We arrived at the port around 11.40am and there was a very large queue which came out of the building and back far as the road. Many people were not happy to stand in the Florida sun. We found a porter and got tags for our bags attached quickly, he immediately advised us that a donation would be appreciated! we always tip but never before the bags are taken.
It took us 1hour and ten minutes to check in and board the ship.The Captains Club queue was very long and many people joined the other check in which moved very quickly.
Once on board all was well - drinks,pictures and welcomes so off we went to our cabin. It was ready and we left our carry on bags and went down to check our table in the restaurant. We had requested a table for 2 but were allocated a table for eight. We went to the Rendevous lounge to speak to the Maitre'd but it seemed like everyone had the same idea. We gave our stateroom number and then joined the crowd who were waiting. It was a nightmare!! this was a wait of 1hour and 20 minutes, many people were complaining and although we did get our choice I feel that X must review this process. We booked last year and they knew our requirements. For anyone who really cares about this the staff advised us that X now has a policy that all guests will get their table request.
Our bags arrived very quickly and were in our room when we got there after a quick look round the ship. The buffet was open for lunch although we did not eat.
Our cabin was good,8150 and our cabin steward was there for any little or big request we had. He was called Missimo( I think)and kept everything ship shape. A lovely man who was good at his job.
There are little signs of wear and tear but overall the ship is very clean and well cared for. The things we noticed were carpet joins being held down with tape, worn items of sanitary ware and well used linens but this was no big deal.
The food at all meals in the restaurant were of a very high standard. Good choice and a few new items on the menu. Our waiter was Irfan and he was a delight. He has sailed on many X ships and took great care of us. We did not eat any buffet food so cannot comment. The Aqua Spa served the best lunches and the soup and sandwiches were also very good.
We did not eat at the Olympic as the 2 nights we tried to book were full - it pays to book before you go!
We drank wine with dinner every night and found the choices to be very good, a nice range with reasonable prices as well as those special bottles for the formal nights.
The formal nights were just that and 90% of the people did make a special effort to dress up. There were the few who chose not to but they looked out of place but I guess they were happy.
The entertainment on this cruise was the best I have ever seen,the range was great and there was something for everyone. I must say that Edwin is a great CD and he seemed to speak to everyone who passed him and always looked so happy I am sure it rubbed off on others.
The weather was not kind and the crossing was windy and cool. Many people still lay by the pool but most of them were wrapped in towels with only their face on display. The T pool area was always very busy and people we spoke to told us that they "booked" their loungers at 7am!!!
I do not have time to discuss the ports of call but I am happy to answer any questions you may have.
Over all the things which could be improved I have mentioned above but we had a great cruise, the service, food and overall satndards are 5 star. The staff are a delight and so well trained they almost think for you. Getting off the ship was so easy, we had been allocated a time of 7.40am and we were called at the exact time - off the ship and at the airport in 40 minutes.
We will cruise X again but would avoid the Transatlantic as the weather is not predictable, thankyou Celebrity you traeted us famously.
Please post any questions you may have as I will be more than happy to respond.