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4774Papa

Are more Celebrity cruisers picking RCI due to high Celebrity prices?

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We have done 11 cruises on Celebrity since 2011 and very much like that cruise line, but last year we picked Royal''s Explorer of the Seas TransPacific (based on best itinerary and price) over Celebrity.

 

Now we have Serenade of the Seas 9 June for the Norway Arctic Circle cruise.  Looking forward to that one.

 

Research shows me that the cruises that I am looking at on both cruise lines that Royal's prices are beating Celebrity almost every time.  Of course, based on what we have heard about MSC, we are starting to look at some of their cruises.

 

Are more Celebrity cruisers moving to Royal Caribbean (especially since we picked up Diamond status due to our Celebrity elite status)?

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Both cruise lines are owned by RCCL.  It’s a preference for some.  I have been on both, less children on Celebrity, which some may prefer over Royal, this is just my observation.

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Posted (edited)

We sail mostly RCCL but  many  of our Celebrity cruises (we started Celebrity in 2012 and the last Celebrity cruise was 2016) have bean cheaper than  RCCL.  Perhaps the pricing model has changed in the past few years.  We try to book comparable cabins, usually  a balcony on RCCL and a  balcony or concierge class  on Celebrity. 

 

Loyalty benefits are different  on both lines  but  sort of even out in the long run.  When you factor on the  "free" perks often offered by Celebrity,  if might be a better bottom line  offer. 

 

Just from speaking to  passengers we meet on board, we met many more RCCL folks taking Celebrity, than we meet  Celebrity folks  now taking RCCL.   In fact, at one time there were  a few nasty Celebrity  threads on CC  about RCCL Diamond  and up  cruisers taking over Celebrity and getting "unearned" elite  benefits.

 

M

Edited by cruisegirl1

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30 minutes ago, 4774Papa said:

We have done 11 cruises on Celebrity since 2011 and very much like that cruise line, but last year we picked Royal''s Explorer of the Seas TransPacific (based on best itinerary and price) over Celebrity.

 

 You point out that choices you have made to go with Royal vs Celebrity were based on best itinerary and price....so it would be reasonable to expect that is the same for  others.

 

We have our first Celebrity cruise booked for a Panama Canal cruise and the price was terrific with the perks we chose.....so each cruise just depends.  We have not had a reason to choose Celebrity up until this Panama Canal cruise.

 

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3 minutes ago, Paulette3028 said:

 You point out that choices you have made to go with Royal vs Celebrity were based on best itinerary and price....so it would be reasonable to expect that is the same for  others.

 

We have our first Celebrity cruise booked for a Panama Canal cruise and the price was terrific with the perks we chose.....so each cruise just depends.  We have not had a reason to choose Celebrity up until this Panama Canal cruise.

 

We dislike the bundled pricing, since we are not heavy drinkers and don't want the beverage packages.  One reason for the higher Celebrity prices is this bundling.  Most of RCI's cruises don't bundle.

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Celebrity does offers some ports that aren’t on Royal’s lists of ports of call, so that’s a major factor when I am booking that I want to experience.  Of course offering those free perks don’t hurt.

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13 minutes ago, 4774Papa said:

We dislike the bundled pricing, since we are not heavy drinkers and don't want the beverage packages.  One reason for the higher Celebrity prices is this bundling.  Most of RCI's cruises don't bundle.

I agree that if I had to get a 'beverage package' as part of my bundled pricing it would be of very little value to us, because we are also not big drinkers at all.  On our Panama Canal sailing on Celebrity it was tips and internet which we took and it made the pricing very very good....for a 15 day sailing.  Quite a deal, is the best way to put it .....for us.

 

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As a suite cruiser, we've found Celebrity's suite bundling a better value than Royal's. That along with different itineraries will keep us booking both lines.

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I stick to either iced tea, water or lemonade so a beverage package isn't necessary for me.  I typically choose pre-paid gratuities and OBC on Celebrity, which is usually a larger amount than anything I have been offered on RCCL.

Our family is doing an upcoming Med cruise on Jewel of the Seas.  Most of the group would have preferred Celebrity, but the 2017/2018 itimerary that would have worked was not offered in 2019.  Looked into Edge and that cost was at least double what we are paying for JOTS.

That said...after JOTS, my next two booked cruises are on Celebrity.

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1 hour ago, 4774Papa said:

We have done 11 cruises on Celebrity since 2011 and very much like that cruise line, but last year we picked Royal''s Explorer of the Seas TransPacific (based on best itinerary and price) over Celebrity.

 

Now we have Serenade of the Seas 9 June for the Norway Arctic Circle cruise.  Looking forward to that one.

