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Looking for Feedback on Princess Cruises

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I’m looking at a cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale on the Island Princess in December but have only sailed on NCL, Celebrity and Carnival. I’d love if anyone is able to provide info/feedback on the Princess cruise experience compared to other cruise lines. Any information is appreciated! Thank you [emoji5]

 

 

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I’m looking at a cruise out of Ft. Lauderdale on the Island Princess in December but have only sailed on NCL, Celebrity and Carnival. I’d love if anyone is able to provide info/feedback on the Princess cruise experience compared to other cruise lines. Any information is appreciated! Thank you [emoji5]

 

 

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Welcome to the Princess board!

 

Princess is likely a bit more traditional than you've experienced on the other lines. That being said, it is fun and comfortable.

 

Tell us about you and that might help with responses.

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Of the lines you've cruised, Princess is most comparable to Celebrity. There are differences, of course, and there are many good comparison posts available.

 

It is a comfortable ship for families with good kid programming, but the overall demographic is not young families with kids. It is also not a college frat party ship. Obviously there is a good deal of drinking, but you'll rarely see an obnoxious drunk.

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We've been on all three you mentioned -- Princess, Celebrity, & NCL.

Princess is way more like Celebrity than Carnival or NCL.

If you enjoyed Celebrity but would like just a bit more activity, you'll love Princess. (y)

Princess is the best fit for us. :D:D

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I have sailed on Carnival because it is close to our home and we can drive to the port instead of gong by air. Carnival and NCL are competitors in the low end of the cruise industry. Princess and Celebrity are considered a step up. Princess is more traditional and a bit more formal in their approach. It appeals to the older set who no longer have young children at home and who want a more sophisticated cruising experience. The decor of the ship is more traditional with subdued colors, faux wood trim (no flammable material allowed on a ship) and more adult entertainment meaning no hard rock or rap or whatever the younger generation listens to. It is the difference of going to the Holiday Inn or the Marriott/Hilton.

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Welcome to the Princess board!

 

 

 

Princess is likely a bit more traditional than you've experienced on the other lines. That being said, it is fun and comfortable.

 

 

 

Tell us about you and that might help with responses.

 

 

 

Thanks for the info. We are a married couple, 41 and 45. Kids are in college so we typically cruise with just the 2 of us. We do like to have a few cocktails with dinner and on sea days and enjoy listening to bands and maybe a comedy show or 2 but are usually in bed by 11ish [emoji4]. I think I would like the traditional experience with a fun and comfortable twist!

 

 

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We've been on all three you mentioned -- Princess, Celebrity, & NCL.

 

Princess is way more like Celebrity than Carnival or NCL.

 

If you enjoyed Celebrity but would like just a bit more activity, you'll love Princess. (y)

 

Princess is the best fit for us. :D:D

 

 

 

That sounds perfect. I loved Celebrity but my my husband was a little bored. He’s looking for something in between so maybe Princess may just be the right choice! Thanks!

 

 

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Of the lines you've cruised' date=' Princess is most comparable to Celebrity. There are differences, of course, and there are many good comparison posts available.

 

It is a comfortable ship for families with good kid programming, but the overall demographic is not young families with kids. It is also not a college frat party ship. Obviously there is a good deal of drinking, but you'll rarely see an obnoxious drunk.[/quote']

 

 

 

We don’t have small children and are in our 40’s so the college frat scene is not desirable either. It sounds like a perfect combo of what we are looking for.

 

 

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I have sailed on Carnival because it is close to our home and we can drive to the port instead of gong by air. Carnival and NCL are competitors in the low end of the cruise industry. Princess and Celebrity are considered a step up. Princess is more traditional and a bit more formal in their approach. It appeals to the older set who no longer have young children at home and who want a more sophisticated cruising experience. The decor of the ship is more traditional with subdued colors, faux wood trim (no flammable material allowed on a ship) and more adult entertainment meaning no hard rock or rap or whatever the younger generation listens to. It is the difference of going to the Holiday Inn or the Marriott/Hilton.

 

 

 

We typically cruise on NCL, have only sailed Carnival twice, and have sailed Celebrity once. Personally, I loved Celebrity because it was a bit more sophisticated without a lot of children, but my husband was a little bored. I think Princess sounds like a good mix between Celebrity and NCL.

