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Celebrity Silhouette or Sapphire Princess?

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My husband and I are in our mid 30's looking to do our 1st cruise in Europe in 2019 to celebrate our 10 year anniversary.

We have only ever cruised on Celebrity and NCL and like both. With that said, we really enjoyed our recent cruise to Alaska and are looking at the Norwegian Fjords.

NCL does not seem to offer this itinerary next year, so the options are either Celebrity or Princess, which we've never tried before. The choices are 7 day on the Celebrity Silhouette in September or a 7 day on Sapphire Princess in July. We have been on the Silhouette before and love the look and feel of the ship, but we do not mind older ships (We like NCL Pearl and Gem, Celebrity Summit not so much but this was service related). We also don't need loads of entertainment and nightlife as we are mostly interested in the ports.

 

If you had to choose, which ship would you go with and why? Both sail from Southhampton. We are from NY so airfare will need to be factored in (it appears end of Aug/Sept, flights are cheaper?). Also, we would definitely want to book a balcony.

 

Celebrity Silhouette - Sept 1st to Sept 8

Itinerary - At Sea, Bergen, Alesund, Flam, Stravanger, At Sea

Prices for balconies start at $2,409 pp, would probably opt for refundable deposit for a $100 more pp

We would get the classic beverage package promo and one of us would likely upgrade to premium on board

 

Sapphire Princess - July 6th to July 13th

Itinerary - At Sea, Stravanger, Olden, Hellesylt (for only a few hours), Geiranger, Bergen, At Sea

Prices start at $2,199 for regular balcony, $2,444 for premium (need to determine if extra space is worth the costs)

Sip N Sail promo would be included

 

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On the basis of the ports it is difficult to decide: Basically it would be Alesund & Flam VS Olden & Geiranger. I would particularly like to have Flam and Geiranger

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On the basis of the ports it is difficult to decide: Basically it would be Alesund & Flam VS Olden & Geiranger. I would particularly like to have Flam and Geiranger
I know, it's tough. I read up and Flam and Geiranger seem like best two ports so I would love to have both but couldn't find one that does.

 

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I know, it's tough. I read up and Flam and Geiranger seem like best two ports so I would love to have both but couldn't find one that does.

 

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Silversea Cruises • Silver Spirit July 25, 2019

Copenhagen, Oslo, Arendal, Flaam, Geiranger, Hellesylt, Molde, Andalsnes, Bergen, Aarhus, Copenhagen

 

Princess Cruises • Sapphire Princess Jul 13 2019

Southampton, Bergen, Flaam, Hellesylt, Geiranger, Alesund, Akureyri, Isafjordur, Grundarfjordur, Reykjavik, Southampton

 

Holland America Line • ms Nieuw Statendam Jul 7 2019

 

Amsterdam, Eidfjord, Hardangerfjord, Bergen, Alesund, Trondheim, North Cape, Honningsvag, Hellesylt, Geirangerfjord, Flaam, Sognefjord, Haugesund, Amsterdam

 

 

etc etc

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It has to be a 7 day cruise, so the Sapphire July 13th and Holland cruises are ruled out. Silversea is way, way out of my budget.

 

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We were looking at Sapphire Princess earlier this year after several years on Celebrity S class ships, A work colleague, who has also sailed Celebrity, didn't enjoy Princess. We've also looked on YouTube, the style of the Sapphire is completely different to Celebrity - not necessarily in a good way, in our opinion.

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I’ve been on both of these ships this year. We preferred the Silhouette but also enjoyed our time on the Sapphire.

 

The buffet wins on Silhouette hands down. The design of it on the Sapphire almost guarantees bottlenecks and after a couple of times, we avoided it completely. There was no sofa in our cabin on the Sapphire - we had paid extra for a premium balcony, thinking it was like on the Royal and Regal ships, where premium balcony cabin meant a bigger cabin. On the Sapphire it meant a large balcony! We are used to having a sofa on Celebrity. We do however, like the wardrobe cum dressing area on Princess ships but it does make the cabin feel smaller.

 

The casino (and other areas) reflect that it has spent a few years in the Far East by the decor, which was quite attractive except I like to play video poker, and it is not there!

 

The International cafe (on Sapphire) did not have as good a selection of sweet treats as cafe Al Bacio on Silhouette.

 

I would rate the MDR food as similar on both lines but as we were in Aqua on the Silhouette and therefore dined in Blu in the evenings, I base my comments upon the lunches we had. Princess has a dining room open in addition to the buffet on embarkation (but they keep quiet about it, you have to ask!) which Celebrity does not unless you are in Concierge I believe.

 

None of the things may matter to you of course, but all things being equal, I would opt for Silhouette but would sail again on Sapphire if it was an itinerary I wanted. Hope this helps.

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NO comparision, the Silhouette wins hands down. On a scale of 1 to 10, Silhouette 8 Sapphire 2. We did not like the Sapphire.

Domingo

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I'm not comparing the ships. I'm comparing the ports.

 

I'm decades older than you and have had the luxury and pleasure of seeing many, many beautiful things in nature around the world.

