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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2007, 05:24 PM
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Iím a Newbie to the board, so thanks in advance for any help to answer some very general questions. Iím just looking for some direction in our study.

My wife and I (in our late 40s) and two teenagers (17, 14) are considering a cruse to the Mediterranean in August 2007, for twelve days, and have found two possibilities with very similar itinerates, so destinations are not an issue in this study.

It has come down to deciding between RCCL Brilliance of the Seas or Princess Emerald Princess.

We are familiar with RCCL, having two prior cruises and know what to expect with food, service, ship type and size etc and have been happy with the atmosphere overall.

We are not familiar with Princess (beyond reading the internet) and know this specific ship is new. We are not familiar with the atmosphere, entertainment, food, etc of Princess.

We need to decide between the two, and are at the point of spitting hairs it seems, however there is a big price difference between the two based on same sized cabins.

At first glance, thru some agent my wife used, for the same size cabins in this case, there is an approximate $1600 dollar difference in price per person between the two; RCCL is higher in price for the same thing for some reason. Big factor. Why is Princess that much lower? Just a better deal?

While money is an obvious factor, so are other issues.

What is most important in our decision is being around families like us, same ages and interests. No offense to the 60+ crowd or the families with babies. I know it is hard to pick and choose this, and especially with a Mediterranean cruise it becomes much harder to accomplish with the diversity onboard.


We are not late nighters or drinkers like to interact with similar people at meals or out. We like good entertainment at night. We donít need real fancy food, but good basic choices and quality. Ship dťcor is not a factor, but things to do on the ship are a factor. Most important is having well thought-out organized land tours / excursions. I know we canít have everything perfect, but why not try to get close to what is best for us?



I know it comes down to personal choice and favorites, and we probably will not go wrong either way. Iíd rather stay with RCCL, but money is an issue.

Iím wondering if there are any other issues or CLEARCUT reasons why RCCL is higher in cost or why one ship would be better for us than the other, beyond the pricing, based on our priorities listed above. Help me split hairs.


Any thoughts or comments will be highly appreciated!
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2007, 07:39 PM
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While I am a long time Princess cruiser and usually recommend Princess, it sounds like you are happy with RCCL and therefore should probably stay with them; you know, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". My Princess buddies are probably thinking I"ve lost it, but I am sincere.
You will definitely have an older crowd on a 12 day Mediterranean cruise on Princess. And beside the "Movies Under the Stars", Princess dosen't have as much to offer mid-teens as RCCL.
As for price, I don't think Princess has less quality; they just have a LOT of cabins to fill and price is one way to do it.
Whichever way you go, you will have a wonderful time. They are both great lines and both magnificent ships.
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2007, 08:54 PM
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I would suggest you book both ships now and paying deposits only. Keep watching the internet for any promotion, Maybe you'll get better rates on Royal Caribbean ship later, if not, cancel one of them before the panalty begins ( usually 70 days before sailing ).
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Old 01-10-2007, 09:58 AM
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We've only sailed on RCL, NCL, HAL, Costa, Carnival, and Princess. Princess is so far, my favorite. F-mattox is right, there will be an older crowd on a Med cruise, but it will be the same for RCL. Princess does offer activities for teens, but the ship does not have the all the busy stuff that RCL has. The food on Princess (at least the ships we've been on) has been great, the service has been first class, and the ships are immaculate. The Emerald is the sister ship to the Crown, we're booked on her in November. (I'm so excited!!) F-mattox is probably right, since you seem to have enjoyed RCL. However, $1600 is a lot of money to use in ports. Either way, may you have a wonderful cruise!!
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Old 01-10-2007, 12:47 PM
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Hello 6eye, welcome to Cruise-Chat. Wow! $1,600 per person? That's a no-brainer if the price difference is accurate. If the price was closer, you may consider you'll have 3 completed cruises, which brings you close to being a Platinum C&A member. You start to get some valuable perks after that. Your teenagers probably have more fun on the Brilliance. I couldn't find any August cruise for the Emerald to price out. This is what I found for the Brillance:

