Looking for Feedback on Princess Cruises

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#1
United States
133 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
I’m looking at a cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale on the Island Princess in December but have only sailed on NCL, Celebrity and Carnival. I’d love if anyone is able to provide info/feedback on the Princess cruise experience compared to other cruise lines. Any information is appreciated! Thank you


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#2
Maine
1,056 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by wildtky101
I’m looking at a cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale on the Island Princess in December but have only sailed on NCL, Celebrity and Carnival. I’d love if anyone is able to provide info/feedback on the Princess cruise experience compared to other cruise lines. Any information is appreciated! Thank you


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Welcome to the Princess board!

Princess is likely a bit more traditional than you've experienced on the other lines. That being said, it is fun and comfortable.

Tell us about you and that might help with responses.
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Doreen



Previous Cruises
6/2010 - Alaska - Island Princess
5/2011 - TA & Med - Ruby Princess
4/2012 - TA & British Isles - Grand Princess
2/2013 - Hawaii - Sapphire Princess
9/2014 - Caribbean B2B - Caribbean Princess
3/2015 - Western Caribbean - Emerald Princess
9/2016 - Mexican Riviera - Grand Princess
3/2017 - Caribbean B2B - Crown Princess
#3
13,105 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
Of the lines you've cruised, Princess is most comparable to Celebrity. There are differences, of course, and there are many good comparison posts available.

It is a comfortable ship for families with good kid programming, but the overall demographic is not young families with kids. It is also not a college frat party ship. Obviously there is a good deal of drinking, but you'll rarely see an obnoxious drunk.
#4
South Carolina
30,278 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
We've been on all three you mentioned -- Princess, Celebrity, & NCL.
Princess is way more like Celebrity than Carnival or NCL.
If you enjoyed Celebrity but would like just a bit more activity, you'll love Princess.
Princess is the best fit for us.
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Happy Sailing! OCruisers (LuLu & Roundman)
80+ Cruises .... Princess, Celebrity, RCCL, HAL, Carnival, NCL, Costa, etc. (Still miss Sitmar)
#5
San Antonio spaceship earth
8,230 Posts
Joined Nov 2006
I have sailed on Carnival because it is close to our home and we can drive to the port instead of gong by air. Carnival and NCL are competitors in the low end of the cruise industry. Princess and Celebrity are considered a step up. Princess is more traditional and a bit more formal in their approach. It appeals to the older set who no longer have young children at home and who want a more sophisticated cruising experience. The decor of the ship is more traditional with subdued colors, faux wood trim (no flammable material allowed on a ship) and more adult entertainment meaning no hard rock or rap or whatever the younger generation listens to. It is the difference of going to the Holiday Inn or the Marriott/Hilton.
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#6
United States
133 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by Luvmyrotti
Welcome to the Princess board!



Princess is likely a bit more traditional than you've experienced on the other lines. That being said, it is fun and comfortable.



Tell us about you and that might help with responses.


Thanks for the info. We are a married couple, 41 and 45. Kids are in college so we typically cruise with just the 2 of us. We do like to have a few cocktails with dinner and on sea days and enjoy listening to bands and maybe a comedy show or 2 but are usually in bed by 11ish . I think I would like the traditional experience with a fun and comfortable twist!


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#7
United States
133 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by OCruisers
We've been on all three you mentioned -- Princess, Celebrity, & NCL.

Princess is way more like Celebrity than Carnival or NCL.

If you enjoyed Celebrity but would like just a bit more activity, you'll love Princess.

Princess is the best fit for us.


That sounds perfect. I loved Celebrity but my my husband was a little bored. He’s looking for something in between so maybe Princess may just be the right choice! Thanks!


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#8
United States
133 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by moki'smommy
Of the lines you've cruised, Princess is most comparable to Celebrity. There are differences, of course, and there are many good comparison posts available.

It is a comfortable ship for families with good kid programming, but the overall demographic is not young families with kids. It is also not a college frat party ship. Obviously there is a good deal of drinking, but you'll rarely see an obnoxious drunk.


We don’t have small children and are in our 40’s so the college frat scene is not desirable either. It sounds like a perfect combo of what we are looking for.


