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Jody Brown

Age: 44

Occupation:Information Technology SSC

Number of Cruises: 9

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Ship: Century

Sailing Date: March 8th, 2003

Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

Pre-cruise – Friday March 7, 2003
We awoke at 3:30 AM, loaded up the car and left the house at 4:30 AM. We had a seventy-minute drive to the airport, spent the next half-hour going through security. The plane left on time at 7:00 AM – it was 19 degrees. After a two-hour layover in St Louis, we landed in Ft Lauderdale early in the afternoon – it was 91 degrees. Woohoo the warmth of the sun!

Went down and picked up our bags, Called for the hotel shuttle bus.
9 minutes later, the van arrived;
8 minutes later we were at the 17th St Renaissance. This is a first class hotel, bellboy was waiting by the curb and unloaded our bags.
7 minutes for check-in at the front desk;
6 minutes to get to the room and for the bellboy to unload luggage.
5 minutes to change from Illinois winter clothes to shorts and Tommy Bahama shirt.
4 minutes to check out room, notice first class hotel charge over three bucks for a bag of chips. We took a little siesta (I had a sinus infection, so our plans for the water taxi were out of the picture) and decided to go out for dinner.
3 minute walk to Bimini Boatyard.
2 minutes to get a table and
1 minute later we were drinking our first adult beverages on VACATION!

Dinner was ok, but we both prefer 15th Street Fisheries. After dinner we took a nice long walk to enjoy the warm evening air and ended up at Publix grocery store and picked up some drinks and donuts for breakfast.

Wife fell asleep quickly upon return to the Renaissance; she said the bed was the most comfortable one she had ever slept in. I stayed up for a while and watched a movie on HBO and finally conked out around midnight.

Day 1 Celebrity Century Saturday March 8, 2003
I woke up around 5:00 AM feeling really good. Would have to wait until noon or so to see if this was for real, or just drug enhanced! lol
I went down to the lobby for some coffee and sat outside and talked with folks waiting for the airport shuttle bus for a couple of hours. Interesting some of the people you meet. One lady was down from Philly area having an 84 ft yacht hand built at a local boatyard. I saw quite a few west-coasters who came in on red-eye flights stumble in for a few hour nap.

We both enjoyed our stay at the Renaissance, but it was time to grab a cab and heads toward the pier for the cruise! We arrived at 10:20 AM, promptly dropped off the luggage on the side of the building, went inside the terminal and the sign said boarding begins at 11:00 AM. We sat down and reviewed our documents to make sure everything was in order and a lovely lady with an accent asked me if I was ‘seagarsmoker’? I said yes. She introduced herself and I realized it was Alexandra from Cruise Critics who I have been exchanging emails with the last several months. We talked for quite a while and sure enough at 11:00 AM sharp the doors opened up and we said our goodbyes – it was time for the cruise to begin!

We entered the building and headed over to the Captains Club desk – the whole process of checking tickets, identifications, credit card, door card key, Welcome Aboard picture taking, another picture for security and getting onboard (we were the second couple) the ship took an amazing ten minutes. We headed up to the pool area (rooms are not ready until 1:00PM) and grabbed a table and a few minutes later Alexandra and family arrived. She introduced us to her family (Mom and Dad), they were from Germany, and a friend from Finland. We talked for the next hour or so until it was lunchtime. We were in room 1203 (sky suite), so we took our carry-on bags up one floor, dropped them off in the room (which wasn’t ready yet) and then went back down and had lunch at the buffet. The weather today was in the mid to upper 80’s and mostly sunny.

At 1:00 PM I headed back up to the room, Julianne headed to the spa for some appointments. Our butler (Desmond) was the same one we had on this ship the last time we were aboard six years ago (we were in room 1201). I will not go into much detail about the room, other to say these suites are wonderful! They are 244 sq ft with a 142 sq ft veranda. The veranda has two chairs and a table that is half covered. My wife enjoys having a suite since they include a tub instead of the standard shower we find in inside rooms. I spent most of the afternoon waiting for rest of the luggage by sitting on the veranda enjoying a cigar and taking in the view. The luggage arrived around 3:30 PM, and then we had life boat drill at 4:00 PM, then castaway at 4:45 PM. By now I figured the sinus infection was healed since the drugs had worn off. I was one happy camper (woops cruiser)!

