We had the unfortunate experience of being on the August 16th sailing that ended up stranded in Ketchikan, Alaska. It was definitely not the trip we planned, but it wasn't all bad either.
We arrived at Canada Place for embarkation around 11 am. The line for Customs was pretty ridiculous and slow. Once through that, the rest of the embarkation process was pretty quick and easy. Onboard, we immediately went to lunch at the buffet and waited for the rooms to be ready.
We had Family Oceanview stateroom 7199. Wow! We were a party of four (a forty-something couple, retired mom, and 10 yr old). It was a good room setup with the closing divider and two tvs. The balcony on this room is going to be impossible to outdo, except perhaps on the Royal Suite which is directly below. During our only two days of actual sailing, we really enjoyed being out on the balcony. There was a table with 4 chairs and two loungers on the balcony. Plenty of room for lots of guests. Beyond those first two days, it was a little depressing to see ship after ship come into and leave port. The only plus was having a direct view of the aft of several other ships and knowing we still had the best room. :) Hey, I was stuck in the salmon capital for four days; just doing my best to make salmonade out of salmons!
For our dining room meals, we were paired with another group of four. They were two recently retired couples and were very pleasant to dine with. We'd had a reservation later in our sailing for the Olympic, but did not get to use it.
We enjoyed many areas of the ship. The solarium pool was awesome! Loved the heat and built in loungers. Most days it was crowded, but you could usually worm your way onto the loungers within a few minutes. There were also many loungers that faced towards the outside of the ship. Many came with pillows and blankets and they were very comfortable.
The shows were good. The comedian was pretty funny - it was fairly easy to make light of our situation, at least until the day they put us all off the boat.
My daughter loved the kids area - they did a lot of scavenger hunts and she really enjoyed that. Family Bingo was a blast! I had paid for the VIP package, thinking she would enjoy staying after hours (as she normally does), but as there were fewer kids on this itinerary, she rarely stayed past 10.
While we did not get the trip we had planned for well over a year, it wasn't all bad. The general staff did a fabulous job of trying to keep it business as usual. Unfortunately I think that Celebrity officers on board handled much of the situation poorly, particularly on the last two days. There was no single voice of Celebrity and it seemed the officers and corporate reps that were brought in were at odds much of the time. In spite of that, I AM thankful that they made the decision to bring us back into Ketchikan when they discovered the issue. It definitely could have been worse and we were glad to be in port and have freedom to come and go most days. I hope that they took away some lessons learned from this situation. I know I did.
Our first 2 and a half days were amazing and I feel like the best was still to come. For this reason, we will be attempting this trip again.