Is the Princess fleet getting a little...dated?

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#1
12 Posts
Joined Apr 2018
We have been loyal to Princess and never stepped foot on any other cruise line until this year (RCB & NCL). I would have to say I was a little disappointed in trusty Princess when we were on these mega ships that housed Go Kart tracks, laser tag, flowrider, etc. Of course I understand that these ships were recently released and sail tropical itineraries aimed at families however now I just can't help but feel jaded when comparing Princess fares with these other cruise lines that constantly refurbish their ships. The price points are similar (with Princess being slightly higher on some sailings) and even the competitor's no-frills cruise ships are routinely being upgraded and new attractions are added. I think Princess' latest big deal for us were the dry-docks that brought the International Cafe to the fleet but...that's it. What are the areas in which Princess brings value compared to other cruise lines in today's market? It doesn't help that I seemed to save a few bucks booking with other cruise lines this past year.
#2
COLORADO
59,555 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Originally posted by forgetfulnancy
We have been loyal to Princess and never stepped foot on any other cruise line until this year (RCB & NCL). I would have to say I was a little disappointed in trusty Princess when we were on these mega ships that housed Go Kart tracks, laser tag, flowrider, etc. Of course I understand that these ships were recently released and sail tropical itineraries aimed at families however now I just can't help but feel jaded when comparing Princess fares with these other cruise lines that constantly refurbish their ships. The price points are similar (with Princess being slightly higher on some sailings) and even the no-frills competitor cruise ships seem to have been upgraded recently with a new attraction on board (bowling alley for example). What are the areas in which Princess brings value compared to other cruise lines nowadays? It doesn't help that I seemed to have quite a buck booking with other cruise lines as well.

I agree starting with the Grand. (1998)!!

I am not for the Carnival atmosphere either. Don't need all the rides etc.
However newer ships are a must. Tired of plumbing and HVAC issues.
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Keith
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#3
Brooksville FL
3,972 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Originally posted by forgetfulnancy
We have been loyal to Princess and never stepped foot on any other cruise line until this year (RCB & NCL). I would have to say I was a little disappointed in our trusty Princess when we were on these mega ships that housed Go Kart tracks, laser tag, flowrider, etc. Of course I understand that these ships were recently released and sail tropical itineraries aimed at families however now I just can't help but feel jaded when looking at Princess fares compared with other cruise lines with these new shiny toys. What are the areas in which Princess brings value compared to other cruise lines nowadays? It doesn't help that I seemed to have quite a buck booking with other cruise lines as well.


Not everyone wants an Amusement Park @ Sea .
Been cruising since 1978.
Princess still retains a semblance of a actual cruise experience for me .
We cruise all of the mass market cruise lines but avoid the
Amusement Park @Sea ships .


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#4
San Francisco Bay Area
7,920 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Not sure what RCB is but yes, some of the ships in the Princess fleet are pretty old and could use some TLC.
However, you can still have a fabulous time on one of the older ships and what is nice in a roundabout sort of way, the ships without all those amusement park features kind of tend to keep the kiddies away.
I tend to like the Solstice class ships of Celebrity but recently sailed on the Grand Princess for a most wonderful sailing. There was some rust in our tub which should have been addressed but other than that, the cruise was exceptional.
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Cruise Raider
#5
13,592 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
There is a reason that I don't book cruises on Royal Caribbean and NCL....and in large part, you named it. First, my daughter has a mobility issue that won't allow her to do many of those things like climbing walls, flow riders, etc. Therefore, I don't want to pay for them or to watch her disappointment when she can't do things. Secondly, I don't want to deal with the unsupervised tweens and teens that we've experienced on some of these lines.

I don't think that a classic cruise experience makes a cruise line "dated." However, I see a lot of room for improvement at Princess...starting with the beige and brown decor everywhere. There are many things that could be done to upgrade/update ships without creating an amusement park at sea.
#6
12 Posts
Joined Apr 2018
Originally posted by moki'smommy
There is a reason that I don't book cruises on Royal Caribbean and NCL....and in large part, you named it. First, my daughter has a mobility issue that won't allow her to do many of those things like climbing walls, flow riders, etc. Therefore, I don't want to pay for them or to watch her disappointment when she can't do things. Secondly, I don't want to deal with the unsupervised tweens and teens that we've experienced on some of these lines.

