Embarkation: Very smooth. We got there early and sailed through quickly (no pun intended).
The Ship: Clean and well maintained. At 1750 passengers, this is the smallest cruise ship I've been on. The plus side of this is that we never felt crowded or jostled.
Food: Good. Not great, but good. We liked the sushi bar that opened at 5:00 each day. We enjoyed breakfast in our stateroom each day. We'd receive a courtesy phone call that breakfast was on the way and moments later there would be a knock at the door. The eggs didn't stay hot (how could they?) but I liked the cold salmon. Don't order tea though they bring the hot water in a carafe that had been used for coffee in the past. You can't make a good cup of tea from water like that.
The Murano dining room was wonderful. I recommend making your reservations online beforehand as the list may be full by the time you get onto the ship. We recommend the goat cheese soufflE.
Our other dinners were in the main dining room and we were well attended by the wait staff and sommelier. The appetizers and soups were very good. Unfortunately, the entrees left a little to be desired.
Though we didn't visit the buffet often, we never experienced much of a line. I recall the long lines that formed on a very large cruise ship I sailed in the past.
Entertainment: My only real complaint a mixed review for the ship's singers and dancers. We saw "A Taste of Broadway." The dancers and their choreography were good. Unfortunately, the four singers were not. I found myself wincing - a lot. We elected to give our ears a rest and did not attend their second show, "Liverpool Knights."
The guest comedian/singer was very good but we missed the juggler. I've sailed on NCL and Princess and have found Celebrity's entertainment to be the lowest budget of the three. If entertainment is important to you, choose another cruise line.
Two favorite bars: The Martini Bar and Michael's Club were great. I wished we'd visited Michael's Club before the last night. It was a beautiful piano bar with a great pianist who played a nightly contest of Name That Tune. I appreciated Celebrity's nod to the GLBT community by its publishing of a nightly Friends of Dorothy gathering at 7:45 in the Martini Bar. We always felt welcomed by all the crew.
Accommodations: We were in concierge class and liked our cabin a lot. The shower was a bit bigger than those on other ships. The storage space was also very plentiful.
Staff: Very good, courteous and professional. We bought sail-away cocktails on the pool deck and my partner's card was given to another passenger by the pool server who was manning a drink table. The poor guy was panic stricken when he realized his error and tore off looking for the other passenger. After no luck finding him, he confessed his mistake to management who (after an almost undetectable roll of the eyes) within minutes had the old card invalidated and a new one brought to us. The server spent the rest of the week trying to make it up to us by being exceptionally attentive every time we were on the pool deck.
Ports of call:
Key West was a place I'd been wanting to see for many years and it was nice to finally get the chance. After walking down Duval to the southernmost point, we worked our way back north. The lighthouse was interesting but not a "can't miss." We had lunch (actually, only a breakfast menu was available) at Rick's Blue Heaven. It was a long waiting list but they had comfortable chairs and a folk singer to help pass the time. The food was good and so was our waitress. I'm not much of a shopper but found some fun souvenirs at Fast Buck Freddie's.
Grand Cayman offers a swimming with the stingrays excursion that shouldn't be missed. We didn't use Celebrity's excursion. Avoid the company named "Stingray Sailing." We'd made reservations with them weeks before and reconfirmed it via email. We arrived well before the appointed time to discover that they'd left without us. We then booked an afternoon excursion with "Moby Dick Tours." It's a great company with a personable crew and highly recommended. Don't let Steve Irwin's mishap (may he rest in peace) deter you from this fabulous experience.
Debarkation: Quick and smooth. We arrived a bit after our appointed time and sailed right through. All of the yellow-tagged luggage had already been claimed making ours easy to find.