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Hi All!  

 

Hubby and I are pretty much a Loyal to Royal cruiser, but an itinerary caught our eye and we are trying Princess for the first time in September 2020.  

 

I am excited to try something new, Hubby is apprehensive because he likes his Royal set up.  We are cruising on the Royal Princess from Vancouver on 9/26/20 with a group of friends on the wine country cruise.

 

Tell me all the things I need to know about Princess!

 

 

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We love Princess and especially the Royal class ships.  Definitely prefer it to RCI.  Not into all the bells and whistles at all and way too big and too many passengers, but I know some folks love it.  Princess is more elegant and sophisticated.  Decor is beautiful but not gaudy or flashy.  Food is very good and RCI has nothing to compare with the International Cafe.........24 hours (almost) of lovely treats and beverages (some of which are a cost, food is free).  Laundry rooms on almost every deck, no need to send it out or take home dirty clothes.  Pools are nice with no slides or other "stuff".  Very good service in all venues.  Not as many children on Princess ships, so a more adult atmosphere.

 

Do some research on these boards and you'll get loads of opinions and reviews.  Enjoy your cruise!

 

 

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The 2 cruise lines are more alike then different. I prefer the entertainment on RCL. RCL has a younger demographic with more activities whereas Princess is more elegant with things like afternoon high  tea. I like both lines equally. 

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Just got off Royal Princess last fall for the British Isles cruise.  It was superb.  Not as refined as, say, Grand Princess.  But only because it's a few meters shorter and more aligned with a less formal feel than Grand's classic old-money jois d' vivre.

You'll find you have two favorite cruise lines when you get home.  It's a nice feeling.

Edited by MotownVoice
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49 minutes ago, createmem said:

Hi All!  

 

Hubby and I are pretty much a Loyal to Royal cruiser, but an itinerary caught our eye and we are trying Princess for the first time in September 2020.  

 

I am excited to try something new, Hubby is apprehensive because he likes his Royal set up.  We are cruising on the Royal Princess from Vancouver on 9/26/20 with a group of friends on the wine country cruise.

 

Tell me all the things I need to know about Princess!

 

 

 

No reservations can be made on Princess for shows, but most times you do need to get to the show at least 15 minutes early to get reasonable seats. On a coastal on Princess, you will see plenty of jeans, but generally Princess has a higher percentage of "dressed up" passengers. Looking for something to do while on a Princess ship, head for the Piazza. The Piazza has a number of unannounced activities. You can buy liquor for your room at a reasonable price on Princess.

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20 minutes ago, nukesubsailor said:

We have sailed on both Princess and Royal Caribbean.  We much prefer Princess for the reasons given in the above posts.

If you are traveling with children, they will have a better time on Royal Caribbean.

Adults only from here on out!  Kid is grown and moving into her own life.  Its my turn!

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10 minutes ago, KevintheIrishDJ said:

If you buy 100 shares of Carnival stock, you get a tax free OBC every time you sail on Princess.

Good point!

OP: if anyone in your party is active military, retired military or veteran - send documentation to Princess and receive up to $250pp OBC (depends on the cruise length).

The shareholder benefit is also up to $250. Only one allowed per cabin.

While on the cruise, if you like it, buy as many Future Cruise Deposits ($100 each) as you can afford or think you'll use. Fully refundable if not used within 2 years. Plus receive OBC depending on cabin category...up to $150pp.

Princess allows stacking of all OBC credits (with a couple of limitations that don't affect most passengers).

On our next 2 cruises (a B2B), we are receiving $2120 OBC.

