First impressions were good. Embarkation was mostly smooth, but for the fact that the pier 18 parking had been closed (not Celebrity's fault so cannot hold that against them). It took a while to get the sea-passes, we saw three families come and leave at the next counter... so for us long, but others seem to have no issue, so I'm going to say not something that is always happening. Arriving onboard, the stateroom was already ready and luggage was fast to be delivered. There was way more storage than I had anticipated, so overall I was pleased as I could store away everything quite neatly (I had brought a pack of 1$ hangers from target, two over the door shoe organizers that I put over the bathroom door to put away not only shoes but tees, bathing suits and so on, and a flip-flop hanger, this all helped. All the suitcases fit under the bed even though we were 4).
After this I only went from disappointment to disappointment. The swimming pools were very small, and the area was very noisy. They don't have life guards on duty. During my 11 days, I only had a waiter come ONCE to bring me a drink - otherwise I had to go to the bar and the wait was really long. They are there with carts with non-premium water and beer but if you want something else - mostly up to you. The arcade was tiny, with mostly gun-firing games, and two games not functioning. The "game on" area only had puzzles, chess, and checkers. If you want other games, you have to check them out from the fun factory, and NONE of them were complete. Aside from the tiny pool and the tiny arcade, there are no other entertainment options for the kids. You can elect to bring them to the fun factory, but beware. It is only open from 9 to 12, 2 to 5 and 7 to 9. At other times, you have to pay 6$ per kids per hour, and the staff is NOT taking care of them. For instance, I asked them to let my 4 yo play on the x-box in the toddler section (they have x-boxes in each area, supposedly each has games that are age appropriate). The first time, they did not show him anything. The second time, I stayed there to make sure they were taking him there (he absolutely did not want to partake in the toddler games they had, which were really for small kids - my son goes to school and has no interest in toddler games). When I saw that he was in the xbox area and that someone was with him, I left. Mistake ! My son later told me that they gave him a controller and told him to "try it" until he figured it out. Which of course, he did not - he's only 4 ! I would have in there myself... but they actually do not let you. Yes, it is forbidden to get in there with your child, unless he/she is under 3... Another time we took then to the slumber party. There was no slumber involved. When we picked them up at midnight, they were still up watching videos. I tried repeatedly to take them to the Fun factory, but they did not like it and would have none of it. Also, the fun factory staff do not take your kids to the pool. Big surprise for me compared to other kids clubs I am used to.
It was very hard to find a quiet area on the boat. The solstice deck and the lawn are your best bets, but you have to go early. You can book an alcove on the lawn, but of course it comes at a price and you have to do it early online - they are very prized on at-sea days.
Embarkation. Pier 18 parking was closed even though there were parking spaces, because the ticket machine was not functioning. Staff indicated to my husband to go park mid-port. He ended up waking 15 min under the rain to get back to the pier... Upon return... there was a 3 hours line at immigration. The Global Entry/mobile passport line was staffed with only ONE agent and we ended up going faster through the regular line. There was a shortage of porters and we ended up sharing with someone after waiting for 15 min to have one available. Traffic agent ordered us to leave even though our kids were not buckled up yet - "go slow" was the comment.