We are a pair of baby boomers, married 34 years, who were taking our first cruise on Celebrity having already completed 4 on RCI and 1 on Norwegian. We are not beach people and enjoy sightseeing and local customs.
I had started the roll call for this sailing as back when we booked (June 2013) there was none. This was really early for us to book as we normally book close to final payment. It just led to more anticipation ! On the roll call we were able to meet many of our fellow cruisers and share stories, questions, concerns, etc. What a great bunch of folks.
Our cabin selection:
We had selected an Aqua Class cabin on deck 9, just aft of the mid-ship elevators. On future sailings I would probably select something a bit more forward as there was a constant vibration in the cabin from the mechanical systems around the area (we were quite near to the main stack on the ship). We selected this location as opposed to the A1 cabins on deck 11, aft, as the balconies provide more shade on 9. We just loved the cabin, especially the “car wash” shower. Service was, for the most part, unseen, but all of our wishes and requests were fulfilled by the attendant, Vilma, and her assistant Mathew. This class of cabin also provided us with access to the Persian Garden, a complex of steam rooms, heated loungers, and the like. This was great, especially for someone with sinus issues.
I know, a hotbed of disagreement, but please bear with me here as I am an amateur chef, I work for a food company, and do a bunch of catering for a local Church...
In a nutshell... BLU is SUPERB.... If any one thing has convinced me to sail Aqua with Celebrity in the future, it is BLU. It is cozy, intimate, a fun place, etc... People think about the tables for 2 (as most of the tables in Blu are) and feel they may be an issue, but they are far enough apart for a private, romantic, dinner for two, or close enough to meet folks and talk.... We were a bit concerned about this factor but that changed as soon as we went to the embarkation brunch (new on summit this year) and began talking to others around us, In fact we made quite a few friends during that meal! The Maitre 'd, Mazy, even set a table for the 9 of us for dinner on the last two nights.
The breakfasts were consistent, in fact the menu was the same for all 7 days. The fresh OJ is fantastic and I have been told that the Muesli cart is fantastic (not my type of thing). The only shortcoming may be that, from time to time, The food arrives warm, not hot ! Thanks to Nikola and Joby for a fantastic experience!
The dinners were amazing. Some standards, some unique dishes. Don't worry about lobster night in the MDR... they get local Caribbean lobster. The ones in Blu were Maine Lobster tails with a citrus glaze... Yum!! the lamb shanks (last night) required no knife they were so tender. Also, if you have any concerns about ingredients, or preparation due to allergies or just plain dislikes, just ask. The staff will eagerly get you the needed answers. (I have some issues with lactose and asked about a soup one evening.. Nikola went and found out that the soup had cream in it so he brought me a bowl of french onion soup which had an aged cheese on it (aged cheeses are lactose free) that was superb.
Note: If you dine in Blu there are some starter dishes that are not on the menu that are available every night: Shrimp Cocktail, Escargots, Caesar Salad, and the onion soup
We did have one breakfast at the Buffet and two lunches there as well... While there was much to select from it did, at times, cool off by the time you got to your seat. We also had 3 lunches in the MDR and found them to be acceptable, nothing really different or unique.
While it seems that there may have been some cutting down on trivia and the like, we were just fine. They held a progressive trivia competition on the sea days as well as other competitions during the others. There was plenty of Karaoke, including the Karaoke Idol finals on the last night.
The shows that we attended were great, the Late Night Sin City comedian was excellent, but we could have done without the burlesque dancer. The 54 Below entertainer, Donna Vivino, was great as well..
Kudos to Celebrity for actually checking at the door for under age attendees to the late night adults only shows. In the past, I have heard many complaints on RCI about a show not being appropriate for kids when it was advertised as such and the parents decided to bring their kids anyhow.
I'm a convert... I'm ready to sail on Celebrity again (of course in Aqua) !