We have been on several cruise lines over the years but lately we have sailed mostly Princess which we are very happy with. I always thought Celebrity was a cut above but for the price difference, we stayed with Princess. Someday we may give Celebrity another chance but it'll be a newer ship.
Let me go back to where we started. We made reservations and parked at Premier on NW 1st Court. Just a word of warning - it is nothing more than a parking lot with a fence. There is no building, no facilities whatsoever. I suspect they only had 2 vans which is probably why it took so long to pick up at the pier and there was so much confusion. If that wasn't enough, the driver drove like a lunatic going thru stop signs and racing through a red light. I should say though, there was another company with Premier on the vans and there had quite a few vans but when we asked, they said they were a different company. That's why I mentioned the street.
Embarkation was the quickest, easiest ever. We arrived a little after 11:00 and never waited in line. We were not allowed in the rooms until 1:00. On the other hand, disembarkation was the worse ever. A ridiculously long line to get the luggage and then another for customs. We didn't understand why they didn't keep us on the ship a little longer and keep the lines shorter. We thought we would get through faster with a porter but they have to wait in the same line.
As for the ship itself - I didn't like it. It seemed dark and the ceilings felt low. No grand foyer on this one. No grand anything except maybe the dining room. I will say the layout of the showroom is excellent. The spa area is the best spot on the ship and there is no charge to use the indoor therapy pool or lounges there. They also have a healthy buffet there. As for the condition - rundown everywhere. They waited too long to refurbish this ship.
Activities consisted mostly of trivia or had bad times like movies during dinner. or had things going on at a time when you would be dressing for dinner. The dance music before dinner was nice.
We liked the layout of our stateroom. We had an OV on deck 2 with a large window, small desk, large chair/bed?. Shower was decent size. Closet was tight but here we got spoiled by Princess. Our steward Maria was excellent. Our toilet kept refusing to flush and finally after 3 days, they fixed it. I suspect the previous passengers had the same problem but didn't know how to complain. We were compensated with a small amount of cash for our trouble.
Entertainment was typical; the comedian was excellent.
Dining was hit and miss. Not to be missed is the "Brunch" on the last day. Go early, go hungry. It consists of stations with every kind of food but they don't necessarily replace something that runs out. The buffet was okay but there isn't any beverage service unless you ask. Almost everything on the buffet is served, problem is, you don't always know until you make a mistake. They don't always understand either. Be sure to walk the full length of the buffet because it's not all the same on both sides or ends. They also have a grill outside with hamburgs, hot dogs, etc.
As for the dining room, definitely hit and miss especially if you order beef. We had more than a couple steaks at our table that weren't edible. So much waste.
We got a really good deal on this cruise so my husband says we can't complain too much tho everyone we talked to complained. Would I recommend it even at a great price? depends on if you're expecting Celebrity standards. If you are, this is not your ship.