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micmacmissy

Never been on Princess - how will it compare to Celebrity?

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We love Celebrity Solstice class but dates don't line up for us.  We have also been on Royal Caribbean and enjoyed it.

 

Currently looking at the Sky Princess eastern caribbean.

 

If our priorities (family of four, kids are 18 and 19) are relaxation, great dining, nice adult pool area, excellent service - will Princess fit the bill?

 

Looking for January...so not much time to research!  Thoughts??  Thanks in advance!

 

 

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You should be okay. The younger humans, defined as adults, I’m not so sure. 

 

Give and take.  Enjoy the cruise, don’t sweat the small stuff. 

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We have 6 with each of Celebrity and Princess . 14 with Royal, 9 with NCL and some with other 3 companies.

 

Fitst two are our favorites. I will put Princess pretty close to Celebrity in overall quality. Celebrity has more luxurious touches. You won’t see nice towels waiting for you on padded loungers near the pool or things like that. Cabins are simpler overall. 

However pax is nicer than on average massmarket. Food is definitely better than Royal. On large Royal class ships buffets are the best in industry. I like ambiance. 

There are adult only pools.

Unfortunately Princess Elite benefits weaker in comparison to Celebrity/Royal.

 

 

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I absolutely love Celebrity but cruise mostly on Princess, much for the same reasons ... it just lines up better for me.  I think if you sail on one of the Grand or Crown class ships on Princess, you may be disappointed but if you book on the Sky Princess, you will be pleasantly surprised and will enjoy it immensely.  

On Princess, the food is (usually) consistently good.  The specialty restaurants, although they don't sell discount packages, are less expensive (but not quite as elegant as Murano) but still very good.  

The entertainment is also on par with Celebrity's.  Crooner's martini bar on Princess is the answer to the martini bar on Celebrity ... although, with the right piano player on Princess, it is much more fun.  The venues for many of the shows on Princess require you to get there really early or be skunked out of getting a seat.  

The cabins are smaller, though and feel a little cramped.  The bathrooms are dinky but I like the closet design better (no closet doors so feel much roomier).  The beds on Princess are by far the most comfortable of any cruiseline.  Be sure to try to get one of the extended balconies on the Sky, otherwise, the balcony size is greatly reduced.  

The shopping goes to Celebrity, simply because they have Apple products onboard.  

Princess has a new wine list that is phenomenal.  Wine bottle packages are available on any sailing over 10 days but we've had luck getting them on 7 night sailings.  

Princess allows you to stack your promo obc / discounts, Celebrity does not.  

The dining times on Princess are disappointing, though ... early dining is at 5 PM and late at 7:30 PM and anytime dining is chaotic at best.  

Service has been better on Celebrity but we've had some really great service on Princess as well.  

So, good and not so good on both but I think you will enjoy one of the newer ships that Princess has.  BTW, their internet is phenomenal and not even all that expensive.  Love their new medallion system.  

 

 

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Honestly, I like Celebrity a bit better - I feel it's a touch more upscale, modern and vibrant. (But as someone said earlier, ship class matters - I've only been on Grand - a tough comparison to X's Silo.) But  when it comes to itineraries, in my opinion,  X Caribbean ones are lackluster - couldn't find a single sailing I wanted - Princess had several I had difficulty choosing between.

 

They're both TERRIFIC lines - so this is really more nitpicky than a big difference. We booked Sky and I'm looking forward to it - although I'll be in one of the small balconies. (But at least it's an ACTUAL balcony I can hopefully sit on vs Celebrity Edge style windows - yuck.) :classic_cool:

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18 minutes ago, Cruise Raider said:

The venues for many of the shows on Princess require you to get there really early or be skunked out of getting a seat.  

 

 Be sure to try to get one of the extended balconies on the Sky, otherwise, the balcony size is greatly reduced.  

 

The dining times on Princess are disappointing, though ... early dining is at 5 PM and late at 7:30 PM and anytime dining is chaotic at best.  

 

Thank you - so helpful!  A few follow up questions...

