8 San Diego First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

Our cabin or state room as they call it, was a pleasant surprise-very clean, large and modern. We had a balcony which was appreciated very much as we were always able to see the ocean and never felt claustrophobic. Our cabin steward, ... Read More
Our cabin or state room as they call it, was a pleasant surprise-very clean, large and modern. We had a balcony which was appreciated very much as we were always able to see the ocean and never felt claustrophobic. Our cabin steward, Imade, was particularly helpful. The food in the Ocean View Café was excellent with lots of variety. The sushi and sashimi at night were particularly popular with my wife and I. My only criticism was the black tea which was too weak for our taste. The coffee on the other hand was way too strong. Eating in the Trellis restaurant made a pleasant change from the café and it was nice to be waited on without any extra charge. I would not waste my money in the specialty restaurants. The entertainment was also varied and of a high standard with singing, dancing, comedy acts and a magician. The lectures given by the Historian, Gary and the Naturalist, Milos, were informative and entertaining. The activities run by Rachel and her offsiders, Aida and Von were a lot of fun and well organised. We particularly enjoyed the Trivia various forms of which were run 2 or 3 times a day while at sea. You were never bored. Shore excursions were OK but rather expensive for what you got. Quite a few passengers did their own thing and organised taxis and guides for less than half the price. The gym was modern and well equipped and the pools were a relaxing way to spend an hour or two. I must admit several passengers got badly sunburnt on the deck and I think the pool staff should carry UV block-out dispensers and warn people of the dangers they face in the tropical sun. Overall a wonderful cruise the highlight being the Panama Canal itself and experiencing the cultures of Central America. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We choose Celebrity for our first cruise because we wanted to experience better than average for a cruise line. Celebrity did not disappoint us. Boarding in San Diego was fast. We were traveling with another couple. He needed a scooter ... Read More
We choose Celebrity for our first cruise because we wanted to experience better than average for a cruise line. Celebrity did not disappoint us. Boarding in San Diego was fast. We were traveling with another couple. He needed a scooter to be mobile. I think that helped us get through the process quicker. We got in line at 11:30 and were on board just after 12 noon. Stateroom were available about 2pm so we spent the first couple of hours exploring the ship. Our balcony stateroom was perfect for us on Deck 7. The lifeboats below you are forward of you, so you can look right down to the water from our balcony. This is great when you are in port and can look right down on the pier to see what is going on. We were close to both glass elevators and forward elevators and we never heard any noise other than hearing the water rolling by outside. If I am ever on Infinity again, I would look for this cabin again in a flash. Food was excellent and variety was way over our expectations. We were offered a 2 for 1 in SS United States on day 6 of cruise and took them up on it. One word. WOW!! Do try the lobster cooked table-side. Buffet--You will not starve here. There is everything here. Breakfast, lunch, Dinner, it don't matter. It is all there. Even Ice cream by dish or cone. Now some of the bad. The ship shore excursions are way over priced and quality of some of the tours left a lot to be desired. Talking with other passengers, I got the impression that going ashore and getting your own was not only a lot cheaper, but quality was better. We were really disappointed in Colon with the railway/bus tour along the canal. There were only a few places along the track that you get a great view of Gaton Lake and the cut. The Internet is a total waste of money. Keep it in your wallet. Service was spotty at best and we heard lots of complaining about being ripped off and no refunds. We kept ours in the wallet. If you want American cash onboard, do not rely on their ATM machines. I swear they keep them down to force you to go to Casino and get cash off your credit card. They charge 5% of amount for this. Atm was only working after our last port call, so was available only last 3 days of cruise. These were not cruise breakers though. The following was. Now the UGLY. As I stated we were traveling with another older couple. He is unable to walk and needs a scooter. The only way they can travel, was for us to take them along and watch over them. Not an issue for us. What was an issue was after he got ill onboard. He was complaining about headaches and unable to move his left leg. We thought he was having a stroke. He had one 8 years ago. We had just arrived in Cartagena Columbia. We took him to the ships Dr. They did some tests and sent them to the hospital. My wife and I were told that we would be kept informed as to his status whether they were coming back to the ship or not, and about his health either way. We heard nothing all day. The ship sailed at 4pm, and my wife and I stood on the back rail on deck 10 watching the pier to no avail. We