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How is Princess different

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I have never had the privelege of cruising Princess, being primarily and NCL fan, and I am wondering how would you describe Princess and for those that have cruised NCL what would highlight as the differences?

 

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I have cruised Norwegian twice and Princess a LOT!  We are now Princess loyal and choose to cruise only them.  The two cruises I did on Norwegian were 1- with my Mom, and 2- with my Sister in Law.  I actually loved Norwegian and thought their entertainment was the best at sea (I have also cruised Carnival and Royal Caribbean).  I enjoyed the food as well and my cabin service was great.  That being said, when cruising with my Hubby, we prefer to cruise Princess.  There are just things onboard that make us feel like we are coming home again.  We love the International Cafe, the laid back atmosphere,  and the food and service we have come to appreciate.  We know the layout of the ships and its very comfortable for us.  Hubby really likes this factor.  However, We had our favorite ever cabin on Royal Caribbean last year.  It was HUGE.  A deluxe balcony and the biggest cabin we have ever been in.  We typically cruise in balcony or mini suite on Princess.  We love that we now get free internet onboard (because of our loyalty status) and I also love the self serve laundromats on Princess.  I only need to pack half as much and do laundry mid way through the cruise.  I know some people don't want to do laundry on vacation but we usually cruise 10-14 days so it just makes sense for us.  Plus, it doesn't really feel the same as doing laundry at home-haha!  You will find less families and more older folks onboard Princess.  We always cruise when the kids are in school but have heard from others here that not too many kids onboard anyways.  There are several pools and hot tubs but no slides and other kid centered activities on the decks.  IF you want a very relaxed cruise/vacation, I highly recommend Princess.  If you are wanting more lively entertainment and activities, probably best to stick with Norwegian.  Just my opinion after sailing most lines.

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15 hours ago, tourismtessy said:

I have cruised Norwegian twice and Princess a LOT!  We are now Princess loyal and choose to cruise only them.  The two cruises I did on Norwegian were 1- with my Mom, and 2- with my Sister in Law.  I actually loved Norwegian and thought their entertainment was the best at sea (I have also cruised Carnival and Royal Caribbean).  I enjoyed the food as well and my cabin service was great.  That being said, when cruising with my Hubby, we prefer to cruise Princess.  There are just things onboard that make us feel like we are coming home again.  We love the International Cafe, the laid back atmosphere,  and the food and service we have come to appreciate.  We know the layout of the ships and its very comfortable for us.  Hubby really likes this factor.  However, We had our favorite ever cabin on Royal Caribbean last year.  It was HUGE.  A deluxe balcony and the biggest cabin we have ever been in.  We typically cruise in balcony or mini suite on Princess.  We love that we now get free internet onboard (because of our loyalty status) and I also love the self serve laundromats on Princess.  I only need to pack half as much and do laundry mid way through the cruise.  I know some people don't want to do laundry on vacation but we usually cruise 10-14 days so it just makes sense for us.  Plus, it doesn't really feel the same as doing laundry at home-haha!  You will find less families and more older folks onboard Princess.  We always cruise when the kids are in school but have heard from others here that not too many kids onboard anyways.  There are several pools and hot tubs but no slides and other kid centered activities on the decks.  IF you want a very relaxed cruise/vacation, I highly recommend Princess.  If you are wanting more lively entertainment and activities, probably best to stick with Norwegian.  Just my opinion after sailing most lines.

Agreed. We have cruised on several different cruise lines. You just about covered it. Our next one is Carnival for Halloween. Always do Carnival for Halloween. The two right after are the new SKY Princess then the Island princess a month later. Cannot wait to get on the new SKY!

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Pools are an area where Princess is different.  Depending on the ship, there are typically 4 pools, 2 which are adult only.  There will be the Movies under the Stars screen at one and at night the movie will be well attended.

 

NCL buffet and pub style eatery may be better than Princess's older ships.  Princess has the Piazza with the International Cafe which has included lighter fare.

 

NCL cabins are laid out differently.  In particular the NCL balcony cabins have small sofas.  Princess has a closet area.

 

If you get an included drink package, on Princess you won't pay for the tips seperately.

 

NCL nightime entertainment is generally more modern.

