Background Information, This is my 3rd cruise in the Caribbean. This cruise was a cruise to celebrate my birthday. We were a group of 7. Most of us are in early 30s.
Ship Info: We choose this cruise after reading numerous exceptional reviews about the ship. We did have very high expectation for this cruise ship. The ship was nice and new. Elevators are very slow. Especially during embarkation and disembarkation. Obviously stairs is an option, but looking at many senior trying to get down the stairs with luggage seems very dangerous.
Activities: It have much less activities then the 2 previous cruises, but it was expected as the clientele is directed to a more senior group. I didn't mine.
Service: I find service mediocre, usually on a cruise the cruise member treat guest like royalty. On this cruise most/all of the personnel I encounter are polite and nice but service isn't exceptional. There was no WOW factor. Also service around the pool and buffet is slow. Sometimes I could wait around for 5-10 min at the buffet hall before finding someone who I could ask for a drink. On the decks towel on empty chairs are not remove frequently enough, or they make one round to remove the towels then would never come back. The floor around the pool deck is not mop often. Puddle of water all over the place seems to be acceptable to the cruise staff. Public bathroom around the ship is clean well, which I find important.
Port & Shore Excursions: We didn't went on any port excursion with celebrity. We stopped at San Juan which was my 3rd time there. We just walk around the old san juan and that's all. Saint Martin was my 2nd time. We took a water taxi (7$ return) to the downtown area, and took a taxi tour with a local taxi driver (20$ per person). We loved this tour. He stop for 1hr at sunset beach for the airplane at our request. Last port was saint thomas it was raining so we didn't do anything. We got off the boat and taxi driver start pushing us to go with them. Some seems very dishonest and say that they need us to walk with them and talk somewhere else.
Travel To Port of Embarkation: We flu in the day of the cruise, to fort lauderdale airport. The airport is a little dated. Took a taxi to the port. since we are 7 ppl we couldn't take regular taxi we have to take a van who charge us per person. (10$ per person) slightly more expensive then regular taxi, but we get to stay together.
Stateroom: I have no complain about the stateroom. It was nice and quiet. We are close to mid-ship, it wasn't hard to move around the ship.
Dining: I am a big foodie. And this was the biggest complain I have about this ship. I really don't understand what happen. Most of all the review say that the food on this ship is outstanding, but it was very very disappointing especially the dessert and pastry. It is worst then frozen dessert. Buffet seems to be serving about the same stuff everyday. There were some night that the food at the main dinning hall was good, but the quality wasn't consistent. There are some night that every item on the menu are not good. Normally on a cruise I want to have 2-3 desserts but on this one I have trouble finding one dessert that I want to eat other then ice cream. And maybe you think that because I am picky... Well We ask one of the sales at the ship boutique what she thinks about the food... and then she start shaking her head... So it wasn't only me. Also the presentation of the plates are non existent. Food need to be serve in a nice way to give people the appetite to eat them. But most of the plate that they serve has no presentation. Again especially dessert. Even the executive chef in training was looking at the picture of their cook book and wondering why their food are not like in the picture.
Entertainment: it was nice to have show every day. But every night the theater is half empty.
Disembarkation: Funny how both embarkation and disembarkation we have to wait in line. Never done that before. My friend who have been to oasis with 6000 plus passenger didn't need to wait in line.
After cruise our flight was late (8pm) so we rented a car from Alamo to go shopping at sawgrass mill mall. There was a free shuttle service to bring us from port to the airport. And the renting process was easy. There was some machines to self check out. And we pay the extra insurance to avoid problem. The mall was huge. Would have like to stay longer at the mall.
Summary: The guest on this ship are very proper. Most guest are extremely polite and well behave. No big group talking very loud, no pushing around when it is busy. Celebrity does have a good clientele, but I would not give celebrity a second chance. I really hope they would be able to keep the company running but with this kind of food quality and service I think they are going to loose a lot of business.