How does Princess compare to Royal Caribbean?



I have been on two cruises on the "Rhapsody" Royal Caribbean out of Galveston. I thought the ship was beautiful and the food great. We had a fab time. How does the Grand Princess compare to Royal Caribbean? Interested in hearing your thoughts and opinions. Thanks


I went on RCI's Enchantment and Grand Princess last year.

Both were beautiful ships, high quality and excellent service.
Grand Princess' service was a little more personalized (even though it was a larger ship) and the ship was more upscale & elegant throughout, and the food selection was much better than RCI's.

But we still thoroughly enjoyed BOTH cruises - although I preferred the princess cruise -I would also cruise on RCI again.

I only based my opinion on 2 cruises, but the consensus will probably agree that Princess does everything RCI does, while being more elegant and upscale.
I think for most people, if you like Royal Carribean, you'll LOVE princess.


I have been on the Navigator of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas for RCCL and Diamond Princess. I think that the above poster has it right - it's got the same only more upscale.

Plus I think the food is definitely better on Princess.



I have never been on Princess cruises, but 9 times on Royal Caribbean. The food and the service were great on most of those cruises. Have not experience the bigger ships of the line. My parents just returned from Caribbean Princess cruise and ate in the main dining room twice as the food was so fancy and "out there", that they felt much more comfortable with the selections at the buffet in the evening. For those that are not into "fancy" food, these ship dining rooms at supper time can be a bit intimidating. But always know that there are alternatives at every turn. The one thing that disappointed me is the fact that they were celebrating their 50 th wedding anniversary. I am sure that the travel agent made this known before hand and they were asked in general during the muster drill who was celebrating anything. I would have thought that they might have had an introduction at one of the shows(this definitely would have happened on RCI) or been invited to something special with the captain. I see that they have 2 packages that can be ordered, but to me, at this milestone of their lives and the money that they paid, I think that the line could have done better. They loved the pools- especially the one at the back of the ship and also the lap pool. The other ones were so crowded with sunbathers at the edge of the pool that they could barely get in and the people were rude enough to not even move. My father actually got a burn on the bottom of his foot from the hot tile surface around the pool, not being able to get to a wet spot soon enough.

Post Edited (06-29-04 21:31)


Well I didn't consider the food on Princess exotic at all. In fact I was a bit disappointed at how boring it was, don't get me worng, we enjoyed our cruise, but I would never think to tell anyone that the Princess food was " fancy". I guess when some people say they like plain food they really mean plain food!!


I have read postings from others, here and on other boards, that RCI's ships, because of the liberal use of glass in their designs, feel very connected to the sea. Princess ships, by comparison, do not. I have also read opinions that Princess interiors are "bland."

Just 2 other angles to consider.

Cruise cutie

I cannot speak of RCCl..but in 10 years of cruising Princess....I do know that the decor is soft,muted tones,not garish at all,there are brighter areas especially for the Caribbean...however nothing to hit me over the head.Thank goodness..The food has always been outstanding..I am Italian and incredibly fussy..and the food has always surpassed my for plain food..I am NOT fond of nouvelle cuisine with sauces and such..which is where some people would call it plainer fare..I frankly think they are nuts or so wealthy that they can just dismiss food that is out of my middle class pocket at such times as to have it everyday on a for glass.the atriums,on all the Princess sailings are just riveting.and window architecture incredible...=dunno RCCl..going reluctantly as a ship on is HUGE with 1000 more people than I'm used to..I love the secluded personal hidaway spots on Princess.and solarium pools and the pools 24 / 7 on Princess.and I fear I shall lose that option in exchange for cruise @ddicts for rock wall climbing,etc..I'm 44 and a nurse..I've had enough sprains,on myself and setting both sprains and fractures as to avoid needing to be Mia Hamm sports superstar on my vacation..since I don't know RCCl I can't form an for someone to pass a comment on Princess not having sailed on the ships is really quite ignorant to do..IMHO..unless you have sailed a cruise line venturing an opinion on heresay,or reviews is to me setting yourself up as ridiculous..=twocents..Joanne

Post Edited (07-02-04 07:29)


I agree completely. Negative opinions without the personal experience is not very reliable. How can you possibly know?

Contrary to one of the above assumptions, I personally found Grand Princess' decor and design considerably more exciting than Royal's Enchantment. Even in the stateroom, better use of lights and colours, a large mirror to visually open up the space and more elegant decor. (and these are inside staterooms)

As for the food. Fancy or not, the comparison should be Princess vs. RCI - who cares if it isn't up to par with a fancy upscale restaurant.
I found the breakfast selection on RCI very limited. I had the same things for breakfast each day. Grand had approx 3 times the selection (no exaggeration)
The buffets on Princess had more international fare and variety.
The menu and food in the traditional dining was comparable between the 2.
Both excellent.

Post Edited (07-02-04 11:13)


I don't think the cabins in Princess look bland, you mean less gordy-big designs and color like you find in Disney World.

It really depends what you like. I prefer the color scheme in Pricness much more. Pastelly and very sutter but yet classy. Unlike typical Floridian gordy, loud, hideous and huge floral/pattern designs. Princess Cruise are not your grandmother type. Its simple but yet contemporary.

Post Edited (07-03-04 10:33)

Lady Jag

We've been on 6 RCI cruises in the past few years and just completed our 3rd with Princess. Both are terrific cruise lines, but both also offer a completely different cruise product.

The Grand is an elegant, slightly older (relatively speaking) ship. It is intimate, quiet and pretty. But, in my opinion, RCI wins hands down in the ship design category and the buffet food, variety and taste. Princess' cabin stewards are the best we've ever had and I think their dining room food is far superior to RCI.

Both have their pros and cons. Give it a try and see for yourself! :grin


Our first two cruises were Princess our last one was on Royal Caribbean's Brilliance. Both lines had their pros and cons.

The things we liked better about the Brilliance:

1. The cabins had more storage place.
2. We like the layout of the main theatre
3. We liked all the glass - really connected with the ocean
4. The solarium pool is beautiful

The things we liked better about Princess:

1. Personal choice dining (we had early seating on the Brilliance and missed every sailaway and sunset.)
2. Better food
3. The promenade that goes all the way around the ship
4. Freshwater pools
5. Better service

Really, I don't think one line is necessarily better than another. I just think it comes down to each person's expectations. We would have no problems sailing Royal Caribbean again. However, we do feel that Princess is a better match for us.

Good luck with your decision!


The Grand Princess is actually newer then the Rhapsody of the Seas. It is not like you would be comparing a brand new RCCL ship to an older Princess ship - the ships are only a year apart. I prefer the color scheme of Princess to RCCL. I like the soft colors and dislike loud colors.

I find the food in both the dining room and buffet far superior on Princess to RCCL. Service was good on both and it really depends on who your room steward and waiter is like. I have had good service on both. I also don't find the food on Princess fancy.

Go with Princess, you will love the fresh water pools.


THANKS EVERYONG for there reviews. I cant wait for are trip,

Grand Princess 03-12-'05

If anyone else is sailing on this date let me know!!