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MStick 04-10-2009 06:32 PM

I'm not sure if this is in the right place for this question, but wasn't sure if it should go in the Royal Caribbean threads. Please excuse me if I am in the wrong place.

Our family just got back from a nine day Caribbean cruise on the Explorer of the Seas. We have only cruised twice as a family, both on Royal Caribbean. We have had wonderful experiences both times. In fact, we are ready to go back tomorrow!

We live in Ohio, and find driving to an east coast port a cheaper alternative to flying to Florida. We were looking at some cruises leaving from Baltimore and Cape Liberty.

A lady on the Explorer said that Bermuda is a great destination. We saw the 7 day cruise out of Cape Liberty on the Summit.

My question for the veteran cruisers is would you recommend the Celebrity ships and what distinguishes them from Royal Caribbean. I understand that Royal owns Celebrity.

We have had good luck with Royal Caribbean, but my opinion is, how do you know how the other lines are if you don't try them? Or, I guess, why mess with success? That's where I need your help and opinions.

What are the strengths of Celebrity? What would be the advantages of them over Royal Caribbean? (I think the Enchantment of the Seas goes to Bermuda out of Baltimore) Any weaknesses?

What about other lines? Should they be considered?

We have four children, ages 17-15-12-12. They like to do things. My wife and I enjoy doing things too, but we also just enjoy the cruise experience. The food in the dining room would be a plus if it is of excellent quality.

I think the thing is, we enjoyed our cruise very much, it's just that we felt the food in the dining room was somewhat lacking in choice and quality.

Thanks in advance for all of your help, suggestions, and opinions.

Mark

Cruise Fanatic 04-10-2009 08:12 PM

Celebrity Cruise lines is owned by the parent company Royal Caribbean Cruises Limited. They own both the brands Royal Caribbean International (the cruise line), and Celebrity Cruise Lines. Celebrity is one of my favorite. They are a Premium cruise line. Royal Caribbean is mass market. Celebrity has a more refined experience. They are noted for their service and food.

I sailed on the Summit in Alaska and enjoyed the ship. To compare the Summit to the Explorer is hard to do because they are two totally different classes of ship. You will have to ask yourself what it was you enjoyed about the Explorer. The Summit has activities for children but Royal Caribbean offers more activities for children. The Enchantment of the Seas is different yet than the Explorer. It is an older much smaller ship. It does have rock climbing and a bungee trampoline. Bermuda is a great island with lots of activities.

You should talk with a cruise oriented Travel Agent that can explain the differences more in detail. Other cruise lines like Carnival and NCL may be good fits for you also.

LisaP 04-10-2009 09:28 PM

Excellent advice, as always, from Cruise Fanatic. I'd add that another consideration would be the amount of time spent in Bermuda. It's a great place for a family vacation (we've done it four times; our son is 15). Certainly, the ship is a main draw, but when it comes to Bermuda I'd also give a serious nod to the itinerary.

I haven't been on Royal Caribbean in ages, so I can't provide a comparison. Yet I highly endorse Bermuda.

Sandy 04-11-2009 06:40 AM

Hi Mark,

Just to expand a bit, Celebrity is considered the upscale sibling to Royal Caribbean. It's considered to have better food, but being pricier, generally attracts an older passenger demographic on most itineraries than Royal Caribbean.

Now I'll qualify what I just said. There are two things that will change the above. First, sailing from the greater New York area, there will be more families (who also don't want to fly) than usual on Celebrity. Plus, since I assume you'll be sailing when school is out, that will also increase the number of families with kids on the Bayonne sailings. Celebrity adds more counselors and beefs up their children's program a bit when they expect more children to sail, and I'm sure that's the case with their summer and holiday sailings.

As Cruise Fanatic said, Celebrity doesn't have ice skating rinks or rock climbing walls. If your children really enjoyed some of the more unique facilities on Royal Caribbean, that may be a good reason to consider going back on them again.

As noted, Bermuda is a wonderful destination. Lots to do, days spent out doing things, using the ship as your hotel, restaurant, and entertainment venue if you'd like. Bermuda has beautiful beaches, good shopping, and incredibly friendly and helpful people. There is a wonderful, safe and clean public bus system that can take you all over the country. You can go online and take a peek at Celebrity's shore excursions in Bermuda to get an idea of the variety of things you can do.

Sandy

poormom 04-11-2009 07:13 AM

Mark
I've never cruised with NCL, but they also have many ship leaving from the east coast to Bermuda, and seem to have a well organized teen program.
Marsha

MStick 04-11-2009 11:37 AM

Thanks to all for your responses. I appreciate it.

Our children did not use the rock climbing wall or ice rink. I think they might have, but time just passed by too fast! They did use the sports court (basketball, soccer) and the miniature golf course.

We were just wondering if cruising with Celebrity would be a 'nicer' cruise, as far as the dining aspect, or even, perhaps the ship.

On Royal Caribbean, the service was great, the people were friendly, the rooms were excellent. We just wondered if it might be nice to try Celebrity, especially if the food was better with them, just to try a different line.

Thanks,
Mark

queenofcruzin 04-11-2009 12:15 PM

Thank you Mark for your question, I have been wondering many of the same things, except I do not have children to entertain. Really want to book a Celebrity cruise and always look for comparisons. Cross my fingers, business gets better, and a Celebrity Cruise in my future.

janfred 04-11-2009 12:15 PM

Mstick,
I think Sandy nailed it. I do love Celebrity and it can be an older crowd, but not to say there won't be any Kids. Bermuda is awesome, with lots to do. We tend to go whe kids are still in school so I am sure it would be different when school is out. I am taking the Summit to Bermuda but it will be May 16th. Either way you will have a fantastic time, food on Celebrity has been wonderful. Tough to pick, but isn't it nice to have so much to choose from? http://cruise-chat.com/groupee_commo.../icon_wink.gif

queenofcruzin 04-11-2009 12:42 PM

Yeah, looking at a Bermuda cruise on the Summit next year, and it has us docked for three days ! Sounds wonderful....

Cruise Fanatic 04-11-2009 02:45 PM

Recommend you buy a three day bus pass. Then you can ride all over the island hopping on and off.


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