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New to Celebrity - would appreciate your thoughts!

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Were a newer cruise family - 6 or so in the last couple of years, so novices but we've got the bug! Cruising fits well with our young adult daughters. We love NCL, but cruised both RCI Harmony of the Seas and Carnival this summer and enjoyed both. We're threading a needle with this holiday cruise based on college and NCAA schedules for our daughters. So, we've found a cruise on the infinity that "fits" but I'm wondering how well Celebrity will 'fit". I'm going to share a few things we love about cruising and a few that we don't and would truly welcome your honest feedback. Time away is precious and we want to make the most of it!

 

- Our girls love to dress up and go out to dinner. We do nearly exclusively specialty dining. I've manged events for a couple of multi-national companies and consider MDRs too much like banquet dining. and, the DH is a foodie and just doesn't care for the experience of the MDR so we've stuck to specialty dining. We thought NCL and RCI both excelled here.

- We're later nighters - we do dinner about 8 or 8:30 and then look for something fun to do as a family - we LOVE Howl at the Moon on NCL and enjoyed the Piano bar on Carnival. HOTS was missing this kind of late night fun! Clubs closed early and had lots of kids up till midnight. Huh? I don't drink in the kids club, really not looking to go "clubbing" with children! Kills the "out for the evening" vibe.

- We enjoy our drink package. We love nice wine and the DH is a bourbon snob from KY. Assume we'll need to buy up from the Classic package.

- We love NCL's late night deck parties and that typically leads to late night dining, laughing and reliving the evening. NCL has O'Sheehan's Irish pub that fits that bill perfectly. Carnival had pizza that was outstanding and RCI was lacking here.

- We are easy during the day - we go our own ways and do our own things, we don't look to be entertained.

- We are two cabin family and have loved all the ships we've sailed. From the gorgeous and enormous Harmony to the Carnival Victory we loving called the Rust Bucket, we loved them all! No issues with the ships or accommodations.

- We love port days! We lived in Shanghai and are well traveled. We love a good adventure!

- We enjoy production shows - thought NCL just edged out RCI and we love comedy clubs. Carnival was really good there.

I hope that gives you a flavor of how we cruise. We're good on port and the ship will be fine - but will it "fit" our brand of fun??? I truly welcome your input experienced Celebrity cruisers and thank you in advance!!

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Well, you should love the food. I think it's better than NCL or Royal especially in the specialties. Murano is fantastic, Tuscan can be hit or miss, I like Sushi on 5 (but not for the sushi which I find mediocre). The food in the MDR is usually pretty good better than NCL, RCI, Carnival etc and I think you would find the buffet better too. There's not much to eat late though. Pizza and a few other things is all they have in the late evening other than room service.

And people do tend to dress a little better on Celebrity than NCL or RCI. It's a slightly classier, less crowded environment (especially the Solstice class).

 

The production shows are, meh.... some of the special guest acts are ok but the production shows are usually kinda lame. There will be one event each night (plus some early evening stuff, usually a band in the main atrium area), Late night either a silent disco or the band playing in the main lounge and these usually end at 12. If there is a crowd still in the lounge a DJ may come on. We sometimes find the evening entertainment a challenge on Celebrity. Sometimes its pretty good, and sometimes after 11pm the ship's a ghost town. It depends on the crowd and the sailing. But there will be far less variety than on NCL and Royal. Depending on the sailing they may have one or 2 deck parties.

 

The Martini Bar is usually packed and is the happening spot for cocktails. If you want to chill out the Ensemble lounge usually has some sort of easy listening (boring to me) music. But night quiet atmosphere and good drinks. They do sometimes have a more lively act in there.

 

There are usually very few kids/young adults on board. Most of the guests will be 50-70 a few younger and a few older. This is also somewhat itinerary/date dependent but you wont see anywhere near as many as NCL, RCI, Carnival etc.

Edited by TFLG

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First, let me say I love sailing Celebrity and have sailed on Infinity’s sister ships numerous times.

With that being said, I do not think you would be happy on the above considered cruise from the things you mentioned with entertainment and night life. Jmo

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We love Celebrity.

 

Not sure there will be a lot in your daughters’ age range.

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The Infinity has three specialty restaurants that are open to anyone (who chooses to pay the charge): Tuscan Grille, Qsine, and Sushi on 5. You might want to consider Aqua Class, which would give you access to Blu, or a suite, which would give you access to Luminae. Those are more like specialty restaurants than the main dining room, I believe.

