In 2 weeks we will be taking our 3rd cruise, all with Carnival. We've been very happy with Carnival and know that we will be this time as well. We always cruise in December, don't sweat the little things, and we don't get ticked off if a port is canceled or if lines are a bit long. That being said - I am already looking for our next cruise and just for variety am considering Princess. If there is a past guest rate on a particular cruise, we can get that and that is a plus. What other things are there to know about Princess that might help me decide? We aren't huge drinkers, we like to relax on our balcony and just "watch the water", we enjoy the shows, like going to the dining room for dinner and even have no problem dressing appropriately for formal nights. We are older adults but have been known to take a few turns down the water slide and although we like children (other than our own), we would never consider going on Disney or cruising during Spring Break.
Two weeks ago I disembarked from my 11th Princess cruise. Obviously, I like them. They're the only one who has fresh water pools. And, the fridges in the cabins actually keep the ice from melting. I think the food is great as is the service. This last cruise I ran into 2 staff who remembered me from a year ago - that's nice.
I cruise the Emerald Princess, Eastern Caribbean on April 16, 2012
I have been on 1 princess and 2 carnival cruises and there is a big difference. Princess dining in no where near as fun as a ccl cruise and they nickle and dime you for things you take for granted on a ccl cruise, like free ice cream. The food is also much better on Carnival.
Princess has a program called....learn at sea that is real neat. You can learn line dancing, ballroom dancing, photography programs for computers, scuba diving, just to name a few.
As you can see by my signature we are booked on a 10 day Princess cruise next year. If Carnival offered that same cruise we would of booked first with them. Princess has some wonderful itineraries and I wish Carnival would come out of the dark (7 day cruise) ages but since they wont then we will have to take our business elsewhere.
I don't know about Princess but Carnival gave me a past guest discount on my first cruise with them because Princess is a sister company.
Caribbean Princess 07
Carnival Valor Feb. 08
Carnival Holiday Dec 08
Carnival Triumph Feb 09
Island Princess coming in Nov. 2009
Carnaval is the most popular cruise line in the world for a reason, that being said, Princess is owned by Carnaval.
A few points of interest.
1) Rewards Programs have been updated with Princess Captains Circle.
They have an Internet package on your 6th credit and dry cleaning on your 15th credit. Princess uses a credit program and not individual cruises.
2) Princess has self serve laundry rooms with irons and any time dining.
3) Princess has after noon Ice cream free of charge at select hours.
4) Princess has a sea food buffet with real crab and occational lobster on a seven day cruise or longer.
5) Can't say much about the sushi on Carnaval or Princess, the cruise lines have not allowed the expence of fresh fish for prepairing sushi.
Thawed fish taste horrible when prepaired as sushi.
6) Princess has far fewer onboard broadcasting of events and schedules then Carnaval.
7) Most of the cruise lines have walk off disembarkation, you carry off your own luggage.
8) Carnaval has a larger cabin on most of there fleet, up to 12-15 SF over the size of the standard Princess cabin.
Exception are the Mini Suites w/ tubs on Princess.
Dannyboy, Cruise ship sushi generally sucks to be sure, but not because it has been frozen, . More than 70% of all fish you eat at even the finest sushi bars has been frozen. It's a legal requirement.
Fish that is suitable for eating raw must be frozen for seven days at negative 4 degrees Fahrenheit, or flash frozen for 15 hours at negative 31 degrees by FDA fiat to kill parasites. The Japanese have a similar rule.
Contrary to popular belief, fish that's "fresh out of the ocean" is often dangerous to eat.
It is the quality of the fish, its fat content, how it is thawed and how it is prepared that is determinative of how good it is as sushi or sashimi.
I have eaten approximately 35 pounds of raw fish per year for the last 25 years. I get my info from a very good sushi chef I know, but you can google it.
One word "AWFUL" decribes our cruise with caribbean princess.
They were over crowded.
The food was awful.
The crew was overworked and rude. (with the exception of our cabin steward, who was great)
They nickel and dime you to death.(no free icecream)(no ice, no tea, they kept running out of it)
Getting onboard took way to long in 90 degree heat, standing in line for 3 hours. They should have had someone pass out some water at least, but no, they didn't.
Getting off was just as bad.
Our cabin with a balcony was nice, good thing because we had to take our food back to our cabin several times because there was no place to sit.
The best food we had on this ship was a hamburger and fries.
When we had a layover in Texas on our way home we went out to eat.
I swear the soup and sandwitch I had tasted soooooooo good compared to the food we had on board. It was hot and it had flavor.
Disney isn't just for children. I don't think there were any more children on board our Disney cruise than on our Carnival cruises. The kids programs keep them all very busy. I'm just saying I wouldn't rule them out. It was one of my favorite cruises. I also enjoyed Princess, I picked it for the Itinerary but loved the ship once onboard. I thought the food was better than average and never waited in a line or couldn't find a table. I prefer Carnival but enjoyed Princess too. Your open mindedness will help. Enjoy!
Carnival is Fun, but Princess treats you like royalty
My husband and I do both Carnival and Princess since we discovered we LOVE cruising 4 years ago. We went on a western Caribbean itinerary with Princess on our first cruise and we were absolutely enchanted with the service, the food, the room, the ports, the excursions, our steward and the people we met on board. We did a Carnival Southern Caribbean tour the next year to save a little money and because the sailing was at the right time, and it was the best itinerary, the absolute tops. But we noticed right away the ship looked a little more dated and tired, the passengers a little less polite, the service a bit off from what we had encountered on the Caribbean Princess. We did another Carnival last summer (the Bahamas - would never go again!) and although we were less than impressed with Nassau and Freeport, found the ship similar to our last Carnival cruise. We had fun, ate lots of great food, but the eye-popping 70's glam decorating of the ship got real old fast. We felt like both Carnival cruises were fun and good, and very worth the price, but not exceptional like our Princess trip had been.
We have been saving for 5 years for our 25th anniversary trip - a Ruby Princess Mediterranean cruise departing Barcelona on May 4 - to Monte Carlo, Livorno/Florence, Civitaveccia/Rome, Naples/Capri, Athens, Istanbul, Ephesus/Kusadasi, Turkey, Mykonos, Greece, and ending with two days in Venice. Even if Carnival offered the same itinerary for far less, we still would have gone with Princess. It will be a dream vacation, and I am confident that we will find the service, food and room of the exceptional quality we believe Princess will deliver.
having just got back from my 1st cruise - 25 days on the Diamond Princess - all I can say is it was FANTASTIC!!!!
We did back to back cruises - and I must admit the 1st 12 days were better than that second - but even so the second was great to. The service was slightly not as good, but I am counting down to my next cruise on the Diamond!!
I am going back to work tomorrow to see if I can get another 3 weeks off end of Feb!!
We've been on Princess 3x (Golden, Grand and Crown). Ships are clean and the food was always amazing. We love to dance and Princess seems to cater to that in their lounges... we love the Wheelhouse Bar.
Agree with the other posts that Princess is fairly laid back. However, there's never any shortage of activities or entertainment. You can choose how much or how little you do. We also like the anytime dining as we like to sometimes have a quiet dinner just the two of us.
Give it a try! That's the only way you'll know... I think you'll enjoy.