This was the first cruise for my wife and I on Celebrity, after 5 cruises with another line. We are in our mid 50's, from the northeast US. We enjoy relaxing, reading, and listening to music and are not looking for a whole lot of excitement on a cruise. For that, we have done river rafting, or European travel. That has an effect upon our expectations and opinions as to what the cruise should offer.
OK, on to the review.
Embarkation was a breeze. Literally. Everyone near us was complaining that the AC was blasting in the port. Not Celebrity's fault, I imagine. Boarding was quick and efficient. Greeted with a glass of sparkling wine upon entering the ship. The ship is beautiful, clean and very attractive. In that regard, any time that I went to a public restroom, there was an attendant present and the room was spotless.
I had a few concerns regarding service based upon a few reviews here. Not a problem. Service was excellent, for meals and all around. A couple of examples: we were walking down the hall to our room one day and our room attendant, Reymond, saw us coming. He got out his key, went to our door and opened the room and held the door for us. I managed to mess up the safe one other day, and could not get it opened. I called the front desk. They sent someone up who came to the room within 5 minutes and opened the safe immediately. I once dropped my spoon at dinner and it was immediately picked up and replaced. I could cite several similar examples of quality service.
As far as food was concerned, this is one of the most important parts of our cruise considerations. It was uniformly very good to excellent. Service was fine. Quality of food was excellent, both in the main dining room as well as QSine and Murano. The number of non-meat dishes for a Friday in Lent could have been better. Main cafeteria was fine for breakfast, omelets made to order. Large variety for lunch, pizza was lackluster, pasta was good, again made to order.
As far as our room, we were on Deck 10, starboard aft. Size was OK, quality of bedding and pillows was good. Once we realized that there was storage over the bed, that was OK. Had some trouble finding the hair dryer (it was in the desk drawer). The switch for the lights on the side of the bed is at the bottom af the fixture. Lighting overall could be better. Nice flat screen TV. Excellent overall attention from the room attendant with fresh flowers and a bottle of champagne upon arrival (I think that this is a Concierge Class perk). Afternoon canapes were nice. Balcony was fine. Everything was very clean. Bathroom was very nice and shower was fine.
Entertainment was generally standard cruise fare, with a few special points of note: In the main show in the theater, which is a rock and roll themed show, there were an acrobat and a contorsionist who were remarkable. Having seen Cirque de Soleil twice, I can vouch for the fact that they were of that extraordinary level of talent. Not what I expected. Also, the a cappella group "These Guys" and the jazz trio were both excellent and we caught them each several times.
The ship does not have a large central pool. There is not a lot as far as games around the pool (though there was a lot of Zumba). If that is what you seek, be aware. There is an area set aside for ages 16 and up, the "Solarium". This is enclosed and fairly quiet, with its own pool, adjacent to the outdoor pool/zumba area. No charge.
The gym was fine. My wife and I went most days, for the treadmills and weights. There are 17 treadmills, and a similar number of bikes. Mid morning is the busy time. One very nice touch is a small refrigerator full of cold, damp face cloths for use afterward. Very welcome. There are a variety of workout classes which I did not attend. Note that there are locker rooms for both men and women which provide a larger shower than in your stateroom.
As for ports, this is not really a big deal for us. In San Juan, we just took a walk around the town. Unfortunately there was a power outage in town at the time. Kind of an odd time of arrival, 3 p.m. Went to Orient Beach in St. Martin (beautiful) and took a catanaran ride at St. Kitts & Nevis (open bar at 9a.m. was not a good idea for some of our fellow cruisers). Both very nice, but should have gone into St. Kitss/Nevis, as we really got no sense of those islands.
Speaking of drinking, our favorite bar was the martini bar, good value for the price. $10 gets you a full sized martini.
Did not participate in the casino, and shopping is not on our list of cruise activities, so can't comment. There is a very nice library, much larger than on our previous cruises. The internet cafe was easy to use, 75 cents per minute (I had to check in on my college basketball team).
The officers were out and about. The captain actually came over to us at Murano and said hello. There was a "Dancing with the Officers" show in the atrium which was fun.
All in all a great time. We will probably cruise with Celebrity next winter.
Hope that this is helpful.