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Sail Date: November 2017
We choose this cruise for the ports and also wanted to try an 11 day (have always done 7 day). This was our 2nd Celebrity Cruise. Our first was in 2001. Since then we've done 3 Princess, 2 RCL, 1 HAL, 1 NCL. We were excited to return ... Read More
We choose this cruise for the ports and also wanted to try an 11 day (have always done 7 day). This was our 2nd Celebrity Cruise. Our first was in 2001. Since then we've done 3 Princess, 2 RCL, 1 HAL, 1 NCL. We were excited to return to Celebrity.... and unfortunately have to say we were disappointed. Good: Beautiful ship. Easy embarkment (there was a delay due to a norwalk outbreak on prior cruise but they notified us in advance so we were prepared to board a bit delayed). Interesting port calls. Not So Good: The food at the buffet is good, but it is THE SAME for all 11 days. I was so bored by day 8. I mean it was the same, and while good, nothing to write home about. The fact that we could only get 8:30 seating was a bummer and as a result we only went 3 times. We were fairly rudely told by the dining room head staff person that there was no point in changing to free style because we would still end up eating at 8:30 or later. My biggest beef with the food is the pushing of the multiple locations for up charge dining. And they had someone stationed every day by the buffet pushing it. I paid for the cruise. I resent that there are fewer places to eat for free than there are for pay. Finally, they need to come up with a better way to enforce chair 'saving'. Yeah, I know this is a problem on all cruise ships, but honestly, it can't be that hard to come up with something! SHORE EXCURSION: We asked the onboard celebrity person and he was pointless. Said he hadn't done this cruise and could tell us NOTHING about the different beaches/excursions in Aruba. Also, we've been to Grand Cayman many times. Love this place, but not so much this time. There were WAY too many big ships in port and you could literally barely move once you were on the pier. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
This is our third cruise on the Reflection.(7th with Celebrity) The ship is clean, glowing and beautifully decorated for the holidays. The staff were all accommodating, friendly, professional and courteous. Jamie in the Opus ... Read More
This is our third cruise on the Reflection.(7th with Celebrity) The ship is clean, glowing and beautifully decorated for the holidays. The staff were all accommodating, friendly, professional and courteous. Jamie in the Opus dining room was always so pleasant and able to target exactly what we wanted to eat! Everything was delicious--- and way more than we needed! We enjoyed the Sushi on 5 twice! ( it was THAT good!) The service and food were exemplary. Honestly the freshest sushi we have had. ( granted we live in Colorado, where we are FAR from any seas!) Our ultimate favorite is still the Murano-- which we also enjoyed twice! Such wonderful ways to be spoiled! And we LOVED it! We LOVE the martini bar-- PUTU saw us coming and immediately made our drinks to perfection! So fun! We branched out of our comfort shell and tried SILENT DISCO. Everyone wears headphones and selects whichever music channel suits them. Then you dance. Everyone dances every which way and it was A BLAST!! We did it another night too! What fun!! The Captain is just so FUN! His daily announcements were just a hoot! We LOVE Celebrity and hope to be on more adventures in the future! Itinerary: Grand Cayman- We have been to Grand Cayman before- so this time we took a helicopter tour! What an AMAZING way to see a gorgeous island! SO incredible! We can cross that off of our bucket list! Cartagenia, Columbia- We took a trolley tour of the old walled city. LOTS of street vendors.... "No, Gracias" very firm.. but you must repeat it several times.. or, buy lots of street wares! The port is nicely laid out with flamingos, parrots and an entire Aviary- very unique! It was hot, humid, educational and interesting. Aruba- Overnight in Aruba--- we did a sunset cruise the first evening and the sunset was GORGEOUS! The next day we grabbed a taxi to EAGLE BEACH. The water and sand were just heavenly! I could go back to stay there someday! Curacao- We watch sea turtles from our balcony when we docked. It was cool to see! We ended up taking a bus tour around the island. Saw where Columbus landed to claim the island. LARGE iguanas. The fort, the Curacao factory ( with tasting!) The beach that we stopped at looked crowded. But, if that is where all of the tour buses stop that makes sense. Lovely town and shopping. Bonaire - We took a taxi to Sorobon beach on the other side of the island and it was lovely! We were the first people there and enjoyed watching the crabs peek out of their holes! The water was delightful, but it was windy--- several wind surfers made us a bit wary to snorkel, but we enjoyed the sun, water and experience. The town had cute little shops and tents-- we did quite a bit of shopping and stopped for a couple of beers to check our emails via their WIFI. We ENJOYED the last 2 sea days to RELAX!! So much fun seeing a beautiful part of the world! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