Ship Name: Brilliance Of The Seas
Departure Port: Barcelona, Spain
Ports of Call: Barcelona, Spain; Villefranche (Nice), France; Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy; Naples, Capri, Italy; Venice, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Corfu, Greece; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Barcelona, Spain
2007 Date(s): Aug 13

Stateroom:
Interior Oceanview Balcony Deluxe & Suite
$2,499.00 $2,699.00 $3,649.00 $5,349.00

Sonny
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Old 01-10-2007, 01:56 PM
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Hello again 6eye,
Sonny inspired me to do a little checking and here are the prices I got right off Princess' web site AND their European brochure for this year:
Interior: $2440; Oceanview: $2790; Balcony: $3190;
Suite: $5765. This is for the August 9th Grand Mediterranean cruise on Emerald Princess.
As you can see, Princess is actually higher in two catagories; and the biggest difference in any catagory is $459 ($3649 v.
$3190 for a balcony cabin).
So I don't know where that $1600 difference is coming from.
Could that be for all four of you and not pp.?
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Old 01-10-2007, 03:32 PM
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Thank you all for taking the time to respond. Iím glad I stumbled on to this board

Both cruises posted are correct as well as the approximate prices:

Ship Name: Brilliance of the Seas
Departure Port: Barcelona, Spain
Ports of Call: Barcelona, Spain; Villefranche (Nice), France; Livorno (Florence/Pisa), Italy; Naples, Capri, Italy; Venice, Italy; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Corfu, Greece; Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy; Barcelona, Spain
2007 Date(s): Aug 13

Stateroom:
Interior Oceanview Balcony Deluxe & Suite
$2,499.00 $2,699.00 $3,649.00 $5,349.00

Thanks Sonny

The second choice:

August 9th Grand Mediterranean cruise on Emerald Princess.

Interior: $2440; Oceanview: $2790; Balcony: $3190;
Suite: $5765. This is for the August 9th Grand Mediterranean cruise on Emerald Princess.
As you can see, Princess is actually higher in two categories; and the biggest difference in any category is $459 ($3649 v.
$3190 for a balcony cabin). Thanks f-mattox!


However when we were comparing the two rooms of comparable size, the Brilliance of the Seas Jr. Suite is approx. $5388.95 per person and the mini suite on the Emerald Princess is approx $3793.50 per person. The rooms are about the same size, with different layouts. That comes out to a difference of $1595.45 per person.

The Brilliance junior suite is apparently 293 sq feet plus 66 for the balcony.
The Emerald Mini suites w/ balcony are different sizes, but the ďACĒ Dolphin category is apparently 323 sq feet plus a balcony of 63 sq feet. (Size was described by agent, but not found on Princess Website) How do you factually find that?

Assuming these size cabins are correct, I see no reason why the Princess cruise would not be the best for the money, at least.

Thatís where the $1600.00 price difference per person comes from. If anyone feels I am going about this wrong or made an incorrect assumption, please let me know, or care to comment again- Iíd appreciate it! Thank you.
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-2007, 04:05 PM
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Wouldn't you know it!
The ONE catagory we didn't compare was the one you were talking about.
I'm going to do a little more research and get back to you.
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Old 01-10-2007, 04:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 6eye:
The Brilliance junior suite is apparently 293 sq feet plus 66 for the balcony.
The Emerald Mini suites w/ balcony are different sizes, but the ďACĒ Dolphin category is apparently 323 sq feet plus a balcony of 63 sq feet. (Size was described by agent, but not found on Princess Website) How do you factually find that?

Try this... CLICK HERE
Have you considered getting ajoining cabins?

Sonny
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 01-10-2007, 04:52 PM
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Thank you Sonny,
you beat me to it but I came up with the same figures.
According to the Princess brochure for Europe for '07 the mini-suites in all catagories are all the same size, 323 sq. ft. INCLUDING the balcony. The web site points out that the handicap-equipped mini-suites go up to 536 sq. ft..
Also, the price for a catagory AC mini-suite is listed on the web site as $4145, still considerably less than the $5388.95 for The Brilliance of the Seas.
At this point I would go back to what Sonny originally said: "It's a no-brainer"!!
 
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