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Princess Lines versus Royal Caribbean

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Wuollebear

Guest
#1
Hi,
My husband and I have sailed RCCL Navigator of the Sea's. She is a beautiful ship. We are sailing her again 4-23-05. This is only our 2nd cruise and on the same ship. We got a little spoiled after the 1st trip with the Voyager class ships and have been a little afraid to stray but....we have also heared wonderful things about Princess Lines. I hear the ships are very nice, the service is wonderful as well as the food. We did the Western Caribbean 1st trip out and are doing the Eastern this time. We want to do the Southern route as well as Tahiti and thought we'd try these two trips aboard Princess. I'd appreciate any information any of you may be able to give me. We are 45 and 39 but still act as though we are 30. We like to kick up our heels and have a few drinks and just enjoy the vacation.
 
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DJA

Guest
#2
The two lines are somewhat similar overall; but Princess will tend to be a bit less lively than RCI. If you like the Voyager class, the closest match would be the Caribbean Princess, but even that is quite a bit different. Many of the Princess ships still actually resemble ships, but even they are slowly slipping away. If you take a Southern route, the route you choose will be significant in the type of experience you have. If you take a 7-day route out of San Juan you'll get a typical Princess experience on one of the big ships. If you take a southern route from FLL, it will likely be 10 or 14 days and on one of the mid-size ships; the Sun class. They're beautiful ships, about 70,000 tons, but no gimmicks like on the Voyager class. The longer itinerary will drive the average passenger age up and the liveliness down. Tahiti will be a completely different experience; the Tahitian Princess is a fairly new and very nice ship, but very small by today's standards - around 30,000 tons and about 650 passengers -- and this one is really a ship, no gimmicks whatsoever, and again, you'll get older passengers.
 
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Wuollebear

Guest
#3
Thanks for the reply, it really helped. We don't necessarily need all of the gimicks that the Voyager class ships offer, we just don't know any different since that has been our only experience. I have read reviews that on the smaller ships people are much more personable and that could make a much nicer cruise right there. We would take the 7 day southern route, I hear it's a great cruise. I understand Tahiti is a 12-14 day trip. Thanks again for the info. Next time...Princess it is!
 
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fritter

Guest
#4
I prefer Royal Caribbean. They have lemonade available to drink by the pool etc. where you have to buy a drink card from Princess. Also like the small Compass program that you can pick up anywhere. I found a second copy of The Patter hard to find and not as handy a size. Don't remember the cruise director on Princess but do on Royal. Matt was awsome! Also got knew the room steward on both Royal criuses but didn't on Princess. The ship photos on the Royal were more artistic, showing a map of where we were in the background to mention one. Also more entertainment.
 
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Wuollebear

Guest
#5
Thanks fritter. I'd love to hear more, everyone has different experiences. You are right about Royal being artistic and we do remember our room steward very well, she was awesome, we have a picture of the 3 of us together. We also remember the bar tender at the Promenade bar...Dindo...he was great too. One line I have not interest in sailing is Carnival. There may be a lot of people out there that will tell me I'm wrong. I hear that it's almost more like frat party than a place to kick up your heels and have some fun while being able to relax and have some peace and quiet at the same time...if that makes any sense....I appreciate the feed back.
 
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bikevegas

Guest
#6
My wife and I have been on both. I agree that RCI is a bit more lively with Princess somewhat more laid back. We loved the personal choice dining, never had to wait on a table longer than 10 to 15 minutes...We cruised the Golden out of San Juan in October 2004 on the southern swing. Had a great time! Both lines are great in our opinion, a matter of personal interests I think.:USA:AL
 
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CaribbeanSun

Guest
#7
We prefer Princess. The food is better, the options for food is better, the soda cards are half as much and I don't feel like I am in a shopping mall on Princess. Princess also offers fresh water pools, most are open 24 hours a day. Sometimes on RCCL, I feel like everything is too loud and it is too difficult to find a quiet spot. I don't have this problem with Princess.
 
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Lady Jag

Guest
#8
We like both cruise lines for different reasons. We're in your age group and have always felt right at home with Princess, although we're sometimes some of the younger ones onboard depending upon the time of year. There's always some honeymooners and some in our age group too

IMO, Princess is quietly elegant. The crew are more subdued than RCI & not quite as upbeat. RCI's ships are much more beautiful, but Princess' ships have a more intimate feeling. With Princess, you can be flexible with Anytime Dining.

