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Princess vs Celebrity X


Moby Jones
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1 hour ago, El Crucero said:

For the most part, Celebrity has abandoned the Southern California market.  My TA who has good connections with Celebrity mgmt. cannot figure out why.  They were usually sold out itineraries, Gone are the days for round trip itineraries to Mexico and Hawaii.  Remember the Century and M class round trips to Hawaii?  The only way for us to get to Hawaii now is fly to Vancouver for a one way to Hawaii (or vice versa).  Very inconvenient!  I just don't enjoy flying as much as I used to.

 

The lines that have the greatest presence in SoCal now are Carnival, Princess, and HAL.  We tried  both Carnival and Princess and were not happy on them, so no more for us.  We are going to try HAL and keeping our fingers crossed. I know HAL has tightened their smoking policy but it is still much looser than Celebrity's.  I know the food will not be as good.  But we remain positive and will give it a try for the first time.

 

I'm getting cabin fever.......cruising cabin fever!

One of the best cruise itineraries we ever did was in 2015 from San Diego (lived there at the time so was super easy) NCL Sun 14-day Mexican Riviera.  Due to some unrest in two of the scheduled ports we were able to do an overnight in both PV and CSL.  Had a ton of fun as we also had 3 days at sea, made great friends on that cruise, thank goodness we had the full bev package!  .  PV we fell in love with and CSL was not to shabby either.  SD is such an easy terminal to sail from, too bad they don't have all that many anymore.  

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I am Elite + on Celebrity, and have sailed on Princess a few times. I am typically a Celebrity Suite passenger these days, and I don't think Princess compares to this product. I would say that I had an Alaska cruise booked on them in 2020 and would highly suggest that Princess owns Alaska and is the best line for that destination.

 

My take:

 

Princess PROS:

  • Good mini-suite prices (check out the Club Class for a better experience)
  • Good non-theater entertainment (love the piano bars)
  • Great pizza's and atriums
  • Good and cheaper specialty restaurants
  • West Coast and Panama Canal itineraries
  • Wine Bars with free sushi on many ships
  • Lots of outdoor areas and bars with views for Alaska and scenic cruises
  • Drinks are cheaper

Princess CONS (to Celebrity):

  • Many older ships
  • Newer ships have tiny balconies
  • Ships can feel more crowded
  • Typically less elegant
  • Food is good, but more "classic" dishes than modern/foodie style
  • Lots more kids (can be a positive)
  • The buffets are not in the same league
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We have cruised with Celebrity almost exclusively. We took our first cruise with Princess in 2019 to take advantage of a 14 day cruise from London going along the fjords of Norway and then to Iceland.  We found Princess much more like Celebrity than different. 

 

Embarkation was very similar and the balcony cabin also felt quite a lot like Celebrity. There was an advantage in having a huge closet on the Sapphire Princess, especially since we had cold weather and bulky clothing. Having a shower curtain instead of a glass door was a small negative though.

 

What we liked about Princess was the availablility of savory food at the International Cafe, especially for my husband to grab a breakfast sandwith to bring back to the cabin when he brought me a coffee in the morning.  Neither of us liked the buffet for breakfast, the ordering system for omelets where you have to place your order then find a waiter to bring your omelette to you and then return to buffet to get whatever else you are having was annoying at best and impossible when there were no seats to be found.  We tried eating breakfast there once and gave up.  We either relied on the International Cafe and ate in our cabin or went to the main dining room..

 

Another positive for Princess was that we really enjoyed Alfredo's Pizza for lunch. On the negartive side, the food in the MDR and specialty restaurants did not seem to be as good as on Celebrity and their "every day" options on the MDR menu ran more toward hamburgers than steaks which was a disappointment when nothing on the evening's menu was appealing.  

 

For me, a huge negative for Princess is that they allow smoking in the casino. On the positive side, self-service laundry is very helpful on longer itineraries and we enjoy formal nights.

 

The differences all come down to personal preference. IMO if you like Celebrity, Princess is worth a try 

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I have sailed on both Celebrity and Princess.  Agree with many of the previous posters points of comparison i.e. Princess has small theatres, the standard of food in general is not as good, shower curtains, and, on Majestic Princess, the wi-fi worked inside the cabin but not out on the balcony.  These are all, in my opinion quite minor, though still annoying,  differences.  However, what I think makes a real difference on Celebrity ships overall, is the high visibility of the officers and senior management throughout the ship.  In my experience on Princess, they are nowhere to be seen and if they are, quite brusk.  On Celebrity I have seen them dining in the Oceanview and, more importantly, the Captain makes it known that he and his senior officers will be in Cafe al Bacio at a certain time during the morning.  To me, this leads to a much higher general standard of the ship and her crew.

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Thanks all for the replies. We're planning on a large extended family cruise featuring several families. Every individual has sailed before, some many times. But as you can imagine trying to take everyone's favoured line, ship, itinerary, duration and dates can be a challenge. 

