Pros and the Cons of Cruising with Princess Cruises

What are the pros and the cons of cruising with Princess Cruises? I’m Arshit and this is another of my tips for travelers. I am onboard a Princess cruise at the moment, and I thought it’d be a good time to share with you what I think are the pros and the cons of cruising with Princess Cruises. Let’s start first of all with the pros. I think one of the biggest pros of PrincessCruises is their size and the range of opportunities they give you, both in terms of the size of the cruise ship but also destinations. They have, at the time of recording, 17 ships but with many more coming on tap. In the next couple of years, they are going to have over 20 ships. They have small ships, with just under 700 guests, up to what I’m on now (Sky Princess) with three thousand six hundred and sixty guests. So, they have a lot of options in terms of size of ships and, really importantly, pretty much anywhere in the world you want to go you probably can do it on a Princess cruise. One of the most important regions for them in Alaska. In 2019 they have been in Alaska for over 50years. What’s interesting about Princess is, not only do they cruise to Alaska, but they also own different lodges and so you can also land-based activities as part of a whole Princess cruise, with land and cruise combined vacations. They even have specific train journeys that will take you off the ship and to the various parts of Alaska on a land-based trip. They cruise everywhere, you will find them in the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Australia, the South Pacific, Mexican Riviera, they go through the Panama Canal, Canada and New England and World Cruises. You can do anything from a three or four-day cruise to up to over 100-day cruises on Princess.There’s a huge range in terms of ships and itineraries and pretty much anywhere in the world you want to go you’re probably going to be able to go on a Princess cruise. I think that’s one really big Pro. I think the second bigPro is the type of cruise they provide. They offer a premium/luxury type of travel, but at a more affordable price. They compete, I would say, with lines like Celebrity and Holland America. They’re at that sort of quality and range but, because they have a huge range of ships and types of cabins, you can do it in a very affordable way. You can go in a luxury way and in a premium way but also within your budget. You have everything from big palatial suites, so, for example, Sky Princess which I’m on now, has Sky suites.These are monstrous big two-bedroom Suites, and they have balcony suites(which I was staying) in which is the main class of cabins, they have ocean view cabins, they have inside cabins, they have Suites and mini-suites. So, a hugely diverse range of cabins. You can travel in luxury but you also do it within different budget ranges. So definitely a luxury premium experience but in an affordable way. I think that’s a big Pro for Princess Cruises. Another big Pro of Princess is they offer a traditional cruise experience, and they don’t go for lots of gimmicks and some of the funky and unusual ways of cruising. They offer a pretty traditional cruising experience. So, if you are the sort of person that likes a traditional cruising experience with the sort of activities you would expect like production shows, quizzes, bingo and facilities like pools, fitness center, casinos, spas, kids clubs and all the traditional things that you’d expect on a cruise ship, you’ll have it. You’re not going to find big resort ships with water parks and rock climbing walls, go-karts, ice rinks and all that kind of resort stuff. it is a pretty traditional ship in terms of facilities and the format of cruising is pretty traditional. Youll find it runs a fairly traditional cruising program, so even down to dining where they still have the traditional early and late settings or you could also choose to have any time dined. There are some nods to modern cruising trends, but its a pretty traditional experience. If that’s the sort of cruise you like, and I think that’s a big Pro, there are not lots of fancy bells and whistles around the Princess experience. Linked to that and part of that is a lot of their entertainment and activities are enrichment focused. They have partnerships for example on excursions with things like the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet. They have guest speakers onboard and they’ll have cooking classes and demonstrations, so quite enrichment focused, which I think is a big Pro if you’re looking for that. Another really big Proof Princess Cruises is a big innovation and that’s the OceanMedallion device and the app. Princess Cruises is the first cruise line to introduce the Ocean Medallion, which is a wearable device and its a very clever device. Their fleets are slowly being converted to work with it, and ships like the one I’m on now Sky Princess have been built with it integrated into the whole system. It is designed to make the cruising experience more personalized and much smarter. For example, the sort of things you can do with Ocean Medallion is it helps you check-in much faster because you uploaded all your information like passport details and photograph so you then, depending which country you’re in, you either get sent the Ocean Medallion in advance or in some countries you have to pick it up when you check-in, but you get onto the ship quickly. It also then becomes your cruise card, so its the thing that you’ll clock in and out of the ship on, use it to buy things with and it does a couple of unique things, for example as you head towards your cabin it recognizes you and unlocks your cabin, you can also use it to do things like order drinks or buy things wherever you are on the ship and get it delivered to you, as it is the smart device the crew can track you down. You couldn’t be sitting by the pool and you can order a drink and they know where you are. It also means that over time the crew gets to know your preferences and can start to tailor service much more for you. It also helps you unlock a whole lot of features both on an app which you can have on your smartphone or big interactive screens around the ship where you can do things like you look at the daily program and you can plan your activities, track your friends and family you could find out where they are on the ship and can message them and arrange to meet them, you