Post # 1
Happy Wednesday, Bees!
Fiance and I had our hearts set on a Mediterranean cruise, but the cruise plus airfare plus other expenses just is not realistic for us because we are paying for our wedding (and honeymoon) ourselves. We originally thought that Honeyfund might be a good option, but I’m glad that I brought that to the attention of the hive because we have since reconsidered (thanks for the help!).
Now we are thinking of taking a Caribbean cruise because the fares are so darn reasonable and we love that we won’t have to be reaching into our pockets for every meal or researching where the most affordable transportation, etc leaves from. Right now Norwegian Cruise Line is running a special where we would get a beverage package (good for any alcoholic beverage) on the cruise if we book an oceanview room. Celebrity Cruise Line is running a similar promotion with a beverage package (more limited to less expensive alcoholic beverages), although their fares are a little bit more expensive (maybe $150 more per person).
I understand that Norwegian is a really “fun” ship that works like a floating city. I was all ready to book Norwegian, but some of the negative reviews that I read right before booking have made me reconsider. Namely, I heard that the food on Norwegian is not so good if you are not dining in their specialty restaurants (which we wouldn’t because the whole point is to have this honeymoon be a little less expensive). I’ve heard that Celebrity food is amazing (and Fiance is a foodie who is looking forward to eating good meals), but I’ve also heard that the ship attracts an older crowd and is maybe a little less… fun? And its more expensive. 🙁 I called one of those cruise travel agency websites, and the lady I talked to said that she had been on a Norwegian cruise and had a ton of fun, but the food was “blah”, and that she felt that they were intentionally like that to drive people to pay to eat elsewhere on the ship. She said that Celebrity cruises are more fancy, but maybe less fun. She sounded honest, but I couldn’t tell if she was just trying to upsell me to a more expensive trip.
So, now I’m torn. The only cruise that Fiance has been on was a Carnival cruise (with my family), and he was really impressed by it. In fact, he insisted on trying to recreate their chocolate melting cake when we got home. Although we didn’t take advantage of all of the “fun” on the ship (because of the party we were traveling with, but thats a long story), my non-thrill seeking Fiance mentioned that *if* he were on a boat with, say, waterslides and a rock climbing wall, he would take advantage of it because it is free and he would never otherwise pay to participate in that kind of activitiy. When he said that, I thought Norwegian, all the way. But then hearing the travel agent say the food was “blah” on Norwegian made me think… maybe Celebrity? I know that he is looking forward to fun and good food on this cruise, and I just want it to be a good time for him- particularly because he isn’t huge on traveling and I want him to catch the travel bug.
Has anyone been on Norwegian Cruise Line and/or Celebrity? What was your experience?
Post # 2
Celebrity is more upscale than Norwegian and I think they skew a bit older demographic wise. I read the same reviews about Norwegian’s food and it being crowded. We were going to do a Med cruise, but backed away from the prices.
What about Royal carribean or going back on Carnival? Carnival is the fun ship. Just pick a different destination And maybe upgrade to a suite.
Post # 3
Btw, I love cruises. I’ve been on 6 or 7.
Post # 4
I have only ever been on Celebrity and Royal- I really liked Celebrity-I have heard it’s not at all like Carnival- less of a party/spring break feel. We enjoyed eating at the specality restaurants over the main dining room- it was worth the small fee.
If you can swing it look into the suites on Celebrity- we had a junior suite and it was great! Otherwise I would spring at least for a balcony- I think it’s the only way to cruise- you can sit out in the evenings and have breakfast at each port. Just makes you feel like you have a bit more room.
It is more of an older crowd on both ships- again not the spring break feel of a Carnival or the family feel of a disney cruise. We usually would have a late dinner then catch the late show that they had in the evening, we weren’t into hanging out at the club on the ship. Are you planning on getting off the boat at each port? If so plan shore excursions and don’t worry about what the boat has. The pools are pretty nice, but will be busy on your at sea days- as everyone goes to the pool.
Post # 5
I’ve been on both lines. Celebrity has an older crowd. They also have some really great food. Depends on what you are looking for but if you want to have less 80 y/o’s on your boat, go NCL.
Post # 6
Celebrity is by far superior, it’s a luxury cruise line (hence the bigger pricetag).
I went on a weekend Norweigan cruise and was sorely disappointed!!
Post # 7
I’ve never been on either (Carnival 7x though!) but we are looking at the Mediterranean cruises with Norwegian, based on what we’ve heard from other people. Like the PPs said, Celebrity is more upscale and has a more older, upperclass demographic. I would not choose them myself, not the vibe I’m going for when I’m on vacation!
