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Which ship and which cruise do you recommend?


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We are trying to decide on a 15 day Panama cruise on Emerald Princess, a 14 day circle Caribbean cruise on Caribbean Princess or going on a 10 day southern Caribbean cruise on the new Enchanted Princess.  We can't decide if the Emerald and Caribbean Princess ships are too old and dated compared to the Enchanted Princess.  I prefer the longer cruise, but not sure about the ships.

Thanks

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4 hours ago, Retired2021 said:

We are trying to decide on a 15 day Panama cruise on Emerald Princess, a 14 day circle Caribbean cruise on Caribbean Princess or going on a 10 day southern Caribbean cruise on the new Enchanted Princess.  We can't decide if the Emerald and Caribbean Princess ships are too old and dated compared to the Enchanted Princess.  I prefer the longer cruise, but not sure about the ships.

Thanks

 

Howdy @Retired2021 and welcome to the Cruise Critic message boards! emo22.gif

 

Thank you for your first new thread titled Which ship and which cruise do you recommend? posted on the Cruise Blogs & Websites forum. However, the thread is off topic there. That forum is for members to share their personal travelogue-type cruise-related blogs or websites with their fellow Cruise Critic members.

 

To help you out, your new thread has been moved to the Princess Cruises forum where it will be on topic. The majority of your fellow Cruise Critic members that have sailed or will be sailing on a Princess cruise frequent this forum and provide feedback here. Be sure to browse through the thread titles on this forum l👀king for threads of interest. You will probably find your fellow Cruise Critic members have already posted questions and received answers that will be of interest to you.

 

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Welcome to the world of cruising @Retired2021!  The responses you're going to get are based on personal preferences. For instance, I don't like the Crown class (Ruby, Emerald, Crown) at all because I like a skywalker lounge (Caribbean and most Grand class ships) that's up and above the rest of the ship. That way I get a 360゚ view of the ocean. Skywalkers is also not on Royal class ships, which is what the Enchanted is. However the Enchanted will have more shopping opportunities. Our tastes might be quite different. 

 

Might I suggest that a few good starting points are:

1. Itinerary vs sea days

2. Shopping (Royal class) vs promenades (Grand & Crown class)

3. Do you swim on vacation? (I don't)

4. Try this website to see what several rooms actually look like 

https://www.cruisedeckplans.com/DP/deckplans/cruiseline.php?line=Princess

5. Then read reviews on Cruise Critic to decide if you can shrug off the issues on older ships (ie: Caribbean & Island)

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We pick cruises based on ports and whether we want relaxing time or prefer more sightseeing time

We don't pick based,on the ship at all!

For us the Caribbean is more about relaxing than sightseeing

We loved our Panama Canal cruise on the older Island Princess

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There are several questions here.  First, have you cruised before?  What makes a ship or facility ‘dated’?  How does that detract with your enjoyment?  
Why do you want to do a Panama Canal cruise?  I assume that you realize that Emerald Princess will transit the canal using the new locks, as she is too large for the older historic locks.  .  EM

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Welcome to Cruise Critic/Princess.  You have narrowed down your options, but there is still much more to consider.

 

You have mentioned 2 itineraries:  Caribbean and Panama Canal.  That's a good start.  

 

Questions to consider:

 

1.  Are you limited to round trip from FLL to FLL?

 

2.  Have you cruised before?  Have you been on a Princess ship?  Do you have a Captain Circle Number?  Find someone that would be willing to send you a referral.  Both of you will get On Board Credit ($25).

 

3.  Have you been through the Historic Locks?  Only the Island and the Coral transit the old locks.  Usually one way (FLL/LA).

 

4.  What's your budget?  Interior....Suite?

 

My choices would be

 

1.  Coral Princess/Baja Balcony/end of bump out. I think B309 or B310.  Historic Locks.  Full transit

2.  Caribbean Princess for her Window Suites/Partial (new) Panama Canal plus some islands.

 

I do not care for the newer Royal Class ships.

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I personally love beaches and snorkeling, so I would choose the 14day circle Caribbean over the other two for that reason.

 

We have been on Caribbean Princess multiple times and it received a facelift before COVID and was in great shape prior to the shutdown.  We haven't been on Enchanted yet (but have two coming up on Nov), but have been on Sky - a sister ship. We certainly enjoyed the Sky but 10 days vs 14 days - No brainer here for us!  The difference in ships just isn't great enough to sway me from the longer itinerary.

 

We have been on Emerald since the restart and she looked a little haggard but we still enjoyed the cruise. 

 

We have done all 3 itineraries, but I did not find the Canal all that interesting.  The new locks are done by tug boat, not power mules.  Not much to see, though there was a shark causing fish to boil right beside us in the locks.  I loved the circle Carib itinerary.  Others certainly see it differently.  If you are not into beaches, snorkeling or scuba diving, my advice may not be worth much to you. 

 

Don

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@Retired2021 Welcome to cruise critic 👋. My bucket list was an alaskan cruise when I retire. Since I also retired in 2021 mine is in August. I really like the royal class ships, I have been on the Emerald since 2010 and it was very nice back then. I believe Princess takes care of their ships, at least I like to think they do. Since you are new here and haven't given us much background, I'll let you know in case you haven't sailed Princess before....If you're a veteran, there is a military benefit that gives you on board credit (OBC) and if you own 100 share of Carnival stock (CCL) it also gives OBC. 😊

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Posted (edited)

Itinerary should be the decider. If you like history and immersion lectures, go to Panama. If you've never been there, then a sampler circle tour would be nice and like the adventure excursions of western side of the Carribbean.

