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Old November 25th, 2006, 06:00 AM
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Default Celebrity vs. Princess - My View

We just returned from a 7 day cruise aboard Crown Princess, our first Princess cruise after 13 cruises on Celebrity. I thought that I would try to give some comparisons or differences between the 2 lines. I realize that it is a little unfair to compare the two after only one cruise on Princess but I will try to be objective as I can. Please remember that these are only MY views & others may disagree.

First a little background about us. We are 62 & 63 years old & try to cruise twice per year. Things we look for on a cruise are good service, good food, clean ships & enjoyable entertainment. While we haven’t tried RCI & Carnival, I don’t perceive them as being what we look for in a cruise.
We enjoy dancing & our port days are usually spent at the beach. We rarely take ship excursions & don’t have to be “on the go? 24/7.

We took this cruise with our 8 year old grandson, so there were many ship’s facilities that we did not make use of because we chose to spend most our time with him.

Here are some of our observations:

Service: Overall, I would say that the service is comparable. We found cabin service & room service the same on Princess as we have come to expect from Celebrity.
We did personal choice dining in the Da Vinci Restaurant because we felt it would be better suited for us with our grandson. We did not try the specialty restaurants. I liked being able to dine when we were ready, but also enjoy having the same waiter & dining companions. Most of our waiters on the Crown were efficient & friendly. I think I prefer traditional dining, so maybe next time.

Entertainment: IMO, Princess clearly wins over Celebrity. There is much more going on in the evening than on X. There was a lot of entertainment that we would have liked to seen, but weren’t able to because of our grandson. What we did see; the comedians, a ventriloquist, a magician, & 2 “body balancers? who did things that defy gravity, were very good. There were always a number of venues available every night. Movies Under The Stars (MUTS): We enjoyed it, but it was a little loud & the accoustics make it hard to understand sometimes. If you don’t like it, there are alternative pools to use. Our grandson loved it.
We also felt that the hot tubs on Celebrity were more powerful than on the Crown.

Food: Celebrity wins here for us, even though we think that X’s food is slipping somewhat. What is with the “small plate? “large plate? on Princess? It seems that all the soups, appetizer, & salads are just bunched together on the menu. Soups were limited, & the ones we had we found so so.
We found the entrees good, but did not find one that jumped out for us. We also thought that the desserts were nothing special, just OK. X has better bread sticks, but Princess has far better rolls.
The buffets were comparable, with the standard choices, although I’ve never seen meat loaf, macaroni salad, or tuna salad served on X. I’ve seen complaints about the layout on Horizon Court, but I think that the way Princess has it laid out makes for a better flow than on Celebrity as you are able to skip what you don’t want & not file along. We enjoyed the pizza on both lines; X has crispier crust; Princess thinner crust & cheesier. Pizza is very subjective.

Cabins: We had a balcony stateroom on Baja Deck. The size was similar to most of the rooms we’ve had on X, but really not efficiently laid out. My wife said that they needed a woman to design them. The shower is the smallest since our Meridian cruise, definitely not for sharing a shower! There is kind of a walk-in closet with some shelves that also house the safe. There were many more hangars than the three of us could use, but not nearly not enough drawers for storage The room had a refrigerator (not stocked) which housed the ice bucket, but the frige is enclosed in a cabinet that has a chair in front of it. In order to get in the frige, you must move the chair, open the cabinet, & open the frige. Very clumsy.

Embarkation: Similar between the two lines. We arrived at just before noon & were in our stateroom by 12:30. Disembarkation was not as smooth. We waited in the theater from 8;30 & gor off the ship at 12:30! They started disembarking at 8:15 & there was about an hour around 9AM that no one was called. I don’t think this was the fault of Princess, but customs; however, it would have been nice to be told something.

