HOTEL We booked our pre-cruise hotel through stay123. We stayed at the Hampton Inn in Plantation, FL which provided a restful nights sleep in a very spacious room, breakfast the next morning, transportation to and from the cruise port, plus we could leave our car in their well-lit parking lot for the whole 14 days for free.
Celebrity embarkation was speedy, as the lines were short and personnel were very efficient. We arrived at the pier at 11 AM and they sat us in consecutive rows as we arrived, we were in row 3. We boarded quickly & were having lunch by 12 noon. Rooms were ready at 1 PM and our bags arrived by 4 PM.
Our Deck 3 interior room was the most spacious we have ever had. We usually get an interior, as we can turn out the lights in the afternoon and take a power nap! We had been concerned about noise, as we were only 5 cabins from the grand foyer and right under the casino. Absolutely no problem with noise. It was actually very convenient, as it was a 3 minute walk to the Moonlight Sonata. After dinner, back to the cabin to freshen up, then just walk down the hallway towards the bow, up one flight of stairs and we were at the Eclipse Theater. Plenty of storage - loved the cupboards above the bed.
Our assigned seating in the Moonlight Sonata dining room was for 6 PM. Food was fantastic and since we had a table of 12 - we made numerous new friends. Our very efficient waiters were Ersin and Oswaldo. After we had noted that we like escargot to Ersin, it was offered the next evening. So, if you don't see what you want on the menu -- just ask!
We loved the way the Oceanview Cafe buffet was set up with multiple stations, it never seemed crowded. Our favorite place to sit in the Oceanview Cafe, was outside. One morning, we were fortunate to see a double rainbow as we ate breakfast. Loved the omelet station, the fresh fruit, the pizza, the sushi and of course the ice cream station with toppings!
We ate lunch several days at the Aquaspa Cafe in the Solarium.
Everyone who has been at the pool, will agree that the smell of hamburgers from Mast Grill will drive you nuts! But their seasoned French fries were the best! I usually had the fries with a hot dog - no bun - double sauerkraut.
Our favorite Celebrity Show was comedian Buzz Sutherland. We were hoping he would do more shows during the two weeks, but he left the ship in St.Thomas. Celebrity should hire him for a longer contract. We really enjoyed the magic of Jamie Allan's show "iMagician". How did he do that? Theater Production Cast was typical high energy singing and dancing. Enjoyed the Perry Grant show in the Celebrity Theater, but didn't appreciate his lounge show -- too repetitious with the "what's in your house" routine.
We caught three of the Corning Museum of Glass Hot Glass Shows up on deck 15 near the Lawn Club. George, Ryan and Everett made some stunning pieces of art and also graciously answered numerous questions from the audience. Loved the grass at the Lawn Club, where we participated in several bocce tournaments.
Music -- we loved the "a cappella quartet" Top Shelf - although the Ensemble Lounge was way too small of a venue for the number of people who wanted to watch and listen. Found the "Fully Functioning" band to be a bit off-key.
On Thursday February 7th the outdoor pool had a very exciting guest vs. officer volleyball tournament.
POSITIVES & ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
+++++ We witnessed several times, pool attendants removing towels and personal items from lounge chairs after a half an hour. It was noted in the "Celebrity Today" paper Chair hogs be warned!
+ Cruise personnel very pro-active with spray sanitizers in dining venues.
+ Automatic doors on public bathrooms
+ Celebrity has a very good limited policy on smoking
+ OBC could be used towards gratuities
- Cabins need more hooks for: lanyards, wet bathing suits, hats, wet towels, back packs, shawls, etc
- Music was way too loud in many areas. Especially the piped-in music at the adult Solarium pool (people were trying to read or snooze)
- Pool deck needs a few trash cans with a flat top where dishes and cups/glasses could be left
- Meals were great, but the main entree should be offered in a regular size and a petite size. So we can order dessert!
We arranged all of our cruise port tours independently, based on reviews from various sources, including Cruise Critic. Please check out our detailed port adventures.
We chose to do the "Express Departure". No tag color, no putting luggage in hall the night before. We just had to be physically able to take our own luggage off the ship. We were told to meet at the Passport Bar on our deck by 7:45 AM. At 7:30 AM we put our luggage in an organized, snaking line around the bar. The ship was cleared at 7:45 and we had to go down one flight of stairs to exit. We breezed through customs and were one of the first 50 people off the ship.