This was my first cruise with Celebrity, after having been recommended by friends. WOW!!! What an experience this was.
Embarkation: Port Everglades is crazy with traffic and is rather run down (at least at Pier 4). The staff were very nice and embarkation whent very smoothly. Boarding the ship was quick. Staterooms were ready at 1:00, following announcements every 15 minutes keeping us updated on that status.
My friends recommended sailing on Concierge and it was AWESOME. My stateroom was clean and my steward, Mohammed, was extremely nice and attentive.
The crew was very focused on safety, including several drills and diligence with hand sanitizer. The first day in port, Key West, there was a power failure. The computer system that rolls power from one failed engine to the other, also failed. This was a first for the ship. Later that morning, they tested another power failure to ensure the computer glitch was repaired. I am impressed that every crew member, especially the Captain, places safety as the priority!
Speaking of the Captain, he was fantastic! Captain Tassos was friendly, funny and very visible--it was a pleasure to meet him.
The 5:30 sushi was terrific on the buffett. The rest of the food on the buffett was good, not great. Then again, I stay away from buffetts in general. I prefer to be waited on and was delighted in the restaurants! Olena was stellar in the Bistro on Five. The extra $5 each time I ate there was WELL worth it! Olena also served me the most spectacular meal in the Tuscan Grill. That too, is a bargain for the extra $35. Anthony and his team in the main dining room was equally wonderful. Make sure you dine in the main dining room on the last night of your cruise---amazing!
The "White Magic" show was awesome! Bands and entertainment staff were all terrific.
I did the premium drink package and loved it. The Reidal class was also well-worth the investment. Athan, the wine master, was wonderful from the first moment we met. He honored my knowledge of wine and helped me experience new ones. He was very kind in providing Riedel crystal to me to experience my wines...take the class and learn the difference....yum!
Some of my fellow passengers and I were fascinated with the enforcement of the dress code. Example, on Formal Night, they allowed a passenger in shorts in the Main Dining room on the deck where Select Dining passengers were served. On Deck 4, Assigned Seating, they turned away two passengers in shorts. "Casual Elegant" was pretty nebulous to some of the passengers. Those of us who conformed to the dress code were amused by these folks.
The only disappointment was the spa. The Steiners all know their contracts are ending. Their customer service behavior showed it. My treatment was fine. However, on the last sea day, I went to the spa for an Acupuncture therapy seminar and was asked to leave because I was early. The spa staff had no idea the seminar was scheduled. They asked me to leave and return, rather than invite me to wait 10 minutes and ask if there was anything they could do to make my wait more comfortable.
All, in all, this was a GREAT cruise! I will DEFINITELY sail with Celebrity again!