The one sailing that ticked more boxes than any other for the whole group is a Star Princess Baltic cruise sailing out of Southampton in July 2022. 

I've not really considered Princess before but am aware many state that this line is the closest match to Celebrity there is. As you can understand the cruise is ultimately a compromise to try and keep everyone happy but the important thing is that we all get away together whilst we can. 

I don't expect the the Princess mini suite experience to be as good as Celebrity sky suite. But the nearest comparable Celebrity Baltic cruise in 2022 is approximately £2100 more per person, two days shorter and sails in May when the weather won't be as good as the sailing on Princess in July (at least not in theory).

So to me it looks like Princess will offer better value. When you drill down into the detail and factor in all of the costs a Celebrity sky suite sailing will cost double on a per person per night basis. It would be impossible to convince our group that this is good value. Silhouette works out at £425 pppn and Star Princess £215 pppn. This doesn't factor in $600 OBC on Celebrity but the difference is still huge. 

So what I'm really looking for is an understanding of the subtle differences we'll experience on Star Princess. The stateroom sizes, balcony sizes and tired looking interior and exterior concerns raised won't really apply as it's a new ship so no concerns there. 

Thanks again for all the feedback. 

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3 hours ago, Moby Jones said:

Thanks all for the replies. We're planning on a large extended family cruise featuring several families. Every individual has sailed before, some many times. But as you can imagine trying to take everyone's favoured line, ship, itinerary, duration and dates can be a challenge. 

The one sailing that ticked more boxes than any other for the whole group is a Star Princess Baltic cruise sailing out of Southampton in July 2022. 

I've not really considered Princess before but am aware many state that this line is the closest match to Celebrity there is. As you can understand the cruise is ultimately a compromise to try and keep everyone happy but the important thing is that we all get away together whilst we can. 

I don't expect the the Princess mini suite experience to be as good as Celebrity sky suite. But the nearest comparable Celebrity Baltic cruise in 2022 is approximately £2100 more per person, two days shorter and sails in May when the weather won't be as good as the sailing on Princess in July (at least not in theory).

So to me it looks like Princess will offer better value. When you drill down into the detail and factor in all of the costs a Celebrity sky suite sailing will cost double on a per person per night basis. It would be impossible to convince our group that this is good value. Silhouette works out at £425 pppn and Star Princess £215 pppn. This doesn't factor in $600 OBC on Celebrity but the difference is still huge. 

So what I'm really looking for is an understanding of the subtle differences we'll experience on Star Princess. The stateroom sizes, balcony sizes and tired looking interior and exterior concerns raised won't really apply as it's a new ship so no concerns there. 

Thanks again for all the feedback. 

Hi,

We have sailed on many Princess cruises and loved them

all! We are Elite/Diamond on Celebrity/RCCL but

would NOT hesitate taking another Princess cruise.

We base our decision on price and destination.

We did a long Princess cruise to Tahiti etc and it was

fun!. 

We have also done the Baltic cruise twice (on

other lines) and had a GREAT time.

It's action packed (many ports) and if you

can walk well you do NOT need an excursion for

for almost all the ports (except St.Petersburg).

The ship parks downtown in most of the ports 

and there is lots to see and do on your walk.

Many complain about the food on different

ships BUT I thought Princess was very good.

Many say that some cruise lines have terrible

food. Huh? My only reply to this is: What do you

eat at home?

You WILL have a GREAT time on your Princess

Baltic cruise!

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5 hours ago, Moby Jones said:

Thanks all for the replies. We're planning on a large extended family cruise featuring several families. Every individual has sailed before, some many times. But as you can imagine trying to take everyone's favoured line, ship, itinerary, duration and dates can be a challenge. 

The one sailing that ticked more boxes than any other for the whole group is a Star Princess Baltic cruise sailing out of Southampton in July 2022. 

I've not really considered Princess before but am aware many state that this line is the closest match to Celebrity there is. As you can understand the cruise is ultimately a compromise to try and keep everyone happy but the important thing is that we all get away together whilst we can. 

I don't expect the the Princess mini suite experience to be as good as Celebrity sky suite. But the nearest comparable Celebrity Baltic cruise in 2022 is approximately £2100 more per person, two days shorter and sails in May when the weather won't be as good as the sailing on Princess in July (at least not in theory).

So to me it looks like Princess will offer better value. When you drill down into the detail and factor in all of the costs a Celebrity sky suite sailing will cost double on a per person per night basis. It would be impossible to convince our group that this is good value. Silhouette works out at £425 pppn and Star Princess £215 pppn. This doesn't factor in $600 OBC on Celebrity but the difference is still huge. 

So what I'm really looking for is an understanding of the subtle differences we'll experience on Star Princess. The stateroom sizes, balcony sizes and tired looking interior and exterior concerns raised won't really apply as it's a new ship so no concerns there. 

Thanks again for all the feedback. 

I think you mean the Sky Princess?

The Star Princess is no longer with the fleet.

The Sky Princess is a very new and beautiful ship.

