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T.R. Cori

Age: 43

Occupation:journalist

Number of Cruises: 4

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Ship: Century

Sailing Date: September 28th, 2002

Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

Cruise Line: Celebrity
Sailing Date: September 28th, 2002

From our 9/28 cruise on the Century, scheduled as Western Caribbean but re-routed to Eastern when then-Hurricane Lili got in the way, an "A to Z" review:

A – “Arnold Palmers.” My hub made these drinks by mixing the free iced tea and lemonade … surprisingly good, he insisted … our 1st grader son preferred the punch; I stuck with water … yes, the ship-provided stuff was fine!

B – Buffets. Mmmm! Especially the desserts, the lunchtime vegetables, the breakfast sausage, and the ubiquitous sliced pineapple. Our favorite late-night buffet was the “tropical fruit and sherbet” extravaganza; try Century sherbet any chance you get … it’s heavenly.

C – Cabin. Comfy! We were in a category 5 on deck 8, starboard side, right between “midship” and “aft” … nice window, spacious enough even for the 3 of us to hang out together. Not the comfiest bed but it was at least big enough for all three of us to climb into when nobody felt like climbing up to the Pullman bunk.

D – Dinner. Grand Restaurant. Fabulous, especially the formal nights with “palate cleanser” sherbet courses and flaming desserts. To complement the delectable food, the fine service from our waiter team Hector and Mohammed epitomized the five-star experience. Only regret, the three of us were alone at a table for 8 the whole time … another family was assigned to the table but changed dinner plans after night one, realizing their preschooler child just wasn’t ready for the experience.

E – Entertainment. Comedian David Reid from Australia via OR was lame; “Ladderguy” Mike James was chuckle-evoking; didn’t see the production shows; poolside games were fun to watch; movie theater didn’t have enough room for everyone who wanted to see “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” on Friday … I think a two-day ‘engagement’ would have been in order!)

F – Free drinks at the Captain’s Cocktail Party on the first formal night! My 2 daiquiris were yummy.

G – Grill at poolside … tasty burgers (as long as you don’t like ‘em rare), fine hot dogs for the sprout, and nicely done crispy fries!

H – Hemisphere Lounge, by day a great quiet place to go watch the water when the sun gets to be too much, or to go hang out and watch for approaching land… by night a disco but unfortunately my hub doesn’t boogie ... so I had to settle for hearing the music leak out while I leaned against the railing watching the stars after tucking my guys in.

I – Itinerary. Then-Hurricane Lili forced the captain to give up the West and move on to the East. Disappointed we didn’t get to Stingray City on Grand Cayman but feeding the stingrays in the pool at Coral World on St. Thomas was good enough for the sprout. Had great beach time on St. Thomas and St. Maarten; the late-day/evening stops in San Juan and Nassau were almost useless.

J – Japanese kimono. Most inspired and elegant outfit I saw on the first “formal night.”

K – Kids’ program. Our kid likes to think he’s not a kid. But once we convinced him to give the program a try, we could barely drag him out of it. He learned new card games, board games and pool games. And HE got a BRIDGE TOUR!

L – Lounge chairs. Took a special liking to deck 6, either side, under the lifeboats; great place to watch/listen to the water).

M – Music. “Party band” Karizma had its moments at poolside, dinner quartet was nice, showroom orchestra was retro, Tastings pianist OK, but the “Melodico Duo” in the lounge seemed cheesily bad.

N – Night light … thanks to the tipster who recommended this to avoid total-cabin-darkness syndrome!

O – Ouch! Got a headache day 2 and realized I hadn’t brought Tylenol; gift shop painkiller stock painfully skimpy, didn’t learn of the “50-cent drop box” outside the ship’s clinic until I’d bought aspirin for the first time in decades, lesson – remember your favorite painkiller!

P – Ports. St. Thomas was my fave, kid adored Coral World (look for the discount coupon on their Web site) and we marveled at the emerald mountain/hill scenery during the taxi rides there and back; St. Maarten was hub’s fave because the beach in town was just dandy; still wondering why the ship bothered with a few evening hours in San Juan (we stepped off , wandered some seedy souvenir shops, got right back on) and less than 3 hours in Nassau (we didn’t even get off, would have missed our dinner seating AND the kid’s bridge tour).

Q – Q-Tips (loved having them provided in the bathrooms, won’t bother bringing our own next time).

R – Rapid embarkation. Even without Cap Club or suite privileges, we were on board within 10 minutes of arriving at the terminal via cab (11:30 am) …p.s. our stateroom was ready before 1 pm, our luggage arrived before 2!

S – Shower. Better than home – nice strong spray, and the handy hand-held head!

T – Tequila Sunrise. One of three drinks I had, fairly tasty, but not big enough for the $5-plus price tag!

U – UNO. The classic card game that counselor Melanie taught our kid, who is now beating me at it nightly.

V – Veggie pizza, one of three tasty types available poolside from 3-7 pm and 10 pm-1 am (along with cheese and pepperoni). We are pizza connoisseurs and are certain that if Celebrity Pizza were available at home, we’d pay for it!

W – Whirlpools. Couldn’t call them “hot tubs” usually only 2 of the 4 were truly “hot” – which was fine with hub and me, as we loved to sit in those vigorous bubbles in the late-afternoon shade while sprout was away with the counselors …

X – (e)xercise! Best online tip of all … “use the stairs all the time and you won’t gain much weight” … turned out to be fabulously true, even though we didn’t miss a moment of those breakfast, lunch and late-night buffets as well as the five-course dinners. Probably helped that we topped it off with an unplanned mega-walk on St. Thomas, trying to use a bay front walkway to get back to Century, having to turn back at a barbed-wire-protected yacht club amid baking late-afternoon heat …

Y – Yawn. So much to see and experience, I couldn’t bear to go to sleep most nights, and spent many an hour stargazing (and lightning-watching) from the top decks long after hub had conked out. Z – Zapped, how my arm felt when a jellyfish brushed by while I floated just off Coki Point Beach on St. Thomas.
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