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Princess has the auto gratuity which ranges from $14.50/pp/day to $16.50/pp/day. This amount can be pre-paid in the cruise personlizer or is charged each day to your onboard account(s). Any gratuities beyond the auto tip are optional and are your choice. Anytime dining gratuities do not require pre-payment. More

https://www.princess.com/learn/faq_answer/onboard/experience.jsp#Gratuities

Dining: The DR's are open for breakfast and dinner each day and for lunch on sea days. For dinner you can choose a fixed seating, same waiters same table or anytime. If you book a Club Class mini suite or a full suite you are entitled to dine in the Club Class section of the DR. Other no charge dining: Horizon Ct./Horizon Ct. Bistro buffet, open 5am until late evening. Never closes. Very large selections. Free coffee from grounds, tea and hot chocolate. Alfredo's waiter served individual pizza and other menu items. Open 11am to mid evening every day. A nice place for boarding day lunch. International Cafe, open 24/7, no charge for food items. Pool side venues include slices pizza, salty dog grill and soft ice cream. No charge for room service. Limited menu except if you are in a full suite.

The Crown Grill and Sabatini's are specialty restaurants. $29/pp.

Most cocktails and straight whiskeys are priced $10 and under. All beverages have an 18% gratuity added to the menu price. You can carry on 1 x 750ml bottle of wine/pp no charge for cabin use.. Additional bottle have a $15/bottle corkage fee and can be used anywhere on the ship. No limit. You can bring on as much non-alcoholic beverage as you like.

https://www.princess.com/downloads/pdf/food-and-dining/dining-options.pdf

Shows in the theater each evening include production shows and entertainers. Arrive at least 30 minutes early and 45 minutes to an hour for popular shows like Encore, Secret Silk. No pre-reservations. There are also entertainers like comics and singers in the Vista Lounge. This venue gets crowded as it is smaller than the theater.

There will be live music all evening in the Piazza, Crooners, Wheelhouse Bar, Vista Lounge (sometimes), Club 6 (sometimes).

 

OBC on Princess is stackable. It isn't one or the other. If you are a vet. look up the military benefit. If you own Carnival Corp. stock look up the Carnival Shareholder Benefit. 

 

No surf pools, rock walls, bumper cars, ice rinks, water slides.

 

 

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Divine Norman Love desserts...watching first-run movies in Movies Under the Stars with blanket and free popcorn...champagne Captain's Welcome with a free glass...wonderful steaks at Crown Grill specialty restaurant...elegant décor...relaxed vibe...- Musing About Cruising

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I did not know about the vet benefit, so I am looking into that now.  Thanks!  

 

And I am good without all the extras pools etc.  Hubby thinks he will miss it, though on our cruise this year on Allure he didn't surf once, so I think he will be fine!  I have heard the food on Princess is phenomenal and I am looking very forward to different menus!

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We love Princess but also enjoy RCI. 

They each offer something the other doesn’t, so we alternate them. Best of both worlds. 

Once you reach Platinum on Princess you receive Free internet minutes. 

Between that savings, Future Credit OBC, and the military discount given to any active service person or former service person with an honorable discharge, Princess is quite affordable. 

You will feel like you’re on a ship, not a floating amusement park!

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7 minutes ago, rjgdjg said:

Divine Norman Love desserts...watching first-run movies in Movies Under the Stars with blanket and free popcorn...champagne Captain's Welcome with a free glass...wonderful steaks at Crown Grill specialty restaurant...elegant décor...relaxed vibe...- Musing About Cruising

Sounds perfect!

 

And I am looking very forward to Afternoon tea! I hated when Royal did away with that, and have always loved that on Carnival!

 

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30 minutes ago, rjgdjg said:

Divine Norman Love desserts...watching first-run movies in Movies Under the Stars with blanket and free popcorn...champagne Captain's Welcome with a free glass...wonderful steaks at Crown Grill specialty restaurant...elegant décor...relaxed vibe...- Musing About Cruising

They're far from being the current first run movies.

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We usually use Royal. First timers on the Sun in April next year in Australia , both myself and husband are vets.  DH was in Vietnam, I am a vet during the Vietnam Era. (We will need to find our discharge docs.)  We are mostly casual, don't like to pack too many clothes, food options sound wonderful and I like the idea of having laundry on each deck.  I am awake at 5 am so won't have any issues doing laundry then.  Is there coffee pot in room, we have a balcony. 

