Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
german_navy

Alternative to Celebrity

Recommended Posts

Hello!

 

My name is Frank and I have been cruising with Celebrity regularly for the previous eight years, usually in November/December. My wife and I are from Germany and we have mostly cruised on S-class ships. We usually went for SV or C1 cabins because of their pretty decent price-performance ratio. Celebrity used to offer 14-day-cruises to the Caribbean in winter time. The 14-day-cruise on the Reflection this upcoming December seems to be the last cruise of this length. In addition, prices have increased significantly so we will be looking for alternatives.

 

Because we are Elite with Celebrity I already got Diamond with Royal. So it makes sense to check their cruises as well. For winter 2019 I found interesting 9/10-days-itineraries on the Explorer and the Serenade of the Seas.

 

But are these ships serious alternatives to S-class ships at all? Or could somebody give me other, maybe better alternatives?

 

Frank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello!

 

My name is Frank and I have been cruising with Celebrity regularly for the previous eight years, usually in November/December. My wife and I are from Germany and we have mostly cruised on S-class ships. We usually went for SV or C1 cabins because of their pretty decent price-performance ratio. Celebrity used to offer 14-day-cruises to the Caribbean in winter time. The 14-day-cruise on the Reflection this upcoming December seems to be the last cruise of this length. In addition, prices have increased significantly so we will be looking for alternatives.

 

Because we are Elite with Celebrity I already got Diamond with Royal. So it makes sense to check their cruises as well. For winter 2019 I found interesting 9/10-days-itineraries on the Explorer and the Serenade of the Seas.

 

But are these ships serious alternatives to S-class ships at all? Or could somebody give me other, maybe better alternatives?

 

Frank

 

You may want to check out the Yacht Club on the MSC cruise line. They will do a one time status match, so your Elite Status with Celebrity will probably get you Black status with MSC, which is their highest tier. I have been told that the Yacht Club is an amazing experience and I believe that the MSC Seaside does alternating Eastern/Western Caribbean itineraries. Good luck in your hunt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello!

 

My name is Frank and I have been cruising with Celebrity regularly for the previous eight years, usually in November/December. My wife and I are from Germany and we have mostly cruised on S-class ships. We usually went for SV or C1 cabins because of their pretty decent price-performance ratio. Celebrity used to offer 14-day-cruises to the Caribbean in winter time. The 14-day-cruise on the Reflection this upcoming December seems to be the last cruise of this length. In addition, prices have increased significantly so we will be looking for alternatives.

 

Because we are Elite with Celebrity I already got Diamond with Royal. So it makes sense to check their cruises as well. For winter 2019 I found interesting 9/10-days-itineraries on the Explorer and the Serenade of the Seas.

 

But are these ships serious alternatives to S-class ships at all? Or could somebody give me other, maybe better alternatives?

 

Frank

 

Hi Frank,

 

We are D+ on Royal and E+ on Celebrity so we know both lines well.

 

There are similarities and differences between the two lines. Neither of the RC ships you mention are the newest or ‘mega’ with all the latest gimmicks but both are well designed and have a pleasant layout.

 

Royal Caribbean’s strengths are entertainment and activities. What we do find a little lacking on RC is food quality. We also find the ambiance very different on the two lines....We leave RC sometimes exhausted whereas we leave Celebrity feeling refreshed. We generally now prefer Celebrity but can enjoy an odd return to RC.....Price wise before seeing Celebrity as more expensive check what is included in your total deal. Added drinks packages or OBC can make a real difference.

 

Why, if you are happy with Celebrity but want a longer vacation, don’t you just extend your stay in Florida? Chill out in Fort Lauderdale, drive down to the Florida Keys or spend a few days in Orlando?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all your responses!

 

Well, we fly over from Hamburg to Miami not only for cruising. In fact, we always spent about an additional week in Southern Florida. Either before the cruises, in between or afterwards.

 

I will check with MSC to find out how this match could be done. Pretty nice if this really works

 

Any thoughts about the Serenade and the Explorer of the Seas in particular? These two ships have pretty good itineraries in December 2019. And I do not really care for the Mega cruisers such as Oasis Class.

