We're active late 60's couple who have only cruised a few times over the last 15 years including One on Millenium around 10 years ago. We were considering Princess or Celebrity and chose this cruise primarily because we liked ... Read More
We're active late 60's couple who have only cruised a few times over the last 15 years including One on Millenium around 10 years ago. We were considering Princess or Celebrity and chose this cruise primarily because we liked what we heard about the ship, the itinerary, and the price.
Ft. Lauderdale: stayed at Crowne Plaza near Port Everglades for 2 nights and used Uber for rides to dinner and beach. Around $8.50 each way. Free shuttle picked us up at FLL and to Ship. For $12 each, they set up transport from ship to FLL. Celebrity charges $16.75 for same service.
Embarkation and Sail Away 2/13: no problem. Easy and efficient process. Luggage got to our cabin # 8262 in an hour or so. Room attendant Ridoy couldn't have been nicer, and was happy to help us in any way he could. Grabbed light lunch at Ocean View Buffet on Deck 14 and set sail around 4.
St. Thomas/St. John 2/14: no interest in shopping on St. Thomas, so we took Celebrity excursion to Honeymoon Bay in St. John for $84 each which included cab to ferry, ferry to Caneel , guide to the beach, and snorkel equipment and beach lounge. You can bring Beach towels from pool area. Price seemed high, and you could probably save $$ doing this independently, but if you want to go this route, check out options before hand. You need to get back to ship by 3:30 for 5:30 departure.
St. Kitts 2/15: short day as we had to be back on board by 2:30 so we walked around town, did some shopping. We bought a Michele Watch (new model for 35% off list). It helps to have an idea of best on-line pricing and don't be afraid to negotiate. Back on Deck 14 to eat, drink and work on tan. Tough, but someone has to do it.
Barbados: took cab to Carlisle Beach for $10 PP roundtrip. We paid driver when he picked up us up promptly at 4:00. Another $10 PP for Lounges and we had a great day on the softest sand anywhere. We had Flying Fish sandwich and daiquiris at "copacabana" cafe on the beach. Terrific day.
St. Maarten: signed up early through Celebrity for America's Cup sailing $109 PP and had a blast. 14 guests per boat guided by Captain and 3 crew guided us through a Yacht race. We all are assigned jobs. We sailed on a Yacht that actually won an America's Cup for the USA. Though we lost to the Canada Yacht that day, it was a highlight. Beer, soft drinks are complementary, as well as post race "party" upon docking. Moderately strenuous.
Dining: we had breakfast/lunch at Oceanview Cafe Buffet, where we had no problem eating healthy. Lots of yogurt, fresh fruit, cereals, salad options. No law says you must gorge yourself to enjoy a cruise. For dinner, we chose Celebrity Select which lets you dine anytime. Though we opted for the Tuscan Grille ($45 PP) one night we ate in the MDR evernight. We chose a table for 2 a few nights, we "shared" most nights with people we met on the cruise, several of whom we'll continue to be in contact with. Note: we totally enjoyed Tuscan Grille, but were so pleased with MDR, I doubt we'd pay additional for specialty drugs ning again. Personal choice.
Bars: our favorite was Martini bar because it was unique and friends we made hung out there. Try 'em all.
Entertainment: exceptional. John Grantham and staff are great. Musical reviews were terrific and guest entertainers were uniformly great. Jayne Curry is a force to be reckoned with. Lou Gazarra was terrific,, and comedians James Stephens, and Joe Printz were terrific. We went to 7:00 show and generally had dinner around 8:30, followed by Martini Bar.
Packages: we chose Prepaid Gratuities and Classic Beveridge. Most passengers seemed to choose Prepaid Gratuities, and "drink" packages worth it dependent on your needs.
We loved our cabin # 8262, Starboard Aft, near stairs and elevators. We used stairs 90% of time, but there were enough elevators for the less active. We were not in Aqua Class or Concierge, so no opinions on their value.
Demographics: Obviously, most passengers over 50 with 60-70 dominating. Lots of active, fit people in very good shape. Lots of the opposite as well. It's up to you, but while it could be hard not to gain a pound or two, it's not necessary to gain 10 pounds either. Fitness facility always busy.
Complaints: if you want a few lounges together, you'd be advised to towels and beach shoes out by 8:00 on sea days. This is discouraged, but it's the only way, since the Pool Butlers do nothing about this practice. Some passengers are totally inconsiderate of others and "hoard" lounges they might not return to for hours on end.
Casual Chic: we love that there are no "formal" nights, but a little more guidance, expspecially for men, would be helpful. There were couples in Black Tie and Gowns, as well as guys wearing Khaki's with Golf Shirts. I think a sport jacket and casual shirt would work for most of us.
Excursion Staff should be more knowledgeable about the Ports, and have better maps for those not choosing to purchase an excursion. Other than promoting a Jewelry shops and Excursions, they didn't seem to have much local knowledge. Do your homework ahead of of time.
Disembarkation: you have to wake up early, but it's a well oiled machine and all went smoothly. We opted for "self assisted" luggage removal which meant we wheeled our bags of the ship the morning we arrived in Lauderdale, rather than putting it out the night before.
Summary: exceeded our expectations. We'll be back. Read Less