 

Dinner dining seems comparable with NCL having more specialty dining offerings.  Of course tastes vary and some will hate one line or the other.

 

NCL has more dining and entertainment that can be booked before boarding.

 

You will need to list actual ships to compare.  Because even on the same line the smaller or older ships are very different from the newer ones. 

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We're in our mid 60s and have cruised on a variety of lines, but as of late have found we really enjoy cruising with Princess. We find we laugh a lot more on a Princess cruise and they have a lot 14-30+ day cruises that go to some pretty cool places around the world.

 

We've sailed once on the NCL Getaway in a Haven balcony and had a great time as well. But, their cruises are usually a lot shorter than we enjoy, plus I hear you now have to pay gratuities if you get an unlimited beverage package as a perk.

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Sail both.

 

+Norwegian, more/better entertainment, more/better specialty restaurants, if you are Haven suite Princess won't come close, more shipboard activities, better casino product, more live and let live attitude, Norwegian has anytime dining down-less waiting time with reservations, more late night parties white parties etc.

 

+Princess more quite subdued atmosphere, perceived more formal (but not really) environment,  more  formal dress (pants at night for men,  formal night for women "sparkly top" and black slacks for women (the Dockers and polo shirt equivalent for men set), 1980's type production shows, little late night entertainment, less garish ship decor

 

Don't let anyone fool you, you will have a great time whichever you choose.

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my take:

NCL - better entertainment, and better family/kid activities on newer ships. Food sucks. Jade and Getaway had better cabin bathrooms than Regal and Caribbean Princesses. Smoke smell everywhere - ughhhh. Yuck.

Princess - average entertainment, but the food is much better. No smoke smell unless you are in a casino.

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We have done two cruises with Princess, one with NCL, and six with Royal Caribbean.  We like Princess because it doesn't have all the bells and whistles.  It is more of a cruise ship.  You can eat, go to shows, sit on your balcony, relax in a pub; or wander around the promenade deck.  Why we now choose Princess is because we don't have to do the zip line, water slides, bumper cars, drop zone.  We liked that while we were younger; but now we like paying for a cruise and not having to pay all the extra's to do on a ship. NCL had nice crew, good food, buffet was good; and shows were good.  Royal Caribbean had the best shows, and our fav ship is Allure of the Seas. Now back to Princess,  Have sailed Emerald and Caribbean Princess.  Love the layout, the crews were excellent on both and we liked the food in dining room, and buffet. There you have my take on three cruise lines.  Have a great day 

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Like comparing apples and oranges.  NCL has a younger crowd.  It competes with Carnival and RCCL.  Princes is a MUCH older crowd.  Its competition is Holland American.  On an NCL ship you will have to get up early and place a towel to get a chaise lounge.  On Princess you can always get a lounge and no need to reserve one.  On NCL there will be entertainment of some sort around the pool deck.  On Princess it will be deadly silent (but they do have live music and a DJ some of the time depending on the ship and whether there is a younger crowd (e.g. during school breaks).  On NCl you can just go to a show or have a choice of something else going on.  On Princess you have to arrive 30-60 depending on ship to get a seat for the show, probably not get desert in the dining to beat the crowd, otherwise standing room only.  On a NCL ship it could take up to an hour wait to tender.  On Princess it could take up to three hours since there are so many wheelchairs to take ashsore.  Needless to say we are biased towards NCL but our real favorite lately has been RCCL and their bigger ships such as the Allure of the Seas.  But RCCL practically requires you to make reservations for their shows if you want to insure you see all of them during your cruise.  We have no problem with that.

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16 hours ago, richandcindy said:

Like comparing apples and oranges.  NCL has a younger crowd.  It competes with Carnival and RCCL.  Princes is a MUCH older crowd.  Its competition is Holland American.  On an NCL ship you will have to get up early and place a towel to get a chaise lounge.  On Princess you can always get a lounge and no need to reserve one.  On NCL there will be entertainment of some sort around the pool deck.  On Princess it will be deadly silent (but they do have live music and a DJ some of the time depending on the ship and whether there is a younger crowd (e.g. during school breaks).  On NCl you can just go to a show or have a choice of something else going on.  On Princess you have to arrive 30-60 depending on ship to get a seat for the show, probably not get desert in the dining to beat the crowd, otherwise standing room only.  On a NCL ship it could take up to an hour wait to tender.  On Princess it could take up to three hours since there are so many wheelchairs to take ashsore.  Needless to say we are biased towards NCL but our real favorite lately has been RCCL and their bigger ships such as the Allure of the Seas.  But RCCL practically requires you to make reservations for their shows if you want to insure you see all of them during your cruise.  We have no problem with that.