 

Thanks again!!

 

Frank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What about a B2B??

 

That is, if there are any interesting itineraries you may enjoy.

 

bon voyage

Edited by Bo1953

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Serenade is a Radiance class ship and has more of a connection with the sea than most of the newer ships. It’s the smallest class of ship I would go on again with Royal (we were not keen on Splendour or Enchantment). Explorer is slightly bigger with the promenade in the centre and also the ice skating rink to watch performances. I wouldn’t restrict yourself just to RCI sailings because of your status. Honestly, we have just sailed on Princess with no status and it had very little effect on our overall enjoyment of our cruise ;). There are quite a few long standing X cruisers that have recently stated they are trying the Yacht Club on MSC, so it may be worth considering that option too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for all your responses!

 

Well, we fly over from Hamburg to Miami not only for cruising. In fact, we always spent about an additional week in Southern Florida. Either before the cruises, in between or afterwards.

 

I will check with MSC to find out how this match could be done. Pretty nice if this really works

 

Any thoughts about the Serenade and the Explorer of the Seas in particular? These two ships have pretty good itineraries in December 2019. And I do not really care for the Mega cruisers such as Oasis Class.

 

Thanks again!!

 

Frank

 

There is a form, online at msccruises.com, so you can get the match on your first cruise. Along with the basic information you have to show proof of you status on Celebrity. We just sent they scans of our last SeaPass card that says we are Elite Plus. It takes about a week or so. The perks aren't the same, Celebrity's are a little better.

After 22 cruises on Celebrity, we are leaving in about to weeks for 14 days, in the Caribbean, on MSC Seaside. We went all in and booked a Yacht Club Suite. The perks are pretty close to the same and a whole lot cheaper than Celebrity.

We also have a 14 day (B2B) in a Grand Suite on the Allure of the Seas but you aren't interested in the Oasis class ships. This too was a whole lot cheaper and we've done five cruises on the Allure so we now what we are getting in to.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for all your responses!

 

Well, we fly over from Hamburg to Miami not only for cruising. In fact, we always spent about an additional week in Southern Florida. Either before the cruises, in between or afterwards.

 

I will check with MSC to find out how this match could be done. Pretty nice if this really works

 

Any thoughts about the Serenade and the Explorer of the Seas in particular? These two ships have pretty good itineraries in December 2019. And I do not really care for the Mega cruisers such as Oasis Class.

 

Thanks again!!

 

Frank

 

 

The Serenade is VERY similar to the "M" class ships on Celebrity, it's built on the same frame although it does have more staterooms than the Celebrity ships. We find the food on the smaller RCCL ships to be better than on the mega ships, but also not as many specialty dining options on the smaller ships. Explorer class is the next step on Royal and we like that class also although I believe the Explorer is one of the older ones in the class so not sure what kind of condition you will find it in. It has a "Royal Promenade" which is nice but no "Flowrider" "zipline" or "bumper cars" it does have a rock wall. (all the Royal ships do). Royal still has a piano bar which we miss on Celebrity, am sure you'd be happy on either as long as it isn't during spring break...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also suggest MSC's Yacht Club.

With their status match you will also receive a 5% discount.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the longer RCI cruises, and especially on Serenade and her "sister " ships, you will find the passenger mix more like that on Celebrity. The Serenade is a nice size without being too big. I think you would enjoy Serenade for the 10 or 11 night cruises. Or, do both. The food will not be quite as good as Celebrity, but the free cocktail time is much longer than on Celebrity, 5-8:30 PM or 4:40-8 PM. Depends on the time for early dining in the dining room.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We very much disliked our two cruises with MSC. Sailed on the Davina and again on the Seaside. Food was good, entertainment was also good. But service very bad, small cabins (we booked balcony) and too many kids. We too got black card with loyalty match, but didn't do Yacht Club, so that may help.

 

Sent from my Z981 using Forums mobile app

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
we have just sailed on Princess with no status and it had very little effect on our overall enjoyment of our cruise ;).

Can't wait to hear details about your Princess experience!

 

Are you ready to try the Princess Royal class, or is Celebrity Reflection looking good again?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can't wait to hear details about your Princess experience!