For our first cruise ever, we were absolutely conquered by Celebrity. The level of service, cleanliness and the quality of foods were way above our expectations. At near fifty years of age I have traveled quite a bit before but I have no ... Read More
For our first cruise ever, we were absolutely conquered by Celebrity. The level of service, cleanliness and the quality of foods were way above our expectations. At near fifty years of age I have traveled quite a bit before but I have no hesitations in saying this was our best vacations ever. Of course I cannot compare ships at this point but the Reflection is just amazing. The only thing we did not care much was the city of Cartagena. We felt as if dropped into a tank full piranhas, the Colombians are way to agressive in their attempt to sell their crap and obviously hold us gringos in pure contempt. And I also had 60$ picket from my pocket within 10 minutes if walk. That's a place I will not return under any circonstances. But all other destinations were great. We had a crush on Bonaire. Cruising is a great way visit many different places but although this was our first and only cruise so far, I would not hesitate to redo the exact same trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
14 day cruises seem to be going the way of the Dodo bird. That is why we chose this cruise. This is the third time for use on this itinerary. We love that Southern Caribbean cruises. We were in the Celebrity Suite 1110. The suite ... Read More
14 day cruises seem to be going the way of the Dodo bird. That is why we chose this cruise. This is the third time for use on this itinerary. We love that Southern Caribbean cruises. We were in the Celebrity Suite 1110. The suite restaurant, Luminae, is amazing, away from the busy main dinning room. We also visited each of the specialty restaurant (Qsine, Tuscan Grill and Murano). All were excellent. We also tried several of the bars on board. The Martini Bar was fun as usual being very active and plenty of action. The Passport bar is more subdued for a quite after or pre dinner drink. We also love to start the evening in Michael's Cub which was only available to suite guest. Unfortunately this itinerary is not available next year. Sad to see it go. Celebrity Eclipse will be repositioning to the Med then South America then Alaska cruises. So we don't think we will be seeing her in the Caribbean for the next couple of years. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
We left Ft. Lauderdale on November 26, 2017 for an 12 day cruise on the beautiful Silhouette. This was our 5th sailing on the Silhouette but only the 3rd time we had a sky suite on Celebrity; once you get spoiled with a suite, it is ... Read More
We left Ft. Lauderdale on November 26, 2017 for an 12 day cruise on the beautiful Silhouette. This was our 5th sailing on the Silhouette but only the 3rd time we had a sky suite on Celebrity; once you get spoiled with a suite, it is difficult to choose a different type cabin. Rather than giving all of the details, I will just hit on the highlights. Since we live in Tampa, we drove to Ft. Lauderdale the day before and stayed at the Four Points Sheraton. We had reservations at the Hyatt, but somehow Stay 123.com messed up our reservation, causing it to get canceled and the Hyatt was sold out. A really great front desk lady, Kettelie, found us a room at the Sheraton, and although we had to pay more, at least we had a room. This was the 2nd time we have had a problem with stay123.com, so we won't use them again. Boarding was fairly easy as we got priority boarding since we were suite guests. We were on board with a free glass of champagne by 11 am. We had lunch at Luminae (suite restaurant), and it was the same delicious menu we had on the Equinox in Feb. The waiter told us that Celebrity always has the same lunch the first day at Luminae. We found out that if you do not like the menu in Luminae, you can order from the menu in the main dining room or in Blu (Aqua class restaurant). You can also request wines that are not on Luminae's wine list, and we did that several times. The staff on the ship were great—from the Captain on down. Captain Georgios was very personable and easy to talk with. We were on an elevator with just the Captain and us a couple of times! I don't remember everyone's name but would like to list some of the staff because they did such a great job. We had met Monica Gomez (Guest Relations Manager) on several other cruises and enjoyed talking with her again. In Luminae, the Maitre D', Franko, always greeted you with a smile and remembered our names by the 2nd day. His staff included the waiters Josue, Dev, Henry, Vincent, Meylyn