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Which solo cruise Carnival Inspiration or Crown Princess


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Hi everyone. Just on here looking for some suggestions. In Dec/Jan I will have a few weeks off and thought a solo cruise would be just the ticket for relaxation and fun. I usually don't have a problem meeting people on vacations and am pretty out going. I see there are two options that fit my schedule. The first is the Crown Princess out of LA for 4 nights to Ensenada. The second is the Carnival Inspiration with the same itinerary. I've done the cruise on both Rccl and Carnival but both times were with friends or family so I don't remember the demographics of the people. Plus they took place in different seasons.


I am not looking for a romantic fling. I just want to meet people my age and have fun relaxing, doing excursions, and experiencing night life. I'm 35 years old and a teacher. Which ship has the approximate age range I'm looking for?


I know princess is probably the nicer of the two lines, but I am interested in meeting people in my age range. I've heard princess clientele may be too old. I don't want a booze cruise experience though.


I did some research and Princess is about double the cost of what Carnival is offering, but I'd really like to try out the nicer ship. I just don't want to be the youngest person on there.


Any suggestions or personal experience regarding this? I know there's a solo cruiser board, but it seems rather slow.


Thanks and I will be cross posting this on the Princess board!

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Sailed that itin many times on Carnival (at least 4 times on the Inspiration) and a few times on Princess, on the Golden (sailed the Crown on another itin)


The Crown is a beautiful ship. The Inspiration is Carnival at its finest, lol. We found the crew on the Inspiration to be great. Had a few minor issues with our room steward on the Crown.

We've always been able to find quiet spots on the Inspiration, even on Spring Break cruises.


During school breaks both will have more of an age range.


What kind of night life do you want? Princess seems to roll up its sidewalks pretty early, the second show is sparsely attended. The disco is open late.

Late night on Carnival you can go to the disco, adult comedy, piano bar or karaoke.

Fastest song we've ever heard at Princess karaoke has been 'My Way', the Piano Bar is listening to the piano, not interactive. Lots of show tunes and the like being played.

If you want a mellower cruise, choose Princess. Livelier, choose Carnival. You're outgoing, you'll meet people on either ship. Chronological age has nothing to do with mental age.


FWIW the cabins on Princess are smaller. The Crown has lots of obstructed OV that are a great value. There is a website that shows all the obstructions.

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My wife and I are 37-41 and we did the 4 night cruise out of LA on Princess las September. It was, without a doubt, one of the best cruises that we've ever taken (link to my photo review in my signature if you're interested).


The ages of fellow passengers on that sailing were not that much different than what we've found on the Carnival cruises that we've taken. A wide range, including some families and a young group of 20 something's on a bachelor party. There was no predominant age group.


The main difference was not the age of passengers, but the type of passengers. For example, one night we sat at a table for 8 and we shared it with a young couple from Australia on a month long honeymoon that included another cruise and visits to Hawaii and San Francisco. Also, 2 friends in their 30's-40's on their 4th cruise of the year and planning to fly to Venice the following week for Regal Princess' inaugural sailing. And a retired globe trotting couple from Canada who had literally traveled all over the world. We found the passenger mix to be fascinating and interesting which added to a more sophisticated overall atmosphere.


On Carnival, specially on 4 night cruises, fellow passengers seem to live within closer proximity to the port, many who've never sailed before. Overall it's a more local, budget minded vibe. Please know that we've met some wonderful, fun people on Carnival, some which I'm still in touch with after more than 10 years, but I'm just trying to point out the differences between fellow passengers on these two cruise lines.


Which cruise line is more appropriate for you is not a matter of age but what you enjoy. Being younger doesn't necessarily mean that you enjoy hairy chest contests, bartending competitions, karaoke duels, and late nights at the night clubs, just like being older doesn't necessarily mean that you enjoy a more elegant ambiance, higher caliber entertainment, lecturers, attention to detail and a more sophisticated dining experience.


