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MikeyA53

B2B2B on Royal Princess, MSC Seaside and Celebrity Equinox. A comparison review.

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We had Select Dining and ate at the Silhouette restaurant 3 nights. The food was also very good, definitely better than Seaside and slightly better than Princess for both the buffet and restaurant.

 

 

Silhouette Dining Room

 

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Our first Chic Dinner 

 

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Our second Chic Dinner

 

Tonight menu

 

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Scallops Rockefeller

 

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Double Baked Blue Cheese Soufflé

 

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Slow Herb Roasted Leg of Lamb

 

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Beef Wellington

 

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Tracy’s two desserts 

 

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My two desserts 

 

 

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We had pre-purchased a 4 meal package for $125 per person, saving some money compared to buying them individually. We ate at Tuscan Grill (Italian) Silk Harvest (Asian), Murano (French) and Sushi on Five. We also had a lunch at Murano for $25 per person. Again we really enjoyed all the restaurants. At one sitting I had ordered a steak for my entrée and asked the waiter a question about the lobster tail entrée and he asked me if I would to have one on the side at no cost. Quite a contrast to how we were treated on Seaside. I only wish Equinox had a steakhouse restaurant with a variety of steak cuts to choose from. 

 

Silk Restaurant

 

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Our waiter at Silk suggested we order several entrees and share them 

 

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Just an absolutely superb review!!!!

 

I completely and totally appreciate the time and effort you took to compile this comparison.

 

While we spent 31 days on Equinox in 2011, we haven't been back on Celebrity in 6 years and will return later this year.

 

We are curious to see all of the changes, especially in their new "Suite Class" and how they compare to the Yacht Club.

 

The biggest "surprise" I had in your review were your photos of Royal Princess .... although she is only a little over 6 years old, the interior design looks like a 1989 Banquet Hall Nightmare. Totally ghastly......

 

Thanks again for all of your hard work!

 

Hopefully Ottawa is a bit warmer than Toronto this afternoon!

 

 

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Murano 

 

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Our dinner at Murano

 

Warm Goat Cheese Soufflé 

 

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Diver Scallop Wellington Style 

 

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Our waiter cutting our Chateaubriand for Two 

 

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Our lunch at Murano

 

Menu 

 

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Seared Scallops

 

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Roasted Filet Mignon

 

 

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Ivory Caramel Tart

 

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Gianduja Soufflé 

 

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1 hour ago, Dr. Cocktail said:

Just an absolutely superb review!!!!

 

I completely and totally appreciate the time and effort you took to compile this comparison.

 

While we spent 31 days on Equinox in 2011, we haven't been back on Celebrity in 6 years and will return later this year.

 

We are curious to see all of the changes, especially in their new "Suite Class" and how they compare to the Yacht Club.

 

The biggest "surprise" I had in your review were your photos of Royal Princess .... although she is only a little over 6 years old, the interior design looks like a 1989 Banquet Hall Nightmare. Totally ghastly......

 

Thanks again for all of your hard work!

 

Hopefully Ottawa is a bit warmer than Toronto this afternoon!

 

 

 

 

Thanks Dr. Cocktail,  this cold weather sure make me wish I was on a cruise right now. 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, MikeyA53 said:

 

 

Thanks Dr. Cocktail,  this cold weather sure make me wish I was on a cruise right now. 

 

 

 

23 minutes ago, MikeyA53 said:

 

 

Thanks Dr. Cocktail,  this cold weather sure make me wish I was on a cruise right now. 

 

 

 

Hiding inside with numerous bourbons ..... time to send my partner outside with the snowblower.

 

It would just be wrong for me to head out in this cold .....

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MikeyA53 - great reviews!  Love the fact that you are comparing the three lines from a B2B2B.  We are very familiar with Celebrity but not the other two lines.  In April will be our first cruise with MSC.  Thanks for the excellent pictures and comparisons.  Stay safe and keep cruising. 

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On ‎1‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 11:52 AM, geospyder said:

MikeyA53 - great reviews!  Love the fact that you are comparing the three lines from a B2B2B.  We are very familiar with Celebrity but not the other two lines.  In April will be our first cruise with MSC.  Thanks for the excellent pictures and comparisons.  Stay safe and keep cruising. 

