We had back to back, 12 day cruises from Barcelona (October 5 and October 17) - first the western Med. and then the eastern Med. - for a total of 24 days. These were our 11th and 12th cruises since we started cruising in 2010. We've had 5 total on Celebrity.
We selected the cruises based on the ports and that we had sailed the Eclipse for 14 days in the Caribbean earlier in the year with good experience.
Embarkation and disembarkation were very quick and smooth - even better than we have experienced in Miami, which is good.
We were in Aqua class for both cruises - SR 1625 for the first cruise (a good cabin) except for the sewage problem several cabins down the hall from us (wet hallway floor and awful smell for a few days). We also noted a sewage smell on the third floor at times.
We had SR's 1517 and 1537 the second cruise. Both were less than satisfactory. SR 1517 suffered from an extremely loud band playing in the Sky Lounge two floors above every night - unsure how the noise transmits through two floors but we could hear all the instruments and voices until midnight. We asked Guest Relations several times if the volume could be lowered slightly - but the answer was no !? Not sure why Celebrity takes this position; we spoke with others in the Aqua class dining room (Blu) during the first cruise and they indicated the same problem and were finally moved. My suggestion - do not book a room on the port side on deck 11 in front of the forward elevators. We were finally moved to SR 1537 - much quieter location but the AC would emit a high pitched "squealing noise" during the night. Maintenance tried to fix it over a couple days but we finally had them shut it off for the last 5 days of our cruise (fortunately it was cool enough outside to keep the cabin bearable).
The cabin stewards did a fine job on both cruises, although some new linens would be useful (towels and wash clothes have lived a full life!) as well as some new mattresses.
Blu, the restaurant for Aqua class continues be a highlight for us (breakfast and dinner are offered). The food is good, service is good and we meet a lot of nice people. Much better than the chaos and rudeness of the general passengers that we experience in the Ocean View cafe at lunch (similar to what we experienced on Carnival when we first started cruising).
Entertainment was generally good and we like the production shows on ships in general. We enjoyed the Topper, Amade and Euphoria productions although the band instruments and singing in the main theater would improve with a little less volume - the voices tend to be "screechy" and distorted when reaching for higher notes. I spoke to the A/V technician at the end of one show and explained that it was too loud - he responded "yes, I know"....? Some of our fellow passengers in the Aqua dining room indicated that they stopped attending the shows because of this.
Celebrity excursions continue to be of limited value - unless needing to travel a longer distance from the port and there is a concern of returning to the ship on time (Pisa/ Florence and Rome, for example).
Compared to reputable onsite tour companies, Celebrity charges at least twice as much for their tours and, most frustratingly, the tour guides inevitably detour to their favorite souvenir shops where they seem to have a vested interest in the business. Several of us expressed our concerns of this to the Shore Excursion desk personnel and we received no response. An example was a 7.5 hour excursion to tour Sorrento and Pompeii. We had 60 minutes in Sorrento and 80 minutes in Pompeii. The rest was spent in gift shops and coffee shops (no provision for lunch other than cheese tasting at a farm which just happened to sell cheese and liquor in the gift shop). The excursions experience tended to be a "hot topic" at the pool some afternoons. The more experienced cruisers indicated that Celebrity understands full well what is happening on the excursions.
Lastly, on hygiene. The men's restroom outside the Ocean View Cafe was out of hand soap for the first three days of our first cruise. While there was always an attendant in that restroom on our Spring Caribbean cruise - ensuring that everything was in order (soap, hand towels, mopped floors) - I seldom saw anyone on our first cruise. The silverware and coffee cups in the Ocean View Cafe are often dirty with food particles on the forks/ knives. We usually would pick up 3 or 4 sets of silverware before finding a clean set. We mentioned this to one of the managers several different days and received a quick and insincere thanks. This was never the case in Blu or any of the other 3 specialty restaurants we tried - all was very clean and polished.
We dined in 3 specialty restaurants during our 24 days: Murano, Le Petit Chef/Qsine and Tuscan Grille. All were delightful with very good food and great service.
A missed opportunity would have been to have guest lecturer(s) speak on the ancient cultures and/ or architecture to which we were exposed on either of our two cruises. Some form of enrichment would have been wonderful. There was a 3 or 4 part lecture across several days on the history and demise of Broadway - perhaps this should have been saved for a New England Fall Leaf cruise.
In summary, we're taking a break from Celebrity - we may try the new Holland ship or one of the slightly more upscale lines (Oceania or Viking) in the spring. The Eclipse and and overall attention to guest satisfaction has slipped.
Our first cruise cabin (1625) was good. For the second cruise, cabins 1517 and 1537 were less than satisfactory.