First a little introduction of us. This is our 7th Celebrity cruise along with 1 RCL cruise aboard the Serenade of the Sea's. We started cruising in 2006 and are 50 and 48 years old. We both work and enjoy the outdoors whenever we can, and enjoy our home life, cooking and entertaining.
We have been on the Constellation twice, Summit twice, Solstice B2B, and the Equinox.
Getting on the ship was a breeze, we got to the port around 12 noon and were aboard sipping our sparkling wine by 12:20, very nicely done Celebrity.
We have never done a all inclusive vacation so we opted for the premium drink package which is more than we would normally spend on our cruise tab, but it gave us the opportunity not to worry about our bill at the end which was very stress free. These packages were bought at Cafe al Bacio right after we boarded the ship.
For lunch we decided to avoid the hustle and bustle at the Seaside Cafe and had our lunch at Bistro on Five, it was only us and one other table. We both had the soup of the day, my first pannini, and my DW a lunch crape, we also had a glass of nice white wine. I'm not a complainer be the food was mediocre at best. Oh well there are many choices ahead.
After lunch we explored the ship to see the other improvements that were made to the Connie, we both thought the ship was in tip top shape and really liked the updates. Nice job Celebrity!
It was now time to get ready for our sail away get together which we had been planning on the CC board. Many posted pictures of themselves on a promising but unreliable site called Cruise Fellows.
It has promise but needs some work, maybe CC could take note of this and incorporate some of the CF functions into there site. Sandy and I made name tags and tried to get as many faces memorized as possible before our get together. There was a lot of anticipation as our CC conversations took us in some interesting places, Thongs, Boa's, Prince Albert, and OMG guy. So we were waiting to see who and what would show up, I will just leave it at that.
We had a great turn out and it was a nice way to start our voyage.
We decided before hand not to attend the CC party, we are from Minnesnowta and cherish our time in the warmth and sun.
Michelle (shelbird) organized a great cabin crawl on the second sea day which took us to many cabins except a suite.
This is a great way to see the many cabins that you may not know about and was great fun.
Again we did not know what may happen along the way (Barnicle Bill) I will leave it at that.
I will briefly cover each port as I thought this was the best itinerary overall that we have done.
St Martin a very nice port with lots to do, this time we opted to shop, Sandy got some jewelry.
Antigua was a lovely beach day. We walked into town to the local bus station and took bus #22 to Valley Church Beach. Lots of shells and coral along a very secluded stretch of nice coral sand.
6 dollars round trip for both of us, it cost others $60 for a cab. The beach had a restaurant, bar, showers, and offered a good price message on the beach. We go back again.
St Lucia was going to be a ship day, but DW wanted to shop more. We docked at the older pier which I had heard about, they were relentless to take us on a tour, our shopping lasted about 10 minutes.
Barbados which is one of our favorites, did not disappoint. We booked before hand the Calabazza cat sail which lived up to the hype, excellent day, with great food, drink and swimming with the turtles was phenomenal. Will do this one again $110 PP.
Grenada the spice Island. We took the rickety water taxi to Grand Anise Beach the water was beautiful but a bit crowded. If you walk away from the water taxi dock it thinned out. We we told to keep a close eye on our belongings here. Very nice day walking the beach, then buying our spices from a vendor. When heading back they will only leave when the taxi is completely full. Next time we will wait on the beach until taxi is almost full.
Aruba a short walk to the bus station to board the #10 to Eagle Beach, another day to walk a long stretch of white powder. Would go back.
Curacao I had a tough time deciding where to snorkel here lots of choices. We took a cab with 4 others to Port Mari beach, it cost $20.00 for each person round trip.
This is what I would call a coral beach so water shoes may be needed.
The beach itself is small but has very good facilities, bar, restaurant, showers, dive shop everything you would need.
That day the beach got very crowded, but it seemed most were there to chill out in a chair not snorkel.
I was expecting better coral, but that disappointment was made up by the numerous fish, and excellent cove beach for snorkeling. May go back.
Bonaire was a new favorite. We booked before hand the Woodwind snorkel. First class crew that help all levels of snorkelers from first time to experienced, very informative and hands on.
Some of the best coral we have ever seen in the Caribbean, they really protect this place.
Also to our surprise the small vendor area just off the ship had some inexpensive and quality artists,
Not the same old same old, save some cash for this port, no credit cards.
Now to the subjective part of my review FOOD.
In my opinion things have been changing at Celebrity over our cruising history, some good but unfortunately some very poor.
I can honestly say I have never had a dish that I could not physically eat over the years. Yes sometimes it was not to my taste but that is to be expected.
Unfortunately this cruise the majority of main dishes were either fishy sea food which you knew were coming before it hit the table. Most beef and lamb cuts were so tough or chewy that it was not even worth the effort. One night they served Pork Belly which I have never had but was recommended by other CCers on the board. If you like a hunk of pork fat this one is for you. This dish was not fit for my dog. I'm not going to labor on this, but the main dining room has been what keeps us coming back to Celebrity, not free drinks and a upgraded buffet.
Service was excellent throughout the ship which I feel Celebrity continues to do well.
We had an excellent cabin stewart Nelson along with his assistant Micheal which made our trip excellent, they took very good care of us.
We had a so so waiter in the dining room that just wanted to get done with it each night.
I felt sorry form him because of the low quality dishes Celebrity was putting out.
We drank more water, tea, specialty coffees than we would have otherwise. We also got to try many top shelf liquors that we otherwise would not have had. Not sure we came out ahead but it was fun trying.
We had a wonderful overall cruise and are at this time booked next Jan on this wonderful itinerary.
I really hope our dinning room experience was a fluke.