Embarkation: This is my first Celebrity Cruise, I have been on Carnival, Royal Caribbean, NCL and Princess in the past. With the Celebrity online check-in our embarkation was a breeze, I think we were through in less then 5 minutes. Celebrity was very concerned about germs and there were stations with hand sanitizer at many points on the ship including the embarkation area and restaurants. We were greeted with a glass of champagne as we entered the boat which was a nice touch. We headed to our cabin and found it to be very clean but with a strong smell of bleach. The cabin furniture and carpet was in good condition and the cabin was a comfortable size with plenty of storage space. After settling in a bit we started our tour of the ship and made a stop at Ocean Liners to book two dinner nights. We got a feel for the layout of the rest of the ship and then we had a cocktail by the pool and then made our way to the buffet area for a snack.
Food: The food in the main dining room was good overall but not exceptional and I would agree with other reviews I have read here that it was inconsistent. I would say some items were fair and others good but I could not say anything in the main dining room was excellent with the exception of the escargot and some desserts which were very tasty. I didn't find the food any better then Royal Caribbean or Princess. The buffet had a few good points including the waffle and omelet stations for breakfast and the pizza and sandwich stations for lunch. The hamburgers and fries outside by the pool were very good and the ice cream bar was also very good. The main items in the buffet for breakfast and lunch were just fair and pretty unremarkable. Eggs were runny everyday. The food and service at Ocean Liners was worth every penny and I strongly recommend reserving at a least one night if not more. The "sorbet parade" around the pool was always fun and the sorbet was tasty. The entire wait staff was very friendly in all venues and our waiter in the San Marcos was top notch.
Entertainment: The "party band" Nfusion that played at the pool everyday was terrible. If the didn't sing it would have been OK but as soon as they started singing it was like nails on a chalk board, I have heard MUCH better Karaoke! Cirque de Soliel was very good but they will no longer be booked with Celebrity so we caught the last show. Other entertainment in the showroom was fair, we saw Fantasea, Matilda and The Newly Wed Show. The Newly Wed show was fun but cruise director didn't have much of a sense of humor, if he did I think it would have made all the shows a bit more fun. The celebration for New Years was done on the pool deck and was a very good time with one free glass of champagne per person at midnight. The musician in Michaels is a lot of fun and I do recommend you go for a listen.
Spa and Fitness Area: I worked out several days in the Fitness area and it was never crowed and overall very nice. I got a massage in the Spa and they gave me 35 minutes although it was advertised as 50 minutes. I didn't complain but I didn't book other services after that.
Disembarkation: We sat for about a 1/2 hour after our scheduled time to meet in the Rendezvous Lounge before the allowed us to disembark but it was fairly smooth once we were allowed to go. We had cleared customs on our final island in St. Thomas so we didn't need to clear customs in Fort Lauderdale. We had signed up for the "Valet" service which delivers our luggage to the airline directly from the cruise ship however our luggage never made it to the airline (we found this out later). They found our luggage two days after we arrived home and we have been told it is coming to us via UPS however they are shipping it Ground Service which takes a week to get to California. I thought they should ship Overnight or Second Day Air since this was their fault. Also since we took Insurance from Celebrity's provider which pays "up to $500 when luggage is delayed more then 24 hours and up to $1500 if it is lost or stolen" I contacted them as soon as we discovered our luggage was missing but so far we have waited 4 days for a claim form to be emailed from the insurance company and still not received anything. I have made several phone calls but I just seem to get promises that don't come through.
Other notes: The islands we visited were all fun. We did scuba (which we prearranged on our own) in St. Lucia, Barbados and St. Thomas and did island tours on St. Maarten and St. Kitts. St. Lucia has some beautiful scuba diving as does Barbados. If you want to do some sun worship on the ship and can't find a lounge chair near the pool I suggest going to sunny side of Deck 4 and getting a lounge chair there. I should note the chairs don't recline on that deck but you can get sun and it is very peaceful. The shower water temperatures in the cabin had some fluctuation and would bounce between cool and hot at times. The deck behind the Seaside Cafe/Buffet is the best kept secret for a nice bar, view and service.