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trvlwrld

Princess compared to Celebrity

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We are loyal Princess cruisers, but are looking at a 2020 transpacific B2B with Japan on Celebrity Millenium.  Could anyone tell us how their food, staterooms, excursions, and on board activities compare with  Princess.  Trying to decide if we would be better to fly over and do a longer cruise on Princess....we have only been to Nagasaki, but have toured extensively in a variety of other Asian countries so we are newbies only to Japan...thx!!

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We cruise both lines and find that they are more alike than different. Of course, there are things that I unique about each line. On Celebrity we like that the dress up night is not mandatory as we like to pack carry-on only and so no sports coat for DH and no fancy shoes etc for me. Their regular balcony cabins have a sofa and they have shower doors instead of curtains. The casino is smoke free too. On Princess we love the self-service laundry, especially on a long cruise. We are Elite on Celebrity and we each get a free bag of laundry but it's never enough if your traveling for 2 weeks+. Also, on Princess you can get the sip & sail perk for a transatlantic, but you cannot on Celebrity. Hope this is helpful, as these are the things that matter to us.

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Celebrity is very comparable to Princess IME.  I really like their buffet and balcony cabins (which have a sofa in them).  If you go with the Concierge Class or Aqua Class on this class of ship, they're 20 SF bigger than the regular balcony cabins and on a long cruise, that may make a difference.  We always go with the C1 category for the aft view and the massive balcony on Deck 7.  It's usually about $400-$500 more than the Aqua Class cabins which are supposed to be a higher class, but the location is worth it IMO. 

 

This class of ship "rides" very smoothly - much more so than any of the Princess ships - so it's great for TAs. 

The Millennium is having an incredible head-to-toe renovation and after this spring, will feel like it's brand new.  It's not just a regular renovation.  They are taking out the entire cabin bathrooms and re-doing them, the beds, the wallpaper, etc. - it's a total transformation. 


There's a good amount of outdoor deck space, the officers really are approachable and participate in so many of the activities during the day.  The atmosphere is very similar to Princess with one exception that we've noticed - some people are really stuck on the class system since the suites and AQ cabins eat in different dining rooms.  If you're a foodie, that might be a big decision-making factor for you.  For us, we've always found the food good enough everywhere else. 

Another thing that's good is that if you're Diamond with RCI, you're automatically at the Elite Level with Celebrity.  Their Elite perks aren't quite as good as Princess' but they're close. 

Edited by DrivesLikeMario

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thanks for your input—we are leaning toward celebrity at the moment...not too thrilled about a perceived “class system” though

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32 minutes ago, trvlwrld said:

thanks for your input—we are leaning toward celebrity at the moment...not too thrilled about a perceived “class system” though

 

We also sail on both lines quite a bit and while we have double the number of cruises on Princess, we absolutely love Celebrity.  Princess has better itineraries for us, but think the food, service, ships, etc are all better on Celebrity in my opinion.  (I know I am on the Princess boards ... but it's my opinion!).  

The specialty restaurants are more reasonable on Princess, though.  Plus, their new beds on Princess are just wonderful!  I think Princess also wins where it comes to entertainment but the venues on Celebrity are much better.  

I'm not sure what you mean about the perceived class system on Celebrity.  Princess has basically the same thing whereas they have club class dining if you book a club class room or suite and a breakfast in one of the specialty restaurants if you book a suite.  They also have the PES event in one of the lounges.  On Celebrity, that PES event is for elites or better but the drinks are complimentary.  If you book in Aqua Class,  you get to eat in Blu (not a lot different than Club Class dining).  The only difference I can see is that on Princess, if you are in a suite, you are allowed to eat in Club Class and on Celebrity, you get your own dining room in Luminae.  No other real class system but that one restaurant.  

I've actually never been invited to anything special on Princess but have been sent invites to special events on Celebrity.  And, as mentioned, I have double the number of sailings on Princess over Celebrity.  

Others have said that Princess and Celebrity are more similar than different and I don't necessarily agree with this.  This is probably because Celebrity suits me better, though. I also feel like they have more of a  white glove service than is found on Princess, even though formal nights on Celebrity are a thing of the past. Now, Celebrity has elegant chic instead of formal nights so no dressing to the nines required.  NICE!!!  