can also play various interactive games, you can even if you want to play things like bingo and gamble with a combination of the device and the app. This smart device is designed to make your cruising experience much more personalized because the crew can start to know your preferences, but also simplify and speed up a lot of the activities around the ship. I have a separate video about the whole Ocean Medallion process, but certainly, that whole smart technology is making the whole cruising experience smoother, more personalized and easier. So, what are some of the cons of cruising with Princess Cruises? The first one, and probably I think the biggest one, is that the fact that their fares are not all-inclusive. When you book a Princess cruise you need to be aware of what the extra charges are. Let me talk through some of those.Your fare includes lots of dining options and you can have lots of casual dining options and formal dining options like the main dining rooms, you have things like for example on this ship the Salty Dog Grill, you have Slices Pizza, you have Alfredos Pizzeria and have the Worlds Freshmarketplace and the horizon buffet, you have International Cafe. So lots of food is included. All your entertainment is included and access to pretty much all of the facilities are included, with one key exception which is The Sanctuary which is a quiet space where you do pay to have access. Lots of things are included. So, what’s not included? What will you have to pay extra for?Gratuities are charged extra and they’re normally added onboard, although you can depend on when your booking prepay those in advance. Gratuities at the time of the recording were $16 50 per person per day in a suite, $15 50 per person in the mini-suite in club class, $14 50 per person per day per guest in an interior ocean view or balcony staterooms. Youll also have gratuities of 18% added to drinks you buy and things like the spa. Excursions are not included and those are extras and you decide how many of those you do. Drinks are not included. They do have various drinks packages though which will include both alcoholic drinks, non-alcoholic drinks, sodas, and coffees. For example, they have a premier beverage package which is $59.99 per person per day, they have a premier coffee and soda package which is $19.99 per person per day and a classic soda package which is $9.99 per person per day.Some dining options are not included within the price which is a couple of specialty dining options. These differ slightly based on the ship but, for example, I will give you examples on Sky Princess which on when I’m doing this. They have one of the princess classics which is the Crown Grill which is a steakhouse, they have Sabatinis which is a nice Italian restaurant which is extra and across many of the ships, they also have the Ocean Terrace seafood bar which is the sushi, and they also have the Bistro Sur la Mer which is the seafood restaurant. They also have a gelato shop where you do have to pay extra for as well. One of the downsides of thePrincess cruise fare is once you’re onboard there are going to be extras like gratuities, drinks, specialized dining and excursions and the other big one, of course, is Wi-Fi. They are introducing really fast Wi-Fi as they roll out the Ocean Medallion and they have Medallion Net which is a really fast Wi-Fi, and at the time recording that was nine dollars ninety-nine per day. I must say it was really fast Wi-Fi and I was very impressed with the Wi-Fi. Those are the main costs that you will be paying extra above your fare on Princess. The next key con is I think Princess is probably really catering much more for couples. It is a slightly more mature crowd and mentioned earlier people who like traditional cruising experiences. It is a more mature couple’s experience. I am not saying that it does have families onboard and certainly, you’ll get quite a few families on board and many multi-generational families on board during the summer and Christmas holiday season period, but the overall experience, the entertainment, the food, and the excursions I think are very much for that sort of crowd.There are probably other lines that cater even better for families then PrincessCruises do. It is very much a mature couple’s experience. Linked to that think another big con of Princess Cruises is if you’re a solo travellerPrincess Cruises is not catering for you. There are no solo cabins on board their ships, and they don’t unlike some lines offer lots of solo discounts. You’re likely to find you going to be paying up to 100 percent surcharge if you are going on a Princess cruise. So certainly as a solo travellerPrincess cruise is probably a downside because there’s not a lot of flex in terms of finding a good fare through a solo cabin ordeal. They do cater for solo travelers on board and they’ll have things like solo traveler meet-ups.So, they do cater to you once you’re on board but financially it is probably a downside for Princess. The next con of Princess Cruises is for those people who have an issue with dressing up. Princess Cruises being fairly traditional does have a dress code. Most of the nights are smart casual, so they describe it are the sort of things you’d wear out for an evening in a restaurant, so they do ask men, for example, to wear slacks, not jeans, although you probably can get away with dark smart jeans in practice. I certainly saw that a lot across the cruises that I’ve been on smart casual evenings. They do expect you to wear things like collared shirts or long-sleeve shirts and more slack type stuff and ladies the sort of equivalent. They do have formal nights where you’ll find everything from tuxedos through to suit and tie and that is the expectation. Youll normally find there’s a formal night roughly once every five days, so if you’re on a cruise of five to seven days you’ll have at least one formal night and there are an expectation and requirement that you stick to the dress code. If you’re the sort of person that hates dressing up and you want to be able to wear jeans or shorts or whatever then definitely Princess Cruises is not the right cruise line for you. Princess Cruises have a lot of pros and it has some cons for some people. If you found this helpful I have lots of other blogs about cruising Princess Cruises so why don’t you read another one of those right now?

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