We recently returned from our first Celebrity Cruise. We are cruise lovers and firmly believe that a bad day at sea beats a day at work any day. We've sailed on almost all of the mass market lines including, Carnival, NCL, Princess & RCCL. This review will be written from the perspective of a comparison between Celebrity and the other cruise lines, especially Royal Caribbean which has been my favorite line to this point. Prior to boarding I corresponded with many of my co-passengers for many months on Cruise Critic, many of which were fans of Celebrity. I was told that I would "love" Celebrity and that "they just do it better", etc. I went on this trip with an open mind prepared to enjoy the "premium" service and experience Celebrity markets.
Since we live only about 10 minutes from the port in Bayonne, there was no need for pre-cruise arrangements. Because this was a repositioning sailing we would be flying back into Newark so we parked our car at the airport and arranged for a ride for the short trip to the pier at Cape Liberty. I did another repo cruise from Bayonne at almost the same time last year on the Voyager of the Seas. That departure was in cold and windy conditions, but still a lot of fun. Just about a week or so before boarding the Connie I realized that because Daylight Savings Time had ended that we would be leaving port in the dark at 6:00 pm. I figured that this would add to the excitement of sailaway, being on deck, going under the lit up Verazzano bridge. I was looking forward to it.
Embarkation-We arrived at Cape Liberty around 12:15 or so and gave our ample luggage to a waiting porter. This was a 9-day voyage which included 3 formal and 2 informal nights, so we had more luggage than in the past. We tipped him appropriately and made our way inside the terminal. Since boarding had already started, there were no lines and we walked right up to an agent with our previously printed Xpress Pass and were checked in within 5 minutes. Took our boarding photo and walked right onto a waiting bus to shuttle us to the ship. We were onboard and enjoying the welcome champagne and orange juice by 12:30. Grade-A+