Which Princess ship(s) have you sailed on?

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We have cruised on all mass market lines and at this point prefer Princess. However, my next choice is NCL. Couple posters above echoed my understanding that Princess is more of "cruise ship" vs "floating Vegas" (👀 at RCCL). I love quieter, more refined atmosphere of Princess ships with no late night parties (just not my thing) and stupid belly flop contests (👀 at Carnival). I like watching a movie or a concert on MUTS while DS is playing in the pool with other well behaved kids (yes, there are kids on Princess and they are almost all very well mannered). I truly believe that cruising interactions with people of all ages have given my DS an edge in dealing with adults in his daily life, he has no problem engaging adults in polite conversation and holding up his end of it.

I absolutely LOVE not being disturbed by sales pitches, etc. in my cabin and over all sense of "no nickel and diming" during my vacation (👀 at NCL).

There are obviously drawbacks to Princess (smaller cabins with no couch in regular balcony and below), different types of entertainment (I like it, some prefer other things), almost no night life, etc.

One BIG plus of Princess for me is no smell of smoke anywhere but casino, which I obviously avoid. On my last NCL ship "brilliant minds" put smoking area literally next to kids outdoor play area.

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1 hour ago, 4hunters said:

Which Princess ship(s) have you sailed on?


Yeah, 4Hunters isn't describing any one of the Princess vessels I've been on.

Yes, there are more seniors than kids.  But to say Princess is "MUCH" <---caps his idea  older is an over statement
It's not "deadly silent" around the pools on a Princess ship except at certain obvious times of day, early morning, late at night after the rhumba dancing and cocktail parties are over.
You may not like the shows on a Princess cruise but to say they don't have them makes it sound like you've never been on a Princess ship.

The one big difference between Princess and other night-clubby cruise lines is that the clientelle takes the "Formal Nights" very seriously and one should probably plan on bringing their nicest outfit if they don't want to get a socializing eyeball.

Nattie seems to have a better idea.

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 We cruise with various lines and Princess is our favorite (although we only have 6 cruises with them) and NCL we also enjoy a lot.

 

  Things we enjoy more with Princess:

 

       Pools! You have actual adult areas with pools. In holiday time when there are 500-700 kids it comes handy. On majority of   Princess ships there are 4 pool areas - 2 adult only , 1 with music and 1 with Movies under the Stars

       Included food. Especially buffets on new Royal and Regal Princess are the best in industry. So much seafood.

       We find Princess to be more elegant overall.

 

  Things we enjoy more with NCL (cruised 9 times) : (we did not like Breakaway class, so it is mostly about Dawn and Jewel classes)

       Overall vibe. I love how you can go along promenade deck and listen to music in various places

       Shows are the best (approx tie with RCCL depending on the ship)

       Love O'Sheehan's.

 

  Both cruise lines lack indoor pools for everybody, although on Majestic Princess it is finally added I believe

 

 

 

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19 hours ago, richandcindy said:

 Princes is a MUCH older crowd.  Its competition is Holland American.

 

It depends when you sail. During holidays and school vacations Princess has much more families than Holland. 

Holland is closer to Celebrity. Both are a bit more upscale than Princess (all three are Premium)

 

I agree about NCL and RCCL competition... Carnival is a bit lower in our book. More like Costa and MSC

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11 minutes ago, MotownVoice said:

The one big difference between Princess and other night-clubby cruise lines is that the clientelle takes the "Formal Nights" very seriously and one should probably plan on bringing their nicest outfit if they don't want to get a socializing eyeball.

 

Princess is more elegant and people wear on average nicer clothes than on free style NCL, but I wouldn't call it formal. Even in Europe we did not see many tuxes or dark suits.. Not Cunard 🙂

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Every cruise can be different.  Someone mentioned above arrive at the theater 45-hour prior to show to get seats.  My wife I cruised in Feb and walked into theater 15 min prior to shows and found two seats together.  Not an issue for our cruise.

