I really hate to be the one to break the news to ya but Celebrity Cruises is Mass Market cookie cutter just like the rest. The difference between Celebrity and any other is like the difference between shopping at Kmart or Walmart. There was a time when Celebrity was something special but the cruise lines have now gone the way of the airlines.
I don't get your point. All the lines that have ships carrying 1,500 pax up are cookie cutters. The only difference, carrying on with your analogy is the quality of the dough and the icing. How individualized can you be with that many passengers? The difference between the budget lines and Celebrity or HAL is the size of the rooms, the amenities (bath robes, cosmetics, mattress covers) and, to some extent, the quality of the food and the training of those who serve it.
I think Celebrity had very clever marketing that lead passengers to believe they were getting something more personalized when, in fact, that wasn't the case. If you want more than cookie cutter, be prepared to have very, very deep pockets. If you want to move from K-Mart to Tiffany's you'd better be prepared to pay for it. Most of us don't have that luxury and accept Celebrity and HAL for what they are - a somewhat upscale mass market company offering a good product at an affordable price.
I have sailed Carnival, RCL,NCL and just 5 weeks ago went on the Infinity to Alaska. It was the worst of the 5 I have been on. I thought the food was like something you might find at a budget wedding banquet. The staff were not very attentive. I thought the ship was not in very good shape and the art work was absolutely hideous. I may try one more Celebrity sailing just to try to find out what all the hype is about. Perhaps it was just that sailing on that particular ship............
We werent real impressed with Celebrity either. We sailed Century in April, it was ok but not what I exspected. We usually sail Carnival, and we are sticking with them for now on. We had good service on Celebrity, but I think much better on Carnival. More personal with Carnival I think. But everyone has different opions, plus all the ships are different.
We enjoyed Summit very much in March--not quite K-mart. Even with some noticeable cutbacks it still shines! The dining room is still far better than Royal which is really mass market (but we sail that too because we love the ships & the itins) We'll beon Consteallationto Canada next so I'll let you now how it goes!
Interest comments. We are trying Celebrity in January just to see what all the hoopla is about. Have only been on two other mass market cruiselines (Carnival twice during winter break and Princess once when there were hardly any kids). Other than the obvious differences in ship decor, found little difference in demographics, quality of food and service. So while I continue to read the opinions of others, will be looking forward to establishing my own opinion.
First ever Cruise in November and I chose Celebrtiy. I then cross referenced with the reviews here, with particular emphasis on the Ship poll results. Either there is a whole lot of false posts, but with almost 200 reviews and a 8.83 rating, I'm fairly comfortable with the decision.
So you consider carnival, NCL, RCCL, HAL, Princess & Celebrity cruising on par with shopping at Walmart or KMart doesn't say much for the entire cruise industry IMO.
I will give you a specific example of what I am talking about. The last day of the sailing the cruise director was out on deck and all of a sudden made the announcement that the staff would be comming out with a treat. About 20 of them came parading around the outside parts of deck 10 and 11 with orange sherbert for about 10 minutes.......they made a huge spectacle of the fact that this is typical of Celebrity cruises and you wouldnt find that type of service on any other cruise line. that was the one and only time they did that. It was laughable.
I'm going on my first Celebrity cruise in three weeks I've also been on RCL and NCL. My travel companions have sailed on RCL, NCL, HAL and I think a couple of other lines that are now defunct. I'll get back to you all with our opinions when we return.
