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Old 03-17-2009, 03:52 PM
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My and my fiance are planning our honeymoon for a Mediterranean cruise we are pretty lacks on where we want to visit but if anyone out there can answer some general questions it would be great.

My research shows alot of people being disappointed with food and friendliness of staff. Are these story just hit or miss on both cruise lines?

Also I haven't been able to find any solid answers about excursions with princess cruise lines. We have traveled on Royal Caribbean before so we know booking and knowing where to go for our excursions was easy. How do people fare with Princess excursions?

Having tried Royal Caribbean before I am reluctant to try something new, like Princess. Should I really stick with what I know or branch out? Any advice is welcomed
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:03 PM
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Hello Nceremuga, and welcome to Cruise-Chat;

congratulations on the upcoming wedding, and your choice of a Mediterranean cruise for a honeymoon; that will be fantastic.

I've never cruised on Royal Caribbean so I can't make any comparisons to Princess; but I have been cruising with Princess for 30+ years and have never been disappointed yet. I can think of two cruises in all that time when certain aspects of the foodservice and the attitude of the staff was less than the standard of excellence I've come to expect from Princess; but two out of close to 50 cruises is certainly not what I would call "hit or miss."

My wife and I have also been very happy with Princess excursions; we use them almost exclusively. What kind of solid answers were you looking for? All the information about tours is on the Princess website, princess.com

One thing we have found is that the more popular excursions sell out quickly, so we decide ahead of time which ones we want and then reserve them online as soon as they become available--about 75 days before sailing. They are not charged to your credit card until the end of your cruise (unlike some lines) and the tickets are waiting for you in your cabin.

After saying all that, I must tell you that if you are happy with Royal Caribbean, why not stick with what you know and like?
On the other hand, I feel certain you will love Princess if you should choose to give them a try.
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Old 03-17-2009, 07:18 PM
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Thanks for the quick reply. The questions I had about excursions you basically answered. I assume that they range in prices based on what you want to do but I was mostly concerned with how easily you can book them. Royal Caribbean gave us a booklet with all the days excursions for each port of call. My fiance wants to try Princess since their cruise goes to the greek isles and Royal Caribbean has the Spain port of call that I wanted to see. But I think more and more I am researching I am being pulled into the Princess cruise to the Greek isles.

I am afraid of going to foreign places because of...
1. not wanting to get ripped off as an American traveler
2. Language barrier but I am realizing fast that foreign lands mostly speak English as well.

Because of these reasons I tend to lean towards using the cruise ships excursions to view and visit the area because I know I will get what I paid for, since the cruise ship technically can be held responsible if I am ripped off. I dont think we will ever get the chance to go back to Europe in our lives so I want to make the most of it while we are there.
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:10 PM
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Princess sends you a Shore Excursion booklet with your final paperwork; but the excursions open for reservations about the same time, so it is to your advantage to spend some time on the website so you can make your reservations as soon as they are available.

I agree that the ship excursions are a good idea, especially on your first trip to a foreign country. Once you are familiar with a place you can feel a little more secure in venturing out on your own.

I should mention that I think you may have the wrong idea about the ship's responsibility in the event you get ripped off. While the cruise lines make every effort to make sure your excursions are safe and provide an experience as advertised, they also make it perfectly clear that the shore excursion operators are independent contractors, and are not connected in any way with the cruise line, and the line assumes no responsibility for accident, injury or loss of any kind while on an excursion.
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Old 03-18-2009, 06:44 AM
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Hi Nceremuga, welcome to Cruise-Chat. We've only been on Carnival, Costa, NCL, RCL, HAL, and Princess. So far, Princess is our favorite. We've had a couple of cruises on Princess that were not up to Princess standards, but all in all, nothing major. Food is so very subjective, we can both eat the same thing, I could love it, you could think it was horrible. For my taste, I think the food on Princess is better than Royal, it's just my opinion. However, the service has never been bad. I ran into one bartender in one bar on one Princess ship that was only interested in the younger ladies, but I can understand that. I'm not in my 20s any more When I step on board a Princess ship, it's like I've come home. The Ruby is a beautiful ship. I have some pictures of the Emerald which is a sister ship, if you'd like to look at them. Either choice you make you're not going to go wrong, you're on your honeymoon and you're on a cruise what could be better! Congratulations, and once again, welcome aboard!

Oh, by the way, even though the ship doesn't take responsibility for the excursions, we've always had very good luck by talking to the tour desk representatives about problems encountered on an excursion. In a few instances, they credited our account, in a few instances-the tour operators were no longer on the ship's list for excursions on our next visit. This is not only with Princess, but with other lines as well. I do know with Princess, their employees check on the vendors because we've met up with crew members while we were on an excursion. I'm sure other lines do this as well.
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Old 03-18-2009, 08:05 AM
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Great advice. Thanks for the info about the excursions I guess I didnt notice the fine print about them Always good to learn more about what your paying for. Thanks for the sound advice I feel comfortable with both cruise lines so I guess now we will just see what locations are best for us to visit. Thanks again everyone
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Old 03-22-2009, 10:51 AM
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Penny, can I see your Emerald Princess pics?

My husband just rolls his eyes at me, but I'm exploring all options for 2010. Still trying to ease the post-Gem pain...
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Old 03-29-2009, 01:11 PM
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I would love to view your emerald photos as well, We were thinking of going Oasis of the sea BUT now with Royal Caribbean all over the place with membership stuff and financial worries I think we are going to give Princess a chance.
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Old 03-30-2009, 07:22 AM
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Here's a link to our Emerald photos, the Royal is there, too!
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Old 03-30-2009, 01:24 PM
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Great photos thanks Penny!!
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