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Choosing my next cruise: Princess or Celebrity?


cruiseblue

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I just got back from my 4nights cruise on RCI's Majesty of the Seas and was a little disappointed: Food was just ok, service was just ok. Show was lame. Rock climbing seemed to always closed. The Ocean Adventure Kid program, no worker seemed not to care that my 9 years niece was there and looked like she needed assistance. I think RCI is a disappointment so I am looking for a new cruiseline for my next cruise with my BF who never cruise before.

Here is what we are looking for: great service, good food, nice relaxed atmosphere, good ports without too many sea days, just nice little upscale from RCI. Which is better Celebrity or Princess? We are in our mid 35s and prefer adult atmosphere. We are booked on Celebrity for spring 2009 but is thinkinga about canceling it and try Princess. We heard Celebrity gone down hill too.

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Asking the question on the Princess board you will be more likely to get more Princess replys, same holds true on the Celebrity board.

 

All being equal I would choose Celebrity. While the kids program is a little better on Princess, I found the other amenities offered by Celebrity outway the kids program.

 

Celebrity offers a glass of champagne or a mimosa upon boarding. Sea days Celebrity offers sorbet pool side. Upon return to the ship after a hot day at port, Celebrity gives all returning passengers a iced towel to help you cool off.

 

Our last cruise was on the Crown and we really liked the ship. Multiple nighttime showrooms, more varied eating options. But when I weigh everything, my family prefers the slightly more upscale and white gloved service of Celebrity.

 

B.T.W. our next cruise is this July on the Caribbean Princess. So I like Princess but from a personnel view point, Celebrity is better.

 

Alan

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Asking the question on the Princess board you will be more likely to get more Princess replys, same holds true on the Celebrity board.

 

All being equal I would choose Celebrity. While the kids program is a little better on Princess, I found the other amenities offered by Celebrity outway the kids program.

 

Celebrity offers a glass of champagne or a mimosa upon boarding. Sea days Celebrity offers sorbet pool side. Upon return to the ship after a hot day at port, Celebrity gives all returning passengers a iced towel to help you cool off.

 

Our last cruise was on the Crown and we really liked the ship. Multiple nighttime showrooms, more varied eating options. But when I weigh everything, my family prefers the slightly more upscale and white gloved service of Celebrity.

 

B.T.W. our next cruise is this July on the Caribbean Princess. So I like Princess but from a personnel view point, Celebrity is better.

 

Alan

 

 

I feel the same. Try Celebrity. :)

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I have been on 6 Princess cruises & only 1 Celebrity cruise & 1 Oceania. I have only been disappointed in the food on one Princess cruise, but the entertainment was fab every time, & the one time our grandson was onboard Princess was GREAT in the kids program. The Celebrity cruise was a little better than Princess, but not enough to notice...good, not great & entertainment was fab as well. Oceania was the best as far as food, but the entertainment was awful, cabins were nicer & service about the same as all lines. So, maybe you just had one bad experience as we did on one Princess cruise, who knows. But, I really think Princess is great as far as perks & you just can't beat those future cruise credits for only $100:)

 

Jan

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I have been on many Celebrity cruises, but far more Princess cruises. If you want more "uppity" cruising, go Celebrity. That means casual and semi formal dining where Princess stays with the casual. I also feel the wait staff isn't as friendly on Celebrity. We hate getting dressed; would prefer NCL way, but still stay with Princess. Food is subjective; I usually eat chicken and broccoli and no desserts, no matter which ship I'm on.

 

Pia

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Question 1...do you smoke? if yes, pick Princess as Celebrity just outlawed smoking in your cabin and on your balcony.

 

Question 2...do you drink martinis? if yes, do you mind paying $12? if you don't, cruise Celebrity.

 

Question 3...do you take your own wine on board? Celebrity..$25 corkage...Princess....$15 corkage.

 

We were very disappointed in Celebrity's food. It was definitely not what it had been cracked up to be. However, it was a very enjoyable cruise.

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We did 2 Celebrity cruises and then we found Princess....That's all she wrote!!! We loved much about Celebrity but found the best of all aspects with Princess. Every year when deciding on what cruise to take we always weigh the pros and cons of both cruise lines and end up going with the casual elegance of Princess.

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I have to agree with the comment about the casual elegance on Princess. We too had cruised on other lines but felt more comfortable on Princess. I like the range of choices, the anytime dining, and the overall atmosphere.

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You really can't go wrong with either cruise line. I agree with some of the others that the food and service are a step up on Celebrity, and the entertainment on their Millenium Class ships is absolutely first rate, but Princess offers a less formal cruise with more flexiblity and other niceties like self serve laundries. Drink and wine prices are definitely higher on Celebrity, but they have some fun offerings, too, like martini tastings and margarita tastings for around $10 that are a great value. And, frankly, Princess has been steadily raising their drink prices such that it's hard to find anything for less than just over $7 (with tip). My husband prefers Princess; I prefer Celebrity, and most of our recent cruises have been with one or the other.

