Went on Celebrity's "Connie" to Dubrovnik, Ephesus, Mykonos, etc. expecting a lot. Although I've been on 12 cruises, this is the first for Celebrity; I'd been told that this was the upscale Royal Caribbean and really the only line better was Crystal. Au Contraire. Perhaps if expectations hadn't been so high I would have enjoyed the cruise a lot more. Perhaps.
So what was good first? The itinerary was perfect for me and a Venice departure is magical. The specialty restaurants, both Ocean Liner and the Italian one were simply great and in fact got close to if not even exceeded Crystal level food. The cabin, without a deck was fine and so was the cabin service. The entertainment and cruise director were also a cut above virtually any other line I've been on (which include besides Crystal, Cunard, Princess, Holland America, Norwegian, Paul Gauguin, Avalon, Chandris, RC.) The one excursion I went on was fine.
So why then only a middling, at best, rating? Because: 1) nickel and dime-ing--every time you turn around a new charge, like the accountants have gone crazy. Perish if a venue is to close at 10:00 if you show up at 10:01. This attitude carries over to staff who reflect what management considers most important. If you found coffee there might not be cream or sugar nearby. Staff directed you to the other end of the ship. Virtually all of the lines mentioned above had a happier, more fun and service oriented staff than this. Yogurt in the morning costing over $5?? $5 for a smallish bottle of water? I don't think so. 2) Celebrity spent a huge amount on upgrading the spa area on this ship--and then couldn't make it work. No one would pay the $169 upgrade to stay in the area and they sheepishly refunded it when I thought I might. 3) Failed services. They touted giving away $500 of spa services--but didn't do it. They charged $50 for 3 games of bingo and supposedly a free suite upgrade as a prize -- but the same person won all 3 games.
Cabin was fine and functioned well. There was some vibration, unusual at the very front of the ship. Seas were calm so we had no issues. Porthole is large and I think the room was larger because we had no balcony.
Took a ferry to town and walked. This is a party port, all white and blue. Fabled really.
Interesting port, a surprise. Very scenic.
Bought a carpet. Still waiting to get it. Crossed fingers! I'd been to Ephesus before so didn't do that.
There's simply no other place, possibly except NYC with a departure like Venice. Not easy to do getting off the ship and getting a rental car tho. No help at all from the ship.