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AmandaLMcL

Similarities and differences - P and O and Celebrity

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The title of this post says it all - for those of you who have cruised with both, thoughts please. 

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Have not cruised with Celebrity, but price would be the main thing for me.  Also they don't sail anywhere much from Southampton.

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Celebrity has better food, service and cleanliness standards, possibly P&O has better  entertainment although we always found Celebrity's  production shows better quality than P&O, and Celebrity's Solstice class ships are light years ahead of the current P&O fleet.  But with the recent drop in Sterling's value then price might be more of a deciding factor, and my last Celebrity cruise was in 2016 so things may be different now.

 

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Just looked at cruises on Celebrity from southampton and even in 2020 they are way more expensive than P&O.  also, they do not have the longer cruises, like 19 nights that we enjoy.  I believe drinks are far more expensive too?

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Celebrity is more expensive than P&O for onboard prices and tips and of course all dollar charges to subject to currency fluctuations.

 

Drinks prices in particular are high however they do offer some lovely choices and excellent selection of cocktails, try the ice bar for martinis. If you get the “free” drinks package drinks are limited but still a reasonable choice, the best ones are on the premium package which is an extra charge.

 

I prefer the buffets on Celebrity, a much larger range and better quality of food IMO. They also offer a lots of healthy option foods.

 

The Celebrity stage show productions are really good but there is less overall entertainment than P&O.

 

The Celebrity ships have different features eg a grass lawn for playing cricket or having a picnic listening to jazz. The have more wow factor.

 

Like P&O Celebrity also offer good quality extra pay restaurants which are well worth visiting.

 

Most things on Celebrity are just a slightly higher quality than on P&O, just small things like thicker towels, better quality beds on the sun deck etc. You are however paying a large premium for things that are nice but perhaps not worth the much higher Cruise package cost given, as John says above, the drop in the pound.

 

The passenger mix is more cosmopolitan, not all just Brits.

 

 

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It is not a level playing field anymore mainly due to exchange rates which are have made 2019 and 2020 cruises on Celebrity more expensive and the drinks prices on board are exorbitant IMO. We have drifted back to P&O for this reason but would choose Celebrity every time for a comparatively priced cruise. Every time we have been on Celebrity it has been because the price has been good compared to P&O. Last year we went to Baltic on Celebrity on the same day as Azura and our cruise was cheaper than P&O and we had a drinks package included but that does not happen often. Looking at 2019 and 2020 prices they have increased on Celebrity to more than we are prepared to pay for a standard 14 night with Balcony cruise and we could not justify the on board spend either without a drinks package.

Celebrity are just a click above P&O in all aspects IMO particularly Service. Food is superior IMO and we loved the Buffet selection. The Speciality restaurants are very good but expensive ($50 pp last year). 

On a like for like cruise, Celebrity wins every time for us. 

Edited by bee-ess

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We have mainly sailed with Celebrity apart from a week on the Marella Dream, which we also enjoyed, but we have booked a 19 day cruise to the Med on the P & O Arcadia for June 2020. So we are interested to see how this thread progresses. We thought we would try a different line, although we love Celebrity.

 

The one little gripe we have had about Celebrity is that there seemed to be no quiet corners apart from our cabin where we could go to relax and get away from it all. Last year we were on the Baltic cruise with Celeb which followed the Bravo cruise, (we were also on that) and apart from our niggle had a fabulous time.  We would do it all over again if we could.

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We have sailed on Celebrity on the Silhouette and the Constellation.  We have been Oceana, Britannia and Ventura on P&O.

