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A question for X cruisers who also sail Princess


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20 minutes ago, Sam.Seattle said:

Curious as to what a different type of pax on board means?

It's a different vibe aboard.  One night on Princess a guy came to the MDR in bib overalls on "formal night" and made a late, grand entrance to the applause of some already seated.  The staff did not ask him to leave.  Another night, a youngish couple (30's) brought their two young children to our table in the MDR and they cried (screamed) throughout dinner.  Not a pleasant experience.  The next night we asked to be moved to a different table before dinner, but we could still hear the kids crying in the MDR throughout the meal.  We just gave up and started to eat at the buffet or specialty dining.    One day we were eating lunch at the buffet and were talking to a female staff member.  The Captain of the ship interrupted the conversation without apology and started kissing her.  He left and she said, "the Captain really likes me!"  We were very embarrassed.  That's what I mean by a different type of pax.  I have never had that type of experience on Celebrity on more than a dozen trips with them over the years.

 

Pax on Celebrity tend to be a bit older but we find them to be a very friendly bunch with a lot in common.

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1 hour ago, El Crucero said:

It's a different vibe aboard.  One night on Princess a guy came to the MDR in bib overalls on "formal night" and made a late, grand entrance to the applause of some already seated.  The staff did not ask him to leave.  Another night, a youngish couple (30's) brought their two young children to our table in the MDR and they cried (screamed) throughout dinner.  Not a pleasant experience.  The next night we asked to be moved to a different table before dinner, but we could still hear the kids crying in the MDR throughout the meal.  We just gave up and started to eat at the buffet or specialty dining.    One day we were eating lunch at the buffet and were talking to a female staff member.  The Captain of the ship interrupted the conversation without apology and started kissing her.  He left and she said, "the Captain really likes me!"  We were very embarrassed.  That's what I mean by a different type of pax.  I have never had that type of experience on Celebrity on more than a dozen trips with them over the years.

 

Pax on Celebrity tend to be a bit older but we find them to be a very friendly bunch with a lot in common.

Thanks for the morning laugh. 🤣👎

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On 2/20/2021 at 10:48 AM, drsel said:

On Celebrity, we always managed to get a table for two

 

Ditto, even though the next table(s) have not always been that far away and at times I would guess maybe a foot apart.  When they are that close it's more the 'idea' of being a table of two which I found somewhat awkward.

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OP here.... thanks to everyone who replied.  Most comments match my experience and future expectations.  All things being equal I’d probably stick with X but the current pricing will most likely push me towards booking with Princess.

 

Lots of time between now and sail date and a lot can happen.  Most important on the list is that Covid is defeated (or otherwise under control), borders reopen and cruising resumes.

 

Stay safe everyone.

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On 2/19/2021 at 6:01 AM, RickT said:

A couple things come to mind:

-DW and I like to dine alone and found that most 2 person tables were near inches apart.

-Dining room has less “wow” than Celebrity

-Outdoor areas seemed noisier due to MUTS

-Staff less responsive 

A couple things we really liked:

-Adult only pool aft

-Variety (and price) of Specialty restaurants

-Piano bar

 

I just posted this on the Princess boards ... and while I agree with most of what you've posted above, I would still definitely go with the savings! 

 

Up until 2020, we cruised quite often across several different lines, mostly on Princess and Celebrity but have also sailed on Carnival, Holland America, NCL and RCCL.  

Our favorite is Celebrity ... hands down!!   But, we have twice as many sailings on Princess ... why?  Their itineraries and value!!  

 

Pros on Princess: 

Awesome mattresses 

Open closet design ... feels bigger

Value with the option for Princess Best (beverages, gratuities, wifi ... sometimes with a specialty dinner and location upgrade) ... you can stack your OBC options such as shareholder, casino, military, future cruise deposit OBC, etc.  

