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FYI - LUXURY LINE FOR LESS THAN CELEBRITY

Discussion in 'Celebrity Cruises' started by Conniemc, Apr 27, 2008.

  1. Conniemc

    Conniemc Guest

  2. BruinSteve

    BruinSteve Guest

    [quote Conniemc]LUXURY LINE FOR LESS THAN CELEBRITY[/quote]

    Ummmm....not exactly...

    We've cruised Oceania before...and are cruising with them again in July 2009...but i's for the itinerary and definitely NOT for the price...

    Oceania is VERY SNEAKY in their pricing...
    The "Base Price" on their website is only the start...
    "2 for 1" is largely just that they price their cruises...at least the "brochure rates" at about double of what anyone really pays...They run it as "2 for 1" for a long time, then change it to "40% off" late in the time frame...
    The "Free Air" is really part of the price as well...You can book with or without air and they "credit" you with the air cost...

    But, above and beyond these base prices, they tack on an unbelievable amount in various "fees" and "charges"...The transfers are NOT included, even if you're taking their cruise AND air...Their hotel packages are unconscionably priced (can you say $1400 for ONE NIGHT in Venice? $900 in Istanbul?)...Tips are added to your account at the rate of $12.50 per person per night...Drinks are higher priced and they add an 18% tip to your drink order...Gift shop prices are high...shore excursions are higher priced...and so on...

    As to the cruise itself, we priced our 2009 cruise versus a same length (14 night), similar time Med cruise on Azamara...and the total bill for the SAME cabin (the ships are identical) was $2000 higher on Oceania than Azamara...and that's just cruise plus air...

    It's a nice cruise, but, trust me, it's definitely higher priced than Celebrity...and, as far as "luxury" goes, it's not really all that much more luxurious than Celebrity...and virtually identical to Azamara...

    If Celebrity had a similar itinerary during the time window in which we could travel, we definitely would have chosen Celebrity...and saved money...
     
  3. Conniemc

    Conniemc Guest

    Well, I agree with you and disagree. I can book an INSIDE cabin for the exact same price as a standard veranda on Celebrity - I was speaking to the European cruises and since I don't do hotels, excursions, etc. - the free air alone is worth it. I pay 200% for traveling alone on Celebrity. I priced it all out and the air alone would run me $700+.

    I can pay $3K total for a 12 day European cruise - including air. Don't think you can get that price on Celebrity. Plus, the ports are excellent. I don't see Santorini on a Celebrity cruise...I could be wrong.

    And "and, as far as "luxury" goes, it's not really all that much more luxurious than Celebrity" that really surprises me. Celebrity has made many cuts in quality of food and selection. Granted, I do not believe the service has suffered...much. I have definitely seen a change in atmosphere with the "corporate" feeling, which I don't care for. But I am surprised you don't think Oceania is a higher quality cruise than M Class. I have never cruised them before, so I will take your opinion under advisement.

    Would you say Silverseas and Crystal are equal to Celebrity? Because then, I would truly be shocked. Those two lines, along with Oceania are considered head and shoulders over Celeb.
     
  4. Conniemc

    Conniemc Guest

  5. BruinSteve

    BruinSteve Guest

    As an Elite Captains Club Member as well as a repeat Oceania Club member, I have priced both lines head-to-head frequently...Oceania ALWAYS costs more than Celebrity...I have never even come up with it being close...Of course, that's comparing both cruise only AND cruise plus air, double occupnacy, lowest priced inside or balcony cabins, similar itineraries, same approxiomate time frame...I am meticulous in my pricing...

    As to itineraries, Oceania has some outstanding ones...but so does Celebrity ...and some of their Azamara itineraries are very similar to Oceanias, But, for us, we have to factor in time of year as well...since we are limited to school vacations...
    Of course Celebrity visits Santorini!!! We were there on the Millennium...

    As to the comparison, Silverseas and Crystal are in a different "class" than Oceania, but I have never perceived them as great value...The Oceania product is VERY similar to Celebrity's Azamara--in fact, it's the same ships...

    I've compared Oceania and Celebrity M-Class before...The space-to-passenger and crew-to-passenger ratios are acvtually very similar--with the M-class actually a fraction roomier...The other differences are in entertainment--MUCH BETTER on the M-Class, the open seating on O vs. the traditional dining on X--Both have advantages and disadvantages...and the lack of formal nights on O...The O also has less activity at night and fewer off-hour dining options...