 

Do they take reservations for shows?  How early do you have to show up?

 

We are looking at Mini suites - are those good?  Which ones are extended balconies?

 

We hate a chaotic dining experience...likely will do 1/2 the time in MDR and the other 1/2 in specialty...is that going to be a zoo as well?  We really aren't big fans of crowds...let me know what you think and thank you!

 

 

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Celebrity is a touch classier, but the two products are similar.

 

X's Aqua Class has the Blu restaurant, with its own menu (yuck!! So called "healthier" items!!) but they will fetch for you from the Main Dining Room's menus.  Princess's Club Class has its own dining area, part of one of the Main Dining Rooms, but it still uses the MDR's menu.  I rank Celeb's food (if we forget about "healthy" alternatives) as a touch better.  But the pervasion of Indian food on X puzzled me; I am not a fan, and the buffet on the Edge had a large number of Indian selections.  Was that standard on X or because we were in Europe?

 

Princess' Club Class cabins are just mini-suites, mid-ship.  The mini-suites on Princess have full sized bathtubs, so you do not get any of those friendly hugs from the shower curtains.  

 

I cruise Princess the most because of the itineraries.  I love the Mex Riv cruises out of LA on Princess.  But for a European cruise, I was able to take the Edge on a great itinerary.

 

Whichever you take, it is a cruise!  Enjoy!

 

 

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Hi  we are Elite + with Celebrity & have done over 40 cruises with them & 84 total cruises to fate  Unfortunately   X does not frequent either of our local ports of San Diego & San Pedro  & after traveling around the globe so much we are at a cross roads because we are 80 not to fly  to meet a ship .

 

  Princess is comparable to X  .I feel I can get a better price point with Princess because we can buy into the sailings after final payment being we can drive to the port . Celebrity imo has raised their prices too much &  I do know of many cut backs over the years 

 

 You can not make reservations   in the showroom .Advisable to get there 30 minutes before show time to get seats 

 

   Thew mini suites are larger .For any cruise if you want to see cabin s   & other deck amenities go & google this  : cruise ship deck plans  .Then go to the cruise line & click on it  ,then check the cabin sizes .  For the balcony size if not shown phone Princess  .If you want a mini suite with extended balcony ,they might be at the stern of the ship but check  with Princess to be sure 

 

 We select the late dining time which is 7:15 PM on Princess ships . This way we can space all our meals & even have   a snack  around 3:30  - 4 PM  .  Also ,the Special restaurants are very good  & less pricy than X 

 

  Enjoy your cruise & we hope that we answered your questions 

 

  

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Funny I was just going to post almost the same question, we do Transatlantics usually every other year and for the last 3 have done Royal, then Norwegian Epic, Celebrity Reflection.  We are booked on Rhapsody for 2020 and for 2021 just booked 28 days on the island Princess ending with the TA back to the states.

 

We are looking forward to literally having 2 years to find out all we need to know about the little princess, I have heard it is going to have a quick drydock in 2020 so will have to see what is refreshed.

 

No kids and don't drink, looking forward somewhat to a cruise with ports since for a TA they are usually just kind of a place to stretch your legs before the big crossing.

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I've done X three times, all in suites, and Princess four times with Sky Princess (Owners Suite) and Caribbean Princess (Vista Suite) booked. I'll probably switch back to X for Alaska 2021. I just pick by date and what suites are open. I LOVE butlers on X and Princess simply doesn't offer them. However suites on X are significantly more expensive. Blu is beautiful but the menu is too sophisticated for my pedestrian palette. We just order off the MDR menu for meals in the room.  If money were no object, I'd book X. If I'm trying to stretch my dollar, I'm on Princess. 

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13 hours ago, micmacmissy said:

Do they take reservations for shows?  No.

How early do you have to show up? 30-45 minutes before show time.

