Most of our 15 (or so) cruises have been in mini-suites. Club Continent Suite on Azamara, Sky Suite on Celebrity, Concierge level on Oceania, but a full suite on Holland America and a basic verandah on Norwegian.
The typical review of a suite versus a verandah cabin focuses on cabin size and perks compared to cost. In our experience and that of similar travelers that we have met, this misses the mark. If you want to know why we are mini-suite-regulars on Celebrity Reflection and others, just look at the crowds outside the main dining room before it opens, or at the coffee bar at late morning. Then compare to the relaxed environment and superb service at Michael’s Club in the hour before dinner (thank you to “singing” bartender” Cranston) and at Luminae restaurant (thank you to waiter Sony who was a perfect match for us).
It’s inherently a matter of personal preference, but we like small ships, and travelling in a suite on Celebrity is like being in a small ship within a big ship.
This was our first experience in a Celebrity Suite, and we'll be going back to a Sky Suite in future. The large L-shaped living room and the walk-in closet were nice to have in the Celebrity Suite, but the bedroom is 4 walls enclosing a bed, with no window and no outside view. That would be fine if there were 4 of us, bu the bedroom and bathroom were cold claustrophobic experiences for us.
On a bright note, Singh was the most personable and helpful butler that we have ever had
Specialty dining: Murano is not to be missed. And they usually offer a discounted price for bookings made on board for the first night. We also tried the Lawn Club - perfectly cooked steaks but surprisingly the restaurant was less than half full.
Entertainment: Our favorite was a singer named Chelsea from northern England, but unfortunately she caught the head cold that was funning through the ship and had to cancel some performances. We were disappointed in the production cast as every note of every song seemed to be sung at maximum volume - a lot of talent wasted.
And finally, but not always the case, every port arrival, departure and tender was handled smoothly and on time. Kudos to the Captain and crew.