Live From Celebrity Summit: Pay $100 More for These Cabin Perks?

February 10, 2012 | By | 49 Comments

We’ve spent a week in one of Celebrity Summit’s “Concierge-Class” balcony cabins. By configuration and design — bathroom, bed, sitting area, verandah — these accommodations bear a striking resemblance to their 100′s of slightly smaller standard balcony sisters.
So why did passengers on our seven-night Southern Caribbean cruise pay $100 – $250 more per person to stay in a C.C.C.?

Amenities. Concierge-Class passengers have access to a slew of bonus amenities. We’ve been nibbling on fruit from a complimentary bowl (replenished daily), wrapping up in the extra-plush bathrobes and munching on evening canapes. CC-ers also get priority embarkation/debarkation. At nearly six months pregnant, one perk had an unexpected — but fantastic — use. I’ve been able to create a fort for my belly using a selection of more than a half-dozen pillows selected from the Concierge-class pillow menu. Oh, and my husband was thrilled with the complimentary bottle of sparkling wine that greets Concierge-class passengers on the first night of each sailing.
Some of the other perks, including the complimentary shoeshine, use of golf umbrellas (no rain) and larger TV (32” vs. 20” in standard accommodations), haven’t proven their value. And we were unimpressed with the “expanded room service menu,” which consisted of few unique options like hash browns, fruit and yogurt.
Space and Storage. Our 191-square-foot CC cabin, decked out with new bedding, upholstery, carpeting and drapery during Summit’s January dry-dock, is about 20 square feet larger than the standard balcony. That added room is a boon — especially because we don’t think it’d be comfortable with more than two bodies in the 191-square-foot space. Otherwise, storage options are generally the same in both categories. In addition to a closet with six drawers, there are four shelves built into the wall, a couple more built into the desk (which houses two standard American outlets) and a pair of nightstands, which can handle smaller items. Small carry-ons fit neatly under our two-twins-turned-queen bed, and most nights, our room steward was kind enough to stow them without prompting.
We happen to be in one of the few cabins with a balcony smaller than the standard 41 square feet (8108), which definitely requires a bit of maneuvering, especially when it comes to setting up our room service breakfasts.
Location. The Concierge cabins are clustered in Summit’s “most desirable” locations, says Celebrity. Meaning? Upper decks and mid-ship. That location has at least made up for the aforementioned lack of private balcony space. We are just steps from the Deck 8 elevators, which provides easy access to most of the ship’s most popular areas, including the recently added Cafe al Bacio coffee bar and Crush Martini Bar (going down, sir), as well as the buffet and pool area (going up). And though we can occasionally hear passengers walking through the halls, it hasn’t been a significant annoyance.
Bathroom. As for the bathroom, Concierge-class cabins feature powerful Hansgrohe massaging shower heads that standards don’t, and lots of exclusive extra-fluffy towels. Like the regularly balconies, there’s also ample countertop and under-sink space for stowing toiletries and such. And I love the lemongrass-scented Elemis shampoo, conditioner, lotion and body wash that were created exclusively for Celebrity. My only complaint? I was hoping the ship’s recent refurb did away with pesky shower curtains, but alas, I flooded the bathroom on the very first night of my cruise, in an attempt to avoid the cling.
Now it’s your turn: Would these perks be worth the added cost? Tell us below.
Follow Shayne’s reports from Celebrity Summit, including her take on watching the Super Bowl at sea.
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    Comments

    49 Responses to “Live From Celebrity Summit: Pay $100 More for These Cabin Perks?”

    1. Mary Douglas
      February 10th, 2012 @ 8:13 pm

      We’ve always done CC on M class ships. The small extras make us feel a bit more pampered, and the extra floor space sure comes in handy when I would do my stretching exercises every morning, eliminating the need to go to the health club area to do so. As to the breakfast menu, we’ve ordered virtually anything that was available in the buffet area, even if it wasn’t on the menu. And instead of the canapes, which we didn’t care for, our attendant would bring us a plate of different cheeses and crackers in the afternoon for a pre-dinner snack.

