Since Crystal has changed its policies and its service has diminished, we decided to try other cruiselines. We prefer transatlantic because we like the relaxing days at sea, so we opted for Celebrity. We were not disappointed.
EMBARKATION: As easy as its gets if you print out boarding passes on computer. We just showed all the necessary documentation and within 15 minutes, we were ascending the gangplank! :)
CABIN: As this was a transatltantic, we chose a cabin on a lower deck, midship. We were not sorry since we experinced minimal rocking. The cabin was well appointed and had plenty of storage. We stashed our luggage under the beds. Our cabin steward, Collin, was fantastic and complied with every small request. We tipped him extra for his efforts. After the first night, I requested a feather pillow and it was there. The mattresses are rock hard and every morning, I awoke with a stiff back. That was the only bad thing. Also, the satellite TV was off again/on again, but we were not cruising to watch TV. I unplugged it, let it reboot, and it was fine. We saw many good movies.
DINING: We requested a table for two at early seating. We sat along the wall in the Michaelangelo dining room. Some people did not like this, but I enjoyed watching the people pass us, especially on formal nights. It was like a fashion show. Our waiter, Ramon, was good, but his assistant, Reagan, was brand new and that poor kid tried ssssoooo hard to please. I think they were riding him, but he was very good to us. The food was tasty and variety was plentiful.
ENTERTAINMENT: The social director, John Grantham, was a veteran employee. His assistant, Tyler, was always at his side and I'm not sure what purpose he served. They had a dance troupe that performed and they were okay. One guest speaker, Nigel West, spoke about espionage during WWI and WWII and he drew a large audience. He was very, very good. Also, Capt. Tasos spoke on the construction of a brand new ship. Capt. Tasos was a very funny, very affable man and very approachable. He loves his job. Since we had 7 straight days at sea, for the first time, we decided to attend the art auctions. We were glad we did because Travis taught us so much about art! We also played trivia twice a day.
SPA: I went for a spa treatment and it was just average. My operator kept trying to sell me products and I found that to be a turn off. Of course, their prices were 3-4x the norm ($45 for a manicure!) but they've got a captive audience.
GYM: The gym was very well equipped and there were plenty of treadmills to go around. We used it everyday.
SPECIALTY RESTAURANT: We went to the Italian Grille and were disappointed. I sent my entree back. The menu is very limited and the choices are not genuine Italian. Everyone raved about OCEANLINERS, so next time, we'll try that one.
Overall, it was a very nice cruise and the differences b/t Celebrity and Crystal were subtle, but with Celebrity you get much more bang for your buck. They've got two new loyal customers!