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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2014
We sailed aboard the Celebrity Silhouette December 21-28, 2014, and had a great time. The embarkation process was surprisingly easy. We received a voicemail several days before, letting us know when the best time would be for us to ... Read More
We sailed aboard the Celebrity Silhouette December 21-28, 2014, and had a great time. The embarkation process was surprisingly easy. We received a voicemail several days before, letting us know when the best time would be for us to arrive, based on our cabin location. We arrived between 2:00P and 2:30P and sailed through. Once on board, we went to make dinner reservations. Unlike other cruise lines that we have sailed on, if you want to make dinner reservations before the ship sails, you have to pay for them in advance. We wanted to use our shipboard credit to make these reservations, but we could not use it to pay for anything until after we boarded. So, although we made reservations first thing after boarding the ship, we could only get reservations between 5:30P and 6:30P, and even that took a bit of work, as we had to see which restaurants could fit us in on which days. It would be nice to be able to make dinner reservations in advance without having to pay for the upcharge until after we ate the actual dinner. We ate at the Lawn Club the first night. Although Celebrity bills the Lawn Club as a “cook your own food” destination, we did not have to do so. We had salad, pizza, (which they call flatbread) and the rib eye. We really liked the pizza, and found it to be excellent throughout the ship. Our waiter was super. We had lunch at the Porch the next day. It was nice to be outside and my husband and I really enjoyed our paninis. The service was slow, but they only had one person working up there, so that might have been the reason. Monday night we ate at Qsine They offer their menu via iPad, which is more of a gimmick than anything useful. Qsine is basically a tapas place, where you can try many small plates. I enjoyed the crab ball best. My husband liked the Mediterranean lamb chops. Once again, our waiter was super. When we followed his suggestions, we ate very well. Tuesday night was our first foray into the Main Dining room. It was a very pretty space and the food was fine. The sommelier that night was outstanding, guiding us through our beverage choices and ensuring that our glasses were never empty. Wednesday night, Christmas Eve, we decided to have dinner at Bistro on Five. Salad and crepes were just what the doctor ordered after hiking all afternoon. Once again, our waiter was very friendly and accommodating. And, we both really liked the crepes. Christmas night we ate in Murano. We decided to try to wine pairing dinner. The service at this particular restaurant was the best on the ship. We really enjoyed our dinner, although at the end of five courses, we were extremely full! Friday night we ate in the Tuscan Grille. While the food was very good (my husband’s favorite meal), the service was disorganized and chaotic. It took a while before anyone came to our table, and then we were asked to order food before drinks. When we said that we wanted to first order drinks, we were offered only one glass of red wine (we had the classic beverage package – more on that later.) Someone else finally showed up and informed us of our various wine choices. Saturday night we were back in the Main Dining Room. That night, they had a Top Chef menu to order from. The food from that was fabulous! We ate all of our breakfasts and many lunches in the Ocean View restaurant, which offered a buffet. Breakfast was lovely. Most of the lunches were fine, but somewhat crowded. The last lunch of the cruise was a mad-house. There were specialty items, ice sculptures, tons of desserts and huge crowds. If we sail on Celebrity again, we will go to a specialty restaurant for lunch that day. We had the classic beverage package, which allowed us to enjoy all non-alcoholic drinks offered on board, along with beers up to $6 per serving, and wine-by-the-glass up to $9 per serving. It also included cocktails, but we did not partake. The wines by the glass were fine: the cab and the pinot grigio being quite good. The beer choices, however, were skimpy: we could only get Budweiser, Heineken and Corona. That being said, it made the trip easy not having to think about paying for any beverages. However, the beer choices could be better. We had a forward cabin with a balcony on the 7th deck, which we loved. Our cabin attendant, Viviana, was wonderful! She answered any and all questions and took very good care of us. Our cabin was always clean and we really appreciated our own outside space. We spent a good amount of time on our balcony. We were concerned that the boat might feel too crowded, since it held over 2800 passengers. However, the only times it did seem crowded were around the main pool area and at the last lunch. As we had our own balcony, we did not have to wrestle for a chaise lounge by the pool. We heard complaints from other people onboard that is was hard to get a chair and that others would “save” chaise lounges for their friends and family members, even when they were not there. We were lucky not to have to deal with that. We tried to use the jogging track, but unless you want to get up very early, forget it. The track circles the pool area, so people were constantly in the way while setting up their chairs, getting drinks, climbing in and out of the pools, or going somewhere else. Celebrity should really think about repositioning their jogging track for people who want to get some serious outdoor exercise. Although the adults-only pool was advertised as a lap pool, it is not. It is way too small (short and narrow) for any serious lap swimming. However, it was a nice respite from the main pool area madness. We also used the treadmills in the exercise room. It was nice to look out over the ocean as we “walked” along. One of the ship’s engines was out, so we were not able to make San Juan, Puerto Rico, the first scheduled port of call. We heard about this before we boarded through our travel agent. However, it seemed as though quite a few people did not know about this change until they were onboard the ship. They were understandably upset. With all of the pre-cruise emails that we received from Celebrity, asking us to buy things in advance, the cruise ship line should have been able to email most of its passengers to let them know of this change. With the exception of the last day, we booked our excursions with independent operators. We hiked in St. Maartin with Tri-Sport, which was great! We toured St. Kitts with Thenford Gray, which was also fun. We like the smaller groups and more activity, so both of these excursions worked well for us. The last day’s ship excursion (Ft. Lauderdale Land and Sea) started off somewhat dubiously. We had to wait in the bus-loading/parking area for 30 minutes before our bus arrived. However, once aboard, we had a good time and the cruise through Ft. Lauderdale’s canals was super. The boat itself was very well designed and quite beautiful. There was a large open lobby area mid-ship, with two banks of glass elevators. The space was open from the 3rd to the 12th or 14th decks and was spectacular. The ship’s signage and maps were very well done, ensuring that people could get around very easily. And, the displayed art was well-chosen and a super enhancement to the décor. The ship did decorate for Christmas, but it was not over the top and only in the main public areas. We were impressed. All in all, we had a great time and would sail on Celebrity again.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
We sailed aboard the Celebrity Silhouette December 21-28, 2014, and had a great time. The embarkation process was surprisingly easy. We received a voicemail several days before, letting us know when the best time would be for us to ... Read More
