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Old September 16th, 2006, 03:10 PM
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Default Should we choose celebrity


Hi
We are very happy with RCI, but was wondering should we try Celebrity? We looked at the 2007 cruises, and one caught our attention. Should we give Celebrity*a go*(know that its RCI sister ships) or stay on RCI. We are in our 50's and love cruising. We are NOT dressy up people and do enjoy the lay-back ideas of cruising. Also, Celebrity cruises DO count in the C&A Society of RCI, correct? Thanks!
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Old September 17th, 2006, 12:16 AM
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I believe Celebrity's food and service is 10 times better than RCI. You'll have formal night(s) on both - the number depends on how long the cruise is. And casual nights on both.

I have very little interest in rock climbing walls, etc. but love trivia - as you already know RCI has the first ... Celebrity has the second and RCI doesn't.

As to the C&A, it depends. If you have enough cruises on RCI to put you in a higher class, then, yes, you'll be in that class on Celebrity. If you don't have enough, then, no, you can't combine them to meet the magic number. I believe it's 5 cruises before you go into the next class.
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Old September 17th, 2006, 08:01 PM
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Hi barbf,

Welcome to Cruisemates!

Quote:
We are NOT dressy up people and do enjoy the lay-back ideas of cruising.
First a disclaimer: We haven't sailed on either RCI or Celebrity! This is just my opinion from reading these boards.

We are NOT dressy up people either and don't think we'd like Celebrity. There are formal nights (apparently most people wear tuxes and long dresses) and informal nights (cocktail dresses, sports coats) as well as "country club" casual nights. The "suggested" dress is for the whole evening, so if you want to eat in the buffet you may not be "dressed up" enough to go to the shows and other areas of the ship later in the evening.

We just wouldn't be comfortable having to be this "dressed up"!

I'd suggest you consider Princess and not worry about the C&A.

JMHO,

If you'd be fine with the dress codes, go for it !
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Old September 17th, 2006, 09:19 PM
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Barb,

Should we give Celebrity*a go*(know that its RCI sister ships) or stay on RCI. We are in our 50's and love cruising. We are NOT dressy up people and do enjoy the lay-back ideas of cruising.

Celebrity Cruises is a much more "upscale" line than Royal Caribbean International, so it does tend to be dressier. Both lines seem to have the same number of "formal" evenings, but "formal" really does mean "formal" (dinner jacket/tuxedo or dark -- and I do mean DARK -- business suit for gents and full length or formal cocktail dress for ladies) on Celebiity, and Celebrity also has "informal" evenings -- a bit dressier than "casual" but not "formal" by any means. On Celebrity's "informal" evenings, gents wear a shirt with a collar, slacks, and a sport coat (a necktie is optional) and ladies wear either a cocktail dress or a fancy top with a nice skirt or dress slacks. You can expect that about half of the evenings will be either "formal" or "informal." Also, as another poster noted, the evening attire applies throughout the ship, including the theater, so passengers don't "dress down" after dinner, though some do change before going to the disco late at night.

Celebrity's specialty restraurants, aboard the four ships of the Millennium class and aboard MV Century, are very upscale, and thus require "informal" attire on "casual" evenings. The cost is $30.00 per passenger. Of course, you don't have to eat there. The dining room is perfectly wonderful. There's also a charge of $3.50 per person for Celebrity's "alternative casual dining," which has full table service with a special menu, tablecloths, cloth napkins, etc., even though it's in the buffet area. If you choose to go to "alternative casual dining" to avoid dressing for dinner, you also may well discover that your options for entertainment are pretty limited because the dress code does apply everywhere else and the staff are enforcing it.

Also, Celebrity cruises DO count in the C&A Society of RCI, correct?

No. Celebrity's "Captain's Club" and Royal Caribbean's "Crown & Anchor Society" are separate programs with somewhat different tiers and packages of benefits, so cruises on Celebrity count only toward standing in the "Catpain's Club' and cruises in Royal Caribbean count only toward standing in the "Crown & Anchor Society." There is, however, a reciprocal agreement between the two lines that affords the corresponding level of benefits to passengers who have earned each level of standing in the other line's plan. Thus, for example, "Diamond" members of the "Crown & Anchor Society" receive the "Elite" level of benefits when travelling on a Celebrity cruise and vice versa. Thus, you'll receive the benefits for the tier of the "Captain's Club" that's equivalent to your standing in the "Crown & Anchor Society" if you take a cruise on Celebrity, but the cruise will count toward standing in the "Captain's Club."

