Linda and I are 74 and 67 with more than 25 cruises to our credit. We sailed on the Eclipse in April/May of 2012 for a 23 day B2B from Miami to Norway and Southamption (CS 1233), which is where we booked this cruise.
On July 31, 2013, we booked three shore excursions, one of which was Down Home Cape Breton at Rita MacNeil's. We paid $178 which was much more than any other excursion we booked. There was a very clear statement that we would be entertained by Rita MacNeil unless she had a prior commitment. The ticket delivered to our stateroom also contained a disclaimer that Rita MacNeil MIGHT not be available. Shortly after boarding the bus, the tour guide announced that Rita MacNeil passed away in April 2013. I expressed my disappointment to the Celebrity rep who called several days after we returned and she gave me the toll free number for RCCL/Celebrity guest relations. After two conversations, I was told Tough Cheese. So we paid $178 to ride on a bus with NO a/c, eat a very minimal lunch and be entertained by some elderly lady playing a piano.
The ship itself was in very good shape. No signs of wear and tear except on the balcony railings and the cold weather kept our use of the balcony to a minimum. The cabin was probably the largest of the Sky Suites. The cabin stewards were great as were most of the ship's personnel. We particularly liked the bartenders, especially "G" at the Martini Bar and Jo at the Pool Bar. We ate in the main dining room (8:30 fixed reserv.) ten of the fourteen nights. Service was very good and food for the most part was very good. We ate three times in The Normandie, two of which were free. Can't complain about free. Disembarkation was a breeze.
Putting aside the shore excursion, I do have a few negative comments. We had quite a few sea days and I heard numerous complaints about the lack of onboard activities. The men versus women trivia contest seemed to be the highlight of almost every day. I love to play bingo and for many cruises I have paid $20 for three cards in a strip to play four games. I guess Celebrity decided that they needed to generate more revenue so they raised the price to $39.95 for a three card strip to play three games. They also had separate sessions for a substantial cash price for 50 numbers or less ($20 for a three card strip). This is like throwing money away. I might add that the Activities Manager was about the get off the ship and it showed.
The noro virus was a pain but the precautions apparently worked. Having said that, at the beginning of the second week, I began to develop a head cold, and by the time I got off the ship, it was nasty. Two weeks later, it is finally going away. It appears from CC Board for this cruise that many of the passengers caught a head cold, and even a few from the cruise before. Not blaming this on Celebrity.
We booked an Alaskan cruise on the Solstice for my 75 birthday next May but have since cancelled. Not sure we will ever return to Celebrity. I might add that our travel agent went to the Celebrity website ten days before our departure to arrange a gift for us. Three days after our departure, he was told that the website was having problems so we received nothing.