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Monica887

New to Princess...what's it known for?

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I usually sail NCL, but have also been on RCCL and Carnival. I'm considering a summer Mediterranean cruise on Princess with an 8 and 5 year old. I'm not familiar with Princess, and wondering what it's known for, what the vibe is etc. Thanks!

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My guess would be "Classic Cruising".

The decor is mainly gold (brass) and wood textures. Classical music is prevalent (with a good mix of other genres throughout the ship). The shows are more modern sets and music, but are well arranged. The cabins tend to be a bit smaller, but still well appointed with a walk-in closet.

The vibe is relatively laid-back and relaxing, although there is still a night life (they don't roll up the deck at 9:00).

I have seen kids on the cruises, but they are not as prevalent as on Carnival. They do have Kids' clubs, but I am not sure of how others rate them.

Overall, it is a very well-behaved cruise (both kids and adults), and the service is excellent.

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to me it appears that Princess is known for a great variety of itineraries.  They have always been big in Alaska and now Princess appears to be making mark down under.

 

Otherwise I would say Princess is along the lines of Holland America and Celebrity for overall food and entertainment.

 

I have only been on the Caribbean Princess and I liked the back of ship with the bar and lookout area up high.  I know they are getting rid of that area on new ships.

I also think Princess has removed a lot of deck space in favor of rooms up the side and up the back etc etc.

 

But again, I do see Princess with some creative itineraries and quite a few longer cruises over 14 days.  I think this is to get the retired clientele and less kids. In that way they are like HAL.

 

One thing, Princess is VERY NICE about making changes.  They also have very polite agents on the phone.

 

I am booked on the Sky Princess for July of 2020 from Copenhagen, because it includes going to Oslo when so many ships by pass on the way to Russia.

 

toodles

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Summer and other school holidays have a lot more kids on board than other times.  Summer in the Med will definitely have lots of kids.   You can call Princess and ask the numbers of kids in the various age groups once you decide on which trip - they used to tell us the numbers.  

 

The kids clubs are described on the Princess website.  They recently themed them alongside Discovery   https://www.princess.com/ships-and-experience/onboard-experience/kids-and-teens/.   My kids enjoyed the kids club activities.  

 

One thing to be careful of with Med cruises is the amount of travel time for the shore excursions - many cities are a long drive from the port, with early start and late returns.   Browse the shore excursion descriptions for more info.   

 

 

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When our children were young lines like Carnival,  RCI and Norwegian are great because your kids have lots to keep them happy and occupied.  Our twins sons are out of college now and Princess is geared more towards adults that don't want hairy chest contests at the pool.  It's a bit more refined however over the years have cut nice things we loved.  Our first cruise our waiter in the dining room treated our sons like kings.....all of us really.  The butter was carved in flower shapes in a bowl at the table not just foil wrapped cubes.  Those things are sadly gone with the "midnight buffet" but we still enjoy Princess.

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I actually don't think Princess knows.......

 

They are known for having a TV show based on them in the 70's and 80's.

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We cruise all the major lines but like Princess the best:

Less kids

Less crowds

Great service

Great food

Best pizza at sea

Originator of Movies Under the Stars

Love aft pools

 

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4 hours ago, Qcruise said:

 Our first cruise our waiter in the dining room treated our sons like kings.....all of us really.  The butter was carved in flower shapes in a bowl at the table not just foil wrapped cubes.  Those things are sadly gone with the "midnight buffet" but we still enjoy Princess.

Some waiters are more effusive than others but many of them really respond to kids since they miss their own - even if you aren't sitting at their table.  We cruised with our 3 1/2 year old granddaughter last summer and I think that by the end of the week every single waiter in the MDR had stopped to at least say hello.  I've never seen the butter in foil wrapped cubes in the main dining rooms and we were on the our most recent Princess cruise last month.  We don't eat in the buffet so I can't comment on if the butter is packaged there.

 

OP - given that summer is school holidays there should be plenty of kids on board. 

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4 hours ago, Qcruise said:

The butter was carved in flower shapes in a bowl at the table not just foil wrapped cubes.  

They come that way in a bag. It is a butter blend. It has been that way for a very long time on Princess.