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4 hours ago, Moby Jones said:



So what I'm really looking for is an understanding of the subtle differences we'll experience on Star Princess. The stateroom sizes, balcony sizes and tired looking interior and exterior concerns raised won't really apply as it's a new ship so no concerns there. 

Our LAST cruise on Princess was the Star Princess, 16 day roundtrip Los Angeles/Hawaii, three years ago.  The Star Princess is one of their older ships put into service 2002.  It was a rust bucket on the exterior.  Not well maintained.  Definitely not a new ship.  Perhaps it has gone into drydock since then.  I just checked on Princess website and the Stat Princess is no longer listed as part of their fleet.

 

We booked a mini-suite.  The furniture was shabby and the the settee had a three inch tear in it with stuffing coming out.  Hotel manager said, sorry, we are full and you will just have to live with it.  People on upper decks could look down into our standard size, no privacy, veranda.  Showers not as nice. with cheap plastic curtains.  We paid about the same price for this stateroom, same number of days, same itinerary, as we would have in an Aqua stateroom, the same size as a mini-suite  on Celebrity (but there was a $600 OBC perk included).  Food in MDR and buffet was not up to Celebrity standards (perhaps it was the head chef on that cruise).  The happy hour consists of "buy one, get one for $1" and the drinks have to be the same and ordered at the same time (when drinking the first one, the second is being diluted by the ice in the glass).  There is definitely a different passenger vibe on Princess, not as upscale as Celebrity (definitely more noisy children running through the halls).

 

Was it all bad?  No, but it did not represent a good value for us and it was our last cruise on Princess forever.  Try it, you might like it.  We have good Canadian friends who are comparable to Zenith on Princess (whatever their system is).  They absolutely love Princess and would sail on no other, but they always book a full suite (or upgraded to one) which gets you a roped off section in the MDR with an expanded menu and stocked mini bar in your suite (one time only and not in mini-suites).  No butlers.

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My DW and I are Elite on Celebrity and Platinum on Princess.  Our go to line for the past few years has been Celebrity but we certainly enjoyed Princess.  I’ve not sailed on the Sky (or similar) so my comments are Princess in general.  Perhaps the Sky addresses some of design issues.

- Food, while subjective is good on both lines. In fact after a number of years sailing Celebrity I have probably eaten most dishes on the menu so would actually look forward to the change of eating on Princess.

- Dining room. Celebrity has a much more impressive dining room. 
- I prefer Celebrity ships but certainly enjoyed the wine bar and piano bars on the Princess ships.  I also enjoyed the variety of specialty dining venues on Princess (and the price of specialty dining was lower).

- As far as entertainment I don’t recall being bored on either.

- MUTS. Far superior to anything Celebrity has.

 

Given the prices I’ve seen on Celebrity lately there is a good chance my next cruise could be on Princess.  Ultimately there are good things with both and while I may prefer Celebrity I certainly wouldn’t be unhappy on Princess.

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16 minutes ago, bunzini said:

I find both lines to my liking.  I honestly look at the value and itinerary when choosing.  For a family there seems to be more activities on Princess so that might be a consideration. 

 

Exactly why we love Celebrity.  It is a luxury cruise, to us anyway, I know many disagree and say AZ, Oceania that can't really compare to those.  At this point we have no desire to, Celebrity has worked very well for us.  The ships with all the hoopla on the mall decks and slides, rock climbing walls, skating rinks, go-karts, those are perfect for families and obviously for some couples.  Obviously many do love that, and that is all good, but it is great we all have many options to choose from. 

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A few years back, when we first started taking cruises we had sailed on Celebrity only once and then booked a Princess Cruise.

The Princess cruise had a fantastic 10 day Caribbean itinerary and was on a brand new ship. We were excited to go and had completely open minds. 

The ship was beautiful and didn’t disappoint. Our assigned cabin steward and nightly waiter & assistant waiter were great.

But we found the crew manning the public areas like the cafe, pool area and bars were grumpy, completely unfriendly and appeared to not like their job.

The ship was always littered around the pool area with used glasses, plates, used towels, etc. (especially in the morning following the previous night’s celebrations). 

One of the crew was dumping drinks onto the deck floor to empty them before bringing the glasses in to be washed - he didn’t think I saw him. So all those leftover sticky drinks were now on the deck where folks walked. 

Then there was the champagne tower incident in the grand foyer where security had to step in and settle things down before the whole thing came crashing down.

Overall the food was just ok (very subjective).

We booked Celebrity the following year and haven’t looked back. 

Princes has a very loyal following so they must be doing something right. 

 

 

Edited by bye-seaya
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On 12/28/2020 at 11:36 AM, El Crucero said:

My point exactly!  Just a different vibe onboard Princess.  In our opinion, pax and staff on Celebrity appeared to be much happier and friendly.

That was our experience as well. Totally different vibe - champagne tower debacle that got a bit out of hand. And overall the crew didn’t appear to be happy at all. 

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