Number of Cruises: 9
Cruise Line: Celebrity
Sailing Date: February 5th, 2005
Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean
First--what was good in each category and then any exceptions noted.
Food-generally very high quality and superbly presented. Our waiter became a wonderful addition to our evening dining.
Midnight Grand Buffet night should not be scheduled when one has to arise the next morning at 6:30 am for disembarkation.
Cabin-All the basic tidying up/turndown services provided in a timely and appropriate manner.
Disturbing--our cabin attendant seemed to WANT to enter the room instead of just shoving the newsletter under the door. He would knock and before you could get up to open the door, he would be IN the room!
Ongoing complaint with cruise lines-nothing on TV to watch when you tire of sun, interaction with other people, eating and shopping. There is, of course, no shortage of promos for shopping.
Onboard Shopping-Poor. Can't find much to recommend it. Poor variety. Poor selection. Prices as expected.
Shore Shopping-Good if you want jewelry. 95% of all shopping is jewelry. Disappointed in the lack of variety in shopping. St. Thomas is crowded and tacky. St. Maarten is clean and spacious. Nassau is going downhill; apparently shopkeepers are leaving town and going to Atlantis. Forget San Juan.
Ship Activities: Good variety and many fun things to do. Enrichment lecture series on Eastern Medicine was fantastic. Art Auction was fun to just watch the auctioneer work! Wine Auction is just a weird concept--buying cases of expensive, boutique wine "taste-unseen!"
Spa: Saw a range of quality training/knowledge/behavior from excellent to haphazard--guess that varied by who was in charge of what! They had many interesting "seminar-activities" and were not too pushy or obvious about marketing their product/services.
The thalassotherapy pool appeared to empty at all times at $20/dip.
My sports massage was a disappointment. No music. No aromas. My masseuse gave my toes a disconcerting quick "squeeze and pull" and spent an inordinate amount of time at the end pushing product with algae. I told him I could get lots of algae for free and put in in the bathtub.
Please guys--these massages are expensive and, at the end, I am feeling mellow and don't want to fight a sales pitch!
Entertainment: Best I have experienced on any cruise line. Not a loser in the bunch-good variety.
Allan King's Disembarkation comments were not well received relative to "rating" the cruise on the Questionnaire. He directed cruisers to mark everything as "Excellent" which he characterized as an "A-B Grade" and described the rating of "Good" as equivalent to a "C-D" Grade. This was condescending and dishonest and did not sit well with me and other cruisers that I spoke with. I have never experienced such a bold pitch for ratings before.
Ship Facility: Overall excellent shape. However, we wished that the ship was more stable in 8 ft swells--it was by far the most rolling ship I have ever been on.
Can someone please do something about the elevator buttons? The etching in the mirrored buttons make floor numbers impossible to see.
Ports of Call: We were late for 2 out of 4 scheduled ports. We did not have enough time to have dinner and get off the ship in San Juan. We were told later by those who did that it was a waste of time, and one cruiser had a run-in with the town casino operator. St Thomas is crowded and dirty but what the heck--you can get your jewelry there! St Maarten is spacious and clean and we found a delightful upstairs ocean bistro called Pagliano's to rest in. It also had a locked, clean restroom. Nassau seems to be suffering with all the best shopkeepers going out to the Atlantis. We arrived at the end of their business day and were dismayed at the behavior of the locals, which was loud and raucous.
All in all, I would get off only in St Maarten if I were to take this itinerary again.
Excursions: I did not take any nor did I hear any rave reviews from other passengers.
Casino: I did not play but many people in my group enjoyed the casino very much and many won!
A gripe about smoking--I know the cruise line is not subject to US regulations about smoking in public places, but WE are not accustomed to having to breathe other's smoke! There is plenty of deck space--couldn't they direct smokers outdoors?
Overall, I'd give the cruise experience a "Good" rating, despite what Allan says!