We cruised on Celebrity in the early 90 from FTL to Bermuda. It was first class and the food a gourmet’s dream. We developed a love for so many new foods on that cruise. We always wanted to try X again to see if corporate had cut quality of food and services as they had on other cruise companies we’ve tried recently. We have just in the last two years returned to cruising after a twenty year absence. In thirteen days we were not disappointed. The MDR food was diverse enough to prevent boredom and plentiful with excellent seasonings. Our experience is that other cruise companies are afraid to season their food for fear of passenger complaints. Our waiter would very often bring an appetizer or entree for table tasting. Our group of seasoned cruisers agreed that this was the first cruise where we looked forward each night to dinner in the MDR. We did enjoy the specialty restaurants, Qzine (well worth the animated show), Sushi on Five (at lunch with our drink package was excellent value for two at $39) and The Tuscan Restaurant (food was good but we all agreed that it was no better than MDR, best part was the charcuterie plate starter). Hint is that your MDR waiter can make these dining reservations for you and save you time doing it yourself. Table #431 at open seating has an expert crew that spoiled us for any other cruises. They were obviously well trained, organized, humorous, and had attention to details so dinner flowed seamlessly. Exactly the fine dining we were expecting on X. MDR open seating breakfast could be a challenge if in a hurry. It didn’t bother us. Lunch time was a little more problematic. One out of the two times at lunch there were multiple mix ups for our group of six. However, this company has well trained managers that jump in when needed so guests get needs met promptly. Ocean View Buffet lunch dining was used 6 of 13 days for the two of us. Hustle and bustle at peak times were the norm with difficulty finding a table. However the food quality and variety was exceptionally good. Our favorite was the Asian stir fry to order station. Hint is to get there right as they open cause it can take the one cook working at least seven to ten minutes per order. They could use more staff at that station. Finding a table outside to admire the beautiful ocean view was impossible in the Aft area without a wait. Our group at times would start game playing around 11:00 to hold the table for lunch and gaming. Although this ship had more than enough sun loungers there was a lack of tables to play games together in the outside areas. Mast Grill for lunch hotdogs and hamburgers was okay in a pinch. Hubs liked it. Hotdogs not anything special. Hint is the deliciousness of the Celebrity Burger with their grilled onions and mushrooms without the buns. Hint is the Aqua Spa Restaurant for breakfast alternative. Uncrowded, healthy choices, great views. Al Bacio Cafe for specialty coffees and teas with complimentary pastries and cookies was always full. Hint that the macadamia cookies are delicious and go fast. So obviously from these food experiences we would book with Celebrity again for the right destinations and price value.
Barcelona Embarkation was slowed down by the necessary local port authority security but after passing their screening we flowed right thru Celebrity check in and boarding. Disembarkation with 3200 passengers at Port Everglades was a cluster. Our group leaving to drive home to Orlando was #20. By the time customs and immigration got finished with those groups ahead of us our group #20 was called an hour and half later than Celebrity had anticipated. And then the line out took fifteen minutes more. Hint is to self carry your luggage off with the first group of the morning. Our friends did and breezed thru all in ten minutes.
You will never find a cleaner ship any where. The staff is assigned to keep you free of viruses and it showed every where thru out the ship. However, that staff needed for attention to details of cleaning makes other areas understaffed in our opinion. We noticed understaffing for the bars and lounges. This decision by corporate is logical for revenue because most of us prepay for drink packages which means they have your money already. No need to make getting drinks easier.