I have been on both several times. I prefer Princess. Royal's cabins are the smallest in the industry and a few extra s/f in a cabin really does make a difference. I think the food is better on Princess.
Regal Princess 1996
Sun Princess 1998
Grand Princess 2000
Ocean Princess 2001
Golden Princess 2004
Caribbeean Princess 2004
Caribbean Princess 2006
It really depends on each person. I never was on a Princess ship, but, if I where to choose another line other than RCCL, it would be Princess. I talk to a lot of people and fine RCCL seems to be the line most choose as their farvorite. I think it's mostly due to RCCL's Radinace and Voyager class ships. Especially the Voyager class. As far as food goes... you can be on the same cruise line and food quality will vary from ship to ship. I think if you're happy with the line you use, you're better off staying with them because of the perks for being a frequent customer. With RCCL I get $200 off every balcony cabin and free drinks from 5pm to 8:30pm., not a bad perk.
We've been on Royal Caribbean, NCL, Costa, Carnival, HAL, and Princess. So far, Princess is my favorite. All of the cruise lines have their individual flavors, so it definitely depends on what you are looking for. Princess is a bit more elegant to me. The food and presentation is wonderful. The crew, as with all the lines, is exceptional. We've only sailed on the Sun, Dawn, and Sea (going on the Sun again in October), and prefer the size of these ships to the larger ones. We've never had to stand in long lines, or had to wait a long time to tender. The balcony rooms are great and you don't need to tie the door open as they are sliding doors. There is plenty of room in the cabin as well as good storage. I don't think you'd be disappointed in Princess at all. Hope this helps.
One of the biggest differences between RCCL and Princess is the dining options. Princess has "personal choice" which has main dining rooms that are run like a regular restaurant as far as getting a table. You can reserve a table for a certain time, or simply show up at the door and perhaps have to wait a little bit for a table. They also have at least one dining room with traditional assigned seating times.
Another thing that I like about Princess, and it probably seems trivial, is their method of conducting the emergency drill. Everyone goes to a lounge or other inside area with seats. You don't wear your life vest to the drill. Once seated, they go through the usual stuff and then have everyone stand and don their life vest. They observe everyone do this and then you take it off. No sweating or standing outside being crushed against the bulkhead.
I have been on both numerous times. Used to sail exclusivly RCCL but changed over to Princess a few years ago. Both are great lines. I personally think the food is better on Princess and the service is spectacular. RCCL is a more family oriented line where Princess appeals to a slightly older crowd by being more upscale. Princess is still wonderful for children though as my son can atest. I enjoy the freedom of anytime dining and normally arrange a standing reservation with a waiter I enjoy. The Princess ships have a smaller more intimate feel even though they are the same size and similar occupancy. Whichever you choose you will still have a wonderful time.
Another thing that I like about Princess, and it probably seems trivial, is their method of conducting the emergency drill. Everyone goes to a lounge or other inside area with seats. You don't wear your life vest to the drill. Once seated, they go through the usual stuff and then have everyone stand and don their life vest. They observe everyone do this and then you take it off. No sweating or standing outside being crushed against the bulkhead.[/QUOTE]
Dave, it's NOT trivial! I was under the impression that maritime laws inforced mustering at the life boat area. Way to go Princess! Too bad all cruise lines don't do it that way.
Part of the logic used by Princess for the drill is that they feel being inside is most likely going to be the safest place in an emergency, and it provides more control. In most cases the ship will not be in danger of sinking so Princess feels automatically going to the boats is just not smart. If it doesn't happen to be the safest choice then staff will direct passengers to the boats. Case in point: The fire on the Star Princess. The best place to be was inside the ship.
I agree with you - I wish all the lines did it the Princess way.
I just got back yesterday from my first Princess Cruise (Crown Princess)... And my last.
I have been on Carnival,Norwegian,RCCL and Now Princess.. I would definitely choose RCCL.
Food on the Princess was very good and probably better than RCCL. But other than that.. Nothing could compare to the Voyager Class of RCCL.
If you are over 55 years old Princess might be the ship for you but if you have kids or younger in years then it is definitely not the ship to choose.
This Particular ship the Crown Princess is a new ship.. But the service was absolutely horrendous.
The entertainment on the Princess Crown was sub par to RCCL.
The smiles are more abundant and the attitudes of the personal was definitely better on RCCL.
I have just written a 6 page letter to Princess because the expierience was so bad. I have a list of over 30 complaints on a 9 day cruise.
AND that doesn't include the fueling error they made in which we had to skip Grand Turk and miss the departure out of NY Harbor.SIMPLY A MAJOR MESS
Sorry to hear that mammoth, she is a new ship with a new itinerary, so that may account for some of the problems you encountered. We're going on our 5th Princess cruise in October on the Sun. We've only been on the Sea, Sun, and Dawn and have never had any problems. We did have to miss Grand Cayman, but this was not their fault, the waves were well over 15' at the shore. We've always encountered wonderful staff and crew. It just may have been that they haven't worked out the glitches. Sorry you had such a horrible experience.