Norm.
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Old September 18th, 2006, 09:01 AM
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In order to get the benefits of Captains Club on Celebrity, you must join the Captain's club.
Also note that the benefits are not the same between the two lines.

Quote:
How do I receive equivalent recognition in Celebrity Cruises' Captain's Club?
As a benefit of Platinum, Diamond and Diamond Plus membership in Royal Caribbean's Crown & Anchor Society, you will receive equivalent recognition in Celebrity Cruises' Captain's Club. If you are currently a member of both loyalty programs, you will automatically be upgraded based on your highest membership level between the two. For instance, if you are a Crown & Anchor Platinum member and a Captain's Club Classic member, you will be automatically upgraded to the Select level in the Captain's Club. And if you are a Diamond or Diamond Plus member, you will automatically receive equivalent recognition as a Captain's Club Elite member. The benefits of the two programs will stay independent, and the number of sailings a member accrues on each brand will not be combined.

If you are a Platinum, Diamond or Diamond Plus member in the Crown & Anchor Society but not a member of the Captain's Club, and plan on sailing on Celebrity Cruises, call the Loyalty Service Center at 800-526-9723 to enroll in equivalent recognition. And please remember to provide your Membership Number whenever you reserve a cruise vacation to receive all the benefits you deserve.
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Old September 18th, 2006, 02:53 PM
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Sounds TOOOO upscale for us. We shall stay Royal Caribbean!
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Old September 18th, 2006, 08:16 PM
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Hi Barbara,

I think you made the right decision. Our former TA told us that Celebrity wasn't much different than Carnival !

If I hadn't read Norm's posts (our resident Celebrity expert ), I would have believed her and we would have had a very uncomfortable cruise!

(I'd still consider Princess if I were you )
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Old September 18th, 2006, 08:52 PM
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Hello Barbara;
The lovely Mrs. Jones (Vita) and I are fortunate enough to have sailed both RCI and Celebrity enough that we are Platinum on RCI, and Select, or Classic or something in the Captain's Club (I keep all the cards here, and have some that say both?) I have to agree that Celebrity is a slight bit more upscale, however, not enough that it overshadows the other advantages. ie: food is outstanding, service outstanding etc. I think you're missing a wonderful experience if you pass on a Celebrity cruise. I suggest you give it a chance. I NEVER wear a tux anymore (yes, I do own one), just a dark suite, and the lovely Mrs Jones never wears long gowns anymore, (yes she too owns them). We "go with the flow" and enjoy ourselves. If it were up to Norm, he'd wear his tux to breakfast, and has every right to do so, however I don't think everyone else needs to follow along. Book the cruise, and enjoy a truly great vacation!

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Old September 19th, 2006, 12:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barbf
Sounds TOOOO upscale for us. We shall stay Royal Caribbean!
Carnivial, RCCI, Celebrity, Holland America and Princess ARE different!
Not every cruise line is for everyone...and that's what's great...you can choose which one fits YOUR style and comfort level!
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Old September 19th, 2006, 12:42 AM
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Ken,

If it were up to Norm, he'd wear his tux to breakfast...

No, never. Norm knows a tuxedo (or any dinner jacket) is strictly eveningwear, and thus never proper for any event that commences before 6:00 PM. For a formal daytime event, gentlemen don a morning suit, which is grey and always worn with an ascot.

Norm.
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Old September 19th, 2006, 12:47 AM
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Barbara,

Sounds TOOOO upscale for us. We shall stay Royal Caribbean!

That's certainy a fair decision. You will gain the most enjoyment by cruising on a line that matches your personal style.

I should add that there is no universal "right" or "wrong" in this, and that no style makes anybody "better" or "worse" than anybody else. It's simply a matter of personal preference.

Norm.
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Old September 19th, 2006, 12:53 AM
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Fern,

Our former TA told us that Celebrity wasn't much different than Carnival ! (emphasis in original)

In that case, a change of travel agents was a very prudent decision. Such statements clearly reflect abject incompetence.

I also hope that you advised your former travel agent's supervisor of the reason for the change. Travel agents seem to be the source of a lot of miinformation, and will continue to misinform people if not corrected. The supervisor is in the best position to bring correction.

Norm.
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Old September 19th, 2006, 09:00 AM
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Norm: Good reply! You are, of course, correct! Hope to meet you face to face, aboard one of these days. I'll buy you a cool one!

