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Karen Ford

Age: 45

Occupation:Self Employed

Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Ship: Century

Sailing Date: October 11th, 2003

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

We had booked the cruise 3 months in advance because of the deal we had gotten online through Expedia. Our cruise included air arrangements. We arrived in Ft Lauderdale the afternoon of the cruise by about 2:00. We flew from Nashville, TN to Atlanta then to Ft Lauderdale. We had a little problem with the plane in Atlanta and had to hurry and get another one but that was all worked out by the airlines. We arrived at FLL where we found the Celebrity people quite easily. They were holding up signs or clip boards at the baggage claim area. I think all cruise lines were represented that day but it was no problem finding ours. Once we picked up our bags we played follow the leader out of the airport and out to buses that would take us to the pier. Once loaded on the bus we were only a short 10-15 minute drive to the pier. Our package included transportation to and from the pier. If you need to purchase it a taxi is $10.00 for 2 and the shuttle is $11.00 per person. Once at the pier, I had preregistered on line but I did not print off the paper stating I did so, so I had to take the time to register again. Once registered we were on the ship within minutes.

Once on board we were greeted with a smile and a drink if you liked. There we had our picture taken for the ID card which was given to us at registration. Then we were off to our room.

The Ship
The ship was very nice and clean. We had a ocean view cabin on the 9th floor, which I liked real well. A lot of storage space and a large shower. Since reading past reviews I brought a power strip, hair dryer and iron and was very glad I did. Lydia was our cabin attendant and she did a great job, I often wondered when she slept, everything was so well taken care of. I loved having robes in the room and the beach towels came in handy also.

One of my favorite places to have breakfast or lunch was at the very back of the ship. There is a covered area back there with tables and chairs and I just loved sitting out there and drinking my coffee or having lunch. We did find that it was hard to find a lounge chair around the pool and the upper deck, we just went to the very top and had no problem finding a lounge chair plus it was not crowded and very peaceful.

Food
I enjoyed the food very much, probably to much. We seemed to make it for just about every meal. We had the early seating for dinner and that was great. Our waiter was Dorin and his assistant was Martin. They were great, giving us a lot of attention and even doing a few little tricks at our table. The variety was very good which included veal, chicken, prime rib, lobster, scallops and shrimp, Wow. There was a time when someone at our table said oh I can't decide between two entree's and then did make a choice for dinner. Our waiter brought both entree's out for her and we all ended up tasting it. That was nice. My husband usually got fish and a meat at dinner and that was fine. The ice cream is out of this world, we ordered it with everything. Who would ever think cheese cake and ice cream go together. The only complaint I did have regarding the food is that there was a time or two when I just wanted something besides a complete full course meal for dinner. Hot dogs and hamburgers were available till 6:00 pm. Pizza and pasta was available after that. But I would have like more choices.

Entertainment
We went to 4 shows while on board. My favorite one was the best of Broadway. The rest were just ok. But there is always plenty to do, we don't gamble or drink but we were able to buy the limitless soft drink sticker for our ship card and that worked out great. Next cruise I think I will try to bring canned soft drinks if I am able. Or bring crystal light or instant tea and a large plastic cup. We went to karaoke, that was wild, I will never forget Howard. We also took a flower arranging class, a table setting class and a napkin folding class, they were informative and a lot of fun.

Ocho Rios
I booked a tour through Peat Taylor and I was completely satisfied. He will take you everywhere. Plus anywhere else you would like to go. On our tour there were some people who didn't bring money for shopping so they dropped the shoppers off and took the other people back to the ship to pick up some money. Our favorite saying after the trip is no problem mon. We ate at the Ruins for lunch and was very happy with the place which was beautiful and had great local food. We bought coffee and that was it as far as shopping goes.

Grand Cayman
I booked a trip with Captain Bryan. It was ok, we had 25 on board and several were children, the Disney ship was in port. The stingrays are a experience I will never forget. The crew tape your outing with the stingrays and snorkeling, which you can purchase and the tape will be sent to you. We did that, not sure how the tape will be, it will take 2-3 weeks to arrive. It seemed like we could have spent more time snorkeling but some fellas from another cruise ship had to be back for an early departure.

Cozumel
This was our favorite port. We swam with the dolphins at Chankanaab National Marine Park. It was ok. The park is beautiful and there is all kinds of things to do. There is a beach, snorkeling, a restaurant, seal shows, and beautiful gardens. I would go again. Someone I talked to on the cruise booked just off the ship and they were able to be at the park and swim with the dolphins for a lot less money. Worth checking into. Our tour did not include swimming with the dolphins just touching them. We ate at a down town Mexican restaurant that was very good. We sat on the side that was all open to the outside which I thought was nice, until we were asked to buy necklaces and bracelets. Then a guitar fella wanted to play us a song. Then a stray dog came into visit us. It was never a dull moment. But you also knew you were far from home.

Key West
I loved Key West my only complaint is that we didn't have near enough time to scratch the surface here. We took the Trolley tour but booked it ourselves in town. Wow it was great. We also went to the Aquarium, Shipwreck Historian and the Audubon House. Each tour was more than I expected and we were quite pleased. Plenty to see and do but we were limited on time. At the Diamonds International they had a better price on loose tanzanite stones than any other place.

One final thing about the ports and shopping. My mom purchased the VIP Passport book for $20.00 on the ship. There are some free things in there the best being the Del Sol bag in Grand Cayman. There were free sapphires but they looked like little pieces of coal. I did get them anyway. If you think you want to buy the book look it over first.

All in all I enjoyed the cruise and would sail again with Celebrity cruise lines.

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