We are Royal Caribbean Diamond Club members who took our first cruise on Celebrity the week of March 16th. We traveled on Celebrity Reflection, and could not have been more disappointed. We have traveled on new ships before, but have never seen the type of disorganization across all areas that we experienced on this ship. Disorganization is only one of the problems we experienced. Our complaints span from our dining room experience, to butler experience, excursion experience, Suite experience (who builds a new ship without an outlet in the bedroom!!!!), and entertainment experience -- or lack thereof. The incompetence we experienced even extended to our last day -- we were never provided with a questionnaire to rate the ship and our cruise experience.
We were booked in a Celebrity Suite, and our son and guest traveled in a veranda suite. When I spoke with the booking agent, I told them that we were Owner or Grand Suite travelers on Royal Caribbean. The agent assured me that this suite would be the one most comparable to our RCCL experience. What a shock when we arrived to a totally closed-in bedroom that let virtually no light into the room, where we had to squeeze by one another to get into closet. The bathroom was pathetically small, and there was no way that the two of us could do anything in the bathroom at the same time. Why anyone would build a new ship and eliminate outlets from the bedroom is beyond me. My husband sleeps with a CPAP machine, which meant one of two things both involving an extension cord -- either we could plug in the cord each night in the suite room under the desk.....or, we were offered the option of having the cord taped down to the floor for the week. That is just not what should happen in a suite that costs almost $7,000 for the week!
Our experience with our butler was a joke. When we arrived at our room, none of the typical paperwork was there -- no excursion tickets, no information on the ship and events. We called him when we realized we needed an extension cord for my husband's medical machine. Three hours later, no visit from our butler to introduce himself, and no extension cord. We called again and insisted that he come and introduce himself, which he did. The next day, we needed our towels refreshed mid-day. We called Cesar before lunch, went to the pool, returned three to four hours later -- no towels.
On Monday, my husband went to Guest Relations to ask how we could make arrangements NOT to tip the invisible butler. He explained the situation. Two days later, on Wednesday afternoon, we heard from the head of in-room services, and this was changed. At this price, and with this reputation, we should not have had to do this!
The dining room was another joke. On day one, our assistant waiter, Alex, got sick or hurt or something that made it impossible for him to return to the dining room. So, on day two, our waiter served all his tables by himself. Robert was amazing, and did so with a smile on his face....but it was hectic, and slow. On day three we had a wonderful dinner at Murano. Day four -- the new assistant waiter Alex arrived, and was completely unprepared to help our waiter. Day five we happily dined at QSine. Day six was a disaster as our waiter tried to serve all of his tables lobster tails with limited assistance. When we called over the maitre 'D, who knew there was a problem there since he stopped by for his one and only visit to our table on day two, he asked why we didn't call him over every evening. Is that our job on our vacation? The bartender NEVER came to the table until we demanded they do so on day six. Btw -- on Celebrity, we found out that waiters do not offer grated cheese or cracked pepper.....unlike RCCL. Nor do they offer after dinner drinks.
In St. Kitts, we signed up for a snorkeling excursion. We left the pier along with a group from RCCL Independence of the Seas passengers. When we got to the docks, we watched as they were led to a clean, new, beautiful boat for their snorkeling tour. We were led on to a dirty, old ship, which broke down 20 minutes into the trip, and had to return to the pier. They returned our money, but we had a lost excursion day. Sad, since this was only one of three ports.
It is hard to comment on the entertainment since most evenings the entertainment wasn't available after our late dinner seating. Celebrity needs to look around and do a real assessment of who is traveling with them. On the night of the Love and Marriage Show, which was held at 10:45 in the small theatre, it was standing room only, with people standing in the hallways to hear the show. Can't Celebrity see that there are a range of different demographics on the ship traveling with them....and not all of them go to bed before 11pm?
It is incredible to us that Celebrity is owned by the same company as Royal Caribbean. As seasoned cruise travelers we know what to expect. Our experience on this cruise was just horrible and it is hard to see how we would ever cruise with Celebrity again.