This was our 10th cruise overall and third cruise with Celebrity. The previous two were on Century and Millenium. We feel that the overall quality of the Celebirty line has been diminishing over the years. This time the embarkation was nothing short of a complete failure and consisted of long delays, poor communincation and a dismissive attitude towards passengers. Obviously this was affected by the previous norovirus outbreak. However, communication during embarkation was poor and we got on the ship well after 4 pm. There was no usual champagne welcome that we previously experienced on Celebrity, and the cabins were available only after 5.
The food was bland and tastless, particularily the dinners. There was nothing memorable or out of the ordinary. We didn't go to any of the specialty restaurants so I can't comment on those. At our first Celebrity cruise in 2005 on Century, they stressed their desire to uphold the highest of standards for their food and thus did not want to focus on relying on speciality restaurants. Clearly, this philosophy did not last. In regards to food, Celebrity has become undistinguishable from other cruise lines.
In the buffet, long lines were common and there was a long wait during dinner.
Communication throughout the ship was also poor. The tv rarely and inaccurately updated the forecast so we did not know what the weather would be like. This was especially important in regards to the waves. In prior cruises the TV always displayed the heights of waves.
We liked the destination, entertainment, and our room steward did an excellent job. Any requests that we had were immediately addressed. As far as the entertainment went, we particularly enjoyed Perry Grant, the classical Arabesque trio and the evening theatre shows. Our port in the Madera islands ended up being cancelled due to a strike in Portugal, and we appreciated that the ship quickly changed the port to Gibraltar rather than spending another day at sea. Gibraltar ended up being a terrific port to visit. Also, we enjoyed our dinner company. This was a highlight of our day.
Overall, it was a good experience, but Celebrity is no longer a high priority when it comes to choosing a cruise line.