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  #1 (permalink)  
Old August 29th, 2009, 03:39 PM
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Default Princess to Northern Europe vs Celebrity

We're looking at Princess Star (in and out of Cophenhagen) vs Celebrity Constellation (in and out of Amsterdam) for a cruise next August, Northern Europe. Has anyone been on either.
Also, which are the best veranda rooms on the Princess Star?
Thanks!!
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Old August 30th, 2009, 08:52 AM
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Default CONSTELLATION

Celebritys Constellation is a lovely s hip.. and we have been on it trans-atlantic last fall.. When I first saw their 9/09 cruise of Northern Europe t/a there was a 300 person wait list..it has since come down. .IMO Celebrity is definetely a step uo or two from Princess in service and excellence. If I hadn't already booked my fall t/a when cabins became available I definetely would have taken this cruise... For whatever reason the price on the offer I got for a CC level cabin was very high...but I have booked my next Celebrity cruise for next year already, the Equinox. Oh yes....we have booked the Equinox for 10/10 and to show you I'm not a stick in the mud.. our final payment was just made for the t/a of the NCL Gem t/a the end of November... I'm an equal opportunity cruiser...I'll try them all fir a lark.. but my heart belongs to Celebrity and their excellence..classy, but not stodgy,, cruisers who are much more sophisticated (not my words),, still have Oceana, Holland America, Regent and Silverseas..
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Old August 31st, 2009, 12:04 AM
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Hi Crew,

I have sailed both cruise lines many times and please let me offer my opinion of the two cruise lines. I have sailed most of the Princess ships, but have not sailed the Princess Star. That said, overall on all the Princess and Celebrity ships that I have sailed I would definitely give the nod, by a wide margin, to Princess over Celebrity. The Princess Star is newer than the Celebrity Constellation. On the plus side for the Constellation it is the only one of the four Celebrity Millennium class ships that has not had the recurring propulsion problems that have plagued the Celebrity Infinity, Millennium and Infinity, off and on, ever since their introduction. I was burned by one of these many Celebrity cruises and I know what they can do to ones' vacation when they do happen.

The service is good on either cruise line and actually just about the same. Sure, on a given cruise your room steward or dining room stewards could be a little better or worse on either cruise line but in reality the service is really about the same over all. IMHO Princess does have a slight edge in the food and food choices over Celebrity.

Where Princess pulls way ahead is the ship conditions and the reliability of their entire fleet of ships.

Hope some of this helps.

Debra
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Old August 31st, 2009, 12:33 AM
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Default CONSTELLATION

WELL, one thing is for sure. I did actually sail for 14 days t/a on the Constellation just last fall...and I can tell you of the Century, Galaxy and the Constellation.... the Constellation is our VERY favorite..period..no, ifs, ands or buts.. There is something about the Constellation that wraps it's arms around you when you stop on board that says "your home, including the signage..which on a ship for the first time is iimportant...We found the most incredible Room Steward..of all the ships I've cruised on for more than 20 years. IMHO our one cruise on Princess and from others who I have talked to Princess isnt the Princess of old...On Princess cruise in April I heard much grumbling...(yes from old time Princess people) and of course there are the die hard cruisers who refuse to hear anything negative about their beloved Princess..But our impression over two weeks is that there is no way Princess can even hold a candle to Celebrity..
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Old August 31st, 2009, 12:53 AM
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Default Constellation - Definitely

Hi-

Have you sailed either line before? I am curious if you're wanting to know more about the specific ship or line, as you'll hear some pretty subjective opinions, lol!

I've sailed both lines and can tell you right now, to stay clear away from Princess. Oh sure, the "Love Boat" theme is fun, and cutsie...yes they have laundromats (ugh) but the service? It isn't there. Trust me. There is not only a general feeling from the staff of, "I could give a hoot" to the overall "lower class" feeling. Some will yammer on and on about "mechanical difficulties" on every post they write, regarding Celebrity...but truth? Princess has their fair share of "mechanical difficulties" too! ! Every line does. One thing I was shocked over was how Princess nickel and dimes (charges for pizza, ice cream, juice...) are just the beginning. Not so on Celebrity.

Celebrity by far is a higher class than Princess IMHO. The star-service they provide EVERYONE (not just the black card holders lol) is amazing from the moment I step on until the morning I leave. In the 11 years I have sailed them have never experienced a mechanical problem and have only missed a handful of ports, and that was due to emergency evacuations and the ship having to turn around for the evacuee(s) to be air lifted.

