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Which cruise line if we didn't enjoy Celebrity?

Which cruise line if we didn't enjoy Celebrity?

Sep 20th, 2006, 05:56 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 73
Which cruise line if we didn't enjoy Celebrity?

My husband and I took a cruise two years ago to the Eastern Caribbean on Celebrity. It was a 7 day cruise. We didn't really have a great time. I was newly pregnant at the time, so I couldn't drink, so I don't know if we would have had more fun if I could have, but I don't think that's the real reason. Another couple we sat with at dinner said they had been on several other cruises, and they felt this one was the most boring.

We are both in our early 30's and we aren't big partiers, so we thought Celebrity would be a good choice over something like Carnival. We also like good food, and Celebrity was supposed to be one of the top cruise lines for food. We felt that the food selection was not great, we wished we'd had a balcony so we could sit out and read or just relax with some privacy, and we felt like a big draw to cruising was the shopping in the ports, which we weren't that into. We like to do some sightseeing and get to know the island a little better. We only did one snorkeling excursion which was just Ok.

I never thought we'd consider a cruise again, except maybe with a group of friends, but now my husband seems to be drawn to trying again when we take a vacation next January. So my question is, will one of the other cruise lines wow us the way Celebrity failed to? We live near NYC, and thought it would be fun to do a cruise that departs from there, but there are two days on the ship going down and two days coming back, and I don't know if we'd be bored. Any thoughts? TIA!
fllady is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 06:39 AM
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Check out www.cruisecritic.com for ship reviews and tons of cruising info.

Maybe one of the premier cruise lines would wow you if you are looking for a luxurious ship. ..Regent, Oceania, Seabourne, Silversea.
Sep 20th, 2006, 06:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,244
Based upon your experience on Celebrity, don't ever cruise again, especially if you didn't like the food.

Budman is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 07:16 AM
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Posts: 73
Budman, you're probably right. We did like the food on Celebrity, as far as quality goes, but we were a little disappointed in what was offered sometimes.
fllady is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 07:17 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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We were on two Celebrity cruises and they were okay. Then we moved up to Regent (formerly Radisson). No comparison. Two of their ships are all suite/all balcony cabins and the food is superior superior Celebrity, as were the excursions. Regent has some good 2-for-1 specials in the Caribbean during the winter, and they are going all inclusive in 2007. We use a great agency that specializes in Regent. Take a look at their Web site brownandkeenetravel.com and see if anything appeals to you. If so, call Linda Litteken.
Dreps is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 08:34 AM
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Posts: 22,089
I am wondering if a cruise is the right vacation for you. First, most port stops are too short for "getting to know the island a little better". I am not sure what you did not like about the selection of food - usual complaints are about quality (which you said was fine) and since they cook for thousands of people all day, I give them a slight pass there.

Cruises can be boring for some people - especially days at sea. But they can also be great for relaxing. Based on what you said, I think 3-4 days at sea on your next cruise might be boring for you.

We have been on several cruises but usually take more active vacations - I am not generally a huge cruise fan, but for us it fills an occasional need for more down time without any decision making about where to go and what to do. I think the issue is more of whether or not you want to cruise rather than which line.
gail is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 09:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,300
Well the advice to "move up" to a line like Regency or others is OK, but you should temper that advice with the fact that the cost of those "upper" lines if far, far above the mass lines like Celebrity. I agree with Budman, if you did not like the cruise product that Celebrity provides then it is doubtful you would like any of them. Sounds like you are better off perhaps with a resort vacation on an island.
Curt is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 09:30 AM
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What you said about not having to think about what we're doing is a reason he wants to do it. I just talked to him, and he thinks if we get a balcony, try different islands, and do more excursions, we'll enjoy it more, which I'm sure would be true. I also couldn't do some of the excursions I would have liked since I was pregnant, so that would make a difference. The question definitely is "Do we want to cruise," but I also want to be sure to pick a cruise line we'll like, whatever that means. I've heard good things about Royal Caribbean. I've heard scary stats on Carnival having 70% of cruise crime, but I don't know if that's true.