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For me it comes down to itinerary and price. I love Celebrity but had to try Princess as they had the itinerary I just had to do. Am doing Princess again this summer but more to do with price (much less than Celebrity). Each line is a little different but not so much that I won't cruise the other. I've had great meals on both, found their newer ships compatible (noticed you've cruised a few of RCCL older ships which may have an impact on how well you like them).

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Cruiseblue,

 

Other posters have outlined some of the differences well, but since I cruised on the Century last April thought I'd throw my 2 cents in...

 

I think both lines do a nice job (from what I've read, we've sailed Celebrity twice in the past 3 yrs and I'm comparing Celebrity and Princess for Alaska next summer) but even within the two lines, there seems to be some variation from ship to ship. Celebrity vs. RCI -- Celebrity's Century will feel classier from a ship decor, service, food and entertainment standpoint. As an example, the entertainment at 3 pm on a sea day will be a men's accapella quartet singing near the Cova coffee bar instead of a hairy chest contest by the pool ; ) Don't get me wrong, there's some pool side fun and other less refined entertainment on the Century, but it's going to be more adult-focused.

 

The Century is an older ship for Celebrity, but underwent a nice renovation in 2006. It's not a super large ship, but we liked the size alot. We think the food on both of our Celebrity sailings was outstanding --- worth putting on a golf shirt and Dockers for in our humble opinions. We're foodies who appreciate the food on X. On the short sailing like the one you are reserved on, there will be one formal night --- that's it. Personally, I like to see my man in a suit once in awhile! Our waiters have been absolutely fantasic and one of the highlights has been their attentive service and the wonderful meals in the dining room or in the fantastic specialty restaurant, Murano.

 

Of the ships doing the shorter Caribbean sailings in the winter/spring out of Florida, I think the Century is the best ship and best value for the money. These sailing attract a younger and more diverse crowd than the typical Celebrity sailing...they are attractively priced. Entertainment is probably the one slightly weak area for me. The production shows are fine, but nothing to get too excited about. Comedians etc are typically pretty good. We have sailed on X always with our children so we weren't looking for too much late night fun, so I can't comment on that.

 

If you are really restricted to short (less than a week) Florida sailings, I'd carefully research the ships since many lines put their older and tired ships on those routes. One Princess or RCI ship can be fantastic, but another one can be in need of a renovation and deliver a different experience.

 

Best of luck with your planning!

 

Lynne

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I too agree that you can't go wrong with either, we have cruised both and enjoyed things about both of them. I would say that if prices and itineraries were the same, then we would probably choose Celebrity, because we felt their entertainment was fabulous, and food was somewhat better than Princess. But that is all subjective to your likes and dislikes.

If you find one line that has a much lower price and/or the itinerary is more to your liking, than I wouldn't be afraid to go with either line, I don't think you will be disappointed either way.

Having said that, we still prefer Royal Caribbean Radiance class ships over all -and would choose them over either Princess or Celebrity if the price/itinerary were what we were looking for.

Have fun whichever you choose!!

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Have sailed on both RCI and Princess, would certainly take a voyage on RCI again and are thinking of trying Celebrity next. Both ships were beautiful, spotlessly clean and the food average to great on both. The main difference was the service. RCI always treated like and felt like a valued guest. Princess treated you like an annoying bother much of the time, and heaven forbid you asked them to address a problem.

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  • 4 weeks later...

We were pampered on both lines and love them both.

 

IMHO Celebrity gets 6 for white glove service. Princess gets 5+ for overall experience.

 

Again, we only sailed on Century class ships of X and Caribbean Princess.

 

Princess (at least Grand Class) beats Celebrity in number of entertainemnt choices and number of pools, including 2 adult pools. We also loved MUTS (Movies under the stars with cozy blankets).

 

Celebrity has the best trained wait and other staff out of all mass market lines.

 

Food is better than RCI's on both.

 

This said, you and your kid might get completely different impression from RCI Radiance, Explorer or Freedom class. I remember kids and teens had tons of fun on Explorer of the Seas. Food on her was much better than on Splendor of the Seas.

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You really can't go wrong with either cruise line. I agree with some of the others that the food and service are a step up on Celebrity, and the entertainment on their Millenium Class ships is absolutely first rate, but Princess offers a less formal cruise with more flexiblity and other niceties like self serve laundries. Drink and wine prices are definitely higher on Celebrity, but they have some fun offerings, too, like martini tastings and margarita tastings for around $10 that are a great value. And, frankly, Princess has been steadily raising their drink prices such that it's hard to find anything for less than just over $7 (with tip). My husband prefers Princess; I prefer Celebrity, and most of our recent cruises have been with one or the other.

 

Very well said! I couldn't have said it better.

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