My husband and I booked our first cruise with Celebrity because of the nice round-trip itinerary from Buenos Aires, most especially the scenic cruising in Antarctica. We did a South American cruise on Princess ten years ago in 2013, without Antarctica, when we also missed the Falkland Islands. We both have Elite status with Princess so that is our primary frame of reference, although our very first cruise over 20 years ago was on Royal Caribbean, and we have also sailed on Holland America twice, and one time each on Viking Ocean and Viking River Cruises. I thought I would give some general impressions of our experiences while also comparing with our cruises on Princess.
Booking Process: We generally do not use a travel agent and book directly with a company cruise vacation planner. We did the same with Celebrity and found the process quick, easy, and informative. We had lots of questions about processes and procedures related to Celebrity and the friendly and helpful agent took the time to patiently answer all of them to our satisfaction. We asked if we could use her in the future, but this was not an option, unfortunately. We had several other interactions with Celebrity pre-cruise and most calls were very quickly answered by knowledgeable agents. The one exception was trying to order pre-cruise the discounted laundry bag. It took a couple of calls, including one dropped call, for an agent to finally help us, offer us the accurate information, and actually help us purchase the bag.
Princess Comparison: We had a wonderful Princess vacation planner whom we had worked with for years. But prior to the pandemic, she sadly went on a leave of absence and never returned. Since then, we have had a revolving door of different planners, none of whom have been as responsive, friendly, or knowledgeable as our former planner. We have been assigned another new person, but have not booked another cruise with Princess.