 

Research shows me that the cruises that I am looking at on both cruise lines that Royal's prices are beating Celebrity almost every time.  Of course, based on what we have heard about MSC, we are starting to look at some of their cruises.

 

Are more Celebrity cruisers moving to Royal Caribbean (especially since we picked up Diamond status due to our Celebrity elite status)?

RCCL's base cabin prices are almost always lower than Celebrity's prices.  Is that a surprise?  This has been their business model.  The bundle prices are sometimes a better deal on Celebrity than RCCL's base cabin price plus added options particularly for suites.  We sail Celebrity more than RCCL because we enjoy the quieter ships and higher level of service, and destination itineraries.  The low level Sky Suite (with all added perks) is a much better deal than RCCL's low level Jr Suite (comes really with next to nothing).  Not sure there is a mass movement from Celebrity to RCCL as price is not the over riding factor for most who choose Celebrity.

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I first sailed Celebrity for the first time in 2003 and Royal Caribbean in 2008.  At that time, I found Celebrity to be a huge step better than Royal Caribbean.  Better food, better services, etc.

 

in 2015, I sailed Royal Caribbean and Celebrity again.  The differences between the two were very minimal.  Service was about the same, but food, which was Celebrities edge had been lost.  I found Qsine which is their version of wonderland was mediocre while Wonderland was amazing.  But for the most part, they were more similar than different.  Overall, the food was only slightly better, but so slight, it would not be a defining point even though Celebrities defining point for me in the past, was their food.

 

Last month, I had dinner with my travel agent and she said that Celebrity has taken these reviews to heart.  She said they were stepping up their improvement now and that if I sailed Celebrity today, I would notice a marked difference between now and 2015.  She also said that she noticed a larger price difference and believes Celebrity is spending more to improve their product as it had dropped significantly in the last decade and they are remedying it.

I have no plans to go on Celebrity anytime soon, but I do want to try their Solstice or even Edge class as I've only done their Millenium class.

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I have sailed mainly Royal because they are cheaper then Celebrity. We did take Celebrity last year for the Panama Canal cruise as Royal had stopped offering at the time(they do go there now). I agree less kids but it was also April and 17 days so that knocks a lot of people out of the mix. I did find Celebrity's MDR offerings to be better then Royal's and even their buffet. Took Royal in January and it seems like the food is the same old same old and not as good anymore. We may look at Celebrity again as they offer some ports that Royal does not. Just my opinion on this topic.

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I am doing more Celebrity for Europe especially UK because Celebrity does a better job of getting hotel packages.

 

Last month was planning for 2020 I selected a RCCL as well as a Celebrity. Rccl could not guarantee hotel pkgs in London until much closer to final booking.

 

Also, Celebrity customer service reps are friendlier and helpful.  Celebrity itineraries are a bit more interesting in Europe for 2020.

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Celebrity is a higher end product. Thats why its typically more expensive. Just like Carnival and MSC are going to be cheaper than RCCL. You get what you pay for. 

 

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48 minutes ago, Oceansaway17 said:

I am doing more Celebrity for Europe especially UK because Celebrity does a better job of getting hotel packages.

 

Last month was planning for 2020 I selected a RCCL as well as a Celebrity. Rccl could not guarantee hotel pkgs in London until much closer to final booking.

 

Also, Celebrity customer service reps are friendlier and helpful.  Celebrity itineraries are a bit more interesting in Europe for 2020.

Celebrity continues to excel in dining and service.  However, RCI does entertainment the best.

 

If I gave Celebrity 100 points for dining and service, then I would give RCI 90 points, but if I gave RCI 100 points for entertainment, I would give Celebrity 85 points for entertainment.

 

Ship design, Celebrity's ships are the best.  There and many places to view the ocean and their ships all have a sunset bar outside the buffet, while RCI's design blocks off the aft area next to the buffet..

 

I like the Diamond HH better than Elite HH.  You can order drinks or a glass of wine in the MDR with dinner, up until 8pm, can't do that on Celebrity.

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6 minutes ago, amyhphoto said:

Celebrity is a higher end product. Thats why its typically more expensive. Just like Carnival and MSC are going to be cheaper than RCCL. You get what you pay for. 

 

I didn't know MSC was less than RCCL; I just presumed they were on par with Celebrity!

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We're open to trying Celebrity but have found Royal to have better loyalty benefits for us. Also the Edge pricing is OUTRAGEOUS.

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1 hour ago, 4774Papa said:

Celebrity continues to excel in dining and service.  However, RCI does entertainment the best.

 

If I gave Celebrity 100 points for dining and service, then I would give RCI 90 points, but if I gave RCI 100 points for entertainment, I would give Celebrity 85 points for entertainment.