and Varoona. The wine steward, Ivan, did a fantastic job, always remembering what we drank and suggested other wines. Since we had the premium beverage package, we got to try some wines that the other packages did not offer. We had superb butler, Glenn, who always took good care of us. Niko, the Michael's club hostess was great, as was Cranston, who ran the bar in Michael's. Cranston always remembered what we drank, so we had to be quick to tell him if we wanted something different! He would see me come in the door and have a Blue Moon beer ready by the time I got to the bar! We are sailing on the Silhouette again in January 2018 and we hope we have the same great crew. The Silhouette was supposed to go to San Juan, Dominica, and St. Maarten but those ports were canceled because of the extensive damage caused by the hurricanes. Instead we went to Coco Cay, Martinique, and Antigua. Coco Cay is Royal Caribbean's private island, and although we read that it had really improved, it was not nearly as nice as their other private island, Labadee. There is no dock, so you have to tender in. We waited until about noon to avoid the crowds and had their buffet lunch on the island. In Antigua we took the “Panoramic Antigua Drive” and it was a major disappointment. The roads in Antigua are full of potholes and rough. Our tour guide was OK, but the tiny bus was horrible; not only are the seats small, but there is very little leg room, especially for someone over 6'. The bus badly needed new shocks or struts because we were bounced up and down for about 3 hours. If you have a bad back or neck, avoid this tour. We only made 2 stops: a local a bar/restaurant in Falmouth where we got a free rum punch, and Rosmac's Herb Garden (which was a joke—our little herb garden is almost as big as this one). We had scheduled tours in Grenada and Martinique, but we canceled them because of the bad experience we had in Antigua. When we went to the Shore Excursions desk to cancel the other two tours, the agent said that she had taken the same tour in Antigua and did not like it either for the same reasons; wish someone had told us that before. Turns out that Martinique has good roads and big buses, but we did not know that until we arrived, and then it was too late. In Martinique we docked at the industrial pier instead of the normal cruise ship pier, which is right downtown. I believe this was because Martinique was not on the original schedule and two ships occupied the normal pier. I decided to walk to the downtown area; the sidewalk is well marked but it took me 30 minutes, and I am a fast walker. There were 15-20 vendors with their tents, but every thing that I saw was overpriced. I did not go into the shops downtown. If we go back, we will take a tour. In Grenada we walked downtown and bought some spices, for which Grenada is known. The people were friendly but the crowds were everywhere. The prices in the terminal are much higher than they are downtown. After we saw the same kind of mini buses that we took in Antigua, we were glad we canceled the tour here. We had been to Barbados many times and have taken all of the tours that interested us, so we just went in the terminal building and walked around the shops. Then we went back to the ship and lounged around the pool. We have also been to St. Lucia numerous times and have taken most of tours, so we walked downtown, but it was extremely crowded. On previous visits we docked at the other pier and it was much nicer and less crowded. St. Lucia is a pretty island, so if you have not been before take some of the tours. I think this was our 6th or 7th visit to St. Kitts, and we have taken all of the tours except the beach ones, and we don't do that since we have great beaches on the Gulf at Clearwater/St. Petersburg. We walked downtown and visited some of the shops; the prices are much better here than the other islands we visited. We still think that St. Martin and St. Thomas have the best prices in the Caribbean. Celebrity had changes some things since our previous cruise on the Equinox in early 2017, and not for the better, in our opinion. 1. The breakfast for Elite guests in the Tuscan Grill is now a mini buffet, rather than being served as before. 2. Suite guests no longer get a free dinner at one of the specialty restaurants. 3. For Elite guests, you only get one scoop of Gelato instead of three. 