Wow never seen anything like that on our Celebrity Cruise Gilligan. That sounds nice. They do have good service, as we have found on every cruise line ever been on. I think the Cruise line you pick has to fit you. We are in our late 20s and early 30s, we didnt find their activiites to be to our liking. We got bored alot, their was a much older crowd on the sailing we were on. So thats the main reason we werent impressed. We did enjoy the art auctions, spent to much money
"Mass Market", "Cookie Cutter". Let's face it Celebrity has been a Mass Market cruise line for many years & I don't believe they have been trying to hide that fact. How many TV commercials do you see for Radisson or Silver Seas? The true "Luxury" lines don't advertise on TV because that's not the market they are after. Their "Target" customer base earns more & is willing to pay considerably more for their cruise experience. The comparison to WalMart is interesting. WalMart is the worlds leading retailer & performs leaps & bounds over their competitors when it comes to customer service, technology and value. This is something that all Mass Market providers strive for. We have cruised with Celebrity 3 times & have our 4th one reserved for July of 2005. All of our experiences have been fantastic, that's why we continue to book with them. Is the dining experience the best I have ever had? No. But it is certainly very high quality considering that they prepare meals for over 2 thousand guests (& up) for each meal. I will also say that some of the meals I have eaten on Celebrity have been better than some of the "High End" restaurants I have experienced in NY. Do they "Hawk" merchandise? Yes they do but that does not bother me, a simple "No" does the trick. Chances are you will not see anyone on Silver Sea's trying to sell you a mug of hot chocolate while cruising Alaska, you will be given the mug. The big difference is that you have already paid for that drink when you made your final payment.
Every cruiseline has their fans & opponents. What is good for some is not good for all. I personally feel it's a matter of opinion. Sorry if any of you have had a bad experience. We work very hard to be able to afford a vacation like a cruise once a year and it's really unfortunate if your experience is not up to your expectations.
You need to look at differences in the quality of service you get, quality of food, the attention to details, and that sort of thing. The larger ships are all about the same and what they offer in the form or entertainment is about the same. That's why you need to look for those little things that make that cruise line a little different from the rest. I've never had sherbert served on the pool decks on any other cruise. What a nice treat on a hot day. I've also heard they have cool towels for you when you come back from shore tours - that's something I've never had on the other cruise lines. These things may not make or break my cruise but it's a little something different.
A cruise is what you make it!
I agree with most of what you say and I would add that even the same person may be looking for different things on different occasions. I was checking out a site about the Century which has been kindly created by a past Century passenger. He mentioned that in one port they were docked beside a Carnival ship. When they reboarded the ship after seeing the port they (Century passengers) were greeted in a low key manner with cool towels. Passengers on the Carnival ship were greated much more exuberantly by 'Fun Freddy' ( hope I have the name right.) Now ,travelling with my sister or husband, I would much prefer the cool towel treatment but, if I were cruising with a young child, I'd gladly give up my cold towel for a fun character and a better kids program.
In the same vein I have heard complaints from some on the boards because the constant announcements on the ship drove them crazy then, the next day on a different board heard complaints from passengers on another ship, that on their cruise there were not enough announcements and they kept missing things!
I think the main thing is for customers to have a realistic idea of what they can expect for a cruise that they book. That is one of the reasons that I encourage all posts positive or negative to be detailled. What drove you crazy may be just what I am looking for.
One small thing I do disagree with, is your statement that "a cruise is what you make it." I agree that if someone is determined, they can probably manage to find something to complain about on any cruise, but I have seen this statement used too often to put down people with valid complaints about their cruise. Dirty sheets, poor food and rude or non-existant service do happen sometimes and in those cases telling people that "a cruise is what you make it" is counter productive and just encourages acceptance of a shoddy product. A cruise is also dependent to a large extent on what the cruise line and ship crew make it.
We traveled on the infinity in its inaugral cruise year and i must say we were very impressed, as has been said earlier celebrity is a mass market cruise line and when we were booking the cruise it was obvious to us this was the case. I was persuaded to cruise by my wife as i was a firm believer i would hate it. The infinity has definately changed my mind. We have sinced travelled on the adventure of the seas and the nordic empress. We chose these cruises because they were cheaper than celebrity. For us the differance was plain. But i am a great believer in that you only get what you pay for. I must agree with cruise queen that if someone is determined they will find something to complain about. Even with our celbrity cruise we found items that we did not like ( such as embarkation/debarkation proceedures). But our overall impression was a higher quality line than most. Each cruise line i feel caters for different markets, celebrity is a line that caters more for couples/ older couples, where RCL is more for families. Thorough investigation is required before booking any holiday and message boards like this help considerably in picking a line / ship.
Good for you...go ahead and sail Carnival...leaves more room
on Celebrity for the folks who appreciate this line. Beer and jeans
cruise is what Carnival used to be called...bet you like garish colors, too.
