First time sailing on a Celebrity ship.
FOOD: The Cosmopolitan food was mostly excellent at dinner. Some items were just OK but nothing was bad. Our table typically ordered more than one appetizer, and/or dinner, and/or dessert which was not a problem. Since Sunday is an at-sea day, there is a big brunch buffet from 10am-1pm in the Cosmopolitan - which was also excellent. Other than brunch, we only ate dinner here though it is open for other meals.
The daily breakfast buffet has lots of options and is good. The setup is duplicated on each side of the ship, but you can only get pancakes and waffles all the way at the back service counter which was very inconvenient. Waiting for a custom-made omelet can be annoyingly slow, especially when the cook is only using one burner when 2 are available. The lunch buffet seemed good, though we only caught the end of it (2-2:30pm) twice. Salad dressing was lacking on some days (only 3 choices). After 2pm until 11pm, you can only get salad, pizza, pasta, fruit, and small desserts on the buffet. You need to eat in the Cosmopolitan to really enjoy the best food. There are 2 formal nights - Sunday and Thursday.
There are 2 ice cream setups that operate thru 11pm. It has scooped flavors (very good) and soft serve (fair, somewhat icy) with toppings and sauces. the person behind the counter always seems to be unhappy with this assignment but till always force a smile.
My main complaints: All carved meats were undercooked - raw in the middle 80%, and the drinking water had a bad taste.
ROOMS: Even the smallest staterooms were an adequate size for 2 and the shower stall was the larger size where you can easily bend over all the way without hitting your head on the wall. Water pressure was good and there was a removable long-hose shower head. The bathroom was cleaned twice a day, with fresh towels and bath mat each time. The room had a free 4-digit safe in the closet. They leave you 2 beach/pool towels for going ashore but MAKE SURE YOU RETURN THEM - they charge $28 per towel if not returned. The same (un-inventoried) towels are available at the pools on deck 10.
Complaints: The room was not vacuumed enough - sand spots on the open floor remained for days. Everyone we spoke with had this same complaint: the bedspread and throw pillows were disgusting - severely stained - and all told the cabin steward to remove it from the room until the end of the cruise. Drawer and hanging space was adequate.
CLEANLINESS: We were not impressed for a 10 year old ship. Although there was no outright visible filth, I saw small ants near the outside walls of the pool bar. The buffet dining table cleaners wiped many tables with the same wet rag, pushing crumbs onto the floor and leaving sticky streaks on the tables. The worst problem was the strong stench of garbage (like your outdoor garbage can in the sun during summer) on deck 2 and in the mid ship staircase at decks 1, 2, 3, and 4 in the afternoon and most of the evening. It appears the A/C is turned off/low during the afternoon and the garbage bins must be mid ship on deck 1. There were also a few times in the evening where a slight septic/sewer smell was present on deck 2. There were no issues in the dining room or with glasses, plates, cups, or utensils.
SERVICE: The best among my many experiences on RC, NCL, Carnival over the last 25 yrs. When the guest relations desk did not have an answer for me regarding where football could be seen, they took my room number and said they would leave a message - and they did. Everyone was extremely accommodating. One exception was the bartender in the Mast bar who was so wrapped up hitting on one of the female guests, we sat nearly 3 minutes before I yelled to him when we first sat down at the bar. I then asked for 2 Pina coladas, one mixed with a packet of Splenda, to which he replied "Splena? what you mean Splena?". I had to explain what Splenda was and he looked puzzled - another bar tender saw what was going on, got pissed at Mr. Splena and went downstairs and got a handful which he placed in front of me, then told Mr. Splena *I* went and got them. Apparently Mr. Splena doesn't understand the Celebrity service standards and 2 of his co-workers seemed disgusted with him.
Our dining room waiters were also very, very good. Others at our table felt they were excellent but I think excellent goes to the waiters at the table next to ours. I noticed each evening, they had glasses of ice tea on the table before anyone arrived. I had to ask for mine the first 2 days and wait until after giving my dinner order before receiving mine for the next few days. Overall, there was only 1 evening where the dining room seemed under-staffed and service was very slow - I've seen this on nearly every cruise I have ever taken.
ENTERTAINMENT: We only watched 3 shows which were very good compared to other cruises. They are not Broadway perfect but very, very good. The comedian (Kevin) was very funny, the singer/dancers and accompanying band were also entertaining. Michael the piano player was OK though it was a bit corny and too laid back at times.
Note this ship does NOT have a sports bar with a big screen but we were able to watch football in our cabin - on CBS Sunday and ESPN Monday night. The only other public TVs are 2 small TVs behind the small casino bar.
EXCURSIONS: Like all other cruise lines, these are overpriced and lack substance for the price. I booked all our tours online from home with the locals, except one in St. Maarten. We're not beach bums so we decided to do the Celebrity Sea And See Tour - but the submarine operator cancelled due to "poor visibility and ground swells". So we had an option to cancel or just do the land portion with a 50% refund. Due to the late notice of cancellation that morning, we did the land portion only....a real waste other than to see the water was quite calm.....hmmm, could it be the huge RCL mega-ship that was also in port got first preference ?
The only worthwhile site-seeing tour I recommend you self-book online for this cruise is the COSOL Tour in St. Lucia, but only if you get Cosol or Yellowbird guaranteed as the tour guide. You must go with Cosol (not Yellowbird his brother) if you can't climb in and out of a boat in bare feet standing in the rocky sand waters at the beach stop. Avoid Glory Tours (Barbados), Lawrence of Antigua, Sunny Liston Tours (St. Thomas) as all fell far short of their advertising.
EMBARKATION/DEBARKATION: Some poor communication annoyances here. Check In is 2pm and we arrived at 2:10 to find long lines. The check in folks were not too friendly and did not give direction where to go after completing the check in process. You walk on the ship and they hand you a mimosa, but no further information as to whether your room was ready or where lunch was. People just hung around with their mimosa overcrowding the lounge areas at times. The room was surprisingly ready (usually not the case on all other cruise lines) and the buffet was up and running fine.
We had an earlier return flight so we signed up for the early debarkation on arrival as instructed. On Thursday, they deliver green #2 tags, a customs declaration, and instructions to your room. On Saturday morning we went to the Lounge on time (7:30am) as instructed and waited for further details which never came - instead, they setup a table where final day excursions were being sold. The person we were sharing a taxi with checked with someone only to find out we could have just walked off the ship at any time.