These are my Celebrity Cruises Watch-outs. The things that I really think you need to know if you’re thinking of cruising with Celebrity Cruises: who they are, what’s included and not included in the fare and things to watch out for.
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Who are Celebrity Cruises?
Celebrity Cruises offers a fairly traditional cruising experience, so the format and the structure is very similar to other Premium cruise lines. However, it’s done with a more modern, vibrant and upbeat twist and angle to it.
The ships themselves are very beautiful. They’re very design focused, and they are contemporary and modern, certainly compared to the other premium cruise lines.
If you’re the sort of cruiser that it’s looking for a premium Cruise Line and you like a traditional cruising experience and you’re not looking for a resort ship, you’re not looking for lots of gimmicks, you definitely want to consider Celebrity.
Celebrity on average has a slightly younger cruiser profile than the other Premium cruise lines. The design, look and feel of the ships, I think, is different and varied to the other premium Cruise Lines. It’s definitely giving you something different, and they’re constantly evolving that and moving that forward.
On the Edge class you’ve got even more innovations with a whole different way by converting balconies into infinite verandas, which make your cabin bigger.
One of the things I’ve found is a huge amount of passion for Celebrity, and people who like Celebrity really love Celebrity and are very loyal to that whole experience. If you want a more upbeat and more vibrant way of cruising within a premium experience and a big ship experience, definitely take a
look at Celebrity.
One of the key things when you’re cruising is understanding what is, and isn’t, included in your fare and what you’re going to be paying extra for. Celebrity is very similar to the other premium cruise lines, and there are quite a few extras above your basic fare. Let’s take a look at first of all at what is included in the fare, and then I’ll talk about what’s not included.
What’s included within the Celebrity cruise fare?
First of all, of course, your accommodation is included. There’s a wide range of accommodation from inside cabins right up through to palatial suites.
In terms of dining, there is quite a lot of food included, so you don’t have to go to any of the speciality dining restaurants. In the main dining room, or dining rooms in the case of Edge, you have early or late
sitting or you can have Select dining, where you can just pitch up, book on the app or on the day by phoning up the booking desk and choosing a time and table size.
If you’re travelling in the Aqua Spa you have the Blu restaurant, which is dedicated for you, and if you’re travelling in a suite you have a dedicated restaurant which is called Luminae. The Ocean View Cafe, which I really like, has a great range of food and there are other informal dining places so, for example, on the Celebrity Equinox you had the Mast Grill which serves things like burgers, hot dogs and similar informal food. Finally, you have room service. So, quite a wide range of included dining options.
You also have access to all the facilities across the ship, and you have all the usual things that you would expect. There is a wide range of bars and lounges. You have access to the main theatre where you have the different production shows. On most of the ships you also have Celebrity Central, which is where they show movies, do a lot of the talks or have various demonstrations or activities taking place in there. You have a large casino.
Higher up on the ship you also have the pool deck with both outdoor pools, indoor pools and hot tubs. The ships also have areas to exercise with a running or walking track, spaces to play things like table tennis and basketball and there’s a fitness centre. It is a large fitness centre and one thing you’ll notice is that the fitness centre is always busy, because again passengers on board Celebrity do tend to be much more active, youthful and more energetic.
A number of the ships then have one of their signatures which is the Lawn Club, which is half an acre of actual physical lawn on the top of the ships. A great space to go and hang out or have picnics.
If you are travelling with kids there are Kids’ clubs, three clubs: 3 to 5, 6 -8 and 9 -11. The Kids’ clubs are included in the fare but if you want babysitting that is an extra cost.
You also have all the Celebrity Life activity, the various programs and activities that are happening around the ship through the day and into the evening.
What are extra on-board costs on Celebrity Cruises?
Like the other premium Cruise Lines, there is quite a lot of on costs if you’re going on a Celebrity cruise. Of course, a lot of those are determined by your lifestyle like how much you drink, whether you want to do speciality dining or how many excursions you do. There are quite a lot of on costs to your experience.
Many of those you can pre-book, so before I go on the cruise, I use the cruise personaliser and I choose and pay for a lot of those in advance. The good news about that is they’ll often give you discounts by doing that in advance and you can plan out your whole experience before. So, that’s definitely something worth
Looking at. Although when you board on embarkation day there will also be a lot of offers, so if you’re not sure about what to do look out for those when you embark because you can potentially save a lot of money.
What are the extra costs that you are going to have to pay extra for above your fare?
The first of those are gratuities as these are not included within the fare and are an extra cost. You can either prepay them or they add it onto your Sea Pass account. These are, at the time of writing, $14 50 per day per passenger, $15 if you’re in Concierge Class and if in a Suite $18 per person per day.
Speciality dining is an extra cost and they do also offer packages for specialty dining. The discounts if you buy one of the packages for specialty dining range from about 20% if you buy a combination of three, up to about 30% – 40 % if you’re buying bigger combinations. To give you a sense of what specialty dining costs, let me give you what I paid on the Equinox. Sushi on Five was completely a la carte and you pay based on how much you had, but that ended up costing around about $35 per person. Tuscan Grill, which was the steak house, was $45 per person. Murano, the French restaurant was about $50 per person and Silk Harvest, the Asian fusion, was $35. The various fees are of a similar level across all of the different classes of ships. One of the most talked about speciality dining innovations is Eden on the new Edge class, which is this more interactive, immersive and slightly unusual dining experience with performers that interact and move about the space as you are dining.
Drinks will cost you extra. You do get some limited drinks like tea, coffee and water in the main dining room and Ocean View Cafe. But your alcoholic drinks and sodas are extra costs. You can order and pay for those ad-hoc or, what appears to be very popular, but drinks packages.
They have a number of drinks packages with the standard package, which is $45 per person per day, that includes basically house spirits, a small range of wine, beers and fountain sodas. The classic package, which is about $55 per person per day at the time of writing, offers a bigger range of drinks and you’ll have more branded products within here, a wider range of beers, wider range of wines and basically a wider range of everything. Then you have the Premium Package and that cost $69 per person per day, and that pretty much includes everything that you could possibly want.
One way of looking at it is the classic package covers any drink that’s going to cost you up to $9 and any drink that’s going to cost you up to $15 is included in the premium package.
They also have bottled water packages and soda only packages, and also, they have non-alcoholic versions of all of the packages, which for me (as someone who doesn’t drink alcohol) that was a great option to have a drinks package that didn’t mean I was paying for alcohol that I wasn’t going to drink.
If you want premium teas and coffees that’s also an extra charge but these are included within the different drinks’ packages.
Shore excursions are extra, as they are and other premium cruise lines. They have a wide range of excursions. I thought the excursions were pretty parity versus other lines in type and price. Excursions could add quite a significant amount to the cost of your cruise if you’re going out on an excursion every day as they can cost at least between $50 and $100 per person, so that does mount up quite a lot.
Wi-Fi is also extra. Wi-Fi is relatively costly, and they have different packages. I, for example, bought the one device logged on at a time for the whole cruise and that cost around about $35 a day for one device, and there are various slightly cheaper packages if you just want a very simple browsing experience where you basically just checking email and a little bit of social media.
Of course, as you’d expect then there’s all the discretion spending: so, if you’re gambling, playing bingo, having the spa treatments or laundry. All those kinds of things are, of course, extra.
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