Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Travelcat2

Can you have a luxury experience by booking a top suite on Celebrity?

Recommended Posts

This is pretty much part 2 or 2. I did a thread on this board asking the same question about NCL's Bliss.

 

While we are not giving up our regular cruise line (Regent), we were interested in trying cruise lines that have west coast itineraries so now we are trying Celebrity. We board the Infinity tomorrow, September 2nd, in Vancouver for a 7-night cruise. We will make port stops in Seattle, Astoria, OR, San Francisco, Monterey and Santa Barbara. The ship that holds 2,000 passengers is full.

 

Unlike NCL, suite passengers are not in a separate area but do have their own restaurant and bar/lounge. There was a "4-Perks Package" that includes: $300 OBC ($150/person), Unlimited High-Speed internet for 2, Pre-paid tips and a Premium Beverage Package for 2 which covers all drinks up to $15.

 

Suite guests always receive the beverage package and unlimited high-speed internet for 2 but they also receive:

 

Personal Butler

Complimentary laundry service twice per cruise

Welcome bottle of Perrier-Jouet

Priority check-in and debarkation

Unlimited and included dining in all specialty restaurants (typical cost from $40-55/person)

Stateroom bar set-up

Private veranda with whirlpool and lounge seating

 

The customer service that we have received from Celebrity has been impressive. Our TA does not book premium cruises so we booked directly with Celebrity. We had a dedicated person to call with any questions that we had. He responded quickly - either by phone, email or both. Two weeks prior to sailing, a different person called to ask how we wanted the bed set-up, what alcohol we would like, etc. This week we received an email from Celebrity with photos of where suite guests drop off their luggage and information on how to easily get through the procedures of boarding. It wasn't surprising to receive an email from our contract person.

 

Getting back to NCL vs. Celebrity where NCL has their suites in one enclosed area (which Celebrity will reportedly have on their new ship, the Edge), this is one thing on Celebrity that will not match up with NCL which is surprising since NCL is a mainstream cruise line and Celebrity is premium.

 

When we sail Regent or any other luxury cruise line, we appreciate the fact that everyone is treated the same -- there are no special areas for different categories of stateroom/suites. However, with 2,000 passengers (or 4,000 passengers on NCL) we would have been overwhelmed by the number of passengers and appreciate the separate areas for suite guests. If this makes me a hypocrite, so be it.

 

We are going with an open mind and just hope to have as much fun as we did on NCL. I'll be reporting and posting from the ship. Tomorrow morning we'll drive to YVR (airport in Vancouver) which is only 50 miles from home. We'll park at the airport so that our car will be there when we fly back. We'll take transportation to the port where we can board the ship at 11:00 a.m.

 

Stay tuned!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish you a great trip, TC2, and look forward to your on-board posts, but shouldn’t they be in the Celebrity forum? You could post a link to it here for those also interested in Celebrity suites travel ( I for one love the idea of a jacuzzi tub on the balcony).

 

Howver, I have never understood your dislike of the idea of priority boarding for pax like you who pay more, or for loyalty program pax. Everyone in the western world understands that in general, at least for leisure activities, the more you pay, the more value you should receive. I am more than happy to use priority boarding for airlines and priority check-in for hotels, paid for by a higher net overall investment, and my guess is you like it too. Why should it be different for ships? When I booked a luxury Neptune Suite on Holland America a couple years ago we had priority boarding and were glad we did, with 2000 people in line, and were glad we had a dedicated concierge to deal with problems. This did not preclude us from socializing with those in cheaper cabins.

 

Fortunately small luxury ships so rarely have lines to board that it would not really be a perk to tell higher-paying pax that they get priority boarding, as unlike on a big ship like the one you are getting on, it means next to nothing on luxury ships.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Paul and Catlover54! We will try to have fun.

