This was the first time myself and my husband had cruised with Celebrity, having done a fair few other cruises now we feel that we can point out the highlights and lowlights. We sailed from harwich in the uk and as we are from the uk this was very easy. Drove there, parked the car, got a bus to the cruise terminal and we were on the ship with our first drink within 30 mins.
Our cabin was one with a window so we were on deck 2, this was convenient for when we came back onto the ship after visiting the ports. It was clean and the bed was comfortable. Most days our towels were changed even though we hadn't discarded them on the floor. Our cabin steward was very good and always friendly. Cabin was spacious and although there was no room in the wardrobe to put the cases they easily fitted under the bed.
Food was of excellent quality and probably the best we have had on a cruise. Good choice at breakfast in the buffet restaurant, however it was the usual fight to get a table if we timed it wrong so we tended to wait until they opened the gangway and then go for breakfast. Being British it was nice to have freshly cooked pancakes and waffles but then my favourite was the poached egg station where I could get eggs florentine cooked to order every morning. We didn't eat in the dining room at breakfast as we felt the choice was more limited so cannot comment on that.
Lunchtime there were less options either the buffet, burger bar or the speciality restaurant which you had to pay for. We were slightly disappointed we couldn't eat in dining room at lunch. Anyway the buffet was good, quite spread out so you had to wander around all the stations first. There were paninis, salads, hot food, Asian station and pasta bar. All were very good and well prepared. Burger was also very good and opened later into the afternoon. Ice cream and afternoon snacks were also available.
We were on the select dining and realised quickly we had to pre book, as the first two nights where we sat were quite busy with waiters. Once we found a table we liked we sat their every night. The maitre'd always remembered our name which I thought was a nice touch. Our waiters Samson and Diana were excellent and on a number of occasions we got 3 starters and 3 desserts as we couldn't decide what to have. Also I had beef Wellington with a side of lobster from another dish! The Wine waiter was always around and topping up the glasses even though we were on the drinks package and would be only having it by the glass. Food as already stated was excellent and couldn't be faulted.
The ship was very clean and again probably the cleanest one we had travelled on. It was smaller than we are used to at less than 100 tonnes however we were impressed with the decor and public areas. We went to qusine the speciality restaurant and it was quite pricey at $45 each however we were very impressed as it was excellent food and with a difference. In terms of the other 'entertainment' we felt this was lacking. We would always do the quiz at 8pm that we enjoyed and then we only went to the broadway style shows as the other shows didn't appeal to us. We felt that there was very little to do in the evenings. Although the pianist was very good and enjoyed listening to him.
We did use the gym and this was fine, the weights area was small and cramped. I did get stung on the 'body sculpt' class not realising how much it was and at $ 40 for half an hour was CRAZY! That is was I pay for a month of classes at home!
We also felt the trips were a little on the pricey side and we did 1 but it was very good and we were glad we did it. The guide was excellent and it was nice not having to worry. We also had the drinks package included in our price so that bought down our bill quite considerably!
Overall extremely impressed with the ship, food and staff friendliness (everyone spoke and handful remembered our names!) Things to improve would be entertainment in the evening - we did wonder if it was catered for the passengers on board and we were in the minority age group (late twenties and early thirties) so if you were going to book I wouldn't let this out you off. Then just the price of the class but I should have made a point of asking first!