This was our first time on Celebrity. Knowing that the ship had some years on it and that it had been refurbed, wear and tear was not an issue. The itinerary was chosen because I wanted to see a Komodo Dragon up close and this we did. All other ports we had been to, so the ports were not an issue either.
This was all good except for the very small squeezy balcony. WE spend a lot of time on the balcony either reading or gazing at the water and getting in and out past the table was problematic unless the chairs were right in the corner. Otherwise the size, decor, drawer space were all good - light, bright with a comfortable bed. I dont think I will go Concierge class again. The bottle of Champagne was nice but as I am not a champagne lover, it took a while to drink - I can do without it.The afternoon canapes were not that appetising - usually a slice of cucumber or salami with piped cream cheese or prawn spread. I can go without them. Priority embarkation? - we didn't get it! Debarkation lounge in Michaels Bar - that was nice! The cabin steward was Ok, we always seemed to be the last cabin to be cleaned and the pebbles that came off the peblecrete on the balcony were not vacuumed each day so they were walked thru the cabin every day
Hmm - first the good. I am on a Gluten-free diet and the menu in the main dining was excellent at marking the GF meals. So too our Waiter. Diego, you were wonderful. He took care of my needs and was such a personable guy.
Now the bad - Our agency booked us in Traditional 6 pm wheras we normally go anytime dining. On the first night we were ushered to a table for 12 with a family of 6 saying from the time we sat down that they were moving. Not happy with that I asked the Head waiter for another table and was told to come by his desk the following night. We did so and was told to wait 30 mins outside. After 45 mins my patience ran out at everyone else demanding his attention I barged past the latecomers and gave him the 'evil eye'. He then led us to a table for 2 beside the waiters station where they walked backward and forward all night carrying their trays of food. Stressful ++, and I told same Head Waiter! Next night was Formal night and we were shown to a table of 8 - improvement - to which came a young German couple with limited English and 2 American couples, one of which had too much English. She dominated the conversation between the 2 American couples, while we Aussie, well travelled with similar work backgrounds sat patiently in silence - they didn't want to know anything about us. Hmmm. The next night, only the older American couple showed up and for the rest of the cruise it was the 4 of us. They were a lovely couple but I now know of every ache and pain, surgery and Lawyers visit she had had. Hmmmm
The oceanview cafe was not the place to go at evenings and the lunch variety was just not there. When the Maitre D asked how the food was there, I told him so he instantly changed the subject. Hmmm
We usually had lunch in the Dining room because the food was good in there but oh my, we waited and waited. One lunch we waited for 90 mins for 2 courses. Lunch was consistently slow - i just cant understand why - maybe it was all happening in the buffet!
The production shows were good with the last one being excellent. The dancers are all tall slim and gorgeous looking and singers good. When you cruise a lot, I get sick of of the same old songs blasting forth but the energy the team put out was good so really enjoyed the shows. The other entertainers ranged from mediocre to excellent. Some that I did not care for got standing ovations - I guess we all have different tastes. The classical trio - Tango for 3 and the Acapella group got my applause, they were just so relaxing and talented.We could not keep our eyes open long enough to go to other venues after the show, but from the vision I saw, they seemed very lively and entertaining
OMG there is organisation lacking in this department. Firstly, there needs to be one way into the Theatre to get the sticker (logically the port side) and one way out to disembark (logically the starboard as this was usually the dock or the tender side) But no, people went all ways resulting in a block of the entrances on both sides. Then there was the miscommunication between when the tenders would be running in one particular port. Several hundred people were left waiting on the dock one night and it was blamed on that port being a new port. No, the announcement said one thing and the tenders did another! come on Celebrity, new ports are being dealt with continuously by ships!
I am not interested in Buddhism - i have actually studied world religions and experienced their practices all around the world. Celestial bodies didn't grab me either. These two topics I consider to be quite obscure for the majority of people. they could have had more relevant lecturers. Even though the Staff Engineers talk is somewhat gender specific, it at least was interesting, even though I have heard several previously
Port lecturer - He was very humorous and we learnt a lot about his family. His history of the ports was quite good but with a heavy Greek accent and having been to all the ports, he did not inspire me sufficiently to return after the first 2.
In summary, the food and service could be improved somewhat. When we arrived at our hotel in Singapore, the service was amazing. I always make allowances for ships crew who are at the end of their contracts but cruising requires consistency regardless. We do not demand excellence, but its nice when you get it. We travel a lot because we enjoy new cultures and old vistas. We are booked on C Solstice for March this year and Jan next. I also booked the Galapagos for 2015! That means we think Celebrity is a returnable cruise line but X, get the essentials right, I can assure you, others do!