by C. Cipkar
November 14, 2004
We set sail for a 11 day cruise from Ensenada Mexico to Hawaii. This was our first cruise with Celebrity. Over all our cruise experience was positive.
We flew into San Diego to meet Celebrity representatives. There were several representatives at baggage claim. We were quickly led to a drop off location for our luggage and given instructions to meet our transfer to the ship. The bus ride to Ensenada was extremely long. Close to two hours. The scenery was a mixture of poverty and pretty coastline. Upon arrival in Ensenada, you are let off the bus to check in to a hotel, then hussled back on the bus to be taken to the ship. The whole process from the airport to the ship was about three hours. Be prepared as this is very tiring after a long flight.
Our cabin was on the lower floor, an outside cabin. Plenty of room for two people. Lots of storage area, suitcases fit under the bed, drawers in the closet, a small vanity in the bathroom and a large picture window. We do not spend a lot of time in the cabin, so this was plenty for us. Cabin steward was wonderful, always around when we needed her.
The food was good, not excellent but well prepared. We did not like the alternate dining alternative for the evenings. If you did not want to dress up and dine in the dining room for dinner, you could make reservations for a casual dining experience on the tenth floor. If you are expecting a buffet, this is not the way it is done. You are served from the same menu of the formal dining room. So if you are tired from the day or looking for just a quick bite there is no choice unless you order room service, which is also very limited. A major drawback for us. Also on a 11 day cruise men are expected to wear a tie, 6 of the 11 nights, more than half. Something most men would hate, as my hubby does.
The entertainment was lacking. The variety was not great, nor the shows. We seen better on the Royal Carib. They even had performers who performed more than one night. So if you did not care for the entertainment you were subject to it another evening.
The iternary was good. We spent two days on the big island, two days on Maui, two days on Ohau and one day on Kaui. Our biggest complaint was the bus tours. We spent more time on the bus than actually visiting our destination. All the islands are very easy to get around on. If we would have know this, we would have rented a car. Definetly do this! The bus tours were very tiring, though we were able to see a little bit of everything. We did not care for Robert tours, which catered to all of the islands. The tour guides were long winded(talked too much) and were definely on an agenda. We did rent a car on our last day on Oahu and it was a great way to go.
Tours we went on:
Volcano National Park- spent more time on the bus than out, terrible lunch. So many bathroom breaks, especially at tourist traps
We sailed in November and found there to be very few kids and mostly retired couples on the ship. So it was very relaxing and very dead on the ship after 10:00. Not the kind of ship if you plan to party all night. But suited us fine. They had a wonderful warm water pool, spent several days there.
Left the ship around 10:00. We were one of the last ones off. We were in no hurray, late flight. Some people found the wait long.
Overall we would sail with Celebrity again. We would not take bus tours from the ship. We would arrive the day before embarking the ship. It would be less tiring.