Princess Vs Celebrity Cruises: Which Is Best?



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If you want to enjoy a slightly more sophisticated style of cruising than you’d get on some mainstream cruise lines, then both Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises are great options.

A comparison of two cruise ships with 'VS' between them, highlighting the contrast: on the left, a Princess Cruises ship sails near a coast, and on the right, the 'Celebrity BEYOND' ship cruises on the open sea.

These cruise lines are owned by the two biggest cruise companies in the world – Carnival Group and Royal Caribbean Group respectively – putting them in direct competition.

The styles of cruising are quite similar between these two cruise lines, though there are some clear differences too. That’s what I’m going to discuss in this guide. So if you’re on the fence, this should clear up exactly which cruise line would be the best fit for you out of these two excellent options.

The size of the fleet is one of the many similarities shared between Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises.

Princess has 15 ships currently sailing for the cruise line, with two more due to launch in the next couple of years. Celebrity also has 15 ships currently sailing, although only one more is currently being built.

Princess Cruises Ships

The aft view of the 'Sky Princess' cruise ship from Princess Cruises, docked at port during golden hour, with its name and home port 'Hamilton' displayed, ready to embark on another voyage.

There are four classes of ships in the Princess Cruises fleet:

  • Sphere Class – The newest ships, accommodating 4,300 guests
  • Royal Class – Six large ships accommodating 3,560 to 3,660 guests
  • Grand Class – Eight mid-sized ships accommodating 2,600 to 3,140 guests
  • Coral Class – The oldest two ships, each catering for 2,000 to 2,220 guests

The oldest ship in the Princess Cruises fleet is Grand Princess, which was launched in 1998. The newest is Discovery Princess, which started sailing in January 2022.

Read more: Princess Cruises Ships by Age

Celebrity Cruises Ships

The Celebrity Apex cruise ship from Celebrity Cruises moored at a quayside during dusk, its sleek design and illuminated windows standing out against the fading light, while the calm waters reflect its presence.

Celebrity has four classes of ships:

  • Edge Class – four ships that accommodate 2,900 to 3,200 guests
  • Solstice Class – five ships that accommodate 2,800 to 3,000 guests
  • Millennium Class – four ships that accommodate 2,200 guests
  • Expedition Ships – not an official class but a separate type of ship; these travel to much smaller ports, including Antarctica. There are three ships accommodating 16, 48 and 100 guests, respectively

The oldest ship in the fleet is the Celebrity Millennium which, appropriately, launched in 2000. The newest ship is Celebrity Ascent, the newest Edge-class ship.

Read more: Celebrity Ships By Age, Size and Class

Which to Choose?

There isn’t much to choose between the main Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises fleets. Princess does have some larger ships with the new Sphere Class, but they aren’t the mega-ships you’ll find with some other cruise lines.

The main difference is Celebrity’s Expedition ships – if you want a sophisticated cruise blended with a real sense of adventure, on very small ships that have a very communal feel, then Celebrity would be the choice to make.

Read more: The Best Expedition Cruise Lines

In terms of the available itineraries, both Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises have plenty of choices available. With these cruise lines, you aren’t just limited to the most popular cruising regions – you can explore the entire globe in style.

Here’s a look at the itineraries that are offered in each part of the world:

Princess CruisesCelebrity Cruises
Alaska2363
Australia & New Zealand9628
Bermuda04
Canada & New England194
Caribbean & Bahamas5431
East Asia2035
Europe147136
Galapagos042
Hawaii89
Mexico & Latin America70
Middle East & South Asia02
Pacific Northwest03
Panama Canal228
Repositioning04
South America199
South Pacific373
Transatlantic3720
Transpacific010
World460

Princess Cruises Destinations

A Princess cruise ship gracefully navigates through a fjord, with majestic green mountains rising on either side, showcasing the natural beauty and serene experience of a cruise in the Norwegian fjords.

Princess Cruises has a lot of exciting destination options for cruise guests, with a particularly strong focus on Australia and New Zealand – several ships spend a season Down Under, giving guests more variety when exploring this amazing region.

