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mahondi

Caribbean Princes or Carnival Miricle

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Okay guys, after lots of research and narrowing down the possibilities, I am at the point where I come my GO TO guys for advice. My DH has just fallen in love with cruising after 30+ yrs of begging him. Went on NCL to Panama for 11 days and it was great. Now I've booked another NCL for November in E Caribbean and my DH says that's too far away. So we are going in July to W Caribbean. We are an older couple and his idea of fun is to just seat at a pleasant bar and talk to other passengers which is what he did on NCL in O'Sheehans. I, on the other hand, spend most of the time in the casino when open or just on balcony with a book and took in some shows. We will book a mini suite. We prefer open dining options, but that's the least of our priorities. With all that in mind, what is you recommendations for us? Should we take the Caribbean Princess or the Carnival Miricle? I would like to keep the vibe positive so we can continue to cruise which is why I come to you in the decision making process.:o:o

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I like Princess better than Carnival, largely for the clientele. Carnival Corporation owns many cruise lines including Carnival and Princess; Carnival is the low end of the corporation. They have policies to go along with their lower prices and the type of people that tend to cruise with them. For instance, on Carnival everyone in a cabin must purchase a beverage package appropriate to their age if any person does.On Princess, each person can purchase or not purchase what they want.

 

Carnival has worked hard to drop their "booze cruise" image and become more family oriented, but especially on short cruises, the "drink till you barf" gang remains. And on the more family oriented cruises you get tons of kids with parents who don't watch them!

 

Don't get me wrong--there are people on Princess who drink a lot (by my standards), but I've never had any problem with a sloppy drunk. There are kids on Princess, especially on school breaks, but they seem to be much more supervised and less trouble makers than on Carnival.

 

We've cruised the Caribbean Princess twice, and I'd happily cruise her again. She has a small motor problem which can't be fixed until dry dock, so she is running just a little slow right now, but you can see the port times when you look at the cruise. My vote would be for the Caribbean Princess. For what it's worth, I'm in my 60s, like to read, enjoy the balcony, see the shows, enjoy the food, etc. Caribbean Princess has what I need, although I do wish that some of the newer Princess productions would make it to that ship!

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Princess is a wonderful cruise line and I love the environment and vibe in their casinos. I was on the Caribbean Princess for 10 days in May and she is an absolutely beautiful ship. The casino was on the small side compared to other Princess ships but we still enjoyed it. There are several places your husband will be able to sit and chat with other passengers. It was a terrific cruise and I highly recommend you give Princess a try. Carnival is a much younger and loud crowd and there’s nothing wrong with that if that interests you. We are in our mid 50’s and enjoy the calmer and quieter atmosphere on Princess. Whatever decision you make....ENJOY YOUR CRUISE!!!!

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As you can see we have been on a few CCL ships mostly the newest ones and will be boarding the Breeze in September sailing to the western Caribbean. CCL markets itself as the "Fun ship" and markets to families and younger pax. Princess markets to an older clientele but not as old as HAL's marketing. If you go on CCL expect a lot of kids (literally hundreds) and younger families. On our recent cruises we have not seen the drunken activity others post about however. Last cruise was the first week in May when all the kids are in school or so we thought. There were over 500 aboard! Just keep in mind CCL means lots of kids of all age groups.

 

Princess on the other hand is more subdued with maybe 10 or so kids and an older group who are still working but empty nesters or left the kids with grandparents. Princess is more elegant than NCL or CCL in decor and activities. From what the OP describes, I think Princess would be a better choice. The Caribbean is a really nice well maintained ship having recently come out of drydock.

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During the summer, we have seen hundreds of kids on Princess ships. That's still a lot less than the thousand or more on Carnival during the summer.

 

I've never been aware of as few as 10 on a Princess ship, but the normal number when school is in session is probably less than 100 out of 2500-3000 passengers on board. Our last cruise was 10 nights during the school year; some kids were possibly on spring break that week. There were kids...but in the 100 or so range. Princess does reserve the right to cancel kid programming if there are fewer than 20 kids in any age group. The kid programming was up and running, so they had at least that many.

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We've gone Princess 23 times. Love it!!:hearteyes:

If you decide on Princess, here are a couple of things to consider:

1) if either or both are veterans, send a copy of your DD-214 to Princess (info is available, just google it). You'll get OBC every time you sail.

