• Background Information - This our 9th cruise, most of them with Celebrity because we have enjoyed them so much but we have tried NCL, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, and Carnival.
• Hotel Info (if any) - No Hotel, we did the red eye from the west coast there and over nighted at a family's place on the way back.
• Ship Info - We weren't sure about such a big ship, but things went smoothly. The ship is beautiful. There is a book in the stateroom that describes the art around the ship or you can pick up an ipad that has the information on it and wander around the ship for a private art tour. There was always a place to sit to eat at the Oceanview Cafe although it took a few minutes to find one on embarkation day as most people like us had been traveling and were ready for lunch while our rooms were being made up.
• Activities - The Celebrity Life activities had so much going on we had to pick and choose. We love the trivia! The Aussie Team won the progressive trivia with 154 points but we were right there with 152.5. We had them sweating! We love to dance and the band Top Notch was great. The dance floors have room to move and the DJ was great too. We enjoyed the bocce, the Olympics, Wii, Xbox, Karaoke, the glass blowing shows, and other activities spread over the day. The grass lawn is awesome. It was a nice place to sit and watch the world go by or play a game.
• Service- Service was excellent. Our Assistant Waiter, Reynaldo was on his first cruise and he worked very hard to meet our needs. Toney, our Waiter was very attentive. One member at our table had food allergies and he was very careful to make sure anything that came her way was permitted. We had a window seat and a table for four that was with another table for four so we just considered it a table for eight. A little harder to talk at a longer table, but the location was so good off in a corner out of traffic.
• Port & Shore Excursions - Cozumel and our favourite Celebrity arranged excursion. We did the Secret River Trip. The ferry met us for a 45-minute ride to Playa del Carmen. We were met there and had a van ride to our starting point. A 15-minute highway drive and a 15-minute bumpy dirt road drive. There we were showered, toileted, given water shoes, wetsuits, and helmets with lights. Our guide Gonzo was amazing. He was well educated on the caves and was so enthusiastic!!! We went down into the caves and into the river. Sometimes walking on dry land and sometimes swimming. We saw catfish, crab Spiders, and bats. Two hours later we emerged and were fed some tortillas with cheese and salsa and fruit as well as something to drink. There was a concession if this did not appeal to you. A photographer follows you along the way and takes photos. You can purchase one or the whole cd at the end.
• Costa Maya - Dzibanche & Kohunlich Mayan ruins in southern Quintana Roo, Mexico. Okay so the bus ride is long, but the guide Esbel, spoke about so many things on the ride the time flew. (Or you could ignore him and sleep.) These ruins were amazing and were the first we have ever seen. The lunch provided was a little skimpy for my husband the beverage was terrible so... maybe plan ahead.
• Costa Rica - Our float in tubes down the river was cancelled due to low registration, so we walked off the ship. We listened to three sales pitches, talked it over and went with Robert. Robert was a very interesting guy and showed us his beautiful Island. He took us to an old museum location in the hillside, a look out, and the Tortuguero Canal where Jorge piloted us up the river. That was extra and we invited Robert along for the ride. We saw Caiman, monkeys, a sloth and many other animals and plants. We had a swim and lunch at a beach the ship staff likes to stop at. The lunch was supposed to be for four people but could have fed twice that! We packed it in a little early, as one of our members was not feeling 100%.
• Panama - We booked our own tour with Mario's Tour. They met us at the ship and had great, clean vans. Rey our guide was knowledgeable and we enjoyed the trip to the Panama Canal where we watched a ship pass. Stop number two was the lake head and we boarded wooden canoes with engines for the 30-minute ride to the Embera Indian Village. The Chief spoke to us and we were allowed to wander their village. I realize this is how they make their living, but I did feel a bit of a voyeur. They also prepared us tilapia, plantain and some pineapple. The Tilapia is a bit muddy, but considering the water is so muddy it is expected. The pineapple was to die for. They did some dances for us and we joined them in one they would use at a wedding. They also had handcrafts for sale. Part of the trip was to include a trip to the waterfalls, but the water is very low and the canoes could not go up there.
• Columbia- Rosario Islands - Okay, unless they make changes don't do this one. They did not provide what was offered in the description and wanted another $20 per person once you got to the Islands to go snorkeling. Others complained about their bus trips, that their guides were more focused on street vendors and street entertainers and less on the historic places. The happiest people seemed to be the ones who took their chances with the taxi drivers at the port.
• Travel To Port of Embarkation - Choice Air was great from Seattle to Fort Lauderdale. We used the bus transfer, but you could just as easily taken a taxi, the port is very close by.
• Stateroom - We had a stateroom at the bow of the ship with a window. It was roomy and very quiet. We like the large shower and the new flat screen TVs that swing out. Kind of short of drawer space but we got creative. Our Room Attendant Jeneley was very good.
• Dining - The layout of the Oceanview Cafe was great. I never had to wait for anything more than a minute or two at the most, even the ice cream station. We tended to have our breakfast in the Aqua Spa Cafe and there was never a wait for service or a table. We preferred the Silhouette for dinner and enjoyed great food, well prepared and tasty. I suppose the only complaint is the sea bass was fishy, it tasted a bit old. We talked about doing a specialty restaurant, but never got a round to it as we enjoyed our tablemates.
• Children's Clubs - Did not use.
• Entertainment - Top Notch the dance band was great. They played great covers, sang well and they engaged passengers to dance. Jukebox, a Capella group was my overall favourite. They were tight and so much fun to listen to. I guess it didn't hurt that they sang a medley for me for my birthday. I love Mario D'Andrea and his amazing guitar; we enjoyed the Manny Kellough Jazz quartet and Martin Andales Guitar and vocals. I didn't get too excited over the steel drummer, B Sharp. He wasn't bad; I think it was because he was playing covers of pop hits rather than something you hear more traditionally with a steel drum.
• Disembarkation - There was a delay, but really it was painless.