Number of Cruises: First Cruise
Cruise Line: Celebrity
Sailing Date: April 21st, 2002
Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean
This was my first cruise and I traveled with my husband, one year old son, my mother and mother-in-law. My husband and I are both in our early 30’s and we were concerned that it would be mostly older people, but there was a good mix on the ship.
Our trip started out poorly when Continental lost my son’s baggage. Of all the luggage, his was the one we were most concerned about. It had all of his diapers, wipes, formula, baby food and enough clothes to change 3 times a day. When we got to the ship, Jackie at Guest Relations told us where we could buy supplies and we quickly ran to a grocery store and pharmacy to restock. We missed the signing up for excursions and the Olympic (gourmet dining experience) that most people do when they arrive. However we were able to sign up for most things we wanted later on.
Once the staff found out about our lost baggage they did everything in their power to make us more comfortable. They laundered all the clothes we had bought for our son free of charge. They also sent us a bottle of champagne and fruit basket to make up for our inconvenience (one that they did not cause!). They also handled all communication with Continental regarding our luggage so we wouldn’t have to worry. Luckily, the baggage was found and sent to our first port of call (Puerto Rico).
I have to say the ship was beautiful inside and out. The décor is elegant and not overdone. We were impressed with the storage in the cabins which was deceivingly large. When we first got in our room I was wondering how everything would fit, but there was plenty of room.
I must mention our cabin attendant Cruz who attended to our every need. We received new towels three times a day and if we left our cabin for a moment, when we returned it was cleaned and the bed was made. We would just need to pop our head out of our room and he would be asking if we needed anything. He was excellent. He picked up our garbage several times a day also, which was wonderful since we had dirty diapers to get rid of.
I also have to mention our wonderful dining staff. HR, our waiter, was extremely good. He always told us what the chef’s recommendation was and give us his own. He was always right there to take our order and food came quickly. He couldn’t do enough for us. Also, Artion, his assistant was wonderful as well. They were very attentive to our son as well. Even waiters not assigned to our table would come over and play with our son. As they got to know us better, they would even come by and take our son for a few moments so that we could eat a course. Our son is an angel for the first hour, but then gets fidgety. Everyone was wonderful with him.
All of the staff was extremely nice, always smiling and always available. I like that at the Ocean Café buffet, there were attendants offering to carry your tray or get you a drink if you forgot to get your own. Without fail, everyone was very nice and I was surprised to read past comments about the lack of friendliness on this ship. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
The food in the Metropolitan (main dining room) was always good with the exception of one night where I did not like any of the choices. I had the quail and my husband had the lamb and both of us were not thrilled with the dishes. However, HR (noticing we did not eat much) offered to get us something else. We were fine though and made up for it with 2 desserts. That’s another wonderful thing, if we wanted to order two entries, we could. Some nights HR would bring us several desserts to try. Pure decadence.
We only got to see the comedian which wasn’t bad, and one show while on the ship. Only because we had a baby and didn’t take advantage of the sitting services. Both shows were fine. We did take advantage of the Olympic dining experience one night (just the two of us) and it should not be missed. I had the Lobster Volute (bisque), the Chilean Sea Bass and the chocolate soufflé for dessert. My husband had the same except he had the Steak Diane as his entrée. Everything was incredible and the service impeccable. Try not to sign up for this on any of the formal nights because the Metropolitan is wonderful those nights, and the second to last night they do a presentation of the dining staff which is nice, so that shouldn’t be missed either.
We also missed eating at the Midnight Buffets, but did view them. They were very well presented, especially the grand buffet, which is a must see. I was afraid of gaining weight, so I only ate breakfast, lunch and dinner, but you could eat 24 hours a day on this cruise. I enjoyed all the breakfast buffets, the spa lunches, and all dinner dining. I was extremely pleased.
Oh, another thing I must mention is that our moms were staying together in an ocean view room. My mother-in-law snores and was keeping up my mother, and after a couple of days my mother-in-law went down to Guest Relations to see if she could get another cabin. They gave her an inside cabin FOR FREE. Therefore, both moms had their own rooms and thus we can still have family holidays together!! I thought it was wonderful of Celebrity not to charge her for the extra room and I really appreciate it.
In conclusion, this was probably our best vacation ever. We were treated like royalty and enjoyed every second. We will definitely cruise again with Celebrity!