We had a good cruise! Really enjoyed the people we met on board! Met some fun dinner partners the first night in Select and ate with them all week! People from roll call were terrific. Celebrity is our line of choice and I mention the negatives in hopes that they will read and fix the minor glitches.
Things I didn't take that I missed were my markers for Celebrity today (explain later), and my pop up hamper.
The laundry was great for elite. We left on Thursday for a Sunday cruise and by Tuesday I filled a laundry bag to the max by rolling everything. What a great job they did! Golf shirts and khaki shorts for my husband came back on hangars, no shrinkage. Everything else was folded and looked pressed although I am sure it was just their magic folding.
Celebrity Today was different than I remember. It made me feel like I was on an old timers cruise (and we're not spring chickens) and made it difficult to read the activities that weren't for self improvement, botox, teeth whitening, wrinkle reduction, feel 10 years younger, look 20 years younger, arthritis clinic, acupuncture for the aches and pains, detox your body, could go on but you get the point. Hidden under descriptions like Celebrity Classics were Trivia, not identified. I liked it when they called it Trivia. It was difficult to sort out the ones for entertainment. Hope they are reading this. Two columns would be great! One for self improvement and one for fun entertainment. Anyway we had a great time and found the discover and Smithsonian lectures and other entertainment very good.
My husband found the premium drink card worked out well for him even being elite. I was on water and ice tea having just finished antibiotics. Next time, me too! There is much included on the premium package besides alcoholic beverages. He enjoyed the non alcoholic beverages almost as much as the alcoholic ones. They keep a list of what time and at which bar you had your drinks from customer service so they could easily tell if anyone cheated. If you go to question anything they show you and they present a copy the last night. He did have to watch his bill because several times they charged for drinks and he did not know until he saw it on the bill on the tv. Customer Service always got them taken off but he found it a pain to have to go there to get them to do it. You have to point out your sticker or it was even worse for those that purchased prior to cruising. Their designation was built into their cards and the waiters were not familiar with that at all. It's new to the wait staff so it's a learning experience. Some don't know what is included and you have to have them check so they don't charge you. Most of the bar tenders did not know canned soda was included and some one at the bar in cova cafe had to call to see about coffees. It all worked out!
My husband got sent back to his room from Elite happy hour to put on long pants at 4 pm. He looked nice. Had on a long sleeved oxford shirt, sleeves rolled up a little, longer khaki shorts, freshly pressed, and nice polished loafers with no socks, worn in the southern fashion. We didn't have dinner until 7:30. Shorts are no longer allowed on any of the ships for Elite functions. However port shirts with no collar, sneakers, jeans and cargo pants, that may have been slept in, are. They need to define smart casual a little better. The happy hour was lots of fun and turned into a socializing event as well as having drinks. It was quite crowded but the Captain's Club hostess said Miami offices would not give her permission to move it to a larger venue. Some people left before they got a drink because they had no place to sit. The hostess was great, got a lot of grief, but she served drinks, cleared tables, did all that she could to make things pleasant. We really enjoyed it.
The Summit was in great condition! They were constantly painting and cleaning. We were on the Infinity last fall and the Summit is in much better condition than the Infinity was then.
Our room steward was wonderful! I miss him!
Embarkation was a bit of a mess because so many people arrived around 12:15, 12:30. After standing at the front of the priority line for about ten minutes after slowly getting to the front, I asked what the problem was and was told by a very young customer service rep that X had not sent as many computers out and that because of the back up of passengers they had closed all the priority (elite & select) boarding stations except one and the people in front of us must have had a small problem. Eventually they opened a couple of others for priority boarding. It did take an hour to get on board even with not stopping for a boarding picture. Not complaining, just stating what happened.
Select dining will not be in our future. Once was definitely enough. We did it for the whole cruise because early dining was not available. Next time we'll take late dining. Select was very slow and service was fair to awful! Others may have experienced it differently. But I didn't speak to anyone who did. We've had anytime dining on Princess several times and have enjoyed that immensely. Lunch at the Cova Cafe was light and very good! Their pastries are also very good! Aqua Spa Cage had nice light breakfast & lunch. Room Service was prompt, brought hot food which was quite tasty!
The waffle station is something I look forward to when cruising. I only have them on a cruise and then just once a week but love it when they are done right! And I have been spoiled on our last few cruises with fresh berries and fresh whipped cream! Yum! This waffle station was a disaster in my opinion as compared to previous cruises. The condiments they had out were mustard, catsup and mayo. You had to know to ask if you wanted something different. And then it was canned pie mix. It was poorly managed and with the eggs Benedict station set up in the same place, was quite confusing. Summit 2.5 years ago and Infinity in the fall did it much better. Summit had breakfast pizza where Infinity had the eggs Benedict bar. They would have been better switched. Buffet food was OK, just not always really warm or warm at all.
Food in the MDR was better on this cruise than on the Infinity in the fall. I am not crazy about these new menus as compared to the older ones but that's personal taste. The shrimp did downsize as the week went on but shrimp cocktail has greatly improved since the fall. The escargot was always great! Food temps varied! There was always something on the menu one could order. They had a lot of variety. We really enjoyed Destinations, the little alternative restaurant set up in the buffet area in the evenings. They say to call between 2 & 5 for reservations. We called in the morning before we went off the ship and that was fine. The ambiance is nice, the food very good (they have a different limited menu & kitchen) and service good to excellent! Definitely worth the extra $2.00 per person.
We enjoyed the entertainment. They had some great groups. Bermuda was nice. We really enjoyed our tour there.
Disembarkation was easy and we were off the ship and on our shuttle in ten minutes! We waited for a few minutes after our color was called to start out so there was no trouble locating our luggage.
We stayed and parked at the Country Inn & Suites. They did a nice job. Be careful when booking, they have a stay and park which costs more to start with that does not include cruise shuttle and costs $45. extra for cruise shuttle. And they have a less expensive stay and cruise which includes shuttle to ship & allows you a $35. fee to park for the week. Our car was fine. We'd stay there again. The stay and cruise ends up being a little less even with parking.
They do now have a public service film in the cabins about how to sneeze and how to wash ones hands. It should be shown in the theater in the evenings instead of the ads for the self help venues. The worst thing on the cruise were the people that sneezed like old people (in their hands) instead of an elbow, shoulder, etc. and then wiped their hands on the railings. The cleaners were quick to wipe down the railings but I was rude and made a comment to a lady that she needed to update her way of sneezing and stop sneezing like an old person. I wasn't nice to mention it but had I not been paying attention my hand would have slid right in it. Ask your grandchildren to teach you how to sneeze if you don't know the 2000 way or watch carefully the public service TV spot they have on the ship.
All in all a good cruise! Can't wait for our TA in the fall!