Cruise

Cruises 101

by Sherri Eisenberg

Celebrity Cruise Line

Number of ships: 8
Ship capacity: 1,808 to 2,046 passengers, plus one 98-passenger ship
Price range: Moderate

The audience: The passenger roster depends on the destination. On longer itineraries and visits to farther-flung locales such as the Panama Canal or the Baltics, the ships are filled with retirees who have extra time. On Caribbean cruises, the median age tends to drop and passengers are more likely to tote strollers or new wedding rings.

Strengths: Long considered the plushest of the midpriced cruises, Celebrity is more attentive to service than you might expect on big ships. The design is also elegant: Exterior glass elevators look out over the sea, and specialty restaurants have wood paneling and artifacts from famed ocean liners.

Weaknesses: Three new vessels will have almost 3,000 passengers, a big step up from the 2,000 or so they carry now. Sure, there'll still be butlers assigned to all suites, but the question is, will you be able to track one down when you need help tying your bow tie for formal night? How hard will it be to get a spa treatment during peak times? Time will tell.

Insider tip: If you're a Celebrity fan but would like a more intimate experience, try its small, 98-passenger vessel, the Celebrity Xpedition, which tours the Galápagos Islands. Unlike many expedition ships, it has amenities such as Jacuzzi tubs and a formal dining room—and booze is gratis.

Itineraries: The bread and butter of the eight current ships are the Caribbean and Alaska, but Celebrity also offers other worldwide sailings, such as a 13-night cruise around South America. It departs from Buenos Aires, and ports in Puerto Madryn, Argentina; Punta Arenas, Chile; and Valparaiso, Chile (from $1,300 per person).

Celebrity Cruises
Tel: 800 647 2251

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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