I saw a special on cruises on the Food Network once, but I missed parts of it, and one of them was serving a huge burger with steak fries and it looked so good (not just a frozen patty and frozen fries), and other then the hot dogs and pizza served at lunch out near the pool area, I felt that type of food was missing on Celebrity.
fllady is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 09:36 AM
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That steakhouse sounds perfect for us.
fllady is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 10:18 AM
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I would look into Royal Caribbean. Not as wils as Carnival but more fun than Celebrity. And the food is good.
Kristen1206 is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 10:34 AM
Join Date: Apr 2005
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We sail with Celebrity at least twice a year. We are also together 24/7 and still have plenty to talk about and never get bored with the ship or each other. The food on Celebrity is fine for a cruise line. If you didn't like them I doubt if you will enjoy the other lines.
bobrad is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 10:58 AM
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The reason I think we might like another cruise line is partially because the woman we had dinner with on the cruise said it was her least favorite cruise that she'd taken. Plus the more I look at the excursions, which as I said, I couldn't consider last time because I was pregnant, the more it looks appealing. Especially the Panama Canal and South American cruises.
fllady is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 11:21 AM
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Curt, slight correction...it's Regent, not Regency.

fllady, I personally am "over" cruising in the Caribbean. It has become so commercialized, over run with cruise passengers on the mega huge ships in port, locals swarming you trying to sell trinkits, just has lost all the charm it probably had years ago.

Maybe you should consider cruising in another part of the world? Like others have suggested, you may want to try a more upscale cruise line. Our personal favorite has become Regent. It would be all inclusive 24/7 for you so if you enjoy cocktails, wine with dinner this would be included as well as gratuities. We also enjoy a balcony and on either the Mariner or Voyager they all have balconies as well as larger cabins so there is no need to upgrade from the least expensive cabin. On the Navigator, most have balconies but not all. When you consider what you get for the $$ and the quality of food and service, I think Regent or something similar would be a good choice for you. BTW, you can order whatever you want for dinner...it doesn't have to be on the menu. Just tell the maitre'd the night before. Also, if you want to have a romantic dinner on your balcony, for example, you can do this as well and it can be served course by course if you choose with a nice bottle of wine.
petlover is offline  
Sep 20th, 2006, 01:48 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Only 1 of our 11 cruises has been on Celebrity. The others have been spread out between Carnival, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. Each and every one had pros and cons but we had no (major) complaints and all were fun.

As for our 12 night Galaxy cruise to the Panama Canal, it was actually our least favorite. We are in our 60's and certainly are not party animals but we too were bored. In fact on about day 8, we sat on deck recalling some land vacations we'd taked over the years and thought, for the only time before-or-since, that perhaps we'd had our fill of cruising.

The food. Good but for 2 meals in the dining room that were the worst of any of our cruises..tough beef was one and really terrible ravioli the other. And the bread was stale for the last 4 or 5 days. Not much in the way of activities and the 'entertainment' wasn't. A couple of so-so comedians and the same 'headliner' for two nights! "Back by popular demand"....hardly! I forget his name but we saw him once before on, I think, Carnival and once was enough. And the thing that really surprised me was that our sheets weren't changed for 12 nights. Once would have been sufficient..who wants or needs clean sheets every single night?! So..how do I know this. There was what looked like 3 little rust spots in one corner (never bothered me but they did stick on a white sheet!!) that were there from day-one on. It became kind of a joke..every night before turning down my cover, I would say 'drum roll please'!! No big deal I guess and yet very surprising for what some folks think is one of the best cruiselines out there!

And in case anyone thinks it was just that 12 nights was too long for us, we did the spring transatlantic on RC's Splendour of the Seas (12 nights too) and it was the best vacation ever. The food was great and the entertainment was fantastic, a different (and varied) show every night and each one better than the one before..it seemed.
Would I go on Celebrity again? Of course. Would it be my first choice? No.

esd is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 09:01 AM
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I've sailed Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Princess. I like RCCL the best, especially the Mariner. There's so much to do on the ship, we rarely get off in ports (I hate that kind of shopping, too) When we go to some islands, we arrange private excursions or take ferries to other islands. You might do a bit of research on the islands prior to the cruise. January is a great time, because resorts are sky high, but cruises are cheap at that time and they aren't swamped with kids. Yes, drinking heightens the fun, LOL! I thought the food on all 3 lines was pretty similar...kind of mass produced just okay. Nothing really special. However, I love having a balcony, sitting out there with a glass of bubbly and watching the sun set and the wind in my hair....ahhh..such a great break from the cold and so relaxing! ps...sometimes it's good to get out of your zone a bit! try participating in a trivia contest, or sing karaoke or take a class at the gym. Attend a cooking demo. The more you try and the more you do, the better the experience.
LLindaC is offline  
Sep 21st, 2006, 02:37 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 3
You've certainly gotten a variety of advice on your question and I'll try to add a few tidbits to put in to your equation.

Sometimes it's not the line, but the particular ship. We tend to chose cruises for the itinerary not the line or the ship.

My husband is one who said he'd never go on a cruise, but a 2 for 1 offer and a 28 day European itinerary that included many places one or both of us had never been which gave us the incentive to go for it.

We now cruise once or twice a year besides land travel. The first ship was probably a 3-4 star and we didn't have a balcony. Yet, the itinerary, the service and the food were really good and particularly good value for the money we spent. Since then we moved up to "better" ships and unless we're going to frigid zones, we must have a balcony for the many reasons others have mentioned.

