Overall the cruise was enjoyable. The ship, although dated, was clean (except for the occasional smell of sewage), and the staff was attentive and friendly. All the ports we visited were enjoyable and, where we took an excursion, we found that to be fun and informative. Food was plentiful and mostly good, except for some cheap tasteless desserts. At times it seems that volume played out over quality. The speciality restaurants were definitely not worth the up charge. Overall, since our last cruise with Celebrity in 2013, they seem to have cut corners and it has effected the quality of what they once were.
5 out of 5
Food and Dining
2 out of 5
We had the premium beverage package before we joined the cruise. I doubt we consumed enough to support the cost increase between classic and premium. Our bad, I guess! In hindsight, we probably would not do that again. In addition, we booked Tuscan Grille and QSine before the cruise based on our past dining experiences on other celebrity ships (Solstice and Eclipse).
To summarize, our overall dining experience was not what we expected from Celebrity. Generally speaking the food in the Oceanview Cafe (buffet) and Main dining areas was good, not superior, with the exception of one really bad Sea Bass meal that was sent back by entire table for being over cooked and rubbery. The server was gracious and expedient in handling the change - our server jokingly noted that “I told you not to get it.” We really enjoyed him!
The speciality restaurants were a complete scam. Not what they were before, by any means. On the day of embarking, they were pushing the up-selling of services on the ship, especially premium beverage and speciality restaurants. All I can say is, buyer beware! Anyway, beyond what we already booked prior to the cruise, that day we were sold on a seafood “extravaganza” dinner at Qsine for an up-charge of $100 per couple. We all love seafood and the way it was portrayed to us was that it was a feast that you need to starve yourself all day for. Well, we didn’t starve ourselves that day, and it’s a good thing we didn’t. The meal was off a menu, with options, but was nothing special at all. Same stuff you could have gotten elsewhere on the ship. Actually, most was served in the main dining room at one point. We were hungry afterwards and needed to hit the Oceanview Cafe later that evening for a snack. The up-sell was a complete scam which we complained about. We proceeded to cancel our preplanned future meal at Qsine, however, we didn’t push for a credit for the meal we just purchased. In hindsight, we should have. Scam is the only word the describes the experience. We were floored that Celebrity stooped to raping their guests to generate additional revenue by selling them on something that wasn’t accurately described. I wouldn’t have paid $50 a head for the meal in a regular restaurant and this was an up-sell in addition to what we already paid for meals in our base cruise package.
The other point about the food was the dessert. With the exception of a few, most were mediocre and reminded us of the cheap cakes and stuff that would be frozen or in a grocery store. Not the experience we had before with Celebrity. The focus was on volume over quality.
5 out of 5
4 out of 5
Most onboard bands and DJs were great and enjoyable to listen to. The theater performances at night were not that great. We walked out on a few. However, in their defense, being close to NYC we are use to Broadway staged events. Most people seemed to enjoy it.
Service and Staff
3 out of 5
Our Stewart did a great job at keeping our room clean. The rest of the staff were nice but it got to the point where the friendly atmosphere felt contrived and phony. Sometimes layering it on thick at times. Balance it out!
We had Concierge Class rooms but never saw or used the Concierge. She left a voicemail and a note but other than that, never saw her. We really didn’t see the value of this. They provide us with the use of binoculars and an umbrella (never used) and every day a “chopped basket” of little apps but never left anything to eat them with. It was a funny point of the day. Most times we opened and laughed at it. Good intentions, poor delivery.
3 out of 5
The ship clearly needs to be updated, although not bad for its age. In fairness, the ship staff does a good job trying to keep it nice. It’s due for an overall in 2020, I understand. Colors are dated, rust is prevalent in outdoor areas, smell of sewage a couple of times (we brought this to their attention), smell of paint and stain a few times while in port. We never experienced any of this on the newer, at that time, Solstice and Eclipse.
Cabin / Stateroom
4 out of 5
The Stewart was attentive and kept our space very clean. Other than being wakened on the first night by a sewage smell, the accommodations were nice.
It’s an older and smaller ship for Celebrity, so try not to compare it to the Solstice and Edge fleets. In addition, it seems that Celebrity has changed over the past 5-7 years with a mission to increase revenue opportunities. The result is to push for up-sell opportunities on the boat and cut corners with the quality of food.
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