On April 13, the check in was speedy and flawless...the cabins ( 6308 verandah aft --ie VERY back of ship) was not ready til 130 pm but we dropped off our carry on luggage and went up to Ocenaview Cafe for lunch..The buffet was great. I knew the food was going to be good when the carved roast beef was actually rare !! ( as compared to Carnivals WELL DONE god awful roast beef)..Ok..don't hold us going on Carnival as it was a one shot let's try it and we will NEVER go back there)..Anyway, the buffet was amazing..the Indian food bar was superb...tons of selections of ANY kind of food..u will not walk away hungry.
Only negative food was the ice cream..just run of the mill and not worth the calories.
The cabin ( 6308) was nice, with a comfy bed..Herein lies the negative.NOT enough storage for our items...needed a set of shelves in closet to put shoes, bags , tee shirts etc.
Flat screen tv was terrific...BATHROOM was Awesome..ONE of the largest I have ever seen on a cruise ship...tons of room in there and tons of storage in there for cosmetics and toiletries...HUGE shower for a cruise ship.
As people have noted before, the back cabin balcony on the S class ships are the same size as the side verandah cabins..SO NOT worth the walk all the way to the back of the ship for a teeny verandah..will NOT do this location again..the ship is too big and being at the back and having to walk to the front was a major schlep...
Our cabin stewardess, Marissa , from the Philippines , was a doll..She attended to our every need...we had a small cheese plate delivered to our cabin at 3 pm daily...and a very small( could have been big pieces of fruit) fruit platter along with it..we asked for a fruit basket to be delivered and replenished daily but Celebrity only sent the meager fruit plate with 4 wafer pieces of fruit..( we have alway asked and gotten a fruit basket and replenished daily on Princess and Holland America and even Carnival )...oh well..this was the only major negative of the entire cruise..
Dinner the first nite was in the Murano dining room..AMAZING tableside dining..the service could have been more attentive considering it cost $90 a couple for dinner..when I go to a restaurant this expensive on land, the service is normally fawning all over you..I had to ask for water, more bread and iced tea...But the food..rack of lamb,risotto,sauteed lobster in cognac,and this amazing chocolate dessert..I don't eat a lot of food so I had my left overs delivered to my cabin for a late nite snack..
We had room service just about every morning for breakfast..bagels, lox, cream cheese...only bad option was the omlet ..looked and tasted like canned eggs..if u catch my drift. Hash browns was actually a potatoe cake..Croissant were AWESOME..got too used to those...and the english muffins were good ...
The pool, on the first sea day, was a breeze to get a chair..on other sea days, it was a "get up early to claim a seat" but still there were enough chairs..u just had to do some creative manuevering of the lounge chairs on ur own..
Zumba classes were enthusiastic...and the pools were nice.
ONLY complaint was the shallow pool ( 2 1/2 ft deep)turned into a baby (kids ) pool..Not a great place to be as the water got very murky by mid day ( Kiddie pee?)..The whirlpools were wonderful..The covered rattan double beds looked nice but got taken very early.
San Juan..Old town was a fun walk around but that was about it..I wish we would get into San Juan early enough to be able to see the other end of the island but every time we have been to San Juan, it has been from 3 pm til 10 pm.
St Marteen was GREAT..we always go shopping there and it did not disappoint us..
Make sure u stop at the BLUE BITCH Bar and buy a tee shirt..they are hysterical.
St Kitts was AWESOME..we went sailing on a private excursion..Leeward Charters...and had a catamaran with 18 other people..the crew was a riot..lots of fun...we went snorkeling and saw some gorgeous fish ..but the snorkeling is way better in both Barbados and Antigua and even more so in Cozumel...There was a BBQ on the beach and then a great long sail back to the ship..Karen, the charter contact, told us she would get us back to the ship in time of sailing and she was true to her word...this was a full day sail and way cheaper than a cruise excursion with more time, lunch, drinks and sailing from St kitts to Nevis..LOVED IT !!
