This was our sixth total cruise and third time on Celebrity. We were on the Solstice twice before. I have to say this was my favorite one of all. I traveled with my Husband, 2 Boys (14 and 12), Sister, and Mother In Law and Father In Law. It was the last three's first cruise. Weather was a little cooler than expected, but much better than in Virginia! No complaints here.
Quick and easy. Were on the ship in about 10 minutes from the time we walked in the door at about 11:30 AM. MIL has 2 artificial knees and set off the metal detectors so she had to get the extra pat down. After that, she was personally escorted to the first window which appeared to be for handicapped persons as the counter could accommodate someone in a wheelchair. So she was ready to go before us! That was a nice touch as she was struggling a little bit to walk with her cane.
We were met with the traditional glass if champagne. From there we proceeded to the Oceanview Cafe for some lunch. Yummy! We always found the food there delicious. Rooms were ready about 1PM.
Family Veranda #8107. There were 5 of us (Family plus my sister). The room is huge with 2BR, living room, and dining area. Not to mention the exceptionally large balcony. MIL and FIL had the adjoining balcony 8109. We had our Room Steward open up the divider between the two. It was so nice to be able to go back and forth between the rooms.
Absolutely loved the room! The Master bedroom offered privacy. The 2nd BR had a set of bunk beds, one of which folded up during the day. Also had closets in both rooms making PLENTY of storage. 5th bed was the couch itself with an egg crate on top.
Our Room Steward always kept things straight and was almost always in and out before we got back from breakfast/dinner. He was excellent.
As I said before, Oceanview Cafe was great. Delicious pizza anytime we had a taste for it, too!
MDR food was also superb. With the quality and service we received from our Waiter Sebastian, there was absolutely no need to pay for a specialty restaurant. Our favorite was the last formal night when a few people in our party had 3 lobster tails each! They were not the little ones like I remembered from before, but rather large-sized. Cooked just right. ALL of them. I opted for the Medallions of Beef and was pleasantly surprised when I was brought a whole Filet Mignon done perfectly rare as I requested.
Our drinks were usually waiting for us as were arrived each evening which was really nice. We did assigned dining at 6PM. I feel that this is the best option for us as we got to know our servers, and liked the special treatment we received.
Upon entering the MDR on the first formal night, I was walking towards our requested table for 8 in the back by the window when I spotted a familiar face. High pitched squealing ensued from both of us along with a big hug. It was our Assistant Waitress from the Solstice last year. We were her first customers. She was recently promoted to Head Waitress. We talked for a while and I let her know that when Celebrity had called me regarding my cruise on Solstice, I told them how great she was. She was much appreciative. I guess they really do pay attention to comment cards and the phone calls. So if someone gives you great service, be sure to let them know! She checked in on us every once in a while and we got our picture taken with her again. It was super to see a familiar face.
We did the usual souvenir shopping at the various shops. No formal tours scheduled. Things are cheaper in Costa Maya.
The highlight of our cruise was Cozumel. I was undecided what to do before we pulled in, but I had looked up Mr. Sancho's online and thought it might be fun to try it out. Hopped in 2 cabs and off we went. The day started kind of dreary and cool. ALL the boys and my sister went on ATVs leaving MIL and myself to margaritas on the beach! In about 20 minutes the sun came out and it was GORGEOUS! When they got back, most of them got in the water which was warm and so blue. The sun stayed out for the duration and we went back to the ship after about 3 hours.
There was no charge to go to the resort. Just if you wanted drinks which I think were like $1.50 for a can of Coke, and $9.00 for HUGE margaritas! We even got to hold Macaws and get our picture with them. That was free, too. Just an optional donation. Gave him like $2.00. I highly recommend Mr. Sancho's. They have horseback riding, ATVs, Parasailing (not this time - too windy). I liked the fact that it was free if you just wanted to lay on the loungers on the beach. No pressure at all. Will for sure go back there!
Ovations was the best, Edge came in second, Eclipse-The Show was actually the worst. I went in expecting the same thing we saw on Solstice - twice. I actually had hope when I saw the props and costumes were different. I really hate to admit this, but Solstice was way better (and for me that's saying something, since I didn't think it was all that great, though I didn't totally hate it). Much more variety of acts on Solstice-The Show and it just seemed more upbeat. If I had to hear "Day-O" (the chant they kept saying and not like the song everyone knows) one more time, I was going to lose my Filet Mignon. Terrible lyrics (or lack thereof) on both Solstice and Eclipse shows.
Magic/Comedian Christopher James was funny. DH got picked to sign a card and then got to keep it. Pretty cool.
Not a lot of kids that went, but the boys managed to make new friends. Played Wii, ping pong, and did the boat building contest among other things. They had a lot of fun and were never bored.
Did the express walk off scheduled for 6:30AM. Went down about 6:40AM. No wait at all to get off the ship. They even had to lift up the little line thing for us. Customs took 5-10 min, then we walked directly across the street to the ground floor of the garage. On the road by 7:00 AM. Super easy!!
I'm sure there are things I am missing, but everything was really perfect (with exception of the show, but not a deal breaker by any means). We love the S-Class Ships. Oh, yeah, how could I forget?! We had a wonderful group of CCers. Some of which I knew from the 1st Solstice Cruise. Hopefully I will get to see many of them again. Did the slot pull and gift exchange. That was a lot of fun.
All in all the best vacation. I really want to go back, but with the new pricing policy, we may hold off. I think Celebrity truly needs to reconsider taking care of its customers better in this respect. Maybe add it as a perk of Captain's Club? I'm referring to the no price drop/OBC after final payment, of course. As we normally book a year out, I find it hard to consider that now. However, you never know. This is only my opinion and others may differ. I'm OK with that.
If you are thinking about the Eclipse, do it. It's the best!