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Brit's first time on Celebrity :)


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Hi,

We have cruised a few times before but never on Celebrity (Usually been on PandO but have also sampled Princess, Cunard and RCCL). We will be on Silouhette in September 2018, out of Southampton to the med, (have to book early to get 'accessible' cabin) and I am already very excited as I have been wanting to try Celebrity for a while.

 

So, I guess I don't have a specific question but I will be interested in hearing anything you think I might want to know. This includes the differences between Celebrity and PandO, best places to eat/drink/watch the sea on board, any particular food or drinks that are special to Celebrity . . .

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Hi,

We have cruised a few times before but never on Celebrity (Usually been on PandO but have also sampled Princess, Cunard and RCCL). We will be on Silouhette in September 2018, out of Southampton to the med, (have to book early to get 'accessible' cabin) and I am already very excited as I have been wanting to try Celebrity for a while.

 

So, I guess I don't have a specific question but I will be interested in hearing anything you think I might want to know. This includes the differences between Celebrity and PandO, best places to eat/drink/watch the sea on board, any particular food or drinks that are special to Celebrity . . .

We have done many Celebrity cruises and tried Cunard, RCCL and P & O Azura. The first big difference we found between Celebrity and P & O was the amount of space in public areas. On Celebrity there is always some space to sit whether in the bar or just a chair somewhere to read quietly. The bars aren't overcrowded and whilst you always get chair hogs reserving sun loungers on deck, you aren't wedged in like sardines when sunbathing. On P & O we couldn't get near the buffet at breakfast it was so crowded and queues eveywhere but we've never experienced that on Celebrity. Also we've never had to queue before the theatre opens just to get a seat. If you look at the number of cabins on a P & O ship compared to Celebrity similar size ship you can see why the overcrowding happens. We found the MDR food better on Celebrity but that might not be the case with recent cutbacks. P & O scored well with us on the speciality restaurants,as they were much cheaper and the food was better but that was five years ago and things may be different now on P & O. Drinks prices are much cheaper on P & O but if you've got a drinks package included on Celebrity then that's not going to be a problem. Service we found was better and friendlier on Celebrity and staff do remember you after meeting you a couple of times. I'm sure if you posted this on the P & O board then you would get loyal cruisers saying just the opposite but then what appeals to one person isn't always good for another. Celebrity is firmly our number one choice and I hope you really enjoy your cruise !

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Hi,

We have cruised a few times before but never on Celebrity (Usually been on PandO but have also sampled Princess, Cunard and RCCL). We will be on Silouhette in September 2018, out of Southampton to the med, (have to book early to get 'accessible' cabin) and I am already very excited as I have been wanting to try Celebrity for a while.

 

So, I guess I don't have a specific question but I will be interested in hearing anything you think I might want to know. This includes the differences between Celebrity and PandO, best places to eat/drink/watch the sea on board, any particular food or drinks that are special to Celebrity . . .

 

Celebrity offers different classes of accommodation with added included amenities. In effect it's almost a two class line now. P&O does not do this.

 

If you're travelling in suite class, I'd expect you to find everything except entertainment better than P&O.

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We are not suite passengers and we do not have a drinks package included as we have an inside cabin (the only 'accessible' cabin left, I was told).

 

Then I think you will notice the higher drinks prices. Soft drinks and alcohol sadly.

 

Celebrity also has a more relaxed dress code and fewer 'formal' (now rebranded celebrity chic nights). It may be useful to read the dress code thread for more insight into this.

 

Service should still be better on celebrity overall though.

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We are not suite passengers and we do not have a drinks package included as we have an inside cabin (the only 'accessible' cabin left, I was told).

You sound disappointed that this was the only accessible cabin left and to be honest so would I, especially so long before sail date. I know from looking at deck plans that there are accessible cabins in other classes on all ships. If you booked with a travel agent it could be that they only had inside cabins but others might be available if you contacted Celebrity directly. On the subject of accessible cabins my friend, who is profoundly disabled and needs a mobility scooter to get anywhere, recently had trouble getting one on P & O. He told me that some people without disabilities book them because they are bigger cabins and he then watches them walking around the ship! How low can you get ?

