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dx052

Moonlighting with other cruise lines

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Has anybody here have experience with some other ships like NCL Bliss and MSC Seaside for example (not interested in Carnival) as I see a lot interesting things that I like. I have only been on Celebrity, we do mainly 10 night plus cruises in the Caribbean as we have to travel far from europe just to get to the ports so its not easy to just do a sample cruise to figure it out for ourselves.  We have been on Cunard before but that's another kind of cruise. Things we like about Celebrity which works for us is the drinks package, the food, the martini bar :) and the fact that there are less kids but that could be down to the time of year we travel.

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2 minutes ago, dx052 said:

Has anybody here have experience with some other ships like NCL Bliss and MSC Seaside for example (not interested in Carnival) as I see a lot interesting things that I like. I have only been on Celebrity, we do mainly 10 night plus cruises in the Caribbean as we have to travel far from europe just to get to the ports so its not easy to just do a sample cruise to figure it out for ourselves.  We have been on Cunard before but that's another kind of cruise. Things we like about Celebrity which works for us is the drinks package, the food, the martini bar :) and the fact that there are less kids but that could be down to the time of year we travel.

We have been with NCL (Med); Cunard (Norway); HAL (Caribbean); P&O (Transatlantic) and Celebrity (Caribbean, Mexican Riviera and Canary Islands).  For us, the passenger mix and demographic is very important. We found NCL to have far more young children that we want on holiday; HAL attracts an older crowd; P&O was too “British” for us; Cunard and Celebrity tick most of the boxes for us.  We drink very little, so packages are of no interest to us.  We like a nice mixed international clientele and good food and have found that on Celebrity and particularly Cunard, that is the case. While we don’t mind large ships, “mega-ships” do not appeal to us. Our forthcoming trip is a Celebrity T/Atl so Celebrity has pretty much become our “first choice” cruise line. These views of course are my personal views but to to be honest, I don’t think MSC, Carnival or RC have ever been contenders for us and I don’t see that changing.

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I appreciate your thoughts, we pretty much think the same way.

Edited by dx052

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We like Celebrity as well.  We stayed in AquaClass and thought that the Blu restaurant tied into it was the best reason to be there.  Food was excellent and the dining room had more of a shoreside restaurant feel than the MDR  (obviously larger).  What we dont like is the impossibility of getting a lounger anywhere near the pool

 

Celebrity attracts less kids than the others that you mention.  Different story at vacation times, but overall families with kids go somewhere else

 

we have also cruised with Oceania and Crystal.  Oceania was a smaller ship (1200 pax) but poolside was always available.  Food was out of this world - a definite notch above Celebrity.  Downside is that the vibe on the ship is less 'busy" than Celebrity - there isnt a nightly cirque de soleile in the lobby.  Chamber music, piano players etc - yes.  Somewhat older crowd as well but no wheelchairs....  A little more money, but i would sail with them again

 

We did Crystal River ( i know not the same) and it was excellent.  So much so, that i would look at them and try to find something affordable on the ocean.  You have to look, but they are there

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we don't really do the shows, in fact I think I have only been to one and left early on another so we are kind of lost after dinner so we make the most of our port days which is a big part of cruise. 

Edited by dx052

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We are mainly RCCL and Celebrity cruisers. We tried MSC Seaside last Jan. and it was by far the worst cruise ever. The food, service, and rooms were not at the same level as we have experienced  in the past. I'm sure other people will not agree with me but that was my experience. All MSC cruisers praise the Yacht Club. I am not looking for any special treatment such as butlers, exclusive dining, or lavish rooms. I just want a nice veranda room, decent food and service. I find that RCCL and Cel. meet my needs without having to spend more to stay in the YC on MSC. Others will argue that it is the European style of cruising. Have been to Europe many times and never had bad service, food was great, nobody ever lied to me or called me a liar, or charged me for something I was entitled to.  The Seaside is beautiful but  that is the only plus. Good luck with your decision and happy cruising!

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I cruised MSC in the Yacht Club and posted my review on the Celebrity boards.  I would never cruise MSC in the general population as there are too many people, but the Yacht Club is a quiet sanctuary with its own pool, restaurant, and lovely lounge.  Much better deal than a suite on Celebrity.  Itinerary not so good at present, but they're just getting started in the American market.  Lots of international people aboard.

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Been on Oceania, Celebrity, and Royal Caribbean. 

