This was my 7th cruise, and first time on Celebrity. I have sailed on Carnival, Princess, and my personal favorite, Royal Caribbean.
We were traveling with family this cruise, and had a total party of 7 including my Dad, Aunt and Uncle, Sister and Brother-in-law, and of course, hubby and me. Wide range of ages (40 to 83)...and there was something for everyone!
The ship itself is not the best I've seen, but it is a 12 year-old ship. Celebrity has done a nice job keeping it maintained for the most part, however, the grout in our bathroom was filthy, and there were other obvious signs of wear throughout our cabin. The worst part for me was the water on the ship. The drinking water had an 'off' taste, and even the water in the bathroom had a foul odor to it. We were very glad that we had purchased bottled water in San Juan just prior to boarding.
Boarding was quick and uneventful, especially since we had done all of our registration online in advance. We highly recommend online registration!
We went to the Waterfall Cafe every day for breakfast and lunch, and then to the MDR for dinner each night. Although we had arranged for a table for 7 prior to sailing, there was only a table for 5. After having to split our party on the first night, the Maitre'D promptly provided us with a table for 7 which we enjoyed the rest of the cruise.
The food in the Waterfall Cafe was...just okay. The salads were great, but the fruit was underripe and had no flavor, except for the watermelon. There was always a line in the Waterfall, and the service was slow, since you had to be served. I have never been on a cruise where you didn't serve yourself at the buffet, but it may have something to do with the Norwalk Virus. There was germ-x everywhere, which is good. However, some people got impatient with the lines, and helped themselves to what they wanted by reaching under the glass with their bare hands to get food!! Unbelievable! You're on vacation, people...relax!
The dining room food was also just okay for us. Of course we didn't go hungry, but we didn't have to keep ourselves from eating, either. The portions are very small, but as Americans, we're all used to eating at restaurants that serve 3 times more than we actually need to eat. So, the portions on the ship were probably closer to what we 'should' be eating.
HUGE KUDOS to the Maitre'D!!! I am allergic to rosemary, and of course, it's in virtually everything in the main dining room. When I asked the waiter about which foods might not have rosemary in order to make my selection, the Maitre'D came right over and helped. He then brought me the next day's menu every night, and let me order whatever I wanted. The Chef then prepared my food without rosemary!!! Wow! I was soooo impressed, and that has never happened on any cruise before!
The entertainment on the ship was good. The Celebrity Singers and Dancers were great, and the comedian was funny. Otherwise, there is also a great Latin Band that we really enjoyed and the guitarist was excellent, as well.
Overall it was a great cruise, but I think my expectations were set too high by the 'Celebrity' reputation. Several loyal Celebrity passengers on our ship commented that it was the worst Celebrity ship they had ever been on. So, we'll try Celebrity again!