We chose this cruise for several reasons.....it left out of Bayonne and it was easy for us to drive to, it was a newer ship, the itinerary let us visit several new places, and we had been on the Solstice on one of it's first cruises and loved it.
The ship was lovely and very clean. Our cabin steward was great but it seemed he was always knocking on our cabin door for something.
The food was not as good as we expected. The buffets were the same everyday and the pastries had no flavor. Could this be because of cutbacks? The dinner meals were good to very good, and service was excellent. We did eat at The Bistro on Five twice and had a good meal there for $5 per person. Also tried The Porch up on deck 15 for paninis and that was okay. We did not eat at any of the other pricey restaurants....at $40 per person, it seemed too much especially since the dinning room meals were good.
On the first day we purchased one of the new wine dispenser cards from the Wine Cellar next to the dining room. This was a great deal for those who want wine with dinner. The card gets inserted into the machine and you can choose your wine and the amount. Every night before dinner we would stop in and get a glass of wine. It allowed us to try new and different wines and was cheaper that buying a glass or bottle. If you are a wine drinker, try this new feature out.
One of the areas needing improvement on this ship is communication. We missed out on the afternoon brunch and tea because we didn't know about them. The daily bulletin did not advertise these events well. The activities on the ship were not as well planned as we expected. There was an art studio but when I went to sign up every class was full. I was told to check back at class time, but there were never any openings.
The nightly shows were very crowded and people often went up to an hour early to claim seats. The shows we did see were good with the aerial feats but some nights it was just a comedian or a singer and wasn't up to what we had seen on other ships.
The cabins were very nice.....comfortable and the same spacious bathroom we had on the Solstice. A common complaint is the lack of closet space. It is difficult but we found using the over the bed storage helped.
The most disappointing thing about this cruise was the rolling of the ship. Even with the patch, we didn't feel well for the first and last sea days. Of course, that is beyond the control of the cruise line, but people should know that cruising at this time of year out of the northeast is not as smooth as cruising out of other ports. Because of this, the days at sea were long and unlike other cruises where we hate to leave, we were ready to get off the ship.
On other reviews there were complaints about Bayonne embarkation. We found it easy and no hassle at all.We arrived there at about 11:30 and were on board within a half hr or so. Debarkation was a little more difficult because the elevators were so bogged up and extremely slow. We chose walk off and the line to get off the ship was very long. It moved pretty fast and we were off and on the bus to the terminal pretty fast.
Overall, it was a good cruise, but just not a GREAT cruise. Seems that Celebrity has let things slip a little in quality.