All in all a fabulous cruise - easy embarktion, more than happy with our oceanview cabin and the bathroom was roomy too. You get complimentary waffle dressing gowns and decent toileteries in the bathroom (and also the chocolate on the pillow - some cruise lines have stopped doing this little luxury!). Also tea and coffee making facilities in the bedroom and a decent TV.
Restaurants - We went to the main restaurant Moonlight Sonata on a 2nd sitting (8.45pm) which suited us fine. I have to say, there was a lack of vegetarian choice on the main menu and after asking many times, the restaurant manager finally came up with a vegetarian menu, although the selection was small again, but good quality food, if not a little cold on mahy occasions.
The buffet restaurant was awesome. We went there most lunchtimes and maybe 3 evenings. You can sit out at the back of the ship eating your dinner alfresco, very nice. Lots of choice (especially for vegetarians), curries, chinese, pizza, pasta, amazing salads, tapas dishes, bread, dessert, a different roast every day etc. So much choice. At 5pm they bring out the sushi man, that is worth a visit too. The ice cream bar is fab also in there, a big choice of flavours and very popular with people. Approached lots of times by sommeliers trying to sell you a glass of wine but they eventually get the the message!
The other restaurant we visited which had a $30 per head surcharge (but was so worth it for a one off) was Quisine. A brilliant night out, a "3 hour journey" as the restaurant manager called it. Lots of interesting food, all ordered on your very own ipad! Lots of small tapas dishes, very imaginative and a great night out. Exclusive and exciting, but I would say its a one off as you wouldnt appreciate it all again another night. We grazed in there for 3.5 hours and were stuffed! A fab night out and great for a birthday.
Bars - One little niggle is that the bars didnt seem to have many chairs and on some nights (specifically black tie nights) we were wondering around at 7.30pm from bar to bar trying to find a stool or seat, or even just a space at the bar to stand at. The cocktail and vodka bar (called Crush) were extremely busy. We only managed to get one lot of cocktails in 14 nights which was disappointing. The wine cellar bar is quite nice to relax in and you can help yourself to the cheese in the fridge to go with your wine. Our fave bar was the one right at the back, i think on deck 5. This was outdoors, on two levels and overlooked the back of the ship. By the way, we thought the drinks prices were reasonable.
Sunbeds - Now this was a BIG PROBLEM for us. I have never seen sunbeds so close together, not even in Benidorm! I was stunned by the sunbed set up. The sunbeds are so packed tightly together (and you cant move them) that you have to approach your bed by crawling up from the bottom of the bed, no lie! So you end up lying 6 inches away from someone you dont know, its dreadful. We refused to go on the sunbeds and besides, they were always full, no matter how early you got up. I would suggest that they get rid of half of the grass lawn on the top deck and space some nice sunbeds out. The grass is lovely to look at (for about the first 10 mins of your holiday) and then it is not looked at or touched again! A bit of a waste of space if you ask me. Seriously though, it looked like a scene from Benidorm around the pool with people lying on top of each other!
Entertainment - We didnt think the entertainment was a patch on Royal Carribean. The shows were a little cheesy and some of the musical acts werent so great. We also found that there was a lot of music clashing around the bars on common areas. I remember being sat in an armchair near the vodka bar with live samba music being placed below me and classical music in the bar area. Not a great mix!
There were some cheesy shows on in one of the lounges, a little bit like Butlins in some ways, not really our scene. There was a great Spanish Guitar player though that popped up in some of the bars.
Staff- Staff were pretty good, all polite and ready to help. Our two waiters in the Moonlight Sonata were a little bit too "friendly", not as polished as Royal Carribean but it didnt ruin anything.
Ports of Call - all decent places, we had been to some of them before so didnt bother getting off the ship on some days which was great as there was room around the ship to relax and you could get a drink at the bar!
Spa - We both had a deep tissue massage which was good (although a little bit painful!). Again, the spa was nice but not as nice as the Royal Carribean spa area. On Celebrity Eclipse it was a series of small tiled rooms, all identical with a bed in the middle and not much else. Also, on the bed rather than towels they used a white cotton sheet. I couldnt help think throughout my massage that I probably looked like a body laying in a morgue with my fee sticking out from under a white sheet. Im a therapist myself and I dont rate cotton bed sheets in a treatment room, it lacks luxury. The changing room were ok, again, not as good as RC but sufficiently ok. We did overhear a slanging match between a therapist and a keep fit instructor in the spa reception. Raised voices, shouting, pointing at eachother. Not very professional and it kind of cheapened the whole spa experience and trust me, it was NOT cheap!
Gym - The gym looked well equiped, we didnt use it but we did a Pilates Class one day. This fine other than our lovely tinkly tinkly relaxing music being spoilt by loud Hip Hop music coming from the gym! The pilates (and all other classes) are in an open plan area by the gym so get to hear two types of music at the same time. Celebrity seem to like this dont they!
Clientele - There was a mix of people onboard from ages 30 upto 90. A few scooters here and there and mix of all classes. Someone overheard a conversation in the lift where a couple took great delight in telling another couple (who had paid £2,000 each for this cruise) that they got the cruise for £800 each and had a better room than the £2,000 people. I cant understand why people play that game, it cheapens the whole thing and makes you realise that yes, you get all walks of life on a cruise ship, but we just steer clear of them!
We would definately sail with Celebrity again, but we would also sail with Royal Carib and Princess again. We missed being able to sunbath on a sunbed without being on top of a stranger, we missed an extravagant atrium area, we missed having the experience in the spa that we have had on previous ships.