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Pacific Princess vs Grand Class Ships


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My DW has her heart set on going to Tahiti in 2016, and unless I want my life to be miserable I will, of course, agree :) In looking at the itineraries I noticed that the 10 day we want is on Pacific Princess. I've only cruised on Grand class ships and have always loved the choices and the varied activities, etc., so naturally I am a bit concerned about spending 10 days on board a ship 1/4 the size.

 

For those of you who have done both, what was the experience like, and would a fan of the larger ships survive? :) Thanks for the help!

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My DW has her heart set on going to Tahiti in 2016, and unless I want my life to be miserable I will, of course, agree :) In looking at the itineraries I noticed that the 10 day we want is on Pacific Princess. I've only cruised on Grand class ships and have always loved the choices and the varied activities, etc., so naturally I am a bit concerned about spending 10 days on board a ship 1/4 the size.

 

For those of you who have done both, what was the experience like, and would a fan of the larger ships survive? :) Thanks for the help!

 

After almost 1000 Princess days and of those only a bit under 200 on the small ships, YES............ you will survive. :D

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Yes, you will survive. There is only fixed seating dining available in the dining room, and we are fans of anytime dining. We survived - the buffet is actually quite nice, although much smaller than what you will find on the Grand Class ships.

 

You might get to know your fellow passengers and crew a bit better.....we like the little ladies for port intensive itineraries so you should be fine.

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We sailed Star Princess last fall and Pacific Princess in May. We had aft full suites on both. By far the best suite/veranda was Pacific Princess. The food was much better on Pacific. Service was the same on both. We are not much for casinos but the one on Pacific seemed to have a good choice of things to do. Embarkation/disembarkation/on and off in ports was much easier on Pacific (not that it was bad on Star). We never felt crowded on Pacific but rarely felt crowded on Star. Entertainment was, imho, equivalent on both--not great. For French Polynesia with out doubt we would book Pacific over the larger ships.:D

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One of my fears is that these smaller ships will be sold before I ever have a chance to sail on them. I've heard nothing but good things about them and would love to give them a try. I can't retire for another 30 months and am hoping to be able to sail in one of these ships after that as the itineraries offered don't really work well for me while working.

 

I say go for it and I think you will have a wonderful experience.

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One of my fears is that these smaller ships will be sold before I ever have a chance to sail on them. I've heard nothing but good things about them and would love to give them a try. I can't retire for another 30 months and am hoping to be able to sail in one of these ships after that as the itineraries offered don't really work well for me while working.

 

I say go for it and I think you will have a wonderful experience.

 

Don't worry. If Princess sells them, look at Azamara. Identical ships, though decor is a bit different. Both AZ ships are ex: R-Ships as are the two Princess "babies".:D

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One of my fears is that these smaller ships will be sold before I ever have a chance to sail on them. I've heard nothing but good things about them and would love to give them a try. I can't retire for another 30 months and am hoping to be able to sail in one of these ships after that as the itineraries offered don't really work well for me while working.

 

I say go for it and I think you will have a wonderful experience.

 

Funny you should say that, because we had planned and planned and had just not gotten around to cruising on Renaissance. So they went out of business...... And then VOILA!.......Pacific and Tahitian Princess were born. ;)

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We have a difference of opinion in my house, wonder who will win?

 

We have done Hawaii twice once on the Golden, which I prefer. Once on the now Ocean which wife prefers.

 

Minis on the Golden are fine we book one on every cruise. Minis on the Ocean or Pacific are outstanding and with a double balcony. Dining room on the Ocean really great on the back of the ship. Without exception except for the pool, show room, pizza maybe a couple of other things the Ocean is better. And if the cruise is port intensive it is wonderful. IMO there just isn't enough to do on a small ship with a lot of sea days and it drives me crazy. Oh yes and it is slow.

 

Guess what going to Hawaii again next year out of Vancouver and on the Pacific already booked and right in the middle.:D

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I concur with the majority of the posts - the Ocean and the Pacific (been on each once) are wonderful for port intensive cruises. We found the service to be very attentive, easy to get off and on, and on warm weather cruises, nothing beats the back deck for breakfast IMO. On sea days, I did find that there was not quite as much to do on board, but we always book a mini-suite, and the balcony is truly the perfect place to spend the day reading and relaxing. We are headed to Tahiti in October this year on the Pacific - looking forward to it!

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We would never sail on Pacific Princess again unless it is a port intensive itinerary. We did a transatlantic and the ship did not have enough to do during sea days. We read through all the books we brought (which has never happened before). Thank goodness they had a good library selection.

 

The back deck to eat outside always smelled of engine exhaust during sea days, which wasn't pleasant when trying to eat. The pizza wasn't the same. There were many crew that smoked on our cruise, and the did so on the starboard side (outside) near the entrance to the restaurant bar/MDR. It would trickle into that bar area and was unpleasant. Our mini-suite was near a bilge area which was sometimes noisy. The balcony size was nice though and we did meet some wonderful people on our cruise.

Edited by Love.II.Cruise
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We have been on the Grand Class ships (and on 5 other non-Princess lines) and have booked our first R-class (Pacific) ship for a warm weather, port intensive cruise (Tahiti/French Polynesia) in our first Owner's Suite (have been in Inside, Balcony, Mini-Suite, Vista Suite, and Full Penthouse Suite).

 

It is for our 40th anniversary and we are (obviously) very eagerly looking forward to (as we do every cruise)! :-)

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To those concerned about the lack of activities on the Ocean and Pacific on cruises with multiple sea days:

 

Have you been on such a cruise? We have found that a good CD is crucial on these cruises. Yes, they will have all the usual activities like bingo, trivia, water volleyball, zumba lessons, etc. But the good CD will include a number of activities not usually found on cruise ships.

