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Princess VS. Carnival?

Discussion in 'Princess Cruises' started by GlamDoll, Feb 27, 2005.

  1. GlamDoll

    GlamDoll Guest

    Hi, my name is Riana, and my boyfriend and I have begun planning our first cruise. We plan to go sometime in Sept. So far all we have seen are Carnival cruises, we want to deport from a city that is within driving distance (we are in dallas texas), but I noticed a Princess cruise leaving from Houston. How do these two compare? What are the differences? We have only looked at Carnivals ships and ports, we had 'decided' on the Conquest deporting from New Orleans, but then I saw this Princess and I hear it has a movie theatre and that sounded romantic.

    Please help thank you!
     
  2. Nanni-B.

    Nanni-B. Guest

    Hello!

    The Grand sails out of Galveston. I have not sailed any Princess ships yet so I am not able to do comparisons for you, but we have sailed 3 of the ships that leave from New Orleans including the Conquest. All were very nice, had great time on all. I am trying the Grand because we were docked next to it while in Cozumel and it is the most beautiful ship we had seen. Good luck on what you decide!
     
  3. mikesteg

    mikesteg Guest

    Grand doesn't really have a movie theatre like on land. It does now have MUTS (Movies Under The Stars), which isn't really romantic in the sense of a cozy little dark theatre. I believe they show movies in the theatre too, but that is a very large space and again not cozy in the romantic sense. In my opinion, anyway. :)

    Grand Princess is very comparable to Elation or Rhapsody (or Splendour or Ecstasy, for that matter) Grand is bigger (500-600 more pax, 100 foot longer) and has more bars, etc, but is designed to feel small and they did a very good job in that way. I would say that if you've never been on a cruise before you really won't know the difference, so you should pick based on price +itinerary rather than ship.

    Mike
     
  4. Cruise cutie

    Cruise cutie Guest

    I have not done Carnival..I was 33 years old on my first cruise-Princess....11 years ago....we are not big Party people, I like a drink here and there...we love casino's , dancing, strolling the deck for star gazing, and enjoy music at the venues, pool things work OK, love the tea at 3:30 each day in the Formal dining room..I limit the amount of kids on my sailing..ours are grown, no big slides, etc for the kids, on Princess...we have second seating fixed traditional for dining..we love the ambience and dressing up Formal... ..the AFT pool terrace area on all Princess ships is ADULTS only...works for us..check out reviews, hope you find your niche..post on the Main Community board too.."nice to meet you"..=welcome to cruise @ddicts...Princess is renowned for soft ELEGANT muted decor...Carnival is say more BRIGHT, over the top etc, it's all in what you want..DH Mark and I go as a romantic get away sailing..good luck ...happy research..ask questions as you get them...:wave..Joanne
     
  5. docbfree

    docbfree Guest

    Do you want to party? Drink a lot? Be with younger people? Go on Carnival. Food on Carnival can be good(Legend) or bad(Triumph). Go on Princess if you want a nicer cabin especially the mini-suites. Probably better service on Princess. But an older crowd. If this is a private romantic trip-Go on Princess.
     
  6. ron123

    ron123 Guest

    Riana,
    We have only sailed Princess and Royal C. I can tell you that Princess and Carnival are owned by the same parent company. My experience on he Grand was similar to all Princess' Grand-Class Ships that we have sailed. There demographics seem to target baby-boomers and gen-X-ers the 30 - 60 year old the hardest. By this I mean the comidians ages and jokes the entertains songs and even some of the poolside activies. I have heard in contrast that Carnivals demos are for younger and married with children I would guess they would choose diffenect games and talent on-board.
    Princess will be more sedate than Carnival much less party all nite-like atmosphere
    Good Luck deciding
    Ron
     
  7. mikesteg

    mikesteg Guest

    To expand on my earlier comments, you can find whatever you're looking for on either line. On my Grand cruise last December, the ship was dead. Aside from our group and one other (maybe 75 people total) I think most of the ship was in bed by 10PM. On the contrary, even on a spring break cruise you can find quiet areas, they still have a club with jazz and soft music. (Not that I'm recommending a srping break cruise by any means!) True that you can't entirely avoid the overall culture of the ship, and the entertainment may be targeting a little different crowd, but that is always a hit/miss propostion.