We Avoid the cruise tours like the plague. In fact, I arrange alternative port arrangements for ourselves and for clients.

The Carribbean! Been there, done that and yes, have the tacky T-Shirts. Had some fun, but Hate the ports (although I love to Shop) and I particularly hate having the cruise lines Selling (jamming down our throats) Everything - All the time including specific shops in every port (do you think they might get a kick back?!)

Love good food & I've had some very Good & some very mediocre on various ships. RC (example Mariner/Voyager of the Seas) Celebrity Millenium and others have some great specialty restaurants and yet some are not worth the effort or extra cost. Mariner's Portofino was excellent yet the steak restaurant on the same ship had tough steak and terrible service.

I could go on, but basically you need to prioritize what you want and then have someone help you.

Alternative: try a river cruise or if you're set on a regular cruise go to Southern Carribbean or another warm destination.

Happy to discuss further if you want to contact me directly

bamtravel is offline  
Oct 9th, 2006, 01:06 PM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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I understand your concerns about Celebrity---My wife and I took a Celebrity Cruise for the first time this summer. We had cruised many times inclduding river cruises and canal cruises. We took the Century from Amsterdam to St. Petersburg and back. Our adventure (or should I say misadventure) was painful and expensive. We gave up eating in the main dining room after inummerable food and service disasters and ate at Muranos--it was quite good but at a premium. After a couple of days our waiter came up to us and asked if everyting was ok--I told him not in main dining room. After that the Murano staff and manger waived some of the fees. He said we werre not the first who have had problems and he reported it to passenger service. We did have a suite and it was very nice. However the commode needed repaired 3 times due to some mechanical problem in the outer wall. We were charged for items not taken from the mini bar and trips not taken on shore excursions. We finally had a meeting with the Hotel, Dining Room and shore excursion managers. They were all very polite however I did not receive credit for overcharges nor a refund on the shore excursion. We did try the main dining room once again and it remained poor. As a matter of fact the headwaiter knew our names by then, probably because of our whining and was rather unpleasant. The bright spots from the personnel side were the beverage manager and his staff and Muranos. I tried to get a dialogue started with Celebrity when I came home and never even received the courtesy of an email. We met some very nice people who had sailed Celbrity many times and loved it. I often wondered if they had ever sailed on other cruise lines and thay had not. We told them of our problems and they each had some of the same experiences but not in a cluster like ours. But you should not give up on cruises. We have been mixing cruises and land trips for nearly 40 years and love them both. I think the mega liners are to be avoided--it is just too hard take ctre of 2000 people. Try Windstar, HAl, Seabourne and most small cruise ships. Good Luck

nd1965 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2006, 08:03 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 64
I agree with petlover that cruises in the Caribbean are not to my taste. We cruised Windstar there & although everything about the ship was terrific it seemed like a trip to nowhere. We're not beach people nor shoppers so apart from the lovely weather in February the Caribbean cruise was my least favorite & one I would not repeat regardless of the ship.

Give Celebrity a try in the Med, or try another line that sails there! The ports are fascinating & we love cruising there. Have tried Orient Lines - which we like a lot for its destinations & outstanding crew - & (sigh!) Crystal & would cruise there over & over again.
shedridt is offline  
Oct 13th, 2006, 08:24 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 3,899
If you are looking for good food, IMO RCI is not it. Celebrity beats them for food and service.

Insofar as boring, I agree that the nightlife on X is not exuberant,but I prefer that to the drunks and disorderlies I have encountered on each of my last cruises on other main stream lines.

A luxury line will give you better food, but, if you found X boring, you will be sleeping in your chair on Regent.

I choose cruises based on ship first, ports second. Shopping is not on my list of priorities but water and beaches are.

Perhaps consider a southern Caribbean itinerary as these are port intensive and offer much nicer islands than the Eastern/Western routes.

As for a ship to recommend, I have personally not found better food on a mainstream line than X so cannot help you there.
kfusto is offline  
Oct 13th, 2006, 09:30 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 46
kfusto, I couldn't disagree more with your statement "A luxury line will give you better food, but, if you found X boring, you will be sleeping in your chair on Regent."

We've had some of the most fun, dancing, shows and activities on Regent. Although we are probably quite a bit younger than some of the Regent cruisers by 20 years, we found most of the passengers we met easy to talk with, unpretentious and very sociable as well as more interesting than on some of our other cruises. They seem to be a very well traveled group but not at all snobish. My first Regent cruise was with my Mother but after I got married I introduced my DH to cruising and now he too is hooked.

I'm curious which ship and itinerary you found dull so I can avoid it?
pjammin123 is offline  

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