Princess vs. Oceania help please
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I've never seen anything in advance that indicates ship board activities ahead of time for sea days. There generally are lectures available, and lots of us love to hang out in the library ... or poolside. (I'm in the library group myself.)
You will find activities depending on your interests!
We have cruised Princess several times, and are really interested in trying Oceania. I have a few questions, what are the extra expenses on Oceania? I know there is a charge for auto tips, what about charges for specialty restaurants, and bar charges? Does anyone have a ships paper showing what the ship board activities are for a day at sea? ThanksHere's a website with cruise ship daily bulletins from an Oceania cruise last May: http://www.1mpages.com/CruiseDailyBulletins.html
We have cruised Princess several times, and are really interested in trying Oceania. I have a few questions, what are the extra expenses on Oceania? I know there is a charge for auto tips, what about charges for specialty restaurants, and bar charges? Does anyone have a ships paper showing what the ship board activities are for a day at sea? ThanksI cannot think of any other charges other than alcohol + the 18% tip & any purchases made in the gift shops, internet, spa treatments or shore excursions.
After April sodas & bottled water are included.
Coffee, milkshakes, ice cream, lemonade, cappuccino, espresso all included unlike Princess.
Do not expect glitzy shows ..very low key entertainment on O
Alexandr Pushkin, Carnival-Holiday, HAL-(old)Westerdam- Eurodam (2), Royal Epirotiki-Olympic, Orient lines-Marco Polo, NCL-Dream, Princess - Dawn Princess, ACCL-Grande Caribe, St Lawrence Cruise Lines-Canadian Empress, Scenic Tours -Scenic Sapphire, Oceania-Insignia (3), Regatta(6) Marina(2) Riviera (1) AQSC-American Queen
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We just got back from the Caribbean on Regatta. At sea day activities, and to a lesser extent every day activities, included Team Trivia, golf putting, ping pong & shuffleboard competitons, wine, art, martini talks, political talks by a guest speaker, bingo, exercise demonstrations, and a few free internet or photo downloading lessons. I'm looking at one at sea program and that day there was coffee chat & napkin folding (smile!), golf putting comp, bridge lesson, Pre Columbian cultures lecture, spa lecture, ping pong, bridge lesson, cooking demo, Spanish lesson, shuffleboard comp, duplicate bridge play, backgamon, martini tasting ($10 charge),Team Trivia and a guest lecturer talking about "U.S and Cuba - Will We Ever Be Friends?" Oh, then after dinner, Brain Teasers and Single Malt Tasting (extra charge for that last one).
I didn't do too many activities, but my husband did - there was plenty to keep you entertained in you wanted that, especially if you're more social than I am. I tended to jump camp in the internet room, where I used their Photoshop to look at and improve the pictures I took. (That was free - although they do offer inexpensive classes if you know nothing about Photoshop.)
We use the itinerary as the primary criteria when choosing a cruise. We just completed a Singapore to Sydney on Nautica and a RT from Sydney to New Caledonia/Vanuatu on the Sun Princess. We have cruised on Oceania 4 times and are platinum on Princess. The differences between these two lines have never been more striking than this time. Part of it could be due to the fact that it was B2B – thus the contrast was much sharper. Also, this is a larger Princess ship and as it is school holiday time Down Under, it was full of kids of all ages. Finally, the passenger demographics were very different.
However, there really is no comparison between these two cruise lines beyond the fact that they are both ships, they can take you to some ports and feed you. The similarities stop there. It was very hard to “endure” the Princess cruise after being so spoiled on Oceania by everything and everyone. I also think that Oceania keeps getting better and better and Princess is suffering from the “Carnival” effect over these past few years (JMO). The words “You get what you pay for” never rang more true.
In the past we were happy cruising on almost any cruise line or ship for the right destinations. We are now re-evaluating this attitude and will be more reluctant to sail Princess (especially on larger ships).
Finally, I think it boils down to what your preferences are. If it is a unique itinerary, I would still take the Princess (especially on the R ship), as it is usually a good value; for the same itinerary I would not.
You have to decide what is more important to you – saving money or the overall cruising experience. Each one would be a valid choice.
I think that Princess offers a wonderful value and we have cruised on that line a number of times... good food, great "shows", and very nice ships...my DH loves the "production" shows and entertainment!" I started cuising with Princess back in The Love Boat Days...and they have led the fleet of cruise ships in many ways!!
O...well ...a different "fruit"...much smaller (unless you do the Princess old R ships which we have done and loved it) ...much more intimate because of that...unusual ports (based on your sailing) ...food and service more "elegant" ...passengers... a little more "well traveled"... And..compared to Princess...more $$$ per cruise. But we have picked O for the next 2 T/A's because of the ports and "the new ship, Marina"!
We do both and love both...because they are different and that's what "makes the world go round"....we pick the line based on 1) where we are want to go 2) how we want to get there and 3) how much we want to pay for it!! In Alaska...we picked Princess because of their land based operations..which were awesome!! For China ...because they do the T/P, we are sailing from Alaska to Beijing in September '10!
I think you will love whatever you choose because you are sailing!! Good luck with your decisions.... LuAnn
We like Princess' very wide range of itineraries, although we are not particularly fond of their megaships. As long as they are panamax or smaller, they are fine.
One downside (for us) on Oceania is the large number of very port intensive itineraries, which we find tiring. We prefer voyages with many sea days.
Pick and choose, do your homework, and you should be fine.
We have cruised Princess several times, and are really interested in trying Oceania. I have a few questions, what are the extra expenses on Oceania? I know there is a charge for auto tips, what about charges for specialty restaurants, and bar charges? Does anyone have a ships paper showing what the ship board activities are for a day at sea? ThanksWe have only been on three cruises. The first a one-week cruise on the Pacific Princess to Alaska in 1994 (I think). The second, two weeks on the Oceania Insignia in the Baltic in 2006. And the third, one week on Regents Mariner back to Alaska. The second and third cruises were with the same two friends. All four of us (I, my husband and our friends) agree that Oceania was nicer even than Regent except for the size of the standard veranda staterooms. The food was much better and, hands down, the service was better. The four of us have booked the Jacques Pepin cruise in August of this year and can't wait to get back on the Insignia.
The really nice thing about the Regent cruise was that everything was included. Tips, wine, bar drinks, excursions and just about anything else you could want was included in your fare -- that is, except the spa, which was expensive and the casino (which can be expensive too).
Even with all that, we all like Oceania better. The library is a wonderful spot with a very good selection. We spent a fair amount of time there. The ship's decor is lovely and elegant (we thought much nicer than Mariner). The service couldn't have been better. We had a Penthouse Suite and thought the butler would be really unnecessary. Wrong! He was terrific and we are now spoiled.
The bill we got at the end of the cruise was not jaw-dropping but, if you have cocktails and wine with dinner, you can run up some expense. We did opt for paying the tips up front and, at the end of the trip, did tip our butler and a couple of other staff additionally because of their special attentiveness. But that was our choice and not necessary.
All four of us would not and have not hesitated to highly recommend Oceania to other friends and family. We can't wait for August!
You will also enjoy Princess more if you have not yet sailed with Oceania.
Any good repeaters club is set up to keep drawing you back into "their" product, and Carnival has done wonderful things with the Captains Circle and the Mariners Club, on HAL. There is real value there, make no mistake, especially when you hit platinum levels.
Perfectly pleasant can be very enjoyable, particularly if it is also affordable, but if you are in search of the extraordinary, go with Oceania.