Stayed at the Comfort Inn on Stirling Rd. one night pre-cruise. It was ok for 1 night but not for more. They provided a free shuttle to the port and we were there by 11:15am
Embarkation was easy, no lines, quick processing. Pictures taken at the check in counter, so no additional line up for ID pictures. It was a long way up several ramps to board the ship on Deck 5, which was a little tough for my elderly dad.
The whole trip was pretty much flawless. The ship was as beautiful as I remembered, and the staff and customer service was phenomenal. Even on Spring Break, the passengers were on the older side. We did see more young families than last year, since the cruise actually was over Easter. The Easter Bunny was there.
Elite breakfast was held in the Tuscan Grill and it was never crowded. The Elite happy hour was in the Sky Lounge, and also not crowded. Had outstanding service and never had to look for my next drink!
Dress codes were adhered to, and on formal night there was a coat rack filled with a variety of suit coats for those who "forgot" to wear one. I've never seen that before!
Tried out the Persian Gardens for the first time, and loved it. Total relaxation. DH loved it so much he has tried to recreate it here at home, minus, of course, the heated tile loungers. He's got the reclining lounger and the music going, though.
Food was pretty good, not exceptional. Too much seafood for my taste. Seafood in everything....corn chowder (yum!) oops, they added lobster to it. That kind of thing. Loved the chateaubriand...it was wonderful. Outstanding dining room service. We had a large table right next to the Captain's table, with great table mates.
Entertainment was so-so. The Celebrity orchestra was outstanding, as always. Equinox, the Show, a Cirque style production, was as amazing as the first time we saw it. The comedienne was ok, and there was a singer from England who was truly awful. The jazz singer, Kelly Broadway, was great but underutilized.
No problems with chair hogs, really. Of course, I'm not shy about removing old towels and taking over. We only had trouble finding a spot on the second to last sea day.
Balcony smoking was a bit of an issue. Our neighbors started up the first day. I called customer relations and they said they'd send the housekeeping manager up to speak to them. Same thing next day. Then, they stopped smoking. No problems until the last day of the cruise, and they started again. This time I spoke to the CR manager, who not only took care of it, but gave us OBC for our trouble. Celebrity is serious about balcony smoking.
The ports were fine...we'd been there before so nothing new to report. There were several interesting excursions we might have taken but we didn't want to leave Dad behind and he wouldn't have been able to keep up. Maybe next time!
Overall, it was great. We were pretty low key in our involvement with stuff this year because we just needed to relax. Can't wait to go back next year!