We sailed Northbound July 5, 2013. First cruise for hubby, second for me. We started our adventure July 4th in Seattle,took the Amtrak to Vancouver on the morning of the 5th...what an awesome view for most of the trip. Customs was quite easy at the train station, cab to the port. Bags taken from us at curb. Embarkation was fast and stress-free. Champagne and mimosas upon entering ship were nice. We were able to go to our staterooms almost immediately.
Stateroom- We were near the aft elevators- convenient location, nice room, clean and plenty of storage, we were greeted with a bottle of champagne and apples. The balcony consisted of two comfortable chairs and a table...we spent a lot of time on the balcony! The towels, bath rug, duvet, and bath robes were all white, stains were evident, and condition would be described as well-worn, but clean. The minibar was ridiculous,including a half empty bottle of Evian?? we asked for it to be emptied, so the stateroom attendant just stored the bottles from the shelves in the cabinet around the fridge, waste of time as it never got cold, barely cool- waste of space! Room was always clean, but had to request ice bucket most of the time, the afternoon "appetizers" consisted of a few chips, olives, and either a spoonful of hummus, or a salsa of sorts- not worth it. Blackout curtains saved us from the sun in the wee hours of the mornings.
MDR- We chose late dining but were hugely disappointed at our table arrangement-we were on our 25th anniversary and seated at a 12 person table with a family of 7, and 3 from the next table full of little kids- who actually opted to all squeeze into one table...so that left us to intrude on the family of 7...after dinner #3 we left the family, ate once upstairs, then talked to the staff who worked us in the next 2 nights-and as in other reviews- food was average, and staff varied from table to table and in most cases, drinks were not filled unless you asked unless you were drinking alcohol then they were like hawks.
Ports- we had great weather for the most part, but were disappointed in time spent in some ports, Way too much time in Icy Straight Point/Hoonah, not near enough time in Ketchikan or Skagway, and cruising the Hubbard was 1. way too early 2. not close enough 3. not enough time to watch a lot of the breaching, which really was more active as we were leaving. A few of our activities were cancelled due to weather, and we seemed to have more fun with the activities we booked outside Celebrity to replace them.
Cleanliness- as others have noted, as on the below average scale. Elevators had sticky buttons, stair rails were not always clean, tables in the buffet were not always wiped down in a timely manner. Day 1 a shake-like drink was spilled all over deck 11 and not cleaned until the rain came several days later- but our cabin was always tidy. Biggest disappointment was the dirty windows-with the awesome views it was frustrating when it was too cool or wet for the balcony to try to watch the view from a lounge area with dirty windows.
Entertainment- we caught the opening show and a couple others- loved the juggler, the comedian was funny too..singing/dancing was ok, but repetitive...so we did not participate in a of the shows. Music venues that rotated around the ship were also good. Our personal favorite was watching the views from our balcony-too hard to sit inside when the view was so wonderful.
Other dining- the buffet was mediocre, same foods, hot foods barely warm, cold foods, warm...and of course guests were rude and pushy, not a preferred place to eat. The only fee based spot we tried was the Bistro on 5- and it was fantastic, we had crepes for breakfast after the Hubbard-nice quiet place tucked in by the wine bar.
Disembarking...this is where we had issues,after 3 calls to the desk, one in person, and still no bag tags or instructions, we chose to drag our own bags...as we had arrangements for private transportation to Anchorage -
Final thoughts- I probably would choose a lower priced cruiseline for this venue, as they all go to the same ports-and would prefer an adults only cruise, as kids were allowed in all pool areas-hmmm and all bars?????? So we didn't even attempt the pools and left most bar areas due to the quantity of kids on the dance floors even in the late hours. I would definitely do a balcony, worth the extra cost, but no concierge class- definitely not worth it.