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Old 03-05-2013, 02:44 PM   #16
scrapbookmomma74
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Four years ago, I did a Princess cruise with my mom, it was her life long dream to go on a cruise, so I treated her.

Let's just say, it was me and all the senior citizens.

I was bored out of my mind, I don't gamble, and finding a chair near the pool was impossible. There were tons of books sunning themselves in otherwise empty chairs, but if you tried to move one, the old lady who belonged to it would come running over. Also, they allow smoking in the casino, and every time I had to go somewhere, it seemed I would have to walk through the icky smoky casino. Ugh...

The food was fine, but I don't like the "open" dining arrangement. I like to know who my servers are, and that I will see them again. I wound up spending a TON at the spa, and hanging out with the girls who worked in the spa once they were off for the evening.

I also remember only seeing a handful of kids on board. The Princess crew members were fine, no one really stood out.

IMHO, there is no way I would take my family on a Princess cruise. Actually, I'm not sure I'd take anyone on a Princess cruise...
I guess I'm high on the Disney Kool Aid now.
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrapbookmomma74 View Post
Four years ago, I did a Princess cruise with my mom, it was her life long dream to go on a cruise, so I treated her.

Let's just say, it was me and all the senior citizens.

I was bored out of my mind, I don't gamble, and finding a chair near the pool was impossible. There were tons of books sunning themselves in otherwise empty chairs, but if you tried to move one, the old lady who belonged to it would come running over. Also, they allow smoking in the casino, and every time I had to go somewhere, it seemed I would have to walk through the icky smoky casino. Ugh...

The food was fine, but I don't like the "open" dining arrangement. I like to know who my servers are, and that I will see them again. I wound up spending a TON at the spa, and hanging out with the girls who worked in the spa once they were off for the evening.

I also remember only seeing a handful of kids on board. The Princess crew members were fine, no one really stood out.

IMHO, there is no way I would take my family on a Princess cruise. Actually, I'm not sure I'd take anyone on a Princess cruise...
I guess I'm high on the Disney Kool Aid now.
Your Princess cruise with your mother sounds like my first cruise with my mother - except we were on Holland America!

Princess has both Anytime Dining and Traditional Dining. I enjoy Anytime because I like sitting with different people each night. However, on several recent cruises, we ended up with many of the same tablemates because we tended to eat at the same time each night.

I agree with you about smoky casinos, and that's one thing I appreciate about Celebrity: smoke-free casinos.
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:10 PM   #18
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You will always be disappointed after trying anything else after Disney!
FALSE!!!!!

"you" may be that way.

After my last DCL on the Dream I got off thinking "I paid twice as much for THAT" Kind of went the other way.

And even before that it was a toss up. But once Disney went to Mega Ship I can't figure out how they get the premium. Service went downhill, ship has no charm and NO I don't care if I never see Nassau again... Their trips are just "do the same thing over and over and over" YUCK!

I am doing DCL again... on the Magic. Don't know if I will ever bother with the Disney mega ships and the only reason I am doing the Magic is I could use my DVC points. If I had to pay cash there were better options for the Med
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:14 PM   #19
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My impression of Princess was that it was just kind of "blah". It was aggressively okay. Nothing was bad, everything was serviceable, but it felt completely nondescript. There was no "hook" or anything to make it special.

So, with that being said, if you're mostly going for the itinerary and the price is right, go for it! If you're really into the Disney ships and DCL "experience" you might be underwhelmed.
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:23 PM   #20
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Our most recent cruises were the Disney Fantasy in Dec 2012 (7-nt Eastern Caribbean), and the Golden Princess in Feb 2013 (14-nt Hawaii).

While DCL had slightly better service, we were pleased with the service on Princess. The food on Princess was slightly better.

There were plenty of activities on both ships, and we were never bored on either one.

