Princess vs Royal Caribbean

Should your next cruise be with Princess Cruises or Royal Caribbean? Help is at hand here.

Neither Royal Caribbean nor Princess Cruises can be accused of being shrinking violets as far as their profiles in the cruise industry are concerned.

Both of these lines are world famous for their range of products and for their good quality.

So how do you choose between the two? Use the below table and the price comparison test to see how the lines size up with each other.

Princess vs Royal Caribbean

Feature Princess Royal Caribbean Verdict
Where does it sail to?
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Caribbean
  • Central America
  • Europe
  • South America
  • New Zealand
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Caribbean
  • Central America
  • Europe
  • New Zealand
  • USA
Princess covers more destinations.
Does it have Wi-Fi? Yes, for a fee. Yes, for a fee. Both offer Wi-Fi for a fee.
Does it provide towels? Yes. Yes. Both provide towels.
Contact options
  • E-mail
  • Phone
  • E-mail
  • Phone
  • Post
Royal Caribbean can be contacted by post.
Is it all-inclusive? No. No. Neither is all-inclusive.
How much is the deposit? Deposits start at 5% of the cruise cost.
  • 1-6 nights: $100
  • 7-14 nights: $200
  • 15+ nights: 400
Deposits are similar.
Does it have a gym? Yes. Yes. Both have gyms.
Does it have hairdryers, laundry and irons? Both are available. Charges apply to self-service laundry. Hair dryers are provided. Self-service laundry is not. Princess offers self-service laundry.
Does it include food? Yes. Yes. Both include food.
Does it have casinos? Yes. Yes. Both have casinos.
Does it have an ATM? Yes. Yes. Both have ATMs.
Does it have formal nights? Yes. Yes. Both have formal nights.
How much are drinks? US$5-6 for a beer and US$7-11 for a wine. US$5-8 for a beer and US$6-12 for a wine. Drink prices are similar.
Is it good for families? Yes. Yes, especially the newer ships. Both lines are good for families.
Does it have child care? Yes, group kid sitting. Yes. Both offer child care.
Does it have virtual balconies? No. On some ships. Royal Caribbean has virtual balconies.
Does it have a waterslide? No. Yes. Royal Caribbean has waterslides.
Does it have a promenade? Yes. Yes. Both have promenades.
Does it have free room service? Yes. Some items are free but gratuities apply. Royal Caribbean has some charges associated with its room service.
What are my payment options?
  • American Express
  • Carte Blanche
  • Diners Club
  • Discover
  • JCB
  • Mastercard
  • Visa
  • American Express
  • Discovery
  • Diners Card
  • Mastercard
  • Visa
Payment options are similar.
Can I price match? No. No. Neither price matches.
Does it allow for cancellations/changes? All fares come with cancellation penalties. Some fares come with cancellation penalties. Both penalise for some cancellations.
How much are airport transfers to the departure port? Most transfers cost around US$18 for 10 miles. Prices vary. For example, Miami Airport to Port Everglades (30 miles) is US$29 each way. Airport transfer costs are similar.
How much are gratuities? A discretionary gratuity of US$13.50-15.50 is added to your account daily. US$14.50 per day or US$17.50 for suite guests. Gratuities are similar.
Has a ship ever sunk? No. No. Neither line has had a sunken ship.
Book Book your Princess cruise Book your Royal Caribbean cruise

Who offers the best price?

Prices for a nine-day Sydney to New Zealand cruise, calling at five ports and cruising through one scenic waterway on the way, start at $1,514 with Princess Cruises. Note that the fares we found were on sale at the time of writing.

Prices for a 10-night New Zealand cruise from Sydney, calling at seven ports and cruising through three scenic waterways on the way, start at $1,232 with Royal Caribbean.

The verdict?

Prices for similar cruises are cheaper with Royal Caribbean, even with cruises with Princess being on sale. Princess is renowned for being a more luxurious cruise line compared to Royal Caribbean which is more geared toward families, which could reason out this price difference.

Is this cruise line good?

Princess Cruises is ranked as 3.5/5 on cruise review website Cruise Critic. Reviews highlight good service and decent food.

Royal Caribbean, meanwhile, has an overall rating of 3.5/5 but some ships that operate from Australia, like MS Radiance of the Seas, have higher ratings of 4. The friendliness of the staff is often commented on in reviews.

Any other differences worth noting?

Royal Caribbean has a reputation for being innovative. It pushes the boundaries in new ships with onboard activities such as challenging water slides and assault courses.

What are the deals like?

The main deals from Princess Cruises tend to be broken down by destination and offer reduced prices on cabins.

Royal Caribbean runs offers such as family sales that let kids travel for $29 and give adults 30% off. The line also regularly runs price cuts of up to 30% off on selected destination sailings.

The verdict?

Royal Caribbean tends to offer deals for groups and families across a wider range of destinations and itineraries than Princess.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

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