My husband and I decided to go on this cruise for our honeymoon. I have been on several cruises, but this was his first. It was a bit of a disappointment. Even though we made sure the cruise line knew we were celebrating a special occasion, our waiters were the only ones who ever acknowledged it. We did actually receive a note about a little welcoming event for people celebrating special events, but it wasn't on our door until the morning of, and we didn't actually see the tiny envelope until after the event had passed.
Embarkation wasn't as bad as I had expected after reading other reviews. We stayed a few days in Manhattan before and didn't want to pay the extreme cab fares we read about so we took the advice on the cruise terminal website: the PATH train to the light rail. When we arrived at the station we called a cab. The cab that arrived just pulled up. The lady didn't speak to us except to say "Did you call a cab?". We loaded our own bags on top of the rusty spare tire in the back of the extremely old car. She dropped us off a few minutes later and just said the price. (Let this be a warning to you to make other arrangements. We would NOT do this again, but didn't really read many reviews that included how people actually arrived at the terminal.) Embarkation was okay, definitely get there early. The people behind the counter seemed to be fairly disorganized. Almost everything was not where it should be and they couldn't find many people's key cards.
Once we got on the ship we went to our cabin, which was supposedly ready. Although it appeared to be clean, the bathroom was filthy, hairs everywhere! We were also missing most of our concierge class upgrades. Our champagne bucked had an old champagne label stuck on it. We just assumed all this was normal since we learned our cabin steward was new. They basically worked out all these issues and our cabin stewards ended up being excellent.
The sea days were fairly rough and many people were sea sick. Many people, myself included, had cruised often with no problems until this trip.
We were not very impressed with the entertainment. One of the comedians was very good and the shows from the actual silhouette dance crew were good. We though there were too many "guest performers." We were more impressed with the actual ship dance/singing crew than the guest performers. There was one British guest singer that was very good.
There wasn't a great deal to do on the ship during the day. Most of the lectures were either about celebrities/hollywood or ship history. We did enjoy the captain's presentation on navigation.
We requested early dinner seating but it was unavailable. The problem with the late dinner is that many things go on while you are eating. The only thing that doesn't, which is the performances in the celebrity theater, is moved around. Sometimes you have to go before dinner (non-formal nights), sometimes after at 10:45 (formal nights). We are young, but 10:45 is pretty late to start your evening entertainment when you consider a long day outside, a full meal, and possibly jet-lag.
The bars and bartenders were excellent. We only visited a few times but they were excellent.
The guest services and ship excursions staff were also fabulous!
The food was okay, perhaps not quite as good as previous cruises, but our waiters were great!
The buffet situation is a bit better on this ship regarding lines, food quality, etc.
They are very pushy with the hand sanitizer, but we didn't really have a problem with that because of all the sickness going around.
Library: Very nice. Unfortunately a person with no manners had read the book I chose and decided to tear out all the pages they wanted?! Why not just steal the book if you are going to destroy it like that?
It is important to note that ALL announcements are in English, German, and French. There are lots of international visitors on this ship. We encountered quite a few rather rude people on this ship, both American and international.
Specialty restaurants: We visited Tuscan Grille and were not impressed. Save your money and eat in the dining room. We did love QSine. If you like trying new things you should definitely go here. Make sure you have plenty of time to enjoy your meal because it will take a while. You will leave very full. It was one of our favorite things from the entire cruise.
Ship: good, could be better since it is that new
Cabin: strange and inefficient layout and storage
Main dining: fine
Specialty dining: definitely try QSine
Pools: could be better, but is probably adequate for the crowd
Entertainment: needs improvement
Excursions: needs improvement (details below)
Ports: fine. Most people know what to expect when going to the Caribbean. I would not get off the boat again in Labadee.
-We regret choosing this cruise for our honeymoon, but we made the best of the situation and enjoyed ourselves at several of the ports and on the sea days. I was really pleased with my Celebrity cruise to Alaska but would have a hard time recommending this cruise to others. We will probably try another cruise line in the future or at least a different itinerary. The crew couldn't be better. They are friendly and helpful and are the main reason we were able to still have a positive experience.