We drove to San Diego from out home in the Midwest. Arrival at the Embarcation was uneventful, but somewhere along the line Celebrity had a snafu with my preferred status so we just embarked with all the rest. I had planned to take all my luggage tot he room myself, since on prior cruises our luggage didn't arrive at the stateroom until late in the evening. I was assured that such would NOT be the case any longer.
Guess what........Luggage didn't arrive until well after 8 PM. So our first evening dinning I was still in my travel shorts and t-shirt. But there was no problem at the dining hall. The Asst. head waiter was very accommodating. Our dining room experience was superb. Our waiter and asst. waiter took excellent care of us, meeting our every need. Food was good to excellent in the dining room. I appreciated not being hounded at every meal with photographers. My only complaint would be the acoustics in the dining room were poor and the noise level quite loud.
After 5 days at sea we were ready to go ashore. Hilo was nice. We took the local but which offered all day passes to the prominent sites. At no port did we book any excursions through the ship. I found the prices to be very high, for value offered. Kona was our second port of call. The ship tendered there and tendering left a lot to be desired. The process of getting off and on the ship was nothing but a comedy of errors. Tenders broke down, and the crew tried to cram as many guests on each tender as they could.
Lahaina was again a tendering port. Once ashore we did some shopping and while my wife stayed ashore I decided to return to the ship to drop off the purchases we had made and then rejoin her ashore. It took 2 1/2 hours to make the 1400 yard round trip to the ship via their tenders! NOT GOOD.
Honolulu was also a great port of call. We rented a car planning to tour Pearl Harbor, the Arizona Memorial, USS Missouri and the submarine. Unfortuantely, after we got through with Pearl Harbor there wasn't enough time to visit any other sites. The ship wasn't in port long enough to really allow time to visit Oahu Island. Sad. Next time I will pay a lot closer attention to the length of time the ship is scheduled to remain in its ports.
The cruise back was uneventful. The entertainment aboard was great. Food at the buffet was diverse and very tasty. I enjoyed not having a lot of small children running around the ship.
I highly recommend Celebrity Cruises, especially to those who are seniors.