Princess Cruises Review – Ships, Destinations, Dining, and More

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Princess Cruises began in 1965 with a single ship sailing to Mexico. Since then, it has grown to become one of the largest luxury cruise lines in the world with ships sailing across the globe.

Princess even helped the modern cruise vacation gain popularity through the hit TV show, “The Love Boat.” This classic show, which ran from 1977-1987, featured several Princess ships including the original Sun Princess, Pacific Princess, and Island Princess.

Today, Princess Cruises offers luxury sailings to over 380 destinations in over 100 countries on all 7 continents. Let’s take a close up look at everything Princess Cruises has to offer, including destinations, ships, dining, onboard activities, and more!

Basic Information

Name: Princess Cruises

Parent Company: Carnival Corporation (which also owns Carnival Cruise Line, Carnival Australia, Holland America Line, Cunard Line, AIDA Cruises, Seabourn, Costa Cruises, and P&O Cruises)

Number of Ships: 18 (2 more will be added by 2021)

Destinations: 380+

Loyalty Program: Captain’s Circle

Credit Card: Princess Cruises® Rewards Visa® Card

Ships

Princess Cruises operates 18 ships with 2 more that will be added by 2021.

  • Caribbean Princess
  • Coral Princess
  • Crown Princess
  • Diamond Princess
  • Emerald Princess
  • Golden Princess
  • Grand Princess
  • Island Princess
  • Majestic Princess
  • Pacific Princess
  • Regal Princess
  • Royal Princess
  • Ruby Princess
  • Sapphire Princess
  • Sea Princess
  • Sky Princess
  • Star Princess
  • Sun Princess

2 additional ships will be added soon: Enchanted Princess will debut in June 2020 and Discovery Princess will arrive in 2021.

Majestic Princess Princess Cruise
Majestic Princess. Image Credit: Princess Cruises

Departure Ports

Princess sails to over 380 cruise destinations on all 7 continents from 32 departure ports.

Departure Ports
North America and the CaribbeanAnchorage (Whittier), AKFt. Lauderdale, FLHonolulu, HILos Angeles (San Pedro), CA
New York City, NYQuebec City, Quebec, CanadaSan Francisco, CASan Juan, Puerto Rico
Seattle, WAVancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Asia 
 
Bangkok (Laem Chabang), ThailandBeijing (Tianjin), ChinaKobe, JapanOtaru, Japan
Shanghai, ChinaSingaporeYokohama, Japan
Europe
 
Athens (Piraeus), GreeceBarcelona, SpainCopenhagen, DenmarkLondon (Dover), England
Rome (Civitavecchia), ItalyVenice, Italy
Australia and the Pacific
 
Auckland, New ZealandBrisbane, AustraliaMelbourne, AustraliaPerth (Fremantle), Australia
Sydney, AustraliaTahiti (Papeete), French Polynesia
South AmericaBuenos Aires, ArgentinaRio de Janeiro, BrazilSantiago (Valsparaiso), Chile

Private Ports/Islands

While on a Princess Cruise, you may stop at Princess Cays, a private resort on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas. This resort is situated on over 40 acres with a 1/2 mile of beautiful shoreline.

While in port at Princess Cays, you’ll be able to enjoy lots of activities including volleyball, snorkeling, kayaking, banana boats, fishing, aqua chairs, and more. You’ll also be able to browse shops at the local craft market or take in the views on the observation tower.

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Onboard Activities

Princess Cruises offers everything you would expect onboard a cruise ship and then some. You’ll find cruise staples like pools, a casino, Broadway-inspired shows, art auctions, and kid’s events, plus a host of activities unique to Princess.

You may notice that Princess doesn’t offer many of the “thrill” type activities offered on other large cruise lines like waterslides or zip-lining. That’s because the activities you’ll find on a Princess ship are focused more on cultural and destination-specific experiences (think hula lessons in Hawaii and Brazilian samba dancers in South America). Don’t worry — there’s still plenty to do on a Princess cruise!

Keep an eye out for some of these unique offerings from Princess (some activities may have an additional charge):

  • Animal Planet meet-and-greets
  • Basketball
  • Camp Discovery
  • Culinary demonstrations
  • Dancing classes
  • Destination-themed activities
  • Discovery at SEA
  • Escape room
  • Festivals of the World
  • Golf driving range
  • Lotus Spa and fitness center
  • Mini golf
  • Outdoor movies
  • Ping pong
  • Princess book club
  • Reef Family Splash Zone
  • Shuffleboard
  • Tai chi
  • Wine tasting
  • Yoga
  • Zumba

Formal Nights

The number of formal nights on a Princess Cruise varies by the length of the cruise.

Length of CruiseNumber of Formal Nights
1-4 days0
5-6 days1
7-13 days2
14-20 days3
21-28 days4
29+ days5 or more

On formal nights, formal attire is required in both the Anytime Dining and Traditional Dining locations. Appropriate attire includes evening gowns, cocktail dresses, tuxedos, dinner jackets, or a suit and tie.