felt awful. We felt like we deserted them. The last 3 days of the cruise was ruined for us by stress and worry. We never once heard one word about our friends. I was able finally in Ft. Lauderdale to text back to Canada to a relative who let us know they were fine. He spent 4 days in hospital and she was put up in an American home. They have nothing about praise of their treatment from both Celebrity and their ships Agent in Cartagena. They are home safe now and thank god for travel insurance. We are not complainers, but we felt Celebrity let us down. By not even giving us a simple message to let us know our friends were looked after they ruined our last 4 days of this cruise. We were all set to sign up for future cruise credit with them so my wife could get her Hawaii cruise. We didn't. I just booked Princess for Hawaii. We might cruise with them in future, but we need some healing before that will happen if ever. Please don't take our experience as a everyday occurrence as I know Celebrity just dropped the ball here. Other than that it was over all a nice cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
My elderly mother and I just returned yesterday from a 4-night cruise on HAL's Statendam. As some background, I, by no means, am a seasoned cruiser, though I hope to be one day! This was my second cruise and my mom's first. My ... Read More
My elderly mother and I just returned yesterday from a 4-night cruise on HAL's Statendam. As some background, I, by no means, am a seasoned cruiser, though I hope to be one day! This was my second cruise and my mom's first. My first cruise was on RC so I wanted to try another cruise line, as well as introduce my mom to cruising. My mom and I looked forward to this cruise to have some mother/daughter time and it could not have sailed on a better day - Mother's Day! We embarked in San Diego - I was very impressed with the expedient embarkation process. We were processed and onboard enjoying lunch within 15 minutes upon arrival at the port. Lunch at the Lido Restaurant was good. Our cabin was ready after lunch so we were excited to see it. This particular cruise was one where the cruise line assigned all the cabins so we could not choose. I found out our cabin number a couple of days before we set sail. We were in cabin 162 on Deck 9. I was really concerned because our cabin was right above the casino and having read reviews that this deck may pose significant noise issues from the deck below, I was quite concerned. Well, it was a total non-issue for our particular cabin. We did not hear any noise from below. We were pleased with having a balcony and the room was nicely updated. Afterward we walked around to get familiar with the ship. The ship is smaller but quaint. We ate at all the restaurants except the Terrace Grill - we did care to have a hamburger or hotdog as there was such a greater selection of food elsewhere. Had lunch in the MDR, which was good; really enjoyed the Afternoon Tea in the MDR; Canaletto was also tasty - mom really enjoyed her meal; Lido buffet was decent overall; on our last night we had dinner at the Pinnacle Grill-while the service was wonderful - my mom and I were very surprised at how salty ALL the food was (including our side dishes, now mind you, we had different side dishes too). She ordered broiled lobster tail and I had boneless ribeye steak. Now, dessert was a different story - excellent Baked Alaska. I did attend a couple of the cooking demos but other than that, we did not go to any shows nor the casino or bars. The highlight of the cruise is the Green Spa. My mom could have lived in the mineral spa the entire cruise. The Thermal Suite is so worth the money - a must do. HAL hit the nail on the head with this one. We really did enjoy it. We enjoyed the port stop in Victoria. It is a beautiful city. The only minor issues were that our cabin steward charged us for a soda from the minibar which we did not take. My mom purchased a soda from the Explorations Cafe and brought it back to the cabin, so I guess he thought it was taken from the minibar. Anyway, that was straightened out. And our room service order was incorrect a couple of times. Overall it was a good cruise - my mom really enjoyed it and that is all that mattered to me. Would I cruise the Statendam again? Probably not, as there are many other fish in the sea to explore. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
This was the first cruise for the family and we chose this one due to being out of San Diego which was convenient for us. We were a little leery of HAL due to the comments of it being for the old and nearly dead, but we decided to give it ... Read More