 

We are looking at Mini suites - are those good?  Just be aware that "minis" are NOT actual suites. The only thing you get with a mini is a bathtub/shower combo and a small bottle of what they jokingly call "champagne". It's not. If you book a Club Class mini, you avoid the chaos mentioned by Cruise Raider. It's not truly chaotic, just unorganized...Long line at certain times, often have to wait with a buzzer to let you know when a table is ready. Traditional dining has no chaos (after the first night), but many like the option of just showing up to eat when you want (and that's Anytime).

Which ones are extended balconies? Usually the aft balconies and any balcony that's at an angle (see Rivera deck in the 400s and you know what I mean).

 

We hate a chaotic dining experience...likely will do 1/2 the time in MDR and the other 1/2 in specialty...is that going to be a zoo as well?  Specialty restaurants usually have a reservation (walk-in is possible if it's not crowded on a particular night). IMHO the buffet is more "chaotic" than the MDRs.

See my thoughts above.

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We started off using only Celebrity, then did a Hawaii/Tahiti roundtrip out of LA with Princess - our first on Princess.  We prefer Celebrity, but we too do not want to fly to start or end our cruise, so we will be using Princess for our next 3 cruises and one on Carnival.  We like the smaller passenger ships.  We did a family cruise on Royal Princess in April which has 3600 passengers and that was a lot, but don't have much choice when it comes to going out of LA port,

We are elite on Celebrity, so we get the free drinks in the early evening - one drink a day is enough for us.  We like their food and cabin size (normally get a balcony)

On Princess we like the coffee international area we fill the food is not as good as Celebrity, but it is still good.  Cabins feels smaller, even though we like the closet situation better than Celebrity.

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I agree with prior posts, Princess is just slightly less classier than X, but still well above the more family oriented lines.  We were surprised by Princess and now include it in our favorites along with X and HAL. 

relaxation - very comparable to X

great dining - very comparable, buffet we actually like better than X

nice adult pool area - very nice, few children

excellent service - it was just one princess cruise but was actually BETTER than some of our cruises on X.  although both are great.  :)

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Our first cruise was on a Celebrity ship in 1994 (group cruise sponsored by DH's professional assn).  It was an old ship (1950s), but we didn't know any better.  They were our go-to line for awhile until we tried Princess in 2000 and found the latter more to our liking.  We've now done 31 cruises on Princess ships and 11 on Celebrity.  We returned to the latter (Eclipse) in 2014 which would elevate us to "Elite".  We've only done one as Elite since (Summit for NE-Can).  There are pluses and minuses for both lines IMHO.

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Have sailed Celebrity Eclipse which we enjoyed, but came back to Princess for the overall feel and various factors we liked better.  Princess has self-service laundry on cabin floors which is useful (we spend a bundle on laundry on Celebrity!), and the buffet, particularly on the Princess Royal-class ships like the Sky Princess is large and open all day, which wasn't our experience with Celebrity.  Yummy crunchy hard-rolls on Princess are my favorite and something I missed on Celebrity - oh, it's the little details - and we felt that the overall dining room experience on Princess was more attentive and less rushed.

 

Re rooms:  We book mini-suites, which have a sitting area with large couch and table adjacent to the balcony.  On the new Royal class ships they also have curtains to provide privacy between bed and sitting area.  Also, the closet provides a private dressing area so one can dress quietly if the other person is still sleeping.  While we are exclusively shower-takers, we like the mini-suite bathroom, which provides a tub that has some nice real-estate if you need to hang wet bathing suites etc.

 

We'd happily sail Celebrity again depending on the itinerary, but our priority remains Princess.  Hope you enjoy your experience!!

Edited by LoriPhil

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17 hours ago, micmacmissy said:

Thank you - so helpful!  A few follow up questions...

 

Do they take reservations for shows?  How early do you have to show up?

No, they do not and we find that we usually have to show up around 45 minutes early to get a decent seat....or a seat at all.  We've been to shows where we have to stand the entire time.  

17 hours ago, micmacmissy said:

We are looking at Mini suites - are those good?  Which ones are extended balconies?