I don't think that a classic cruise experience makes a cruise line "dated." However, I see a lot of room for improvement at Princess...starting with the beige and brown decor everywhere. There are many things that could be done to upgrade/update ships without creating an amusement park at sea.
I over-stated the point regarding ship attractions but what I should have included in the original post was also general TLC across all ships. I fully agree with your point with the overuse of brown and the dinginess of some stateroom bathrooms Cruise Raider brought up. It just seems like the cruise line market is moving onward and Princess is being left behind.
#7
Diamond Bar, CA
1,265 Posts
Joined Sep 2015
Nancy, as long as the Princess ships are sailing fully booked, I think that the powers that be in the Santa Clarita Puzzle Palace will continue patting themselves on the back for a job well done. If they start sending out empty cabins on cruises, they will start wondering "How do we attract more customers so that we can keep our jobs?"

Keep in mind that Princess is a for-profit enterprise. The have to amortize the cost of new ships over many years. They, in fact, do have a plan of bringing on new ships and retiring their older ones.

Here is the cool part, The cruise industry has pretty nicely segmented the market for themselves. So, you have cruisers who are comfortable with Princess, and it is less likely that they would consider cruising on Carnival or NCL. Then you have cruisers who are comfortable with Royal Caribbean and it is less likely that they would consider cruising on Holland America or Princess. There is some poaching of customers between these companies, but for every "I choose my cruise based on itinerary" customer there is the offsetting "I am Exalted Loyalty Level and I want my free drinks and free internet," customer.

I don't understand why you want Princess to look like Royal Caribbean. If Royal Caribbean fits you better, then go ahead and cruise with them. Why would you want to turn Princess into a Royal Caribbean wannabe?
#8
3,509 Posts
Joined Dec 2010
This year we have sailed on 4 different cruise lines (princess, celebrity, HAL, and Royal Caribbean. Princess remains our line of first choice, but we will sail on other lines for various reasons (royal for example when we cruise with children and grandchildren). Other for cruise itinerary and/timing.
Princess is just fine.
#9
Diamond Bar, CA
1,265 Posts
Joined Sep 2015
You made your second post while I was composing mine, Nancy.

Your clarification makes your title more understandable. I have no real response to that. I do not share that view. However, if that is your observation, then I certainly not disagree with your feelings.
#10
515 Posts
Joined Jan 2013
Originally posted by moki'smommy
I don't think that a classic cruise experience makes a cruise line "dated." However, I see a lot of room for improvement at Princess...starting with the beige and brown decor everywhere. There are many things that could be done to upgrade/update ships without creating an amusement park at sea.
I agree. We have cruised a lot on Royal Caribbean, and their decor and lay out are more convenient and contemporary without being over the top. We have not yet cruised on any of their mega-ships, since most of the additional activities aren't of interest and the smaller ships are less expensive in general. Princess decor and lay out are a bit dated and inconvenient at times. However, many of their public spaces have a classic elegance that is not duplicated on Royal Caribbean. But there is definitely room for improvement and updating.

We have cruised with Princess for their itineraries, despite their ships' decor and higher pricing. They have many great itineraries that keep us coming back for another adventure.
#11
539 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
Originally posted by XBGuy
Nancy, as long as the Princess ships are sailing fully booked,

Full ships don’t necessarily mean profitable ships. With revenue management it means the price point that fills the ship is met



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#12
Diamond Bar, CA
1,265 Posts
Joined Sep 2015
Originally posted by MrMan
Full ships don’t necessarily mean profitable ships. With revenue management it means the price point that fills the ship is met



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Touche.

#13
Texas
2,092 Posts
Joined Aug 2011
The Royal Princess entered the fleet in 2013. The Regal Princess entered the fleet in 2014. The Majestic Princess entered the fleet in 2017. The Sky Princess will enter the fleet in 2019.

