Expert review of Princess Cruises
Princess appeals to families and couples looking for a quality, midpriced experience; longer sailings draw a mostly 50s+ crowd.
Party animals and singles looking to mingle should go elsewhere — with the exception of new, shorter cruises (three- and four-night sailings out of LA, for example) that attract a young crowd.
- Princess Captains were the first to officially marry couples onboard (due to Bermuda registry), and some ships even have a chapel.
- Many (often complimentary) classes, which range from computers to pottery, are available.
- New movie releases are played poolside on LED screens — with free popcorn.
- Princess offers both traditional (early/late sittings with assigned tables) and modern (eat anytime, anywhere) dining options.
- Elegant deck designs include a glass-bottomed “SeaWalk,” which juts out 28 feet beyond the edge of the new Royal Princess, and lovely wraparound teak decks on most other ships.
- Supervised kids’ activities include lots of learning options, from “Science on the Seas” (developed with the California Science Center) to yoga.
- Sign up for the behind-the-scenes ship tour ($150 each, chosen via lottery) to see the engine room, bridge, and other off-limits areas.
- The outdoor swim-against-the-tide lap pool on the Grand-class ships is a cool way to exercise.
We could live without
- The tiered cabin design on half of Princess' ships means your upstairs neighbor can look down onto your balcony, putting the kibosh on privacy.
- There’s a surprising lack of child care for the under-3 crowd.