Celebrity overall will give you a more subdued experience. Food is superior, fellow passengers are quieter, decor is more refined and the spa facilities slightly superior. Entertainment on Celebrity is OK but does not beat RCI. Neither do the ships. Celebrity has stunning vessels, especially in the Millennium class, but you won't find an actual street on them or ice skating and rock climbing for that matter! In short, Celebrity is a step up from RCI but you do have to prepare for an experience that will be slightly quieter. NP
You nailed it. Npoitras, your analysis is exactly how I compare the two lines. Celebrity fits my needs perfectly. Does that mean that I'm old or maybe getting old? Anyway, I enjoy the great food and quiet relaxation that celebrity offers.
I think the rock-climbing and especially ice-skating rink aspect of RCI is overblown. There's only ice-skating on the Voyager ships and its not on the same level as most of the other public areas. It's possible to miss it. I think what defines RCI more is the Centrum as hub of activitiy and major crossroad of the ship, the more entertaining service style and dining room antics compared to Celebrity, the Royal Viking Lounge as a signature area, and a generally higher level of activity than Celebriity. I went on the Explorer and while I noticed the rock climbing wall, it was less a prominent feature of the ship than one of many athletic choices, there was also mini golf, inline skating, and the usual basketball//volleyball choices. Also, the only RCI ships with the street on them are the Voyager ships, however, the Radiance, Vision, and smaller classes do not have Royal Promenades. The Royal Promenade is the most prominant feature of the Voyager class, however, much more so than the ice skating rink or rock climbing wall.
I agree with you about Celebrity being more subdued. It's more sober as well, less festive.
Celebrity...is much like a floating Westin, Four Seasons....., "W" hotel .like. More urban Traditional settings............And marketing is put towards moe of the style concious cruiser............Celebrity resonates the feeling of an upper end trendy bar or resturant/ bistro in New York.......................Put it this way the I love rcl....but in a comparison rcl is like a Macys department store and Celebrity is like a Neiman Marcus or Saks Fifth
Christie,Very well put and also the others above you.Celebrity is now challenging Holland in many areas and you will definitely see the improvements RCL in my opinion has much more to offer in the way of activities and better entertainment and would appeal more to famalies travelling with children.For a first class cruise experience go with Celebrity and their larger ships.The food is much better and the service is a step up ftromRCL.From many critics the Olympic alternative restaurant is the best of all alternative rests. and is on the Millennium.The interior is done with the wood from the sister ship of the Titanic.Have never had as good service in all of my 30 some cruises.Was told last month on Holland that they were to be given extra dollars to meet the challenge of Celebrity which '' has raised the bar"
Celebrity all the way! We are sailing on the Connie 4/3/04 and can't wait. Sailed on RCL last April had a great time but just a step down from Celebrity, food service, etc..
Our heatrts belong to Celebrity.
I have sailed Royal Carribbean once and will be going on my fifth Celebrity cruise this summer. Overall, Celebrity seems to be a more personal cruise. My family and I have enjoyed every aspect of a Celebrity cruise, which is more than we can say for Royal Carribbean for several reasons. Like everything else, it comes down to personal preference.
Celebrity hasn't raised any bars. Celebrity is lowering the bar regarding their food with the concentration on specialty restaurants versus the type of food and service that was once their standards in the main dining room. I'm not convinced they are maintaining their ships as well as they once did. I'm not convinced they are brave enough to go after discerning passengers the way they marketed at one time.
They are still a fine cruise line and a very good value. They have a different overall ambiance than RCI, certainly more subdued and I think more refined. But, they need to get the food consistently outstanding in the DINING room, every inch of the ships sparkling clean, and be more selective as to who they want on the ships. I'm sorry, the dress code should not be an issue, those sailing Celebrity would expect to follow it or sail elsewhere. There should be no issue of rude walkie-talkie use, it should not be allowed. There should be no issues of unruly kids, they should be well-controlled and perhaps their numbers limited. There should be no issues of spring break rowdies. It is supposed to be premium, even if it is mass market premium.
As far as RCI goes it is more entertaining, ships decor very pretty but not on the same level, ships not as clean, and a more fun, festive cruise. They have toga parties, sexy legs contests, towel animals, and things of that sort. I think they have a very good product and I think in some ways they represent their segment of the market better than Celebrity represents its segment of the market.
Just back from Summit 10 day (3/5) & will post a mini review later --I agree with most stated already but subdued is not the word I would use. at all. We had a mixed age crowd but great parties at the pool & in the club (no overt drunkeness or anything distateful like that ) & the casino was lively at most times. The party/pool band was fantastic & the ship rocked. Also enjoyed the harpist & quieter classic music as well. I think overall Celeb is a cut above Royal in most areas but do agree that Royal ships are much brighter & lighter--the centrum is a great focal point. Summit is a bit drab but layout was OK. Had a great cruise as I will describe in another post or review! We are on Celeb again in Sept (Constellation)& then Royal (brilliance) then gong back to celeb (Infinity) Either way--you can't go wrong unles bad weather f ruins your trip!
We are in the opposite boat (literally & figuratively!) Having sailed Celebrity and only Celebrity, we are currently booked on the Jewel British Isles & Scandinavia cruise for 2005. I had posted earlier, asking about the differences. Since this will be a port-intensive, mainly sight-seeing trip, I hope we won't feel let-down because of inferior food ,service or cleanliness.