I used the boards to help me have a great vacation so I want to return the favor for anyone like me who is booking a cruise on Celebrity for the first time. DH and I landed in Miami the day before, took a taxi from the airport, $25 total, to the Doubletree Grand. We had a balcony room overlooking the bay. There is a small mall. But after reading all the questions about the Bayside Mall, the Doubletree should advertise how easy it is to get there from their hotel on the aboveground tram.
Embarkation was easy at 12:30. Took a taxi, $10, to the port and welcomed aboard with a mimosa. The only time we ever showed our passports was leaving Miami and re-entering Miami. We went to lunch at the buffet and ate on the deck. Beautiful-teak wood everywhere. Our cabin on deck 10 was ready around 1:30. It was beautiful! We entered to find a couch, coffee table, bed, and then the balcony. What a view! This was concierge level and there was a bottle of sparkling wine on ice, a bowl of fruit, and fresh flowers in the cabin and bathroom awaiting us. The bathroom was a great surprise-loved the curved door on the shower-every hotel room should have such a great setup.
We went to everything we could and did not have time for all the fun activities. We had select dining which is in a room separate from main dining, open but you could not see that main level. We went at 6:30 every time and met great people at each dinner. This was the nicest part of the trip-how friendly all the people on the cruise were. 6:30 dinner usually ended at 8:30 with just enough time to make the show at 9:00. We saw them all (something on every night) and they were all entertaining. Cruise director Mike and the Activity director were terrific.
After we went to a bar for a drink or dancing and occasionally to the casino. No luck. One note, I was surprised at how much the ship rocked on calm waters.
It was nice weather, but very windy at times on the deck and I was always cold inside. The specialty restaurant for crepes was terrific and the Murano was just okay. The food in the main room was so good it was hard to beat it, and in full disclosure my husband wasn't feeling well that night. Also the main dining room never really served Italian food so I should have booked The Tuscan Grill. Also missed the afternoon buffet and formal night to be ready for Murano booked online,so be sure to inquire when these happen. Formal night dress was cocktail dresses mainly and suits.
At Puerto Rico I made a mistake by not booking an excursion. I thought we could catch that free tram but there are several trams and we couldn't figure out were each one went. We asked but got no response we could understand. St Thomas we awoke to an amazing view, port side for us worked out very well. The ship's excursion: tour St Thomas and Magen's Bay was okay. It was again very difficult to understand our tour guide and Magen's Bay would probably be better without 500 people there. It is also not a place to go snorkeling.
St. Martin was a better ship's excursion. We took the See and Sea tour and the guide was wonderful and funny and if you don't intend to actually go snorkeling the underwater boat is the next best thing.
Disembarkation was as easy as getting off a plane. We were surprised by the luggage taken from us at 11:00p.m. that last night. We didn't have any carry-on, so thanks to Celebrity for giving us a zippered tote to keep as a souvenir. At 8:00 we went to the main dining room for a nice breakfast and departed the ship at 9:45. There was a very long line for a taxi-over 30 minute wait-but we were in no hurry. All in all a great Spring Break cruise!!