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mfs2k

First time Celebrity Cruiser: The Expectation compared to the Reality

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1 minute ago, DENIE said:

Fun post!  Thanks for sharing!  After trying a few lines - NCL, HAL, Carnival, MSC, and Celebrity, we think we found a home on Celebrity.  Of course, there were lots of things to love on all our cruises, but Celebrity fits us "just right" at the moment.  Going on our first Mediterranean (3rd X cruise overall) this fall.

 

Just curious... all the lines you’ve tried, you didn’t mention Royal C.  Why not ?

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1 minute ago, mfs2k said:

Just curious... all the lines you’ve tried, you didn’t mention Royal C.  Why not ?

Out of the ships we sailed, none were the "mega ships", though MSC Divina is a "large" ship.  NCL was the "Star", which is an average size ship by today's standards.  Carnival was the ancient Paradise.  RC just does not appeal to us.  We don't want rock climbing walls, flow riders, ice rinks, more kids, etc.  I'm sure we would enjoy RC, just not all those kinds of things.  I do understand why they are the preferred line for some...

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1 minute ago, DENIE said:

RC just does not appeal to us.  We don't want rock climbing walls, flow riders, ice rinks, more kids, etc.  I'm sure we would enjoy RC, just not all those kinds of things

 

I feel exactly the same. Thank you. 

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Always enjoy reading a fresh perspective on Celebrity, and loved how you laid out the comparative of expectation vs. reality.  Nicely done!!  Sounds like it was a great first cruise for you on this line!

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8 minutes ago, Reel Love said:

Always enjoy reading a fresh perspective on Celebrity, and loved how you laid out the comparative of expectation vs. reality.  Nicely done!!  Sounds like it was a great first cruise for you on this line!

 

Thank you !

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Thanks for posting.  Good info for us newbies to Celebrity although going on the Reflection.  

I was a little surprised that there are no sanitizing wipes for guests to use on the heated tile beds.  They have them on Princess and I always use them..  guess if none I will have to lay on a towel which is a bummer.

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4 hours ago, cheeseclan said:

Thanks for posting.  Good info for us newbies to Celebrity although going on the Reflection.  

I was a little surprised that there are no sanitizing wipes for guests to use on the heated tile beds.  They have them on Princess and I always use them..  guess if none I will have to lay on a towel which is a bummer.

 

There were ample supplies of sanitizing wipes in the gym. I suggest grabbing a few there before stepping into Persian Gardens. 

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Glad you enjoyed your cruise and most things exceeded your expectations.

Another poster mentioned cancelled excursions in Cozumel, do you know if this was this all excursions or just certain ones.  We have the Chef's Market Discovery booked for November.

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We are on the Equinox in a couple of weeks, this will be our first Celebrity cruise, and it was great to read you expectations vs reality.  I feel your perspective is probably similar to my own.  This will be our 15th cruise, with our first on the Carnival Festival in 1995, we have mostly sailed Carnival, but have felt it no longer fits our lifestyle and have now started to explore others.  We did Royal Caribbean first, followed by MSC, Norwegian and most recently Holland America.  If I had to rank them in order of preference it would go, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, and a distant last MSC.  Our 11 year old son does not seem to care for all the Royal Caribbean activities, but wants an experience with other kids.  He always liked Carnival, but he fell in love with the HAL experience as their was not to many kids and he really formed a connection with the staff.  We are hopeful Celebrity will offer him a similar experience.  

 

As for my wife and I, we prefer a more traditional cruise experience.  Good food, drinks, conversation, and quite times in a deck chair or lounge just reading and watching the world go by.  However, HAL may be just a bit to sedate, and my expectation is Celebrity is the sweet spot between Carnival and HAL.  My biggest complaint is the guests on our last 2 Carnival trips were just horrible.  Loud and rude is not a great combination.  The MDR experience was so bad we decided we would not travel with Carnival again.  

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1 hour ago, colliece said:

We are on the Equinox in a couple of weeks, this will be our first Celebrity cruise, and it was great to read you expectations vs reality.  I feel your perspective is probably similar to my own.  This will be our 15th cruise, with our first on the Carnival Festival in 1995, we have mostly sailed Carnival, but have felt it no longer fits our lifestyle and have now started to explore others.  We did Royal Caribbean first, followed by MSC, Norwegian and most recently Holland America.  If I had to rank them in order of preference it would go, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Norwegian, and a distant last MSC.  Our 11 year old son does not seem to care for all the Royal Caribbean activities, but wants an experience with other kids.  He always liked Carnival, but he fell in love with the HAL experience as their was not to many kids and he really formed a connection with the staff.  We are hopeful Celebrity will offer him a similar experience.  

 

As for my wife and I, we prefer a more traditional cruise experience.  Good food, drinks, conversation, and quite times in a deck chair or lounge just reading and watching the world go by.  However, HAL may be just a bit to sedate, and my expectation is Celebrity is the sweet spot between Carnival and HAL.  My biggest complaint is the guests on our last 2 Carnival trips were just horrible.  Loud and rude is not a great combination.  The MDR experience was so bad we decided we would not travel with Carnival again.  