 

Catlover54 - I'll try to answer your question the best that I can. I understand that in most of the world you pay more and get more and that's fine. However, when we discovered luxury cruising in 2004, everyone was treated the same once they stepped foot out of their suite. No special boarding or disembarkation or anyplace on the ship that some passengers could not access and others could not. Passengers in larger suites get more benefits but it is not obvious to the rest of the passengers. Back in 2004 we were booking regular suites. Then we went up to penthouse suites (which is the bottom level of the "top suites" on Regent.) Now we. book the largest suite that we can afford - even if it means taking less cruises.

 

I feel very strongly that loyalty program members deserve everything that they get and I have never resented them. However, they are still treated the same outside of the suite. We (I am now Titanium level on Regent) get private transfers to and from the ship, included laundry and dry cleaning, 25% off of excursions and a few other perks but unless I tell someone that we are Titanium, one would not know.

 

Agree with what you posted about small ships -- there is really no reason for priority boarding since there are so few passengers.

 

When you talk about Holland America with 2,000 passengers, I am all for priority boarding (I know, I do sound like a hypocrite). Had we not been invited on the christening cruise of NCL's Bliss, we likely would never have stepped foot on a mainstream cruise line and likely not a premium cruise line. However, we had so much fun that we had to try Celebrity in the hopes that the same thing will happen.

 

So, for us, we will continue luxury cruising (booked through March 2020 on Regent) and, if we enjoy Celebrity for what it is, we may do occasional 7 night itineraries - time will tell. Additionally, we will try another luxury cruise line next September (on the west coast). Just trying to mix it up a bit but our heart is with Regent. Hope that this makes sense.

 

Paul - glad that you found me over here. As I mentioned to you (I think) and to answer another question from Catlover54, I am posting on this board because I am comparing upper suites on Celebrity to luxury cruise lines. I've spent a couple of months reading the Celebrity board and ......1). They would have no interest in what I have to say; and 2) My comments are going to be based on luxury cruising vs. premium cruising. This question has appeared on the luxury board a few times. It seems like a better fit (and I did consult with a Cruise Critic Host to make sure that I was in the right place).

 

Hope that you follow along and thank you both for your posts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jackie—-

Some Celebrity tips!

1. Re specialty dining...Tuscan Grill and Sushi On 5 are worth checking out. Qsine not so much, unless it’s been retrofitted with a new feature called “le petit chef.” Pull up a video. It looks gimmicky but fun.

2. Check out the entertainment. Of course this is all so subjective, but we found it larger scale, more energetic, and better produced than Regent’s offerings.

3. Yes, alas, there will be “champagne” art auctions and flash sales of watches and jewelry at which you will probably not be an eager customer. But we enjoy checking them out anyway because of the festive atmosphere.

4. If you’re looking for a nice place to read and relax, the seating by the large circular picture windows in the atrium is very nice.

Later!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Paul, thank you so much for the tips. I did know about "le petit chef" and saw the video. That is exactly the type of fun thing that we hope to do on Celebrity. I didn't tell my DH what to expect so he will be surprised by it and hopefully will enjoy it.

 

Peggy - happy that you are here. We are ready as we'll ever be to get going. We plan on leaving in 45 minutes -- just having a little snack before hitting the road.

 

Jackie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We're here! All ears (or eyes?) and ready for your reports!

Live it up and have a great cruise!

L&J

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I look forward to your posts. We did a couple of Celebrity cruises in their suite class though not the upper suite that you are in and found it very enjoyable. Regent is our go to cruise line but we found ourselves booking a couple of Celebrity cruises mostly due to itineraries they offered that Regent didn't and foreign exchange issues.

I hope you have a great time. Take advantage of Micheal's Club for before and after dinner drinks. We have meet some lovely people there, the staff were great and you can have almost anything you want to drink there. If they don't have it but it is on the ship they will find it for you if not immediately, definitely for the next time you go.

Have fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your posts. We have now been on the Infinity for 8 hours and are blown away by food, service, etc. Not sure where to start....... there are positives and negatives but, so far, the positives outweigh the negative.