Being close to your age, I know that you may be in that "gray area" where sometimes you feel like one type of experience while other times you may feel like the other. But if given a choice, I would probably pick the Princess 4 nighter over the Carnival 4 nighter.


About prices, keep checking and compare various travel agencies. Contrary to Carnival that offers the same pricing everywhere, Princess offers different pricing from one TA to another. For us, we paid $100pp less for our Princess cruise than a similar cruise and itinerary on Carnival departing that same day.


Have fun deciding!

Edited by Tapi
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Thanks everyone! I enjoy all types of people. I will not be up until 2am dancing, but I do enjoy a hairy chest contest. I like all types. I know chronological age doesn't necessarily mean a completely different mind set, but as Tapi mentioned, I am at an age where I'm sort of in a gray area as far as the different types of things I enjoy. I have done the Carnival 4 nighter, which makes me lean toward princess just to see the different ship. I'm just concerned that I won't find any other singles or large groups around my own age (whether that be chronological or emotional). I've sailed twice on carnival and had good experiences both times. I'm just not interested in a meat market. I loved the comedy shows on carnival - but then I've never seen any of the Princess shows. Carnival also seems to have more in the way of excursions.


Room size doesn't matter to me. I'm alone and I'll be booking an inside cabin to save money. I won't be spending much time in the room. I will also probably choose the early seating no matter the ship as I don't normally stay up past 11 pm. I do enjoy blackjack at the casino and music, but I won't be dancing. I was gifted with two left feet and no rhythm. Haha.

Thanks for your replies.

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I've heard princess clientele may be too old. I don't want a booze cruise experience though.!


the Inspirtation will be more of a booze cruise then the Princess. Carnival is more affordable for the younger set. But then again-- it depends on what week you are looking to sail. Schools are back in after the holidays. But you will see a higher price cruise for Presidents week-


I am so glad I never heeded all the "bad" stuff I was reading about princess before our first cruise. how the food was so bland and nothing to do at night-- how its full of old people etc. etc.


We took our first Princess cruise and was totally wow'ed from the first second we arrived at the pier and until we stopped into our taxi on the last day.

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As far as a comparision of the ships, the Crown Princess is by far the better of the two. Service, food, décor, and layout are all much better on Princess. I've been on the Crown twice (Alaska and Med cruises).


I can't comment on the pax demographics, I haven't cruised 4 day west coast itin.

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I will have to disagree with you there. I have done both ships, same itinerary.


Granted, I am 52 years old, so older than the OP..


You said solo, so you don't mind the room is smaller. I NEVER saw my steward on Princess. I knew he was there, but NEVER met him. I like meeting my steward, and maybe even talking about their home, or favorite places to visit, etc. I did an inside on Princess, and the hallway from the door to the sleeping area is very narrow.


Food- I can go either way here, but at least on Carnival it was served HOT. Not one item I got while on board Princess was HOT. Everything was kinda lukewarm, except for the coffee.


Decor-- WOW, Princess has Carnival beat here. The Crown was absolutely BEAUTIFUL!! But it wasn't, well, homey. You know how some houses have that ONE room where it's all pretty and they don't want anyone to ruin it?? That's how I felt on the Crown. Carnival wasn't as 'pretty', but I felt like I was at home, and I was comfortable.


Staff- someone said that they preferred the staff on Princess. Well, I prefer someone calling me by my first name, and being friendly over being MA'DAMed all day, every day. I thought the staff on Princess had the stiff smiles that are kinda forced--you know, the lips are smiling, but that's all? The Carnival staff genuinely smiled-you could even see the smile reach their eyes.


Maybe it's just me, but that's the way I feel about the comparisons for those short cruises. I'm not a show person, so I couldn't tell you about the shows in the main theatre, or the comedians, or the piano bar. I can tell you where to find a comfy spot to read or socialize and meet new people (one of the things I enjoy most on a ship!!). I think ship preference is pretty personal for most. I know that some of the people that cruised with me on Princess this past January loved the Crown over the Inspiration, but for ME, I'd take Carnival over Princess any day!!!!

