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Overall Rating
Family Friendliness
Shore Excursions

Age: 48


Number of Cruises: 22

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Ship: Century

Sailing Date: 2010-02-15

Itinerary: Western

This was my first cruise on Celebrity, and my first cruise with my new husband Scott. We loved cruising Celebrity and together. Celebrity prides itself on great food and great service, and this cruise delivered on both. Loved the Century, as a smaller boat than some of the new "big" ships, it was the perfect ship for us. I did notice the difference of lack of public announcements, and loved it.

I have been on 22 cruises and this was the best food yet. Can''t wait to sail Celebrity again.

The concierge stateroom was small but very livable. The balcony seemed a little bigger than the balcony on the Radiance of the Seas last cruise, large table suitable for eating on. Lots of storage space, and the shower was just a little bigger too.

Stingray Sailing is a must! I love Grand Cayman, it is a beautiful island, clean, but expensive. I have done the Sting Rays Excursion 3 other times and love it but have learned what I want, and what I don't want. I have booked with the cruise lines the 3 other times and have had a wonderful time, but on big boats, with many people. This time I did alot of research and chose "Stingray Sailing," it was one of the best choices I ever made, and I wanted to share it. We paid $45 each for this excursion, and it is worth double. Chip picked us up at our pier Spotts, which was different from the three other ships in port that day. When I noticed this, the ship didn't notify us, I just looked at my reservation that I had printed out and it said they would have a representative there to meet us. There were about 25 people screaming with signs, but we easily found Chip and his sign. They had a print out of everyone from our ship, about 12 people, took attendance and we got on an air-conditioned bus, very clean and comfortable. He let us know his wife Michelle had gathered the group at the other port in downtown Grand Cayman at the Royal Watler Terminal, we stopped in a parking lot picked up about 12 other people and were on our way, his wife Michelle took over the driving and continued the mini tour of Grand Cayman telling us about the places we were passing and the beaches too. We pulled up at the pier and say our 43 foot sailing boat called the "Far Tortuga." The boat is rated for 40 some people, but we only had 24 and it was wonderful. Lots of space for everyone ! Michelle introduced us to Mark, our guide and photographer, and Chip arrived as we all were getting on board, and we sailed. If you have ever waited around for a ship excursion, this is just the best other option. Small amount of people, no waiting around, getting in and out of the water is no problem, very relaxing. Hard to explain, but so different, and SO MUCH BETTER. Ship excursions try and scare you that they make sure you get back to the ship, guarantee it. But Chip and Michelle told us a story about helping another boat who got stranded and I know they would have help if they needed it. Chip was born on Grand Cayman, has lived his whole life there, Mark went to elementary school with him, and Michelle came on vacation, met and married Chip, and have two small children together. They also told stories of Hurricane Ivan, and how the island was devastated, and is recovering. You felt like you were chatting with friends, and having a sail with family. When we arrived at StingRay City, there were about 10 other boats there, hundreds of people. We anchored, and Mark explained about the Stingrays with a cute little stuffed Stingray, and we jumped or climbed into the water. As usual, many people were initially very scared and there is always alot of screaming as the Stingrays start welcoming you. Mark had a special Stingray he called Isabelle and she loved him. Mark explained how to hold the Stingray, there was a young girl who was very natural with the Stingray and she held her first. I think he could see I was comfortable too, and he let me hold her next. It is something everyone should experience at least once and I can't get enough ! She was so soft, about 6 feet across and PREGNANT ! Mark showed us her little bump, and the markings she had, and how he recognized her. They had squid and we got chance to feed them, the Stingrays love the squid and many crowd around and it is so wonderful to be surrounded by these graceful creatures. Everyone got a chance to hold her, once people got calmed down, he took pictures of us, we had brought an underwater camera, as did many others and the pictures are amazing. We spent about 45 minutes there and then sailed a little ways away to snorkel for about 30 minutes, they provided the equipment, some instruction, and we were on our way. They spent more time with some people who weren't as comfortable snorkeling, but it seemd like most had snorkeled often. It was windy that day, and the current was strong, my husband had some problems snorkeling. The coral was beautiful and brightly colored fish were all over. We climbed back in the boat, and Mark was downloading our pictures. He put a slideshow on his computer right there as we were anchored, AMAZING ! Very low key they offered pictures for sale, and we bought 5 for $30. Obviously very profitable, he just downloaded our pictures on a disc to take home with us. But we thought it was money well spent. They also sold beer, and provided us with water and cut up some fruit for us to munch on. We sailed back to the pier, climbed off the boat onto the bus and they took us back to our pier. We got another great informational tour on the way back about Grand Cayman. They offered to drop anyone off along 7 Mile Beach, but we were all pretty tuckered out. Plus we are cruise people and we had not really ate in 5+ hours ! LOL ! Sorry this is so long, but I really wanted to let everyone know how great this experience was, and how highly I recommend these wonderful people.

