We have cruised on several cruise lines, and Celebrity has always been our favorite. Their staff, amenities, food, and service have always been top notch so we had high expectations for this ship. The public areas of the ship were not quite up to par if you started looking at the little details. We noticed the absence of the fresh flowers, the lack of prompt service in the pool area, and small maintenance issues. Our stateroom was very nice, and our attendant was prompt and thorough. We had a balcony which I highly recommend. Our stateroom was midship on deck 7 just down from the elevators, a very convenient location.
Embarkation and disembarkation were smooth and easy with virtually no waiting in line for either. We boarded the ship around 12:30, and we were welcomed aboard with a glass of champagne and the lunch buffet was open. While eating lunch, it was announced that our rooms were ready. We dropped out carryon in the room and headed to the spa to book a massage for the next morning. I chose the hot stone massage, and it was phenomenal. I left there after 75 minutes feeling like jello - so relaxing.
As for the ports, I loved Dominica. It's a great island if you are into hiking, and seeing the natural beauty of the rainforest, waterfalls, etc. We took an all day tour with Levi of bumping tours. It was exhilarating and exhausting. It involved one very challenging mountain hike, several shorter hikes, swimming through a gorge to see one waterfall, and finally snorkeling. If you are an adventure seeker, this is the tour for you. However, don't attempt it unless you are in excellent condition. Other than those types of activities, there isn't much to do there. Aruba was beautiful with lots of great shopping, nice beaches, and casinos. Bonaire was pretty, but very low-key. If I did this cruise again, I would just stay on the ship in Grenada. We hired a driver to show us around the island, but there wasn't that much to see. We have been to St Martin before, and it is always nice if you are into going to the beach.
Now for the food - We ate in the main dining room (Cosmopolitan Restaurant) most nights. The food was very good, but not as nice as we have seen on other Celebrity ships. If we would have had great service, it would have made a world of difference, but our waiter was the worst we have ever seen on a cruise. He got at least one of our meals wrong every single night. There were nights where six out of the eight at our table got the wrong food. After about the third night, it got to be a joke at our table. We decided that the only way to enjoy dinner was to laugh about it. The wine steward was also not as attentive as we have seen in the past. We talked to others on board that had really great waiters, and thought the food was wonderful so we probably just had bad luck on that one.
We went to the Normandie restaurant one night, and it was outstanding - well worth the upcharge. Be sure to make a reservation early as we only got in due to a cancellation. The food was superb in flavor, variety, and presentation. The waitstaff and wine steward were perfect. It was truly a magnificent dining experience. I chose to do the wine pairing dinner, and was glad that I did.