2) if you can afford it... consider buying Carnival Corp. stock, you'll get OBC (after sending in current proof of ownership) from any Carnival Corp. ship you sail on...both of your choices would qualify.

3) if you like coffee, tea, hot chocolate...buy a Coffee Card. (skip this one, new information makes it less of a deal).

There are more things to know but IMO these are the important ones.;)

Edited by JF - retired RRT
new coffee card info

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might want to rethink that 'coffee card thingy' based on a current thread;p

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During the summer' date=' we have seen hundreds of kids on Princess ships. That's still a lot less than the thousand or more on Carnival during the summer.

 

I've never been aware of as few as 10 on a Princess ship, but the normal number when school is in session is probably less than 100 out of 2500-3000 passengers on board. Our last cruise was 10 nights during the school year; some kids were possibly on spring break that week. There were kids...but in the 100 or so range. Princess does reserve the right to cancel kid programming if there are fewer than 20 kids in any age group. The kid programming was up and running, so they had at least that many.[/quote']

On our first Panama transit, a March sailing , there was 1 teenager, and a family with 3 small children. On our last 19day Pacific adventure, April this year, never saw a teenager, and less than 10 younger ones. One did a GREAT job with AL Jamal!!. A few of the kids I believe were officers children. Teen center was open "for adults to visit" to preview for more kid friendly cruises.

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We used to like both Carnival and Princess but just cannot enjoy Carnival any more. Everything was always LOUD but even now louder. Singing in the shows sounds more like shouting matches than singing. Volume is too high also on Princess but not as loud. Seating in the theatre is better on Princess. Nice to still have tablecloths in the dining room. Princess is our choice now but we are older seniors and even enjoy Holland very much. Carnival dining room food used to be the best but all are now similar with mostly good, but little excellent. Basically, we enjoy it. Carnival seems to only want younger cruisers and that is ok. We are just ready something else.

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WOW. That was enlightening. Thanks everyone. As usual, you answered all my questions and I've just booked Caribbean Princess for July 14. I will now bask in the anticipation!!!!

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We've always enjoyed our cruises in Mini-Suites on Caribbean Princess!

Consider booking a Club Class Mini-Suite. ;)

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We actually sailed on both ships.

The Miracle was probably our least favorite Carnival ship. Didn't care for the layout compared to the larger Conquest type ships. If you are sensitive to smoke the casino, and all areas around it, are permeated with the smell. There is a staircase in the casino that allows the smoke to go up several floors and to other lounges. You also have to walk through the casino to get to the theater. Always felt like I needed a shower after going through there. Never had a problem avoiding that on the Princess ships.

 

I actually prefer the theaters on Carnival. I think the limited seating on Princess is really uncomfortable. Not to mention you have to get there so far in advance if you want to see the early show.

Some of the Miracle balcony rooms views are limited by recessed areas so I'd prefer one in the jutted out sections.

If you want a covered balcony on the Caribbean Princess you need to book the mini suites on deck 8 aft. The mini suites on the dolphin deck are totally uncovered.

 

We sailed on the Caribbean this last Feb for the 5th time and really enjoyed it. On Princess you will probably find more people in your age group. Although we felt that it got pretty quiet on Princess after 11pm.

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I may be the lone voice on here who speaks up for Carnival. We are in our late 70's and have sailed Carnival 7 times, I think. We will sail on Princess for the 2nd time in January.

 

I do enjoy the "Fun Ship," atmosphere and have never encountered drunks, or obnoxious passengers. Yes, Princess is an older demographic which I enjoyed as well.

 

We have always sailed in the winter months when most children are in school. I will admit that as a retired elementary teacher of 36 years, I don't mind the children. I love the Dr. Seuss theme on Carnival and yes, went to the Cat in the Hat breakfast and had green eggs and ham.

 

The Miracle was one of our first cruises and will small compared to the mega ships, we liked it. The bottom line is, enjoy whatever cruise you decide to take. Each has its on character and vibe. We sailed NCL and RCL once each but wasn't that thrilled with either. It will be Princess or Carnival for us. I have written reviews of almost all of our cruises. Feel free to read and compare from the our older eyes.

( I'm 76, hubby is 79.)

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Both will have kids if you are sailing in July.