Finally our cruise was here!

We left Detroit on February 14; Scotts brother drove us to the airport, very nice of him. We arrived about 12:30pm for a 2:30pm flight and we were seated at Ruby Tuesdays in the airport terminal at 1pm, leisurely lunch and onto the plane in plenty of time, just the way I like it. We arrived in Miami at 5:15pm, found our bags easily, and caught a taxi to South Beach. We had originally planned to stay at a Best Western in North Bay Village, but Scott found out that a friend was getting married on South Beach Sunday about the same time as we were landing, and they invited us to join them for the reception. So on Saturday, I went to Priceline for a room in South Beach, got a 4 star hotel for $185 + tax. About the same we were going to pay anyway, but better location. The hotel turned out to be The Shore Club on Collins Ave, it had very mixed reviews on the sites I checked, which concerned me, and I sent a quick e-mail to the internet relations manager who was responding to reviewers on Trip Advisor. We liked the look of the hotel when we arrived, and there was a note from that manager when we arrived, they upgraded us to an oceanview room. The hotel had a very South Beach feel, very minimalist décor, and a lot of white on white. Scotts friends were calling us, so we went to the room freshened up and finally we found out the reception was going to be at The Delano only two blocks away! I love The Delano; it is very expensive, but so romantic! We ended up with a very South Beach experience! I did not think Scott would like that sort of thing, he had stated he was not really interested in seeing South Beach, but we had a great time. Dinner was only 20 people, and very fancy. We went right back to the hotel, in by 11pm, Boy times have changed for me! We got up the next morning and had breakfast at the News Café on Ocean Drive watching all the fancy cars and people go by! Back to the hotel with a little stop for some Wine to bring on board, a 12 pack of water, and a 6 pack of Pepsi. Okay, I also bought a pint of rum to sneak on board. Packed everything up in our bags and off to the cruise ship, first time on Celebrity, 5 days on Century!

We were off to the port, I love the drive seeing the ships come into view, and Century looked wonderful, very different from the Royal Caribbean ship I am used to. The porters were very efficient, helped with our bags, and liked the homemade tags I had made; yes I did not get any luggage tags again! Off to ships terminal, a real maze of lines in front of us, but we preceded to the Captains Club Elite line, and they one couple in front of us! So we had to wait a whole three minutes to be waited on, just kidding! We checked in very simply, and another maze and Voila! There was the ship again, they checked us on, gave us a glass of Champagne and a glass of orange juice for him! Very nice, white gloves and all! The ships foyer was much smaller than the Radiance of the Seas, but very classy, reminded me of old time cruising. We took an elevator to the Penthouse deck, to cabin 1129, our Concierge Class cabin. Small cabin, lovely large bed, Champagne on ice, flowers on the table by the balcony. There was lots of literature lying on the bed, invitations for Captains Club events, and two different Celebrity tote bags to use. A larger balcony with two chairs and a full size table to eat on, not much a view yet, but that was to come soon. Hubby was impressed with the cabin, but anxious for a tour of the ship. He fooled me, up one deck to the Island Café for some lunch instead, we found lots of things we liked, I especially like the Passion Guava juice I was to have with every meal in the Island Café. We ate outside, it was just warm enough, but many had jackets on, we did not see the need. Now for the tour, we went to check our dining room reservation, got kind of confused walking around, it is one of those dining rooms mid ship which prevents you from walking through the ship, sometimes you can not there from here kind of thing. We found a nice young lady who helping some others with questions about dining reservations and found we were given a table for two. We had requested a large table, and off to find the Maitre D to change things. He happily put us at a table for eight, late seating table 563. We looked around at the Celebrity Theater, the Michaelâs Club, the Martini Bar and the Casino. Back to our room to unpack, one of my bags was there, but guess which one was missing? Yup, the pint of rum! We got a call to retrieve our bag, down to the naughty room I went. Deck 3 all the way forward, my bag was front and center! A very nice young man asked me to pick out my bag, he put it on a table for me, asked if I had any wine or champagne in my bag, I truthfully answered no. He asked if I had any other liquids in there? I pulled out my airline travel mini bottles, also now only half filled with rum; I asked if that was okay? He said sure, but did I have any wine or champagne? I said I brought that on my carryon, and he zipped my bag shut! Oh my, I got away with a whole pint of rum! Is all that worth it? No, probably not, but I was not going to pay $80 for a bar set-up in my cabin with a Fifth I did not need, with Coke I do not like! The small victories are sweetest. I did not even finish the pint, refilled my airline bottles and they came home with me. Back to the cabin to finish unpacking, and get ready for dinner. Actually, we had a nap after the muster drill. Again, no life jackets in the Rendezvous Lounge, out to the muster station, no problems, very easy. Missed the Sail Away during our nap, woke to shower for dinner, off to meet our new table mates! We got to our table and met Don and Mya from Toronto, and Joel and Charlotte from Carolina, I could never remember which. Two empty chairs, but that would soon change. We all introduced ourselves, very happy with such nice table mates, met our waiter Victor and Jackson the assistant waiter. All off a sudden there was a ruckus coming our way, a group of complaining people followed by waiters and head waiter, they were to be at our table, all 4 of them! They did not want to be, they made that very clear. Turns out Joel and Charlotte were supposed to be at table 663 one floor up. We tried to lighten the mood, but the Complaining family just had more bad things to say. The head maitre D came over to apologize and they demanded a table for 4, and he said they would have one tomorrow night. What? Give them what they want, please. Joel and Charlotte left very quickly, we absolutely wanted to follow. The Complainers were gone the next night leaving just the four of us, and we ran into Joel and Charlotte in the Martini Bar the next night, invited them back to our table, and they brought another couple from Texas, and the eight of us had a wonderful rest of the cruise dinners. We went back to the Fortunes Casino, I won a little at Roulette, and he lost a little playing slots. Good first night, time to rest up for Key West on Tuesday.