We have always sailed in the school holidays on both cruise lines and travel as a couple of 50 somethings ;-)

 

  • P&O definitely has more of a British feel to it - from the passengers, the entertainment and the food. Far fewer Brits on Celebrity and it is nice to meet others from different parts of the world on Celebrity
  • The drinks are far cheaper on P&O and you can take 2 litres of spirits per couple max. with you when you board. P&O drinks are UK pub prices. E.g. small Peroni 330 ml on Celebrity was $10 and on P&O a pint is about £5
  • We enjoy the sailaways on P&O - there seems more of a party atmosphere which can be avoided if you don't feel like it.
  • There will be about 2 formal nights each week on P&O. Personally we love the formal nights when the vast majority of passengers dress up in their finery for the evening. Really don't get the Glitz and Glamour on Celebrity and didn't feel in any way special. If you want to avoid the formal nights though you can
  • There will be tea and coffee making facilities (and biscuits) which are replenished twice a day on P&O in your cabin. We had them on Celebrity in August 2018 which was a novelty for us and am not sure if they are doing this more often.
  • Speciality restaurants are far cheaper on P&O - from about £6 per person on Oceana, about £25 on Ventura (can't remember the exact cost). On Celebrity it is more like $50 cheapest
  • Some people think that the speciality restaurants are better on Celebrity but we think it is hit and miss - there are good and bad on both dependant on your taste
  • Fly cruising with P&O is much easier as you leave your cases at the airport and the next time you see them they are by your cabin. On Celebrity you have to collect them at the foreign airport and load them on to the Celebrity bus etc
  • Food - personally we prefer the food on P&O in the Main Dining Room. It is more to our tastes and we were not impressed on Constellation last year. When it comes to the buffet, however, Celebrity win hands down - the buffet on Silhouette is amazing
  • Ship excursions on P&O are far cheaper - even if it is the same excursion there is definitely a mark up on Celebrity
  • Entertainment - we don't tend to bother with the shows so can not comment.
  • Cabin stewards good on both
  • Staff on P&O are more reserved but still friendly
  • Celebrity is way more expensive if you are stuck to school holidays
  • The in cabin entertainment on P&O is better - i.e. the movies on the new ships are new to watch but have to pay on Celebrity
  • Solstice ships and larger ships like Britannia have a good sized adults only area. Solstice ship areas are beautiful though
  • Celebrity have more areas on ships where only Suite passengers are allowed to go - not aware of this on P&O
  • We love the Solstice Class (Silhouette) - they are stunningly beautiful ships. We love Britannia and Oceana remains one of our favourites. She is much older though so not too fair to compare the two. Did not really like Ventura that much and would not sail on that class of ship with P&O for a Med. holiday again. (Infact, we chose Celebrity for 2019 rather than Princess for our 25th anniversary as we did not fancy 2 weeks on Ventura's Princess sister ship)
  • There are quiet places to hide away on both
  • We love the outdoor area of the buffet restaurant on the Celebrity ships and the Sunset bars

We have often wondered what we would do if we saw the exact same cruise itinerary, for the same price on P&O (Oceana or Britannia) and Celebrity Silhouette. To be honest, we really don't know what we would do as both have their pluses and minuses and we tend to just go an enjoy ourselves.

 

It is also important to remember that when people compare P&O and Celebrity Celebrity's costs are way higher for the school holidays / high season at the minute so you are not comparing like for like.

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16 hours ago, MrsNorman said:

We have mainly sailed with Celebrity apart from a week on the Marella Dream, which we also enjoyed, but we have booked a 19 day cruise to the Med on the P & O Arcadia for June 2020. So we are interested to see how this thread progresses. We thought we would try a different line, although we love Celebrity.

 

The one little gripe we have had about Celebrity is that there seemed to be no quiet corners apart from our cabin where we could go to relax and get away from it all. Last year we were on the Baltic cruise with Celeb which followed the Bravo cruise, (we were also on that) and apart from our niggle had a fabulous time.  We would do it all over again if we could.

We are booked on the Arcadia next year so will be interested to see what you think 🙂

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On ‎2‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 7:59 AM, AmandaLMcL said:

We are booked on the Arcadia next year so will be interested to see what you think 🙂

I like writing reviews, so I will post one when we get back!