We sailed aboard the Celebrity Silhouette December 21-28, 2014, and had a great time. The embarkation process was surprisingly easy. We received a voicemail several days before, letting us know when the best time would be for us to arrive, based on our cabin location. We arrived between 2:00P and 2:30P and sailed through. Once on board, we went to make dinner reservations. Unlike other cruise lines that we have sailed on, if you want to make dinner reservations before the ship sails, you have to pay for them in advance. We wanted to use our shipboard credit to make these reservations, but we could not use it to pay for anything until after we boarded. So, although we made reservations first thing after boarding the ship, we could only get reservations between 5:30P and 6:30P, and even that took a bit of work, as we had to see which restaurants could fit us in on which days. It would be nice to be able to make dinner reservations in advance without having to pay for the upcharge until after we ate the actual dinner. We ate at the Lawn Club the first night. Although Celebrity bills the Lawn Club as a “cook your own food” destination, we did not have to do so. We had salad, pizza, (which they call flatbread) and the rib eye. We really liked the pizza, and found it to be excellent throughout the ship. Our waiter was super. We had lunch at the Porch the next day. It was nice to be outside and my husband and I really enjoyed our paninis. The service was slow, but they only had one person working up there, so that might have been the reason. Monday night we ate at Qsine. They offer their menu via iPad, which is more of a gimmick than anything useful. Qsine is basically a tapas place, where you can try many small plates. I enjoyed the crab ball best. My husband liked the Mediterranean lamb chops. Once again, our waiter was super. When we followed his suggestions, we ate very well. Tuesday night was our first foray into the Main Dining room. It was a very pretty space and the food was fine. The sommelier that night was outstanding, guiding us through our beverage choices and ensuring that our glasses were never empty. Wednesday night, Christmas Eve, we decided to have dinner at Bistro on Five. Salad and crepes were just what the doctor ordered after hiking all afternoon. Once again, our waiter was very friendly and accommodating. And, we both really liked the crepes. Christmas night we ate in Murano. We decided to try to wine pairing dinner. The service at this particular restaurant was the best on the ship. We really enjoyed our dinner, although at the end of five courses, we were extremely full! Friday night we ate in the Tuscan Grille. While the food was very good (Tim’s favorite meal), the service was disorganized and chaotic. It took a while before anyone came to our table, and then we were asked to order food before drinks. When we said that we wanted to first order drinks, we were offered only one glass of red wine (we had the classic beverage package – more on that later.) Someone else finally showed up and informed us of our various wine choices. Saturday night we were back in the Main Dining Room. That night, they had a Top Chef menu to order from. The food from that was fabulous! We ate all of our breakfasts and many lunches in the Ocean View restaurant, which offered a buffet. Breakfast was lovely. Most of the lunches were fine, but somewhat crowded. The last lunch of the cruise was a mad-house. There were specialty items, ice sculptures, tons of desserts and huge crowds. If we sail on Celebrity again, we will go to a specialty restaurant for lunch that day. We had the classic beverage package, which allowed us to enjoy all non-alcoholic drinks offered on board, along with beers up to $6 per serving and wine-by-the-glass up to $9 per serving. It also included cocktails, but we did not partake. The wines by the glass were fine: the cab and the pinot grigio being quite good. The beer choices, however, were skimpy: we could only get Budweiser, Heineken and Corona. That being said, it made the trip easy not having to think about paying for any beverages. However, the beer choices could be better. We had a forward cabin with a balcony on the 7th deck, which we loved. Our cabin attendant, Viviana, was wonderful! She answered any and all questions and took very good care of us. Our cabin was always clean and we really appreciated our own outside space. We spent a good amount of time on our balcony. We were concerned that the ship might feel too crowded, since it held over 2800 passengers. However, the only times it did seem crowded were around the main pool area and at the last lunch. As we had our own balcony, we did not have to wrestle for a chaise lounge by the pool. We heard complaints from other people onboard that is was hard to get a chair and that others would “save” chaise lounges for their friends and family members, even when they were not there. We were lucky not to have to deal with that. We tried to use the jogging track, but unless you want to get up very early, forget it. The track circles the pool area, so people were constantly in the way while setting up their chairs, getting drinks, climbing in and out of the pools, or going somewhere else. Celebrity should really think about repositioning their jogging track for people who want to get some serious outdoor exercise. Although the adults-only pool was advertised as a lap pool, it is not. It is way too small (short and narrow) for any serious lap swimming. However, it was a nice respite from the main pool area madness. We also used the treadmills in the exercise room. It was nice to look out over the ocean as we “walked” along. One of the ship’s engines was out, so we were not able to make San Juan, Puerto Rico, the first scheduled port of call. We heard about this before we boarded through our travel agent. However, it seemed as though quite a few people did not know about this change until they were onboard the ship. They were understandably upset. With all of the pre-cruise emails that we received from Celebrity, asking us to buy things in advance, the cruise ship line should have been able to email most of its passengers to let them know of this change. In their favor, Celebrity did provide us with extra on-board credit for the missed port. However, that just showed up on our account without explanation. We had to ask what it was. With the exception of the last day, we booked our excursions with independent operators. We hiked in St. Maartin with Tri-Sport, which was great! We toured St. Kitts with Thenford Gray, which was also fun. We like the smaller groups and more activity, so both of these excursions worked well for us. The last day’s ship excursion (Ft. Lauderdale Land and Sea booked through Celebrity) started off somewhat dubiously. We had to wait in the bus-loading/parking area for 30 minutes before our bus arrived. However, once aboard, we had a good time and the cruise through Ft. Lauderdale’s canals was super. The boat itself was very well designed and quite beautiful. There was a large open lobby area mid-ship, with two banks of glass elevators. The space was open from the 3rd to the 12th or 14th decks and was spectacular. The ship’s signage and maps were very well done, ensuring that people could get around very easily. And, the displayed art was well-chosen and a super enhancement to the décor. The ship did decorate for Christmas, but it was not over the top and only in the main public areas. We were impressed. All in all, we had a great time and would sail on Celebrity again. Read Less
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Sail Date: December 2014
Travelled on the Celebrity Silhouette on December 28, 2014 out of Fort Lauderdale with stops in Mexico, Grand Caymans, Jamaica and Labadee, Haiti. We were travelling in a group of 12 people, with ages ranging from 20 to 80. Arrived via ... Read More
Travelled on the Celebrity Silhouette on December 28, 2014 out of Fort Lauderdale with stops in Mexico, Grand Caymans, Jamaica and Labadee, Haiti. We were travelling in a group of 12 people, with ages ranging from 20 to 80. Arrived via plane to the Fort Lauderdale airport on Sunday morning, and we were met by the Celebrity group at the airport - transferring to the ship was easy and only a 10 minute bus ride. We got in line at the terminal to go through security and to check in/obtain our Sea Pass cards and waited over 2 hours. This was one of the worst experiences of the trip. At some points, we were standing in line waiting to go through security and the line up to get your Sea Pass card was so long that they weren't taking anyone through security. No one from Celebrity made an announcement to thank us for our patience, or tell us that something was wrong. All we wanted was a little communication, but nothing came, so our entire group was extremely frustrated. It really put a damper on the beginning of the trip. We finally were on board with our Sea Pass card (which is like your ship credit card - you use it as your room key, way to buy things and drinks on the ship, as well as to get off/on at the ports), and ready to go. The ship is gorgeous, and we hardly ever felt the ship move, only in some of the rougher seas. On our days at sea, we spent it lounging on some lounge chairs on Deck 14 (one above the pools). We would usually get there around 9am and didn't have trouble getting 12 lounge chairs. They will move your towels if you try and get up early to reserve chairs, but