Just returned from a cruise from Harwich, Normandy, Dublin, Liverpool, Belfast, Scotland, Oslo and Copenhagen.
We have cruised somewhat (7 trips to date) but are nowhere near as experienced as some. I do however travel extensively (100 nights per year) and therefore am aware of customer service.
My initial impression was this ship while it was refurbished a few years ago, it really is showing its age.
The colours of material used matches its launch some 13 years ago. Floors in the main buffet area felt at time soft and their was a definite odor in the bathroom that smelt like a cat had used it as a litter area.
In previous experiences - Celebrity differentiated itself on food. While I can't say the food was awful, I can say it certainly did not differentiate itself. We were told in our select seating that we would have one side of the menu that would stay the same and one side that would change. Well both sides changed - and there was no explanation.
PA announcement could be heard in our room at the start of the trip - but by the end we had to open our cabin door to here announcements. Again no explanation as to why something didn't work.
Language - another observation was staff did not understand English. I cannot count the number of times we asked questions and simply could not get an appropriate response. They were great at wishing us a nice day - but little else.
Tipping - I did not like the old system of envelopes and people showing up at the table looking for their envelope - Having said that the current system is not working either. Simply paying so much into a fund - does not promote good service and creates an onus on the customer to make changes - if they feel service was deficient.
Revenue sources _ $3.50 for a Coke and a 15% gratuity on top is ridiculous. We had several people complain the beverage package rules changed 4 times in 12 days.
Guaranteed Low Price - We booked our trip a year in advance and were guaranteed the best price. To ensure we got the best price we however need to monitor the site to ask for the difference.
If Celebrity focused on the customer - they should advise us - not the other way around. Customer service isn't about self help it is about customer service. The onus is on Celebrity and not a customer.
Mechanical - Power failure ship lost all power and explanation was not well communicated (see comment on PA system) I believe that a full written explanation should have been provided to each guest
Hand Sanitizer - Apparently there had been a Norwak virus episode on the trip before ours. We had people dispensing hand sanitizer everywhere we went. There was no explanation and in some cases when you re-entered the ship - there was very little thought to this. You had to get a shot of Purell and three steps later had to supply your cabin card and remove backpacks, hats, sunglasses etc for security.
Overall I enjoyed the ports of call especially Normandy, Liverpool, Dublin, Oslo and Copenhagen. My experience on the ship will cause me to look at other cruise ships with better service, better comu8nication and certainly more transparency, along with better business practices.
Irony - In several communication pieces - daily newsletters and announcements - Celebrity talked about code of conduct - for travelers - but not once refered to their responsibility to customer satisfaction.
The older I get - my measurement is what they do and not what they say. We are becoming less a customer and more a revenue stream. Perhaps if they looked at customer satisfaction - they would understand that it is about the long term customer relationship, that generates the long term revenue source..