Cruised out on Feb 27th for my 4 day birthday cruise to the Bahamas and Key West. There was very little direction as we embarked the ship. The only real greeting was from crew members hawking drink packages, spa services, art auctions where the art isn't really art and the kind of contests/drawings where everyone is a winner. Anyone who asked was directed to the buffet upstairs to wait until the cabins were ready. I was immediately disappointed with the slim offerings on the buffet. I don't believe any restaurants were open other than the buffet for lunch. I did find a burger and fries later out in the pool area.
Later we checked out our cabin to find there was no couch in the room. We did have overhead bunks and a door connecting our cabin to a neighboring cabin which we did not need or want. I suspect that the connecting cabins have no couch because the door is where the couch would be. There was a upholstered straightback chair that matched the one located at the desk/vanity. That was it. If you wanted to watch a movie or relax you had to sit in that upright chair or on the bed. I called down to guest services to complain that there was no couch as pictured online and was told that the outside cabins do not have couches. I later found out from several people I spoke to, that the outside cabins DO have a couch. I went down to guest services next and was told the Housekeeping Supervisor would come around to see us but no one did over the next 4 days. Seems like Celebrity just didn't care. I know that this probably doesn't seem like a big deal to many people but I would have been much more comfortable with a nice area to sit in the cabin. The set up with one lone chair in the corner across from the TV could have come out of Jail Cell Quarterly. I booked this cruise over 6 months in advance and I should have received what was pictured on the Celebrity website.
We received a Classic Drink Package with our booking and were happy with it for the most part. We would not have purchased this otherwise as you'd have to drink somewhere between 7-10 drinks a day just to have it pay for itself. We found the drink service to be very poor on ship. Someone would eventually come around but usually I would just go up to get the drinks myself rather than wait 20-30 minutes for someone to ask. With the pushing of the drink packages, I didn't feel there was much of a effort made to provide quality drink service. We did receive a few drinks (Rum Runners) that I'm pretty sure contained no alcohol at all. The package included beer up to $6, Wine and mixed drinks up to $8 but when we ordered a Martini that was "on special" for $5.50 we were charged $5.50 plus a tip as it was not included in the package that cost $49 plus gratuity per person/per day! That was a bit annoying! Oh...and by the way..."where is my couch?" I wanted to ask the bartender who was nickel and diming us.
Our restroom had several long black hairs in the shower that did not belong to me or my girlfriend which I discretely cleaned up before she found them otherwise the cabin and ship were very clean and in good repair. The public areas and hallways were always kept nearly spotless.
Dinner in the main diningroom was generally acceptable. The food was decent and served hot or at least warm which is important to me. Nothing fancy as far as the food or presentation. The service was prompt and polite. They mean business on formal night. You need long sleeves or a jacket to enter. We also had a very nice lunch at the $5 fee Bistro on Five. This was a nice quiet location to get sandwiches and such in a relaxing environment. Lunch for two with tip $15 and very worth it to get away from everyone for a while.
The ship did not feel crowded most of the time. Mostly at the buffet in the morning and during sea day when the weather was perfect. We had a beautiful sunny day for my birthday on March 1st which was a Sea Day. It was too bad that all the deck and pool chairs were being hogged up by people who claimed them all day long with their towels and possessions. We finally found a couple of chairs on deck way back away from the pools and action, next to the doors that slammed shut every few seconds because most of our fellow guest were too stupid and/or rude to shut the doors correctly. This made it very hard to read or relax in that area where people would come out...let the door slam shut...then realize there was nothing out there on deck other than a couple of people trying to read....and then reenter the ship AGAIN letting the door slam shut as if they didn't hear it the first time they did it. IDIOTS! Anyway, I did eventually finish my book and we had a nice dinner and went to a show and had a nice evening in the end.
We stayed onboard the next day in Key West so we could enjoy the ship some while everyone else was off. We were finally able to enjoy the pools and hot tub and the solarium without feeling overcrowded by the masses. I think some of the crowding could be eliminated if Celebrity would leave the pools/hot tubs open longer. The hours were like 11AM to 8PM which is 9 hours. But what about the other 15 hours a day? Why should the amenities that I paid good money for be closed almost two thirds of the time that we are onboard? Oh...and where the hell is my couch?? I'd like to relax on it after having a midnight dip in the pool. Oh...yeah. Can't do either of those things. I can sit in the corner as if I'm in timeout though. I might as well face the extra door in the wall too while I'm at it. No problem there.
Lets see. What else. We went to one production show and saw a magician and that was good. We relaxed in several lounges and listened to several live music venues and they were all very good. The service onboard was always very pleasant and the crew was exceedingly friendly. It did seem they could have used more training in several areas but overall were helpful.
Just a couple more things. I called customer Service as we drove down to Port Everglades to ask what terminal the ship was docked at. This they did not know. Customer Service did not know where their ship was located. Fortunately there were signs at the port directing us to terminal #4 from 595.
I've been on almost 40 cruises and this was my first on Celebrity. I was under the impression that this would be a step up from Royal Caribbean. It wasn't. Might have been a slight step down. I don't ever expect a cruise to be perfect and I did enjoy myself as I do on every cruise I take. If it soulds like I'm over critical, it's because I'm trying to provide information that can be helpful to you in your cruise selection. Period. I would not likely cruise with Celebrity again unless I received some kind of insainly cheap offer from them. I don't appreciate being lied to about the outside cabins not having couches and being told someone will come around to correct something only to have no one show up. I suspect the ship had cabins still available and had a effort been made to correct the situation early in the cruise we could have possibly been moved to a more suitable cabin like the one pictured in the Celebrity website. The one I was sold. Had an effort been made and there was not a cabin available to switch to, I would have just let the matter go and chalk it up to a learning lesson to verify absolutely EVERYTHING before booking! Which is now what I'll do.
Last thing. If you are booking early thinking you'll get a good cabin or a good price....Well, I'm living proof that you won't. You might as well wait until the week before the cruise to book. I was receiving multiple offers to book this cruise at HALF the price I paid. YES. HALF. I sure hope the people that paid half of what I did DID NOT get a couch...though I truely suspect they did. Happy Cruising!!