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#9
United States
133 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by satxdiver
I have sailed on Carnival because it is close to our home and we can drive to the port instead of gong by air. Carnival and NCL are competitors in the low end of the cruise industry. Princess and Celebrity are considered a step up. Princess is more traditional and a bit more formal in their approach. It appeals to the older set who no longer have young children at home and who want a more sophisticated cruising experience. The decor of the ship is more traditional with subdued colors, faux wood trim (no flammable material allowed on a ship) and more adult entertainment meaning no hard rock or rap or whatever the younger generation listens to. It is the difference of going to the Holiday Inn or the Marriott/Hilton.


We typically cruise on NCL, have only sailed Carnival twice, and have sailed Celebrity once. Personally, I loved Celebrity because it was a bit more sophisticated without a lot of children, but my husband was a little bored. I think Princess sounds like a good mix between Celebrity and NCL.


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#10
Cincinnati. OH-Go Reds
6,150 Posts
Joined Mar 2007
I took my first Princess cruise last July. Was looking for a change of pace from both Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. Sailed on Emerald Princess. My Wife and I loved it; the staff, the ship, the service, the shows. We liked it so much we have another cruise booked with Princess
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#11
United States
133 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by AF-1
I took my first Princess cruise last July. Was looking for a change of pace from both Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. Sailed on Emerald Princess. My Wife and I loved it; the staff, the ship, the service, the shows. We liked it so much we have another cruise booked with Princess


Great to know! Thanks. I totally forgot, we have cruised with Royal once as well.


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#12
Auburn, CA
3,252 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
I really like your choice of the Island Princess, but you will find many posters here that do not. Here's a quick checklist to help you decide if the Island is for you. Princess has several styles of ships, so you may prefer one of the newer, larger ships.


Do you like a piano/martini bar? The Island has the best one in the fleet.

Would you like a big, new balcony cabin on the Promenade Deck with real teak decking? They have them on the Island.

Do you like having a covered pool area? The Island has one.

Would you like to try an authentic Bayou Cafe? You'll find that on the Island, and also a great show called "On the Bayou".

The Island does have a wait for anytime dining, but so do many other ships. We chose late Traditional dining, so we never had to wait. You will need to get to the shows about 30 minutes before the scheduled start time, but that is often true on other ships too.

Now, how to decide if the Island is not for you:

Do you like to gamble? The casino on the Island is very small, so this is not the ship for you.

Do you go to gym? The gym is in the bowels of the ship, so this is probably not the ship for you.

Do you party it up at the disco? The Island doesn't have a disco, but there's live music and dancing in the Wheelhouse bar, and the Explorer's lounge turns in to disco around 11:00 pm.


My husband and I are in our 50's and we always find plenty of things to keep us busy, or relax, as the mood strikes us. Enjoy your cruise.
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Party Barbie Princess Elite Member

Upcoming Cruises
Grand 6/25/18 10-Day Alaska, Grand 9/23/18 7-Day Coastal, Royal 4/20/19 7-Day Mexico, Royal 4/27/19 7-Day Mexico, Royal 5/4/19 7-Day Wine Country Coastal, Emerald 11/4/19 14-Day Trans-Atlantic, Coral 4/21/20 Panama Canal
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Princess: Fair 5/90, Fair 11/92, Golden 11/93, Fair 11/94, Pacific 2/95, Regal 4/96, Star 11/96, Regal 4/99, Regal 4/00, Sea 9/00, Sun 5/01, Grand 3/02, Grand 3/03, Diamond 4/04, Star 12/04, Grand 12/05, Regal 5/06, Island 4/07, Dawn 11/07, Caribbean 1/08, Emerald 3/09, Island 5/09, Royal 4/10, Sea 9/10, Sapphire 1/11, Sapphire 5/11, Star 4/12, Crown 11/12, Star 4/13, Star 9/13, Pacific 11/13, Island 3/14, Star 6/14, Island 9/14, Island 11/14, Star 3/15, Emerald 10/15, Grand 11/15, Grand 1/16, Ruby 4/16, Ruby 9/16, Island 11/16, Grand 1/17, Grand 5/17, Grand 10/17, Sun 1/18, Diamond 2/18, Ruby 4/18
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#13
San Diego
959 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
We switched to Princess about five or so years ago. We had cruised mainly Carnival and two specialty cruise lines. We do not fit the Carnival demographic - in our 60s/70s with no kids, don't drink or gamble. We enjoyed Carnival a lot and liked the upbeat vibe. We switched lines because Carnival stopped offering some of their Mexican offerings, and Princess still had them. Based on these boards, we were expecting to be wowed by the Princess experience (we stay in aft suites on both lines). We were satisfied, but not wowed after our first Princess cruise - there are more similarities than differences between the mass market lines. Now that we've been on about 10 Princess cruises, we know what to expect and are very satisfied with their product. For a suite they are more expensive than Carnival because there are more "included" services. Others have commented on the decor, and Princess has enough activities and excellent shows to keep us coming back! I think the difference between Carnival and Princess is more like the difference between a Marriott Residence Inn and full service Marriott.
#14
United States
133 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by partybarbie
I really like your choice of the Island Princess, but you will find many posters here that do not. Here's a quick checklist to help you decide if the Island is for you. Princess has several styles of ships, so you may prefer one of the newer, larger ships.