These ships don't come off some assembly line like automobiles. Four new ships in 7 years seems like a pretty good effort to maintain a modern fleet. I don't know what the construction rate for newly built ships is for other cruise lines but I think Princess is doing pretty good. The only thing Princess has failed to do is to ask me to help design the "perfect" cruise ship.
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#14
Sebring Florida
103 Posts
Joined Jun 2016
We have no problem with Princess not having rock climbing walls, go cart racing and ice skating rinks. We are in our early 70 and enjoy the sedateness of Princess and HAL ships. What we are having is issues with Princess not spending enough on the maintenance of their ships especially the Caribbean Princess and from I've read a few others in the fleet. We sailed on the Eurodam in March and Caribbean Princess last month. Both ships are about the same age but that's where the comparison ends, the Eurodams looks like it's brand new while the Caribbean Princess needs an extensive re-do in dry dock.
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#15
San Mateo, California
5,836 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by forgetfulnancy
We have been loyal to Princess and never stepped foot on any other cruise line until this year (RCB & NCL). I would have to say I was a little disappointed in trusty Princess when we were on these mega ships that housed Go Kart tracks, laser tag, flowrider, etc. Of course I understand that these ships were recently released and sail tropical itineraries aimed at families however now I just can't help but feel jaded when comparing Princess fares with these other cruise lines that constantly refurbish their ships. The price points are similar (with Princess being slightly higher on some sailings) and even the competitor's no-frills cruise ships are routinely being upgraded and new attractions are added. I think Princess' latest big deal for us were the dry-docks that brought the International Cafe to the fleet but...that's it. What are the areas in which Princess brings value compared to other cruise lines in today's market? It doesn't help that I seemed to save a few bucks booking with other cruise lines this past year.

We have cruised well over 60 times on 9 different lines: 26 of these cruises have been on Princess, recently we have cruised Celebrity, Cunard, Holland America and NCL. We are very happy with Princess, we are not looking for all the family friendly attractions you mention, in fact, we avoid these mega ships because they are not our cut of tea.
#16
Two Rivers, Wisc.
1,893 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
I've been cruising 35 years, six different lines and Princess is 1st choice as itinerary is my goal. I was on Emerald for 30 days in March, it was fine. My table mates thought she needs an overhaul. I haven't sailed on RCI new ships, will not, don't need "stuff". I was on RCI Vision for 20+ days in 2015, people were saying the same thing, outdated. I had no complaints.

I equate it to mom and pop motels going by the wayside because people want to be entertained, have to stay connected, water parks, conveniences of home. Cruising in 80's, even 90's wasn't about things people have to have today. Times have changed, cruise lines and ships most certainly. I think Princess ships are fine. I'm sailing on the Royal this Fall, Sapphire and Emerald next year and if the Emerald looks exactly the same as she did this year, fine by me.
#17
I come from a land down under
26,013 Posts
Joined Jul 2014
If I want a theme Park I’ll visit one, if I cruise I want a cruise.
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#18
Las Vegas
11,876 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
As long as Princess keeps the Pacific Princess, I may sail on her on occasion. Otherwise, I am permanently out of there. As far as I am concerned, any ship with more than 1000 passengers is oversized. You would not get me on one of those oversized amusement park monstrosity mega ships if you gave me a cruise for nothing.

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#19
Chico, California
11,388 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
I would hate sailing on a ship with a "mall" down the middle! Balcony cabins overlooking a huge shopping area. Bleh... Our children are grown and gone. We have no use for all the bell and whistles offered on the huge mega ships. I feel lucky that we started with Princess and found a match for our wants/needs. I know others who tried cruising but started out with different lines and never cruised again after that first time. Princess meets our needs and fills a slot that seems to appeal to quite a few folks.

I can agree that some of the ships could use work. I know that when we sailed Emerald last year they were working on the plumbing issue during the cruise. It seems they were adding additional access areas and such so that when some clown blocked the plumbing it would be faster and easier to address the issue. Blocked plumbing can happen on any ship and it's caused by clueless or "entitled" passengers.

It's good that there are other lines with different options so that everybody can find what they like. We like Princess and will stick with the line.
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#20
South Carolina
30,460 Posts
Joined Dec 2001
We're happy with the way Princess has mantained the older ships!
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