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Celebrity VS Royal Caribbean – Top 5 Differences to Help You Decide

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After taking a cruise with both Celebrity and Royal Caribbean we noticed some pretty major differences between the two brands. Let me start with this. They were both amazing and offered great value for a dream holiday. We personally sailed on the Celebrity Millennium from Vancouver to Yokohama and on Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas from New York to the Caribbean. 

Even though Royal Caribbean owns Celebrity, we noticed each brand is going after totally different demographics. If you want to know which brand Kashlee and I liked most, keep reading to the end. Each cruise line has it's own special offerings that makes it unique. When comparing Celebrity VS Royal Caribbean, here are the top 5 differences we noticed on board.


Celebrity VS Royal Caribbean Cruises

1. Celebrity Cruises are more Upscale, Intimate and Chic

Celebrity VS Royal Caribbean

The first thing we noticed on board Celebrity cruises was that the general vibe of the ship is more classy. There wasn't any partying or unruly behavior. To be honest the ship was quiet almost everywhere except for the martini bar at happy hour. The bartenders were there to wow the crowds with their impressive old school flair bartending. In comparison on Anthem of the Seas, it was a robotic bartender that stole the show. At dinner, the vibe was definitely more relaxed and had less of a panicky feeling. Celebrity ships all have a smaller passenger capacity which makes for a more intimate experience. 


2. Royal Caribbean offers Extreme Sports, Bumper Cars and Tons of Kids Activities

royal caribbean vs celebrity

Royal Caribbean offers some great extreme sports such as the FlowRider, iFly and rock climbing walls. They definitely lead the way if you are a fan of sport activities. Royal Caribbean also offers families activities such as bumper cars, kids games and organized daily sports. Be sure to check your sailing for what activities are available. 

Celebrity cruises offers a fully customizable “Camp at Sea”. Celebrity caters to a more refined experience for children. Instead of bumper cars, basketball and playgrounds Celebrity offers educational, culinary and art experiences. The kids can also enjoy Xbox, camp games and tournaments that engage mind, body, teamwork and of course silliness! 

3. In Room HOT Breakfast is better on Celebrity

Celebrity VS Royal Caribbean

There is nothing we enjoy more then relaxing on a cruise. The busy breakfast buffet is not our idea of a good time when we first wake up. We enjoy waking up slowly, watching the ocean and having breakfast brought to us in the comfort of our room. On Royal Caribbean, room service breakfast only includes a continental breakfast with no hot offerings. On our Celebrity cruise, we were delighted to see hot offerings such as scrambled eggs, sausage and bacon. This made for cozy breakfast in bed as we watched the ocean go by. 

In terms of the service, there was a big difference between the two brands. For several days on our Royal Caribbean cruise, our breakfast was either late or completely forgotten. We had to call multiple times to request our breakfast be delivered. On the phone they mentioned it was a sold out cruise and they were having trouble keeping up with the demand. 

For our 15 day Celebrity cruise breakfast came on time every single day. It arrived hot and was delicious. They even did a courtesy call 3 minutes before arriving at our room to let us know it was on its way. 

4. Celebrity Cruises Offer More Personalized Service

Celebrity VS Royal Caribbean

One of the biggest things we noticed was the level of service on Celebrity Cruises. It was far superior to Royal Caribbean. On Celebrity, most ships aren't as large which gave the crew a chance to learn more about us and made us feel special. They would remember our names and room number at the restaurants. They knew all of our dining preferences and whether we prefer cappuccinos or lattes. At one point I was even asked what time I would be coming so they could have my cappuccino ready instead of me having to wait for it once arriving. Even the small things made a huge difference. Celebrity bathrooms offered folded towels to dry your hands instead of paper towel. Doing a bit of background research we found out the truth is in the numbers. Celebrity cruises offer on average one crew member for every two passengers. Royal Caribbean offers on average one crew member for every three passengers. When comparing personalized service for Celebrity VS Royal Caribbean, Celebrity wins hands down. 

5. Less Line Ups On Celebrity

Celebrity vs royal - trevor kucheran

When I step on to a cruise ship, I want all the worries and stress of my busy life to wash away. I love to be able to relax and not have to worry about how big the line will be at dinner or if I made proper reservations to all the shows. The last thing I want to do is wait in line instead of collecting the precious moments that cruises offer. Cruises go by so fast and I want to make sure I can savor every moment of it. On the Royal Caribbeans Anthem of the Seas everything is busy all the time. I highly recommend booking everything ahead that you can. Otherwise you will end up in the “no reservations” lines. Then it's a roll of the dice on how long it will take or if you can get in at all. There were multiple occasions even with reservations we waited 20 minutes for dining on Anthem of the Seas. Reservations are also required for all sports activities such as the iFly and Flow Rider. You will also need reservations for the North Star ride.  I'm not personally a fan of booking everything ahead as I want the freedom to choose what and when I want to do things on board. 

Note: I want to mention that Royal Caribbean was made aware of the issues we experienced with room service breakfast and wait times for dining. Once made aware of the multiple problems, the rest of our cruise experience did improve dramatically and they did everything in their power to make it right. 

On the Celebrity Millennium there was no need to make reservations for the shows. It was first come, first serve but there was always plenty of seating. I do want to mention that we also enjoyed the comfortable couch seats with drink tables rather than the stadium seats with cup holders offered on Royal Caribbean. On the Celebrity Millennium we chose “Select” dining and we never waited more than 5 minutes at lunch or dinner in the main dining room. The only things we did make reservations for was the specialty dining. (Try Tuscan Grille….Amazing!) The ship was not as busy, less hectic and had very minimal lines. 

Celebrity VS Royal Caribbean - What Cruise Line is Better?

Celebrity VS Royal Caribbean (3)

Top 5 Differences Between Celebrity VS Royal Caribbean

1. Celebrity Cruises are More Upscale and Chic

2. Royal Caribbean offers Extreme Sports, Bumper Cars and Tons of Kids Activities

3. In Room HOT Breakfast is better on Celebrity

4. Celebrity Cruises Offer More Personalized Service

5. Less Line Ups On Celebrity 


It depends on who you ask and what you're looking for in a cruise! When comparing Celebrity VS Royal Caribbean our choice is Celebrity Cruises! Celebrity is perfect for a romantic getaway or honeymoon. The service is superior to that of Royal Caribbean and the entire experience is more personal and classy. The ships are quiet, relaxing and it was hands down one of the best vacations we've had. 

For those who prefer a faster pace, partying, lots of sports activities with more family fun, Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas might be your best bet!  

More Cruise Related Posts:
  • Looking for a great Cruise Deal? Check out our list of the Cheapest Cruises! Updated monthly. 
  • Check out the NEWLY renovated Celebrity Millennium (refurbished 2019)
  • Our full review of the Transpacific repositioning cruise on Celebrity


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