This was one holiday split into two quite different cruises on the same ship. The first thing to say is that we enjoyed it but, having had two previous cruises with Celebrity, this holiday did have its disappointments. I have no problem with the ship itself. Size-wise and layout-wise it was fine. It was well presented and generally staffed with a very friendly, hard-working crew. (There was an exception here and there, more about which later)!
We were disappointed with the way Celebrity seem to be pricing themselves out of the market somewhat. Daily tips are expensive, the cost of drinks is expensive ($6 for a bottle of water when you can buy one ashore for under $1). They've even jumped on the band-wagon with the popularity of zumba classes and have now started charging for them. The cost of a coffee in Café al Baccio went down slightly on the 2nd cruise - why was it deemed necessary to charge more on the transatlantic cruise? As with most other cruise lines, meals are plated and this, to my mind, only encourages waste. There were things on my plate I did not want and things that I would have liked more of, given the choice. At dinner I would say that portions are very small and there are no petit fours or after dinner chocolates. Chocolates on your pillow happened once per cruise.
Food itself was a disappointment, particularly in the Ocean View café at lunch time. There was nothing like the choice of food we had on Eclipse last November. Very often the food was not hot and finding a hot plate was almost impossible. Apparently in the Select dining Trellis Restaurant the waiters had to go down two escalators to get the food which, again, was often not as hot as it should have been. I will say though that we always found the meat to be of good quality and well cooked - just not hot! We learned to ask for our food "hot" and sometimes it paid off!
A comfortable stateroom with a large round window. It was well looked after by our excellent steward Antonio and his assistant Bobby. The wall opposite the bed was almost all mirrors, which helped create the illusion of space. We liked that the bed was not under the window. There was plenty of storage space, both in the room itself and in the bathroom. We liked that the shower was a little larger and you weren't sticking to the shower curtain when you turned around! There were lashings of hot water and the steward stored plenty of toilet tissue and tissues in the cupboard under the sink. Just a couple of things about this stateroom though. It is in a good location with two possible exceptions. The main one is that it is bang opposite a crew only access door and the crew have a tendency to let the door bang shut rather than close it quietly. I complained to reception one day but it wasn't really acknowledged by that member of staff. She said it could be passengers banging their doors (which some of them did) but the two people I caught doing it were definitely crew. I said perhaps she could arrange something in the daily newspaper asking passengers to be considerate in the early morning and late evening by not banging their doors. Nothing was done about it.The other thing to bear in mind is that this cabin is on deck 3 and above it on deck 4 is a walking area which early one morning one particular passenger insisted on jogging around. It sounded like thunder in our cabin! My husband went upstairs and explained to the jogger who was most apologetic and it never happened again.Ask for a kettle if you want to make hot drinks in your stateroom.