We were a group of four couples, all very experienced cruisers. Two of the couples are elite on Celebrity, all of the couples are elite on Princess. This was a reunion cruise for the four couples and highly anticipated by all.
There were many things right about this cruise--most of the staff, the dining room maitre d'h and waitstaff, the Quisine waitstaff and the cabin stewards impressed us all. The buffet staff was inexperienced, actually surly in one isolated incidence, rarely offered to go above and beyond and just generally appeared untrained. Entertainment was quite good and the NASA speakers were excellent.
The tendering however was a nightmare. This Canada/NE trip required tendering in Bar Harbor, Sydney NS, and Gaspe. We did not go into Gaspe, but did tender in the other two ports. Because we were with elites, we were able to go on the priority tenders. Even these tenders were not called for over 1 hour. We heard numerous complaints of three hour waits and missed tours. In Bar Harbor Celebrity apparently uses the tenders to tender in the lobsters for dinner, leaving the passengers waiting while lobsters got top priority. Seriously?? And trust me, the lobster may have been fresh when it got on the ship, but it was dry and overcooked when served.
Food in the DR was generally good although if you are not an adventurous eater there is little on the menu that appeals. I ate a lot of chicken and steak. The menu was quite interesting and my husband (who will eat anything) loved, loved, loved the food.
The culmination of the trip was the last night on the ship. Following the show we prepared for bed and hubby looked down and realized he had a piece of glass sticking out of his toe. After we staunched the bleeding with kleenex and a knee high stocking, I was just getting into bed when he said there was another piece of glass on top of the turned down sheet. Sure enough. We took that out of the bed, I climbed in and two minutes later I realize there is a slice in my finder from a shard. We got out and there were hundreds of shards of glass in the bed. Guest services brought bandaids, changed the bed, and vacuumed the floor but could not help with the reason why. That became clear the next AM when the regular room steward came and said he saw the report about our cuts. He said that he had reported a light over the bed as being out after he turned down the bed for the evening. Obviously the maintenance person broke the bulb as it was being replaced and either did not clean it up or tried and failed.
We will stick to Princess