 

As you would expect the more you pay the better the experience. Dining on Oceania blows away Celebrity(however we found Murano to match up well with Oceanias best offering with Tuscan fairly decent as well). The Chinese restaurant(qsing?) and the Japanese are truly for those who don't know authentic/good Asian food, but I digress... I find Oceania to be worth the premium paid over Celebrity. I would never consider Royal Caribbean again(folks are treated like cattle there). Celebrity is our cruise-line of choice when we do travel with our 2 younger kids(newer Oceania ships can only accommodate 1 child unless you go bigger suites). However without kids I'd rebook with Oceania.

Edited by reposado

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Over two years ago we walked away from Celebrity because we no longer enjoyed the product it had morphed into the previous few years. In fact, we though we were done cruising as we thought Celebrity had been the best of the best and it no longer met our needs. This past year we stumbled on a deal in a Grand Suite on the Allure of the Seas for about what we paid for Aqua on our last cruise on Celebrity, about $200 p.p. per day which included internet, and gratuities.. Best cruise ever! 0 complaints. We also tried the MSC Seaside, in a Yacht Club Deluxe Suite, for the same type of pricing on this included a deluxe drink package. Second best cruise ever! We also have a Seaside cruise booked for this October, still under $200 p.p. per day, with the same perks.

The size of the Allure is a nonissue for us as we've cruised on it several times before. The MSC cruises are a bit different, mostly based on it's European ties. Nonissue for us. From what I've read, heard, and seen, anything outside the Yacht Club might be a different story,

I still look at pricing on Celebrity, and have found some real deals, but my less than pleasant memories stopped me from pulling the trigger. The last being a 22 day B2B, to Hawaii, from Vancouver on the Elipse. Price was about $2400 p.p. including all taxes and fees, plus gratuities.

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We now stay with Celebrity and RC. They both offer a product we like. We also like the differences between the two. Personal preference. 

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By the way if anyone want a visual on how much better the food on Oceania is... Here is a review thread I made from a few years back.

 

 

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1 hour ago, reposado said:

 

 

As you would expect the more you pay the better the experience. Dining on Oceania blows away Celebrity(however we found Murano to match up well with Oceanias best offering with Tuscan fairly decent as well). The Chinese restaurant(qsing?) and the Japanese are truly for those who don't know authentic/good Asian food, but I digress... I find Oceania to be worth the premium paid over Celebrity. I would never consider Royal Caribbean again(folks are treated like cattle there). Celebrity is our cruise-line of choice when we do travel with our 2 younger kids(newer Oceania ships can only accommodate 1 child unless you go bigger suites). However without kids I'd rebook with Oceania.

The Chinese restaurant is Silk Harvest and I agree with you that it is not the best Chinese food.  Qsine has morphed into Le Petite Chef which pleases some people.  We would like to try Oceania but still stick to Celebrity as we enjoy the loyalty perks and they way they treat us.

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We have had enough of Celebrity's weaker menu nights and their version of entertainment.  The background music and volume of atrium music have driven us to book another line just for the change.  Our pension levels do not mix well with the suite life alternatives but we are considering anything but Celebrity for the next year or so.  As public space is morphed into more cabins, more revenue, more crowded dining rooms, fewer hideouts and places to sit, we are done with modern luxury for the executives in charge.

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10 hours ago, dx052 said:

Has anybody here have experience with some other ships like NCL Bliss and MSC Seaside for example (not interested in Carnival) as I see a lot interesting things that I like. I have only been on Celebrity, we do mainly 10 night plus cruises in the Caribbean as we have to travel far from europe just to get to the ports so its not easy to just do a sample cruise to figure it out for ourselves.  We have been on Cunard before but that's another kind of cruise. Things we like about Celebrity which works for us is the drinks package, the food, the martini bar 🙂 and the fact that there are less kids but that could be down to the time of year we travel.

 

Hi DX

 

have you sailed MSC in the Med or other parts of Europe? We have friends we met in the Baltics on Celebrity (they are from the UK) that sailed MSC. 

Wondering what you have thought in the reverse of your question/experience... we have considered trying MSC in the Med 

TYIA

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4 hours ago, Fogfog said:

 

Hi DX

 

have you sailed MSC in the Med or other parts of Europe? We have friends we met in the Baltics on Celebrity (they are from the UK) that sailed MSC. 

Wondering what you have thought in the reverse of your question/experience... we have considered trying MSC in the Med 

TYIA

Hi, we have never been on a cruise in the Mediterranean we normally just do land holidays in the med and cruise holiday in the Caribbean as it works out cheaper for us so I can't compare the two unfortunately.  