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To those concerned about the lack of activities on the Ocean and Pacific on cruises with multiple sea days:

 

Have you been on such a cruise? We have found that a good CD is crucial on these cruises. Yes, they will have all the usual activities like bingo, trivia, water volleyball, zumba lessons, etc. But the good CD will include a number of activities not usually found on cruise ships.

 

You are so right!!! On our recent Ocean Princess cruise, there was carpet bowling and golf "pitching" into a flower urn in the atrium near the passenger services desk! Since it was too cold near the Arctic Circle to be outside, they had to be very creative with indoor games and activities. We had a blast watching and participating in a wide variety of shows, games, presentations and lectures. The ship's photographer held a three day class on getting the best pictures from your DSL. It was a great series.

 

Because the ship is small, you'll get to know other passengers and crew, so you always have someone to visit with. I LOVE the small ships! :)

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The smaller Princess ships do a better job in the South Pacific than the larger ships.

 

Ports such as in French Polynesia (Bora Bora, Moorea, etc.) can barely handle the number of passengers on the smaller Princess ships. The number of passengers on a Grand class ship would overwhelm these ports.

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Ports such as in French Polynesia (Bora Bora, Moorea, etc.) can barely handle the number of passengers on the smaller Princess ships. The number of passengers on a Grand class ship would overwhelm these ports.

 

Right. Also, even with a reduced number of activities and options on the R-class ships, the Princess 10-day itineraries out of Papeete do not have a lot of sea days. For us, there always was more than enough to do during our one such FP trip on the former Royal Princess (also R-class). That ship was one of our favorite Princess ships.

 

John

Edited by J-D
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My DW has her heart set on going to Tahiti in 2016, and unless I want my life to be miserable I will, of course, agree :) In looking at the itineraries I noticed that the 10 day we want is on Pacific Princess. I've only cruised on Grand class ships and have always loved the choices and the varied activities, etc., so naturally I am a bit concerned about spending 10 days on board a ship 1/4 the size.

 

For those of you who have done both, what was the experience like, and would a fan of the larger ships survive? :) Thanks for the help!

Hi, We have been on the Pacific & Ocean approx 120 days, and about the same on larger ships. and loved them all,some of the differences we have found compared to the Larger Ships, The smaller are easier & quicker to get on & off when in Ports, they can go to Ports that larger ones can't get into. They are fine if it is a shortish cruise,say 12 to 20 days,but any longer or a lot of sea days you find there is not much to do and then you notice how small the Ship really is. Also there is a lack of variety in eating places compared to larger. My personal opinion after spending a fair time on both, My vote is for Larger. Cheers.

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We sailed the R2 with Renaissance and then the Tahitian (now Ocean) with Princess. We like the large, medium (Coral and Island probably being our favorites of all) and the small.

 

Tahiti / South Pacific is pretty port intensive. And if you are into activities, about all we had the energy to do after a day on shore was to go to dinner (which was one of the best tables because of our table mates and waiters ever on Princess) and go to bed. Sea days were great for catching up on some rest.

 

We had a mini-suite on both R2 and the Tahitian, which on these ships do not even compare to a mini-suite on the other Princess ships. They probably are about the same square footage, but instead of being narrow, they are more square, like a regular hotel room with a wide balcony. Our traveling companion had a standard aft balcony cabin, and her balcony was huge as well.

 

It will not be same as a Grand class ship, but our cruise on the Tahitian Princess was wonderful.

 

If you're interested, I did a detailed review, which includes a lot of information about our excursions, all of which I believe are still operating.

 

http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=41340

Edited by SingerEsq
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We sailed the R2 with Renaissance and then the Tahitian (now Ocean) with Princess. We like the large, medium (Coral and Island probably being our favorites of all) and the small.

 

Tahiti / South Pacific is pretty port intensive. And if you are into activities, about all we had the energy to do after a day on shore was to go to dinner (which was one of the best tables because of our table mates and waiters ever on Princess) and go to bed. Sea days were great for catching up on some rest.

 

We had a mini-suite on both R2 and the Tahitian, which on these ships do not even compare to a mini-suite on the other Princess ships. They probably are about the same square footage, but instead of being narrow, they are more square, like a regular hotel room with a wide balcony. Our traveling companion had a standard aft balcony cabin, and her balcony was huge as well.

 

It will not be same as a Grand class ship, but our cruise on the Tahitian Princess was wonderful.

 

If you're interested, I did a detailed review, which includes a lot of information about our excursions, all of which I believe are still operating.

 

http://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=41340

Must agree with you with the Island & Coral, we have just come off the Island after 34 days straight and loved everything about the ship,had a great covered mini all the way. we are on the Sapphire in 4 weeks so hope we like her as much. Brenda.

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Must agree with you with the Island & Coral, we have just come off the Island after 34 days straight and loved everything about the ship,had a great covered mini all the way. we are on the Sapphire in 4 weeks so hope we like her as much. Brenda.

 

We sailed the Sapphire earlier this year on a short coastal, as she was starting to be tweaked for the new Japan / Asia itineraries. Very similar to the others, but every ship has a different "feel" and we enjoyed her very much.

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Does your DW have her heart set on Princess? When you do go to book compare the Princess price to Oceania. Oceania includes air which is a killer to Tahiti. We were pretty shocked to see that Oceania was cheaper

 

Actually we will be on the CB in 17 days and that will be her first Princess cruise, so we will find out :) She wasn't on any of my other cruises. Will give Oceania a look though, appreciate the info.

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