First of all this was our 8th cruise with 3 cruise lines and we had anticipated it would be the best experience so far. Before we left we had a few alarm bells ringing in regard to noise in the cabin after we read a cruise critic review that said the forward cabins on deck 11 were directly under the gym and the noise started at 7 am and was loud and constant. Well, I am delighted to say we had cabin 1501 on deck 11 - which was as far forward as they go and it was perfectly quiet with only the odd short burst of subdued thuds from above when a running machine was worked particularly hard in the afternoon now and again. So whether they have reinforced the floor or the report was exaggerated I can assure anyone in a forward cabin on 11 not to worry about the noise and due to the ships amazing stabilizers, there is minimal rocking even that far forward.
The boarding process in Sydney's International Terminal is incredible. As we had an Aqua class suite booked our check in time was from 11.30 am. We arrived around 11.25 and were on board drinking an orange juice or champagne by 11.40!!!!. We had even suffered a delay when we were told we were not permitted to take on board a multi pin adapter for our various electrical appliances and had to dig it out and hand it over for collection after the trip. This delayed us almost 5 minutes. So my first piece of advice if sailing on Celebrity is to take a US plug adapter and NO multi point adapters!
Once on board we were handed our drinks and were then "jumped on" to buy a drinks package! When we explained we had a Classic package, the staff then tried to upgrade us to Premium. We told them we were fine as we were and were THEN jumped on to buy a specialty restaurant package and about two other various packages. It was annoying to say the least and when it continued over the next couple of days it became offensive. At one point we even tried to find out what cocktails were included in the Classic drinks package and actually couldn't. Guest services didn't know and referred us to a nearby bar which made it clear they didn't serve Classic Cocktails only Premium! This was actually untrue but when we tried to check another bars cocktail menu price list, it contained ONLY Premium cocktails and we started to wonder what the Classic package actually got us for our money! We needn't have worried as once the first few days were past, we had no trouble with the Classic range and assume the difficultly on the first two days was to assist the cruise line to sell more Premium packages. Not the most impressive start to the cruise!
Smaller than we anticipated with shabby frayed curtains and a slightly worn carpet. Despite being cleaned thoroughly each day, there were almost ingrained dust marks on wardrobe doors, but overall the steward kept the room clean and tidy and it was acceptable. Delighted to say, NO noise from the gym above which we had read was a problem.