This was the first cruise for the family and we chose this one due to being out of San Diego which was convenient for us. We were a little leery of HAL due to the comments of it being for the old and nearly dead, but we decided to give it a chance as the timing was during a week the schools were out so we thought more families would be on board. We were right. According to the "HALs club" staff, there were nearly 300 kids on board. They mentioned that this was a high number due to the break and that next week's cruise would also be high. However, the number would drop to about 30 for the first few weeks in March before increasing during spring break. So, one will get a very different opinion of this line depending on the week traveling. Our children were not excited about the "childcare" upon boarding, but buy the end of the cruise they were begging to go to the HALs club as they became enamored by the programs. The staff there did a wonderful job. The cabin was a Verandah suite and was a bit cramped for the four of us. There were two twins that made a "queen" when pushed together. The third bed was a pull out sofa and the fourth was a bed the folded down above the "queen." There was no room to move around when all the beds were open. However, the room stewards were fantastic. - two room sweeps a day - and kept the room looking nice. The kids always wanted to see what "towel animal" was sitting on the bed after dinner and looked forward to the nightly chocolates. We enjoyed the verandah with the exception of certain times when a neighbor's smoke drifted into it. The suite furniture and bathroom floor were starting to show some wear, but was not a negative. The shows were liked by all. The favorites were the magician and the "Elton John" impersonator. We did not attend most of the programs during the day so I cannot comment on them. The kids when not in the Club HAL spent the time swimming in the Lido pool. The Lido deck would get a little messy by the end of the day, although was cleaned quickly once the rush was gone. We had one day at the spa and had a couples massage. It was excellent! My wife commented that she had not had a massage that good in years. The food was overall good - with a different variety each day. I liked it better than my wife, but she is very particular about her food. There were a few glitches in service. The main dining room's service on the first night was not good. It was very slow, water glasses were not filled, the coffee did not come with the dessert, but well after I had finished it, etc. The coffee in the evening dining rooms was consistently not served hot and the vegetables I had at the Pinnacle Grill one night were lukewarm. My wife said the sushi one night was made with the smoked salmon from breakfast. But, other than what I have mentioned, overall it was good. The children loved the pasta, cheeseburgers and the chicken noodle soup. If you are a wine drinker, take advantage of bringing your wine on board. HAL allows as much brought on as you want. We also a bottle of rum from the line and used it to spike our virgin drinks. At three dollars extra a pop for the "leaded version", it did save money. You can also bring on all the soda and water you want. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
We sailed April 10 on the Oosterdam, mom, two kids, grandma/grandpa, sister-in-law & infant. Three rooms on the first deck. All the women were very fearful of seasickness but on the Main Deck where we "lived", we had few ... Read More
We sailed April 10 on the Oosterdam, mom, two kids, grandma/grandpa, sister-in-law & infant. Three rooms on the first deck. All the women were very fearful of seasickness but on the Main Deck where we "lived", we had few problems. the Club Hal for kids was great to have, but the evening programs for the kids age 3-7 started much too late (7 pm or 8 pm and lasted til 10 pm). The kids were exhausted! The spa and gym were fabulous, and the "Thermal Suite" pass is the way to go -$150 to use the private hydrapool, aromatherapy showers, and the heated tile lounge chairs in the serentiy suite all week. Well worth the price. Food was outstanding and abundant. Kids loved the almost all-day ice cream bar. Easy to eat healthy and nutritiously with all the fresh fruit, grilled fish, salad bar, vegetarian choices, etc. GREAT that no sodas were included, but it would have been nice if there was latte & cappucino from the coffee machine and not just plain coffee. Shows were fun & not too long. Activities like Name that Tune and Trivia Night in the Queens Lounge were really fun. The Piano Bar was dynamite and never crowded. Drinks were really reasonably priced in the bars/lounges. The movie theater was stunning, but with only 27 seats, you had to arrive at least 30 minutes before showtime to get a seat. The in-room DVD delivery service was great - 1000 titles, free! Kids loved shuffleboard, ping pong, and the basketball court up on the 10th deck. "On Deck for the Cure" 5K walk on the last day for Breast Cancer was a nice activity, too. More babysitters needed - there seemed to be only one or two available during the whole cruise, but the one we had was very very nice and always on-time. Embarkation was long and tedious - over one hour! Disembarkation was a total breeze and couldn't have been easier. My only complaint was that there were too many people scheduled each 15 minutes - there should have been wider time-bands so things didn't get congested.... The best part about cruising is that you have absolutely NO WORK to do - all your activities, all your meals, your "home" are all taken care of for you with the utmost of care and service. Just fabulous for a busy mom! Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
My friend and I left on April 19th for a 4 day cruise To Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico. We really didn't know what to expect, other than I had been on CC forum and had talked/ask questions of these two ports, which neither of ... Read More
