Hi - We are debating whether to see the southern Caribbean on Celebrity's Infinity or Royal Caribbean's Radiance. Has any one been on both ships? We have cruised previously with RCCL, and were very happy, but I'm wondering how many people prefer Celebrity and why? Thanks so much.
These ships are really new, few people have been on them. They are basically the same ship in terms of the frame so they are around the same size, but the style inside is quite different both in decor and layout. They'll be fewer pax in Celebrity so your passenger space ratio is better and also there are more servers per pax in Celebrity than RCI.
What interests you about Celebrity? I haven't been on RCI (I've toured one of their ships) but I've researched them and they are not for me. But, I will be going on the Explorer with a group as an alternative "fun" cruise rather than the more "romantic" cruise I favor when I choose to sail on Celebrity. (but, of course, much of the fun or romantic content is up to you)
Celebrity style is much more understated. The ships really don't stress the vertical, I've found lots of RCI fans very disappointed with the lack of any real strong atrium with all of its features on Celebrity when I was on the Century. The foyer, feels different, an overlook, rather than an activity center of the ship. Celebrity's waiters will not sing and dance (they only sing Happy Birthday and at the very low key Baked Alaska festivity) and generally are not entertaining though they sometimes do magic tricks for children. Features of the line are the fine aqua spas that have lots of expensive options, martini bars, champagne bar, fancy cigar bars, the Infinity features a lot of upscale shopping, a wonderful conservatory full of plants. I think Celebrity stresses presentation all over the ship and especially at dinner and at their buffets. Celebrity has rather limited hours when one can use hot tubs and pools, they also really have a very limited casual alternative dining - so far, they've shown little interest in casual alternative dining. Alternative dining on the Infinity is fancy, and cost $20, it is a higher scale than Portofinos on the newer RCI ships.
Basically, if you are looking for a quieter cruise, a ship where almost every day you hear ZERO public announcements, less activities (than RCI), less varied entertainment but still a reasonable amount of it, less extreme pool games on deck, more interest in presentation than production, the dining experience, more formal nights, fairly rigid scheduling of dining choices and availability, then Celeb is for you. Celeb shares with RCI many of cruising's staples such as trivia games, not so newlywed games, art auction, sometimes horse racing, bingo, inch-of-gold sales, etc. They also use Steiner's as their spa providers. They do line dancing on deck and in the clubs sometimes. they usually have a roaming a capella group that sometimes sings to individual pax - which is fun. Celeb's fun is more subdued, a somewhat less festive ship than RCI.
Basically I like Celeb for the presentation, still fairly traditional style, fairly understated but upscale atmospheres aboard the ships, good passenger space ratio, service style, ships that are very well maintained. I think Celebrity's major weakness, however, is poor communication at times from the officers and ship operators. They are also, at times, very disorganized with shore excursions.
I think it all depends on the weight people give to cruise and ship aspects. Some people find no major differences between Celeb and RCI, some find huge differences.
I have been on the Infinity, and agree with Benjamin in every way that it is understated elegance, and we had a wonderful time on her on our inaugural sailing through the Panama Canal. However, I have also traveled on many RCI, but not the Radiance, but I would give my eye teeth to do so. I think either choice will be a good one, compare prices and go for the deal. I don't think you will be disappointed, no matter your choice. (But there are more activities on RCI, as apposed to Celebrity.
Good Luck, let us know what you decided. Any other questions-join us in the cruise chat, Mon-Fri 9:00EST
Cher, Friday Night West Coast Chat Host
Mary, we have sailed 7 times on Celebrity and 5 times on RCCL, we have always had a "good time "on RCCL, but we feel the food on Celebrity is Much better for only a few $ more.We are currently booked on the Infinity to Alaska in June.
Enjoy your cruise.
Just returned from our first Celebrity cruise-- and agree with above comments. It really depends on what you want from a cruise-- I noticed people not getting as involved in the cruise experience on celebrity-- Shows were poorly attended; lounges were not busy; the kids programs were not as well organized for the older kids (10-16) The shore excursion offerings were few--
If you are looking for a relaxing cruise with a great atmosphere and low key entertainment; low key service; lots of food; Celebrity would be a great choice
If you are looking for a little more "fun" stay with Royal Caribbean
Given the choice, I would definitely go with RCCL. Overall, RCCL offers a much better cruise experience...better shows, better food, more activities, more dining alternatives. My recent cruise on Celebrity Zenith was the least favorite of my 11 cruises.
I prefer Celebrity for every reason that Benjamin mentioned. And RCI is my second choice of cruise line. I have found their pricing for similar itineraries to be comparable too. Entertainment is a notch better on RCI but they also have more families on board and when I look forward to relaxing by the enclosed pool or Thallostherapy area, I don't want a lot of noisey kids. Of course depending on travel dates, could help this fact out too. Celebrity is trying to improve on their family programs and recently talking to 2 returning families, the kids and parents said they had a blast on Celebrity's Millennium. Look at your itineraries and costs and make a choice. I doubt you will be disappointed in either ship.
Just returned on Sun. from Millie Eastern Carribbean. The Millie is a beautiful ship, as was the Mercury we sailed in Alaska. Spoke to a woman who was on Celebrity with us for her first time, having sailed RCI 16 prior times - said she would stick with Celebrity, better food, more special "touches". Hope this helps.
From limited experience, Celebrity has larger cabins, less aggressive photographers & poolside waiters, great spa, much better food, nicer ship, more elegant & but still lots of fun...RCCI had better organized excursions & the shows on both are not that great....Have fun