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Old March 1st, 2008, 10:15 PM
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Default HAL vs Princess

We are booked on a HAL cruise this summer. How does HAL compare with Princess?
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Old March 1st, 2008, 10:29 PM
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Comparisons are subjective based on your likes and dislikes. My husband and I find that service and food are a bit better on HAL, but not by much. The rooms are larger. We found that the production shows were not quite as good as those on Princess, but the variety shows were better. As for the lounge entertainment, we have found some on Princess better and some on HAL better. Overall, I think if you like Princess, you will probably like HAL.

If you have specific areas you want to know about, just ask.
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Old March 2nd, 2008, 07:35 AM
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Well said SharHite! what I also noticed is that you get a more upscale public on the HAL. But enjoyed both very much
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Old March 2nd, 2008, 09:15 AM
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this is a debate that will continue for many years I feel. For us, there is no compariston; we much prefer HAL although I did think the entrees in the Princess dining room were better. Being a seafood lover I was in 7th heaven a couple of months ago when sailing Princess. Yes, HAL does have a great variety but the portions are very small and yes, I know you can ask for more, I just like the way Princess did it better.

We love the refined atmosphere on HAL, the cabins (Princess cabins were really small with tiny bathrooms) the service and the library. The casino on our last Princess cruise was better, but none are as good as the casinos on NCL>

As for the shows, it probably was a toss up. The problem with Princess, the show rooms are so small you have to get there 1/2 hour early to get a seat and we were usually eating at that time, thus we were disappointed that we didn't get to see more of the entertainment. The lounge entertainment is the same on most linee.

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Old March 2nd, 2008, 10:11 AM
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Yes , I would rate the bathroom on the Caribbean Princess among the worst I have encounter on all my cruises.
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Old March 2nd, 2008, 12:30 PM
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If you bring your own bar of soap or drop your wash cloth you will definitely have a problem on Princess.
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Old March 2nd, 2008, 02:51 PM
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Thanks to all for your wonderful insights. I think we have settled on HAL, but...

We are currently booked on the Rotterdam, but really like the itinerary of the Prinsendam, leaving on the same day. However, reading some of the reviews, the size of the ship was mentioned. We have previously cruised on one of the Renaissance ships, now Oceania (capacity approx 700) and were thrilled with it.

The review of the Prinsendam mentioned that the passengers felt the movement of the water, due to the smallness of the ship, any many were sick. On the R5 we did not feel anything, even the crossing from Greece to Egypt.

Should this be a concern? any other comparisons worth noting?
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Old March 15th, 2008, 09:18 PM
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We have sailed both HAL and Princess. Our HAL cruise had a very mature patronage while Princess crossed all ages and had more families. I think HAL caters more to an older crowd.

We took our family on an inaugural HAL cruise and they did not have a high chair for our grandson to use. There was only one other small child on the ship. We have taken several Princess cruises and have now scheduled our fifth Princess cruise for August of this year. We enjoy Princess. My husband and I are 65 and 58 and I think we're still too young for HAL.
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Old March 16th, 2008, 09:17 PM
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I haven't cruised on HAL but in my research I found that while HAL rates about the same as Princess, with a good product for a good price, I liked that Princess appeals to all ages while HAL mostly caters to a more seasoned clientele. I am going to try HAL when I am a bit older for sure.
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Old March 17th, 2008, 03:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seabeacon
I haven't cruised on HAL but in my research I found that while HAL rates about the same as Princess, with a good product for a good price, I liked that Princess appeals to all ages while HAL mostly caters to a more seasoned clientele. I am going to try HAL when I am a bit older for sure.
depending who you talk to and where you are doing your research. I have others say HAL and Princess are a similar quality, for us this was not the case. We found everything about HAL more upscare and refined. As for the age issue, yes, HAL is more appealing to an older crowd.

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Old March 22nd, 2008, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tennisbum
If you bring your own bar of soap or drop your wash cloth you will definitely have a problem on Princess.
Please explain further - not sure what you mean. Thanks.
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Old March 22nd, 2008, 07:09 PM
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That the showers on Princess are VERY small
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Old April 5th, 2008, 09:04 PM
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Many people have mentioned ratings are subjective and they have nailed it on the head. So much depends on the individual. Food in particular is something that may be considered fantastic for one person and horrific for another. Entertainment is another very subjective aspect and hard to comment on. Bottom line you should be able to get a nice meal on both lines. Both lines will offer shows that should make you laugh and/or tap your feet. Things like food and demographics vary greatly from ship to ship as well.

I will give you my opinions though. For reference we have been on 3 Princess and 2 HAL cruises. We are 32, active, married w/no kids and travel often. We often book rooms on the lower end of the price scale. All these cruises with HAL and Princess were in the Caribbean and Mexico.

From my perspective I feel like Princess is a bit more relaxed than HAL, but more upscale than, say, Carnival. (Im not knocking Carnival, we love them and cruise with them often). I saw more tuxedos on HAL formal nights than on Princess. Princess also seems to attract a younger crowd than HAL and they seemed to have more activities geared toward us. Overall we felt like there was a bit more to do for us on Princess.

The staff on our HAL voyages was simply amazing, the best we have ever experienced. Honestly no one comes close for us. They loved to talk with you and genuinely took an interest in your needs. Even the people cleaning the deck recognized us by the second day and would come over and talk to us for a few minutes. The HAL ships we have been on also have a slight edge in overall polish and sophistication.

Rooms are a toss up for us. As I mentioned we hardly ever get a suite or even a balcony room unless it’s only a few $ more. We are constantly on the go and even when we have a balcony we hardly use it. As such we usually have one of the smallest cabins on the ship. I am 6’ tall, 180 lbs and have never found either Princess of HAL rooms to be claustrophobic.

I would easily cruise both lines again and again. If price is the same we would choose Princess. If HAL is only slightly cheaper we would go with them.
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