    2. Chris
      February 11th, 2012 @ 9:54 am

      You forgot to mention that if you stay in a CC room or higher, you get an extra cruise credit towards a higher Captain’s Club tier. In my opinion there is definitely some value in that.

    3. Delores Crews
      February 11th, 2012 @ 9:56 am

      We love CC on Celebrity! We booked Infinity to Alaska and enjoyed all of the perks and the location on the ship. We are now booked for the same class for Hawaii.

    4. Dwayne Carter
      February 11th, 2012 @ 9:58 am

      We ALWAYS do the Aqua-Class! Love the extra perks and the private dining room.Evening canapes, “Glassed-in” shower…plush towels….SO worth a few extra $$$$.

    5. sharona19
      February 11th, 2012 @ 10:11 am

      Thank you for the review – I always enjoy reading about the different cruise lines. Based on your review, I don’t think we’d pay and extra $100 for these amenities.

      I’d like to address your comment on the shower curtain “cling”. I am an overweight woman who cruises Carnival (yeah – big surprise), who has NEVER experienced shower curtain cling, or flooded the bathroom.

      Anyway – all you have to do to avoid the dreaded cling is open at least one end of the shower curtain a few inches to allow air flow. If you don’t allow air flow from one (or both) SIDES, the hot water causes the warm steamy air to exit over the top of the shower, when means cooler air has to come in the bottom. Simple science.

    6. Cruise Critic
      February 11th, 2012 @ 10:27 am

      Great point, Chris — especially helpful for those who are loyal to Celebrity.

    7. frances evans
      February 11th, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

      no not me rather spend it on next cat. up

    8. Neta Platt
      February 11th, 2012 @ 2:01 pm

      I guess the size and extras of this class explain why we cruise on NCL and always in the HAVEN(Courtyard Villas)(572 sq ft not including the balcony)rooms. You can’t beat 2 bedroom 2 bathrooms. Very reasonably priced and we always take mom and an aunt with us and they love being called the children by the butler and the concierge and all these amenities and more are included.

    9. Tonya
      February 11th, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

      My first cruise was on the Summit in 2010. We loved it, but when we went on Equinox, I fell in love with the shower. The shower is glass and it is the perfect shape and size and even has a foot rest for shaving your legs, ladies! I would love to see the upgrades to the Summit again, but boy, I sure would hate to have a shower curtain again.

    10. Heather
      February 11th, 2012 @ 4:56 pm

      We always choose CC on all Celebrity ships. As Chris said, the extra cruise credit is a big plus because the benefits at Elite level are numerous. Second, though these may seem like small extras, they do add up and it just feels nicer.

      Another plus is access to the Concierge who is most helpful when you don’t want to wait in line at Guest Relations.

    11. Betsy
      February 11th, 2012 @ 5:17 pm

      Have NEVER had a problem with shower curtain \cling\ in a CC cabin. Not sure what your problem was? CC’s (to me) are well worth the extra $$, just for the extra space. Love the robes too.

    12. Susan K.
      February 11th, 2012 @ 6:07 pm

      Little amenities make a remarkable difference. On a South American cruise we decided to take a three day wine package. To our surprise, our table captain gave us special service, including having the chef prepare a special appetizer for us every day. We baught two more wine packages during the cruise just to enjoy the special service.

    13. Sara W.
      February 11th, 2012 @ 8:40 pm

      My husband and I just sailed on Millennium in Concierge Class and I was terribly disappointed. The “choice” location was under the smoking/bar area of the pool deck and all we heard was feet stomping and deck chairs scraping all day and night. The fruit can be found at the buffet and the canapes were not very good. The shower head was the same as any other shower head and the room was way smaller than my oceanview stateroom on the Carnival cruise I was on prior. I never saw a pillow menu or any of those other little “perks” and the couple we struck up a conversation with in line to embark were in an interior stateroom and checked in at exactly the same time as us. So much for “priority” embarkation. A total joke to me and I’ll NEVER pay extra for CC again IF I ever use Celebrity again…

    14. Barb
      February 12th, 2012 @ 10:40 am

      I was on the Summit the week before you and was very unimpressed with our CC cabin. Our shower leaked and would splash on the floor making a dangerous situation especialy when we had a handicapped room. We had no water one day which happened to be formal night in the diningroom so many people did not attend. The food in the diningroom was boring with little or no imagination. The entertainment on the ship was very enjoyable and the Cruise Director, Alejandro (from Argentina) was great.
      We will not book with Celebrity again will stick to Princess from now on.