 

Vancouver embarkation is a definite negative. While not as bad as when we boarded Mariner last year, it was pretty bad. Celebrity crew members escorted us as much as they could but were not able to do anything about passport control, etc. So, it took almost two hours to get onto the ship. Note: As "suite" guests, we had early embarkation but due to the mess in Vancouver, we were mixed in with HAL and Celebrity cruisers trying to embark at the same time.

 

Once we passed passport control, we were escorted to Michael's Club - a private lounge for suite guests. Dennis had a Jagermeister and I had a vodka martini. Since we both had fairly empty stomachs, it hit us and put us both in a giggly mood. Then we went to Luminae, the dining venue for suite guests. We both ordered encrusted lamb chops - cooked to perfection. We both enjoyed it. The lamb is equal to or better than anything that we get on Regent (very surprising). Linda, Twila and John ....... you would love "The Little Chef". It is a new dining venue and is a kick in the ass (can I say that?) Great food and a great show!

 

The one thing that I wanted to do on Celebrity is to dine in a restaurant called "The Little Chef". When I have time I will post a link to a video of this new and fun restaurant. I saw the video prior to boarding the ship but did not tell Dennis anything. Both of us totally enjoyed it. Our main courses was lobster tails and filet mignon.

 

Before I forget (yes - I know that I'm all over the place ...... probably too much wine). I'm in the computer room (we both have our own logins) and their computers are all Apple and new (unlike Regent) And, tomorrow we will attend a class since Dennis is not Apple savvy and I've only been using it for less than a year.

 

The suite: While not big - we are in the second largest suite on this ship. Infinity is one of Celebrity's older ships (approximately the age of the Mariner). I read on CC that the ship had a problem with their pods in April (reminds me of Voyager and Mariner issues) and had to go out of service for a few days during which they cleaned up a lot of things on the ship and delayed their refurbishment. So, I expected a ship that was in worse shape than Mariner was prior to our last cruise. Lo and behold - the ship is in much better shape than Mariner before refurbishment. I will post photos of the suite maybe tomorrow. Unlike Regent, the bathroom is really upgraded ........ no old granite that has been cleaned.

 

The suite has tons of cabinets but when you open them you only see shelves that would be perfect for books but not for storage. The closet is tiny. We do have two sliding glass doors leading to a good size deck with two loungers, a table and chairs and a jacuzzi (in addition to the jacuzzi in the bathroom). Speaking of the bathroom (again), the place to put your "products" is behind the door ........ book-like shelves ...... not convenient at all.

 

While there are only a few children on board, the ones that are here are disruptive. Two boys (young teens) have been running up and down the hallway near our suite. Hoping that we do not have to listen to them at night.

 

So, with the positive and negative, we are enjoying ourselves. Tomorrow is Labor Day and we will be in Seattle (not an exciting place for people that live in Washington and enjoy small towns). We'll likely go out for a while ...... may walk to Pike's Market. Dennis has a deep tissue massage with Canyon Ranch scheduled at 8:00 a.m. tomorrow morning because it is 25% off. The massage will be $129 plus 18% tip. The same thing on Regent is over $200 but includes the tip.

 

Another negative was muster. While we did not have to bring our life jackets (a trend that Regent has yet to accept), there were 900 passengers in our muster station (a lounge) and it was standing room only and was like a sauna in there. We had to stand for way too long (even the people in charge of our muster station mentioned that it was an unusually long wait).

 

This experience is quite different than expected. Can't wait to post photos. Okay - enough babbling - more tomorrrow.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here in the UK 'The Little Chef' was a chain of road side cafes which ceased to trade in January of this year.

 

I would have thought that the name was trade marked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jackie,

I'm glad that you and Dennis are enjoying your fun cruise. I'm not sure that I would tolerate well the embarkation process or the long, crowded standing muster as my knees would have a tough time with this. I think back to all my cruises on HAL with good memories but also remember why when after our first Regent cruise we did not go back although we did not cruise them in the upper suites. Please keep letting us know the good, bad and ugly experience of your present cruise adventure. It certainly provides food for thought.

