Being an avid cruiser, my Dh and I have cruised with Carnival and Costa when travelling with our children and family. This time I wanted something different that catered to service and more upscale. I was not disappointed at all. Being from Canada we flew in the day before our cruise and stayed at the Fairfield Inn on Griffin road. The rooms were beautiful and offered a shuttle to the pier for approx 8 dollars pp. I would recommend this hotel to use if you want something clean and inexpensive. We booked on Priceline and paid only $ 99 dollars.
Embarkation day...... First time that we had been on Celebrity and we were not expecting the long delay we encountered. Checking in was easy and very fast it was the debarkation from the last cruise that held us up enjoying our vacation. Now I am not going to complain about having to wait because that was the only thing that I did not enjoy. 3000 people waiting to get on board was not fun, but Celebrity did its best to maintain control. It is hard to watch for someone like myself who was waiting for 3 hours, see people who had just arrived cutting in front of everyone else who had been waiting patiently.
We loved the ship and thought it was very beautiful. Our cabin was on the 7th deck. We had lots of room to store our clothes and suitcases fit nicely under the bed. Our cabin steward Jogi and Lewis always seemed to be cleaning and were very attentive to our needs! I loved the shower with the glass doors and the basket which held your items. Nice touch with the foot bar so that us ladies could shave our legs! There is no soap dispenser or shampoo in the shower so you might want to bring your own. They give you soap and shampoo if you need it but you might just want to bring your own.
As a couple in our mid 40's the average age was some what older, but it was very relaxing atmosphere and it was just what we needed!. Sailing on Carnival is a nightmare sometimes depending on what time of the year you are sailing on as there can be just as many kids as adults on board, but with this cruise there were minimal children around and the ones that were around were well behaved! The ship was very easy to get around and finding a deck chair on sea days was a bit of a problem as people take both sun and shade chairs! I did see the pool butlers take items that had been left on chairs with no sign of its occupants. I have to say though my DH was sitting in a chair and went to go to the bathroom and somebody took his spot he was only gone 5 min!!
Food- Buffet was the same for breakfast everyday! There were no lines as you had multiple stations with the same setup of food to fill your mouth with. Celebrity I think you can do better with this! Lunch was different on most days and food was hot. The hamburgers and French fries were very good and again not a long line up either. MDR food selection was good and the food was great. Our waiter Mihai and Corina were husband and wife. They were wonderful and took great care of us. Our Maitre D Olena went over and above the top to make us special items for us. As a party of 8 who were Italian, we ordered Pasta with garlic, prosciutto with breadsticks and canolli for desert she made it happen!! Thanks Olena.
We did not try any of the specialty restaurants this time as we thought the food was good and satisfied our taste buds
Ports of Call St Thomas went to Meghan bay I have to say I like Coki Beach better there was a 4 dollar charge to get into the beach at Meghan bay plus chair rental!! Drinks were expensive as well. Dominica loved the Island. It is lush and beautiful. We took a taxi tour $20pp that took you through the rain forest and other areas of interest. Call Curtis Labassiere Cell 1(767)235-2121 or email him at Curtis_684@hotmail.com He will take great care of you. St kitts is poor and dirty as far as I am concerned. We took a tour of the island and did go to some beautiful points of interest, but I found the locals to be very pushy if you did not buy from them. This is not one of my favourite ports and will stay on the boat next time. Watch out for the baby monkeys that the locals want you to hold. They charge you for a picture. Barbados we visited the boat yard beach as we had been there before for $12 pp you get chairs, rum punch and a ride back to the ship. Very nice beach, but if you are going there watch your belongings which the cab driver even said to us as well! Drink prices were not to bad and they had bathroom facilities there as well. St Maarten we visited Mullet beach which was in my opinion one of the most beautiful beaches that I have ever been to. The drink prices were cheap$ 2 for a beer and $15 for 2 chairs and umbrella. We went to Maho beach next which you can walk between beaches its maybe a 10 min walk. This beach is where the airport is and what an experience it is to watch the planes fly over your head. It's a once in a lifetime adventure so if you can I recommend it. Sunset bar has bathroom facilities and free Wifi as well!
Disembarkation ......Celebrity you need to have your people down early to direct the hoards of people getting off the ship. We chose express walk off and were given a time of 730 to meet in the theatre. People that had went there became the last people to get off the ship as people who knew the system were waiting at the door to get off the ship. Again Celebrity you need to fix this. We had letters stating what time we were to get off the ship and again there was no direction. I would say that there was at least half the ship trying to get off at the same time. People were blocking the elevators so that anyone coming down could not get off. I think that there should have been lines set up in order to keep the elevators clear so people could get out of them. Immigration only had 2 officers to clear the ship, but I must say the lines did move quickly. It took approx 45 min to get off the ship and off to the airport.
We are very happy with Celebrity and have booked another cruise in Mar of 2014. I hope that Celebrity looks at the Debarkation process and makes improvements for the future.