Here is a little bit of background info - My wife and I are both in our mid 40's and have been on 13 cruises over the years. 6 Royal Caribbean, 3 Princess, 3 Celebrity and 1 Carnival.
We flew into Newark from Chicago and took a 20 minute cab ride from the airport to the pier. When you first pull into the pier, the surroundings are a bit scary with all of the abandoned buildings and general run-down look of the place. Once we got to the area to check in, everything was a bit nicer. Embarkation was a snap. From the time we got dropped off, to the time we boarded the ship was no more than 20 minutes. We were a bit late arriving because our flight was late by about 2 hours, so I'm not sure how the check-in process was earlier in the day.
I wasn't sure what to expect once I got on-board. I have read some previous reviews that describe this ship as "worn-out" and "tired". Let me tell you that this is NOT the case at all. This ship is still in great shape. I saw none of the worn carpeting, thread bare chairs and general shabbiness that others have described. The boat still looked wonderful to me.
We had booked a CC2 cabin and it was very nice. It was very clean both inside and out on the balcony. There was more than enough storage space for all of our clothes. Our 3 pieces of luggage were delivered to the cabin within 2 hours.
The food in the waterfall cafe on deck 10 was good but not great. The variety could have been a little bit better, especially for breakfast. The variety for lunch wasn't to bad.
The food in the MDR was very good. We had the select dinning option and never once waited for a table. We were always given a table for two either by the railing or by a window. Both locations were very nice. The service by the wait staff was also very good.
When we had the anytime dinning option on our previous Princess cruise, the service always seemed very rushed, but it was very calm and very good on Celebrity. Dinner service typically took between 1 - 1.5 hours including dessert.
We also ate in the Normandie specialty restaurant twice during the cruise and the food was excellent! Just be prepared to spend at least 2 - 2.5 hours for the experience.
This was our first trip to Bermuda and it was great! The island is very clean and very easy to get around using the buses and ferries. The weather was in the mid 80's and somewhat humid.
The disembarkation process was the easiest we have ever had. We did the walk-off option and met downstairs with our bags at about 6:45am. They had you put your luggage in a line and then took you to a conference room to sit down. It was very refreshing that you didn't have 250 people milling around with their luggage looking for a place to stand or sit. Other cruise lines can take a lesson from this. They started letting people off about 7:15. We walked off, cleared customs, got a shuttle and were at the airport by 8:30! It couldn't have been easier.
We have been on 13 cruises and this was definitely one of the best. The ship was great, the staff was great and Bermuda was great. We actually booked the same cruise for next June while we were on-board. We even booked the exact same cabin. This is the first time we have ever booked a cruise while on-board.
If people are looking for an alternative to the same old tired Caribbean itineraries, I would definitely recommend Bermuda and Celebrity!