4. Celebrity has changed the wine packages. The Classic package lets you get wines up to $9/glass, and the Premium package it is up to $13/glass. If you have the Premium package, and the wine is $14/glass, then you can pay an extra buck to get it. Unfortunately there are very few wines that you can get for $9/glass so Celebrity wants you to pay the extra $10/day for the Premium package. Unless you are a heavy drinker or get a free upgrade like we did, we do not think the package is a deal—not for $65/day. You are better off just buying a drink. We did not think that the food was as good this time as on our last cruise on the Equinox, but perhaps that was just our perception. We always look forward to the lobster, but it was not nearly as good as we had before. We normally get the 3 specialty restaurant package, and we chose Murano, Tuscan Grill, and the Lawn Club Grill. The Dover Sole in Murano was great as always, but the NY strip steak in Tuscan Grill was not. However the steak at the Lawn Club Grill was fantastic—we thought at least as good as you get at Ruth Chris or Outback Steakhouse at home. One day at lunch we had an overpriced hamburger at the Lawn Club Grill—not much better than you can get for free at the grill by the pool—but the burger was huge—2 people could easily split one. Entertainment on the ship was fairly good; we did not go to all of the shows featuring the Celebrity singers and dancers because we had seen most of those before. In our opinion, the best performer was Savannah Smith; she had a great voice. The group impersonating the Beatles was excellent. Synergy Twins Duo was a great group fusing classical instruments with modern rock. Chad Chesmark (magic), Oli Nez, and Miguel Washington were all good. Debarkation was fairly easy as we chose to roll our own luggage off the ship; we lined up on deck 5, port side, and waited until the ship had been cleared. Although we got there pretty early, there were about 25-30 people in front of us, but 10 minutes later, there were at least 150 people behind us. For some reason, Celebrity did not give us immigration forms; fortunately we had a couple left over from our previous cruise, and we have the Mobil Passport App on our phone. We also have Global Entry which let us get in a special line which has priority to go through Customs. Overall, we had a great time, and booked two more cruises for 2019 while we were aboard. We have found that you get more onboard credit when you book a future cruise on the ship. For two of the cruises which we had previously booked for 2018 and 2019, we were able to get a much lower price, so Celebrity does change prices often. It never hurts to ask! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
Just returning from a week on Celebrity Summit out of San Juan. Transfers to and from airport were very easy and quick. We took a taxi to the ship ($24) and free bus shuttles were provided by Celebrity from the port to the airport. The ... Read More
Just returning from a week on Celebrity Summit out of San Juan. Transfers to and from airport were very easy and quick. We took a taxi to the ship ($24) and free bus shuttles were provided by Celebrity from the port to the airport. The hurricane damage was not apparent and caused no problems getting to the ship. Captain Kate and the Summit are excellent. She is more visible and communicates better than any captain we have seen before. My wife and I have been on many Celebrity cruises, a number of which on Summit and it is by far our favorite ship. It is much smaller than the other ships and never feels crowded. The food and entertainment was excellent. We ate at Blu for dinner each nite and enjoyed each meal. The singers, dancers, aerialists and comedians were of top quality. Alejandro, the cruise director was very humorous and engaging. It was never a problem finding a chair at the pool and there was live music in the afternoons when leaving port. As usual with Celebrity, most guests were 35-65, mature in dress and behavior with very few children. Our room was Aqua Class on the 9th floor, midship. Although this was convenient to the 10th floor where the buffet, gym and pool is located, there are two drawbacks. First is the fact that the 10th floor cantilevers out some 25’ or so. This blocks out the sun and the horizon. The second issue is noise of chairs being moved above, which seems non-stop, starting at 6:00 am. Our veranda cabin was clean and well laid out. Arief, our cabin steward was awesome!!! We got off the boat and walked for a few hours at each port which was very enjoyable. Overall, we would give Summit, Captain Kate and crew a 10 and will definitely return. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
For my wife and I, this was our 6th cruise overall and our fourth with Celebrity Cruise Lines. This was a 12 day Caribbean cruise, the main ports of call being Antigua, St. Lucia, Grenada, Barbados and Martinique. We absolutely could not ... Read More
For my wife and I, this was our 6th cruise overall and our fourth with Celebrity Cruise Lines. This was a 12 day Caribbean cruise, the main ports of call being Antigua, St. Lucia, Grenada, Barbados and Martinique. We absolutely could not have asked more of our onboard ship experience ... the cruise was exceptional in every way. The food on this ship is incredible ... none of us (we travelled with another couple) had a single negative dining experience. Our cabin attendant, and dining room attendants ( Kasri, Ayuk and Aneesh) were very professional, helpful and polite, and they added immensely to our cruise. We opted the premium drink package and the additional price was well worth it ... the cocktails and bar staff were also exceptional. My wife and I just did one shore excursion ... a beach in Barbados which was very pleasant (but very hot!). Other than that we just explored nearby port shopping areas the best of which was St. Kitts. We least enjoyed the port shopping area in Castries, St. Lucia. Celebrity has never disappointed us and this latest cruise was perhaps our best ever. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