Post # 8
We did Celebrity (Reflection) for our wedding/honeymoon cruise. Hands down it was a great experience. They made us feel so important and special. Our room steward decorated our room, each night a different staff member sent a bottle of champagne to our room, we were invited to VIP events on the ship, it was just so much fun.
We had an aqua class room/cabin which came with great perks. We decided those perks were better bang for the buck compared to suites (especially junior). Our cruise was during Thanksgiving so there was a mix of ages. The food throughout was just amazing and I really recommend Murano if you have the chance to go. And the food in Blu is to die for.
Right now we’re counting down to our next cruise on RC’s Oasis of the Seas for our 1st anniversary. 🙂
Post # 9
For a honeymoon I definitely recommend Celebrity, unless you are looking for more of a party atmosphere, then go with NCL. You will have older people, but for us and a honeymoon, it would be what we would be looking for. We would choose RCCL or Carnival if we were going with kids.
Now, and this is just one experience, but my family went on a NCL cruise in HI about 6 years ago and my aunt got really sick (bleeding ulcer) and wound up in the ICU on the big island. My mom got absolutely no help or recommendations from anyone with the cruise line. All of her advice and information on what she needed to do to be with my aunt until she was able to leave HI came from hospital staff, cab drivers and the insurance company they had gotten their travel insurance from. It was like once they got my aunt off the ship they didn’t care anymore and considering that my parents had paid over $5,000 to cruise with them, you would have thought they would have been a little more accomodating.
On the other hand, my mom has a good friend who cruises a lot with her husband and they have no complaints about NCL.
Sooooooo….Not sure if this helped but hope it did a little.
Post # 10
Celebrity is not a luxury line. Unless of course you consider anything above Carnival to be luxury, Celebrity is on par with NCL, Princess and RC.
Post # 11
I’m not a fan of Celebrity. I’ve never been on Norwegian, so I can’t say anything about that, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend Celebrity. I’m usually impressed pretty easily–all I want out of a vacation is jus to relax. But the food on Celebrity was awful. I went with 10 people in my family and no of us liked the food. The main restaurants lacked variety and the buffets were inedible. Plus it definitely attracked an older crowd. I have been on Princess and Royal Carribbean and LOVED both of those
Post # 12
- Wedding: March 2016 - White Oak Plantation
Since yall liked Carnival so much and know the food is good, ports are good AND the price tag is a good bit cheaper than Celebrity and NCL…. why not book a Carnival cruise?
We are also paying for our wedding and have a Carnival cruise booked out of NOLA. It’s nice because we live about an hour away from the port so no airfare!!
If you’re set of NCL or Celebrity and Fiance is a foodie (i love food), I would go with whichever boat has better food 🙂
Post # 13
I used to work for princess, and i have friends who have worked for all the other cruise lines. I can honestly say, that not only is princess nicer, but they treat their staff much better than other cruise lines.
Post # 14
Ive worked on both. I like Celebrity more because of the service but you do get an older crowd. If you like a buffet, then Norwegian has one of the best ones (also worked on Royal and Princess) but the main dining room isnt that great. The specialty restaurants on Norwegian are good and some are only 5, 10, or 15 dollars per person (so you are still saving money).
One other thing to think about is what ship/itinerary you are going on. Most people dont think about it but it makes a huge difference. If it is a short cruise (3 or 4 day booze cruise) you are going to get a younger crowd. If you are going to Alaska, you are going to get an older crown no matter what.
Since you are going to the Caribbean try to find out info about how old the ship is. The newer ones are going to have a younger crowd and more to do. I have been on some older NCL and Royal ships are they draw an older crown and dont have all the bells and whistles (like rock climbing etc) like newer ships do.
And as far as I know, Celebrity has some great activites but they dont do rock climbing, ice skating, chocolate buffets etc.
Post # 15
- Wedding: May 2016 - Winery
I voted Celebrity since that’s what I’m doing for my honeymoon! I thought it’d have less kids than some of the other lines we were considering. We’re doing a 7 day Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Celebrity Silhouette and we upgraded the free beverage package to the premium one. I’ve never been on Norwegian but my parents just took a Mediterranean cruise with them in November and said they’d never do it again. They said it was the worst cruise food they’ve had in 20+ cruises (Princess, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Celebrity, etc.) It was so bad my mom complained (and she has very simple taste and is not the type to complain about food.)
How about Princess or Royal Caribbean? I took a Mediterranean cruise last summer with Royal Caribbean and it was a great experience. Most of my cruises have been with Princess and I’ve always had a good time too. The new Royal/Regal Princess ships look amazing. I’d definitely consider them once they release the itineraries for the date of my Honeymoon.