 

The one Celebrity cruise I’ve had so far did not have the kind of nightlife you seem to enjoy. The one production show I saw (“Chandelier” on the Summit) was comically bad, and there was nothing I would describe as a club. Late-night dining was almost nonexistent.

 

These aren’t complaints for me — I was happy with my cruise and I’m looking forward to my next. But I’m not sure if Celebrity will match what you’re looking for in the evenings.

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I think you will find that Celebrity doesn’t have many of the things you enjoy at night. No comedy club, no piano bar, production shows are not at the level of RCL. We have been on some Celebrity cruises where the dancing is going on past midnight, but most of the time things die down pretty quickly after 11:30. As for late night dining, pizza & pasta in the buffet until 12 beyond that it is room service.

 

We haven’t sailed NCL but have done Carnival & Royal and prefer Celebrity because we feel the food and service is better, the atmosphere is quieter, more refined and not a party vibe. There are no water slides, golf, flow riders, etc so far fewer children.

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I love Celebrity, but as other posters have said, in terms of evening entertainment, I don’t think Celebrity would be a good match for your family.

 

 

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I think you will find that Celebrity doesn’t have many of the things you enjoy at night. No comedy club, no piano bar, production shows are not at the level of RCL. We have been on some Celebrity cruises where the dancing is going on past midnight, but most of the time things die down pretty quickly after 11:30. As for late night dining, pizza & pasta in the buffet until 12 beyond that it is room service.

 

We haven’t sailed NCL but have done Carnival & Royal and prefer Celebrity because we feel the food and service is better, the atmosphere is quieter, more refined and not a party vibe. There are no water slides, golf, flow riders, etc so far fewer children.

 

Thank you for the input - we don't use the ship "amusement park" amenities and look for areas away from children - we've used the Vibe Beach Club each time on NCL and enjoyed the adult areas on the other ships. Nightlife with our young adults is the biggest concern, clearly. We'd like fewer children onboard, but sounds like we'd need to make our own fun in the evening post-dinner. My girls don't run off and make their own friends - we tend to spend evening together (why I love cruising) but need to decide if there'd be enough to do. Appreciate your thoughts!

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We love Celebrity.

 

Not sure there will be a lot in your daughters’ age range.

 

Thank you for replying. That's an interesting one. Our girls don't run off and find their own friends on a cruse -we stick together as a family, but would want something to do into the evening... Hmmmmm.

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Well, you should love the food. I think it's better than NCL or Royal especially in the specialties. Murano is fantastic, Tuscan can be hit or miss, I like Sushi on 5 (but not for the sushi which I find mediocre). The food in the MDR is usually pretty good better than NCL, RCI, Carnival etc and I think you would find the buffet better too. There's not much to eat late though. Pizza and a few other things is all they have in the late evening other than room service.

And people do tend to dress a little better on Celebrity than NCL or RCI. It's a slightly classier, less crowded environment (especially the Solstice class).

 

The production shows are, meh.... some of the special guest acts are ok but the production shows are usually kinda lame. There will be one event each night (plus some early evening stuff, usually a band in the main atrium area), Late night either a silent disco or the band playing in the main lounge and these usually end at 12. If there is a crowd still in the lounge a DJ may come on. We sometimes find the evening entertainment a challenge on Celebrity. Sometimes its pretty good, and sometimes after 11pm the ship's a ghost town. It depends on the crowd and the sailing. But there will be far less variety than on NCL and Royal. Depending on the sailing they may have one or 2 deck parties.

 

The Martini Bar is usually packed and is the happening spot for cocktails. If you want to chill out the Ensemble lounge usually has some sort of easy listening (boring to me) music. But night quiet atmosphere and good drinks. They do sometimes have a more lively act in there.

 

There are usually very few kids/young adults on board. Most of the guests will be 50-70 a few younger and a few older. This is also somewhat itinerary/date dependent but you wont see anywhere near as many as NCL, RCI, Carnival etc.

 

Thank you for your detailed thoughts. Sounds like we'd love dining and cocktails, just would there be enough to keep the young adults engaged... My other options are really carnival (we want a 5 day cruise because of limited time each DD has at home) and I'm just not sure I have another "rust bucket" in me!

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I took my young adult nieces on celebrity twice and they enjoyed it. We did the shows and game shows. They had a great time. Now we were on the S class ship and M class. Give them a try

 

 

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Addressing the idea of evening entertainment...it really could depend on your CD and what they have planned.

