This was our 5th time on a Celebrity cruise. Cruising to us is mostly about the dining experience and relaxation.
Dining: After having fantastic main dining room food on Constellation in 2004 and then on Solstice in Europe in 2012, we decided that Celebrity was really the best 'regular' cruise line for main dining room food quality (We have sailed on the smaller Oceania Cruise Line in Europe, and the food was crazy great, but more expensive of course). On Celebrity, add the fact that you can purchase a 'drink package' so all your soft drinks, special coffee, and alcoholic beverages are included on Celebrity, and you've got an all-inclusive deal of a vacation. Because of these factors, we became loyal Celebrity cruisers (next sailing we make 'Elite' status). The one anamoly: we sailed on the Infinity last fall through the Panama Canal, and upgraded and paid for Aqua Class room so as to be able to attend the special Blu restaurant. Huge disappointment! Blu was repeatedly bad on Infinity (three tries to get rack of lamb correct for one example), and to boot the main dining room also served less than the quality we came to expect. Instead of dining mostly in the main dining room and Blu, we ended up more often in the dinner buffet. The only good news was that the buffet food was really great on the Infinity, especially the Indian cuisine. BTW Celebrity Equinox food was great too (Solstice Class).
We formed a theory at that time: the newer larger ships (Solstice Class) had the 'A' teams in the kitchen. The smaller ones (Millennium Class) did not. The next cruise was on Solstice Class 'Equinox'. We were scared to pay extra for Aqua class because Blu was so bad on Infinity, so we only paid for the standard balcony room. Main dining room food ' AWESOME! So we felt that perhaps the theory might be valid. Blu was so bad on Infinity that I asked if we could try Blu one meal on Equinox, but no way would they let us without being in Aqua class ' so I told them we'll never upgrade again, and we have not. When we booked this cruise on the Summit, we opted for an Ocean View room only, foregoing the balcony, figuring we'd be wasting money on anything better. Summit is Millennium Class, so we lowered our main dining room expectations accordingly ' we only went on this ship because we had to be in the area for a family wedding that week and wanted to take a convenient cruise while on the east coast. We were pleasantly surprised to find Summit's main dining room food really tasty and delicious, on par with the Solstice class ships. Interestingly, the buffet food was a notch lower in taste and quality, and little of the Indian food we enjoyed on the Infinity was to be found, and the sushi at the buffet was not good at all. Three of us who tried the sushi totally disliked it.
So ' there goes the theory of ship class or size. It seems that each ship is a city unto itself and the folks who make the food do whatever they want, i.e. the chefs on board determine the outcome and quality. My new mantra regarding the main dining room food is simply 'keep your fingers crossed'. I still maintain Celebrity overall has had the best main dining room food (We have sailed on Holland, Norwegian, Carnival, and Royal Caribbean). We definitely loved the main dining room food on the Summit.
We will be cruising on the smaller Century in about 7 months, so this will further test the now semi-defunct theory ' if the food is as good as the Summit and Equinox, we will be truly delighted!
Cabin: Unlike Norwegian or Royal, Celebrity gives few perks to suite guests other than the larger room. Hence, we opt to purchase only regular rooms on Celebrity (we have had medium and even large suites on Royal, Norwegian and Celebrity. All but Celebrity provided many extra perks from reserved seating at the pool and shows, butler service, and free alcoholic beverages each evening). On this cruise (Summit) we opted for an ocean View room and skipped the balcony. Did not miss the balcony at all, since we picked a room up near the front of the ship in which the area that would have been dedicated to a balcony was instead added to the inside of the room. Hence, we enjoyed a larger room for the lower price than balcony would have provided! One downside: in front of the ship at the end of the hall is a Crew door that gets slammed all night long by crew entering their area and the bridge area (we were on deck 9). I posted up a note on the door which disappeared promptly, and also asked Guest Services to tell the crew to please be considerate at night, all to no avail. During the night we enjoyed that crew access door slamming shut randomly the entire week.
Port of Call was Bermuda, at which we parked for two and a half days. Bermuda was beautiful and nice, although the destination is not very important to us ' we enjoy the process, the food, the entertainment (very good on this cruise), and of course the beverages provided unlimited by the beverage package we purchased. I'm sure we did not drink enough to pay for the package, but it was really nice to just order whatever we wanted anytime of the day or night, including specialty coffees, fresh orange juice, and bottled water on the way on shore.