Other passengers on Princess ships could care less what you're doing or what you're wearing. Everyone is friendly, yet minds their own business. It's a more mature crowd. I don't mean "older", but more mature-behaving (on the most part) compared to RCI.

I believe RCI's buffet food is much, much better than Princess', yet Princess' dining room food is superior.

We love RCI, but we also like Princess and HAL too. They all do certain things really well.
 
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Wuollebear

Guest
#9
Thanks again for all of your input. Has anyone sailed Tahiti? That is one place we've always wanted to go. Didn't know if it would be better to just book a trip or do a cruise. Princess looks like it has a great cruise to Tahiti.
 
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Lady Jag

Guest
#10
Lots of people on Cruise Critic's Princess board have. It's where I got most of my info. on that itinerary. Just remember that it's a very small ship and you'll feel the movement much more than on other ships. There are some good reviews at this site & the other one too.
 
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Leslye

Guest
#13
IMHO - the itinerary makes a big diff in the cruiseline that you select. Example: Princess seems to OWN Alaska and does a better job than others.
 
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Lady Jag

Guest
#14
I agree Lesley, and I think the ship you choose makes a big difference too. The Carnival ships we've tried were all Fantasy Class ships. I think their Spirit Class ships are very different. Same with Princess - their Grand Class ships are very different from their Sun Class ships, etc. They all have a different "feel". :)
 
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Wuollebear

Guest
#15
Now you've got me curious about the Alaska cruise. I've heard The Radiance of the Seas is the best because of all of the glass. I hear there are plenty of viewing places inside durring cold weather. Does anyone have any insight on this? The Alaska cruise is one we've been wanting to do.
Thanks.
 
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Lady Jag

Guest
#16
The Radiance is our all time, absolute favorite ship!!! We've only been as far North as Vancouver and Victoria, so I can't help with the Alaska questions personally, but I can tell you the Radiance is such an incredible ship!

Our kids loved the crew who were so positive and upbeat, the two video arcades and the fact that there were hardly any kids onboard (I think there were 8 kids). DH loved the ship's atrium and the dining room food and service. I loved the Solarium (just plain gorgeous) and the Seaview Cafe on the aft of the ship. You can get Clam Chowder in bread bowls, chili in bread bowls, brownies to die for and SO much more including homemade tortilla chips!

The ship "rides" really well - nice and smooth - even though we were in an aft cabin. Just be aware that there isn't an aft set of stairs like is shown in the brochure deck plans. It's a long walk from those aft cabins to the midship elevators! :)
 
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Einstein

Guest
#17
The bonus IMO that Princess offers is in the land portion as they IMO are a bit above the other lines in land offerings attached to the cruises out of Alaska. The one thing I would definitely make sure on a cruise out of Alaska is that the ship has a covered pool as that IMO is a BIG bonus with the colder temps. With Perincess that means making sure U are iwther on a Grand Class ship or the Coral or Island Princess as well.

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izodlacoste

Guest
#18
I have gone on voyager and grand class ships. They are both great. I think that each has its pros and cons. I would pick the one with the better schedule and the less money for the balcony. The food on both is great. Grand class has the movies outside but RCCL has the ice show. THe mall is very cool on RCCL. It is not like a shopping mall it is just awesome. They have parades and events down there.
 
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Cruizer

Guest
#19
I think the location and length of the cruise has a lot to do with the experience. If you take a Carnival 3, 4 of 5 day cruise during non school time there is going to be more of a party atmosphere than if you take a one week or longer cruise during school time. This is true on any line, except I do not believe Princess offers many short cruises. Also, you will find more of a party atmosphere in the western Caribbean than you will in Alaska. So I would not write off Carnival just because some of the cruises attract a party crowd. Did you know that Carnival ownes Princess?

I too have been on the Navigator and loved it. However, there are currently no ships that compare to the Voyager class of ships. My friend is a big Princess fan and I believe you would enjoy a cruise on Princess also. However, expect an older and more relaxed crowd.

I agree that Princess does seem to do Alaska the best.

=funsign
 
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Lady Jag

Guest
#20
That's a good way to describe Princess' passengers: "more relaxed". :thumb

Good point about the pool, Einstein! :thumb