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Comparing RCI & Princess.. (sorry!)

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Sorry to do this folks- I know there have been many posts on this, but I can't seem to find the archives.


Who can tell me about RCI vs Princess? I am booked on RCI for next year, and am *sooooo* looking forward to it.


Friends of my family often cruise Princess, and love it. They want us to cruise PC instead of RCI......


I don't want to change my reservation, but I'm curious as to everyone's opinions.



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Here's a comparison I did a few months ago after sailing on the Golden Princess -




I was a traitor and I loved it. We just did a 7 day repo cruise on the Golden Princess from San Juan to Brooklyn and I have to report that Princess is equal to RCI. As far as the size of the ship goes, the Golden Princess would be equivalent to the Radiance class.


Cabin – we had an outside cabin that was nicely appointed but seemed to be rather small. I seem to remember most of our RCI cabins having a small sofa but you simply could not fit one in our cabin on the Golden Princess. In addition, the closet lacked doors and the bathroom was rather small as well. Definite edge to RCI.


Food – Dinner - The Golden has three separate dining rooms as opposed to one multi-level dining room. The service provided by the dining room staff was equal to that on RCI. As for the food; appetizers, soups, salads and entrees were about the same. I found the meat dishes about the same as RCI. My wife ordered fish each night and she said the fish was better than on RCI, being more moist and flavorful. Deserts were generally better on the Golden with New York style cheesecake and their special Love Boat desert (a thick chocolate mousse type cake) available every night. There was also a much larger selection of ice cream flavors each night along with a different plate of assorted cookies almost every night. A basket of bread was placed on the table each night in contrast to our last RCI trip on the Jewel where bread was given out on request by the asst. waiter. As far as dinner in the dining room is concerned I would have to give a slight edge to Princess.


Food – Lunch – On my last few RCI cruises I have found the Windjammer lacking at lunch time. I frequently looked at the food and don’t see anything I really wanted and ended up going to the grill for a burger. The buffet on Golden Princess is called the Horizon Court. It had a nice variety of food and I found something to my liking each day so I never had the need to sample the hamburgers. Slight edge to Princess


Food – Dinner – Buffet – We normally eat dinner in the dining room, but we always walk up to the buffet afterwards to see what they have so we have a general idea of what’s served in case we decide to eat there one night. (Actually, we're pigs and we go to the buffet after dinner to see if they have any different deserts....:D ) The Horizon Court seemed to have a more interesting selection of food compared to the Windjammer including a chocolate desert buffet one night. Slight edge to Princess.


Gym – the gym on Golden Princess is too small for a ship of that size and lacks sufficient equipment. In addition, the space allocated to the equipment is cramped and the machines are all jammed one next to the other. Edge – RCI.


Entertainment – Production shows were equal to RCI as were the headline entertainers. The significant difference is that you can attend two shows most nights on Princess. In addition to the main show in the theatre, there is usually another show in one of the lounges. I’m not talking about a special late show by a comedian for adults only, but a comedian or singer or hypnotist giving a show for anyone that wants to attend once or twice that night. Slight edge to Princess.


Swimming Pools – the Golden Princess has 4 pools, one of which in the aft part of the ship is limited to adults. I think the forward pool may also be limited to adults but I’m not sure. The two main pools seemed to be a better idea than the single main pool found on many RCI ships. One of the main pools also has a retractable roof. Slight edge to Princess.


Misc. – The cabin steward continually provided packages of shampoo, conditioner and body lotion as opposed to that glop in the dispenser on RCI ships. The future cruise consultant is only available on a first come, first serve basis as opposed to RCI where you can make an appointment. The video arcade is huge, with a wide selection of video games.


Overall, we had a great time on the Golden Princess. I have sailed with Princess in the past, but had not done so for a few years. I would not hesitate to cross over again. To be honest, I’m sick of going to Florida to get on a ship so the cruise line that has the best offerings from the New York area is the one that is going to get my business.

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