At dinner we met our tablemates for the week. A mother and daughter from Toronto, Canada; a couple who were sailing back-to-back on the Century and another couple Jim and Carol who I will speak of later in the review. The food itself was excellent; we both had prime rib, cooked to perfection. After dinner we went to Michaels Club for a cigar and then caught the end of the show. I won’t really dwell on it, but entertainment was not good all week. They had a magician that would have problems working here in the states for children’s parties. We roamed around the ship for a while then hit the sack around midnight (or was it 1:00 PM since we lost an hour of sleep?), didn’t matter, we both had an outstanding full day and were tired pups!

Day 2 Celebrity Century Sunday March 9, 2003
Our first full day on the ship, so as usual, I was up before 5:30 AM to get an early start. Fun begins 30 seconds later in the shower. This is our ninth cruise and the first time I use the shower, I always forget how much ‘fun’ it is turning those knobs, pressing down on the little raised part and then waiting for the water to warm up, then pulling up the middle knob and presto – cold water spraying me from over head! Woops, forgot to turn that overhead nozzle to the side. lol

The next adventure begins about fifteen minutes later when trying to dry my hair. Even though this is a big room, it still only has one outlet. If I use it, I would have to turn on the light over the dresser (and probably waking up my wife in the process) to use our own hair dryer. So being the kind person I am, I decide to use the one equipped in the bathroom. Not sure how warm this blow dryer is supposed to get, but this one was still spitting out cold air for five minutes. I poke my head around the bathroom door and my wife is sound asleep, so I optimistically continue (in vain) hoping it will eventually warm up. Finally, after ten minutes, I feel a little warm air, but it is coming out so slow, it does not really matter. Figured the quickest way to improve this dryer is to cut off the tube and just blow into it! I hear a little noise outside on the balcony, so I opened up the sliding door (it is still dark out, so I can’t see anything) and presto – the wind dries my hair in 30 seconds!

Except for making sure my wife is up for her 8:00 AM massage appointment, I spend most of the early morning drinking coffee on the back of the ship talking with many folks who could not sleep their first night. I feel Celebrity does an excellent job splitting up the smoking areas. The portside is smoking (with ashtrays) and for the most part everyone I saw followed the rules. A couple of people told me they saw someone light up on the wrong side and were told by the staff where the smoking section was. At 10:00 AM, we meet up with Alexandra and her mom and wait for others from CC & CA to arrive, but none ever do. At 11:30 AM, we have the CC get-together. About a dozen show up out of over 40 who registered. Celebrity supplies name badges, OJ, Tea, water and some pastries as we sit around for an hour and swap first impressions of this cruise. The hostess asks a couple of questions and is thankful for our honest answers. The majority of folks here are cruise veterans and the talks are very positive. The main topic to share is how everyone feels about the change from prior Celebrity cruises of how nice the staff seems to be. Someone in Celebrity corporate office must be reading those cruise questionnaires since these folks have done a complete change in the right direction.

Next we have lunch at the buffet, and then out to the pool for some sun. First thing I notice is security. Every time one of the children hang on to the basketball rim, someone from security is pointing them out and giving them the pool rules rundown. Twice I saw the same person do it again and this time they were told ‘last warning, next time you are out of the pool for the week’. From what I saw, no problem with them for rest of the week.