we found there were lots of chairs. Only swam in the outdoor pools once - very crowded with kids during the days at sea, but perhaps that is just because of the time of the year. We usually would walk down to swim in the indoor pool which was so nice - perfect temperature, just a great spot to hang around and pretty quiet. The Mast Grill was a favourite to eat at for lunch - delicious hamburgers!! We would then usually go up to the Sunset Bar for drinks later in the evening. Ari and Dev are the bartenders there and I cannot say enough good things about them - very helpful and friendly and made us feel at home!! We ate at the Porch one day for lunch ($7 charge) and it was delicious. We did not eat at the Lawn Club Grill or use the Lawn area, but didn't feel like it was taking away space like I have read in other reviews. We used the fitness area every morning, which had lots of equipment. The walking track was on one of the main floors so unless you were walking at 7am, there was a lot of traffic from general people. The food was delicious everywhere. We had reservations at the Tuscan Grille one evening ($45/person) and it was well worth the money – beautiful spot with nice views off the back of the ship. You can literally eat anything and everything you want on the menu. Our waiter was so nice, everyone ordered meat for the main course and he brought out a bunch of different pastas for the tables to try. We ate at the main dining hall for the other nights – the staff was extremely friendly, the service very quick and the food was delicious. We also upgraded to the premium drink package before we went which I highly recommend, as we didn’t have to worry about signing for drinks everytime we wanted something. As well, you can get basically any drink you want with this package. People have mentioned about the staff trying to upsell them into specialty restaurants, etc in other reviews and I never once felt like the staff tried to sell me anything except asking to get my picture taken. We tried to have a drink at every bar, just to get a feel for them. The Martini bar was our go-to meeting spot, great location and good drinks. People mentioned in other reviews/descriptions of the cruise that Michael’s was a great spot with TV’s and beers on tap and this was not the case. Only people with elite status or those staying in suits’ could access this spot, so there was no bar with TV’s (only the Casino bar that sat like 8 people), and no beers on tap (other than the standard 2 that most bars had). Cellar Masters had a lot of different beers/wines but the bar definitely had the upscale feel and didn’t feel like a spot to hang around with your buddies. We attended 2 shows in the theater – Broadway Nights (musical, song and dance from the popular songs on Broadway) and the last night they had a Ventriloquist who was so funny and very good. Loved the 2 shows we went to! We had excursions booked in Mexico and Jamaica through Celebrity. In Mexico we did the Dolphin Push, Pull and Swim which was great – you got to interact with the dolphins, and then we lounged on the beach afterwards. In Jamaica we did the Dreamer Catamaran, which was amazing, and got to go snorkeling. Can’t say enough good things about both excursions – good for every one of all ages as everyone in our party of 12 took part! Getting off/on the ship at port in Mexico and Jamaica was a breeze, but a completely different story in Grand Cayman and Labadee. In Grand Cayman, the ship was about 30 minutes late to drop anchor (apparently the ship’s engine was not getting to full speed which may have caused the problem), but no one ever made an announcement to say we were late. Then the tendering process was ridiculous. You are told that since we don’t have an excursion booked through Celebrity, you have to go down at 10am ready to go to get a tendering ticket. We went down right at 10am and got ticket #19, so people were lined up well before 10am. Then when the tendering process started, it was extremely slow and our ticket was not called until 1:30pm. Just disappointed there was no communication on this by the staff to explain the process – the other people in my group who had been on many cruises that had tenders said in previous experience with a large cruise ship it never took any longer than 20-30 minutes to get off the ship. We ran into people who had tender tickets up to #42 so I can only imagine how long they waited. In Labadee, everyone was on the 3rd floor waiting to get off the ship, there was no order to the process and one of the officers told us it would only take 5 minutes and we stood there in a giant line for 25-30 minutes before we started moving towards the 2nd floor and off the ship. In both spots, we just went to the beach where we lounged and swam. Overall it was a wonderful experience, the staff, the food, and our 2 excursions were the highlights for our group. I would recommend the Celebrity again, but would try to do it to a location that didn’t have a tender.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2014
Our first cruise was on the Celebrity Reflection and I loved every second of that so I had high expectations going into this cruise. I was not disappointed. The Silhouette is well maintained and clean. It is identical for the most part to ... Read More
Our first cruise was on the Celebrity Reflection and I loved every second of that so I had high expectations going into this cruise. I was not disappointed. The Silhouette is well maintained and clean. It is identical for the most part to the Reflection. The Silhouette does indeed have a Molecular Bar, they do have the Qasar Nightclub which is not on the Reflection. The Persian Garden is half the size as that on the Reflection, and no cold room. The workout area has a large section for classes and your own use when no classes are being run - I preferred this to the Reflection. There are some other differences but these were the ones that mattered to me. Food: I quite enjoy the food at the spa cafe - I like that it is pre-plated and overall the offerings just appealed to me more. The general buffet wasn't bad, but I just wasn't wowed by the food there. The MDR service and atmosphere was good. I didn't have bad meals, but only a few items were standouts to me - items where I was salivating. Room: oceanview on deck 6 - lifeboat obstruction. I got used to the lifeboat, but I would book early and get a hump cabin, or pay more $$$ to be higher up. Lawn Club: love the lawn club - great place to relax and not super crowded, unlike the pool area. Persian Gardens: ok. loved it on the reflection so much that I bought the 6d pass to start. didn't use it as much as I thought - preferred the lawn club. on the 1st day there was no music playing, on another day the steam room had a nasty smell. just not as heavenly as I remembered/expected. workout room: loved the large space that you cld use when classes not in session. also enjoyed using the balcony to workout. unless you are up early dont use the jogging path on sea days - too many people in the way. I enjoyed using the jogging track on port days. Ports: loved diving in Cozumel and Grand Cayman. Didn't do much in Falmouth. Labadee was nice, of course it isn't the 'real Haiti but a nice beach day. Tendering Process w/o Celebrity excursion: what a cluster tendering was. we arrived late due the azipod issue which was expected, but didn't start getting pp on tenders until an hour later - people were waiting in frustration. As it was I had to line up 1.5 hrs before they distributed general tender tics - I was 1st in line. I just made my 1230 excursion (5min walk from port). Really something to be aware of. Based on research I knew it could be a cluster - just something to be aware of. NYE: spent NYE on board. Joined the dance party on pool deck. unveiled 2015 ice sculpture at midnight. formal night (1 of 2)   Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Unpacked, final load of laundry drying, so time to write the review. Overall a great Thanksgiving week in the Eastern Caribbean. I have written this based on my opinions and comments made by my wife and two others traveling in our party. ... Read More
