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tap December 1st, 2002 05:37 AM

Celebrity Millenium vs. RC Explorer, Voyageur, Navigator
My wife and I (I am 36, she is 31) -- first time cruisers -- are considering the Celebrity Millenium vs. RC Explorer of the Seas, Voyageur of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas. We will be going February 8 on a 7 day Carribean cruise (Western if possible) out of somewhere in Florida, assuming there is still room when we book. We want to get the best price possible, and it seems like waiting until 6 weeks out can lead to the best prices, though often room selection is not great. It seems that we should be able to get a great deal for Feb. 8, as it's after the holiday rush and before Spring break.

We are more interested in a great boat and itinerary than a great room. An inside room or lower end ocean view will be fine. My priorities are the best ship possible, service, activities, exercise facilities, food, and other people with similar interests to meet -- in that order. My sense is that the food on Celebrity is better, but that the exercise facilities on the 3 RC boats listed above may be better (especially a greater number of cardio workout machines). Someone told me that the Millenium is "closed off" and does not have a lot of outdoor space compared to the RC boats. We don't need 5 star restaurant food, but we want the food to be good. My sense is that Celebrity draws a slightly older crowd than RC, though Celebrity seems to be diverse in age. We would like a good number of people in their 30s and 40s, though we don't want a bunch of rowdy young 20-somethings.

Any suggestions on what types of rooms or even particular room numbers on the above referenced RC boats that are cost-effective yet decent (e.g. middle of boat)?

Also, any recommended travel agencies?

robbie December 2nd, 2002 02:25 PM

Re: Celebrity Millenium vs. RC Explorer, Voyageur, Navigator
Can't help with "Celebrity" since more than half of my twenty-something cruises have been with "RCI" but I can tell you that you will be at the younger end of the spectrum with either one. Even though I am 52, my wife is 37, and we are often at the younger end of certain cruises. But having said that, don't let it bother you and my advice would be to shop both online and with a local TA so you can compare prices. When you are not locked in to a particular cruise, the agent has alot to work with and you are right that there is alot of value out there in the 6 week range (due to final payments being due in the 60-70 day range). Best wishes and feel free to e-mail me for any further info, Robbie

Narob December 2nd, 2002 11:34 PM

Re: Re: Celebrity Millenium vs. RC Explorer, Voyageur, Navig
From your description of what's important to you, I would recommend the Navigator of the Seas. We will be on her the 14th of this month to the W.Caribbean. We have been on both cruise lines and each has their own merits, but you will never run out of things to do on the Voyager class ships. For elegance and romance with gracious and European style food and service--Celebrity. For warm personalized service with endless activities and great entertainment--RCCL. Can't go wrong with either. When in doubt, sail inside and go on both!!!!

Narob December 2nd, 2002 11:37 PM

Re: Celebrity Millenium vs. RC Explorer, Voyageur, Navigator
Forgot to mention try or Also, and, I think. Good luck!!!

JodiB December 3rd, 2002 01:37 PM

Re: Re: Celebrity Millenium vs. RC Explorer, Voyageur, Navig
We just got back from a week on Explorer, and it was awesome. Review should go up some time this week, we did Western Carib. too. I would highly reccomend it... or any of the voyager class ships! Service was great, the food was great, and there was soooo much to do!

We booked with, and got (what we thought) was a great deal. We booked a little further out that you are, but still, had a balcony stateroom on the 7th floor for just under $900 per person. Tori MacGregor was the agent we worked with.

Have a great time!

MaryLou December 4th, 2002 05:10 AM

Re: Celebrity Millenium vs. RC Explorer, Voyageur, Navigator
I personally think you would be very pleased with either Celebrity or Royal Caribbean. Look at it this way....this is just the beginning. After this cruise, you can book the other cruiseline to compare yourself. If you would like a travel agent recommendation, please email me and I will be happy to give you a couple of names. Let us know what you decide.

Browezilla December 4th, 2002 12:38 PM

Re: Re: Celebrity Millenium vs. RC Explorer, Voyageur, Navig
Celebrity is a bit more highbrow, relaxed, eloquent. RCI is more entertaining, vibrant. I've cruised Celebrity and RCI multiple times. I've also been on Carnival and Princess. I haven't found any ships that are better than the voyager-class. My vote would be for RC

ErnieMCC December 4th, 2002 01:36 PM

Re: Celebrity Millennium vs. RC Explorer, Voyageur, Navigato
I found your to be post an interesting and well crafted statement of an oft repeated question on the boards. In a sense, you answered your own question in the second paragraph.