    15. Jroyalfuture
      February 12th, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

      My hubby and I sailed on Millennium over Christmas in a CC cabin, and we loved it. Since we haven’t sailed on a regular balcony on Millennium, we don’t have anything to compare it with but all the little extras did make us feel special. what a wonderful cruise it was. We think Celebrity is fantastic. Two weeks earlier we had sailed on a balcony on Norwegian Epic, which somehow just didn’t make the cut. How could it possibly be rated as the best cruise ship of the year over all? and think of the age of the Millennium over the Epic, and still there is no comparison…Millenium shines! The one thing that I liked better on the Epic was the Garden Cafe.

    16. Scott
      February 12th, 2012 @ 11:51 pm

      We really enjoy Celebrity’s CC cabins and extras. Only one perk falls flat – the highly touted nightly appetizers are microscopic, dry and dull. As we usually head the complimentary Captain’s Club Elite cocktail party before dinner, they’re never more than a rushed mouthful at best.

    17. Markus
      February 14th, 2012 @ 8:53 am

      Sara, please cruise on Carnival from now on. Seems like a better fit for you. We’d rather not listen to you complain while we enjoy Celebrity’s vastly superior experience. It is obvious that that you are slanted that way to begin with, and no amount of pampering would pull you from the arms of Carnival, so embrace it, and leave Celebrity to those of us who appreciate it.

    18. Nita
      February 14th, 2012 @ 10:14 am

      Goodness Markus, I thought this blog was to say what you think. No need for the hateful comments.

    19. Linda Mellner
      February 14th, 2012 @ 10:54 am

      We have sailed CC twice. The first was the Millenium in Alaska and the second was the Silhouette in the Carribean. The glass shower doors on the S-Class ships is wonderful and the corner shower is more spacious that the rectangular one on Milly. The only other cabin we have experienced is an inside one on Magesty of the Seas over 12 years ago. There is obviously no comparison between that small inside cabin and a CC cabin. We experienced priority embarkation at the Cape Liberty port. We also experienced priority disembarkation at a tendering port on our Alaska cruise. Those alone were worth the extra price. Canapes were much better on Silhouettes and very creative as well. Comparing cruise lines is like comparing apples and antelopes. Each fits a different type of travelor. Find the one that fits you and you will be happy no matter which cabin you select.

    20. Markus
      February 14th, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

      Nita, you mistake the obvious truth for hateful comments… I have sailed with Celebrity 23 times, and it really bothers me when someone gives such an obviously dramatized review. In my experience with Celebrity, they have been top notch in service and amenities. The food is good, but it is by no means five star, but it IS leaps and bounds above that which is offered by Carnival, NCL, and even sister line Royal Caribbean. The CC class and Aqua Class staterooms are well worth the money, if you enjoy all the little details. It is hard for us to cruise any other way! Bottom line is this… I find her account so vastly outside of the norm for Celebrity, that I tend not to believe it at all. This I can say with certainty, there is simply no comparing Celebrity and Carnival… That would be like comparing The Bellagio and Excalibur in Vegas. The only thing they have in common is they both float.