The perks that go along with the booking are consistently better on Celebrity, whereas the timing has to be just right to get the preferred promo on Princess.  

I think you will really like Celebrity if you try it!  Whatever you decide, I hope you enjoy!!  

 

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1 hour ago, trvlwrld said:

thanks for your input—we are leaning toward celebrity at the moment...not too thrilled about a perceived “class system” though

I don’t quite understand what folks mean by class system. We sailed in an aft-facing C1 cabin for a 25 day b2b on the Eclipse about a year ago and had a great time, except for one thing. My DW is a chocoholic and every day we would look at the Luminae lunch (on sea days) and dinner menus and would always see at least one different chocolate dessert on each menu, besides all the other great looking entree dishes and appetizers. Not so on many of the MDR menus. 

 

So we decided to look for a cheap S1 sky suite and found one on the Reflection we’re on right now in the Caribbean for $350/person/day which included all 4 perks.  But I will say since we booked this cruise over 2 years ago, the price had gone up $1,700 pp by sail time, so we are so glad we booked it early on.

 

However, other than having a big aft-facing cabin and getting to eat in the Illuminae every day, which is great BTW, I’m missing how what we are experiencing is effecting anyone else on the ship? From our point of view we’re getting to experience all this for about the same price as an ocean view on an Oceania cruise or in some cases the same price as a vista suite on a HAL cruise. But I will say if someone waits until about a year out before booking, the price of a sky suite will probably be much higher than it was when it was first  became available. 

Edited by Ken the cruiser

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We just sailed on the Constellation in September - same class as the Millennium. We also have sailed on the Infinity.  We did not care for either ship. Perhaps responses from those who have sailed on the newer, larger ships will have had a better experience. We have sailed on Princess 7 times and have 2 more cruises scheduled. Princess is by far our favorite.  We had a concierge cabin on the Constellation and found it small and in need of a serious update. We never figured out what made this category “Concierge” other than priority boarding and evening canapés that were not worth eating.  One thing listed was the tote bag that in the old days everyone got. Now the cabin gets ONE tote bags - not a tote for each of us. 

The food was no better than Princess. And the Club Class mini suite offers much more for the money. The cabin is bigger and the bathroom has a tub. Also, special seating at dinner at any time was great. 

So all in all, we will not sail on Celerity again and will stick with Princess.  

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We enjoy both lines for different reasons. We were on the Infinity, sister ship to Millennium many years ago and loved it.  Gourmet food back then, Michael Roux chef.  Anyway, we’ve been on 20 something Princess and four or five Celebrity.  You won’t be sorry on either cruise line. Princess has more activities, by far, but Celebrity has a more sophisticated feel.  All passengers on all ships have always been very nice.  Celebrity has a more all-inclusive model.  Most packages come with perks.   

There is no classism on Celebrity.  They merely offer concierge class or aqua for an upcharge.  You won’t feel like an outcast should you decide to not do CC or AQ. 

People tend to dress up more at night on Celebrity, but on the Celebrity cruises we’ve been on, there is a more international clientele, lots of Europeans and Canadians and Australians.  

Food is quite subjective, but both lines’ food have their strengths and weaknesses.  

We like the mixed drinks more on Princess. Cabin stewards are friendlier on Princess and nice yet more reserved on Celebrity.  Service is excellent on both lines. 

Celebrity doesn’t feel as crowded as Princess in public areas such as pools. 

Entertainment much stronger on Princess, more venues in the evening for shows, more trivia on Princess.  I like the smoke-free casinos on Celebrity.  I like the shopping equally onboard on both lines.  

We currently have cruises booked for both lines through 2020. 

(Coffee drinks better on Celebrity )

 

 

Edited by 4cats4me

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FYI, the Celebrity Millenium is almost 20 years old although I'm sure they've kept it up to date.  It carries about 2,000 pax so it's on the smaller side compared to newer ships.  Don't know if this will be the case, but friends sailed on the Princess Majestic in Asia and there was a large amount of space devoted to gambling; besides the usual casino the ship also had many private rooms available for poker, etc.  

