Princess Cruises Tips : 5 Things You Need To Know Before Cruising

Hi, I’m Gary Bembridge of Tips for
Travelers. In this video I’m going to tell you things that you absolutely need
to know about Princess Cruises. So first of all who exactly are Princess
Cruises? Well Princess Cruises are based in California, they started back in 1965
with one ship and they’ve built over time to have 18 ships (as of the time of
making this video). In terms of size that makes them the tenth biggest individual
cruise brand in the world. They’re actually owned by Carnival Corporation.
The Carnival Corporation owns brands like Carnival, Holland America,
Seabourn, P&O in the UK. So Princess Cruises became famous through the “Love Boat” TV series. The series was actually filmed on the “Pacific Princess”, and that
really made Princess a household name. They take over two million passengers a
year to over 360 destinations on cruises lasting anything from three days up to
about 114 days. The second thing you need to know is the category of cruising that
Princess operate in. Now they operate in what’s known as the “premium” category. Now different people classify cruise lines in different ways, but there’s broadly
speaking four different categories. So you have your “mainstream” cruise lines,
which are really good value cruise lines particularly for families that kind of
stuff, and that would include things like Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian
Cruise Line MSC Cruises. You then have your “premium” category, so that’s where
Princess Cruises sits and brands that would also compete with Princess Cruises would be things like Holland America Line (which is also a Carnival brand) and
also Celebrity. You then have your “luxury” brands, or some would call them sort of
upper-premium brands, and that tends to be smaller ships like Windstar, Azamara,
Oceania Cruises. You then have your “ultra- luxury” which are your very premium
cruise lines, things like Seabourn, Silversea, Regent seven Seas, Crystal. So Princess
operate in that premium category. So what sort of things do you expect from a
premium cruise line? Well you’re going to get relatively good fares, you’re going
to get some nice touches – so the food is pretty good. You can have lots of choice.
You’re going to have a wide range of cabin choices, ranging from Suites
through to inside. But you won’t get as lots of the added
luxuries that you would have with luxury lines. Like service, so you wouldn’t
have for example all-suite cabins, you won’t have big fluffy bathrobes, you
won’t have branded toiletries in your cabin, you won’t have flowers and fruit
baskets – that kind of stuff. So it’s slightly stripped back from a luxury
brand. But sort of for me in many ways it equates with kind of a 4-star
sort of hotel experience. So mainstream brands tend to be kind of three-star
hotel experience. You could say that premium brands are sort of four-star and
the luxury and ultra luxury are really five-star – if you’re trying to compare
with hotels on land. So the third thing you need to know is what do they do the
same, better or worse than other Cruise Lines – particular cruise lines are within
the premium category. So what do they do the same? Well they offer largely the
same service. So most of those premium cruise brands offer fairly traditional
cruise experience, so they aren’t going to have big features like rock climbing
walls, ice-skating rinks. They’re not going to be resort-style ships. And most
of the premium brands, like a Celebrity and Holland America, tend to be the same. It’s
a fairly traditional cruising experience. So you should expect things like
production shows, as I said pretty good food and choice of food, enrichment
lectures, quizzes, games and that kind of stuff. So what do they do better
than other cruise lines? What Princess would argue is that they are the real
innovators in the category and within cruising. So for example they claim to
have been the first to introduce things like private balconies. They were the
first to introduce a 24-hour restaurant. They were the first to introduce both
traditional dining along with Anytime dining. They were the
first to introduce a wedding chapel onboard. They’re also the first cruise
line to introduce at the “Ocean Medallion”, which is a little round device that you
can either wear as a necklace or as a bangle which will be kind of a smart
system which will not only open your cabin door, but you’ll be able to use
it as your charge card. It will also be used to activate various interactive
digital screens and help the crew to personalize recommendations, so you don’t have to keep repeating things. It becomes a kind of a smart device. They also claim to have been the first to introduce the Sanctuary, which is an
adult only respite and pool area. The other thing that they do better is
they go to more destinations than any of the other brands in their premium
category. So as I mentioned, they go to 360 destinations around the world. So
they certainly offer the widest breadth of destinations all around the world. The
fourth thing you need to know about Princess is fare inclusions and
exclusions. Whenever you look at a cruise it’s very important to understand
what’s in the fare and what’s out of the fare, because every Cruise Line has
slight differences. So what’s actually included and excluded in a Princess
Cruises fare? Well first of all your accommodation is included – so whatever
grade of cabin that you’ve chosen. Secondly your food. Now I talked a little
bit about what’s not included but basically all your meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea, late night snacks) of some
kind will be included within your fare. The third thing that’s included is
entertainment like the production shows, guest lecturers, guest artists are all
included. So let’s take a look at what is excluded from a Princess fare. Well first
of all excursions. So no excursions are included within the
fare. Now sometimes a shuttle bus is included if you’re docking somewhere
where there is not public transport close by. So, for example, we docked in
Dublin which was in the main port and a shuttle bus was provided. In other places
where there was either train service outside, very easy public transport or
walking – no transport was provided into the nearest town. Second thing that’s not
included are gratuities. Now gratuities are auto-added to your bill, so at the
time of recording if you’re in a Ocean View or a balcony that’s $13.50 per
person per day, if you in a mini suite that’s $14.50 per person and if you’re in
a suite that’s $15.50 per person per day. So gratuities are not included.
Speciality dining options are not included. There’s a few other things that
are not included that you should bear in mind like drinks. So drinks are not
included. Some basic drinks are included at meal times, so like some
regular coffees, water – that kind of stuff. But your alcohol drink,
speciality coffees – they’re not included. Now if you want to save some
money they do offer these beverage packages from all-inclusive packages
which are $50 a day where you can basically have any kind of drink you want as much
as you want – right down to specialty coffee cards where you can (for about $30) have 15 cups of coffee. So various beverage packages. So
packages that help you save. Wi-Fi is not included, and again
there are packages. Now like all cruise ships, Wi-Fi is pretty expensive. Now if
you want to save on Wi-Fi the only way you can really save on Wi-Fi is as you
go up through loyalty levels. So as you progress through the loyalty levels in
the “Captain’s Circle”, which is their loyalty program, is as you start to do
more and more cruises you start to get some free internet allowance. So the
fifth thing you need to know about Princess is accommodation options. Now
Princess ships have a wide range of accommodation. So up to seven
and different types of accommodation. So there’ll be suites, there’ll be many
suites. There’ll be balcony cabins, there will be
inside cabins, there will be oceanview cabins, there will often be family suites
and there will always be wheelchair accessible rooms as well. So there you
have it. That’s things that I think that you really need to know about Princess
Cruises to help you make up your mind and decide if that’s a cruise line that you want to travel with. I hope you found that
helpful. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please leave some comments, leave some thoughts – but very importantly please “like” the video and very very key
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