Great Wi-fi with medallion net 

International Cafe open 24 hrs, sit down pizza restaurant on some ships, MUTS with specialty grill items nearby in the evenings 

More reasonable specialty dining $

Wine bottle packages available / Wine bottle carry on with $15 corkage 

Itineraries (most other cruiselines have abandoned us on the west coast (US))

Piano Bar, Pub Lunch, Afternoon Tea, Audience participation events (Pop Choir, Voice of the Ocean, Ukulele classes, etc), Educational Port Lectures 

 

Cons on Princess:

Cabins are smaller than on most other lines... room for a small sofa only in the deluxe balcony (on Royal class ships) and above 

That blue matting on the balconies (filth catchers) 

So so wine selection with the beverage package (wine bottle package has a much better selection)

Smaller bathrooms and clingy cloth shower curtains, unless in a suite 

Smoking allowed in the casino with non-smoking only on formal nights

Venues for shows and lounge acts are way too small 

Dining times -- too difficult to be seated or get a reservation between 6:00 - 6:45 PM  (it used to work .. why did they change it??)

Chaotic buffet area on sea days, especially on the Royal class 

Lack of maintenance on their older ships 

Few nightly special events / raffles / tournaments set up in the casino 

 

But, with 50 cruises in, you should be able to appreciate the small things that each and every different cruiseline offers.  Variety is the spice of life!!!  Bon voyage ...
 

PS -- someone mentioned that the laundromats are also a plus for them on Princess.  We have free laundry on Princess and still love hitting up the irons in the self service laundromats instead of having them sent out.  

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40 minutes ago, RickT said:

All things being equal I’d probably stick with X but the current pricing will most likely push me towards booking with Princess.

Plan to use my FCC with X if and when cruising resumes; then will give Princess another try as currently cabins are half the price and itineraries just as good.  I may even opt for an inside cabin as hardly spend much time on my balcony. 

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On 2/20/2021 at 11:22 AM, Sam.Seattle said:

The newer Royal and Regal Princess no longer have the signature aft pool the older ships had.  I miss that pool too!  The Regal does however have a smaller "Terrace" pool aft on deck 17.

 

Here is a picture of the loungers you can rent next to the Retreat Pool.  This is the pair we usually select.

 

If you are interested, I recommend one of the first things you do after boarding is to head up to the entrance of the Retreat where you can make a reservation.  Warning... the B2B cruisers get to book while on the previous sailing leaving sometimes limited choices.  You can rent the pair of covered loungers for half or whole days.  Food can also be purchased and delivered from the retreat menu.   

Royal Princess Poolside Loungers.jpg

Thank you for the follow up and explanation. (Even with pictures)

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OP here... just a quick update.  After weighing the pros and cons of X vs. Princess I ultimately decided to book a March 2022 cruise on Emerald Princess.  
 

Each line has its strengths and while I believe I’d be happier overall on X the cost savings to go with Princess was just too much to ignore. The Princess cruise was $5,000 cdn with a refundable $500 deposit.  Celebrity was $7,400 with a non refundable $900 deposit ($7,900 with refundable).

 

Each cruise includes Tips, Wifi and drinks with Princess throwing in a complimentary specialty dinner. Too early to start planning but fingers crossed that cruises will resume before 2022.  I’ll continue to monitor prices on both lines and if the gap narrows will redo my comparison.

 

Thanks for all your input (and in case anyone wonders, I will use the Princess self laundry).  Stay safe everyone. 

Edited by RickT
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Is it true that the bathroom on Princess are smaller and that they have curtains on their showers stalls; instead of glass shower doors; unless you are in a mini-suite class cabins or higher?

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36 minutes ago, RickT said:

Each cruise includes Tips, Wifi and drinks with Princess throwing in a complimentary specialty dinner. Too early to start planning but fingers crossed that cruises will resume before 2022.  I’ll continue to monitor prices on both lines and if the gap narrows will redo my comparison

Be sure to book the specialty dinner as early as possible to get a time and date you prefer.  For us we try to enjoy the specialty dinner on either the first day or last day of sailing.  Enjoy!  I hope you will report back to us and share your thoughts.

Cheers!

🥂

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1 hour ago, RickT said:

OP here... just a quick update.  After weighing the pros and cons of X vs. Princess I ultimately decided to book a March 2022 cruise on Emerald Princess.  
 

Each line has its strengths and while I believe I’d be happier overall on X the cost savings to go with Princess was just too much to ignore. The Princess cruise was $5,000 cdn with a refundable $500 deposit.  Celebrity was $7,400 with a non refundable $900 deposit ($7,900 with refundable).

 

Each cruise includes Tips, Wifi and drinks with Princess throwing in a complimentary specialty dinner. Too early to start planning but fingers crossed that cruises will resume before 2022.  I’ll continue to monitor prices on both lines and if the gap narrows will redo my comparison.