Convenient get a way for Thanksgiving. Especially enjoyed BLU restaurant nd the service there. Well worth the extra and access to the Persian Gardens which I used daily. Comedian was only so- so. Band was excellent and the Celebrity ... Read More
Convenient get a way for Thanksgiving. Especially enjoyed BLU restaurant nd the service there. Well worth the extra and access to the Persian Gardens which I used daily. Comedian was only so- so. Band was excellent and the Celebrity entertainers. Martini Bar always so much fun to go to. I would return again. Cre was mostly attentive and I was really impressed with the ship cleanliness. Lots of kids biut it was Thanksgiving weekend. Stayed mostly in the adult pool area. Persian Gardens alwayys so relaxing and a pleasure to go there. The gym was always clean and I used the tread mills almost daily. Could not get into Coco Cay because of bad weather and the Captain was very good at explaining it and safety must always come first. We ate at the porch and really enjoyed all of their seafood choices. The staff there was very friendly and I would recommend going there especially in the evenings. Did not eat often at the buffet but their selecttions look fine. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
This is our second cruise in a year on this same ship. We specifically booked the same ship and upgraded to the Aqua Class experience out of the shoot hoping to experience the best it had to offer. While there are highlights to brag ... Read More
This is our second cruise in a year on this same ship. We specifically booked the same ship and upgraded to the Aqua Class experience out of the shoot hoping to experience the best it had to offer. While there are highlights to brag about including the Martini Bar and staff, Tuscon Grill and the staff and the select shining stars who tried to go above and beyond, the overall feel of the experience was nothing like the 'premier' stature that Celebrity presents about the Aqua Class. The Blu Restaurant Experience and Spa amenities were nothing premium and in fact could, in the case of the spa, been purchased into by anyone on the boat for a mere $85. Through no credit to Celebrity, my constant watch on inventory scored us an upgraded location (same price) at the aft of the ship in one of the coveted five locations on back. Despite some limitations on privacy, the location is indeed spectacular and worth seeking as it is not any higher than other A1 Port or Starboard locations. Our expectation of Blu as the 'health conscious' alternative was that they would be more accommodating of a modified vegetarians needs. While lip service was given to the process, the reality of delivery was far different. On multiple nights, my fiance' was relegated to pizza from the buffet after the show since her nighttime selections were so limited. Celebrity was always viewed by us a a more premium experience from RCL, NCL, Carnival and others, but that distinction is quickly fading. We hope that they concentrate on maintaining a higher commitment to service, amenities and experience rather than being forced to diminish these as they chase lower and lower fares in the effort to fill the ship. Finally, although we are critical, we are also thankful to have this opportunity. We watched and listened to stories of those effected by the hurricanes and can only hope that our visits to their islands contribute in some small way. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
Celebrity Summit November 18, 2017 7 night Caribbean I little bit about us. It will help you understand our point of view on our wonderful cruise. We are in our mid 65’s and early 70’s. I am a certified Sommelier, ... Read More
Celebrity Summit November 18, 2017 7 night Caribbean I little bit about us. It will help you understand our point of view on our wonderful cruise. We are in our mid 65’s and early 70’s. I am a certified Sommelier, Italian trained chef and have had the distinct opportunity to have been in the hospitality industry for over 50 years. That being said, we see, hear and taste darn near everything. We love sailing on Celebrity. They are the only cruise line we use. All of the comments in this review are meant as observations not complaints. We booked this trip just on a whim. The price was good so we could not refuse. We booked it thru Celebrity and the representative on the phone could not have been nicer. We got complimentary classic beverage packages