We are long time Celebrity cruisers, and this was our worst embarkation day ever. We had received an email several days before cruising telling us that departure would be delayed for a couple of hours because of intestinal illness on the ... Read More
We are long time Celebrity cruisers, and this was our worst embarkation day ever. We had received an email several days before cruising telling us that departure would be delayed for a couple of hours because of intestinal illness on the previous cruise and they needed to sanitize the ship The delay was longer than two hours and there was chaos from the terminal to the restaurants and in between. The whole situation seemed unmanaged.
Before the cabins were ready the lifeboat drill commenced, and, as typical, there were seats for maybe a third of the passengers. People crammed into the casino, photo shop, bars, etc, with no chance of seeing video screens or even the crew members in charge. A complete waste of time and patience.
Our luggage wasn't delivered until after 9:00. Exhaustion and frayed nerves made unpacking a real chore.Thank goodness the next day was a sea day.
Then, things began to improve. The ship was kept clean and neat, but it is showing its age. Worn paneling here, rust spots there, electric blinds removed from Constellation Lounge windows and not replaced, etc. It's due for an overhaul.
The officers, Captain's Club hostess and crew were friendly, helpful and forthcoming. As good a group as we have seen. On the other hand, the Cruise Director is a schmuck. But, one out of 30 or so isn't bad.
The itinerary was very enjoyable, with the Canal passage, of course,the highlight. We had stopped in Cartegena before, but it's always nice to visit the old town. Even the little aviary by the terminal is fun to walk through. The ports in Costa Rico and Guatemala are simply seaside straw markets. To see other sights require bus excursions, which we didn't take, but other passengers said they liked theirs. The California ports, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo, are famed resorts and have lots to see, do and buy near the terminals. Good stops. Colon, Panama, is awful. The only things to do are visit the locks, which we would pass through the next day, or a bus ride to Panama City. They are, however, building a new terminal and shopping area.
We dined at every restaurant on the ship except the main dining room,Trellis, and Infinity gets five stars for food.
This was our first booking in Aqua class. We had avoided it in the past because we aren't spa people, but our travel agent convinced us to try it. We were delighted. We still aren't spa people, but the Aqua restaurant, Blu, was more than worth the upgrade. Small, intimate dining room (comparatively) with excellent food and service.
We had some friends in suites, so we dined a couple of times with them in Luminae. Again, excellent food and service. Qsine was fun and filling, and Tuscan had the best food of all.
Entertainment was a mixed bag. Everything from a juggler to a flutist to a comedian, with two shows by the singers and dancers. As expected, some passengers liked each one and some didn't. Bar entertainment was pretty good.
Daytime activities continue to be a weak spot for Celebrity. Other than trivia, not much in the way of organized fun. The two lecturers were both very good, but scheduling them at 9:00 in the morning or 4:00 in the afternoon leaves much to be desired.
The wifi system is pathetically slow. If not for bars on shore we could not begin to keep up with our mail. .And, Celebrity has discontinued publishing the daily newspapers, which we really missed.The Guest Relations desk told us the we have news channels on the in-cabin TV's. Ever try to get news from TV news channels?
Overall, the cruise was a very good one for us. The staff, itinerary and the food more than made up for any shortfalls created by the system. Read Less