Booked via an agent with friends and then used the website to book additional packages. The Celebrity website is probably the worst I have navigated. Trying to establish the best options for dining and drinks packages was difficult and confusing.I pre purchased a classic drinks package , big mistake. Don't do it unless you drink alone and are an alcholic. (About 8 glasses of wine a day sees you break even.Perhaps it is part of the Celebrity Lifestyle.)
The embarkation process was quick and efficient.The ship is clean but its designed is a little modern and cold.
In the embarkation hall we enquired with the drinks sales staff to clarify the drinks package conditions. We were advised that it was OK to buy drinks on your package and give to others, partners etc. However on this cruise each bar tender applied this differently. Some will let you order only one drink and not allow another order from the package for 10 minutes, others will let you order a round of drinks and set the lowest priced drink as being from the package. No consistent policy is applied.I ended up checking every drinks bill , not my normal routine. I lost count of the number of errors on drinks receipts made by the staff.I had to specify each time the drink to be allocated to the package.
As the pre set 15% gratuity on drinks is in effect the bar staff's wages it is not surprising they don't like a pre-paid package (sold as being 15% saving)and they try and maximise your bill.
Guest relations said that the packages always causes problems. They were unable /unwilling to cancel the package.It tainted my first Celebrity experience. The second package was the purchase of and IPad in the on board 'Apple' shop. As I sailed from the UK back to the UK I was expecting it to be usable in the UK. Not this Celebrity purchase as it comes with a charger with a US two pin plug. As they sold out I expect other fellow guests are considering taking Celebrity to the small claims court to get back the additional costs of a UK charger (Â£26 or less)
I have cruised 3 star, 4 star, and 5 star with other cruise lines. They all have managed to maximise my cruise experience by dealing with problems sensibly and effectively. Celebrity did not and seemed un-willing to try to do the same.
They, along with other cruise lines ,have moved into a if you want a better experience pay a supplement for it.
Oh and don't fall,for the Celebrity 'make it easy' and pay gratuities in advance as they don't appear on your account and therefore you ( or guest relations) can't remove them.