Edited by Coral

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Princess: The cruise line of old people, but not nearly as old as the people on Holland America. 😀

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6 hours ago, Monica887 said:

I usually sail NCL, but have also been on RCCL and Carnival. I'm considering a summer Mediterranean cruise on Princess with an 8 and 5 year old. I'm not familiar with Princess, and wondering what it's known for, what the vibe is etc. Thanks!

With no intention to be a negative nelly, an 8 and a 5 year old in the Mediterranean summer heat... hmmm could not necessarily be a great idea. Just sayin. 

 

Glenn

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I've been on quite a few cruises and just got off my first Princess cruise a few weeks ago.  The kids club is OK.  I have two boys, a 10 year old and a 12 year old.  The younger one loved kids club because he could play minecraft and mario kart.  My 12 year old thought it was boring and only went a couple of times on our 15 day cruise.  The dining room food was by far the best I've had on a cruise ship.  The buffet, the burger stand, and the pizza were no better than other lines.  The most glaring thing to me was that the passengers were much older than I am used to.  We like it enough to book two more cruises with Princess.

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Just now, neverbeenhere said:

Princess: The cruise line of old people, but not nearly as old as the people on Holland America. 😀

That used to be true a few years ago but Princess is now in the lead by a nose. 

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18 hours ago, atobols said:

I've been on quite a few cruises and just got off my first Princess cruise a few weeks ago.  The kids club is OK.  I have two boys, a 10 year old and a 12 year old.  The younger one loved kids club because he could play minecraft and mario kart.  My 12 year old thought it was boring and only went a couple of times on our 15 day cruise.  The dining room food was by far the best I've had on a cruise ship.  The buffet, the burger stand, and the pizza were no better than other lines.  The most glaring thing to me was that the passengers were much older than I am used to.  We like it enough to book two more cruises with Princess.

Did they have any discovery activities in the kids clubs? 

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I've cruised RCCL, Princess, and Celebrity.  RCCL is more about the amusement activities on the ship with the climbing walls, ice rinks, and more on the newer ships.  There are always tons of kids and the kids' and teen's clubs have plenty to do.

Princess has better itineraries, especially for longer cruises.  RCCL is more about 7 day cruises and they only have a few itineraries, especially in the Caribbean.  The Princess ships don't have quite the amusement activities, but they still have a lot to do.  We like the live music and piano bars on Princess.  The food between the two is pretty similar.  We cruised on the Caribbean Princess and really enjoyed the Skywalkers Club at night, as well as the piano bar.  Princess and RCCL shows are of similar quality.  We did notice that on Princess if you don't get to the show 20 minutes early, you can't get a seat.  I don't remember that on RCCL.

We cruised on Celebrity for the first time last summer.  Many people had told us that it's a bit of a step up from RCCL and Princess for quality, etc.  We didn't see it.  In fact, we were a bit bored on the Celebrity ship.  Granted, it was an older ship, but there definitely wasn't as much to do as on RCCL or Princess.  We couldn't find much to do in the evenings at all.  Our teens were also bored because there wasn't as much to do on the Celebrity ships.  Otherwise, food and such was similar to the others.  The shows on Celebrity were definitely a step down from the others.  Most of time the theater was half empty.

Service was similar with all three.

We haven't cruised NCCL or Carnival, so I can't comment on those.

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On 1/30/2019 at 4:14 PM, Coral said:

I actually don't think Princess knows.......

 

They are known for having a TV show based on them in the 70's and 80's.

 

LOL.....OMG.....so true and I would say it is still stuck in the 50's, 60's and 70's.....we love Princess but it is definitely not for the hip, slick and cool crowd IMHO.....many of their ships are very beige and boring in many ways compared to other cruise lines....we love the itineraries and OBC's where we think they excel and which mainly keeps us coming back for morel!!!

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Known for beautiful atriums known as the Piazza

Edited by Georgie562

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I actually prefer "beige and boring" Princess decor to garish Carnival. To each its own :)

My Ds (9) is elite on Princess (no benefits, but listed as such) and quite loves it. While he wishes that Princess would have a water slide (please dont!), there are enough other things on every cruise to make him happy, occupied and not wanting to leave the ship at the end. On our last (14day B2B) he went to kids club a lot during the first week and only twice during second week because he found friends to hang out at the pool and sports deck with.

Please be mindful that your kids will be in separate groups in kids club with younger one in 3-7 group and older in 8-12. There are a good amount of "discovery at sea" activities and even guest lecturers (more of an adult orientation though).

