Flew in a day early and Puerto Rico was great. Went to old San Juan and ate lunch at the La Bombonera. Very Good! I wish we would have booked 2 days in PR. Stayed at Marriott San Juan Resort and Stellaris Casino. Room was nice - Lobby needs to be updated. Casino does NOT have NO Limit Hold em. :( We had a great time mostly because of the places this cruise went. The overall ship experience was good but I will point out areas I thought were not up to par.
Boarding. I would suggest not getting to the ship too early. We arrived at the Pan American Pier just after 3:00 and it was crowded. Took over one hour to get on board.
The ship- Very nice and Clean. The Ship met our expectations when we got on board. Looked just like the virtual tour on Celebrity website.
The Room - Oceanview. Much nicer than the room we had on Royal Caribbean. (Rhapsody of the Sea) Only complaint was that the TV was out dated. Sound was not good. If the room had a small flat screen it would have been nice.
Clothing - Lots of talk about dress code on this website. Much of it overblown. As this was a Caribbean Cruise it (clothing worn) was much the same as RC. The exception was if you were going into the Dinning Room you had to wear slacks.
We did not spend much time in the Main dinning room (Cosmo)because it was overcrowded and a bit warm. I think the best kept secret on board is the Waterfall Bistro. It is located on the 10th floor opposite the Swimming Pool. It has a fixed menu of 5 or six entrees and a nightly special. For an extra $2 per person we could enjoy a meal together in a very nice setting with service better than in the main Dinning room.
For lunch we ate in the Waterfall Cafe. The food was on par with a Golden Corral. This is one area that we felt the cruise did not meet our expectations. Food was O.K. but that is about it.
Breakfast in the Cafe was good - not great. Orange juice was watered down.
Another option is to grab a burger poolside and they were good (not great)
We purchased a drink (Soda) card but your meal was at least 1/2 done before you could get someone to bring you a drink. I suggest walking over to the Bar on the far side of the pool and getting your soda yourself first and then getting into line for food.
We ate in the Normandie Restaurant one evening. ($30 extra per person) Very nice! Be prepared for some very good salesmanship when it comes to wine. If you are like me and have to have a glass of wine with a good meal, be prepared to pay for it. Wine prices were above what you would pay in a restaurant in the states. Also, unless you are really into champagne , I would skip it as the price was a bit on the high side. Meal was outstanding and Service was fantastic. As I said it is 60 extra (for 2) but I ended up spending 200 with the champagne , wine and tip. It was worth it to me but just a word of warning if you are on a budget just tell them "no thank you."
There seemed to be alot of locals on the ship, From the way some of them behaved I think they must have won passage on a radio contest or got tickets at a deep discount for unsold rooms. One lady piled huge amounts of fruit, not on her plate, but on her serving tray. Saw another take whole loaves of bread that were on top of buffet for display. Most of the passengers were very nice and polite.
The entertainment on the ship was very weak. Poolside band was terrible cover band. If you like re-runs of the Lawrence Welk show you will love the Celebrity Singers and Dancers. I could only take it about 5 minutes. The comedian was very good so don't miss him.
The "Activities" were weak as well. Some examples from one day are: Trivia, Arts and Crafts, Napkin folding (yes napkin folding) floral demonstration, Name that movie, cooking demonstration, bingo, wine glass workshop, Movie charades ect, You get the point.
If you are going on this cruise for the activities or entertainment you are on the wrong boat. If your going for a very nice boat going to nice places you are on the right boat.
Casino hold 'em tourneys are pure luck as they are "turbo". Save your money for the cash game that starts at 10:15 each night.
Our cabin steward (Edwin) was outstanding. I cant say enough about how impressed we were with him. Truly outstanding service!
Hope I did not sound too negative. It is a wonderful ship with a very good staff. We had a great time and hope this helps!