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Differences between Carnival and Celebrity

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I have yet to sail on Celebrity, so I don't know for sure. The consensus seems to be that it is superb in appearance, food, service, etc. It doesn't carry the same vibe though which is more important to me than the other stuff. While it sounds like a fine product that I will probably experience one day, I just have no interest in that at the moment. Especially for a few hundred more.

 

I like to compare it to people who would say a local dive bar is ugly, cheap, and trashy. While the wine bar is fancy, sophisticated, well-decorated, etc. The wine bar is therefore the superior choice on the weekend. Which one would be a better time though? I could give two craps about the things people like to "brag" about, give me the FUN!

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2 hours ago, KKB said:

Funny we are NOT subdued, sedate or quiet cruisers--but we love Celebrity!

Now, 3 were over spring break so FAR from subdued!! (and QUITE young demographic!)

We find a cruise is what you make it...and we like to be BUSY on a cruise (or any vacation for that matter)

Normal Caribbean port day (any line): buffet breakfast, couple hours in the sun, burger by the pool, poker tournament, trivia, dinner, show/game show, dancing/casino--PHEW. LOVE IT. EVERY line we have cruised allows us these options. I don't consider that quiet, sedate or subdued! I agree that other than the spring break demographic, 30s-60s is the bulk of the crowd. Similar to Princess, imo. Frankly that has been the predominant demo of most our cruises--they have more disposable income than 20s, kids often older or grown & still very active, generally speaking.
I have avoided Carnival--my 92 YO aunt said there wasn't enough to do on her Carnival cruise! (that woman is out 5 nights a week--keno, horse racing, dancing, so she, too, likes to be busy! 

But we found a 12 day Med cruise on the newly refurbed Radiance next summer for about $1K each (including taxes & fees) for the 3 of us OV. HECK of a deal. I figure a European cruise is VERY different & those 3 sea days will be more about relaxing & refueling for more sightseeing than going all day. You can do that on every cruise line!

I forgot how much I disliked the burgers on Celebrity compared to Carnival's Guys Burger.

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2 hours ago, NCTribeFan said:

I read the thread on the X board and had a long response typed up but deleted it.  I felt that so many of the responses over there were way too snobbish.  I've encountered that sort of thing on the HAL board, too.

 

I've sailed >30 Carnival, 1 RCI (2003), 3 HAL, 1 NCL, and most recently, 2 MSC.

 

I'm rather tired of Carnival.  Yes, I'm now "old" and the constant shoving FUN FUN FUN down my throat is exhausting.  I like HAL, but not because I'm now in their target demographic.  I like the ships, the food, the service, and have never had any trouble at all finding something to do in the evening.  Their BB King bands are fantastic.  Can't wait to sail on a ship that has the new Rolling Stone venue!  I just prefer the ship sizes and layouts.

 

I'm booked on my first X sailing but it's not for another 600 days!  Price was incredible with a lot of OBC, free drinks, and free service charges.  How could I pass that up?  It's on Infinity, which will be Revolutionized a few months before we sail.

 

I expect X to be a lot like HAL.  I don't hang out at the pool but try to find somewhere semi quiet to read and relax.  That's virtually impossible on any Carnival ship. 

 

Anyway, I still sail mostly for the ports, not the ship.  Carnival has the same things happening on every ship, whether it's on Fantasy or Horizon.  Same trivia.  Bingo.  Pool games.  Shows.  Menus.  Jokes from the CD.  I'm just bored with it and want some slightly-different experiences.  I currently have 3 Carnival cruises booked but I'm always looking to sail a different line (no interest in the mega RCI ships; MSC Divina was beautiful but too large for my tastes, loved the old, smaller Armonia). 

 

Still, I've found that the lines are more alike than they are different. 

I can't wait to try HAL again since they have the jazz club and/or the Rolling Stone venue.  I sailed on the Zaandam in 2005 and we loved it except late evenings were rather boring.  We did love that the casino cleared out early but with the addition of these club I think we will enjoy it more.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, JaniceB said:

I forgot how much I disliked the burgers on Celebrity compared to Carnival's Guys Burger.