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7 minutes ago, Tatka said:

 

Princess is more elegant and people wear on average nicer clothes than on free style NCL, but I wouldn't call it formal. Even in Europe we did not see many tuxes or dark suits.. Not Cunard 🙂


Perhaps not.  But they call them "Formal Nights", in any case hence the quotes.  I merely suggest the nicest outfit.  I didn't think it was necessary to go in to the differences between business smart and business casual.  There's a rabbit hole I don't want to go down.

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16 minutes ago, MotownVoice said:


Yeah, 4Hunters isn't describing any one of the Princess vessels I've been on.

Yes, there are more seniors than kids.  But to say Princess is "MUCH" <---caps his idea  older is an over statement
It's not "deadly silent" around the pools on a Princess ship except at certain obvious times of day, early morning, late at night after the rhumba dancing and cocktail parties are over.
You may not like the shows on a Princess cruise but to say they don't have them makes it sound like you've never been on a Princess ship.

The one big difference between Princess and other night-clubby cruise lines is that the clientelle takes the "Formal Nights" very seriously and one should probably plan on bringing their nicest outfit if they don't want to get a socializing eyeball.

Nattie seems to have a better idea.

I wasn't describing anything, MotownVoice.  I quoted the person who DID describe Princess in that way because I noticed in their signature that they haven't sailed on Princess (assuming their signature is correct) and was wondering why they would comment on something they probably have never experienced before.

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1 minute ago, 4hunters said:

I wasn't describing anything, MotownVoice.  I quoted the person who DID describe Princess in that way because I noticed in their signature that they haven't sailed on Princess (assuming their signature is correct) and was wondering why they would comment on something they probably have never experienced before.

 

Oops you're right.  And I knew that and screwed it up anyway.  I should have addressed "Richard and Cindy."  Apologies.  Bunches of them.

 

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We've been on RCI, Carnival, Celebrity and Princess using the later the most.  Princess loyalty program allows for the quickest way to Elite status (15 cruises) with Platinum only requiring six and gets you most of the benefits.  I do know that Carnival has done away with table clothes other than for formal nights......cafeteria tables.  While Princess has cut back on many cruise luxuries they still are more refined.  Can't comment on Norwegian but do know their ships cater to families and children, aka go-cart tracks.....we are past that now with adult children so Princess works well for us.  

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I've just booked our first Princess cruise since we last sailed with them in 2002. In the meantime we've done about 40 cruises, mainly Royal Caribbean and Celebrity,  but most of the other main cruise lines as well. I'm sure Princess will have changed since 2002 as have all the other lines, but I'm liking what I hear about the current Princess offerings.Its the itinerary which has tempted us back to Princess as we're tired of the same old same old Celebrity/Royal sailings.  

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2 hours ago, MotownVoice said:


The one big difference between Princess and other night-clubby cruise lines is that the clientelle takes the "Formal Nights" very seriously and one should probably plan on bringing their nicest outfit if they don't want to get a socializing eyeball..

the outfit doesn't have to be all that fancy on Princess either. I never got a side eye even when I wore $15-20 dresses or $10 slacks and a $5 top from Kohl's.

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16 minutes ago, Itchy&Scratchy said:

the outfit doesn't have to be all that fancy on Princess either. I never got a side eye even when I wore $15-20 dresses or $10 slacks and a $5 top from Kohl's.


Dresses and slacks. 
Very nice.

Versus swim trunks, ripped jeans and tee shirts.

 

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We just got off our first and last Princess cruise (have not updated our signature).  The comments are what we experienced and what was told to us aboard the ship.  It was a much older crowd, since it was 16 days long and after labor day so only about 15 kids on board (they skipped the beginning of school).  And many poorly ambulatory guests with wheelchairs, canes and scooters making it difficult to get into venues, getting on and off the ship etc.  And there was close to 2000 Elite and Platinum members so they have a big following.  You can read about the Elite snobs on cruise critic reviews, as we witnessed several instances ourselves.  So for these reasons once is enough for us

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That’s too bad, richandcindy. I bet your next cruise will be much better for you guys. 👍

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