In total, the cruise line offers 30 different embarkation ports, with Sydney being one of the bigger ports – though there are many cruises from Fort Lauderdale and other North American ports too. UK cruisers get a lot of choice of ships, all sailing from Southampton.

Princess also offers some exciting cruisetour options in Alaska. These are special itineraries that incorporate a cruise and a stay in a Princess Wilderness Lodge, along with a beautifully scenic rail journey.

Some Princess cruises in the Bahamas include ports of call to Princess Cays, which is the cruise line’s private resort on Eleuthera. 

Celebrity Cruises Destinations

The Celebrity Summit cruise ship docked at a port, captured from an aerial perspective, showcasing the elegant vessel with its distinctive 'X' funnel next to the marina with clear blue waters extending into the horizon.

Celebrity Cruises offers similar itineraries to Princess, but where you could argue Princess focuses on Australia, Celebrity does a similar job with Alaska – there’s a wealth of cruises to explore this amazing region and its stunning scenery.

With Celebrity, you get even more choice of embarkation ports – 33 in total. 11 of those are across North America and the Caribbean, while there are 9 embarkation ports in Europe, including Southampton again for cruises from the UK.

Celebrity’s destinations also include unique itineraries around South America and the Galapagos Islands on the Expedition ships, with smaller ports that only these ships can access.

Which to Choose?

Destination likely won’t be a deal breaker if you’re deciding between Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises – they have very similar offerings. If you want to cruise to Australia or New Zealand you might find more flexibility in the Princess options, but you can say the same about Alaska and Celebrity Cruises.

The only major difference is those Expedition ships and the unique itineraries that they offer.

From an accommodation perspective, once again both Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises have very similar options.

You can, of course, choose between Interior, Ocean View and Balcony staterooms across the fleets, with Interior being the cheapest option and Balcony being more expensive. And on every ship across both fleets, you’ll be able to opt for a luxurious suite, offering additional perks and more space.

One area where the cruise lines do differ is in their options for single passengers. Across many of the ships in the Celebrity Cruises fleet, you’ll find a range of solo cabins available. With Princess Cruises, it’s only the most recent Sun Princess ship which has any solo stateroom options, and they are very limited.

Princess Cruises Staterooms and Suites

Here are some of the different types of staterooms or suites you can find on some Princess ships:

Sky Suites

The luxurious Sky Suite balcony on a Princess cruise ship at dusk, featuring a cozy outdoor lounging area, elegant dining setup, and an inviting interior seen through glass doors, all basked in the warm glow of the setting sun.

Available on select Royal-class ships along with the Sphere Class, Sky Suites are truly outstanding accommodation options. The top suite on the ships where it’s available, the suite itself is beautifully decorated and offers a wealth of space to relax.

But it’s the balcony that’s the real star – one of the most expansive at sea, with great views around the ship and out to the oceans. It even has an outdoor TV, so you can sit back on your decking furniture and relax in complete bliss.

Reserve Collection

Elegant Cabana Mini-Suite on Sun Princess with a neutral color palette, featuring a comfortable bed, a cozy sitting area with a sofa, a flat-screen TV, and access to a private balcony with ocean views.

The Reserve Collection is new for the Sphere Class with Princess Cruises, and it’s a collection of some of the best Mini Suites and Cabana staterooms on the ship, in prime locations.

But it’s not just about the quality of the room, you also get a private restaurant for Reserve Collection guests to use – normally on cruise ships, this kind of feature is exclusive to full suite guests or those who’ve reached the top levels of a cruise line’s loyalty programme.

Signature Collection

The sophisticated Signature Owner’s Suite on Sun Princess, featuring a plush bed, an open wardrobe, a well-lit vanity area, and a modern design that exudes luxury and comfort for guests.

The very best suites on the Sphere Class ships, the Signature Collection offers complete luxury, including the Signature Sky Suites, which have incredible views.

As well as the breathtaking suites, guests also get access to a private sun deck, restaurant, and lounge, away from the bustle of the rest of the ship and with some wonderful menus and drinks options.