    Mike
     
  8. GlamDoll

    GlamDoll Guest

    oooooooo Im very confused now... I do want to have a relaxing laid back cruise. We are drinkers, socially at least, but real big partiers. If WILD was on a scale from 1 to 10 we would probably be about a 6.5. I'm 20, I love having fun and dancing and my boyfriend is 29, he is more laid back play dominoes/cards and cuddle with me type. When we go out we may go bowling, movies, or if we do get tipsy its usually just for "us" (do you get what Im saying : )

    It would be fine to be with older or younger folks, we just want to have fun, have a little romance, and over all meet lots of interesting and nice people.

    On board I would like to have good food, lots of games, some dancing/singing, not a whole lot of whoopn' and hollering.
     
  9. I'm really concerned about Princess being bought by Carnival. I do NOT want a Carnival Cruise and am concerned that cut backs will be taken on Princess to mirror the Carnival experience. Anyone else with the same concerns or advice. Do I need to leave Princess and upgrade to get my former Princess experience?
     
  10. Cruise cutie

    Cruise cutie Guest

    I have only been on Princess....6x in 11 years..I have noticed a few small changes, nothing to change my mind about sailing them; or perception of them as a quality cruise line...=shrug..I will NOT be on Carnival as they cannot possibly match my Princess Platinum perks..Good luck with your research...:)..Joanne
     
  11. asasj5

    asasj5 Guest

    I'm hearing some negative things about Carnival - can anyone be specific? I've only cruised on RCCL and am curious about the other lines. Trying to decide who to book with for November. If Carnival is so bad why do so many people cruise with them? Carnival also owns HAL if that means anything.

    Susan
     
  12. DJA

    DJA Guest

    It's not bad, it's just different. ...and some people don't like the differences. Originally, Carnival's passengers were young and wild -- drank a lot, partied a lot, and stayed up all night. Everybody agreed that was the case, and Carnival promoted it. As the years wore on, and the competition heated up, Carnival went to great lengths to re-shape their image and deliver a different message -- that they were more than just a wild party cruise line. The problem is, that they haven't yet completely shaken they're old image (and they may not want to) so they are still the leader in "young and wild" among the mass-market cruise lines.

    I've sailed Carnival a few times, and personally, I don't like it because I prefer a much less lively environment -- however, I highly recommend them to a lot of people that ask my opinion, because Carnival does a great job.

    Carnival is also one of the best, if not the best, values for the money. A technique that they have been using for years is to have one less port stop than similar cruises on other lines. This keeps the people on the ship an extra day spending money in the bars, casino, etc., which allows them to lower the fares. It's great for people on a budget because it allows them to get the full cruise experience, and if they can't afford to spend a lot of extra cash on-board, they don't have to.

    For young people who are first-time cruisers, I almost always suggest a standard 7-day Caribbean itinerary on Carnival. That way, they will get a pretty balanced cruise experience with few surprises, so they can decide objectively whether or not they like cruising. Princess is often tagged as being too "sleepy" for young, first-time cruisers, and they may get turned off cruising for good as a result of it.

    As for the acquisition of Princess by Carnival -- I've been sailing Princess for about 20 years, and although there have been all kinds of gradual changes over the years, I've seen none that I could directly relate to Carnival's influence. They are mostly bottom-line oriented changes that all businesses are going through. Keep in mind that all the cruise lines are held by a financial entity called Carnival Corp., not by Carnival Cruise Lines, so they each have to perform on their own -- which means that Princess is accountable only to Carnival Corp. and its shareholders, not to Carnival Cruise Lines. Princess is actually incented to outperform Carnival Cruise Lines by any means it sees fit, not to be governed by them. Unfortunately for us passengers, sometimes that means cutting costs -- but these days, that would be occurring no matter who owned them. Carnival Corp.'s muscle also helps Princess with a lot of the big things they couldn't do on their own, like getting ships built exactly when they need them. I was definitely not looking forward to the acquisition when I first heard of it, but it seems to have had no negative effects. ...and possibly some positive ones.
     
  13. ron123

    ron123 Guest

    DJA
    Thanks, that was very good information. A lot of people including myself always want to blame the lowesr common denomenator--- which seems to be Carnival-- and which is not true!! I don't believe Carnival is as competitive here on the West Coast out of La or San Diego. I price shopped them several times and found in every case weekend are more $$ than Royal and 7 day Mexi Cruises are more $$ than Princess or Royal. They do however offer an 8 day which is a better value.
    I believe more and more after 5 cruises that 1) YOUR MILAGE MAY VARY and 2) DESTINATION, LENGTH OF CRUISE and TIME OF YEAR are ALL FACTORS in HOW LIVELY a SHIP IS !!
    A one week cruise does not make or break and entire criuse lines reputation!
    Ron
     
  14. Nanni-B.

    Nanni-B. Guest

    Paid the same for a balocny Cat 8A on Carnival as a RCCL Grandeur of the Seas Balocny cabin, close dimensions with Carnival being a dash larger, both sailing out of New Orleans. Carnival is not always the best budget cruise these days.
     