for both of us and a $300 on board credit. We used the credit to buy a three night specialty restaurant package and to upgrade my classic to the premium beverage package. We went to book our first night at Marano and were informed that the Marano restaurants on all of the “M” class ships have been replaced with the Tuscan Grill. We took the package anyway but our hearts were a little bit broken. We love Marano. Embarkation Celebrity was kind enough to offer us a free shuttle from the airport to the cruise port. We were in line for maybe 15 minutes. I must thank Miguel Cunha, the Director of Guest Relations for giving us his fantastic assistance in helping with our boarding issue. We boarded about 2:00pm and went directly to our cabin to drop off our carryon bags and went to the Ocean View Café for a bite to eat. We were not real interested in excursions because we have done these islands many times in the past. I looked at our sea pass card and it said that we were dinning select not early as it said on our confirmation. I remember asking the representative on the phone when we booked about the early dinning and she said that the early seating was full but because we are Elite we could still get in. I went to the Maitre’d desk and we were changed to early. Tuscan Grill Our first night we dined at the Tuscan Grill. Being a Sommelier, I wanted to look at the wine list. I was disappointed. The pages were worn, the front cover page was missing and the last page was torn out and hanging by a thread. It was interesting to see that the wine list was much less diverse then when Marano was still open. I noticed that Tuscan Grill is boasting Dry Aged beef so I inquired if it was fresh or frozen and was told by the gentleman at the front deck that it was fresh. As is my custom, I always chat with the room chef and he informed me that the beef, as is all other protein on the ship, frozen. We were impressed that Tuscan grill is now making all of their pasta in house. They are extruding all of the odd shaped pasta and rolling and cutting all of the flat pasta like the pappardelle. I confirmed our reservation and asked for a male server and to have a window seat. We got the window seat but a female server. We were very thirsty from the long trip so we ordered a bottle of Pellegrino water from the female server. 1 minute later a busser comes by to pour tap water. We waited good 6 minutes for the Pellegrino. I asked to talk to the Sommelier about a glass of wine and it took her 18 minutes to come to the table. There were 3 other tables in the room so she could not have been too busy. She was opening a bottle of wine for another table while she was taking our order and that is unacceptable. We started the dinner with an Antipasti plater and it was good with the exception of the prosciutto. It is from Canada not Italy, fried calamari and crab cakes. All of these were very good. I asked the server for a few Kalamata olives and he pointed to the green Gordal olive and said that those were Kalamata. For dinner we had the Braised Short Rib Ragu with Pappardelle and the lobster Alfredo over rigatoni. The short ribs were absolutely unbelievable. My wife enjoys shrimp so hers was made with ½ shrimp ½ lobster. The pasta was perfectly cooked. I wanted a glass of Amarone with the pasta but the Sommelier said they were out. We enjoyed Tira Mi Su for dessert and it was very enjoyable. Made with true Italian Mascarpone cheese. IMHO, it could have used a few more savoiardi cookies. The muster drill was at 8:00pm. We were almost finished with our dinner and had to go without having our dessert. When we returned or table was ready for us to continue our experience. The second time we went to the Tuscan grill everything was fantastic. We asked to have our same waiter Eduardo however he was not available. We had the honor of having Carlos serving us. Both Carlos and Eduardo showed us genuine professionalism and concern for our experience. When we went to order our wine we had the distinct privilege of having Mauricio the Cellar Master serve us. He presented us with a bottle of Brut Prosecco that is very new and unique to Celebrity served with his compliments. We had the same starters with the exception of the Bruschetta con Kalamata and I had their Carbonara as a second course. It was a big disappointment. It was more of an Alfredo sauce with pancetta. I found only 4 small pieces in the dish. For dinner we had the Bisteca Toscana rib eye steak. I have had many steaks at some of the finest places in Las Vegas and these were over the top. We had sides of fresh sautéed spinach and mashed potatoes. Both were outstanding. For dessert we had their Tira Mi Su and their Cream Brule. It was one of the best I have ever had. I asked Mauricio if they had one of my favorite after dinner drinks, Poli Grappa di Torcolato. They had it. I was so overwhelmed. I had not enjoyed it for years. At the end of the meal we were given a chilled glass of lemoncello that was