We boarded the Celebrity the afternoon of the day we were to set sail. I can understand that the process to clear over 2,000 people must be daunting, but from a passenger’s view point, we felt a little like cattle during the boarding process. As we finally boarded tired and anxious to get to our cabins, we were greeted with a one on one sales pitch to purchase meals in one of the specialty restaurants. We finally found our cabin and hauled our luggage in from the hallway. The cabin was in poor shape. The sheets had holes in them, the dust ruffle around the bed was soiled and had evidence of some liquid that was splattered on it, the bathroom smelled like a sewer, there was mildew on the tile floor and in the shower, and the tiles were cracked on the floor. The cabinets were in disrepair and worn. We reported the issues with the sheets, dust ruffle, the bathroom smelling like a sewer and the mildew to customer relations. The sheets and dust ruffle were changed, and an attempt was made to abate the sewer smell in the bathroom. The sewer smell remained for our entire cruise. We were told that the mildew would be cleaned. It never was. Bathroom upkeep was to be an issue for most of the cruise. One afternoon we had come back to our cabin and there was dirt tracked in the bathroom as evidenced by dirty shoe prints.
Before we booked the cruise we spoke to our travel agent and also chatted with Celebrity representatives via the internet concerning our vegetarian diet. We were assured by both that there would be no problem accommodating our non meat diet. In addition, we filled out a pre cruise profile indicating our diet, upon being seated for the first time, we communicated with the maitre d’ what our diet was, and we told our table wait person what our diet was. For most of the cruise, getting food in the main dining room posed a problem. The choices of what to eat were few or nonexistent. Our waiter was non accommodating and grimaced when we asked for something vegetarian like soup. Communication with the on board Celebrity customer service people did not help. When we went to the customer service desk to explain the situation, we only got lip service. I pointed out that we had communicated our diet in no less than four different ways and Celebrity said that they could accommodate our diet. When I got the impression that they were skeptical about what I was telling them, I asked to see the pre cruise profile that stated our diet. They could not show it to me because they did not have a copy. On the third to the last night of the cruise, we had booked a dinner at one of the specialty restaurants. A dining representative, in the middle of our meal, learning that we were having difficulty with getting food that would accommodate our diet, showed us a list he had with all of the passengers with special diets. Our name was not on the list. What was the purpose of our filling out the pre cruise questionnaire? It wasn’t until after a meeting with the head of dining and the executive chef on the second to the last day of the cruise that we found out that there was a vegetarian menu. For dinner, we did not have a single entrée that was served to us hot, except one that was sent back. The food from the main dining room was pretty much mediocre. I found the food in the buffet eating area usually better than the main dining room. There were many choices and the food was generally hot. In addition, ethnic choices, such as Indian of Chinese food, were generally pretty good. We ate in the specialty restaurants on three nights. The food, service, and ambiance were excellent there.
My wife wanted to attend a rumba class that was scheduled near the pool. She proceeded to the location of the class. I told her I would meet her there in a couple minutes. She went to the location and there was no one there: no class, no people, no cruise staff representatives. She asked cruise staff in the area about the class. They sent her on a “wild goose chase.” I went to the scheduled location. No one was there. I asked about the class and was also sent on a “wild goose chase.” After much running around, we finally found out the class was cancelled. There was no one at the location nor was there a sign to inform the cruise guests that the class was cancelled. When we spoke to customer relations about the misdirection, aggravation and lack of concern for the guests, we were told that someone from the cruise activities department would call us. No one ever did.
I am not saying that every aspect on the cruise was negative. We had cruised with Celebrity about fifteen years ago and did not book another cruise with them because we experienced similar problems on our last cruise with them. My assessment is that the cruise line is dysfunctional. The services, food and activities are, at best, are mediocre. I would not book another cruise with Celebrity.