This was our first experience with Celebrity and had it been our first cruise we might not be doing another. The ship was ok, pretty clean but extremely crowded. After boarding we were given complementary champagne and directed to the lunch buffet before sail away. The food was ok, nothing extra but we weren't really looking for it at this time. After sail away we did the drill and settled in for our 5 day trip. There were 4 couples traveling together and we had made prior plans to have late seating for dinner at the same table. After we found our way to the staterooms we found our dinner arrangements to be wrong and we were not even at the same table. We had to go and wait for an opportunity to get this fixed, they did but told us we needed to prearrange next time, we assured the guy we had but it seemed like he really did not believe us. Two of the couples with us had never cruised before so we had really built up the food service and quality of food on the ship. At dinner that night the menu was at best somewhat bland on choices pretty standard choices, the appetizers and salad choices were ok but the entrees we nothing really exciting, we attributed this to the first day and had hopes of better choices to come. Breakfast the next morning was more or less like a shoney's breakfast bar, scrambled eggs, three meats and watermelon, cantaloupe and pineapple. We would have the same breakfast every morning. Not a strawberry could be found anywhere! They did have what they called an omelet chef who took scrambled eggs and added your fixings and called it an omelet. No special pastries, no pancakes, no French toast no quiche... plenty of breads to toast, like I said very basic. Even on the last day of the cruise it was a brunch with the same stuff served. Worst part of the whole breakfast experience was you waited in line for everything! Way to many people and not enough serving area, really bad on shore excursion days. Back to dinner the staff did a good job being friendly but the quality of food selection was very standard, seafood was trout or salmon grilled, or the basic steak ( Had a steak on night I ordered it medium, for well done and so tough I could not eat it, the waiter offered to get me another but buy the time everyone else was about finished) Deserts were pretty good with the usual stuff. This is the first cruise I have ever been on when we didn't have an abundance of seafood selections including lobster. Overall food was very ordinary, not at all like previous cruises we have been on. Lunch was like breakfast, standard sandwiches and limited meats and vegetables I kind of think they are trying to push you to towards the higher paid restaurants for a decent meal.
As far as the staff goes, Celebrity boasted of having a high number of employees per passenger, might be however in is not in the customer service area. Took forever where ever you went to get a drink or some service. I stood at a poolside bar for 10 minutes watching some guy load the cooler, when he finally asked if he could help me, he acted like I was bothering him so I said never mind and walked off. They do have lots of people working on the ships appearance. My friend got his shirt covered with a black spray from power washing the smoke stack while we were walking one morning. They fixed that the next day by changing the paint scheme on the side of the walking area from white to blue, the fumes made us sick so we decided to go to the hot tub area. The inside hot tub area is supposed to be adult only, no children as the sigh plainly says. Not the case the pool was filled with children. When it was mentioned to the pool butler he simply shrugged his shoulders and walked off. None of the refrigerators in our 4 staterooms were even cool, the water on the other had was so hot in our room you could barley take a shower even when turned all the ay down, our friends in the next room was just the opposite, they could get no hot water at all. The bright spot was the two acts on the boats, one a comedian and the other a magician, both were excellent and a highlight of the boat. The boats show team did a good job with their two shows. The bands on the other hand were terrible, couldn't sing nor could they dance, and a DJ playing disco music in the grand staircase area really was not a good pick for formal night? Again I think the good entertainment was in there paid lounges and restaurants. Overall we had a good time on the cruise, the ports were great, the shore excursions ok and getting off the ship was good. Casino was way over priced for me, a 10.00 minimum on blackjack and paying for your own drinks is way out of line. But as far as the price we paid for this cruise I wouldn't pick celebrity again.
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