Overall, this was one of the best cruises I have taken because it was sheer relaxation! We had no need to get up early every morning and tour with the hoardes on mass transit. over the years, we have visited most every island several times and have stayed on St. Maarten for 2 weeks previous to this sailing so we do not feel compelled to do anything! And that, coupled with the beautiful ship experience with great stateroom attendants and specialty dining made us feel like we were in heaven! We loved enjoying our time together reading and relaxing. My husband could go to the casino when he wanted and I could go shopping in the stores on board. Celebrity's cleanliness and the service on board seemed exceptional out fo the 5 previous Celebrity cruises we have been on in the past.
Now the bad part- what has happened to the main dining room????? Now in order to have an excellent meal onboard the ship, we have to book specialty dining. I did not like the meal choices in the main dining room beginning with the worst veal chop I have ever had in my life. We had booked a 5 dining package pre-cruise in anticipation of the downward spiral on board celebrity in the dining experience. I was EXTREMELY disappointed in room service which arrived with cold toast every am. The onboard cheeses are no more- forget having Brie in the afternoon. The only Brie I had was in the cheese course at Murano. One thing Celebrity could do is allow us to order it on the room service menu for late afternoon wine and cheese on our balcony. I am not sure where Celebrity is going with this beverage package that has undrinkable wine even in the "premium" package. These packages are quite expensive and then you have to order wine by the bottle with dinner to have something that is beyond grocery store $20/bottle. Corkage at $25 per bottle is among the highest on the sea but still a bargain when you look at the prices on the wine list. I expect to pay double what a good wine store charges me but 3-3.5X the price, I feel like I am being robbed. Celebrity really needs to decide what sort of passenger they are catering to. I don't need to sit and drink premium liquor all day long (nor do i want to), but the premium package only pays off for those sorts of drinkers, not those of us who would like to pair a great wine with each course. For now, I will skip the cocktails and pay for corkage.
Specialty dining was really great. Tuscan has perfect filet mignons every time I have ordered one there. Murano's cheeses are delightful and Silk was a pleasant surprise because I had read so many bad reviews. I loved the sushi. The 5 dinner packages are great with 30% savings if paid for ahead of your cruise. We also got 20% off the first night in Murano after we boarded the ship. If Celebirty is going the way of all specialty dining- just increase the prices for the cruises and feed us better meals in the main dining room and give us back our artisan cheeses somewhere on board. In 1992, when my husband and I took our first cruise, it was Celebrity. The food was over the top wonderful. I ate so much I couldn't fit into my short evening gown on the final night. I would love to see Celebirty return to its heritage of wonderful food. the impeccable service was absolutely like what we had in 1992. Please, CELEBRITY, return to your culinary roots as well!