Hi Colliece, we are just down the road in Knightdale and will be taking our first Cel cruise in 3 days. We have also cruised HAL recently and have enjoyed that but did find it a bit too sedate at times. However, we LOVED the BB Kings lounge so I hope there will be some great live music on Equinox. Sounds like our cruise expectations are similar to yours, just a chance to do a lot of nothing for a week.

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18 minutes ago, friendswithdave said:

Hi Colliece, we are just down the road in Knightdale and will be taking our first Cel cruise in 3 days. We have also cruised HAL recently and have enjoyed that but did find it a bit too sedate at times. However, we LOVED the BB Kings lounge so I hope there will be some great live music on Equinox. Sounds like our cruise expectations are similar to yours, just a chance to do a lot of nothing for a week.

You sure are, we are in Clayton.  My son is already counting the days.  We jumped on this cruise kind of last minute and got a great deal, but we really wanted to try Celebrity.  Let me know how you enjoyed your trip.  BB Kings is great, but they are removing that club from several of the HAL ships.  We loved our HAL cruise, we are holding off making our next reservation until we sail with Celebrity.  From what I have read I feel confident we will not be disappointed.  We are going to do an Holiday Asian cruise and Alaska next summer.

 

Hope you have a great trip, I wish I was heading out this week.  Work has been crazy and its been 8 months since our last cruise.

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1 hour ago, CHEZMARYLOU said:

Glad you enjoyed your cruise and most things exceeded your expectations.

Another poster mentioned cancelled excursions in Cozumel, do you know if this was this all excursions or just certain ones.  We have the Chef's Market Discovery booked for November.

 

I didn't hear of anyone expressing concern or any discussion or problem with excursions cancelled in Cozumel.  I'm not saying this didn't happen, but just I was unaware of a problem.  There were no notices and I thought I saw excursions listed on the app and on the website when I looked.  But we were prebooked at Mr. Sanchos on our own and we took a taxi there for the day and had a great time. 

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Thanks msf2K, we've had so many Market Discovery tours cancelled either due to vendor problems or not enough booked that we are hoping to finally do another one in November.  Our 1st  and only one was in St. Maarten.

 

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Nice review, thanks for writing it.

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8 hours ago, CHEZMARYLOU said:

Thanks msf2K, we've had so many Market Discovery tours cancelled either due to vendor problems or not enough booked that we are hoping to finally do another one in November.  Our 1st  and only one was in St. Maarten.

 

 

What is a market discovery tour

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I remember your original thread.  Thank you for following up with us!

I'm glad you enjoyed X.🙂

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Posted (edited)
On 4/3/2019 at 2:23 AM, chipperberg said:

My only other concern is that we will bin an OV.  There are no quad verandas avilable.  and this will be the first time we are all in one cabin.  we usually book 2.  I have stayed in i interiors but not in a long time.  first time in an OV.  Kind of excited while slightly concerned..

 

There are some great rooms called family verandas technically for five but often released for smaller sized groups near to cruising. May be worth a phone call to X....The verandas are fantastic.

Edited by chemmo

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On the Chef's Market Discovery tour you tour the area with culinary  staff from Celebrity, visiting a market place where ingredients for dinner are selected.  Then there is a lunch at a local restaurant.  For dinner than night the guests dine in one of the restaurants on food prepared from the items selected during the day. They don't actually use the food bought on the tour but have it delivered by an approved supplier.

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@mfs2k

 

So glad you had a great time! 

 

I am always so impressed that crew recall our names. Have NO Clue how they do it week after week. 

 

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3 hours ago, CHEZMARYLOU said:

On the Chef's Market Discovery tour you tour the area with culinary  staff from Celebrity, visiting a market place where ingredients for dinner are selected.  Then there is a lunch at a local restaurant.  For dinner than night the guests dine in one of the restaurants on food prepared from the items selected during the day. They don't actually use the food bought on the tour but have it delivered by an approved supplier.

 

That sounds like something I would enjoy in the future.

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On 4/2/2019 at 3:36 PM, mfs2k said:

 

Mediterranean summer cruise but 2020 is likely.  My daughter is getting married this summer. 

 

I'm done with the Caribbean.  Too many trips there.  Time to expand my horizons. 

Take a look at the Baltics. It is a great sailing and 2 days in St Petersburg.

 

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On 4/2/2019 at 3:15 PM, mfs2k said:

 

Thank you..

We considered Asia however, my DW would like to see Europe first.  She's never been there, and I've only been to France and Spain.  We really want to see Italy.

Glad you were pleased with Celebrity.

Sailing Europe is a different animal than the Caribbean. We did a cruise in the Caribbean, then followed up with one to Bermuda, and then for our 20th anniv, celebrated with a week in the Western Med which was the first time in Europe for both of us, very much noobs, more than you will be - a few observations and considerations.