  15. ljeanbrown

    ljeanbrown Guest

    If you are really a party type I would go with Carnival or RCI , Princess would be our choice, but it is not a party type ship. I am just going by what you are looking for and I really think Princess would be too laid back for what you say you like to do. JMHO :wave
     
  16. loopy

    loopy Guest

    Hi Riana,

    I am also in Dallas. Hubby and I did our first cruise this past December on The Conquest out of New Orleans. We loved it. We arrived in NOLA a day early and got the cruise special at the Hilton. The Conquest is a beautiful ship and has great ports to visit. I also liked rolling down the Mississippi.

    We had a balcony on the Conquest as well as my sister and her husband. My mom and step dad had a suite. The rooms are roomy from what I hear compared to other ships.

    We were docked next to the Princess in Cozumel as well and hubby noticed some things on the Princess that he wants to look into. Which is why I am surfing this board. We meet with our travel agent on Saturday to look at some different cruise lines.

    One thing he noticed is that the balconies are tiered on the Princess meaning that when you look up it seems that you see the sky instead of another floor of a balcony. The colors in the rooms seem a little more soothing. The orange/salmon decor in our Carnival room was kind of sickening..but liveable.

    We aren't big party people but do like to have fun. Hubby plays in rock bands and has long hair so I am hoping the Princess is not too stuffy for us. Since we went in December there were not too many kids on Carnival. Since we don't have any we don't really like being around them too much.

    Of course, we haven't priced the Princess and it might be out of league. I want a nice ship but we still spent quite of bit of money once we were on the ship. Sneaking some vodka on the ship will be on the top of my list for the next cruise. So I don't want to go crazy on the cruise cost so I can spend the money in the ports and do some cool excursions.

    Have fun!
     
  17. mikesteg

    mikesteg Guest

    The balconies on GP vary: some are fully covered, some are uncovered and some are partial. The partial ones I've seen are actually double sized: 1/2 covered and 1/2 uncovered. There are some experts around here who can tell you which are on which decks.

    GP was pretty dead last December (first week of December). However, we had a big enough group that had met on cruise critic that it was still a week long party. Other than Skywalkers (dance club) though, the ship was dead by 10:30. We're on again 12/3/2005, and we can at least guarantee that somebody will be in Skywalkers past 11pm. ;)

    I've never been on Conquest, but the decor on GP was a bit classier than on Elation (which itself is supposed to be the more understated ship in it's class, but not the same class as Conquest). I would bet GP is a bit nicer that Conquest, though that is mostly a matter of taste. My pictures are here (http://community.webshots.com/user/mikesteg) though not too many interior shots. Lots of others on webshots though.

    Price wise, I think you'll find them very much in line (GP and Conquest). Elation is cheaper for insides, but if you go for a balcony again GP should be cheaper since she has so many more than Elation.

    GP has booze by room service but not in a liquor shop, and it's a very limited selection. It is a bit more economical since there is no fee to take the booze back to your cabin, but still about double street price. You can also "send a gift" to yourself to be in the cabin, from the Princess website.
     
  18. DJA

    DJA Guest

    On the Grand Princess, the fully covered balconies are on Aloha and Baja. The double-sized, half-covered, half-open ones are on Caribe. The fully exposed ones are the mini-suites on Dolphin. There are also a few oddball configurations fore and aft.
     
  19. Nanni-B.

    Nanni-B. Guest

    Have been on the Conquest and the Grand Princess now. We had a BA balcony on the the Carib deck of the Grand Princess. Half covered, half open. These balcony cabins are outstanding. My mother in law and I would spend hours on the balcony, me in the sun and her in the shade sipping wine :) On the flip side, the cabins were small! We were cramming 4 in this quad cabin, and even pushed our beds together and we were constantly stepping over the bed and ducking under the bunks......but it was worth it!

    We found the decor on the Conquest colorful but not overdone. Grand definately has a more toned down sophisticated appearance. Little things like cushions on the deck chairs caught my attention. Movies Under The Stars was a big favorite with our family. I had no idea I would enjoy these so much!
     
  20. Lady Jag

    Lady Jag Guest

    We've done 3 Princess cruises and 3 Carnival cruises so far and they are like apples and oranges, IMO.

    For your age and interests, I'd recommend Carnival. Once you've tried them, go on to others to see where you fit in the best. :)
     

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