First, let me say that overall the service was excellent-no complaints. Our room steward Dennis was probably the best we have ever had. And our waiter Nicola was excellent as well though his assistant was mediocre at best. The Concierge and Guest Relations crew members were excellent and tried to help me when I asked why I did not receive a RCL Shareholder benefit as I had on previous cruises. I have now sold the RCL stock.
The embarkation was horrible 2 1/2 hours for everyone regardless of loyalty level. The last time we left on a cruise from FTL it was the same, too many ships, too many people, and way too many hangups with computers etc. And debarkation was chaotic and poorly organized everyone standing in elevators and stairwells from deck 1 to deck 10. A poor start and a poor end tarnished may fond memories of the cruise.
The entertainment and entertainers were very good. Perry Grant was great and the shows the crew put on were outstanding. The quartets and dance bands were very popular with the mostly older passengers onboard this cruise.
The basic problem we had was that lots of the little things Celebrity did to become our favorite seem to have fallen down or disappeared. The Maitre'D sat us at an 8 top with a nice couple from Florida on their first cruise and another nice couple from England travelling around the world that we had nothing in common with. The food was always cold and overcooked, it seemed like the second service got leftovers from the first service that were reheated i.e. limp veggies, rock hard baked potatoes, well done steaks ordered rare. Our table ate from the left side of the menu at least half the time. There were very few steaks on menu except for tough the stringy sirloin and NY strip. What happened to the Filets, Chateaubriand and Prime Ribs. And No Lobster Tails except for the tiny Florida ones in the seafood melange on formal night? I guess you do have to pay extra now to get good meals, though we did go to the Tuscan one night and had a good filet mignon but the rest of the meal was not very good; so we cancelled all our future reservations at Ocean Liners and Bistro. Buffet was generally good although no one seems to carry trays or refresh drinks there anymore. It is a shame that food seems to have suffered so much more effort seems to be put into making it look pretty and artsy at the expense of taste and value. Though I do love escargot and onion soup and ice cream having it almost every dinner does take something away from it.
We finally made Elite and will cruise with Celebrity again, having met many nice people and formed many pleasant memories, but it does seem that the Celebrity that we came to enjoy and look forward to is not there anymore.