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Old January 13th, 2010, 02:31 PM
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Unhappy Celebrity Policy re Priests

Is anyone upset over the change that Celebrity and RCCL have made to their policy regarding Catholic Priest onboard for Mass? There will no longer be priest on aboard to say Mass except Easter and Christmas sailings. effective January 2010.
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Old January 13th, 2010, 03:33 PM
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That is the rumor but there has been nothing official stated by the cruiseline. Some have come back from cruises and said there is no change...

Don
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Old January 13th, 2010, 04:09 PM
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Hello Don. It's official. I received an e-mail from Celebrity verifying that this new policy started January 2010.

It's a "canned" response.

Thank you for your email. We apologize for the delay in our response.

Out of respect for our guests of all religious faiths, Celebrity has chosen to align the religious services provided for Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Interdenominational faiths effective January 4, 2010. Roman Catholic Priests, Protestant Ministers and Jewish Rabbis or Cantors will be provided and official services will be conducted for the major High Holy Holidays of each respective faith (additional information regarding major holidays will be made available shortly). Daily and weekly scheduling of any religious services will no longer be offered on an official basis (with the exception of the High Holy Holidays). Guests interested in organizing or volunteering their services are welcome to inquire with the Guest Services Desk and/or the Groups Bulletin Board onboard and the Celebrity shipboard team will do their best to accommodate them.
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Old January 13th, 2010, 04:55 PM
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I called Celebrity and was told the same. This is the path they are taking now, and not only with services of faith, but with groups as well. Dedicated groups, such as "Friends of Dorothy" or most other social networkings will no longer be advertised in, "Celebrity Today".

It seems to me that in attempting to provide equanimity for all (faiths, groups, etc), their end is not justifying the means. Maybe it's just that change is difficult? I would prefer to leave things as they were - status quo.
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Old January 13th, 2010, 06:13 PM
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As is common these days, I'd not be surprised to learn that complaints from members of the "I Need A Life Foundation" <my name for them> are at least part of the reason. I can easily hear "Why are you favoring Catholics? If you have priests then you need to have representatives for all sects and religions on all your cruises or we'll sue." You can't win that one, so you homogenize everything to appease.
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Old January 13th, 2010, 07:39 PM
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I think it's too bad for the people who want to have a continuation of their religeous practices while on vacation....a sad sign of the times;(
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Old January 14th, 2010, 09:49 AM
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This is just another sign of the times. One of the underlying reasons I'm sure is also the lack of clergy, especially Catholic Priests. I am retired military and the Army (as well as others) doesn't have enough chaplins of any creed to fill all the vacancies that exist. Once we had a Southern Baptist trying to arrange and conduct Jewish High Holiday services for deployed troops
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Old January 14th, 2010, 11:32 AM
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Sounds like Political Correctness (aka censorship) has struck the cruiselines...

Don
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Old January 19th, 2010, 07:11 PM
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pioner17,

Quote:
Originally Posted by You View Post
This is just another sign of the times. One of the underlying reasons I'm sure is also the lack of clergy, especially Catholic Priests.
That was seldom a problem. The previous arrangement was basically a "working vacation" in which the priest travelled as a guest of the line in exchange for providing services and being "on call" to minister to anybody taken ill or dealing with bereavement during the cruise. The Catholic Maritime Apostleship, Stella Maris, coordinated scheduling, so it was very little work for the cruise line. And with cruise vacations growing rapidly in popularity, there was no shortage of volunteers.

Norm.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev22:17 View Post
pioner17,



That was seldom a problem. The previous arrangement was basically a "working vacation" in which the priest travelled as a guest of the line in exchange for providing services and being "on call" to minister to anybody taken ill or dealing with bereavement during the cruise. The Catholic Maritime Apostleship, Stella Maris, coordinated scheduling, so it was very little work for the cruise line. And with cruise vacations growing rapidly in popularity, there was no shortage of volunteers.

Norm.
It matters not to me. I'm not religious however I believe you have have hit the real reason - for every 7 day cruise they are giving what boils down to a free cruise for what, a couple of hours work.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 08:19 PM
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As a frequent cruiser and a Catholic, I'm upset to hear that I can't attend weekly Mass while on a Celebrity cruise. Just because I'm on vacation doesn't mean that I'm on vacation from my religion and faith. Also, with 3000 people plus on a vessel, I like the idea of a man of God on the ship. It sort of gives me comfort.

