We just returned from Alaska and wanted to compare the two cruises we have taken.
First, by far and away the shining star on our Celebrity Cruise was Milos Radakovich, the Naturalist. He was informative, funny and we learned and remembered without realizing it was happening. Both of us wish he had been our science teacher way back when. And now we know that porpoises don’t porpoise.
Second, cabins were comparable. Both were kept up and we didn’t feel that either line had it above the other. We had the same class in both lines.
Third, staff. Generally the staff on Celebrity was good, but we noticed inconsistencies. We each bought the non-alcoholic package, which we had done on Princess. Princess doesn’t include the morning latte, Celebrity does. But we had trouble finding smoothies on Celebrity and it seemed to depend on the bartender and whether they knew what it was. Celebrity had a great spa café, which we didn’t see with Princess, but Princess had food all the time and there were some “down” times on Celebrity. Granted it was a smaller boat this time, half the size of our Princess sailing, but as we were used to off-time eating given our jobs, it was a (minor) inconvenience to have to keep an eye out for eating times.
Fourth, spa – both have great facilities. But an odd thing happened in the Celebrity Spa. When I went to have my massage, they kept me waiting a half hour, and because we were late, I only got 40 minutes of a 50 minute massage. This came about because the masseuse was arguing with a difficult customer ahead of me and, in my opinion, she should have involved the manager and gone on to her next appointment. I don’t think she was skilled enough to handle the problem and the manager should have stepped in. On Princess, I did notice that managers often stepped in if there was an issue so this, for me, was a big difference. Also, they double-booked my husband's first appointment and he had to re-book for a less convenient time (we booked on day 1).
Fifth, food. Excellent on both. Of course by day 3 we were fooded out and generally stuck to the healthy choices, but we were pleased to see that Celebrity had an abundance of fruits and vegetables. The odd part with Celebrity food, however, was the labeling. One night I saw lamb curry, and when I asked for it, the chef was quite clear that there was no lamb. So we had to walk through each dish to see what was what and several had the wrong information – again, little inconsistencies.
Would we go back? Definitely to either, depending on how the schedule suited us. The tipping point would be the naturalist, as this definitely made seeing Alaska well worth the trip.