Unpacked, final load of laundry drying, so time to write the review. Overall a great Thanksgiving week in the Eastern Caribbean. I have written this based on my opinions and comments made by my wife and two others traveling in our party. This was our 6th Thanksgiving Cruise the four of us have taken together, previous five on Carnival, so our first with Celebrity. We flew into Ft. Lauderdale on Saturday and spent the day seeing family and just relaxing. Since we a had a rental car I returned it on Sunday morning and took the free shuttle to the port. That was a mistake. The bus was really full, we dropped off after the Allure and had to pick up people getting off the Allure and going to the airport. The shuttle to almost an hour for a 10 minute ride. Next time 10 bucks and straight to the ship. Lots of construction in the port area so give yourself plenty of time. Embarkation: A breeze for us. My wife had brought the luggage to the ship (road with family and new grandbaby) and the luggage was unloaded from the car and she never saw the bags again until they arrived in our room around 230 that afternoon. I arrived a little later and at approx. 12:35 we entered the bldg to start the process and by 12:45 we were on the ship upgrading our drink packages. No problems, no issues, friendly staff members, a great way to start the vacation. The Ship: The ship is beautiful, that sums it up. We walked around and got our bearings and waited for our room to be ready. They said 1 and at 1:02 the doors opened and we were inside our room and standing on the balcony. Our room attendant introduced himself and his assistant and we could not have been happier. All week, everything we asked for was delivered by the room staff. From there we met family in the buffet dining room for a quick snack. The food was plentiful and very good. I made my wife a cheese and cracker tray and she raved about the cheese and how peaceful everything was. We were not seated with our two family members at the early dining so I made a trip to see the dining room staff. We were placed together immediately and given a very nice table for 4. Leaving port is always exciting, and this time was as well. Someone got proposed to in large letters being held up at a condo as we left port and the vacation had begun. Dining: We had early dining and ate in the main dining room 6 out of 7 nights. We were very happy with the food, service, and the overall dining experience. My brother in law has diet restrictions and they filled his every wish to include low carb cheesecake every night. The glasses stayed full of wine and bottled water and just a very pleasant experience. We ate in the same dining room most breakfasts and lunches. Also very good and very relaxing. Monday and Friday were formal nights and we just did Friday. Monday night we ate in the Tuscun Italian Grill. Can not say enough great things about the Tuscun. Great food and the service was wonderful. Everyone felt the 45 dollars was a fair price and much better than the fine dining on Carnival for 35. The spa dining (smoothies and healthy foods) was very good and as named, located just outside the spa. We had breakfast there a few times and it was very good. The burger and dog grill was excellent. You have to be a little patient, but worth the wait. The hot dogs are delicious and the service was very good. It is located right above the main pool and it does get a little busy around noon so you must be a little patient or wait until the line goes down before heading that way. The only time we ate in the buffet was shortly after getting on the ship and I had lunch there on Saturday at the Grand Buffet with the ice carvings and huge food and desserts selections. The dessert section looked like some of the crimes scenes that I have investigated. People, not worth the verbal assaults and rudeness over cheesecake. Saw several examples of the "Angry American" in this area. Somewhat disturbing but sadly to say, not shocking. Bars and Package: We upgraded our including drink package to the premium package. Best decision made all week. The free bottled water and the smoothies easily paid for the upgrade. Unlimited Evian waters and sparkling water at dinner was nice. I spent every afternoon at the Sunset Bar (cigar smoker). The bar was very nice and the drinks and service was very good. The wind really blows in the area on sea days and you had to pick your cigar spot carefully. No issues, all great. The martini bar was also a great experience. Good drinks, fun bartenders, and one of the dance and party crowd gathering points during the cruise. My evening home was the Molecular Bar. Heaven on the ship. I can not say enough about the three working behind the bar and how wonderful they truly were. All the drinks are included in the upgraded package or I would giving plasma today to pay my bar bill. A must visit for those who enjoy a wonderful cocktail and loads of fun. Entertainment: We did several shows and they were very good. I did not make the late night comedian act but was told by cigars buddies that it was very good. Seemed to always be a band playing or a game around the pool going on. Enjoy what you want and walk by what you don't, you're on vacation. Pool and Spa: I enjoyed the pool area and my wife really enjoyed her two spa treatments. The indoor adult pool was very nice and very relaxing. The main pool was more alive with kids and louder music and was also enjoyed. Never felt overcrowded and chairs were plentiful and while a few were saved it was not a problem like it was on Carnival. Missing San Juan: This was our first disappointment of the cruise. The Captain came on the PA around 10 on Monday and stated that we were going to be a little late getting into San Juan but he would not commit to a time. He stated this was due to unexpected strong headwinds. I told my wife that since we were going 17 knots and from what we had left to get to San Juan, it just wasn't happening. The Capt came on around 1 and stated that he had made the decision to bypass San Juan and head straight to St. Kitts. While I understand the strong winds (they were strong) I also blame the propulsion problems that this ship is having and will continue to have until Jan when it gets dry docked for repairs. When I first read about these problems several months ago I called my TA to discuss cancelling this cruise. She called the Celebrity rep who emphatically stated this was a known problem and in no way would effect the cruise or the ports visited. Well IT did. Strong winds, full power and we enjoy a evening in Old San Juan. Strong winds, less power to one engine, no Old Town. Sad but dealing with Celebrity on this now. Doggie Lunch: This was a first and somewhat troubling in a few regards. There were two service dogs on the cruise and were very well behaved. One of the dogs was a small dog that was pushed around all week inside a stroller and wore diamond studded collars and hair bows. On Friday afternoon as we entered the main dining room for lunch we observed the dog's owner, could not miss very very large red hat, sitting at her table and next to her, in a chair was the dog. I thought WOW, a dog in the dining room, in a person chair, at the table having lunch. In front of the dog on the table was a large silver doggie water dish in which the dog seemed to be having a post lunch drink. I know dogs are a clean animal and I understand the ADA laws but come on Celebrity, you squirted my hands three times a day before dining with hand sanitizer but yet you let a dog eat and drink from a a dining room table while sitting in a chair. The next a we asked the Maitre D about he dog and he stated he saw nothing and it would not have occurred if he had seen it. Well he was lying, he walked by the table several times and did nothing. Very sad. We Are Out of That: Also disturbing was the amount of times in which we were told the ship was out of items. Towards the end of the week there was no cream cheese, milk for morning for morning cereal, many mixes for the drinks, certain sodas, and other items. This should not happen and the staff seemed somewhat embarrassed to have to tell the customers they could not get what they ordered or wanted. Debarkation: What a mess. You would think this was the very first time they ever did this. We self carried off the ship from the 10th deck. After a 15 minute wait and no elevators, at the time we were told to use the elevators (7-7:30), we just humped the six bags down the stairs. Once off the ship it is a long walk to customs and while we are not in great shape, I am sure others had a difficult time on the walk to customs. Customs went great. Follow directions, have your paperwork out and don't be funny. They have a serious job and lots of folks to get through. Overall: We had a great time. Sorry for such a long post but I know I read several post before cruising and I hope it helps someone like others helped me. This is not a Carnival cruise. The age and demeanor of the passengers was much more in-lined with what we were looking for and for that reason we will be back on Celebrity. I wish everyone a wonderful Holiday Season, God Bless, and Safe Travels. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2013