The total cruise fare for 7-nights on the Fantasy was $1,922 for two adults in an oceanview cabin. The 14-night cruise on Princess was $2,086 (2A in an OV). The prices were fairly close, yet the Princess cruise was twice as long.

We enjoyed both cruises, and would do either one again.

For us, the Princess cruise to Hawaii had the advantage of leaving from our home port of Los Angeles -- meaning we could simply drive 30 minutes to the port. When we cruise out of Port Canaveral, we have to add the costs for flights, rental car and hotel.

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Old 03-05-2013, 04:25 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by woody73
Our most recent cruises were the Disney Fantasy in Dec 2012 (7-nt Eastern Caribbean), and the Golden Princess in Feb 2013 (14-nt Hawaii).

While DCL had slightly better service, we were pleased with the service on Princess. The food on Princess was slightly better.

There were plenty of activities on both ships, and we were never bored on either one.

The total cruise fare for 7-nights on the Fantasy was $1,922 for two adults in an oceanview cabin. The 14-night cruise on Princess was $2,086 (2A in an OV). The prices were fairly close, yet the Princess cruise was twice as long.

We enjoyed both cruises, and would do either one again.

For us, the Princess cruise to Hawaii had the advantage of leaving from our home port of Los Angeles -- meaning we could simply drive 30 minutes to the port. When we cruise out of Port Canaveral, we have to add the costs for flights, rental car and hotel.

Woody
Ok the answer is likely no since you didn't mention any, but did you take kids on this trip? If you did, how was it for them? I live 55 miles from port. I really wanted to do this trip but was unsure how much fun my son would have and if her be bored.
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Old 03-05-2013, 04:31 PM   #22
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. . . did you take kids on this trip?
Just two adults.

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Old 03-05-2013, 08:35 PM   #23
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We have sailed both lines. We prefer DCL, but to each his own.

My DH and I sailed Princess for our 15th anniversary- no kids. We wanted to "try out" cruising and see if it would be a good vacation for our family. There was a Princess ship sailing about 2 hours away from us.

It was nice, but honestly we got bored. Most cruisers were much older than we were (late 30's at the time). We are friendly folks but didn't connect with any cruise staff, etc- didn't even know that we could until we cruised DCL! Our balcony room was SO small. The pull down bunks were over the queen bed! Good thing my kids were not with us. I could never sleep like that. The smaller cabin size was a huge turn off. Food was good, but we hated Anytime Dining. We had random table mates- some were neat to talk to and others ignored us. The best meal was when we got a table for 2! It wasn't always available. We MUCH prefer having the same servers each night. We felt like since there was an auto- tip and that server would not see you again, they had no incentive to give you great service. The best thing about Princess was Ultimate Balcony Dining. Basically it's a 5 course meal delivered one course at a time to you in your balcony. We had ours at sunset as we left port. Phenomenal.

We also found that there were not a lot of activities that interests us, and definitely none that would interest all of us as a family. We have since cruised DCL 6x with our kids and 3x without!
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:50 AM   #24
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oh, another thought for the OP. do a google search for recent "Princess Patter" docs. that's what they call the daily schedule on princess. that will give you a better idea of the typical activities offered. obviously with the itinerary/ship/CD there will be some changes but if you find a sampling it will give you a feel for what you'll find on the ships.

and i think around the holidays you'll probably get more kids on ship than normal sailings. both times we sailed princess were last week in march so within the spring break time frames. both times we saw a decent amount of kids of various ages. not like on a disney ship, obviously, but enough that your kids should find playmates.

hopefully this doesn't sound like i'm nudging to give princess a try, but just wanted to give some more thoughts on how you could decide if its worth a chance. we haven't sailed much, but did try 3 cruiselines within 1 year. when we compared them, none were totally like the other but we enjoyed each for their own reasons and would sail all three again. so its hard to say "if you love disney you'll like/hate princess". i don't think it would work that way. what some like about one line others hate, so it's very personal decision.
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:20 PM   #25
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I would do it in a heartbeat, just based on price and ports alone.

