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Regal Princess vs Celebrity Reflection Western Caribbean

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My husband and I are looking at taking a cruise in March. We have narrowed it down to two options. The Regal Princess 7 night Western Caribbean and the Celebrity Reflection 7 night Western Caribbean. Both have similar itineraries. We are looking for a cruise ship that has the most onboard activities with good food and service. Neither of us drink much so bars/clubs aren't that important. We are looking for something with good shows. I like how the Princess has the outdoor theater. I'm not sure if the Celebrity does too. Any reviews on what these cruises are like and has to offer would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance.

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    Becky, the Regal is a newer ship, launched in 2014 and is the second ship of the Princess "Royal" class. You can see the Fodor's Royal Princess review here. The Regal Princess is almost identical to the Royal Princess.

    http://www.fodors.com/cruises/princess-cruises-676659/ships/royal-princess-712320

    The Celebrity reflection was launched in 2012, and is the last of their "Solstice" class.

    http://www.fodors.com/cruises/celebrity-cruises-676542/ships/reflection-709076

    Both have similar level of on board activities (but they are different) and I consider food and services almost at par between the 2 cruise lines.

    The Celebrity has a "class" system where they offer 3 different levels of service to their balcony/veranda: the regular one, the "Concierge" class and then the "Aqua" class. And beyond that, the suites. Each class offers "extras" over and above the other classes and of course, the fare to each "class" are different.

    We were lucky enough to get an "Aqua" class on the Solstice on a promo fare and the service level is exceptional. It included dining daily in a specialty restaurant (Blu), fresh cut flowers, fresh fruits, bottled carbonated water and fresh brew flavored tea, snacks etc delivered daily to the cabin, and a private entrance to the spa, complimentary use of spa facilities (except for spa treatments) etc. There is also a concierge assigned to you that can book anything for you, on board or ashore, from the ship's excursions to private tours etc. That would be as close to having a suite service without being in a suite.

    If you are booking a "regular" level cabin, the service would be very similar between the 2 cruise lines and we always received good service from both cruise lines.

    Both ships would have the production shows, solo acts such as comedians, singers, magicians etc on their main stage nightly. They will have their usual on board parties and dance bands etc.

    One thing that Princess has over the Celebrity is their "game show" and the TV studio, as well as the guest lecturer on their enrichment series. Of course, if you not interested in those kind of things, then it is a CON rather than a PRO.

    The Celebrity has a "glass blowing" demonstration venue at the top deck and they do the demo daily, weather permitting as it is sort of out door. You can buy the "art" and they give away (random free draw) their demo items. We won a vase on our first visit to the demo. They also feature real grass on the top deck on their "lawn" area.

    The layouts and designs of the ships are quite different. The Princess's cabins are separated from the public area. The Reflection separates the cabins from the public area as well, but many mid ship cabins are open to open hallway above the full height atrium; where the live band's music can be heard all the way up to the open hallway mid-ship (and we were on the penthouse level). Lucky for us, a doorway that leads to the Aqua class area acted as a sound barrier and once pass that door, the sound is muted. I have heard people complaining about the sound level from the band in the atrium. The dance band played till mid-night so if you can hear the band in you cabin, that's not all that good. I would imagine the door to the cabin should mute most of the noise. So select your cabin wisely if you are a very light sleeper.

    The public areas on the Princess ships seems less crowded, but I liked the shops and the layout on Celebrity better. not that we are big shoppers on board.

    I hope this helps. Feel free to ask more questions. Bon voyage!

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    Great reply by E. I can't add much to that. We were on a Solstice class ship too, the Equinox and it had a grass lawn on the top deck close to the glass blowing studio. One night they held a mini concert there serving wine, cheeses and fruits.

    I don't think you will go wrong with either one. Its like choosing between a Caddy or a Lincoln. You will be well served and well taken care of.

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