Had a pleasant enough cruise. Embarkation took less than 10 minutes. The "suite" was no more than a standard balcony room with 40 extra square feet and a bath tub. Tall cruisers beware- the tubs are elevated such that a 6ft person will be within an inch or 2 of the ceiling. I had to duck down low to get my head under the shower. Further, stepping down to the main bathroom floor, from the tub, is a tricky if not dangerous maneuver. The butler's sole function seemed to be delivering a few cookies and coffee during the afternoon. In the future I would opt for a larger room w/o the "concierge" service.
Food was as expected- no where near ***** (French Laundry, Per Se, George V), but tasty enough. I'd estimate that the MDR during the late seating was 60% full. We had adjacent tables which were empty for the entire cruise, including the captain's table.
During a tour of the kitchens I learned that every bit of meat, fish and poultry was delivered frozen and maintained frozen for 4 months before they are thawed and cooked. Given that, it's not hard to understand that many dishes can't be prepared to optimal status. Despite this- one dish in the MDR was very good- the grilled veal shop was nearly fork tender and juicy.
Biggest disappointment in terms of food came to us at Ocean Liners. Fortunately- this meal was comp'ed by American Express. The offerings were no better and in some instances, worse than the food in the MDR. Based on this experience we cancelled our reservation for a meal in the Tuscan Grille. IMO, it's simply not possible to create a 5 star meal when working with frozen and thawed products. Judging by the nearly empty venue, it appeared they were having a lot of trouble convincing guests to pony up another $40 per person.
Condition of the ship- the upcoming dry dock for a complete refurb is easy to understand. Lots of wear and tear. Rusty railings. Worn carpeting.
Finding open deck chairs was a major ordeal. Further, finding deck chairs that weren't broken was another issue.
Casino- Poker Pro is legalized larceny. Celebrity collected 10% of each pot- up to $15.
The crew overall was accommodating.
The social scene was sedate. It seemed that the majority of the guest population went to bed by 10:30.
Theatrical performances were so outdated. My 85 year old parents would have enjoyed them. When the cruise director has to resort to making an event out of guests wearing overpriced junk from the gift shop, aka a "fashion show", you know that they're scraping the bottom of the barrel for entertainment.
Had a good chuckle during our last dinner. My wife asked -- "Isn't it nice that Celebrity doesn't go in for all of that singing and dancing waiter nonsense?" I suggested that it must be due to their "upscale" image. Well, less than a couple of minutes later we had to endure a 20 minute long pat on the back as the cruise director introduced everybody from the head of food and beverage to the 2nd cousin of the pot scrubber. And then, as we feared, the dancing waiters took their cues to humiliate themselves via their rendition of Gangnam Style.
The ports had nothing to do with the ship- so no need to comment.
Walked off @ 6:45am and arrived at FLL @ 7:25am
Home in Atlanta before noon.