I have been sailing with Celebrity since they were Chandris, then Fantasy Cruises, now Celebrity Cruises. It seems like the original owner wanted to provide a sense of casual elegance. Even until I sailed on their Silhouette in the summer of 2012, that was how I could describe them. But, things seem to be changing. Lack of staff in certain parts of the vessel (dining venues) seems evident. Here are more specific comments I have to make regarding my latest experience.
The 'express luggage delivery' for traveling in 'Aqua Class' is a fantasy/myth. My luggage took from 3:00 pm to 8:30 PM to receive. No one had an answer as to why. Therefore, no dressing for dinner. The private mini bar was basically non-functional. Might as well just remove it as it did not 'cool' anything that was placed in it. This was noted by other passengers up and down the hall. This remained the case after a tech. was brought in to 'resolve' the issue.
The DJ needs to get hearing aids in that he can not seem to hear anything playing by the pool. He could not increase the volume enough. If I wanted a drunken bar room brall party atmosphere I would have traveled with another cruise line. You know who that is. Sad that the intimate martini bar was brought front and center to be a large gathering spot for drunks and company profits. Celebrity is losing its sense of sophistication. Also, the rules regarding specialty dining packages were not appropriately advertised online. Seems only employees know the rules about the 3 night specialty dining package (i.e.,1 night Qsine and 2 Normandie,) not the other way around. It also seems that there are nickel and dime charges hidden all over the ship (e.g., free ice cream upstairs, ice cream for a charge on deck 5). Also it is clear that the pizzeria and the grill are understaffed during lunch hours. Not a good plan. Staff are not communicating and seem distant / unhappy. May I recommend an internal anonymous survey of employees? Also, being an Elite member, I found the separate lounge for happy hour to be underwhelming because staff were not present, and when they were, served underwhelming cocktails. The cruise line might as well just skip the meeting room before dinner cocktails because they don't know what else to do with this top floor lounge between 5:00 and 7:00 pm. I have never had such a bad Cosmopolitan in my life. I couldn't wait to get to another bar (for a cost) just to wash the taste out of my mouth. Those who are Elite and above members know what cocktails should taste like. Waiving free drinks in front of us, although appreciated, were not satisfactory. Besides all of these concerns, I had a good time. This cruise line should just not try to be all things to all people.