We had enjoyed a previous cruise with Celebrity and so we chose them again for our Alaska trip but found this cruise disappointing in several ways. First, though, some of the positives which just about scrape it an 'average' rating in our book! An excellent state room and balcony, good customer service desk who organised an early check-out for us on the last day very efficiently. Good destination choices in Icy Strait Point and Juneau,fab time at - and commentary on - Hubbard glacier, lovely Persian garden steam and sauna and relaxation facilities and a library which, though small, had some really good - and up to date - and even British (!) authors. As for the shows, a couple of good comedians and a good magician but the ship's troupe, though talented, are saddled with lacklustre shows - and there were no less than three of these during the seven nights.
The negatives: the endless attempts to up-sell are really, REALLY irritating, especially when (as here) they begin with someone trying to sell you speciality dining as you make your way towards the gangway (not even on the ship yet!) at the very start of the cruise. Mind you, after seven nights in the main dining room and breakfast and lunch in the buffet, we can see why the specialties might be popular. The dining room evening meals were mostly undistinguished and the buffet was constantly crowded to an extent that wholly undermined the relaxation element of the cruise. On the subject of up-selling, it became clear to us during this cruise that this ship's staff are personally rewarded for the extras they can sell - not sure how much this happens on other cruises, but it seemed a matter of considerable importance and even stress to staff on this ship, which is troubling and suggests they may be be being under-paid for their routine duties. Also worth pointing out that the alcohol on board is grossly over-priced, even before you add on the 20% service charge, so again the savings - on various drinks deals, meagrely worthwhile as they are - can seem attractive.
On our previous Celebrity cruise (Solstice), we'd been quite impressed with the coffee shop. Here, the coffee shop staff were boorish and uninterested - as a previous reviewer has remarked, more interested in their own conversations. Also outraged and belligerent at the mere suggestion that they'd made me a latte when I'd asked for a flat white. Again (of course) ridiculously overpriced, (And, as has been previously pointed out, the freecoffee on the buffet deck was dreck (which I don't recall it being on the Solstice three years ago!).