Hotel night before and Parking: Cambria Suites, Dania Beach: Wonderful hotel with separate TV’s/sitting area and large rooms. Free parking for 11 nights. Close to restaurants and nice shopping area, but better to drive 5 minutes ... Read More
Hotel night before and Parking: Cambria Suites, Dania Beach: Wonderful hotel with separate TV’s/sitting area and large rooms. Free parking for 11 nights. Close to restaurants and nice shopping area, but better to drive 5 minutes there rather than try to walk over busy roads. Must wait to day of check-in to book shuttle ($5pp paid at desk). Do not pay van driver...He tried to rip us off and charge $10 each! Got $5 back from desk when we returned. Returned via cab to hotel rather than await shuttle ($20).
We were allowed entrance to port and check-in at approximately 10:30am. Included Beverage Package was marked on shipcards. Then sat for a short time and boarded ship around 11am or so. The weather wasn’t great so we changed our plan from lunch poolside at Mast Grill to exploring Equinox and having drink/lunch at Oceanview Buffet…Excellent food and choices! Rooms ready around 1:30 or so. Pleased with our Concierge, Deck 10 cabin with best steward ever, Mario. I had typed up a list of items we like in our cabin at home and gave this to Mario….. i.e., icebucket, glasses, extra hangers, etc. All appeared soon after muster along with our luggage. Mario also cleaned out mini-bar, but told us he could no longer exchange the free white wine bottle in our room for something else. This policy has been changed. Unpacked and headed to Sailaway at Sunset Bar to meet Cruise Critic friends. A bit disappointed that Celebrity’s Sailaway party was affected by weather.
Met friends at our nightly stop, the fun Martini Bar, then headed to dinner around 7pm. Never a wait for Anytime Dining on any night of our cruise. In fact, the hostess kept our “usual location and staff information” in her computer and seated us there nightly. Kudos to Suki and Meta. Fabulous service. Food was the best we’ve ever experienced. We had lots of On-board credit to use up, but didn’t feel using it to book a specialty restaurant was needed.
Ate one night in MDR with two of our neighborhood friends and their UK friends/relatives who were staying in AquaClass as well as our two nightly tablemates. No problem having them join us in MDR.
Loved the first of the new Celebrity Production Shows (think it was called Live). Second show, Elyssium wasn’t as good, but still enjoyed it. Sorry the third production show wasn’t ready for our cruise. This new concept of entertainment really seems promising. The comedian, Phil Tag, was the funniest man we’ve ever seen on a cruise. Ventriloquist (sounds boring, but don’t miss this one) was absolutely amazing. The lone male singer/entertainer was pretty good. Did not care for the flute player, the house band, Take Five, or the woman singer.
Kudos to Cruise Director, Alejandro…Lots of fun. Also loved Andres, one of the entertainment staff. Not as crazy about his assistant. Felt like she really didn’t connect with passengers
DJ Flow’s music and personality were the very best.
Danced at a 70’s party one evening in the Sky Lounge which is very pretty….Fun w/DJ Gio.
Don’t know if it’s getting older, doing lots during the day or more probably, not feeling great, but we passed on lots of late night dancing, etc. Next cruise!
Enjoyed Sea Day and Meet N Greet with fellow Cruise Critic passengers. Alejandro, the captain (very friendly and fun) and other staff attended.
Went to snorkel at Eden Rock in Grand Cayman. Just walked the few blocks from ship, seeing shopping area enroute. Unfortunately, the weather was rainy and didn’t see nearly as many fish there as we did on our last visit to Paradise Grill area right next store to them a few years ago. We did see a huge spotted flounder which was nice though. Snorkeling Chankanaab National Park this year was so much better.
Missed our group’s scheduled slot pull since I wasn’t feeling well. Heard that they won $47 each…Oh well, next cruise!
Thoroughly enjoyed our prearranged trip with Dora in Cartagena Columbia. Thanks for arranging, Steve! The walled city was beautiful as were the other stops. Would have liked more time to shop in the dungeon area though. Dora bought the group some fresh fruit which was really delicious, especially in the high humidity/heat of Cartagena.
