On the twelfth day of Christmas I finally left the ship
My husband and I have sailed with Celebrity since it's inception from the late 80's inaugural voyage on the Horizon as well as the other Chandris ships. Celebrity at that time had a fine reputation for luxury as well as fine dining. Also, the convenience of leaving from New York as we live on Long Island was a plus. However, as newer luxury lines came into play such as Crystal, Silversea and Seabourn, we veered away from Celebrity.Being that this was a new ship and being homeported in Bayonne made it an attractive offer.
The feedback from other reviews regarding embarkation and disembarkation were totally correct, so I won't go into detail here. As we were able to drive to the port made it a little easier, although I feel Celebrity should really step up their procedures as ships with the same amount of passengers as well as luggage do much better. The ship itself looks very pleasing to the eye but overall service and quality throughout has greatly deteriorated. All their new additions such as cabanas, lawn club area and specialty restaurants take up so much valuable space that could be better utilized for passenger enjoyment. I for one do not need to sit on real grass on a cruise ship as I can do that at home for nothing. As for specialty dining, Celebrity has caved into the competitive market and not for the better. All food in those venues has recently disappeared from the main dining which used to set itself apart from other cruise lines for quality, type and preparation as well as presentation. All of those things are gone from Celebrity. The Terrace Cafe needs a complete overhaul regarding staffing, availability of tables as well as cleanliness. We observed many children as well as adults picking up food with their hands and nothing was done to address this. As a result, my husband and I never forward to any meals that we had there. Main dining room was a little bit better as we had fixed seating and the same wait staff every time. Quality of food was minimal at best and foods such as lobster tail and the usual luxury fare was almost non existent. Other venues such as The Bistro and The Porch offered not much better and for an additional charge. Celebrity needs to upgrade it's offerings without additional charges if they expect to retain the same guests coming back. We had quite a bit of feedback from repeaters and not for the better. As for the cabin accommodations they were pretty much standard
for each category. The room sizes were much smaller and more contour so you felt somewhat crowded when you shouldn't have. Whomever designed storage space needs to have their examined as storage over a bed was totally ridiculous not to mention dangerous when there was ship movement. Entertainment was a valiant attempt to put on a good show but somehow lacked substance. Celebrity is down in this category as well. I give a 5+ to Captain Nicholas Pagonis as he was the only positive in an otherwise negative experience. He was most visible and personable each and every time he spoke. I would would love to sail with him again. A job well done. The staff in general was accommodating and always with a smile on their face. I think Celebrity is ahead in this category. The most disappointing feature was the fact that this was a Christmas and New Years sailing with 600 children on board. Needless to say they were not well behaved or supervised by their parents and as a result were left to ride the elevators and also running down the hallways at all hours of the day and night. Totally unsupervised and not at all called for. I feel that Celebrity did not enforce rules and as a result many cruise passengers had a totally disappointing cruise. In summary I will say that this was one of the most disappointing cruises with Celebrity and in all truthfulness would rather sail on other luxury ships where the focus is on the passenger rather than a child. I did neglect to mention that the rules regarding the adult pool were not enforced as well as the main pool was not always clean and sanitary the way it should have been. Many days we observed toddlers in the water with diapers falling off. Needless to say we did not utilize the pools. Enough said.