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-   -   Carnival Vs. Princess? (http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/princess-cruise-lines/226488-carnival-vs-princess.html)

JMMDLS October 5th, 2004 11:05 PM

Carnival Vs. Princess?
 
My husband and I are trying to decide between several ships, Carnival Glory or Star or Caribbean Princess. We are both in our late 20's, he being more of a partier than I am, neither of us are big fans of lots of kids (we don't have any). Our delimna is that I feel that Carnival has food to our taste (meat and potatoes, we're from the midwest) and the rooms seem bigger, but the style of Princess may be more us, the type of entertainment and age of the passengers, perhaps not as many kids as Carnival or as noisy. We are in our late 20's, but seem to gravitate to older people. Do you have any suggestions or ideas on which ship may be better suited for us?? We are planning on either getting a minisuite on Princess or a category 11 suite on Carnival, for all of the money we plan on spending we want to make sure we don't make the wrong decision,

thanks,
Jennifer

pg. October 6th, 2004 12:16 AM

Re: Carnival Vs. Princess?
 
Star Princess. Or Golden or Grand Princess. Caribbean Princess sounds nice , but it is just that much bigger and might seem a bit crowded to me.I would try it though before I would go on another Carnival.
Food is better on Princess, not weirder.
Carnival is " Las Vegas" rah, rah, rah, ( which of course some people like)
We took two Carnivals then in early thirties switched to Princess, whew , what a nice difference. Just our taste, but we just aren't into glitz.
Age didn't seem to matter as we see all ages on Princess.
Nice pools on Princess( open late at night, fresh water not salt like Carnival)
Your hubby will love the late night comedians, very funny ( bit rude actually) and the show we saw "Lights Camera Action" in April was great.
This is of course only our opionion and I am sure many would disagree, it isn't that we think Carnival is a " bad line" I mean we did cruise on it twice right? It's just that we really found our niche on Princess, and may be you will also.

James&Rob October 6th, 2004 07:22 AM

Re: Carnival Vs. Princess?
 
Hey Jenn
As for me and Rob we like Carnival Better it is a more of a party ship and to me the
food is much better on Carnival also the entertinment is 100% better than what i just seen on the caribbean Princess. Im not going to knock Princess the ship is very Large and Beautiful and the crew is outstanding but I dont care for corp Princess even though
Princess is owned by Carnival Corp Its like day and night difference You may like princess better or carnival the best is to try both I have been on carnival Fantasy in july 2003 the Sensation May 2004 Caribbean Princess Sept 18 2004 and I have already Booked the Carnival Victory for March 6 2005 Im going to stay with carnival but like the other person said this is only my opinion Carnival is more glitzy like
Vegas and Princess is more Formal if you will so it according what you like Hope this helps James

pebbs October 6th, 2004 09:24 AM

Re: Carnival Vs. Princess?
 
I was just about to post this same question. I am a confirmed "Carnie" but we saw the Carribean Princess in Port last week and were blown away and really liked the idea of the big screen over the pool.

Also, I would like to hear more about the dining....do you have the same seating and waiter in the main dining? Are the supper clubs good? How much $?

I also did not know that the pools were fresh water...that is a plus...is it desalinated? Would love to hear more pros and cons...also, has anyone gotten any "deals" on Princess? I have never paid more than $799 for a balcony on Glory/Triumph (I am a big deal watcher)...is that possible on Princess or does the price point hover around $1,000?

JMMDLS...thanks for posing this question...


Suze17 October 6th, 2004 09:25 AM

Re: Carnival Vs. Princess?
 
Hi Jennifer-I was disappointed with Carnival and won't cruise with them again. The cabin on Carnival, however was quite spacious. Princess is my favorite. You won't find as many children on Princess, but a the age bracket seems older than Carnival. That is not to say you won't find younger couples on Princess because you will. Royal Caibbean would be another option-I really like that cruise line, too-it has quality and seems to attract younger couples. Good luck with your choice and have fun. You can't go wrong with Princess or Royal Caribbean.-Sue

LisaK October 6th, 2004 01:01 PM

Re: Carnival Vs. Princess?
 
