The vessel is very pretty but seems to have wasted a lot of space with grass on the upper deck which might have been put to better use. There are some other oddities e.g., the central area of the ship which extends upward from deck three is a major entertainment venue. They have a great band (Xtosea) with music for dancing. However, the space that is the dance floor is way too small to accommodate the number of people who wish to dance. Also, many of the dancers commented that the marble floor is not the sort of material that makes dancing easy. The limited dance floor leaves many of the guests leaning over the rails on decks 4, 5, 6 and tapping their toes.
The entertainment which is held largely in the Reflection Theater is mostly good. The singers and dancers do a good and energetic job with the shows that they put on. (I wasn’t happy with the music of “Momentum” but that’s a question of taste. A great acrobatic show was the final event and that was truly great. Some of the individual entertainers that boarded the ship en route were a mixed bag. Some great singers and musicians. But I’d leave the juggler and magician for a pre-teen birthday party. The cruise director Alex was personable, friendly, and worked hard. He does tend to over use the word “amazing”.
Food – Although I certainly heard folks praising the food a lot that wasn’t my impression. It started on day 2 when my wife asked for “ranch dressing” – “we are out of it” was the reply. I sampled the meatballs in the buffet area twice. Once I came up with a piece of bone and then I had some inedible gristle. The selection of sliced deli meats also left a lot to be desired. We ate mostly in the dining room (Opus) but again the experience was disappointing. For example, one night several at our table ordered the veal cordon blue. It was so tough that it couldn’t be cut with the butter knife (?) provided. The waiter returned with steak knives but that made little difference. The waiter did offer some alternative selection but I was too frustrated at that point to accept the offer and just went on to dessert. The veal that evening was not the only instance of sub-par cooking. I can remember some folks at our table returning rib steak for something softer.
I was present in the dining room when an assistant maitre d’ came to discuss an issue that another couple had related to the difficulty with the Anytime Dining and how long it was taking for the dinners to be served – about 2 hours. On another occasion the buffet manager brought the Chief Chef over to speak to another person in the buffet to discuss some issue (I don’t know what) but the person was so upset that he just waved both of them away saying “I don’t wish to speak to either of you”. So, there are issues that seem to warrant attention.
The merchandising was over the top. Between the art auction, specialty restaurants, drink packages, jewelry, T shirts, etc – it was as though Celebrity had rustled a herd of “cash cows” and they were not going to quit milking them until the cruise ended. Often, getting past the shops, crowded with shoppers, was an effort – picture black Friday sales at Walmart. It was like living in a mall.
The shore excursions seemed fine. We booked the Tenerife and Florence shore excursions and they were good. Getting us to the shore and back was very efficient and easy. However, they could improve on the shore excursion info that they provide for each port – the street maps were often poor.
We did enjoy our ocean view room (3159) and the room attendants were friendly and efficient. The TV on the wall was the best that we have experienced.
The Captain’s daily messages were great. Longitude, latitude, direction, etc were welcome and well done.
Melinda Bates (White House) and Steven Friedman (Broadway) lectures – Behind the Podium were great. We made it a point to never miss them.
Good, spacious & comfortable.
It was comfortable bus to the volcano. The guide was very good. It is a "nature" tour - so if you are interested iin that and we were then do it. The guide was easy to understand and informative regarding flora and fauna and was a teacher by profession.View All 19 Best of Tenerife - Lava and Fire Reviews
Comfortable bus and a good tour guide. The 2 and a half hour walk with the guide was very good. That was followed by 3 hours on your own before returning to the bus for the ride back to the ship. However, although we are in good shape the 2 and a half hour walk was enough walking and we were more than happy to do little more than wait for the ride home.View All 136 Florence Walking Tour Reviews
We did a Hop on and Hop off bus. It was fine. We went to a castle, a food market and the old city from the bus. Lots of fun. Like all the ports it is a frustrating experience having to deal with street maps.
We did a Hop on and Hop off in Barcelona. It was fine. It was a Festival Day. Many people think that Sant Jordi (Saint George) is the most beautiful festival in Barcelona. The date of Sant Jordi, the patron of Catalonia, is also known as the "Day of the book", because the most important poet of spain, Cervantes, died and Shakespeare was born on an 23 of April. So, the Streets were crowded with celebrants alomg La Rambla.
We found a "Free Walking Tour" group (you pay what it's worth to you.). Great guide for a tour of the city. We returned for more the next day for an architectural guided tour - Gaudi.
We took a train from the port of Livorno to Nice. That was fun. We walked through the old city - a sizable walk. At the end of the day we decided to take the tram back to the train. We hopped aboard but no one asked us to pay. What a bonus. Then we spent some time in Livorno which was a pretty port town.