I wanted to set out again that all Cruise Lines and Ships within the lines are not created equal. There is a reason why Royal Caribbean purchased Celebrity and why Carnival Corporation owns several different lines. In the Premium brands, which is what we are talking about here, there are significant and clearly identifiable differences in the cruise products offered... differences the Industry measures by certain rules of thumb, so to speak. At the top of the Premium brands, you have two lines... Celebrity and Holland America. Just under them, in a band unto itself, you have Princess... then there is a broad swath in the middle which includes Royal Caribbean, NCL and Costa, then at the entry level you find Carnival, Regal and several other lesser brands.

This positioning is based upon some Industry standards, namely Space Ratio's, Crew /Passenger Ratio's, $ expenditure on food per diem, selling price per diems and so forth. Some of these considerations may be of no importance to you personally and none of this means that one cannot prefer a middle line, such as Royal Caribbean over, say Princess.

After looking at all these considerations, one must look at the different "styles" unique to each line and unique to different ships within the lines. The cruise product you experience on, say, Voyager of the Seas is quite different from the cruise product on Grandeur of the Seas... although there are some underlying similarities.

In short, a cruise is NOT a commodity, in the sense of an airline seat, but, rather a high ticket vacation purchase that offers the best value in the Travel Industry. It is also a purchase that requires careful evaluation by the first time or infrequent cruiser if he or she is to realize the best value for the dollar spent.

A good Travel Agent, with experience in cruise sales, can help lead you through this maze. The agent will be experienced in matching clients' life styles and personal preferences, budget constraints and so forth with cruise lines and ships. Advice you receive on the boards can be quite helpful, but frequently you will see a preference for one Cruise Line or ship mentioned, but you have no way of evaluating what standards the poster has applied in making the recommendation. A professional agent is trained to make recommendations that match the clients' needs, rather than his or her own.

I'd make one more comment... the key word in NOT price... but rather "Value", of which price is just one component. In this complicated marketplace, the "best price" or "lowest price" may or may not be the best value for you.

Let us know what you finally decide. Since 85+% of first time cruisers say it was a great value for the money and that they wish to cruise again, we are sure to see you in these parts again!

Good luck with your choice!

Post Edited (12-05-02 07:44)

tap December 4th, 2002 08:50 PM

Re: Re: Celebrity Millennium vs. RC Explorer, Voyageur, Navi
Thank you all for your informative, kind and thoughtful responses! I think we've decided on RCCL and to wait for the prices to drop on Navigator of the Seas or Voyageur of the Seas to the W. Carrib. If we want until late Dec. or early Jan., we should get a better price. An inside room is fine for our first cruise (now where on the boat is a different story--any input on that would be appreciated). The boat and itenerary are more important that whether we have an ocean view.

We don't want to sign up for one of those cruises only to have the prices not drop much. If the prices don't drop or if it's sold out, we'll likely take a smaller/older RCCL ship.

The Millenium's W. Carrib. itinerary does not interest us as much.

Thanks again!


JORAY December 13th, 2002 08:11 PM

Re: Re: Re: Celebrity Millennium vs. RC Explorer, Voyageur,
Your last comment was interesting -- most people pick the area and the stops they want and book the ship. On the last three cruises we have booked 6 months to a year out to get the cabin & location we want. We then set back and check every 10 to 14 day as to price. Once it drops we E-Mail our web agent for a refund. Last cruise we booked the Millennium Adult only cruise (west Carrib) and ended up getting $900 (23%) back on our 1A cat cabin from the Web agent price that was 12% below Celebrity on line price (not their list price) to start with. We are currently traveling with a group of golfers on a group package in Jan on RCCL the price for our cabin dropped $300 -- E-Mailed web agent and we now have on board credit for same. What is interesting is the price has went back up now that we are 60 days out. --- Ray

Travelbug December 13th, 2002 09:15 PM

Re: Re: Re: Celebrity Millennium vs. RC Explorer, Voyageur,
If you look at it lists all the cruise prices for the year.
Just go to navigator of the seas and scroll down to show me the deals. and show you your total price inc tax etc online.
good luck.

James Lucero December 23rd, 2002 07:17 PM

Re: Celebrity Millenium vs. RC Explorer, Voyageur, Navigator
I am a Travel Agent Here in California Call me at 714-998-1840 after Christmas For all your cruiseing needs

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