Do you like a piano/martini bar? The Island has the best one in the fleet.



Would you like a big, new balcony cabin on the Promenade Deck with real teak decking? They have them on the Island.



Do you like having a covered pool area? The Island has one.



Would you like to try an authentic Bayou Cafe? You'll find that on the Island, and also a great show called "On the Bayou".



The Island does have a wait for anytime dining, but so do many other ships. We chose late Traditional dining, so we never had to wait. You will need to get to the shows about 30 minutes before the scheduled start time, but that is often true on other ships too.



Now, how to decide if the Island is not for you:



Do you like to gamble? The casino on the Island is very small, so this is not the ship for you.



Do you go to gym? The gym is in the bowels of the ship, so this is probably not the ship for you.



Do you party it up at the disco? The Island doesn't have a disco, but there's live music and dancing in the Wheelhouse bar, and the Explorer's lounge turns in to disco around 11:00 pm.





My husband and I are in our 50's and we always find plenty of things to keep us busy, or relax, as the mood strikes us. Enjoy your cruise.


Great information, the casino and gym aren’t really something that we use much but I LOVE a good martini bar, as well as live music! Waiting a bit for dinner and arriving early for a show is not really an issue for us. It looks like Princess may be just right for us! Thanks!


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#16
United States
133 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by RSF Cruiser
We switched to Princess about five or so years ago. We had cruised mainly Carnival and two specialty cruise lines. We do not fit the Carnival demographic - in our 60s/70s with no kids, don't drink or gamble. We enjoyed Carnival a lot and liked the upbeat vibe. We switched lines because Carnival stopped offering some of their Mexican offerings, and Princess still had them. Based on these boards, we were expecting to be wowed by the Princess experience (we stay in aft suites on both lines). We were satisfied, but not wowed after our first Princess cruise - there are more similarities than differences between the mass market lines. Now that we've been on about 10 Princess cruises, we know what to expect and are very satisfied with their product. For a suite they are more expensive than Carnival because there are more "included" services. Others have commented on the decor, and Princess has enough activities and excellent shows to keep us coming back! I think the difference between Carnival and Princess is more like the difference between a Marriott Residence Inn and full service Marriott.


Definitely good information. We typically sail NCL but it feels as though the service is lacking a bit lately, as well as the food quality (even in the specialty restaurants-at times it was barely warm). What is your opinion of the service and food on Princess?


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#17
South Carolina
30,278 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
Originally posted by wildtky101
Great information, the casino and gym aren’t really something that we use much but I LOVE a good martini bar, as well as live music! Waiting a bit for dinner and arriving early for a show is not really an issue for us. It looks like Princess may be just right for us! Thanks!
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You would LOVE Crooner's, the martini bar on Princess!
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Happy Sailing! OCruisers (LuLu & Roundman)
80+ Cruises .... Princess, Celebrity, RCCL, HAL, Carnival, NCL, Costa, etc. (Still miss Sitmar)
#19
Florida
1,599 Posts
Joined Jun 2010
very much depends on what you like and who's at the piano, of course...

we've had more than a few very enjoyable nights in Crooners, but also have walked out on occasion...
#20
San Diego
959 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
I would rate the food from good to excellent. Service is generally excellent, and on rare occasions I’d say very good. Since we stay in a suite, we have breakfast in Sabatini’s which is excellent, and then dinner in the dining room - Club Class or regular anytime. Lunch and snacks are generally from the International Cafe if there is one. Also, if there’s an Alfredo’s, the pizza is outstanding. Hope this helps.


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