Wonderful Holiday. Lovely helpful smiling crew. A Joy to be around. We have done 5 previous cruises and never on Celebrity. If this is what this cruise line always offers we will most certainly be travelling with them again. We are a couple 61 and 67 and were not looking for a specific itinerary just a relaxed holiday. This vessel suited us perfectly. Its not got the wow standout flashy but a more sophisticated vessel I believe they spend their money on the things that count. Also I felt other ships which we have travelled on more suited to the younger set and family holiday fun. It didn't have roller skating, slides etc. At our age we worry about dislocating something so they are always irrelevant other than entertaining to watch. We seem to tolerate child cruising easier than most but I must admit it was nice to not have them taking over the lifts and pools. Only about 10 children on board who were looked after and taken care of extremely well with more one on one staff than normal.
We loved the real grass on the top deck and used the area often enjoying the ambiance of the outside aft bar with its wonderful high views and picnic wine tasting on a blanket was very different. We also loved the onboard glass blowing studio in the same area. That was such a treat as were the many enrichment talks. We boarded in Fremantle quickly due to half the ships passengers staying on from the last cruise and disembarkation in Sydney was a breeze. We were supposed to go to Bali Darwin Cairns Whitsundays Brisbane Newcastle and Sydney. We enjoyed all except Bali. This was cancelled due to Terrorist Warnings issued by Indonesia and Australia. The staff mainly Indonesian and looking forward to visiting family held up very well. I was more upset for them than the passengers. I won't go into that any further only to say this is the way of the world and ultimately it is the decision of the shipping company and safety always prevails. Thank Heavens. Two nights Darwin was not so bad. Berthing at their lovely marina we got to see a little more than we had intended. I would have liked for mostly the lovely international travellers to have been more informed on what they were travelling past as they went around Australia. It was like the entire West Coast of Aus was not there. Unlike us they were here to see and learn.
What else can I tell you. Wonderful Gym overlooking the water with very good up to date gear. I didn't use the Spa but it looked good.
We had a veranda(balcony) which was lovely. Plenty of room the balcony offering lay back chairs and completely open half glass ensuring lovely outlook from the cabin. Plenty of cupboards draws even extra over the bed. Enough room under the bed to easily store medium size bags.
This vessel supplied shampoo soap and moisturiser. The room attendants are fabulous but the poor buggers are sooo busy sanitising twice a day. No silly time waster bed animals but you get turn down and chocolates. My preference. The shower was glass wrapped and larger than I have previously experienced. I'm a coffee addict and just love it in my stateroom but there was no kettles on this vessel. The booking clerk told me to ask for one. That I did but none was given. Room service was good, we used that. We just made up a breakfast menu daily requesting early tea and coffee. It was good and still hot.
For me laundry was a bit expensive. Celebrity does not have laundries on board so its best to pay the airlines for a little extra luggage and bring plenty if you are budgeting. Smart Casual was the main dress code at night though they did have a couple of Evening Chic if you wanted to dress up. During the day pretty casual.
Bit of info for first timers. Its in the fineprint rarely read. Don't attempt to take electrical irons hairdryers or kettles as they will be picked up in the xray. Probably delay your bag to your room as you will be asked to go and take it out and only be given this back on departure. You can take on departure only two 750ml bottles of champers and wine and no hard spirits. If you take and its found this will also be confiscated and given back on dep.
The vessel itself was spotless and much care was taken regarding hygiene. Buffet food was fabulous even sushi most days. You name it they had it. I gathered cheese at lunchtime from a large variety to go with my afternoon chardonnay. My husband headed to the fabulous icecream bar in the dinning room which was complimentary all day and night. Around the pool they had an easy access burger bar and in the adults only spa pool area a very very healthy alternative food venue. Epernay the main dinning room was where we ate most nights and here we found the food and table service very good. Lovely old fashioned service still. We love Asian Spicy Food so we had a night at Silk Harvest. Its one of the extra cost restaurants on board to us worth it. Sometimes they have special priced nights when they are not busy so purchasing on board when you feel like it and not in advance is a good idea. As per usual you can also purchase special coffees and teas and water but good and varied was available free. Always note the water out of your tap is the same as in the ice fridges. I heard people complaining about the cost of water and wondered what they were on about.