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You sound disappointed that this was the only accessible cabin left and to be honest so would I, especially so long before sail date. I know from looking at deck plans that there are accessible cabins in other classes on all ships. If you booked with a travel agent it could be that they only had inside cabins but others might be available if you contacted Celebrity directly. On the subject of accessible cabins my friend, who is profoundly disabled and needs a mobility scooter to get anywhere, recently had trouble getting one on P & O. He told me that some people without disabilities book them because they are bigger cabins and he then watches them walking around the ship! How low can you get ?

 

When booking sky suites we were offered accessible rooms because they were larger than regular sky suites by the travel agent!!!

 

I'd looked at what rooms were available and chosen ones we were happy with, but of course the accessible rooms are not visible on the regular website. We didn't book them because it simply would not feel right, but I was a little bit disappointed that the Americas largest travel agent would do this!

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We've just returned from our 1st sailing on Solstice class ship and can only say WOW.

 

Others have given the positives compared to P&O with regard to space on board, especially in the buffet area. The layout of the buffet on Azura was appalling and the food so mediocre. The buffet food on RCI is bad now as standards have dropped over the years.

 

The style, decoration and comfort of the ship is far superior than P&O IMHO, the food better than RCI and far less annoying announcements than RCI throughout the day (no constant advertising of bingo, art auctions etc).

 

The boarding and disembarkation process far better than P&O and same as RCI in that you can board early, although your cabin may not be available until 1pm, at least the Oceanview Cafe is open for lunch.

 

Although beverages may be more expensive, people forget that Celebrity and RCI pour large measures whereas P&O stick to UK measures, so if you price up a double on P&O it won't be much different than Celebrity.

 

The daily gratuity or service charge is a lot less on P&O.

 

There are more speciality restaurants available and there are many opportunities to purchase in advance and get discounts.

 

The layout seems to flow better than say Azura which has a lot of 'ups and downs' to get anywhere like the bar at the top of the ship at the aft (can't remember the name).

 

The suggested dress code is not as formal and restrictive as P&O but that no way means people don't 'dress to impress' on Chic evenings.

 

Here's a link to my review of our recent sailing if it is of any use as Reflection is very similar to Silhouette.

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=2506092

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We are not suite passengers and we do not have a drinks package included as we have an inside cabin (the only 'accessible' cabin left, I was told).

Since we do not require an accessible cabin, I was not aware that they go so quickly. I would ask to be put on a waiting list for a different cabin. People do change their minds and it is a long while yet to the sailing.

 

Silhouette is my favourite Celebrity ship. The Lawn Club Grill is, in my opinion, the best restaurant afloat. i wish it were on more Celebrity ships.

 

 

Enjoy your cruise.

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Good idea Teabag, thank you.

 

Our preferred itinerary was a 17 day Med with P+O but all accessible cabins were already sold (there are only 8 on the ship).

 

Our TA was very good and contacted the cruiselines himself as I particularly want a door that opens electronically - so that I can actually get in when I am on my own! Celebrity told him that this cabin was the only one still available.

 

I would have liked an excuse for an outside/balcony but have often taken inside cabins and hubby was arguing that an outside was a waste of money

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Hi,

 

So, I guess I don't have a specific question but I will be interested in hearing anything you think I might want to know. This includes the differences between Celebrity and PandO, best places to eat/drink/watch the sea on board, any particular food or drinks that are special to Celebrity . . .

 

Hello Brits, a warm welcome to you from the other side of the globe :)

Last year my DH and I did our first " proper" cruise. I found Celebrity forums here on the CC absolutely fantastic source of information . People we met on the cruise could not believe we were effectively first timers as I have learned so much before we even stepped on board :) i suggest starting with the forums which are specific to your ship and then try other celebrity forums and even roll calls with similar itineraries . :)

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Edited by Kiwifromkiev
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Hi,

We have cruised a few times before but never on Celebrity (Usually been on PandO but have also sampled Princess, Cunard and RCCL). We will be on Silouhette in September 2018, out of Southampton to the med, (have to book early to get 'accessible' cabin) and I am already very excited as I have been wanting to try Celebrity for a while.

