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Talk to me about Celebrity!


K.T.B.

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Here is my take. I've done one Carnival and one Celebrity. I won't book Carnival again, but have another booked on Celebrity. In your regular life, if you like to stay in boutique hotels,like fine dining. Not chain restaurants! Seek upscale atmosphere bars as opposed to stay up all night party playgrounds. You will love Celebrity. My partner is manager at a 5 star property here in Santa Fe. We know what is expected at that level. Celebrity surpassed those expectations and then some on our first cruise with them. We found ourselves tipping excessively because of the stellar service. Not that it was expected, but we felt that everyone worked so discreetly to provide the ultimate experience for us. We just felt it was the right thing to do. Our experience was unpretentious,"discreet" I'll say it again- service. We have never felt so pampered without being bothered in our lives. We could do as little or as much as we liked onboard. Very resort casual feel. As for the staff they were mind readers. They knew if we needed something almost before we asked. And if we did ask it was only once because it was remembered and repeated throughout the cruise. Without trying to offend anyone. Celebrity is like New York City,Montreal,Miami. Carnival was like spring break at Corpus Christi or Myrtle Beach. Not that I don't like any of these places. I love all of them. Celebrity for us is how we dream of living all of the time. I get to do all of these those things in moderation. When we were on Celebrity we felt special. We felt RIGHT!

 

I don't mind occasionally having the "finer things in life", but that's not who I am all the time. I'm just as comfortable vacationing in a log cabin out in the woods as I am wearing a tux for formal night on a cruise. I always say a cruise is what you make of it.

 

With Carnival, and I know opinions widely vary, it's definitely very middle of the road. And that is NOT a knock on it. I'm not a "Carnival cheerleader", I can only judge the cruises I have been on. I can safely say that I have never had a bad experience on any ship that I've been on. The food has always been quite good or, in some cases, exceptionally good. The only problems I have ever had on board has been with rude passengers. But you're going to encounter rude people no matter what style of vacation you take. I know people like to trash Carnival, but it's great that they're out there with lower priced cruises. In my experience, the lower price was not indicative of lower quality.

 

With that out of the way, as you can see by my signature below, I did book a Southern Caribbean itinerary with Celebrity. I like the option of AquaClass, thuogh some of what's offered I really could care less about actually. :D (Evening hors d’ouvres? Really? OK....) As I mentioned above, the amenities of unlimited use of the sauna and the garden and yoga classes is a perk my wife is looking forward to, while I like what I see on the menu in Blu. The priority check in is nice, as is early embarkation and debarkation, but we always get to the port early enough that we're usually among the first 50-100 on board any way! ;)

 

One other I'll mention here: We had been looking a similar itinerary with Carnival, and almost booked it, but wanted to try Celebrity because, as I mentioned previously, of the possibility of taking a Panama Canal cruise. So we side stepped Carnival and opted for Celebrity.... and got a cheaper rate. Go figure. So, if we enjoy the ship and the atmosphere and basically everything else, we'll probably just look for the best deal possible. AFTER Panama though! :)

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Kevin and heather, You're going to have a wonderful cruise if thats what you have in mind. I don't want to trash Carnival either. My sister loves it! I had fun also. But again, I have never had a bad cruise. Well there was that one tug boat on NCL. It was retired after we took the cruise. Please don't think Celebrity is stuffy. Its what you make of it. I personally like to be very casual most of the time. I do take my tux on Celebrity because its fun to dress up once in a while. Were discussing not taking them on the next cruise because of packing for so many days, and the airlines charging for more suitcases. As for rude people- we had another passenger throw a lobster across the table at dinner on Carnival. He was drunk. It was uncomfortable and he was asked to leave the table. Im not saying this wouldn't happen on Celebrity ,but what I am saying is that the atmosphere in general isn't conducive to this type of behavior. Go and try it. You'll have a great time. We tried Royal Caribbean also which is the same company as Celebrity. We found the ourselves missing Celebrity also. Ive tried other lines. Norwegian, Carnival,Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. Had one cruise booked on Oceania with my parents but my mom got cancer and we had to cancel. So far, we like Celebrity the best. Talk about stuffy! We want to try Cunard next.

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Sorry, a few more things. The food- Its been the best we've had at sea. Don't know if they still do it, but I ordered a full on steak dinner at 1am one night from room service. I was great. Also Im usually not a fan of the MDR thing with strangers at the table with you. But our experience was great on Celebrity. They really know how to assign seating. One of our table mates had just finished Kimo and couldn't taste anything. She ordered pasta the first night and let the waiter know that her circumstances. Every night after that the chef had prepared her a wonderful pasta dish. She could taste them all. It didn't hurt that she was smoking medical ? 420 the entire cruise. We had a blast at dinner. our entire table ended up going on excursions together and have kept in touch after the cruise.

