We're a young couple (I'm 33 and she's 28) planning our honeymoon. Its between the Zuiderdam and Caribbean Princess on October 1st. We're laid back, don't plan on spending much time in the casino and bars. We exercise daily (especially when I know we'll be eating so much!), like to try different foods, don't normally dress formal where we live but know it'll be fun to do so on formal nights (suit, no tux if that's ok!).
As far as activities, we're into a bit of everything - music, sports, suntanning and doing whatever else is there. Not heavy partiers. More interested in a kayak or hiking excursion than a beach day as we live in a beach city.
The specific date we're looking at has 3 stops for the Caribbean Princess and 4 for the Zuiderdam at not much of a difference ($125 more for the Zuiderdam per person).
That the Zuiderdam has 4 stops, bigger rooms and less people is an advantage. The impression I got from reading many reviews is that the crowd is older (which is nice, but if you were in your late 20's/early 30's, you wouldn't want to be the only one 20-30 years younger!).
I'd love to hear some opinions from those who've been on both ships and anyone else as well.
We honeymooned on the Star Princess last year. We are in our late 20's and early 30's and never felt like we were surrounded by any certain age group more than another. There were families, older couples, middle aged and couples our age on there. It was a great mix. We just booked the Caribbean Princess for our anniversary and have heard it is just as beautiful as the Star (which was gorgeous).
We aren't into the whole party scene either, but we found alot to keep us busy at night with the shows, nickel slots (not big spenders) and the buffet. We went to the dining room the first night and found out that we felt more comfortable eating in the buffet HAHA.
I have only been on one other cruise and that was with Carnival and there is no comparison. I highly recommend Princess though.
For me and the lovely Mrs. Jones,,,there is no comparison between Princess, and HAL. In honesty, I can only compare the Caribbean Princess to the Oosterdam, however I doubt that there is much differance between the Oosterdam, and the Zuiderdam. We have done the CP twice, and are booked on the ship again this fall, and we did the Oosterdam last fall. The food is better, the entertainment much, much better, and the cruise in general is much better aboard Princess. HAL, was just too laid back, with very little going on. They offered something I've never seen before on a cruise,,,,,comfort food! ie; meat loaf, pot roast and that type of food. (If I want that, I'll go to the Cracker Barrel!) Princess offers Personal Choice Dining. ie: go when you want, to the dining room of your choice. Bottom line, ,,,,I'd suggest that you go with Princess,,,,and especially in view of the lower fare. You won't be sorry!!!!!
P.S. The extra savings can be used for a two person massage!!!!! Try it ,,,, You'll like it!