Having cruised on/off since 1998, we booked this cruise as an end of season "chill out." Having been on the The Millennium which was great, we really expected great things from this '5 star' ship and the 'glossary seemed to deliver what we were looking for.
Sadly, it wasn't to be.The state room was great then its downhill from here. The dining room experience was less than professional..cold plates,, plates handed to you. or served across the body or over shoulders.....the food was 'ok'... not a fine dining experience and the presentation was non existant..eg..a steak with 3 sprouts and 3 sliced carrots that had barely seen hot water..no flare, no finesse at all! The self service restaurant was mixed....but often the food was barely warm. Who wants cottage pie when its 75deg' outside!! About the ship, the staff were multi cultural and some had bare English. The photographic staff were loud and at the point of being 'intimidating!', having said that, there was some great staff and the accommodation staff were fantastic.The shore excursions were astronomical!$89 each to be dropped off in Florence! If you wanted a coffee other than ordinary...like espresso...there was a charge and there lies what I think the ship was about, extracting as many dollars from the client as possible, add on add on add on! There is a 15% charge on every drink etc and then the ship adds up to $15 EACH PER DAY gratuity. I worked out that if everyone paid it would make in the region of $250,000!!! for the 12 days. Seems that the clients are expected to pay the wages of Celebrity staff!
Security was OTT, a woman even had a piece of cheese taken from her and forget taking your own wine aboard, they tell you it is forbidden!, its taken away till after the cruise, As was a small decorative cheese fork we bought. It was taken from us,it showed up on the X Ray and I had to open the perfectly wrapped gift to show them,I pointed out that if i wanted a weapon, I could get far more lethal weapon from the dining room but, nope..they took it. Worst cruise I have been on! Fortunately, we have been to all the destinations before so knew our way around. No thanks Celebrity, you just lost 2 clients!