 

So, I guess I don't have a specific question but I will be interested in hearing anything you think I might want to know. This includes the differences between Celebrity and PandO, best places to eat/drink/watch the sea on board, any particular food or drinks that are special to Celebrity . . .

 

We have never sailed on P&O but one of the major difference is the currency used on board as I am sure you know.

 

However, as you have booked early, the one thing you really should do is watch the exchange rate offered by Celebrity for purchasing OBC (On Board Credit). I changes less often than the exchange rate that you will get when you purchase your holiday dollars or you will pay using your credit card. As such there are often real bargains.

 

It is a bit of a gamble as you can never know what the exchange rate will be when you actually cruise but those in the know have made great savings by advance purchase of OBC. You can watch the rate by going to Gifts by Celebrity. When you do that, you need to know the OBC is sold in units of US$25. The lazy way to check is to keep visiting this board because someone usually posts an alert when the rate is particularly good.

 

If/when you do purchase OBC, the advice is to purchase by telephone. Then you transaction will be dealt with at the time. If you purchase online, you will get the rate at that time but the transaction requires human intervention and, when the rate is good, are processed in date of sailing order. There can be long delays and the occasional lost order.

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We love the mix of all the quiet and lively places there are on S class ships! The coffee shop, the lawn area, the bar at the back of the ship, the martini bar....There are places to sit quietly and places to mix and mingle....We have cruised on a couple of other lines but not P&O. Despite being a big ship this layout means it never feels crowded. We always feel relaxed, well looked after and well fed! What more do you want from a holiday!

 

If I was you I would look into the cost of a drinks package...even if you are not big drinkers if you add up nice coffee, water, wine with dinner it can soon make the classic at least attractive. It is also nice knowing there are no big end of cruise bills. As you have saved on the cabin this may be something you and your husband could enjoy....

 

Also we do enjoy the Specialities restaurants especially on longer cruises. You can look at booking a package (cheaper, ask your travel agent for a deal price) or many negotiate discounts on board. They are not cheap but worth visiting. First sea day they usually have a display in the main area (advertised in the 'daily') where you can see the types of food each offers. This daily is a 'must read', there are no loud annoying announcements on Celebrity saying '.....is about to start!', we take a highlighter pen with us and mark anything we are interested in.

 

Re your disability, if you visit Celebrity's tours they are quite good at describing levels of mobility required. Even if you don't choose to book with them their descriptions can be useful for deciding if a private tour or even a walk/push around a town is doable. If you need any additional equipment on board to help with your challenges you can contact them via a link or by telephone. They are both helpful and informative. I did my last cruise on a mixture of wheelchair and crutches and found it very accessible. I was really pleased that with the rail and my husband's arm I could enter and exit the Solarium pool safely (there is a chair/hoist) if you need it. The water is quite warm so great for relaxing in!

 

I suggest you do some browsing (you tube is great) and have a real look to get the feel of the ship. I am sure you will then come back onto Cruise Critic with lots more questions. We are also on the Silhouette next year but not until October....We love Celebrity Cruises and hope you do too. Sincere best wishes for a great cruise!

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Thanks to everyone for your kind and helpful comments. In particular, the tip about OBC - we have prepaid grats and are currently wondering whether to buy a drinks package and/or put some OBC on our account (before the £ falls further), so that information was very helpful :)

 

I'm not worried about knowing the exact layout of the ship before we board but it is always good to know where our cabin is in relation to restaurant, theatre etc.

 

The tip about accessible excursions was also helpful. Unfortunately for someone who cannot walk far, sitting is painful for me too, so that limits my activities both on and off ship. However, I am incredibly lucky to live less than an hour from a cruise terminal and to be able to take advantage of that fact, so I am not complaining :D

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Silhouette is my favourite Celebrity ship. The Lawn Club Grill is, in my opinion, the best restaurant afloat. I wish it were on more Celebrity ships.

 

We will be sailing on Silhouette 23.06.18. It will be our first time, although we have sailed on Eclipse x3 , which has a similar lay out.

 

I believe there is an extra charge for the Lawn Club grill.

 

Thinking about food and the self service areas:

 

P & O Arcadia 2009 - very limiting space. We queued for long times to be served breakfast, especially on mornings when we were on Excursions.