Panama – Toured privately with Robtad’s. When we arrived Roberto, the owner, told me we would be with another guide which worried me a bit since I had read so much about him. He informed me that our guide, Edwin Miranda Gurro, would be better than him. Edwin was extremely knowledgeable and fun and we were extremely happy with him. A great day…Thanks to Carl for arranging our tour.
Thankfully, we had just enough time to see a huge cargo ship approach the lock, watch the water level change and the gates open. Amazing. I really wasn’t thrilled about going to the locks initially, thinking it would be slow and boring…NOT.
The rest of the tour to various spots in Panama City was also fun and amazing. We tried to stop for a local lunch enroute back to the ship. However, traffic was crazy due to upcoming holidays and a parade so the group voted to pass on lunch.
Costa Rica was probably our favorite port this trip. We used William Guerrero/Luis Martin’s private tour with Carlos as our guide. We stopped frequently along the way and saw amazing red tree frogs, green tree frogs, little ants carrying leaves, a paprika pod, a Ylang-Ylang leaf which smells like Chanel No. 5. Saw many sloths and other wildlife on the Tortuguero Canal boat trip. I had arranged this tour and was hoping my cruisemates would enjoy it. Glad that it was fun.
Enjoyed relaxing on our next sea day and seeing some of the daily ship’s activities. Probably a good spot here to commend the fitness spa for cleanliness, equipment, etc. Although we didn’t take advantage of the paid items this year, the Zumba last year was great. Loved dancing with Alejandro and others during the day.
Visited Blue Kay Beach Club which I had read about on Cruise Critic. Took $2 taxi back and forth. You can also take an open air bus for $3. We somehow missed where to board it though so taxi was fine. No charge to visit there although they do expect you to buy food or drinks. Pina Colada was awful. Local beer and nachos good. Walked the Malecon, passing various beach clubs. Great beach day. Shallow, clear water.
Snorkeled our favorite spot in Chankanaab National Park the next day. So worth the $22 pp fee. ($2 coupon at their site). Split a cab with another couple so just $6 to get there. $12 for just 2 of us to return to port. Nice molded or wooden chairs with tiki hut umbrellas/tables included. Extremely clean.
Saw a seal show in Spanish which was really nice.
Adventure of the cruise….There are so many fish, small and large, very close to the easy entry steps to water at this amazing Park. We would never miss this Park at Cozumel. Best snorkeling ever except in an area we visited on a catamaran near Buck Island years ago. I had read that if one brings dog biscuits to draw the fish, your snorkeling would be even better.
So I put some dog biscuits in my snorkel vest and open it a bit to take one out to put in my hand to break up occasionally while snorkeling. Wrong move! In a few seconds we were totally surrounded by fish, some pretty large. Beautiful, but they started swimming under our arms, over our heads, up our backs, etc. I dropped the biscuit that was in my hand, but of course they still could smell them in my vest! It felt like we actually were in a bucket of fish. Both of us were bitten a bit (not seriously), but knew it was time to get to shore and get rid of the dogbiscuits and clean vest out. (Later on that day on our ship someone told me that feeding fish in the islands is not permitted)
We later headed out again and snorkeled along the beach very far. Fabulous…Lots of colorful fish including some big schools of them.
Headed to the lagoon area at the Park and saw two iguanas which I love. Also saw some huge crocodiles in their exhibit.
Had the most delicious salsa, chips and fish tacos of my life at their beach restaurant along with some light Tekante beer. Great, friendly service also.
Nice to have a Sea Day before we disembarked. Enjoyed various onboard activities such as the Top Chef at Sea show, etc.
Said our final goodbyes to Sukihara and Mehet in the MDR and our cabin steward, Mario. They were really terrific.
Woke up in Fort Lauderdale at around 5:30am and sat on the balcony watching another large ship pulling in. We decided to grab some coffee and light breakfast items and eat there so we could relax before heading to the Equinox Theatre for our departure call at 8:20am.
Celebrity had a recap of the ship’s activities playing while we waited. Nice touch. We were called on time to depart from this fabulous cruise full of wonderful memories.
The only negative I can remember from this cruise was that customs was so SLOW. At first just one clerk for US passengers and then just two. The waiting lines were really awful. We’ve had just one other problem with customs in the past and that involved a drug bust which held us up. Understood that, but this time really seemed uncalled for. Read Less