This was my 13th cruise overall.....first on Celebrity. 11 prior sailings on Royal Caribbean and 1 on Holland America. I will start off by saying that the average age on this ship was much higher than I expected. And while I have zero issue with that, I do believe some of the negative things on this ship are a result of that demographic. If you are used to say, Royal Caribbean, you will notice this. You will also notice while the ship is beautiful, there's no rock climbing walls, flow rider, water park, etc. It's beautiful, if not a tad boring.
Beautiful ship. The layout was pretty easy to navigate. The decor was very nice, and all of the bars and public areas were beautiful.
We had a concierge class veranda cabin on Deck 9. It was probably the nicest cabin I've had. The bed was very comfortable and the bathroom was a little larger than the similar cabins on RCCL. The balcony was about the same size as previous cruises. Our stateroom attendant was very friendly and had the room made up perfectly all week.
The dining room is gorgeous, and I have to say the food is definitely a click ahead of RCCL. Great offerings on the menu every night. Our waiter was very good, although not very engaged with anyone. Didn't really talk to anyone at all, other than taking our orders. Thank God for our assistant waiter, who was very outgoing and friendly. The cocktail guy was very hit and miss. He would disappear about halfway through dinner, not to be seen again until the next night. Kind of irritating, especially since most of us had the pre-paid cocktail package.
The not so good......
Pools / Hot Tubs -
Unlike RCCL, where at least one pool and hot tub is open 24 hours, they ALL closed on this ship at 10:00pm. So much for taking a dip or a soak at 11:00pm. Kind of annoying. Also, the main pool deck, while gorgeous, is a bad use of space. Really hard to get a pool chair. I had better luck on the Oasis, and that carries twice the number of passengers. There are 2 pools, side by side, but one is only like 3 1/2-4 feet deep. Kind of a waste. The indoor pool area was beautiful. Bar service around the pool areas was pretty scarce, too, from what I'm used to.
Bar Service -
Overall, the bar staff on this ship was not very friendly. There were one or two that were pretty good, but for the most part, they were just not very friendly. Many wouldn't even make eye contact or say a word. WAY friendlier bar staff on RCCL. I'm not sure if it's a result of the prepaid booze packages......you don't sign anything so there's no way to hand out extra tips, unless you carry cash all the time. So I'm not sure of the reason, but it was noticeable by most of our group of 24.
Bars/Casino Hours -
If you could find a bar (including the casino) that was open past 1:00am, good luck. If it wasn't for our huge group in the Sky Lounge every night, they probably would have been closed by midnight. On a couple of nights, it would be maybe 1:30am in the casino, and when they were ready to close and you were on a slot machine, they would come around and tell you they are closing. Seriously? At 1:00am?? RCCL is typically 3:00-4:00am.
Late night food / snacks -
The buffet would open from 11:00pm-1:00am each night for just pizza and pasta. There's nothing else open late (unlike RCCL). If you want a little snack anytime after 1:00am, all you can do is call room service. But don't call on the last night of the cruise, because you will not find anything. We called about 1:00am on the last night of the cruise, and we were told there was nothing at all available. But they had breakfast on our disembarkation morning. Made no sense at all.
We only went to three shows.....all of them were big disappointments. One night was a singer, and while his voice was incredible, the style of music was pretty much opera. Just not my cup of tea. Then there was a cirque du soleil type show, but when it opened with a Madonna / Lady Gaga mash up, I was less than impressed. The dancers were all out of sync, and the singers were not great. Typically they put the best on the new ships, so I have no idea what happened with this sailing.
I realize that the average age was higher, and possibly many of these negatives were due to that fact. But I'm sorry, you also have many others who don't go to bed early and want to hang out and have a good time. We ran into many others over the course of the week who were trying to find an open bar or just anything open to hang out. While we all still had a great time, I would have to say overall, I was a bit let down with some of these negatives. I'm not sure if I would sail Celebrity again. I'm pretty sure it's back to Royal Caribbean for me.