On our trip it was my parents and brothers, my husband's parents, my husband and our four and nine-year-old daughters. After reading previous reviews I was worried that my girls would be bored on the ship; I actually think they enjoyed the cruise more than anyone else!
Living in Florida, we drove and used Park-N-Go. They were quick and efficient. Tip: print an online coupon; it is only $6.99/day to park. The driver removed the bags from our car, drove us to the dock and handed our bags to the porter.
Embarkation was quick and efficient. Once onboard we went to the buffet with everybody else (crowded, go to Aqua Spa Cafe). The food was good, with plenty of choices even the pickiest of eaters could find something they liked. My nine-year-old enjoyed the pasta bar and the ice cream.
Room: Traveling with a rather rambunctious four-year-old, we opted for an ocean view room on the third deck so we did not have to fret with her on the verandah. The room was well appointed with was plenty of storage for a week's worth of clothes for the four of us. The nice thing about being on the third deck is we were close to the MDR, Casino, elevators, shops and shows.
Food: Everyone on our trip had a different experience with the food; it comes down to what you eat. Just about everything I had in the MDR was good, sometimes even exceptional. The pan seared steak was my favorite as well as the spring rolls. My children loved everything and ate just about everything, so did my husband. I was not a fan of the buffet. There were some good choices there, but by day 6, I was ready for a change. The only specialty restaurant we tried was Bistro on 5. The food and service were both great- if you like crepes (my husband would only eat a salad). The gelato on 5 was excellent and I heard wonderful reviews about both Murano and Tuscan Grill.
Entertainment: The only really good show was their Cirque performance; all the other shows were not up to par with other ships. This is one area where Celebrity needs to improve. Singers were off key, dancers off step, and the impressionist was so terrible the audience was laughing out of pity. I did go to the cooking show which was very entertaining and also did a wine seminar, also very good. Water volleyball on the last day and the hot glass show are not to be missed. My husband and I enjoyed karaoke and comedy shows; the boys also enjoyed poker tournaments on sea days (perfect time for a nap in to Solarium).
We took full advantage of the ship, even the lawn club. It was one of the least used spaces but had multiple games to play. My brothers, kids, husband and I spent two hours up there on night playing a very competitive cornhole game. You can also practice your putting skills in real grass!
Fun Factory (kids): My girls LOVED the programs. The staff kept the kids entertained and wanting to go back each day. It made my vacation much more enjoyable because they wanted to be there. My older daughter went on scavenger hunts, built a boat, had a Casino Royal night and made many friends. My younger daughter had very age appropriate activities including a Pirate Parade that was cute. Parents don't fret, there were over 400 children on our cruise and the kids had more fun than the parents.
Service: Our room attendant was wonderful. The MDR staff was very attentive, especially to the children. On Thanksgiving, my mother was ill and unable to leave her room; the waiter sent a full turkey dinner up to her so she would not miss out. The bartender on Deck 3 as well as the Sommeliers in the Wine Cellar were wonderful; the rest of the bar staff were not so great. Don't bother purchasing a beverage package because with our without it, you won't get served without waiting a long time- or just go the Deck 3 before dinner.
1. Take a nap in the Solarium (on a wicker canopy if you can snag one);
2. Eat Gelato;
3. Watch the sunset from the lawn club;
4. Go to the LAST glass show of the cruise (possible free stuff);
5. Eat at a specialty restaurant;
6. See the Cirque show;
7. Take a wine class;
San Juan- If you're going to the Bacardi Factory, haggle with a taxi driver or take the ferry.
St. Maarten- Go to downtown- very pretty.
St. Thomas- Skip the taxi. If you're traveling with more than three people, it is cheaper to rent a car (rentals right next to the dock)and go around yourself. We took amazing pictures and visited beautiful beaches for a fraction of the cost of a taxi!