    Both lines offer a nice product, but any notion that O is somehow "more luxurious" is, at best, in the eye of the beholder...

    On the whole, Celebrity clearly gives you the better value for the money...though Oceania is indeed worth a try...Like I said, I do it for the specific itinerary...and don't mind paying a little more sometimes--but I really am paying a bit more on O...I could have taken the mid-July 2009 Azamara Black Sea 14 night itinerary with air for right around $8,000 in Cabin 6010...but I am taking a June 27,2009 14 night "Holy Land" itinerary on
    Oceania at a cost, APPLES FOR APPLES, in the same cabin #6010 on an identical sister ship for $10,200...I am paying an extra $2200 for my different choice of Eastern Mediterranean ports...Everything else is pretty much comparable...and not more luxurious...
     
  6. Conniemc

    Conniemc Guest

    Well that's very informative. I am also Elite Celeb, so I respect that you are knowledgably comparing apples to apples. I was getting a little sick of the same ships with more "rules and regulations" every year, and thought I would try something else. But not if it's significantly more expensive. I also booked the new Ruby Princess in December for shits and giggles. I will not expect anything close to Celeb, but again, getting sick of the same ships and personnel. I basically OD'd on Celeb the last two years with 5-6 sailings.

    Thanks for all the info. It's appreciated.
    =COOL
     
  7. Ted_D

    Ted_D Guest

    Connie,

    You didn't look very hard if you couldn't find Santorini on X itineraries. There are over 40 of them, including both
    2008 and 2009 cruises on Galaxy, Summit, Solstice (in '09 only, of course), and on both Azamara ships.
     
  8. Conniemc

    Conniemc Guest

    I honestly only like the M class. Galaxy sounds great with the new rehab, but a little small for my cruising style. I'll check out Summit. Solstice and Azamara's designs aren't my taste. Kind of a stark, minimalist feeling to them. I have no use for the spa facilities or "feeling the grass while out at sea" (I think that's really silly).....:cool:
    Thanks again for the info!
    :D
     
  9. BruinSteve

    BruinSteve Guest

    Connie, If you don't like Azamara's ships, you won't like Oceania's---they are the SAME ships...
    Renaissance (now defunct) had seven sister ships built...Azamara now has two of them, Princess two and Oceania three...
     
  10. Conniemc

    Conniemc Guest

    Yeah, I figured that out. Thanks. Still trying to find another line....I'm wondering if Princess really sucks compared to Celeb. I mean, I know it's no Carnival, but is it mediocore?
     
  11. wave runner

    wave runner Guest

    [quote Conniemc]Yeah, I figured that out. Thanks. Still trying to find another line....I'm wondering if Princess really sucks compared to Celeb. I mean, I know it's no Carnival, but is it mediocore?[/quote]

    Hi Conniemc:

    A few years ago Celebrity was, in my opinion, a little better than Princess and HAL. In the last few years, however, things have changed dramatically. Celebrity's last new build, that is crurrently in service was, I believe the Constellation in early 2002. In the meantime Princess and most other cruise lines have added many new and modern ships to their fleets. With the upcoming introduction of the new Solstice mega ships Celebrity's interest will no doubt turn to these ships. The massive amount of experienced workers in all departments will no doubt drain away many of the experienced workers that are currently assigned to Celebrity's older ships. The one thing that has held Celebrity up, over the years, has been the great service, but that will no doubt suffer with the loss of experienced employess on all of the other Celebrity ships.

    I have sailed both Princess and Celebrity in the past two years and now I would recommend Princess, by far, over Celebrity. I think you will be very pleasantly surprised with the superior experience that Princess now offers.
     
  12. Conniemc

    Conniemc Guest

    Hi Wave,

    I agree Celeb has gone downhill with the corporate nonsense over the last two years. You can really FEEL it on the ships. However, crew members aren't slaves. They decide what contracts and what ships they will be on. They often switch ships to be with friends, lovers, family, etc.

    I've read a lot of Princess passenger posts. The demographic really isn't my taste. A cruise for me, is a very individual experience. No two people will feel the same way about a ship or line. I always make my own good time, and sure I'll have fun on Ruby. It's only a 7 day Carribean run, (I never understand why Celeb, Princess, etc waste their best new ships on boring 7 day runs that Elite members won't book and ensures the ship will get beat up quicker with first time cruisers, etc)....

