We booked a cruise package for this trip - our first time to do this. This included flights, transfers, hotel and the 15 night cruise. It was excellent value for money. The flight was from London Heathrow and took over 10 hours. The hotel, being in the airport, was most welcome.The embarkation went smoothly after a delayed departure from the Marriott at George Bush Airport. The ship was undergoing refurbishment but this did not spoil our enjoyment at all. The casino was closed for 8 days and opened with a fanfare by the Captain.The Diamond Club members were allowed access into the Lotus Lounge each evening from 5-8.30pm with free drinks and snacks -a great social event and a great way of looking after loyal Diamond members.
The stateroom was looked after by our attendant, Chen, who kept it immaculate and was very efficient in all aspects of service. The dining room staff ( Jovita and Rong Rong Sun ) were so marvellously efficient and friendly towards a table of 8 who gelled together from the word go. The food was fine as far as we were concerned. There was plenty of choice and we were more than satisfied with all on offer. We experienced the Windjammer some days for lunch with the Main Dining Room being used for those other days and for the evening meal. The entertainment was mixed with some acts being less successful than others. The orchestra were excellent as is the norm on Celebrity and RCCL accompanying the various artists requiring backing.
As one reviewer stated - some acts wouldn't want marooning for several days at sea on a cruise liner - understandable. I can't follow the comment about the Cruise Director being not interested. We saw him around the ship and also at the evening entertainment venues. There were a number of lectures on offer with some interesting ones and some less so. The ports visited were interesting with welcome good weather . Nassau, Madeira, Gibraltar and Alicante have their own character and all were enjoyed by our group. Disembarkation went smoothly on arrival in Barcelona with transfers to El Prat Airport with following flights to LHR. The entire trip was an enjoyable one - it was our third T/A cruise and won't be our last. Well done Mariner!