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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
This “California Coast” cruise was our 23rd on Celebrity among more than fifty overall for my wife and me. We are now “Elite Plus” which added some additional perks like the 240 minutes of internet and multiple laundry options. ... Read More
This “California Coast” cruise was our 23rd on Celebrity among more than fifty overall for my wife and me. We are now “Elite Plus” which added some additional perks like the 240 minutes of internet and multiple laundry options. We very much enjoyed this cruise as the very good food and great service from the staff and crew members continues to be top notch. This was the first of our B2B cruises so we continued onboard on our way down the Mexican Riviera and through the Panama Canal. Cabin 3104 was comfortable and quiet, even though it was very near the Grand Foyer atrium and the Guest Relations desk. Our housekeeper, Edi, did a great job keeping our cabin neat and clean while being “invisible” while we were relaxing there. The Guest Relations staff members were very professional and helpful. We were pleased to see GR Officer Garmen Zhang whom we met on our B2B2B cruises in Asia a year ago. Our OBC from Celebrity and CruCon, our travel agent, was immediately posted on our account which helped us to plan how to spend it. On other cruises, it took four or five days so this was the fastest ever. Our Captain’s Club Hostess, Paulina Ugalda, was very welcoming at the Elite and Elite Plus events. She also personally escorted us down to the tenders in all three ports. It was the most well done priority assistance we’ve ever had. It was great to see Assistant Chief Housekeeper, Gabriela, again who was so helpful when my wife fell ill on our B2B2B in Australia and New Zealand six months ago. We were able to chat with her several times and catch up on where she’s been and what’s she’s done since then. We also appreciated that we received a beautiful flower arrangement and a nice bottle of wine in our cabin from her. We were in “Select Dining” this time and were seated quickly each evening at a table for two. We appreciate that Celebrity has many of these tables, but most of them are so close together that you might as well be sharing a table. We talk to many other guests during the day and later in the evening, but we prefer to have some “down time” from these conversations at dinner. Also, my wife has trouble hearing which can make these interactions difficult. So, we opted to switch to the fixed seating at 6:00 with a more private table on the second of our B2B cruises. The food in the “Trellis” MDR was excellent as usual. We usually order our favorite dishes from each menu, but we tried some new ones this time and they were also very good. The Oceanview Café provided many options during the day and late into the night. We also enjoyed the drinks and desserts in Café al Baccio. The bartenders in the lounges were efficient even when they were very busy. DeJean in the Rendez-Vous were particularly helpful and made the best Grasshoppers we’d ever had. We continue to support “Evening Chic” with my wife in her dresses and me in my suit or tuxedo. We understand that other guests aren’t as interested in doing this as we are, but it’s nice to see some still like it as much as we do. The production shows were very good as usual and the singers and dancers were quite talented. We really enjoyed the “Swing@Sky” show in the Constellation Lounge and the entire cast kept up the high level of energy for a very long time. It was definitely the very best of that type of event on all of our cruises. On the final night, the “Duo Destiny” show with the acrobats Goncalo and Kinga was unbelievable. We were very lucky on this cruise as both bands were excellent. We saw Take 5 on our B2B2B cruises in Asia a year ago year so we were happy to see them again. They were great then and are even better now. Their female singer and their other members are very friendly and approachable. The Bryan James Band was terrific, especially since they were billed on this cruise as a “dance band” rather than “house band” or “party band”. Bryan has a great sense to humor and his band can play a wide range of music depending on the audience and the venue. We hope that Celebrity keeps both of them under contract for as long as they can. We did two ship’s excursions and four on our own. Santa Barbara: Rented a car to see the wine country, the SB Mission and the Reagan Center San Francisco (overnight) – First Day: Took my nephew and his girlfriend to dinner at the Crab House San Francisco – Second Day: Took ship’s SF03 excursion to Muir Woods and took ferry back from Sausalito on our own Monterey: Rented a convertible and drove around 17-Mile Drive and Carmel Catalina Island: Went to the Catalina Island Museum to see the Dale Chihuly glass exhibit and took a bus to Botanic Gardens Ensenada, Mexico: Took ship’s EN04 excursion to two wineries in Calafia Valley wine country One area which could use some improvement was the B2B process. At other B2B meetings, someone from the MDR was there to allow guests to select their tables for the next cruise, but that didn’t happen. As part of these past meetings, there have been drawings for prizes, offers of complimentary specialty restaurants, discounted excursions and/or coupons with codes for additional internet minutes in order to fill out the survey from the first cruise. The only “perks” this time were a 30% off a restaurant (for only the embarkation evening) and a card to get into the “Trellis” MDR 15 minutes before the newly boarding guests. We were also given the impression that this process wouldn’t take too long. We were told to gather at 9:40, but we not able to disembark until everyone else did at about 10:40. We then exited the ship and had to wait almost another hour to get back onboard at 11:30. We suspect that due to regulations, there was no chance for anyone to board before that time. It would have been better to know ahead of time that the local authorities require this timing so we could have planned for these delays. We and most of the other guests have done quite a few B2Bs so all of us were surprised that it was much more inconvenient it this time. Almost everything else on this cruise was great except one thing. While not a major problem or a “deal breaker”, we have been a bit disappointed at the recent trend of having more public areas unavailable to everyone. The Celebrity ships have very few inside venues for music and relaxation compared to other cruise lines. So, when one of them is taken out of circulation, the options are limited. We used to love to go to the piano bar in Michael’s Club (especially when Perry Grant was still with Celebrity and packed it every night), but it’s been “privatized” for many years. We’ve also seen “Private Parties” in “Quasar” on the “Solstice” class ships and in the “Constellation” type Sky Lounges on the “Millennium” class ships. On one of our cruises last year, Park West took control of the Sky Lounge for several days for private art sales. The most recent example was the Latina/o “Private Party” from 10:00 – 12:00 on the final night of this cruise which meant that most guests couldn’t enjoy that area as they had on other nights. We are well aware that Celebrity celebrates the diversity of their crew and their guests so segregating and/or excluding groups seems to be counter to that goal. We appreciate the “Elite” cocktail hours in the upper lounge, but not at the expense of access for others. In some cases, the guests who are not yet at “Elite” have been excluded from taking in the view, particularly during sail-aways. The exception was when we were on the “Infinity” for a B2B in South America and Antarctica in 2015 where we were pleased to see that there were areas roped off from the “Elite” section so everyone had a chance to see the scenery. We would certainly endorse sharing that lounge and all other venue as often as possible on every cruise. Overall, we always have a great time on Celebrity. After the Panama Canal, we have twelve more cruises booked in the Mediterranean, Middle East, India, Caribbean, Northern Europe and Transatlantic in the next year. So, we’ll look forward to having 135 more days to enjoy Celebrity’s welcoming hospitality and excellent service! Read Less
Celebrity Infinity Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.2
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.9
Family 3.0 3.9
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.7
Enrichment 3.0 3.8
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.1

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