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Comparison: Disney Cruise Lines v Princess Cruise Lines


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I have been meaning to post my comprehensive comparison of "my" journeys aboard both the Disney Cruise Line and Princess Cruise Line. The following is my perception of the various offerings, features and amenities aboard these fantastic cruise lines. Each would offer you a great vacation yet each has some unique offerings which may sway you one over the other. Enjoy!

Embarkation (TIE):

 

  • Disney: Boarding is by “port arrival time” (PAT) preset by cruise line. Platinum and Concierge guests are boarded first and have no PAT.
  • Princess: Boarding is by “port arrival time” (PAT) preset by cruise line. Platinum, Elite and Suite guests are boarded first and have no PAT. Princess bases the PAT on the deck on which you are staying. The lower decks board earlier than the higher decks. (Again, if you are platinum or elite, or a suite guest, then you can board at any time.)

Frequent Guest Program (PRINCESS): (Note: I am at the highest level on each cruise line)

 

  • Disney: I am a Castaway Club Platinum Member. Can book shore excursions (and the elusive cabanas at Castaway Cay) 120 days in advance. A 10% discount is available in the onboard shops. Disney Platinum members receive one complimentary dinner at Palo (normally a $25 charge). Beyond those few things, DCL doesn't have many benefits for their "elite" passengers.

  • Princess: I am a Princess Captain’s Circle Elite Member. Just too many more benefits starting with 150 free Internet minutes on 7+ day cruises. One free mini-bar setup per Elite cabin per sailing stocked with liquor and soda. Priority embarkation as well as priority tender benefits at ports which require tender operations. Also includes a10% discount in the onboard shops.

 

Food (Disney):

 

  • Disney: The quality of the overall food program on Disney is very good. This quality extended to the buffets as well as the main dining rooms (MDR). The rotational dining program on Disney is probably the best in the industry with very well-themed restaurants and very good costuming (uniforms). Disney’s Palo and Remy are the best premium dining options I have had on any ship that I have sailed.
  • Princess: While the food was plentiful and varied, with themed nights, the quality of the food was at best average among the deluxe cruise lines. The offerings from the specialty dining programs were about on par with main dining room (MDR) dining aboard the Disney vessels. I do like Sabatini’s and appreciate having a steakhouse (Crown Grill) onboard which Disney lacks.

 

Gambling (Princess):

  • Disney: Disney has no onboard casino and does not have any formalized gambling with the exception of Bingo. I must say that playing Bingo on Disney is so easy with the electronic handsets, it makes playing a breeze for any player. Disney’s Bingo has paper cards as well.
  • Princess: If you like to gamble and like Vegas-style table games, then Princess clearly wins in this category. The highest jackpot on the Princess ship is about $25,000. However, Bingo is much better on Disney since Disney has optional electronic handsets. The atmosphere is very casual and the dealers certainly friendly. The only major drawback is that smoking is allowed in the casino except on formal nights.

Entertainment (Disney):

  • Disney: If Disney were to lose this category, I would surely be flamed and called names that would have the saltiest of sailors running out the door. It is actually quite unfair to compare Disney’s Broadway-style shows to any other at-sea production on other cruise lines. I respect the dedication, professionalism and talent of all those who choose to perform for live audiences, but Disney clearly knows how to do this better. We expect this from Disney and Disney clearly delivers in this category. Rather than beat up the competition by going through the varied shows across Disney’s four (4) – yes only four – ships, I’ll just say that if you like full-production shows, nobody beats Disney
  • Princess: I suppose you can tell the difference quickly by just comparing the size and grandeur of the theater onboard the ships. Princess certainly can entertain guests as well as many of the other cruise lines; it’s just unfair to compare them to Disney. Princess certainly has a great performing arts troupe and dancers who are top-notch and capable.

