It has been a week since I returned from this cruise and the more I think about my experiences the more upset I have become. This was my first cruise ever. Three women shared our cabin and their ages were 56, 66 and 71. The other two women are avid cruisers and have travelled on several other cruise lines. One lady is a leg amputee so much care was taken to choose accommodations which would be comfortable for everyone. We chose a AC Concierge Room on the Sky Deck booked through Travel Associates out of Boston, Massachusetts. From everything we and the travel agent could discern from the information provided by Celebrity, this cabin could easily accommodate three people. Pictures showed a queen size bed which could be separated into two beds and a sofa bed. We were shocked the first time we opened the cabin door that there was no sofa bed as pictured. Instead there was a corner cushioned seat which we later we learned turned into the third bed. A wooden frame was placed on the floor and the cushions fit into this frame. A piece of foam rubber was placed on top of the cushions and this was the mattress. The completed bed was hardly 10" off the floor. This was where the 71 year old woman had to sleep for the week. No one should have had to struggle to get in and out of bed the way she did. Why was there no warning about this unusual bedding configuration? It might have worked for a child but not for an adult. Having chosen Concierge Class what we expected and what we got for the extra money was a joke. The pillow menu never appeared. There was fresh fruit on day one but after that the uneaten fruit was just turned to make it look fresh. The fresh flower arrangement consisted of a stem of alstroemeria which remained for the entire week, wilted and leaned to right before the cruise was over. Not pleasing in my sight. There was supposed to be an extra hair dryer but when we questioned the room steward he said all rooms had only one. No more!
For some reason the staff could not comprehend that there were three people in cabin 1026. Towels, bathrobes, glasses, and bath amenities were always setup up for two. There was just one beach towel. Even when ordering room service on the interactive TV for breakfast and specifically entering service for three, the silver and napkins always arrived for two. Breakfast arrived a half hour later than we had requested both days and we finally gave up as nothing was right and the hot items were too cold to enjoy.
Dining in the Grand Curvée dining room was an eye opener as to just how much the illusion of substance was being carried out. Even the smallest eater could not have been satisfied with the portions served. I think this was a ploy to force passengers to eat in the specialty dining rooms. Heaven forbid if a person didn't like green beans and carrots as these were served with most entrées every night. We finally asked if there wasn't some other choices for vegetables and were brought a bowl broccoli served family style for two nights. The Oceanview Café did have a good selection of food and the crusty breads and frozen chocolate yogurt were my favorites.
The land excursions were not at all what I expected. They were a chance to glean the tourist's pockets once again. In Cozumel the Living History-Mayan Traditions and Island Tour was nothing more than an area setup for tourists - not an actual Mayan town. My biggest concern was The Heartbeat of Jamaica-Discover Falmouth Tour. At one of the local churches a woman standing at the exit tried to force each person to make a donation before she would let you exit. My biggest concern was a visit to a nursery school. We were encouraged to interact with the children, pick them up and play with them. It seemed like going to a zoo and playing with the animals on display. The children were being exploited and who was to say that a child molester might not have been in the group. The teachers had no way of knowing . Why take the chance. Of course this whole experience ended with a pitch for funds to fix the ceiling in one of the classrooms.
As for the entertainment - I found it old-hat and boring.
This cruise was not a pleasing experience. It was overpriced for concierge class service we didn't experience. It appeared cost cutting measures were in place at every turn. The psychology was just to provide a little less so you would spend more for what you really wanted. Attention to detail was totally lacking! My new name for my experience was THE ILLUSION OF SUBSTANCE CRUISE!!!