We stayed at the Harbour Hotel in San Pedro, LA, less than 10 mins from the port. However, it took nearly three hours to board the ship. Having been picked up at 1.30, we waited at the dock in a holding area before joining a further queue to check in.
Our stateroom, no. 2075, was located on deck 2 - it was clean and tidy, but no tea/coffee making facilities were provided.
San Francisco - We arrived into port 7 or 8 hours early. Did not see Golden Gate Bridge as it was dark. Didn't leave San Fran until 20.00 hrs, so it was going dark again when we went under Golden Gate Bridge. Captain advised that a routine inspection had successfully taken place whilst we were in port.
At around 13.00 hrs the following day whilst at sea, the Captain made an announcement that we would not be visiting the ports of Seattle or Sitka and that our remaining ports of call would be for shorter periods, due to there being a problem with a bearing. It would be necessary for the ship to reduce its speed from enable us to continue our course and then place the ship in dry dock on Saturday 20 May in Vancouver. He advised that engineers had been flown out from England and had given the ship a certificate to sail at a rate of 17.5 knots. Furthermore, the Captain advised that each Stateroom would receive an onboard credit of $200, not per person. We asked for this to be removed from our onboard account, we were told that this could not be done. Funny how they managed to put it onto the account, but couldn't remove it !
Passengers due to take a 7 day cruise commencing 20 May had been given a full refund, together with a free cruise.
Due to the large number of guests complaining, we were advised that Guest Relations employees from Miami would be boarding at Ketchikan to deal with complaints on an individual basis.
We personally overhead a member of staff on a telephone call to her family, during which she stated that there was a member of staff onboard the ship undertaking training, who was due to disembark at Seattle, but who had been advised to disembark at San Francisco. It was very apparent that the fault with the ship was known before we arrived or even left San Francisco.
On 12th May the Captain announced that there would be 2 hrs of complimentary drinks available. The Captain and members of his crew mingled with guests and it was very obvious that this course of action had been taken to try and smooth over the actions of the previous day.
On 13th May we met with the Guest Relations employees and put forward our complaint. We were told that they were unable to offer any compensation themselves and that details were being taken and forwarded back to the Head Office in Miami. The way in which appointments were handled was totally unsatisfactory, causing delays, confusion and irritation amongst the guests.
On Tuesday 16th May we were due to sail to the Hubbard Glacier. Whilst sailing into the bay an announcement was made by an onboard tour guide that we were unable to travel any further into the bay as there was already another ship there. It was not until 12.30 the following day that the Captain announced that we could not go any further into the bay as local regulations did not allow two ships into the bay at any one time. He also stated that he was concerned for the ships safety. When we entered the bay there were two other ships there at the time, the Mercury and a Holland America ship. We feel that the reason for us not entering any further into the bay was more to do with the problems with the ship, maneuvering the ship would have been difficult.
The final straw came on Thursday 18th May at 09.50, when the Captain announced that due to dense fog and the chance that we might miss the Inside Passage, it had been arranged with the Pilot that the ship would depart from its present location at 17.00 hrs as it would be clearer at that time. We were therefore stationary bobbing in the water for at least 7 hrs or more. The Guest Relations Desk advised that there was not a pilot onboard and there would not be one until at least 15.00 hrs. We were on main dining sitting at 18.00 hrs. It was also a Gala Dinner evening, which meant that again we missed most of our excursion down the Inside Passage. We received a letter from the Captain offering a 30% discount off a future Celebrity cruise for the disappointment we had experienced. When the Guest Relations employees arrived onboard, we were advised that each complaint would be dealt with on an individual basis, however the complaints appear to have been dealt with on a global basis.
Entertainment - No significant additional entertainment was added to the itinerary for additional days at sea, unless you loved bingo, the casino, quizzes, art auctions or wine tasting (which was a chargeable event). The shows were not bad - not fantastic though. However, the show on the last evening was absolutely diabolical.
Shore Excursions - In one word - disorganized. Although the excursions we did take were good, we were very disappointed with one particular excursion we were looking forward to taking - a helicopter landing on a glacier with dog sledging. We had booked our excursions back in January due to availability, but were not advised until several days into the cruise that the dog camp had not been set up and this part of the excursion was therefore unavailable. Had we been advised of this earlier, we would have been able to take another excursion which included this.
Disembarkation - TOTALLY disorganized. It took 1.5 hours to finally disembark and then we had to stand a further 45 mins in the port whilst transport was arranged. This meant that we only had around 1.5 hrs in Vancouver. Were they not expecting people to disembark !
Sanitization There was an obvious lack of it. If there were dispensers at the entrance to restaurants (which on occasions there werent), people were allowed to walk past without using them, even though members of the crew were standing at entrances.
Food - Barely warm, never hot, apart from soup. Very little vegetable accompaniment.
Fixtures & Fittings Parts of the ship are in definite need of refurbishment. Chairs and upholstery are shabby and warn.
Spa - treatments - expensive
Summary - We feel very disappointed at our Celebrity experience. We expected a lot more from such a renowned leader in cruising.
There is an advertisement onboard First Impressions. We were left feeling very UNIMPRESSED with our first and LAST experience of Celebrity.