This was my 13th cruise and the first time I have given a 5+ rating. I thought this was the best cruise we have ever been on.
Embarkation: Miami. Quite crowded especially for Concierge class. We finally found the check-in for suites and it went pretty quickly.
Ship: Gorgeous. Just a pleasure to be on. If you are booked you are in for a treat!
Sky suite: We had an aft sky suite and it was fantastic. Wonderful large cabin with huge balcony and porthole. On this voyage we did get the afternoon sun in our port cabin. Wonderful sunsets! Suite has a sofa and flat screen TV and we very much enjoyed it. We would book it again. We had a wonderful butler, Hilario, who made our trip so enjoyable. We enjoyed taking to him and he was always so pleasant and helpful. Our cabin was always kept so clean and fresh looking. I thought the whole ship was spotless. We enjoyed having afternoon tea and appetizers in our cabin.
Dining: We had the 6pm dining time. I thought the food on the whole was pretty good. Our service was a little slow due to some large tables near us. I think the waiters were probably overwhelmed. We thought the main dining room service was much better on Princess. We went to the Tuscan Grille once and also Murano's as this was included in our suite. The food and service here is excellent though I didn't particularly care for the menu in Murano's (I am a picky eater!). I probably would not pay the extra fee here if it had not been included. I think for us the main difference was better service and quieter environment in the specialty restaurants. I think Celebrity has very good beef dishes in the main dining room. We ate quite a bit in the Oceanview Cafe. Excellent omelets & stir fry. Tried the Bistro once and personally did not care for it. We have did have a small dog dining at a table near us on the first night in the main dining room. We did not see it after that. However, there were about 3 small dogs on the ship which did not seem like service dogs but rather companion dogs. We heard several complaints about this.
Entertainment: We very much enjoyed our cruise director, Alexander and the entertainment provided. As we had so many sea days, there were also some matinees provided. We thought the shows were very high caliber. There were also talks on the ports and beginning Italian lessons. There was a much better variety of activities on this crossing than the one we took on Princess.
Ports: This is why we took this cruise. Great itinerary. Tenerife, Malaga, Cartagena, Barcelona (overnight), Villefranche, Livorno ending in Rome. What not to like? Disembarkation was fine in all the ports with the exception of the tender service in Villefranche. This was slow seemingly due to the lack of tenders. We had priority and waited 45 mins just to get to the tender. I talked to people in the regular line and it took almost 2 hrs. Would want to avoid tender ports on Celebrity.
Disembarkation: Strange! We walked right off and all the baggage was there ready to be picked up. I had expected to go through customs but there was nothing. We just walked right off and waited to meet our transfer to Rome. I was glad we were sharing a limo with 2 other couples and splitting the cost. I would strongly recommend this over taking the train. We heard it was very crowded & chaotic.
Final Thoughts: Trip of a lifetime. Most enjoyable cruise ever!