Got to sleep in on Tuesday, up to the Island Café for breakfast, where Scott seems to know everyone! Greeting the servers by name, they are as charmed by him as I am! The poached egg station is wonderful, but I can not be doing this the whole cruise! My brother lives in Key West, but he is a night owl, who works at a bar, and we made plans to meet for lunch at 11:30. It was cool in Key West, probably 68 with a breeze. We were comfortable in short sleeves, but anyone from Florida or Key West, (separate places) were in long sleeves. We went to El Siboney, a wonderful Cuban restaurant favored by the locals, any taxi driver will take you there, they eat there! After lunch my brother went home to get the dogs, and met us at a local bar called Danâs Place, catchy, huh? The little dog named Jib started crying as soon as we got to the bar, turns out he wanted to jump up on my brothers lap, put his front paws on the bar and was crying for beer! Too funny!! Yes, the bartender got Brother a beer and poured a shot of beer for Jib. If you have not been to Key West, it may surprise to hear about dogs at the bar, but it is very common there! I am sure many would worry about cleanliness, but Key West is just different that way. My Brother lives just around the corner, and everyone who came in greeted him by name; we watched the Olympics and cheered for USA! We went back to his house for a little while longer, and too soon it was time to go. We called a taxi, because I wanted to go to my favorite store on the island called Local Color. It was to be my Nieces birthday the day we got back, so I picked up a pair of earrings for her, and a pair for me. Their jewelry there is very different, and I have been shopping there for 12 years. I have a collection of Coral and Lorimar stones, earrings, rings and pendants. It is located in the Old Key West area right by Half-Shell Oyster Bar, there is also a small location across from Captains Tonyâs on Greene St, just off Duval St. We made our way back to the ship, with a stop at Key Lime Pie Shoppe for the best Key Lime Pie on the planet, but that is only my humble opinion. Back onto the ship in plenty of time, and time for a nap for Scott, reading a book on the balcony for me. Did I mention I love cruising? We went up to the Sushi Bar (which is also the poached egg station in the morning) for a snack to hold us over for late dining, it was wonderful! We went to the Martini Bar and I had a tasting flight of Martiniâs! Six different martinis for $18.50, very good. Then we tried the show, a different comedian, who also juggled and rode an unicycle. He called 4 guys up to the stage, including Scott who introduced himself as Scooter, the name most people know him as. Once the comedian had Scooter, he let the other three go and also wet myself laughing so hard. Scooter was a STAR! For the rest of the cruise, people greeted Scooter by name. We had another awesome dinner with Mya and Don, and a little casino action. I won a little more at roulette, and Scooter lost a little more in the slots. Next day was a sea day, and it was getting warmer! I had a cocktail on the balcony, and we went to bed.

