Our cruise began with an easy check-in, which was wonderful after experiencing the Galveston zoo last February! Had room access by 1:30 following nice lunch at the buffet. We chose the open dining and liked it very much. We liked the layout of the ship because it never felt crowded. We prefer this to the open mall layout of Royal Caribbean. Service was effortless, prompt and courteous. We especially appreciated being greeted with icey towels and cold water after long, hot days in ports.
The Solarium was terrific. Loved the comfort and the fact that towels are there for your use without having to be checked out, counted, etc. Along this line, Celebrity doesn't feel like a long encounter with a shopping network as Carnival does. You certainly can make purchases if you wish, but you are not hounded constantly by desperate people wishing to sell you stuff while you are on this ship.
The itinerary was varied and enjoyable. Cannes is fine for just walking around. We took ship excursions to Florence, Rome, Naples and Venice, and all were excellent. We left the Venice excursion before return to ship so we could explore on our own. The next morning we took the people mover to the vaporetta stand and rode down the Grand Canal.
Highlights of the cruise: Imperial Rome tour was very good and made me want to return to Rome to see more. Amalfi coastal drive is unbelievably beautiful. Kotor was unexpectedly lovely as a walled city, and the sailaway was stunning. Sailing through the Strait of Messina was noteworthy. We chose the open seating dining and found the food and service to be excellent.
I appreciated the attention to detail, the courteousness of the crew, the calm demeanor of everyone we encountered and especially the rapid, well-executed disembarkation. In less than half an hour, we left our cabin, went to the dining room to await our appointment time, departed in a very small group, picked up our luggage on the carousel at the bottom of the escalator and got in our cab to go to the airport. We will sail Celebrity again.