    21. Sara W.
      February 14th, 2012 @ 2:56 pm

      Markus,

      I certainly HOPE that my experience was outside the norm for Celebrity. Contrary to what you said, I was expecting far, far more from Celebrity over Carnival and was actually slanted to believe I’d have a waaaaay better experience and, unfortunately, I didn’t. You also suggest that “any amount of pampering” wouldn’t matter but the truth is that we didn’t receive ANY amount of pampering. Most of what was promised wasn’t delivered on. Obviously, this was not that case for you but can perhaps be attributed to the fact that Millie is about to be upgraded. However, the question at hand was not “would you sail Celebrity” -it was “would you pay $100 for these upgrades.” and my answer was “no”. Not everyone’s answer will match yours. Not everyone’s experience will match yours. Especially if you have cruised 23 times. Perhaps YOUR expectations are the ones that are slanted. I’d guess your quality of service is that much better since you’re a long time cruiser with Celebrity. However, first impressions can’t be changed and my first impression was not a good one. I’m sorry about that but it was, in fact, the truth.

    22. Sara W.
      February 14th, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

      P.S. I didn’t compare Celebrity to Carnival in terms of experience. If you read back, I simply said the CC stateroom is supposed to be more spacious yet I found the oceanview stateroom (a much less expensive stateroom) to be roomier on Carnival. Yes, the experience as a whole was much better on Celebrity. I didn’t say that it wasn’t.

    23. Flashdog_1
      February 14th, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

      We booked Concierge Class for a 2 nighter the Bahamas just to see what the fuss was about for a slightly larger cabin and slightly larger balcony. We had 3 tall adults, each in a separate bed (one on the pull out couch) and we did fine. We were even able to eat breakfast on the balcony by taking the desk chair outside. The balcony is just big enough to do that. The steward serves the breakfast w/tablecloth, and pours the drinks. It is much different from regular room service.

      The free shopping bag is so sturdy I’ve seen my daughter use it as a huge carryon when flying.

      The special menu is mostly for breakfast, and we loved the smoothies and just more choices period than in regular cabins.

      As it turned out, the ship was delayed about 6 hours for an unexpected inspection, so we had to stay in the FLL pier terminal all that time. When they finally said they were ready to board, the people in suites and concierge class (who have a red sticker on their luggage tags I think) got to cut in front of the other 2000 people. It was like \make way for the king!\ ha

      The bedding is supposed to be superior and it was a couple of years ago anyway.

      We enjoyed getting the flowers, the canapes, the fluffy robes and everything that was offered.

      We, too, did not get a chance to use the big umbrellas, but they were there.

      There was a little sewing kit, and useless binoculars that were no more than a toy!

      But for only $100 for a week long cruise, I think we’d do it. More than that, no, unless we had 3 again.

    24. don marcus
      February 14th, 2012 @ 4:05 pm

      We have travelled on Celebrety 3 times now, eventhough we did not use the CC we did have a balcony and enjoyed it muchly. s to the showers and pillows , if these things are so important to you, bring your own, We had room service pretty well every morning ( just for coffee and a croissant, after which we went for a big breakfast. the service was always excellent whether or not one is in a , an inside cabin or whatever. Unless off course you have the captains suite ( maybe when I win the Lotto, LOL) oterwise we loved it

    25. tom priestley
      February 14th, 2012 @ 7:03 pm

      My bride of 47 years and I took the cruise to san juan and 2 other countries. Let me say this …WE … were spolied everything from soup to nuts were outstanding cabin attendent went out of his way to make sure we were satisfied. every night we had FRESH fruit Fresh horduvers {spell check ] my extra large ice jug was over flowing the boarding was great and rapid we were brought to the front of the line after checkin in. We were taken to a area for waiting and given free crock tails and assorted snacks. Yes we wre spoiled. We will never sail with carnival again. We had the same accondations in both lines another line we will never use again was n c l pride of america. food stunk.. period the end

    26. Larry
      February 15th, 2012 @ 1:39 pm

      My partner and I certainly enjoyed our first CC experience when we first sailed on the Equinox. The bed and pillows we wonderful, the bed very spacious, plenty of space to store our things, the evening snacks were much appreciated and we could order shrimp cocktail when we tired with the regular fare. I enjoyed the fruit smoothies with the morning breakfast menu.

      The luxe bathrobes are great, the spacious bathroom ditto! Nice to have a hair dryer available as well and the huge amount of closet storage space is EXCELLENT!