Ken

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Old September 19th, 2006, 04:44 PM
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Oh, Please!! We sail only RCI and Celebrity and don't dress up more on Celeb. We don't always stay in our formal night clothes the whole evening and have had no problem with that.
I can say from recent experience that RCI DOES have trivia games. You can ask my DH, who groaned almost every time I came back from playing because I kept winning prizes. It was as much fun as my experience on Galaxy.
Don't let the Celebrity-only people scare you. And DON'T listen to negative comments anyone who hasn't sailed either one. What could they possible know????
Except for our last cruise, I would say the food is a tiny bit better on Celebrity, not 10 times and the service has been equally outstanding for us. The food on our RCI Jewel cruise, was hands down, the best we've had on either line. There's only one way for you to really know Celebrity and that is to sail her yourselves. We know from experience also that Celebrity cruises are not always more expensive. Our Panama Canal and Mexico cruises were less expenisve than comparable RCI ones. You will have a fantastic time and may find yourselves sticking to two lines instead of one.
We are sailing Celebrity for our next cruise and are planning at least two more in the next two years. I can't imagine anyone being afraid to sail Celebrity--you can't go wrong.

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Old September 19th, 2006, 04:55 PM
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Thanks everyone for the comments. Understanding that everyone has difference of opinions and tastes, I appreciate all that was expressed here. For right now, we will continue our quest of all RC ships and when that is exhausted, will move on to Celebrity. If RC continues to build more and more, it will just take us a little longer....
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Old September 19th, 2006, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norm
I also hope that you advised your former travel agent's supervisor of the reason for the change. Travel agents seem to be the source of a lot of miinformation, and will continue to misinform people if not corrected. The supervisor is in the best position to bring correction.
Unfortunately, the TA in question WAS the supervisor! She's also the one who wouldn't book us on NCL! We now have a wonderful TA who actually took the time to find out our preferences.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmm44
And DON'T listen to negative comments anyone who hasn't sailed either one. What could they possible know????
I'm "assuming" that this is addressed to me. No, I haven't sailed Celebrity, but I've been on Cruisemates since March of 2004. I've read the Celebrity boards almost every day since then because we were interested in cruising with them (and now because I enjoy Norm's informative posts ). From what I've read, I found that Celebrity wouldn't be a good match for us and when I read that someone want's a "laid back, nonformal" cruise, I give my opinion !

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmm44
Oh, Please!! We sail only RCI and Celebrity and don't dress up more on Celeb. We don't always stay in our formal night clothes the whole evening and have had no problem with that.
I'm glad you haven't had a problem with changing your clothes, but from what I understand, Celebrity "requests" that the dress code be followed throughout the evening.
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Old September 19th, 2006, 11:54 PM
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Fern--There's no way they can make people who've dressed informally to eat at the buffet on formal night go back and change into formal clothes to go to the show or any other activity and we don't wear badges identifying us as previous formal dressers in the dining room.
One formal night on Galaxy when we did stay in formal clothes we ended up in the theater sitting next to people dressed in denim cutoffs and sandals (which we thought was a bit extreme since it supposedly is not allowed any evening) and no one kicked them out. "Suggested attire" is just that, suggested, not written in stone. They can request the "formal dress all evening" till they're blue in the face, but can't enforce it unless the clothing or lack of it is really extreme.
It is such a myth that Celebrity is too upscale for the masses. At home we live in shorts and T-shirts in warm weather and jeans and sweatshirts in cold weather but it doesn't bother us to dress up in the evening when cruising. If we change out of formal clothes, we change into something more comfortable, but still nice-- sort of like "church clothes", something we would wear to any nice restaurant anywhere.
If you're basing your opinion that Celebrity is not for you just on posts on this site, you are obviously getting the wrong message.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 01:10 AM
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Fern,

... and when I read that someone want's a "laid back, nonformal" cruise, I give my opinion !

Well, Celebrity actually is very laid back. The line usually limits public address announcements to only one per day -- the master's noon announcement if the ship is at sea or the "gangway now open" announcement when the ship is in port. The staff does not even try to cajole passengers into participating in activities. If you want to relax, they will let you.

That said, the evenings on Celebrity are much dressier than on, for example, Princess.

Norm.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 01:19 AM
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kmm44,

There's no way they can make people who've dressed informally to eat at the buffet on formal night go back and change into formal clothes to go to the show or any other activity and we don't wear badges identifying us as previous formal dressers in the dining room.

Oh, yes, they most certainly can!