 

Funny.  I thought Celebrity's burgers at the Mast were far and away better.  Hot and fresh right off the grill, excellent toppings (similar to Guys with grilled onions and mushrooms) and sauces.  Guys were luke warm burgers sitting on a tray for maximum speed with decent toppings at a little buffet bar.  They were good for cruise ship burgers, but not even close to the quality of Celebrity.  Now for tacos.... dang did Carnival do a good job!  And the Pig/Anchor on Carnival is fantastic, too.

Edited by BNBR

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That's funny, I guess my mast burger was not hot and fresh off the grill on the Equinox.

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On 7/15/2019 at 7:02 PM, Steve551 said:

And usually better entertainment. We like Celebrity's "specialty" restaurant selection better too. They have not made as many cutbacks as Carnival. BUT, you will pay more to cruise with Celebrity.

 

We got a fantastic deal on our Celebrity cruise!  

 

5 hours ago, KKB said:

Funny we are NOT subdued, sedate or quiet cruisers--but we love Celebrity!

Now, 3 were over spring break so FAR from subdued!! (and QUITE young demographic!)

We find a cruise is what you make it...and we like to be BUSY on a cruise (or any vacation for that matter)

Normal Caribbean port day (any line): buffet breakfast, couple hours in the sun, burger by the pool, poker tournament, trivia, dinner, show/game show, dancing/casino--PHEW. LOVE IT. EVERY line we have cruised allows us these options. I don't consider that quiet, sedate or subdued! I agree that other than the spring break demographic, 30s-60s is the bulk of the crowd. Similar to Princess, imo. Frankly that has been the predominant demo of most our cruises--they have more disposable income than 20s, kids often older or grown & still very active, generally speaking.
I have avoided Carnival--my 92 YO aunt said there wasn't enough to do on her Carnival cruise! (that woman is out 5 nights a week--keno, horse racing, dancing, so she, too, likes to be busy! 

But we found a 12 day Med cruise on the newly refurbed Radiance next summer for about $1K each (including taxes & fees) for the 3 of us OV. HECK of a deal. I figure a European cruise is VERY different & those 3 sea days will be more about relaxing & refueling for more sightseeing than going all day. You can do that on every cruise line!

 

We are actually in the upper end of the demographic you listed. I assumed we would be on the lower end.  I’ve enjoyed all our cruises and looking forward to our first with Celebrity! 

 

5 hours ago, Devo1459 said:

WE have done 3 Celebrity cruises as we just got off a 2 week Baltic cruise.  We have also done about 9 Carnival cruises.

As mentioned above.  Way younger crowd on Carnival.  You don't see people wearing baseball caps on backwards in the dining areas on Celebrity.  The pool areas are much quieter.  I believe the service and food are at least a notch above Carnival.  Having said that we are sailing on the Vista this coming 24th of Aug. We like the celebrity product too.  Food is Lido is always good.  I think Carnival's Steakhouse is better.  Im getting older now and don't care so much for the mass crowds at the pool area so we are doing Havana this up coming cruise.  Hey, its a cruise, Carnival, Celebrity....who cares enjoy.

 

We have reservations with Tuscan so disappointed to hear their steakhouse isn’t as good.  Enjoy your Vista cruise!  I would like to give a Havana Cabana a try someday. 

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4 hours ago, JaniceB said:

I can't wait to try HAL again since they have the jazz club and/or the Rolling Stone venue.  I sailed on the Zaandam in 2005 and we loved it except late evenings were rather boring.  We did love that the casino cleared out early but with the addition of these club I think we will enjoy it more.

 

BB Kings and Rolling Stone are great but the problem with HAL is, it's the same exact thing every night.  HAL doesn't do theme night parties and you'll be lucky if you get 1 game show the entire cruise.  HAL doesn't even have live pool side entertainment anymore.  Celebrity, at least, still offers some sort of different entertainment each night, whether its a dance contest with the crew, the 60s theme night, various game shows, etc.  Plus, Celebrity still has a 5-7 piece live band near the pool.  