Celebrity Cruises Staterooms and Suites

These are some of the more unique options you can book on a Celebrity cruise:

Concierge Class

A veranda stateroom on a Celebrity cruise ship elegantly appointed with a comfortable bed accented by an orange throw, a cozy seating area, and a balcony with a view of the ocean, offering guests a private and tranquil retreat.

Concierge Class staterooms are offered across the Celebrity Cruises fleet (except for on the Expedition ships) and they include a widened range of amenities for guests to enjoy.

As well as better room furnishings, you can also get the help of the concierge team on the ship to arrange speciality dining reservations, theatre reservations or anything else you need help with.

AquaClass

AquaClass Sky Suite on a Celebrity cruise ship, featuring a serene and stylish decor with a plush bed, accented with red and beige, a comfortable sofa, and a framed picture of an elegant vintage dress, enhancing the luxurious cabin experience.

AquaClass is another option for staterooms and suites on the Celebrity fleet, which are themed around the spas onboard. This means that as well as a higher class of cabin, you get additional features themed around health and wellbeing, and priority access to book spa treatments. You also get free access to some of the facilities throughout your cruise.

The Retreat

The Royal Suite on a Celebrity cruise ship, with a modern and inviting design featuring a comfortable bed with a white and teal color scheme, elegant wall lamps, a decorative lattice headboard, and an art piece that adds a touch of sophistication to the room.

The Retreat on Celebrity Cruises is the equivalent to Princess Cruises’ Signature Collection – the very best suites, all kept in one area of the ship.

With Celebrity, you also get access to an exclusive lounge, sun deck and Retreat Restaurant offering an enhanced menu. If you want to have an even calmer and more luxurious area of the ship to enjoy (on a ship which is already pretty special) then booking a suite in The Retreat will guarantee a wonderful experience.

Suggested read: Celebrity Cruises Cabins To Avoid

Which to Choose?

Both Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises offer different stateroom and suite collections with enhanced facilities, or you can just opt to pay for a regular stateroom and still enjoy a comfortable, contemporary room.

There’s very little to separate them here – perhaps if the spa is your priority on a cruise, then you’ll love the Celebrity AquaClass; otherwise, the options are very similar across both cruise lines.

For a lot of people, food is one of the main considerations when picking a cruise line. So, how do these two cruise lines compare?

Princess Cruises Food

Guests enjoying a delightful dining experience at Alfredo's Pizzeria on Royal Princess, with a waiter serving a fresh, hot pizza. The atmosphere is casual yet elegant, as the diners engage in cheerful conversation, with wine glasses and a variety of pizzas on the table, accentuating the restaurant's cozy and inviting ambiance.

Princess offers delicious dining options that are, where possible, inspired by the region where the ships are sailing. Each venue onboard every ship is distinctive and uses authentic ingredients and recipes, blending fine dining with a love of good, wholesome food.

There are several casual options on a Princess cruise, including the popular pizza, which many people say is the best at sea.

Some of the venues have now changed to having a small cover charge, depending on the cruise fare you pay, but there are enough complimentary options that you won’t get bored of the same foods.

Celebrity Cruises Food

A family enjoys a meal together in a chic and modern dining area aboard a Celebrity cruise ship. The table is interactive with a vibrant, colorful pattern, and the young boy looks delighted with his dish, as the attentive server presents plates to the guests, creating a warm and memorable dining experience.

Celebrity has a similar approach to food across its fleet. Dining is considered an event, and so the food and service is designed to make every evening (and indeed, every breakfast and lunch) feel special.

There are some casual venues again, but the speciality dining restaurants are where the cruise line shines, with global cuisine prepared to Michelin standards.

Celebrity’s newest ships also have four Main Dining Rooms rather than one – essentially, these are complimentary restaurants where you can enjoy different themes as you cruise.

Which to Choose?

If you’re a foodie, then you’ll have a tough time choosing between Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises. Celebrity offers a marginally more premium experience onboard and that’s reflected in some of the top-tier restaurants, but Princess Cruises’ speciality restaurants are still a step above what many mainstream cruise lines have to offer.

Princess and Celebrity are two cruise lines that primarily stick to the traditional style of cruising, when it comes to daytime activities. You aren’t going to find roller coasters or epic water slides on these ships, but you will find plenty to keep you entertained when you want to do more than just relax by the pool.

