This was a spring break trip for us -two adults and a nine year old. First time on Celebrity. We've cruised twice before on Carnival, and once before on another line (now defunct). We tried Celebrity based on a friend's recommendation...and on this particular itinerary and for the price (a real value for Celebrity). I will say that we were pleased over all with the service on Celebrity - a notch or two above Carnival and the food was better (B+ to A-)...it is mass cruise food.
We had a veranda cabin...cabins are nicely appointed. Our daughter loved her "bunk bed". Our cabin steward was excellent! he was so friendly...and always spoke to us. No towel animals on this ship... but he he was creative with my daughter's stuff animal that she brought and made a special effort to make her bunk bed look inviting with her blanket and "loveys" from home.
Almost every crew member was so pleasant and professional...bar staff on pool deck was wonderful. We had an incident the first night with dining seating... and that got resolved the next day( we were moved to earlier seating, and different, smaller table, as originally booked and got several apologies from guest relations). Based on other reviews, that seems to be par for course on this ship. For the remainder of the week...our table servers were wonderful!
Our daughter loved the Kid's Club...she was in the Ensign Group. She said Celebrity's Kids Club was better than Carnival's....and I think that's saying something...since Carnival is "known" for its children's programs.
The staterooms are smaller on this ship, than on Carnival, but space is used wisely...and PLENTY of storage. The veranda is much bigger...which is a plus!
Since it was spring break time, there were several families on the cruise...and it was very family friendly...multigenerational families. Really nice atmosphere.
Sure...ship is older. Not as big or flashy. I appreciated the extra attention we received from staff.
Truly, it was some of the guests that showed poor behavior...like the pool deck "chair hogs"... but, I don't even think the pool butler could keep up.
I am eager to go on another Celebrity Cruise. I will still consider other cruise lines as well.
Some random thoughts about embarkation:
I don't LOVE Miami... but embarkation was fine. Efficient. We drove in from Orlando (flying into Melbourne, cheaper flights on spring break); so spent a couple of days at Disney. Our rental car was from Alamo...NOTE: Alamo has FREE shuttle to Port of Miami from it's airport rental location. They will pick you up from Port as well, if you are renting from them after cruise.
Debarkation... wasn't thrilled to have to put out luggage night before (other ports and cruise lines give other options); but we got off ship pretty efficiently. It's the customs that was the long wait. This isn't Celebrity's issue...this is Port of Miami and local customs officials... it wouldn't matter if you carried off your luggage anyway. Once you have your luggage , you THEN go through customs. I understand the scrutiny...it just took awhile.
Ports: Key West...didn't book tour; walked around and went to Hemingway's House on our own. It wasn't extremely warm that day...so any water activities would've been cold. Ate lunch at a place called Caroline's...very good. Daughter loved looking for 6 toed cats at Hemmingway's house. :)
Grand Cayman: we booked stingray/beach tour. I was disappointed in the tour company. We hoped that Celebrity would have a better tour operator ( i completed a survey on ship about my dissatisfaction). Swimming with stingrays was neat...but tour guide was no guide at all. Beach break was nice...but there were three ships in that day...so beach was crowded. We shopped in George Town afterwards... just typical souvenirs for home. Not anything special.