This was our worst cruise. It was promoted as a 5 Star Wine and Gastro Cruise but no one knew anything about wine and even less about food. The meals on the dining rooms and the buffet were awful. Menus read ok but the food was bland, boring, overcooked (especially the fish), with limited choice, same items everyday with no changes whatsoever on the buffet. To dine in the speciality restaurants was no better, you had to pay an additional 45 dollars for basically the same food and you did not even gat a printed menu you had to choose off an I-pad ! All the food is flown in from Miami frozen, pre-packed, portion controlled, nothing fresh, everything overcooked. They are worried about traceability and being sued.
We had the Classic Drinks package included - it is $50 per day per person to purchase on the ship - but my wife does not drink alcohol only sparkling mineral water which they insisted on charging for. You can drink as much wine, speciality coffees, spirits etc. but not water. After having a go at the Bars Manager we did get the water included.
The ship was about one third full of Americans but it appeared that Celebrity had not sold the cruise very well in USA and they were doing the same cruise 4 times, one after another. Because of poor sales the cruises have been heavily discounted for UK residents. The Americans were not happy with the food and also the ports. They sailed from "London Harwich", and did not realise that Paris was over two hours from Le Havre, Bordeaux was about the same for La Rochelle, Leixoes was not Porto, and it was 30 minutes into Bilbao.
You had to pay extra for many things like fruit juices, some ice creams, items on the healthy options. Photographs were a shocking $29.95. The shops were hardly selling anything with uk residents having to pay UK Vat of 20% irrespective of where in Europe the ship was. Why ? How do Celebrity pay HMRC ?
On return to Harwich if you had travelled by your own car your cases were taken to the car park and you had to get on the shuttle bus to the car park. If it is raining your cases and you would get very wet. What was shocking and alarming was that there was no customs procedures or any passport control. Crew members could have walked off the ship and simply disappeared in the UK.
On the positive side the cabin was ok - we had a wheelchair adapted one (6005) which was very spacious but some distance from the lifts. The entertainment was reasonable but the entertainment team were not and it was good to have longer in the ports - overnight in Le Havre, La Rochelle, and Bilbao unlike a trend with other cruise lines to reduce visits to only a few hours. The excursions were all very expensive as were the shuttles.
We did enjoy the places visited and that's why we chose this cruise because of where it was going and we did get value for money with late booking and offers. However it will be long time before we consider Celebrity again - 5 Star it is not.