Our flight was on Alitalia non stop from Chicago, after all the bad that I had read about this airline it was a pleasant surprise at how well our flight went, only 70 people on board the whole plane and it was my first time that coach was comfortable. Everything was good, would fly this airline again in a minute
We stayed in Rome at The Albergo Del Senato which was lovely and Rome is absolutely wonderful. Had a great pre cruise, great food, great things to see, even though our tour to the Vatican happened to coinside with the Popes annual mass for the school children of Italy 200,000 children were in the square for mass, that day was rather hectic to say the least but we survived.
We had a driver pick us up at the hotel to head for the ship, arrived about 11:30 a.m. embarkation was a breeze. Up to the buffet for a leisurely lunch at about 1:00 they announced our cabin was ready. We were in 1075 large hump balcony. I must say this was the nicest cabin I have stayed in other then a suite. Plenty of storage space, the bathrooms are the best for storage and the shower is wonderful, no more shower curtain. The beds were comfortable and the balcony was quite large, although I do miss the old lounge chairs that you could get from the pool area when requested. The chairs are just not comfortable. The TV is great too. We had a fantastic cabin steward, Bernadette from the Phillapines. Very efficient and always smiling.
Now to the not so good, we had late seating and our waiter Gorun and assistant Mickey, were the worst wait staff we have ever encountered. We ususally bond very well with our waiters, and look forward to dinner each evening. They were so slow, forgot who ordered what on some nights, water was not refilled etc etc.
Our food was not good, we don't know if we were getting the last of the food available in the kitchen or what as we were always the last ones leaving the dining room. We mentioned once that our food was a c+ at best and the waiter had the chef come out to our table. Very embarressing. Anyway, we requested to be moved to early dining which was accommodated and our waiters Roden and Ivan were great, the food improved although I must say I was not impressed at all with the menus. Lamb almost every night, duck, fish in phylo dough, not the high quality of beef that we have always experienced on Celebrity in the past. We were never hungry, I must clarify that but we just did not look forward to dinner and were not impressed as in past celebrity cruises.
Tuscan Grill was the best, not one bad thing to say, the food was delicious, the service the best walked out of there completely satisfied.
Murano was not as good of an experience. The appetizer escargot tortellini was just fair, (I did not like eating green foam) the Lobster Bisque I could not even eat, after a few tastes, that was it, my husband got the mushroom soup and so did our table mate, and those two who eat anything, could not even eat the soup, my husband said it tasted like mushroom water again foam topped.
The bread was good, the salad o.k. our main course was very good surf and turf, and the dessert sampler just o.k. I would not do murano again, but Tuscan grill I would do more then once.
When I booked this cruise through Celebrity, I was given $100 shipboard promotional credit, before the cruise I also purchased $200 shipboard credit after a couple days on board I checked the TV to look at our bill and only the $200 shipboard credit was showing up. I went to guest realations and they said they had no record of the $100 from Celebrity. They do nothing about this by the way, and I had to go back and forth with their main office for about 4 days, before finally getting my credit. Then my daughter in law texted me to see if my husband had received the shipboard credit that she and my son had purchased as a birthday gift for my husband....again.....no, so I am back to Guest Relations again, no record, and no help. So my daughter in law had to go through the same headache as me to get this straighted out. It rather ruined the birthday surprise. My husbands birthday was forgotten in the dining room also, upon leaving the dining room, I told the maitrede' that his birthday was in my reservation and everyone around us who had birthdays were being sung to and given a cake, we were forgotten, he quickly looked into his computer and said "you are right there should have been a celebration", too late now, we left with yet another Celebrity disappointment.
All in all this cruise was not up there with one of the best, the ship is beautiful, but I don't know if I would return as the management on board seemed to not know how to manage. Also, there was not much to do during the long sea days, disembarkation was a total nightmare thats another story.
I usually love Celebrity, they are my first choice in cruising but I may return to Princess for our next cruise just to try and forget the lack of "Attention to Detail" that Celebrity seems to pride itself in.