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New to Princess cruises

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Terispist2

Guest
#1
Hello........I`m looking for advise on the princess cruise line. I`m considering a cruise with caribbean princess in September. This will be my third cruise the first two were on HAL. How does princess compare to HAL? As far as service, food, cabins ect. I`m looking to reserve a mini-suite. On HAL I was in a superior suite the first time and a deluxe the second. Again how do the cabins on princess compare to HAL. The first cruise with HAL was wonderful however, the second one was awful.

I`m looking for advise because after my second cruise........I didn`t care if I ever cruised again. I thought I might be cruised cured. I would like to try something different and hope i`m not dissappointed. Appreciate any advise.

Thank You,
Teri
 
C

Cruise cutie

Guest
#2
=welcome Teri..I have never sailed HAL so I cannot give you comparisons...But I've been sailing Princess cruises for 10 years..we love Princess Cruise Lines..Having been on 4 different ships and cruises..Our last one February 2003 was a 10 day Panama Canal sailing on The Coral Princess..It was her 4th sailing ,we had a mini-suite on Aloha and it was the best..I am Italian and very cranky in regards to how it is prepared..The Chef staff of Princess ships is Italian and their food is superb.We also like the casinos,shows,dancing and the restained elegant decor this line has.The pools are fresh water and open as well as the Hot Tubs 24/7 ..My husband and I are mid range for the age groups on ship..I'm 44 he's 54.we are so enamored of them our next cruise this February is a Back/Back Southern/Exotic Southern Itinerary.We do fixed 2nd seating dining and enjoy the more formal atmosphere for the formal nights..I as a rule do not wear cocktail dresses/gowns,full makeup and high heels all that often here at home..so we go full boat those nights..we store all the photography photos taken till the end of the cruise to look,and then purchase.They are a real good value to us,and no pressure to purchase.My husband Mark and I get the best vacation value for the $$..we have a time share in Aruba ,and while we adore going there,cruising Princess is our first love..Good luck with your research..we have never been disappointed yet,and do not anticipate this next sailing to be any different.. :grin..Hope you get more feedback.Welcome to cruise @ddists..:wave and have fun here..:daisy..Joanne
 
B

Beryl

Guest
#3
I have only sailed HAL once and then returned to Princess. Our experience with HAL was not up to my expectations but I think that was just a one time thing and one day I will try HAL again.

I find that the service on Princess is equal to what we found on HAL. I do find the Princess ships to be more light and airy than the HAL ship we sailed. I should tell you that I am comparing to the Ryndam.

I definitely prefer the dining room on Princess to the one on HAL (my main complaint with HAL was my dining experience) but the buffet on HAL was better. HAL buffet seemed to offer a wider selection.

I have not stayed in a mini suite with Princess and had a standard outside cabin on HAL. I really liked the HAL cabin. It was roomy and well laid out. Better than Princess.

HAL does offer a good product but I really enjoy the staff and the overall ambience of Princess just a little more. They just seem a little more "funloving" to me. That however is personal taste.

I hope you enjoy your Princess cruise as much as you enjoyed sailing with HAL. Let us know what you think after you've sailed.
 
T

Terispist2

Guest
#4
Thank You, joanne...........I`m 44 also and we usually don`t get to dressed up around here. Casual most of the time for us. I too look forward to the dress ups. Sometimes we all like to play the role. So then.........maybe you can tell me a little about the formal nights.........how many.........what most wear.........ect. When I called Princess they put a hold on a cabin........not sure if it is a good location. It`s on the dolphin deck on port side cabin #316. Since cruising for the most part is new to me they could probably tell me anything and I wouldn`t know. I don`t understand their AA,AB and so on. They put a hold on AB. I also put us down for second seating. We did the second seating on HAL. This way we are not rushing around to get ready. With HAL we had problems getting off to do the shore excursions..........people not going thru immigration. Just think if you had to be back in time for the first seating. Hope to get some more feed back.

Teri
 
T

Terispist2

Guest
#5
Thank You, Beryl..............for the information. My first cruise with HAL was on the zuiderdam.........and that was my first cruise experience. I had a wonderful time it was so much fun. For my first experience I couldn`t have asked for anything better. I can`t say that for the second one...........it was on the masdam. After that........I thought I might be cruise cured. After the first one I couldn`t wait to go again. Now I`m not sure........so then I thought maybe try a different cruise line.

Caribbean Princess seems to be bigger than Zuiderdam. Does the Princess line seem to be crowed? The Zuiderdam never seemed to be crowed. The masdam always was crowed and totaly different......all the way around. Looking forward to so more feedback.

