Cruise holidays don't come cheap, so you want to make sure you book with the cruise line that's best for your needs.
If you’ve got your eye on both a P&O Australia and a Princess itinerary, here’s a guide to how the lines compare – on everything from dining to overall cost.
TL;DR: Our verdict
The winner: This honestly comes down to what you want out of your cruise. For a cheaper, local experience where the kids will have plenty to do, P&O Australiacomes out on top, with more budget friendly sailings that don't require you to tip, and feature fun activities such as waterslides. For something more luxurious where you can travel further and there's less likelihood of running into families, Princess works best.
To settle the argument of cost, we looked at similar cruises by route and journey length on similar dates to see which came out on top price-wise.
The cruise we chose was a 12 night / 13 day trip from Melbourne to New Zealand. We checked prices on 5 April 2018. The costs are shown in the screenshots below.
Princess Cruises came out significantly more expensive than P&O Australia, even with its cruises on sale.
In its defence, Princess is renowned for being a more luxurious cruise line and its itinerary includes more ports of call, though this might not be significant enough for such a large price difference.
Is this cruise line good?
P&O Australia is ranked as 3/5 on cruise review website Cruise Critic. Reviewers talk about how the ships are great for families and about how the onboard entertainment is fun.
Princess Cruises is also ranked as 3.5/5 on Cruise Critic however it's lauded more for its service and friendly staff.
Princess Cruises inches out slightly better than P&O with a 3.5-star rating. It is a more luxurious ship after-all and therefore understandably delivers better service.
Any other differences worth noting?
P&O Australia is more likely to offer themed nights and cruises. This includes Melbourne Cup and comedy cruises which Princess does not.
Latest P&O and Princess deals
P&O Australia offers limited period sales that offer perks like $600 onboard spending money, free premium drinks packages, $1 deposits and $250 cash back.
Princess Cruises offers limited-period deals like 40% off launch fares, $400 onboard spend and deposit offers of as little as 5%.
See below for the latest deals.
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Valid for travel on select dates. Destinations include Moreton Island, Noumea, Hamilton Island, Vanuatu, Brisbane, Sydney and more. Cruises start from $315 per person for 3-night comedy cruises. T&Cs apply.
Moreton Island: 4-night cruise on Pacific Explorer from $565
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Up to $200 on board credit on last-minute cruises
3 Sep 2019
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P&O vs Princess: Who won?
By the numbers, P&O edges ahead but in all honesty, the winner for you is going to be dependent on your style of travel as P&O and Princess' are quite varied.
On one side, P&O is a more youthful cruise ship offering activities such as waterslides and comedy cruises and coming up as budget-friendly in price and fees.
On the other side, Princess is a more luxurious experience that offers world cruises to the Caribbean and Canada, free room service and has a better Cruise Critic review rating due to its exceptional onboard service.
For a quick sticks look, here's a list of both of their winning points:
Stephanie Yip is the travel editor at Finder and has been writing about travel and lifestyle for over a decade. She has written for Travel Weekly, Escape, Thomas Cook Magazine, Showpo, The Nibbler and Hostelworld. She was also the editor of kids magazine DMAG. Stephanie has a Bachelor of Communications from the University of Technology Sydney and has visited over 50 countries (and counting). She has a passion for sharing her experiences and knowledge of travel and helping readers stretch their dollars while on holiday.
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