This was our 5th Celebrity cruise and our 3rd Celebrity cruise in 2013. There were some positives to mention. The majority of the staff were smiling and helpful. Our waiters and our cabin attendant were wonderful. The cabin and the public areas were kept very clean. Some of the entertainment was very good.
I have to mention that I have had a hearing impairment for the past 5 years. I can hear but it is hard for to understand speech in a noisy environment. I wrote to customer service before my last few cruises and before this one to see if they had any suggestions help me enjoy more of the activities on board. I also mentioned the lack of closed captioning on the tv and was told that it's just not happening. I was told to contact the Access department when I got on board to see if they could help me. I tried that the last two cruises with no help and, again, there was no help on this one. So I was not able to understand talks that were broadcast after the fact such as shore excursions or even a safety drill and I was not able to participate or enjoy much of what was happening on the ship.
What we did find is that the quality of food and entertainment, which we did enjoy previously, has really suffered. The food in the main dining room, first seating, was excellent the first few days. After that the food was either OK or tasteless. Every night I ordered a caesar salad. Half the time it was very good and served on a salad plate. The other times it was served in a bowl and was soggy and tasteless. Fish was dry and overcooked. Our last night, everyone at our table for 10 was looking forward to bananas foster that was on the dessert menu. Unfortunately our waiter came back to inform us that they were out of bananas. Not a good ending.
We ate at each specialty restaurant and the food was good. However, at Murano, we had to track down our server a few times just to get more water.
The buffet had some pretty good dishes and we never had a problem finding a table. The Aqua Spa Cafe, however, always had the same things for lunch. They also wanted to charge $5 for some yogurt and granola. Luckily the soft serve from the machine was till free.
The brunch event was a disaster. We had been to every brunch on our other Celebrity cruises and looked forward to this one. We arrived to eat at 12:15 and were told they were full but we could go to deck 4 as long as we didn't mind carrying plates up the stairs. I left. My husband just walked in to look around and said the room was so full he could not move without bumping into someone. Somehow the brunch on Equinox, the sister ship to Eclipse, never had this problem.
The entertainment was hit or miss. The first night's show lacked energy. There were three shows that my husband attended where he said most people walked out. Why would you have a 7th place America's Idol singer as an act in the ballroom? People walked out of the act starring one of the Finkel brothers. The Christmas Eve show starred both of them. People either didn't attend or didn't stay too long.
There were a good number of kids on board, not overwhelming, and the majority were very well behaved, Of course, there were the few that were jumping and screaming in the pool and their parents were oblivious to the noise. The whirlpools though were usually occupied by one adult and 4 kids.
This was a 14 night cruise and the time did go by quickly. We were able to dock at all the ports so we could really come and go as we pleased. We did enjoy ourselves but not like our other cruises. This one was just OK.