We flew into FLL one day early and stayed at the Embassy Suites on 17th St. Our favorite aspect of this hotel is the location. We walked to have our meals and to Publix or Ross Dress for Less for last minute items. We had breakfast and headed for the port at about 10:45 am. Check-in was painless and then we were sent to the seating area and told where to sit, presumably so as to board in order of arrival. Makes perfect sense. Soon we were informed that embarkation was delayed due to immigration issues. We didn't mind the wait. It was relaxed and no big deal. However, when embarkation finally started, the kaos began. People didn't wait their turn and were going around the lines and boarding out of order which caused others to become angry. Although we shouldn't have been, we were among the last to board. Needless to say, the Ocean View Cafe was a mob scene. It's always crowded on embarkation day, but since the majority of passengers boarded within an hour, everyone headed for lunch. We gave up looking for a table and took our food back to our cabin and ate on the balcony, which was nice. We had select dining and ate in the dining room for dinner. The food was great and the service was good but oh so slow. Dinner took 2 hours, which is just too long for us. Later in the cruise, we mentioned wanting to get to the show and asked the hostess if we could sit someplace with a little faster service. The servers were very accommodating and we got to the show with time to spare. After that we asked for faster service and they always accommodated us.
Our first two days were at sea, which were relaxing. Of course, getting a sun lounger anywhere near the pool is near impossible, as many people think their towels and magazines deserve a chair more than other passengers do. The poolside band was very good but they played for 1 1/2 hrs a day. The a Capella group played in 15 minute increments, once or twice by the pool during the day.The "DJ" was sub par. Otherwise it's very quiet by the pool; too quiet. We would have really enjoyed some Caribbean steel drum music around the pool. We also would have enjoyed seeing some tables and chairs outside in the pool area where we could play cards. We really enjoyed the tables/chairs on Princess. Bar service was very good in all the common areas. One thing we miss on this ship is the outdoor movie screen. It's so fun to snuggle up at night and watch a good movie under the stars, refreshed by the sea air. I know they show movies inside, but we wanted to enjoy the warm weather as much as possible.
Our room steward was Rosario and he was excellent. He was efficient, fun and kind. We enjoyed him very much and he took good care of us. We had a balcony cabin and it was quite nice. No problem with storage. No extra noise, very close to the elevators. Just perfect for us. One thing we really miss on Celebrity is coin operated laundry and an ironing board for passenger use.
The ship was clean and in good repair. The decor is contemporary and pretty but not overdone.
Overall, this cruise was wonderful, one of our best ever.