 

 

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I took my first Princess cruise last July. Was looking for a change of pace from both Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. Sailed on Emerald Princess. My Wife and I loved it; the staff, the ship, the service, the shows. We liked it so much we have another cruise booked with Princess

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I took my first Princess cruise last July. Was looking for a change of pace from both Royal Caribbean and Norwegian. Sailed on Emerald Princess. My Wife and I loved it; the staff, the ship, the service, the shows. We liked it so much we have another cruise booked with Princess

 

 

 

Great to know! Thanks. I totally forgot, we have cruised with Royal once as well.

 

 

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I really like your choice of the Island Princess, but you will find many posters here that do not. Here's a quick checklist to help you decide if the Island is for you. Princess has several styles of ships, so you may prefer one of the newer, larger ships.

 

 

Do you like a piano/martini bar? The Island has the best one in the fleet.

 

Would you like a big, new balcony cabin on the Promenade Deck with real teak decking? They have them on the Island.

 

Do you like having a covered pool area? The Island has one.

 

Would you like to try an authentic Bayou Cafe? You'll find that on the Island, and also a great show called "On the Bayou".

 

The Island does have a wait for anytime dining, but so do many other ships. We chose late Traditional dining, so we never had to wait. You will need to get to the shows about 30 minutes before the scheduled start time, but that is often true on other ships too.

 

Now, how to decide if the Island is not for you:

 

Do you like to gamble? The casino on the Island is very small, so this is not the ship for you.

 

Do you go to gym? The gym is in the bowels of the ship, so this is probably not the ship for you.

 

Do you party it up at the disco? The Island doesn't have a disco, but there's live music and dancing in the Wheelhouse bar, and the Explorer's lounge turns in to disco around 11:00 pm.

 

 

My husband and I are in our 50's and we always find plenty of things to keep us busy, or relax, as the mood strikes us. Enjoy your cruise.

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We switched to Princess about five or so years ago. We had cruised mainly Carnival and two specialty cruise lines. We do not fit the Carnival demographic - in our 60s/70s with no kids, don't drink or gamble. We enjoyed Carnival a lot and liked the upbeat vibe. We switched lines because Carnival stopped offering some of their Mexican offerings, and Princess still had them. Based on these boards, we were expecting to be wowed by the Princess experience (we stay in aft suites on both lines). We were satisfied, but not wowed after our first Princess cruise - there are more similarities than differences between the mass market lines. Now that we've been on about 10 Princess cruises, we know what to expect and are very satisfied with their product. For a suite they are more expensive than Carnival because there are more "included" services. Others have commented on the decor, and Princess has enough activities and excellent shows to keep us coming back! I think the difference between Carnival and Princess is more like the difference between a Marriott Residence Inn and full service Marriott.

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I really like your choice of the Island Princess, but you will find many posters here that do not. Here's a quick checklist to help you decide if the Island is for you. Princess has several styles of ships, so you may prefer one of the newer, larger ships.

 

 

 

 

 

Do you like a piano/martini bar? The Island has the best one in the fleet.

 

 

 

Would you like a big, new balcony cabin on the Promenade Deck with real teak decking? They have them on the Island.

 

 

 

Do you like having a covered pool area? The Island has one.

 

 

 

Would you like to try an authentic Bayou Cafe? You'll find that on the Island, and also a great show called "On the Bayou".

 

 

 

The Island does have a wait for anytime dining, but so do many other ships. We chose late Traditional dining, so we never had to wait. You will need to get to the shows about 30 minutes before the scheduled start time, but that is often true on other ships too.

 

 

 

Now, how to decide if the Island is not for you:

 

 

 

Do you like to gamble? The casino on the Island is very small, so this is not the ship for you.

 

 

 

Do you go to gym? The gym is in the bowels of the ship, so this is probably not the ship for you.

 

 

 

Do you party it up at the disco? The Island doesn't have a disco, but there's live music and dancing in the Wheelhouse bar, and the Explorer's lounge turns in to disco around 11:00 pm.

 

 

 

 

 

My husband and I are in our 50's and we always find plenty of things to keep us busy, or relax, as the mood strikes us. Enjoy your cruise.

 

 

 

Great information, the casino and gym aren’t really something that we use much but I LOVE a good martini bar, as well as live music! Waiting a bit for dinner and arriving early for a show is not really an issue for us. It looks like Princess may be just right for us! Thanks!

 

 

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We are diamond on carnival and started with princess a few years ago.

 

Now we prefer princess.