Crew / Friendliness (Disney):

  • Disney: I admit that it can be hit-or-miss with crew and it really depends on your interaction with individuals. However, Disney has been consistent in this aspect. There is no question about the friendliness or the helpfulness of Disney crew (cast members). Disney’s “casting” process is probably a benchmark which other cruise lines – and general service-industry employers – should mimic. Finding the right people is always a challenge but identifying the right people seems to be Disney’s forte.
  • Princess: Princess has a great crew and I enjoyed talking with every single person that I met. The crew is very diverse with many from Europe, the East, Middle East, and Africa. While Princess demands that their crew to speak only English in passenger areas, I must admit that I have sat near crew members speaking in languages other than English on a daily basis. (On my last cruise, I noted this in my comments.) While it’s nice to hear foreign and exotic languages, it’s hard to know just what they are talking about – especially if they are complaining about their job or about a particular passenger.

Children’s Programming (Disney):

  • Disney: This is another area where I just don’t know why Disney would not excel. Rather than repeat the programming offered, suffice it to say that there is no better programming on the seven seas. Disney has the advantage with its abundance of real-world experience in the entertainment industry. There is no better provider of family-friendly programming than the Walt Disney Company.
  • Princess: The children’s program onboard Princess was not bad, but you can certainly tell it was an afterthought (literally) or that the primary focus is just not on children and families. The children’s programs are literally on the back of the boat and tucked away from the main decks of the ship. In fact, Disney dedicates PREMIUM real-estate in the middle of the ship for their children’s programs. The opposite is done on all other cruiselines where the middle of the ship will house a casino or more stores, restaurants or bars. This is clearly an identifying characteristic of programming that is not geared towards families and children.

Adult Programming (Advantage Disney by just a little):

(Note: adult programming does not include gambling… see gambling.)

  • Disney: Disney’s exclusive adult’s only nighttime clubs are a perfect getaway for singles, couples, and even families traveling with children (and looking to get away). Route 66 and The District provide adults with a chance to escape and be completely isolated (or insulated) from the children that are onboard. Disney actually fares well when compared to most other cruise lines. The reason appears that Disney chose to provide individualized programming based on age-groups and to make sure it excelled in each of these areas. Disney gets high marks.
  • Princess: They may party a wee-bit later on Princess, but the lack of an adult “zone”, where it is easier to move from venue-to-venue, is the main reason Princess does not excel in this category. Disney only squeaks by with an “advantage”.

Spa Services (TIE): Both offer a variety of spa programs, treatments, and salon offerings that are to notch. You would not be disappointed with either Lotus or Senses Spa.

 

  • Disney: Senses Spa an outside vendor
  • Princess: Lotus Spa an outside vendor

Shopping (TIE):

  • Disney: While Disney has a good amount of Disney merchandise, popular brands line the shelves in the onboard shopping venues.
  • Princess: Shopping is certainly not an afterthought aboard Princess ships.

Soft Drinks (Disney):

  • Disney: Free soft drinks in the main dining rooms as well as unlimited 24/7 availability of coffee, tea, hot chocolate, hot water, and Coke products (including diet lemonade) (on the pool deck).
  • Princess: You will need to purchase a drink package of some sort if you wish to stay refreshed. See my lesson learned about soft-drink packages below, in the section on Adult Drink Packages.

Embarkation with Alcohol (Disney): (Noting that Disney recently changed the policy, the policy is still a little more generous).

  • Disney: Guests may bring a maximum of 2 bottles of unopened wine or champagne (no larger than 750 ml) or 6 beers (no larger than 12 ounces) on board at the beginning of the voyage and at each port of call. This is per person. There is a $25 corkage fee in the dining rooms.
  • Princess: Like the majority of cruise line operators, severely limits the type and amount of alcohol which can be brought on board. I should really write that they don’t allow any at all, but they do allow one bottle of wine (750ml) for free. You may bring up to two (2) additional bottles by pre-paying a corkage fee of $35 per bottle. That’s a lot for your $5 box of wine you thought you could guzzle down while on board!

