Well this was our first experience of a Celebrity cruise. We have cruised many times with Princess, RCL, Holland America, P&O (just once) and Scenic Tours. Up until now, our worst cruise was with P&O on the Oriana, but this comes a very close second.
It was advertised a an Immersive Wine Cruise. That was of little interest to us, but we needed an accessible cabin with a twin next to it and this was the only option at the time of booking. I was assured that Celebrity was 5 star and we would have a great time.
I would firstly like to say what was good about the cruise:
Embarkation was speedy and efficient and we were in the buffet with a cup of tea in hand within 45 minutes of arriving at Harwich.
We found all of the staff amazing. Without exception, they looked after both my disabled son and daughter and myself and partner. The staff in the buffet couldn't do enough for us and always had time to speak to my son and daughter and ask about their day.
The cabins were adequate. We had two inside cabins on deck 3 and the beds were very comfortable, although the cabins were 'tired' and our valance was ripped and stained. I have to say that a plastic shower curtain sticking to your legs did not seem 5 star to me. Our two cabin stewards did their job, just, but we have had much better. On two occasions, the sheet on our bed was not even straightened and we had to pull the bottom of it down and tuck in ourselves before getting into bed.
Guest relations were extremely helpful and we have no complaints at all with their friendliness or service.
Now onto things that were not good;
Firstly, I have never been on a ship where there were so many extremely rude and arrogant guests. There are always a certain number of people with no manners, but I would say 80% were positively Neanderthal! I cannot believe that people could stand at the buffet demanding omelettes, pastas, stir fry's etc without so much as a please or thank you! Shame on you.
Unfortunately, I would rate the food in general as poor. We did eat mainly in the buffet as the restaurant did not have suitable choices for my son. The emphasis seems to be an Asian cuisine with and without the grill station, we would have been lost. The grill station was also the only way of getting hot food. The temperature of the food on the general buffet almost cold.
The cleanliness of the ship also left a lot to be desired. I ran my finger along some of the chrome work in the buffet area and had to go and wash my hands. There was far less evidence of ongoing cleaning than on any other ship we had travelled on.
Entertainment was generally good in the theatre, with the exception of the magician, who we watched pulling things out of his coat. The entertainment around the ship was not so good with the female resident singer being positively out of tune on every song....... not good for the ears and to be avoided at all costs.
The shops sold very little that well travelled folks would want, mainly what we refer to in the UK as junk.
To top it all, one of our cases was ripped on disembarkation. As we had to wait for our cases to be found, we didn't check them over. My new Antler case now has a two inch rip in the underside and apparently we cannot claim from Celebrity because we did not notice until we arrived home.
I have to say that I am now worried as we booked with Celebrity for next year at the same time that we booked this cruise. We are doing 3 b to b's on the Eclipse, a total of 37 days. I hope that someone will tell me that the standard is going to be an awful lot better than the Infinity.