My husband and I are in our early 60s, and my sister who joined us is in her early 50s. We flew in from Michigan two days ahead and stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Ft lauderdale Beach on Seabreeze, my sister flew in the following day from Maine. Loved the hotel and the location was great, right across from the beach with easy walking distance to alot of eateries. We used the Sun Trolley, a cute little streetcar bus system that takes you anywhere in Ft Lauderdale you want to go. We did some shopping for wine. There was also a 7-11 almost right across the street from the hotel at the back. The port is only a few miles away, take a taxi. Embarkation was fast and easy, we boarded about 1:00pm. On the ship in 30 minutes, glass of sparkling wine in hand. We got a map from the purser's desk and went to find our cabin. Dropped off our carry-ons and went to explore and get some lunch. There was a map in our cabin also. Love the excitement of the first day on the ship. Lifeboat or Muster Drill was around 4pm, we had already started to receive some of our luggage and done some unpacking. After muster we met with our Cruise Critic group on Deck 10 Aft, by the bar all wearing Mardi Gras beads so we could find each other for a sail away drink together. Fun finally putting faces with the people you had been sharing cruise excitement with for the last year. We had our Meet & Mingle the next day in the Bar at the End of the Earth, not well organized, no photographer, we took our own pics. We were hoping to be in Michael's Club.
We were in a balcony cabin on deck 7 with a little bigger balcony. Love my balcony!! We would get room service for coffee in the morning and enjoy in on the balcony or a glass of wine before dinner. Coffee does need improvement on the Connie. We often ended up stopping at the Cova Cafe in the morning to get a REAL cup of coffee. Our room steward was wonderful, the duvet covers on the beds so soft and inviting. The mattresses are still a little hard, definitely not pillow top. My sister slept on the sofa bed, she said it was OK, it is hard to get by to the balcony when pulled out, so we folded it in as soon as we got up. Everyone was right, the waffles are the best, YUM!! We ate back by the waffle area almost every morning. We all thought the food was very good in the dining room. Did not do the specialty dining room. Our wait staff did a great job serving us, no complaints at all. We ordered wine ahead thru Celebrity, and it was in our cabin on arrival. I would bring a bottle the night before we wanted it to the dining room and give it to the sommelier and she would have it ready the next night at dinner. You are allowed to bring two bottles of wine per cabin on board with you to use in your cabin. Try a Creamy Chocolate Martini at the Martini Bar, very yum! Entertainment was very good, we went to most of the shows. Donated a little money to the casino. Took a couple dance lessons, it was fun. Also attended two digital photo sessions for beginners. The pool chair hogs are still around, don't let anyone tell you they aren't. We always found three together with a little work and usually away from the pool area, in the upper deck. Those padded chairs by the pools are always reserved it seems. One of my sisters and my favorite spots was the Thelassotherapy Pool, not sure I spelled it right. Great place to soak all the aches and pains away. We often ate lunch at the Aqua-spa cafe too.
Shore Excursions-- You have to go to Trunk Bay in St John's. The most beautiful beach, white silky sand, blue blue water, so-so snorkeling. Great place to veg out. We took the ships excursion because you have to take a taxi to the harbor, get the ferry, then another taxi to the beach, it was easier to let the ship handle it. Celebrity needs to have more direction though when setting up the meeting places. We weren't as impressed with St Kitts. Did finally take a taxi to S. Frigate Bay for the day and it was OK, beach was not in great shape, but we had a few local beers and it ended up being a pretty good day afterall. We did a Catamaran Cruise in Barbados to snorkel with the turtles. Don't waste your time. Too many catamarans in one spot,too many people and only a couple turtles. The lunch was good, so was the rum punch. St Lucia, we went on a private tour with Cosol. We didn't have the best driver, there were about 5 vans all travelling together. He didn't say anything unless asked, and we would have like a little tour knowledge. We also seemed to be hurrying everywhere. The beach stop at the end of the tour was at a private resort between the pitons and they didn't want us there. We couldn't use any of the facilities and there was a guard who kept watch on us. Uncomfortable atmosphere. Love St Maarten, shopping is fun, beaches right there by the port. Been there several times and always like going back. We had wonderful weather our whole cruise and calm seas. I did not want to get off. Disembarkation was disorganized, not sure what happened. We were scheduled to be off early because of an early plane flight but we were put in the Celebrity Theater and no one came to let us in or tell us anything. We had to rush at the end. Still a great cruise and am looking forward to sailing on the Connie in October.