Originally Posted by suefish
I have taken many cruises on rci, princess, carnival, norweign
I am now wanting to try holland / celebrity. These cruises are priced more. Is it worth paying more or are they all the same and i should just go with a cheaper line. Any help!
I have cruised Holland America, Princess, and Carnival in the past 2 years.
Really, it comes down to your personal preferences regarding size of ship, staff friendliness, and what your definition of relaxation is. For some, vacation is meant to be partying with a crowd of people. For others, vacation is to be pampered and waited on hand and foot, with little noise or crowds.
I chose to give Carnival a try on 2 cruises, because it was cheaper and I thought I would enjoy a larger ship with more ammenities. I was wrong. The larger ship meant more passengers, which meant longer wait times to be seated at dinner, and more difficult to find a seat for shows and comedians. Because I'm an adult, I didn't enjoy the water slide and mini-golf and other "ammenities" as much as I thought I would, so based on my preferences I would not do Carnival again. Also, based on my preferences, I have decided that I would like to stick with ships that have a capacity of between 1,000 and 3,000 passengers, regardless of cruise line. I enjoy the variety of shows and entertainment that a ship smaller than 1,000 will lack, but I want to avoid the crowd of 3,000+ passenger ships. I live in Las Vegas, so I go on cruises to get away from the crowds of people waiting in line for restaurants and shows.
As for Holland America, I think it compares very well to Princess. Holland America typically caters to an older crowd (on my last Holland America cruise the average passenger age was 66). However, even though I was only 28 it was the best vacation ever, because the ship was very relaxing and quiet and I enjoy the music of the 1940s and 1950s that were in the shows. I felt that Holland America has the best breakfast ever, but Princess had slightly better personal service. If you enjoy a more formal, traditional cruise, give Holland America a try. But if you are traveling with kids, or enjoy dancing late hours in the disco, avoid Holland America.
I have 2 cruises booked soon (Christmas/New Year's on Holland America MS Maasdam, and Presidents' Day on Celebrity Equinox). I am looking forward to both. Based on personal preference, I am probably going to stick with Holland America and Celebrity (assuming I love my first Celebrity cruise in February) for my future cruises. Carnival is not my taste, and I want the personal service and the lack of crowds that I feel would be impossible on a RCI or NCL ship with over 3,000 passengers.