This was our 19th Celebrity Cruise. I have elite status with Celebrity and booked CC cabin 9196 in January 2013. I booked an Amtrak train from Cleveland to San Diego for this cruise with transfers at Chicago and Los Angles. We picked up bags at the San Diego train station that is 3 blocks from the Pier and got a pedal cab to take us and our bags to the pier for $10.
Embarkation: My elite status, my CC cabin which is supposed to have Priority Check-in and Expresspass saved me no time as all were ignored and they put us all in a long check in line with a 45 minute wait with first timers. Also got no help on ship finding my cabin.
Cabins: The cabin 9196 (cat. CC) was attractively decorated and good sized for the price. The balcony offered privacy and had webbed chairs. The shower was large with a hose and wand arrangement that I like. Cabin service was efficient and unobtrusive. I also enjoyed the better bathrobes and canapés on every night. I got free laundry up to 20 items with elite status which I used. I had a cold bottle of wine waiting for us when we arrived.
Public Areas: The public areas are nice and never feel crowded. They had good shows on board and the comedians and dancers were great. The Open deck bars had a buy 6, pay for five Budweiser beer special which I used several timed to supplement the beer we had at the elite happy hour. There was no bottle opener in the room so I got one from the steward. There were plenty of activities to keep you busy all day including lectures and classes of all kinds. I went to the party for elite members and the complimentary wine tasting.
Dining: I requested 2nd seating dining when I booked and we sat alone at table 631 with a good waiter. We ate all our evening meals here. We ate breakfast and lunch in the main dining room most days. We did try the waffles with blue berries in the Islands Cafe for breakfast on several occasions. We had lunch in the Islands Cafe on several times when the main dining room was closed while the ship was in port. We had snacks or ice cream each evening during tea time. All the restaurants were nicely decorated and the food in all the Dining rooms was up to Celebrity standards. The food in the Islands Cafe was also good.
Tours: We booked the an evening Lu’au in Ohau and shopped in the morning at Hilo Hatties. In Kona we did a catamaran to a coral reef and to look for dolphins. In Maui we did an excursion to a pineapple plantation with a lunch. In Hilo we did a shore excursion to Kilauea, the nut factory and lava tube. We enjoyed them all.
Disembarkation: We departed from the Elite Departure lounge on deck 12 forward. Getting off the ship went smooth and we got our bags and were on our way by 9:30 AM. We got a pedal cab to take us from the pier to the train station with our bags for $10. Our train from San Diego to Los Angles was 3 hours late due to the engine breaking down. The dropped us at Fullerton instead of Los Angles and we made our train to Chicago where we transferred to another train to Cleveland arriving on time.
Overall, this cruise was a fine and I will sail Celebrity again in the future soon.