Tonight is the first formal night, so we are back to the room to get dressed up (black tux for me, a beautiful long black dress for my wife) and then off to the Celebrity Theater for the Welcome Aboard get-together (really just another excuse for some free drinks! lol). My wife and I both have filet mignon (they had to be around 9 or 10 oz variety) and can honestly say, this was one of the best dinners we have ever had on a cruise ship. The asst. waiter remembers I had ice tea and my wife had diet soda the prior night and within five minutes of sitting down, they appear without saying a word. After dinner, we head over to Michaels Club for a cigar and cognac, then next door to the theater for a show. If I had to choose one show all week that was bearable, this one was it (On Broadway). After the show, we walk around the ship for a bit and then over to the Crystal Lounge for karaoke at 11:00. This is suppose to be for adults only, but about 50 of the 250 children onboard decide they do not have to follow the rules and attend. About five minutes before the event starts, someone from the staff announces this is an adult-only event and for the children to leave the room. Most comply (they simply went to the back of the room and stood in the door way) and the others stick around as if they do not care. For the most part, karaoke was entertaining and my wife even joined in on a song in a group dance sing-a-long. We hit the sack at 1:05AM – a very long day, but a great one!

Tip – we bought a digital alarm clock that runs on batteries from Sharper Image (it was around $40) before the cruise. It can be seen during the day with a gray background and black numbers, but also at night with a blue background and black numbers. It has three levels of brightness; including one we left it on called automatic (has a light sensor that adjusts the background to different levels). Instead of fumbling around in the dark looking for a watch, this was practical all week.

Day 3 Celebrity Century Monday March 10, 2003
I awake around 3:30 AM to some rough seas (only ones we have the entire trip) and fall back to sleep within a few minutes. After a long day on Sunday, I sleep in – until 5:45 AM. lol Today is mostly a sea day, we are scheduled to arrive in San Juan at 4:30 PM. I am already in my cruise sea day routine – coffee in the morning at the back of the ship and then grab a bite at the buffet at 7:30 AM for breakfast. At 8:30 AM, I find my next place to have coffee – around the corner from Tastings (they serve Cova coffee and chocolate products from Italy). This is where you can get different varieties of coffee (cappuccino is excellent) and from 8:30 AM to 9:30 AM, this is where the some of the crew hang out before going on duty. I enjoy talking with them as it helps in getting the scoop of the daily activities and the cruise life for these folks in general.

Lunchtime we head up to the grill; I grab a hamburger and meet my wife who eats at the buffet. For the week, I give both the buffet and the grill a thumbs up for delivering very good food. We both think Princess has a better selection, but the quality of the food with Celebrity is a little better overall. At 1:00 PM, we head out to the pool and partake in the poolside music trivia. Our team gets a 27 out of 30, which is not good enough to win. Then they have some poolside games and a 60+ year-old man wins the Celebrity King contest. Today is the first day I really noticed the age brackets onboard. Every age group is pretty much equal, which is a first for us in nine cruises. We also start noticing all the singles onboard. The cruise director kidded a couple of times about the ratio of single women to men this week was ten to one. Walking around the dining room this was obvious. Many tables were just women only, or eight women and two men.

The ship starts unloading passengers at Old San Juan (pier 4) at 4:30 PM, but we’re staying onboard for dinner, then we’ll head over for a bit. Our waitress told us the prior night that she would hurry dinner for us if we planned on going to San Juan, so we took her up on this and sure enough, we were done eating by 7:00 PM and onshore by 7:15 PM (tip – take your drivers license with you as it will be checked by local authorities when you leave and re-enter the port area). For dinner, we both had red salmon and this was the best I have ever had. This is getting scary, three meals and all were just simply outstanding. We have been to San Juan many times and wanted to try something different. So we went on a horse / buggy ride for about a half-hour ($30) and this was well worth the money. We walked around for a bit, and then hit the grill around 10:30 for a slice of pizza (which was very good). I forgot to mention we opted for the coke cards for the week. This is one of only two places onboard we found you could not use them. We decide to go to bed early tonight (only night all week we’re in before midnight) since St Thomas is waiting for us in the morning.

Tip – bring along a small flashlight for the bathroom (we actually use the kind that clips on the end of a book for night reading). Makes getting up in the middle of the night a little less intrusive to your partner by turning on the bathroom light.

Day 4 Celebrity Century Tuesday March 11, 2003
I awake around 5:00 AM – today is St Thomas day! We both know this will be a full day, so we have our butler serve breakfast for us at 7:15 AM. This means waking my wife up early and getting her moving (which is no small chore in itself! lol). Breakfast is very good (we also had cappuccino which is a perk when you stay in a suite) and we are off the ship around 8:30 AM.

