Just returned from a 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise during the week of Christmas. We have cruised with Celebrity before and because we are Elite members, enjoy some of the perks - like free laundry, dry-cleaning and internet. We also prepaid our drink packages and tips before we left.
We stayed the night prior to the cruise at the Embassy Suites in Fort Lauderdale, arriving at the boat by noon - just in time to breeze through security and then onto the lunch buffet. Into our room by 1:30, with luggage arriving before sail away. Safety drill was well organized with everyone very attentive.
We had planned this cruise to be away for Christmas - both DH and I were in need of a break and some true rest and relaxation - which is what we got. We didn't do that much on board - no late night activities or partying - just reading, relaxing on deck, a bit of gambling, and the occasional coffee at the cafe. We did find the regular coffee to be terrible this cruise so were grateful for the Cafe Americano at the cafe.
DH and I ate in MDR each night but one. Food was excellent, although service was a bit slow at times. Our waiter had many others to serve and seemed to be constantly in motion. One night we ate in Tuscan Grille - food was fantastic and service was wonderful. Not sure though if the extra charges for speciality restaurants are really worth it though.
First two days at sea were a bit rough and with an aft cabin, seemed worse. Things improved once we reached San Juan, Puerto Rico - first port of call, where it rained off and on. We didn't leave ship so enjoyed some quiet time.
The next day we were in St. Maarten, but as it was Christmas day, most stores on the island were closed but the ones at the pier were open. We ventured off the ship and walked around for a while.
The last port of call was Basseterre, on St. Kitts. Went on a excursion - a historic narrow gauge railway that was interesting - a very different view of the island. Made it back to the ship just prior to sail away.
With over 600 children on board, staff did an excellent job of keeping them busy. We occasionally saw them (doing scavenger hunts or going off to another activity).
Enjoyed the evening shows most nights in the theatre. The usual musical/Broadway show, a magician another night, a cirque like show another, American Idol finalists another. All shows were well attended.
The ship was decorated for the holidays with Christmas trees and a display of gingerbread houses in the main atrium. Traditional Christmas dinner was served on Christmas day as well. They had a midnight mass for those who wanted to attend.
Disembarkation was smooth as well - off the ship and through customs and at the airport in under an hour.
All in all a restful week and a real break.