This was our family (a couple and a toddler)'s second cruise with Celebrity. The first one was on the SUMMIT to Alaska. We have not been on other cruise lines, so could only compare this trip to Mexico on the Infinity to Summit. Overall,we enjoyed the trip. It was very relaxing and our toddler loved the Fun Factory. However, in comparison to the Summit on the categories of Food, Entertainment, and Service, SUMMIT was better. But that was 2 years ago.
Embarkation: Delayed due to immigration checks and cleaning up of novovirus. 2 points: I called ahead and asked if we could drop off our bags earlier than 2pm so that we could walk around the pier before the ship leaves at 5pm. I was told no, so we arrived exactly at 2pm and stood in line to get a porter to take our bags and then stood in line for over 1.25 hours to get on the ship. Unfortunately, the delay was not communicated to us even while we were in line. Later, I found out that some people arrived before 2pm and had their bags checked in. And, people who got there at 4pm had no wait at all.
Room: Had a concierge class balcony. Loved the balcony view and the light. We ate and read out there. Saw dolphins a couple of times from our balcony. It is MUCH better than the Oceanview room with the circle window. Worth the extra money. The bed was HORRIBLE. I had a hard time sleeping. The Mattress pads we got later made it slightly better, but not much. The pillow selection, canapes,fruits, and shower head were very nice touches. Flowers were nothing special, but the rose in the bathroom was pretty. Walls are Terribly thin. We could hear our neighbors' TV on all night. I'm sure they heard our kid fighting us when we try to make her sleep. No one complained so live and let live.
Dining: Pluses: Fried eggs, afternoon tea sandwiches, sorbet ice cream, a la minute steak (like carne asada), escargots, scallops Minus: lines for eggs can be quite long, by the time you get the eggs, your toasted bagel is cold. OVERCOOKED Fish, Lobster, and NY Steak. For the steak, I thought Medium means all pink in the inside, but I kept getting them all done with just a sliver of pink in the very center!! I asked our waitress if they could try again, but she said it'll take another 15 minutes... I wonder if Celebrity is making the wait staff work much longer hours, because they all looked tired and I do see the same ones working from breakfast through 2 shifts of dinner. I feel tired for them.
Activities: Could use more enrichment classes. There was really only one which was a lecturer on Mexico's economy and Globalization. All of the other classes were trying to sell you something: cosmetics (makeover), flowers, shopping,etc. Movies were pretty old ones, I've seen them already.
Children's Club: Our toddler loved the Fun Factory! they're open the whole day till 10pm or even later for older kids. The kids enjoyed playing with each other. They have a lineup of arts/crafts/games/Learning Leap pad/movies/music... Several of the parents wished the adults program were as fun.
Service: Good. Only one person went out of the way to be great and that was Reyes Ostich(?) waiting on the buffet area (10th floor), look for his tag on the tables. He always promptly serves coffee and asks if we want juice. At some of the other tables, you wait a good while.
Entertainment: Wish they had more comedians. The aerial acrobat was great too. Some singers were great! some mediocre.
Shore excursion: easy to book on the TV, had no problem signing up while on the ship, but I was told that was risky because the popular excursions would be sold out. Well organized and the tour guides were friendly. You see 'TIPS' signs everywhere though, kind of irritating.
Disembark: Long lines for immigration but moved quickly.
Wish they would have more cruises leaving from San Francisco!