Celebrity Cruises Review

U.S. News Travel
  • Overall Rating: 4.0stars 4.1 4.1
  • Expert Rating:4.0stars 4.0
  • Traveler Rating:4.0stars 3.9
    • Couples: 3.9
    • Families w/ young children: 3.8
    • Families w/ older children: 3.9
    • Singles/Friends: 3.9
    • Groups: 3.7
  • Health Rating:

Celebrity Cruises Overview

How it Ranks: Celebrity has been ranked based on an expert evaluation of the line's level of luxury, as well as an assessment of user reviews and health ratings. Celebrity Cruises appears on the following ranking lists:

Celebrity Cruises earns high marks from cruisers and experts alike, thanks to its upscale design and innovative cuisine. Celebrity's 11-ship fleet is separated into four classes: Solstice, Millennium, Century and Xpedition. While you can sail on a smaller ship like the Celebrity Xpedition, which transports only 98 passengers, you can also cruise on a larger ship like Celebrity Silhouette, which can accommodate 2,886 passengers. Regardless of the ship you select, you can expect a high level of customer service, with each ship carrying approximately one crew member per every two passengers. Celebrity's ships ply waters all around the globe, with 2015 sailings making stops in AsiaAlaska, CanadaEurope, Bermuda, the CaribbeanSouth America and the Galápagos Islands, among other popular destinations. Although excursions vary by cruise duration and itinerary, shore experiences can include everything from a hike through Hilo's Kilauea Crater to a ride on an elephant at Bali's Elephant Safari Park. Voyage lengths also vary by itinerary, spanning anywhere from three to 23 nights. No matter the type of cruise you choose, you'll find a full docket of onboard activities, including language classes, glassblowing demonstrations and lecture series. And when you need a break from all the activity, you can fuel up at the Main Restaurant, which features a menu created by a James Beard-recognized chef, or sample delicacies at the many specialty restaurants available on board.

Pros & Cons

  • Upon enrolling in Celebrity's Captain's Club rewards program, you'll receive exclusive benefits
  • Offers cost-saving packages for specialty restaurants
  • Wide roster of activities for kids and teens
  • You must purchase a beverage package for unlimited soft drinks and alcoholic drinks
  • Shore excursions are not included in your cruise fare
  • Cruise taxes, port charges and gratuities are not included in the price of your cruise

On Board

Celebrity attracts a diverse selection of traveler types. Celebrity's versatile onboard activities are well-suited to couples in their mid-30s to 50s. However, this line also appeals to cruising clans with a roster of educational activities designed for children and teens. You're more likely to encounter families during school vacations in the summer months. On longer voyages to Europe and South America, you'll likely be sailing with vacationing seniors.

More about the onboard experience»

On Shore

You can take advantage of Celebrity's varied port stops by venturing out on your own, or by booking one of the line's shore excursions. Excursions vary by itinerary and port of call, and they also require an additional fee. You can search for excursions by destination, activity level ...

More about the on shore experience»

Before You Book

  • Your final fare is due to be paid in full 75 days prior to departure for most voyages. Special cruises, such as holiday voyages, require final payment 90 days in advance of your scheduled sail date.
  • If you find a lower cruise price advertised to the general public within 48 hours of booking, you can submit a claim form with your contact information and where you found the lower price to take advantage of Celebrity's Best Price Guarantee. 
  • You may prearrange your flights through Celebrity's ChoiceAir program, which offers a lowest airfare guarantee, along with customer service assistance on travel days. If you sign up for the ChoiceAir program, Celebrity will also help you handle any delays or cancellations that may compromise your cruise plans and ensures that you reach your next cruise port. For passengers that book through ChoiceAir, Celebrity charges a non-refundable fee of $15 per person for North American destinations and $25 per person for international destinations.
  • Celebrity's cancellation policy varies by cruise itinerary, duration and whether you choose to purchase a CruiseCare benefits package. Cancellation policies for your voyage can be found in your Cruise Ticket Contract, which you'll receive 30 to 50 days prior to your sail date.
  • If you purchase Celebrity's CruiseCare insurance package, Celebrity will waive the line's non-refundable cancellation policy and provide you with a cash refund for the unused portion of your prepaid cruise fare. CruiseCare program costs change according to the price of your cruise. For more information, consult Celebrity Cruises' CruiseCare Vacation Protection page. 
  • Children younger than 12 months are not allowed to sail on Celebrity's trans-Atlantic, trans-Pacific or select South American cruises, or voyages that require three or more consecutive days at sea. For all other cruise itineraries, Celebrity requires passengers to be at least 6 months old.
  • You must be 21 years old to sail on unaccompanied on voyages originating in North America and 18 years old for cruises departing from South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Before You Board

  • You will need to bring a passport that is valid for at least six months after the completion of your cruise. If you are on a voyage that begins and ends at the same port in the U.S., you will only need a government-issued photo ID (such as a driver's license) or a government-issued birth certificate. Consult Celebrity's FAQ page to determine if (based on your nationality and travel plans) you need to acquire a visa before sailing.  
  • Along with your passport, remember to bring the necessary health documentation, such as inoculation certificate. Vaccination requirements vary by destination. Celebrity advises passengers to consult the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) for necessary vaccinations on a country-by-country basis.
  • Celebrity recommends completing the check-in process online. You are required to complete your online check-in no later than three days prior to your cruise departure, and you must board the ship at least 60 minutes before you are scheduled to set sail. If you are unable to use the online check-in service, you will have to complete the process at the pier two hours prior to your scheduled sailing time.
  • If you or anyone in your party requires special equipment or medical care for an existing health condition (including Braille materials, a medical refrigerator or oxygen supply delivery), you must notify Celebrity at least 30 days prior to your sail date. If you require sign language interpreting services, you must notify Celebrity at least 60 days prior to departure.
  • Should you require mobility assistance, you can customize your accommodations and excursions by completing a Guest Special Needs Form. In addition to accessible staterooms, Celebrity also offers accessible shore excursions at certain destinations. You can pre-book these excursions by sending Celebrity an e-mail at least 10 days prior to your embarkation date.
  • On each Celebrity ship, you'll find at least one doctor and two nurses. However, onboard medical care is not covered in the price of your cruise, so mare sure to bring all required medications with you to avoid paying hefty fees in the infirmary.
  • To pay for onboard purchases and services not included in your overall cruise fare (including shore excursions and gratuities), you will use a SeaPass Account. This account can be set up with a credit card, or you can arrange to pay by cash.
  • You can reserve spa appointments as well as meals at Celebrity's specialty dining venues online up to four days prior to departure; if your sail date is fewer than four days away, you can make reservations once on board.

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Disclaimers about ship ratings: A ship's Health Rating is based on vessel inspection scores published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If a ship did not receive a CDC score within 22 months prior to the calculation of its Overall Rating, its Health Rating appears as N/A; in such a case, the ship's Overall Rating is calculated using the average Health Rating of all CDC-rated ships within the cruise line. All ship Traveler Ratings are based on ratings provided under license by