I know when I am going on a cruise, I love to read these reviews and find out as much information as possible about the ship and the ports. I will try to give information on each category that will help you with your planning and your over all decision to take this cruise. This was our first cruise on Celebrity and overall it was wonderful!!
EMBARKATION: We came down to Florida the night before and stayed at a hotel. We headed over to the cruise port about 11 o'clock. Traffic was horrible getting into the port, but once we got to the Ship, things couldn't have ran smoother. We handed over our luggage to cruise personnel as soon as we got out of the cab and headed into the port. Went right to an agent who was extremely friendly, got our paperwork done and was on the Ship by 11:30. We couldn't get into our cabin until about 1:00, so we took the time to explore and got something to eat in the Oceanview Cafe.
CABIN: Our Stateroom (9257) was a great location. For you first time cruisers, if you get a cabin on the port side off the ship, when you are docked at other ports you will always be facing the port and can see whats going on alot better. Some people may prefer the calm ocean view of the Starboard side when in port, but we prefer to be looking over the port. Our cabin was very roomy. Alot of people have complained about the storage over the bed, but for us it was fine. The closet is roomy, nightstands beside the bed have shelfs for storage and there are three big other drawers. For us. . Plenty of space. The bed was super comfortable. We did have a concierge class room, which I believe offered an upgrade of the bedding, robes and towels, but they were all wonderful. The concierge class also included daily canapes, and fresh flowers, along with fruit and a bottle of champagne waiting for us in the room. Our cabin attendant, Aida, couldn't have been better. It was like she wasn't really around that much, But yet everything was always done. Towels are changed twice a day, room picked up and any dishes, trash, etc. was cleaned up. Ice bucket was always full and anytime we needed anything she was right there. Our bed was turned down every night and it was just all very comfortable.
FOOD: Kind of mixed reviews on this. The food in the Oceanview Cafe was mediocre. Not a bad selection but overall just kind of blah. The service in there was kind of blah too. . I don't know what it was, but this area was the only area of the ship where the majority of the people working there were just not all that friendly. We ate breakfast and lunch there most days and it is also always a good place to get some pizza or ice cream late evening. Two days we ate lunch at the Grill by the pool. Excellent hamburgers and fries!! For dinner we opted for the Anytime Dining, which is a good concept but here again, mixed experience. We like to have a table for two so we can privately talk. The first night our "table for 2" had us sandwiched in between two other table for twos and it may as well just been a table for six. It was very awkward and uncomfortable the whole meal. The one couple barely spoke English and the other were two young guys. . just not a whole lot in common between us and I think they were uncomfortable too. And our waiter was not friendly at all, so overall not a good first night experience. The next night we did request a more private table and it was perfect and our waiter that night was wonderful. The food was pretty good both nights, no complaints. We ate at two specialty restaurants, QSine and Murano. Qsine I don't know even where to start! Really alot of fun and SO much food. They tell you to order 4 or 5 items each to try (small portions that they bring out one after another). Word of advice, six total is plenty!!! You get so much food it becomes torture!!! Not really, but it is definately a unique experience. Waiters were so nice and explained everything and just had a lot of fun!!! Murano was good too, more of a classic "night out"! Food was delicious and Carlos our waiter took great care of us.
Pool - we used the main pool pretty much every day. It is a little small and chairs are pretty crowded. I would suggest getting a towel down on your chair first thing in the morning. There are LOTS of other areas to park yourself that aren't right at the pool but in very close proximity. It just depends on what kind of space you like.
Casino - I'll have to say this is the nicest casino I've seen on a cruise ship. Stools are kind of uncomfortable, but the machines were paying out pretty good and thats what counts!! It was a fun atmosphere and really enjoyed it.
Entertainment - Went to a couple of the shows in the evening and they were not the best, but still entertaining. There was always alot of entertainment throughout the day and evening at the pool, public areas, etc. These kids were kept very busy. I particularly enjoyed "The High C's" a 4 man accapella group. They seemed to be everywhere and were really good. . Great "Jersey Boys" medley the fIrst night.
Shopping - Some nice shops on board, but would love it if there were a few more. My husband bought me a beautiful ring. We actually bought it on the ship because their prices were just as competitive as port prices and we worked with a great girl, Olga.
Spa - I did do a facial one day. It was nice and the girl doing it was very personable, BUT they are so overpriced to begin with and then they lay out a whole regiment with their products that they can't understand why you wouldn't use!! Probably because I didn't feel like taking out a loan to buy them!! I wish you could just have something done and have them spend less time questioning your whole routines so they can push the products, and just spend more time doing the service youre paying for.
We didn't do any of the classes, or training sessions on various subjects so I can't really comment, but they have SO many options available for things to do. They also had Zumba on the pool deck every morning, which was fun.
You could be busy every minute of the day if you wanted, or you can choose just to be lazy and relax and pick and choose what you want to do.