2nd cruise with Celebrity & 15th cruise overall. Got to port around 12:30 & onboard in 10 min. Upon entering they offered us champagne. They had 10 cabin stewards just standing there, none directed us anywhere but said we could go up to the buffet. No escort. Rooms would be ready by 1pm.
We went to our room & it was ready. Had the lunch buffet, nothing spectacular. Favorite "buffet foods" were the omelette & sandwich stations but not the "hot sandwich of the day" which was never grilled long enough to make it hot-too rushed. Best meals were in the dining rooms. Excellent pastry & bread chefs who excel over any other major cruise lines. Also have great fr. yogurt and ice cream. Great appetizer choices. Main entrees were hit & miss esp. fish which I usually order. Beef as others had mentioned was much better. Our dining room staff was great & accommodating for special orders.
Our cabin was a basic inside w/more drawer & cabinet space than we needed. Just wish the bed was just a few inches higher so we could put our big bags under it instead of inside one of the closets. Did ask for a mattress pad as the bed really needed it. Bathroom needs work, the "chrome" mirror stripping had peeled off to some odd looking plaster gunk. Rehab needed in public areas for sofas & chairs - gym could use updated equipment. It will look wonderful after the May drydock.
Great activities staff w/lots to do which made it hard to decide what to miss. Love the production shows w/singers & dancers who put their hearts into it. With the choppy seas we were having, I'm surprised that we only had one dancer fall and she was on roller skates! Guest performers - Antonio Salci a pop/classical pianist who was too schmaltzy for me and Joe Mulligan a comedian/guitar player who was definitely different & made everyone laugh inc. me.
Now to the problems - getting to port. Our first port - San Juan was cancelled. Had wanted to see it as I had never been there before. Next port - St. Thomas which now had extended hours till 10 pm - however, excursions ended by 4 pm & stores closed by 5 pm. Unless you wanted to eat or drink off ship why stay? Next port - St. Martin - had to tender in on rough seas w/the boats knocking up to the dock & back to the ship (bouncing passengers around as they entered & exited) causing a busted window on at least 1 tender which poured wave water on anyone who had the misfortune of sitting near that window. As a result there were waits up to 1 1/2 hours to catch a tender to get the boats to return to ship. There was a confirmed injury from a person who fell trying to get off the tender and broke an ankle or part of her leg from a passenger I knew who saw it. Rumors of course were abounding that someone fell to their death.
We had an early morn dive excursion that was cancelled halfway through by the passengers due to poor visibility & rough waters which should have been cancelled in advance by the crew. I am waiting to see if there will be a some credit for that by the excursion desk. So since there was such a delay in getting everyone aboard due to water conditions that delayed our next port of Nassau. We got in at 4:45 and had to be back by 6:30 - all excursions were cancelled and again shops were closing around 5pm. Lots of unhappy passengers re: ports!
What I learned on this ship - always carry Bonine or the equivalent as you don't know what the seas will be like. Bring ear plugs as ship's engines can be noisy when you are trying to sleep. Never pre-pay an excursion that is not part of the ships list because you can't guarantee if and when you will get to port! Don't expect great cuisine on the buffets, it's really all about quantity. Bring your own books as the library is laughable. TV programs are so limited & repeated so often that you will just turn the tv off. However,just remember you are on vacation and it's always better than work!!