Just returned from a 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise during the week of Christmas. We have cruised with Celebrity before and because we are Elite members, enjoy some of the perks - like free laundry, dry-cleaning and internet. We also ... Read More
Just returned from a 7 night Eastern Caribbean cruise during the week of Christmas. We have cruised with Celebrity before and because we are Elite members, enjoy some of the perks - like free laundry, dry-cleaning and internet. We also prepaid our drink packages and tips before we left. We stayed the night prior to the cruise at the Embassy Suites in Fort Lauderdale, arriving at the boat by noon - just in time to breeze through security and then onto the lunch buffet. Into our room by 1:30, with luggage arriving before sail away. Safety drill was well organized with everyone very attentive. We had planned this cruise to be away for Christmas - both DH and I were in need of a break and some true rest and relaxation - which is what we got. We didn't do that much on board - no late night activities or partying - just reading, relaxing on deck, a bit of gambling, and the occasional coffee at the cafe. We did find the regular coffee to be terrible this cruise so were grateful for the Cafe Americano at the cafe. DH and I ate in MDR each night but one. Food was excellent, although service was a bit slow at times. Our waiter had many others to serve and seemed to be constantly in motion. One night we ate in Tuscan Grille - food was fantastic and service was wonderful. Not sure though if the extra charges for speciality restaurants are really worth it though. First two days at sea were a bit rough and with an aft cabin, seemed worse. Things improved once we reached San Juan, Puerto Rico - first port of call, where it rained off and on. We didn't leave ship so enjoyed some quiet time. The next day we were in St. Maarten, but as it was Christmas day, most stores on the island were closed but the ones at the pier were open. We ventured off the ship and walked around for a while. The last port of call was Basseterre, on St. Kitts. Went on a excursion - a historic narrow gauge railway that was interesting - a very different view of the island. Made it back to the ship just prior to sail away. With over 600 children on board, staff did an excellent job of keeping them busy. We occasionally saw them (doing scavenger hunts or going off to another activity). Enjoyed the evening shows most nights in the theatre. The usual musical/Broadway show, a magician another night, a cirque like show another, American Idol finalists another. All shows were well attended. The ship was decorated for the holidays with Christmas trees and a display of gingerbread houses in the main atrium. Traditional Christmas dinner was served on Christmas day as well. They had a midnight mass for those who wanted to attend. Disembarkation was smooth as well - off the ship and through customs and at the airport in under an hour. All in all a restful week and a real break.   Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2012
We cannot say enough about our beautiful room, large comfortable bed and granite counter built-ins and desk/vanity area, pillow menu and the very spiffy spa bath (loved that shower!) We enjoyed the daily amenities from the bottle of ... Read More
We cannot say enough about our beautiful room, large comfortable bed and granite counter built-ins and desk/vanity area, pillow menu and the very spiffy spa bath (loved that shower!) We enjoyed the daily amenities from the bottle of champagne and fruit plate waiting on our arrival, to daily herbal iced teas/bottled waters, afternoon canapes; the over-sized towels and upgraded toiletries were appreciated, as was the balcony with table/chairs and reclining chairs with foot rests. We took advantage of the complimentary access to the relaxation room and Persian Room in the spa area, and enjoyed the heated tile beds, aromatherapy and sauna rooms, tropical storm and rain forest showers. Our room steward, Mauricio, had our room ready and every request was met cheerfully. He made our trip feel special and elegant. We also enjoyed dining in Blu and never waited for a table(service and staff were incredibly attentive, engaging, and food was excellent.) The ship was decorated for Christmas in an elegant, understated way, that complimented the lovely rooms and open areas. It's a gorgeous place to wander around, we loved the art: paintings, sculptures and more, very well done. We did dine in Qsine, a specialty restaurant that is truly unique and worth the $40 each -- it's a dining experience of creativity and sharing, and a must-do experience if you only choose one specialty restaurant. We were wait-listed but made it in, as the restaurant books quickly, so do book before you cruise, if possible. On this cruise, the ship itself was the lure, as we need to unwind and relax over the holiday week. We also loved the adults-only pool area, though we usually opted to go back to our own balcony for snacks or a beverage and to watch the glorious sunsets. We did eat breakfast occasionally in Blu (and it was yummy, with extras not available in other restaurants like blueberry walnut pancakes and fresh fruit smoothies), but we also enjoyed the buffet style options for breakfast and lunch in the Oceanview Cafe, with round the world offerings like Asian, Indian, Italian, subs and gyros, classic hot meals with sides, salads, desserts and more. We waited a fairly long time one afternoon for burgers and dogs at the outside grill, but the one guy working was zipping along with a cheerful attitude, and the food was great! The shows were better than most cruise ship fare, particularly loved the Silhouette cast when they did a circus style show with lots of acrobats, visuals, lighting effects -- very cool. We also loved a special guest vocalist, Christina Bianco, who did a fantastic diva impersonation show that earned a well-deserved standing ovation. We did have a very lengthy disembarkation, due to customs lines being extremely slow, but our arrival required no wait at all -- once we checked in we were invited to the Aqua Class and Suites waiting room, and immediately went on board for lunch and to wait for our room. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2012
This was our second cruise, both on Celebrity, the first being an Alaska Inside Passage cruise. Although we've been intending to take a special vacation to celebrate my recovery from cancer, we booked spur of the moment after some ... Read More
This was our second cruise, both on Celebrity, the first being an Alaska Inside Passage cruise. Although we've been intending to take a special vacation to celebrate my recovery from cancer, we booked spur of the moment after some extra funds showed up unexpectedly, and we were limited to Christmas week because of the school schedule. We were afraid it wouldn't "feel like Christmas." We were wrong. :-) Our only basis for comparison was the Galaxy in 1999. We loved that cruise, and we loved this one just as much, if not more. We like fine dining, even our 10-year-old, and the food on the Galaxy was a high point. Happy to say that the main dining room here was just about comparable to our other experience. Other aspects of the experience were better, so our overall impression was just as good. First, the ship is lovely. As with the Galaxy, there was wonderful art everywhere and the public rooms were elegant and modern. Our stateroom was nicer, as we were in Verandah class. Although we were on the 6th deck and partially obstructed, with a prime view of lifeboats, our room was relatively large and bright. We enjoyed our verandah -- husband spent hours out there reading on sea days. As in 1999, we had an efficient "cabin genie" who kept our room neat and clean. We ate most meals in the main dining room. Almost everything was very good. We ate a couple of meals upstairs in Oceanview and they were pretty good, too. We had tea there a few days as well and hubby and daughter had sushi and ice cream (not together!) snacks. I would say the one dish we really didn't like (both adults had it) was more because it was geared towards a European palate. What we thought was even better than 1999 was the entertainment, especially the little troupe of singers, dancers and acrobats who did the nightly shows in Silhouette Theatre and the interactive events. They were multi-talented -- we saw several different shows during the cruise, including a special Christmas Eve show. There was also good guest talent, especially a young singer named Michelle Bianco. Another big improvement, we thought, was the accessability of the senior staff. They were everywhere and very much a part of our experience. We met several at the Captain's Club reception and they sort of kept up with