Other Observations: I think X does some little things that Princess doesn’t; like the welcome champagne, I know it’s cheap, but a nice touch.
Escorts passengers to rooms.
Supplies trays in buffet & sometimes offers to carry them to your table.
Supplies towels by the pool - you don’t have to bring them from your room.
Amenities in bathroom; Q-tips, shower caps, beach bag in room.
Cold towels when returning to ship.
Free sorbet by the pool.
X has interactive TV where you can check your $ charges to date at any time.
Fewer announcements on X. Two or three days we were awoken to announcements at 7:10 AM
Free ice cream - not so on Princess

Princess plus’s: While no interactive TV, there are more channel choices with better selections.
Chair hogs; never had a problem getting a chair by the pool.
Much more lenient with soda card. My wife A grandson ordered soda from the same card with no questions asked.
Future cruise program; booking onboard. For $200 down you can prebooke with cabin credit, depending on length, & have 4 yrs’ to decide on a cruise. Can also invite others who get tha same perk.
The future cruise area is stocked with tons of brochures. On X it seems that they are rationed, like they really don’t want you to take one.
Better hair dryers, just ask my wife.


Bottom line, & I apologize if I went on too long, I would (& did) book again with Princess, but I think that Celebrity remains our line of choice. They just seem to be making it harder to stay with because of some of their policies and the fact that there are less & less opportunities to cruise X to the Caribbean, plus they seem to have priced us out of the Bermuda market with their outrageous rates to Bermuda on Journey.
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Old November 25th, 2006, 10:59 AM
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Thank you so much for posting your comparisions. I appreciate your opinions. I believe this will be helpful to many folks out there.
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Old December 26th, 2006, 09:58 PM
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I've cruised before with RCI (Legend, Voyager) and Princess (Star Princess), and will debut in Celebrity next Saturday aboard the Infinity... But most of your comparisons regarding some small details that lack on Princess and are kept by Celebrity are the same ones that I had when I compared Princess with RCI... What I would add is that in our Mediterranean cruise, we sailed away from the port of calls really early (the latest one at 5 pm from Napoli sailing to Rome, for example - very close distance)... I felt like they really wanted everybody on board consuming, gambling, drinking, etc. And what about those days at sea, with some craft activities that you needed to pay some 10 or 20 dollars for the ceramic piece you would learn how to paint... It's not the price itself, but the attitude... Be back on the 14th of January with my impressions on Celebrity. Best regards!
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 06:58 PM
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W have done 3 Celebrity and Crown Princess this past summer and probably Galaxy this summer in Mediterranean...we prefer Celebrity on food and service...the Crown Princess was beautiful but we had issues with the buffets; closing before 2:30(so if you came on board from shore) it was difficult to find lunch...all in all, I don't think you would have a bad time on either...but we look for Celebrity and will NOT do Carnival...
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 10:24 PM
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Why would you not go on Carnival? Many years ago I swore off Carnival for any number of reasons and a couple of years ago we went on one of their newer ships and what a change with some of the best dining in their alternative restaurant to include stone crabs a rare delicacy.A very nice trio played during dinner and the buffet equal or better than either Celebrity or Holland and for the record we have 110 days on Holland and numerous cruises on Celebrity.In addition the shows were outstanding My point is that Carnival has done a 360 from the old days and we have booked a 49 day trip on the currently building Splendor in Jan arround South America and the other chat site shows 183 already booked on this trip.These are very seasoned cruisers with numerous lines for comparison
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 09:56 AM
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Richsea, I agree with pretty much all your Princess/Celebrity comparisons. We have done 4 X's, 2 Princess and looking forward to X #5 in Feb. We are in out late 60's, also love beach days and do very few ship excursions. However, we disagree strongly on one point-the buffet! Unless it's a different layout from the Sea or the Sun, we found it to be a really bad bottleneck-if you forget anything (butter, condiments, cream)you are stuck fighting your way back throught the masses. Unless you go all the way around and start over! And having the salad bar on an island in the middle doesn't help. And if you really want to nitpick, last Mar. on the Sea my husband asked for tomato juice with his lunch in the dining room, only to be told that it was a bar item and there would be an extra charge. Puleese!!!
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Old December 9th, 2007, 11:57 AM
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I thought your comparisons of the the two cruiselines was very fair. We tend to favor Princess over X but again thats our opinion. Your review is what makes these boards useful particularly to new cruisers. Nice job !
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