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Norwegian vs Celebrity: Which Is Better?

If you are having trouble deciding between Norwegian and Celebrity for your next cruise vacation, you need to consider what kind of vacation and experience you are looking for. In this article, we will compare Norwegian vs. Celebrity in-depth to help you plan your next unforgettable vacation.

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Norwegian Overview

Norwegian Cruise Lines is a great choice for those looking to have a completely stress-free vacation. While cruising the sea, you won’t need to worry about strict dress codes or set dining times while still having plenty of activities to choose from.

With a 19-ship fleet, Norwegian Cruise Line sails worldwide, allowing travelers to choose itineraries from two to 21 days. Some destinations include Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, South America, and more.

While onboard, adults and kids alike can take their pick from an extensive list of activities. For adults, test your luck at the casino, see a broadway show, or have an intimate evening at an onboard lounge. Kids can play Wii on a two-story wall, play a game of bowling, or drive on a racetrack.

For dining, Norwegian Cruise Line prides itself on a “Freestyle Dining” experience. Passengers can choose from up to nine restaurants at any given time. In addition, of course, there is an extensive range of cuisines, so there is something for everyone.

With that said, Norwegian cruises are more geared toward families. So if you are looking for a romantic getaway or a honeymoon cruise, it may be better to look at an adult-only cruise line.

Celebrity Overview

On the other hand, Celebrity is known for its upscale design and Michelin-starred Chefs. Travelers can choose to cruise on a small ship with the Celebrity Xpedition, which holds 48 passengers or opt for a larger ship holding over 3,000 passengers.

Celebrity sails to the same destinations as Norwegian, but you can expect a more premium experience. With that, high-level customer service is expected as there is one crew member for every two guests. On some cruises, Norwegian can have one crew member for every three guests.

Travelers can choose itineraries ranging from three to 18 nights with various excursions and activities. While Celebrity may be deemed a more upscale cruise line, it still accommodates families and has the activities to back it up.

Like Norwegian, adults can go to shows, gamble at casinos, or have a romantic dinner for two. Kids and teens can play in the pool, watch a movie under the stars, join the camp at sea, and much more.

Celebrity cruises have been said to have some of the best food at sea. Passengers can make a reservation at a fine dining restaurant or just opt for a casual meal. In addition, adults can enjoy one of the largest and rarest wine selections in the cruise industry.

Celebrity is for both couples and families looking for modern luxury. However, Celebrity would be the better choice for solo or couples between the two cruise lines.

Norwegian vs. Celebrity: Cost

Since Celebrity is more upscale, passengers can expect to fork out more money than they would on a Norwegian cruise. Norwegian cruises can start at $200 a day for an interior room (no ocean view) and as much as $650 per day for a luxury suite.

Celebrity, on the other hand, is a little more expensive, with interior rooms starting at $235 per day on average. If you are looking to stay in a suite, prepare to pay close to $1000 per day.

However, with both of these cruise lines, you can still get rooms with ocean views at an affordable price. Of course, the time of year, the ship, and the itinerary duration all factor into the cost.

Norwegian vs. Celebrity Ships

Norwegian and Celebrity both have beautiful ships. The main difference is that Celebrity has smaller ship options ranging from 48 to 100 passengers. On the other hand, their large and mega ships can accommodate anywhere from 2,107 to 3,046 passengers.

There is only one way to cruise with Norwegian, and that’s with a lot of people. The Norwegian fleet can accommodate from 1,936 to a whopping 4,266 passengers.

It’s tough to say one has better ships than the other. Both cruise lines have mega-ships that have endless activities for everyone. But if you don’t want to escape the crowds, you may prefer one of Celebrity’s expedition ships.

Norwegian vs Celebrity Food & Drink

There are slight differences in terms of food and drink when aboard a Norwegian or Celebrity ship. Norwegian offers all-inclusive packages for a fee with unlimited alcohol, soft drinks, and meals. However, there can be added fees for specialty restaurants and drinks.

In comparison, Celebrity doesn’t have an upgrade option for all-inclusive packages, but they do have all-inclusive cruises that include drinks, meals, and tips. So while you will need to pay out of pocket for alcoholic drinks on some cruises, several dining options are still included in the fair.

In terms of cuisine, Celebrity takes the cake in fine dining. In 2022, Celebrity won Best Cruise Line for Food & Dining. Some of their notable restaurants that received high praise were the Tuscan and Normandie. As mentioned, Celebrity is also a wine lover’s dream and has the awards to prove it.

It’s not to say Norwegian doesn’t have great food because they do. Norwegian is known for having a wide range of food options and allowing guests to eat whenever they want. Passengers can choose to dine at grilles, buffets, cafes, and fine dining restaurants with no fixed dress code.

Norwegian vs. Celebrity: Itineraries

There aren’t a lot of differences between Norwegian and Celebrity cruises as they both sail to ports around the world. Both cruise lines offer itineraries to Alaska, Hawaii, the Caribbean, New Zealand, Europe, Asia, South America, and more. With that, passengers can choose from a wide variety of ports and excursions that best suites them.

There is a slight difference in the length of the itinerary. As mentioned earlier, Celebrity has cruise itineraries ranging from three to 18 days, whereas Norwegian offers cruises between two and 21 days.

Since costs can be similar, it’s best to shop both cruises and find an itinerary that fits your needs.

Norwegian vs. Celebrity: Activities

Activities are endless on both Norwegian and Celebrity cruises. You can expect a variety of activities for adults, families, and children.

Norwegian and Celebrity offers an array of activities, such as bowling alleys, arcades, video games, movies under the stars, water slides, swimming pools, spa treatments, casinos, and much more.

Activities that are included onboard will depend on the cruise you choose. For example, a family cruise will have different activities than if you were on an adult-only cruise.

Norwegian vs Celebrity: For Kids

Norwegian and Celebrity both offer programs and facilities for kids. Parents can bring children as young as six months on select cruises.

Both cruise lines have programs for kids and teens where they are supervised by counselors. Kids can participate in supervised activities such as sports, games, movies, and more.

If need be, childcare is offered for a fee on both cruise lines giving parents time to enjoy themselves.

Norwegian vs. Celebrity: Entertainment

While both cruise lines have a variety of entertainment, Norwegian is known for its world-class shows. Passengers can enjoy award-winning broadway shows such as Jersey Boys.

Nonetheless, you can expect entertainment on both cruise lines, such as comedy shows, musical performances, and live bands.

If entertainment is important to you, check what the specific cruise ship offers to decide which one is right for you.

Norwegian vs. Celebrity: Typical Clients

Both cruise lines cater to couples, families, and solo travelers. Neither of them has adult-only cruises; they have several adult-only activities and areas to escape.

Since Celebrity is considered more luxurious, couples may enjoy the atmosphere more as long as they are okay being around children.

On the other hand, Norwegian may appeal more to solo travelers who want to be on their own schedule. In addition, the freestyle dining experience may make it easier for solo travelers to dine without feeling awkward.

Norwegian vs. Celebrity: Final Verdict

It’s tough to say there is a clear winner between Norwegian and Celebrity. Both cruise lines have endless activities, entertainment, dining options, and more. However, Celebrity is known for its exquisite cuisine, whereas Norwegian has best-in-class entertainment.

While at times, Celebrity can be more expensive; you can find deals on both cruise lines. Ultimately, choosing between the two will come down to your preferences and what is most important to you.

If you still aren’t sure what cruise to choose, we have another article that may help, including