us during the cruise. The captain is highly gregarious, BTW, with excellent spoken English. The cruise director is also very visible. Our daughter did not participate in the kids' programs -- she considers it "warehousing." Fortunately, virtually all the evening entertainment was child-appropriate and she had a blast with us. Not all parents supervised their kids well; unfortunately, the staff had to post repeated reminders in the daily newsletter, and we witnessed "kids gone wild" one day ourselves. I availed myself of a few spa services that were a decent value and bought some jewelry in Exquisites for a good price. Good experiences both. We did not dine in the special restaurants -- the cover charge is pretty steep, and you could do worse than the main DR. If you're on Select dining as we were, reservations are in order. You'll get seated much faster. The hostess is a sweetheart and can multitask with the best of them. We did not consider the beverage packages a good deal. We got a softdrink package for our daughter, but there is no way she can drink enough soda to justify doing it in the future.. We did get a bottle of wine each night with dinner, but because hubby knows his wines, we came out a little ahead of what we would have done with a wine package. We don't drink enough to get the other packages, and coming from an expensive area, the prices weren't really that bad in our view. We did a couple of shore excursions. The water park at Cococay was a rip-off -- when you go to Cococay, just get there early, grab a chair and rent an umbrella and you'll be fine. The St. Maarten/Martin tour arranged thru Shore Excursions was actually cheaper than a tour we arranged ourselves on St. Thomas, so it was a good deal. We're not into jet skis, etc. so we just did the fuddy-duddy tour bus thing and went to the beach. We did feel that there were a lot of added-fee extras, but you can still have a good time without spending a lot of extra money. Boarding and disembarkation went smoothly for us. We did an airport transfer on arrival, and had preferential check-in and lunch on the ship. We made our own hotel arrangements for an overnight stay on departure. As for it "feeling like Christmas," we were pleasantly surprised. The ship was decorated to the nines. There were extra activities, including a delightful show in the theatre on Christmas Eve, caroling, Santa's arrival and time with the kids on Christmas morning, and religious services for Catholics and Protestants (there were gatherings for Jewish passengers as well). There were special menus that day, too, including turkey and dressing. Felt almost like home. The one really negative thing I can say is not Celebrity's fault, and in fact, they tried to combat it, but some of the other passengers were real pigs. You aren't supposed to save seats at the pool (which gets really crowded on sea days) or the theatre, but it happened A LOT. Additionally, they had a lovely display of dozens of gingerbread houses in the Grand Foyer, and people were stealing them. There were the out-of-control children, and I witnessed some appalling and blatantly racist behavior towards staff persons "of color" in one of the gift shops -- I felt so bad for the shop manager that I personally apologized to the staff after that particular customer stomped out in a huff. All in all, though, it was a wonderful experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2011
Room #1544 AQ HOTEL: We did a 2 day precruise at the Hilton, Penn Station. We booked a 1 bedroom Junior Suite. The concierge lounge was not open on the weekend, but we were told that we would be allowed to eat at the breakfast buffet ... Read More
Room #1544 AQ HOTEL: We did a 2 day precruise at the Hilton, Penn Station. We booked a 1 bedroom Junior Suite. The concierge lounge was not open on the weekend, but we were told that we would be allowed to eat at the breakfast buffet since there was no breakfast service in the concierge lounge. We were given a coupon at check in, that allowed us to dine in the hotel's restaurant for breakfast. We enjoyed their buffet (normally priced at $17 per person) and found the service to be friendly and efficient. ***AVOID ONBOARD TOURS AT ALL COSTS WHILE IN NYC!!*** We were booked for their 'See It All Tour' and 'See The Lights (Holiday Lights) Tours'. Our booking specialist, Christa, assured us that OnBoard Tours has a special arrangement with the Hilton hotel at Penn Station in New Jersey, for pick up of their passengers. We were told to be downstairs, outside if possible (weather permitting) at 10:45 AM - 11:15 AM. At 11:20 AM, I knew something wasn't right. I called OnBoard Tours and was told that the driver was running late, but that they were on their way to pick us up. After numerous calls and endless run arounds from OnBoard Tours' representatives, we finally figured out that Christa had lied to us and in fact, there was NO hotel pick up service offered for the Hilton at Penn Station in New Jersey (and yes, we do have a printed email from OnBoard Tours, stating the name of our hotel with the pick up date and time, so we were clearly not the ones that were confused!). Embarkation: Per the recommendation of the bell captain at Hilton Penn Station, we used a town car service (booked at the bell captain's desk -- super easy!, to get from the hotel to Cape Liberty for boarding. The fare was approximately $47, including tip, for two of us with 9 pieces of luggage. The drive took about 25 minutes and was so easy! The reps at Bayonne that represent Celebrity, did a GREAT job of getting us checked in. We love the new process of getting your photo taken at check in instead of with the security guys. This speeds things up and is more pleasant. We were on board around 11:30 AM (did not really like having to take the busses from the terminal to the ship, but it wasn't a huge 'deal breaker', just annoying). We went straight to Bistro on Five. This is the best way to spend a leisurely afternoon, when you board early. You can easily spend 90 minutes enjoying lunch and GREAT service, for $5.00 per person cover charge! A bargain!! Cabin: We booked AQ 100% because of Blu. We had dined in Blu on our Solstice cruise, and even though we prefer a SkySuite or Celebrity Suite, we don't want to take the chance of having to go back to the MDR due to lack of space in Blu (Suite guests are on a 'space available basis' plus $5 surcharge to dine in Blu). That being said, we were semi pleased with our AQ standard balcony cabin. We are a mom/daughter traveling duo that do NOT travel lightly! Between us, we had 5 medium to LARGE size suit cases, plus cosmetics, plus all of our hair care stuff, etc...etc... You get the picture! The layout of the cabin was OK for us....The cabin is smaller than was expected and the storage is LIMITED, like all of the reviewers before me have stated, but you don't really appreciate how limited the storage is, until you and all of your luggage show up and the unpacking begins. Three drawers?! Celebrity, are you kidding?! The bathroom drawers are so small, that literally, you cannot even put your toothbrush in any of them, since it won't fit! Shower is nice (small, but nice). The showers in Aqua Spa are very nice, so if you find the cabin bathroom shower to be too tiny to deal with, then grab your robe and head up to the Aqua Spa. Showers are free and very nice/spacious. Linens in the cabin: FABULOUS!! Loved the down comforter, the crispy sheets, the squishy pillows (never did find the pillow menu!) and the great big bath towels. Service: Our cabin steward and his assistant were OK. I know that they are worked to the bone and I try hard to be respectful of that. Most days, our cabin was not cleaned until at least Noon. One day, we came back at 2 PM and our steward asked us to please give him just 15 minutes more, to get our beds made. Yes, it's not the end of the world...not even close, but it's a shame that Celebrity seems to have cut back on staffing so the current staff members are worked so hard. I do have to give a 'shout out' to Celebrity. We mentioned to our steward's assistant, Ping, that our zipper on a piece of luggage had been broken by the airlines. He said that he would take it to the ship's upholstery shop and would see if they could fix/repair/replace the broken zipper. Well -- two days later, the suitcase showed up and was in GREAT shape with its' brand new zipper! Thanks Celebrity -- that was a very nice thing for you to do (and for not charging me for it!). Dining: Well -- this is so subjective, that I truly hesitate to even comment. What I will say is that if you have simple tastes and don't like hoity toity / uppity menus, you will struggle in Blu (or the MDR). We were so discouraged, every night, with