Celebrity Banishes Catholic Chaplains from Cruise Ships

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#1
Syracuse
5 Posts
Joined Dec 2003
I have heard from my pastor that on short notice Celebrity Cruise Lines canceled all the chaplain postings on Celebrity and Azamara ships for 2010, with the exception two days: Christmas and Easter Sunday. This left many priests holding nonrefundable airline tickets for which Celebrity refuses to compensate. These chaplains, mostly retired priests, have long provided inter-denominational services on Sundays, both daily and Sunday Masses for Catholic passengers and officers on board, and usually a service for the crew once a week or so. In addition, they also provide informal gratis counseling, wedding vow renewals, etc. For a time Celebrity also had Protestant Chaplains on board for one service a week.

Since Celebrity neither paid the chaplains or provided air fare as they often do with other "entertainers" on board, and since these chaplains spent money on board (including daily tips for room and wait staff and staff who helped set up services), its not clear why Celebrity took this step since all they provided was basic passage--a revenue point that is being deeply discounted wherever you look. Now only Hollard American provides this chaplain service among larger cruise lines.

In spite of daily Mass often being scheduled at impossible times, 30-40 passengers availed themselves of this daily religious renewal on a relaxing cruise. I have been on 16 cruises with this line and always found it a plus to be able to pray at sea. Depending on the size of the ship, and the timing of Sunday services (the 11th Commandment is that one must never compete with Bingo or Shore Shopping talks), often 200-400 people would come to church at sea on Sunday. No more. No More---perhaps Celebrity will have time now for yet another Diamonds International talk instead....

Passengers who enjoyed this religious "activity" on board Celebrity should let RCCL know that although they are cutting back in several passenger service areas, this is one they should keep. I do so hope the rumors about Celebrity going downhill in several areas prove to be untrue. President and CEO is Adam Goldstein at RCCL. Give him a jingle. Otherwise start at [email protected].

Sad.
#2
Wilmington,De,USA
23,130 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Celebrity Crusie Line Says No To Catholic Priests

I hope Catholics make their displeasure known.

While we do meet the needs of many guests onboard by supplying a priest, we have recently encountered a great deal of negative feedback pertaining to the "selective" support of one particular religion/faith. While Celebrity Cruises is unable to provide one minister/religious leader of every faith onboard every sailing, we have had to make areduction in the number of Roman Catholic Priests placements onboard.

Is anyone buying that? I mean are people really unhappy with the traditional arrangement of a Catholic Priesst and a generic sort Protestant Minister for the non Catholics?
from
http://opinionatedcatholic.blogspot....ays-no-to.html
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#3
2,863 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
I assume the cancellation was in compliance with whatever cancellation policy was in the contract between X and the chaplains.

As for X service levels, they have been going up significantly since the launch of Solstice and Equinox, the new Captain's Club perks, the new menu's, etc. X product is better today than it has been in years.

Obviously some people are going to miss the chaplains. If so, send X a letter. But don't assume everybody agrees with you. There are so many religions out there; why do all of us need to pay for free passage for representatives from only one or two religions? Why no Imam, brahmin (hindu priest), etc.? Best to have none. Just my opinion.

Something tells me this is going to be a topic with high moderator attention lol

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#4
2,863 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Originally posted by derf5585
While Celebrity Cruises is unable to provide one minister/religious leader of every faith onboard every sailing, we have had to make areduction in the number of Roman Catholic Priests placements onboard.
I rest my case. This is a very fair policy change.

Floris
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#5
Maryland
572 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
My understanding is that the presence of Catholic priests on Celebrity ships was a stipulation from the previous Greek owner of the predecessor of Celebrity. That requirement may have expired the first of the year.

If, in fact, some priests were left holding non-refundable airline tickets I would hope that Celebrity might do something to ease this transition.

I don't see anyone here so far who knows the whole story.
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#6
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Joined May 2004
Originally posted by derf5585
Saturday, December 19, 2009
While we do meet the needs of many guests onboard by supplying a priest, we have recently encountered a great deal of negative feedback pertaining to the "selective" support of one particular religion/faith. While Celebrity Cruises is unable to provide one minister/religious leader of every faith onboard every sailing, we have had to make areduction in the number of Roman Catholic Priests placements onboard.
Yes I buy this,
I am sure every relgion represented by passengers and crew on board would like to have a religious leader of their faith on board. Celebrity cannot support only a Catholic Priest and ignoring ALL others.
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TwelveOhOne
#7
San Francisco
34 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Catholic Priests, Bridge, whatever. Any offering on Celebrity or in life to which one avails himself will always be missed if discontinued. On the flip side, those who don't partake won't miss it at all.
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#8
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Joined Jan 2009
To my mind this change is unfortunate and I will be contacting Celebrity to let my disappointment be known.
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#9
Florida
3,233 Posts
Joined Jun 2008
I am personally sad to hear this. On my recent Connie cruise, I was impressed at the number of Catholic Masses offered during the 14 days. It's not b/c it will personally affect me.

If Celebrity finds it "necessary" (obviously it's a business decision) to eliminate the Catholic priests, I wish they would've at least done it for future bookings but kept the ones in place whose services they had already invited to cruise with them.

However, perhaps they had already booked the Roman Catholic priests for all of 2010? As I've mentioned on another thread, a friend of mine was already booked to do the bridge teaching/directing for autumn of 2010 and he was just recently cancelled.

