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Old January 21st, 2011, 10:45 AM
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Default Celebrity Century - January 22, 2011 Virtual Cruise - How Close to Luxury Can It Get?

I will be hosting a group on the Celebrity Century's cruise tomorrow out of Miami, Florida. Rather than provide the expected posts, I intend on doing what I normally do, which is consider things from the luxury market perspective.

I will be posting to my blog, but feel free to make comments, ask questions, or just chime in here.

Here is my first post: How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity's Smallest Ship Get?
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Old January 24th, 2011, 12:14 PM
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Old January 25th, 2011, 01:29 AM
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We have never taken a cruise on Celebrity. We have 3 cruises on Carnival and 10 cruises on Princess. Is there much of a difference between these lines?
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Old January 25th, 2011, 07:34 PM
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Yes, there is a big difference between Celebrity and Carnival or Princess. Probably the most telling thing is that there are many truly luxury touches on Celebrity as well as amenities, food choices, service levels, etc. that put it well above them, in my opinion.

That said, each cruise line has its own niche, so think about what it is you like and what you might like to be a bit better or difference and then engage in the conversation. For example, the fact that Celebrity has an elegant piano bar (Michael's Club) or a truly wonderful formal restaurant (Murano) may be irrelevant to you or, in fact, an infringement on the casual experience you desire.

OK, now here is the next installment of my blog: This Is My Yacht - Luxury Cruising and Travel: Goldring Travel's 2011 Celebrity Century Cruise - How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity's Smallest Ship Get? Part III
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Old January 25th, 2011, 09:13 PM
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Eric,

A couple of years back (shortly after her refurb) we had a sizeable group of CruiseMates readers on the Century for New Years. I honestly don't think she stands up well against her other cousins in the Celebrity fleet. Also, because she only does short runs, I think it's very difficult to look for, and compare it to, a luxury cruise.

On that cruise we too booked out Murano for a dinner. It was very good, but fell well short of similar venues, like Celebrity's own Olympic. Hope you and your group enjoy it though. Be good to hear your experience.
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Old January 25th, 2011, 10:49 PM
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Kuki you stated what I am thinking.I sailed her twice,and not once did I think luxe, except for our dinner at Muranos..
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Old January 26th, 2011, 03:33 PM
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I agree in many respects, but I must say that our dinner in Murano, though we booked out then entire restaurant, was excellent. I will be writing more about that.

Overall I certainly agree that a luxury experience really isn't possible on this ship. Age, short itineraries, not the best itineraries, lack of some of the modern niceties, etc. all play a part.

I will write extensively about this, but then again, I must say there is a strong market for the Century...not my market, but a strong one nonetheless.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 10:51 PM
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Old January 28th, 2011, 03:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kuki View Post
Eric,
Also, because she only does short runs, I think it's very difficult to look for, and compare it to, a luxury cruise.
Century's short cruise days will be over in Spring of 2011, when she sails to the west coast & starts her Alaska season, followed by sailings to Hawaii & Australia.
While Century does not have the dining options that Celebrity's newer ships have, we think that she is the perfect size, & offers the same excellent service that you find on the other X ships. While Celebrity is our favorite line, providing the cruise atmosphere that we prefer, I wouldn't say that they provide a luxury cruise experience on any of their ships.
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Old January 28th, 2011, 05:01 PM
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Here is my final blog post: This Is My Yacht - Luxury Cruising and Travel: Goldring Travel's 2011 Celebrity Century Cruise - How Close to Luxury Can Celebrity's Smallest Ship Get? - Some Final Observations and Thoughts

I would like to comment that despite my somewhat disappointing experience on the Celebrity Century, I still believe Celebrity provides "the best bang for the buck in the business" and that, especially on the Solstice-class ships, you can achieve a luxury or near luxury experience.

More importantly, possibly, is that when you consider the price you will pay on certain luxury lines for service and cuisine that really isn't better than Celebrity's finest, it remains a very good alternative. Just as an example, responding to some of the comments here, I wrote this piece on my blog: This Is My Yacht - Luxury Cruising and Travel: Why You Need A Knowledgeable Travel Agent - Regent Seven Seas, Using "Fuzzy Math", Goes After the Premium, Not Luxury, Market. It is about a year old, but remains a valid exercise.

FYI, my next cruise is on the Crystal Symphony in April and I will be making comparisons there against some pretty stiff competition.
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Old January 28th, 2011, 07:22 PM
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Eric.. enjoyed your observations from the Century. Truthfully, for me 5 days isn't long enough of any scow. My very first cruise was 5 days, and since then they just seem to get longer and longer. If it's just 7 days, I'll do back to backs to extend it.

As for luxury... shouldn't a luxury cruise be like dining at Murano's every night?

BTW.. when in Apr. are you sailing Symphony? I'll be on her Hawaii itin. Apr. 24
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Old January 28th, 2011, 07:57 PM
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Eric, great blog. I have a question about Seabourn if you don't mind. You mentioned in your closing comments about there being nothing to do on Seabourn. Do they have nightly shows? I have friends that just got back from Oceania and complained bitterly about there being nothing to do. Their next cruise in May is on Seabourn.
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Old January 28th, 2011, 08:30 PM
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Kuki,

Actually when we sailed on Equinox last year of the 13 nights of the cruise we were off the ship for 2 nights (overnighting in Jerusalem and Cairo) and didn't eat dinner 2 nights (too much food), so of the remaining 9 nights we ate in Murano 4 times, Silk Harvest 1 time and Tuscan Grille 1 time. So that certainly was "luxury".

Add to that Michael's Club, Cellar Masters and a few more touches and it was a pretty darn good experience.

And let's not forget that over 13 nights the staff gets to know you by name and likes.

We will be on the Crystal Symphony April 17-24, so I will be sure to make sure all is in order before I disembark!
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Old January 28th, 2011, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trackypup View Post
Eric, great blog. I have a question about Seabourn if you don't mind. You mentioned in your closing comments about there being nothing to do on Seabourn. Do they have nightly shows? I have friends that just got back from Oceania and complained bitterly about there being nothing to do. Their next cruise in May is on Seabourn.
Thanks!

Seabourn does have shows (but not grand ones), a dance band, and other events. One of the big things on Seabourn is being social either within a small group or just meeting other couples. The dynamic can be a bit more quite on the smaller ships. My comment was not to infer there is nothing to do, but that some might perceive it that way.

Which one is your friend on? If you email or PM me it might be better then taking over this thread.
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