the menus. Not sure why Celebrity feels it's necessary to have menus that nearly require a dictionary or Thesaurus to interpret! I don't eat red meat/pork or much seafood, so it was a bit tough on me. I ended up doing some version of shrimp cocktails, chicken and veggies, along with French Onion Soup and Blue Cheese Wedge salads or Caesar Salads, Crème Brulee, most nights. On the very last day of the cruise, I learned from a fellow passenger, that Celebrity will deliver the menus from the MDR and BLU to your cabin, the night before, so you can determine what the best choices will be for you, if you are a picky eater. This is something that I would have appreciated knowing on Day 1, not on Day 13! Oh well... live and learn. Room Service: Very good (not the apple pie! That is the worst pie, ever!!! Avoid it all costs!). Service was fast (about 20-30 minutes and food, including French fries, arrived hot). Pastries/Sweets: OK... Am I the only living soul that detests Celebrity's pastries? These must be the worst, on any ship! Not sure if X just doesn't put enough sugar in them, or if the executive chefs just want us to avoid them all together, but they are truly awful... The cookies have the taste of cardboard and are simply horrible. On a happier and more positive note, the ice cream on X is so yummy! Princess has horrible 'bug spray tasting' ice cream, so I am appreciative that X gives us high quality frozen yogurt and hand scooped ice cream. Also, there is self service soft serve frozen yogurt (various flavors) available at the Mast Grill, Aqua Spa Cafe and the Ice Cream bar in the Ocean View Cafe. Speaking of the Mast Grill, if the not so friendly cooks tell you that they do not have turkey or chicken burgers, DO NOT BELIEVE THEM! I was told that it was hot dogs or hamburgers ONLY. Well, on day 12, I chatted with the head chef and politely asked him why X doesn't have turkey or chicken at the Mast Grill... he looked at me w/ this puzzled look and said that is absolutely not the case. The French fries at the Mast Grill are GREAT! A great snack when coming back on board after a long day of shore excursions!! Entertainment: Well... like dining, the opinion someone has re: the entertainment, is very subjective. I found the entertainment to be between a 'B' and 'A-' . The dancers/singers were new to the ship, and even though they didn't miss their notes, or the words to the songs, it just seemed like the performances were strained. The Cirque show was interesting. The theater fills up at least 30 minutes before the show starts, so DON'T BE LATE IN GETTING THERE TO GET YOUR SEATS, or you will be sorry (and standing!). Shore Excursions: We did the Swim with Stingray and Kayak adventure in Antigua. Excellent!! I do wish we had been told to bring our credit card or some $$$, since they had our photos for sale, but none of us had our money or credit cards with us, to pay for them. Bummer! The tour was great and Sting Ray City in Antigua is NOT to be missed, if you enjoy seeing these gentle giants in their natural habitat (aka the ocean!). LABADEE: We rented a private OVER THE WATER BUNGALOW. Matt (concierge on board) told us that our $200 fee would include a butler that would bring us our lunches, drinks and our swim mats. Well...that was sort of true. There was a butler. He did show up and told us where the cooler was that had bottled water in it. When lunch time rolled around, we asked him how we were supposed to place our order with him. He gave us the deer in the headlights look and said that we needed to go and get our own lunch. Not the end of the world, obviously, BUT, since our expectations had been set that we were paying for some seriously nice treatment, we expected a different experience. If you do rent an over the water bungalow/cabana, make sure that you reserve #4 or #3, or you will most likely NOT be over the water. Also, you need to reserve it immediately on embarkation, or you will not get one. They only have 4 of them, so they go quickly. Also, if you have an Ipod with music on it, BRING IT! There is electricity in the cabana/bungalow and having some music would have been great!! Also, the buffet was truly awful, the worst chicken shish kabobs ever, so you may want to bring some fruit and snacks from your cabin. I did hear from some fellow ship mates, that the hamburgers were some of the very best, however. There are NO blended drinks on Labadee, so if you have your heart set on a Pina Colada, it's not going to happen. ST. CROIX: The ship docks on the opposite side of the island from all of the major shopping, so you are forced to take a $16 per person taxi cab ride, if you want to shop. There are lots of 'flea market' type of open air shopping (tshirts/tote bags/inexpensive jewelry) at the dock/pier area. We did the Buck Island Snorkel tour/excursion in St. Croix. Ick! The worst snorkeling EVER! We snorkeled in waves that were approximately 4-6 feet high! We all asked the boat captain what was up with bringing us to this truly awful and unpleasant snorkeling place and he simply responded that this was normal and just basically 'get over it'. There was not one morsel of food, only rum punch. Well, after boating for an hour each way, a 30 minute bus ride, 60 minutes of terrifying snorkeling in huge waves, you do get hungry! Wouldn't it have been considerate of Celebrity to tell us to take some fruit or a snack with us, on our excursion? Yes, I know that lunch was not included, but a gentle reminder to bring a snack, would just be nice. Needless to say, after a boatload of us consumed too much rum on the way back to the pier, it made for an interesting bus ride back to the ship. On Board Shopping: Wow! I was (pleasantly) a bit shocked! We actually found the jewelry to not only be a fabulous selection, but the majority of the prices, were fair to very good. We are BIG shoppers of nice jewelry in St. Thomas and St. Marteen and know our pricing for gem stones/gold/etc... Well - the ship's jewelry shop did not disappoint. There was a very nice Effy brand diamond ring that they had priced for about $1800. The exact same ring at the Effy store in St. Marteen was nearly $2500! This was after negotiating with the sales rep at the St. Marteen Effy store. When I told him that the same ring was in the ship's jewelry store, for $700 less, he told me that it must be 'old' and they are just trying to get rid of it. Hello?! It's not milk or eggs... it's gold and diamonds... I don't think it really has an expiration date! Casino: Played the slots and went up and down. All in all, I probably either broke even or made about $20. We had fun and enjoyed our time in the casino, but like all casinos, it can drain you quickly, if you're not careful. I also participated in the Slot Tournament and that was fun. I did not win, but it was a fun way to spend an hour for $25.00 Bringing Wine/Alcohol On Board: I packed two boxes of 'Black Box' wine (Cab & Merlot), plus, three small to medium size rum runners with Baileys and Cherry Vodka. Fortunately, Cape Liberty isn't as 'nosey' as the port in Ft. Lauderdale and/or Miami... (have had to go to the naughty room on Deck 2 on our last Solstice cruise!) and the cocktails and wine made it on board w/o a hitch. Whew! I had already planned to buy the Beverage Package (nearly $800 for this cruise! Yikes!) if my rum runners had not made it on board, and boy oh boy, after the rough seas on our first 2-3 days where all I could stomach, was peppermint tea, I am so happy that I didn't buy the beverage package! Talk about a bummer... feeling sea sick and knowing the drink timer is running at nearly $60 per day and not being able to consume a cocktail. That being said, I would highly recommend to anyone going on a cruise where the seas might be a bit rocky, to NOT buy a beverage package until you are underway and see how it's going to go. I have been on a LOT of cruises and have never, ever been sea sick. For some reason, this cruise was very tough on me (waves were 9-15 feet on any given open sea day while in the Atlantic). Thank goodness X gave free sea sick tablets out at Guest Relations. Whew! SEE IT ALL TOUR ($150 PER PERSON) After doing this on HAL, we had high hopes for this 'behind the scenes tour'. We were met by Matt, the very friendly concierge, on the last sea day, at the Sky Bar at 10:20 AM. We were told that we would not be allowed to see the engine room due to security reasons. Ok...not the end of the world. Then, we were told that we wouldn't get to go to the mooring area due to high seas... OK, also not the end of the world. When we asked our tour guide, Sergio (hotel manager) if we would receive anything special (HAL and Princess both give lovely gift bags and presents!) at the end of our tour, he