The issues with Celebrity put a bit of a damper on this vacation. Everything from pre-purchased perks and dining to upgrades all done through Celebrity simply didn't seem to exist in the reservation system. We cruised with some friends very experienced at cruising and they said they'd never seen things this bad or poorly run. I'm not sure if it was a specific ship, crew, or Celebrity system problem but, it ate up hours of our vacation working with Guest Services only to find that, yes indeed, Celebrity had records of everything in their shore-side systems that somehow did not connect at all with the ship-board systems prior to the cruise. We'll be holding off booking again with Celebrity and may consider other cruise lines to avoid losing hours of vacation doing their work for them. It was our first family cruise so, over-all this was not a good first impression.
4 out of 5
Our local hire taxi driver was well aware of the challenges but, he was able to get us to Terminal 7 and dropped off well. The process from there was relatively smooth and efficient and the staff were very professional.
3 out of 5
Cabin / Stateroom
4 out of 5
Bring printed copies of every receipt, voucher and statement for every single purchase or package associated with your trip. I spent hours with Guest Services working to get purchases we made months in advance with Celebrity credited to our account or to have upgrades purchased in advance updated to our accounts. This nonsense significantly detracted from our desire to sail with Celebrity again. Seriously, if their system can't track purchases they sent me a receipt for.. I just don't know what to say. It was very frustrating.
The BN35 - Hiking Mount Floien hiking excursion was overbooked in that there were around 28 of us for one petite and very quiet guide. That became a problem when some of the more aggressive people ignored the guide's direction and decided to hike well past the turn around time, almost causing the ship to delay for us. We recommend skipping the excursion and leaving the ship early to get to the funicular before the crowds, hike around for a few hours, and then beat the crowds down. The crowds ate up 45 minutes of hiking time and set the day behind.
This is a quiet fjord-side small town. The GG40 - Herdal Farm excursion was fun and informative but, if you're an American DO NOT buy any meat products. We were assured there would be no issue and the sausage was approved for international transport. U.S. Customs and Border Patrol advised otherwise as they confiscated the $30USD goat sausage. There didn't seem to be a Celebrity representative on this excursion to help with those sorts of issues. The guide was knowledgable and the scenery and stops for photos were perfect.
The AE20 - The Path of the Trolls excursion was more a drive around the fjord with a little bit of troll lore added in. The stops were nice and the scenery was wonderful but the name seemed a bit misleading for the content..like the stop at a church. Our bus broke down but, they were able to get us a replacement bus in very little time considering we were up in the mountains. They were in constant communication with Celebrity so, we were never worried about making it back to the ship. The guide was very knowledgable, it was just a very long excursion so it didn't leave much time for exploring Alesund, which was a pity because there was plenty to see and do right there in the city. We made it back in time just to squeeze into the lower boarding doors as the tide was out and the ship was sitting lower in the water.
The WK06 - Mousa Island Discovery excursion was a drive and ferry ride out to the island and a few miles of walking around the island. The timing gets you back to town in time for lunch. Do not waste time, the restaurants stop serving lunch at 2 PM. That said, the museum was excellent with several high quality exhibits and thorough explanations of them.
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