(Adult) Drink Packages (Princess):

  • Disney: Disney does have some drink packages available. The pricing is actually pretty good compared to those prices on shore. A beer package, where you purchase a quantity of beer delivered to your stateroom, typically costs about $2/bottle. Compare that to about $5/bottle in the bars, and you can see the value. Any alcohol can be consumed just about anywhere but the main dining room where you may need to pay a corkage fee for wine.
  • Princess: Princess certainly knows how to make money on drink packages. Unlike Disney, where all soft drinks including Coke, Diet Coke, Sprint, Sprite Zero (MDR only), Lemonade, Iced Tea, Coffee, Milk, Hot Chocolate are included for free, Princess charges for just about anything you drink! I typically purchase a soda package, at $4.50/day per person, just so that I have the option when I’m in a dining room. Even with the soda package, you must be careful that you are not served a “can” of soda, which will still cost you at least $2 per can! (Lesson learned!) As for alcohol, Princess offers various alcohol “packages” such as the all-you-can drink package for about $49.50/day per person. That package includes all alcoholic drinks that are under $10 at the bars. This could be good for the real drinker who can consume at least eight (8) drinks with a $6+ value per day!

Internet (Minor Advantage to Disney in Parts, Advantage to Princess in others):

  • Disney: Uses Maritime Telecommunications Services “MTM”. All guest staterooms receive a FREE 50MB internet credit if they access the internet service on the first day of cruising. Only Concierge Guests are offered any other "free" internet package. I'm a Disney Platinum Castaway and receive nothing additional.

  • Princess: Uses Maritime Telecommunications Services “MTM”. While there is no free usage for general guests, those that are Platinum/Elite members can receive free internet usage during the cruise. On my last 7 night on Princess, I received a 150-minute FREE internet package as an Elite.

Smartphone App (Disney):

  • Disney: Disney has an iPhone/Android application which contains everything from the ships programming to the MDR and Specialty menus. Disney’s “Navigator” app contains ship maps, everything in the Daily Navigator and easy instructions on how to connect the application once you are on-board the ship. Another every cool feature is the “countdown to your vacation” feature. Since the app is “dormant” prior to your cruise, you can quickly glance at the number of days until your vacation through this app. Disney recently started allowing texting between the phones as well, using the same application.
  • Princess: While Princess provides on-board programming on your smart-phone, laptop or tablet, this is not an intelligent application. The programming is provided as a collection of web pages. The web site does not provide the viewing of programming other than the current date. It also does not integrate with your smart-phone’s calendar so you still need to remind yourself of the events which you selected.

Passenger to Passenger Communications (Disney)

  • Disney: Disney uses the Wave Phone which is a type of private cellular phone system. The Wave Phone is used for the Children’s Program to communicate with parents when the children are ready for pickup. It is both a pager and a cellular phone which works all aboard and around the ship, including on Disney’s private island.
  • Princess: Lacking, to literally say the least.

Private Island (Disney):

  • Disney: Disney’s private island paradise, Castaway Cay, The Bahamas. No other words necessary and no other cruise line has anything even remotely comparable. Private adults-only beach area, Serenity Bay, with private cabanas and adults-only picnic/BBQ area make this especially nice. A family beach, sports beach, water features and a teens-only beach re-enforces something for everyone!
  • Princess: Princess Cays is a beautiful resort-area on Eleuthera island in The Bahamas. Covering some forty (40) acres, it provides plenty of beach and lots of fun for everyone.

Theming (Disney):

  • Disney: Pirate Night, Fireworks... need I say anything else? (I won't mention themed cruises including, but not limited to, Halloween on the High Sees, Mickey's Very Mery Christmastime, and the recent Star Wars At Seas.)
  • Princess: Minimal. Outside the themed dining nights, centered on the Main Dining Room (MDR) experience, there is less theming aboard than what you find on Disney. The Photo department makes a valiant attempt at different themes based on the ports of call, but their Pirate invasion (in Belize) is nothing compared to the complete and total takeover of the Disney ships by Captain Hook.

 

Staff Uniforms / Ship’s Officers (Disney):

  • Disney: There is one thing I noticed; I can clearly identify supervisors, managers and department heads on Disney. The crew seemed to consistently appear in their dress-whites when in passenger areas. This made it easy to identify and also “recognize” the supervision and management of the guest programming. One of the most impressive things that I have seen at Disney was several senior officers clearing a table on the Lido (pool) deck when they were walking by. Clearly they could have “ordered” the crew to perform such a menial task, but that attention to detail and the fact that I recognized that a senior officer (with 3 full bars or more) performing such a task, struck me as the McDonald’s and Disney’s hallmark cleanliness programs (“if you have time to lean, you have time to clean”).
  • Princess: I had difficulty identifying crew at various times because, other than a not-so-obvious nametag pinned to their shirt, I could not tell passenger from crew at many times. I also could not tell or see supervisors or managers in the passenger areas. This is not to say that Princess lacks good management and supervision of its crew, but it was not as obvious on Disney. This was so bad that I was personally confused with being a crew member on 5 different occasions! It appears that no passenger could tell which people were members of the crew. In fact, a crew member stopped and asked me in which department I worked, because they never saw a “uniform” like that before. (I was wearing a Hard Rock Café “worker’s” shirt at the time. I had purchased this shirt in New Orleans on a recent trip.)

Disney Atrium vs. Princess Piazza (Advantage Disney)

  • Disney: If there is a holiday, rest assured that Disney has adorned the atrium of the ship with appropriately festive décor. Throw in some Disney characters dressed in costumes reflecting that holiday, and you have one big party. When Disney does something in the Atrium, it can attract 1,000 guests or more! Also the hub and the heart of the ship, this is a key focal point for the ship’s activities including the customer service desk, future cruise desk, port adventures and the internet café. This seems to be standard in the industry. But Disney takes it further. While Disney does have a café and a bar in the Atrium, character appearances, photographs and an elaborate entrance to one of the main dining rooms (Royal Palace) gives this a much more refined and festive atmosphere. Whether it’s the Pumpkin Tree at Halloween (Disney’s Halloween on the High Seas), or a Christmas Tree during the Christmas holiday season, expect grand performances with the Disney cast members and characters in the atrium.

  • Princess: The Piazza is a great concept for any cruise line. Taking the common “atrium” area and creating a vibrant and bustling area of the ship is a great idea. The Piazza with its coffee, desert bar, Crooner’s bar and shopping alongside seating, certainly creates a great atmosphere and encompasses a feeling of the heart of the ship. The champagne waterfall, balloon and night time performances attract many guests. It’s the hub of the ship and the activity is above the norms for this area of most cruise liners.(If this were going up against Royal Caribbean or Carnival, then Princess would clearly be the winner with this unique concept.)]

Excursions (TIE):

  • Disney: Since almost all cruise lines contract with the same tour operators, this category is extremely difficult to compare. Suffice it to say that both cruise lines offer a very efficient tour-desk operation and offer a variety of tours from soft-adventures to extreme-adventures.
  • Princess: Since almost all cruise lines contract with the same tour operators, this category is extremely difficult to compare. Suffice it to say that both cruise lines offer a very efficient tour-desk operation and offer a variety of tours from soft-adventures to extreme-adventures.

 

** Note: I saw two passengers that had a (Disney Cruise Line) Castaway Club backpack in the Horizon’s Buffet area. I chatted for a few minutes and asked them about the differences between the two cruise lines. Without telling them my own views, they immediately echoed almost the same things that I did in this review. There really is no comparison when it comes to the areas such as Entertainment, Dining, and Programming. They even mentioned that they liked the adult programming better on Disney. I was expecting something different, even given that they admittedly have only sailed Disney 3 times. They were from Illinois and their personal experience onboard Disney made it the clear winner.

These are my opinions based on a variety of sailings about DCL and Princess. I have traveled both as a single, a double, with children, and with extended family with lots of children.

 

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Overall I think they came out TIED although it seems to lean towards Disney. As you can read above, there are areas where each shine and demonstrate exceptionally in a particular category.

Edited by cisdarrin
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A couple of months ago, I did a lengthy comparison of the two lines. In most respects, I agree with you although I had a couple of differences.

 

First, both DCL and Princess make it clear that the soda is part of the plan/free for all only if obtained as fountain service. We found it easier on Princess as this was available at almost any bar rather than needing a trip to the pool deck. On both lines, there is a charge if you obtain a can of a soft drink.

 

We thought the food on Princess was better than DCL, although we also feel that Celebrity beats them both. The food in the Piazza was particularly good. The free afternoon tea on Princess was not the fanciest tea I've ever had, but was nice.

 

Entertainment--main stage obviously DCL, although on Princess it was obvious that some performers were chosen based on their ability to sing while others were dancers. The excellent vocalists did minimal movement and no real dancing, while the dancers did no challenging vocals. On DCL, everyone is an actor and fills in all other pieces when called upon. The production numbers were far better on DCL.

 

The atrium on DCL is pretty--the entire ship(s) win for attractiveness, but the stuff happening in the piazza was far better than anything in DCL's atriums. In addition, Princess has kiosks where you can print out your stateroom account any time you wish--no need to stand in line at GS.

 

Adult areas/activities--I prefer Princess as there was a variety of adult activities throughout the day, not just in one small area in the evening. True, the evening venues were spread out around the ship, but there was a lot more happening than just the one nightclub room on DCL. Yes, I know you could watch TV or play games in Diversions on top of what was happening in Fathoms/other names on other ships. I also liked the library on Princess--DCL did away with that years ago in preference for money generating space.

 

We don't gamble. I did like that the Princess casino is located so that you don't have to go thru it to get elsewhere (as it is on some other lines).

 

Return cruiser benefits--Princess is lots better.

 

And you left out one HUGE area--COST. This goes to Princess, hands down. Example--I had booked B2B European cruises for summer 2016 on DCL. I then saw that Princess had a very similar offering with one major port difference. However....an inside cabin on DCL cost twice as much as a balcony on Princess. I priced this out every possible way to compare, including factoring in the soda package on Princess. The total cost of the Princess cruise was a little over 1/2 of the DCL cruise, but it was longer. On a "per night" basis, DCL inside was a few pennies over double what Princess deluxe balcony cost. Had I wished to pay for a balcony on DCL, it would have been four times the cost of Princess. I'm not traveling with young children any more, so I'm not interested in subsidizing the kid programming. When I'm looking at thousands of dollars more for DCL, I am willing to have a beige ship rather than the bright and beautiful DCL ships.

 

We also found the officers to be more friendly and available to chat on Princess. One afternoon, the CD was in the piazza and extended an invitation to several of us to just sit and talk.

Edited by moki'smommy
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I was trying to be nice and not mention cost. I won't say that Disney is overpriced, but you are certainly paying for many features which may not be a benefit for a particular cruiser.

 

Everything else is spot on. Disney charges me for a can of coke in the bars as well so that is no differential.

 

I do love the atrium (Piazza) on Princess. It's bustling with activity. I only rated Disney higher due to the caliber of events when there is activity in Disney's atrium.

 

I would sail on either cruiseline without complaint. :)

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We have many CM friends on DCL, and I will honestly miss them....but our next several cruises are booked on Princess. With the wider choice of ports/cruises and the price difference, it became a "no brainer" for us. Japan sounds like too much fun.

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Thanks to moki and cis, we are really excited about our first Disney Cruise in January! Being avid Princess cruises it's great to hear your opinions on the differences between the lines. We love the Disney product, got engaged at Disneyland, and have been To Disney World several times.

 

T-284 days!

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Thanks for the comparison.

 

The one sticking issue for me is the soda package thing. If you pre-purchased your soda package through Princess and included it in your cruise cost (because let's face it - that's what DCL is doing - adding in a very basic soda package), then for non-alcoholic beverages, Princess (or any cruise line) would come out ahead in that category because you could get a soda from anywhere on the ship - not just in the MDR or from a single spot on the pool deck.

 

Heck, for many cruises, you could add in the all inclusive alcohol, coffee, soda, milkshake, etc. package and still not pay the price of DCL!

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Thanks for the comparison.

 

The one sticking issue for me is the soda package thing. If you pre-purchased your soda package through Princess and included it in your cruise cost (because let's face it - that's what DCL is doing - adding in a very basic soda package), then for non-alcoholic beverages, Princess (or any cruise line) would come out ahead in that category because you could get a soda from anywhere on the ship - not just in the MDR or from a single spot on the pool deck.

 

Heck, for many cruises, you could add in the all inclusive alcohol, coffee, soda, milkshake, etc. package and still not pay the price of DCL!

 

Correct. THere are a couple bars on the Princess ships that don't have fountain serve soft drinks, but most do. And yes, you could add the "all inclusive beverage package" and not equal the cost of a DCL cruise. The other nice thing on Princess is that you can buy a soda or other beverage package for one person without having to purchase it for everyone (which you do on other lines). Example--I drink ice tea, my daughter drinks soda. Since tea is complimentary, I buy only one soda package. No problem on Princess. You can also bring your own soft drinks, but that was more effort than it was worth.

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One thing you did not mention was staterooms. The 'standard' stateroom on Disney is much bigger than on Princess, and almost all of the DIsney staterooms have split bathrooms. This is because Disney staterooms were designed for families of 4, rather than couples. Also, for cabins with an occupancy of 3 or more, the 'daybed' Disney has in the stateroom is a much better design than the 'pull out sofa' in most Princess staterooms.

 

Your conclusion is pretty much the same as ours: Disney is a wonderful cruise line, and in many aspects, it is better than Princess or Celebrity (our usual cruise lines). But the real issue is cost. When we can take 2 cruises on another line for the cost of cruising on Disney, Disney often loses out. Yet this post is a good summary of why people do pay more to sail with DCL.

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One thing you did not mention was staterooms. The 'standard' stateroom on Disney is much bigger than on Princess, and almost all of the DIsney staterooms have split bathrooms. This is because Disney staterooms were designed for families of 4, rather than couples. Also, for cabins with an occupancy of 3 or more, the 'daybed' Disney has in the stateroom is a much better design than the 'pull out sofa' in most Princess staterooms.

 

 

Correct--you have to go to a mini-suite on Princess to get a little more cabin space and a few more amenities than on DCL. And this makes the price a whole lot closer to equal. It is virtually impossible to compare "apples to apples" on various lines as they each have their own configurations and touches to the cabins.

 

Another point--on the HA cabins on both lines, the cabins exist in limited categories. On Princess, these are near the elevators, and cabins in this location command a higher price. On DCL the HA cabins are at the far forward and far aft of the ship. This requires more "traveling" thru the halls which is a big issue for many mobility impaired people, but also places the cabins in the lower price range for their "type."

 

Example--the HA balcony cabins on the Magic and Wonder are cat 6. This is not the lowest available balcony cabin, but not the "standard" either. On Princess, there is no such thing as an "entry level" HA balcony cabin; you have to move up several price points to get the HA. NO, the HA cabin does not "cost more" (contrary to some reports); this would be a violation of the ADA. The HA cabin costs the same as a standard balcony cabin in that location. But the only option is the more costly location.