 

Much better buffets and production shows. Do miss comedy club and piano bar on carnival

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We switched to Princess about five or so years ago. We had cruised mainly Carnival and two specialty cruise lines. We do not fit the Carnival demographic - in our 60s/70s with no kids, don't drink or gamble. We enjoyed Carnival a lot and liked the upbeat vibe. We switched lines because Carnival stopped offering some of their Mexican offerings, and Princess still had them. Based on these boards, we were expecting to be wowed by the Princess experience (we stay in aft suites on both lines). We were satisfied, but not wowed after our first Princess cruise - there are more similarities than differences between the mass market lines. Now that we've been on about 10 Princess cruises, we know what to expect and are very satisfied with their product. For a suite they are more expensive than Carnival because there are more "included" services. Others have commented on the decor, and Princess has enough activities and excellent shows to keep us coming back! I think the difference between Carnival and Princess is more like the difference between a Marriott Residence Inn and full service Marriott.

 

 

 

Definitely good information. We typically sail NCL but it feels as though the service is lacking a bit lately, as well as the food quality (even in the specialty restaurants-at times it was barely warm). What is your opinion of the service and food on Princess?

 

 

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Great information, the casino and gym aren’t really something that we use much but I LOVE a good martini bar, as well as live music! Waiting a bit for dinner and arriving early for a show is not really an issue for us. It looks like Princess may be just right for us! Thanks!

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You would LOVE Crooner's, the martini bar on Princess! :hearteyes:

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You would LOVE Crooner's, the martini bar on Princess! :hearteyes:

 

 

 

Thanks for the feedback!

 

 

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very much depends on what you like and who's at the piano, of course...;p

 

we've had more than a few very enjoyable nights in Crooners, but also have walked out on occasion...:evilsmile:

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I would rate the food from good to excellent. Service is generally excellent, and on rare occasions I’d say very good. Since we stay in a suite, we have breakfast in Sabatini’s which is excellent, and then dinner in the dining room - Club Class or regular anytime. Lunch and snacks are generally from the International Cafe if there is one. Also, if there’s an Alfredo’s, the pizza is outstanding. Hope this helps.

 

 

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I would rate the food from good to excellent. Service is generally excellent, and on rare occasions I’d say very good. Since we stay in a suite, we have breakfast in Sabatini’s which is excellent, and then dinner in the dining room - Club Class or regular anytime. Lunch and snacks are generally from the International Cafe if there is one. Also, if there’s an Alfredo’s, the pizza is outstanding. Hope this helps.

 

 

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Yes it does help! I think I’m going to try my first Princess cruise, I’m so excited. Can I leave tomorrow [emoji6]????

 

 

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very much depends on what you like and who's at the piano, of course...;p

 

 

 

we've had more than a few very enjoyable nights in Crooners, but also have walked out on occasion...:evilsmile:

 

 

 

I guess it just depends on the night but overall Princess may be the choice for us!

 

 

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I would rate the food from good to excellent. Service is generally excellent, and on rare occasions I’d say very good. Since we stay in a suite, we have breakfast in Sabatini’s which is excellent, and then dinner in the dining room - Club Class or regular anytime. Lunch and snacks are generally from the International Cafe if there is one. Also, if there’s an Alfredo’s, the pizza is outstanding. Hope this helps.

 

 

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You will find some negatives on Princess food from a few years ago when they decreased their portions, but we have always found the food to be very good. If you come across something that does not suit your tastes, ask for something else. As for portion size, you can always ask for more.

All in all, we find Princess to be a great value over other lines and they have great itineraries. The only time we switch now is to do an itinerary during a time Princess isn't doing it.

Princess also has some of the best and varied port tours. For an Alaskan cruise this summer I think there were around 20 tours in ine port alone.

They also take good care of the people in tour. Even those not booked on a Princess tour. In 2016 there was a bird strike that took out a jet coming back from Machu Pichu on take off. Princess helped all the non Princess tour people on board find transportation and logging (not free) until they got back to the ship at another port.

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You will find some negatives on Princess food from a few years ago when they decreased their portions, but we have always found the food to be very good. If you come across something that does not suit your tastes, ask for something else. As for portion size, you can always ask for more.

 

All in all, we find Princess to be a great value over other lines and they have great itineraries. The only time we switch now is to do an itinerary during a time Princess isn't doing it.

 

Princess also has some of the best and varied port tours. For an Alaskan cruise this summer I think there were around 20 tours in ine port alone.

