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If you weren’t cruising Celebrity, what cruise line would you choose


finny2
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2 minutes ago, finny2 said:

I usually book balcony, and I always need an accessible room.

Then I would suggest that Princess and HAL are the most comparable for you.  MSC is very crowded outside the Yacht Club.  But pricing is very volatile at the moment so you might find sales on the premium lines like Oceania and Viking that would be similar to Celebrity's current pricing, and their new ships are very accessible [not so much Oceania's older 'R-ships']

 

1 minute ago, finny2 said:

I’ve done ncl out of New Orleans and always enjoyed it, but there is only so many times you can go on the same itinerary.

my first Celebrity cruise was on the Edge in 2019 and I loved it. Especially the food!

If you like the energy on NCL, you might find Oceania and Viking a little staid. 

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Pretty bad when the OP says "similar priced" and a number of responses are "Oceania" "Crystal" "Silversea" "Viking Ocean" and "Seabourn"

If they are similarly priced, something is way out of whack. 

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Regent Seven Seas which are truly All Inclusive ships.  By the time you add air, tours, gratuities, specialty dining, drinks, pre-cruise hotel, transportation, etc. to a suite on a non-Regent cruise you are almost at Regent fares.  I have 50+ cruises, tried Regent a few years ago and have pretty much stuck with them, love them.  Trying Celebrity in a suite this July for the first time, fingers crossed.

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When I have compared Regent to other cruise lines they always come out more expensive.  And if you don't want to take their 'included' shore excursions, the value is even lower.  But YMMV.

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12 minutes ago, ECCruise said:

Pretty bad when the OP says "similar priced" and a number of responses are "Oceania" "Crystal" "Silversea" "Viking Ocean" and "Seabourn"

If they are similarly priced, something is way out of whack. 

When you consider what’s included I’ve been on Crystal for less per night than Celebrity. 

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17 minutes ago, ECCruise said:

Pretty bad when the OP says "similar priced" and a number of responses are "Oceania" "Crystal" "Silversea" "Viking Ocean" and "Seabourn"

If they are similarly priced, something is way out of whack. 

It depends if you book a suite on Celebrity.  If you do, some of those lines are similarly priced.

 

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3 minutes ago, basenji56 said:

It depends if you book a suite on Celebrity.  If you do, some of those lines are similarly priced.

 

But you have to compare like to like.

 

It is like comparing a MB E-Class Wagon to a Kia Soul.  Both cars.  Both wagons.  3x the price.

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Star Clippers sailing yachts.  Love having less than 200 passengers and going into ports where the big ships (crowds) can't go.  Have sailed them over 10 times.  Next up, a 13 nighter sailing out of Malta in April/May 2022.  Hopefully, by then, Covid will really be under control.

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Windstar on one of their new ships that have balconies. Suite like services for all, visit unique ports in the Caribbean that the big ships don’t. Sail out of St Martin. Done it twice in their older ships. Sailed the other big lines, if not Celebrity pass on the others.

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After 80 cruises (33 on Celebrity), here is my ratings:

 

Celebrity -- 8.6 experience; $$ cost (Still the best bang for your buck in cruising)

Holland America -- 8.3 experience;  $1/2 cost. (Next to Celebrity, the best deal)

NCL -- 8.0 experience; $$ cost. (Looks cheap, but many "add-on" costs)

RCL -- 8.0 experience; $$ cost. (Basic, but solid)

Cunard -- 8.4 experience; $$ cost. (Very formal and British; best deal for World Cruises)

Princess -- 7.2 experience; $1/2 cost. (Very overrated, basic w/small showers)

MSC -- 7.6 experience; $ cost.  (Great deal if you can score an inside cabin in the Yacht Club)

Azamara -- 8.8 experience; $$$ cost. (Small slow ships; great food)

Oceania -- 9.0 experience; $$$ cost. (Older ships small and slow; excellent food)

Crystal -- 9.2 experience; $$$1/2 cost. (Old ships, but the best food and excellent entertainment)

 

This is a moving target and ratings/costs will change year to year.  Mileage may vary.😉

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, kelmac said:

 

 

 

Oceania -- 9.0 experience; $$$ cost. (Older ships small and slow; excellent food)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oceania R ships are older, the same as Azamara. However, Oceania " Marina and Riviera" are their larger ships and much newer. They are the O class ships and my favorite. These two also have Jacques, the wonderful French restaurant.

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Quite a few have mentioned MSC Yacht Club.  Be careful it’s far from a typical cruise line like Celebrity, HAL or Princess.  The best part is their Top Sail Lounge which is excellent, superb service with a good choice of drinks.  Elsewhere is a real letdown with poor quality food and  entertainment. Outside the YC is seriously overcrowded and definitely comparable to the worst of Carnival.

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2 minutes ago, mickey89 said:

Quite a few have mentioned MSC Yacht Club.  Be careful it’s far from a typical cruise line like Celebrity, HAL or Princess.  The best part is their Top Sail Lounge which is excellent, superb service with a good choice of drinks.  Elsewhere is a real letdown with poor quality food and  entertainment. Outside the YC is seriously overcrowded and definitely comparable to the worst of Carnival.

You didn't mention the special Yacht Club Restaurant, which we felt was equal to Luminae.  Also we found the production shows to be better than Celebrity, perhaps a matter of taste.  And since your butler leads you anywhere you want to go, crowds are just part of the woodwork 😉

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, TrulyBlonde said:

Oceania R ships are older, the same as Azamara. However, Oceania " Marina and Riviera" are their larger ships and much newer. They are the O class ships and my favorite. These two also have Jacques, the wonderful French restaurant.

