The Complete Guide to Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises is a premium cruise line with elegant ships, plentiful amenities and worldwide destinations.
Carissa Rawson
By Carissa Rawson 

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Princess Cruises is a U.S. cruise line owned by Carnival Corp., which also owns and operates other lines including Carnival, Holland America and Cunard.

First launched in 1965, Princess Cruises offers passengers the opportunity to sail all over the world, including to North America, South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Australia and Antarctica.

About Princess Cruises

Here’s a quick overview of some of Princess Cruises' key features.

  • Cabin types: Princess Cruises ships feature room types that are standard across most cruise lines. These include interior, ocean view, balcony, mini-suite and suite rooms. Princess Cruises’ inside rooms are contemporary and well-furnished, as are its higher-end offerings. 

  • Main U.S. routes: You’ll find Princess Cruise ships throughout the U.S., though routes are heavily season-dependent. Look for Caribbean cruises out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and for destinations along the West Coast, out of Los Angeles.  

  • Loyalty program: Captain’s Circle is the name of Princess Cruises’ loyalty program, which provides elite benefits based on how much you’ve cruised with the line. 

Princess Cruises destinations

Princess Cruise offers a large array of itineraries and destinations. Its sailings range in length from two-day getaways to a 116-day journey that travels around the globe, and it stops in seven continents and 330 ports of call.

Princess Cruises prices

Princess ships tend to be a little more upscale than some other options, which means it can be more expensive to travel on one. However, that doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily be paying luxury prices.

Prices for rooms can vary dramatically based on when you travel. The cost is higher during the holidays. For example, a seven-day Western Caribbean cruise leaving from Fort Lauderdale can cost as little as $548 for an interior room. However, if you’re traveling during the winter holidays, the price skyrockets up to $1,178 for the same room.

What is the best Princess cruise ship?

There are a total of 15 vessels on this cruise line, with two more ships planned for sailings in 2024 or later.

Many of the line’s ships score well with reviewers, including the Discovery Princess ship, which is one of six Royal Class vessels. These vessels feature a larger atrium (the social hub of the ship), private poolside cabanas, a glass-bottomed over-water SeaWalk and more staterooms with balconies.

What is the newest Princess Cruises ship?

The Discovery Princess is the newest ship. It debuted in 2022 and can carry up to 3,660 guests. However, according to Princess Cruises news, the Sun Princess will soon take the title of newest ship with its inaugural voyage in 2024.

What’s included in a Princess cruise

While most cruises include many services and amenities with the base fare, not everything comes at that rate. There are some extras that you may need to pay more for.

Here’s what comes with each fare package on a Princess cruise:

  • The Princess Standard fare includes your cabin, use of facilities, all meals, snacks and entertainment. 

  • The Princess Plus fare includes all the amenities of the Princess Standard fare but also provides Wi-Fi service to one device, crew gratuities, premium beverages (including most alcoholic drinks), fitness classes, food delivery and two nights of dining at a casual sit-down restaurant.

  • The Princess Premier package includes all of the above, with Wi-Fi available on multiple devices, a superior drink package, two nights of specialty dining, unlimited casual dining, a photo package and reserved seating at shows. 

Princess Cruises loyalty program: Captain’s Circle

The Captain’s Circle is the loyalty program for Princess Cruises, and after you complete your first cruise, you’re automatically a member with Gold tier status.

Captain’s Circle levels

The Captain’s Circle levels are Gold, Ruby, Platinum and Elite. Here’s how to reach each tier as well as the benefits you’ll receive.


  • How to earn: Complete one Princess cruise. 

  • Best benefits: Preferential pricing, members-only events. 


  • How to earn: Complete three cruises or 30 cruise days.

  • Best benefits: Vacation protection upgrade, shoreside access to priority phone line.


  • How to earn: Complete five cruises or 50 cruise days. 

  • Best benefits: 50% off Wi-Fi package, priority boarding, early access to dining reservations, exclusive member lounge, 10% discount on spa treatments. 


  • How to earn: Complete 15 cruises or 150 cruise days. 

  • Best benefits: Early access to new itineraries, 10% off-shore excursions, complimentary mini-bar setup, complimentary laundry services, priority embarkation and disembarkation.

(Top photo courtesy of Princess Cruises)

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024, including those best for:

Cards for Cruises from our Partners
Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

on Chase's website

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card

on Bank of America's website

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card
NerdWallet Rating
Rewards rate


Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases.


Intro offer


Receive 60,000 online bonus points - a $600 value - after you make at least $4,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

See more cards for cruises
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