I have traveled on four other cruise lines and first time Cruise Critic user. I was able to meet up with people who made arrangements transporation for us to get from Rome to the ship and boarding the ship could not have been easier. Within minutes we were on the ship and locating our rooms. This was by far the easiest embarkation I have experienced.
The ship grand /main lobby is a little different to say the least. Not sure I like the living tree hanging from the ceiling, but overlooking that the ship decor was very nice. The lounge for the Martini Bar was beautiful and the Wine Cellar's dark paneling and upholstry set the mood for a great glass of wine and tapas for happy hour. The Wine Cellar I enjoyed the most, being able to prepay to try over 50 wines was a treat. The ability to try one(1) ounce to a five(5) ounce glass was a great concept for those who did not want to be tied into a wine package. This worked out much better for one person. Attended two wine tasting/paring events.
I went as a solo traveler and enjoyed a standard balcony cabin at the back of the ship. I enjoyed fabulous sunsets and complete privacy.
I found the staff to be extremely accomindating, from my room stewards to the women keeping the public bathrooms spottless. The waite staff in the main dining and the open buffet are to be commended at the ease of how they handled the crowds. The food was excellent every night and since I had open seating and was traveling single I had the best time meeting new people every night.
I had my acryic nails done at the salon and enjoyed a pedicure all as the ocean rolled by. The staff there remembered how cold I was on the first appointment so they made sure I had a warm bathrobe to wear the next time. Very thoughtful gesture.
I bought my fair share of ship trinkets but was rather amazed at the freenzy over bracelets during one morning at sea. Not sure what everyone was so excited about but found it best to stay out of the way.
Regarding the ports, I am sure Istanbul would have been nicer in sunshine, as it was it was very cold. Several of us arranged private transportation at many of the ports so as not to be on a bus with 40 others. I did use the ship transportation for Pompeii and that was fine. The main reason I took the cruise is that it stopped in Kusadasi, Turkey so I could see Ephesus and Naples Italy to be able to go to Pompeii. I was not disappointed in either one. Absolutley amazing. Santorini was done on a private tour, just getting up the hill is time consuming because of the long lines. Mykonos is just like the photos. And Athens I did on my own, since I had been there before, taking the bus at the end of the terminal parking lot and then the train and metro. In hindsite I should have done the Hop on Hop off tour. People who did had a great time.
I attended most of the evening production shows and they were good, but not great. The accupella group was very good that sang in the main lobby was excellent as were the rest of the groups that entertained around the ship. My only complaint, and I was not the only one, was the Sunset Bar staff. They acted like they really could have cared less that they had a job to do. In compairison to everyone else on the ship, they should be let go and repaced with someone who really enjoys their job.
Overall, I will sail with Celebrity again. Other than noted above cannot find fault with the crew, the company or the port choices.