I know it happens, as they say, "sh*t happens". I don't like it when people have a bad experience on any cruiseline though. But everyone has their own experience. I'm just sharing mine...and waiting for the argument from another poster, lol. Oh well...

The Constellation has received numerous awards. The food, service / staff and ambiance are wonderful. You can't go wrong.

Other than that...what about the ports? Are you leaning towards either itenerary?
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Old August 31st, 2009, 03:16 PM
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While we've never sailed the Star Princess, we have sailed Constellation & she is a lovely ship. Constellation is NOT older than the Star; in fact may even be a bit newer. As I recall, both were launched in 2002, Constellation in May & Star in February. Check the ratings of the 2 ships using the helpful "Rate Your Ship" readers poll results under "cruise Reviews" at the top of this page. It's a great tool to use when you haven't sailed on a ship. You didn't ask about other ships in the respective fleets, so I see no reason to bring them up.

In my experience, both cruise lines give similar experiences. We've found Celebrity food & service is better overall than Princess, while Princess generally has better entertainment, although Princess theater seats are cramped, while Celebrity thaeters have small cocktail tables & room for guest to get by in the row. Having said that, I don't think that either is bad in those areas. We greatly enjoy both lines, but I would say that Celebrity is our first choice.
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Old August 31st, 2009, 09:12 PM
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Default EXTRAS

That reminded of of my being shocked on the Princess when cruisers couldn't wait for the hour for the FREE ICE CREAM..On Celebrity there is an ice cream bar with at least a dozen toppings, flavors of ice cream and sorbets for FREE ... and my biggest gripe on Princess..they charged us for iced coffee at the buffet..I asked for two large glasses after a particularly hot and humid excursion and the man making the coffee was about to fill the glass with all milk and ice..until I reminded bim and he doubled the coffee beans he ground..jezz.. Parrot Pop thought it was chintzy of Princess and resented being "nickled and dimed" every time he turned around.. I do disagree about the seats in the theatre which are in tiers o Celebrity...whereas on the small Princess ship they were just a few tables and chairs...lounge/cabaret style.. and of course you had the same people every night reserving front row eeats..and not just one or two... a whole row...
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Old September 1st, 2009, 12:02 AM
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Hi Richsea,

Thanks for the heads-up on the age of the Constellation and the Star. With all the problems on those m-class ships, I could have sworn the Constellation was older than the Star. My apologies on that one. I forgot that the Constellation is the newest of the Millennium class ships for Celebrity. Thanks for the correction on that one. All four ships are supposed to be sister ships and yet the Constellation has not had one propulsion problem after it's inaugural cruise in 2002, while the other three Celebrity ships have had so many propulsion problems.

As for polls about ships they mean nothing to me as I can still remember when the Celebrity Galaxy, a few years ago, had gone far too long waiting for refurbishment and was sailing with an observation lounge with fogged windows for six years, retractable pool roofs that had been stuck for many years, and a ship that was just in a general bad state of repairs. In spite of all of this and a lot more, Conde Nast rated the Galaxy as the eighth best cruise ship in the premium cruise line class. It was kind of obvious to me how meaningless these kind of biased pools truly are.

For me, when choosing a cruise line, I will still pay attention to the main things about a cruise ship like conditions on board, reliability and reputation of a cruise line for fair treatment of passengers and just go with the flow when very petty things may not quite suit me. While some may want to quibble about small things, I will continue to make my choices on the issues that are important to me. Princess also offers me all of the things that I want, including great service, good food and entertainment, but as they say to each their own.

Debra
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Old September 1st, 2009, 02:41 PM
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Oh yes, "With all those problems on the M-class ships"...lol. That's exactly what I was referring to--with all respect, it seems one particular poster makes it a point to slam their one or two only experiences on Celebrity, at every opportunity.

Interesting that when asked for an opinion, inevitably some come charging to the rescue...just can't let someone have their own opinion. Isn't that what the board is for?

Mechanical problems happen on ALL ships. Sure you can waive a Celebrity list around to everyone and on all boards, but take a look at what color the kettle is, if you please.

Princess, yes PRINCESS has had their share too. Did I mention the Crown Princess? Hmmmm, how about in 2006 when she was departing out of Port Canaveral...as the 113 ton ship left her port, she swayed to the left, sending people flying everywhere! Remeber that story? Many passengers suffered bruises and fractures. As I recollect, it was a "steering" problem. That would fall under "mechanical", wouldn't you agree? Some say it was a "human error". Human error brings up an interesting point...seems this also happend on the Grand Princess! The ship was pulling out of port and tipped (heeled) to the side, creating an onslaught of law suits, scaring the hell out of passengers..."some saying it was the most frightening day of their life". So if these problems on Princess are "human error"...seems more training is in store?