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16 hours ago, dx052 said:

Has anybody here have experience with some other ships like NCL Bliss and MSC Seaside for example (not interested in Carnival) as I see a lot interesting things that I like. I have only been on Celebrity, we do mainly 10 night plus cruises in the Caribbean as we have to travel far from europe just to get to the ports so its not easy to just do a sample cruise to figure it out for ourselves.  We have been on Cunard before but that's another kind of cruise. Things we like about Celebrity which works for us is the drinks package, the food, the martini bar 🙂 and the fact that there are less kids but that could be down to the time of year we travel.

 

We are in a similar dilemma but with reference to the Mediterranean! Like you we are from the U.K. Our cruising pattern has usually been one Caribbean cruise and one Mediterranean cruise each year. Pricing up in the Caribbean we honestly are not tempted to jump lines. When we price up alternatives such as RC which we have previously cruised we don’t think any small saving is worth those things you mention (drinks package, food) which we so value on Celebrity. 

 

This will be the first year in a while where we have not had some sort of Mediterranean cruise. We simply cannot justify the cost. It doesn’t help that the ships in the Mediterranean this summer are the mega expensive Edge and the dated M class....We have seriously considered and have been following reviews particularly on the MSC yacht club. The fact remains that no matter how you look at it a cruise on another ship still isn’t cheap and we will feel cheated if we board and regret our decision. Unfortunately the MSC ship cruising from Southampton (which would have kept costs down) is an old one.

 

Thanks for starting this thread, we will be following the advice you receive closely....At present we can book a four bedroom private villa with pool on a Mediterranean island including flights for a month and have change rather than book our usual preferred room (RS) on Edge for seven nights....

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I would love to do a med cruise on a Celebrity ship to mix things up a bit but as you said its very expensive and isn't good value for money for us, the only one I would consider is a Fjords cruise but that's another topic. We are actually booked for the Edge in December although I am excited to go on a new ship the 7 day itinerary for this one doesn't blow me away so we are seeing it as the ship being the main attraction lets hope we get it out of our system and tick the box and stick with the S class ships and look at new ports because there are only so many times I can see St Maarten especially post Irma. Back to the food on X I have noticed a slight drop, On our last cruise I don't think I put any weight on and it was for 10 nights. I am not a fan of a ship within a ship to extremes.

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We did the Fjords in April/May, it was fantastic, I would recommend.

 

We looked at the 7 night Edge itinerary for the Autumn and did consider but we could book an 11 night post Revolution Equinox (both RS) for significantly less and it is a better itinerary....I am sure we will try the Edge at some stage, we have been following the reviews, look forward to reading your comments.

 

Whilst I am aware and understand the negative feelings of some about the ship within a ship concept for us it does work. We enjoy having a big ship to explore but then value the extra perks and pampering we get in a suite room. When we were younger and our cruises were all about the destinations we would not have wanted or valued those things but now....

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We have done 10 Celebrity, 7 NCL and 1 Royal C. cruises.

 

I do a competitive best value with these and add Princess to the mix.   Lately, Royal C. seems to win out due to pricing.

For example, I wanted to do a TransAtlantic from Europe to Miami in 2020.  Found similar cruise on Royal C. as well as Celebrity. Royal's price was 60% of Celebrity.  Neither had the dreaded price bundling that Celebrity and NCL favor.  We don't want any promos like drink packages.

 

We love the Celebrity M and S class ships and their design.  We don't care for mega ships and disliked the NCL Epic.

Celebrity ship design allows passengers to enjoy the ocean views the most.  In particular, we like the sunset bar that is just outside the buffet where we can eat outside and enjoy the ocean.  Also, we love the sky lounge at the bow of the ship.  NCL has take those parts of the ship (aft and bow) for more cabins or for the spa.

 

Entertainment is best on Royal C. or NCL.  Love the Royal C. ice shows.

Celebrity entertainment is not bad, just not as good and they repeat their shows far too long.  I don't know how many times that I have see the dreaded disco one or Burt Bacharach one.  

Food is best on Celebrity, but NCL is catching up, we have noticed improvement in our last two NCL cruises.

 

 

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3 hours ago, chemmo said:

 

We are in a similar dilemma but with reference to the Mediterranean! Like you we are from the U.K. Our cruising pattern has usually been one Caribbean cruise and one Mediterranean cruise each year. Pricing up in the Caribbean we honestly are not tempted to jump lines. When we price up alternatives such as RC which we have previously cruised we don’t think any small saving is worth those things you mention (drinks package, food) which we so value on Celebrity. 

