Just wondering for those of you who have cruised both lines what is the difference? How does the food compare? Night life? Cabins size? Level of activity? Entertainment?
Does Princess attract a young crowd with singles or mostly familys and seniors?Are there Adult only pools? Are the pools fresh water or salt? Is it quiet and sleepy or a party till the wee hours atmosphere?
They're actually fairly similar. Princess has a bit better food, in my opinion, but Carnival's food is pretty good too. Inside cabins are a bit bigger on Carnival but the Princess ones are certainly large enough.
I think Carnival had better "late-night X-rated comedy". Princess had better art auctions. Activity level otherwise about the same. Carnival's crowd may be a _bit_ younger but not much. Princess has an adult-only pool, but I don't remember Carnival having one. Carnival, on the other hand, has a waterslide. The Princess pools are fresh water and are open 24x7, Carnival's are not. Carnival seems a bit more party attitude, but Princess is certainly no slouch in the party department.
I think Princess has the edge in shore excursions.
Try them both <g>. If you want "quiet and sleepy", I suggest Holland America...
There are writeups with photos on my two Carnival cruises and my two Princess cruises (and my 3 HAL cruises) on my (brand new) web site at www.mycruiseadventures.com.
Thanks Dana, yes Carnival has an adults only pool, and hot tubs it was the Aft or rear pool on our ship. I don't like that they were not open 24 hours. I will cruise Princess for sure at some point, they also have a way better past guest policy. The comedy was great both the Adults only and the g rated versions. Carnivals food was decent but not great.
I certainly must admit the best food, overall, has been on Princess. However, Carnival and HAL both were pretty darn good too. Seemed like Carnival had small portions maybe. Overall Princess seems to have the best service, but Carnival and HAL haven't been bad either. The _best_ service I've ever had was on HAL's Ryndam, but that may have been a fluke, as it wasn't near as good on the Maasdam or Volendam.
Princess seems to have a decent past guest policy, while Carnival seems to have none at all.
For the future, I'll probably not ever sail again on HAL, but would sail on Princess in a heartbeat. Maybe a Carnival depending on the ship and route.
I've done Carnival Conquest (my favoriteCarnival), as well as Pride, Victory, and Miracle. Have only recently done Caribbean Princess, also have been on RCL Radiance and HAL Zuiderdam.
I think you should pick a ship based upon who is traveling and what their interests are. When we travel with a lot of young adults, college kids and children for Christmas we prefer Carnival as it is livelier, while when I go with people my own age (50+)I prefer Princess. Here is how I think of it: the food, cabins, pillow-top mattresses, comforters, nightlife and casinos are better on Carnival. Princess has MUCH nicer decor (I think the Carnival ships are horrendously decorated) and entertainment like Movies Under the Stars, and "higher brow" older clientele. Carnival is a bit "over the top", with dancing waiters, hairy chest contests, and sometimes the fellow cruisers are too drunk. loud and obnoxious. Princess is a bit too quiet, no towel animals greet you at night, and I dislike their free-style dining because you never get to know the wait staff or they you.
We have done four Carnival cruises and one Princess cruise. also RCI, very nice.
As my TA reminds me, Carnival is the "fun" ship....lots of pool parties, contests, etc. We don't care about these activities, but I can tell you the shows were good, also the food. I took 15 seniors on a Carnival cruise in May 2000, and they were all very happy with it, too.
Princess staff excelled above every Carnival cruise, and the ship's decor, food, and activities is more upscale than Carnival. But, Carnival sails from New Orleans, 2 hours from our home, so we can sail for less without having to fly to a port.
Hello, my husband and I are leaning towards Princess for our first cruise. We're in our 30s, but we were never really nightclub people even when we were single. That said, if there is some dancing and party stuff we would probably participated...we just want some quiet time, too. It sounds like Princess will be a good match, eh?
Lady Vidora - Princess would be a perfect fit for you.
Regarding the night life you can choose from production shows in the main theatre, dance bands in the main lounge, quiet bar with easy listening music and dancing, a disco, casino, comedy, depending upon which ship you are on Movies Under the Stars, the deck party is a blast, the midnight champagne waterfall and party is a must do.
Good age mix on Princess, you will find families with school-aged kids- Princess limits the number of kids allowed on each voyage, you will not find too many couples with young babies and toddlers like you would on Carnival, you will find couples in all age ranges.
Princess pools are freshwater. Open 24/7 as are the hot tubs.
bjkeen- there is plenty to keep kids and teens busy if they choose - especially on the Grand Class ships, the kids programs are great and teens have their teen center with computer games. Lots of sports- like most teens they will seek eachother out and end up just hanging out usually in the pools and hotubs. You will find more familes with school-aged kids and teens during school breaks and summer holiday
We took our kids on our March Princess cruise - ages 8, 14, & 17. They all found plenty to do at the kids center. Surprisingly, even the 17-yr old wanted to hang out there...normally he'd rather hang out with the adults.
The really cool thing - all the kids got a bridge tour. They stopped giving those after 9-11 so that was a really special treat.