FACT: This isn't nearly as intimidating as it looks on the deck plans. On our ship, Celebrity Reflection, there are no aft stairways or elevators so you will have to walk towards mid-ship to go up or down. But there are railings all along the hallway. Friendly stateroom attendants always greet you for a quick chat. (We came across one who surprisingly knew my youngest son by name since she encountered him often while walking back to and from the cabin.) Then when you get to mid-ship, take a break and enjoy a rest in the Library or check your emails at the Internet Cafe.
FACT: Not on our ship. Didn't see one speck. Maybe it was because they are rigorously cleaning the verandas, furniture and windows daily. The only time I noticed any smoke was at night against the dark sky but it was oddly relaxing and beautiful.
FACT: This was tested since we did hit a bit of rough seas one night, typical of the Caribbean. However, nothing. No extra bumps or swaying in the aft of the ship. This was actually the only cruise that I ended up taking my SeaBands off early.
We have already booked our next cruise and quickly grabbed the perfect aft cabin. It's our home away from home on our own ship, in our quiet space and with our amazing, reserved view. You'll now find us always in the aft!