Occupation:registered nurse, husband MD
Number of Cruises: 3
Cruise Line: Celebrity
Sailing Date: December 1st, 2001
Itinerary: Southern Caribbean
Our arrival to the port in San Juan was without problems. We had arranged our air through the cruise line and were picked up by a bus at the airport. Embarkation was a breeze... we were shocked at how quickly it went. The only thing that made anyone late was that they hadn't filled our their paperwork ahead of time as requested by the cruise line. Once on the ship we were directed to our room, an inside stateroom on the third deck (Plaza level). We choose inside in the middle and bottom of the ship because my husband gets seasick and there is generally less movement there. The room was very nice with a surprisingly large bathroom. We didn't get our luggage until 10pm that night, which was a bit unnerving because we got on the ship at 12.30pm. We found the ship to be very modern and nicely decorated. There is no lack for food, as is true on most cruises. The only time I thought there could have been more food was between 1pm and 2.30pm. This was the time most people returned from the beach or excursions and were hungry but by then lunch in the dining room and buffet was over. However, at 3pm pizza was served at the pool and it was excellent. We thought it wouldn't be very good but we actually ended up eating that for lunch several days in a row. It was great. The Trellis Restaurant was great for breakfast and lunch with the exception of the pancakes, which were awful. The dinner at the Trellis was okay, not great. There really could have been more selection. The rack of lamb was excellent, as was the escargot. My husband swears the lobster was great; I don't like it anyway so I wouldn't know. The desserts were good, not great. The ice cream was fabulous; all homemade on the ship. My husband really enjoyed the Martini Bar; I was pregnant so no drinking for me. The drinks were large and the selection was immense. We also enjoyed the Constellation disco. We went for a sock hop one night that was great. The band Opus was incredible. They also played on the pool deck and had an amazing repertoire. The singers and dancers were A+ quality. Really outstanding. They could all have been on Broadway easily. The shows they did were totally professional with multiple dress changes, lots of lights and great talent. The magician was pathetic, but the comedian was really funny. Bingo was another entertaining thing for us. They gave away an upgrade to a suite the first night, and on another night they gave away a cruise for two. Needless to say, bingo was popular on this ship! The pool area was a little small, I thought, but only really crowded on the day at sea. There were a lot of young kids on our trip (1-5 years) and they seemed to really enjoy themselves, as did their parents for the most part. The children's program seemed very well done. The spa on this ship is out of this world. It's a bit expensive, but the Turkish baths and steam room are worth the $17 per day. The thalassotherapy pool area is huge and at no extra cost to you. The gym has top notch equipment, and lots of it. There's also a florist on board, which I couldn't determine whether it was used a lot. The one trip excursion we did was in St. Thomas. We went snorkeling at an island near St. Thomas. Great snorkeling there. We went to the beach at the Hyatt hotel in St. Lucia ($40 round trip for two). I would highly recommend this beach. It was really clean and private. In Barbados we went to the wrong side of the island, apparently, and were taken to an awful beach. It was really dirty and had lots of run down hotels around it. Apparently, if you want a good beach in Barbados you have to go to the "Atlantic side". The entire island is surrounded by the Atlantic, but the locals call one side the Atlantic side and it's the nicest. In St. Croix we went downtown shopping; pretty anticlimactic. In Antigua we had a cab take us to Dickensen Bay beach, which was very nice and only $20 round trip for two. As far as shopping is concerned, I would recommend St. Lucia and St. Thomas. We shopped on every island just for the heck of it and it's pretty much the same stuff everywhere, but those two islands seemed to have better presentation. Barbados was a zoo! Getting back to the ship. The crew was really wonderful. There was lots to do most of the time. They adhere pretty strictly to the dress code, which I think is nice. Our fellow cruisers were mostly 30-55 year olds, with a smattering of younger and older. Some teenagers, not many. We will definitely cruise on Celebrity again. As far as cruise lines go, we found it to be a step up from Royal Caribbean. Overall, a fabulous trip.