 

Are you ready to try the Princess Royal class, or is Celebrity Reflection looking good again?

 

We had a great time. Tbh, we thought the Grand was in better shape than Millie (I don’t think you’ve been on an M class ship yet :confused:?). It was a hundred times better than our Reflection experience. The choice of entertainment in the different bars was briliiant - none of the one thing on at a time - and the production shows knocked socks off the X performances.

 

Don’t get me wrong, there were things we preferred more on Princess and others we liked more on X, but both lines are far more comparable than some imply. The buffet is not as good as X (we only ventured in there once), however, the International Cafe we thought was great, serving savouries and soups as well as the sweet treats. We also liked the choice of free eateries e.g. the pizza restaurant, Alfredo’s, and the daily afternoon tea in the MDR (not just for high tier status guests). We didn’t like the smoking policy in a section of the casino; we are just not used to smoking being allowed in public places anymore.

 

The launderette facilities were great for us as we had already been on vacation for a week prior to boarding the ship - we had a blast in Vegas and the men in our life arranged a surprise birthday treat of a champagne helicopter breakfast to the Grand Canyon (can’t recommend it enough). It was much better to be able to decide which temperature we could put our laundry on, something not possible on X (even though we do get free loads through our Elite status). We bought an internet package which was considerably less expensive than on X. The choice of pools was also a nice feature - we loved the Terrace adult only pool at the aft. The boys liked the covered table tennis and basketball game which was on the top level of the conservatory indoor area. We didn’t enjoy the tender process, that’s one area where perhaps our Elite status on X was missed. I’m sure new cruisers on X experience the same thoughts though.

 

The wildlife was fabulous and did add to our overall enjoyment. We saw bears, orcas, humpbacks, eagles, salmon etc. and experienced some wonderful private tours. The alcohol onboard was cheaper than X’s prices and tbh we didn’t see one drink that wasn’t covered on the basic beverage package. Vines is their wine bar and my package covered the wines in there too.

 

We’re trying another ship on Princess next year - 2 weeks in a balcony was pricing out slightly less than 1 week in the Med on X during the peak summer season (obviously we have to pay for 2 cabins - one for the boys). Will it be as good, who knows but we are enjoying testing out the waters at a considerably lower cost than X are currently asking. We still have 2 Celebrity placeholders to use and 1 for Royal. I’ll keep moving them around until I see something that I think is worth the money they are asking - which could mean a last minute deal where they are trying to fill the ships.

 

How about you?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did 6 cruises on Princess before we found Celebrity and actually only moved because Princess hiked their prices. We did a 20 night B2B in the Caribbean in 2011 in a mini suiteat a cost of £4k. Went back to book it again for the next year and it was £5.5k. Then found Celebrity and did 22 nights in AQ on the Eclipse for not much more than £4.5k in 2012 and have stayed ever since although we couldn't find anything that fitted in with my schedule next year and are trying MSC. £4k for the two of us in the yacht club for 9 nights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello!

 

My name is Frank and I have been cruising with Celebrity regularly for the previous eight years, usually in November/December. My wife and I are from Germany and we have mostly cruised on S-class ships. We usually went for SV or C1 cabins because of their pretty decent price-performance ratio. Celebrity used to offer 14-day-cruises to the Caribbean in winter time. The 14-day-cruise on the Reflection this upcoming December seems to be the last cruise of this length. In addition, prices have increased significantly so we will be looking for alternatives.

 

Because we are Elite with Celebrity I already got Diamond with Royal. So it makes sense to check their cruises as well. For winter 2019 I found interesting 9/10-days-itineraries on the Explorer and the Serenade of the Seas.

 

But are these ships serious alternatives to S-class ships at all? Or could somebody give me other, maybe better alternatives?

 

Frank

Frank,

We have done 10 Celebrity cruises and last April/May we did our first Royal C cruise on a 23 day transpacific from Sydney to Seattle. We loved the Diamond Happy Hour, which was better than the Elite, since Diamond HH runs from 4:30 until 8 and you can take a drink with you or even order a glass of wine with dinner at the MDR up until 8. Can't do that on Celebrity. We didn't have to pay for an alcoholic drink the entire cruise.

