This was our first Celebrity cruise and our first holiday cruise and we were not disappointed. We arrived at the port around 11:30 and we shown to a waiting area for the concierge class.
Checking-in was easy as can be. We were on the ship by noon and promptly went for lunch. It was a very nice touch to be greeted with a glass of sparkling wine upon embarkation, this from smiling happy staff. Our cabin was ready by 2 pm and my bag was there as promised. My husband's was not. We went and explored the ship and found the San Marco dining room and the various lounges, pools and cafes.
By 5:30pm, Dave's bag had yet to show up. We asked our steward to help and he located it in security. We were told we had to go claim the bag. It seems that his pocket knife was deemed a dangerous weapon, a pocket knife which traveled all over the world and was never stopped before. This seems odd as there were steak knives all over the ship with much bigger blades.
Our stateroom was very nicely appointed, with lots of storage space, a huge shower and a comfortable love-seat. The balcony was small but sufficient. The overhang did not bother us but might do for someone wishing to sunbathe on the balcony. It was very quiet most of the time except for the odd sound from above from chairs being moved around.
The San Marco dining room was beautiful and very nicely designed. We chose select dining and never waited to be seated. The maitre d's were 2 lovely, pleasant and helpful young woman who smiled, joked with us and even chatted with us. Princess could learn from them as their maitre d's are are surly older men who take their jobs far too seriously.
The food there was great. Lots of variety, perfect portions and served perhaps a bit too quickly but overall, great.The one thing Celebrity can not do is beef. It was tough and/or tasteless. We never tried the other restaurants as we were satisfied with the choices in the main dining room. Suzanna, one of the sommeliers, was great. She was efficient, knowledgeable ans sweet. the male sommelier was not quite so good. He made many errors both with us and with people around us.
As this was a holiday cruise, the ship was beautifully decorated with poinsettias, trees and other lovely decorations. The main stairwell was decorated with gingerbread houses and there was effort put into the entertainment with caroling and a show in the theater. On Christmas day, there was a huge brunch in San Marco with every conceivable food choice including a suckling pig.
The entertainment we found to be mixed. We enjoyed the acapella group and the dance company but did not go to the comedy shows at all and found the classical trio sadly lacking in talent.
As we had sailed the Caribbean many times before, the ports were less important the experience on board ship. We did a spice tour in Grenada which was fabulous and mostly beached in the other ports. Orient Beach in St. Martin left a lot to be desired. It was noisy, very crowded and not very enjoyable. On the other hand, Magens' bay and Dickensen's beach were wonderful.
Sadly it all came to an end too quickly. The last 2 sea days were the most calm seas we have ever seen. Mirror perfect surface.
Debarkation was also good except for the long lines to get through customs.
We would certainly cruise with Celebrity again as all staff were pleasant, smiling, helpful genuinely happy people. It was a great experience.