Since we were driving from Portland to Seattle to embark, I made parking reservations with Republic Parking NW and paid for Cruise Only parking in advance. This is covered parking directly across from the Bell Street Pier. We arrived at 11:45 AM and within 15 minutes, they had tranferred our luggage to the ship and shuttled us to the Cruise Terminal. Since no one could board before noon, there were many people, but it still seemed to go quite rapidly. The mistake the cruise ship made, was to hand out a form at the entrance, that did not have to be completed until you had gone through customs. But people stopped in line and tried to fill them out, which only caused greater confusion.
However, all in all, the process was quick. We had a glass of champagne and boarded the ship and went to our Stateroom. Our travel agent touted this as a 5 Star cruise line, but it was no where near that. The Staterooms were worn, the bedding was pilled and worn, the chairs had upholstery hanging down from underneath, our television for on line ship information did not work, the carpeting was very worn and all in all, we found the room to be quite tacky. Sadly, although nice, our Stateroom Attendant, just didn't seem to be enthusiastic in his attitude.
There are three other down sides that we experienced. The carpeting on three of the decks (that had bars in them) smelled of urine when we would walk through. This was for the entire trip. And, as many other passengers experienced, we did not appreciate a camera in our faces whenever we embarked, disembarked, attended a formal dinner or any other activity that the ship could consider a photo op. And lastly, one of the entertainers, the magician would not have made it to the next round on America's Got Talent. He act needs a lot of work.
The food choices in the dining room were superb!! You could always order from the menu of the first evening dinner along with the menu of the day. The selections were excellent. The buffet was the same every day, but the way it is set up is very confusing and someones people coming from both entrances meet in the middle and jockey for position. The various buffet themes are very poorly marked and you have to go to different sections of the room, to find different "themes". We found it confusing, even after several days. Also, the buffet is not open 24 hours, which is disappointing. Room service however, is available 27/7, and although free and fast service to your room, the selection is very limited. And one last thing, on the topic of food, outside of the dining room there are limited low fat and low salt options. And, they use a lot of oil.
The spa and gym are great although in the gym they have baskets of fruit and flowers out of plastic that are faded and dusty and again very very tacky. The library is great and they try to offer many options of interest for you to participate in during the day.
Since the Hubbard Glacier is not a Port of Call, I want to say that it was just spectacular. The Captain was able to get the cruise ship within 3/10th of a mile and we enjoyed a wonderful afternoon at the glacier.
There were two things that I observed that bother me greatly. The first is that you are not required to use Purel boarding the ship, entering the dining room or buffet, etc. On Royal Caribbean, staff stood and required each passenger to use Purel. The lack of this requirement on Celebrity concerns me.
On the last day of the cruise as we were disembarking, the "security staff" didn't even glance at our passport and one of the security people was just standing at the bottom of the escalator laughing and goofing off. Security was poor at best.
However, at the terminal we got a porter, who took us to our Cruise Only Parking Shuttle and we were back on the road to Portland in under 15 minutes. We highly recommend Republic Parking NW.