My friend and I left on April 19th for a 4 day cruise To Catalina Island and Ensenada, Mexico. We really didn't know what to expect, other than I had been on CC forum and had talked/ask questions of these two ports, which neither of us had visited before. When we arrive (we flew in directly from Kansas City, Missouri), we found our transportation, and they took us to the cruise ship, which is probably within 10 - 15 minutes of the ship. In San Diego it was 75 degrees, but from then on the weather changed to rain/wind/COLD. (Please see Ensenada, Mexico for when we went back to San Diego before we went home.) I had already filled out our Fun Pass, so that helped us get through everything much smoother, and able to get to our rooms. We thought we might have to go to the Lido deck, but by 1:30 (I believe it was) our room was ready. We had a window and the room seemed spacious enough for what we had. I will say since the Elation is an older ship, and maybe because we were only doing 4 nights, it seemed like the room was missing a few things that I was used to having on the longer trips, but that was OK. We had a vault, which I definitely wanted, as well as the TV, but we didn't have a small refrigerator, which I think some of the other ships I have been on may have had. The bathroom was a nice size with the amenities that come, but there was not a hair blower, but that was OK, as my friend brought that, and I brought the curling iron. I really love our beds/bedding as I feel like a baby when I put the comforter on me. Really warm and light. Before I forget, do no bring an iron with you if you need to press your clothes. There is a laundry room where you can was/dry your clothes for a certain price or coins. The iron is free as far as I know, or it was when I used it a year or two ago. The ship (I like more vibrant colors) was in browns/coppers, and it was kept real clean for an older ship. Our table (seating of 10) had Vince and his helper attending to us in the dining room. They always kept me in HOT tea, which I had requested, and NO ice in my water. We had the 8:15 seating as that didn't rush us to have to be at dinner so early, or leaving a port that we were vising to get to dinner in time. We were pleased with the food, and if there was something that we didn't like or want, we could ask, and they would try to get us something else on the menu for that night. Flying in to San Diego, we met a lot of people from California, where they didn't have to pay to fly in like us. If you like to save money, they still have the $10 store, mainly for ladies, but they have some good buys that I have been pleased with down through the years. Since the weather was so windy/cold we played miniature golf, but there were few at the pools. We did go to the theatre and seen the Newlywed Game, which was very good. There was always something to see/do if you wanted to on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
I took a spring break cruise in March with my three teenagers. They are experienced cruisers; I am not. I listened to their feedback on room size and location and tried to match their requirements with my needs. We got a deal on a veranda ... Read More
I took a spring break cruise in March with my three teenagers. They are experienced cruisers; I am not. I listened to their feedback on room size and location and tried to match their requirements with my needs. We got a deal on a veranda suite room. The proximity to the Neptune lounge was a plus. Stateroom and Staff: clean, spacious room with enough room for all of us and our "stuff". Loved the veranda, and being able to have private space to get away to. Room stewards were outstanding. We followed the suggestion of a cruise ship friend/employee, and brought along a bag of chocolate candy. We placed a handful of candies on our pillows in the morning, along with a note of thanks for the room stewards. They were thrilled with their suprises. It was an inexpensive way to show appreciation for keeping the ice bucket filled, and extra towels in the bathroom. We had a chance to meet the Captain a couple of times, and enjoyed his sense of humor. I didn't expect him to be so young. His reply " Not all ship Captains look like Father Christmas!". JT our Cruise Director was a true professional. We wondered if he ever had "down" time? Food: great eats in the Neptune lounge and at the Pinnacle grill. The cappucino/latte machine in the lounge made my day. We had early dining each day, which gave us the evening free to be with friends or see the show. Lido grill was always crowded, and lines were everywhere at mealtime. Kid activities: We were at the beginning of the spring break time, with only 100 kids under 18 on board. The activities for the teenagers over 13 were good. I didn't worry about where they were in the evening, and they didn't seem to get bored. They had a prom one evening, counted the number of stairs in the staircases leading to the Loft, etc. Entertainment: The biggest surprise was the Indonesian crew review. It gave all of us an opportunity to take in some of their culture and customs. We loved it.Negatives: The spa is expensive, even with discounted pricing towards the end of the week. I didn't appreciate the follow up phone calls, urging me to sign up for more treatments. Our waiter called us the evening before the customer satisfaction survey was to be turned in, and asked us to grade his service as a "9". Awkward. Disembarcation took forever. Non-compliant passengers who had not settled their accounts or tried to avoid Immigration slowed things down. The lines to get off the ship seems to go on forever. Not a great way to end our vacation.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
