This was our first Celebrity cruise. We have been on both Carnival and Royal Caribbean. I would say the Celebrity is a notch above these other lines.
Embarkation: The embarkation went very smooth. The only hitch was the passengers from the previous cruise got off the ship late so we were late getting on the ship. Once we were allowed to begin, things went very smoothly. We were greeted with champagne or orange juice.
Public Rooms: Everything was very clean and well lit. The casino was very pleasant and had a great selection of slots and table games. We enjoyed the single deck Black Jack Table. The slot tournament was not very well organized and took a very long time to complete. The various bars on board were very nice. Prior to dinner each night they had soft dance music playing in the Rendez-Vous Lounge. The wait staff in this lounge was excellent. We barely got seated when they came to take our orders. After dinner we had drinks at the Martini Bar and that was very quiet and relaxing. Another quiet bar was Michael's. A quiet piano bar. The Water Fall bar was wonderful. Far aft on the ship it was a relaxing place to watch the sea go by. In the evenings there usually was a gentleman playing music and singing. We did not go into the Revelations bar in the evenings as we aren't "into" pop music. However, others who went there during the evening said it was tons of fun. We did go into this area during the day for some of the trivia games. We also sat there and watched the sea go by as there are windows overlooking the bow of the ship. It was also a quiet place to read and relax when no contests were going on. The Emporium Shops were some of the nicest shops I've seen on a cruise ship. The only confusing thing was trying to find sunscreen, lip balm, Tylenol etc... these were found where the alcohol was sold. Odd place to put these items.
The Main Dining Rooms were very elegant. The staff was a bit slow at times but always friendly. They accommodated any special request any of us had. We were lucky to have a window table and could watch our ship leaving dock. The food was GREAT! They make all their food from scratch and you can tell. The Waterfall Grill had equally good food. One very nice thing they did in the buffet lines was there was ALWAYS someone to help you with your tray and drinks. Every day they carried my tray through the line to the table and then got our drinks for us.
The Grand Foyer was very pretty but a bit dull. It was not the grand entrance that I have seen on other ships. The main staircase went up the center and was very nice. The pool areas were very nice. We did not use the pools but they did look very tempting. Our only complaint about anything on the ship was the Aqua Spa (Thelosotherapy pool). This was a terrible design. I am somewhat handicapped and could have really used this area but would have had difficulty getting into the pool. You had to walk up several steps to get into the pool area. The steps were slippery as was the hand railing. If you used a wheelchair there was NO access to the pool.
Entertainment: We only attended 2 of the shows. One was a musical review type show of Broadway show tunes and the other was a comic. Both shows were good but typical of cruise entertainment.
Going Ashore: We did not use the tours you could book on board. But getting on shore was not difficult (and I used a wheelchair on shore). Our ports included: Aruba, Panama, Costa Rica, Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Key West. Originally we were to go to Key West first but our itinerary got changed and Key West was last. This is the only real complaint we had. We had to clear customs at Key West before going ashore. They called you buy deck to go through customs. Then called you again to go ashore. By the time they allowed us off the ship we only had a few hours left. THEN getting back to the ship you had to go through inspection as we docked at the Naval base. We were on the transport train for 45 minutes waiting at the gate to the dock. They cruise line published we would be in Key West from 10:00 - 6:00. What they didn't tell you was you couldn't leave the ship at 10:00. It was at least noon before the first passengers were allowed off and later for those who didn't have shore excursions booked through the cruise line. We got off the ship about 1:30. Since we wanted to be back on board in time for early seating dinner, this didn't leave us much shore time. One wonderful thing the cruise line does is they have chilled towels waiting for you at the gangway! After walking around in the hot sun all day - this felt wonderful!
Our cabin steward was great. He even had a bottle of champagne waiting for me in the cabin on my birthday. It was a gift from him! He and his assistant kept our room very neat and clean. On 2 nights we ate dinner in our cabin and he was the one who took our order and brought the food.
Overall - I would rate this cruise a 9 out of 10. The only reason I didn't give it a ten is due to the last day of our cruise when we went to Key West.