My husband and I have been on one cruise before with Royal Caribbean, but we wanted to try Celebrity because we read that it was more geared towards adults without children and that the food was supposed to be better.
Our Embarkation was a definite improvement. We got on the ship within twenty minutes of arriving at the port. I believe we waited that long just to get to the first security checkpoint last time!
The cabin steward was great. He came and introduced himself after we got on the ship. He was always very pleasant when we would see him in the hall. I have a pug at home that I missed, so I brought a stuffed one with me on the trip. When they would make up the room they would pose the pug on different places on the bed and put pillow mints between its paws.
We spent a lot of time in the Solarium. I very much liked the fact that this area was well shaded. I have very fair skin and I burn easily so I was very happy to have a place to go to be able to watch the ocean without being burned.
There were so many places on the ship I wanted to spend time that I felt bad anytime I was anywhere because I felt like I should be somewhere else, if that makes any sense. I liked The Hideaway (Deck 7 where they had tea and cool chairs and an area that looked like a treehouse), but I didn't spend a lot of time there because I felt like I should be outside. So basically had the first-world problem of having too many appealing choices :)
We visited two specialty restaurants: Qusine and Murano. We visited Qusine on our first night. The restaurant was pretty empty due to it being the first day, which we were okay with. Our favorite dish was the Lava Crab. We purchased the Celebrity cookbook just to get the recipe for it. I personally did not like the Lobster Escargot and my husband did not like the Persian Kabob because it was white meat chicken on a skewer. For dessert we got the Chocolate Tombstone, which I highly recommend. We also had and generally enjoyed the Painter's Filet and the Sushi Lolipops.
We ate at Murano on the day we went to our last excursion. I did not eat as much here as I would have liked because I had some motion sickness issues. We were looking forward to having fois gras, but it was not on the menu, which was disappointing. I heard many good things about the goat cheese souffle, but I do not like goat cheese, so I did not particularly enjoy this dish. My husband, who does like goat cheese, thought this was fantastic. I had the trio of filets, which were fantastic. I was very sad that I did not feel well enough to eat them. I did not like the fact that the waiters would not give recommendations on the food. Every other restaurant we went to on the ship the waiters would answer questions about the food, but not this one. We don't think we will go to Murano again after our experience.
However, the worst service we got was at Bistro on 5ive and Cafe al Bacio. We ate lunch at the Bistro on the last day of the cruise. It took them fifteen minutes to take our order. I had to flag someone down to order wine. It took twenty minutes for them to bring each round of crepes, so we were there for nearly an hour and a half. We were told our food was coming soon and it was another fifteen minutes before it did. The Cowboy crepe and the dessert crepes were great, but we were very unhappy about the amount of time it took to do.
I also did not like the Cafe. I was planning to go there every day, but I found the baristas to be rude and a little incompetent. I ordered an iced tea and they dumped boiling tea into a glass with ice that instantly melted and became warm tea. The baristas were standoffish and did not really seem to understand my order even when it was simple, like a bottle of water.
We indulged in the Premium alcohol package, and it was awesome! I tried to avoid drinking before noon, but even with that inhibition we made good use of the package. We went out and had a lot of bottled water and we could have drinks both before and at dinner. The sommaliers in the MDR were great.
Our favorite bar was the Molecular Bar. We tried nearly all the drinks on the menu. I really liked the Dragonfly and the Scorpion's Kiss, but there were not really any that I ordered that I did not like. The bartenders were hilarious. We enjoyed talking to them so much. The bar only serves cocktails and it was funny watching the other passengers come up and order things like beers that the bar doesn't serve.
The Martini Bar was also very good. The iced bar was great for keeping the drinks cold. Saw that a lot of people picking at the frost on the bar and leaving handprints. The Marini bar had the best snacks of any on the ship. I saw that they had a bottle of X-Rated vodka and I asked what cocktail that came in, and I was told it was a substitution and I got to have a drink that was semi-off menu, so if you see something interesting, ask about it.
Michael's Club serves beer. The husband was happy that they had a beer we can no longer get here in Wisconsin. The bartender made an atrocious drink with raspberry lambic, some dark beer, with whipped cream and chocolate syrup on top. We were the first to try it and it was horrible!! The bartender kept coming back every few minutes to tell us how great the drink would be if we had it after dinner and with chocolate and we were like "Yeah, it's before dinner and we have no chocolate, so..." Then he wouldn't swipe our card so we could leave. I told the hubby we should make a run for it while he was in the back, but he wouldn't do it.
The absolute worst service we had on the ship was at the Mast Grill. I think they were training a new person there. We asked for cheeseburgers and fries. He took a burger that had been sitting there for god knows how long, put it on a bun, and handed it to my husband. He said he wanted cheese and the guy kind of gestured to the end of the bar and said "Condiments down there". Did not give him fries or the condiments behind the bar and did not even serve or acknowledge that I was there and I had ordered anything. The person in charge did nicely train him to make fresh burgers, put the cheese on so it melts, give us what we ask, and you know acknowledge that I existed, so I give props to them for rectifying this person's behavior.
We did not try the room service. It was a little wonky. The menu in the book was different than the menu on the TV. We had some confusion about when you needed to order food. It looked like you had to order it the day before, but maybe just for breakfast?? I wanted to try and talk to a human being on the phone about what could actually be delivered and when but my husband said we were on vacation and we should be able to order food without talking to another human being, so so much for that.
I liked the fact that from four until five in the afternoon they had "tea" in the Oceanview Cafe. It was nice to have small sandwiches and desserts for a snack at this point in the evening since we tended to have lunch early and dinner late. This cruise did not offer a Champaign High Tea, for those who would be interested in that.
Also, if you are a Phantom of the Opera fan and you have the option of going to a Masque interactive party, do it. It is like fulfilling your dream of participating in the Masquerade scene from the musical.
We really enjoyed our time on the ship. Even when we had some "bad" service, it made a good story afterward and added some flavor and personality to the trip. I am sure I will remember something else I wanted to talk about after posting this review. We met a lot of neat people and we look forward to our next Celebrity Cruise!