Posted August 10th, 2004, 05:55 PM
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; Celebrity Reflection, Transatlantic 4/2013; Monarch OTS, Bahamas 10/2013; and upcoming: Grand Princess, Pacific Coastal 9/2015