 

Explorer of the Seas is slightly larger than a Celebrity S class ship, but the only design feature that we didn't care for was the lack of the Sunset Bar aft of the buffet. On Explorer and most RCI ships there is not Sunset Bar where you can sit outside and eat your breakfast or lunch.

 

Entertainment on RCI is better than Celebrity, we had two great ice shows as well. Dining on RCI in the MDR is still very good and very close to Celebrity in service and food. The buffet is not as good, the food selections are frequently heavy meats. Sorry, we don't eat steaks for lunch.

 

Since RCI doesn't bundle promos its prices are generally lower than Celebrity. We will continue to compare the two lines in the future.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I also suggest MSC's Yacht Club.

With their status match you will also receive a 5% discount.

 

Veterans get 10 percent off

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for all your responses!

 

Well, we fly over from Hamburg to Miami not only for cruising. In fact, we always spent about an additional week in Southern Florida. Either before the cruises, in between or afterwards.

 

I will check with MSC to find out how this match could be done. Pretty nice if this really works

 

Any thoughts about the Serenade and the Explorer of the Seas in particular? These two ships have pretty good itineraries in December 2019. And I do not really care for the Mega cruisers such as Oasis Class.

 

Thanks again!!

 

Frank

 

Hi Frank,

 

We have been on both the Explorer and the Serenade. They are both wonderful ships and in our opinion, a lot nicer than than the new mega ships. One thing nice about both of these ships is the Diamond Lounge which you may enjoy. The Diamond lounges, (unless recently moved) are located at the top of the ship with wonderful views. The newer RCI ships are locating the Diamond Lounges in the interior.

 

On our recent Alaska cruise on the Explorer, we really enjoyed the lounge when the ship made a close approach to a glacier. We started out in our room on the balcony but then we decided to go up to the Diamond lounge and it was incredible being able to see forward and both sides of the ship at the same time.

 

We prefer the Explorer over the Serenade due to the promenade but the Serenade (Radiance class ship) is designed with outward visibility and lots of glass. So it all depends on what you think you might like to try.

 

As others have said here, the experience is different with lots of activities. The ice show on the Explorer is incredible. No ice show on the Serenade.

 

We are more laid back so we've begun booking Celebrity but we also book RCI. We are also considering a river cruise in Europe for 2020.

 

Cheers - T

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What about azamara?

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

I think the OP was looking for something a little less expensive than Celebrity. I would like to try Azamara if I could find a nice deal.

T

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Veterans get 10 percent off

 

I also suggest MSC's Yacht Club.

With their status match you will also receive a 5% discount.

 

 

Is that US military only?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks again to all of you!

 

As mentioned before we really love the S-class ships. Mostly because of the ambiance. We are not really into party boats. We like to sit in Cafe Al Bacio or outside in the Oceanview Cafe after we had gone diving on Curacao, Bonaire. St. Lucia, Grand Cayman or Costa Maya. So, the itinerary is also highly relevant. On the other hand the food is not really so important. On the S-class ships we almost always use the buffet and sit outside enjoying the warm Caribbean air.

 

The main reason why I was asking for an alternative is the worry that X will continue to increase their prices even further. And at some point it is simply enough and inacceptable. Even for us as loyal X cruisers ( we have appr. 16 cruises with them) and even if we could afford it.

 

We are booked on the Reflection this upcoming December for a 14 day cruise. For next year December we still have options on the Silhouette for their 12 and 9 days cruises (B2B). Comparing the prices on a daily basis X increased the prices by 25% from 2018 to 2019. I strongly assume (and hope) that prices will come down eventually by September 2019. If not, I will give Royal a chance (Explorer and/or Serenade). Their itineraries in December 2019 are 9/10/11 nights long with nice ports of call. Based on your valuable inputs we have already paid some deposits. The final decisions have to be made in August 2019. So, let`s see how this will turn out. Thanks again for your support!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • SAIL-AWAY GIVEAWAY - Enter for a chance to win a $3,000 Norwegian Cruise Line Gift Card
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...