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Not been on the Princess, but went on Independence on it's first main voyage in May. It was BRILLIANT. We were 60+, but enjoyed all of the music etc, & the shows were fantastic. The Promenade is just like walking down a street-- coffee shops etc, & something going on all the time. The ice shows are great too- tickets are free, but if you are at the desk as soon as they are being given out, you'll only wait 10 mins or so. Also be in your seats quite early, & you'll really enjoy them-- One show the first week, repeated another day, then a different show the 2nd week.
Hia, the grand P is very good ,and like you we have been on a good few ships and wanted 2 try something else ,and it was very nice ,we are going back on board in april and looking forward 2 it , so enjoy ,.
G.P. is in line with the previous ships you have cruised on, being a more 'traditional' cruise experience. The Indy carries more passengers which means longer queues for most things but does have more Razzamatazz, being geared for a wider age range......Wilba.
Having crusied on the IOS and the Freedom we found them both fantastic ships, in view of the large numbers of passengers there was plenty of deck space and the promenades on the inside of the ship were excellent for people watching, and the ships staff doing shows etc. There is always a quiet corner to find on deck and ample deck chairs. Having not sailed on Princess but have been on the Grand Princess for a visit did not like it. Haaving been on PNO/RFC/CEL we find RCL suit us and in fact we are off on The Brillance of the Seas in June for our third time and really looking forward to it.
You will not be disappointed with IOS and you must go to the ice shows they were wonderful . We did the Med on this ship last September, and we arrived at Southampton at 10.40 on boat show day and we were on board by 11.00am and cases in cabin by 2pm giving ample time to get unpacked before sailing. They have the embarkation and disembarkation well tuned as they must do with the large number of passengers. On tip is to avoid the scholl holidays and the children love this ship with so much to d .
Have been on both ships - both totally different. Independence night life centers around the "street" . It is great fun with lots of activities. A fabulous ship but very large as is the Grand Princess. I love both ships and would go on them again over and over. The Grand Princess has great nights at the back of the ship by the adults pool. Great party nights. Food was excellent on both. I had no complaints. We went from Southampton on the Independence with no problems at all. Hope you can decide - it is hard choice. Both are great!