Even though we have attained the Elite status on Princess, I'd still pick Celebrity if they had the itinerary we wanted to go on. We've only sailed the Constellation twice and we found it a notch above Princess. Celebrity has a lot of little touches, from luggage tags to dessert trays that make a difference. I don't think they paid Conde Nast magazine to give their cruise line the best ship ratings with the Constellation being #1.
Are they perfect? Of course not but they fit my needs and that's what counts. I am more than satisfied with the food and service they provide.
WalMart? No. In stores they may be Bloomingdale's or comparable, sometimes a little higher. In cars Celebrity goes from being Nissan Maxima or VW Passat to entry-market Acura, Saab, Volvo, etc. in terms of quality, IMO.
Their hardware from the Century on is 5 star. It is the content and the software that doesn't necessarily match the hardware. Since, like most lines, they had to expand to so many ships, they have to rely on cruise formulas and staples that are similar to other lines.
I agree with Gardencat, a cruise is what the cruise line makes it in terms of product delivery, also, just in terms of weather or what is encountered on your particular voyage (a port isn't fun if people are on strike, a hurricane hit it earlier). Also, what can happen on a cruise is a cruise full of a group of people that have private functions in public rooms and/or become a private clique aboard the ship. Many factors can determine how pleasant or unpleasant a cruise may be and its general quality.
I guess what really annoys me about all of this is Celebrity portrays itself as something really special and it isnt. If this is the best the mass market has to offer then there are serious issues facing this industry. It is true that celebrity has very few onboard announcements.....this is great but they more than make up for abscence of that that annoyance by pushing drinks in your face every time you go go out on deck or park your butt in a chair. Yes they give you cold towels every once in a while out by the pool and when you come back to the ship from port......the bathrobes are a nice touch I suppose....if your a person who actually wears a bathrobe and if you happen to fit into a medium. Those are all nifty little things........the extra 5 sq ft of cabin space is great if your a person who really notices a difference between 165 and 170 sq ft. I suppose we should all be greatful to Celebrity for really going above and beyond the call of duty whne it comes to luxury.
I guess what I meant by "a cruise is what you make it" is that if something IS wrong, then need to talk to the appropriate person who can do something about the problem you are having. I agree that there are something we shouldn't put up with - like you said, dirty sheets, rude staff behavior and so on. But if you get up set by little things that could happen with any vacation (the weather was bad, you didn't have time to do everything you wanted to because you weren't in port long enough, the staff didn't greet you with a drink the minute you arrived...), then YOU have made your cruise what it is.
Again, I agree with most of the positive replies. For what we pay...Celebrity
gives alot for the money. RCI also "pushes" drinks. I'm in a business that
does alot of marketing, and after my last RCI cruise, I think they're masters.
They have to be...for what we pay for a cruise (We're going on an 11 night
Summit w/balcony cabin for $1250pp...looking at all the meals, entertainment,
lodging, etc. that is included...what a bargain!! Go to a 5 star hotel, eat
meals or get room service, go to clubs, etc. and see what you spend in
No, they're not perfect...but after waiting for our vacation for many months,
I certainly hope I'm not at a table w/Gilligan! I'll overlook any of the small
things, and focus on the beautiful experience of a Celebrity cruise, and
usually with other appreciative cruisers.
Well maybe if Four Seasons has people roaming around the lobby peddling drinks their rates will come down to something under 400.00 a night. Or for that matter why doesnt every hotel do that to subsidize the room rates. Think of how great it would be to stay at the Waldorf Astoria for 59.00 a night! Or how about the Ritz Carlton for 45.00 a night. The possibilities are endless. Im sorry I just dont like to have people shove a drink in my face while im looking at the Hubbard Glacier.
>Well maybe if Four Seasons has people roaming around the lobby peddling drinks their rates will come down to something under 400.00 a night. Or for that matter why doesnt every hotel do that to subsidize the room rates. Think of how great it would be to stay at the Waldorf Astoria for 59.00 a night! Or how about the Ritz Carlton for 45.00 a night.<
Apples and oranges. I don't feel it is done any more on board ship than in a 5 star restaurant under the guise of service. That's a better comparison than a hotel.