Our trip started out well enough, with a great stay at the Fairmont Singapore and all that awe inspiring city has to offer. The food the sites the infrastructure (subways and architecture) that make it famous were a site to behold. The port there was efficient and attractive and embarkation was breeze. We booked the new Aquaclass suite on deck eleven and the room new but the contents a bit worn (stained bed skirts and fraying towels) We began to notice in short order that much of the ship looked old and dated and even rusty and worn. It seems all the upgrades done during it's recent Solsticized were exclusive to revenue generating outlets (added rooms, new bars and restaurants) and nothing to the rest of the ship.
The first port of call was Koh Samui and the ship was too large to dock and we tendered. The island was great and we explored it west to east. Nice beaches, fine dining, great street food. Our 2nd port was for an overnight stay in Bangkok, but getting our passports returned turned out to be a logistical mess botched by the ship staff. The ordeal to over two hours and there was no organization at all. Our ship was again to big to dock so we were 2+ hours in buses to reach our destination. Wow what a great destination. Bangkok is rich in contrasts and a street foodie's dream. the shopping and eating options were endless. We stayed in a great boutique hotel (Glow Trinity Silom) with an exceptionally convenient location. The room was clean and functional and very inexpensive, but the best feature was its location in silom and near the skytrain. Upon returning to the ship we found that the soiled bed skirt was still there and now the duvet featured pale red blotches of stain (I convinced myself it was fruit juice). This stained duvet showed up on the bed every other day for the rest of the trip.
our next stop was Ho Chi Min City (Saigon) and new friends from the ship invited us to join them on their privately arranged tour and it far surpassed the Celebrity arranged tours. The third stop was Nha Trang where were highly impressed with the VIP package at the local mud bath spa. It was beyond our wildest expectations and cost under $150 for 2 guests. We enjoyed the fourth port of call where took an excursion to Hoi An. After leaving Danang port the ship lost an engine and we were not notified for hours of the problem. Shortly after midnight we were awoken by a ship-wide announcement that we would be skipping the highlight of the trip, Halong Bay as well as Hanoi. There was very little offerred in way of compensation for our loss (about $40.00 after deducting the unused port fees we had already paid). We were dead in the water for 3+ hours and then we simply had a slow boat to China and crew were very scarce from that point on.
The food on board was good and the two specialty restaurants were excellent. unfortunately most of the public spaces were worn, dated and tired. Celebrity needs to either replace the ship or overhaul it completely. It is misleading to say they refurbished it when they only invested in cash outlets.