Best,

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Our TA does not book premium cruises so we booked directly with Celebrity.

 

TC2, looking forward to hearing about your experience on Celebrity. We were on them many years ago for an Adriatic cruise, in what then was the fairly new Aqua Class. Although we were in a normal size veranda stateroom, we did have a dedicated dining room which we enjoyed very much. You will have many more perks which I am sure you will enjoy. Please continue to share your thoughts!

 

I do have to say that I'm a bit surprised at your comment that your TA would not book this cruise for you. Thankfully our agent, who is a Regent expert, is able to either book all of our itinerary-driven cruises for us, or refer us to an associate in the same agency. That way, we are still able to collect the incentives/rebates which this agency offers.

 

Enjoy your cruise and keep us posted. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jackie,

 

I'm glad that you and Dennis are enjoying your fun cruise. I'm not sure that I would tolerate well the embarkation process or the long, crowded standing muster as my knees would have a tough time with this. I think back to all my cruises on HAL with good memories but also remember why when after our first Regent cruise we did not go back although we did not cruise them in the upper suites. Please keep letting us know the good, bad and ugly experience of your present cruise adventure. It certainly provides food for thought.

 

Best,

 

John

 

 

 

Just to clarify, the problematic embarkation issues are a result of port management in Vancouver and have nothing to do with the cruise lines. It’s an issue they all face.

 

Ironically, our experience with HAL and Regent was the exact opposite. We started with Regent, but wound up enjoying the HAL experience more, mostly due to the longer, more unique itineraries (if we’re going halfway around the world, I want the experience to last a little longer than 10-14 days), the livelier atmosphere on their newer ships, better entertainment, and the far more reasonable price point...a significant issue if you want to cruise 3-4 times a year.

 

We also liked Celebrity better as well, so it will be fun to follow this thread!

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for this thread TC. We are new to cruising, with one river cruise and one Regent cruise under our belts. We chose Regent for the smaller ships and all-inclusive format. DW doesn’t do well in crowds.

 

We enjoyed our first Regent cruise and have booked on Explorer next April. But it will be interesting to read your reports and comparisons. We’ll be especially interested in the effects of being on a ship with 2000 passengers compared to 750.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Trying to remember how to correctly post photos with Tapatalk but they are coming!

 

The suite was quiet - good for sleeping (miss Regent beds). Air conditioning really cold in suite which I love (but parts of the ship are way too warm).

 

Breakfast and the private restaurant for suites guests ends at 8:30!:rolleyes: That was a surprise. So, had to go to the buffet (yuck!!!). No omelette station. Size feels like a football field. Food mediocre at best. They do have an Asian section but not many Asian's onboard (and the food is likely sub-par anyway). I had cottage cheese, a tiny piece of herring and a tiny piece of ham with the fruit juice drink that is offered. We could have ordered a breakfast cocktail but opted not to. Saving our appetites for lunch.

 

Still looking back at our excellent dinner last night. Not sure where there is to eat lunch. We are in Seattle - exactly where we boarded NCL's Bliss just a few months ago. Weather is gorgeous but we've "been here - done that" too many times. The ship is more interesting.

 

Going to sign out of this lovely Apple computer and sign on to my Kindle and see if I can post anything. Fingers crossed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Above was view of one part of the deck. Below should be a view from the other side.05c5c2e221dd82c8232fad3cc99855e1.jpg

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One living room shot. There are two revolving chairs facing the deck. You can see out and watch the seat go by. Very comfortable.5a00a9ed5e40a40e597f1d2d2b7e6434.jpg

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Had to post photo of the flags at half staff - Canadian flag, U.S. Flag, Washington state flag and I think that the 4th is the Celerity Flag.a3d04657ee0196f60417738b1a422b67.jpg

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pictures of outdoor pools/jacuzzi (under a glass roof) as well the outdoor pool areas (more than one pool), etc.5d4b3ab5bf58d926f9a856595dbacc17.jpg

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2019
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...