informed us that we would be treated to lunch in the MDR. Hello! It's a cruise! Isn't lunch already included?! No worries -- we were still happy to be on the tour, just a bit surprised that X did not research what the other lines are doing and follow suit. The 'See It All Tour' consisted of about 30 minutes in the bridge with the Captain and some of his officers. Then, backstage at the theater with the lead singer, Dante, for about 15 minutes, to tour their costume changing area, dressing rooms, etc. After that, it was down to the deck zero area that the crew calls 'I-95' (this references the long hallway that the crew uses to move all of our food and supplies from one end of the ship to the other). We were allowed to see the crew's library and internet room, as well as the crew bar and crew gym. We did not get to see any crew sleeping quarters for all of the obvious reasons. The tour also took us to one of the galleys, the liquor storage areas, a couple of different coolers and some type of engineering control room. It lasted about 3 hours including lunch in the MDR (Celebrity did include red or white wine by the glass at lunch). Are we glad we did it? Yes... Do we feel like we were over charged for this tour with NO gifts at the end? YES... $75 would have been much more reasonable for a price. Disembarkation: ICK! Bayonne and those busses are simply awful on disembarkation day! Also, not only do these awful busses add at least 30-40 minutes to the entire process, but there are basically no porters to help you with your luggage. We desperately needed a porter and honestly, there was not one to be found. We ended up schlepping our own bags (all nine of them!!) and vowed to avoid Bayonne at all costs, in the future, until they get rid of those silly busses and allow us to walk to the ship. Once we got through Customs, and boarded a shuttle to Newark Airport, things smoothed out. It takes approximately 15 minutes (without traffic) to get from the pier to the Newark airport. Also, the Newark airport is so friendly! If you need anything, just ask anyone wearing the red coats. The work for the airport and are truly nice people. Also, they will NOT accept any tips. Incredible... They helped us with our baggage when we flew into Newark, helped us with the Airtrain and with finding our hotel's shuttle service. Each time we offered a gratuity to our 'Red Coat Angel' they always politely declined. Wow... Overall, this was a nice trip. This was one of the FRIENDLIEST CRUISES I have ever been on. My fellow passengers were so sweet and nice & there was never a dull dinner conversation. People in the buffet and the theater were always quick to say hello and strike up a friendly conversation. Maybe it was the fact that we were on the ship together for nearly 2 weeks, so that made people more 'willing' to bond with you....or maybe it's just the large East Coast fellow travelers that are just nice to begin with, or a combination of both... Whatever the reason, I was so happy to see that the ship was filled with friendly, enthusiastic fellow passengers. Will I sail with X again? Yes... But, I am probably going to cancel my Reflection Cruise for 12/2012... Celebrity is a wonderful product, but we are going to try Allure of the Seas and see if we find the food to be better and more 'normal'. I know this makes us 'odd', that we don't get super excited about this high brow food / dining experience, but that just isn't our thing. We are sailing in the Grand Suite on Sapphire Princess to Alaska in Sept. 2012 and even though I know the food (and ice cream!) won't be as good as Celebrity, we are paying nearly what a decent balcony or Sky Suite on Celebrity would have cost. When you consider that Princess gives their suite guests such amazing benefits, the price is very fair. Wish Celebrity would spoil their suite guests a bit more like the other main line cruise lines do. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2011
My husband and I have sailed with Celebrity since it's inception from the late 80's inaugural voyage on the Horizon as well as the other Chandris ships. Celebrity at that time had a fine reputation for luxury as well as fine ... Read More
My husband and I have sailed with Celebrity since it's inception from the late 80's inaugural voyage on the Horizon as well as the other Chandris ships. Celebrity at that time had a fine reputation for luxury as well as fine dining. Also, the convenience of leaving from New York as we live on Long Island was a plus. However, as newer luxury lines came into play such as Crystal, Silversea and Seabourn, we veered away from Celebrity.Being that this was a new ship and being homeported in Bayonne made it an attractive offer. The feedback from other reviews regarding embarkation and disembarkation were totally correct, so I won't go into detail here. As we were able to drive to the port made it a little easier, although I feel Celebrity should really step up their procedures as ships with the same amount of passengers as well as luggage do much better. The ship itself looks very pleasing to the eye but overall service and quality throughout has greatly deteriorated. All their new additions such as cabanas, lawn club area and specialty restaurants take up so much valuable space that could be better utilized for passenger enjoyment. I for one do not need to sit on real grass on a cruise ship as I can do that at home for nothing. As for specialty dining, Celebrity has caved into the competitive market and not for the better. All food in those venues has recently disappeared from the main dining which used to set itself apart from other cruise lines for quality, type and preparation as well as presentation. All of those things are gone from Celebrity. The Terrace Cafe needs a complete overhaul regarding staffing, availability of tables as well as cleanliness. We observed many children as well as adults picking up food with their hands and nothing was done to address this. As a result, my husband and I never forward to any meals that we had there. Main dining room was a little bit better as we had fixed seating and the same wait staff every time. Quality of food was minimal at best and foods such as lobster tail and the usual luxury fare was almost non existent. Other venues such as The Bistro and The Porch offered not much better and for an additional charge. Celebrity needs to upgrade it's offerings without additional charges if they expect to retain the same guests coming back. We had quite a bit of feedback from repeaters and not for the better. As for the cabin accommodations they were pretty much standard for each category. The room sizes were much smaller and more contour so you felt somewhat crowded when you shouldn't have. Whomever designed storage space needs to have their examined as storage over a bed was totally ridiculous not to mention dangerous when there was ship movement. Entertainment was a valiant attempt to put on a good show but somehow lacked substance. Celebrity is down in this category as well. I give a 5+ to Captain Nicholas Pagonis as he was the only positive in an otherwise negative experience. He was most visible and personable each and every time he spoke. I would would love to sail with him again. A job well done. The staff in general was accommodating and always with a smile on their face. I think Celebrity is ahead in this category. The most disappointing feature was the fact that this was a Christmas and New Years sailing with 600 children on board. Needless to say they were not well behaved or supervised by their parents and as a result were left to ride the elevators and also running down the hallways at all hours of the day and night. Totally unsupervised and not at all called for. I feel that Celebrity did not enforce rules and as a result many cruise passengers had a totally disappointing cruise. In summary I will say that this was one of the most disappointing cruises with Celebrity and in all truthfulness would rather sail on other luxury ships where the focus is on the passenger rather than a child. I did neglect to mention that the rules regarding the adult pool were not enforced as well as the main pool was not always clean and sanitary the way it should have been. Many days we observed toddlers in the water with diapers falling off. Needless to say we did not utilize the pools. Enough said. Read Less
Celebrity Silhouette Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 0.0
Dining 5.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 5.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 5.0 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.5 0.0
Service 5.0 0.0
Value For Money 4.0 0.0
Rates 4.0 0.0

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