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Celebrity vs Luxury Cruise Lines


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10 hours ago, drsel said:

For me, shows, activities & entertainment are the most important aspect of any cruise.

So I would never spend my time & a lot of money on a small, luxury ship with hardly any entertainment, shows or activities.

I would prefer Royal & Princess for the best in entertainment

Same for us, and as a couple who has a glass of wine with dinner, and MAYBE one other drink once or twice in a week (me), and a spouse who only drinks soda, going with an all-inclusive line doesn't make a lot of sense for us, just as adding alcoholic beverages packages (unless included in a sale) don't make sense. I understand for some people it does work out to be a better deal. We do love the shows, and when I have mentioned Oceania to my husband, he wasn't keen on the idea because there may not be the level of entertainment. Perhaps one day we will give them a try. 

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All things equal in the mass market cruise lines we prefer Celebrity-most especially the Solstice class ships. But we are anything but cruise line loyal.    We have sailed on Crystal once.  It was fabulous in so many ways.  

 

We do not really want airfare, alcohol, tours etc. bundled in.   There is no free.  We would rather arrange our own air, pay as we go for alcohol, etc. Only one of us drinks alcohol,  the other moderate, and neither of us drink the sweet alcohol free fifi drinks.  

 

When we compare pricing we always get it down to the net fare  by subtracting the value to us of any bundled items.

Edited by iancal
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51 minutes ago, kimlovesfl said:

Same for us, and as a couple who has a glass of wine with dinner, and MAYBE one other drink once or twice in a week (me), and a spouse who only drinks soda, going with an all-inclusive line doesn't make a lot of sense for us, just as adding alcoholic beverages packages (unless included in a sale) don't make sense. I understand for some people it does work out to be a better deal. We do love the shows, and when I have mentioned Oceania to my husband, he wasn't keen on the idea because there may not be the level of entertainment. Perhaps one day we will give them a try. 

You will never see large Broadway wannabe productions on a small ship. But, small acts from comedians to magicians to soloists to really unique singer/storytellers as well as smaller production shows with onboard talent (that, in the case of Oceania and Regent, comes from the same agency as is used by NCL) are plentiful. 
Of course (though it might not work for many cruisers), wanting the real thing in big productions can be satisfied by a visit to the actual Broadway or West End (which could be done on a cruise out of (or to) NYC or London (to which you add a pre/post cruise land stay).

And there’s always “road companies” that visit major cities across the US. 
Nonetheless, if it’s cruises where you are intent on seeing your large production shows, premium/luxury ships are not a good choice.

Edited by Flatbush Flyer
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15 minutes ago, Flatbush Flyer said:

You will never see large Broadway wannabe productions on a small ship. But, small acts from comedians to magicians to soloists to really unique singer/storytellers...
Nonetheless, if it’s cruises where you are intent on seeing your large production shows, premium/luxury ships are not a good choice.

🎯 Absolutely spot on

Edited by drsel
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43 minutes ago, drsel said:

🎯 Absolutely spot on

Ditto - if you really want top entertainment, get it on land.  While you can get excellent food and cruising on a small ship, you will not see large productions - no venue is going to offer everything.

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I know this doesn't involve any line in the OP's consideration, but I'd say some of the shows I've seen on Royal Caribbean do rival professional shows I've seen on land.  I would never refer to these shows as "wannabe."  And yes, I've been to Broadway and to major playhouses all over the country.  

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While all the discussion about entertainment is .... entertaining, the OP didn't seem specifically concerned about it, at least not more so than the other elements of the cruising experience that were mentioned.

 

There are other differences between luxury and mass market lines -- including level of service (luxury lines have more staff for each passenger).

 

While you might get some of that feeling on Celebrity with their suite dining room, I am not a big fan of the approach of having certain areas of the ship only for certain categories of passengers. Don't you want to know if you are paying for an upgraded experience that that experience would be available to you throughout the whole ship, not just in certain parts of it?

 

I have also always found that smaller ships have a more convivial feel. You are more likely to run into the same people all over the ship. Maybe that isn't important to you, but even if you are not necessarily looking for conviviality and new friends, it also seems like folks behave better toward each other -- you are less likely to cut in line in front of someone who you'll see later at dinner or who will be on tour with you the next day -- as opposed to someone you'll never see again on a ship of 3500.

 

I've sailed on a variety of lines over many years of cruising -- from mid-large ships of Celebrity and Princess to smaller ships on premium lines to niche lines of 350 passengers. I travel for itinerary and, since the last few years, on smaller ships only. But I do notice a different atmosphere onboard from mass market lines where you are often being hustled/hassled to add to the bottom line -- upsell your drinks package, photog in your face,  extensive jewelry/spa/art promotions.  Without all that it's a more relaxing experience.

 

 

 

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Another point that nobody has brought up.  I can walk from the bow to the stern in a R-class ship in about 5 minutes max.  How long will it take you to get from one place to another on one of the 5000 passenger monstrosities?

 

DON

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2 hours ago, Aquahound said:

I know this doesn't involve any line in the OP's consideration, but I'd say some of the shows I've seen on Royal Caribbean do rival professional shows I've seen on land.  I would never refer to these shows as "wannabe."  And yes, I've been to Broadway and to major playhouses all over the country.  

I also really like rccl entertainment and shows we see several play in our area and several plays on broadway every year. Not as good as broadway but still very entertaining.

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3 hours ago, cruisemom42 said:

...

 

I have also always found that smaller ships have a more convivial feel. You are more likely to run into the same people all over the ship. Maybe that isn't important to you, but even if you are not necessarily looking for conviviality and new friends, it also seems like folks behave better toward each other ...

 

...But I do notice a different atmosphere onboard from mass market lines where you are often being hustled/hassled to add to the bottom line -- upsell your drinks package, photog in your face,  extensive jewelry/spa/art promotions.  Without all that it's a more relaxing experience.

 

 

 

One footnote is that you will be among a smaller group of people who are willing to pay somewhat more for a quality experience, rather than focusing on saving money on a bargain vacation. At the very least you will have that attitude in common with many of your fellow passengers.

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