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I just booked our first Princess cruise!


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We are not newbies to cruising having done 7 Carnival and 3 Celebrity cruises.  However, as I mentioned, this is our first Princess cruise.  The unfortunate thing is that we need to wait until 2021 for it, but it's all good since it's for our 25th anniversary.   :classic_smile:  The ship we'll be on is Island Princess and we're doing Panama Canal, which is a bucket list item for me!   I'm just curious to know what's good and bad about Princess.  I haven't had the opportunity to do a lot of research yet, but I always value the opinions of those who have experienced past cruises.  I am definitely intrigued by the specialty restaurants and the Chocolate Journeys though!

 

So any and all help, info, etc., would be greatly appreciated!

 

 

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6 minutes ago, K.T.B. said:

We are not newbies to cruising having done 7 Carnival and 3 Celebrity cruises.  However, as I mentioned, this is our first Princess cruise.  The unfortunate thing is that we need to wait until 2021 for it, but it's all good since it's for our 25th anniversary.   :classic_smile:  The ship we'll be on is Island Princess and we're doing Panama Canal, which is a bucket list item for me!   I'm just curious to know what's good and bad about Princess.  I haven't had the opportunity to do a lot of research yet, but I always value the opinions of those who have experienced past cruises.  I am definitely intrigued by the specialty restaurants and the Chocolate Journeys though!

 

So any and all help, info, etc., would be greatly appreciated!

 

 

 

Have you looked at Cruise Critic forum board for ship review, and port of call reviews?

Good luck.

Edited by Kingofcool1947
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Welcome!  I took my first Princess cruise this past May (new to Princess, not new to cruising!) and now we are booked on three more cruises!

 

We are booked on the same cruise as well—Island Princess through the Panama Canal—so will be following!

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Good: there aren’t a million really drunk people 

 

bad: there aren’t a million really drunk people

 

good: laid back atmosphere 

 

of course, bad: laid back atmosphere 

 

good: food is generally good

good: entertainment, get there early

good: stateroom setup

good: staterooms are generally ready when you board 

 

 

Panama Canal cruise: you are required to read a book like your college degree depends on it. The book is... The Path between the seas. - it’s long, but you can get it cheap. Start reading it now, not next week, now!!!

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Good: all the carryon soda you want, liquor for purchase for you stateroom for a reasonable price, Piazza  activities, movies under the stars, adults only pool, champagne(?) tower of fun, carryon wine

 

hit it or miss: pub lunch, buffet, pizza, burgers by the pool, fitness center, 

 

bad: not much of a party crowd, it isn’t Holland America, but on some cruises, you might think it is, 

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Hi,

We are platinum on Carnival and took our first Princess cruise last December.

We also went through the Panama Canal but on the Coral not the Island.

We now have 2 more Princess cruises booked! I loved it more than DH but of course he wants me to be happy(LOL).

I wrote a long review comparing pros and cons with Carnival.

The 2 cons for me were the lack of comedians(we love the Comedy Club on Carnival) and the lack of variety in the buffet for lunch. We also found it strange that at some trivia games there were no prizes but that was a small thing.

We were in a suite so loved the extra suite benefits that Carnival does not offer!!

IF you have the opportunity to do the Embera native excursion in Panama jump on it!!

I thought it was the most wonderful cruise excursion I have ever experienced!!

 

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10 hours ago, Kingofcool1947 said:

 

Have you looked at Cruise Critic forum board for ship review, and port of call reviews?

Good luck.

 

Read some reviews before posting.  So thanks...

 

To others who have responded so far:  Not into the party atmosphere, so that's a good thing.  My wife and definitely enjoy a more relaxing vacation (re: the 3 Alaskan cruises! :classic_wink:). 

 

I will say the lack of comedians on the ship won't bother me.  Carnivals "comedians" always seem to fall flat for us.  And the shows on Celebrity were top notch, so I'll be interested to see how they compare to Princess's.

 

And to riffatsea:  I'll definitely take a look into Embera native excursion!  Thanks!