Wednesday, sea day, more relaxing, I can not stand it. No, I love it. Back up to the Island Café for late breakfast, only one Eggs Benedict today, and a lot of fresh fruit. That is what I miss most; Scott will buy fruit and cut it up for me, but not every meal. Finally time for some sun, Scott went into the hot tub, and I found a chair. To be fair it had 3 towels on it, but no people, so I put the towels in the return bin and pulled the chair into the sun. Everyone was by the pool; it was our first warm day, and wonderful. I celebrated with a Pina Colada, and finished another book. I joined Scott in the hot tub, and he wandered off to enjoy his Celebrity status some more. A couple hours later, I had had enough sun, and I found him napping in the cabin. The buffet was closed and I did not feel like burgers or nachos they had at the pool, so I went up to the Pasta Bar. I made two pasta dishes and brought them back to the cabin, we had a late lunch on the balcony. I went back to reading on the balcony, which quickly meant going for a nap for me too. There was a wine tasting that day, but I did not make it to anything, and seriously had not planned to. This was the night we ran into our first night tablemates Joel and Charlotte, and they joined us for dinner with their tablemates from Texas. We had dinner with 8 of us for the first time, it was just fantastic. We went to the Casino for a little bit after dinner, I was even after an hour of roulette and off to bed, we had a big day in Grand Cayman the next day.

Thursday, back to the schedule, up at 7am for an early breakfast at the Island Café. There was some confusion about the tenders, we had early tender tickets, but there was no one in the Martini Bar, where we were to meet. It was my plan to leave by 8:15am; we had a tour to meet on shore that we had booked independently. We went to the Celebrity Theater, where folks seemed to be in an uproar about the tendering process. We went down to the deck 3 and walked right on the tender at 8:30. But now we had to wait for the tender to fill, which took 25 minutes. I was getting nervous our tour was to leave at 9:15am. But once the tender was full, it took all of 10 minutes to get ashore. If you would like to read about our excursion go here. It was a magnificent day, but we were tired. We had a very light lunch. We never really got a nap that day, because we had a table at the specialty restaurant Murano at 6pm. We were on time for dinner, and it was impressive to see the staff all lined up inside obviously having a meeting. Two minutes later the doors opened, and we were seated at a lovely table for two by the window. We had sailed at 5pm, and the sunset was upon us. Could it get any more romantic? It seemed as though there were 5 people waiting on us, they were fantastic. Scott had ordered lamb chops medium rare, and they came well done. I talked him into sending them back, and we believe everyone in the restaurant, including the chef came to our table to apologize. His lamb chops were served perfectly the second time. I had surf and turf, it was marvelous. I also had a goat cheese appetizer that was recommended somewhere and it was all they said, unbelievably delicious. We were so full that night that I just could not seem to get anything going anywhere else. We did a little wandering around to the shops, the Crystal Lounge, the Cova Café, and up to the Hemisphere Lounge, we could not believe on a supposedly small ship, how many places we had never been. After walking off our dinner, we agreed to an early night and wandered off to bed.

Friday was another sea day, but it was cloudy and windy. We used room service that day, lounged around, did some reading, some packing, the cruise is coming to the end blues were setting in. We wandered around the ship getting things in order, we checked in for our flight, the only time I was on the computer all week. I got earlier disembarking luggage tags, reviewed our accounts, also reviewed that I had a whole bottle of wine left. That meant drinking and packing, proud that we had used almost all of the clothes we had packed. This was the first time in 22 cruises I was packed before dinner! We wandered around the Martini bar exchanging email addresses; I went back to the room to refill my wine glass. The first night I had used my Captains club coupon to buy a bottle of red, and a bottle of white, with 20% off the second bottle. Depending on what I ate each night, that is what I had with my dinner each night. It worked out perfectly; I walked away with a glass of white after the last dinner. Hugs all around, congratulating one another on putting together a great table for dinner. I played Blackjack that night with Scott, but I made the gambling blunder of not walking with the money once I was up, and lost for the first night. I was up for the cruise, and we had a fun time in the Casino, all I wanted. I do not gamble a lot, so I do not win a lot, but that is fine with me. We had a very early morning, so we were off to bed. Added a little more to the suitcases to go out, and organized for the next morning.

Saturday we were in port very early, I never heard it, but we were docked by 6am when I got up. I had booked an early flight which I do not recommend to anyone. They now allow you to have breakfast in the buffet, where as you used to have to go to the dining room for breakfast the last morning, this was great. Back to the room for our carry ons and we just walked off the ship! No line-up of people waiting, in hallways or stairs, we were the first to get off after the folks who carried their own luggage off. We did have to wait for our luggage, it took about 20 minutes. Got a porter to help, and he got us right to a taxi line, only two families ahead of us, in a taxi in 2 minutes. We were at the airport before 9am, home in Michigan by 1:30pm. Had anything gone wrong, or delayed we would have been stuck, but it was as good as the rest of the cruise.

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