December 27, 2004
My wife and I took the above ship for a holiday cruise. Overall it was a very good cruise, but we noticed that Celebrity is slipping a bit from our prior experiences. This includes such items such as lack of bar attendants for lounges near the pools, (which is surprising) fewer assistants to help with carrying lunch trays for senior citizens (which is a nice touch) and poor shows were the major items noted.
Food was great, and the Normandie specialty restuarant was a nice experience but not really worth the $60/couple. Food choices were good and the healthy choice type menus for lunch are a welcome item to standard shipboard fare. The Cova Cafe was great for pastries, etc.
Unfortunately it rained New Years Eve so the outdoor bash was a non-event. Indoors was good, but outdoors is much better when weather permits. We had a concierge class cabin which includes some nice touches and found this very enjoyable (canapes (sp) , towels, snacks, etc) . Cabin service was superb.
We also took disadvantage of Celebrities extend a stay program, and what a disaster. They have selected poor vendors for transportation between the pier and airport on non-sailing days - causing waits of 1 hour or more, no information on pickup times at the hotel, etc. It's better to book it yourself and take cabs - it's a lot less bother.
Celebrity has a thing they do with CruiseConnections where they have people sign up before the cruise and talk via emamil and then host a party on board. We signed up but were never told about the party. Celebrity claimed no knowledge, but they didn't want to check their own website with me standing there to show them that people had signed up-- and Celebrity goofed.
We didn't go to Grand Cayman - which was good considering other reports, we went to Curacao instead which was nice. We saw one couple get evicted from the ship in Aruba for drugs on board. They had a rough trip back with no airline ticket and the holiday planes full ----------don't even think about drugs - they watch that carefully. The guy was in shock - and stood on shore watching the ship all day before we pulled out. (His wife didn't look too happy)
Overall a good cruise, but Celebrity needs to take more attention to the details and improve their extend a stay programs.