With the Enchanted Princess, any of what we call the Royal class due to their size, will come all the personal care you'd expect to get at your local DMV. The buffet is simply an excercise in how fast food can be slung out. Every meal is like feeding an Army Regiment.

The Caribbean Princess was designed for the Caribbean. So it has no cover over the pool deck. I haven't done the new locks. I'd go the Emerald cruise, but tax sure is high on a Panama cruise!

Edited by mtnesterz
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Now that Princess has added new ships and sold off many of its oldest ships, I don’t think there are any ships in its fleet that need to be avoided due to condition or offerings. I’ve been on Caribbean Princess twice in the past 6 years and had no issues and it has been dry docked for improvements twice since then. I have never been on Emerald but have been on other mostly identical ships and that is my favorite design. I haven’t been on Enchanted but have been on both Royal and Regal and while I don’t love the Royal Class design, there is nothing about it that would keep me from booking. On a cruise with lots of sea days I would choose a ship with larger balconies if that were an option. As others have stated, itinerary is paramount. 

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14 hours ago, Host Kat said:

And don't forget, after your cruise be sure to submit your review for publication by Cruise Critic. Many cruisers will benefit from your experience! emo49.gif See How To: Submit a Member Review.

These days, it seems one can't do anything without being asked to submit a review.

Take a cruise - don't forget to review.

Stay in a hotel - don't forget to review.

Order meds from CVS - don't forget to review.

Get something delivered from UPS or Amazon - don't forget to review.

Take an Uber - don't forget to review.

Really funny on here, because just about all the posts are essentially reviews - medallion app, DMW, enforcement of rules, wearing masks, etc.

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You narrowed it down to 3 great itineraries! Yes, the Enchanted is going to be beautifully new and offer the most food options. The Emerald and Caribbean possess that classic ship feel, though, so if you like that, you’ll appreciate it. If you’re all about the beaches or reaching islands that are tougher to reach because they’re further away, you’ll want either the Circle Caribbean or Southern Caribbean. If the Panama Canal is on your bucket list, that would draw you in. You really can’t go wrong with any of them, though. Have fun!

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Emerald through the Canal. Favorite ship on our favorite itinerary! We were on the E in January (10 day PC cruise) and ship was in great condition. We will be aboard again in September for the British Isles cruise. The food at the buffet was disappointing, especially desserts. It was the same on the Regal in December and the Majestic in late January. The MDR food was good. I was on the Regal in mid April and the buffet food was much better.

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 If it's your first time through the Panama Canal, I recommend not taking the Emerald, since she goes through the newer locks.  The older, historic locks are the interesting bit -- which means taking either the Island Princess or the Coral Princess, as they're the only two Princess ships which fit through the old locks. 


So, having ruled out the Canal option, that leaves two Caribbean cruises.  In that case, to me it's a no-brainer -- go with the longer one!   No need to worry about the ship being dated. The CB may not be a spring chicken any more, but it's not like the cabins still have shag carpeting or 80s-vintage pastel bedspreads.  Plus she has a lovely wrap-around promenade deck that the newer Enchanted doesn't have.  There isn't a better place to sit late afternoon with a cafe mocha from the International Cafe and a good book, watching the sun sink into the ocean. 

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On 5/27/2022 at 10:29 PM, Essiesmom said:

There are several questions here.  First, have you cruised before?  What makes a ship or facility ‘dated’?  How does that detract with your enjoyment?  
Why do you want to do a Panama Canal cruise?  I assume that you realize that Emerald Princess will transit the canal using the new locks, as she is too large for the older historic locks.  .  EM

 

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Yes we have cruised many times but never in the Panama Canal area.  We do the the newer larger ships but want a longer cruise than 7 days. We are now considering the partial locks vs full transit. That is the Caribbean Princess. To me they feel dated compared to the more modern ships like Royal Caribbean with the open air atriums. But princess has the better itineraries. CG

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1 minute ago, Retired2021 said:

Yes we have cruised many times but never in the Panama Canal area.  We do the the newer larger ships but want a longer cruise than 7 days. We are now considering the partial locks vs full transit. That is the Caribbean Princess. To me they feel dated compared to the more modern ships like Royal Caribbean with the open air atriums. But princess has the better itineraries. CG

 

If you do pick the partial transit, do take the shore excursion on a small vessel that takes you the rest of the way through the Canal. Otherwise you miss the most impressive part of the engineering effort, the cut through the mountains.

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6 minutes ago, caribill said:

Thank you, we were wondering about the those excursions. I didn’t really understand them. It’s good to know that we can see the older locks. 
Thanks. Now we are considering the 10 day partial on the Caribbean Princess. 
 

 

6 minutes ago, caribill said:

If you do pick the partial transit, do take the shore excursion on a small vessel that takes you the rest of the way through the Canal. Otherwise you miss the most impressive part of the engineering effort, the cut through the mountains.

Yes we have cruised many times but never in the Panama Canal area.  We do the the newer larger ships but want a longer cruise than 7 days. We are now considering the partial locks vs full transit. That is the Caribbean Princess. To me they feel dated compared to the more modern ships like Royal Caribbean with the open air atriums. But princess has the better itineraries. CG

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