 

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We are going on our 1st P & O cruise to the Fjords in June. We did our 1st cruise on Celebrity last June to Russia and Northern Europe. We sailed on Eclipse and we were very impressed with what Celebrity had to offer. I am however looking forward to our June cruise on Britannia.

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We're going on Silhouette to the Med in July from Southampton; school hols due to my wife's job

We have previously sailed twice on Ventura from Southampton, and once on Constellation from Venice, all in the Summer holidays.

For this Summer we actually compared similar cruises, Britannia 14 days to the Med and Silhouette, a day later to the Med for 14 days. We booked with Celebrity as the prices were very similar, especially when you factor in the drinks package that you can normally get with Celebrity.  eg on Constellation 11 day cruise last year we had a $150 on board spend which we struggled to spend. Our two previous cruises with P&O racked up into 4 figures for the two weeks ( 3 of us).

I think that the overall experience with Celebrity is better, last cruise approx 1100 UK out of 2000 pax, which gives a more cosmopolitan feel. However, I do enjoy the "Britishness" of P&O and we have now booked an autumn cruise back on Ventura.

 

Food/Dining- we always go "freedom" and found Celebrity geared up better to smaller table sizes; very little wait for your own table and if there was they operate the similar pager system to  P&O.  With Celebrity we were able to go the front desk and ask for table in 30 mins or so to enable us to go and get a drink. We always had our own table. Food is certainly more "descriptive" with Celebrity, they also have  "everyday staples" on the dinner menu. My main criticism of Celebrity was the Breakfast buffet in that hot food service finished around 1000-1030, whereas with P&O it does go later.

 

Drinks etc- a lot more expensive with Celebrity, and without a package I would dread to think of the final bill.

 

Entertainment is a lot more geared for the UK on P&O whereas Celebrity has a more International flavour. Better equipped theatres etc on Celebrity and they seemed to have a lot more intimate type gigs in the bars etc.

 

 

 

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Tried P&O Britannia in the Caribbean not for us, too cramped, poor dining and similar to the Costas in the 80's. Whilst Celebrity is significantly better in most areas but has its shortcomings.  We probably sailed our last Celebrity cruise last December due to their ridiculous price rises, similar cruise to what we experienced last year is currently 65% more this year.

We recently tried MSC in their Yacht Club and were blown away by the experience. Both P&O and Celebrity need to up their game as the competition is way ahead.  

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We board Britannia in 8 days, have been on 4 Celebrity cruises, will let you know my thoughts.

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Having reflected again on this topic I think it depends on which ship you go on. We loved the Silhouette with Celebrity and everything about her. Now the Constellation, we were just saying the other day that we would not want to return on that style of ship with Celebrity as it was disappointing and we hated the dining experience as it was like a huge cattle market.

 

P&O Love Oceana and Britannia but didn't take to Ventura. Really did not like out cabin on Ventura at all, but are looking forward to the one we have chosen on Azura.

 

Well, we are off on Azura in a week's time (yeah) and Celebrity Edge in August. It will be interesting to see how things go with 2 ships we have never sailed on before.

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Celebrity is our first choice and we have done quite a few cruises with them since we started cruising properly around 4 years ago.  We have also sailed with other lines and so I feel happy to make a comparison about the things I value.

 

We are just back from our 2nd P&O cruise, this time on Ventura; last year Azura. The only things I consider to be better than Celebrity are the prices, the breakfast and the lack of piped electronic music.  Otherwise Celebrity wins hands down for me.

 

Celebrity pricing does seem to have jumped recently and that will affect my booking decisions going forward.  Not a problem since we also enjoy independent land-based touring holidays, mostly abroad.  We are usually cruising for the destinations first and ship second.

 

P&O still offers decent value for money with the cruises I have looked at.  We are in our sixties and despite our recent cruise being advertised as a ‘family cruise’ with plenty of children and their parents on board, I thought that the entertainment was definitely skewed to us older passengers.  This maybe a big thumbs up for many and a turn-off for others.

