This was our 11th cruise, 4th with Celebrity and second to Alaska. Have previously cruised with Holland America, Royal Caribbean and Disney. We arrived two days early in Vancouver and stayed at the Westin Bayshore, which was a great location. We caught the free shuttle right in front of the hotel to the Capilano Suspension Bridges, which is a pricey entrance fee (a little less with our AAA discount), but we thoroughly enjoyed our time there, spent a couple of hours going on all the bridges, magnificent! Had dinner at Coast nearby, which was excellent, great service too. Finally we were ready to head to the ship. While I agree with the previous reviewers that the check-in process in Vancouver was lengthy, most of the wait was to get through customs, not sure you can blame Celebrity for that. Once we cleared the customs line, we quickly were presented with our Sea passes and were on our way. Our passes were stamped with the appropriate insignia for the Premium Beverage Package, and we never had an issue with being charged for a drink once, I kept checking our account on the t.v.(had read that was a problem for some). We hadn't had the package before, and really enjoyed ordering what we wanted with little concern for pricing or signing a bill. Not sure that we would pay out of pocket for it, but having only to come up with the upgrade cost due to the 123 promotion was great.
We were given champagne as we boarded around 12:30 pm and went to the Oceanview Cafe for lunch. We tend to head to the dining room for most meals, but enjoyed the meals we had in the Oceanview nonetheless. Our rooms were ready about 2:00. We chose select dining after a bad experience with table mates several cruises ago, and while it worked well, I would recommend making reservations ahead with select dining to avoid a wait when being seated. The service on the ship was superior, of all the service we received, I would give 5 out of 5 rating to everyone, with one minor exception in Cellar Masters. We particularly enjoyed the bartenders in Molecular! We dined in Silk Harvest, which we hadn't been to before-thoroughly enjoyed it! We also enjoyed Tuscan Grill twice-spectacular food- and saw several whales as we dined. The service in the specialty restaurants was second to none-well worth the fee to us. Another favorite was enjoying specialty coffee in Cafe Al Baccio, big comfy chairs with large windows to watch the scenery go by, could have done that for a couple hours every day. We also enjoyed a couple of late breakfasts in Bistro on 5 along with a Mimosa or two-just ask, they'll bring them to you.
We did the train/land tour through the Yukon in Denali with Chilkoot Charters-that was an amazing experience well worth doing! Our guide Stanley was super, down to earth and very informative. The beauty on both portions of this tour was unforgettable, and the trip to the sled dog venue was also great. We booked a whale watch trip through Celebrity in Icy Straight, again, amazing. We saw at least 15 whales, several up close, even their faces; sea lions, porpoises were also plentiful. The captain did a great job of finding the best spots. We also enjoyed the trip through Tracy/Endicot Arms, weather was beautiful, no problem sitting out on the deck the whole time we were in that area.
Each show we saw, I think we missed two, was well worth seeing. Particularly liked the comedian, he was sort of an older version of Jerry Seinfeld-making funny out of ordinary life, also very clean comedy which was refreshing to us. We never wanted for anything to do, in fact missed several things because there were two events at the same time and had to choose one or the other. We used the gym several times, and at the times we went, were always able to get the equipment we wanted.
Disembarkation was a breeze, off in 20 minutes-be warned that if you are behind your group number for disembarkation, your luggage may be shifted all the way to one side or the other. A short search located all our baggage together. Was an excellent trip all the way around. The only suggestion I can think of to improve things would be to offer a few more wine by the glass choices that would meet the premium package criteria. All in all we like the feel of Celebrity, just elegant, relaxing, great service, heading out again in December to the W. Caribbean on the Silhouette!
We had sailed on the Eclipse two years ago, so the veranda cabin was familiar to us. Never felt small over the 8 nights we were there. The ship was beautiful, clean and well-maintained. Our cabin was quiet, clean and met our needs just fine.