Not sure why, but the shopping area looks smaller this year. Notice several stores in the past either have closed or have changed hands. We grab a cup of coffee and walk around for an hour or so ‘window’ shopping. We end up at Little Switzerland when my wife notices a little sign that says ‘free internet service for our customers’. Upstairs to the second floor and in the corner they have an internet café with three PC’s. It was great checking on email and getting caught up on what was going on in the world. My wife finds a globe made out of stone that she really likes, so we buy it for her office and have it delivered by mail.

We were done shopping, and I said ‘let’s grab a cab and take a little tour of the island before heading back to the ship’. Next thing I know some lady is chatting with my wife about a timeshare tour that they will pay us to attend and I am in a cab heading up the side of the mountain. Needless to say, this was a complete waste of time – do these folks think they can sell me a timeshare in St Thomas cheaper than a cruise? As usual, they fold when looking at the numbers, but we do end up with two bottles of rum, a gift certificate (which we use to buy a bottle of good champagne, a six pack of sampler bottles of rum and two cokes) and a free cab back to the ship.

In the afternoon, we went to the buffet for lunch and my wife disappeared to the pool. I sat out on the balcony smoking a cigar and take in the beautiful port area of St Thomas. It's in the mid 80's, nice and sunny with a great breeze. Life doesn't get much better than this! Before dinner, we ran in to Alexandria and she invites us to her table for dinner (late seating) the following night for her birthday. She explained one of the couples at the table had not been back since the first night so they had room. We accept and at dinner this evening, we let rest of our tablemates know why we would not be there the following night.

Not sure why, but dinner was not good this evening. I could not find anything on the menu of interest, so I had the sirloin steak. I ordered it medium and when I cut into it, it was between rare and medium rare. Our waitress sent it back and when it came back, it was well done. By now everybody else at the table was almost done eating, so I just ate my veggies and chalked it off as a bad meal. Besides, I knew I could get pizza at the grill at 10:00 PM, so it was not the end of the world.

We did our usual Michaels Club visit and then a show after dinner. We catch the end of the ‘Not so Newlywed Game’ upon entering the theater. Couple number four is Jim and Carole (tablemates) and they miss the final question and the honeymooners win. Hate to bring up the poor subject of the entertainment again, but about half way through the show (The Beat Goes on), I get very jealous as several people get up and leave. Not us, my wife sticks through to the bitter end. Therefore, I do my best not to complain, or fall asleep or laugh on the outside. Tomorrow is our favorite island (St Maarten), so we are in bed a little after midnight and looking forward to a great day!

Tip – if you are going to be involved in any of the ships entertainment, be forewarned that these shows are video taped and replayed that evening and the following day on the Celebrity channel in the rooms for all the passengers to see.

Day 5 Celebrity Century Wednesday March 12, 2003
I woke up around 5:15 AM feeling very excited as I have been waiting for this day for a long time since St Maarten (Dutch) / St Martin (French) is our favorite island to visit. Wife actually got moving with no assistance today as she feels the same way. Two cups of cappuccino are delivered to the room and we are set for a while. We were the second couple off the ship at 8:00 AM sharp. In fact we got off so quick; we didn’t have to pose for the normal end of the ramp picture since the photographers were not set up yet.

This is our first trip to the island with the new pier. It was certainly nice to see progress here since the old pier was destroyed by a hurricane a few years ago. If you are going to Philipsburg, it is a three dollar cab ride to town or you can get a five dollar pass on the water taxi that is good all day. We’re heading to Orient Beach, so we just grab the first cab ($15) and hit the road (which by the way are also much improved since our last visit). The weather today is partly sunny and in the mid 80’s. We are on the beach by 8:30 AM and rent two layout chairs and an umbrella at Kontikis (about the midway point of the beach). I walk up to the bar and buy a French press coffee (for me) and a diet coke (make sure you get a cup of ice) for my wife. The coffee takes about ten minutes to make, but well worth the wait if you enjoy good coffee. A couple of items here I should address. First, if you go to this beach, you will see some naked folks walk by and second while the beach is still beautiful, the increase in the water table in this area has taken away much of the beach. The last time we were here (1999) you could walk out around 75 – 100 feet and the water was clear (ok, maybe aqua blue lol) to the knees, now if you walked out that far, it would be over your head. The person working behind the bar said they are not sure what has happened. He said this was normal for November and December time frame, but the beach always came back and they are really concerned about what has happened this year. After a couple hours of sun, we hail a cab for a thirty minute scenic ride to Marigot (French capital). When leaving we notice that Orient Beach has now become it is own village. Several new stores (including a post office) have recently been built and the area is considerable construction of more buildings and houses along the road.