 

We did the Norwegian Fjords less than two months ago on Celebrity Eclipse. And Geiranger was truly one of the top five beautiful places I've ever seen. To go to the Norwegian Fjords and not see that (from the river then up the mountain by bus or car) would be a shame.

 

Remember that THIS particular itinerary is all about the scenery. Most of the ports are small, pretty but plain, horribly expensive and/or not very interesting AS COMPARED TO most other itineraries. But the scenery is THE reason to go, and it's magnificent.

 

One other thought: July and August are very crowded. May and September are preferred to avoid the crowds.

 

(Unfortunately, the weather in this part of the world is very rainy. You need to realize that Weather can make or break this itinerary.)

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I'm not comparing the ships. I'm comparing the ports.

 

I'm decades older than you and have had the luxury and pleasure of seeing many, many beautiful things in nature around the world.

 

We did the Norwegian Fjords less than two months ago on Celebrity Eclipse. And Geiranger was truly one of the top five beautiful places I've ever seen. To go to the Norwegian Fjords and not see that (from the river then up the mountain by bus or car) would be a shame.

 

Remember that THIS particular itinerary is all about the scenery. Most of the ports are small, pretty but plain, horribly expensive and/or not very interesting AS COMPARED TO most other itineraries. But the scenery is THE reason to go, and it's magnificent.

 

One other thought: July and August are very crowded. May and September are preferred to avoid the crowds.

 

(Unfortunately, the weather in this part of the world is very rainy. You need to realize that Weather can make or break this itinerary.)

 

I am really considering Celebrity Reflection on May 26th, 2019 which goes out out of Dublin. Schedule is: At Sea, Bergen, Alesund, Geiranger, Olden, Lerwick/Shetland, Scotland, At Sea.

I never considered going out of Dublin as a first time Europe cruise but really looking into it now.

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I am really considering Celebrity Reflection on May 26th, 2019 which goes out out of Dublin. Schedule is: At Sea, Bergen, Alesund, Geiranger, Olden, Lerwick/Shetland, Scotland, At Sea.

I never considered going out of Dublin as a first time Europe cruise but really looking into it now.

 

I wouldn't consider it as an obvious choice for a first time cruise to Europe. But if your goal is scenery and have little to no interest in museums, history, lots of churches, and the usual travel stuff - Book it. The port stops are pretty and charming, but not much to do. And Cross your fingers for good weather.

 

One warning: Forget about an early flight if you want to return home the day you return to Dublin. The risk of missing any flight before 11am is significant.

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Although I would prefer Silhouette if dates and ports were equal, for this cruise I would choose Sapphire Princess. Why? Days will be getting shorter in Sept, as you are pretty far north. So July wins. And although you will be booking a balcony, you do not want to stay on one side of the ship when sailing in the fjords. Sapphire has a wrap around promenade deck, Silhouette does not. There is some limited walking/viewing areas on Entertainment deck, but most are blocked by lifeboats. I have sailed both Silhouette and Sapphire's sister, Diamond Princess. EM

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If the Sapphire Princess is the same design as P&O Ventura then silhouette wins every time for us. Went on Ventura last year and really didn't like the ship and is the reason that we have chosen Edge over Crown Princess next year.

 

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If you are doing a cruise to Norway, your main concern should be the ports. If a Norway cruise doesn't include Gerainger, I wouldn't even consider going on it; unless you plan on going there before or after the cruise. Additionally, the hours of sunlight as previously pointed out are most important, since you will get to see more of the beauty. I haven't been not the Sapphire; but I have never had a bad Princess cruise, so I wouldn't worry too much about which line. Good luck with your choice. Norway is amazing!

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Just back from 14 days on Sapphire Princess cruise to Norways and some of the scenery was out of this world - Its certainly plays with the mind a bit with daylight at midnight but thats all part of the experience last year we did the shorter 7 night cruise which was good but the experiences this time even better _ I think they are doing this one again in Aug. Now interesting we have done 12 cruises with Princess so we obviously like them - But due to itinerary and dates and i guess trying something new we are sailing to canaries on Silhouette in September so will be interested to see comparisons - Anyone got any inside tips guess we know most of Princess but as total newbies on Celebrity would be interested to hear form seasoned Celebrity customers - Thanks

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I just returned on a Norwegian Fjord cruise with Sapphire Princess. We are Platinum on Princess. IMO, there is absolutely no comparison between Celebrity Silhouette and Sapphire Princess. Silhouette wins, hands down, across the board. We have loved Princess for many years, but their "Piazza" concept doesn't work for us, and that seems to be their direction going forward. The newer ships have even larger piazza areas. There are few 'getaway' places on Princess these days. The opposite is true for Celebrity. I could go on and on about this, but in the end it is just our personal tastes that lean towards Celebrity, even though we have booked fewer cruises with them. That will change.

 

As for ports, our favorite day was Geiranger....but hey, that was the one day it did NOT rain. Yes, it's beautiful. Yes, it is unforgettable. But it is just ONE day. The other ports in Norway are beautiful too. And if it is raining in Geiranger, you have booked a less than stellar ship (Sapphire) for nothing.

 

I say stick with Silhouette.

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