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Old September 21st, 2012, 11:48 AM
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Default Honeymoon help (Celebrity/Princess)

Hello all,

I am going on an Alaskan cruise for my honey moon in August 2013. I have it narrowed down to the Celebrity Solistice and the Golden Princess. I had been considering the Rhapsody by Royal Caribbean but I think I can safely rule that out.

From reading their sites I still can't figure out a few things.

Does celebrity have karaoke? Piano bars playing classic rock kind of stuff?

Does Princess have those things?

I think I'm inclined to prefer Celebrity, but I want to make sure there is some decent nightlife for a young 30s couple.

Also, If we select a traditional seating style, do they seat you with people within your own demographic or is there no rhyme and reason to how they assign seats?

Thanks a ton for any input!!

David
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Old September 21st, 2012, 04:35 PM
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What are the itinaries on those two ships and do you get a glacier stop with each?? Are you cruising from Seattle or Vancouver....I've cruised both Celebrity and Princess in Alaska and you really need to do your homework where ports and routes are concerned....I loved both Alaska cruises, but would prefer an inside passage from Vancouver when I do it again...
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Old September 21st, 2012, 08:40 PM
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Default Alaska

Hi, David:

In general, I recommend Celebrity. However, for Alaska, I recommend
Princess (because they have their own lodges and dome cars on the train...
which are awesome environmentally). Take a cruise-tour. It costs more than
just the Inside Passage...but you'll never forget your trip!
SusieStone

Quote:
Originally Posted by dgcrell View Post
Hello all,

I am going on an Alaskan cruise for my honey moon in August 2013. I have it narrowed down to the Celebrity Solistice and the Golden Princess. I had been considering the Rhapsody by Royal Caribbean but I think I can safely rule that out.

From reading their sites I still can't figure out a few things.

Does celebrity have karaoke? Piano bars playing classic rock kind of stuff?

Does Princess have those things?

I think I'm inclined to prefer Celebrity, but I want to make sure there is some decent nightlife for a young 30s couple.

Also, If we select a traditional seating style, do they seat you with people within your own demographic or is there no rhyme and reason to how they assign seats?

Thanks a ton for any input!!

David
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Old September 21st, 2012, 10:45 PM
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Am a big fan of celebrity however lived in alaska for 18 years and can say princess is the line of choice as they have total control of their passengers with their own lodges and train car for trips etc.they were the first and do an excellent job of providing a first class experience on an alaskan tour.they were also the first to offer extended tours which are in addition to the cruise portion.their lodges are first class.
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Old September 22nd, 2012, 06:06 AM
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Both the Princess and Celebrity have the same stops. Both start from Seattle. So it seems to me I'm really just shopping the ship itself. They both even cost about the same (close enough to not be an issue)

I've read of some ships have piano bars where the crowd gets into it and sings along. That sounds fun.

And how is the Celebrity dress code in actuality? No jeans to dinner, I get that. But after dinner, can I put some jeans on and explore the ship?
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Old September 22nd, 2012, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgcrell View Post
Both the Princess and Celebrity have the same stops. Both start from Seattle. So it seems to me I'm really just shopping the ship itself. They both even cost about the same (close enough to not be an issue)

I've read of some ships have piano bars where the crowd gets into it and sings along. That sounds fun.

And how is the Celebrity dress code in actuality? No jeans to dinner, I get that. But after dinner, can I put some jeans on and explore the ship?
Jeans are allowed at dinner on Celebrity except for the formal nights. The prohibition against jeans was removed about a year and a half ago. No problem wearing jeans throughout the ship as the dress codes only apply to the various dining rooms.

Don
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Old September 22nd, 2012, 11:09 AM
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What ships are you comparing? I you looking at a balcony cabin?
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Old September 22nd, 2012, 12:45 PM
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When cruising Alaska, it's really tough to beat Holland America. They've been doing it longer than everyone else and have the biggest presence. We spent 2 weeks with them doing a cruisetour and they own all their own hotels and lodges, so the quality is very good throughout.

Princess has the second biggest presence in Alaska and are very good as well.

Celebrity doesn't have as big a presence, but they are definitely very good.

When cruising, our personal favorite is Celebrity because they are more upscale, food is outstanding, ships are very nice, and the service is wonderful. However, they do tend to attract an older crowd, so their cruises can be more sedate than Princess.

Holland America also attracts an older crowd.

If you don't mind an older crowd, of the two choices you're considering, I would suggest Celebrity. If you want a younger crowd, then I would suggest Princess.

However, as was mentioned, one of the biggest considerations may be the itinerary. For example, some go to the glaciers, some do not. So if you definitely want to see one of the two major glaciers (Glacier Bay or Hubbard Glacier), then the itinerary may make the decision for you.

Also, if you have the time and money you may want to look at a cruisetour instead of just a cruise. It's an awesome way to get into the interior of Alaska so you can really see all that it has to offer.

But no matter what you decide, you'll have a wonderful time because Alaska is amazing and definitely a cruise you have to do at least once in your life.

