As previously stated, embarkation was not as smooth as anticipated. At 11:30am, passengers were embarking and disembarking simultaneously that caused the chaoticness within the terminal. As AQ class members, my wife and I did not experience express check-in. There were 2-3 agents at the counter with approximately 15-20 passengers waiting on line.
We stayed in AQ 1574. Cyril (cabin steward) and Ariel (assistant cabin steward) introduced themselves immediately. They are the BEST. I cannot tell you how attentive, friendly, polite, respectful, and courteous they are. Every time they see us walking down the hall, they would immediately open our cabin. They ALWAYS greet you with a smile and ask how our day was. Our room was always made as scheduled. It was a bit strange to place our clothes above the bed where the storage is located. We requested isotonic pillows. They ran out of them. As AQ passengers, we are entitled to these pillows upon request. Cyril made every effort to track these pillows down and sure enough, he found them within 24-hours. I cannot say enough about these guys. They treated us like royalty.
We enjoyed the intimate experience that the BLU had to offer. The BLU is mostly for AQ passengers. We dined everyday for breakfast and dinner. Unfortunately, BLU did not provide lunch for its AQ passengers as we ordered room service 5-6 times for lunch. We loved the Turkey Club sandwich and the sesame ginger chicken wings. It was the BEST. The food was good and the service was excellent. Orlando (the maitre 'd) would have memorized your stateroom and name by the 2nd day of dining. Mohammad(the assistant maitre 'd) and Orlando were always attentive and friendly. They always came to our table and chit-chatted with us. Carla (waitress)and Maria (assistant waitress) were always on-top of their game. We took the advice of Carla's recommendations regarding our meals (appetizers, soups, and entree) and Maria on desserts. They were NEVER wrong. We enjoyed their recommendations very much. Unfortunately, we were disappointed that (1) the staff did not parade themselves towards the end of the cruise, (2) no baked Alaskan and (3) the captain did not make a guest appearance. They did this in the MDR but not the BLU. We paid extra to be in the AQ class, shouldn't we get the same treatment if not more?
The activities on board was not to our liking. We stayed in our cabins and watched 11 out of 20 free-on-demand movies.
Overall, it did not meet our expectations from our previous Celebrity cruise. The food was good but not great, the activities were not interesting, and the entertainment was mediocre. I always recommended Celebrity as my cruise line of choice to friends and family but they need to step-up their game if they want passengers to keep coming back.