Number of Cruises: 2
Cruise Line: Celebrity
Sailing Date: May 25th, 2002
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
First let me tell you about myself. My wife and I are close to 40 and this was our second cruise. Our first was a few years ago on the Sovereign of the Seas for a four day Bahama cruise. After doing much research and reading reviews similar to this, we chose Celebrity. I am very happy with our choice. We like to get out and tour ports and we chose this cruise partially for the itinerary. Neither of us are big into staying up late (even though there is plenty of opportunity to do that) so this cruise fit us perfectly. Many people on this cruise fit into the 30 to 50 age profile. As with any review from an individual, tastes are different. I read some comments and after going on the cruise really disagreed with some. Probably my biggest surprise was the quality of entertainment. We didn’t miss a show and really enjoyed them.
In a word, simple. The airport is very close to the port and our hotel was close to both. They were extremely well organized at the dock. I was an engineer for ten years and really appreciated the smoothness of the process.
I won’t go into a lot of detail but believe everything you have read about this ship. It is very clean, classy and beautiful. All the materials used in the chairs, flooring, and public areas was very high quality. The crew is relentless in keeping it that way. Many of the newer ships have a large Foyer. There is one on Century but not to the scale of the one on Sovereign. I do admit I did miss this.There was no comparison in the cabin between the two ships. On both cruises we had a standard inside room but ours on Century was significantly better than Sovereign. Not only was it larger, but very well laid out. The storage was great. There is only one outlet and the hairdryer in the bathroom is pretty much useless. This is somewhat surprising given how well everything else is designed. I would suggest bringing your own hairdryer and an extension cord. We also brought our own iron. One of the best features of the room is the safe behind the mirror. That one feature will play a big roll in future cruise decisions for us, it is great. My two favorite rooms on the ship were the Theatre and the Grand Restaurant. I already mentioned the quality of the entertainment, the room itself is very nice. You will really miss out if you do not get to the shows. The Grand Restaurant is the most spectacular room on the ship. There are two floors looking out the rear of the ship. Waiters in tuxedos serving you wonderful multi-course meals on linen and china. I work for the largest restaurant company in the world and the people in the dining room (and really all over the ship) really know how to please customers. By the end of the cruise you really become attached to the people who work 80 hours a week just so you can have a great vacation. You will want to tip your servers more than the recommended amount. For breakfast and lunch we primarily used the islands café. Very good food and you can select three levels. On the outside right by the pool is the grille for hamburgers/hot dogs, on the other outside is a little more substantial such as sandwiches and inside the grille is where you can get a full course. The food is served on linen in all areas, just another example of Celebrity’s classier approach. A piece of advice, many people leave the pool area and stop at the first two sets of buffet lines. If you go further towards the rear of the ship there are two more lines which aren’t as crowded. One night we ate in the sky bar after coming back from Cozumel. It was very intimate and we had a table for two which we really enjoyed. Reservations are required and it is suggested you tip $2.00/person for your server. Try to order real ice cream whenever you can. They make it themselves on the ship and it is wonderful. The grand buffet is really something to see. About vibrations, yes they are present in the rear of the ship. You could feel them during supper. Our cabin was all the way in the front so this wasn’t much of an issue for us. I would not have liked being in the rear of the ship. The ship did rock more than I had expected, bring something for that. After being home for almost a week I can still feel the rocking.
Jamaica: This can be a great port if you are prepared. We signed up with Peat Taylor and had a great tour! We were the first ones to do Dunn’s River Falls and beat the crowd. A piece of advice, bring cash. They don’t take travelers checks or credit cards. This is probably good advice for all the ports. Peat then took us (about 15 people) on a tour of the island in the mountains and fern valley. It was very beautiful. He showed us sugar cane, key lime, pineapple, bananas and many other plants I can’t remember. There really isn’t a set schedule and he does his best to work in everyone’s wants. I feel as if we got a much better tour than if we went on a ship’s tour. Jamaica is a very poor country and the people can be very aggressive. I would suggest staying with a group and not walking off on your own here.
Grand Cayman: very upscale, rich island and can be easily toured on foot without fear. We did a ship’s tour of stingray city and loved the rays but didn’t care for the logistics. It was suppose to start at 9:45 and last 2 ½ hours. We ended up coming back close to 1:30 and with us having to be back on the ship around three with tenders, it didn’t leave us much time to see 7 mile beach.
Cozumel: we had planned on doing the ship Tulum tour but after all the traveling back and forth for sting ray city with the ship tour we decided to go on our own. We rented a jeep and went to the eastern side of the island. The drive along the beaches is out of this world. They aren’t developed and the natural beauty is incredible. It reminded us of the 17 mile drive near Carmel, California. We did go to a popular/developed beach called Playa San Francisco, but didn’t care for that as much as the undeveloped beaches.
Key West: we had a great time in Key West. Stopped by the historical home and took a tour of Hemmingway’s house which we really enjoyed. Saw the Southernmost marker and got a bike/taxi tour down Duval street. We rented wave runners and had a great time.
We flew US Air and very pleasantly surprised to be able to check in on the ship the morning we got back. As soon as we left the ship we picked up our bags and US Air had a truck waiting to take our luggage. We didn’t have to fool with it until we got back home. Since we already had our boarding passes and our luggage was checked we could by pass the hundreds of people waiting at the airport to check in.
Let me close by saying we had a wonderful time and are planning our next cruise. We will probably take our children next time. As with any vacation, you can make it wonderful or get hung up on little items. One of the people we shared a dining room table with was a chronic complainer. “I couldn’t get a grilled cheese from room service”, “I couldn’t get a danish”, “They didn’t have vanilla ice cream”. I’m sure if you asked her she would say she had a terrible time. She kind of reminded my wife and me of Joe Piscapo’s character “the whiner” on Saturday Night Live who went to a fancy French restaurant started complaining because they didn’t serve macaroni and cheese.
There are a thousand little items the Celebrity does to make your vacation very special. One example is fresh ice in your cabin’s bucket for cool drinks all day long. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone.