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runawaysoul

Princess vs Royal Caribbean

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Hello all,

 

For those of you who have sailed on both, are there any noticeable differences between Royal and Princess? I have always believed that Princess was a step above Royal... I am asking for my mother, who booked a mini suite on the Golden Princess sailing to Alaska. I have sailed Alaska, so I have been advising her on shore excursions (White Pass, whale watching). I've looked over all the different ships with her, and advised her to choose Princess over Royal (About myself - I've been on 6 cruises, 3 with Carnival and 3 with Royal-, never sailed on Princess). I'm hoping I made a good choice. She will be sailing with a friend who has terminal cancer, so I am really wanting this cruise to be perfect. It will be her first cruise, my mother's 2nd but her 1st was 20 years ago.. How are the shows? The food? Are there any can't miss activities? It is to my understanding that her friend tires fairly easily, so I would think she would just do what she is capable of. Thanks!!

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OK, to start with, Royal Caribbean is the entry level for that corporation, Celebrity is the more upscale cousin.

Carnival is the lower level of Carnival Corporation, Princess is the more upscale affiliate. (yes, I know there are a dozen others).

 

Royal Caribbean is a lot more of a kid oriented line with things like ice rinks, rock climbing, etc. And there are a ton more kids running around. Princess is definitely kid friendly, but the number of kids is less even in the summer and the number of unsupervised tweens is almost non-existent. I can't say that I've never seen a kid on Princess misbehave, but it is a whole lot less than Royal and their actions were not interfering with other guests (if you are stupid enough to dive into a pool that says "No Diving" or "Pool Closed due to weather" that broken neck is not my problem!

 

Royal Carib shows are more glitzy, Las Vegas style. Food is worse and there are more upcharge venues.

 

Honestly, for 2 adults alone, Royal Caribbean wouldn't even appear on my list to consider. Princess has done Alaska longer and more than any other line. They currently hold the licenses to go places that the others can't. My short list for Alaska would be Princess and Celebrity, and Princess would win.

 

The point of Alaska is the scenery and the wildlife. I normally recommend the open decks with a 360 degree view....but if she can't handle that, get an oceanview or balcony cabin (does she need to keep warm or not? Then she can enjoy what she can from her private space, whale watch from the ship, etc. If she feels up to the open decks, go for it, and if she needs to return to the room in 5 minutes, she can still look outside.

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For your mom and her friend, Princess was the perfect choice. They'll love it.

 

Both Princess and HAL have most of the licenses for Glacier Bay. That is why the other cruise lines don't go there. There are only a few ships allowed the Glacier Bay per day.

 

Been on both RCCL and Princess. I prefer the food in the dining room on Princess. Enjoyed the entertainment on both. Few children on Princess.

 

I think your advice to your mom was spot on.

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I was not aware that Princess has been in Alaska longer than the others. That is pretty good!

They do have a balcony. I was very adamant about a balcony. With Alaska, it's basically a free shore excursion..

At the moment, her friend still gets around, but she does have a wheelchair whenever she feels the need. Hopefully she will be no less mobile come cruise time in July. :)

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Royal ships are different so it depends which ship you’re comparing to Princess.

For example our latest Grandeur was pretty close Princess in terms of food and service, and ambiance , but Princess does offer much better buffets.

Princess still offers pillow chocolates and provides free room service.

Princess has differently designed cabins with separate “walk-in closet” (although without doors)

Princess provides better shampoo and such.

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Two things I don't like about RCI other than the usual youth oriented ship is that they lock the doors to the stateroom hallways on embarkation day and do not unlock them until 1 PM. The meals in the buffet are at set time and they lock the doors to the buffet between those open times. Only food available between meal times is down on the royal promenade cafe.

 

I certainly can do without the ice skating rink/shows, flow rider, climbing wall and on and on with the gagillion kids running around unsupervised not to mention the silly pool games. I much prefer the more civilized experience on Princess now that I am a senior citizen.

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I think you made a really good decision OP. Princess does AK better than anyone in the business IMO.

We like RCI's smaller ships - the ones without all the bells and whistles - for their unique itineraries and lack of kids. I won't hesitate to book them for Europe if it's an unusual itinerary.

I don't think I'll ever go on one of their bigger ships again (Voyager, Liberty and Oasis Class ships). I'm glad I did, but it was NOT a relaxing kind of cruise. It felt like a Disneyland resort on the ocean. The sea seemed like an afterthought. It was like, "Oh, are we actually at sea?" Princess gives you more of a sailing experience instead of a theme park experience. JMHO.

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If I may chime in; my wife and I sailed Princess for the first time last July. We sailed on Emerald out of Seattle. Since we never sailed with Princess prior to this cruise I read up on the line and also chatted with people here on cruise critic. It was an excellent cruise and the ship was outstanding; the crew was great; we had a wonderful time. Princess does Alaska the best.

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Princess does Alaska best.

 

I agree.

 

I also like and enjoy cruising with Royal Caribbean, but for Alaska I would recommend Princess over any other cruiseline.

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We sailed Princess to Alaska in 2012 on the Coral. It was wonderful. A secret that I don't hear much about on the Coral is that it has fabulous windows and seating in the library, floor to ceiling windows. I got there early on Glacier Bay day and staked out a comfortable reading seat with footstool. I watched the glaciers calve and the animals play in warmth and comfort. Soon lots of other people found my secret room. My husband roamed outside, but would come in to get warm and check on me. I think I had the best seat in the house.

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If you're taking kids, RCL.. hands down winner! No kids and it's a no brainer, Princess.

 

FWIW, in addition to HAL and PCL, NCL also goes to Glacier Bay.

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I have cruised with both in Alaska and Princess does a far better job in Alaska than RCCL does. Princess does great enrichment programs and has a Naturalist speak onboard. The Golden Princess is a great ship. You made the right decision.

 

https://www.princess.com/learn/cruise-destinations/alaska-cruises/onboard-experience/

 

Make sure you click on Meet Real Alaskans. RCCL doesn't do any of this.

 

RCCL has benefits but not in Alaska. You made the right choice. Don't second guess yourself.

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Hello all,

 

 

 

For those of you who have sailed on both, are there any noticeable differences between Royal and Princess? I have always believed that Princess was a step above Royal... I am asking for my mother, who booked a mini suite on the Golden Princess sailing to Alaska. I have sailed Alaska, so I have been advising her on shore excursions (White Pass, whale watching). I've looked over all the different ships with her, and advised her to choose Princess over Royal (About myself - I've been on 6 cruises, 3 with Carnival and 3 with Royal-, never sailed on Princess). I'm hoping I made a good choice. She will be sailing with a friend who has terminal cancer, so I am really wanting this cruise to be perfect. It will be her first cruise, my mother's 2nd but her 1st was 20 years ago.. How are the shows? The food? Are there any can't miss activities? It is to my understanding that her friend tires fairly easily, so I would think she would just do what she is capable of. Thanks!!

 

 

 

We sailed island princess to Alaska a few years ago. The food was absolutely atrocious. I’ve sailed Disney, RCCL, Celebrity, and Holland America, and I’ve never had such awful food on a ship. Maybe it’s because the head chef was German? Everything else was great onboard, but we lost weight.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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We sailed island princess to Alaska a few years ago. The food was absolutely atrocious. I’ve sailed Disney, RCCL, Celebrity, and Holland America, and I’ve never had such awful food on a ship. Maybe it’s because the head chef was German? Everything else was great onboard, but we lost weight.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

 

I wonder if it was an off cruise. While cruise food has gone down hill on all lines, I have cruised Princess HAL, Celebrity, RCCL, Carnival and Crystal. Celebrity had the worst cruise of my cruises but I hear it was an unusual cruise. I prefer Princess's food to RCCL but any week can be off for food on any line. I have friends who hate the food on HAL and they have been on at least 3 cruises with them.

Edited by Coral

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We've watched the food go downhill on Disney, Celebrity, and Princess over the years. The only explanation I have is that they are cutting costs. We still find it edible, just not as good as it used to be.

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We've watched the food go downhill on Disney' date=' Celebrity, and Princess over the years. The only explanation I have is that they are cutting costs. We still find it edible, just not as good as it used to be.[/quote']

 

That is so true. It used to be pretty darn good.

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The Golden is our favorite! We sailed her to Alaska twice. We also

really enjoyed Skywalkers during the day- very quiet and beautiful views.

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]I think you made a really good decision OP. Princess does AK better than anyone in the [/color]business IMO.

.

 

Agree...my favorite Cruise lines will always be X & RCI, I love their beautiful ships ...but Princess does Alaska best.......interesting, how I have more cruise days with Princess must be those Princess itineraries.....

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If you're taking kids, RCL.. hands down winner! No kids and it's a no brainer, Princess.

 

 

 

I totally agree with you.

Tony

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Following along since we are doing the opposite of the OP next year. We are loyal Princess cruisers, but we have scheduled our first RC cruise for next summer, sailing out of New York and visiting Bermuda and the Bahamas.

 

We are taking my wife's 3 girl scouts on a cruise after they graduate high school before they all head off to college. They will have all been together as scouts for 13 years.

 

My 14-year-old son and I are tagging along in a separate cabin (I can't let half of the family go on a cruise without me).

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Following along since we are doing the opposite of the OP next year. We are loyal Princess cruisers, but we have scheduled our first RC cruise for next summer, sailing out of New York and visiting Bermuda and the Bahamas.

 

We are taking my wife's 3 girl scouts on a cruise after they graduate high school before they all head off to college. They will have all been together as scouts for 13 years.

 

My 14-year-old son and I are tagging along in a separate cabin (I can't let half of the family go on a cruise without me).

 

That will be one special cruise. Which ship did you choose on Royal?

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Following along since we are doing the opposite of the OP next year. We are loyal Princess cruisers, but we have scheduled our first RC cruise for next summer, sailing out of New York and visiting Bermuda and the Bahamas.

 

We are taking my wife's 3 girl scouts on a cruise after they graduate high school before they all head off to college. They will have all been together as scouts for 13 years.

 

My 14-year-old son and I are tagging along in a separate cabin (I can't let half of the family go on a cruise without me).

 

and you will not regret the choice...RCI has always been our family line.......I am assuming you will be on the Anthem...out of NJ.......make sure to make reservations for the fun on board...before you sail......one awesome ship.....

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and you will not regret the choice...RCI has always been our family line.......I am assuming you will be on the Anthem...out of NJ.......make sure to make reservations for the fun on board...before you sail......one awesome ship.....

 

 

 

We will be on the Adventure. Still looks like a fun ship though.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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