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We have found that the movies shown are movies that have just come out on DVD.   So for the most part pretty current but then again some movies that are old favorites.  

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Just now, California Traveler said:

We usually use Royal. First timers on the Sun in April next year in Australia , both myself and husband are vets.  DH was in Vietnam, I am a vet during the Vietnam Era. (We will need to find our discharge docs.)  We are mostly casual, don't like to pack too many clothes, food options sound wonderful and I like the idea of having laundry on each deck.  I am awake at 5 am so won't have any issues doing laundry then.  Is there coffee pot in room, we have a balcony. 

Sorry but no coffee pot in the rooms.   

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I had only cruised RCCL prior to cruising with Princess.  I really did not love cruising until I started cruising with Princess.  Now, this is really subjective though.  I do not like noisy, crowded, activity filled places.  I can do that for a time, but I NEED to have places that I can get away from the noise and people.  Princess has that...at least for me.  Having said that, RCCL is geared toward the younger, adventure seeking.  Princess is not.  I think Princess offers an elevated experience.  

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26 minutes ago, MissP22 said:

They're far from being the current first run movies.

 

May depend on what ship/itinerary you are on and what time of year as it falls in new movie releases.  I've yet to be on a Princess cruise where there isn't at least on first-run film on the MUTS.  

 

For the OP, there are more than just movies on the MUTS.  They play pre-recorded concerts too … Santana, Michael Buble, Shania Twain, and more than I can remember.  They played Cirq de Soleil (I know I spelled that wrong) on our last cruise.  If your cruise is going to be in cool weather they may not put as much into the MUTS but it will still be playing something.  Warmer weather they'll highlight it.

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55 minutes ago, createmem said:

I did not know about the vet benefit, so I am looking into that now.  Thanks!  

 

And I am good without all the extras pools etc.  Hubby thinks he will miss it, though on our cruise this year on Allure he didn't surf once, so I think he will be fine!  I have heard the food on Princess is phenomenal and I am looking very forward to different menus!

The benefit is per qualified person, up to two per cabin. If both are qualified vets then bot receive the benefit. Also, once registered the benefit is automatically applied to future cruises.

Another tip. Once on board you can purchase future cruise deposits, $100 each. They are individual, purchase in each person's name. When used you get the cruise with a $100 deposit plus some OBC. They are fully refundable if not used within two years.

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OP, since you are taking a "wine country" cruise, do you, or any of your friends, enjoy wine?  If the answer is "no," then feel free to ignore the rest of this post.

 

Every adult is allowed to carry on one 750ml bottle of wine on embarkation.  I think this is similar to the Royal Caribbean policy.  This wine may be consumed in your cabin at your convenience.  Speak to your room steward about wine glasses for your room and, if necessary, a corkscrew.  You may take the bottle to one of the restaurants or dining rooms to enjoy with your dinner, but it will be subject to a $15 corkage fee at that time.

 

The above, however, does not limit you to one bottle per adult on embarkation.  You can, in fact, carry on as much wine as you care to.  Bottles in excess of the "one per adult" are subject to an immediate $15 per bottle corkage fee at the pier.  You will be asked to sign a chit for the extra corkage fees and it will be charged you your shipboard account.  Bottles for which the fee has been paid at the pier will be identified with a sticker.  Those bottles can be taken to any of the restaurants or dining rooms and no additional fee will be exacted.

 

The policy seems to be a bit fuzzy, but I have found that Princess is pretty liberal about allowing adult passengers to bring back one bottle of wine at port stops.  I have had no problem bringing wine back on board in about eight or nine West Coast port stops.  I also have to believe this liberal attitude would predominate on a "wine country" cruise.

 

The dining room wine list on Princess is quite comprehensive and fairly priced compared to land-based restaurants.  The specialty restaurants have different wine wine lists.  I have to give a shout-out to the wine list at Sabatini's--the Italian specialty restaurants.  I sailed on the Royal Princess in September and found the wine list in Sabatini's to be absolutely amazing.

 

Have a great cruise.

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