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Old June 28th, 2008, 12:18 PM
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Default Big question here...Princess Suite or Carnival Balcony?

I some of the more experienced travelers help here. We have found a great deal with a Balcony on the Carnival Triumph and a Mini-Suite on the Crown Princess for the same trip. I dont mind paying a little more for a suite but I know what I am getting with Carnival. I have no insight on Princess other than some reviews that we are reading online. It seems like there are less hidden charges with Carnival in the eating and activity areas, but I might be mistaken. We have cruised with Carnival twice before but never paid anything since my lovely wife won both trips from her job.

Please give me some insight for which is better and why. We are trying to make a decision in the next week for our fall vacation. We appreciate any info that is given.

Thanks!
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Old June 28th, 2008, 10:54 PM
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Personally, I enjoy Princess over Carnival. I'll still cruise Carnival, but my preference overall is still Princess. In my experience, Princess has been more consistent in all areas. I like the decor better, the crew, entertainment, etc. were very consistent from ship to ship. I like the food better on Princess too.

About the cabin, a Mini Suite on Princess compared to a regular balcony room, the differece is having a sitting area and tub/shower combo. Unless things have changed recently, there were no extra perks for having a mini suite. My favorite type of cabin on Princess is BB on the Caribe deck. Large balcony, partially covered. I care more about that than having a sitting area inside.

Carnival...it's been awhile, so I don't remember exactly how the balcony room was configured, but it may have had a sitting area...regular shower, not a tub.

A lot of people talk about "nickel and diming". All the mainstream lines now offer things for a fee...specialty restaurants, fancy coffee, etc. They are optional things on each line, you are not required to use these features. Princess offers ice cream for a fee, but free ice cream is also available during the afternoon in the Horizon court and in the dining rooms. I don't mind paying a few dollars for an ice cream if it's what I want...what the heck, I'm on vacation!!! Carnival has ice cream 24/7. I love ice cream, but don't care if it's offered round the clock! Soda is not free on any of the lines that I've heard of, but there are some drinks that are free on all the lines (iced tea, lemonade, etc). It's all in how you look at it I guess. It is possible to go on a cruise and not spend extra on these items...we've only done one specialty restaurant. Sterling Steakhouse I think it was. It was good, but we are usually content with the Lido/dining room food.

Whatever you decide, go with an open mind and have a great cruise!
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Old June 29th, 2008, 11:37 AM
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I will agree with the previous poster but will add that the Crown is a newer ship 2006 vs 1999 for the Triumph. On the other hand I think you will do much better price-wise with Carnival. From the prices I see I think I would go with Carnival.
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Old June 29th, 2008, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimt
I will agree with the previous poster but will add that the Crown is a newer ship 2006 vs 1999 for the Triumph. On the other hand I think you will do much better price-wise with Carnival. From the prices I see I think I would go with Carnival.
One thing you have to keep in mind when comparing prices of Carnival and others is that Carnival's low price is for the lowest cabin in that category. Usually when I get a price for Princess, it's the same for several cabins in that category. So if you want an inside, but not on the lowest deck, you will have to pay more on Carnival vs it being the same on Princess. You need to comare similar locations too, not just similar cabin types. I have found them to be very similar in pricing when I compare that way. Hope this makes sense.
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Old June 30th, 2008, 12:06 PM
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I wasn't talking about inside cabins, I am saying that a Balcony on the Carnival Triumph would be less money then a Mini-Suite on the Crown Princess for the same trip.( what the OP was Posted) The prices on Princess have increased substantially in the last month or so and Carnival's has some good deals on the Triumph at this time.
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Old June 30th, 2008, 09:43 PM
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I would go ahead and do Carnival.
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Old July 16th, 2008, 10:23 AM
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I have been on Princess three times and on Carnival twice.

Two of my Princess cruises were on the Sun Princess, and they could not have been any better.

The third Princess cruise was on the Golden Princess. It was a beautiful ship with lots of amenities, but we encountered several problems. First, embarkation was a nightmare. I think that the blame rests more with the Buenos Aires port authorities than it does with Princess, but it was still very irritating. People were lined up to check in. We were standing on a sidewalk that ran along the side of diagonal parking places that were used by buses. There were probably enough parking spaces for twenty buses. When our bus dropped us off, we very dutifully went to the end of the line - which was past the last bus! As buses left and new ones arrived, people getting off the new buses did NOT go to the end of the line. They simply cut into the line at the point where their bus stopped! It took us over an hour to get inside the port building to check in! Once we got through Argentinian customs and immigration and got into the hands of the Princess staff, things went much more smoothly. I guess the message in this is that Buenos Aires is not a good port of embarkation! But, back to the Golden Princess. Its large size was a problem in the ports that we had to tender ashore. In both the Falkland Islands and Puerto Montt, only one tender was allowed to dock at a time, so getting people on and off the ship was a huge problem. Also, on the champagne fountain evening, the atrium was so crowded I could not see what was happening. Nevertheless, our next cruise will be on the Crown Princess, a ship that is just as large! For my hubby and me, its all about itinerary. And, we should be able to dock at all of the ports of call for this next cruise (to Scandanavia and the Baltic)!