Back to dining..we did Celebrity Select ( ie open seating dining). we had to beg and scream for a 7 pm dinner time but after the first nite, we had no problem. They let u book 2 days in advance..we had table 560 with Daniel ,from the Phillipines , and his helper, Jose from Honduras..THEY were AMAZING and bent over backward to help u ..both with selections and service..THEY were THE BEST,,,we had then every nite we ate in the dining room ( which was for 5 nites) so we felt we had assigned seating in a table for 2 by the window with great service...The food in the OPUS ( main dining room) was great..there is actually NO reason to dine in the fancy extra dining rooms as the food in Opus was terrific..from rack of lamb, to veal chop, to steak, etc...Lobster, beef wellington and rack of lamb was served on the 2nd formal nite..The wine list was rather pricey but my hubs had a great bottle of french wine which made it thru 6 meals ( I don't drink wine)..desserts were killer..from creme brulee to a special chocolate ganache torte for my birthday celebration.
The last nite of dining we went to Qsine..All I can say was AMAZING .. both in decor to food...The room has floor to ceiling glass walls overlooking the ocean..The chandeliers are upside down lamps attached to a wooden base. The Ipad menu was challenging..We ordered a escargot/lobster chunks cooked in an escargot plate were good but needed wayyyyyyyyy more garlic. The soup/and Souffle was TERRIFIC...great lobster souffle with a spicy soup to put on top, the crab souffle with a pea soup topping and a cheese souffle with a grea topping..DELICIOUS...then we had the crab cake in a nest..also delicious.
Our main dish was the mideast/greek huge for 2 teeny dishes..from lamb meat ball, to tsaziki sauce , to hummus to lamb chops, to lamb chili ( GREAT), to falafal, to greek veggies to olives and peppers..It was MY favorite dish outside of the souffle dish.. For dessert we had the chocolate tombstone ( a chocolate ganache on a rice krispie base ) was TO DIE FOR...and the biegnets were also terrific with the citrus sauce...and if that wasn't enough, they came around with white choc.dipped strawberries and a little egg container that had coffee creme brulee in it..ALL delicious..
This was THE most amazing dinner I have ever had..IF u pick ONE fancy restaurant, pick Qsine !!
Entertainment...Reflection theater..good..a sort of cirque de soleil with aerial acrobats, contortionists,and great singers..sometimes a little disjointed in the show process..but good, none the less.
By the time we saw them at the last show, it was more singing..the singers were great with the broadway show tunes..we enjoyed them immensely.
The comedian, Penny Prince , was good...the burlesque dancer was a TOTAL waste..who needs a sort of stripper as the middle act between 2 good comedians..it broke the rhythm of the show ...not needed...
The main comedian, John Bizaare, was very good the first time. We thought when he was doing another late nite show 3 nites later that he would have NEW material but NOT SO..He needs to change material IF he is the ONLY comedian on the ship...the same goes for the first comedian..it is hard to laugh twice as the same jokes 3 days apart no matter how good the comedian is..
The 4pm afternoon tea in the oceanview cafe served delicious tea sanwiches..alway nice to bring back to the room to carry u over with a snack prior to dinner..
Our ONLY bad meal..in the main dining room for lunch..we wanted to give it a try but in all actuality the Oceanview Cafe was better ( and I am not a buffet person)..the main dining room served Pad Thai that tasted more like chinese food rather than thai ( and we eat pad thai all the time)..the fried chicken tasted like it was cooked in a pressure cooker)...only thing i liked about the lunch was the rocky road ice cream with hot fudge sauce...sorry..but that was our take on the lunch in the main dining room.
We felt the ship was gorgeous, elegant and had amazing artwork throughout..the sculptures were unique and very contemporary and we loved them.
Our main pet peeve..the guest relations did not know one end from the other..it took 3 phone calls to get the phone number of the cruise ship itself ( we needed this IF we were going to be late from an excursion)and NO ONE knew the number..NOT a good thing...
all in all, we LOVED this ship..with the elegance, great food, and amazing service..and YES, we would go on it again..IN fact, if i knew they were doing a 14 day transatlantic after this cruise, I would have booked it..but then again, they probably would have had to roll me off the ship in Europe..
Can u tell that we loved it..it was extremely relaxing..NOT full of kids..and was just all around wonderful..