Pete
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Old September 22nd, 2012, 08:38 PM
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We loved Celebrity in Alaska. My only "problem" with them is no Glacier Bay. Hubbard Glacier is great but we loved Glacier Bay. Princess has ships that go to Glacier bay however the original poster said the itineraries were exactly the same so the Princess cruise they chose must not go to Glacier bay.
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Old September 22nd, 2012, 11:27 PM
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I'm mainly looking at the Celebrity Solstice and the Golden Princess.

The ports of call are the same on both ships. I have to leave from Seattle. Both ships are going the same route.

We are a young 30s couple. I'd like to have some decent night life. Doesn't have to be extraordinary, but something.

I see Celebrity has a piano bar. Does anyone know if it is the sort where people are encouraged to sing along? Does the Golden Princess have this?

What about comedy shows? Do both ships have this?

Which ship has better food?

Also, I have heard that the ship will try and seat people of a similar demographic together in the main dining room. Is this true?

Thanks to all of you. The companies' websites aren't clear on these issues and the couple of travel agents I've met with aren't too good.

I cannot do a cruisetour. I don't have the time or money. Those are great suggestions though. When I'm a little older and have more coin (and haven't just spent it on a wedding and new home haha) I will do one of those.

Last edited by dgcrell; September 22nd, 2012 at 11:40 PM.
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 02:39 PM
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Keep in mind as with any profession, not all travel agents are created equal. Plus, when booking a cruise, you really should be talking to a Cruise Specialist. Unfortunately, alot of agents will claim to know about cruising, but you'll find they either haven't been on any or have only been on a couple. But it's still better to book with an agent than booking with the cruise line or an online site.

As for the choice of these two ships; that's really a tough one because I'm going to show my prejudice on the matter. Between the two, there is absolutely no doubt about it - the Celebrity Solstice-class ships are my overall favorite. We've been on 43 cruises, including 41 ocean cruises and we like the Solstice-class ships of all of these cruises. The food is outstanding, the ships are great, and the service is wonderful.

However, as I mentioned earlier, Celebrity draws an older crowd. So it's rather sedate and nightlife can sometimes be a bit lacking for those who are more active.

While I know you would absolutely love Celebrity, because of your age and what you are looking for in a cruise, I feel you'd find Princess very much to your liking. While the food is not quite up to Celebrity's quality, it's still very good. The ships are great for a younger crowd and the crew has always been wonderful on the many Princess cruises we've been on. Our children will testify as to how good Princess is - they all talk about our last family and friends cruise, and the wonderful time they had. (They were 27, 23, and 21 at the time.) The two things they really enjoyed were the fact all the swimming pools are fresh water (unlike many cruise lines) and the night clubs stayed open late. In fact, one night they were partying with the ship's magician, cruise director, assistant cruise director, one of the head chefs, the ship's photographer, and a bunch of other crew. When they went to close the nightclub at 2:00am, our little group of party people talked them into to leaving the club open for another hour.

And yes, most cruise lines will try to seat people of similar demographics together. Best advice on this is either to select a large table for dinner or select anytime dining. With anytime dining you can decide to go to dinner whenever you want and you'll be sitting with different people every night.

Pete
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 04:21 PM
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Thanks for the good response.

Ya know, as I read about the Royal Caribbean Rhapsody and Carnival Miracle I have some interest in those ships. They sound fun.

The only cruise I've been on was through Costa. It left a rather mediocre taste in my mouth. I had some fun, but I wasn't impressed with much. The food was just flat out bad. The ship itself was gorgeous though. Was on the Mediterrana.

I'm under the impression royal and carnival will be similar to Costa yes?
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 06:11 PM
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We were on the Costa Atlantica, plus we've been on numerous Carnival ships and alot of RCCL ships. Personally, I would prefer Princess. But opinions are like bellybuttons; everyone has one.

Pete
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 06:47 PM
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We all have our likes and dislikes which makes these forums fun I think. For example, you think that nightlife is important to you where the most important thing for us is scenery and itinerary. All the cruises you seem to be looking at go to Tracy arm. Well, here's my bias. Find a ship that goes to Glacier bay or Hubbard. Not that Tracy Arm's bad, just the other locations are better. You might want to look at the Norwegian Pearl from Seattle. Probably a younger crowd than Celebrity. HAL and Celebrity seem to have older crowds but in Alaska we found that not as obvious. We sailed Alaska on HAL, Celebrity, NCL, and loved all 3 (once from Seattle). Just continue to do your homework, listen to our tips and hints, and choose what you feel is best for you. You'll enjoy the honeymoon for sure. It's wonderful in Alaska.
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Old September 23rd, 2012, 08:14 PM
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I've been on both Celebrity and Princess, though only one of each. Both had piano bars, though no one sang along on the Princess one. I think that had more to do with the particular pianist than the ship. My experience is that the HAL piano bars are the best.

Both ships carry enough passengers so that you will be able to find a reasonable number of people in your own age group. Just go to the things that appeal to you and chances are, they'll be there too. People on cruise ships are invariably friendly; you can probably pick out someone who looks about your same age and get acquainted as early as the sign-in, or in the cafeteria for lunch your first day.
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