Jennifer - Princess is definately more our style, Princess is casual-elegant whereas Carnival is more glitzy-glamour Las Vegasy style. We have outgrown Carnival Princess is like a resort hotel.
As for the food: Carnival was ok, nothing special,nothing fancy just basic medium/range restaurant quality fare. Princess on the other hand is delicious and special. That's half the fun of cruising, trying something new and different. The food isn't "gourmande", weird or anything like that, just 3-4 star restaurant quality. Ever had a desire to try "Duck ala Orange",Mahi-Mahi or something like that???and if you don't like something, your waiter will be more than happy to take it back and bring you out something to your liking. You can always get meat, fish, pasta or chicken on any night in any of the dining rooms.
Carnival tends to attract more families with infants, toddlers and young children.
We cruised on the Golden Princess in Feb during spring break with our teens and i will have to say that the majority of the kids were junior high+, we only saw one family with a baby in a stroller.
The shows are good quality - more Broadway revue type not huge Vegas style production shows.. Comic was a riot. Good bands in the bars. Great deck party.
The midnight Champagne Waterfall on the second formal night on Princess is awesome.

peggyann1943 October 6th, 2004 04:56 PM

Re: Carnival Vs. Princess?
 
If you "gravitate" toward older people, you will definitely enjoy Princess better than Carnival. I've been on both............Carnival is very "glitzy and neon"......Princess is more "Ritz Carlton"........I have cruised on Carnival, Princess, Celebrity, and RCCL, and Princess is BY FAR my favorite!!!!!!!! You will NOT be disappointed, take my word for it. And the Food is to die for!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

susancruzs October 8th, 2004 07:17 AM

Re: Carnival Vs. Princess?
 
I would say try Princess! In the Caribbean all ages sail on Princess, generally their longer cruises draw the older crowd.

I've sailed on the Glory and it was a fun cruise, food was fine but the layout of the ship rather disappointed me. There aren't that many windows in public areas and overall the ship seemed "dark" to me. I just prefer more windows and lighter interiors. This is just my personal take on it, I'm sure others disagree.

There were times when the promenade/public areas were so congested it was just too crowded, not enough room for people to spread out. This created a smoke issue and I don't want to start a war on that either.

I enjoyed my cruise but would not sail on a Carnival ship with that particular layout again.

Susie

Ian Roeser October 8th, 2004 03:55 PM

Re: Carnival Vs. Princess?
 
We are in our mid forties and absolutely love Princess. We are going on back-to-back Princess cruises in Feb. first Carribean (East caribbean) and then Star (Western caribbean). On our first Princess cruise we were actually invited to a wedding in St. Thomas by a couple who were about 25 or so and we had a magnificent time hanging out with them. As well we have met a couple in their late 60's who we are still in touch with. All this to say, there is a wide range of people and ages but one thing we didn't find especially in Feb. was kids. No offence they are fine but when we reach that age and spend that much money we don't appreciate the aggravation of children swarming all over the place. In other word, Princess is our favorite and that's why we are going again, again and again. By the way the food is extraordinary and unlike other cruise lines we have been on there is 24-hour food, which is kind of nice if you wake up at 2:00 am and decide you have the munchies. Other lines we have been on we found that we were "sh__ out of luck" since the food was very time regimented. We also found that Princess actually had fridges instead of mini-bars and so we picked up a case of beer and a bottle of wine in St. Thomas or anywhere else we stopped and there was no big deal. Anyway I guess you know by now we are big fans of Princess and hope to see some of you out there on our two cruises this coming Feb. 2005. Enjoy!

mkend October 8th, 2004 05:19 PM

Re: Carnival Vs. Princess?
 
We were on Carnival Glory last April and the ship is beautiful, food was good as was the entertainment. All ages were aboard and I had no complaints at all, the room was really large. We will be sailing on the Star this March so I will be able to compare. A cruise is what you make it, whichever you choose- Have a Great Time!

Snick's Guy October 9th, 2004 11:28 AM

Re: Carnival Vs. Princess?
 
Here's my two cents:

I am in my early 40's, and cruise a few times a year with others I work with (group anywhere from 8 to 16 people). I have sailed 4 times on Carnival (most recently Dec 2003 on the Pride) and Princess for the first time this past May on the Golden. I am scheudled for my next Princess cruise this December aboard the Sun.)

Here's my comparision:

Food:

Carnival: Hit and miss. Ranges from good to awful. Fish and seafood dishes are over-cooked, as if spending long periods of time under a heating lamp in the kitchen. On our last cruise, many in our group had to send their lobsters back, as they were dry and like chewing on a rubberband. Lamb dishes were very good, steak was not. Some dishes were not hot, and just barely warm. Desserts mostly made of gelatin, look very attractive, but taste is mediocre. Buffet food on Lido deck not good at all. Room service food is very limited in variety.

Princess: Never had a bad meal. Fish and seafood dishes were juicy, hot and cooked perfectly. Steaks were cooked to order and hot. Desserts were out of this world. Food in the buffet Horizon Court had excellent variety and high quality for a buffet. You can order any dinner item to your room if you like through room service.

