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Corey Rongers

Age: 21 to 35

Occupation:n/a

Number of Cruises: 2nd

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Ship: Century

Sailing Date: June 13, 1998

Itinerary: Western Caribbean (Ft. Lauderdale, Ocho Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Key West,

Corey Rongers

Age: 21 to 35
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This was my second cruise and I took it with my mother. She had been on board this ship once before, sailing the same itinerary. My first cruise, aboard Century's sister, the Horizon, was very wonderful. It left me with the insatiable desire to cruise again...and with Celebrity. Going into this cruise, I expected outstanding cuisine all week and of course was swept off of my feet once again. The itinerary was very enjoyable as well. Beginning in Fort Lauderdale was lovely. When we flew over Port Everglades (Century's launching point), we could actually see the massively beautiful ship from our airplane window! The excitement was intensifying in my veins. Anyway, once we were onboard, we had to see the public rooms: all were immaculately maintained. My mother, who had sailed on her two years before, was fascinated by how well kept the ship had been. She did mention that some of the brass looked aged, but other than that, she still found herself admiring the beautiful, award-winning two story Grand Restaurant. What a sight this was!

The cuisine truly matched up to the decor of the dining room it was being served in. Our second day was at sea, and I was amazed at how roomy the pool deck was, even though we were AT SEA! There were plenty of activities to keep one busy too. Whether it was just sitting by the pool to catch some rays of the inviting Caribbean sun, participating in a "Name that TV show tune" game, having an enjoyable walk on deck, or by rolling your lucky dice down in the casino, this cruise experience truly had and surely still has something for everyone. The staff and crew were never intrusive. They were very attentive and efficient, yet they also understood and respected our need for privacy. The next day, we docked in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. My mother had been there before and suggested that we stay on board, because the city was "dirty" and there were many people trying to sell her and my father things they didn't want. Instead, my mother and I had the pool area virtually to ourselves.

The next day, we tendered off to Grand Cayman. My mother did not enjoy it the first time she had been there, but this time, she really did. We both did. The shopping village was right there, just a hop and skip away from the ship itself, and the prices were fairly reasonable. I found the people there to be very friendly and welcoming, and my mother and I absolutely loved Seven-Mile Beach. It is beautiful there. We spent our time there, instead of shopping all day. The next port, Cozumel, was o.k. for me. To be honest, I felt a bit uncomfortable, because a lot of the store owners kept cornering me in the store and staring me down, insisting that I buy their overpriced merchandise. I tried to talk their prices down but they wouldn't budge. And from what I had heard, Cozumel was supposed to be the most affordable shopping port in our itinerary. Well, luckily for my mother and me, we found a nice shop just before we were about to give up and get back on the ship. I cannot remember the name of the shop, but the prices were VERY agreeable to what I was willing to spend, and this place sold the SAME stuff as the other stores! For what I would have paid for one silver bracelet, I got a blanket, and TWO bracelets.

Overall, I was not too impressed with Cozumel, and I was so uncomfortable from shopping in that first string of shops near the ships that when my mother asked me if I wanted to go into town, I said, "Let's just go back to the ship." From one of my mother's and my newfound friends on that cruise, we heard that prior to our day in Cozumel, some people hijacked a tour bus full of people at knife-point and forced everyone to give up their money and other valuables. This gravely upset me, so therefore, we went back to the ship.

Key West, our final stop before we had to re-enter reality, was my favorite. I found it to be such a clean, charming and safe place to be. The weather was exceptionally beautiful and I wasn't sweating like a hog there (like I had in Cozumel.) We did a lot of shopping there and found great bargains...all over the place! We visited the Key West Aquarium and the Maritime Museum, and I really enjoyed myself in the process.

Overall, the ship's magnificent public rooms, outstanding cuisine, and warmly efficient staff added together to make another memorable Celebrity Cruise experience for my mother and me. We are reluctant to try any other cruise line, because we have been so satisfied with Celebrity Cruises that we're afraid any other line would not live up to our cruising expectations. After all, Celebrity Cruises definitely exceeds your expectations.

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