Will I like Princess????



My husband and I have cruised 7 times on Royal Carribbean in the last three years, and are considering a cruise on the Tahitian Princess next August. It will be our 25th aniversary, and I want everything to be perfect. We love the itinerary. We have just cruised on the Empress of the seas twice, and my husband is leary of another "small" ship. Does the Tahitian have a small ship feel, or is she larger. She seems to be very classy. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks, Terri


In general, your overall experience on Princess will be fairly similar to RCI. However, if a small ship is going to be a problem for you, then you certainly need to steer clear of the Tahitian & Pacific Princess. These are VERY small ships. As far as tonnage, the Tahitian Princess is 35% smaller than the Empress of the Seas, and 100 feet shorter in length. It definitely has a small ship feel; in fact that's exactly how Princess markets it. These are former Renaissance ships, and they really haven't been changed very much for Princess. The Tahitian & Pacific take on most of the exotic itineraries, and the passengers who take those itineraries are typically looking for that small ship feel.

Your post wasn't specific regarding what aspects of a small ship you are concerned with. If it's overcrowding, then you will be fine because the most notable difference is in passenger capacity. The Tahitian Princess only takes 670 passengers, whereas the Empress is up around 2,000. So although the ship is 35% smaller, the passenger load is 65% less.

If on the other hand, you like to do a lot of exploring around the ship and have lots of things to do on board, you will be out of luck because you will run out of ship VERY quickly. Small pool area -- only one. Very small casino. Very small buffet. Small show lounge -- no elevated stage or fancy production shows. They've done a nice job of getting all the Princess features in there; Sabatini's, The Sterling Steakhouse, the spa, the gym, the internet center, the shops, the photo gallery, the salon -- all there, just on a much smaller scale.

We spent 28 days on the Pacific Princess, which is an identical twin to the Tahitian, and loved every minute of it -- including 17 sea days. Definitely a small ship feel, but we never once felt crowded anywhere on the ship. The Tahitian itineraries are much more port intensive, so you won't have a lot of sea days where you'll need to occupy your time on the ship.

To enjoy these ships, you really need to be someone who enjoys the cruise experience like it was 20-25 years ago -- sailing on something that actually resembles a ship as opposed to a floating theme park -- Relaxing, reading, and doing nothing, rather than feeling the need to occupy every minute with activities. If you go into it with that expectation, you'll have a great time because these are really beautiful ships.