 

They also take good care of the people in tour. Even those not booked on a Princess tour. In 2016 there was a bird strike that took out a jet coming back from Machu Pichu on take off. Princess helped all the non Princess tour people on board find transportation and logging (not free) until they got back to the ship at another port.

 

 

 

Portion size isn’t really a problem. I love to sample just a bit of everything, I never really eat the entire meal. Especially after snacking throughout the day. We are actually looking at the Panama Canal sailing on 12/20/18, I love the ports of call and the price is much less that NCL so it seems Princess is ahead at this point. I think I’m going to put a deposit on it tomorrow!

 

 

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Portion size isn’t really a problem. I love to sample just a bit of everything, I never really eat the entire meal. Especially after snacking throughout the day. We are actually looking at the Panama Canal sailing on 12/20/18, I love the ports of call and the price is much less that NCL so it seems Princess is ahead at this point. I think I’m going to put a deposit on it tomorrow!

 

 

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That is how we saw it. We like to sample all the new things and enjoy several of the oldies but goodies. I am a big salad eater and get the Caesar salad in a bit bigger bowl with the anchovies. Just need to ask.

 

Princess was looking at the amount of food being tossed and sized to what they thought was reasonable.

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Posted (edited)

We started with NCL, then found Princess which became our favorite. In the past few years Princess has implemented a severe cutback program in both quality and service, so much so that we hesitate to recommend Princess since the things we most enjoyed about the experience have changed. We went back to NCL and really enjoyed it. Princess is more traditional, similar to Celebrity but harder to get a table for two if that is important to you. The Island Princess added cabins and got rid of public space lately so we have avoided it, used to be one of our favorites.

Edited by DrJohn
clarification

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We’re Princess cruisers-Island is not our favorite ship.

 

If you’re doing the Panama Canal you might want to think about the Coral Princess-sister ship but much better viewing areas. Coral Has a small International Cafe.[emoji6]

 

If you’re looking for more things to do I’d suggest one of the bigger ships like the Caribbean Princess-one of my favorites!

 

 

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Thank you everyone for all of your feedback! It’s been very helpful. We ended up booking Princess for our cruise in December. We’re excited to try a new cruise line [emoji4]

 

 

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Thanks for the info. We are a married couple, 41 and 45. Kids are in college so we typically cruise with just the 2 of us. We do like to have a few cocktails with dinner and on sea days and enjoy listening to bands and maybe a comedy show or 2 but are usually in bed by 11ish [emoji4]. I think I would like the traditional experience with a fun and comfortable twist!

 

 

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While the demographic may be a little older than you, we've also met 30-something year olds who really enjoyed the Princess atmosphere :)

We're in the "older" group but have really enjoyed the music options on Princess - they always have a piano player in Crooners, along with other bands, duos, & such playing in the other lounges. We also like the Trivia contests held both during the day & in the evening. We keep saying each time we have to watch a movie with MUTS but so far have been too busy otherwise to do so!

 

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We started with NCL, then found Princess which became our favorite. In the past few years Princess has implemented a severe cutback program in both quality and service, so much so that we hesitate to recommend Princess since the things we most enjoyed about the experience have changed. We went back to NCL and really enjoyed it. Princess is more traditional, similar to Celebrity but harder to get a table for two if that is important to you. The Island Princess added cabins and got rid of public space lately so we have avoided it, used to be one of our favorites.

 

What is your favorite Princess ship and your favorite NCL ship? Thanks

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What is your favorite Princess ship and your favorite NCL ship? Thanks

 

Tough question! We loved the Grand, have really enjoyed the Crown Class ships, learning how to enjoy the Royal class, but the Coral might edge out the others for favorite ship. We like the size of the NCL ships like Dawn and Pearl, the Epic is quirky and fun, and we haven't been on the other new ships. Don't really have a NCL favorite yet.

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Tough question! We loved the Grand, have really enjoyed the Crown Class ships, learning how to enjoy the Royal class, but the Coral might edge out the others for favorite ship. We like the size of the NCL ships like Dawn and Pearl, the Epic is quirky and fun, and we haven't been on the other new ships. Don't really have a NCL favorite yet.

 

Thank you for your feedback. I have sailed on NCL Jade before her refurb. I liked the ship and want to go back because I watched a video that showed her post refurb and she looks fabulous. Have only sailed Emerald Princess and have Caribbean Princess booked next Feb. Again, thanks for feedback

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