Marigot is one of my favorite cities in the Caribbean. It is a beautiful bustling village that has not been ‘Americanized’ as of yet (actually I doubt it ever will be). If you have ever been to the French Quarters of New Orleans, you can picture what the area looks like (except all those t-shirt stores are missing). It is full of boutiques in old brick buildings that contain many small businesses. This area of Marigot is called Port La Royale and is our destination for the next couple of hours. We head over to La Casa Del Habanos and Carole the manager greets us with a big smile. It is nice to be remembered after not seeing her for so many years! We visit for a while and I catch up on what is new in the local cigar business. It’s now 1:00 PM and many businesses close for lunch. This is a custom in the area and from what we saw; the only places remaining open are restaurants and street vendors selling fresh produce. We hail another cab and head back to Philipsburg – note this is a beautiful drive that should not be missed on any trip to St Maarten. We get back to the ship in time for lunch before the buffet closes. We head out to the pool for music trivia and while we get 29 of 30 correct, yet we still do not win. Then we spend the remaining part of the afternoon in our room getting in a much deserved cat-nap!

This evening we are eating late in the dining room to celebrate our cruise internet friends Birthday. Alexandria invited us to attend and we gladly accepted as we have really enjoyed our time with her and her family. Before dinner we attend a Captains Club get-together in the Horizons lounge – more free drinks! Note – the $35 enrollment fee to join the Captains Club is paid for many times over with events like these. After drinks we relax at Michaels Club with a smoke. While we had a great time during dinner this evening, the food itself was not very good. My wife had fish and her first bite contained many bones and my steak was very tough. After the problems from the prior evening sending something back, we just ate rest of our food and enjoy the great company for the evening. After dinner we take a leisurely stroll around the ship on the promenade deck. Before turning in for the evening, we stop and grab some pizza at the grill to take back to our room. This has been one long great day and the bed feels very good tonight!

Day 6 Celebrity Century Thursday March 13, 2003
I slept in this morning – until 5:45 AM! Today is a sea day, so we are sticking to ship activities. My wife has over done the pool and beaches (in other words, she is lobster red color) and needs to stay out of the sun today. I am back to my normal morning activities. Back of the ship for coffee, then at 8:30 AM over by Tastings for morning cappuccino for an hour. I sign up for the Blackjack Tournament, play some cards in the casino, and then meet my wife for lunch. I start out very well in the tournament by being second on the final seven list. After five I’m still second, then in the next round of qualifiers the dealer busts four hands in a row and four players pass me up. The last round he is still cold and I do not qualify. Oh well, it was fun watching the qualifying rounds and then the finals. My wife spent the afternoon at the Thalassotherapy Pool and sauna. We had the butler bring in a bucket and ice for the champagne we received in St Thomas, so we have some drinks while we get ready for formal dinner this evening. The weather today was in the mid to upper 80’s and mostly sunny.

Note – even though missed them since we were inside all day, today was a great day to be at the pool. Several fun activities were going on that we heard about that evening. While I’m thinking about it, the pool band was Extasea and they a real good job all week. They also played indoors in a couple lounges at night, but the sets were too short (45 minutes) in my opinion.

