After looking forward to our 2nd cruise with Celebrity, we were disappointed, to say the least.
The ship was beautiful, well maintained, and for the most part tastefully decorated. The service and staff was decent as well. The theater was beautiful and the entertainment was quite good, although difficult to time with fixed seating dinner times, which like many other lines has the early seating too early and the late seating too late.
Always plenty of chaises, both sun and shade, even on at sea days. Not much in the way of activities during the day, other than reading by the pool. Last Celebrity cruise seemed like more to do and more fun, but could be we were just younger then.
Ship excursions for ports were overpriced and marketed by fear of the ship leaving without you, as they seem to be on just about every cruise line. Very little information on how to do something on your own, they just want to sell their ship tours. Like most lines, this has become a major profit center, to the point that tour operators do not let people book their own tours privately because they have been threatened by loss of the cruise lines direct business. Here Celebrity was no different than its competitors.
There were too many set-ups for the ship to sell you stuff, all over the ship. You couldn't go anywhere without having the specialty restaurants, or spa services, pictures, et. al. being touted to you as if you were on a carnival arcade.
The biggest disappointment was the food. We were seated at a table for six, and all of us thought the food was below expectations in terms of choices and food quality. The meats were uniformly tough. On three occasions food was brought out that was literally spoiled. There were a few nights that the choices were so poor that there was nothing that we wanted to order. On one occasion I went up to check on the buffet because the dining room menu was so poor. However, I returned to the main dining room because the buffet at dinner looked like a collection of leftovers.
The only two meals that were up to par, were the next to last night's dinner that had most of the really good choices that were never offered at the other dinners, and one brunch in the main dining room served as a buffet.
Breakfasts and lunches were eaten mostly in the Ocean Cafe (buffet), as the timing for breakfast or lunch in the dining room never seemed to work out. Breakfast was extensive, but never, never changed. The most disappointing part was the meager selection and poor quality of danish and breakfast pastry. Each morning had only one type of muffin and one type of danish to choose from. While on the subject of baked goods, the selection and quality of deserts was the worst we have seen on any cruise we have ever taken. A constant selection of mousses and creams, yet never a real cake of any type. Even the coffee was awful.
Lunches were boring, repetitive, and seemed like a constant selection of food that one would normally send back. There was nothing special. What can you say, when the best things to choose for lunch were the chicken salad, tuna fish salad or a ham and swiss sandwich.
The food just seemed cheap. Even the sushi, which was available in the buffet from 5:30 to 9:30 had the worst selection of the cheapest types of fish I had ever seen. Always a collection of a few rolls, but the real sushi (negri) was always tilapia...night after night.
The ship also had 4 specialty restaurants. The cover charges were absurd for a cruise. We might have thought that the caliber of food in the main dining venues was perhaps cheapened to increase the patronage and thus the profits from the specialty restaurants.
Celebrity, never again!