      Don’t forget the attentive staff the takes care of us and our room! They were personable, very attentive and our room was spotless every day and they accommodated our requests without fail!

      We are traveling on another Celebrity cruise in April, 15 days Caribbean cruise on the Constellation. Found a $1799. price for a CC 3 room with is an unbelievable price for the luxury level of this type of cruise!

      We have already booked another Celebrity cruise in 2013 on the Summit with a CC 2 class on the Penthouse levels and are looking forward to another pampered, thoroughly enjoyable first class experience!

    27. Donna
      February 15th, 2012 @ 2:35 pm

      We sailed on the Equinox last year and the fourteen of us had a wonderful time. We were excited about being on the Concierge floor – we did pay a lot more for this floor not $100 more like $100 per day – maybe that was what you meant. Everything was fine no complaints but not worth the extra money – we didn’t need the extra service of a concierge and the fruit plate or canapes in the afternoon were not very good and mostly wasted. We were all celebrating a special anniversary – the vacation was great but we all agreed we would never request the concierge floor again.

    28. Cruise Critic
      February 15th, 2012 @ 2:42 pm

      See prices for concierge cabins on Celebrity Summit’s six- and seven-night Bermuda cruises/seven-night Caribbean cruises — the price difference is typically $100 – $250. Thanks!

    29. arlene
      February 15th, 2012 @ 2:43 pm

      We have sailed on Celebrity and then on Azamara – C’s smaller ships. Everything mentioned as a perc above is STANDARD on Azamara. Plus much much more. I have gotten so used to being spoiled I hesitate to chose any other way

    30. Steve
      February 15th, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

      We did the CC last November on Summit. I can’t imagine getting anything less if we decide to cruise with Celebrity again. Although they have always been our favorite cruise line, I probably won’t cruise with them again because of a bad experience before the cruise.

    31. linda feigaes
      February 15th, 2012 @ 3:49 pm

      My husband and I have cruised 47 times on all the cruise lines. We are Elite on Princess, Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. We already get ALL these extras including others. If there is something else we want or need, all we do is ask for it. No, I would not pay $100 extra pp for these small items. We always cruise on the newer ships anyway, which automatically have more amenities.We may pay a slight bit more, for the better ships, but that’s where we spend the extra money.

    32. Tom
      February 15th, 2012 @ 4:37 pm

      Cruise lines are truly struggling now to;
      a.come up with new things for passengers to do on board, and
      b. get as much money out of every sq.ft of the ship.
      They long ago incorporated the features that appeal to large numbers of passengers….free shows,casinos, onboard shops,etc. Each new feature now probably will only appeal to a smaller and smaller percentage of the public. So find what you like and go for it. Don’t book ships or cabins that don’t have what makes a cruise good for you and don’t be critical of people who like and find value in in what you don’t like, want or need to be happy.

    33. idratherbesailing
      February 15th, 2012 @ 5:00 pm

      While I agree that the little extras you get with CC level on celebrity is nice the price is usually a lot more than $100.00 per person per sailing. We have found it to be more often $250.00 per person per sailing. ($500.00 per cabin per sailing can be better spent elsewhere. We are Elite level members on celebrity (Yes we love the line) and we usually get a lot of those extra perks without having to pay extra for most of them. We are top tier level members on most of the other lines as well having sailed on over 40 cruises in just the past 20 years. (in addition we have 5 more sailings pre 1990) Without a doubt Celebrity has been the best by far on every level. Other lines have their strenghts and we have enjoyed them as well but Celebrity with or without a CC level stateroom is the best overall.

    34. j miller
      February 15th, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

      I would not be intereste3d in paying the extra fee. I always get most of the “extras” in any balcony cabin I get. My travel agent always sends us chocolate dipped strawberries and bubbly upon arrival. Our cabin boy always fills a bowl in our room with fresh fruit daily and a free shoe shine (if we ask. We always have adequate room in our cabin as well as storage and our cabin boy also stores all of our luggage under our bed after we unpack. Just what is the extra cost really for?