Service is outstanding throughout the ship, in recent year Princess really upgraded their shore excursion program to the point that I now rarely buy independent tours. And what I personally like the best is no "hard sells" and "nickel and diming" - you want to go to bingo, sure but we are not yelling about it every opportunity; you want a massage - I'll tell you products that might be good, but one "no thank you" is enough, etc. Plus, no "activity" announcements in your room, ie constant invites to go to art auctions, sales, etc.

What is funny is how many "little things" that I have always loved about Princess are now being parroted by other lines: cold cloths and water stations on the way back from hot Caribbean islands, every ship worth their salt now has a version of MUTS, "partnerships" with chefs/networks, etc.

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1 hour ago, mosenga said:


We cruised on Celebrity for the first time last summer.  Many people had told us that it's a bit of a step up from RCCL and Princess for quality, etc.  We didn't see it.  In fact, we were a bit bored on the Celebrity ship.  Granted, it was an older ship, but there definitely wasn't as much to do as on RCCL or Princess.  We couldn't find much to do in the evenings at all.  Our teens were also bored because there wasn't as much to do on the Celebrity ships.  Otherwise, food and such was similar to the others.  The shows on Celebrity were definitely a step down from the others.  Most of time the theater was half empty.
 

I have only cruised on Celebrity once and it was a brand new ship at the time (Millennium 2001). I was bored to death. Oddly - I am not one who needs a "ship to entertain me" but I was still bored. I am still amazed they have a staircase as their atrium. I do have to say the dining room was stunning! Back then, they had huge azipod issues and the aft just vibrated like hell and you had to hold your drink in the dining room when it was rough. I haven't been anxious to return. The food was actually mediocre back then - they had the Celebrity chef Michel Roux working with their chefs.

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I think Princess is also known for the Champagne waterfall with the captain during the first sea day as well.  We thought that was fun and unique.

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1 hour ago, PrincessLuver said:

 

LOL.....OMG.....so true and I would say it is still stuck in the 50's, 60's and 70's.....we love Princess but it is definitely not for the hip, slick and cool crowd IMHO.....many of their ships are very beige and boring in many ways compared to other cruise lines....we love the itineraries and OBC's where we think they excel and which mainly keeps us coming back for morel!!!

I have often tried to figure out who Princess is marketing to and who their demographic is and I can't figure it out. I agree - I don't want roller coasters and slides on my ships. I am more into classy than loud. I could careless about "modern" such as "Medallion". I want good service, food and ports.

 

I stuck with Princess because I had a parent who was disabled. We tried Carnival, RCCL, Celebrity and Princess and Princess stood high above when it came to working with people with disabilities. I am talking about organization at home office and attitude on ship. I am not talking about "physically helping" - since we had a Seeing Eye dog - I had to communicate frequently with Corporate for paperwork, etc... Other lines never told their ship we were coming and violated many laws. I am sure they have brushed up quite a bit on their processes now.

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They have Voice of the Ocean. Very nicely done. Some pax can really sing!  And I love their game shows.......

I think their production shows are excellent as well. And there almost always is a great comedian.

 

 If you’re lucky there will be some great ballroom dancers sailing as they are just so fun to watch. 

 

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2 hours ago, Cafedumonde said:

Did they have any discovery activities in the kids clubs? 

 

No, and that was why my older son didn't like kids club.  He loves science and nature so that was one of the things he was most looking forward to.  It was all crafts and games in the kids club.  We did have almost 450 kids on our ship though, so the kids club people may have been overwhelmed.  We did have an amazing naturalist on board and she did a daily talk.  We went to all of them and our 12 year old thought those were great.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, atobols said:

 

No, and that was why my older son didn't like kids club.  He loves science and nature so that was one of the things he was most looking forward to.  It was all crafts and games in the kids club.  We did have almost 450 kids on our ship though, so the kids club people may have been overwhelmed.  We did have an amazing naturalist on board and she did a daily talk.  We went to all of them and our 12 year old thought those were great.  

 

 

That is disappointing.   We are trying Princess for the first time next fall and have an 11 year old that sounds like your 12 year old.  He is interested in the discovery at sea program but is not a fan of video games.  He also has a younger brother into minecraft.  I hope they have the lectures on our cruise because he would love that.

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