This was our third cruise, first time on a Celebrity Cruise. The reviews scared us, but we went in with a neutral attitude and were truly blown away with the service from this cruise. We are a family of four: 2 adults and 2 elementary ... Read More
This was our third cruise, first time on a Celebrity Cruise. The reviews scared us, but we went in with a neutral attitude and were truly blown away with the service from this cruise. We are a family of four: 2 adults and 2 elementary school-aged kids. We arrived around 1 pm and was on the ship within an hour. We had forgotten our paperwork at home, and they helped us to get checked in with no problems. We were concerned when they put our credit card number on our kids' seapass (one kid has no concept of money), but they told us that on board, the guest relations would remove the ability for our kids to be swipe-crazy, so it was resolved. [One family forgot to remove that ability, and their daughter bought $600 worth of goodies before they found out.]
We tried the Oceanview Cafe (buffet) and the Main Dining Rooms, and both were excellent. In the main dining room, they treated us like royalty, as our server was both professional and entertaining, making us laugh every night. Spa Cafe was simple but delicious. It's tucked away, so we think several people didn't see it. The food there was excellent and provided a lot of organic, diet friendly options. We tried the food there every day. Celebrity had a great mix of different foods to try each night. On formal night, they did have lobster tail, which was simply delicious.
We remembered the best kept secret of eating free pastries in Cafe El Bacio without needing to order a coffee. Those desserts were even better than the ones in the dining rooms, as they were fresh and just melted in the mouth. Each day, they changed the pastries around, which kept our waistlines from shrinking too much.
We ran into the cruise captain a few times. He was always friendly and full of laughs. We're glad that Celebrity had the staff come and chat with the guests. One day, we had to do a photo scavenger hunt with the kids, and we had to shake hands with the officers and give high fives to the workers. Every worker that we asked to help us was more than happy to oblige. We never ran into a complaining worker.
This particular week, our entertainment included the Osmond brothers, so everyone was really excited to see them. They actually were on the cruise for their fans, but in the end, they decided to put on an impromptu performance, and people were blown away at their humor and talent. The other performers: comedians and singers were all excellent. In comparison to our past cruise with Carnival, Celebrity's performers were much more professional and had "WOW" factor. The lido deck always had loud music playing, and the activities director had several pool activities going on everyday. It was the fun place to be, but we enjoyed the quiet corners of the ship.
The kids' program Kids Korner was pretty good. It was spring break, so we could tell that by the end of the week, the kids director was getting worn out. Still, our 8 year old wanted to be there 24/7 because it was fun with all of their programs: super hero night, pirate night, etc. Our 10 year old said the program was "OK" because it didn't follow the schedule, and it got crazy a few times. She did ask to go back, though, so it was not THAT bad. I appreciated that they did have some entire family programs like Family Bingo and Family Scavenger hunt, and they actually gave out nice prizes! We won a few things.
We didn't book our excursions through Celebrity, but we did enjoy our ports at Cozumel and Key West.
The fitness center was a little cramped. On the first day at sea, the entire place was packed out. We had to wait a little bit to run on the treadmills, but it wasn't too bad. Just crowded. The fitness bathrooms were not as nice as Carnival's which had individual fancy shower stalls and dressing rooms to use. The shower stalls were very small, and the lockers were difficult to use. Several people couldn't figure out how to use the lockers, so the attendant was constantly explaining how to use to the lock.
We took advantage of the Thallasotherapy pool for adults. It's like a huge hot tub to just relax in. We tried the hot tub next to the pool, and the hot tub was no good. Other couples saw us try both and so they got out of the hot tub and joined us the pool which they all agreed was so much better than the hot tub. It was just so relaxing.
The library was a bit of a disappointment. Most of the books have been picked over. Nothing of interest was there. People that came to use the library used the chess board to play games. It was connected to the iLibrary upstairs where people could use Apple computers.
We spent time just watching the waves on the outside decks. Several times, we saw flying fish. And once, we saw a large shark swimming by. It was just nice to watch the ocean waves.
Overall, we really did have an excellent time. We were glad we didn't let the complaining reviews keep us from enjoying our trip. We think Celebrity was top notch. It was truly a wonderful and relaxing vacation for the entire family. We went home relaxed and ready to take on the world again. Read Less