 

 

Thanks, glad you like it.

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Very excited to read this, we leave on our first MSC in a bit over a month and the reviews are scary, we want to try something new but I may be having a bit of buyers remorse!

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19 hours ago, jamesboat said:

Your comparison is very much appreciated! Very helpful.

  Glad you like it.

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17 hours ago, tobyt said:

Very excited to read this, we leave on our first MSC in a bit over a month and the reviews are scary, we want to try something new but I may be having a bit of buyers remorse!

 

 

There are always good and bad things about every cruise line but we have enjoyed all of them. 

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Tuscan Grill

 

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Our meal at Tuscan Grill

 

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House Meatballs

 

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 Strozzapreti Carbonara

 

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 Roasted Beef Ribeye

 

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Sushi at Five

 

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Our meal at Sushi at Five 

 

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Another dining venue we tried was the AquaSpa Café which had a healthy alternative breakfast and lunch. We had breakfast there a couple of times after our gym workout. I had some protein bars (free) and an antioxidant smoothie (approximately $6). 

 

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One of our favorite spots was Café al Bacio which served specialty coffees at a fee and a really nice variety of beautiful, delicious desserts at no cost. The dessert menu changed daily. Nearby was Gelateria which served gelato and ice cream at a cost. 

 

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Gelateria

 

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We also tried the Mast Grill which served good burgers similar to and almost as good as Guy Fieri burgers on Carnival ships 

 

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One place we never got to try regrettably was the GastroBar which served gourmet Pub Food a la carte

 

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Service

 

Royal Princess

 

Starting with embarkation there was a problem with the previous cruise where there were slightly elevated cases of gastrointestinal illness among the guests, thus we were advised that the terminal would only open at 1 pm after they did a comprehensive sanitation program onboard the ship and in the terminal. As a result you had a lot of people who usually arrive between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm all converging at 1 pm. Therefore getting through security, getting your cruise card and getting onboard took longer than usual. There were some people complaining but we understood that Princess was not at fault and were not put off by it.

 

There was a Cruise Critic Party organized by the passengers, we planned on attending but because of the luggage situation, a late muster and an early dinner at the Crown Grill we did not attend. 

 

Guest services were understaffed; lines were longer than necessary at times. They also had two machines near guest services where you could get a printout of your onboard account. However one machine did not work for most of the cruise and the other ran out of paper and it took a while before it was functional again.

 

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Our cabin steward’s name was Tika and he was very good. Really friendly and quick to cater to our request to empty the refrigerator and get us more hangers for the closet.

 

Service in the buffet was exceptional; they had more crew members standing around waiting to serve you than necessary, they serve real fresh orange juice (delicious), apple juice, coffee, tea, etc. As soon as we would sit down someone was there to take our order and before they could come back with our order, sometimes we would have one or two more crew members asking us if we wanted something to drink.

 

The dining service was good overall and service in the specialty restaurants was superb. Bar service was good, no complaints. We found the crew was very friendly overall which no doubt enhances the experience. Debarkation was as efficient as can be expected, Princess or any other cruise line do not have any control when it comes to customs. 

 

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MSC Seaside

 

Embarkation was a breeze; we had the same experience last year on MSC Divina. We got there at approximately 10:45 am and we were on the ship at 11:30 am. We had lunch in the buffet. After our meal we checked on our cabin and it was ready and our luggage had already arrived. Be warned when you first get onboard you will get several crew members (we had about a dozen crew members) asking if we wanted a drink package or an upgrade to our package.

 

Our cabin steward’s name was Joy and she was so tidy, putting all of my clothes and my little notes away, so that after a couple of days I started tidying up after myself so I would know were all my stuff was. LOL. She was very good and friendly; we would see her everyday working late into the night. It made me wonder if they were understaffed.

 

Guest services was good, they had 5-6 persons working the desk and one staff member roaming the line. If you had a problem that could be dealt with quickly, for example, we were twice in line to obtain a printout of our stateroom account and the staff member roaming the line went and got us printouts both times. We were only in line for maybe 2-3 minutes each time.

