cruise with another couple and accompanying my wife's older parents(84/87). Staff was very attentive to my in laws, helping at every meal, upon embarkation, and on the sun decks...They had a very nice outside cabin near the pursers desk...Our accommodations were concierge class 1, stern of the ship..nice room, nice balcony, nice bathroom, poor storage..for long trips, three drawers just doesn't cut it..the available space above the beds was OK for me at 6'2", but for a 5'2 person , one would need to stand on the bed to utilize this space. Our stewards were wonderful, best we have had on the 35+ cruises we have taken..the dining room staff was attentive and pleasant and made an effort to get us whatever we wanted, or to have the chef make us something special the following day...but, the quality of the food on celebrity has taken a dramatic downturn since Michel Roux and celebrity parted ways. Food was mediocre..gone were the rack of veal, good steaks,etc. Portions were small, the crayfish tails small and laughable..overall, celebrity, who was known for their food, has diminished to just OK, equal or less in quality to princess for example.
the big push is for the specialty dining rooms..Our experience in the Tuscan grill was poor..the venue was empty, the staff milling about and talking amongst themselves, yet service substandard, the food, well, not worth the up charge...I would avoid and stay in the main dining room..We did not partake of the other specialty restaurants after the first experience, and canceled our other two reservations..
The golf trips, expensive off the ship, have been outsourced to firms on each island and no thought is given to the cruiser who schleps his own bag and is met at the course with no one to coordinate the trip..there was a massive queue at Antigua, and only when I asked the asst pro to let us off the back at empty holes did we progress..otherwise the backup to tee off was at least an hour..they need to work on these excursions to the benefit of the cruiser..they should make it easy and pleasant..years ago the pro on the ship coordinated the course, players tee times, and helped with the bags..i.e. even taking them so we could join our wives in town after playing a round of golf...
I guess with the tight economy, they need to cut somewhere to make money, but lets face it, I paid about what I used to pay for a 7 day cruise in an outside cabin years ago...so they must have trouble filling the ships..and RCL has to pay the notes on all these new ships, so their dilemma is cut corners and hope it doesn't hurt their branding...but I think those that have cruised in the past are left with the notion that celebrity is just another cruise line out there, nothing special...It is a shame..they should revamp and figure a way to bring back their "A" game..
Poor planning to place the buffet one deck above the pool deck..difficult for the seniors to go up and down to lunch/breakfast..The lido deck was always the pool and buffet..just a tidbit for the marine engineers...