Tonight is the last formal night and almost everyone is dressed up. We still see some gentleman wearing Hawaiian shirts in the dining room, but the ladies are all dressed to the nines. It was nice sitting down and finding out tablemates had missed us the prior evening. Our food was excellent this evening. My wife and I split a prime rib steak and each of us has lobster. The service in the dining room was excellent all week. Jim and Carol tried talking our waitress into going home with them since they wanted her to meet their single 27 year old son. lol

After dinner we’re back to Michaels Club for a cigar. We did notice something unusual this evening as two men in Hawaiian shirts were not allowed in the room. The manager told them the rules are stated next to the front door and they were to follow them. No matter what anyone thinks of this, the policy is stated in the Century Daily – it does say to ‘maintain formal dress code throughout the evening’. After dinner we went to the Theater to see ‘Las Vegas – Then and Now’. Tonight is the perfect example of how bad the entertainment is on this ship. The show started full of passengers and I would guess only half were still in the Theater when it was done. They performed only one song from ‘Now’, everything else was from ‘Then’. Told my wife that this was the last show I was attending. Thankfully, she agreed and we did not go back.

After the show we strolled around the ship for a while then over to Rendez-Vous Square for Karaoke. Tonight was not that good, so we went over to view the formal Midnight Buffet in the Grand Restaurant. It was pretty impressive, but we were not hungry, so we skipped eating any of it. Afterwards we went back to Karaoke to see if was any better, unfortunately it wasn’t so we left and went back to the room. It was 1:00 AM, so it was time to hit the sack anyway since tomorrow would be our last full day on the ship.

Day 7 Celebrity Century Friday March 14, 2003
I awoke to a beautiful day at 5:30 AM. This will be like a sea day for us even though we are scheduled to arrive in Nassau at 1:00 PM this afternoon. I tried something different today; having breakfast in the dining room when it opens at 7:30 AM. I had a craving for French toast and this was the only place to get it. Service was slow and normally would not do this on a daily basis for the hour it takes. The French toast and rest of breakfast were excellent. One of the ladies who sang last night at Karaoke sat next to me and we had a nice chat. During the conversation she asks if I thought a 9:15 AM flight was too early on Saturday since the ship gets in at 7:00 AM. In the nicest way possible, I explain to her she has little to no chance and then ask how could a travel agent do something like this? She said they TA had told her she had no experience at this, but thought it would ok. Note – never, ever get a flight before noon on disembarkation day. As he would find out on Saturday, we were still on the ship at 9:00 AM.

Today is a lazy day for both of us. We pretty much stick to the room rest of the morning and afternoon. We did participate in the final trivia game this morning and received two Century play dollars that we turned in for a keychain. We have lunch together at the grill and the food was excellent again today. In the afternoon I pack most of my stuff while my wife takes a nap. Think she is getting spoiled as she loves having a suite and finally admits she would love doing this again next year, but for two weeks! I tell her one week suite, two weeks inside room, shockingly she says ok, two weeks inside would be just fine. Guess being married for over twenty years I still learn new things about her every day.

The ship arrived early in Nassau this afternoon (around 12:30 PM). The weather today is partly sunny and in the mid 80’s. We have been here many times and had no desire to see it again. I sat out on the balcony and enjoyed watching the ship pull into port and looking at the beautiful crystal clear / aqua blue water. Our neighbors were out and we spent about an hour talking about the cruise. We ended up giving them two bottles of rum my wife did not want to lug home.

Dinner was pretty good tonight as everyone knows, the last night is just that – realizing this is the last night of someone making your dinner and serving you in great style. Oh well, we still had some great dinner conversations. Jim and Carol booked a cruise with Celebrity in December and we shared our thoughts on a future cruise with everyone. The food was okay tonight, not great, but pretty good. Everyone at the table exchanged email and home addresses and we all said our goodbyes. We give the staff our tipping envelopes and thank them for such great service this week. Compared to our last cruise on the Century, these folks were simply wonderful. After dinner I headed over to Michaels Club for one last cigar (which ended up being 3). My wife went back to the room to pack, almost three hours later she was no where to be seen, so I went back to the room and she was still packing – ughhh! She said she had planned on meeting me, but got stuck in the casino on one of those one-armed bandits and ended up winning twenty-four bucks. After she was done packing, I put our suitcases out in the hallway and we went for a stroll around the ship and back up to the grill for some pizza. We had two straight restful days and even though it was only a little after midnight, it was time to turn in.

