Thanks Paul, for the link to the history of Celebrity. As one who's first cruise was on Celebrity on Meridian, their original ship, in 1996, I appreciate the retrospective. Cruising has certainly come a long, long way since the early 90s, & Celebrity has been able to maintain the core of what Chandris intended when he started it, even with the necessary intrusion of Royal Caribbean & their bean counters. I certainly hope that, as you say, Michael Bayley will be able to act autonomously. Unfortunately the fact is, that since the departure of Michel Roux, the quality of food on Celebrity, while still good, does not approach the level of what it once was.
The fact remains, that while I am still a devotee of Celebrity, & they remain our line of choice, they have "come back to the pack" in such a way that we now have no reservations in booking a cruise on Princess, or even Royal Caribbean cruise if we go with family.
The S class of ships are, indeed, beautiful, & while larger than their Celebrity counterparts, very easy to navigate, they lack a "comfortness" of prior Celebrity ships, namely the Rendevouz Lounge, where one can meet other cruisers & congregate while having the opportunity to dance prior to dinner.
Having said this, we still look to Celebrity first when choosing our cruises. I have read that now that they are finished with their new builds, they are looking to increase their yields by boosting their rates. I hope this doesn't mean them pricing me out of their market.