 

As odd as this sounds, at one time Carnival sailed more "seniors" compared to any other line though it maybe simply due to them having more ships than any other line.

 

Carnival is going to have more energy while Princess will be a tad quieter.

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We both use mobility scooters so were always seated in the back of the theaters. I noted that the view of the audience from the back on Princess was more gray and more bald ! That's where the demographics were most noticeable.

 

One highlight of our Panama Canal Cruise last year on the Coral Princess was the Ultimate Balcony Dining. Wow, was that ever special treat. We just celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary so I plan to do that again on our Jan. Caribbean Circle Cruise on the Caribbean Princess. But then, who needs a special occasion to celebrate. Every day is a celebration.

 

Come back and tell us how you liked your cruise.

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Apparently, “The Rowboat” is fully booked the week the OP wanted to travel.

 

The Rowboat will be in Hyannis for the month of July with the Captain and friends...:):):)

The Captain of The Rowboat,

Tony

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You are asking this on a Princess board, but hands down, the Caribbean Princess based on your cruise style. We are very happy sailing her.

 

Agreed.....:):):)

Bob

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My Husband and I are in our mid 50's. We've sailed a total of 36 days on the Miracle all out of the west coast. She's a beautiful and wonderful ship to sail on with an amazing crew that is high energy, very caring and friendly. Carnival crews, in our opinion, are amazing and "happy". Carnival is more laid back and casual.

 

Princess, in our experience is more elegant..more reserved but definitely not as "fun" and "high energy". Their crews are nice but more reserved...or as I always say.."Proper Darling, Proper!" I'm not a partier at all..actually more reserved myself...maybe that's why I love, Love, LOVE the energy from the crew on Carnival and I can "feel" it as soon as I walk on the ship.

 

We live in Vegas and prefer Carnival's casinos. If you spend quite a bit of time in the casino, I recommend Carnival for the great casino hosts and perks. Get to know your casino hosts though, ask about the perks, no matter which cruise line you choose.

 

We've sailed Princess twice with another 15 day booked and Carnival 10 times with a 16 day booked on Miracle's sister ship, The Legend. The Miracle is a "Spirit Class" ship. We love the Spirit Class for many reasons. This class of ship is very well designed and easy to maneuver. Not huge. Amazing..free..Adult Serenity Deck. Main decks go straight though..no having to jump up a flight of stairs to get forward to aft. They rarely feel crowded. The food has always been great for us. The Steakhouse is beautiful. The Alchemy Bar is in a very nice area near the Main Dining Room and I always see guests sitting in that area and chatting like old friends as we walk to the dining room. The Casino Bar is going to be smokey but that because Carnival no longer allows balcony smoking and there's no Cigar Bar.

 

I promise you there is no stairwell in the casino at all..let alone one with smoke that drifts to up to other decks. That's Nonsense!

 

Carnival has larger balcony cabins than Princess and NCL. Their balcony cabins are not as large as a Princess mini suite but there is couch, a coffee table, a desk/make up table with a stool, lots of storage/closet space...only one T.V. though and a shower instead of a bathtub. I absolutely do not recommend getting an uncovered balcony on Princess due to lack of privacy and there is no protection from the elements. We did that once and never again.

 

Since you enjoy spending time relaxing on the balcony, as I do, I highly recommend Carnival Miracle's mid ship extended balcony cabins preferably deck 7, a premium balcony cabin on Deck 6 or preferably 7. Premium balcony cabins are much like an ocean suite but with a shower instead of jacuzzi bath and less expensive but hard to come by..or a mid ship ocean suite if that's in your price range. These cabins do sit back a bit but they are deeper and less windy. Private and perfect for balcony lovers unless you are someone who needs to look straight down and straight forward and aft.

 

Hope this helps! I'm sure no matter which cruise line you choose you and your husband will make it fabulous. One thing about cruising that I've found..once they're hooked..they're hooked! We just took our 4 year old Grandson on his first cruise and he is so hooked!..Hahahaha..I Love it! Oh, and by the way, the kids I've met on cruise ships have always been behaved, smart and well rounded. I've seen many a cruiser, including myself, no matter their age, smile when they meet up with the "Lil Cruisers". I think it's great for kids to travel. Who wants to cruise with "kid haters"? Not us!

 

Wishing You & Your Husband Many Wonderful Cruises Together!

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