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Sorry, a few more things. The food- Its been the best we've had at sea. Don't know if they still do it, but I ordered a full on steak dinner at 1am one night from room service. I was great. Also Im usually not a fan of the MDR thing with strangers at the table with you. But our experience was great on Celebrity. They really know how to assign seating. One of our table mates had just finished Kimo and couldn't taste anything. She ordered pasta the first night and let the waiter know that her circumstances. Every night after that the chef had prepared her a wonderful pasta dish. She could taste them all. It didn't hurt that she was smoking medical ? 420 the entire cruise. We had a blast at dinner. our entire table ended up going on excursions together and have kept in touch after the cruise.

 

We've had good, bad, and meh experiences with tablemates. The next cruise I am going to try to get a private table for two. Not because we want to be anti-social, but because we're wanting it to be a bit more romantic. Having to sit at a table with 2-6 other people kind of defeats that purpose! The one time I did request a table change from Carnival (or rather the Maitre'D on the ship) there was no problem.

 

Not having any idea as to what to expect with Celebrity, we're going to go in with an open mind and see what happens.

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Hello Kevin

 

I sailed on the Celebrity Shilouette in November 11 for my Honeymoon, it was our first ever cruise. I was so impresssed, the food was great, the cabin was great, we were is aqua class.

 

The crew and staff were very helpful and friendly, we had 3 formal nights but not everyone took part, some people only ate in the Ocean view cafe, thats the buffet, on Celebrity you can have the best of both worlds.

 

I have now booked my second Celebrity cruise on the Shilouette in July around the Eastern Med. My Mum is travelling with me on this cruise and I will be intrested in her thoughts on Celebrity as she has done numerous cruises on different ships and cruise lines.

 

All I can say is get it booked!!!!:):):):):):)

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I'm Platinum on Carnival and Elite on Celebrity and I like Carnival a lot but like Celebrity a lot more.

Even on Carnival, I found the longer cruise (and the Alaskan cruise) the more the demographic skewed to being older w/ fewer children. But I've never seen scads of kids on Celebrity.

 

Back in the 90's, Celebrity's ad campaign was "Sophisticated but not stuffy." I think that says it well. More laid back entertainment, fewer announcements and more polished service on Celebrity.

 

A livelier night life, a bit more high energy during the day and night, and good and friendly service on Carnival but not quite as polished. (I wish Celebrity had the sing along piano bar).

 

I feel both have very good food and on the newer Carnival ships and the Solstice-ized Celebrity ships there are many venues for food, both pay and included.

 

If prices were near the same I'd go w/ Celebrity and lately I've often found them less expensive than Carnival.

 

As for tables for 2: If you dine in Blu MOST of the tables are 2 tops, though they are pretty close to neighboring tables. And in the MDR it's pretty easy to score a 2 top. Again pretty close to other tables.

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Hi Kevin;

 

Full disclosure: I've never been on a Carnival Cruise, so my reply to you could be taken as biased. I've sailed other lines(NCL), but the bulk of my cruise experiences have been with Celebrity.

 

I'm glad you're willing to book a 7 day on Celebrity, so that you can try out the line. I've sailed with Celebrity since 1997, and I really enjoy the atmosphere. While the crowd was a bit older my first time(I was in my mid-late 20's on my first cruise)there were a few folks my age to mingle with. I also often take my cruise vacations during times when children are in school, so I haven't run into a lot of kids, but Celebrity has really ramped up their programs for the young'uns, and they will often have their own pool. The atmosphere may be stuffy to some, but I find it very relaxed and laid back. As for dress code, the daytime is very casual, the non formal evenings a bit more dressy, but there are people who are casually dressed with no problem, especially when they've opted to do the buffet for dinner instead of the MDR. I've worn dark denim, a sequined tank top, and high heels in the MDR during non formal nights(no rips, holes, or trendy sanding)with no problem.

 

There are activities, and while there may be someone on the entertainment staff asking if anyone wants to join in on the pool deck fun, it's not obnoxious or pestering. The crew has consistently been wonderful, very friendly, and I've met some really nice, friendly people. The food has been consistently great(I'm a professional baker of 15 years, trained in New York City), and we've lucked out by always having fun and personable wait staff, and an asst. maitre'd in our section who knew their job.

 

As for rudeness, that will be found anywhere. The huge majority of passengers have been wonderful, and it's a blast to meet people from all over the world. There have also been the minority of boors who think they can make insulting, bigoted remarks and think I haven't heard them. Just like in my everyday life, I ignore these people and never let them interfere with my good time. My family and I really love Celebrity, and like you, we're thinking about a Panama Canal trip in 2014. If you haven't, I urge you to hit the link and read my fellow New Jerseyan CruiseDivaNJ's recent post on her trip to Bermuda....it's exactly what I would've written, because it sums up my love of Bermuda and Celebrity.

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Kevin, the one thing you might want to consider doing now is taking a look at the roll call for whatever date(s) you are looking at. On our TA last year several younger couples met through that forum and then were together at the sailaway party. Everyone, young, middle and older skewed got along great! Most nights, however, many younger passengers were still having martinis after most of the rest of us left!

 

Regarding children, on that lengthy cruise, I don't think there were more than a handful on the entire ship. However, summer and school out might make quite a difference.