very refreshing. MDR We got a good night’s sleep after our 24 hour arrival trip and went to have breakfast in the MDR. We were very impressed with the Danish offerings. They were still warm from the oven. I ordered corned beef hash and poached eggs with toasted whole wheat bread. The hash and eggs were great. My toast was terrible. Cold and chewy. My wife ordered Smoked salmon with cream cheese and a toasted bagel. The salmon was dry and tough. The cream cheese had a dry covering over the top. The bagel was cold. It looked like it had been plated in advance and was sitting for quite a while. I went to the Guest relations desk to see if I could chat with either the Food and Beverage director or the Director of Guest relations. A few hours later I had a meeting with both men. The F & B director recognized me from another cruise we took on the Equinox. I mentioned to them some of the opportunities we had and told them that these comments were not meant as complaints but to inform them of areas that could be improved on to ensure that other guests had great experiences. I do not know this for certain but I think that because we had the opportunity to chat with the F&B director the staff on board were informed of the opportunities we experienced, everyone was on their toes. Our front waiter Julius was great with a kind, professional attitude. Our assistant waiter ////////////was also great. He knew how to clear plates. He never reached over us and always politely asked if we were finished. I asked him how long he had had with Celebrity and told me that he started out as a cleaner for 5 years and was promoted to assistant waiter a few years ago. We enjoy prosciutto even if it was not Italian and asked if we could have a few slices. We got a whole plate full and had it at every meal without asking. My wife really enjoys Tira Mi Su. It was served to her every night even though it was not on the menu. We were seated at table 542. The table is situated where there is a column very near the chair making it impossible to fully pull out the chair to be seated comfortably. Our Sommelier was Fabien. He was unbelievable. He helped me with many food wine pairings because I was not familiar with the taste profiles of the food. He was spot on every time and all of his technical wine service was flawless. As it turns out he is studying to become a Certified Sommelier and hopes to be a Cellar Master in a few years. He is very determined. A night earlier, we dined at Quisne and wanted some of the wine that my wife enjoyed the night before. Even though it was not on the MDR list we got it. I had asked Fabien if we could have some Reidle glasses in our cabin to enjoy some of the wine we brought. We had them when we returned to the cabin. Were very impressed. After enjoying our glass of wine while watching a sun set we went to dinner. When we returned, we had new clean glasses every night. Thank you Akhmad. All of the food was excellent. It is getting to the point that we do not need to go to the specialty venues to get out standing food. We had only 2 opportunities. The gnocchi in a sage butter was cold and there was a tomato Gazpacho that was very watery with no taste. For one dinner the menu description said Broccoli Rabe but regular broccoli was served. Café al Bacio We frequent this venue frequently for we both enjoy a great cappuccino or espresso. The service is prompt and the coffee always properly prepared. We love the complementary pastries that are available at no charge. Across the hall on the other side of the ship is the Gelateria. This is the real McCoy! Gelato, not ice-cream! Many different types were offered but not offering our favorite, pistachio. Our first encounter was great. We were served by Andrew. He is normally an assistant waiter in the MDR. On that day there was a safety drill that ran late. The Gelateria is supposed to open at 11:00 but Andrew showed up at 11:15 and had to set up the display case. It was no problem for us. He was just super and very apologetic about being late. His waffle cones are the best. The only issue we saw here was that the display case fogs up and you cannot see the gelato choices and 2 of the container’s had no label making it difficult to know what the flavor was. Ship condition For the most part the ship was OK. Our cabin was very clean thanks to Akhmad. There were a few repair issues. There was a bad stain in the bathroom on the floor by the door, the carpet by the door to the veranda was torn, there appeared to be some sort of rheostat switch that might have controlled the lights to the cabin but it did not work, and it was very difficult to close and open the drapes. I was told that all of the public areas were refurbished about 2 years ago but I noticed a number of poorly laid carpet seams. The elevators seem to get confused and the up and down arrow buttons are hard to read when they are eliminated. It was very difficult to move the chairs on the carpet when you were seated or getting