I know there were scheduling dilemmas space-wise on the Connie (esp., of course, on at-sea days) but I still disagree with this decision by Celebrity (or RCI).
#10
Outside Washington DC
101 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
Originally posted by davestic
Catholic Priests, Bridge, whatever. Any offering on Celebrity or in life to which one avails himself will always be missed if discontinued. On the flip side, those who don't partake won't miss it at all.

Amen.
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#11
4,157 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
I am really surprised that Celebrity did this.

There are many Catholics who will not cruise unless they can attend a regular Sunday mass with a priest. If they are in port on a Sunday then they could go to mass in Town, but if Sunday falls on a Sea Day, they would not be able to attend.

My parents, forexample, never miss mass and will attend Mass in a foriegn language they do not understand like Spanish or German if that is the only Mass available. When they have cruised on Carnival from Sunday to Sunday they have attended the early mass before they cruise in Galveston, and then the late mass after they disembark before they drive home.

They also went on a HAL cruise last summer that was promoted in Catholic newspapers as offering Daily Mass. There were many people who took that cruise with the specifically for the Daily Mass offerings.

When I was a kid cruising with my parents there was always a Priest on board no matter what line.

Celebrity also has many Catholics on board in the crew from the Phillippines, Croatia, Italy, Goa India, and other places around the world, who really appreciate being able to attend mass on board.

I know they can't have a minister of every faith on board, but Mass is such and important event every week for many Catholics that they wouldn't want to miss.
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#12
Ellenton,FL
3,634 Posts
Joined Feb 2005
Originally posted by Cruise Arizona
I am really surprised that Celebrity did this.

There are many Catholics who will not cruise unless they can attend a regular Sunday mass with a priest. If they are in port on a Sunday then they could go to mass in Town, but if Sunday falls on a Sea Day, they would not be able to attend.

My parents, forexample, never miss mass and will attend Mass in a foriegn language they do not understand like Spanish or German if that is the only Mass available. When they have cruised on Carnival from Sunday to Sunday they have attended the early mass before they cruise in Galveston, and then the late mass after they disembark before they drive home.

They also went on a HAL cruise last summer that was promoted in Catholic newspapers as offering Daily Mass. There were many people who took that cruise with the specifically for the Daily Mass offerings.

When I was a kid cruising with my parents there was always a Priest on board no matter what line.

Celebrity also has many Catholics on board in the crew from the Phillippines, Croatia, Italy, Goa India, and other places around the world, who really appreciate being able to attend mass on board.

I know they can't have a minister of every faith on board, but Mass is such and important event every week for many Catholics that they wouldn't want to miss.
They have 3 choices,stay home and attend mass,go on a cruise line that has mass,or just pray on their own in the privacy of their cabin.Too bad we don't have something multi-denominational that would suffice for all religions.We can only pray for that.
#13
8,869 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
Just curious. What has the Celebrity policy regarding rabbis been?
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#14
San Diego
4,221 Posts
Joined Nov 2003
Occasionally I would happen to be by the venue where a Mass was being held. It was always very sparsely attended. What do Catholic and other religious travelers do when on vacation not on a cruise ship?
#15
Scotland
208 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
Cant agree more with Celebrity on this one, why should one religion get preferance over another, it is a wrong that they seem to have put rite. I say well done.
#16
3,125 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
Originally posted by HeavySurf
Just curious. What has the Celebrity policy regarding rabbis been?

I don't remember ever seeing a Rabbi on a Celebrity Ship. However, we took a cruise on NCL Gem a few weeks ago, during Hanukkah, and there were Hanukkah services every night which were led by a Rabbi. Then after services there were latkes and champagne, provided by the cruise line, for everyone who had attended the service. My husband and I only attended services during one of those nights but were very impressed that the cruise director stopped by before services began to insure that the Rabbi had everything he needed and that there were enough latkes and champagne for all of us.
#18
2,501 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
Originally posted by Ma Bell
There have always been Rabbis aboard Celebrity ships.
We don't cruise over the Jewish Holidays. Having said that, we often go to Shabbat services and I have yet to see a Rabbi.
#19
3,162 Posts
Joined May 2006
Originally posted by teajak
They have 3 choices,stay home and attend mass,go on a cruise line that has mass,or just pray on their own in the privacy of their cabin.Too bad we don't have something multi-denominational that would suffice for all religions. We can only pray for that.
I agree. If anything religious is provided, it should be multi-denominational.

Jesus said: "The kingdom of God is within you." That being applicable to most religions, not just Catholic (and not just Christian), any faith should be able to survive without a weekly mass.
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#20
Shalimar FL
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Joined Jan 2008
Did a search on Celebrity website, on Google and others and only found the Blog that the OP is referencing. The Blog added it 19 Dec but doesn't list the actual source it got the info from except for a general reference to AOS-USA. As what occurs sometimes, as I type this, the actual Celebrity info may become available, but right now, this Blog the OP is 'quoting' is the only source I can find.

So before we all decide Celebrity is cutting Catholics lose, or is making a good decision, lets find out the real status. Not that I don't believe every Blog posting and start to nail the evildoers, I guess we should take a breath and see what occurs. I also went to the referenced source (AOS-USA) and there isn't anything there, at least for non-members.

Denny
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