Convenience to departure port and cost were the initial reasons for choosing this cruise. Destination ports were secondary. I'd heard (mostly) good things about Celebrity and was pleased at the scheduled fare.
Check-in took two hours but did go smoothly.
This was the first time I had a room without a veranda, and actually was almost entirely pleased with the view from our 2nd deck 'Oceanview' mid-ship location. It would have been nice to be able to let fresh air inside, but the price savings were worth it, particularly since it was cloudy and cool for our trip.
My wife was very pleased with our room size, furnishings, and bathroom. I'm 6' 3", and the bed was both comfortable AND long enough. Shower was roomier compared to other lines.
We personally found the quality of the food to be one of the highlights of our cruise. It wasn't ALL great, but it was very consistent, even in the regular buffet. We found it to be so satisfying that we ended up NOT eating in the speciality restaurants, except one. 'Bistro on 5' was our first night aboard, and it absolutely rivaled the $100 meal we had in Seattle the night before. It cost us $5/person extra.
The main dining room was consistent with service and food, and we were successful in getting a private table when we requested one, even with our open dining plan. The wine list was respectable, and our sommelier really DID know his stuff. We tried several new wines per his recommendation (and sent one back without complaint) and I felt like the prices were fair given our location.
The 'Oceanview Cafe' (main Buffet) provided a wonderful variety of good to GREAT food. We easily ordered 'healthier' foods like egg white omelettes without butter. The fish they served from a big tray was cooked JUST right, every time. The carving station included leg of lamb one day, turkey another, ham, etc. The sushi wasn't awesome, but it was decent enough. One of my favorites was a pasta bar with a pretty darn good bolognese. A chef heated the pasta for each guest, and had a side sautee table of delicious extras. The quality and variety of the Cafe made it easy to return every day at least twice.
We enjoyed the drinks and bartender's 'show' at the Martini Bar, but wished the music were not so loud. We know some people come out ahead with the prepaid drinks plan, but even with $10 drinks, we ordered what we wanted and were satisfied, and paid $300 less at the end.
We ordered speciality coffee daily or twice daily. It was good stuff, and they always had complimentary pastries or teeny sandwiches available.
We found the entertainment to be disappointing compared to previous cruises. Not sure what that was about, since the ship's orchestra was nearly a perfect '10' in my opinion. They did have aerial 'Cirque' type performers who were quite impressive.
The gym was fine with the usual assortment of machines, classes and free weights.
The on-board naturalist Brent Nixon was over-the-top goofy and animated, but deeply passionate, well-qualified and very informative. He brought good material that really did enhance our experiences.
Celebrity scheduled presentations on navigation and propulsion which I absolutely loved! Hearing from licensed crew members was very cool as they talked about what goes on behind the curtain, so to speak. Celebrity not only is 'green' aware, but appears to be taking real steps to mitigate their impact, from hull design to recycling. I got the feeling it was serious and not just marketing.
Staff was good to excellent, with a few standouts.
All in all, it was a fine trip, and we are pleased with the quality of the experience for the time and money spent!