Princess MedallionClass

Princess MedallionClass cruises are the next level in cruising and available on select ships and itineraries. On these cruises, you’ll receive an OceanMedallion, a wearable device about the size of a quarter that will make your cruise a breeze.

Princess OceanMedallion
The OceanMedallion is a wearable device that can do everything from unlocking your stateroom door to helping you order a drink. Image Credit: Princess Cruises

This handy little medallion will unlock your stateroom door, help with expedited embarkation, and it can order drinks, food and other services on demand. It will steer you in the right direction with turn-by-turn navigation, or it can even help you locate your travel companions. You can even use it to play games like bingo, slots, and poker throughout the ship.

Your OceanMedallion is waterproof and heat, sand, and salt-resistant, so you can wear it anywhere your cruise will take you. It comes with a lanyard, or you can order from a choice of stylish accessories including sport bands, clips, pendants, and bracelets.

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Dining and Beverages

You will not go hungry on a Princess cruise! There are so many different options to choose from, including complimentary dining as well as specialty locations that require an additional fee.

Complimentary Dining

As is standard on cruises, Princess offers a ton of dining choices that are included in your cruise fare. Look for these restaurants on your next cruise; not all locations are offered on every ship.

  • Alfredo’s Pizzeria
  • Burger & Hot Dog Grill
  • Gelato
  • Horizon Court Buffet
  • International Cafe
  • Main Dining Room (offering Anytime Dining or Traditional Dining)
  • Movies & Munchies (snacks and pizza during outside movies)
  • Room service (some charges may apply)
  • Soft Serve on Deck
  • The Pastry Shop at Horizon Court
  • Vines

Hot Tip: The main dining room on a Princess Cruise offers 2 types of dining — Anytime or Traditional. Anytime Dining allows you to eat anytime you wish between 5:30 p.m. — 10:00 p.m. and you can choose to sit at a private table or with other guests. Traditional Dining offers an “old school” cruise experience with 2 seatings (early or late) each night. You’ll eat at the same table with the same people and the same waitstaff each night of your cruise.

Specialty Dining

Princess also offers plenty of specialty restaurants that come with an additional charge; not all locations are available on every ship.

  • Bayou Cafe
  • Bistro Sur La Mer
  • Chef’s Table
  • Crown Grill
  • Curtis Stone SHARE
  • Harmony
  • Kai Sushi
  • Sterling Steakhouse
  • Sabatini’s Italian Trattoria
  • The Salty Dog Gastropub
  • Ultimate balcony dining (private)
Princess Love Boat Dream
You’ll find every type of food you can imagine on a Princess Cruise. From pizza to steak, salads to sushi, there’s something for everyone. Don’t forget dessert — the Princess Love Boat Dream is a classic favorite when onboard a Princess Cruise. Image Credit: Princess Cruises

Bars and Beverages

There are plenty of bars located throughout every Princess ship. Most beverages come with an additional charge. If you would prefer to pay for drinks upfront, you can purchase one of 3 beverage packages:

  • Premier Beverage Package includes everything — beer, wine, cocktails, soda, specialty coffees, and more — and is available for $59.99 per person per day.
  • Premier Coffee and Soda Package includes premier coffee and teas, soda, juices, hot chocolate, and mocktails for $19.99 per person per day.
  • Classic Soda Package includes fountain sodas, fruit juices, mocktails and smoothies for $9.99 per person per day.

Hot Tip: Each guest over 21 years old can bring 1 bottle of wine or Champagne (750 milliliters maximum) onboard which won’t incur a corkage fee as long as it’s consumed in a stateroom. Additional bottles of wine or Champagne can be brought onboard but will incur a $15 per bottle corkage fee regardless of where they are consumed.

Accommodations

Princess Cruises offers a variety of staterooms to fit your needs, whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway for 2 or you’re planning to bring the whole family.

Here are some of the highlights:

Oceanview Staterooms come with all the amenities offered by Interior Staterooms, but these also offer a porthole or window. Upgrade to a Premium Oceanview room for dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows.

Premium Oceanview room princess cruise line
A Premium Oceanview Stateroom offers an affordable way to get a great view, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows. Image Credit: Princess Cruises

Choose a luxurious Mini-Suite if you’re looking for a little more space and amenities. Most Mini-Suites have balconies, but some don’t (they will be labeled “Mini-Suite No Balcony”). These staterooms have a separate sitting area with 2 TVs and come with a complimentary welcome glass of Champagne on embarkation day.

princess cruise line suite
Princess Cruise Line Suites offer guests a little more space and luxury. Image Credit: Princess Cruises

A 2 Bedroom Family Suite is perfect for larger families or groups. These rooms feature 2 bathrooms plus a large living room, and private balcony. 2 Bedroom Family Suites sleep 6-8 people, depending on the ship.