 

We did a week long sailing on Millennium (a sister ship to Infinity) and we had two nights of Silent Disco...which was a BLAST. IDK if we had two nights because the first was so popular or it that was normal...they made it sound special to have the two. If you haven't heard of Silent Disco, everyone wears headphones so there is no music playing through a sound system. There are 3 channels in the headphones and the headphones light up a different color for each channel so you can tell who is on the same channel. SO MUCH FUN.

 

Generally this is a late night activity...starting at 10:15 and ending at midnight.

 

In the same venue, the Cosmos lounge has DJ music for dancing after the Silent Disco and on other nights in general.

 

A live band is usually playing in the Rendezvous until at least 11:30 PM or "late". Participation in dancing is ship dependent. I've seen many...I've seen it dead. Sometimes there's karaoke.

 

I have to second getting into the smaller Blu or Luminae dining rooms by booking Aqua Class or a Suite. Infinity is one of the smaller M-class ships and has limited specialty dining. Sushi on 5 is excellent and has more than sushi. It's great for lunch on a Sea Day especially. Q-Sine may or may not be what it used to be...there's a new experience call Le Petit Chef than may or may not completely take over or just be offered on some nights. Tuscan Grille is "normal specialty dining".

 

DH likes his whisky...including Bourbon whisky. You'd definitely want a premium package...AND you would want to see what each bar has...as the offerings are not the same in each bar, but you can find out what is on the ship and request your fav to be in the place where you will be the most.

 

DH and DS like the late night pizza on Celebrity. We had good luck with it in June...baked fresh...and the varieties changed every day and they usually had something unusual to offer. DS's fav was a Chicken Tikki Pizza.

 

The pools all shut down at 10:00 pm so if ever you enjoy a late night hot tub...not going to happen on Celebrity.

 

Celebrity doesn't really have deck parties...not that I recall anyway. Not sure if that's just the itineraries I have been on though.

 

I think you might be okay on a shorter 5 day cruise on Celebrity. It's not going to have the night life that you are used to...we too have loved the Piano Bars on other lines...but it could be just fine for a short getaway.

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Just to challenge your ‘two cabin family’....If you look at booking the PH or RS to share your room comes with access to Luminae and Michael’s Club, a premium drinks package for all, unlimited speciality dining, WiFi for all guests, a butler and those little extra treats that come with a top suite...The RS would have some compromises but the PH is massive. If you consider all the ‘included’ the cost may not be much higher than two balcony cabins....Just a thought....

 

Our son as an older teen/young adult enjoyed cruising on the Millie and Summit. We did active things on port days and then he was happy to crash out and relax, use his surface and enjoy dining and bars. A real perk of the bigger suite for a family focused cruise is you do have family shared space both inside and on the balcony. When we have chatted about favourite cruise experiences ‘sitting on the balcony at night watching the stars’ was up there with snorkelling in Bora Bora and sea plane excursions...

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As a thirty time plus Celebrity cruiser, and having done the others, I think that if you like a more sophicated cruise, Celebrity is for you. I would strongly recommend the S class ships, especially the reflection and the Silhouette. While you mentioned you like the MDR, the speciality restaurants are excellent. The drink package cannot be beat. If you book a suite you will also have access to both luminae , Michael's club and other suite perks which are a wonderful treat! As previously mentioned the Martini bar cannot be beat- it is a popular hang out for many during the cruise and the drinks are excellent.

 

While Celebrity now has "chic" nights, we and may others still dress formally. Have sailed with multigenerational family and each found exactly what they enjoyed doing. We have always found service to be the best at sea, IMO. If your daughters prefer rock climbing walls, wave runners, etc. The Royal Oasis class might be a better fit. The entertainment on Celebrity is good- but not like Royal.

 

The celebrity ships are a "staircase" up from NCL, Carnival and princess. Enjoy your cruise.

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I love Celebrity, but as other posters have said, in terms of evening entertainment, I don’t think Celebrity would be a good match for your family.

 

 

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Have to agree with you: not enough going on in the evenings for the OP - no comedy club, awful in-house production shows, no Irish clubs etc. The food aspect they would probably enjoy, but if I was a TA, it wouldn’t be a line I would recommend for their needs.