This was our first cruise, and it was a surprise for my wife's 50th birthday. She did not find out the actual itinerary until the night before at dinner in San Diego! We flew in from Sacramento the day before and stayed in the Holiday ... Read More
This was our first cruise, and it was a surprise for my wife's 50th birthday. She did not find out the actual itinerary until the night before at dinner in San Diego! We flew in from Sacramento the day before and stayed in the Holiday Inn On The Bay with a great view of the Constellation out our balcony window. The HAL ship Oosterdam left the berth the day before, and she looked like a bulbous tub compared to the trim Constellation. I kept looking for the three tails on the back of our ship, but never found them (aviation buffs will get my drift!). Embarcation in San Diego went relatively smoothly once we were freed from the clutches of the Federal Government, our Concierge Class status got us into a shorter line and we were onboard and in our stateroom by 2:30. We had a light lunch at the Buffet, and all our bags arrived at the stateroom by 5 PM. I knew at once that the Aft Balcony stateroom 8185 was a great choice. The room was very quiet, we discovered that two of the three kids onboard ship were in the room directly above, but we never heard them with our balcony door closed. There was a bit of vibration and noise from the azipods, but only during periods of following seas. The balcony was large enough to hold 2 padded loungers, 4 chairs, and a large table. The view aft was perfect, and was to prove advantageous during our transit of the Canal. It took a bit of doing to get all the contents of our luggage stowed, but there were sufficient nooks and crannies for everything, and our empty bags fit under the bed. The double bed was comfy and we didn't need extra mattress pads as some folks have reported. Our stateroom steward Iwan and his assistant Leroy were great, we always had a full ice bucket, water pitcher, and daily fruit bowl. The flower bouquet on the desk and the red rose in the bathroom were changed once during the cruise, and the nightly chocolates were much appreciated. Special instructions (like a wine bucket and glasses for our own bottles) were attended to promptly. Unlike other reviewers, we thought the daily CC-class 4pm canapes were just fine, with Brie and caviar on some as well as the more pedestrian seafood paste and ham/olive. The "head" was small but well laid out, and the Hansgrohe shower head was wonderful, with plenty of hot water and good pressure. The CC-class upgraded towels were soft and fluffy. I had absolutely no problem with the much-maligned Italian wall-mounted hairdryer, and never had a need to use the hand-held one. The only gripes I had with our stateroom were very minor - the phone was too large for the nightstand, and every time we answered it, it fell onto the floor. The one overhead light switch turned on 3 fluorescent floods, 4 halogen spots, and one valence light - wasted energy! And when we were on our balcony in port, we occasionally got a bit of cigarette smoke odor from the port side of Deck 10, but none was present when we were underway. I enjoyed going to the Cruise Critic get-together hosted by Celebrity. We got to meet some of the officers and I finally got to put faces to names. Thanks also to whoever organized the Bridge Tour for us Cruise Critic folks as well - that was a highlight of the cruise! Food was somewhat of a mixed bag, but overall I would give it a Good rating. The quality depended a lot on where you ate. We began by ordering our enhanced CC-class room service breakfast, but found the choices were limited so we began going to the Deck 10 buffet for breakfast. This proved disappointing, because most of the American breakfast choices were bad (soggy scrambled eggs, undercooked country potatoes, bagels with more hole than bread, and undistinguished waffles (sorry, Texed). We began eating more international things like pickled herring and congee. It was not until Day 7 that we discovered the Aqua Spa cafe for both breakfast and lunch, and this was EXCELLENT. Our dinners in the MDR were good overall, with some misses like watery bisques, bland Dover sole and seafood, and the cold soups. Avoid the pizza and sushi in the Buffet at all costs, and the hamburgers at the Seaside Cafe which were grey and lifeless. We ate dinner twice in the Ocean Liners specialty restaurant, and that was 5-star! And the almond and chocolate croissants in the Cova Cafe were heavenly. Just don't get snookered into paying $4.00 for hot chocolate at the Cova - a little investigation revealed it was nothing more than Nestle's mix in hot milk. Here's an observation that can help with your food choices. We found that there are two food service management organizations on the ship. One operates the MDR and the Buffet on Deck 10, whereas the other operates the Aqua Spa Cafe, and the Ocean Liners restaurant. The Aqua Spa/Ocean Liners group is by far the best. Our nights in the MDR were made more fun by our table companions, two couples from the UK and one from Vancouver Canada. House wines are pedestrian - the Heron's Nest