We have not done a trans-canal cruise yet (its on our to-do list), but we have sailed on both Navigator (in Alaska last August) and Millennium (Western Caribbean this past February). We enjoyed both cruises very much.
Size of ship has little to do with the difference between the two experiences. Our travel companions on Navigator have sworn off big sips. In fact, Navigator is the largest ship they have sailed on in the last 10 years – and she quickly became their favorite – they are sailing on her again this summer in Europe. We are convinced that what they liked most about Navigator was her big ship feel and amenities. Neither ship ever felt crowded. Despite its size, Celebrity did a much better job embarking and especially disembarking 1950 passengers than Radisson did with 450 passengers.
The big difference between the two experiences is the “little things” that you get on Navigator. Not having to ‘sign’ for soft drinks and cappuccino – the in room bar setup and daily restock of water, soft drinks, and mixers – complementary wine with meals – the no tipping policy – complementary (and prompt) 24 hour room service – top my list of “little things” that add to the enjoyment of the Radisson experience.
We are not very demanding in terms of service, and found the dinning room and cabin service on both ships to be comparable. The quality and presentation of the formal meal service was also comparable on both ships – although we did appreciate and enjoyed that Radisson clearly spends more on certain quality ingredients. For example, there were always significant servings of large shrimp and crab claws on Navigator buffets – which would never be found on Celebrity.
The other significant difference between the ships is cabin and especially bathroom size and appointment. Our standard cabin on Navigator was much larger and more nicely appointed than our Category 1 cabin on Millennium – although we were very comfortable in our Millennium cabin. There is no comparison, however, between bathrooms. Navigator’s marble bathrooms are hard to beat. The attached photo shows a side-by-side comparison of our two rooms.
I would sail on both ships again. Enjoy your cruise.