Now, to Carnival. Our first Carnival cruise was to the Western Caribbean on the Carnival Miracle. It was a beautiful ship, we had a wonderful time and we recommend this trip.

My second Carnival cruise was a "girls trip". Three of us left our husbands behind, and took a 4 night cruise to the Bahamas on the Carnival Celebration. We realized we could take this trip for less money than it would cost to rent a condo at the beach for the same period of time - I believe we each paid around $360. This was a HUGE mistake. First, the ship was old and parts of it were not in good condition. The public areas had been refurbished and were reasonably attractive (but not gorgeous). But, our cabin really showed signs of age, especially in the bathroom. It was clean, but looked dirty (do you know how even some of the cleanest people eventually get dark lines in their bathroom grout and have to have it redone?). Because the cruise was based out of Jacksonville, Florida, a LOT of people (including us) could drive there and not incur the cost of a flight. Because it was cheap, it was affordable for many people that would find some cruises prohibitively expensive. This created a very different demographic than what we had experienced on previous cruises. And, we did not like it at all. Let me give you two specific examples. First, we had signed up for regular dining, and were seated at a table for eight. On the formal night, we were the only three who showed up at our table! Second, when we attended the high tea there were only about a dozen people in the room, including us! On a whole ship full of people! Many of our fellow passengers were loud, frequently very drunk, and severely lacking in the social graces. Bottom line - seriously consider the age of the ship and don't take a cruise that is TOO cheap. You will get what you pay for!

Grandma June
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Old July 16th, 2008, 07:44 PM
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I would do Princess all the way....
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Old July 17th, 2008, 04:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimt
I wasn't talking about inside cabins, I am saying that a Balcony on the Carnival Triumph would be less money then a Mini-Suite on the Crown Princess for the same trip.( what the OP was Posted) The prices on Princess have increased substantially in the last month or so and Carnival's has some good deals on the Triumph at this time.
The prices for the balconies on the Princess will, by and large be cheaper than the mini suites, too. I mean, am I missing something here? Why are we comparing minis on Princess to balconies on CCL? Because of a single price quote? Might want to look a little closer.

Preferentially I vote for a balcony on Princess hands down. But my reasoning is one I don't see on the boards: I like the bed as close to the balcony door as I can get it -- I sleep with that door open. The sights, sounds, smells, the very feel of the ocean lulls and contents me.

Tee
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Old July 17th, 2008, 07:43 AM
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H H M M M M- Minisuite versus balcony- I vote Minisuite, Ship built in 1999, versus, 2006- I vote 2006; Carnival versus Princess, I vote Princess

whatever you choose. enjoy !!!
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Old August 1st, 2008, 11:06 PM
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Default Apples & Oranges

You really can't compare a balcony to a mini-suite. We sailed on the Crown last July and enjoyed it very much. We had a balcony on the Caribe deck as mentioned by a previous poster. It was very large & had a covered area that we loved but because of the size, the cabin doesn't have a sofa. The mini-suites were very spacious with a tub/shower combo but the balcony was smaller. I happen to like Carnival's cabins - I think their balconies are the best in the business but their suites aren't worth the money. In terms of "nickeling & diming", all the lines are doing it and it annoys the heck out of me. One example of what I consider to be petty nickel & diming was being charged $4 for 2 coffees at a specialty restaurant on the Crown. I mean, they didn't feed us the dinner included in our fare & we had just paid $60 at the restaurant - they needed another $4 bucks?? Overall, all things being equal, I'd go with Princess.
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Old August 1st, 2008, 11:48 PM
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Definitely Princess ... and they have fresh water pools. I may be wrong but seems to me a mini-suite has a balcony so you're comparing two balcony cabins. Sailed on Carnival once years ago and won't go back. Don't know about Carnival now - but I do know that Princess actually has real refrigerators so the ice doesn't melt right away ... it does on a lot of other lines RCI, Celebrity.
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 10:55 PM
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I have been on the Crown and on carnival by far the crown is much better.Definetely go with Princess.
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