I loved the Royal Princess. It's not that the service on the Grand Princess was bad, but the Royal had just that little bit extra personal touch because there were less people at a time for the crew to deal with. But I didn't find much difference between the Celebrity cruise and Princess cruises.
I agree with those who have said that choice of cruise line is a very personal thing. As I have indicated earlier, I have only cruised Princess so cannot compare to other cruise lines. I have to say however that notwithstanding some minor complaints about food, slow use of tenders etc, I have never regretted cruising with Princess. The people I have met on Princess have always been very special and that is very important to my wife and I. Nice people cruise on Princess.
Nice people sail on other cruise lines also. I have sailed on Celebrity four times. One of my best wait staff teams was on the Celebrity's Zenith. You know they are outstanding when years after a cruise you still remember their names. It's hard for people to switch if they sail on the same line over and over. They tend to become bias to one brand. But you won't know until you try. No cruise line is perfect. You could have 50 people walk off a ship and get 50 different views. Everything is relative to what you experience on any given sailing.
I agree with Fanatic. By no means did I intend to suggest that people who do not sail on Princess are not nice people. I apologize to anyone who may have interpreted my comments in that fashion.
My only point, poorly made, was that on each and every one of our Princess cruises, we met beautiful people, mostly at the dinner table, whose company we thoroughly enjoyed throughout the cruise. This applies as well to the many people we met at breakfast in the dinning room, where you are often seated with total strangers to share the morning vitals.
Lastly to any of my fellow blackjack players, who may be on-line, you were all great fun as well.
A cruise is what you make of it, but the people you meet are a great part of this experience.
In my experience Princess, although they provide a great experience on the ships has some policies in need of change. If you book and a rate drop occurs after the penalty period begins you're out of luck in getting the fare lowered. All new promotions after penalty have a disclaimer on the new lower rates "*For new Bookings Only". Sometimes that's a minor thing, sometimes it can mean those who book last minute may save $100's. Celebrity, although they waon't always lower rates in penalty they are always willing to work with clients to accommodate them. They often refund the difference. When they do not they offer onboard credits, upgrades and other compensation for those that booked early and got stung by a last minute price plummet.
Also I have found that since Carnival took over Princess (Nothing against Carnival, they also have some real benefits like incredible value) Princess has been moving more toward the value market rather than providing, as they have in the past, among the best of food and service in the industry. They still do a very good job but they're not the Princess of old. If you ever have to deal with them off the ship for an issue look out. They handle things on the ship much better than their Corporate Offices handle clients.
Being in the industry, those of us who have to deal with them on issues daily would rather have a root canal.
Welcome to cruise-chat. We always appreciate knowledgeable people joining us, and reading through your posts I see you have much to offer our membership.
Although Carnival has repeatedly said otherwise, it has become apparent to many of us that their corporate culture has wound it's way into the lines Carnival has acquired. I like Carnival cruises a lot, but I also want a different experience if I happen to choose Princess. I fear the lines are being blurred in many areas, if not diminished.
And not to be ignored is the fact that Celebrity is no longer the truly upscale line we all fondly recall from the Chandris days. Royal Caribbean has had a visible impact here, just as Carnival has impacted it's numerous brands.
I can't believe it was over a year ago when I requested your input. We took our Caribbean Cruise with NCL out of New York and it was unpleasant until they threw the families of unrully children off the ship in San Juan. The Captain did everything he could to control the pack of about 5 to 7 uncontrollable boys but when they caused a group organizer (250+ mosttly seniors) to break her arm, he had enough.
Anyway, thanks to your comments, we booked Celebrity for our cruise to Hubbard Glacier, with four additional days in Vancouver. I can't believe the hotel rates in Vancouver but we want to be in the center of things so I guess it's to be expected. Any suggestions?
Of all the lines I have sailed, (which does not include Princess), Celebrity is our favorite. But we are determined to take a Princess cruise in the next couple of years because of the support of friends here for Princess.
My perception is that Celebrity costs a little more than the same itineraries with other lines which makes sense with the facts stated by Cruise Fanatic above, as they are a premium line.
Between the two, I hardly think you can go wrong what ever you choose.
Once I got to the third page after reading my own post in April, I see that I have posted similar to my earlier post. Funny thing about old posts when someone makes a new entry.
Thank you for your input. We live in South Jersey, 20 minutes from the Philly Cruise pier but the ships only go to Bermuda. We cruise NCL from NYC by driving to our daughter's home in North Jersey and taking a cab to the pier. After our last experience out of NYC I doubt if we'll be returnng.
You really have to fly to reach a port from Bloomington, don't you? My DH has a niece living a few miles from the cruise pier in Ft. Lauderdale. We could park our car in her garage and and get a free shuttle to and from ship. I have a cousin in Tampa, not too far from their Cruise Pier. Both are only a two day drive from NJ and would include a few day visit before and after a cruise.