Back to Princess after eighteen years

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#1
Ontario, Canada
2,092 Posts
Joined Jan 2006
Our first ever cruise was with Princess in 1994. In the last few years we have travelled with HAL, NCL, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity (which has become our line of choice). In January we are joining a group of friends on Star Princess out of Buenos Aires. What differences can we expect between Princess and Celebrity? How does it compare with our other recent cruise lines? What are the 'do not miss' features?
Thanks for your help
#2
Aliso Viejo, CA
41,929 Posts
Joined Jul 2001
I love the International Cafe. HAL, Celebrity, and RCCL don't have anything like it. Pastries, muffins, donuts and breakfast sandwiches for breakfast, paninis, sandwiches, salads (shrimp, chicken and Greek) as well as pastries the rest of the day and night.

I'm a 3-star Mariner on HAL and have been on both HAL and Celebrity in just over a year. While food is very subjective, I think Princess has better food and service than both. The shows and entertainment are better as well.

On Princess, cabins are ready as soon as you board so you can start your cruise immediately, unlike Celebrity. HAL changed to that just a year or so ago.

Hopefully, you'll like Princess.
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#3
MO - home of the STL Cardinals!
1,114 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Like the OP, I haven't been on Princess since 1999 and will be on the Island in January.
After sailing with 4 other lines (RCI, NCL, HAL, Celebrity), I am very interested in what people have to say about the OP's question
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Cindy

Star Princess Cruise Tour DB4 Denali Explorer - 6/21/2016
RCCL Vision of the Seas - Western Caribbean - 1/24/2015
Celebrity Infinity - South America & around the Horn 1/19/2014
Island Princess - Panama Canal Full Transit 1/9/2013
Celebrity Solstice - Western Caribbean 1/22/2012
Celebrity Summit - B2B 1/15 & 1/22/2011
Celebrity Summit - Southern Caribbean 1/16/2010
Celebrity Summit - Christmas Cruise - 12/20/2008
Holland America - Southern Caribbean & STL Cardinals cruise - 1/2004
NCL - Hawaii - 2/2003
Princess - Alaska Cruisetour 9/1999
Royal Caribbean Majesty of the Seas - Western Caribbean (the one that got this started!) 6/1998

#4
Raleigh, N.C.
12,186 Posts
Joined Jul 2002
Since 2000, we have sailed three times on Celebrity, twice on HAL, once on Carnival, and are about to sail on our 12th Princess cruise. I've enjoyed them all--even the Carnival one. There's always something that another cruise line does better. I generally look for the best price and itinerary to meet our vacation schedule. DH teaches and doesn't have much flebility with his. Princess has earned more of our business because it has had affordable cruises that fit our schedule. The past passenger perks are also nice. Even though after we finally make it to Elite, I'll still look at Celebrity and HAL to see if either has a good value.
#5
Florida
20,363 Posts
Joined Nov 2008
Welcome back...
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We've been on
Carnival: 27 voyages 184 days
Celebrity: 3 voyages 24 days
Holland: 29 voyages 661 days
Norwegian: 2 voyages 16 days
Princess: 16 voyages 154 days
Royal Carib: 5 voyages 35 days
Vantage:River 2 voyages 39 days
GRAND TOTAL: 84 Cruises 1118 days

NOT YET SAILED
Veendam Atlantic Crossing 10/17 - 49 days
Amsterdam World Cruise 1/18 - 113 days
Rotterdam Boston to Rotter 7/18 - 19 days
Prinsendam Amster to FTL 8/18 96 days
Zaandam Antarctic 12/18 - 22 days
Nieuw Statadam Carb. 1/19 - 7 days
Amsterdam World Cruise 1/19 113 days
Nieuw Statadam 9/19 20 days
Prinsendam 10/19 60 days
#6
Washington State
2,876 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Originally posted by Pam in CA
I love the International Cafe. HAL, Celebrity, and RCCL don't have anything like it.
Cafe Promenade (on RCCL ships that have it), is quite similar to the International Cafe on Princess. They're both 24 hour places to grab some quick snack food.


Mariner of the Seas by Jasperdo, on Flickr
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Explorer of the Seas (Pacific Coastal) - 10/16 ... Photos ... Compasses
Ruby Princess (Sea of Cortez) - 3/16 ... Photos ... Patters
Star Princess (Hawaii) - 3/14 ... Photos ... Patters
Coral Princess (Panama Canal) - 4/12 ... Photos ... Patters
Golden Princess (Alaska) - 6/11 ... Photos ... Patters
Golden Princess (Hawaii) - 1/11 ... Photos ... Patters
Mariner of the Seas (Mexico) - 12/09 ... Photos ... Compasses
Sapphire Princess (Mexico) - 2/09 ... Photos ... Patters
Star Princess (Alaska) - 5/08 ... Photos ... Patters
Dawn Princess (Caribbean) - 4/05 ... Photos ... Patters
Rhapsody of the Seas (Mexico) -1/01 ... Compasses
Carnival Holiday (Mexico) - 1/99 ... Capers
RCCL Song of America (Mexico) - 3/97 ... Compasses
Carnival Imagination (Caribbean) - 4/96 ... Capers
Celebrity Meridian (Caribbean) - 3/94 ...Photos ... Dailies
NCL Southward (Mexico) - 7/93 ... Dailies
Carnival Jubilee (Mexico) - 2/91 ... Photos ... Capers
#8
North Carolina
8,716 Posts
Joined May 2009
Welcome back! I am on this cruise also...
Have you joined the roll call?
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Royal Princess- 25th Anniversary in the Mediterranean- 6-25-16- http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2371183
Emerald Princess- Grand Cayman- 3/10/16- First Solo "Sandwich" Cruise http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2326900
Coral Princess- Panama Canal- 12/17/15- Cruisemas in the Canal. http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2289607
Royal Princess- British Isles 6/25/15- Move-over offer- Part 2... and the last hurrah with my beautiful mom. http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2226507
Royal Princess- Caribbean 1/28/15 Move-over offer- Part 1 http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2158487
Grand Princess- Alaska 7/20/14- Family cruise to Alaska- Take 3! http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2075740
NCL Spirit- Western Med. 1/14/14- Or how we almost missed the boat! http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1974054
HAL Zuiderdam- Western Caribbean 12/27/13-Our "One-off New Years Cruise" http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1959031
Star Princess- South America 1/30/13 http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1779657
Ruby Princess- Caribbean 12/23/11 http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1538653
Victoria Anna- Yangtze River Cruise 7/10/11
Caribbean Princess- Canada/New England 10/02/10 http://boards.cruisecritic.co.uk/sho....php?t=1290239
HAL Rotterdam- Alaska 07/10/10 http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1233347
Golden Princess- Alaska 07/11/09 http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1027042
Crown Princess-Baltic 07/09/2008
Several Princess Cruises to Bahamas July 1980s and 1990s
#9
Phila. PA
19,884 Posts
Joined Jan 2002
Originally posted by Jasperdo
Cafe Promenade (on RCCL ships that have it), is quite similar to the International Cafe on Princess. They're both 24 hour places to grab some quick snack food.


Mariner of the Seas by Jasperdo, on Flickr
IMHO the International Cafe didn't come close in comparison to RCI's Cafe Promenade.

Found much more variety on the RCI ships.

Bill