Teri
 
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Beryl

Guest
#6
Hi Teri! I am always amazed at how well Princess seems to handle the crowds. We have never felt felt like we were in a teeming mass! (Well, maybe the Captain's cocktail party gets a bit crowded :grin) Princess prides itself on dividing up it's spaces so that you have a feeling of intimacy. I think they succeed very well.

I have not sailed on the Zuiderdam or the Caribbean Princess but from what I have read here is my take! HAL designed the Zuiderdam to appeal to a younger crowd than it's other class of ship attracts. It was very successful in doing just that. Many of the traditional HAL cruisers have complained bitterly about the Zuiderdam not meeting their expectations of a HAL cruise. Those traditionalists seem to love the Maasdam.

Princess delivers a very consistent product. If you enjoy sailing on one of their ships, especially the newer ones, you will probably enjoy a cruise on any of the Princess fleet. The only sure way to know if you will enjoy a Princess cruise is to try it for yourself. From what you have said here and if you go expecting to have a good time, I don't think you will be disappointed. JMHO
 
C

Cruise cutie

Guest
#7
:grin..I'm back....we had 3 formal nights on the 10 day cruise and 2 formal nights on the 7 day cruises..Now I am black haired and very fair ( I cheat and pre-tan,still..).I cannot wear Black so no kidding 95% of the women seem to wear black/navy..so I do tend to stand out as I wear Teal.Pink,Red,Um Gold,and Purple ..:grin..etc.etc.So there are a lot of sparkly/very chi chi gowns/cocktail outfits and lot's of Tuxes..we ordered DH's online for a great price!!..there is very plain elegant dressing as well ..but I power shop and let me tell you..I and my best friend..we go full tilt!!..:grin..so go with what makes you comfortable..She and I never lack for compliments on our outfits..DH Mark and I go dancing and our best friends love the shows..we all love the casinos..I have a feeling you will like the Princess Cruise Lines.As Beryl says they are a nice fit..fun,laid back,lot's of bars,lounges etc for good times...not stodgy though!!..Hope more people offer info..Post often..:cheers and Woo Hoo it's a cruise..Enjoy..;)..Joanne
 
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Natalia

Guest
#8
I havent sailed HAL yet, but I love Princess! Tell us what you were so disappointed in with your second cruise, that might help us to know if Princess will meet your expectations.
 
T

Terispist2

Guest
#9
Thank you so very much for all the responses. I have decided to book the cruise withCaribbean Princess on Sept 4th. I`m looking forward to a new adventure. The Ms Maasdam cruise was an awful experience that I was a little nervous about taking another cruise. It was a much older crowd and the people were just down right rude. The ship had an oder that every time I left the cabin I would spray perfume on my wrist then hold it to my nose. When I asked other people about different cruises I was informed that I should stay away from older and smaller ships.....I learned my leason the hard way. Never again will I travel an older,smaller ship. Everthing was different on Ms Maasdam from the Zuiderdam. I was told that there were alot of changes on HAL. Cruising on Ms Maasdam proved to be true. Service wasn`t there, food wasn`t anything to write home about. It was just such a disappiontment. Again thank you.

Teri
 
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Natalia

Guest
#10
Well, from what I heard not too long ago... and I hate to be the bearer of bad news... but that odor you smelled can occur even on a new ship. Then again, maybe it depends on what odor exactly you were smelling. Im not real sure why or of the details, maybe someone else can shed some light. I also smelled it once on a ship back a few years ago, it didnt last the whole cruise, just for a few hours. Heres a recent thread about the Coral Princess, which is a new ship.

<http://www.cruise-addicts.com/forums/read.php?f=16&i=5390&t=5390>
 
J

jimf30

Guest
#11
I just returned from the Caribbean Princess and had a great time. i was in room D733 last cabin. It was great. The room was a handicapped accessable room and had an extra large bathroom with shower only. The balcony was extra large because it is the last room. The only negative of the balconies on this deck is they are wide open. If you settle for a smaller room on one of the decks above you get a bigger balcony with some privacy. A little motion being in the aft section but not too bad. The worst was the hangergs clanging around in the cabin at night till I took them out. Service was great but this was my first cruise so i can't compare it to anything else. I found the food great as well as the service. We had PC dining and had not trouble getting a seat. Some nights at a table for 4 with others in our party and some nights with others at a table for 8. We ate early 6 - 630 every night so we could catch the early entertainment at 8:15. Worked great every night. Entertainment was great. I thought most of the shows were done quite well and were enjoyable.

When I get time I will post a more thorough review.

I hope you enjoy your next cruise!
 
