The Fleet of Celebrity Cruises – which ship is best for you?

Are you considering Celebrity Cruises for your next cruising vacation? How exciting! Find out what type of cruise travelers choose Celebrity Cruises and the different ship classes in Celebrity’s fleet. We help you find the one that is right for you!

Let’s take a look at what Celebrity Cruises has to offer. We’ll also take a peak at the lesser-known Xpedition ships. If you haven’t experienced these, that could be your next adventure!

Celebrity’s “Always Included” price concept

Celebrity Cruises offers an “Always Included” pricing. The pricing concept provides an all-inclusive cruise to make booking easier for you.  

What this means is, whichever class of cabin you book, your price includes the cost of:

  • Gratuities
  • Classic Beverage Package
  • Wifi (for one device per cabin)

And, of course, your dining is all included, with shows, entertainment, and many activities on board.

Right now, Celebrity offers two different upgrade packages. Always check their website in your country of origin for the latest upgrade package offers and prices. These vary depending on where you live and where you sail from. And these can change at any time.

Celebrity’s “Elevate” Package

Upgrade to the “Elevate” package (currently priced at USD$30 per person daily). With the Elevate package, you get the following:

  • Gratuities
  • Premium Beverage Package 
  • Shore Excursion Credit
  • “Surf” wifi

Celebrity’s “Indulge” Package

Upgrade to the “Indulge” package (currently priced at USD$60 per person per day). With the Indulge package, you get the following:

  • Gratuities 
  • Premium Beverage Package
  • On Board Credit 
  • Streaming wifi

Suite customers: The price includes the Indulge upgrade. There is no need to pay extra for this when booking your suite.

What kind of customers does Celebrity Cruises attract?

Celebrity Cruises has a reputation for being a modern, luxury cruise line. And you can see this in the design and decor on board. All the newer and even the older but refurbished ships are just fantastic. The entire fleet is stylish and contemporary while giving you the classic cruise experience.

Marketed to appeal mainly to the over-40 age group, we have seen that many guests are older. Most are 50+, right up to the older generation. 

And while it is primarily adults on board, if you want to cruise with kids or teens, you should (we did)!

Kids clubs for all ages are included in the fare. While no kiddie pools or water slides are on board, plenty of other fun activities keep them busy. But honestly, teens seem to love the facilities on board the Royal Caribbean ships (mainly Oasis-class ships) more than those available on Celebrity ships.

Out with the formal and in with the chic evenings

Formal nights on board Celebrity Ships have disappeared, replaced by what Celebrity Cruises describe as “Chic Nights.” Up to two evenings on board, every 7-night cruise will be “chic” where you can dress up as much as you want. Otherwise, it’s casual attire for the evenings, without any pomp, ceremony, or expectations.

Cabin classes – what’s the difference?

Retreat class 

You get a dedicated butler (or “host”) in this best-of-the-best suite class. And what a cabin it will be. You have the choice of the largest and best-located suite cabins on board.

Best of all is the exclusive access to the Luminae restaurant, the Retreat lounge, and the outdoor Retreat area. The Luminae restaurant offers a chef’s dining experience thanks to a collaboration of Celebrity Cruises with Michelin star chefs.

These areas are not accessible to guests in any other class of cabin. You will also have the added perks of priority boarding, nice toiletries and bathrobes, and even in-suite dining.

The “Indulge” package (Gratuities, Premium Beverage Package, On Board Credit, wifi) is automatically included when booking this suite class.

If you are a Norwegian Cruise Line fan, you can compare the Retreat class on board Celebrity to the Haven class on NCL.

Aqua class 

We love Aqua class on board Celebrity Cruises. It’s a balcony cabin slightly larger than the standard balcony cabins (but only slightly) with extra perks.

You have unlimited access to the wellness areas/spa. (We recommend you book your times in advance as it can get busy with Aqua class guests, you are not guaranteed access if you turn up expecting to get in).

You can dine in the complimentary Blu restaurant, book complimentary gym classes, order snacks in your suite, have branded toiletries in your bathroom, and a few other nice touches.

It’s a good choice if you are a spa lover, traveling without children, and want to use the exclusive areas only for Aqua class guests. The Blu restaurant is a real winner with excellent service.

Tip! – if booking Aqua class, look for cabins not located directly underneath a cafe or restaurant as it could get noisy.

Concierge class 

Generally speaking, the concierge class cabins are the same as your standard cabins. However, they are slightly better located on the ship. You will also get priority boarding which is a plus if there are long waits or crowds at check-in.

The main difference is the little extras in your cabin, and only you can decide if this is worth the extra cost: bathrobes, canopies, tote bags, and a welcome lunch.

We would rather pay a bit more and upgrade from a standard cabin to Aqua class, where we feel you get more value for money with all the extras above, plus access to the spa and the exclusive Blu restaurant. 

