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Princess vs Carnival vs Royal Caribbean


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I am elite on Princess and diamond on RC and have also sailed Carnival several times.

 

If traveling with kids I prefer Royal, if traveling with just hubby or friends, love Princess and Celebrity.

 

Things I love on Princess include: Afternoon tea, Movies under the stars, milk and cookies, friendly staff, $3.99 pre-show drinks, laundry rooms with irons and ironing boards, chocolates on the pillow, fresh fruit basket in room.

 

Thinks I missed having on Princess: Towel animals, (though if you ask steward they will make them) Ice show, water show, etc...

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Biggest difference are the itineraries. Princess goes all over the world. RCCL is quite limited in their offering. Carnival is even more limited. Princess offers much longer cruises which we prefer. Every cruiseline has a certain niche and if you fit that niche you probably will be happy with it. It seems you do mostly shorter cruises, so RCCL and Carnival will fit your niche. Princess will generally have better food, more varied entertainment, and a more relaxing atmosphere plus the longer cruise and more interesting itineraries. If you have to be entertained or be very active else you will be bored, then Princess may not be the right cruise line for you.

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Biggest difference are the itineraries. Princess goes all over the world. RCCL is quite limited in their offering. Carnival is even more limited. Princess offers much longer cruises which we prefer. Every cruiseline has a certain niche and if you fit that niche you probably will be happy with it. It seems you do mostly shorter cruises, so RCCL and Carnival will fit your niche. Princess will generally have better food, more varied entertainment, and a more relaxing atmosphere plus the longer cruise and more interesting itineraries. If you have to be entertained or be very active else you will be bored, then Princess may not be the right cruise line for you.

 

Deadzone1003 thank you for your input, it pretty much sums it up. I'm just curious, what makes you think that I do shorter cruises. Just wondering.

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Most of the ships on your list due majority 7 days or less cruising. For some people, that's a shorter cruise.

 

I do have to disagree on one point of theirs, I do not find the entertainment on Princess anywhere near a par with the offerings on RCCL. I think its Princess' weakest link. That said, there are plenty of options most nights, so varied may be an apt description.

 

Deadzone1003 thank you for your input, it pretty much sums it up. I'm just curious, what makes you think that I do shorter cruises. Just wondering.
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We mostly cruise on Princess because it's the best fit for us but we sometimes also cruise on RCCL and Carnival.

On RCCL ... Oasis/Allure provide a different sort of cruise experience. We sort of think of them (in a very nice way) as floating resorts. Their specialty restaurants are great!

Carnival ... The Port of Charleston is sooooooo convenient for us.

Princess ... There's nothing major we dislike. Feels like home to us. :)