In all the cruises I've been on, I've never seen a priest walking around with his collar on. So, for all you people who may have a phobia, unless you attend Mass, you'd never know they were priests.

I've been on a number of cruises where passengers have died. Last Rites is a sacrament that's just as important to a Catholic as Baptism. Also, I'm sure the priest provided comfort to those traveling with the deceased whether they were Catholic or not. A priest ministers to anyone and everyone who needs/wants it, not just to Catholics. For people who don't believe that, they are narrow-minded.

This "political correctness" is getting a bit out of hand. Every cruise I have been on has had a Catholic Mass, Sabbath Services, Non-demoninational services, Friends of Bill W and Friends of Dorothy meetings. Equal time for everyone! My employer is required to provide appropriate time and space for Muslims to pray each day and lactating mothers to pump. As an employee, you can't say anything about this.

People get a life! What else are you going to complain about? Do you complain about how Middle Eastern men and women dress while on a ship? Or that large men and women wear bathing suits? Or that handicapped individuals are allowed to cruise?

So, why do priests being on board bother some?
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Old February 16th, 2010, 09:08 PM
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Because they are travelling for free when everyone else is paying??
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Celebrity Constellation - March 17 followed by Celebrity Reflection - March 22

44 cruises - too many to list however cruiselines are in no particular order:

Azamara
Uniworld
RCL
Princess
NCL
HAL
Cunard
Celebrity
and some unknown tub

Yes, I'm a Royal Chump and proud of it.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 01:47 AM
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"Because they are travelling for free when everyone else is paying??"

Interesting. I'm an Angican priest, and I'll wear my clericals while on cruise, especially at the formal occasions. Occasionally, I'll venture about out of uniform!

But, I'm a paying customer. It's going to feel odd. Tomorrow I lead our parish in Ash Wednesday and the imposition of ashes. Two days later, I depart for a cruise! If that's not an incongruous Lent, I don't know what is!

But, seriously, if I knew there were interested folks, I'd happily volunteer to lead Morning or Evening prayer. Celebrating a Eucharist wouldn't be very difficult. All it would take is a space to conduct the service and persons interested in participating. Is that so hard to pull together.

This cruise in four days is my first, and I'm not taking it to look for ministerial opportunities. But, as other posters above have noted, the opportunities for ministry are not lacking on a cruise ship, and I'm not at all surprised to hear this.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 07:51 PM
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Rivilan, I think that if you volunteer your services they will post the info in the cruise line daily paper. (Then again, considering what I've read, maybe not ). If they do, you might find that besides Anglican's, other Christian's might show up. (JMHO)

I hope you and your DW (dear wife) have a wonderful cruise and that you will post a review when you return.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vacaqn View Post
As a frequent cruiser and a Catholic, I'm upset to hear that I can't attend weekly Mass while on a Celebrity cruise. Just because I'm on vacation doesn't mean that I'm on vacation from my religion and faith. Also, with 3000 people plus on a vessel, I like the idea of a man of God on the ship. It sort of gives me comfort.

In all the cruises I've been on, I've never seen a priest walking around with his collar on. So, for all you people who may have a phobia, unless you attend Mass, you'd never know they were priests.

I've been on a number of cruises where passengers have died. Last Rites is a sacrament that's just as important to a Catholic as Baptism. Also, I'm sure the priest provided comfort to those traveling with the deceased whether they were Catholic or not. A priest ministers to anyone and everyone who needs/wants it, not just to Catholics. For people who don't believe that, they are narrow-minded.

This "political correctness" is getting a bit out of hand. Every cruise I have been on has had a Catholic Mass, Sabbath Services, Non-demoninational services, Friends of Bill W and Friends of Dorothy meetings. Equal time for everyone! My employer is required to provide appropriate time and space for Muslims to pray each day and lactating mothers to pump. As an employee, you can't say anything about this.

People get a life! What else are you going to complain about? Do you complain about how Middle Eastern men and women dress while on a ship? Or that large men and women wear bathing suits? Or that handicapped individuals are allowed to cruise?

So, why do priests being on board bother some?
Priests onboard or rabbis or any other person of the cloth do not bother us while onboard. I think you need to calm down and read properly. Celebrity used to supply a free cruise to a person who would hold Sunday services and be available for any other occassion where a religious person was needed. Now they have decided they are not going to provide a free cruise anymore.