 

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Another area that was understaffed was the buffet. There was usually only one crew member working in each table section. In the dining room we only had two waiters and they worked their butts off to serve the tables assigned to them. We were served in a reasonable amount of time.


The service in the specialty restaurant was exceptional and the food was very good, it’s too bad about the menu fiasco.

 

The bar service was very good, as part of our cruise fare we had 24 drink coupons in addition to our unlimited free drinks at mealtimes. The coupons were good for cocktails, wines, beers and specialty coffees. I usually tip $1 whenever I get drinks at the bar; the MSC bartenders were really appreciative in getting tips compared to bartenders on other cruise lines. Some would ask me if I liked it strong while others would take my $1 and give me back my coupon.

 

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Our cruise critic party was organized by MSC; it was attended by the captain and some of his officers, including the cruise director. We had champagne, wine, cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and cake. A group photograph was taken and sent to our cabin. 

 

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Overall the crew was a tad less friendly than Princess, we had one bad experience with a crew member, as part of our fare we had free internet package and we were having problems signing on. We attended one of the booths set up to assist passengers with their internet package. The crew member that helped us was miserable; she made us feel like we were a real nuisance. We noticed that she was curt with everyone that asked for her assistance. Tracy and I usually let things like this slide but because she really infuriated Tracy, we looked in the immediate vicinity for an officer, without success, because we wanted to point her out, and report her.

 

Returning from one of our ports we were greeted by several crew members singing and dancing. They also had a bubble making machine which enhanced the experience.

 

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At the end of our cruise we were allowed to stay in our cabin until 8:30 am; we had breakfast and disembarked without any problems. We walked over to the next terminal where Equinox was docked to begin our next adventure.

 

Celebrity Equinox docked in the next terminal 

 

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Celebrity Equinox

 

Boarding was very efficient; we were onboard at 10:45 am, the earliest I can remember getting on a ship. There was a few crew members who asked us if we wanted a drink package, we already had one included with our cruise fare. Our room was ready in good time and our luggage arrived promptly.

Our cabin steward’s name was Denis and he was just has efficient as Tika on Princess and Joy on Seaside.

 

Guest services was good, most of the time they had 3-4 staff members working the desk. Tracy had a problem with her cruise card, it would deactivate after a couple of uses, she had to change her card 5 times in the first 4 days. I had to change mine once. While I was in line I overheard two other persons having the same problem. Their answer was the cards are very sensitive. We never had a problem on Royal Princess and MSC Seaside.

 

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Cruise critic was organized by Celebrity. It was held in the Gastrobar and it was attended by the captain and a few of his officers including the cruise director, They served pastry, but no free drinks. We met a lot of nice people whom we chatted with throughout the cruise.

 

 

Cruise director Dan France and captain Dimitrios Manetas.

 

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The buffet service was better than Seaside but not as good as Princess. The dining room service was comparable to what we experience on Princess. The staff in the specialty restaurants were superb with the exception of the waiter that served us at Sushi on Five, she did not tend to our table (it was not busy) as much as the other waiters, in the other specialty restaurants. I liked how most of the waiters recommended ordering several appetizers and desserts if you had difficulty choosing. Then we had that waiter that I mentioned earlier who brought me a lobster tail to go with my steak at no charge.

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Spa & Gym

 

Royal Princess

 

We did not use the spa because it was on deck 5 and the gym was on deck 17. For us the two go together, we work out and immediately use the spa then shower. We did not want to transfer all our clothes from deck 5 to deck 17. The gym wasn’t busy most of the time and they had good equipment.

 

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We like to complement our workouts with the walking/running track and as mentioned before they had a really nice one. The track was isolated and you didn’t have non walkers crossing your path all the time like the set up they have on some ships.

 

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Great reviews...reminds me of the time we did b2b2b Our first ship was a Costa 12 day with an inside cabin then a7 day Holland Anerican with a balcony and then a 7 day Princess. with an outside cabin.  We walked off of the ship each time went to our car and picked up a new piece of luggage leaving the used one behind.  Luckily they were all docketed in F.L .