up from the table. Perhaps new leg glides are needed. The windows at the aft of the ship in the MDR need to be dusted. Restrooms As always they are as clean as a hospital. There are fresh orchids on the counter and cloth hand towels. During busy times there is an attendant making sure the rest rooms are always spic and span. Quisne This venue if by far the most original concept I have come across. I could spend 2 pages describing it. Long story short it kind of like an upscale tapas place but not with an emphasis on any one cuisine. Erol was our waiter. I cannot say enough about him. I find that many wait people talk so fast you cannot understand them. Not Erol. When he described each dish we ordered he was clear, distinct and patient and was very knowledgeable. I was impressed with our Sommelier. It is common when opening a bottle of Champagne to pop the bottle which is totally wrong. She opened it with just a slight hiss. Good job. We were pleased to see that they had another favorite wine on the list that I wanted my wife to try. She enjoyed it. I was also impressed that when I ordered my grappa even though it was not on the list it was served to me right away. This tells me that someone was looking out for us. Tastings I attend as many of the tastings on board as possible. The only problem was that most of them are on the last sea day. Unfortunately I could not attend all of them. Because we are Elite, Celebrity offers a free “Wine 101” Tasting in Blue. It was not informative. IMHO, the Cellar Master should give a script to the Sommelier giving the talk. Also, it would be nice if there was a microphone and an amplifier. It was very difficult to hear him. I went to a few other small Liquor tastings, Brazilian rum, Scotch and one other I cannot remember. They were all very informative. Ocean View Café We are not super fond of Buffet service. We found the food to be hot and fresh with a somewhat of varied assortment. The turkey and dressing on Thanks Giving was out of this world. We were always able to find a window seat and beverage service very good. One morning we got up late and had breakfast here. All was good but the OJ dispenser was offering water with a touch of orange. The gentleman that did the meat carving one day was not a caring, smiling person. When we went to get a slice of ham. The only piece left was mainly fat. He did not seem to care. He just put it on the plate and went on to the next guest. One day they offered some roast pork. It was absolutely fantastic. The Spa We love a good massage. It is a little pricey on board but you get a deal on port days. Because of being Elite, we get an additional 15% discount. I did a 50 minute deep tissue and my wife had a facial. I understand that they want to make a living but I do not appreciate being bugged into getting a hot stone treatment for an additional $35. I told the masseuse to do only my back and shoulders. Perhaps she did not understand for I got a whole body. The brochure says that they have a facial for sensitive skin but again they were trying to sell more of their products. The procedure that she requested was for sensitive skin. When the Esthetician started she informed my wife that she could not do much for sensitive skin. Every other facial that she has had at home, they always would do a quick massage of her neck and arms. That did not happen in this occasion. Sushi on Five. We dine at this venue every cruise for the food and service are great I love the selection of Sake. This time the food was good but the service needed some improvement. Half way through our experience our server went on break to have lunch. In all our cruises that has never happened. You have to start over establishing a connection with the server. Not good. Other stuff In each cabin there is an information book. I found it shall we say, “Well read”. The pages were frayed and it still listed the Normandy, AKA Marano as a specialty venue. Being Elite, we found out that a continental breakfast is served in the Tuscan grill. The selections are limited. Cheeses, Fruit, an assortment of sliced meats, smoked salmon and a cappuccino. Everything was good with the exception of the salmon. A slice is put on a cold mini bagel with a bit of cream cheese. We prefer our salmon on a toasted bagel with onion and capers. On all cruises we have been on when you came with in ear shot of a crew member, they would always great you with a good morning, good after noon or good evening. I found it less so on this cruise. I work in a restaurant that specializes in artisan bread and pastries. I found the quality rather commercial. The bakery products were much better on the last trip. The crust on the Key Lime pie was limp and tasteless and the apple pie was poor at best. In the past we enjoyed the Aqua Spa Café almost every day. They have down sized the area to nothing more than a small cafeteria line with a reduction in offerings. Read Less
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