Summit, Bermuda – June 29, 2014 Overall a good cruise, a solid 7 out of 10.
I am a forty something single mom with two daughters. I cruised with Celebrity three times but it was years ago before my children were born. I have also cruised with Disney three times (super great, a 9 or 10 out of 10), Princess twice (great, an 8 or 9 out of 10), and Carnival (never again).
The food in the main dining room, buffet, pool grill and café el bacio was good to great. Short ribs and polenta (my first time trying), French onion soup, pizza, curries, cheese cake, chocolate cake, and vanilla French toast were my favourites. I didn’t try the food elsewhere because I didn’t feel the need to pay for a meal when the food that was included in the price was tasty. Some foods that were on the buffet are just not meant to be there, like quesadilla for example, it just gets soggy, but overall the food was good and I liked the little trays of pre-plated meals. The hamburgers at the pool grill are really good, although you have to wait in line a bit. In fact, I found you had to wait in line, or wait at your table, quite a few times for food on this cruise, but not enough to force me to a venue where you had to pay extra.
Room service was way too slow, sometimes taking an hour, so we didn’t bother. There was always food nearby to appease my hungry children, so we just went out.
Entertainment that I saw was great except for the comedian. She was not funny, and embarrassing to watch after a while so we left. I am not a fan of the new Indulge show, or the burlesque direction that the entertainment is taking. I am admittedly conservative, so others may enjoy it. I find it a bit off-putting and not consistent with the classier image that I had associated with Celebrity, but that’s just me, no judgement for others who may enjoy it.
The live music and shows I saw were really well done, a great guitar player, a kick a$$ band, a good piano player, great production shows, etc. The officer/staff participation in events such as a top chef cook off, pool volleyball, captain’s presentation about the ship’s engineering, etc. were great additions to the activity program. Frankly, I have never been on a Celebrity cruise that rocked late into the night like this one did, in particular at the Martini Bar and other adult venues.
Our room attendant was good, the room itself was in decent shape except for the bathroom. The toilet smelled and it never seemed to come clean no matter how much the attendant tried. Not enough for me to complain about or to ask to switch rooms, we just kept the door closed. But if it had been my parents staying in that room on my recommendation, I would have been horrified. The age of the ship didn’t concern me anywhere else other than in that bathroom! Yes, it is not brand new, but the ship is well maintained.
The highlight of the trip for my children was the kid’s program (ages 9-11). This is not to say that they spent an inordinate amount of time in the kid’s club, but for the times they were there, they had a lot of fun. They met many other nice children, and the staff were super, high energy, and very entertaining. My children loved spending time at the beaches in Bermuda. I will take them again I think, but maybe earlier in the season when it is not so hot!
The one disappointment we had was the cold reception my girls received from some of the other passengers who seemed to think this was an adult only cruise, or at least that is how they behaved. Also, there is only one pool and one hot tub that the children can use, while the adults are able to use all of the hot tubs and all three pools. This is likely not such an issue on the European or Alaskan cruises, or at other times of the year. But summer time in Bermuda brings with it a lot of children. Maybe some temporary allowances could be made for children during certain times of the day, or even during certain times of the week, so that the kids can play a bit in the other pools and not be jammed in like sardines in one small pool all the time. Maybe one hour a day when most people are getting ready for dinner wouldn’t hurt. I found myself telling the children quite frequently, sorry, this is an adult only area, you won’t be allowed to attend this party, or that restaurant, or to swim here. This may only be an issue for a few of us, I don’t know. This is just my opinion.
Regarding some of the comments I have read about fellow passengers, with the ship leaving from the New Jersey/New York area, I would say that I met many kind and well-meaning people on this cruise. I am a shy Canadian, and the majority of people I met (90%) were really very nice. The other 10% were not, and they can really wreck it for the rest of us if you let them. I tried to not let them bother me too much. And by the way, being from New York or New Jersey was not an indicator of who might be naughty and who might be nice, so perhaps these states are getting a bad rap. And the 90%-10% ratio is likely consistent of any other cruise ship on any other cruise line at any given time.
So why did I give this cruise a 7 instead of an 8 or 9 out of 10? A couple reasons I have already mentioned, like some of the iffy entertainment, the lack of child friendly spaces outside of the children’s club, our bathroom, the wait time for food, etc. The other reason is because I found the ship’s crew outside of the captain, officers, cruise director, and kid’s clubs staff, to be really unhappy, stand offish, or unfriendly (except our room attendant, Apollo, who warmed up to us by mid-week). To be clear, no one was rude or impolite. They all called me madam and they all said good morning/afternoon/evening. But they seemed to just be tolerating me, and each other. It was actually challenging to find a light hearted room attendant, waiter, sommelier, pool staff, ship cleaner, store employee, or anyone, anywhere. Not only did they not smile or interact with the passengers, but they didn’t smile or talk or joke with each other either. Maybe it was an off week, or maybe this wouldn’t even put a dent in someone else’s fun cruise experience, but all the negativity was bringing me down!
Would I go on a Celebrity cruise again? If the price is right, likely, but on a different ship so I can see if this was just an off week. Would I recommend the line to someone else? I’m not sure I would. I don’t generally recommend things unless I am really sold on them. Am I happy we went on this vacation? Absolutely, time spent with my angels is never time wasted, and my girls had a heck of a good time in Bermuda and in the children’s program.