Dining Room:

Carnival: Still traditional dining times. Wait staff seemed rushed on our last Carnival cruise. Waiters perform in tacky shows each night, the iterupts the flow of the various courses. Had long waits for water and bread several times, while "entertainment" was going on. Some at our table would still be on their appetizer course, while others were already being served their entree. Uneven service.

Princess: Choice between traditional dining times or "personal choice" that allows you to eat where and when you like. Once had a ten minute wait for dinner, on all other nights we were seated immediately. No dining room entertainment to interrupt the flow of service and courses.

Cabins:
Carnival: Standard balcony room on Pride was very large and spacious. Good sized balcony and plenty of closed and drawer space. Nice table top alongside wall that we used to set up a bar. Good size bathroom and shower.

Princess: Nicely appointed, yet smaller cabin size than Carnival. A less closet space and fewer drawers. Bathroom and shower much smaller than Carnival. On the Golden, the lower balcony cabins had huge over-sized balconies, but were only semi-private.

Service:
Carnival: Varied. Regular dining staff and cabin stewards were friendly. However, those that were not assigned to you were indifferent at times. (Example: walking down the hall passed someone else's cabin steward, you will not be greeted or acknowledged.)
Bar staff varied. Some friendly, others not.

Princess: Absoultely felt service was much friendlier and personal. Greeted by all staff and crew when you walked by. Bar staff was attentive.

Entertainment:
Carnival: Focus on Vegas type productions (I live in Vegas, so this is old hat to me.) Good vocals and choreography. Varied entertainment, with several shows per night.

Princess: I think this is there weak area (though I don't cruise for the entertainment, and don't mind missing shows)/ Performers were sub-standard. many vocals are lip-synced, which is annoying. The main entertainment on two of the nights was simply putting a movie screen in the theater and showing a nine-month old movie.

People:
Carnival: More families and younger folks, though there are many passengers who were seniors. Some teens up past the ship's curfew running down the halls and playing on elevators.

Princess: Less families, kids and teens. Good mix of ages (20's to ??). No one group dominates, though a little more in the 50's age group.

If you are looking to avoid kids and teens on any cruise line, you should do as our groups does, and book at appropriate times. Avoid summers, Thankgsgiving week, Christmas/New years holdiays, Spring Break time, which runs from early March through mid-April, and Easter week. Cruises of 10-days or more also attract less families. We usually book in early December and early May, and find very few families during this time. I also hear that September and October are good kid-less months, as parents are usually less likely to pull their kids from school when the term has just begun.

Overall, Princess is for me. I enjoyed Carnival when in my 20's, but have out-grown the line, and want a better cruise. I cruise for the food and service, and Princess has these two items down over Carnival. Carnival has better cabins and entertainment, and a more party atmosphere if these things are important to you.

Princess is not a "formal" cruise, but more of a nice casual-elegant "country club" type atmosphere. Very relaxing.

Fern October 10th, 2004 06:53 PM

Re: Carnival Vs. Princess?
 
Snicks Guy,
Thanks for the great comparision. This will be our 1st Princess cruise and now I feel much better! Wonderful info!


MiamiNicole October 12th, 2004 10:35 AM

Re: Re: Carnival Vs. Princess?
 
I am 24 and I prefer Princess, Celebrity, and RCL to Carnival.
The crowd is a bit older on Princess than Carnival, but I feel it is classier, not that Carnival is Cancun, but it lacks a little bit of elegance that the other lines have.

I prefer to have less people my age and drink a nice martini with an older crowd than deal with immature teens and college students chugging beer, didn't like it in college and I don't like it on vacation now. i say Princess all the way, go to the Caribbean on the new CP, we are going for New Years. Whatever you choose you guys will have fun!

Brea October 12th, 2004 06:30 PM

Re: Re: Carnival Vs. Princess?
 
We just returned from the Carribean Princess on 10/9. We had a great time and we are 27 and 32. I have cruised on Carnival once before (without hubby) and I would have to say the entertainment is better on Carnival but the food without a doubt is better on Princess. The crowd definitely seemed older on the Princess but there was so much to do it didn't seem to matter. The main nightclub (21 and over) was not that busy on the Princess BUT by the time we did a full day we were wore out by midnight. I was actually impressed by the cabin size on Princess, especially compared to Royal Carribean. We were with a group of 8 and two of the other couples said they won't do Princess again because the staff just wasn't as friendly as Royal Carribbean....I would do it again in a heartbeat. We paid about $530 per person and felt we got a FAB deal! Hope that helps somewhat!


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