An (ex) staunch Cunarder recommended Celebrity to us, so having sailed with RCCL & Princess, we gave it a try.
We flew to Barcelona from London arriving at the port around 1.15pm. By 2pm we were in our stateroom despite the check-in cameras having crashed and we had to have ID photos for SeaPass cards taken as we embarked the ship. A small delay, but made up for by the welcoming glass of bubbly and the friendly smiles.
We liked the ship - not as big as our previous ships but big enough to never feel rushed or crowded. It also had plenty of nice seating areas both inside and on deck. The atmosphere of the public areas ranges from low-lit and intimate to chic & sophisticated - nothing brash about this ship - it feels classy.
Our stateroom was on deck 11 - we took Concierge Class as it seemed to offer that bit extra in terms of amenities, preferential boarding and dinner bookings etc. I think that this was probably the only main disappointment in that not all the extras ( slippers, pillow menu, extra hairdryer, flowers, express luggage delivery) actually materialised and so I do question whether it was worth paying the premium. Having said that, it was a very comfortable cabin and always kept spotlessly clean and serviced regularly.
We had a problem with room service breakfast on a morning when we were due on an excursion - it didn't arrive which meant leaving for Florence on an empty stomach! I did report it on our return to the ship and I give Celebrity their due, within 30minutes, I had a call from the Head of Room Service to apologise - he promised it would never happen again ( and it didn't) and he sent us a bottle of wine and chocolate covered strawberries as an extra "sorry". We then received 2 letters from various Senior Officers and 2 more calls to check that everything was OK. That's good service recovery by any standards.
The buffet in the Ocean View restaurant we used for breakfast and the occasional salad lunch. It was never difficult to find a table (something that can't be said for RCCL & Princess in my experience), and the food was plentiful and good. Also plenty of drinks waiters around. We ate in 2 of the speciality restaurants - Murano is definitely the best - personalised service without being stuffy and fantastic food and ambience. Tuscan Grill was our other choice - lovely filet steak but we found the atmosphere less special and the menu choices not as varied. Top marks go to the Silhouette main dining room team. Food was consistently good - plenty of choice ( from lobster tail to New York strip steak with all the accompaniments) always served hot and we were never rushed. It's good to recognise special service and on this count Bresley, Nenad, Raphael and John are certainly a great advert for Celebrity!
We don't often use the theatre, but on this cruise we found ourselves enjoying a couple of shows - both guest appearances, one by an American comedian and the other by a British male singer - top marks!.
The ship itinerary was very good - some very lovely ports of call however, the port of Salerno needs to be reviewed by Celebrity as it is too small for a ship this size to get all tours off on time - we were delayed for over an hour just because they couldn't get the coaches to the ship.
In summary, staff - fantastic, food - extremely good, accommodation - comfortable and clean, overall ship appearance - spotless and well cared for, itinerary - great.
Would we sail Celebrity again? Most certainly !!!!