Celebrity ships are a little more innovative and contemporary, but they aren’t anything like the ships you’ll find with Royal Caribbean or NCL, for example.

Princess Cruises Activities

Guests cozily wrapped in plaid blankets on deck chairs enjoy 'Movies Under the Stars' on a Princess cruise ship. The evening atmosphere is enlivened by a large outdoor screen, with the ship's pool and open decks illuminated under the night sky.

On a Princess ship, you can expect to find a host of daily activities, including dancing lessons, art auctions and culinary classes – perfect for picking up some new skills to make your favourite menu dishes at home.

There’s also a casino on each ship, and you can enjoy Movies under the Stars if you want to just kick back with a movie on the deck.

Sun Princess will also debut a new feature – the Sea Breeze Rollglider. This isn’t so much a thrill ride as just a unique way of enjoying stunning views all around the ship.

And while not really an activity, there’s one other facility that you’ll find on Princess ships but not on Celebrity – self-service laundry machines. This is much cheaper than using the laundry service onboard, even though it does mean taking more time out of your cruise. Handy for longer itineraries, though.

Celebrity Cruises Activities

Inside the bustling casino on a Celebrity Cruise ship, the space is equipped with vibrant slot machines and gaming tables. The luxurious setting with red and cream decor invites guests for a night of entertainment and chance.

The activities you’ll enjoy on a Celebrity cruise are quite similar to Princess. You’ll find a casino, art auctions, cooking lessons and again, the chance to watch a movie on the pool deck.

There are a handful of more unique activities that you can try on a Celebrity ship, such as:

Which to Choose?

If you’re looking for a cruise ship that is absolutely packed with things to do during the day, then perhaps neither Celebrity Cruises or Princess Cruises are the right cruise line for you. That’s not to say the ships are dull – just that they are both more about showcasing the destinations you’re sailing to, and relaxing in your downtime.

If you’re a keen golf player or you’ve taken up the craze of pickleball then Celebrity might just win you over, but Princess’ activities are varied and engaging too.

Live entertainment rarely makes or breaks a cruise decision but it’s still handy to compare the options available. So, let’s take a look at what you’ll enjoy if you book a cruise with these two lines.

Princess Cruises Entertainment

Interior view of the Princess Theatre on a Princess cruise ship, showcasing a sea of purple seats facing a large stage with a red curtain and a screen displaying 'Princess Theatre'. The ceiling is dotted with lights, enhancing the venue's vibrant atmosphere.

Princess Cruises offers the expected range of variety entertainment, including comedians, live musicians, and impressive theatre shows, which are described as ‘Broadway-quality’. That’s not just an empty statement though – the original productions have been created for Princess Cruises by famed composers and directors who’ve worked on big Broadway shows in the past.

Celebrity Cruises Entertainment

The modern interior of a theater on a Celebrity cruise ship, featuring plush purple seating, a spacious circular stage, and ambient lighting. The design is complemented by a large, abstract forest mural, creating an immersive entertainment environment.

Celebrity Cruises takes a similar approach – rather than bringing the classic Broadway shows onto the ships, it has its own range of original shows that are just as good as the ones you know and love from theatres on land. Celebrity’s use of technology helps to enhance the productions even more, giving them a real wow-factor.

Which to Choose?

Choose Celebrity Cruises if you care deeply about the type of entertainment on the ship and you love an infusion of epic music with cutting-edge technology. The shows really are something special onboard, and you’ll be left wondering just how they achieved some of the effects.

If you end up choosing Princess because of other factors, you won’t feel let down by the entertainment either – it’s bombastic, thrilling and great fun, with very talented artists onboard.

Neither Princess Cruises nor Celebrity Cruises are aimed primarily at families – there are plenty of other cruise lines where younger guests are tailored to with epic onboard features. 

But neither is a bad choice for a family either.

Princess Cruises Kids’ Facilities

Children are engaged in video games at Camp Discovery on a Princess cruise ship, comfortably seated on colorful couches in a bright room with a large screen TV and modern, playful décor.

