Embarkation. My husband drove me to Cape Liberty. My sister arrived about the same time I did and my other sister was pulling into the pier. We all met outside and went inside to check in. There were only a couple of passengers ahead of us so it went very quickly. Once we were set, we boarded the bus right away and off to the ship we went. We received our welcome champagne and went straight to our staterooms, they weren't quite ready but our stateroom attendant, Anil told us we could put our carry-ons in the closet. We then went straight to the buffet. By the time we were done lunch our staterooms were ready. We unpacked and walked around the ship.
Sea Days. We were very lucky and had great weather. Our sea days were spent by the pool. Yes, there were chair hogs but there were alot of chairs to go around. The Party Band, Top Notch, was very good, they had great voices but they did not play caribbean music. Most of their songs were oldies. When on a caribbean cruise I like to hear caribbean music. One day at the pool they started playing Christmas music. Not the band, the DJ. Give me a break, it's not even Thanksgiving yet! Other people complained also and the music was changed. However, still no caribbean music. I think they bought a Bob Marley CD in Aruba because from Aruba on they played the same Bob Marley CD from sun-up to sun-down. Yikes!!! The coffee on the ship was horrendous, it was by far the worst coffee I have ever tasted. I am not a coffee snob but this was the worst. I couldn't wait to get to a port so I could have a decent cup. The breakfast and lunch buffet was good and always had a large selection to choose from. Dinner was very good but I do think the food is a step lower from before. They are giving smaller portions but I thought that was good because this time I could have an appetizer, soup, salad, entree and dessert and nothing was wasted. We also ate in Ocean Liners and the food and service was exceptional. I would recommend this to everyone. I wish I could have eaten there every night! The ship itself is in very good condition. It was easy to find your way around. There were many pieces of art throughout the ship. Every night before dinner we would meet at the Martini Bar. Ely was our bartender everynight throughout the cruise, he was fantastic. Gabriel, the bar manager would visit with us each night too. We have known him from other cruises we have taken and he too is outstanding. Even though I have complained about the coffee and music we still all had a great time.
Smoking. For all you smokers out there, by now you know that you cannot smoke in your stateroom or on the verandah. There are 4 smoking spots on the ship. The port side on the pool deck, the port side of the casino, the port side in the Bar at the Edge and port side aft on deck 10. These areas are just filled with smokers. I personally don't think it is enough areas for the amount of smokers that were on the ship. There was never enough seating for everyone who smokes. Hopefully, Celebrity will tweak their smoking areas.
Cabin 8043 was a very nice cabin. There were 2 of us in the cabin and very comfortable. Enough storage space for 2, near the elevator, nice view from balcony and never had a problem with noise.