 

I recently cruised Koningsdam and IMO, even their newest ship still can't touch Celebrity.  

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I think the term mature is better used than subdued for Celebrity.  I've been on 3 Celebrity cruises as well as Princess, Carnival, NCL and Royal Caribbean.

 

Celebrity will not have you whooping down the halls like Carnival will.  But their entertainment tends towards the intellectual.  I love the lectures are actually lectures and not some disguised sales pitch.  My last Celebrity was a 15 night panama canal crossing and personally, I thought it was a little too long, but I was never bored onboard.  We had lectures and shows every day.  The Lectures were wonderful and informative.  Some of the shows, were not my cup of tea, but they skew more towards finer music, dance, recitals, etc.  One thing I will say is that the food has gone down in quality since my 2nd Celebrity cruise in 2005.  I was disappointed with Quisine, which would be similar to Royal Caribbean's Wonderland (which i found to be far superior).  in 2005, I would have said Celebrity's food is way better, but in 2015, I thought it was just slightly better than Royal Caribbean and Carnival. 

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I may be mature, but I do not act like it! 😁

 

I sometimes tend to have a little too much to drink in the evening and you'll often find me dancing solo in the club.  Hey, I'm on vacation!

 

But I don't feel the need to be doing something nonstop when I'm cruising.  I don't hang out by the pool and bake and drink all day.  I want to find somewhere to read and relax during the day.  I may do trivia a couple of times.  On sea days, I'll spend a little time in the casino.

 

I don't need themed parties; I just need some decent live music. I'm pretty much a snob about music and cannot listen to what I feel are inferior performers.  That's why I was so impressed with the music on my last 2 HAL sailings.  If I can't find any music I want to listen to, I'll head back to the casino.

 

Certainly looking forward to a non-smoking casino on X!

 

p.s.  as for burgers, I'm in the minority in thinking Guy's isn't that great.  Too often, they're too charred.  If you can get one fresh off the grill, they're OK.  The toppings bar is great, but not impressed with the burger itself.  The burgers on MSC at the regular buffet were very good, imo.  Burger place on Koningsdam was excellent.

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3 hours ago, Rogueperson said:

I think the term mature is better used than subdued for Celebrity.  I've been on 3 Celebrity cruises as well as Princess, Carnival, NCL and Royal Caribbean.

 

Celebrity will not have you whooping down the halls like Carnival will.  But their entertainment tends towards the intellectual.  I love the lectures are actually lectures and not some disguised sales pitch.  My last Celebrity was a 15 night panama canal crossing and personally, I thought it was a little too long, but I was never bored onboard.  We had lectures and shows every day.  The Lectures were wonderful and informative.  Some of the shows, were not my cup of tea, but they skew more towards finer music, dance, recitals, etc.  One thing I will say is that the food has gone down in quality since my 2nd Celebrity cruise in 2005.  I was disappointed with Quisine, which would be similar to Royal Caribbean's Wonderland (which i found to be far superior).  in 2005, I would have said Celebrity's food is way better, but in 2015, I thought it was just slightly better than Royal Caribbean and Carnival. 

So, reading into your post a bit Carnival cruisers are dumb drunks?

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1 minute ago, jimbo5544 said:

So, reading into your post a bit Carnival cruisers are dumb drunks?

Not at all.  Carnival is a highly energetic cruise.  They have the best cruise directors of all the cruise lines i've been on.  They know exactly how to get the passenger base energized.  Their activities are geared towards joining each passengers together.

 

Celebrity activities tend to be more cultured.  Dance recitals.  Symphonies and such.  When i use the term mature, I mean that it caters to an older crowd.  Not to say that Carnival is immature.  Its not necessarily subtle or laid back because on my last Celebrity cruise, there was a bunch of older people (60+) who partied late into every night and put me to shame.  I could not keep up with them.

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I may be dumb, and I may be drunk.  Or maybe not!  Or maybe not at the same time! 😋

 

I've seen folks who have had too much to drink on every line I've sailed, including HAL. 

