We booked a short Caribbean cruise with Celebrity hoping for a fun time and a winter break away from cold weather. The weather was better than the cruise. We didn't anticipate over-crowded conditions. The ship appeared to be over booked with 3 and 4 people in many cabins, and there were lots of children running around without parental supervision. The kids would sit in the hall ways, and some of them had wet bathing suits on, and then they would leave their wet towels in the hall ways as well.
For dinner, we chose the select dining option and made our reservations before the cruise. Even though we had reservations, the lines were long to get seated and many people become impatient. Sometimes dinner would take forever because the wait staff had too many tables to service. The dining staff was on overload at dinner, and what should have been a relaxing evening was stressful. At breakfast and lunch, the buffet area upstairs was worse -- overcrowded and very chaotic. There weren't enough clean tables available, and people were running into each other with plates of food in their hands. No trays were available, but they would have been useful to navigate the crowds.
Even the guest relations desk was over run with calls. For the first three days, we couldn't reach the front desk by phone, so we had to go down there and stand in line for a half hour to talk with someone. Another disappointment was the lack of books in the library. There are still many people who like to read on their cruise, and the library shelves were half empty. If you like quiet areas, I would avoid the pool deck because it was very crowded, and there was no chance of getting a deck chair unless you were there by early morning.
On a positive note, we enjoyed the entertainment at night in the various lounges. We could dance to the music, and the small bands were good. They also featured solo guitarists in some of the bars, and the music was very pleasant. The production shows were too loud, so we preferred the dance music over going to the main theater at night.
All in all, we felt the best run department on the ship was housekeeping -- our cabin stewards were wonderful and did everything to make our stay comfortable. We were in a concierge cabin, but it wasn't worth the extra money. The afternoon canapes were a joke. One day we were served raisins and nuts with a few very limp olives.
We would sail again on Celebrity, but would avoid the short cruises. By the time everyone gets settled down into their comfort zone, it was time to get off.