Overall it was a great trip, but there were some warts.
But first about me:
I am a 51-year-old guy. I have been on over 10 cruises. I am a good cook so I know good food. I am married. We travel with another couple that is also well traveled.
I expect good service and I am vocal when I do not get it.
Now about what we booked:
We booked an Aqua Class (A2) cabin, 9114. Aqua class has a few perks that go with it.
In the Cabin it includes and upgraded shower, Ice Tea delivered every day, bottled water (2 per day), H’orderves every day delivered to your room, Flowers in the room. I’m sure there was more but I can’t remember.
For the food you get, upgraded room service menu (includes fresh squeezed juices), BLU (more about this later)
Some other stuff you get:
access to the Persian Gardens (a group of rooms that have a steam room and warmed benches and other spa stuff), your own guest service number for Concierge class and higher guests.
Embarkation / Debarkation:
Getting on the boat in Fort Lauderdale was smooth. Being Aqua Class we had our own check line. The check in person was fast and very nice. Getting off the boat in San Diego was not. We chose the express check out and carried our bags off the ship. Very poorly organized and a mess. Not good instructions and we waited for an hour for the ship to clear after the time they told us we could leave. We got down to the deck we were told to exit on and it was so crowded that we barely got off the elevator. So many people standing around in a small area we clogged the elevator exit and people were getting hostile because they could not exit the elevator. All in all a bad situation.
Being Aqua Class you get a separate dinning room with its own kitchen. This was the best perk of Aqua Class. We never rushed. We did not have to make reservations of have assigned time. Just wander in anytime the BLU was open (Dinner and Breakfast) get seated and enjoy. The food was mostly outstanding. Service was perfect and friendly. My wife has food allergies and the staff was very accommodating.
We ate in the main dinning room on night and had a very poor dinner. After that we stayed eating at BLU.
The Buffet was good and some times very good. Good selection of stuff. Fine for lunch or breakfast. Nothing special.
We ate a both of the specially restaurants, Olympic and Qsine. Olympic was excellent both food and service but not worth the 45 each upcharge. Qsine was weird and not worth the money.
Room service was a disaster. Never got the order right and took from 30 to 60 min, one time 2 hours. I complained to the head of house keeping and we got better service but still not good.
The Cabin was clean small but functional. The cabin attendant was excellent. Bathroom was small but the glass doors on the shower were a nice touch.
Some good and some sucked. This is where Celebrity really fell short. They washed their hands of all issues on the shore excursions. Offered us 15% refund on a worthless tour that was really an excuse to sell the tourist (us) over priced stuff. I will spare you the details but I will not take another Celebrity shore excursion. We wrote corporate and still no response. I felt taken advantage of by the tour operator.
Boat in general:
Nice boat. Well maintained. Public areas were large enough to find a quiet corner. On this cruise 40% of the passengers were over 80 years old so most of the ship went to bed early. Staff was friendly and welcoming.
Panama Canal from Fort Lauderdale to San Diego. The Canal was amazing the rest was good. That being said I would recommend this itinerary.
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