I want to start this review by letting you know that I am a middle-age woman that traveled with my husband, 25 year old son and a friend of his. We have been on about 14 cruises with several of them being on Celebrity. We are Captain's Club members. This cruise was the Captain's Club Reunion Cruise along with the maiden voyage of Cirque du Soliel. For these reasons, I was very excited to be on this cruise. My expectations were high that I was going to have the magic of Cirque, along with the excellence of Celebrity. I thought, how could we go wrong. Well, I have to honestly say, it was not that great.
I am not going to take you on a daily schedule of the cruise. I feel that has already been stated many times. I do want to mention about the Cirque Du Soliel "Experience." Yes, it is an Experience and not a show. If you expect a show, you will be very disappointed. The disco has been transformed into "The Bar and the Edge of the Earth." The look of it, well it looks like the TV show "Trading Spaces" came in and decorated it. They have slipcovered the chairs in white, they have lots of material hanging from the ceilings. They have made tents in the back with lounges in them. The cocktail waiters, well it was obvious that they did not know what they were doing. I had a frozen drink dumped in my lap and on the others in my group. He gave me a few small napkins to clean up and gave me a free drink. The rest of the group was charged for theirs even though the orders were wrong and they had stuff on them too. That was bad service. After a major complaint by my husband, we did get our clothes laundered for free. The "experience" was like a bad technical rehearsal. I just was not impressed. We did go to the Masquerade Ball. Yes, we paid the $30 per person and really looked forward to something magical from this. Well, it was the same "experience" we had for free two nights before. (This time no drink on me however.) The only difference at all was that everyone had on masks and dressed in white. I had read in another review that no one was talking about the "experience" on board afterward. I do not know where that person was, because we heard a lot of people complaining on how bad it was, After being part of a focus group about it, Celebrity and Cirque did make changes on the last night. It was a lot more fun with better music and more interaction with the characters. We did get a refund on the Masquerade Ball.
I also want to bring up one other thing. I had terrible service in the main dining room (San Marco). Our waiter never introduced himself, and never talked except to apologize when he got the order wrong (that happened a lot). We only ate in the San Marco three nights because the service was so bad. One example of this service was with any Celebrity cruise waiter, they start the night with an explanation of the menu. What we received was, "Good evening, what do you want." We had to ask the maitre 'd to refill our water glasses because the assistant waiter or the main waiter just did not do it. We later found out from our table mates, that the assistant waiter was very unhappy with his job and he wanted off of the ship. He actually told them this. This does not say much for Celebrity. We did eat at the Sushi bar a lot at night. It was great.
Our favorite place to enjoy a sunset was at the bar on the stern of the ship(Seaside Grill). That is where Happy Hour was and we enjoyed Pablo singing every night there. The Seaside Grill by the pool was also very good for hamburgers and pizza.
I have to also compliment the activities staff. Tommy, Paul and Renata were great. My group loves trivia, and we had a lot of fun in the competitions. The other entertainment was great also. I was so impressed with the quality of shows onboard. I highly recommend the Aquaspa. I had a hot stone massage that was absolutely best. I also got a haircut and manicure. The services were excellent. One benefit to being a Captain's Club member, you get coupons for discounts on spa services. The staff were wonderful.
Overall, I had a good cruise. It was not the excellent cruise that Celebrity is famous for. I had hoped with all of the heads of Celebrity on board, that services would be top notch, but it was not. I was disappointed.