Standard class for inside, ocean view (window) cabins, and veranda (balcony) cabins

That leaves the standard cabins, which are all a similar size. The inside cabins have no windows or balconies. Then there are the ocean view cabins with a window, and finally, the veranda cabins which means you have a cabin with a balcony giving you an extra 5-6 square meters on your cabin size.

And we must say that despite the differences between what you get and what you don’t get in the different cabin types, the class difference is much less noticeable on Celebrity cruise ships than on some other cruise lines. Everyone feels like they are traveling in luxury, regardless of the class you book. And that’s because the ships are beautiful wherever you go on board.

And while you will see that Celebrity is more pricey than other premium brands, the general view is that you get value for your money. You will pay a premium for suite upgrades as the price difference is quite a lot compared to standard cabins.

Celebrity Cruises ship categories

Celebrity “Edge” class ships include:

  • Celebrity Beyond – Nr. of guest 3260 – Launched: April 2022
    Destinations: Mediterranean summer and Caribbean winter
  • Celebrity Apex – Nr. of guests 2910 – Launched: 2019
    Destinations: Scandinavia, Russia, Iceland, Ireland, Norwegian Fjords, Israel, Meditteranean, British Isles summer/autumn and Caribbean, Bahamas, and Peurto Rico winter
  • Celebrity Edge – Nr. of guests: 2918 – Launched: 2018
    Destinations: the Mediterranean and Greek Isles summer, Panama Canal, and Caribbean winter

From April through to August, Celebrity Beyond sails in the Mediterranean. Itineraries include Spain & Portugal, France and Italian Riviera, and Italy and the Greek Isles.  Then in the Autumn, the ship will cross the atlantic to cruise in the Caribbean for the winter sesaon. So there is plenty of opportunity to choose a fantastic itinerary and be one of the first to sail on this new cruise ship, and have a holiday of a lifetime.

Is the biggest and newest the right ship for you?

“Edge” is Celebrity Cruise’s largest and newest class of ships. They are some of the best cruise ships currently at sea. Beautifully designed with outstanding facilities, it is hard to fault them.

And we are happy to report that Celebrity has included more cabins for solo travelers on these ships if you are traveling alone. Prices are still relatively high, so we hope to see a reduction in these in the future for solo guests.

Infinite veranda cabins are possible to book, so you can use your balcony either open or as a fully enclosed living space. Great for families of 4 wanting extra space in the balcony-category cabins.

With hot tubs elegantly perched above the pool and a jogging track spread out over two decks, you can work out with a view.

A magic experience onboard Celebrity Cruises

Have you seen the magic carpet? Unique to Edge ships, the extra moving floor built out over the edge of the ships is a remarkable innovation. It’s a meeting point or restaurant during the day and an entertainment area at night.

The platform is also used for moving guests into tender boats. This makes the whole operation of getting you to shore much quicker when in tender ports.

A tender port is a port of call where your cruise ship needs to anchor off-shore, rather dock at the pier side for disembarkation.

Guests are moved from the cruise ship into small boats, called tenders, to reach the shore for disembarkation when visiting a tender port. Some tender ports include Bar Harbor in Maine (New England), Naples (Italy), Edinburgh (Scotland), Airlie Beach (Australia) and Corfu (Greece).

So what do we love best about Edge ships? There must be a few things, as there is so much about these ships.

We love Eden, stretching over three floors. This area makes you feel like you are out in nature. Then there is the Grand Plaza with the wrap-around Martini bar, our favorite place for a drink before dinner. And finally, the rooftop garden with iron statues, greenery, a sunset bar, and a Rooftop grill restaurant.  

But in fact, the list goes on with a theater with four stages, mesmerizing backdrops, and innovative technologies for fun evening shows.

And what else is different on Edge ships?

Most noticeable is the main dining experience. Instead of one main dining room, the Celebrity Edge class now offers four different dining rooms included in your price, and you can move between the dining areas throughout your cruise.

The specialty restaurants are so innovative that we would go as far as to say that Celebrity does the specialty dining experiences better than most other luxury cruise ships at sea today. Experience it for yourself, and you will remember your meals on board for a long time.

And suppose you are thinking of a vacation down under. In that case, you’ll be excited to know that Celebrity Edge will sail in the Pacific for the Australia and New Zealand itineraries of 2023-24. What a winning combination of both outstanding destinations and a top-class cruise ship. Edge will be sailing out of the ports of Auckland in New Zealand and Sydney in Australia.

What to expect on board Celebrity Beyond

Well, it’s longer and higher than any other Celebrity ship. A sunken seating area has been installed on the resort deck (where you find the swimming pool). Plus, you get an infinity pool on the top deck with all-important shady areas for those summer cruises in the sun. And more seating has been included in the Sunset Bar.

