This was our first cruise. Since we live in NJ close to Cape Liberty, we took a taxi to the port. It was very convenient. We were dropped off and on our way to check in within minutes. The check in process was flawless and we were on the ship within minutes. Our bags were waiting for us in our room as we were coming in to clean up for dinner.
We thought the food was awful. Everything was very bland. They had the same foods offered over and over. The Chinese food area of the buffet did not even offer chinese food. The pizza was one of the worst I've ever had. The pasta was okay. The hours of the buffet were very inconvenient. It seems as if every time we were hungry, the buffet was closing. There was no other dinner option besides the main San Marco dining room and casual dining. You had to decide by 2:00 PM if you wanted casual dining because the casual dining required a reservation.
We did not like the food in the San Marco restaurant either. The selection was bad. Soups were watery and bland. You needed a magnifying glass to find the meal on your plate. Both our waiter and assistant waiter had attitudes, and were no where to be found. I had to beg nightly for a glass of iced tea even though other tables had their tea and lemonade waiting for them when they arrived for the evening.
The evening entertainment was just okay. Nothing to write the farm about.
The formal nights were extremely over-rated. Honestly it was no big deal. I was told that evening gowns and tuxes were the norm. Most men wore suits. One man wore sweat pants with a stripe down the side and a wrinkled blazer. Nothing was said to him as he wore the same thing for all 3 formal nights. Women wore a range from gowns and all types of dresses down to black pants and a sparkly blouse. My biggest advice to all of the first time cruisers worrying about formal night is wear what you feel most comfortable in. They do not stand out side the dining room inspecting people as they go in!
The Thermo Pool was also nothing noticeable. It was a luke warm salty pool. I was expecting much more.
The ship activities were horrible. It was like a floating retirement home. Cards, ping pong, board games, puzzles. They offered 30 minutes of Nintendo Wii a day then the machine was whisked away because the kids area needed it back. That was about it. My group was bored to tears on at sea days. The television in the rooms is about as bad as it gets.
If you love sitting on cramped buses all day, you will love the excursions. Hours on a bus broken up by 5 minute picture stops! What a good time that was!
The bright spot of the entire cruise was the housekeeping staff. Our stateroom assistant was about as great as they come. He cleaned our room very well. As soon as we left, he was in and out again with the beds made and the bathroom towels changed. He went out of his way to open our stateroom door for us when he saw us coming.
Overall, I would never sail on Celebrity again. I feel I did not get anything close to what I paid for. The service was okay. The food was poor. I paid a lot of money to be bored for 2 weeks.