We were eagerly looking forward to this cruise, which we had booked in February. My partner was visiting Europe for the first time so it was even more exciting for him. We had heard about the norovirus the week before, so we knew there would be delays in boarding. It was actually quite a long delay, and quite a few people boarded before us which I thought was unacceptable considering we had a suite. This is why you pay the higher prices to be afforded the little luxuries, like pre boarding on an aircraft for business or first class passengers. When we finally did board which was after waiting for 3 hours, the rooms were not yet ready due to the sanitizing process. Understandable. However finding a lounge to sit in, and have a coffee, or tea was impossible. We ended up outside (10 degrees) plus wind chill, with our cup of tea from the seaside grill.
We got into our cabins at 430 which was great. Our was well appointed, and spacious. We had a sky suite on deck 6 midship. The room was clean. the closet was a walk in, which was great for two people, and the bathroom had a tub with a window overlooking the room with views of the ocean. It had its own privacy blind. very spacious.
We found the ship to be very clean, needing a bit of updating but not bad at all. Our select dining experience was good. Easy to get a table. Dining room service was a bit slow, and not attentive with the exception of one of the Sommeliers named Elvis (nick name). He was excellent. We ate lunch once, and it was truly disgusting. The service was equally poor so we never went back to san marco except for dinner. We tried the two specially restaurants and ocean liners was truly amazing. Great service and excellent food! Tuscan grill was good as well in terms of service and food quality. We had a crepe at the bistro on 5 once which was also delicious. Our room butler, Ikatut was amazing. Always available and very helpful. Oliver our housekeeping did a great job everyday, and were were very impressed with the service from all of them.
We didnt use excursions except for one transfer to the ferry in Le verdon. I think, like tendering, if a ship does not reach a true port, it should provide free service to transportation close by. It was fine. The outdoor hot tubs on the boat were hardly hot, and the indoor areas were so crowded we would have to go at around 7 to get some space in the tub. The food at the seaside grill was very good. Some delays due to the staff having to serve, but I actually preferred it that way. The lines were not organized, so you always had people pushing in front of you. I guess if they are that desperate for food, we figured they could go ahead. They had two stations on either side set up and it was always easy to get food at lunch. We had one dinner occasion there when we didnt want to dress up for the second formal night. It was quiet, and lots of food available. We signed up for a wine seminar which was excellent. This seminar included a set of wine glasses. When we Received the glasses in the boxes on the last day of our cruise, we could not carry these back to canada. We could not get the line to ship these to us, despite them offering this at the seminar. It was ridiculous. The concierge was of no help. We had to drag these all the way back to canada as hand luggage. As we disembarked we also lost a bag, that no one could find. just a ship to shore. We will see how celebrity handles this, however from our initial conversation with them in Miami, they said they had no control over what goes on in England. If thats the case they should not sail from there! I did sail on the constellation in 2004 and found the quality and service, especially the front desk and concierge to be terrible. Its a careless attitude.
The food in san marco has also gone downhill, which forces passengers to use the pay as you use dining facilities. The shows we found boring. Michaels club was a lot of fun.Perry Grant is awesome and very entertaining. I would look forward to spending a few hours every evening with him! We did find the bartenders to be useless. We waited for 25 minutes on evening for service, I then went to the bar myself and told to wait. Another 10 minutes. So i went to the casino and got our drinks for us and brought them back. The rendezvous lounge also had horrible bar service. Or lack thereof. Even during the auction, they passed us three times without even giving us champagne, which was complimentary at the time. Cafe el bacio was amazing. The staff there were 5 star!!! We would look forward to seeing them and having a few drinks. The other bartenders need training from this group of guys and gals! The seaside cafe, and the back area of the ship had good staff and bartenders. Disembarkation was quick and painless, until we found our luggage missing! That was our end to a relatively great vacation!