Nightmare embarkation, no so-called health check as noted by Celebrity. Ship looks and feels old both on the interior and exterior. Outside areas rusting and missing paint. Wood surfaces, tables, stairs etc. were worn to the point where the finish was completely gone and rubber strips for traction on the stairs were peeling off. The back center wooden stairs from deck 14 to 15 were left flooded to the point of having to walkthrough pools of water for two days. Your shoes were soaked, and it was dangerous. 5 minutes and a broom would have taken care of it. Technologically, the ship is in the stone age. Old key card system, internet slowest ever encountered. Sending a text with a picture could take 3-5 minutes on average. No printer in the internet café. Streaming internet which you had to have to make a WiFi call, send a picture, access social media which they blocked if you didn’t have it, was $420 for only two devices. If you have a cell phone and iPad, you had to disable one for the other to get internet. Everyone was complaining how bad it was The TV in the cabin had very limited programming, no real-time navigational information as we’ve had on past Princess cruises.
The crew was great but dealing with what seemed a staffing shortage. Two of the bars we went to, the passport bar and the casino bar, the bartenders were doubling as wait staff which at times left the bar unattended for a short time causing a minor wait. All crew were always very friendly and bent over backwards to make sure you were taken care of as best they could. They were a bright spot. Bars: While bar staff were great, the bars varied in what they stocked. My favorite bourbon is Bulleit. Only one bar at the back of the boat had it. I shouldn’t have to search the ship to find it. None of the bars seemed updated as they had no soda guns, and everything had to be dispensed from a can. This slowed things down considerably and caused longer waits for passengers. Additionally, there was not one TV in any lounge or bar if you wanted to enjoy any kind of sports. Mystifying. Specialty restaurants and main dining room were great. We only did Murano and Sushi on 5 but they were standout experiences. One night we ordered takeout from sushi on 5 and they delivered it to our cabin. We had it on our balcony on a sunny evening and it was great. While we only did dinner and lunch once in the main dining room, service and food were great both times. One odd thing. For our lunch in the main dining room, it was deserted. We were given a table against a window which was great. Another couple came in after we did and they sat them right next to us, literally one foot away. So much for social distancing and keeping us healthy. Cabin: We had a concierge class cabin and I have to say it was not worth the extra cost. The binoculars in the cabin were tiny, the size of a pack of cigarettes and broken and there really wasn’t anything else special. The cabin itself was just fine, nice bathroom and very comfortable bed. The balcony was a nice size, but the flooring was dirty in some areas and coming apart. The tabletop was a nice size but like other wooden surfaces on the ship, suffered from a complete lack of maintenance. Oceanview Café, (buffet) This was our biggest disappointment for multiple reasons, one of the worst we have ever encountered in our over 30 cruises across various lines. We had heard from multiple sources that Celebrity was one of the top-of-the-line experiences when it comes to all aspects of food on a cruise. Not so in the buffet on this ship. The food was essentially the same everyday with minor variations. The variety seemed lazy and unimagined. You also were forbidden from serving yourself which caused all kinds of issues. This is inexplicable especially since Royal Caribbean, Celebrity’s parent, has gone back to self-service buffets. Sometimes the servers couldn’t understand you or you couldn’t understand them due to the mask. It also slowed down everything and caused lines. Sometimes you didn’t get enough of what you asked for or got too much. The deserts were artistic and looked great but lacked flavor and were just overall sweet. There was also a complete lack of seafood in the buffet which was especially mystifying since this was an Alaskan cruise. I never saw one prawn the entire cruise. The buffet also closed every day at 2:30 until 5pm except for a salad bar and pizza. This was frustrating as one day we just wanted some cheese and bread on our balcony with some wine. Nope, sorry we’re closed. Lunch also was not available until noon and except for some so-so pizza or salad, everything was closed at 9pm. Forget a late-night snack. On the second to the last day, a seafood lunch was advertised for one hour in one of the restaurants and it was an extra charge. Just ridiculous. All in all, this was a disappointing cruise given we waited over two years to do it and the lows outweighed the highs. We expected much more given Celebrity’s reputation but what we got was a tired, unkept ship and in certain areas, a half-hearted attempt to just get us through the week. We wanted to be Wowed but were left thinking Wow, is this really what’s acceptable to Celebrity? We spoke to fellow passengers who felt the same. We talked to first time cruisers who wondered if this was what cruising amounted to. We assured them there were much better experiences to be had. After 30 cruises we know what the experience should be, and this was far from it. This ship either needs a giant makeover both technologically and decoratively or it should be respectfully retired. It’s disingenuous for Celebrity to advertise it as a luxurious or elevated experience. After everything we went through to finally get on this ship, all I can say is, I want my week back!