 

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1 hour ago, mrsgoggins said:

Celebrity is our first choice and we have done quite a few cruises with them since we started cruising properly around 4 years ago.  We have also sailed with other lines and so I feel happy to make a comparison about the things I value.

 

We are just back from our 2nd P&O cruise, this time on Ventura; last year Azura. The only things I consider to be better than Celebrity are the prices, the breakfast and the lack of piped electronic music.  Otherwise Celebrity wins hands down for me.

 

Celebrity pricing does seem to have jumped recently and that will affect my booking decisions going forward.  Not a problem since we also enjoy independent land-based touring holidays, mostly abroad.  We are usually cruising for the destinations first and ship second.

 

P&O still offers decent value for money with the cruises I have looked at.  We are in our sixties and despite our recent cruise being advertised as a ‘family cruise’ with plenty of children and their parents on board, I thought that the entertainment was definitely skewed to us older passengers.  This maybe a big thumbs up for many and a turn-off for others.

 

 

I'd give Britannia a go as she is closer to the solstice class and to us in terms of size and, to us, a lovely ship.

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On 4/13/2019 at 11:58 AM, Presto2 said:

 

 

P&O Love Oceana and Britannia but didn't take to Ventura. Really did not like out cabin on Ventura at all, but are looking forward to the one we have chosen on Azura.

 

Well, we are off on Azura in a week's time (yeah) and Celebrity Edge in August. It will be interesting to see how things go with 2 ships we have never sailed on before.

 

If you didn't like your cabin on Ventura, it's unlikely you'll like the one you've got on Azura because they're sister ships so cabins have pretty much the same layout. The interior colours etc are different but not much else.  Funnily enough we love the layout of these cabins and prefer it to the Solstice class

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31 minutes ago, tartanexile81 said:

 

If you didn't like your cabin on Ventura, it's unlikely you'll like the one you've got on Azura because they're sister ships so cabins have pretty much the same layout. The interior colours etc are different but not much else.  Funnily enough we love the layout of these cabins and prefer it to the Solstice class

 

On Ventura we were in D114, one of the deluxe cabins and it was right at the front, right under the Bridge and above a smoking vent ! On Azura we are in an aft cabin with a lovely balcony that seems to loop around the side. Have seen it on YouTube after it was recommended by a fellow CC member. Sadly, we chose D114 over this cabin on Ventura so haven't made the same mistake this time ;-)

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We've had a few of these aft corner cabins but none of ours had a balcony that looped round. However we love the location and the balconies are a lovely size though a bit shaded. To be fair all the C deck balconies are all great too

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Not sure if I put it right. It is right on the corner so has a little bend to the left ;-) There are 2 clips on YouTube. One is on Ventura and the other Crown Princess. I always wish that we had gone with this cabin for our 17 day cruise on Ventura. Can't wait to sit there, 6 layers on with hot chocolate and Baileys enjoying the view :-)

 

 

 

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Yes that's what we had. It was great in places like the Straits of Gibraltar where you got amazing views 

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Just back off our 1st P&O on Ventura having sailed mainly Celebrity on S class ships & Constellation.

 

Overall the main dining room food was comparable for both lines for us. Celebrity wins hands down on buffet for food and layout.

 

Balcony cabin was a similar size and prefer the storage layout on Ventura however the bathroom & balcony size much better on X S class ships.

 

What stood out as a negative for P& O was poor management of embarking after shore excursions and lack of officer presence keeping on top of things around the ship, found a lot of unsmiling staff around the ship.

 

Didnt see a lot of cleaning going on around Ventura and I got a bit fed up of having a coffee in the coffee lounge at a dirty table, every time! 

 

Liked the shows on Ventura.

 

Prefer the cosmopolitan feel to Celebrity rather that Britishness of Ventura.

