I use the celebrity tie-ins to help me choose cruises. If a cruise is overhyped because a celebrity will be onboard, I choose a different ship.
I enjoy cruises for meeting people, enjoying the activities, disembarking to shop and see the sights. I do not care if a celebrity chef, sports star, or TV personality is onboard. Now, if you could convince Eric Clapton to take his Crossroads Blues Festival onboard, I would be first in line.
Our preference is shifting to smaller cruises, including river cruises, to stay away from the hype and just enjoy the fun atmosphere of people and activity.