 

Celebrity Eclipse 2010/2013/ 2015 - spacious lay out, many different 'food stations.'

 

We tend to eat breakfast in the Main Dining room (MDR) if we are not going out on an excursion, but it does take longer.

I like the way that Celebrity's menus are symbol coded for Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Sugar Free, Vegetarian and Vegan. This is very useful for those of us who have allergies.

 

We booked Silhouette last week and a beverage package was included. I find this is more than useful as I can also get bottled water from any bar. I used this to boil water in the kettle which will be in your cabin on sailings from Southampton ( my stomach doesn't like 'treated water' from the tap in your bathroom)

 

In 2013 I actually calculated how much this water would have cost me if I had signed the 'chitty' that is necessary if you use the bottles that are left in your cabin. It would have worked out at $150 for a 14 night cruise.

 

Look up your Roll Call.

Passengers cancel at final payment and you may hear of someone cancelling an accessible cabin. You could then ask your TA to ring Celebrity to see if it is available.

 

Silhouette in Liverpool 01.06.16

 

eae2b64a288f47db302143d52ef4e88e.jpg

Edited by upwarduk
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Does Celebrity tend to run a passenger choir on sailings with a lot of sea days? I have really enjoyed this activity on PandO cruises.

 

I've never seen one personally nor read about a choir on this forum but tend to book port intensive sailings. Probably not, but happy to be proven wrong.

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Room service on Celebrity is very nice. They will deliver from the dining room menu. Buffet is set up as islands instead of one long line with a good bit of space between the islands.

 

Never saw a choir. But they have "interactive entertainment" which is very fun. The dance troop and singers will do a show in the atrium among the passengers and get them involved. The also had a Dancing with the Staff competition in the atrium that was very entertaining. Multilevel atrium where you just need to be near the rail to view. And the usual showroom entertainment is available.

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Does Celebrity tend to run a passenger choir on sailings with a lot of sea days? I have really enjoyed this activity on PandO cruises.

 

 

 

Yes they do, my husband has sung in at least 4.

Here he is singing in the concert on the Eclipse August 2015.

 

831354881df3460df58260323416313e.jpg

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We had a disappointing, overcrowded cruise on Ventura, after having had several good P& O cruises. We did a Baltic cruise on Eclipse last year. Enjoyed the experience so much we booked a New Zealand cruise for this year while onboard. Join your roll call.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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Just think, you COULD be going on a Thompson cruise :eek:

 

As a Brit (lived in Bournemouth for a while but grew op on the Essex border of London, and Clacton) who's lived in the USA for the last almost 20 years, I can say that for the most part, the American-based cruise lines are a little more professional, certainly than the smaller UK-based ones. Of course Cunard always used to be the benchmark, so I wonder how much ownership by Carnival has affected them?!

 

We cruise mainly on Norwegian and decided to go back to Celebrity for the itinerary (ABC Islands) and to try something different. Four cruises on RCCL, one previously one X (Zenith in 2003), two on Carnival (we said never again' after the first and were proved right 13 years later! This time, NEVER again!) and six on NCL. A few of the reasons for trying X again apart from the ports include the drinks package, a better 'class' of co-passenger (we're not snobs, but we're not yobs either - or chavs) and different expectations and requirements. I remember the Zenith was a small ship and I was disappointed that there were no towel animals and other differences as I'd seen on my previous cruises (this was my third). I have come to realize that all lines are different and offer slightly different experiences, so really looking forward to the Equinox in October.

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I have just booked a Sept 18 cruise on the Silhouette and though so far ahead there wasn't any disability room except for an Oceanview on deck 3! I was pretty disappointed to say the least. I will have to try and cope in a balcony cabin.

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I have just booked a Sept 18 cruise on the Silhouette and though so far ahead there wasn't any disability room except for an Oceanview on deck 3! I was pretty disappointed to say the least. I will have to try and cope in a balcony cabin.

 

Unfortunately, if you are talking of September this year or even next year, you are not booking early. September 2018 cruises were released last December and this year's cruise in December 2016. If you have particular room requirement, that is the best time to book.

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