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Ian Murray 11-25-2005 06:11 AM

It's our 25th wedding anniversary next year and I'm looking at cruises for November 2006 for my wife and I, both in our mid-40's. We've done only the one cruise previously with Princess (Grand Princess). We enjoyed this very much, but had a few issues - cabin was very small (and we had a "mini-suite"!)and food wasn't great. After reading various websites, Celebrity seem to be on a par if not slightly more refined than Princess, similar prices and offer apparently a better quality of food and slightly larger cabins. The only thing that perhaps puts me off them is that we enjoyed the Personal Choice dining with Princess (sit anywhere when you liked) which Celebrity does not seem to have. Is it possible to get tables for two with Celebrity dining does anyone know, and do they still have fixed dining times? Also, any general views on Celebrity v Princess as cruise lines? Which would you prefer and why? Any help would be gratefully received.

farmerjohn 11-25-2005 11:29 AM

I have been on Princess many times and Celebrity just once. I loved the Celebrity cruise and would not hesitate to go on another one. I thought the food on Celebrity was just a little better than Princess. We only ate in the dining room once or twice. The rest of the time we ate in their causual restaurant. I thought the ship overall was slightly nicer than Princess. The passengers on Celebrity may be a little older than on Princess, but you should find plenty your age. I thought the Celebrity ship was a little quieter at night than Princess. Hope this helps. Have a great cruise.

Art 12-15-2005 05:56 PM

I have been on only the Zenith, but I didnt see a table for only 2, but my wife and I ate by ourselves 3 nights without the kids, so it can be done. Also, yes the seating for dinner were scheduled, but we like that anyways.
The food is very good, better than the other cruise lines I have been on, and I thought the age of the crowd being late 30's and early 40's was the norm on the boat we were on. Also, not very many kids, which is a good thing, although we brought ours, and they loved it.
Good luck, with your decision.


JeffS 12-28-2005 11:17 AM

Yes, I have heard that Celebrity, Princess, and Holland America are a step above Royal Carribean. How would you guys rate these cruise lines? I am curious as a couple of travel agents have recommended them. Any thoughts? Thanks!

oppis 12-28-2005 02:24 PM

Hi Jeff,

it depends on the ship. You canīt compare the older ones like Celebritys Zenith or RCCL Sovereign with the new ships like Jewel or Brilliance.
We have been once with Celebrity on the Zenith and all I can say is, she is old.
I love the newer RCCL ships we have been on, like Brilliance and Jewel. Never cruised with HAL or Princess. Friends told me about Princess, that you can compare this line with RCCL.
I have chosen RCCL again for may 2006 on the Hawaiian Cruise on the Radiance and have done the Splendour Transatlantic Crossing last months. And we loved this too, however it is also an older ship, but with a wonderful atmosphere.

Cruise Fanatic 12-30-2005 07:04 PM

I believe all the cruise lines have tables for two. There just aren't that many of them. So the earlier you book and request that table for two the better. I would tell them it is your 25th and a very special occassion.
As for Celebrity, Princess, HAL, I have been on all of them. From what I experienced I would say HAL had the oldest crowd. This was in 2001. They have been working on their image with their family reunion package etc, and they are starting to bring their average age down. Maybe I'm just not picky about food. I think the food on all three lines was great. You can experience a bad steak anywhere. On a cruise if something's not right you send it back and get another or a different choice.
HAL, Celebrity, and Princess are premium cruise lines. RCCL is a mass market cruise line. Whatever itinerary you sale on will also determine the type of passengers. Longer cruises like Panama Canal, Europe, and cruises to Alaska are more expensive. So you most likely will have an older crowd because they are the ones that have more time and money. Caribbean cruises are cheaper, and you have the 3/4/5 day cruises that are very cheap and affordable for younger people or families.

diablo 01-08-2006 01:31 AM

We were on the Mercury (Celebrity) in November and we had requested a table for two . The smaller tables are quite small and we lucked out and were given a table for four for just the two of us. We loved the cruise, the food and the service. We've been on one Princess cruise and it was nice - we found Celebrity better.

LisaP 01-08-2006 07:57 AM

Hi Ian,

Which Celebrity ship are you considering? Celebrity does have fixed dining times, yet if you prefer to set your own time and still have an upscale dining experience, many of Celebrity's ships have a wonderful alternative dining room. Reservations are required, and there is a $30 per person service charge ($60 if you get the special dinner/wine combination). This way, you could dine in the main restaurant on some nights and have a couple of special meals in the alternative restaurant. Currently, the ships that offer this are Millennium, Infinity, Constellation, and Summit. A similar restaurant is in the works for Century.

As it's your 25th anniversary (congratulations!), have you considered a renewal of vows package? We did this on Princess last year for our 15th, and it ranks among our best cruise experiences. The Captain presided over the ceremony, the chapel was decorated with many flowers, and we were treated like royalty throughout the cruise. And, the ceremony was beautiful.

I can give a better comparison between Diamond Princess and Celebrity Infinity in about six weeks after we return from a cruise on the latter. Although we loved Princess and would return to the line in a heartbeat, we were curious to see how Celebrity had changed in the ten years since we've been on the line.

one2fish 01-08-2006 05:11 PM

We have been on two Celebrity ships...Zenith and Century and Holland America's Veendam. For my taste (and everybody is different) I absolutely loved Celebrity for all the reasons anyone goes on a cruise. Particular likes are the stateroom service in concierge class and in the dining rooms. Food is fabulous, too. In some ways, Celebrity has more class than Holland man's opinion anyway!

twin-a 01-23-2006 06:37 PM

My husband and I have been on 7 cruises which included 4 on Celebrity ships (Century-W Caribbean; Galaxy-Alaska; Mercury-Panama Canal; and Summit-Southern Caribbean (in 2004)) and recently sailed on the Grand Princess out of Galveston to the W Caribbean. My twin sister and her husband and the two of us have been planning a Med cruise and were leaning toward the Grand, but after our experience with the W Caribbean we are re-thinking our position.

Compared to our first three cruises on Celebrity, we were somewhat disappointed with the food on the Summit. But everything else was wonderful. The service was friendly, but not intrusive. The cabin was great (we had the Conciere Class). On the Grand, we found many positive things. I thought the food was outstanding. The evening dining service seemed rather "cold" at first, but I think this may be attributable to the dining alternatives. (Since the wait staff isn't sure you are going to be back to the table, they may not make the effort initially to learn your names and preferences.)

Our biggest problem on the Grand was the excursions and how they handled the communication with the passengers. At the Grand Caymans - a tender port - we had reservations for a snorkel excursion. They required you to meet in the theater - Celebrity always had us meet at the pier - and there were problems with the tenders. We were told to report in the theater at 12:45 and got there a bit earlier than that. There were people in the theater who had been waiting for morning excursions since around 9"00 am in the morning. Eventually they cancelled their excursions. We were told that we would be able to have the full time on the excursion, but then spent over 40 minutes in the tender getting to port (and it was very hot), and half of the time on the excursion was cancelled. The most frustrating part of this was the lack of communication by the excursion staff. I'm not sure I would ever sail on Princess again unless the shore excursions were totally not part of why I wanted to go on that particular cruise. Since the Med cruise is - at least for us - is a lot about the excursions, I would be very reluctant to go on the Grand.

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