We chose this cruise because we can drive to San Diego, eliminating the hassle of air travel, also the itinerary gives plenty of sea days. My husband is somewhat mobility challenged, so we don't need the port-intensive, go-go cruises any more. This was our first cruise with Celebrity, and we had heard good things about their organization. We also dislike the newer, glitzy huge ships that take forever to get from one place to another. The embarkation was very smooth, and quick. We had stopped for lunch on the way, so made our way up to the pool deck for some liquid refreshment while we waited until the staterooms were ready. We were in cabin 1063, "Sky Suite", only one deck down, so it was easy to get there. The "suite" was not what we have experienced on other ships, just basically a little larger than a standard veranda cabin. The veranda, however was very large, and made for great room service breakfasts and reading in the lounge chairs. A couple of problems with the cabin, though, the door to the bathroom hit the toilet, not allowing it to fully open. I measured the opening, and it was only 16"; it was pretty annoying, especially at night, The toilet appeared to have been installed since the original construction and was too long for the space. I heard our cabin neighbor complaining to someone during a phone call on her veranda, so I know that there were more than our bathroom that had this issue. I made our displeasure know at the courtesy desk, but of course there wasn't anything they could do. I understand that this ship is going in for an updo in February, perhaps then. The other thing was that the sofa was right under the TV on the wall - hard to watch it from that position, and we are not fans of sitting of the bed to watch. There was a mirror on the wall across from the TV, so I was able to sit on the sofa & watch it in the mirror. The perks that came with the "suite" were nice, and we did enjoy our butler,(Savio) who pampered us every morning setting up our room service breakfast, and brought tea, coffee, and snacks in the afternoon.
The staff on this ship was extremely friendly, and any one of them would try to do whatever we asked. The captaiin and ship officers were very visible; I think we saw the captain almost every day in different areas.
We opted for fixed dining so we would have a consistent waiter and assistant. The first table assignment was for a table of 10, and we had requested a table for 2 when we booked. We are not unfriendly, but have a hard time hearing conversation with all the background noise in the DR. The assistant maitre'd was able to fill our request if we would change to the later seating. This was fine, and we had a great table with excellent servers. Food choices were great, we could have escargot every night! If we had the least problem with any of the dishes, the waiter would immediately get something else for us. The meals were imaginative, very nicely presented, and the temperature of them was hot or cold as appropriate.
We didn't do much of the activities, we enjoyed reading on our veranda as the weather warmed up, and people-watching by the pool area. We also tried to watch NFL football in the Rendez-vous lounge, but the TV screens were smaller than the one we have at home, also had competition from Art Auctions, Cooking Demos, bands, trivia, etc, etc. Sure would be nice if they had a designated sports area with big-screen TVs; there were at least 50+ passengers who were trying to watch the games along with us. Maybe they could consider redoing the Martini Bar - there were usually 6 or fewer people there any time we passed thru, and the music in there was loud & horrible. We appreciated the smoking rules - it was great not to have smoke on our veranda, or choke while passing thru the casino.
The entertainment was pretty average compared to other cruise ships we've been on - the production shows were entertaining and the dancers did a good job considering the ship motion.
We had to pass through a cold front when we were returning to San Diego and the captain deviated from the usual course to make us more comfortable, but with 20+ ft. waves, & 40mph winds it was pretty hard not to have some motion. We've had worse.
Disembsarking was quick & smooth. Off by 10AM, our parking company van was there in the lot, & we were on the road by 11AM. We would definitely consider sailing on Celebrity in the future.