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Very interesting points of view. I'm leaning toward the Princess ship this time even though it's more expensive as I've never been on a Princess ship. There are some things keeping me on the fence though. 1. Price - it's more money by far on Princess. 2. Beverage Package - Is there one for the Inspiration on such a short cruise? 3. Excursions - more are offered on Carnival. Thanks everyone for participating. I hope no matter where I end up there's a good roll call of people to meet!

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I've sailed short cruises on both Carnival and Princess without my husband (just kids). I am mid-40s but did most of my cruising with Princess in my 30s before we had kids. Princess has passengers of ALL ages, and on the short cruises, there were many younger passengers on Princess. I only recently tried Carnival again when I saw a great deal on the Imagination. It made it easy to have my kids try out Carnival and see if they liked it over Princess or Disney. Personally, I just love to cruise, so an experience would have to pretty bad for me not to enjoy it.


By far, Crown Princess is a nicer ship. While I haven't been on the Inspiration, my understanding is that she is very similar to the Imagination. In my opinion, on the Crown the decor is nicer, the food was better, (except I had wonderful lobster on Carnival while I've stopped having it on Princess) the pool decks and freshwater pools are much nicer, the beds were more comfortable, and the dining staff was much more attentive. I thought Carnival's entertainment was better and more varied, and the cabin bathrooms were roomier. I met and chatted with more people on Princess, especially when sitting on my own in the wine bar, but I think that aspect of the cruise is going to be entirely of your own making.


No Hairy Chest contests on Princess that I recall, but my husband participated in a Flip, Flop, Fly bellyflop contest. There is also something called "Bar Wars" at the Lido Deck bars that I haven't attended. There was a "Minute to Win it" game in the atrium, as well as wooden horses races.


While I consider myself to be more of a Princess cruiser, it is nice to try out other lines. I know the Princess menu almost by heart and while there are items I really looking forward to having each cruise, it's nice to see completely new menus! I think you should try a new cruise line. If you go into the experience with an open mind and friendly attitude, you'll have a fantastic time!

Edited by Melcoug
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the Inspirtation will be more of a booze cruise then the Princess. Carnival is more affordable for the younger set. But then again-- it depends on what week you are looking to sail. Schools are back in after the holidays. But you will see a higher price cruise for Presidents week-


I am so glad I never heeded all the "bad" stuff I was reading about princess before our first cruise. how the food was so bland and nothing to do at night-- how its full of old people etc. etc.


We took our first Princess cruise and was totally wow'ed from the first second we arrived at the pier and until we stopped into our taxi on the last day.


I've been on both lines with the same 4 day itinerary and can say passengers on both lines can get pretty drunk. The only difference is on Princess the passengers are drinking the better liquor.


I like the comedians on Princess better. For their adult shows, they don't say F^*$ every other word just to get a laugh.


The buffet on Princess beats Carnival. We ate there almost every night. The grill is also open late.


On elegant night, the casino is non-smoking.


About pricing - Princess might be more now, but keep checking as their prices fluctuate. Go thru the whole cabin selection process as their website is misleading at first. We often find cheaper prices once we click on a category. If there are a lot of cabins left, Princess will probably upgrade you for free, but might not send you an email telling you so. You just have to keep checking and call ASAP if you don't want the cabin.

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I plan on booking today. If I book today, and there's a price drop later, can I call and get my price lowered? I read somewhere that you have until you make your last payment to get the lowest price. I think I'll call instead of booking on line so I can talk to an actual person that will book me in a room that I can get the lowest price guarantee.

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On my last Princess cruise I booked a cabin and called Princess each time the price dropped and was given the lower fare without issue. There were still many cabins in the days before final payment so I cancelled and gambled on even better price drops. They did drop and I ended up with a balcony for the same amount as the inside I had previously booked.


Unless it's a Flash Sale or other restricted fare, you can get any price drops up until the final payment date.

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