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I've cruised on Carnival, Celebrity, and Princess. Leaving out the one Celebrity cruise which we found underwhelming, I overwhelmingly prefer Princess to Carnival. But oddly enough, I can't really pin down a good list of reasons for that preference. I think it must be a lot of little things that add up in the back of my mind. Princess just seems nicer to me.

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1 hour ago, Sea Hag said:

I've cruised on Carnival, Celebrity, and Princess. Leaving out the one Celebrity cruise which we found underwhelming, I overwhelmingly prefer Princess to Carnival. But oddly enough, I can't really pin down a good list of reasons for that preference. I think it must be a lot of little things that add up in the back of my mind. Princess just seems nicer to me.

 

We both loved the Celebrity cruises, but the last 2 Carnival cruises have been.... well, horrible.  One cruise was the final cruise for the majority of the staff and they didn't give a crap about service.  And our last cruise also had some service issues, as well as many food related issues from meh food (in one instance my wife found cut up pieces of plastic in her couscous salad!) to the buffet and other places just not opening on time or not being open at all when they should have been.

 

So we're done with Carnival.  5 really good to great cruises with them and 2 horrible ones.  We see the writing on the wall with them.

 

Suffice it to say, we're really excited about the Panama cruise!  We almost booked it in 2016 for our 20th, but the Alaskan cruisetour we took was significantly cheaper at the time.  Now it's the opposite in terms of price.  Go figure.  :classic_smile:

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17 hours ago, K.T.B. said:

The ship we'll be on is Island Princess and we're doing Panama Canal, which is a bucket list item for me!   I'm just curious to know what's good and bad about Princess. 

We did the Panama Canal cruise on Island Princess in February 2019.   It was a great experience!  I've always loved the style of the ship -- classy and elegant.  Sadly, it is showing its age now, and looks a bit dowdy compared to our 2006 cruise to Hawaii on the same ship.  It has been butchered a bit since they added more cabins which eliminated a lot of deck area for walking.  The previously lovely gym, which used to overlook the ocean, has been relegated to a small interior area.  The four of us in the group agree that the worst part of the trip was the ship's communications issues, i.e., it hasn't kept up with technology well.  Internet was slow, and Cellular At Sea was functioning only about 5% of the time.  The people staffing the IT area were clueless.

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I’ll try to share what Princess is compared to the cruise lines you’ve been on. Princess is elegant like Celebrity but not snooty. The food is definitely better IMO on Princess. Princess provides a serene onboard atmosphere, so you won’t encounter loud music throughout the ship. There is lots of live music, though, like string quartets, a band, and a piano entertainer. Drinks, specialty restaurants, merchandise, and bingo all cost less on Princess. Service is outstanding on Princess. Regular staterooms don’t have a sofa. The shower is smaller than on Celebrity. 

 

Happy planning, and welcome to Princess! 

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Are you doing the 10 day or the full transit? We did the 10 day on the Caribbean Princess last year.  I loved it! We have cruised with several other lines, but have been solid with Princess the last few years. 

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I was on back-to-back cruises on the Island Princess to Alaska this summer. I had a great time. I had sailed on the ship before the refurbishment. I did miss the Universe Lounge, but the Island still had plenty of activities going on. The thing that made my cruises great (other than the wonderful destination) was the wonderful crew. I enjoyed all of the cruise director's staff. I had a great cabin steward and efficient waiters in traditional dining.

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The Island is doing 19 day round trip LA into Gatun Lake or full transits. 

 

Tip: Pre-purchase MedallionNet unlimited high speed internet access through the Personalizer - it is a good deal for those new to Princess.  It is now available on Caribbean, Coral, Crown, Island, Regal, Ruby and Royal.

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5 hours ago, donswife said:

Are you doing the 10 day or the full transit? We did the 10 day on the Caribbean Princess last year.  I loved it! We have cruised with several other lines, but have been solid with Princess the last few years. 

 

Doing a 15-day itinerary, leaving from LA and disembarking at Fort Lauderdale.

 

And thanks for all the good suggestions!  Especially MedallionNet, Ferd.