    35. JOHN LAWLESS
      February 15th, 2012 @ 7:00 pm

      CC IS TOPS…..BEST CABINS….EXTRA POINTS….AND BREAKFAST SMOOTHIES ARE A GREAT MORNING STARTER…

      WE DID A PANAMA CANAL BTB SAN DIEGO TO FLL……..FLL TO VALPARISO TOTAL 30 DAYS
      HAD SAME CC SUITE….SAME ATTENDANT…..BY 8 TH DAY………ATTENDANT KNEW WHAT OUR 7 AM ROOM SERVICE ORDER WAS (SERVED ON BALCONY)AND ON SECOND LEG……..AFTERNOON SNACK PLATE WAS REALLY UPGRADED……. AND CONCIERGE MANAGER AND CAPTAIN BOTH SENT WINE TO OUR CABIN …

    36. M A
      February 16th, 2012 @ 12:20 am

      Hi, We sailed Silhouette Jan 17,had a CC room,the cost was $400 more each than a balcony cabin,No, I won’t do it again,the concierge was new to the ship that day,none of the extras were done,only the beds were made before the previous concierge left. The flowers btw are 1 stem in 2 test tube holders attached to the back of the desk. The closet with no shelf, faces into the room 18\ from the bed,I could only use it by edging sideways to the sliding door. The cabinet at the ceiling above the beds was difficult to use if you are less than 5’5\,the ship was lovely,if it returns to NY area,I’ll sail on it again. I’m booked on the Summit in June,balcony cabin,price is about $175 per day,the reviews are very helpful,I’m looking forward to the trip,love Bermuda beaches.

    37. Linda
      February 16th, 2012 @ 11:21 am

      Our first cruise was a last minute guaranteed room on Constellation. We were upgraded to CC while my brother-in-law booked an oceanview (we paid the same amt!). That was 7 cruises ago, 3 on Celebrity’s CC and our 4th will be in a few weeks. On the first cruise which was 2 weeks long, we decided we would never go with anything less than CC. We love the pampering perks and wouldn’t give them up. The other lines we’ve been on (HAL & RCCL) you have to upgrade to a suite to get the similar perks. We’ve enjoyed all 3 cruise-lines, but when it comes to Celebrity I don’t even think twice…CC always! PS- will be Elite after this cruise! Really enjoyed the Concierge Lounge on RCCL. Can’t wait!

    38. sandee
      February 16th, 2012 @ 11:26 pm

      We sailed on the Celebrity Silhouette Aqua Class.
      YES THOSE PERKS ARE WORTH THE EXTRA $$$!
      the shower, the fruit, the canapes, huge fluffy towels & robes.Our Blue restaurant and Persian Garden in the spa. We have no complaints.

    39. Anna Bakst
      February 18th, 2012 @ 2:43 am

      I am looking forward to my 3/24 cruise on the Constellation in a CCSunset Verandah Handicapped cabin. I finally attained Elite Status & am looking forward to the add’l Perks.I was disappointed to learn that the Constellation does not have the glass enclosed showers that I enjoyed on the Equinox & Siloutte. Azamar Journey Handicapped Balcony Cabin was very spacious as well as my 1st Celebrity Cruise on the Millineum in a Sky Suite Transatlantic in 2006. I always try to get a CC for the add’l service & perks. I did the Holyland Cruise on the Silhouette in Oct & then the crossing to NJ. I will never again take a Celebrity Cruise into NJ as getting off the ship, boarding a bus with your luggage to get to the custom hall where they were understaffed & rude. Then having to get to another bus to Newark Airport. It is a horror. If you have to catch a plane at Newark airport make sure you do not take a flight that leaves before 2:00PM or you may not make it. Otherwise Celebrity is the line for me.

    40. Anna Bakst
      February 18th, 2012 @ 2:47 am

      Correct the comment of having to board a bus with hand luggage & walker to get to the custom hall & then not finding luggage where it was supposed to be, but several sections away.

