Age: 36 to 45
Number of Cruises: 1
Cruise Line: Celebrity
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
I had a wonderful time, and would cruise again in a heartbeat. I traveled with my husband, and two kids, a boy 15, and a girl 13.
Starting with embarkation (spelling?),things went smoothly. Of note, they were selling wine and booze in the terminal at very decent prices, and we were told by the sellers that we would be able to bring all the bottles into the dining room, so we purchased two bottles for the trip. After a few days at sea, it was obvious that no one brought bottles of alcohol into the dining room. However, it was perfectly acceptable to bring in your own bottle of wine, and pay a $6 corkage fee. In hindsight, we should have bought all wine - perhaps even a case. You end up sharing with your tablemates.
Our room was on the fifth floor, with a nice sized window. Two bunk beds pulled down from the ceiling. Though it was tight quarters (we were all sniping at each other big time while getting ready for the last dinner), there was plenty of storage space for four people, which surprised me. If money were not an issue, we would have been better off getting two adjoining cabins (if there is such a thing on Celebrity), so we could have had two bathrooms.
Other people have recommended bringing your own hairdryer, and extra hangers, and I agree.
The food was great. I would probably sign up for the late seating next time. We felt rushed to get ready for dinner, and things to do not get hopping in the public areas till after the second seating.
The ports of call were good, not great. We got a kick out of Key West, and I would recommend touring the Audebon House (spelling again?). Very interesting, with headsets to give you lots of background info.
We were not wild about Cozumel. The town was rather dirty, and the sidewalks lined with people trying to get you to come into their shops. The prices on jewelry appeared to be very good, though. On the advice of the cruise director, we had an excellent Mexican lunch in a very pretty courtyard restaurant called "Pancho's Backyard". Great (and strong) Margaritas too. We then went to a public beach, which was crowded and rather dirty. I believe it was called Playa del Sol.
In contrast, the Xcaret park at Calica was very clean and beautiful. It proved to be an expensive day, after paying about $38 per person to enter the park, and another $80 per child to swim with the dolphins. I think it was worth it, though. I would do this through the cruise ship (it was our only paid excursion), as it is the same price if you were to do it on your own, and you can leave the park for lunch at the cruise ship, and come back, via Mercury's bus, which was a nice break. Be there when the park opens or soon after if you want to swim with the dolphins. The spots fill up.
Grand Cayman is beautiful, but fairly commercialized.
There were lots of kids on the ship as it was spring break, but my kids refused to try the teen activities. In retrospect, I should have made them try at least one night. I think they would have had more fun if they had peers to hang with.
The entertainment was O.K.
Even though it may not sound like it, I can not wait to take another cruise. I am being extremely critical, so as to not give people false expectations. I thought it was heaven, but I enjoyed it more than others in my family. Perhaps if we had gone with other families?!?
I am hesitant to try another line, because I can not imagine getting better food or service anywhere!!