 

Service charge cheaper on P&O but we tend to tip personally as well however this was the only trip we struggled to find someone to give a tip too, very bizarre.

 

Happy to answer any specific questions if needed.

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6 hours ago, frogsgirl said:

Just back off our 1st P&O on Ventura having sailed mainly Celebrity on S class ships & Constellation.

 

Overall the main dining room food was comparable for both lines for us. Celebrity wins hands down on buffet for food and layout.

 

Balcony cabin was a similar size and prefer the storage layout on Ventura however the bathroom & balcony size much better on X S class ships.

 

What stood out as a negative for P& O was poor management of embarking after shore excursions and lack of officer presence keeping on top of things around the ship, found a lot of unsmiling staff around the ship.

 

Didnt see a lot of cleaning going on around Ventura and I got a bit fed up of having a coffee in the coffee lounge at a dirty table, every time! 

 

Liked the shows on Ventura.

 

Prefer the cosmopolitan feel to Celebrity rather that Britishness of Ventura.

 

Service charge cheaper on P&O but we tend to tip personally as well however this was the only trip we struggled to find someone to give a tip too, very bizarre.

 

Happy to answer any specific questions if needed.

 

I have already posted on this thread, but was a little more guarded in what I said.  However, I hear you frogsgirl!  We were on Ventura 5-12 April. On virtually every point you mention I agree - from the Ventura buffet food and layout, to the unsmiling staff, both of which were the same issues on Azura last April. As the layouts are identical, the buffet layout I expected, but largely unsmiling staff again?  Between last year's P&O cruise and this, we managed to fit in 3 Celebrity cruises and it was like night and day for us.

 

We did not use the coffee lounge this year after finding it a dismal experience last year on Azura.  Our family did however, and would echo your comments.

 

I did give additional tips to the dining room wait staff because they were nice but run off their feet, and the unsmiling room attendant because she was asked to do something extra for us mid-cruise.  She remained unsmiling!  Our family have never sailed Celebrity, mostly Disney, but again, the contrast is stark.  But so are the prices ........ which led to my remarks above about 'decent value for money'.

 

I encouraged my family to come along on this recent P&O cruise because I was impressed with what was on offer for children last April and thought it would suit my 9-year old grandson, and in that respect it did. He loved it, and especially the afternoon tea.  However, I doubt that the adults in my family would book with them again, despite the convenience of sailing from Southampton.

 

Presto2 suggested I give Britannia a try.  I have sailed on, and enjoyed, Regal Princess and Royal Princess and I know they are virtually identical layouts to Britannia, (thus eliminating the awful buffet bottle-necks in Azura and Ventura) but what put me off (and made me laugh) was when someone on these boards said words to the effect of 'think Rochdale Hippodrome for Britannia versus the London Palladium for Regal Princess'!  Never say never though.

 

I had already booked a 2-week Canaries cruise on Ventura for next April prior to going on this recent cruise and I am sure will will enjoy it, because I have amended my expectations, and the price was nowhere near that of the current prices of Celebrity cruises for a balcony cabin.

 

Back to Celebrity for the next cruise.  Yeah!

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hi mrsgoggins

 

I had already booked a cruise on Britannia end of May before the cruise on Ventura so will see if there is anything different to Ventura or comparable with X.

 

I always make the most of any situation and we did have a good holiday.

 

Price was a factor in giving P&O a go however I’m a quality over quantity type of person so this will play a factor in future bookings.

 

The staff do work very hard and such long hours, I didn’t expect them to perform for me, that’s not my style but the overwhelming feeling we got was they were simply not happy and maybe too exhausted to interact, it was just such a stark contrast to what we have previously experienced. 

Sadly we did see a significant amount of ignorance and rudeness by fellow passengers to each other and staff members and I had a few cringe moments but this happens in all cultures.

I’ll report back on my Britannia experience next month. 😊

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