You won't have as many "sea days" on the Princess cruise, so you wouldn't have to worry about being "bored" during the day. Although I've found that all of the cruise lines have a lot of day time activities, beyond tossing the kids into the clubs. Shuffleboard, ping pong, mini golf, family trivia.....to name a few.

I'm a little different from a lot of cruisers.....to me, a cruise is a convenient way to see a lot of new and different places. If I never saw Nassau and Key West again, I'd be happy.
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:33 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2sleep View Post
Ok the answer is likely no since you didn't mention any, but did you take kids on this trip? If you did, how was it for them? I live 55 miles from port. I really wanted to do this trip but was unsure how much fun my son would have and if her be bored.
If you're thinking of the Golden Princess out of LA, look at their deck plans. They have a separate youth pool/splash zone...and a teen one, also.
Their "main" pool has a shallow area, if your son is still not ready for the deep water, too.

I'm sure they also have daily activities for kids and families. Except for the ships that are directed toward the older adult crowd, all the lines do now.
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Old 03-06-2013, 12:50 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justmestace

If you're thinking of the Golden Princess out of LA, look at their deck plans. They have a separate youth pool/splash zone...and a teen one, also.
Their "main" pool has a shallow area, if your son is still not ready for the deep water, too.

I'm sure they also have daily activities for kids and families. Except for the ships that are directed toward the older adult crowd, all the lines do now.
Thanks! I've tried so hard to figure out what's on those deck plans and pictures in terms of the pools, pool depth, and splash areas. I've been unsuccessful. The splash area looks tiny to non existent. The kid pool looks tiny. I could not find anything about any shallow area in the pools. Do you know which pool that is? He is 6. If he was a baby I guess what I saw would work. The Mickey pool splash and splash area are perfect. I was hoping to find something close even if it was much smaller or there was no slide.

Any good actual pictures of the kid water zones on this ship? Again, the deck plans haven't helped because I can't really see what's there.
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:02 PM   #28
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You can look at these. It's a "member" website, membership is free...but you can look at these w/o a membership, and hold your mouse over the pictures of a camera to see a slightly larger picture of the areas. If you really want to see the picture enlarged, then you need to register.

Everything looks tiny on the deckplans! But they're bigger than they look.


Sorry....that link wasn't the greatest....let me try again....on this one, over to the right, you'll have to choose Princess and then it'll open the box for each ship.

http://www.cruisedeckplans.com/DP/Main/index.php
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Old 03-06-2013, 01:33 PM   #29
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Wow, we've only taken adult children on Princess, and everyone has had a great time! The itineraries are wonderful. I love DCL too, but I have found extra special touches on Princess. For instance, in Europe, while the ship was in port, there have been local muscians on board. I've heard a Polish pianist have seen Irish dancers and others. On sea days, their Pub opens up to serve fish and chips for lunch and the meal is incredible! Their port discussions are excellent, and not limiting to paid excursions. Money, transportation, history are all mentioned.

We love to cruise, and have enjoyed 30 something cruises on many different lines. Except for when we take the DGC, we book itinerary over a particular line, price comes into play especially if we have others with us. Hence, we've taken and enjoyed Carnival as well!

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Old 03-06-2013, 01:53 PM   #30
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I have been on 4 Princess cruises (2 to Alaska and 2 in Europe), and would gladly sail with them again. I think Princess's ships are beautiful, and they have some wonderful itineraries. Their prices tend to be higher than Royal Caribbean and even Celebrity, but less than DCL.

Princess no longer allows smoking in cabins OR on balconies - something that DCL would be wise to prohibit.
I also liked Princess . Alaska (Glacier Bay) and Panama Canal thru the locks !

Disney is very good however there are other great ships!
IMO Celebrity is also very good!
I have to laugh when posters compare Carnival to DCL

MY SERVER ON PRINCESS CRUISE ALASKA ! LOL

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