Some midship cabins have extended balconies.  Also, on the Royal class ships, there are some huge balconies for the mini-suites way up front on the Marina and Lido decks.  They are considered premium mini-suites ... and even the cabins are huge!  

I probably wouldn't bother to book a regular mini-suite (without club class) as these ships have balcony 'deluxe' cabins that have a small sofa in them and a bit more sq footage than a regular balcony stateroom for just a bit more $.  They even have some of these available with a larger balcony as well.  I find the mini-suites on Princess are just a bit bigger than the regular balcony cabins on Celebrity's Solstice class.  

 

17 hours ago, micmacmissy said:

 

We hate a chaotic dining experience...likely will do 1/2 the time in MDR and the other 1/2 in specialty...is that going to be a zoo as well?  We really aren't big fans of crowds...let me know what you think and thank you!

 

 

The anytime dining on the Royal was pretty much a zoo.  It just seemed like they didn't have enough staff onboard to take care of basic needs in the MDR.  We did finally get a pair of waiters that were phenomenal but, no guarantees we could be seated in their section every night.  The specialty restaurants aren't like that at all, though ... very attentive and the food was great in both locations.  The buffet on the Royal is spectacular but total chaos at breakfast time.  We went once while in port and so glad we did ... it was great!!  Alfredos Pizzaria is also a great option ... it's a sit down restaurant with no extra charge, tables with a view and great food and service.  Just something a little different that you may want to try. In our experience, it wasn't crowded at all at dinnertime.  

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On 9/23/2019 at 7:19 PM, micmacmissy said:

We love Celebrity Solstice class but dates don't line up for us.  We have also been on Royal Caribbean and enjoyed it.

 

Currently looking at the Sky Princess eastern caribbean.

 

If our priorities (family of four, kids are 18 and 19) are relaxation, great dining, nice adult pool area, excellent service - will Princess fit the bill?

 

Looking for January...so not much time to research!  Thoughts??  Thanks in advance!

 

 

 

We love Celebrity and have cruised on Silhouette, Equinox and the Solstice.

We just sailed on our first Princess cruise last Spring aboard the beautiful Royal Princess!  We were so impressed by the Royal Princess, that we cancelled our cruise (that we'd been waiting for years to do) aboard Celebrity Edge (reviews aren't very pleasing yet) and booked on the Sky Princess instead in 2020.

 

How does Princess compare to Celebrity?  

Food- the buffet (at least on Royal) was as superb in quality but with FAR more choices than Celebrity Solstice class ships... we were totally blown away by the buffet on Royal.  Alfredo's Pizzeria became a favorite place for us as well (nothing to compare on Celebrity).  Main Dining room food was not up to Celebrity's main dining room food quality... here I thought that the main dining room on Royal Princess was more reminiscent of Royal Caribbean.  In other words good food but not great as on Celebrity.  As for Royal Princess' specialty restaurants, we LOVED Sabatini's, but we weren't very impressed with the steak house.

 

All of Royal Princess' pools were excellent... on par with or exceeding what Celebrity Solstice class ships have... but no one can touch the amazing Solariums on Celebrity Solstice class.  The "adult" pool on Royal Princess was not covered, but it was nice.

 

Entertainment on Princess was superb with a stronger focus on singers than pomp.  We enjoyed their shows at least as much as we do on Celebrity.

 

What no one can touch, if your Princess ship has it, is the Medallion Service... it's AWESOME!  

 

We had a mini Suite- LOVED IT!

 

So, would a Celebrity cruiser feel at home on Princess?  Absolutely!  We did! 

 

Edited by Cruising Forever!

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11 hours ago, Cruising Forever! said:

 

We love Celebrity and have cruised on Silhouette, Equinox and the Solstice.

We just sailed on our first Princess cruise last Spring aboard the beautiful Royal Princess!  We were so impressed by the Royal Princess, that we cancelled our cruise (that we'd been waiting for years to do) aboard Celebrity Edge (reviews aren't very pleasing yet) and booked on the Sky Princess instead in 2020.

