Number of Cruises: 9
Cruise Line: Celebrity
Sailing Date: July 29th, 2002
Itinerary: 11-day Caribbean from Baltimore
Wonderful Honeymoon: Celebrity said there were a record 32 honeymoon couples on our cruise!
Embarkation: Embarkation procedures are good. Recommend arriving early if possible. Official boarding time was 3pm, but we arrived at 1:30p and boarded quickly. Celebrity has apparently resolved some of the logistical problems noted in reviews of earlier sailings from Baltimore.
Ship is six years old, but is immaculate. Only signs of age were in gym, where some equipment was in need of repair. Overall, a very well-designed vessel. Plenty of quiet places for get-away. The ship was at maximum capacity but only felt crowded at the pool during days at sea, which is typical, and sometimes at dinner due to slow service.
Cabin: Category 2 w/ veranda. Great use of space, plenty of storage. Verandah well worth it for 11-day cruise. They could make better use of "interactive TV" -supposed to show daily menu, but never did. (small detail)
Dining: Somewhat disappointing. Food is good, but main dining room dinners felt mass-produced. Service was friendly but mediocre, nightly errors were resolved with difficulty. It seems that it has been impossible for Celebrity to maintain its noted quality of cuisine and dining service with the increasing size of the vessels. Overall good, but not great.
Alternative dining options were very good. Always fresh fish and good selection at the lunch buffets, plus daily lunch special, such as Mexican, BBQ, oriental, etc. Plus 3pm pizza every day at the pool! Wonderful habit!!
Room service: indulged with breakfast and afternoon snacks a few times. Good service - they call prior to delivery - nice touch.
Staff service: Besides dining room, staff was excellent.
Gym: Used gym daily - nice facility -some repairs needed on exercise bikes. Sign-ups required for treadmills, but plenty of equipment.
Guest relations - Required some follow-up to arrange for honeymoon events, but staff very friendly.
Entertainment: The best acts were OK, the worst were terrible. If they could eliminate the lows, they would at least have an acceptable program. At the time we sailed, it still needed work.
Ports: We love the Caribbean, so we enjoyed this itinerary (St. Thomas, St. Maarten, San Juan, Nassau). Did not use cruise line shore excursions - we prefer to do our own thing. Instead of the more famous Megans Bay on St. Thomas, try Sapphire Beach - beautiful place with more services and less people.
Disembarkation: We were two hours late getting into Baltimore due to customs and weather delays in Nassau. It's tough to do well with disembarkation with 1800 passengers, but I thought Celebrity did fine. They extended breakfast hours and opened the lunch buffet to accommodate passengers waiting to leave the ship. Note to those with early flights: we were not able to disembark until 4:30p! Fortunately, we came by car.
Overall: The key to enjoying Galaxy is to have the right expectations. This is not a luxury cruise, however, it is definitely a very nice product w/quality service, good food, and a well-maintained ship. Highly recommended for couples of any age. Bringing a ship to Baltimore was a great idea.