On every Princess ship, the Camp Discovery kids clubs offer a range of activities suited to different age groups. Through partnerships with Discovery and Animal Planet, kids will take part in various educational experiences that are still focused on fun, while encouraging new friendships throughout the length of the cruise too.

The clubs also host kids-only dining events, allowing the grown-ups to enjoy a more sophisticated dinner together while the kids party with pizza and ice cream.

Read more: 7 Reasons Princess Cruises Are Great For Families

Celebrity Cruises Kids’ Facilities

Camp at Sea on a Celebrity cruise ship, showcasing a playful and colorful indoor kids' area with geometric furniture, a whimsical slide and climbing structure, and interactive games for children to enjoy.

While Celebrity Cruises doesn’t have the official partnerships that Princess has for its kids’ clubs, the theming is still the same – educational fun, with a whole host of different games, crafts and more to keep kids stimulated and engaged while they make new friends.

Slumber parties, video game tournaments and more make sure that nothing ever gets too serious.

Which to Choose?

Kids and teens will have a great time in their respective kids’ clubs on both Princess Cruises and Celebrity Cruises. The experience is broadly the same on both cruise lines – younger kids will love all the games and crafts, while teens will enjoy a more relaxed lounge area where they can hang out, play video and board games, and generally relax in a cool, modern space.

The type of person who typically chooses these cruise lines helps to reveal a little more about the kind of experience onboard.

Princess Cruises Demographics

Princess is considered more of an upmarket traditional style of cruising, and so tends to have a slightly older demographic onboard. There’ll be some families, sure, but a lot of guests will be in their 50s and 60s, with many in their 70s too.

A group of guests enjoying a sociable moment with wine glasses in hand on Princess Cruises, with a couple engaging in a cheerful conversation, embodying the warm, convivial atmosphere of the cruise experience.

Celebrity Cruises Demographics

On a Celebrity cruise, the typical guest is younger, often in their 40s and 50s. Most will be couples but there will be solo travellers and some families too, though they’ll be in the minority. The reason the guests are younger is because Celebrity is just a bit more of a hip, contemporary cruise line.

Two guests in matching red shirts are taking a selfie onboard a Celebrity Cruises ship, with the distinctive blue and white ship funnel in the background, capturing a joyful moment of their vacation.

Both are stylish and offer a premium style, but with Celebrity everything just feels a little more modern, and so better attracts a slightly younger crowd.

While both cruise lines vary their pricing depending on the ship and itinerary, here’s how they approximately compare.

Princess Cruises Prices

Princess cruise fares can be quite good value, and a 7-night cruise in the Caribbean can start from as low as £70/$90 per person, per night even on some of the bigger, more modern ships in the fleet.

Princess does offer different types of fare, where you can upgrade to include drinks, tips, dining and more. While these can add a large sum to your per-day rate, they might offer good value compared to buying each element of the package individually – so you need to determine how much you’d make use of all the inclusions.

Read more: Princess Premier Vs Princess Plus

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Celebrity Cruises Prices

Celebrity Cruises tends to have higher prices than Princess to reflect the slightly more premium feel to the ships. You’ll find that an average 7-night Caribbean cruise on the most modern ships will cost between £100/$130 and £150/$190 per person, per night, depending on the sailing.

Celebrity also offers optional fare upgrades if you want a more inclusive package, though you can stick with the cruise-only fare if you prefer.

NEW DEALS JUST RELEASED!

Don’t miss the latest Celebrity Cruises offers…

The Verdict

There are few competitor cruise lines that offer such similar experiences as Princess and Celebrity. Both offer a more premium style of cruising compared to other mainstream lines, although Celebrity ships are a little more contemporary and state-of-the-art, while Princess still keeps that slightly more traditional feel.

If you’re a younger cruise passenger, you might find that Celebrity appeals to you more, but Princess isn’t just for an older crowd either. 

There’s no clear ‘best’ cruise line, even if Celebrity is considered slightly more luxurious – both offer great food, excellent service and some wonderful itineraries. But based on this guide, hopefully you now have a feeling on which one feels right for you.

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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