This was our first cruise with Celebrity, having previously cruised with Holland America.
Embarkation at Harwich was smooth and well organised within a few minutes we were welcomed on the ship and presented with a glass of Champagne. We were immediately taken to our cabin which was somewhat of a disappointment. We had booked a 2A cabin but Celebrity have recategorised their cabins and our was originally a 2B so had a fairly small balcony. We have been used to a bath/shower on previous cruises so were disappointed to find a small bathroom with just a shower cubicle. Storage space was ok and the bed was comfortable. There was a good variety of food available at all times and the ship organised 2 Brunches which were amazing! Dress code for formal nights was not enforced and people went into the main dining room on these nights in jeans and trainers which seems a shame when most people took the trouble to dress appropriately.
Entertainment was mostly excellent and the resident Band were very versatile. We had a husband and wife team of dance/acrobatics who were truly fantastic, but never more than on our last night crossing the North Sea in a Force 10 when we could hardly keep our balance on two feet they gave a magnificent and faultless performance and received a standing ovation for their bravery! We did have a problem with the costs on this ship. A glass of fresh orange juice at breakfast was $2.50 + 15%service charge. Glasses of wine (half full)in the bars were $8.00 +15% service charge and when the bill arrived there was space for an additional tip which we found insulting (no service was THAT good) Wine in the dining room was also very expensive considering they were not premium wines.
We had an excellent series of lectures by Dr Mark Holder about Happiness and The Amazing Brain which were fascinating. The Port lecturer was very boring and the shopping Advisor was just interested in promoting a chosen few shops! The Arcade shops on board were very expensive, also the Photographic Dept where a mini DV tape was double the amount we were charged in Tallin.
Disembarkation was straightforward and well organised and all staff with whom we came into contact were friendly and helpful, but taking the experience as a whole we do not think Celebrity warrants the 5 star rating they claim as we have had better service and accommodation with HAL.