    41. Penny
      February 18th, 2012 @ 4:33 am

      The fluffy bathrobes, Elemis toiletries and fruit bowls replenished daily are standard fare for all Holland America guests – not just balcony cabins, so it was surprising to see these as extras people have to pay more for.
      Mind you, I’ve only taken one cruise, on HAL, so maybe other lines have the same or similar set ups for all their cabins.
      A standard interior stateroom on HAL has the following, just FYI, from their website:
      -Luxurious beds featuring Sealy® Premium Euro-Top mattresses and finely woven cotton linens
      -Deluxe waffle weave and terry cloth bathrobes for use during your voyage
      -100% Egyptian cotton towels
      -Premium massage showerheads
      -5X magnifying make-up mirrors and salon-quality hair dryers
      -Fragrant soaps, lotions, shampoo and other bath amenities from Elemis Aromapure
      -Complimentary fresh fruit on request
      -Elegant ice bucket and serving tray for in-stateroom beverages
      -Flat-panel TV and DVD player
      -Ice service, shoeshine service and nightly turndown service

      What you won’t find though, is rock-climbing walls, not for their clientele!

    42. Andrea
      February 19th, 2012 @ 5:11 pm

      Good grief, how ridiculous. We just left the Summit yesterday and cruising folks confuse me. Why would I pay extra for fruit in my room, which I might not want anyway, but is always available on the buffet? Why would I need a bigger fluffier bathrobe when I’m in the tropics? My cabin steward was already at least at attentive as I needed. I never turned on the TV. If I want a bottle of wine, I’ll buy what I like. It’s nonsense designed to make people feel special.
      There seemed to be a lot of people on that ship who looked like they could barely afford it, which was shocking to me. They are often the ones buying all the extras and the dinners in QSine or wherever since I assume this is their one week a year living upscale. Some of us are travelling for the ports and as a winter getaway and don’t need all the rest.

    43. Maggie
      February 20th, 2012 @ 7:30 pm

      I have now heard good & bad. I want to first state that I am a VERY HAPPY Holland America Mariner. On HAL you do not need to be on CC to get a great cabin, bathrobs, extra pillows, plush bedding, etc. It comes standard (at least all my balcony cabins have had them). Also, it is better not to be on a higher deck because you feel the ships movement less. With Celebrity, the better cabins are the higher ones, so they do not give you the choice to get a lower cabin and still get the amenities. So, in a way, they are taking away your freedom of choice. Also, if you select open sittin, you have to pay your gratuities in advance. Is that fair, I do not think so, I believe it is somewhat discriminating.
      I am booked on Celebrity Infinity for the Panama Canal in November; my first cruise with them and just because HAL did not have on their itinerary one of the ports I wanted to go to. Unless, Celebrity TOTALLY changes my way of thinking, as of now, I think I will coninue to be loyal to HAL.

    44. MM Linden
      February 26th, 2012 @ 7:52 am

      We are booked in Aqua/CC for our 12 night Australua & New Zealand. One reason we did this was for the included spa and speciality ‘workout’ classes and Blu the speciality dining only for CC/Aqua sailors. You also get unlimited bottled water of which I drink a lot. We are not health ‘nuts’ but don’t want to gain the pound a day average most people, including us, gain while cruising. I am do excited and can’t wait for our trip on the Solstice!

    45. MM Linden
      February 26th, 2012 @ 8:21 am

      Forgot to mention that we are Diamond on RCCL which gives us the same elite status perks on Celebrity. Combine this with Aqua/CC we are looking forward to truly being pampered! I also have to agree with one of the earlier posts: stay away from NCL, especially Pride of America ( Hawaiian inter island) as it was horrendous from start to finish. We’ve been on 14 or 15 cruises and on a scale of 1-10, NCL would have gotten a 1 or 2- maybe.

    46. Eileen
      April 11th, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

      Which ship would you recommend for a southern caribbean cruise? My husband and I are in our mid 40′s, and are not bringing the kids. I cruised 24 years ago on Carnival. He has never cruised.

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