed in choosing Princess, I know we weren't. Happy cruising.
change is always good. Personally i would put Princess a notch above RCCL in service, food and overall ambieance. On the flip side i would put Celebrity a notch above Princess in the service, food and elegance department. Princess is a bit more "lively" in the nightlife and activities department than Celebrity. Love the fact that the pools on Princess are fresh water and open 24 hrs as are the hot tubs. The dining experience on Princess is bit more elegant than on RCCL i think.
There will be a listing in the big brown book in your cabin of the alcohol that you can purchase and have delivered by room service for in cabin use. The prices are good and it will come on a silver tray along with some snacks. We found the Baileys to be priced cheaper than we can get at home. You can also go to the Princess site and order your self a gift of alcohol that will be waiting for you in your cabin upon embarkation. Unless you drink something out of the norm, these methods make it much easier that trying to smuggle it aboard in your luggage.
I have sailed 9 times with RCCL. I originally rated it very high, but have notice a definite deterioration of food and service in past sev. years. It really should be listed as a 3 star line now. On the opposite, I have sailed Celebrity 4 times, and each and every time found the service and food outstanding. It is listed as 4 star by some, but should be 5 star rating as far as I am concerned. The entertainment is the only downer. The guest artists gen. not that good. I have been on two 17 day cruises, so had opportunity to see lots of entertainment. Only occassionally was I impressed.
The princess line is just below Celebrity. Of this class of cruise lines, Celebrity and Princess are the best. From here you go to 6 star class: Crystal, Radisson, Seabourn, etal. Been cruising since 1967 (although not necessarily every year). A great way to travel!! Booked on the LA to Sydney cruise ; and on the 19 day cruise from Osaka to Seattle in April (a very interesting itinery). Both on the Sapphire.
We are booked on he Sapphire from LA to Sydney as well (we are from Australia). We are looking at getting married on the ship not long out of Mexico. We don't know any others going on this cruise but will be in cabin L259 on the Lido deck if you feel like visiting :-)
Will get back to you on that. I am sure my wife will be pleased to give you our room number, but I really should ok it with her first. Something you will learn Andrew, if you havent already lol. You will be newlyweds, so an age difference probably exists (43 years of marriage here); but we have relatives that live in Melbourne. Might be a common ground there.
If dont see you, congratulations on your upcoming marriage, and gentle winds and steady seas on your trip and marriage.