 

Thanks for all your input (and in case anyone wonders, I will use the Princess self laundry).  Stay safe everyone. 

We have a Celebrity March 2022 cruise booked, but it's an L&S from March 2021, originally booked in 2019. Needless to say, booking that cruise today would involve a significant increase in price, over $6000 CAD for the two of us. If we were looking now, we too would be very much inclined to head over to Princess.

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2 hours ago, RickT said:

OP here... just a quick update.  After weighing the pros and cons of X vs. Princess I ultimately decided to book a March 2022 cruise on Emerald Princess.  
 

Each line has its strengths and while I believe I’d be happier overall on X the cost savings to go with Princess was just too much to ignore. The Princess cruise was $5,000 cdn with a refundable $500 deposit.  Celebrity was $7,400 with a non refundable $900 deposit ($7,900 with refundable).

 

Each cruise includes Tips, Wifi and drinks with Princess throwing in a complimentary specialty dinner. Too early to start planning but fingers crossed that cruises will resume before 2022.  I’ll continue to monitor prices on both lines and if the gap narrows will redo my comparison.

 

Thanks for all your input (and in case anyone wonders, I will use the Princess self laundry).  Stay safe everyone. 

Assuming that your booking categories are roughly the same, it should have been an easy decision.  50% premium for Celebrity?  No way.  You would have had to pay even more to upgrade your drink package to be similar to the Princess Drink Package, which is closer to Celebrity’s premium package. I think it would hard for anyone to book Celebrity with those comparisons.

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58 minutes ago, Fouremco said:

We have a Celebrity March 2022 cruise booked, but it's an L&S from March 2021, originally booked in 2019. Needless to say, booking that cruise today would involve a significant increase in price, over $6000 CAD for the two of us. If we were looking now, we too would be very much inclined to head over to Princess.

no doubt about it, Princess prices have not gone up much whereas Celebrity prices have gone through the roof, after it became "always included."

 

But don't worry, in the past Celebrity has given us fabulous last minute price drops of up to 50%.

I have experienced these myself.

 

Did I tell you about the 9 night Celebrity Constellation Cruise we got for $902 for two adults in an Ocean view cabin with the unlimited classic alcoholic beverage package included?

 

We had many great deals in the past prior to covid-19.

I just hope that history repeats itself

 

Edited by drsel
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10 minutes ago, jagoffee said:

I think it would hard for anyone to book Celebrity with those comparisons.

Exactly the reason why there should be many last minute price drops around 45 to 60 days prior to sailing.

With these high prices, Celebrity will find it difficult to fill all the cabins.

But they need to fill all the cabins to ensure that the tipping staff get their full salary through gratuities, (which may or may not be included in the last minute price drops.).

 

Celebrity may possibly have last minute price drops which do not include drinks Wi-Fi or gratuities.

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The problem with booking early is that you will not benefit from the last minute price drop.

This is reserved only for fresh bookings.

 

The cruise fare difference can be huge and substantially more than the difference in airfare that you have to pay to book  last minute flights 45 to 60 days prior to sailing.

Edited by drsel
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54 minutes ago, drsel said:

The problem with booking early is that you will not benefit from the last minute price drop.

This is reserved only for fresh bookings.

 

The cruise fare difference can be huge and substantially more than the difference in airfare that you have to pay to book  last minute flights 45 to 60 days prior to sailing.

I’ve also scored some nice deals by waiting until after final payment date to book.  I’ll still do that for Caribbean cruises and some European cruises but given my cruise is in New Zealand and will include an extra 5-6 weeks on land it’s tough to roll the dice and hope for a price drop given all the other planning involved.

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1 hour ago, drsel said:

The problem with booking early is that you will not benefit from the last minute price drop.

This is reserved only for fresh bookings.

 

The cruise fare difference can be huge and substantially more than the difference in airfare that you have to pay to book  last minute flights 45 to 60 days prior to sailing.

I once booked a last minute flight then scored a great deal on a cruise leaving from San Juan. I had several lines to choose from all leaving and returning on the same dates.  

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On 2/19/2021 at 6:42 AM, RNCheryl said:

Could your budget handle Aqua Class with the perk of eating in the Blu dining room on Princess?

 

I don't understand ????

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