This was our first cruise with Celebrity although I had done a line voyage on a Chandris ship "Ellinis" in the 70's but that doesn't count.
This was simple and took little time. we were greeted in a rather informal manner by a steward offering a glass of warm bubbly we were not shown to our stateroom.This did not bother us as we know our way around ships and on the cruises we have been on you are left to your own devises. The only reason I mention it is because of what I have read in previous reviews. we found our cases inside our cabin by the time we got there. Impressive, I thought.
We chose early sitting and a table of 6. For some reason we shared our table with 4 German people with limited English and us with even less German. The conversation was very limited. We have never been seated on a ship with people that we have nothing in common with. the next 4 nights we ate alone as the Germans were not together and preferred more More
casual meal. We eventually sat with 2 Brits, 4 Canadians and 2 Americans a lively table and interesting company. We ate at the SS. United States and it was embarrassing the way the staff treated you like a food and wine idiot. I found it quite condescending and would not recommend the food as it is of no better quality than in the main dining room, which was generally very good. The deserts were almost all a disappointment.The bread was good and pastries were nearly always good. We ate at the Buffet for Breakfast and you could always get good eggs, fruit and cold cuts. The juice is concentrate and it was so strong it would knock a horse over but I saw many people drinking it. I liked the Iced tea and lemonade but the latter had to be diluted 50% with water. The pizza was not worth the calories for the guilt as it had no flavour. The fresh pasta bar was reasonable and the hamburger bar was good for a quick bite.
we particularly liked the lunch at the spa cafe. The fresh grilled tuna to your liking was excellent and just the right size for lunch. Overall I would rate the MDR good and the service excellent. We had breakfast there and didn't find the service slow but the order of service a bit strange. You are offered pastries as soon as you sit and I feel these should be offered after your hot course but if you don't take one then you wont get another opportunity. (Princess do this too) You have to order toast, muffins and such when you order your meal or you wont get any. Once you know the system it's OK. The food was more varied than the buffet and generally fresher. Overall most of the food we ate was of a good standard and The Brunch was nothing special. Just another buffet like upstairs but with prawns.
We always book an inside cabin because we like the total darkness and are rarely in the cabin anyway. The price also means that we have more spending money. However I think the shipping companies are now inflating the price of an inside to encourage people to opt for a higher grade. This cabin was on the large side for this type of cabin and had plenty of cupboard space. The bed was comfortable and we eventually got the right pillows. We didn't realise that celebrity offer different pillows. (princess have scruffy little pillows that are more like scatter cushions,very uncomfortable). The cabin was quiet apart from the usual low level AC drone. We didn't get any noise from surrounding cabins or the spa area above. The cabin steward was very good and kept our room spotless. Our sheets were changed regularly and always felt fresh. No animal towels! Apparently the crew have been told to not make them. Overall the cabin was fine, the shower was long but not wide and the hidden cupboards under the sink meant plenty of storage in the bathroom.
The Atrium is hardly that. Very small over a couple of floors and not a focal point like on most other ships we have sailed on. The casino was similar to many other ships and the ship design ensures you walk through it. The bars were well spaced out and always seemed roomy The observation lounge offered great views and a quiet place to sit and read until one of the many organized programs interrupt the peace. The gym was well equipped and the saunas were great. Two pools. The inside pool was heated to bath like temperatures salt water and heavily chlorinated. Watch out for fading of your bathers. Outside pool not heated salt water. much better than fresh water. plenty of lounges but many people leave a cheap book or an empty bag on the lounge all day until they come up for a lay down in the afternoon. We have noticed other the years that good manners have gone out the window. And it mainly old people that are the offenders. Overall I really liked the layout of the Ship except for the design of the buffet. which is pretty useless in peek times at breakfast.
Without exception every staff member we encountered was polite and attentive, except the staff in the SS. I really don't need the theatrics of timed unveiling of dishes as if it were some magical feat. Get over it it's only a steak! even saying this the same staff were totally different when working in other venues.