I have become more and more disappointed in Holland America lately and was wondering if Celebrity will offer a better cruise. My last Veendam trip was tarnished by a very rude activities crew. Does Celebrity offer fun activities? Do they give out little prizes? How is the food on these ships? How bout excusions in the Caribbean? Staff friendliness and helpfullness? Would appreciate feedback. Thanks in advance.
It isn't a line vs. line thing. If staff were rude on the Veendam it's due to those on that cruise for whatever reason. Celebrity along with most other lines have passengers reporting anecdotal feedback about rude staff on a cruise.
HAL and Celebrity have similar quality. There are different opinions about food and service, some prefer HAL and some Celebrity. There's an inherent bias when asking on a Celebrity board about the quality of Celebrity vs. any other comparable line.
For me, it sounds like Veendam was fine and you just had a bad luck in the draw. I had a horrible waiter on the Constellation, doesn't mean Celebrity has mostly horrible waiters. If you are looking for Celebrity as a change of pace, fine. If you are looking for it to immune to the problems of any large, high-volume line, forget it.
I think you misunderstood what I am trying to find out. I want to know if Celebrity is comparable to Holland America. I realize every cruise cannot be perfect and I will admit, the Veendam is my favorite ship. The only other cruiseline I have been on is Princess and I was very disappointed in them. I am interested in trying Celebrity and was just trying to find out if Celebrity offers fun activities and their crew is friendly and helpful. I contacted HAL and actually got email in return. I will cruise on HAL again, but want to try Celebrity. As far as asking on a Celebrity board, what better place to find out about CELEBRITY! Asking about Celebrity on the HAL board seems a bit stupid. Sorry for the misunderstanding. Any info about Celebrity would be appreciated. Thanks.
We have been on HAL, Celebrity and Princess.
HAL and Celebrity are very similar, we did not like Princess at all.
I think that you will find HAL and Celebrity very similar, I would not hesitiate to book with either one!
I have cruised Celebrity, Royal Carribean, Carnival, and Holland......I can say without a doubt that Celebrity is a far superior line to any of the others I have been on, the staff are there 24 hours for you and it seems that they can never do enough for you. The food and its presentation is by far the best, along with the service. Good Luck!
We've been on RCCL, Carnival, and Celebrity...I only do Carnival
at someone else's wishes..i.e. fundraiser cruise....We definitely
like Celebrity just alittle above RCCL. Staff was wonderful, our
last cruise was Summit 10/25) food a cut above, activities staff
seemed good...I don't usually do the activities, but am watching
from a lounge chair in the sun. Their little extras, tho not monumental
are nice...cold towels at poolside and upon returning to the ship from
shore excursion, sorbet in the afternoon, champagne at embarkation.
The entire crew was extremely friendly and I would highly
I would characterize the similarities of Celebrity and HAL in both, at least in their ships before the latest generation, go for quasi-traditional cruises. There's more formal and infomallnights, more of an evocative feel to earlier eras on both lines, more emphasis on passenger service and space than on some of the other mass market lines.
Celebrity's strengths would be onboard presentation including food; waiters carrying trays for women, children, and elderly in the buffet; intermezzo served between courses at dinner; sometimes the dining food but I think many overstate its quality; minimal announcements; spa services; thellasotherapy pool on Century class ships (the version on Millennium ships is more public with weaker jets); provocative art. At one time Celebrity's ships were exceptionally clean and well maintained. That's less consistent now than it used to be.
Celebrity has what I feel are run-in-the-mill activities. Art auctions, line dancing, karaoke, most of the current cruise line staples. There's also the tacky inch-of-gold sales. They give out some prizes in trivia, not as much as HAL does.
I like the a capella groups that perform all over the ship.
What Celebrity has less of than HAL is classical music. There's also not a lot of fresh flowers, HAL has them everywhere. The service style of Celebrity is different, HAL tries to remember names and preferences, Celebrity is more formal, calling women Madame and men Sir.
Celebrity weaknesses are the extremely tacky drinks in souvenier glasses on embarkation. Thankfully, it's mostly done on the lido deck. They also tend to be weak in communication when there are any itinerary disrputions and tend to keep passengers guessing. There have been complaints about guest relations and in all fairness, there are plenty complaints about HAL's front office and some pax are unreasonable to absolutely rude. Celebrity's buffet is weak compared to HAL. Celebrity's ships don't have a magradome area around the pool, I like this feature of HAL. Another tacky Celebrity aspect is some, not all, waiters ask for excellent ratings on comment cards. I find this very inconsistent with a premium line and I haven't heard of this happening much on HAL.
The newer Millennium ships have poor deck space but they now have piano bars, and that's one of the things I like about HAL. I really don't think HAL or Celebrity has that much in the way of fun activities, especially compared to NCL or RCI, I don't find fun to be emphasized that much in either line.
As far as staff goes it is always variable. People have different encounters with staff and I just don't agree that Celebrity's staff is particularly one way or another. For the most part, both HAL and Celebrity have well trained staffs. Sometimes there are poorly trained staff, unresponsive staff, poorly performing staff. Sometimes the staff is noticeably tense due to a supervision staff that makes them feel that way. Some of Celebrity's captains are affable, but Celebrity's captains and officers are no where near as friendly as HAL's, for the most part. I think both line's supervision is tougher on their staff than some other lines, and it shows at times.
HAL and Celebrity are comparable in overall quality. Each has its specific strength and weakness. And there's a noticeable emphasis on more premium-oriented ambiance on both lines compared to Carnival, RCI, or NCL.
My personal recommendations for someone that likes the Veendam would be the Century, Galaxy or Mercury. Since you booked the newer Millennium, please note that it differs in experience from the earlier Celebrity ships and is more like HAL's Zuiderdam class of ships than the more "classic" Celebrity ship experience.
One more opinion. I have been on HAL, RCCL, Celebrity and Carnival as Sea girl was, and I found Celebrity and HAL to be similar. Two years apart and each ship is also different, Summit vs Statendam, and we had mechanical problems on Summit, costing us 14 hrs of port time and Hubbard Glacier right in middle of Formal dinner time, and crew which kept all the passengers in the dark about the situation until the very last minute. Other than that experience, I though the service on both was great, the food good if not great, decor on Summit seemed more subdued and no focal points for interior pictures or gazing. The Statendam has more outside deck space and wood. Shows were about the same, maybe slightly better on Celebrity. We don't use bars, and don't spend major time at hairy chest contests, or horseracing around the pool, but from the activities we caught here and there, they seemed alike. I think you should try Celebrity once and then you will become another expert on which in your opinion is best. I think you will enjoy either. If the price, itinerary and schedule was right, I would take either again. My wife was more impressed with HAL.
I have been on the Zuiderdam and Oosterdam and like both very much. That's why I booked a cruise on the Millennium. I like the Veendam because of less people. Actually, I am fairly easy to please. I just plain love cruising. Thanks to everyone for their feedback. By the way, I wrote to HAL about my disappointment on my latest Veendam cruise and got an email from them promising to fix the problem. I look forward to my first cruise with Celebrity. Thanks again everyone. This is a great board.