That is a tough one--they are all great ships. As you probably know there are eight ships representing five different classes. I have been on at least one from each class except the Pacific Princess--I'm still waiting for someone to tell be the correct name for that class.
Each ship has good points and some not-so-good points; but without going into the pros and cons of each ship, and without considering the itinerary, since you asked specifically about favorite ship, I can tell you that if someone offered my a free trip tomorrow on any ship, I would select Sapphire Princess. My reason is I simply had the best cruise experience on Sapphire Princess of all the Princess ships currently sailing.
That dosen't mean I would advise you to avoid any of the other ships--quite the contrary--they are all wonderfully cared for and beautifully operated ships; but there can be only one "best", and for me, that would be Sapphire Princess. As good as the others were, Sapphire Princess stood out in the areas of quality, variety and presentation of food, especially in the Horizon Court buffet. It was also a notch above the others in the friendliness and efficency or the staff and crew. And finally, it is just a beautiful and logically laid out ship. I got chills just looking at her every time we returned from a shore excursion--she cuts a beautiful figure; very similar to some of the other ships, but slightly lower prifile and sleeker. We had just a perfect cruise, from embarkation right through and including debarkation.
So, that's one Princess veteran's opinion. I'm sure others will have different favorites depending on their individual cruise experiences. But I assure you which ever ship you cruise, you will have a terrific time.
Hi vacationbound, like f-mattox said, it's a toughie. So far the Sea Princess is my favorite, but that may change in November when we sail on the Emerald. The Sea just felt like home, both times. The food was amazing, the staff were excellent-all the bartenders remembered what we drank-the casino staff felt sorry for me and gave me a t-shirt and a bag. The ship was immaculate, the Movies Under the Stars was just beginning in the fleet and it was such a special treat. I loved the Rondezvous lounge before dinner. It was just a wonderful experience on board. We've enjoyed all of our Princess cruises, to me they're the best line so far. We've sailed on Costa, Carnival, HAL, RCI, NCL, and Princess. I'm so excited about the Emerald, she just started sailing this year. I'm looking at booking either the Royal or the Grand for next year. We've only sailed on the sun class ships, but have seen the Caribbean, Grand, and Crown in ports. They are all beautiful ships and are beautifully maintained. I think the Dawn is up in Alaska, we sailed on her and she came closer to the Sea than the Sun did. I'll let you know about the Emerald when we return. Best wishes!
I enjoy reading posts from f-mattox & penny3333 on cruises because they are so knowledgable and their replies make interesting reading. I am at a bit of a disadvantge as I have only sailed on the new emerald princess but did have a wonderful cruise.
I think the thing you really have to decide on is do you feel you want to travel on a huge ship...where you may meet different people each day but then not see them again for a few days ( if you are on anytime dining ) or do you prefer a smaller more intimate ship like the new royal princess where you are more likely to meet the same people on and off during the day....at least that's how I seem to think it would be.
I havn't been on enough cruises to form a useful judgement but keep reading topics/reviews from here and other sites and you may get a better idea of which princess ship is best for you......regards jack
Since you said that you are planning Alaska in Sep. 2008 I went to the Princess site to see which ships are doing 7 day cruises at that time. The Coral, Diamond, Sapphire, Golden, Island, Star. I have been on all but the Coral. The ship that I thought was the most elegant and beautiful: The Golden. The ship I felt most at home in: The Star. The ship with the friendliest crew: The Island. The ship that seemed the most exciting: The Sapphire. The ship that was my least favorite (not quite as immaculate as the rest): The Diamond. My favorite? I can't decide, maybe I’d better sail on all of them again.
Golden Princess 2008 (Hawaii)
Caribbean Princess 2008
Norwegian Gem 2007 (Transatlantic)
Island Princess 2007 (Hawaii)
Caribbean Princess 2006 (Caribbean)
Diamond Princess 2006 (Coastal)
Island Princess 2006 (Coastal)
Splendour of the Seas 2006 (Caribbean)
Island Princess 2005 (Hawaii)
Rhapsody of the Seas 2005 (Caribbean)
Sapphire Princess 2005 (Mexico)
Caribbean Princess 2004 (Caribbean)
Star Princess 2004 (Europe / Transatlantic)
Golden Princess 2003 (Caribbean)
Golden Princess 2003 (Transatlantic)
Golden Princess 2003 (Transatlantic)
Monarch of the Seas 2002 (Caribbean)
Rhapsody of the Seas 2000 (Mexico)