We were recommended Celebrity by our TA who said once we had used them we would never go back to other cruise lines. The check in was very good and we were on board by 11am in good time for lunch, but our first impression of the ship was dull and drab. The general look was brown and beige with seating that would not look out of place in a nursing home. but I will go in more detail later.
The food in the buffet was very good and the service for drinks was quite quick, there is enough seating in the buffet and the staff were good and always happy to have a chat. We ate most of our evening meals in the MDR and found the food to be of good quality and with a good range of choice but they do seem to have a thing for mashed potato. the service was quick but a little strange. We were on a table for 10 (though it should have been 2) my wife sitting next to me was always served first followed by the other ladies on the table and then the men were served with me last, this meant that my wife had almost finished her course by the time I had got mine served. I know its manners to serve the ladies first but I did think we were in the age of equality. There was no issues with the drinks though at all times even in the bars they need both of your cards when you are on a package and yet other lined seem to cope with only one, it is pretty obvious when you are together and not getting drinks for a third party, but I guess rules are rules.
we were very disappointed with the entertainment on many levels, firstly the theatre shows; the Jersey Boys tribute on the first night was very good but things went down hill from there. On the second night the team did a vocal tribute to the shows, starting with La Mis. and then they got very self indulgent singing songs from shows that no one seemed to have heard of. The stage setting is just a blank black stage with no props and no scenery. We went to the next production show and once again it was a blank stage and just about killed the show, a lot of people were walking out but out of respect we sat through to the end and it was dire. Other acts around the ship (at most 2) were set either in the atrium of the pub style bar on deck 5. The atrium has big nursing home style chairs and a capacity for about 30 people. if you are not in a seat by 6pm then you have to either stand or sit on the floor to see the act. In the bar on deck 5 there is more seating but most of it is well away from where the act is performing, once again the chairs are large high back and they take up a lot of room limiting the availability. Every other ship we have been on (and there are a lot) have an entertainment lounge at the back of the ship to compliment the theatre at the front. On this ship that space is taken up with select dining that does not seem to be used as much as it should.If you like to dance then this is not the ship for you, there are only two spaces; one being the atrium with a very small odd shaped space and the other is the sky lounge with a good floor that goes wasted for much of the time. They advertise a "Ballroom playlist hour" in the sky lounge each evening at 8pm and we went very expectantly. The music was on auto play at background music level and there is no member of staff to organise it. The music is so quiet that you can hear your feet on the floor over the music. Some novice dancers were unsure what dance was playing and it ended up with about four different dances being attempted at the same time. We gave up after that but asked the entertainment manager if they could sort things out but her reply was "we only really do food and if you like dancing you would be better going on P&O) not a good representative for the company. On the day we were to land at the Azores we were informed that we would be 3 hour late but as a sweetener they would show a film, the film was set to run from 12 noon for over 2 hours so the choice was either lunch or film, bit of good organising there.
On one night during the evening meal we were approached by the maitre d of the main dining room and asked if we had considered the speciality dining and I explained that we found the cost to be prohibitive. He then offered us the opportunity to experience the "Tuscan Grille" at a reduced price of $25 and we agreed and the meal was booked for 6pm. We were sat in a large empty room just the 2 of us for the first 45 minutes, so not very popular.
One of the courses I ordered was a half portion of meat balls in spaghetti, part way through the meal I started choking and my wife pulled a long piece of string (about 2ft / 60cm long) from my throat. The string was quite thick and having been cooked with the spaghetti it was the same colour and indistinguishable from the pasta and could have caused a fatality.
My wife called the waiter who took the food to the kitchen and the maitre d and the head chef came to the table to apologise, the food was not replaced and they just served the next course. We did not hear anything else about the incident.
On checking my account on the following day I found that we had been overcharged ($30 each I would have expected at least some recompense for the incident ) I then approached the same member of staff who had made the offer and he denied that he had made the offer. I then explained that due to his denial I would now be making a formal complaint via guest services and this would continue via the channels I am now using. Whilst I was reporting the matter he came over with the head of the Tuscan Grille stating that they would resolve the matter. The following day my account had been altered to $25 each, though this is what we had originally agreed it goes a long way short of recompense for the pain and indignity of the whole experience.
Finally would I choose Celebrity again? if you had a bad meal in a restaurant would you go again, if you had a bad time in a hotel would you go there again and if you had bad treatment on a ship........ Ill leave you to fill in the space.
The last place I need to report on is the Coffee lounge, again it had nursing home chairs and people spent all day there either asleep or reading books. Every one we spoke to called it the nursing home, and don't expect to find the fancy cakes you see on the videos it is mainly danish pastries and muffins.
Nice place easy walk from the ship
Usual tacky Canaries town.
Nice City but keep away from the back streets if you a a bit unsure when you are in a city of this type.
The ship docked a little further than usual but still an easy walk to town