We planned our trip many months ago, but found out were were pregnant with twins a few months after we booked it. We did not even consider not going as we had non-refundable plane tickets and we had been trying to get out of the country for years.
We took the Leonardo da Vinci train to Termini. We stayed at the Hotel Napoleon which is near Termini and took the 1st class train to Civitavecchia. We tried to pack light so that these transfers would not be total chaos. Also, we did not want to check luggage before the cruise - on the off-chance the airline would lose our luggage.
Embarkation was a snap as we carried our own luggage aboard. There were lines as we arrived around 2-3pm, but they moved quickly. Onboard, we found our room to our liking and our room attendants very nice.
We ate about half of our meals at the buffet and half of them in the main dining room. We often took our son to the Fun Factory if we ate our meals in the main dining room. We had Celebrity Select Dining. We never made reservations, but we found the wait staff to all be helpful and knowledgeable. Some meals were better than others. They do need decent Thai food on the ship. Everything we found was really gross. Nothing like what you would expect from a Thai restaurant. The sushi, however, was good at each visit. We loved the ice cream in the buffet.
The cruise itself was fun. We found lots of activities to do and were rarely bored. Being pregnant precluded me from some of the fun we had hoped for when we booked our cruise; and the alcohol-free cocktails were disgusting - just sweet/sour mix and some ice. But we found places on board that could make something outstanding - but you had to ask and be persistent. We liked the dance classes and the glass blowing show. The nightly entertainment was not bad either, especially the Cirque-style show on the last night.
The Fun Factory is not perfectly well designed for those as young as 3. They are often lumped with the bigger kids and my child reported being knocked over repeatedly there by the larger kids. However, every time we spied on him, he was laughing and seemed to be having a good time. I was hoping that since the cruise was in summer and there were a ton of kids aboard he would have been kept with the 3-5 year olds, but this was usually not the case.
As far as port days go, the Fun Factory does not open early enough to drop the child off to have enough time to do anything substantial in port in my opinion. We did not want to do the over-priced ship excursions (which did not go where we wanted to anyway), so we took him with us. However, I did think it was cool that you could leave the child aboard and explore port. No options for kids less than 3 or those not potty trained.
The pools were too small and very busy. But we found that evenings were the best time for us to go.
Overall, I was impressed and we would definitely cruise Celebrity again - maybe in 5 years when our twins-to-be are 4.