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First, thank you all for the discussion! All of the opinions expressed are perfect and many reflect my own observations. And, again, thank you to Moki's Mom for the feedback and for your review as well.

 

One thing you did not mention was staterooms. The 'standard' stateroom on Disney is much bigger than on Princess, and almost all of the DIsney staterooms have split bathrooms. This is because Disney staterooms were designed for families of 4, rather than couples. Also, for cabins with an occupancy of 3 or more, the 'daybed' Disney has in the stateroom is a much better design than the 'pull out sofa' in most Princess staterooms.
I agree with this and I don't know why I didn't consider putting the Staterooms into my review.

 

As Moki's Mommy writes, I have to purchase a Jr. Suite on Princess when I want the same space as a Category 4 on Disney. I actually love the Category 4E on Disney with the extended balcony. When you get to the Jr. Suite on Princess, you now have a little more space than a Category 4 on the Disney Dream-class ships.

 

My last cruise on Princess was the first time I ever traveled in an Ocean View stateroom and it was just fine. My first cruise ever, I was in an Owner's Suite on Sovereign of the Seas; paid $3,600 for 3 people for a 3-night from Port Canaveral. It's been all downhill from there. Now I'm a little more thrifty albeit I have not yet sailed in an inside stateroom.

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I did not care for Princess. Once was enough.

 

Want to tell us why? What was it that you didn't like? People can make more rational choices if they have a bit more information.

 

I took my first Princess cruise fully expecting to not like it, and was pleasantly surprised...other than that the beige everywhere got tiring.:)

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I took my first Princess cruise fully expecting to not like it' date=' and was pleasantly surprised...other than that the beige everywhere got tiring.:)[/quote']

 

 

Decor is the one area that I think every other line does better than Princess. They are not ugly ships. But they are kind of plain and lack some creativity. The new Royal class are an improvement but other lines definitely do it better.

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Good comparisons and my opinions are similar. Princess and DCL are my current favorites. The split bathrooms on DCL beat the Princess bathrooms every time if you are traveling with more than 2 people in your cabin. While the Princess cabins in some categories are a bit smaller, they are laid out so well and have so much storage it really didn't make a difference. We have had inside, ocean view, balcony and mini-suite cabins, so we have tried mist options. Princess is a bit 'beige' but their itineraries more than make up for it.

Edited by jody
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Good comparisons and my opinions are similar. Princess and DCL are my current favorites. The split bathrooms on DCL beat the Princess bathrooms every time if you are traveling with more than 2 people in your cabin. While the Princess cabins in some categories are a bit smaller, they are laid out so well and have so much storage it really didn't make a difference. We have had inside, ocean view, balcony and mini-suite cabins, so we have tried mist options. Princess is a bit 'beige' but their itineraries more than make up for it.

 

Totally agree! And the storage in the Princess cabins is amazing!

 

Princess ships are not unattractive. It just seemed that the rule was "when in doubt, make it beige." Another point not previously mentioned--Princess had at least 2 "adult only" pools in addition to several "family" pools.

Edited by moki'smommy
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Cruised on both lines as a family and we were a little hesitant to sail Princess following our cruise on DCL with kids. Believe it or not they loved the youth programming much better on Princess!!! We had a great time on both and wouldn't hesitate to sail either of them in the future:)

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I've never sailed Princess. Thanks for your review! I'm curious on the entertainment item. Have you ever sailed Royal Caribbean? I actually found their Broadway style shows to be better than DCL, at least on the Freedom of the Seas. You are correct that you can tell by the venue whether or not the line takes shows seriously. The thing that really tips the scale in Royal's favor for me is the live band for the shows. I don't know why it bugs me so much but that Disney shows are to a soundtrack just doesn't sit well. I've noticed that at times they are using background vocals from the track as well. It's a fairly standard practice but is only really possible if you are already using a musical track.

 

Don't get me wrong, I do like Disney's shows, but I'm not sure I would agree that they are the only ones at sea that do these shows well.

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