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Things you won't find on a Celebrity cruise

21 Jun 2023
Elizabeth Wright

Royal Caribbean ships are known for having some of the most thrilling activities at sea, including zip lines, surfing and skydiving simulators, ice skating rinks, bumper cars, and more. 


However, Celebrity Cruises, Royal Caribbean's sister cruise line, is more upscale and offers guests a more refined cruising experience than you would find onboard a Royal Caribbean ship.

Plus, they now offer the ability to bundle your initial cruise fare to make it more inclusive, meaning that you will not have to worry about adding each cruise-add on after booking. Currently, the All Included rate only includes gratuities, Wi-Fi, and Classic Drinks Package. They advertise that this saves you anywhere from $200 to $800. 

Celebrity Cruises was originally founded by the Chandris Group in Greece in 1988 and was acquired by Royal Caribbean Group in 1997, meaning that the two brands have shared the same holding company for over twenty years!

And while the two brands may have the same parent company, there are some things that you will not find onboard any Celebrity cruise ship in the fleet. 

Smoking in the casino

Regardless of which ship you sail on, smoking is not permitted in the casino onboard any Celebrity ship. 

As a reminder, smoking is not allowed in the cabins either, even if you have a balcony. If you are caught violating their smoking policy, a $250 cleaning fee will be charged to your onboard account. 

It is, of course, permitted in designated outdoor areas. There are identifiable by signage. Plus, ashtrays will be available for smoking use. 

A teppanyaki restaurant

Izumi Hibachi is available onboard select Royal Caribbean ships. Here, passengers may elect to pay extra for this teppanyaki specialty dining experience. The price is usually somewhere around $50 if purchased in advance via the Cruise Planner for dinner. 

There is not a teppanyaki restaurant onboard Celebrity ships. They do, however, have sushi restaurants. Like Izumi, dining here is not included in the cost of your cruise fare. The a la carte pricing ranges anywhere from $4 for edamame to around $10 per roll. 

Plus, they have other specialty restaurants to choose from, so you will not go hungry or be without options!

Onboard thrills

One of the biggest differences between and Celebrity cruise and a Royal Caribbean cruise is that you will not find any WOW factor thrills onboard Celebrity ships. They lack water slides, rock walls, any kind of ice or roller skating rink, etc. This contributes to the more upscale environment. 

If you have children who like staying active and bouncing from activity to activity, this is something you should consider. They may not enjoy spending a week onboard a ship without those kinds of things to keep them occupied. 

They do have youth programming called Camp at Sea, though! They offer complimentary activities for children  ranging from three-years-old to seventeen -- think of things like games, arts and crafts, video game and sports tournaments, and even slumber parties!

If you drop your children off outside of the complimentary hours (i.e.,  9:00am to 12:00pm, 2:00 to 5:00pm, and 7:00 to 10:00pm), you will be subject to paying an additional $6 per hour per child. 

Private islands

View of cruise ship at CocoCay

Visiting Perfect Day at CocoCay is a must for many cruisers sailing to the Caribbean or Bahamas. It certainly lives up to the WOW factors that their ships deliver, as you will find a water park, zip line, exclusive beach club, and even hot air balloon on the island. 

In other words, you can make your day whatever you want it to be. Of course, not all activities are included in the cost of a Royal Caribbean cruise, which is something to be mindful of when planning your cruise budget. The water park, for instance, usually costs over $100 per person, as does the Coco Beach Club.

It is important to note that Celebrity ships do not visit Perfect Day at CocoCay. In fact, they do not have a private island of their own! 

While Labadee, Haiti is also a private destination owned by Royal Caribbean Group, Celebrity ships are going to stop sailing here in 2024. Per their website, "Please Note: While we don't currently sail to Labadee Haiti you can still discover the beauty of the Caribbean on a Southern Caribbean Cruise."

Elizabeth graduated from New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute with her M.A. in Journalism in May 2023. Growing up, she had the privilege of traveling frequently with her family and fell in love with cruising after sailing on the Oasis of the Seas her freshman year of high school. She wanted to pursue a career that highlighted her passion for travel and strengths as a writer. 

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