 

I think this broad generalization by people who sail other lines that Carnival is still a party-til-you-puke cruiseline is terribly outdated.  Especially since they now offer longer sailings, which, by default, draw a slightly older demographic and fewer spring-break type partiers.

 

I do feel there are a lot of 40/50/60-somethings on Carnival who seem to be trying to prove to themselves and everyone else that they can still party hardy!  Thing is, no one cares.  It's your vacation and if you want to stay drunk, that's fine as long as you aren't puking in public, being obnoxious, and preventing others from enjoying their vacation time, too.

 

All I'm saying is that I don't want to be bored, but I don't want a floating frat party, either!

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2 hours ago, Rogueperson said:

Not at all.  Carnival is a highly energetic cruise.  They have the best cruise directors of all the cruise lines i've been on.  They know exactly how to get the passenger base energized.  Their activities are geared towards joining each passengers together.

 

Celebrity activities tend to be more cultured.  Dance recitals.  Symphonies and such.  When i use the term mature, I mean that it caters to an older crowd.  Not to say that Carnival is immature.  Its not necessarily subtle or laid back because on my last Celebrity cruise, there was a bunch of older people (60+) who partied late into every night and put me to shame.  I could not keep up with them.

I should have used an emoticon,  I was making humor....

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Posted (edited)

Many of the points I would make have already been covered.

 

We are 66 years young.  Lots of Carnival cruises, one Celebrity.  

 

Everyone we spoke with told us Celebrity would be "several steps up" from Carnival.  We agreed to try it.

 

I missed the late night comedy shows on Carnival.  

I enjoyed the sea day movies in the theater on Celebrity.

I missed the activity on Carnival.

I enjoyed the lack of children on Celebrity.

I missed the constant "Get you another drink?" on Carnival.

I enjoyed the drink package on Celebrity (a "free" perk).

I missed the singing and dancing waiters on Carnival.

I enjoyed the excellent MDR service in Celebrity.

 

Celebrity seemed to be Kohl's or Macy's to Carnival's Walmart.  No disrespect, I worked 26 years for Walmart.  Yes, Celebrity is a step up.  No, it is not many steps up.

 

Value - I feel that the extra dollars we paid for Celebrity were worth it.  I'm just not sure we need to spend those dollars to have a great time.

 

DW's next cruise is booked on Carnival.  It was booked after our Celebrity cruise.  DW is going on a "girls trip" with a friend who was also on our Celebrity cruise.

 

 

Edited by skiorcruise
spelling corrected

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Celebrity is poor (wo)man's Cunard (HAL also competes well in that race, lol), just like Royal is poor kid's Disney.  

 

Carnival is fun and unpretentious and down to earth.  I wouldn't call it elegant but the Dream class and later ships are great fun.  

 

I do find Carnival ships less robust in handling crowd so I would recommend off season.  I means all ships will feel more spacious in off season but timing makes a bigger difference on Carnival and Norwegians ships, ime.  As for rowdy behaviors I think I can believe Carnival is more prone just based off the average age of cruisers but I personally haven't experience anything terrible on any line.  Knock on wood. 

 

For 6 to 8 day Caribbean cruises during low season I honestly would pick Carnival over Celebrity.  Good itineraries and better prices.  Celebrity does have some very nice 12 day sailings.  But then Carnival had a great Glory sailing earlier this year, best 14 day Caribbean itinerary I have ever seen. 

 

 

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You're lectured about how to behave like a civilized person within society.  How to drink without becoming an obnoxious drunk.  How to eat in public with some table manners.  How to walk down the hallway at night and use an "inside voice" to avoid disturbing people who are sleeping.  How to enjoy time at the pool without being a chair hog.

 

Seriously?  What would you expect the lectures to be about? 😋

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1 hour ago, NCTribeFan said:

You're lectured about how to behave like a civilized person within society.  How to drink without becoming an obnoxious drunk.  How to eat in public with some table manners.  How to walk down the hallway at night and use an "inside voice" to avoid disturbing people who are sleeping.  How to enjoy time at the pool without being a chair hog.

 

Seriously?  What would you expect the lectures to be about? 😋

How to over pay for wine

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