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I think it depends on where and when you are cruising. I’ve just got off Connie in Europe with my 20 year old son. He met a great group of people in the ship and they enjoyed taking part in the afternoon quizzes and then meeting up after family dinner . They managed to stay up most nights till 3.30am ! They reflections bar at the back of the boat is open till 2 am and is adults only . They also enjoyed the late night cinema on deck

 

He enjoyed it so much he’s coming against next year with his brother (guess who’s paying 😂)

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We strongly prefer X over NCL. BUT Based on what you enjoy, I'm With those that feel that X is not a good fit - for your girls and, probably, you and your husband.

 

I'll also add a few specifics.

 

Hands down, NCL has better AND more varied specialty dining venues. Celebrity had NCL beat in the MDR and the buffet - no contest there.

 

Production shows are WAY better on NCL.

 

Though it doesn't matter to us, we've found the Cruise Directors to be better/more involved on NCL (with one notable exception - Sue Denning on X was spectacular).

 

NCL has fewer top-drawer alcohol choices. If a specific brand of whiskey is a deal breaker for your husband, I would suggest he check both before committing.

 

We did not feel that the 'class distinction ' resulting from type of cabin booked or loyalty level was so evident in NCL. (This is one of the few things that annoys me about Celebrity.)

 

The much lauded Martini Bar is a mixed bag, in our opinion. The most noisy place in the ship, but with the antics of the bartenders, it's the most entertaining thing on the ship. If your daughters are under 21, they won't be able to partake in the martinis (generally, those with only a classic alcohol package can't either, without an upcharge). And, during prime hours, finding four seats together is virtually impossible if you want to sit at the bat to watch the antics of the bartenders.

 

ALL of these comments are only MY opinion. Obviously, others disagree.

 

I won't comment on RCCL. Sailed them once decades ago and hated it.

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We (family of 4/well traveled/lived overseas) enjoy cruising and have taken our 22/25 yr olds on many

When we did the Baltics on Celebrity in summer (19/22) there were plenty of young adults for them to hang with after dinner, Quaasar, and the sky lounge had the post production shows/dance club etc

Sue Denning was the CD on the Baltics cruise and she is the FIRST CD we have found to be worth their weight in gold.! Other Celebrity CDs would do well to take a page from her playbook

On production shows-- we have often popped in for the first half and left...it depends.

The specialty restaurants deliver, the MDR is adequate. The curries on the buffet at lunch are always good

The martini bar can be fun--but crowded. On our sailing in Feb it was for meet/greet for LGBT every night (posted in the dailies) so there was a large crowd and no seating. So we skipped it and spent our time hearing the quartets and blues/jazz groups in Ensemble Lounge

Silent Disco is great fun

 

Not sure that Celebrity is a fit for you based on your specifications for shows/comedy etc RCCL (according to cruise critic) has that hands down so perhaps RCCL is a better fit?

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I think it depends on where and when you are cruising. I’ve just got off Connie in Europe with my 20 year old son. He met a great group of people in the ship and they enjoyed taking part in the afternoon quizzes and then meeting up after family dinner . They managed to stay up most nights till 3.30am ! They reflections bar at the back of the boat is open till 2 am and is adults only . They also enjoyed the late night cinema on deck

 

He enjoyed it so much he’s coming against next year with his brother (guess who’s paying )

 

As you say, depends where you cruise as your 20 yr old would not have been able to drink any alcohol in any of the bars if your sailing had been from the US (not saying he did partake, but making the observation). There is also nothing like the amount of entertainment you find on Royal ships compared to X ;).

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I took my nieces on the Summit 2 years ago for their Spring Break and they loved it. However it was a southern Caribbean cruise so maybe had more younger cruisers and it was out of San Juan so slightly different vibe. Also took them again this spring on the silly for Western Caribbean and they enjoyed as well. They loved getting dressed up for dinner so that should be up your alley. As for night life, we made our own. We would head upstairs to Revelations and dance until 1 or 2. Sometimes it would start with just us but then others would join. Now with the Silent Disco your girls should enjoy that and they loved the Martini Bar on the Summit (had to avoid this year since one was only 17).

 

For food since you want to do just specialty restaurants you'd be better going on an S class ship or as others suggested going to Aqua for Blu or a suite for Luminae. I think a different ship w/ different itinerary would be better for your girls as over Christmas there will probably be more kids/young adults on a Caribbean cruise. Celebrity can be enjoyable for younger adults, just depends on the ship and itinerary. My niece enjoyed the relaxed vibe and not always having to do something since she was the Captain of her hockey team and leader for many groups at college so never had a down minute while in school. The cruise was just what she needed as she wasn't bombarded with activity. Just depends on what your girls are looking for.