Day 8 Celebrity Century Saturday, March 15, 2003
We both get up around 5:30 AM today since we are leaving the ship and ending a great week on this beautiful ship. We have coffee, juice and toast delivered to the room at 6:30 AM and say goodbye to Desmond our butler. It was great seeing him again and if you ever stay in a suite on port side, I am sure he will not disappoint you in his service. We check to make sure have collected all of our belongings (including the safe) and head down to the Century Theater at 7:30 AM for immigration inspection (all US citizens must report). My wife grabs a table around the corner from Tastings (where I have been spending my mornings this week).

Note – Tastings & Photo Gallery are both open and take cash for items purchased.
Julianne orders each of us a cappuccino while I get our carry-on bags from the room. Good timing as when I return the whole area is packed. We sit until the ship is cleared and are off at 9:05 AM. As we walk towards the luggage pile, I am shocked; all three of our bags are together in front! First time in nine cruises that has happened. We find a porter who picks up our bags and are in a taxi on the way to the airport by 9:10 AM. This could not have been any smoother or quicker. We wave good-bye to the ship and some great memories are left behind for the next group of passengers to enjoy.

Overall - Summary
This was a great cruise and overall we gave it a 9 on a 10 scale. It was not perfect by any means – entertainment could have been much better and we had a couple of bad meals (but never went hungry lol).

We look at the entire cruise itself, not just a few items. It’s not really a decision, it’s just a feeling we have – was it fun, and how much did we enjoy it? In this case, the positives were simply amazing. Simply said, the service blew us away every day all week. When the food was ‘on’, it was not simply good, it was excellent. We also look at the ‘fun’ factor – did the staff provide the opportunity to have fun by attending events? This was true every day and almost every night. Our point is, if you attend a couple of shows and do not like the entertainment, is their something else to do onboard the ship? One other item that stood out during the week - age mixture of the passengers was the best we have ever seen. This really helps in activities for both the passengers and the staff.

My wife wants me to add that the water on this ship was excellent. She usually drinks bottled water, but never had to on the entire cruise.

I once read a cruise review that was positive from page one until the end. I would have bet money these folks were having a great time. At the end on the summary page, she said they would not be cruising on this line again because they did not like a person on the entertainment staff (a dancer). I just sat back and rolled my eyes when I see that.

My point to this review is simple – some folks could have taken the same cruise and not enjoyed it, as they are looking for something different than we are. Some people just like to sit back and relax all week – read a book, take in the ocean air. Some people are just the opposite as like to party all week. I looked at my bar bill at the end of the week and I paid for six adult beverages and my wife had about the same. Of course, we had several free drinks and two bottles of champagne. I will just say, we are in the middle somewhere. We like to have fun and relax, really enjoy meeting other people, but also enjoy being by ourselves at times. This cruise gave us the opportunity to do what we enjoy doing every day.

In addition, as cruise veterans, (sorry if I offend folks by saying we are cruise veterans with nine cruises under our belts, but IMHO once you hit five, you should know by then if a cruise is really for you) we tend to be overly negative when comparing a present cruise to the ones in the past. I tend to look at a cruise verse what it would cost at a resort (since that would be about the only alternative).

Something else to consider - the cost for this cruise is much less than six years ago (our room was one category higher this time). We both think Celebrity has done an excellent job offering a value in today’s market with the many cutbacks in the cruise industry.

In summary, we had a great cruise and are looking forward to our next one already. We both are working stiffs – I turned 44 (ughhh – first time I have typed that lol) yesterday (3/23) and my lovely wife is 40. The Century is a beautiful ship and offers us everything we would expect in a cruise vacation. We hope Celebrity maintains the high level of attention to this ship, she is graceful, refined and offers the passengers plenty of space in both the public rooms and in the cabins. When we decide which cruise to take next spring, we will have Celebrity on the top of our list.

Please email us with any questions on this review at

Thanks for taking the time to read it and hope you enjoyed it!

the warmth of the sun,
Jody and Julianne Brown
(seagarsmoker on the internet)

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