Overall, the cruise was a great experience, more because the ports of call were great. Cruise began in Barcelona, stopped in Villefranche, La Spezia (instead of Livorno, more on that later), Civitavecchia, Naples, Santorini, Athens, Dubrovnik, ending in Venice. Celebrity does embarkation and disembarkation extremely well. Perhaps that is th only edge I would give Celebrity over the other cruise lines. The ship itself was ok, not awe inspiring or memorable like some of the newer ships. Food was average - some good meals, others not so good. Wine was way over priced. We purchased a wine package, which in retrospect was a mistake as the choice was limited. Celebrity has a no outside liquor policy, which is very unfair and punitive and denies the passengers the opportunity of enjoying some of the great European wines available at the ports of call. This is consistent with what I perceive to be Celebrity's "nickel and diming" passengers. I got the feeling that the goal was to maximize revenue per passenger rather than giving the passengers the best possible cruise experience. I understand that cruise lines need that additional revenue to make a profit, but it can be done very discretely and creatively without ticking off the passengers. We traveled with another couple and had asked for a late seating, table for 4. Our first night, we were at a table for 6. It took a couple of complaints and discussions before we finally got our table for 4 in a reasonably quiet area of the restaurant a few days later. Our first night, the wine steward was completely flustered. He charged me for 2 bottles of wine, even though I bought the package. I asked him to store my wife's bottle for tomorrow's dinner and he proceeded to put his fingers inside the bottle before storing it. Thank goodness we got another wine steward when our tables were switched. They charge almost $5.00 for a cappuccino. Since the regular coffee was just about the worst tasting coffee ever, we had very little alternative on board.
Entertainment was so-so. It certainly was not better than Princess or Holland-America. There were some good performers and others were average. Shows were short. Many nights, there were less than 50 people in attendance. I felt bad for the performers. The last night, there was no show because "how can you compete with Venice?". Give me a break!
Activities staff seemed somewhat disengaged. Some scheduled activities were no-showed by the staff, or they arrived late and were completely disinterested. On the last day, there were no prizes for the trivia contest. "We ran out of stuff!"
cabin 2082 - outside mid-ship. It was fine, quite functional.