Looking to sail on Celebrity, what to do?

Here's the story ...

I qualified through a land-based casino for a "free" cruise from a list of select sailing dates, and all are on Celebrity out of FL or San Juan. We live within 45 minutes of Cape Liberty but according to both the cruise line and casino promo depts we must stick with the cruises listed. SO before we pony-up airfare, port taxes, and kennel (dog) & vet (parrot) boarding costs for this I want opinions, especially from people that have either traveled on Carnival, Royal, &/or NCL but have still experienced what X has to offer.

The three cruises we have narrowed their list down to are: Eclipse 6 N Western out of Miami; Summit 5 N Key West & Bahamas out of Fort Lauderdale; and Summit 5 N Southern from San Juan. The ports are not that big of deal to us, what the ship has to offer my DH and I is.

What we like about the previous cruises were - CCL the quantity of (fun) activities and the number of performances in the main theater & comedy club, RCL the quality of the food in the MDR, and on Norwegian the scope of choices for dining venues. What we didn't like - Carnival that everything is first come first served, so the lines, Royal that the lack of shows, how packed the venues were for activities, & the short periods of time certain areas of the ship were open, and NCL the need to have reservations/tickets for almost every little thing and how crowded the lounges were during entertainment periods.

Also holding us back is when I visited St. Maarten last March many passengers from the Celebrity ships complained about the lack of evening activities and entertainment. In fact one couple stated the only time the main theater was in use was for enrichment seminars.The only problem w/ this at the time I did not pay attention to which 2 X ships were in port that day, but remember them being smaller than the Pride.

5 Answers

Even if it is a free cruise, if you don't really want it (having to justify picking the best of the three worst choices), you may not have a good enough time to justify the extra expenses.

Or, you could figure you won a free cruise and be determined to have a great time.

All three seem like decent itineraries, and there is always something to do on any ship -- you just have to find it.

Agree w/BDRebel (as usual). There is a lot to consider and you are smart to be weighing pros and cons. Interestingly, I recently posted a response to someone about comparing CCL, NCL, and RC to Celebrity (or Princess)... they are different experiences entirely however these short cruises are prone toward having more kids on board so if peace and quiet is what you seek, it may not live up to expectations. Each itinerary appears to be fairly standard but I'd go with the Summit Southern option were it my choice (which it is clearly not). Most important, go intent on enjoying yourself.

I need to go to these casinos that are giving away cruises... This is the second one I heard... I would pick the most convenient and use it as an experience and broadening your horizions in the cruise world.

Celebrity happens to be my favorite Cruise line for a relaxing high end cruise. Of the two ships you mentioned I would prefer the Eclipse since it is a Solstice class ship. Celebrity does have a show most nights and has bars at night. They do not have the variety that Carnival or NCL does, no comedy club, no rock climbing wall, no water slides and no surf rider. Celebrity does have great lecture series, excellent food in the MDR and the staff is professional polite and helpful.

Celebrity is a low key elegant cruise, not a party ship like Carnival. I cruise on Celebrity, RCI and Carnival, I have had enjoyable cruises on each line with my expectations set for each line and ship.

I love Celebrity. It's my favorite line and the Summit is a nice size ship. (BUT, I think you are looking for "action" and you won't find that on Celebrity.) What you will find is elegance without being stuffy, good to excellent food without shelling out extra money in a specialty restaurant, good entertainment, being able to get into any show whenever you feel like going, no lines and quiet so that you can hear your companion speak. At least this is what it is like on the Summit.


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