This is the second time we have sailed the southern Caribbean with “Connie”. This time, our group had increased to three and so we decided to splash out on a Royal Suite so that the lounge could be transformed into a second bedroom at night. The stateroom was perfect for us…especially the Jacuzzi on the balcony. Perfect for watching the sun go down. Whilst we were overwhelmed by our stateroom, our experience of the butler service was the opposite. Perhaps we were just unlucky but it was not the pampering experience described in the brochure – no offers of assistance with (un)packing, dining reservations, complimentary coffees, in suite dining etc. Over the course of the two weeks we made three requests of our butler (to change the whiskey for an alternative spirit, for a bottle of sparkling water each day, and for strawberries and grapes in the fruit basket). Of these he was only prepared to provide the fruit which seemed somewhat petty. In fact the only change we noted to previous cruises was the in-suite tea trolley.
We have always been pleased with the dining options on Celebrity and this remained so. We had select dining, and with the exception of two nights when we went to Tuscan Grille and Ocean Liners, ate in the main dining room each night. The standard of food in the main dining room was very good but Tuscan and more notably, Ocean Liners were a notch above that. The meal in Ocean Liners was one of the best we have had for a long time with service to match. As before, the Bistro on Five produced a couple of enjoyable lunches – I am just surprised that it is not more popular.
We had visited all of the ports previously. We went triking in Aruba, kayaking in Antigua, cycling in St Lucia and yachting in St Thomas. We went to the beach in Grenada, Barbados and St Maarten, and had a very interesting walking tour in Curacao. A couple of trips we arranged via the ship but the rest of the time we made our arrangements with the help of fellow passengers and trip advisor. I think this is the best Caribbean itinerary by far and much prefer the 14 day cruise to the (more favoured) back to back option.
Whilst Connie may lack some of the “sparkle” associated with some of the bigger and newer ships, there is a friendliness and warmth with Connie that is sometimes missing from the larger ships and it is easy to see why she is so popular.