I wanted to write a review for travellers with children as I had a difficult time finding information on the Fun Factory prior to our trip. My husband and children are first time cruisers, and they are hooked!!
Our children are ages 7,8 and 13 (all girls) and each one of them had a fantastic time! The two younger ones couldn't wait to get to the Fun Factory every opportunity they could. There were daily scheduled themed activities which included things like "Bugs and Butterflies", "Aliens", "Pirates and Mermaids", "Teddybear Picnic", etc. They would also have family bingo, family dance parties, family talent shows and other activities that the parents' could come and join in if desired.
If the evening's show was 'kid friendly', the Fun Factory would take the kids to the theatre and seat them all in the balcony section with 'cocktails' to watch the performance. For the 'Sirens' show that was about Pirates and Mermaids, all of the kids got tattoos, pirate face painting, and earlier in the day had made paper swords and pirate hats to wear to the theatre. :) This is just one example of the neat things they did.
We were extremely impressed with the Fun Factory staff...I believe they are all ECE qualified or equivalent. They are sweet, engaging and the kids loved them! They would also keep an art folder to house all of the kids' creations throughout the week and was turned over at the end of the trip.
Our teenager was part of the youth program and she also had a wonderful time. The councellor's were 'cool' and did a great job getting the kids to get to know one another with different introduction type games, etc. She had met quite a few kids her age and spent most of her free time with them. They would pop in and out of the youth area at their leisure. There were organized scavenger hunts, and other activities that they could be a part of if they liked.
Meals and late nights are an option for parents as well. There is a charge of $6 per child, per hour for the lunch and dinner hour, plus from 10pm to 1am. Well worth the cost!! They will take the kids for dinner giving the adults time to enjoy a meal in peace. :)
We also found out the second last day that you are able to sign your kids into the Fun Factory while at port for the day, giving adults the opportunity to disembark alone if desired.
In regard to the rest of the cruise, we rate everything a big thumbs up! The ship doesn't have all of the waterslides, rock climbing walls, ice rinks, etc. but that was okay with us. We rather enjoy a more moderate sized ship. We also enjoyed that Celebrity offers an 'all inclusive drink package'. This includes gratuities and taxes which makes for a more relaxed vacation for us. No need to worry about the end of week bar bill as it was prepaid.
Of all the cruise lines I've sailed, I would have to rate the service on this ship as the best of bunch. Everyone we encountered was wonderful and had a fantastic attitude! Our staterooms were spotless, the food was excellent and we were impressed by all of the extra little efforts made by the crew to ensure that you have everything you need at all times.
We did two excursions, both booked through the Celebrity website. The first was the Turtle Swim in Barbados which was excellent!!! The second was the Stingray Swim in Antigua. This was also a fabulous experience.
We heard people complaining that St. Lucia wasn't their favorite island as they were stuck on a bus for hours on different tours. We had hopped into a taxi and spent the day on the beach. We all had an amazing day!
We also had a beach day in St. Maarten. It was easy to get to by water taxi which is just near the pier. Another amazing day!
We will definately sail with Celebrity again!!