To give you some perspective on my observations/opinions, this was our seventeenth cruise. We have taken nine cruises on Celebrity and eight on Royal Caribbean. We are fortunate to be able to sail in suites and on this cruise, we sailed in Royal Suite 6137. Our cruise prior to this was on Apex, also in a RS and the one before that was on Anthem of the Seas in a Star Class Suite. Therefore, I would categorize myself and my DW as a loyal customers who have spent a lot of money on a product, we enjoyed many times.
Let’s start with the good. We found both the ship and our suite to be in good shape for her age. It is true that some of the public spaces are looking a little worn, but in no way does any part of the ship look unacceptable. In fact she appears well maintained. She has not been revolutionized like her sister ship the Summit, so she is still in the same configuration as the Constellation. We have sailed on both previously, so it was easy for us to navigate our way around from the beginning. The interior furniture in our suite was newer and we were told the mattress had recently been replaced and it felt like it. Our butler Walter was outstanding. We had sailed with Walter previously and he is just a genuinely a nice person who goes out of his way to make your vacation relaxing. He is proactive in way that is not intrusive, but in a way that actually enhances your experience. We saw our cabin steward twice the entire nine days. Yet our cabin was always clean, the were always fresh towels and the ice bucket and mini bar was always full. The only item I will mention about the suite is the furniture on the veranda was looking worn, and should be replaced soon. Michael’s Club was fantastic. A much better venue in my opinion then the Retreat Lounge on Apex. There are just simply too many suites on Apex and the quiet place where the bartender is always the same and remembers your drink preference after day 1 simply does not exist on Apex. It was a great place to have some beers and snacks and watch football on Thanksgiving Day.
We took two excursions through Celebrity on this trip. First was Off Road Buggy Adventure in Puerto Plata. I would highly recommend this excursion, as long as you are ok with getting really dirty. The guides let you drive the Polaris Razors like you stole them (for a lack of a better description) and you will get really muddy so take old clothing and shoes to wear. There was also a nice stop a beautiful beach for about 40 minutes. The second was Amazing Antigua. My elderly mother was traveling with us since it was Thanksgiving, and this excursion was perfect as we got to see most of the island with decent amount of on your own time at Nelson’s Dockyard. Yet, there was not a lot of walking and both our guide and bus driver where knowledgeable and friendly.