    Anyway, thanks for your opinion. I'm excited just to be trying a new line. I'm very particular. I'm all HAL'd and Celeb'd out. "Boo" to megaships...I'm already an old lady at 47, because after 30 years of cruising, I don't want to be with 3-5K people on a ship so large you lose the feel of being on a ship! And I don't see myself enjoying Cunard, but might try it next.
     
  13. wave runner

    wave runner Guest

    Hi Connie:

    I sure agree with what you said about the new mega ships. They are not for me either. I thought maybe it was just me but I also find the Caribbean cruise ship runs to be boring. We spent a day in an "exciting" port in Colon Panama last year and barely got off the ship. Tried to walk outside and there was someone just outside the dock area openly selling drugs and I don't think it was aspirin!

    I have never really noticed any differences in the demography of passengers on Princess, HAL or Celebrity but I have noticed a change depending on when and where you are cruising. Cruising to Alaska you will find the average age of passengers a little older than say on a Caribbean cruise.
    Have a great cruise on the Ruby and enjoy yourself.
     
  14. Conniemc

    Conniemc Guest

    Hi Wave,

    Ha....actually I get a GREAT excursion there.,..a jungle, monkey, panama locks thing. Obviously a one time event. Ruby will be hitting the thrilling and breath taking Ocho Rios.:eek: I got off the ship once many years ago just to photograph the drug dealers waiting just outside customs.

    However, I do get to hit Cozumel again, and I never get tired of Senor Frogs - Cozumel or Acapulco.
     
  15. Hope73

    Hope73 Guest

    We have sailed with Celebrity on many cruises and consider it a good value for the money, but hardly luxurious. We also sail with Oceania and Cunard when we have the extra $. We always eat dinner in one of the (no extra cost) dining rooms on Oceania and especially enjoy the Polo Grill and the opportunity to dine with other people every evening. The quality of the food was always excellent and including local food. Their cruise up the Amazon is one that should not be missed. Last I looked, Celebrity was not offering anything in that area.

    Cunard can be luxurious, but not everyone likes that or wants to dress up most evenings. You just have to know what type of cruise/ocean voyage you want. For two of our last three voyages, Cunard upgraded us to a (lower) top class cabin from the regular class even though we are hardly one of their frequent travelers. It means you eat in the Queens or Princess Grill Restaurant with one seating. Extra selection of food, and a bar reserved for Grill passengers that is usually deserted and boring. The cabin was very nice and we did have a large balcony and a butler. A big plus for me is the QM2 has a laundry on every other floor with free soap and machines and ironing boards. You don't have to be ripped off by having your clothes cleaned and potentially ruined by sending them to the ships laundry. Some of the passengers still felt the ship was too
    "stuffy."

    Great thing you will get on Princess that you won't get on Cunard, Oceania, or Celebrity is Towel Animals! I have never seen one but I have heard from passengers that they really miss these sculptures on their beds! I hope my cabin attendants continue to spend their time cleaning my cabins and keep the towel animals off my bed and out of my cabin!
     
  16. Conniemc

    Conniemc Guest

    Ha. Thanks for your thoughts....I'll see if I really find Princess a disappointment and then figure out where to go from here....remember I travel alone, and Oceania and the like is usually 100% couples, so I have to consider that as well. Thanks for the info!
     
  17. cruiztime

    cruiztime Guest

    Celebrity has always been our favorite. We took our first Oceania cruise in March. a 15 day TA out of Rio. It was fabulous. I am still talking about the food. I thought Oceania's buffet food was as good as what is served in the specialty restaurants on Celebrity. That's saying a mouthful!

    We are sailing on the Solstice on November 30 and I can't wait to see what surprises Celebrity has waiting for us. I hope the food is up to their usual standard. You can bet I will be comparing Celebrity's newest addition to the Insigna.

    Marion
     
  18. BSeabob

    BSeabob Guest

    [quote cruiztime]Celebrity has always been our favorite. We took our first Oceania cruise in March. a 15 day TA out of Rio. It was fabulous. I am still talking about the food. I thought Oceania's buffet food was as good as what is served in the specialty restaurants on Celebrity. That's saying a mouthful!

    We are sailing on the Solstice on November 30 and I can't wait to see what surprises Celebrity has waiting for us. I hope the food is up to their usual standard. You can bet I will be comparing Celebrity's newest addition to the Insigna.

    Marion[/quote]

    Make sure you drop by and fill us in on the Solstice. I'm particularly interested in the feel of a 100000 tonner.

    thanks

    Bob
     

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