Since there are over 2 000 people on board it would be hard to please everyone but this cruise seemed to upset A LOT of people. Maybe we had high expectations of this cruise but it seemed much worse than any cruise we have been on.
Things we liked:
1. Ship- new and well maintained. We had balcony cabin that was specious and very clean ( but not the balcony ). Never had a problem of getting a lounge chair by the pool in a shade or sun. LOTS of chairs and you don't have to reserve chairs in the morning.
2. Itinerary- we booked this cruise because we liked ALL ports of call. Rome- Messina-Athens- Kusadasi-Rhodes-Mykonos-Santorini-Naples ( Capri). We did a lot of research of what to do in every single port and we totally maximized our time! Planning your daily activities ahead is a MUST!!!
3. Excursions- we booked 3 excursions ( Taromina, all day-Ephesus, Akropolis+Plaka) We booked those excursions with Celebrity vs private company because we felt like we would be short on time to do it our way. All excursions were very good and very well organized. Tour guides were very knowledgeable and were happy to answer any questions. Definitely recommend booking it through Celebrity. This way you will save a headache of missing a ship which is easily possible!
4. Weather- there were strong winds in Mykonos and several cruise ships missed that port. Somehow our Captain obtained permission to dock at the ONLY cruise dock on the island instead of tendering. We were thrilled that Captain didn't declare another day at the sea. BUT cruise port was far from the city and Celebrity charged 7$ / person for shuttle buses. It would have been nice gesture for Celebrity to cover the shuttle bus charges but nobody seemed to care about $7 fee.
5. Service- exceptionally rude but there were several people that made our stay special -- Room attendant, specialty coffee bar, martini bar, Creperi restaurant- when you have to pay extra- you get good service!
Things we did not like:
1. Port transportation to the port. We read reviews and took our chances of taking a train to port in Rome ( 1 hr train ride). It was a disaster! Termini station is poorly organized and nowhere on the ticket it says platform number. When we finally found the train we realized that there is no assigned seating and you REALLY have to watch for your bags or you will get pit pocketed. Ones you get to Civitaveccia there are no cabs and you have to walk 15 minutes to the port. Save your self a headache and take that 50 Euro cab from Rome.
2. Embarkation and disembarkation- shuttle bus service at Civitaveccia was a disaster. Not enough buses and they ran infrequently. People had to fight for their spaces on the bus. We missed 4 busses because they couldn't fit everyone- almost 1.5 hours!
3. Ship design- Eventhough the ship is new it is poorly designed compare to other ships we have been on. There are only 2 outdoor pools ( 1 kids/1 adult) and 1 indoor pool. Kids are not shy of slashing in adult pools! Outdoor adult pool was used all day for " fun activities" on the day at the sea when it was + 42 C. There is a big grass terrace that is never being used and was deemed as totally useless!
4. Dining- there is only 1 Main dinning room. If you chose dining time 6:30 or 9 you are bound to eat at that time or at the buffet. They would not accommodate your in any-time dinning!!! Most of the nights we ended up paying because we did not want to eat late.
5. Entertainment- TERRIBLE timing. Shows start at 9 P.M. or 11 P.M. So if you have 9 pm dining you are bound to go to sleep at 1: 30 a.m. We missed most of the shows just because times did not work out for us.
6. Service- we have never seen so many rude people on staff team before. Waiters, pool attendants, bartenders, guest relations and CRUISE DIRECTOR made us feel very unwelcome.
7. Coffee problem- we are caffeine addicts and spent a lot of money on specialty coffee because complimentary coffee was unbearable!
8. Food- was below average. Every meal I had was over salted and only when you paid for your meals they came out perfect!
9. Ports of call- they let everyone with booked shore excursions before they make public announcements that customs have been cleared. So if you do not have booked shore excursion be prepared to minimize your shore time by 1.5 hours.
10. Ship staff using public lounges- YES! Ship staff were using SAME ship amenities as guests! They frequently got in our way at bars, restaurants and elevators. Making lines longer. Yesterday I read online that 27 years old girl was rapes by staff member on the first day of our cruise! And they did not stop this mix-match after!
At the end of the day, vacation is always pleasant and no rude servers and terrible cruise directors would ruin my vacation! We did enjoy our time but would not go back on Celebrity again. There are plenty of other cruise lines that offer better service and safer atmosphere.