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Kevin, the one thing you might want to consider doing now is taking a look at the roll call for whatever date(s) you are looking at. On our TA last year several younger couples met through that forum and then were together at the sailaway party. Everyone, young, middle and older skewed got along great! Most nights, however, many younger passengers were still having martinis after most of the rest of us left!

 

Regarding children, on that lengthy cruise, I don't think there were more than a handful on the entire ship. However, summer and school out might make quite a difference.

 

I already posted in the roll cal thread for my cruise. ;) Not a lot of action in it....yet.

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Kevin, I didn't read through all of the posts, so my answer is more than likely redundant, however here goes: here's our typical sea day on X:

 

We wake up, & both put on our swimsuits, I throw a sundress over mine, & DH will put on a nice tee shirt, we'll breakfast on the aft deck outside the buffet area, where most folks will be dressed like us... we'll play a little bocce ball after breakfast, & then spend the rest of the day reading & sleeping by the pool, it's very laid back in the day time!

 

Sometimes there are some casual pool games, officer vs crew pool volleyball, last cruise there was a paper airplane competition by the pool, but mostly it's quiet if you like, but also there are activities to join in if you like!

 

For Dinner, it's khakis & a polo or nice v neck tee for DH (not an undershirt... the nice ones that are in style right now) & I'll wear something very casual, capris or a casual skirt, we personally skip formal nights...(they only apply in the MDR)

 

We love X for the great service, quiet days, great price, & casual luxury, think of it as a casually elegant W hotel vs a more stuffy Waldorf...

 

Hope this helps!

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This thread has been so great and informative..

 

I too have booked a 10 days Celebrity Cruise for the Xmas period and its or first time cruising X. We have always enjoyed RC and Carnival somewhat but the itinerary grabbed me and to try something a little different. All the replies have been a great insight. I am travelling with a teen and an 8 year old. Given the holiday sailing, I anticipate there to be more families than usual.

 

Its great to know the CC tends to be more stuffy than on board as I was a bit nervous about that! I am really looking forward to this and hope my kids enjoy it too..

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This thread has been so great and informative..

 

I too have booked a 10 days Celebrity Cruise for the Xmas period and its or first time cruising X. We have always enjoyed RC and Carnival somewhat but the itinerary grabbed me and to try something a little different. All the replies have been a great insight. I am travelling with a teen and an 8 year old. Given the holiday sailing, I anticipate there to be more families than usual.

 

Its great to know the CC tends to be more stuffy than on board as I was a bit nervous about that! I am really looking forward to this and hope my kids enjoy it too..

 

Well, as I said initially, my perception of Celebrity was purely based on their website. Which did, at first, make me quite wary in booking a cruise with them. But based on comments in here and in other threads, my wariness was lifted.

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Hi, Kevin and Heather;

 

DW and I have done four Carnival cruises (two with our daughter) and enjoyed them thoroughly. We then did a two-week South American cruise with Celeb in Feb. 2012 and are going on the Eclipse for two weeks (Southern Caribbean) in November.

 

Some differences worth noting: I liked Carnival's food; I liked Celebrity's more.

 

Carnival has a free sushi bar on the main decks near the MDR, which is classier than going upstairs to the buffet, which you have to do on Celebrity (at least on the Infinity). Carnival has all-night pizza. (I'm one of the few who would know the difference.)

 

Entertainment: Celebrity has shows every evening and they're much better than Carnival's. Carnival does have comedians. Maybe Celebrity does too, but they probably don't have them on their South American cruises, because so many of the passengers have first languages other than English.

 

Atmosphere: Celebrity is classier, but not stuffier. DW and I are 50-something but very young at heart (after our last cruise we went to Rio, where we both tried hang-gliding). Before going on our Celeb cruise I had similar concerns to yours. I was assured by someone on this website that I needn't worry and they were right.

 

You'll be as comfortable in a bathing suit on a deck chair with a beer and book on Celeb as you were on Carnival. (Trust me on this one; this is one of my cruising priorities.) You don't need to be in a polo shirt for this.

 

As others have mentioned you're not constantly interrupted by announcements. What I liked on Celeb was the absence of hairy chest contests and other loud pool activities. Again, I've never sailed the Caribbean on Celebrity, so I don't know if it's the same experience as we had in South America. (Let's hope so!)

 

Dinner dress codes are similar on both cruise lines.

 

Regarding night-life, while Carnival is justifialbly famous for this, Celebrity compares well. Celebrity had one Latin band and one English band and everyone seemed to have a good time. Music, after all, is an international language. The deck party was incredible. On Carnival you're more likely to see people over-indulge and be removed by security.

 

As for your fellow passengers, our Celeb cruise was two-weeks, which tends to attract older crowds and fewer kids. Being in our 50s made us average to slightly younger than average. Shorter cruises probably have younger passengers. Regardless, it was, to borrow from Carnival, still a "fun ship".

 

I found the architecture on Celebrity to be less over-the-top compared to Carnival, which is rather loud.

 

Bon Voyage.

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