 

Positives of a European cruise for first timers - the biggest positive is that you come home to the US (or something close to it, you will meet a lot of folks from UK and from the EU as well, our cruise was about half and half), and on a port intensive cruise where you are trying to really see sites, and relaxing is a secondary goal, it can be kind of nice to be "off point" for dinner and shower and drinks in the evening and recharge. Especially for a first time in Europe or if  you or your wife are concerned about language and cultural difference etc. The other big positive is you cover a good bit of territory without lugging suitcases, driving or packing and unpacking.

 

The big negative is what is your expectation. We were in our very early 40s on this trip, we still had school kids (9 and 12) at home and could only squeak out one week (almost 20 years later now, I would be quite reluctant to do that flight for just a week). We knew (or at least hoped) that this would be the first of more than one trip to Europe, were fortunate to have that come true, We have made a number of trips now, mostly to Italy because we love Italy. A cruise is a relatively painless way to get a flavor of Italy, but keep in mind as you are planning that you will not be able to see and do more than about half of what you want - its just too far in many cases from the port to the sites that you want to visit. Consider a back to back, or if Italy is your dream, maybe a cruise that is heavy on Spain and France then ends in Rome, combined with a land trip in Italy proper, or vice versa. Consider Naples when looking at itineraries, it is a bit of a rough town even now, but with a lot to offer (Pompeii, Amalfi) and easy to access from the ship.

 

Following your posts, you seem to be a great planner and a great thinker. Continue your research (sounds like you will have a good bit of time) and you will be able to plot and plan a wonderful European trip on water and/or on land.

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8 minutes ago, cangelmd said:

what is your expectation.

 

I think our expectation for a European cruise is exposure to various cities and countries along the itinerary.  I don't suspect we'll be taking every bus tour to see everything.  We're not big on sightseeing.  I'm sure there will be a lot of places to walk around and explore, like we do regularly in NYC on our own.  Not afraid to grab a guidebook and take a little trip or a cruise tour to Venice from the port, for example, grab lunch in a highly rated spot, with a pretty view, and hop on a gondola to take pics in a Cathedral. 

 

After the cruise, we'll likely followup with other land trips, driving trips or maybe river cruises to places in Europe we want to focus on.  Clearly, Europe is a HUGE place, with so many wonderful places to visit and see, and can never all be seen in 1, 10, or even 50 trips.  We know that.  But a cruise is a nice way to travel and get an overview.

 

I'm sure most Europeans don't expect to see the entire USA on a cruise from NYC to New England.  It's a little taste.  There's so much more for other trips.  

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55 minutes ago, mfs2k said:

 

I think our expectation for a European cruise is exposure to various cities and countries along the itinerary.  I don't suspect we'll be taking every bus tour to see everything.  We're not big on sightseeing.  I'm sure there will be a lot of places to walk around and explore, like we do regularly in NYC on our own.  Not afraid to grab a guidebook and take a little trip or a cruise tour to Venice from the port, for example, grab lunch in a highly rated spot, with a pretty view, and hop on a gondola to take pics in a Cathedral. 

 

After the cruise, we'll likely followup with other land trips, driving trips or maybe river cruises to places in Europe we want to focus on.  Clearly, Europe is a HUGE place, with so many wonderful places to visit and see, and can never all be seen in 1, 10, or even 50 trips.  We know that.  But a cruise is a nice way to travel and get an overview.

 

I'm sure most Europeans don't expect to see the entire USA on a cruise from NYC to New England.  It's a little taste.  There's so much more for other trips.  

We did a number of 9-day land trips to the "interior" of Europe thru my husband's professional assn, before we started cruising there regularly, mostly on TAs (we like sea days and the price).  However, our first European cruise was in 2003 on the old Regal Princess.  The ship had been in Australia and was working its way to northern Europe.  We got on in Italy (Civi.) and got off in Copenhagen with 7 ports along the way in France, Spain, Portugal, England, Belgium and the Netherlands.  The TAs have allowed us to visit Iceland and Greenland several times each as well as ports in western Eur/UK.  We've also done 2 Med cruises, both on Celebrity:  one eastern and one western.  I, too, like to walk around port cities, sometimes with the "help" of a HOHO bus.  DH prefers not to so his "loss". <g>

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3 hours ago, BarbinMich said:

We did a number of 9-day land trips to the "interior" of Europe thru my husband's professional assn, before we started cruising there regularly, mostly on TAs (we like sea days and the price).  However, our first European cruise was in 2003 on the old Regal Princess.  The ship had been in Australia and was working its way to northern Europe.  We got on in Italy (Civi.) and got off in Copenhagen with 7 ports along the way in France, Spain, Portugal, England, Belgium and the Netherlands.  The TAs have allowed us to visit Iceland and Greenland several times each as well as ports in western Eur/UK.  We've also done 2 Med cruises, both on Celebrity:  one eastern and one western.  I, too, like to walk around port cities, sometimes with the "help" of a HOHO bus.  DH prefers not to so his "loss". <g>

 

I’m concerned the TA’s may be a bit too many sea days for me. I love sea days in the Caribbean but that would be very different. 

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