T

Terispist2

Guest
#12
Thank You for all the feed back. I`m looking forward to the cruise on 9-4-04. I had a little problem with booking.......the travel agent didn`t put the deposit in on time. She thought we had more time. So the original cabin d324 was canceled. That was a little upsetting. She was able to get cabin d308.........hope this is just as nice. My travel agent also told me that our confirmed second seating was also canceled. She said that we are on a wait list...........or something like that. Since I`m new to cruising I don`t understand all the lingo. I sure hope this isn`t going to be a sign of things to come. After the cruise with HAL I wasn`t sure I`d ever cruise again. My husband said let`s try a different line and see what happens.... He didn`t seem to be to upset about loosing our first cabin assingment nor our confirmed seating. I hope his instinct is good. Does anyone know anything about either cabin or about the wait or weigh list? Looking forward to hearing from all.

Thank You,
Ter
 
C

Cruise cutie

Guest
#13
There are fewer 2nd seating fixed openings and there are often waitlists to see if you can be there..It will say on your travel docs..(documents) when they come from your travel agent (TA.)You will be able to know if Princess could honor your wait list request..unfortunate about the mess up with the first booking and sure it will go fine..=hugs..keeep asking questions and reading the forums..make sure you call 1-800- Princess and request an up to date Caribbean brochure book that has your booking in it for a lot of info is in this book...while no one minds helping with questions you might feel more confident having something from them to flip through at will..:grin.and it makes your cruise real to you..;)..have fun researching..Take care..Joanne...PS..Doc dance..when you tell the main community your docs came in..eg..=docdance..DDM-..Double digit midgit...Under 99 days till sail..SDM- single digit midget..under 10 days to sail..=bigwave..have fun Ter...:lol...
 
R

Randyd

Guest
#14
Teri, we have a similar thing in that we have basically done three cruises with HAL, the first was fantastic as a whim 17 day cruise on Ryndam around South America over Christmas (previous plans fell through last minute) and we took this as our first cruise, even though airfare cost more than the cruise! ouch, and I didn't get the upgrade requested. .

Then took a Royal Olympia cruise because of the itinerary of Orinoco and Amazon Rivers and saw a significant difference between HAL and Royal Olmpia (who subsequently filed for bankruptcies.....we had shopped around for insurance in knowing that was a possiblity.

Getting more to your point, in September we did a b-2-b HAL again. We were booked on HAL to go from Vancouver to Port Canaveral via the Canal, and then added on the previous week which was the last week in doing the Alaska inside passage. What we found there were two totally different experiences while being on the same ship. The Alaska part was hum-drum as I suspect that the staff was tired of the same routine.

Whereas the trip from Vancouver to FL was very good as the staff was ready for something new and the passengers changed in terms of their expectations as they were devoting two weeks to a repositioning cruise. A big difference. (Also the staff had rotated at that point (back to the Phillipines and Singapore) and also rotated internatly, so we don't know if it was new staff, or just rotation).

We're going on Princess in the Baltic next month, and I will be interested to see how it compares. It's a much larger ship which concerns me, but we are changing on the recommendation of another couple that we got to know on HAL, and will be with us on Princess, that they think is equivalent, and that we will like.

In other words we are fairly new to cruising also, and it depends on the ship, the itinerary, if part of the crew that you most encounter is about to rotate off for leave, etc. There are various factors that make a cruise positive. We are looking forward to this as it is early, but not too early for the season, and the crew should be stable.

Hopefully something in this is helpful as we are both newbies and crossing lines in terms of cruise lines. You should be fine on HAL. Rd
 
B

Beryl

Guest
#16
lisa0727, Princess lists the following as dress codes....

"When evening dress is Smart Casual, passengers dress as they would for a fine restaurant at home. Appropriate attire includes skirts/dresses, slacks and sweaters or blouses for ladies, and pants and open-neck shirts for men. A jacket and tie is optional. In the dining room items such as cutoff T-shirts, halter tops and torn jeans are not permitted, and shoes must be worn at all times."

I try to put my mind in an upscale Hawaiian or Caribbbean resort for an idea of what they mean by "smart casual". For ladies a sundress or nice pant suit are very appropriate. It has been years since I have seen a gentleman in a sports jacket on "smart casual" night. Most wear slacks (docker type are fine) and shirt with collar. Hope that helps!
 
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Beryl

Guest
#18
Lisa, I think your boyfriend might not be permitted in the dining room with shorts....even nice ones. It's not worth the risk of embarassment. Have him take a couple of nice pairs of slacks!
 
N

Natalia

Guest
#19
They are pretty clear about whats not allowed in the dining room... shorts, jeans and swimsuits... sorry.
 
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Beryl

Guest
#20
Lisa, Nat is correct. I just went and had a look at the Princess Patters from our last cruise with Princess and it does say that shorts are not allowed in the dining room at dinnertime.