Barcelona: Arrived a day prior to rest up and check out the city. Nice city and we enjoyed visiting the local attractions.
Embarkation: Smooth, in the room within 15 minutes after stepping out of the cab.
Ship: This was our fourth time on this ship (British Isles/Norway, Baltic, Canada/New England) and I must say the new color scheme, speciality restaurant addition, and filling in the hole on deck 5 just added to what was already a wonderful ship. Overall the crew was great with a few exceptions.
Dining: We had the best waiter (Tuscan Grill) and the worst waiter (main dining room) on the same trip. Tuscan Grill waiter (Mustafa) was by far the best waiter we have on any of our 26 plus cruises. Sadly, he finishes his contract at the end of the month and will not return for a couple of months. Our dining room waiter was extremely slow and appeared to be overworked. He was polite and tried his best but he simply was not up to the Celebrity standard.
Food/Service: IMO, the food quality and service at the specialty restaurant is what you received in the main dining room ten years ago. I have noticed a slow decline in the Main dining room food. Now the food is ok but it used to be memorable.
Entertainment: As this was a port intensive trip there was little time to enjoy the shipboard shows. It was apparent that Celebrity figured out that everyone was simply too tired to stay up watching shows and cut back on the entertainment budget. The hypnotist was absolutely terrible. Lindsey Hamilton was excellent as usual. She even added some new songs to her show since she has been working with Celebrity fro the past few years. I went to one of the production shows and it was ok. The Acapela group was good and the bar band was average. Again, most were in bed after dinner so there was always a small crowd at the shows.
Debarkation: Tried the carry your own bags off early departure this time as we had an early flight. Was off the ship by 7:00 and in a cab by 7:15. If you can carry your own bags I would recommend this option. You don't have to pack so early or worry about finding your bags in the terminal.
Overall: Great cruise with a very busy itinerary. A couple of sea days mixed in would have made it a more relaxing trip but we knew what we were getting into when we booked. Having sailed Royal, Princess, Holland, and Celebrity within the past 3 years, I am amazed how similar they have all become. I would normally recommend Celebrity over the others because they have better food but I could not honestly state that anymore. The food is the same in all the main dining rooms and if you want quality food and service...go to the specialty restaurants.