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It's always good to try all lines so you can see which one's fit you.

 

 

 

Love he way you think. Totally agree! If it was just the DH and myself, Celebrity would Be a no brainer. Would love to give it a try for more elevated dining and a more upscale feel (at least that is my impression!). The girls (21 and 18) are the wildcard. Someone made the comment “we make our own fun”. We’re a bit like that! If we find some music and cocktails we’re likely to have a good time. The oldest DD met the CD and entertainment staff on our last NCL cruise and became a fixture on stage at deck parties, etc. she’s the college volleyball player and very outgoing. The younger DD is much more laid back. The dates and itinerary fit. Very few others do. I could do a 4 day on NCL Sky but not really looking for a frat party! The open bar cruise scares me a bit. Or carnival has a few that fit. That wouldn’t be my first choice. Hmmmm...

 

 

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We (family of 4/well traveled/lived overseas) enjoy cruising and have taken our 22/25 yr olds on many

When we did the Baltics on Celebrity in summer (19/22) there were plenty of young adults for them to hang with after dinner, Quaasar, and the sky lounge had the post production shows/dance club etc

Sue Denning was the CD on the Baltics cruise and she is the FIRST CD we have found to be worth their weight in gold.! Other Celebrity CDs would do well to take a page from her playbook

On production shows-- we have often popped in for the first half and left...it depends.

The specialty restaurants deliver, the MDR is adequate. The curries on the buffet at lunch are always good

The martini bar can be fun--but crowded. On our sailing in Feb it was for meet/greet for LGBT every night (posted in the dailies) so there was a large crowd and no seating. So we skipped it and spent our time hearing the quartets and blues/jazz groups in Ensemble Lounge

Silent Disco is great fun

 

Not sure that Celebrity is a fit for you based on your specifications for shows/comedy etc RCCL (according to cruise critic) has that hands down so perhaps RCCL is a better fit?

 

 

 

Thank you for your perspective. It’s the first week of January and only 5 days in length and Caribbean. Makes me think we may get more families/young adults out of college? That would not be my first choice of time without my girls in tow. Love the fun you described with your young adults!

 

 

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We strongly prefer X over NCL. BUT Based on what you enjoy, I'm With those that feel that X is not a good fit - for your girls and, probably, you and your husband.

 

I'll also add a few specifics.

 

Hands down, NCL has better AND more varied specialty dining venues. Celebrity had NCL beat in the MDR and the buffet - no contest there.

 

Production shows are WAY better on NCL.

 

Though it doesn't matter to us, we've found the Cruise Directors to be better/more involved on NCL (with one notable exception - Sue Denning on X was spectacular).

 

NCL has fewer top-drawer alcohol choices. If a specific brand of whiskey is a deal breaker for your husband, I would suggest he check both before committing.

 

We did not feel that the 'class distinction ' resulting from type of cabin booked or loyalty level was so evident in NCL. (This is one of the few things that annoys me about Celebrity.)

 

The much lauded Martini Bar is a mixed bag, in our opinion. The most noisy place in the ship, but with the antics of the bartenders, it's the most entertaining thing on the ship. If your daughters are under 21, they won't be able to partake in the martinis (generally, those with only a classic alcohol package can't either, without an upcharge). And, during prime hours, finding four seats together is virtually impossible if you want to sit at the bat to watch the antics of the bartenders.

 

ALL of these comments are only MY opinion. Obviously, others disagree.

 

I won't comment on RCCL. Sailed them once decades ago and hated it.

 

 

 

Thank you for your input. Comments had me back to the drawling board last night. There are some RCCL cruises that thread the needle but we found the Harmony just over run with kids. Shocking, right?? Spring break week on an amusement park at sea! On NCL we’ve been able to avoid the high density of others’ kids with the Vibe passes and speciality dining that and our days are low key- walking, napping, reading, wine tasting, etc. we never found that happy place without kids on HOtS. Celebrity has some appeal because of fewer kids. What to book!!

 

 

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I think it depends on where and when you are cruising. I’ve just got off Connie in Europe with my 20 year old son. He met a great group of people in the ship and they enjoyed taking part in the afternoon quizzes and then meeting up after family dinner . They managed to stay up most nights till 3.30am ! They reflections bar at the back of the boat is open till 2 am and is adults only . They also enjoyed the late night cinema on deck

 

 

 

He enjoyed it so much he’s coming against next year with his brother (guess who’s paying )

 

 

 

Love it. Where do they get the energy???

 

 

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