LuLu

~~~

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We have been pretty much steady princess customers since that's who we went with on our first cruise (13 of 17). In the last year we cruised on all three including Princess a week ago and Royal Caribbean in February.

 

I like the Princess motif - the brass and teak, and I guess the fact that each of the ships pretty much has the same features so we're comfortable (in our 60s).

 

We have cruise on the Carnival Magic twice and the Conquest. Conquest was first and we said we'd never go on Carnival again - too much plastic and neon. But we got talked into a cruise on the Magic and enjoyed it so we went again.

 

In February we went on the Navigator of the Seas. We pretty much enjoyed everything about the ship.

 

Food is subjective but we both felt RCCL was a bit better. Entertainment on RCCL was hands down the winner for us over Princess. I don't remember if we even went to a show on carnival so I can't rate that.

 

I guess it really boils down to the itinerary and sometimes cost. All three provide a great vacation for the money - and if you like RCCL I think you'll enjoy Princess.

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Like others here, we have been on all three as well as NCL and Holland. I've never been on a cruise line that I didn't like, though I have been on cruises and ships that I've liked more than others.

 

I like the differences that each line has to offer and did lots of reading, website exploring before we've gone so I know the product. I think that's what some people don't like - they like familiarity with one line and what to expect and don't particularly like change or differences. For example, I frequently see posters, after returning from a cruise and having the same cabin type on one ship as on another complain about the size of the room, the balcony, the shower curtain versus shower door, etc., etc., etc. All this informatin is available on either the cruise line's websites, youtube videos, or of course, here. Some simple research before taking the trip would, if not eliminate their objections, at least prepared them for what was available on a particular ship/line.

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I am elite on Princess and diamond on RC and have also sailed Carnival several times.

 

If traveling with kids I prefer Royal, if traveling with just hubby or friends, love Princess and Celebrity.

 

Things I love on Princess include: Afternoon tea, Movies under the stars, milk and cookies, friendly staff, $3.99 pre-show drinks, laundry rooms with irons and ironing boards, chocolates on the pillow, fresh fruit basket in room.

 

Thinks I missed having on Princess: Towel animals, (though if you ask steward they will make them) Ice show, water show, etc...

 

 

Where do you get the $3.99 pre show drinks? Is it only in the auditorium and what drinks does it include?

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As being pointed out, they are all good for what they do and it gives people a choice as to what kind of experience you want at sea. For us we stay away from the resort/theme park style ships and tend to go with the more traditional ships that Princess offers.

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Where do you get the $3.99 pre show drinks? Is it only in the auditorium and what drinks does it include?
JJ2sail may have been referring to the drink of the day from 5:00 to 7:00 in the lounge for Platinum, Elite and Suite passengers. The cost used to be $3.99 but has increased to $5.00. On our cruise this month on the Grand they offered a pre-show special in the theater with Piña Coladas, Singapore Slings, Long Island Iced Tea, Blue Margaritas, Strawberry Daiquiris and all House Spirits for $3.99. We took two cruises last year and another in January and the Pre-Show special was not offered on those cruises so this appears to be new.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Cruise Critic Forums mobile app

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Thank you. This will be our first time on Princess if we book so we won't qualify for the elite discount. I will look out for the pre show discounted drinks.

 

Does anyone know if the theater seats have fold out trays on them? I read somewhere that the theater seats don't have any cupholders and then I saw in another place that there may be fold out tray tables that can be used? Is this on Princess.

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Several monthss ago I read an article by a very well respected travel writer trying to explain the differences between the cruise lines in a very simple manner. He compared them to General Motor's line of of automobiles. His thoughts:

Chevrolets-Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian

Buicks-Princess, Holland, Celebrity

Cadillac-Seabourn, Crystal, Oceana, Regent, Cunard

 

His answer as to which was best for someone was to look in the driveway!! Simplistic I know, but worthy of some thought.

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I used a similar analogy with Toyotas once...

 

Carnival - Scion

Corolla/Camry - RCCL,NCL

Camry/Avalon - Princess, Celebrity, HAL

Lexus - Luxury Lines

Sienna - Disney

Prius - Windjammer ;)

 

 

 

Several monthss ago I read an article by a very well respected travel writer trying to explain the differences between the cruise lines in a very simple manner. He compared them to General Motor's line of of automobiles. His thoughts:

Chevrolets-Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian

Buicks-Princess, Holland, Celebrity

Cadillac-Seabourn, Crystal, Oceana, Regent, Cunard

 

His answer as to which was best for someone was to look in the driveway!! Simplistic I know, but worthy of some thought.

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Several monthss ago I read an article by a very well respected travel writer trying to explain the differences between the cruise lines in a very simple manner. He compared them to General Motor's line of of automobiles. His thoughts:

Chevrolets-Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian

Buicks-Princess, Holland, Celebrity

Cadillac-Seabourn, Crystal, Oceana, Regent, Cunard

 

His answer as to which was best for someone was to look in the driveway!! Simplistic I know, but worthy of some thought.

 

Great comparison We drive a Buick and Princess,Celebrity and Holland American are our favorite lines. But for itinerary Oceania has the others beat.

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In my opinion, the biggest perk is being able to combine benefits.

Future cruise credit

Stockholders credit

Military credit

Travel agent credit

Princess 123 promotion

Welcome back $ ( for over 21 cruises)

On our upcoming 17 day cruise, this comes to $1,100.....nice way to start a cruise!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums mobile app

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I believe it has been posted that the Princess Theater seats on the Royal do not have trays.

 

Correct. Plus theater seats are quite cramped on the Royal, compared to other Princess ships. But there are other features that make the Royal (and, we hope, the Regal) well worth the cruise.

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