One formal night on Galaxy when we did stay in formal clothes we ended up in the theater sitting next to people dressed in denim cutoffs and sandals (which we thought was a bit extreme since it supposedly is not allowed any evening) and no one kicked them out. "Suggested attire" is just that, suggested, not written in stone. They can request the "formal dress all evening" till they're blue in the face, but can't enforce it unless the clothing or lack of it is really extreme.

When did you last cruise on Celebrity???

On my first several Celebrity cruises (2003-2004), there was little actual enforcement of dress codes. On my last two Celebrity cruises (October 2005 aboard MV Galaxy and February 2006 aboard MV Mercury), there were three very noticeable differences.

>> 1. The Celebrity Today stated exlicitly that the prescribed evening dress is required in the dining rooms and show rooms.

>> 2. The maitre d'hotel and assistant maitres d'hotel were enforcing the dress codes in the dining room. I saw several passegers turned away.

>> 3. There was a receiving line of staff at the entrances to the theater on each of the formal evenings, and they also turned away passengers who were not wearing the prescribed evening attire.

It is such a myth that Celebrity is too upscale for the masses.

With that, I agree. Nonetheless, Celebrity is considerably dressier than most other cruise lines, partly because it draws a more "upscale" cadre of passengers who do like to dress and partly because it still maintains "informal" evenings that require dressier clothing than the "casual" evenings on other lines.

Norm.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 03:23 AM
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Quote:
Nonetheless, Celebrity is considerably dressier than most other cruise lines
This has certainly not been my experience. Honestly Norm, as much as you like to repeat this mantra, I think it's based more on what you'd like it to be, or see it as, than the actual onboard product people will experience.

If you read my article on the home page about What Cruise Line is Best for Me, you'll find I enjoy Celebrity, and hold it high regard for the strengths it has... but we shouldn't make it out to be more than it is.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 12:55 PM
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Kuki,

This has certainly not been my experience. Honestly Norm, as much as you like to repeat this mantra, I think it's based more on what you'd like it to be, or see it as, than the actual onboard product people will experience.

If you read my article on the home page about What Cruise Line is Best for Me, you'll find I enjoy Celebrity, and hold it high regard for the strengths it has... but we shouldn't make it out to be more than it is.


I don't reckon hat I am misrepresenting Celebrity. I have observed a lot more passengers who overdressed than who underdressed, especially on "casual" and "informal" evenings, in seven cruises to date on that line. For example, it's quite common to see men dressed in business suits on "informal" evenings even though the published standard states that one should wear a sport shirt, slacks, and a sport jacket and that a necktie is optional. I have also seen a lot of ladies wearing cocktail dresses on "informal" evenings that would have been quite appropriate for "formal" evenings.

BTW, I'm not advocating that anybody should follow this trend. The standard of dress published by the cruise line is quite acceptable, and is what most passengers actually wear.

Norm.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 02:56 PM
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Rev--As you can see from my cruise list above, we were on Galaxy a year ago Feb., when we sat next to the grubs in the theater. I fully expected them to be ousted, but no staff member said a word or even approached them. So in Jan. we are not going to stay in formalwear after dinner. (After retooling my memory banks, I realized we actually have never challenged the Celebrity wardrobe police, but I feel brave enough to do it next time.) It's a different ship, but I figure if cut-offs and sandals are allowed to see the show we should be OK in our smart casual, but more comfortable, after-dinner duds. I should've said "they won't" instead of "they can't" because money talks. Yes, yes, I know the dyed-in-the-wool Celebs are gasping at the concept, but it's time to join the real world. I'm not advocatiing doing away with formal nights, just not requiring it for the whole evening. Believe me it's not the end of the world.
Have you ever seen anyone banned from public areas just because they were not in formalwear on formal nights? I'm not talking about people in grubs, like we saw, just casual dress. Can you picture the absolute mutiny that would eventually ensue if that happened, considering all the people who eat in the buffet on formal nights?
No show, casino, lounges, piano bar, dance venues--just go back to your room and watch TV or go to bed early? I think not.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 06:21 PM
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.Norm,I am in agreement totally with yiur comments and I would be more than happy if all the cruise lines would at least enforce the dress code in the dining room and also no cut off tee shirts at breakfest and lunch where a hairy armpit is not my cup of tea and this is my main reason for eating there almost everytime to avoid this type of rednecktoAt least Celebrity and Holland are making the effort and on Carnival they are affraid of their rating at cruise end and this comment is from a reliable source.Am afraid the code after dinner in the long run will be a thing of the past Inmy opinion the cruisers on Holland will follow the written the best of the mainline cruises.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 07:41 PM
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Hi kmm44,

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmm44
If you're basing your opinion that Celebrity is not for you just on posts on this site, you are obviously getting the wrong message.
No, I'm not basing my opinion just on posts here. I visit other cruise sites and have a very good TA who knows what we like.