Marina looks stunning!  Hence the reason I moved from a Beyond TA in October 2022 to Marina Baltic/Scandinavia just a few months earlier than that.  Cannot wait to experience Oceania, Marina, 1250 passengers and 780 crew.

Edited by LGW59
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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, Host Jazzbeau said:

You didn't mention the special Yacht Club Restaurant, which we felt was equal to Luminae.  Also we found the production shows to be better than Celebrity, perhaps a matter of taste.  And since your butler leads you anywhere you want to go, crowds are just part of the woodwork 😉

One thing I really don't understand is if you can afford Yacht Club why stay in a room with no balcony?

It's a big negative to me.

I never cruise without a balcony in my cabin.

Edited by verizon
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2 minutes ago, verizon said:

One thing I really don't understand is if you can afford Yacht Club why stay in a room with no balcony?

It's a big negative to me.

I never cruise without a balcony in my cabin.

 

There are plenty of YC rooms with balconies. We chose a YC Inside for our upcoming MSC cruise because it is our first cruise with MSC, and since we don't know if we will like the line or ship, we didn't want to spend a lot of money on a cruise that might be disappointing. The inside room lets us enjoy all of the YC amenities (which we KNOW we will like!) at an extremely reasonable price.

 

We find we don't use our balcony that much on ships that have nice outdoor areas anyway, especially if said outdoor areas are private/uncrowded. Our last cruise was in a sky suite on Summit and we spent most of our outdoor time on the Retreat sundeck enjoying the excellent service - I think we sat on our balcony maybe two or three times the entire week. 

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YC Inside cabin on the newer ships is a good choice as a trial. Check out Youtube for info on these Inside cabins - they are extremely small with very little wardrobe space and a very small bathroom / shower.  They were designed for accompanying children so don’t be surprised by their size.

 

Still you can use the Spa facilities / showers if you are uncomfortable and pack lightly, definitely use their laundry services which are very reasonably priced.  The handicapped Inside cabins are a real bargain if can get one of them, check the deck plan.

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We currently have 4 Disney cruises and 1 Celebrity booked.  DCL has been our cruise line of choice for many years, but prices, lack of new ports and our daughter getting older has given us a fresh perspective.   We are looking forward to sailing Eclipse to Alaska in a Celebrity Suite next August.

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2 hours ago, ECCruise said:

Pretty bad when the OP says "similar priced" and a number of responses are "Oceania" "Crystal" "Silversea" "Viking Ocean" and "Seabourn"

If they are similarly priced, something is way out of whack. 

Well I had a PH on Beyond for October 2022 TA,  canceled and went to Oceania Marina, Baltic/Scandinavia Vista Suite.  3 less days but $11k+ less.  I suppose it is all about timing.

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1 hour ago, TrulyBlonde said:

Oceania R ships are older, the same as Azamara. However, Oceania " Marina and Riviera" are their larger ships and much newer. They are the O class ships and my favorite. These two also have Jacques, the wonderful French restaurant.

TP,

Good point!  I would love to try one of the O class ships.  Larger and faster ships (65,000 tons).

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We have sailed MSC YC 5 times and will be on the first sailing of the new Seashore in November.  The prices have started to go up as more people discover this option, but we'll continue to enjoy it while we can afford it.  The service is incredible.  They escort you on and off the ship in every port. Priority elevators. Top Sail Lounge is fantastic on every ship. In 2018 we were lucky to score the Royal Suite (their top suite) for just over $6K for the two of us. Enormous living room and huge bedroom. It includes a dining table for 6 on the deck along with a hot tub, loungers, and additional chairs and small tables. We also had a private cabana at the YC pool reserved for us the entire week. That will never happen again!!

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, verizon said:

One thing I really don't understand is if you can afford Yacht Club why stay in a room with no balcony?

It's a big negative to me.

I never cruise without a balcony in my cabin.

When you cruise as much as we do (18 upcoming cruises through 2022), we can't afford upscale cabins.  I can see a person who gets very little time off, selecting a splurge, or the trip of a lifetime crowd, but frequent cruisers know the cabin is not that big a draw.  We do balconies when there is bargain to be had, but we feel very comfortable in an inside cabin.  Our Seashore cruise = $6,323.00 in a YC1 balcony cabin; our YC inside is $2,540.42 for two people.  Yes, YC insides are smaller than Celebrity insides, but he perks of the Yacht Club are very impressive.  

 

Enjoy!

Kel

Edited by kelmac
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I travel solo and have booked Oceania to save some money.  Crystal was and will also be in future contention.  For me, they were both less expensive than Celebrity.  If it hadn't been for the discussion that basenji56 cited (link in post #58), I'd never have researched luxury lines to find they would be cheaper for me.  Who knew.  If something last minute appears where I don't have to shell out double for wifi, drinks, and gratuities, I'll reconsider X.

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Posted (edited)

First, it was HAL (VS category) until their cruises just got too "relaxing" for us. Then it was Oceania (A category) until the negatives started outweighing the positives. Now it's Princess (MS or VS category) for longer, more unique itineraries and Celebrity (AQ or SS category) if we just want to have fun.

 

On the luxury side, we like Crystal (A category) for their great food and enrichment programs. But we're going to try Seabourn (V category) this winter to check out their Antarctica expedition cruise on the Quest before it gets too expensive and Regent (E category) in 2023 just to see if it is as wonderful as some of their patrons say it is. 

Edited by Ken the cruiser
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