Fourth cruise with Celebrity, first Transatlantic. Sailed out of Miami, came down the night before from N.Y. And flew into Fort Lauderdale where we rented a car and drove down to Miami.
We stayed at the new Cambria suites near the Miami airport, nice hotel but the food at their restaurant was not the best so cannot recommend eating there. Some friends who live in Miami met us the next morning and followed us to the airport to drop off the rental car and then drove us to the port. The port of Miami is not as nice as Fort Lauderdale. We arrived at the port around 1pm and waited online for an hour! When we finally got to the checkin window it became obvious why there was such a delay. Instead of giving you the "health"form asking if you have been sick, etc while you waited on the line, they have each passenger fill it out when checking in. We have always done this before actually getting to the checkin window on any cruise we have taken so this really backed things up. Really Celebrity, you need to work on this problem. Just give it to us while we are standing in line so we can fill it out before we get to the checkin window! After that things went smoothly and we were on the ship in no time sipping our Mimosas, yum. Nice touch.
Our cabin was ready, dropped off our carry on bags and headed to the Ocean View cafe. The assortment was amazing, everything looked so good and actually it was. If you can't find something you like here you would be an extremely picky person. We always had breakfast and lunch here except two days when we had lunch in the MDR. We had select dining and never had to wait more than a few minutes. We don't like to eat late so we(us and our two friends) usually came to the MDR around 6:30-6:45. Mostly we got a four top but a few times we decided to ask for a 8 top and never had a wait for that either. The waiters were always nice and helpful. A few times it took a long time to get our meal but for the most part the meals were brought within a reasonable time. Most of the meals in the MDR were very good but our friends had fish twice that they were not too happy with. I eat mostly chicken or steak and always has a good meal, no complaints. The desserts were delicious. Also love their ice cream which is made on the ship.
The ship is beautiful, always clean and sparkling and the staff are very friendly.
Entertainment was hit or miss. The production shows were entertaining, the two British singers were very good, did not go to the piano duet show so can't speak to that. The ventriloquist, in my opinion was not very good and a few of the other shows were not very good.
Tenerife: arrived on Sunday, not much open in the main town so we took the ship excursion to Loro Park which was surprisingly a very nice day out. The park is very nice with flower gardens, a small zoo with gorillas, tigers, alligators and other assorted animals, a dolphin show, a killer whale show (the trainers are not allowed in the water with the orcas) a bird show with mostly different kinds of beautiful parrots. Nice day and worth taking the ship excursion.
Malaga and Cartagena, Spain. Wonderful day in both ports. Loved Spain, first time here and would love to come back. In Malaga we went to the cathedral, the Mercado market (make sure you check out the amazing stained glass window over the main entrance), the Alcazaba(a must see). A great town to just walk around, not very crowded as we were the only ship in port. In Cartagena we went to the Roman theater which was amazing, well worth seeing and full of history. We truly enjoyed this city. A great city to do your own walking tour, especially fun is the Calle Mayor with its cute shops and cafés. It is such an old city you feel seeped in history.
Barcelona: I am not a fan of big cities but I really enjoyed Barcelona and having the overnight there was wonderful. So much to see and do. We used Toms port guides and we were able to get around the city without getting lost too much, also took taxis to some of the places we wanted to visit. Too many highlights to mention. Great city, don't miss the food market on the Rambla near Dunkin Donuts.
Villefranche, France. Picturesque town on the water. Did not venture further but did take the train to Nice, about a ten minute ride. Not impressed with Nice.
Livorno, Italy. Took the ship tour to Pisa. Saw the leaning tower and the Baptistry, both interesting but once you go there is no need to return.
Civitavecchia, italy. Left the ship around 9:15, went very quickly as there is no secururity to go through. So no Italian stamp on your passport. Our driver was waiting and took us to our hotel in Rome. By this time of day the traffic was light and it took about one hour to get into Rome.
The transatlantic cruise was fabulous. The seas were were extremely calm and we had a great time. We stayed nine nights in Italy and that was wonderful too.