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I'm a first-timer and am hoping to get some advice. The prices on these two cruises are comparable. Given that, which would you choose?
Princess, on the Star Princess, 7 nights, Ft. Lauderdale, private Princess island, Ochos Rios, Cozumel, Cayman.
Celebrity, on Constellation, 6 nights, Puerto Rico, Barbados, Antigua, Dominican Republic, St. Lucia.
Either way, we're going for a balcony room.
We're a youngish couple (early 30s), looking to relax, read, work out, drink, dine, play in the pool/on the beach, etc.
I haven't sailed either line, but I will base my suggestion on the itinerary. I like the Celebrity ship itinerary better than Princess. BUT the question is, what do you like? If both ships are the same price, then choose the itinerary that you would like. One thing though, air fare to Puerto Rico can be high, if that's a factor, Princess will be a great choice as well to save money on the airfare..
Hi, Megadoodle - First, you really can't go wrong with either of your choices. Both ships are relatively new and have lots of options for activities on board. Since the cruise you're considering is in the Caribbean, both lines will have a somewhat younger, party-oriented group on board than they would elsewhere (Alaska, Europe). You should browse the boards for each of the lines to get an idea of who their typical passengers are, and read some of the reviews for each ship for the same reason. And ignore the reviews that are one extreme or the other: "best cruise ever" and/or "worst cruise ever."
That said, Princess tends to be a more mainstream, all-things-to-all-people cruise line. Clean, well-designed ships with lots of activities. Good food that's not too challenging or adventurous. A variety of dining options, including traditional assigned seating. Friendly service that's not always professional, just friendly. Traditional, non-challenging artwork and decoration(think pastels, light woodwork, and brass). A wide range of cabins including suites, but no butler service for even the largest suite. Frequent announcements during the day.
Celebrity aims for a more upscale cruiser who wants a more "traditional" cruising experience with their ship design, their food, and their service. They emphasize their traditional dining room with assigned seating, although the class of ships including the Constellation have both an upscale specialty restaurant and a casual dining option. If you think two hours is too long for dinner, you might not be happy on Celebrity. Professional service that some people call "stuffy," others would call "European." Ships filled with interesting modern artwork and vaguely art-moderne design. Only one announcement a day, from the captain, at noon.
You're doing the right thing to ask for opinions - gather them all together and weigh the pluses and minuses. There is no "best" cruiseline, only the best one for you!
Legend OTS, Western Med 5/2000; Galaxy, Alaska 8/2000; Sun Princess, Pacific Coastal 5/2001; Millenium, Eastern Caribbean 11/2001; Infinity, Alaska 7/2002; Norwegian Star, Hawaii 1/2003; Coral Princess, Pacific Coastal 5/2003; Mercury, Mexican Riviera 10/2003; Dawn Princess, Pacific Coastal 5/2004; Zuiderdam, Western Caribbean 6/2004; Constellation, Canada/New England 10/2004; Infinity, Pacific Coastal 8/2005; Millenium, Transatlantic 11/2005; Diamond Princess, Pacific Coastal 5/2006; Infinity, Pacific Coastal 6/2006; Jewel OTS, Baltic/Russia 8/2006; Constellation, Transatlantic 4/2007; NCLA Pride of Hawaii repo HON - LAX 2/2008; and upcoming: Celebrity Reflection, Transatlantic 4/2013
I've been on both Celebrity and Princess. All very nice ships. My suggestion is to go with the itinerary that most appeals to you. I personally would never cruise without having a private balcony. Also I'm pretty much a meat and potatoes kind of guy so I liked the food on Princess a little better especially the buffets.
Frank's not dead...he's just having a drink with Dean.
Meg, I've sailed on both lines. I think that if the price is the same that Celebrity is a better choice as I find their service and food to be better. With that said, it looks like you get one additional day on Princess and the Princess itinerary looks a little better so that is something to think about. I'm sure you will enjoy either line.
The poster who suggested that higher airfare to/from the port of San Juan impacting your bottom line made an excellent point! While the ports of call on the Celebrity cruise sound better (to me, anyway), I don't think they compensate for the higher cost of getting there and the loss of an entire day of cruising (i.e. 6 days vs. 7). As for comparing the two cruiselines, in my experience they're very similar in terms of service, amenities, and food-- matter of fact, I think they compete well for the same type of passengers.