We flew to Miami the night before embarkation and took a taxi to the port. The check in was fairly easy and fast. There were the welcoming photographers and champagne waiting before we got on the ship. We were able to go right to our rooms and then we hit the buffet.
Our luggage arrived piecemeal and last of it didn't arrive until sometime between first dinner and the second show. Our friends had to wait that long for all of their luggage. When we received one of our small carry-ons, the wheel had been broken off it. We took it to guest relations and they said they would try to get it fixed. They couldn't fix it and bought us a similar one in Columbia, our first stop.
We had chosen Select Dining for this cruise. We dined in the Select Dining area for two nights and quickly switched to the first seating of the main dining room. We did not have the service we expected and the tables seemed to be very close together. We have always used the MDR and have enjoyed our interactions with the servers. We weren't disappointed here. We were seated at a table for 8 which already had two other couples. They were wonderful and so were Jose, Emmanuel, Larry & Eric.
The Buffet was good, with a nice variety of food. The Grill was also a winner. The Grand Buffet was not all that impressive. It was basically the regular buffet items in the MDR. We had to bus our own tables as the servers were few and far between.
The Room - we had noise 24/7 in our cabin. We found out we were under the galley and there was banging, clanging, bumping, rolling, all the time. We complained from the first night until about the 10th/11th night. They told us to call when we heard the noises, so we were calling at weird times during the nights. Two different times they sent guest relations people to our cabin to listen to the noise, but said there was nothing they could do. On about the 11th day, they said they found us a new cabin, but by that time I didn't want to move all of our stuff to a cabin that might possibly be worse. I plan to write a letter directly to Celebrity addressing this issue. We also ended up with a stopped up toilet in the middle of the night that had to be fixed.
The entertainment - was underwhelming for the most part. There was the Acapella Group (sounded like the same songs all the time), the solo Guitar Guy (not entertaining), the Party Band (where were the party songs?), the Atlantic Quartet (best of the bands for us), the Orchestra (best with the Cast of the Century), and the Piano guy (didn't hear him). The three big production numbers by the Cast of the Century were very good. The Duo Velikovi were outstanding. The other nightly theater entertainment was OK with the exception of the comedian and Kamika (this couple made my cruise!), who were excellent.
We tried to go to the different spots for entertainment at night. It seems as though the place was a ghost ship after 10:00p.m. unless you went to the casino. We went to the Hemisphere (disco) the first two nights and there were only about 10 people. We heard that it was empty quite a few nights.
Our Cruise Director, Rich Clesen, could not be beat. He managed to mingle with everyone, all the time! I think he clones himself. The rest of his staff were very personable and entertaining. On our Royal Caribbean cruises, I don't even know if there was a cruise director. If so, they were very invisible!
The "Movie Theater" was way too small for the crowd that wanted to attend and VERY cold. We went to two movies and had to bring our bedspread from the bed for warmth. And pity the fool who had someone taller in the rows in front of them. The placement of the screen was awful for that type of seating.
We would have liked to spend more time at the Sunset Bar, watching the wake at the back of the ship, however it's a designated smoking area. We tried, but the smell of smoke was too heavy.
Debarkation was about what we expected.
We did learn some important information during this cruise. We needed a bigger ship (although bigger can't go through the Panama Canal), with more activities, and a 15 day cruise was too long for us. We also found that our favorite cruise vacation is the Caribbean where there is beach and ocean! And there are more people who like to celebrate night time activities, which we enjoy.