 

How does Princess compare to Celebrity?  

Food- the buffet (at least on Royal) was as superb in quality but with FAR more choices than Celebrity Solstice class ships... we were totally blown away by the buffet on Royal.  Alfredo's Pizzeria became a favorite place for us as well (nothing to compare on Celebrity).  Main Dining room food was not up to Celebrity's main dining room food quality... here I thought that the main dining room on Royal Princess was more reminiscent of Royal Caribbean.  In other words good food but not great as on Celebrity.  As for Royal Princess' specialty restaurants, we LOVED Sabatini's, but we weren't very impressed with the steak house.

 

All of Royal Princess' pools were excellent... on par with or exceeding what Celebrity Solstice class ships have... but no one can touch the amazing Solariums on Celebrity Solstice class.  The "adult" pool on Royal Princess was not covered, but it was nice.

 

Entertainment on Princess was superb with a stronger focus on singers than pomp.  We enjoyed their shows at least as much as we do on Celebrity.

 

What no one can touch, if your Princess ship has it, is the Medallion Service... it's AWESOME!  

 

We had a mini Suite- LOVED IT!

 

So, would a Celebrity cruiser feel at home on Princess?  Absolutely!  We did! 

 

 

So helpful!  Thank you!  But....what is Medallion service??

 

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I just got off Grand Princess yesterday - it was our first Princess cruise in 4 years - not for any particular reason other than our cruises in between then and now on X and Royal have simply gone where we wanted to go at the right time and for the right price.

 

This was our 3rd cruise on Grand Princess and a few things have changed since the last time.  I hated the 5PM early dining - like a very late lunch to me, but my husband thinks 7:30 is too late and he likes traditional.  He won that one.  I liked the food in the MDR better on Princess than X, but the buffet on Princess has declined dramatically since the last time.  The buffet on X is much better, IMO. The Pub Lunch on Princess is great and I was glad to see it was still offered.

 

Generally, Princess cabins are much smaller than other lines, but we had a premium OV, (this was an Alaskan cruise in Sept = cold and damp - we enjoyed being inside with extra space and a huge wall to ceiling window - did not miss the balcony.)

 

Entertainment on X and Princess is similar, but nothing as good as the Oasis class ships on Royal.

 

The internet was TERRIBLE - we had 500 free minutes with our status, but never used more than 200 - simply could not get a good connection.  If I had paid for the service I would have been really upset.

 

Beverages on Princess are considerably less than X, but we get free drinks on X, so that kind of offsets the price difference.

 

I think Princess offers better shore excursions and at a slightly better price.

 

I enjoy both lines for different reason and find they are very similar.

 

 

Edited by mek

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For what you like in a cruise, Princess will be right up your alley! 👌 You’ll get all of that along with better service, better food, and without the snobby pax. That’s my comparison to Celebrity based on my experience with them. 

 

The only things I think Celebrity does better are the shower size, free thalassotherapy pool for everyone (on the M class ships at least, not sure about S class), stir fry always available, and welcome aboard champagne. Other than that, it’s hands down Princess for me! 

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On 9/25/2019 at 8:18 PM, mek said:

I just got off Grand Princess yesterday... 

 

This was our 3rd cruise on Grand Princess and a few things have changed since the last time.  I hated the 5PM early dining - like a very late lunch to me, but my husband thinks 7:30 is too late and he likes traditional.  He won that one.  I liked the food in the MDR better on Princess than X, but the buffet on Princess has declined dramatically since the last time.  The buffet on X is much better, IMO. The Pub Lunch on Princess is great and I was glad to see it was still offered.

 

Generally, Princess cabins are much smaller than other lines, but we had a premium OV, (this was an Alaskan cruise in Sept = cold and damp - we enjoyed being inside with extra space and a huge wall to ceiling window - did not miss the balcony.)

 

The internet was TERRIBLE - we had 500 free minutes with our status, but never used more than 200 - simply could not get a good connection.  If I had paid for the service I would have been really upset.

 

 

 

We are also not fond of the new traditional dining time.  