We enjoyed all the nightly entertainment. Seeing anything live is just such a pleasure and there were some extremely skilled varied entertainers and shows on this voyage receiving stand up ovations. Of course you can't please everyone. I've found in life enjoyment is often more ones state of mind. What I can tell you is the absolute majority of 2500 loved the ship staff and cruise and 1100 were onboard for 35days. Many unwell unhealthy people were looked after by the staff so compassionately.
We had a drinks packages which we thoroughly enjoyed. When you purchase these you must pay from that day daily to the end of the cruise but you can purchase anytime up to 4 days to disembarking. I believe most cocktails were about 14.50US and beer about 7US.
Excursions were good and varied but on a ship this size you have to be prepared to go out sometimes large groups. The tender days were ok, well organised the ship spending extra money for large ferries from shore if available which made the transfers quicker and more comfortable and anyone disabled was looked after. Passengers doing their own thing are always limited to time only able to get off after ship booked excursion people. On a large ship its an issue you need to be prepared for. Time is a numbers thing. Quite a few first time cruisers on board did not relate just how long it takes to get people off and had organised to be met early. Speak to guest relations and they will help if they can. As with most ports you should do homework on them before you go. Look through these areas and perhaps ship ports on the internet. For instance the ship did not tell you there was a hop on hop off bus right at the port in Darwin and Sydney. Maybe they didn't know maybe they don't so you do their tours?. Baggage needing to be held securely for a while at the dock in Sydney is available but a bit of a climb if you are elderly and if the markets are on not an easy find. It also costs $20 per bag and only open 0930-5pm.
My gripe only!!!
Captains Club members had an exclusive function in the largest forward enclosed viewing area the Sky Lounge not once but twice right on departure time when all wanted to use it. This was a bad move by the entertainment organisers as it definitely put a few noses out of joint and not good for anyone with health issues.
Go see for yourself. Unless you are a bunch of teenagers or have kids wanting climbing frames skating rinks or waterslides this ship will suit. If it doesn't I would suggest you stay at home.
Very quiet. No entry exit or overhead noises. No view obstruction. Forward Portside If weather rough may not suit as too high and forward. Roomy not interconnecting and bed next to balcony for optimum views.
The Port of Fremantle has a cheap hop on hop off small tram which will come past the ship when it is berthed. Fremantle itself is very interesting to walk around as it is Australia old with a bit of history. The train which will take you directly into Perth is very close to the Port in fact runs past it. Train fares are very cheap and after 9am to 3pm you can do an all day pass for about 7 Aus. Trains run to Perth only 15min away every 15 mins. You can without hassle travel to Perth or the Esplanade get on a city free bus see the city and then go to the marina by the free bus and travel to Fremantle next to the ship by Ferry. Extra cost but not expensive. Just ask. The service staff are very helpful. You may like to run by train all the way to Joondalup the North of Perth. No problem. Regular 15 min trains all for same cost.
Perhaps train to Perth and get a Taxi to Kings Park and back. Cheap. You get a good birds eye view of Perth and surroundings.
We got off and jumped on the Hop On Hop Off bus and had a lovely day. It parks just outside the marina gate and they travel around every half hour. It is a fabulous way of seeing Darwin and hearing all about the place. Cost 30Aus each as we are seniors and then they sold tickets to the Crocosaurus Park for less than at the gate. 25Aus each. We got off in the city at the museum which was free and then the war museum. The best time to see kangaroos was on the last bus late arvo. Thoroughly enjoyed our visit as the Wharf is good and close to town. There is a lift that takes you from the marina housing up to street level but it is about 500 meters away around the walkway. If hot it can be a bit much for elderly.
We did not do an excursion but took the free bus to town. We did not see much more than we did from the ship. Have been there before. It was nice as the townsfolk came out for our departure and there was a cannon salute. Cruise ships in there are abnormal. Everyone was happy to have us there.
As our vessel was too large for the normal port we were berthed at a commercial venue. It is a long way from Brisbane and we have been there before so we didn't go in. All was well organised. I would suggest you take the ship transfer or an excursion here due to the distance from anywhere.
Once again we did not do an excursion. The ship had to berth out and tender in. The bus transfer into town was a reasonable price as we were about 20 mins away and Taxis for two would have cost a fair bit more. The city centre offers as most do mainly shopping though you get to see their lovely waterfront. Hop and Hop off available from city only but expensive and shows little. Local transport for a short stay is difficult to organise from where we arrived into. Yorkeys Knob. I would suggest a ship excursion unless in a group. If you wanted to do the skyrail to Kuranda it is reasonably close. About 10 mins by Taxi.