My husband and I are veteran cruisers. We view Celebrity as our "home" cruise line due to the fact it most closely meets all of our needs. It is a good value, good food, excellent service and attention to the "little details" that can make or break a vacation. In addition they can easily accommodate/entertain our children during school breaks. We booked a cruise this Christmas because we really needed a vacation. Unfortunately Celebrity really let us down. I suppose it is the economy.
All of the crew seemed overworked to the point that I felt guilty trying to relax and enjoy myself. We booked adjoining cabins in Concierge Class for my husband, myself and our 2 teenagers. Although our cabins were always immaculate, our steward was nearly invisible. We had a couple of issues that need to be resolved and had difficult locating him. (unlocking adjoining cabin door, no pre ordered liquor in room, etc.) We later learned he was responsible for 15 cabins. I don't know how he did it. At dinner the wait staff was amazing. The incredible part is that they served 5 separate 8 person tables and were still able to give great service. However, that is where the amazing part ended. The rest of the staff showed the wear of being overworked. I began to feel guilty every time I had to make a request. But with the staff being pushed to their limit, nothing was done automatically, so you were forced to ask for everything. The food in casual dining was barely acceptable. Most of the time you can escape this buffet area with dining room meals, but the dining room was not open every morning for breakfast and never open for lunch. SAD. The first morning the dining room was open for breakfast the maitre d came by the table and expressed his mild apology for the fact that it was going to be about 20 minutes until a server would be available to take our order and another 30 minutes for our food. To add insult to injury he later came by and informed us that there were out of pastries and no food would be available until our orders were ready. Wow ... that is a first! I have NEVER been on a cruise when they handed out excuses, and obviously made no effort to remedy the situation or accommodate you with anything ... ie like a cup of coffee until a server could come and take your order. UNBELIEVABLE. I must also add there were a number of computer errors that created the need for phone calls and trips to the purser's desk. I made reservations at the specialty restaurant, prepaid gratuities, ordered wine, liquor and coke packages all from home prior to the cruise. About half of the orders were inexplicably lost. Crazy. For example, the wine package went through, the coke packages did not, gratuities were charged only on 1 cabin - so we had to pay the other cabin, reservations for one night at the specialty restaurant were received, but another was not ... so on and so forth. Very frustrating! I hope Celebrity's service will rebound with the economy. I would hate to have to find a new cruise line "home."