This was our 13th cruise and third with Celebrity. We sailed on Equinox in 2016 and Silhouette in 2013. Lately we sailed on Oceania and Azamara, and it was interesting to see how it would be to go from Oceania back to Celebrity.
So first, is Celebrity going down the hill as many posters claim? In our opinion, the answer is NO. We actually have seen some things improved compared to our previous Celebrity sailings, I will go into more details later.
Second, can you go back from Oceania to Celebrity? The answer is YES, as long as you come with proper expectations. Don't expect service and food similar to Oceania - they are in a different league. But you can still have a very enjoyable experience on Celebrity.
Now to some details.
Entertainment: very good most of the time, beats Oceania hands down. The ship is very alive in the evening, the shows are very professional and evening activities are very attractive. We were especially impressed with guest entertainers, the productions shows were just okay.
Buffet: We liked the buffet very much. Huge selection and pretty good quality most of the tiime. It is nowhere close Oceania, but it's pretty similar to a decent buffet on land. Not a gourmet food, but good overall. And many new items daily which is also not what I remember from the Equinox. Very crowded on sea days, finding a table was a real challenge.
MDR was a bit disappointing. I wouldn't call it bad, just not inspiring. Presentation is good, the taste so so, with few exceptions. Deserts are amazing, probably among the best we had on any ship. We also liked the fact that buffet is open long hours, unlike Oceania and Azamara where after 10pm there is nothing to eat except room service.
Service: good overall, considering the amount of passenger and crew passengers ratio. The wait for coffee can still be long, but they are trying their best. Just take it with patience and smile and don't expect the service to match Oceania. The staff is very friendly and helpful.
Excursions: expensive as usual, but very well organized most of the time, with few exceptions. Mostly very good guides, and the groups were fairly small on most occasions (around 20-30 people).
Daily activities: a bit disappointing. We were missing the art seminars and guest lectures that we had on Oceania, Azamara and Cunard. I was surprised to see the art gallery shrinking in size by more than half.
Internet: It was pathetic and miserable on our previous Celebrity cruises. I could see some improvement on this cruise when most people were in port. In the evening when people are on board, it is still pathetic (speedtest shows less than 0.5 mbps).
Getting off and on the ship was not an issue most of the time, while still longer than Oceania or Azamara.
Room is fine. No issues. Bed ok. Bedding pretty basic. Room attendant not very good. We have to ask for everything starting from extra towels and bathrobes, soap and shampoo.
We noticed a relatively high number of children, teenagers and young couples. Also overall demographics is very different from what we have seen on previous cruises. Could be related to the fact that they dropped the prices by 40% few weeks before the cruise.
Overall we were impressed with Celebrity and would return, given the right itinerary and price. At the end of the day Celebrity provides a good overall package with decent value. But it's not Oceania. Just don't expect a Honda to be a Mercedes.