Cabernet was jarring, and the Wente cab wasn't much better. Talk about young - maybe they would be drinkable in about 5 years. I think they do that on purpose so you buy more expensive wines. We attended the Reidel wine glass workshop, and learned a lot even though we already own some Reidel glassware. Entertainment had its highs and lows. We truly enjoyed the string quartet from the Ukraine, and sought them out in the Cova Cafe on several occasions. They were very versatile and provided excellent accompaniment to some of the other acts. The acapella group was good also, although their baritone got sick partway through the cruise. We enjoyed the violinist Doug Cameron and the Xylosynth player David Meyer. Now here's where we will make some enemies, but Perry Grant was truly awful. Maybe we are too young to appreciate his act, but he seemed to have a bunch of in-jokes relating to movies, shows, and actors that are totally foreign to us as Baby Boomers. As I watched him bouncing away at the piano, I got the creepy feeling that I was watching one of the ghosts from the Overlook Hotel in "The Shining". The production show onstage cast was pretty mediocre, but the orchestra (including the aforementioned string quartet) made it tolerable. We attended two "enrichment" lectures, and they were like night and day. Diane Buffington the psychologist did a hilarious lecture on "talking with your X-chromosome", and my wife has been citing it ever since! We had the pleasure of sitting with Diane and her husband at the Noon special buffet, and we had a great time. On the other hand, where did Celebrity dredge up that crackpot George Stosur? We sat through his Panama Canal lecture, then watched the David McCulloch NOVA program on the Canal in our stateroom. Seems like old George saw that NOVA show also and stole some items word for word for his lecture! After that performance, we weren't about to attend his Bermuda Triangle lecture. On the other hand, the woman that came on the ship to narrate during our transit of the canal was very informative. The shore excursions were all great fun, all of ours were sponsored by Celebrity. We took the semi-sub boat ride in Cabo, went to the Tehuacalo archaeological site outside of Acapulco, attended the Mexican cooking demo in Huatulco, then took the Monteverde walk in the cloud forest tour in Costa Rica. We stayed on the ship through the Canal, but went on the Deluxe Cartagena and Fortress tour. Seems like we never had enough time to shop for stuff we wanted (like coffee and local souvenirs), but had altogether too much time at shops that sold stuff we could care less about (like silver, diamonds, emeralds, booze, and fancy watches). Celebrity isn't going to make any money off us in their onboard stores, that's for sure - I'll leave those to the elderly matrons with more money than sense. One aspect of the shore excursions that could use improvement was the organization of the disembarkation process at each port. Seems like things always went smoothly once you were out on the pier, but it was the getting off the ship that was screwy. I know the crew probably wants to keep the location of the gangway quiet so as to avoid a huge crowd, but sometimes it didn't seem that one hand knew what the other hand was doing. In one case, they got us all into the Celebrity Theatre and gave us colored sticky tags for each different shore excursion at Puntarenas. That was good. What wasn't so good was they got someone with a poor command of English who told 5 different groups (including ours) to assemble down at the stage near the front exit. Suddenly someone was screaming at us that we had to clear the area because of fire regulations! Get your act together, Celebrity! You would think they have been arranging shore disembarkations long enough to get it right. Our final night at sea we celebrated my wife's birthday in Ocean Liners, and it was one of the most memorable meals of the cruise. The only disappointment was that her birthday cake (served after we had our dessert) never made it to our stateroom for us to eat later, it disappeared somewhere between Ocean Liners and the housekeeping staff. We did get a set of Celebrity champagne flutes as a consolation gift though. Disembarkation at Miami was a goat rope, but this time it wasn't really due to Celebrity. Why the Feds herd everyone together in one big customs line is incomprehensible - they should separate U.S. citizens and the line would go a lot faster. One unexpected result of this was that I met a great fellow from the UK while we inched forward in the line for nearly an hour. He was an aviaiton trivia fanatic like me, and we have been corresponding ever since. So would we cruise Celebrity again? Probably not (except maybe the Xpedition), and it doesn't have to do with any of what I have reported here. Although we enjoyed our 3 formal nights getting dressed up, we found the "Smart Casual" dining to be a little too formal to do every other night. It was just at odds with our laid-back concept of "vacation" to have to rush back and get dressed for dinner all the time. We know we could avoid that by eating in the Buffet, but the food wasn't as good as in the MDR. We made lots of cruise friends though, and had a great time both onboard and in port. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010

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