Embarkation: Even though we booked Aqua Class with the specialty restaurant "Blu" included, the elderly, rude lady that checked us in put us in a lineup for "other specialty dining" without asking if we were interested in purchasing additional specialty dining. After waiting several minutes, I asked a different Celebrity employee what the lineup was for. Having found out that we just wasted several minutes in a line that we did not need to be in, we found our own way to the ship without help from anyone else.
Cabin#1627: While visually appealing and having a great bathroom, our cabin creaked quite loudly all of the time as well as during the night we would hear loud banging noises that would wake us up. Also, our whole room and bed would shake quite vigorously when we would pull into ports early in the morning and would shake us awake. We did not get a decent night's sleep the whole 2 weeks. Our cabin steward, Bernadeth, and her helper, Tri, were absolutely fabulous. Our room was spotless and there was plenty of storage. We knew people in room #1259 that had noise issues with their cabin and couldn't sleep either.
Aqua Class: The delivery of bottles of water every day and canapes were great. We had trouble finding room in the Persian Garden to relax as they sold passes to other classes of people and it was always full(only 9 loungers). We went one morning at 9:30 AM just so we could at least try it. It is nice if you can actually use it. The relaxation room was good as well when you could get a spot.
Blu Restaurant: The service in Blu was wonderful and the food ranged from good to excellent. We were happy with this choice instead of the main dining room.
Service: The service on the ship was very good.
Nightlife: The shows ranged from mediocre to good. Holland America and Princess did better in this category. The "talks" were very good.
Public Areas: There was way too much and too loud of "muzak" everywhere. The Martini Bar area was particularly loud and the rock band that played in the Grand Foyer was too loud and not very good. It was impossible to get a lounger by the pool unless you staked one out early in the morning as people were saving them even though they said it would be enforced after 1/2 hour. We never saw anyone removing things. The Corning Glass Show was very interesting.
Shore Excursions: We booked a 1/2 day catamaran sail in St. Thomas (through Celebrity) and it was absolutely awful. We got to stay on the beach for 25 minutes only. They took your shoes away. The 1 bathroom on board was dirty and smelled like ammonia and stale urine. Highly unpleasant to go in there when the floor was all wet and you had no shoes. They ran out of "snacks" before we had any. There was a lot of drink being passed around but we did not want to have to use the disgusting bathroom so we did not partake of any free alcohol. Instead of playing Caribbean music or something pleasant, they played rock music including ACDC, Lynyrd Skynyrd, et cetera. They also solicited for tips at the beginning of the trip (telling us how they are not paid and it is so expensive to live in St.Thomas) and again at the end of the trip (after they figured everyone was liquored up enough). It was a total waste of $160.00. I would never recommend anyone book one of Celebrity's shore excursions. We booked a private tour in St. Lucia (with Solomon Brice) and did other trips on our own and had a great time and received good value for the money we spent.
DISEMBARKATION: We were honest and said we were staying in Fort Lauderdale at a hotel overnight post cruise. They assigned us a disembarkation time of 10 AM. We walked off of the ship at 10 AM. It took 55 minutes to clear Customs. We then waited another 50 minutes for a taxicab. In total it took 1 hour 45 minutes by the time we walked off the ship to being at the front of the taxicab line. The first room was so hot with no fans that I had to go to the door because I thought I was going to pass out. There were almost no staff around to help out. There were no real lines laid out to follow and it was a bit of a free for all. When we got close to Customs, there was finally a Celebrity staff member there and when another passenger complained about the excessively long wait, she said that it wasn't their fault that there were not enough Customs agents. Perhaps not, but it was their fault to eject people from the comfort of the ship knowing full well that they were going to be waiting for an hour in a hot, stuffy building. The cab line was no better. It was so long it was hard to find out where it ended. Again no staff around except one older man trying to keep an opening in the line for incoming crew to get through. He was not policing the line and people were trying to butt in. People that we met from Boston got off of the ship at 8 AM and it took them 30 minutes TOTAL to clear Customs and get a taxicab. They were staying a hotel as well, but they knew better than to wait to get off of the ship. Disembarkation was a nightmare. It was disorganized, lacking in staff and took excessively long. The whole experience was unacceptable. It left us with the feeling that Celebrity had all the money they were going to get out of you, so they did not care about your comfort any longer. It was more important to get the new passengers on the ship than take care of the people leaving. In all of our 8 cruises we have never experienced something this awful. It left us with a very bad impression of Celebrity and we are unlikely to ever book with them again. We spent a lot of money for our Aqua Class cabin to be treated like this.