 

This will be the first year in a while where we have not had some sort of Mediterranean cruise. We simply cannot justify the cost. It doesn’t help that the ships in the Mediterranean this summer are the mega expensive Edge and the dated M class....We have seriously considered and have been following reviews particularly on the MSC yacht club. The fact remains that no matter how you look at it a cruise on another ship still isn’t cheap and we will feel cheated if we board and regret our decision. Unfortunately the MSC ship cruising from Southampton (which would have kept costs down) is an old one.

 

Thanks for starting this thread, we will be following the advice you receive closely....At present we can book a four bedroom private villa with pool on a Mediterranean island including flights for a month and have change rather than book our usual preferred room (RS) on Edge for seven nights....

A month in a villa w pool including rt air vs Edge speaks volumes about the price gouging on Edge

We enjoy land based vacations in Italy--having lived there for a bit--and normally try and vacation there. However in recent years have found the cost to fly US to Italia plus rental car, lodging  etc ends up being a chunk of change

 

Looking fwd to seeing what advice the OP gets here.

 

Like you we have been reticent to spend the $ on MSC. Our Uk friends hated MSC--feeling the taxi type of shuttle between Med ports with decks constantly full of pax coming going ... and the general food/service was below the X standard they have come to enjoy... 

We noticed too that the only X choices in the Med have been the Edge - which we don't care to sail... or the M class ...

With the revolution the updates should make a difference. 

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I would look at the upper end of those lines, Yacht Club and Haven, to get a similar experience to Celebrity. Although I do think the NCL Haven cabins are incredibly overpriced if you book regular rates without playing their upgrade game. Even a Vibe Club pass on NCL helps since you're not in the mix of the shoulder to shoulder people on their outdoor decks.

 

We weren't ever opposed to returning to RC until lately. For their recent designs, they must have hired the leftover designers from those awful "Mills" branded outlet malls that were all over the US. Their ships and the whole concept just doesn't do a thing for us anymore.

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@dx052 Did you see the B2B2B comparison on the Celebrity page? A recent cruiser compared MSC, X and a third--I think Princess. May provide some insight

Edited by Fogfog

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19 hours ago, davekathy said:

We now stay with Celebrity and RC. They both offer a product we like. We also like the differences between the two. Personal preference. 

Hi davekathy.  Have been a loyal Celebrity cruiser but have also looked at RC in the past (but never booked).  Would you mind sharing some of the differences that make RC appealing to you?  This may help in my assessment of whether to book RC or not.  Thank you in advance.....  🙂

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We've been on Carnival, Costa, Norwegian, Princess, Holland America, Royal Caribbean, MSC and Celebrity.

 

We'd do Holland America again, but will stick to Celebrity, MSC (Yacht Club)and Royal for now (and in that order).

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2 hours ago, Reel Love said:

Hi davekathy.  Have been a loyal Celebrity cruiser but have also looked at RC in the past (but never booked).  Would you mind sharing some of the differences that make RC appealing to you?  This may help in my assessment of whether to book RC or not.  Thank you in advance.....  🙂

When we cruise with RC we do not and will not cruise on their mega ships (Allure and Oasis). Too big and do not like the idea of prescheduling/reserving  entertainment. Not mandatory but assures you a seat at the different shows. We like that we don't have to do that on Celebrity. On RC we cruise their Freedom, Voyager and Radiance  class ships. The Radiance class ships are our favorite RC class. We like Celebrity's M & S class ships. Perfect sizes. The Freedom and Voyager class ships are bigger than the Radiance class so they also have the Royal Promenade deck. Not a must but a nice change of scenery and offerings . As far as we are concerned the staterooms and food are equal. Same with staff.  We are easily pleased and always finding a good variety of selections of food we like on both RC and Celebrity.  We always eat all our meals in the MDR and in the evening do My Time Dining (MTD) on RC and Select Dining (SD) on Celebrity with reservations. We like that RC has Quest (late night adult theme event) once per cruise and on the Freedom and Voyager class ships they also have an ice rink for an ice production show (once per cruise). We enjoy the different perks that RC offers for their top tier cruisers. No complaints about Celebrity's top tier perks. Again some differences between the two, but variety is good. One thing we do not like about RC is they allow smoking in their casinos. We aren't gamblers but the smoke floats out of the casino and into the public areas around it and also up to the Royal Promenade deck. A lot of smokers use the casino as a smoking lounge. Kudos to Celebrity for no longer allowing any indoor smoking.  If we had to pick between  RC and Celebrity that would be a very difficult choice but we would choose Celebrity. Glad we don't have to choose one or the other.  One of the big reason we like about Celebrity is less kids. With all that said we are doing a B2B cruise on RCs Freedom Of The Seas 3 and 10 March 2019 and can't wait.:classic_biggrin: 

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