This is what we learned...after the 3 cruises my husband couldn't remember on which ship we had an inside cabin in:classic_rolleyes:( up until this time he refused to even try an inside) which ship had a balcony and which ship was an outside..... and we will never do b2b2b again🤗

Since then we some times  book inside cabins especially on TA's.  With almost 70 cruises behind us we know where to book in certain ships considering the sailing destination. Our first MSC cruise was back when it first sailed in the Caribbean....nobody even heard of MSC and I would tell them..." you know the big trucks with MSC on them....? well they also have ships" LOL

Looking forward to going back to Venice next Fall for a b2b on the Opera.

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MSC Seaside

 

Seaside had a very nice spa and since we pre-purchased a one week pass, the cost was only $90 per person. It’s substantially more if you wait until you board. The spa had two steam rooms, two saunas, a dry hot salt room, a snow room, a thalassotherapy pool, heated stone loungers, several different shower experiences and an indoor and outdoor relaxation area. We used the outside area when we wanted to get some sun. The best part was that it was never busy, all week there were never more than 4 to 10 people using the spa.

 

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Snow room 

 

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Dry hot salt room 

 

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Heated stone lounger 

 

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Thalassotherapy pool 

 

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Indoor/outdoor relaxation area for pass holders only. We used the outside loungers to sunbathe 

 

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The gym was high tech, some weight machines had small screens that tracked your movement and kept count of your set and reps but the gym did not have enough equipment and it got busy at times.

 

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5 hours ago, myjillian said:

Great reviews...reminds me of the time we did b2b2b Our first ship was a Costa 12 day with an inside cabin then a7 day Holland Anerican with a balcony and then a 7 day Princess. with an outside cabin.  We walked off of the ship each time went to our car and picked up a new piece of luggage leaving the used one behind.  Luckily they were all docketed in F.L .

This is what we learned...after the 3 cruises my husband couldn't remember on which ship we had an inside cabin in:classic_rolleyes:( up until this time he refused to even try an inside) which ship had a balcony and which ship was an outside..... and we will never do b2b2b again🤗

Since then we some times  book inside cabins especially on TA's.  With almost 70 cruises behind us we know where to book in certain ships considering the sailing destination. Our first MSC cruise was back when it first sailed in the Caribbean....nobody even heard of MSC and I would tell them..." you know the big trucks with MSC on them....? well they also have ships" LOL

Looking forward to going back to Venice next Fall for a b2b on the Opera.

 

Thank you, we love doing multiple cruises, one week is never enough, we have done one B2B2B2B, and two B2B2B and one B2B. Next year we have a B2B2B booked. 

 

 

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Jezz Louise Captain, I'm didn't realized you were that old, I guess they didn't have "gyms' in your youth.

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Celebrity Equinox

 

The spa wasn’t anything special, they had a steam room, a sauna, heated stone loungers and no thalassotherapy pool. The cost was $99 per person for a one week pass; we did not get it because we did not think it was worth it.

 

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The gym was nice, lots of equipment and space and it never got busy

 

 

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5 hours ago, MikeyA53 said:

Jezz Louise Captain, I'm didn't realized you were that old, I guess they didn't have "gyms' in your youth.

1. yes I am that old

2.  if I feel like exercise I lie down til the feeling goes away

 

never did exercise..used to do sports until the warranty on my body ran out

 

as usual enjoying the review

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13 hours ago, MikeyA53 said:

 

Thank you, we love doing multiple cruises, one week is never enough, we have done one B2B2B2B, and two B2B2B and one B2B. Next year we have a B2B2B booked. 

For sure !! The longest combination we did ended up being 33 days all on the same ship in the same cabin...an inside cabin:classic_biggrin: with $1200 OBC hitting 5 continents on Grand Princess and the inside cabin was at the back of the ship 5 feet from our private" Balcony" and adults only pool🤗 for under $5K...we just stopped jumping ships LOL

 

 

 

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Those weekly spa pass prices are pretty good compared to NCL's spa pricing. I think I was charged $69 each or thereabouts for a day's entry!! It was a nice spa, and I think they know it. That said, Seaside's spa looks equally as nice, and for the price, so much the better.

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