We were recommended to use Celebrity by friends, who swear by them. Embarkation was efficient, although nobody has told the staff how to smile (if looks could kill). The ship itself is very nice inside, although the impression of massive size you get outside this ship is not conveyed inside, as it does not have the large central stair case and atrium of other ships. Ship is spotless though, and was throughout the cruise.
Room was very nice and cosy but small, and was at the end of a very long corridor that had no stairs at the end (again unusual).
Space around the ship is scattered and very difficult to find a quiet nook to read, as all space has something going on most of the time. Demos of cooking and dancing were held in the central stairway, making it noisy and cluttering the walk way. These things are usually held in one of the bars on other ships but this ship has no enclosed bars.
No walkway all around the ship under cover, is in my opinion a major omission, as in bad weather it is very nice to excercise around the ship without being exposed to the elements.
Food was excellent in the main restaurant, and the Tuscan Grill (speciality) was great, but $45pp cover charge. Buffet for breakfast was pandemonium, with queues and no seats. This was due (according to waiters) to the main restaurant being shut. This meant all passengers were in the buffet, which was built to hold half the people that were in it and was very uncomfortable.
Entertainment was very good (anything live usually is) and a couple of comedians would have been nice.
Drinks very expensive, and the Cellar master lounge had vending style dispensers with lots of different wines to try by the glass. Great, but only a handful of whites, which then run out with no replacements. Also waiter who ran it did not seem to know how they worked so did not fix them when they went wrong (all machines showed a constant "error". He also said you needed a special card to buy wines, but paperwork said cruise card would work (which he did not agree with).All very frustrating.
Ports of call all very good (its the Fjords, what else can you say but "spectacular"). But in Stavanger we got off the ship only to discover the town was closed. An independence day holiday that was not published in the daily ships paper.
In conclusion, Celebrity for us did not live up to the build up from our friends, and I have to say they did not impress us as much as Cunard or P&O. A couple we spoke to (who were on the maiden voyage) thought staff had been reduced. We would not go with Celebrity again.
PORTS. 1 molde - Nice, small, down a fjord. We didn't get off.
PORTS 2. ALESUND. Looked a bit industrial, and it rained all day.
LAST PORT - STAVANGER. Fantastic port with great views over a vast inland waterway, spoilt only by the fact the town was shut on the day we visited, and no warning from Celebrity this was a "Liberation Day" holiday.