We love Celebrity and have told everyone that it's the best mass market cruise line. I've been on over 50 cruises and travelled extensively around the world for many years so like to think that I can go with the flow and that problems encountered are just a problem solving opportunity.
Unfortunately, neither I nor Celebrity seems to be able to solve the myriad problems of this recently "Solsticized" ship. It quickly became evident that it would be much easier to list the items on the ship that worked as opposed to those that didn't. A sample list: the refrigerator in our suite never worked (the coils at the back got a little cool so the ship's "solution" was to tell us that we should place items against the coils), none of the ship's clocks ever worked, the phone in our suite didn't work when we embarked and it took 10 days for them get it operational, the ventilating system cover had been whacked at some point and was bent in and never fixed, two of the three lights in our bathroom ceiling were out. Sure, they're all relatively little things and our butler tried to make things right, like bringing an ice bucket twice a day so things could be cooled, but should this really be necessary when a huge amount of money was just expended on this ship. The cabin attendant had a tough time keeping our balcony railing salt free so I had to wipe it down twice in the course of the voyage. While the dining room service was impeccable and tightly overseen by an exceptional maitre d', the cafe service was chaos. Tables left unbussed, then when they finally were they were rarely wiped down (we had to do this ourselves on numerous occasions), coffee machines with quite some frequency were out of coffee, tongs for the lemon slices were often not present so the tea spoons had to be used. Again, little things, but this sure isn't the Celebrity that I had so enjoyed on previous cruises. Actually, it's hard in all my cruises to remember a ship where so few things worked properly.
The quality of the food was notably lower than on previous Celebrity cruises. Food has always been one of the strong points of Celebrity and it was at best mediocre. The meat/beef was especially of lower quality and several of us found it virtually inedible. In fact, I sent mine back on one occasion and got fish instead.
Throughout all this, the crew and staff worked smilingly and helpfully (the cafe being a notable exception). The cruise director (Steve) and his staff were really exceptional and the front desk personnel did a good job. Given the level of discontent that we heard from so many passengers and which were undoubtedly conveyed to the ship's staff, that couldn't have been an easy thing to do.
The Enhancement speakers were excellent and the topics varied. They were a very pleasant surprise. So too were the production singers/dancers. I usually find these sorts of performances to just be "fillers" on slow nights, but I really looked forward to experiencing them.
When I heard that the ship was just coming out of drydock, I was prepared for a number of what, in the construction trades, are called "punch list" items. Having been involved in construction projects for many years, I had no doubt that would be the case. I wasn't prepared to experience a sow's ear that Celebrity glossed over to try to make a silk purse.