This was the first time my wife and I took a Celebrity cruise and also our first time visiting this part of the world.
Embarkation: Everything seemed to go fine until we were sent to a desk off to the side and not told why. We were not given our room cards and no one seemed to be able to tell us why we were sent there. Finally after asking several people what was going on we found out that because we were Aqua Class they were holding our cards until they had an opportunity to up-sell us a dining package. Keep in mind we just flew from Toronto for 22 hours and after finally reaching our destination and checking in we are made to wait in the stifling heat, carry-on luggage in tow with no explanation...nice Celebrity. No other cruise line has ever withheld our room cards after check-in...five star service.
Our Room: The air conditioning was not working and after 3 days and several attempts they managed to get it to work...only on the highest cold setting, permanently. Oh yes my wife developed a nasty cold in spite of our attempts to keep the room at a manageable temperature by keeping the balcony door open at night...$4.00 for cold medication at the medical unit...thanks again Celebrity.
The railing on our balcony was damaged and the metal support was separated from the wooden portion. Our shower would not drain properly and water would pool around our ankles when showering.
The only bright spot about our room was the attendant who was excellent, he was professional and took care of all our needs promptly.
Oceanview: Disgusting. Stale food was reused from lunch for dinner. The food was almost always too cold or tired looking, wilted lettuce is a staple in Oceanview.
The buffet should be renamed the staff lounge. Never in all my cruises have I seen so many staff eating and talking loud in a buffet. Sometimes you would have to complete with them for the last piece of steak or fries in the tray.One night we even saw a staff take some cheese cubes out of the tray and put them in his hand, he then casually walked around popping cheese cubes in his mouth.
Staff were often nervous and would only look busy when a manager was on the floor. Tables were left untidy and sticky.
The amount of people snacking while waiting at the food stations had to be one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen on a cruise. One night while this was happening three staff were at the same stations and said nothing. Hand sanitizer is clearly not the solution here.
Restaurants: Mediocre at best, food was often cold, salty or a combination of both. The staff in the Blu were excellent Lui and Mae, thank-you for your excellent service.
Fellow cruisers: We met some wonderful couples from the UK who were warm and shared a wealth of experiences with us.
As one of the youngest people on the ship I have to say the behaviour of some of the guests was disgusting. I saw a couple screaming at the top of their lungs at another couple to get out of their seat in Lombok during an excursion. They said it is "the rule." I did not know that rules existed regarding seats when on an excursion. i regret not sitting in that seat myself, the couple being yelled at moved...guess what I would have done?
Some of the seniors treated the locals and the staff like they were beneath them. Again in Lombok a man from the UK took off his shoes and placed his bare feet on top of the seat in front of him during an excursion. We were instructed that in that part of the world showing the bottom of your feet is considered disrespectful to the locals. The people there do not have very much and to see someone show a total disregard for their culture was something I never thought I would see someone on a 5 star cruise line do.
The only reason why I would sail with Celebrity again will be because of the itinerary. It was a terrible experience on a tired ship that needs to be retired.
Thank-you Spaky, Good luck in Australia.