Celebrity increased the size of the Retreat area on board to ensure that suite guests get value for money. A second deck has been added, and a larger circular pool. It’s a beautiful area.

The popular martini bar is now more extensive and prominent in the Grand Plaza, so there is less chance you need to fight to the bar in the evening.

Celebrity “Solstice” class includes five ships:

  • Celebrity Equinox – Nr. of guests: 2852 – Launched: 2009 – Refurbished 2019
    Destinations: Caribbean, Key West, Mexico, Bahamas
  • Celebrity Silhouette – Nr. of guests: 2902 – Launched: 2011 – Refurbished 2020
    Destinations: Northern Europe and Mediterranean summer, Caribbean, Bahamas, Key West, Mexico winter
  • Celebrity Eclipse – Nr. of guests: 2852 – Launched: 2010 – Refurbished 2021
    Destinations: Pacific Coastal California, Hawaii, Alaska, New Zealand, Australia, South Pacific
  • Celebrity Solstice – Nr. of guests: 2852 – Launched: 2008 – Soon to be Refurbished
    Destinations: Alaska, Japan, Asia
  • Celebrity Reflection Nr. of guests: 3046 – Launched: 2012 – Soon to be Refurbished
    Destinations: the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and the Bahamas

This gorgeous class of ship is undergoing renovations by Celebrity Cruises to bring every ship up to scratch to match their sister ships.

Popular amongst guests with many returning guests who cruise this class of ship time and time again, it’s easy to see why when you climb on board. Sophisticated decor, a large theater, great dining options, and the elegant “Lawn Club” on the top decks makes the Solstice class an excellent ship for couples and families alike.

Celebrity’s Murano restaurant

There are a wide variety of dining concepts on board, and the French dining experience in Celebrity’s Murano restaurant is unique to Solstice-class ships. This is a popular choice of specialty restaurant with guests.

It has a reputation for being a fine dining restaurant but without pretense. You will feel welcome by the knowledgeable staff and sommeliers, so sit back and enjoy a French feast! If you want to try just one of the specialty restaurants during your cruise, this is the one. 

Choose one of the ships that have been refurbished. So far, that is Equinox and Silhouette.

The best thing about Solstice class is that they cover many different destinations in their itineraries.

From Japan and Alaska to the Caribbean and Mediterranean, you can be sure of a fantastic cruise on a luxury ship to a destination that will be on your bucket list.

Celebrity Millenium-class includes four ships: 

  • Celebrity Millennium – Nr. of guests: 2218 – Launched: 2000 – Refurbished 2019
  • Celebrity Summit – Nr. of guests: 2218- Launched: 2001 – Refurbished 2019
  • Celebrity Constellation – Nr. of guests: 2184 – Launched: 2002
  • Celebrity Infinity – Nr. of guests: 2170 – Launched: 2001

The oldest of the fleet, the Millennium ships, are being brilliantly refurbished. Two have been completed so far. We would only say that the Grand Foyer was lovely but nowhere near the “wow” factor that you have on the more modern ships.

The Roof Top Terrace is a favorite place during the day and even in the evening if you want to enjoy an open-air movie. And the wine bars are excellent on Millennium ships.

If you like a smaller cruise ship and are ok with fewer activities on board, then the Millennium-class cruise ship could be for you.

The sailing experience is quieter and generally more relaxed. It could be the class for you if destinations are your focus and you want an all-inclusive elegant, and easy way to get there.

Choose the refurbished ships when you book because you’ll find a big difference in the overall feel of a modern refurbished vessel compared to one where wear and tear are apparent.

Celebrity “Xpedition” class includes three luxury vessels:

  • Celebrity Xpedition Nr. of guests: 48 – Launched: 2004
  • Celebrity XplorationNr. of guests: 16 – Launched: 2017
  • Celebrity Flora – Nr. of guests: 100 – Launched: 2019

Designed to help you explore and discover your destinations, the Celebrity Expedition class of ships is a long way from a traditional cruising experience.

These smaller ships can reach smaller ports and more unusual destinations thanks to their size.

Priced higher than the more mainstream cruises, you are paying not only for a much smaller, more intimate, and specialized cruise ship but also for a voyage of discovery. And that includes experts and guest lecturers who offer nightly talks about the destinations, the wildlife, and the environment you are about to discover.

In the restaurants, you will eat food reflective of your destinations.

Celebrity Flora, Celebrity Xpedition, and Xploration visit the Galapagos Islands, Quito, and Machu Picchu.

Expedition cruises are for those seeking real adventure and action and an experience beyond a regular cruise because you’ll get a glamorous yachting, adventure-seeking, once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Meet the author: Sarah has created and booked hundreds of travel itineraries for thousands of customers during a career in the travel industry that spans 20 years. Having worked hand in hand with cruise lines, hotels, airlines and tour operators worldwide, she offers inspiring & detailed insights in the world of travel and tourism.

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