I need help !!!! Here's the deal... I have only been on Royal Caribbean ships and I am planning a family vacation with members of my family only being on Princess. Both familys have kids - ages 5 - 13. What are the pros and cons to each ship? (and neither of us want to try the other one) We need to come to a decision soon (going to the Caribbean) 2009
Thanks for help!
You didn't specify which ships. Generally, Princess and RCI have more similarities than differences. But with kids I give the nod to RCI over Princess. Go on the Freedom or Liberty Of The Seas and the Princess people will be blown away with the variety of things to do. The kids will love it too.
Since neither wants to try something different, you have to determine what each wants. Princess does not have the florider, ice skating, rock climbing wall or the promenade parade. Princess does have a children's program, pool, and video arcade. There are more on board activities on RCI (depending on the ship) than on Princess for children. RCI caters more to a "traditional family" atmosphere. Princess tends to be more affordable. I personally think the food is better on Princess, my opinion only. I think you need to write down the pros and cons, then the itinerary, then the total cost. Either choice you can't go wrong, you'll be on a cruise!
I don't know if it matters to you, but Princess uses fresh water in all it's pools. That is only true for the Freedom class with RCI.
Also, don't forget that on the Freedom class you have the H2O Zone which keeps the younger kids out of the main pools (and thus more peaceful). You also have the Solarium pool which is adult-only (well, I think 16 is the cutoff). And don't forget Johnny Rockets.
It has been a few years since I last cruised with Princess, so I don't feel qualified to comment on their food anymore. I do recall it being quite good though, as was the Princess kid's program. RCI devotes a lot of space to the Adventure Ocean program and it is excellent in my opinion.
Penny makes a good suggestion about making a list of things and laying it out on paper. One side is going to have to relent and go with the other side's cruise line! Thankfully, there is no loser here as both Princess and RCI are great. This is a win-win scenario.
I can relate to your situation, my last cruise was with family. Parents wanted Princess, sis wanted Celebrity and I wanted RCCL. In the end, we went with Adventure of the Seas because of the itinerary that everyone liked best as it had at least one port no one had been to. No children were involved in this one. Next time I'm definately going Princess when we go. It wasn't much fun to be at the dinner table and hear how Princess had better table decorations in one ear and how Celebrity had better service in the other. Then when someones favorite desert wasn't on the menu I'd hear, "Oh well, since you don't have the ________ I like so well, I guess I'll just have the ________". If they go with whichever choice you prefer, be prepared for the comments on how your choice is certainly not as good as theirs would have been. Then at the end they'll tell you what a wonderful time they had. I know full well on their flight home the conversation was something like "Next time lets just tell him we want Princess/Celebrity/Cunard, or whoever the rest of your family is familliar with and loves and nothing else."
When I do the Princess next time, I'm going to say something at the dinner table like "Let's go hit the Promenade after dinner, oh wait, I forgot, they don;t have one".
Next night, "Who wants to volunteer to stand in line for the ice show tickets? Oops, sorry, forgot they don't have that wonderful ice show on here".
I'll probably lighten up by night three and let 'em off the hook. I know they mean no harm but it's uncomfortable when you hear the criticisms on what is supposed to be about sharing a wonderful vacation and each others company. On second thought, I think I'll just brag on what a great decision it was to choose Princess and how glad I am they recommended it. Think everyone will have a much better time that way.