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We had a relaxing and wonderful time doing the 19 day round trip from LA to the Panama canal on the Island.

I think you will enjoy it immensely. 

My favorite area on sea days was in the covered pool area with a margarita in my hand on a lounge chair looking out in the ocean. So chill 🙂

 

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So what can you experienced Princess cruisers tell me about Princess?  I've been doing a bit of research on the ship and the itinerary, but nothing beats those who have actually sailed the cruise line.  Some of the reviews I've read are.... interesting.  :classic_wink:  They're just not a lot of help.

 

I'd just like to know how it compares to either Celebrity or Carnival.  (For those who may have sailed either of those cruise lines.)  One thing I do enjoy seeing is that the formal nights are truly formal.  I actually miss getting dressed up for dinner while on the ship.  I definitely do not mind casual, but it's fun to dress to the nines every so often.  But what about the rest of the time in the dining room?  Just how casual can one get?  

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2 minutes ago, K.T.B. said:

So what can you experienced Princess cruisers tell me about Princess?  I've been doing a bit of research on the ship and the itinerary, but nothing beats those who have actually sailed the cruise line.  Some of the reviews I've read are.... interesting.  :classic_wink:  They're just not a lot of help.

 

I'd just like to know how it compares to either Celebrity or Carnival.  (For those who may have sailed either of those cruise lines.)  One thing I do enjoy seeing is that the formal nights are truly formal.  I actually miss getting dressed up for dinner while on the ship.  I definitely do not mind casual, but it's fun to dress to the nines every so often.  But what about the rest of the time in the dining room?  Just how casual can one get?  

In my opinion very similar to Celebrity.

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47 minutes ago, K.T.B. said:

So what can you experienced Princess cruisers tell me about Princess?  I've been doing a bit of research on the ship and the itinerary, but nothing beats those who have actually sailed the cruise line.  Some of the reviews I've read are.... interesting.  :classic_wink:  They're just not a lot of help.

 

I'd just like to know how it compares to either Celebrity or Carnival.  (For those who may have sailed either of those cruise lines.)  One thing I do enjoy seeing is that the formal nights are truly formal.  I actually miss getting dressed up for dinner while on the ship.  I definitely do not mind casual, but it's fun to dress to the nines every so often.  But what about the rest of the time in the dining room?  Just how casual can one get?  

My best suggestion is for you to try a Princess cruise, especially if you like to have fun. You will not regret it. 

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1 hour ago, K.T.B. said:

So what can you experienced Princess cruisers tell me about Princess?  I've been doing a bit of research on the ship and the itinerary, but nothing beats those who have actually sailed the cruise line.  Some of the reviews I've read are.... interesting.  :classic_wink:  They're just not a lot of help.

 

I'd just like to know how it compares to either Celebrity or Carnival.  (For those who may have sailed either of those cruise lines.)  One thing I do enjoy seeing is that the formal nights are truly formal.  I actually miss getting dressed up for dinner while on the ship.  I definitely do not mind casual, but it's fun to dress to the nines every so often.  But what about the rest of the time in the dining room?  Just how casual can one get?  

 

Cutting to the quick, Princess will definitely offer you the chance to enjoy formal night as a time to dress to the nines. Plenty of people will try to get by with less, but somewhere around half the ship will cooperate with the formal dress requirements.

 

Most of the others will go to the buffet or an alternative venue.

 

Jim

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14 hours ago, Ken the cruiser said:

My best suggestion is for you to try a Princess cruise, especially if you like to have fun. You will not regret it. 

 

we have one booked for 2021.  :classic_wink:

 

14 hours ago, jasbo49 said:

 

Cutting to the quick, Princess will definitely offer you the chance to enjoy formal night as a time to dress to the nines. Plenty of people will try to get by with less, but somewhere around half the ship will cooperate with the formal dress requirements.

 

Most of the others will go to the buffet or an alternative venue.

 

Jim

 

But on the non-formal nights, basically every other night in the dining room, how casual can one get?  I'm not talking shorts and t-shirt casual, but jeans and button down shirt.

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