 

Of note, we are booked in one of the premium OV cabins next year and was wondering if you heard any noise from the deck above.  We are going in winter so not expecting sunny warm weather so am hoping we made the right cabin choice.  

 

The internet has been pretty bad on the Grand and we are sailing on her next week with our neighbors.  Glad you confirmed the status of the wifi connectivity ... I told my neighbor is was probably a waste of their money to purchase it.  At least I was probably correct about this.  

 

Did you happen to notice if they were selling the wine bottle packages onboard?  I had confirmation of this from a few months ago .... but with all the changes, it's hard to keep up.  

 

 

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We Love Solstice class and Princess Royal Class equally. 

We rate both above Royal Caribbean in food and service.  

The buffet is WAY better on Princess Royal Class ships than on X’s Solstice class.  

Showrooms and shows  are beautiful on the newer Princess ships, and better than any show I’ve ever seen on Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas on Vision or Monarch, but we’ve never been on Oasis class ships.   

As long as you know to go to the showroom 45-1 hr ahead of time there won’t be an issue.  

 

Crooner’s martinis way better than martini bar martinis on X.  Bar service is much better on Princess.  We never have to wait for someone to approach us and take our order, u like on Celebrity, where there aren’t enough bar servers or bartenders, it seems.  

 

We fabor the elegant ambience of X, but we love the more casual laidback atmosphere on Princess. 

 

I enjoy the Solarium on X vs the open air adult pool on Princess. However, you can pay for the Sanctuary if you want plush chairs and special service and peace and quiet.  I think it is $40 pp per day now, and someone else can speak to this, but I don’t think you can reserve online either.  Used to be first come first serve upon embarkation to make reservations.   

 

International Cafe in the atrium is similar to Al Bacio on X. Same idea.  

Princess has excellent ice cream in the MDR for dessert.  The soft serve by the pool isn’t good though

 

 

pizza by the pool is good on Princess. Burgers grill same as mast grill on X.  

 

We love Movies Under the Stars on the Royal Class ships.  

 

Movies are free in your stateroom as well.  

 

Mini suites are long and  narrow and plenty large.  Weak link is the very narrow balconies, more like a Juliette balcony.  

 

Alfredo's pizzeria in Piazza is good, no charge. 

 

We love the Crown Grill steakhouse.  

 

 

We will be onboard next week again, and we always book a deluxe balcony at front of ship. 108 and 107 105 And 106 have humongous balconies.  However, those cabins wouldn’t be large enough for a quad. The motion up there is something else, too. 

 

 

Mini suites have a curtain to draw between, and there are two TVs.

 

the Enclave:  Spa passes for hot tile loungers, specialty saunas, Thalassotherapy type pool, limited passes available at $149 for 7 days, if you like that sort of thing.  Daily passes are not available so as to ease overcrowding.  Passes can now be purchased online in advance of cruise.  

 

Caution re dining times.  On some ships or bookings, the online dining times show as 5:00 or 7:15, when in fact you get onboard and actual dining times are 5:30 and 7:45.  

 

For Anytime Dining, equivalent to My Time On RCCL, Dining just doesn’t run as smoothly.  It never has. LOL. 

However, if one likes to dine later in Anytime, one of the dining rooms is traditional first seating and Anytime on the second seating, and that usually opens at 7:30 or 7:45 depending on the ship.   

We have not had an issue when going at 7:45, unless it is formal night.  

 

Truthfully, we usually dine at the buffet or specialty on these ships versus the dining rooms, since the food is so good. 

 

Edited by 4cats4me

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We have been on both cruise lines. When traveling with younger kids or teens they really preferred Princess as it is more active and there are more things to do for their age group. Celebrity is a little bit older crowd, which I like as I am now older. Princess has a nice mini suite that you can separate the room with a curtain so someone can watch TV or relax without disturbing the other person in the cabin. It is a bit bigger than the standard Celebrity cabins. I think you and your family will be very happy with the new Sky princess!

Andrea

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