Do you remember the Carnival Star Princess? She caught on fire in 2006 and one person died, many were injured.

Back to Princess...how about a couple of years back when the Sun Princess had problems with her thrusters? (falls under "mechanical problems"). The ship was several hours late leaving her embarkation port and had to have barges guide her / push her into every port of call.

How about the Caribbean Princess in June of last year? Do you recall how she had significant engine problems (mechanical issues) and ran late into most every single port? Princess chose to give $75 stateroom credits to all passengers because of the difficulty...

My point is...I am sure many passengers can share their own horror stories of mechanical problems on whatever cruiseline they were on...the bottom line I think is, it happens everywhere - not JUST on Celebrity. Princess is not immune to "all those mechanical problems"...
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Old September 1st, 2009, 04:19 PM
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Default TRAVEL AND LEISURE

WOW MERMAN... you forgot as for cruise lines the magazine Travel and Leisure lists Celebrity 5th or and Princess eight... surprising and I still can't get over it is that Disney, big old Disney is rated FOURTH.. We aren't talking about particular ships, but the entire cruise line.. The only change of plans I had with Celebrity was when they had to miss Casablanca because of unrest and substituted Cartegena, Spain... I've learned one thing.. each ship has its own personality and and when I heard Constellation people saying how many times they have cruised this particular ship for whatever reasons.. I'd like to be one of them..
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 12:35 AM
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Mermen,

Take a deep breath and calm down! I agree heartily that any cruise ship can have a ONE-TIME problem at any time. You forgot to mention a Princess ship running into Poundstone Rock up in Alaska a few years ago. I mean geez, the rock even had a name and they still hit it!! I also remember a Celebrity ship that was tied to the pier and still somehow the ship was thrown into full reverse and crashed into the cliff right behind it. I remember the captain of the Celebrity Mercury being hauled off the ship by authorities in 2006, drunk at the wheel just an hour before sailing time. These kinds of ONE-TIME problems can happen on any cruise line.

There is a huge difference in what I am talking about and the stories that you reffered to. This same Celebrity propulsion problem has happened now more than twenty times. Each time it happens the more than 1900 passengers on the ship miss ports until the problem is patched up by Celebrity and usually this results in the following cruise being cancelled. Now if someone can name any other cruise line on the face of the earth that has had the same exact problem more than twenty times I would love to hear about. As I pointed out in an earlier post, the Constellation is the only Celebrity ship in the Millennium class that does NOT seem to suffer from this problem.

I am not just mentioning this problem and the way that it has been handled just because it is Celebrity. Rest assured I would be just as disgusted if what happened on our Celebrity cruise and many others, were happening on Princess or any other cruise line. For many Celebrity fans this may not be a deal breaker and there is nothing wrong with that at all. The only important thing is that I feel that passengers should at least be aware that there is an additional risk in sailing these particular ships which is over and above other the risks that are inherent in sailing on any cruise ship.

After all is said and done, information is what this web-site is all about.

Debra
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 01:04 AM
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Default LOL! You're just too much!

Well Sister, I wasn't mentioning any names! . Oh, I take plenty of deep breaths, let me assure you.... 8)

Since you bring up the need to "breathe deep", please allow me to arm-chair diagnose and encourage you to "let go"

You've been going on about the same problems for over two years...look at your posts... :o You rarely, if ever post on the Celebrity board with anything but negativity and your experience as it was two years ago...

So...breathing deep here... Please, let it all go. You'll feel so much better. It's just a board where we share our own opinions and move on.

But come on...here's a copy of one of your posts, over two years ago...and it's all you seem to do on the Celebrity side...why, after two years? Please, let it go-

http://www.cruisemates.com/forum/vie...401&highlight=
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 01:16 AM
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Default LETTING IT GO

I was just about to write the same exact thing.. enough negativity about your one trip two year ago... As a nurse you must know that this vitriolity is not good for your blood pressure, life is too short to keep harping on the same things...time after time after time..

Maybe for a change talk about Carnival, Royal Caribbean or Disney or Holland America.. the negative or positive things about those lines. OR book a cruise on the Soltice or Equinox..They will fall all over you (as they do everybody else) with their service, etc. Try them again.. as the saying goes.. you might like it..
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 01:27 AM
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Default Back to the OP...

OK...enough laughs from the side-lines. Please move on. We get the point...all cruiselines have issues.

Both cruiselines have excellent and wonderful reasons to choose either one. It is all subjective or relative.


Nuff said!
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