We booked a B2B in Aqua Class (the 3 night LeHavre sailing followed by the 4 night 'inaugural' Cork sailing). We worked hard at getting the exact cabin we wanted (1606, with the largest balcony on the 'hump') and were truly looking forward to our first Celebrity experience. Embarkation in Southampton could not have been easier. We were on the ship at 11:20 and asked our cabin attendant if we could drop our handluggage off in the cabin, which turned out to be no problem. We wandered around the ship first (taking photographs before the crowds descended) and marveled at the most beautiful ship we have ever seen. Every lounge and public area is gorgeous and all the 'nooks and crannies' are beautifully designed. It's modern design with attention to detail.
Our first meal was in Bistro on 5. Great food and wonderful service were on offer and it did raise our already high expectations to new heights for the remainder of the cruise(s). The cabin was spacious with ample storage (don't forget the underbed storage for your cases and the cabinets over the bed which we used for our folded shirts). The iced tea may not be to everyone's taste, but it is changed daily with a new flavour (in Aqua Class), and there are also tea-making facilities in every cabin. Unfortunately the weather was never good enough to use our enormous balcony. Not once in 7 days!
We were assigned to Blu, and from everything I had read on CC we were in for a real treat. It is possible our expectations were too high, but although the service was spectacular and all the staff were stupendous (and knowledgeable), the food did not live up to our expectations. We were on two short cruises and the chef in Blu felt it necessary to REPEAT the first three night's menus for the second cruise. On one occasion one of us ordered duck breast and the other rib-eye steak. The steak smelled off and was full of gristle and too much fat, while the duck breast was a large grey lump of meat on the plate (not medium rare as requested and not sliced as one would find in a 'real' restaurant). Desserts were unimaginative, however, the coffee was excellent. We decided to 'desert' Blu on two occasions to try the MDR and found the service there to be on a par with Blu but with better choices, better presentation and above all, better food! The staff in Blu are very proud of their restaurant and work extremely hard to please you ... however they are let down by a mediocre chef! The 2nd cruise was the actual 'inaugural' and again our expectations were dashed. Nothing at all was made of this event (other than two glass coasters on the bed the last night, without so much as a note or letter attached!). We had expected a large party (or two), announcements involving all the guests who had booked this cruise just for the 'event', and a sense of 'occasion'. Nothing at all. A missed opportunity as far as we were concerned.