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17 hours ago, trvlwrld said:

thanks for your input—we are leaning toward celebrity at the moment...not too thrilled about a perceived “class system” though

Yeah, you can ignore it pretty easily though since those people aren't eating in the same dining room as you.  Sometimes they flash their cards like they're something special and demand attention but it's always good for a laugh.  :classic_wink:

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8 minutes ago, BarbinMich said:

FYI, the Celebrity Millenium is almost 20 years old although I'm sure they've kept it up to date.  It carries about 2,000 pax so it's on the smaller side compared to newer ships.  Don't know if this will be the case, but friends sailed on the Princess Majestic in Asia and there was a large amount of space devoted to gambling; besides the usual casino the ship also had many private rooms available for poker, etc.  

 

It's being completely, totally renovated - unlike ANY other renovation they've ever done so it will "feel" new and very modern.

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We are Platinum on Princess, Elite Plus on Celebrity...and have cruised on six other lines as well, many multiple times...

Yes, most cruise lines do a lot of the same things...but...to be completely honest here, I greatly prefer Celebrity...and it isn't even close (and that's nothing against Princess...it's just Celebrity stands out in a few important ways).

 

Most importantly, the Celebrity ships are less crowded.  You can tell the spaciousness of a ship by calculating the "space per passenger" ratios--dividing the gross tonnage (a measure of volume, not weight) by the number of passengers.  For example, the Celebrity Millennium (which we just disembarked from a couple of weeks ago after an Asia cruise) is a 91,000 gross ton ship and, at full double capacity, carries 2,138 guests...a ratio of  42.56.  The Emerald Princess (which we will be sailing on next) is 113,500 gross tons and carries 3,114...a ratio of 36.45...So, the millennium has almost 17% more space per passenger.  You may think that this is not that big a deal...but it has an impact in many areas. 

 

For example, the show room...

The Millennium's showroom actually has a greater seating capacity than the showroom on the Emerald...even though it has about 1,000 less guests!  On Princess, one often has to arrive at a show VERY early just to find a seat.  On Celebrity, you can show up at curtain time and still get excellent seats...

 

And that same experience is duplicated in other venues throughout the ship...

 

Another great advantage to Celebrity, IMHO, is the standard cabin...On Princess, in order to get a sitting area in your cabin, you have to book at least a mini-suite...On Celebrity, even the inside cabins have a sitting area with at least a small sofa and coffee table...Don't just trust what the cruise lines report as cabin square footage.  Princess includes the balcony in their measurements...they also have a cabin design where there is far more wasted square footage with a hallway leading to the bathroom.  Celebrity eliminates that and the result is that the cabin feels more spacious.

 

A lot of the rest of it comes down to personal preference and opinion.  IMHO, the service onboard Celebrity is better (which, again, actually comes from those ratios--including the "crew per passenger" ratio).

 

As to the perceived "class system", you will hardly notice it, if at all...There are different cabin categories that eat in different dining rooms--Suites eat in "Luminae", Aqua class in "Blu"...But you will be happy with the main dining room if you have an "ordinary" cabin...It really feels no different than most Princess ships--which tend to have multiple dining rooms--you go to the one in which you are assigned.  The suites also have a special lounge on Celebrity--but you will hardly notice that if you are not in a suite...

 

The specialty restaurants on Celebrity are a bit more expensive than the ones on Princess...

 

The "loyalty program" on Celebrity actually blows away the one on Princess.  At the "Elite" level (which is easier to get to on Celebrity than on Princess), you get a special lounge with unlimited free drinks from 5-7 each night...much better than the bar with slightly discounted drink specials...and lots of other little extras we don't get on Princess.

 

And, yes, the Millennium is currently undergoing major rehab...We were on her twice this past year--including our Southeast Asia holiday cruise-which was the last before it went to dry dock...For being Celebrity's oldest current ship, it was actuially in remarkably good shape...but it is getting a major overhaul and should be spectacular...

 

Don't think twice, book the cruise!

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