The cruiseline has not said it will forbid services onboard. I'm more than sure they will provide the area and help needed if a priest or any other religous person wants to hold a service.

All your other equations are silly. No one is complaining - it's a $$ decision made by the cruiselines.
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Celebrity Constellation - March 17 followed by Celebrity Reflection - March 22

44 cruises - too many to list however cruiselines are in no particular order:

Azamara
Uniworld
RCL
Princess
NCL
HAL
Cunard
Celebrity
and some unknown tub

Yes, I'm a Royal Chump and proud of it.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 04:45 PM
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Default Political InCorrectness and to a lesser degree, economics

Who cares what it costs for a room on a cruise ship? Virtually every seat on the plane that will take you to get to your cruise will have different fares. Cruise ships are similar. There are the cabin fares and the comps and discounts making many of the costs paid to occupy a room different among many passengers. Cruise lines are in business to provide service. Eliminating Catholic priests from cruises has taken away a service that was likely very popular.

It was done for 2 reasons: 1) Political Correctness gone wrong. Some individuals or groups complained that there was clergy on board who was Catholic and other religions were not being served. Celebrity would have to bring in a dozen or more additional clergy to address the other religions needs. It was simple for Celebrity and they chose to appease a small group of complainers to satisfy them while leaving Catholics without a priest.

2) Economics. Priests would volunteer for a vacation and Celebrity would provide them with a single room. The cost of this cabin was negligible as it would be easy to double them up with a crew member or to cut a single crew member to make room, thus saving a salary too.

In the end, the decision was mostly political correctness gone too far. There are a lot of cruise choices out there and I will likely choose another cruise line who will have a priest on board for my next cruise.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 06:26 PM
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The owners of the cruiseline care that's who. If it is so important to you then I would suggest you offer to pay for a priest on your cruise and problem solved.

There is usually a rabbi onboard and they pay their own way. He holds services on Saturday.

It is not political correctness gone too far. It is a sound financial decision. How in heavens name would you know they would dismiss a crew member just to have a priest onboard. That sounds very silly to me.

Like all religous issues these days, Cathloics are no different than any other religion. Why do you feel you, as a Catholic should have special treatment?
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Celebrity Constellation - March 17 followed by Celebrity Reflection - March 22

44 cruises - too many to list however cruiselines are in no particular order:

Azamara
Uniworld
RCL
Princess
NCL
HAL
Cunard
Celebrity
and some unknown tub

Yes, I'm a Royal Chump and proud of it.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ballawana13 View Post
Who cares what it costs for a room on a cruise ship? Virtually every seat on the plane that will take you to get to your cruise will have different fares. Cruise ships are similar. There are the cabin fares and the comps and discounts making many of the costs paid to occupy a room different among many passengers. Cruise lines are in business to provide service. Eliminating Catholic priests from cruises has taken away a service that was likely very popular.

It was done for 2 reasons: 1) Political Correctness gone wrong. Some individuals or groups complained that there was clergy on board who was Catholic and other religions were not being served. Celebrity would have to bring in a dozen or more additional clergy to address the other religions needs. It was simple for Celebrity and they chose to appease a small group of complainers to satisfy them while leaving Catholics without a priest.

2) Economics. Priests would volunteer for a vacation and Celebrity would provide them with a single room. The cost of this cabin was negligible as it would be easy to double them up with a crew member or to cut a single crew member to make room, thus saving a salary too.

In the end, the decision was mostly political correctness gone too far. There are a lot of cruise choices out there and I will likely choose another cruise line who will have a priest on board for my next cruise.
Thank you. Very eloquently put.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 06:13 PM
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felix_the_cat,

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It matters not to me. I'm not religious however I believe you have have hit the real reason - for every 7 day cruise they are giving what boils down to a free cruise for what, a couple of hours work.
It was definitely more than "a couple hours work" for the chaplain. His duties included daily mass for Catholic passengers (about 3/4 hour plus preparation, so figure a couple hours), masses at other times for the crews (again, a couple hours each several times per week if not daily), and an interdenominational Christian service on Sundays (another couple hours), plus being on call to celebrate the Sacrament of the Sick with any Christian passengers or crew taken ill or seriously injured, to console the companions of any passengers who die during the cruise, and to perform other services as requested. When you add it all up, it probably averaged to about three or four hours per day.

Norm.
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Old March 14th, 2010, 11:25 AM
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Well said. Amen.
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