I have to say so far for us Celebrity has been to date the best cruises my hubby and I have done. I don’t think that any Cruise line has lived up to my expectations 100% of the time, and yes even Celebrity has some faults, but when on board and talking to other avid cruisers, almost all say Celebrity beats any other cruise line they’ve been on.
Three ships in port in Vancouver on June 2nd. The drop off area was changed so we had to go underground to do this. This incurred a lot of walking, we had to zig zag, go up then down, then up again, down again. It was the craziest embarkation we’ve done so far. Thank goodness for the porters who took our luggage right away. They can do this as we already printed and attached our boarding luggage tags, which cuts down on waiting in another line. So I definitely recommend doing this ahead of time.
If you have a disability and need assistance let someone on staff know and they will help you directly onto the ship.
Live band playing on the upper deck, which I love. Really gets you into vacation mode, however they only played a few songs, packed up and left just as the party was getting started. Usually the band will do an exciting countdown as we sail under the Lion’s Gate Bridge, but this never took place.
Mast Grill -Lido deck 14, outside. Complimentary
This was open on embarkation day, so if you don’t want to fight the lines in the buffet it was a nice, quiet spot to grab a burger & fries or a hot dog.
Oceanview Cafe- Lido deck 14, inside. Complimentary
This buffet area had an excellent assortment of delicious food. My favorites are the chicken & okra curries. Some of the best I’ve eaten. They featured items daily which is mentioned in your newsletter. I only ate here a couple of times as I’m not a big fan of overly crowded areas and don’t like searching for a place to sit. You can take your food outdoors, however need to go down a floor or flight of stairs if you want to eat on the outside pool deck.
Aqua Spa Cafe- Resort deck 12, inside.
We loved this little cafe by the indoor pool area which opts for healthier choices or light little dishes of food- complimentary, and smoothies (fee $). I kept on going back for the Chicken Salad. The Asian Noodle Salad with the spicy oriental dressing was delicious.
The 1/2 Turkey Bacon Sandwich on pumpernickel bread was also a hit as a light bite. We also enjoyed the soup which you need to order. This cafe is open for breakfast and lunch.
MDR-Moonlight Sonata- Promenade deck 4, inside
The main dining room is open daily for lunch (and for Concierge guests on embarkation day) but I never had lunch there.
This dining room is gorgeous, its white, bright monogrammatic decor gives a feeling of airiness & elegance in this large venue.
We only ate here for breakfast one morning. Service felt a little slow and our breakfast was just o.k.
Moreno- Entertainment deck 5
We booked this restaurant for our first night as Celebrity offers their specialty restaurants at a discount then, which is an excellent way to enjoy your first evening at sea and away from the crowds especially in the MDR. The dining venue is a bit dark, and if you’re looking for an ocean view you will not find it here. Our $35 discounted fee included an appetizer, main entree & dessert. The Diver Scallop Wellington Style Baked in Puff Pastry appetizer with Black Truffle Emulsion was definitely a favorite for our group of six. We all ordered double and they allowed us to do so. We were off to a good start, however when our friend ordered another scallop dish in lieu of dessert they seemed a little ‘put off’ by it but obliged.
Sushi On Five- deck 5
Not much to write about. Ate at this restaurant on the Infinity, it was so good we so couldn’t wait to try it again on the Eclipse. Something didn’t feel right...the ambience was different, service not as attentive, we ordered the same food, but it just wasn’t as delicious as it was on Infinity.
Blu- Specialty restaurant for Aqua class guests- Entertainment deck 5.
Opened for breakfast & dinner - No reservations
We were a little skeptical to book the Aqua class cabin, however for us it ended up being one of the highlights of our cruise & dining, that’s why we didn’t bother to venture much elsewhere. On this cruise the cost wasn’t much more but it was well worth the little extra $$ to book Aqua class. Blu’s food was exceptional for dinner, breakfast was good. There are still the daily feature items you can order from the MDR that’s not listed on Blu’s menu (appetizer: Caesar salad, Escargot, French onion soup, Shrimp cocktail & for dinner: chicken, steak & salmon).
Blu has its own kitchen with about five chefs. The conception is to provide healthier meals, so the Calamari will be grilled not fried & sauces are made more like an au jus than thickened with flour.
My favorite meal for dinner was the lamb shank, it was fall off the bone delicious served with a curried couscous, some ordered it with potato...I can’t say I’ve had better in any land restaurant. Also the freshly caught halibut in lobster broth, tender and moist, so good. The best desserts by far was the Creme Brûlée & Apple Pie. Don’t even bother with the Cherries Jubilee, it was just plain awful.
Overall dining rating 9/10
We at first decided not to purchase the drink package on this cruise as it was costly and when pre-purchasing online each person in a cabin has to purchase the package which would of been about $950 USD for both of us for the seven nights. Since I hardly drink we felt this would not of been worth it for this cruise. Also the drink package option included in the fare price package that was offered worked out to be more expensive than purchasing it separately which seemed a little odd to me. We instead opted to gift ourselves a $450 onboard credit to cover the majority of our alcoholic beverages. You can pre-purchase this online which is a great way to budget your spending and not get hit with such a huge bill after cruising. Once onboard staff are always trying to get you to purchase dining, drink & other packages. We told the waiter trying to sell packages that we didn’t purchase the drink package as we had to buy two and I’m not an avid drinker so it’s not worth it for us. He told us that yes online you have to buy for each adult in the cabin, but when on the ship you only need to buy for one! WHAT?? My husband immediately purchased the package for himself which was well worth it for him.
