My husband and I are in our early 50s and this is our 2nd Celebrity Cruise. While it’s probably not fair to compare with other ships, this review probably will compare a few things to our last cruise on the Silhouette last March.
EMBARKATION: Hardest part was getting the Lyft driver to go faster:) After arriving, dropped our luggage right out of the Lyft and away we went...on the ship in 10 minutes drinking champagne and trying to decide what to do first!
STATEROOM: Our IV (infinite veranda a.k.a. window) room was not ready but we loved the fact we could go and drop off our things. We met our room steward and he told us to just leave our things in the closet so he knew they were ours. We stayed in a C1 Concierge cabin midship on deck 11 - stateroom 11187 port side.
The room was very inviting and spacious. Bathrooms were roomy enough for the two of us. The bed was by the veranda. I liked this configuration because we had plenty of room to enter, dress and unpack/sort things out. The bed was very comfortable - pillows are the mushy type but you can order any kind you’d like. The window allows for great light to come in so it feels very open and airy.
Personally, I thought the look of the IV is very inviting and clean/fresh! However, after working with it for a couple of days, it just didn’t fit my expectations - this being compared to a traditional balcony. If you’ve never stayed in a balcony room, you may end up loving it! This is how we use our balcony so you can get an idea of why it just didn’t feel great for us. We love to sleep with the balcony door cracked and curtains drawn so you get to hear the ocean, get some sea air but still have a dark room. We also use it to wait for the other to wake up - whoever wakes first will go get coffee or have it delivered and go out on the balcony and wait for the other. The IV doesn’t allow for this. There are two options, window shut/blinds down or blinds up and window open or closed. We also love to eat our daily delivered snacks and drink our wine on the balcony after coming in from the pool. We did this and it works fine for that - however, room 11187 has a huge overhang and you will not get direct sun on your balcony. If you are looking for direct sun don’t choose this room. If you like brightness from the sun but not direct sun, perfect spot. We appreciated the tips about turing the ‘green’ feature off on the thermostat so if you have the window cracked or open all the way, the air would still run. The thermostat in this room must have been off. We had it set to 66/67 and it never was cool/cold. The temp read 70/71 consistently - window open or closed it did not matter. We didn’t complain as we aren’t in our room too often, but I should have reported it...sorry to the next person:) Another annoyance was you had to stand there and hold the button to raise lower both the curtain and the window one at a time.
The IV by no means ruined our trip or made us upset. I am pointing my opinion out so if you have options, you may wish to use my opinion to make your own choices.
DINING: We selected fixed seating at 6pm at a table of 6 as we were traveling by ourselves this time and love meeting others. We had originally gotten on the waitlist for select dining but our travel agent removed us from it. Celebrity didn’t get the memo...after waiting in lines for 45 minutes or so upon embarkation to get this resolved. Most people in line with us wanted select dining so this was easily switched for us. We had an awesome table (143) in the Normandie. Right by the window!
Getting a table really isn’t a problem whether you’re select or fixed. Honestly, I’m not even sure you need to stress about making those reservations ahead of time or taking your valuable time waiting in lines when you get on board to do so. We spoke to many people on the ship and they never had problems or a long wait. We did see pagers given out like in land based restaurants. We wanted to try the Tuscan one night. We up to the desk at 6:15 and were sat immediately. So don’t worry if you have either dining - and our ship was not completely sold out but there weren’t too many cabins left when I checked the Saturday beforehand.
The food in the Normandie was excellent! Each restaurant has 3 of their own appetizers and 3 of their own main entrees. The right hand side of the menu is the same for all of the 4 complimentary restaurants. Our servers were attentive and quickly learned what we liked - and brought it to us without needing to be asked:) We love traditional seating for this reason! Getting to know the staff, where they’re from and the other tablemates is fun for us! Also, they were great about getting whatever you want...you just need to ask! I didn’t ask, but I bet if we wanted to come at 6:30 instead of 6:00 one night they would have allowed it.
The only issue we had with main dining was that we wanted a full table of six to meet others. Maybe with the select option, people just go on their own like a traditional land based restaurant. We told the hostess each night how many empty seats we would have at our table and she did her best to seat people there. That was really fun too! We met great people from Canada, England and the east coast! But other nights it was the three of us assigned to the table for fixed dining.
Ocean View Cafe was great - no issues. Open when you want it and a variety of flavors! We only went here for breakfast, lunch and snacks...so pretty much all day long:) Must watch the bread guy making different breads all day long! Oh and the hard scooped ice cream was delicious!
The Spa Cafe was awesome as well! Love to go get a snack from here - it’s in the Solarium and offers a healthy option.
We went to Eden one day for breakfast but it was closed.
I want to say however, this is the same quality of food and service we had last year on the Silhouette! The staff was just as hardworking and friendly and the food was just as amazing! It must be the Celebrity way!
BARS: We had excellent service in the Casino bar! That quickly became our hangout before and after dinner as we didn’t have problems getting drink and the entertainment in the martini bar was easily seen and heard. Pool service took up to 30 minutes or more during peak times. It wasn’t because people were slow or not working hard. Just not enough bar space. They had 4 bartenders behind the small bar area by the pool and I think the staff walking around went somewhere else to get drinks made. Also, the Ocean View Cafe was serving drinks if you wanted to go in there yourself.
ENTERTAINMENT: We went to all the shows and comedians and never had a problem getting a seat. Now there were people who liked to walk in right at showtime or a few minutes after...if you are one of those people, then you might have a problem:)
Shows were great! Singers and dancers were so talented! Some show might seem a bit odd but we appreciated how incredibly talented the singers and performers were. They aren’t that long either so if you really didn’t like it you could manage it.
We had two comedians. Both did an early show followed by a late night show later on in the week. Both very funny.
We had a couple fabulous groups perform as well. All excellent! One group was so popular they added a matinee the following day or so!
Celebrity seems like they really want to make everyone happy...and that’s a tall order to fill!
POOL: The pool is so large and accessible with the in water loungers and ledges to sit on. If you require a front row seat around the pool, get there by 7:30ish I’m guessing. But you really can get a chair anywhere and have a seat on the ledges around the pool or in one of the loungers. I didn’t use the hot tub but many complained that they didn’t like the lack of accessibility. You would have to go up a flight of stairs or two to get into one then walk down wet or back to wherever you’re going wet.
A few other points: Elevators - there are only two sets of 6 elevators. At popular times they were very crowded and we got turned away by full elevators more than once. The casino is large and we had a great time. Didn’t win on slots but didn’t play enough money. Something you might not know is that you can use your On Board Credit to get chips for the tables or a ticket for the slots. Try to go to as many spots for entertainment - like the rooftop garden and the pool parties. So fun and switching up the venue from the theater makes it so much more fun!
Final Thoughts: Probably one of the most stunning, eye-catching ships sailing! Always something new to discover! Eden is just beautiful! The art work around the ship is unique and interesting! My recommendation would be to ‘GO FOR IT!’ It’s something different/ new and if you can go with the flow and like uniqueness you won’t be disappointed!