Sky Suites are the ultimate in cruise luxury. These amazing suites offer over 1,800 square feet of space including the largest balcony at sea. Each suite accommodates up to 5 guests in 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. The amenities are plentiful and include:

  • Pre-Cruise shoreside concierge
  • Suite Experience Manager
  • Reserved Princess Theater seating
  • Complimentary access to The Enclave
  • Reserved Princess Cays bungalow
  • Premium Champagne upon arrival
  • Bar setup and mixers
  • Complimentary Maître d’ wine tasting
  • Private Movies Under the Stars balcony viewing
  • Deluxe telescope for Discovery Stargazing at SEA
  • Ultimate Balcony Breakfast and Dinner
Princess Cruises Sky Suites
Princess Cruises’ Sky Suites are the ultimate in luxury cruise accommodations. Image Credit: Princess Cruises

Hot Tip: Princess Cruises also offers a selection wheelchair-accessible staterooms that come with a roll-in shower with grab bars and a fold-down seat, an easy access closet, and an accessible writing desk.

Captain’s Circle

Captain’s Circle is Princess Cruises’ loyalty program. It offers 4 distinct levels of status that can be earned based on the number of cruises you’ve taken or the total number of days at sea you’ve sailed with Princess.

You’ll earn 1 cruise credit for each cruise you complete and your credits will be doubled if you book a full suite.

Gold

You’ll earn Gold status after your first cruise with Princess. Here are just some of the benefits offered to Gold members:

  • Captain’s Circle cruise discounts and reduced deposit
  • Members-only events onboard
  • Circle magazine
  • Gold member recognition pin

Ruby

You’ll earn Ruby status from your fourth or fifth cruise credit or 31-50 cruise days. In addition to all of the Gold level benefits, you’ll receive additional perks including:

  • An upgrade to Princess Platinum Vacation Protection when you purchase a Princess Vacation Protection package at the standard rate
  • 10% discount off the Reflections DVD that’s filmed during your cruise
  • Ruby member recognition pin

Platinum

Platinum status is earned from your sixth or fifteenth cruise credit or 51-150 cruise days. You’ll receive the Gold and Ruby level benefits plus some extras including:

  • Priority check-in
  • Platinum disembarkation lounge
  • Complimentary internet package
  • Platinum member recognition pin

Elite

You’ll earn the top tier Elite status from your sixteenth cruise credit or 151+ cruise days. This is the highest level of status offered by Princess Cruises and includes the following additional benefits:

  • Access to booking cruises before the general public
  • Priority tender at ports that require a water shuttle
  • Laundry and shoe polishing services
  • Complimentary minibar set up
  • Deluxe canapés on formal nights
  • Afternoon tea
  • Upgraded bathroom amenities
  • 10% discount in onboard shops
  • Wine tasting
  • Elite member recognition pin

Bottom Line: When booking your cruise, make sure you’re using the right credit card to maximize your benefits. See our guide to the best credit cards to book cruises for some guidance.

Final Thoughts

Cruising can be a great way to travel! On a cruise, you can visit multiple destinations while only having to unpack once.

Princess Cruises is one of the world’s largest luxury cruise lines and sails to over 380 destinations worldwide on 18 ships across all 7 continents.

It offers some of the most unique experiences at sea including Discovery at SEA enrichment programs, Festivals of the World celebrations, Discovery and Animal Planet exclusive tours, Princess book club, and more!

On a Princess cruise, you can do everything or nothing at all — the choice is yours. Either way, you’ll be able to visit fantastic destinations, enjoy great food, and relax in a comfortable stateroom.


Frequently asked questions

Which Princess cruise ship is the newest?

Sky Princess, which started sailing in October 2019, is the newest ship in the Princess fleet. In June 2020, Enchanted Princess will make her debut, and Discovery Princess is due to set sail in November 2021.

How much are gratuities on Princess Cruises?

Gratuities on Princess Cruises were raised in 2019. They are now as follows:

  • Interior/Oceanview/Balcony — $14.50 per guest, per day
  • Mini-Suites (including Club Class) — $15.50 per guest, per day
  • Full Suites — $16.50 per guest, per day

What's included in a Princess Cruise?

Depending on what type of package you purchase, you may have some extras like gratuities, drinks, or specialty dinners included in your cruise fare. Regardless of what type of package you purchase, the following will always be complimentary: breakfast, lunch, and dinner in the main dining rooms, casual dining locations like the buffet, and 24-hour room service. Entertainment, like Broadway-style shows and themed parties, is included as well.

Are drinks included on Princess Cruises?

Like most other cruise lines, most drinks outside of water, coffee, and tea are not included. You can, however, purchase a beverage package that will give you unlimited drinks for 1 flat price.

Packages range from the Classic Soda Package for $9.99 per person per day to the Premier Package which includes alcoholic beverages for $59.99 per person per day.

Katie Seemann

About Katie Seemann

Katie is an Ohio native who caught the travel bug after spending a semester in college in Nottingham, England. In addition to exploring England, she visited Ireland, Scotland and the Netherlands during that time and loved every minute of it (everything except the hostel in Scotland – that’s an experience she doesn’t intend on repeating!) In 2015, Katie discovered the world of points and miles, and since then she’s earned countless points and has an embarrassingly large number of credit cards in her wallet (which she needs a spreadsheet to keep track of!)

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