What are the differences between a Princess cruise and a Celebrity cruise? I've booked my first princess cruise (since about 10 years ago) and after having sailed Celebrity mostly in the meantime, I'm wondering what differences to expect.
I have only done one Celebrity cruise and I have done four on Princess so my opinion may not be the best. For me Celebrity staff were very good but not quite as relaxed or as friendly as on Princess. The crew on both Princess and Celebrity did an excellent job but they seemed more relaxed on Princess. For me I prefer this you may not. I also enjoyed the decor on Princess much more than Celebrity. I felt more comfortable and at home on Princess than I did on Celebrity.
All of this is based on what I like in a cruise ship. I thought Celebrity did a great job with a few exceptions. Even after my first Princess cruise I wanted to sail with them again I did not feel that way with Celebrity.
Go with an open mind and you will have a great time on Princess. I know we had a great time on Celebrity even though it was not our favorite.
We have sailed on 11 cruises in 7 years: 5 Celebrity, 3 RCI, 2 Princess inc. The Grand and the Carnival Pride just for background info. Celebrity offers a refined elegant cruise for adults with great food and service to varied ports of call for a good price. Their children's program is still being established and is good during School breaks. We would rather cruise without a lot of Kids. Carnival & RCI did a great job of keeping kids busy. Staff is unobtrusive and aim to please but not to entertain. Some consider this as being cold and not friendly. Decor is refined with the art pleasing to some, off the wall for others. The food has been great, however as a comparison, Princess offers 24 hr. dining. and Personal Choice, Celebrity does not. Celebrity still has Sommaliers and bar service in the dining room. I love the dome covered Thallostherapy pools even on Galaxy which you must pay for. It is worth it. Entertainment has improved a lot on Celebrity, too. Princess; Embarkation - the best of all cruise lines IMHO but no one escorts you to your cabin upon arrival. If I were new to cruising, I would be "lost". Cabins are of similar size. Princess offers bowls of fresh fruit and will replenish it during the week. Celebrity and Princess now offer robes and place Pool/Beach towels in your cabin. You just return them to the cabin and your steward will refresh the towel. If you need more just request them or try the spa. If you don't return your towels, you will be charged +$20 each. No Captain's Welcome Party or Midnight Buffets on Princess (due to 24 hr. food service). However, a Repeater's party is held at the same time of the usual Captain's Party and the captain did greet and actually mingled with the passengers. $2 drinks were available for everyone to purchase in many lounges before dinner on this first formal night. Personal Choice is not our choice. I feel this was disruptive from the Traditions we love so much about cruising. I respect the availability for choice, but not how it affects the overall "dress" recommendation and the seating at shows. The prevailing attitude is now, "It is my vacation and I will do what I want." We were not able to get into 2 shows due to overcrowding at the Late show. I love Princess Cays. What a relaxing way to spend a day on vacation. There is little difference in price, so that has never affected our choice of which line to cruise with other than the RCI Voyager class ships. Celebrity was our 1st. choice of cruise line, but we absolutely love the new Carnival Pride. So much so, we are booked on her new sister the Legend. I have not been on a bad cruise or ship yet! I always find something great about our vacation. Why not, at least we are on vacation.