Quote:
Originally Posted by I

... and when I read that someone want's a "laid back, nonformal" cruise, I give my opinion !
Norm, "nonformal" is the operative word in my sentence !
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Old September 20th, 2006, 08:55 PM
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kmm44,

As you can see from my cruise list above, we were on Galaxy a year ago Feb., when we sat next to the grubs in the theater. I fully expected them to be ousted, but no staff member said a word or even approached them. So in Jan. we are not going to stay in formalwear after dinner. (oldface added)

Celebrity made a very clear change in policy with regard to dress codes between my cruise to Alaska aboard GTS Summit (July 2005) and my second trans-Atlantic cruise aboard MV Galaxy (October 2005).

>> 1. On the first day of the cruise, "Celebrity Today" now states explicity that prescribed dress is required (rather than "suggested") in the dining room and in the theater.

>> 2. The maitre d'hotel and assistant maitres d'hotel were actively enforcing the prescribed dress in the dining room. I saw them turn several passengers away.

>> 3. On the "formal" evenings, there were several members of the staff greeting passengers at each entrance to the theater and turning away those who were not wearing "formal" attire.

I noticed the same thing on my most recent cruise, which was to the Mexican Riviera aboard MV Mercury (February 2006).

But I guess you know better than I do....

I'm not advocatiing doing away with formal nights, just not requiring it for the whole evening.

If you don't want to stay dressed for the whole evening, you are free go on a line that does not require it. I don't expect every line to conform to my preferences, and I hope that you don't xxpect every line to conform to your preferences. There are plenty of options for everybody.

Note, BTW, that the cruise line provides branding -- I know what to expect on Celebrity, or Princess, or any other line because each line's policies are consistent from ship to ship. Thus, I know that I'm getting a "dressy" cruise when I book on Celebrity. If you don't want a "dressy" cruise, Celebrity is not an appropriate choice of cruise line -- but that's no problem. Just book on Royal Caribbean International or Carnival Cruises or Norwegian Cruise line, where you know exactly what you are getting, instead.

Have you ever seen anyone banned from public areas just because they were not in formalwear on formal nights?

Yes. See above.

I'm not talking about people in grubs, like we saw, just casual dress. Can you picture the absolute mutiny that would eventually ensue if that happened, considering all the people who eat in the buffet on formal nights?

Celebrity's buffet is not open for dinner. There is "alternative casual dining" in the buffet area, but it has full table service with limited menus (not the same as the dining room) and a charge of $3.50 per passenger (which is basically a gratuity for the server). The capacity is also very limited, so reservations are very strongly suggested.

And you apparently are oblivious to the mutiny that has already taken place over Celebrity's past failure to deal with imbeciles who failed to conform to the dress code. The line obvoiusly instituted the changes in policy that I described above in response to passenger demand.

Norm.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old September 21st, 2006, 11:15 PM
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Whoa! Get a grip! It's obviously time to stop beating this dead horse, especially when you stoop to name calling. Take several deep breaths. Maybe a glass of wine would help. Trust me--the sky is not falling.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old September 22nd, 2006, 09:57 PM
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kmm44,

... especially when you stoop to name calling.

Where?

Norm.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old September 23rd, 2006, 11:11 AM
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Evidently, anyone who doesn't strictly toe the line is an "imbecile". So be it.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old September 23rd, 2006, 07:18 PM
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We have sailed a number of times on both & enjoy both for different reasons.-- Food quality, & presentation is much better on Celeb, service a much higher caliber & the general cruise experience finer. Also a more dressy group in general. There will never be rap music playing in the public area on Celeb as we had on our Brilliance cruise & in general there will be fewer childen, depending on the time of yr you cruise. Royal will be more lively, more informal, PA announcements, games at the pool,
( I love the horse races) etc....Nothing can beat the Centrum & open feel on Royal ships. Entertainment on both are mediocre unless you get a lucky week! So try it & compare for yourself but you will feel & see the difference. Is one better for you --that's for you to decide!
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old September 24th, 2006, 12:04 PM
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Default THANKS

Again, its been such an experience just reading the comments about the cruise lines. Really do appreciate it, and will take it all into consideration.
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