 

Ship design, Celebrity's ships are the best.  There and many places to view the ocean and their ships all have a sunset bar outside the buffet, while RCI's design blocks off the aft area next to the buffet..

 

I like the Diamond HH better than Elite HH.  You can order drinks or a glass of wine in the MDR with dinner, up until 8pm, can't do that on Celebrity.

Hello George,  Ruth and I sailed with you on the Celebrity Silhouette out of Rome a few years back.  Hope you and your wife are doing well.   We have had the same  issue as you with Celebrity pricing.  Our last couple of cruises have been on Royal with one more scheduled later this year.  We will also try doing a TA with Princess next year.   We miss many of the same things as you do on Celebrity but we continue to make our cruise decisions based on price and itinerary.   Happy Cruising!

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4 hours ago, springfire said:

Hello George,  Ruth and I sailed with you on the Celebrity Silhouette out of Rome a few years back.  Hope you and your wife are doing well.   We have had the same  issue as you with Celebrity pricing.  Our last couple of cruises have been on Royal with one more scheduled later this year.  We will also try doing a TA with Princess next year.   We miss many of the same things as you do on Celebrity but we continue to make our cruise decisions based on price and itinerary.   Happy Cruising!

Springfire, I remember the name and I know we did cruise together, but it wasn't on Silhouette.  We have never been on that ship. Perhaps it was on Eclipse (TA Oct/Nov 2017 from Southampton to Miami)?

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8 hours ago, TeeRick said:

RCCL's base cabin prices are almost always lower than Celebrity's prices.  Is that a surprise?  This has been their business model.  The bundle prices are sometimes a better deal on Celebrity than RCCL's base cabin price plus added options particularly for suites.  We sail Celebrity more than RCCL because we enjoy the quieter ships and higher level of service, and destination itineraries.  The low level Sky Suite (with all added perks) is a much better deal than RCCL's low level Jr Suite (comes really with next to nothing).  Not sure there is a mass movement from Celebrity to RCCL as price is not the over riding factor for most who choose Celebrity.

 

Celebrity’s new pricing structure now allows for cabin only,  2 perks or all 4 perks, you choose which one you want. 

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12 minutes ago, 4774Papa said:

Springfire, I remember the name and I know we did cruise together, but it wasn't on Silhouette.  We have never been on that ship. Perhaps it was on Eclipse (TA Oct/Nov 2017 from Southampton to Miami)?

You are right, it was the Eclipse out of Southampton.   

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We've sailed both lines interchangeably for 25 years.  Give X a slight edge in food (especially at buffet), while Royal is way ahead in activities and entertainment.

 

Suggestion to op:  go back and reprice the X sailings using the new no-perc option and see how they now compare to Royal. 

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5 minutes ago, Baron Barracuda said:

We've sailed both lines interchangeably for 25 years.  Give X a slight edge in food (especially at buffet), while Royal is way ahead in activities and entertainment.

 

Suggestion to op:  go back and reprice the X sailings using the new no-perc option and see how they now compare to Royal. 

I have seen the no perc option, but in my opinion the non-perc prices are still too high.

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We are Celebrity cruisers moving to Royal Caribbean for similar reasons as the OP.

 

While Celebrity tries to market itself as an upgrade to Royal Caribbean, there is more to pricing than that. Royal has the largest ships and is able to command a premium on that fact alone.

 

When we booked last year, we priced both Royal Caribbean and Celebrity itineraries. Celebrity pricing (with two perks) seemed to be on par with Freedom-class ships (with no perks). Oasis-class ships were much more expensive. For spring break, a cruise on Celebrity Summit ended up being the best value and lowest price, so we took it.

 

During that cruise on the Summit, we tried to book Celebrity for next year at the Future Cruises desk. Pricing was much higher. We couldn't make anything on Celebrity work. It actually looks like pricing for Oasis-class ships might have come down a little. We booked the Oasis for next year at only a slightly higher price than Freedom-class ships were going for last year.

 

Celebrity seems to be trying to capitalize on Edge and its "Revolutionized" ships now. I will admit Summit was impressive after its revolution dry-dock. I have never stayed in a more attractive and functional cabin before. The dining room and buffet improvements were also impressive. I think their pricing is starting to reflect this.

 

We tried pretty hard to stay with Celebrity next year but it just didn't work out. An interior cabin on Edge and a window-only cabin on the Equinox were about the same price as a balcony cabin on the Oasis. That made the decision relatively easy.

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X is our favorite line.  We've had good luck finding great deals in the past.   However, we've been booking RCI recently to get to diamond so we will be elite on X.  We will be diamond after our next cruise. Looking at the prices on X for next year it looks like we may be sticking to RCI unless we can find a great deal on X. No luck so far.

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