We came to Fort Lauderdale one day early and stayed at the Comfort Inn -Cruise Port South Hotel on Stirling. It is a decent hotel for one night before the cruise as they provide transportation from the airport to the hotel and then to the ship the day of the sailing. Free breakfast which was excellent. The hotel is rather tired and the safe and door lock did not function properly. But we were there only one night. Transportation was done very efficiently both ways. There is a Taco Bell and a McDonalds next door. Just a block away is a shopping center.
We had booked through Celebrity directly. They failed to send us our preboarding documents and luggage tags via the mail. However, I had the e-docs and that was sufficient but I noted that everyone else had a package. Check-in was a breeze. I was told that my missing documents were in the room. Not so. They also failed to provide us with our table assignment. Be aware that the floor level determines how quickly you get your luggage. A couple in the lower floor (6th)did not get their luggage prior to the early seating. Once we got our luggage and table assignment, we were all set for a great week. But I did expect more from Celebrity in terms of organization.
Our fellow passengers were mostly couples in the 50's and 60's. Not many children on board despite school vacation week. Those children onboard were busy. Most passengers were from the United States and many were from the Midwest. Our fellow passengers were mature and easily engaged in conversation with others.
The rooms are just fantastic. Modern bathroom with an oval sliding glass door to the shower. Plenty of storage. The bed was very comfortable and the decor pleasing. The 32 inch Samsung LCD tv has the ability to play music like an IPod. Plus it has a/v jacks and a USB port.
Foods were delicious. No lines in the Oceanview Cafe due to stations and the foods were made with fresh ingredients. Ice cream was made onboard and the foods were just incredible. We did go to the main dining room in the evening. Foods was outstanding. There were afternoon teas daily plus other locations for food by the pool. The specialty dining options were outstanding. But plan on being there for at least a good 2.5 hours. Outstanding service in these restaurants.
Staff was very friendly and professional. Great staff and very upbeat. The ship is rather refined and beautifully decorated. There were plenty of activities both inside and outside. I did computer training, trivia contests, and learned to play bocce on the lawn. My wife loved the cooking demonstrations, dance lessons, and glass blowing up by the Lawn Club. The Lawn Club was being replaced with Bermuda grass which had held up nicely in one area. The grass is a nice touch and beautiful. Also, there are designated smoking areas. Smoking is not permitted in the casino or on your room veranda! The public bathrooms were very clean.
The entertainment was outstanding. Wide variety of acts in the theater with a Cirque de Soleil format. The bands and musicians on board were outstanding and played a variety of music. We really enjoyed them! We sought out the dance band Top Secret from the Philippines. They were top notch! We also enjoyed Jefferson Ang, a fantastic guitarist. The Cruise Director was Dru Pavlov and he was very professional and loved by all. Also note, there will NOT be any reminders from Bingo Bob and Sally from the Shopping Network on the cruise. Only announcement are at noon when the Captain speaks and when you can leave the ship at ports. So you must check the schedule carefully. No blaring announcements during the day.
Word of warning: Make sure you wear water shoes in Labadee. They are dredging and shells, coral, and rocks are washing on the shore. When the waves come in, I was hit by a combination of rocks and shells. I received some cuts. There were a few people who either hit by shells or had fallen trying to get in the water. Beware. The other ports were fine. Tortola was beautiful and the neighboring islands were fantastic. But a few excursions were canceled due to winds and high seas.
Embarking the ship was a breeze. First groups off at 7:30. We sadly left the ship at 10:00. We had a great time and memories for a lifetime.