Excellent from the comedy to the shows we enjoyed them all, some a lot more than others.
We were lucky enough to see Jeffery Allen performing as Elton John. Incredible! This was by far my absolute favorite and the comedy on board made me laugh so hard my stomach hurt.
Lots going on all over the ship from music, dancing, & mini performances by Celebrities onboard dance crew. Some things I wanted to do overlapped others. I really enjoyed the trivia in the observation lounge. Being an Aqua class guest also gave us privileges to use the Persian Gardens for free. The Roman beds (warm tiled beds) were a very relaxing way to spend a few hours in peace and quiet. You also had access to use the sauna and steam room.
Didn’t do any booked excursions this trip. Juneau & Ketchikan have stores right off the peer so walking is easy. Go to an onboard seminar for information on the port and receive coupons for shopping and free gifts. If you need help going up the steep, long peer they will assist you. If you like to shop, go to Creek Street while in Ketchikan. It’s a lovely walk over wooden bridges and creeks with cute touristy shops in charming old buildings. Choose to shop or see Mendenhall Glacier while in Juneau or take a tour of the Alaskan Brewery. Shore excursions can be booked with many different tour operators. Just make sure they have a ‘back to ship on time’ guarantee. When booking third party excursions be very aware of the time the ship gets into port. This doesn’t mean you can get off at that time. It can take up to approximately 2 hrs from when a ship docks to when your able to disembark. Not to mention the crowds of other people also trying to disembark, so leave time for this.
-Blu- Staff that served us here were exceptional! A big thank you to Dan, Maria Hugo & “Z” ( can’t recall his full name). Their personalized service goes beyond words. No matter where they were working on the ship they always spotted us and came over to assist since we were traveling with 2 people with slight disabilities.
I was pushing my friend in his wheelchair to the cafeteria for lunch and never had to look for someone to help us carry plates etc., staff appeared from nowhere and insisted to help us each time without me ever asking. Another time our friend got lost in the cafeteria (yes it’s that large) and Maria (waitstaff at Blu) recognized her, helped her with her plate. Searched and found us and brought her over. So far the best service I’ve experienced on a cruise.
Are there some areas on board that I felt service was lacking? Absolutely...The Sunset Bar. Two guys, rude to guests and each other. Arguing in front of us, one demanding an apology from the other. Time to get off the ship guys!
-Pushing sales- You’re bombarded when you get onboard. They want you to purchase drink, dining & spa packages etc. I get it, sales are important to most business’ small & large, but it’s really overkill. We would just kindly say no thanks.
Cruise director- Lauren was amazing...that’s one hard working lady. She was seen everywhere and always seemed to invest time interacting with passengers. On HAL cruise last fall we only saw our cruise director once, I was actually starting to think maybe there’s not even one on board and then there he was standing by the piano, having a drink wondering when the day was going to end.
I’m not going to take away from those who went above and beyond in service, so I’m rating Service 10/10
Celebrity seems to have the right balance with things to do, dining and entertainment. No wonder it appeals to age groups in their late 20’s and up. If your looking for an elegant, upscale cruise that’s not too ostentatious then Celebrity’s for you. We love everything from the size, beauty and cleanliness of the ships, to the quality of food and service we receive.
Cabin: 1564, Aqua Class Balcony cabin, Starboard
We loved our Aqua Class cabin, it’s located on Penthouse deck 11 near the front/mid of ship, and only 8-9 cabin walks to the front elevators/stairs. It’s location beneath the pool deck was worrisome to me as we didn’t want to hear the various noises that can be heard. Our cabin one floor below was somewhere between the whirlpool and Slush, so little to no noise was heard anytime we were in the cabin throughout the day. This could of been due to it being an Alaskan cruise vs a Caribbean one.
Storage was ample, however the closet was a tight fit near the sofa to hang items on the right side of it. Thankfully the closet doors slid across instead of opening up. The bathroom was fantastic with storage space to spare. The jet system in the shower is a nice touch. Our steward Mani was the greatest, a kind man that took care of our cabin needs...extra towels, not a problem.
The red sofa in the room could of used a cleaning so I did cover it with pool towels during our stay, otherwise Mani kept the room very clean.
The balcony was a good size which had 2 lounge chairs with foot rests (foot rests for Aqua guests )& a table. This balcony had a covered ceiling because the cabin is located on the ‘indent’ of the ship with ‘ballasts’ between each cabin. This didn’t effect our view looking straight out and being tucked inwards a bit gave us protection from wind and rain.
Disability Cabin 1524, Aqua Class Balcony, Deck 11,Starboard
Our friends needed a disability cabin and this one did not disappoint. It was huge at least 1 1/2x the size of ours with plenty of room for a wheelchair to get around. Located near the front elevators, very convenient, and no surrounding noises. The roll-in bathroom was about as large as a bathroom in a hospital room, which contained a built in shower stool. Hit the button and the door automatically opens. Same with the entry door to the room, tap the key card and your door will open so no need to struggle trying to hold the door open while attempting to push the wheelchair. The spacious open air balcony was the same width as the room so very large also. Our friends absolutely loved this cabin.
Just got off to walk around for an hour and took some pics. They did offer assistance on the peer for those with disabilities.
Nice shopping right off the peer