My husband and I took this trip along with his sister and her husband to celebrate our 30th and their 31st wedding anniversary. The trip from Philadelphia to Bayonne, NJ took about 1-1/2 hours and we arrived around 10:45 am. There was a little confusion with where to pull over to unload and the porters were particularly unhelpful. But hey, they saved me the trouble of tipping although I heaved a sigh of relief when our baggage showed up. The lines through security and to get our sea passes moved well and by noon we were on board. We got separated in the line from our travelling companions and so werent able to get our embarkation photo taken together, but that was only a little inconvenience. We had lunch at the Oceanview Cafe, where it was easier to find a seat than I thought it would be, and were in our cabin by 1:30.
We had booked a balcony cabin (7023) and were very pleased it. There was plenty of storage space, a small seating area, and the bed was very comfortable. Our cabin steward, Soccorro, was excellent. He delivered frozen ice packs to the cabin every day at 6:00 pm so that I could put them on my sore knees after a long day of walking around. He also delivered the tea and coffee we ordered every morning, which we drank out on the balcony a lovely start to every day!
The food was generally very good. We ate every night except one in the main dining room. We had arranged for second seating, but agreed that we would switch to first seating for future cruises it was just too late for us. I enjoyed trying all of the different things on the menu and was very happy with all of them except the duck terrine (looked too much like dog food to be enjoyable), and the lobster on the second formal night. Our servers (the waiters name escapes me, but the assistant waiters name was Allen) were very friendly. A few nights we had to wait a bit too long for our drinks, but otherwise, the service was great. On the first formal night, my husband and I skipped the main dining room and went instead to Bistro on Five. We had the place entirely to ourselves, and there was a singer/guitarist playing right outside, so it was very romantic. My husband went to humor me, and told me afterwards that he figured he would eat his real dinner in the buffet afterwards, but the crepes were delicious and filling. The waiter there was excellent as well.
Food in the Oceanview Cafe was hit or miss. We had breakfast and lunch there most days. The scrambled eggs were (I have to say it) disgusting; however, there were a few omelet stations so we did not go eggless. I enjoyed the waffles, but there was always a long line for those. The pizza for lunch was really good, and you could generally get a good meal there. Its very weird to say, but the hamburgers and pizza by the pool were really excellent. We did not try the Aqua Spa cafe, but spent a few afternoons having coffee, tea and desserts at the Cafe Al Bacio, which we also enjoyed. Through a Celebrity promotion, we had the option of choosing a $200 shipboard credit or a drinks package. We chose the credit and my sister- and brother-in-law chose the drinks package and we were both happy with our choice. My husband and I spent about $100 on drinks between us.
We thoroughly enjoyed most of the entertainment. Being a Sweet Adeline myself, I particularly enjoyed The Crewners, an a cappella quartet. The singer/pianist was excellent also, the two singer/guitarists less so but still good. The comedians (James Stephens III and I dont remember the name of the other one) were hilarious! The other shows were not very well themed, but the performers were very talented. The cruise director, Alexander, was also great.
The ship is showing its age, but is still nice. It doesnt take forever to walk from one end to the other, which we liked. The public areas, lounges, pool, etc. were well cared for. We did visit the spa and bought a Persian Garden steam room couples pass, but didnt feel it was worth it and wouldnt do it again. The tour gave an overview of all of the amenities of the spa including some kind of therapy that could help you lose inches (for a huge cost) and tone down your flabby upper arms (this said with a meaningful look at me). Brochures for this service were handed out to the, shall we say plump women in the group, while obviously not offered to the thinner ones. We got a good laugh out of that, but it wasnt very diplomatic. The thalassotherapy pool was wonderful, but we didnt try the other pools, since it was too chilly.
This was the first trip to Bermuda for my husband and I. We bought transportation passes, but I wish we had hired a taxi for a tour of the island instead. We took the ferry to Hamilton, visited the Crystal Caves, spent a day exploring the Naval Dockyard, and took a harrowing bus ride to St. George. While careening around a curve while a huge truck was coming in the opposite direction, I closed my eyes in terror, only to find a large sign by the side of the road advising prepare to meet thy God when I opened them again! I truly felt that dreaded moment was at hand!
Disembarkation was quite easy. We had to sit in one of the lounges until our group was called, then it was a breeze through security and out back into the real world.
Overall, we were very pleased with this cruise and Celebrity, so much so that we booked a cruise on the Reflection in 2015.