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Alice Perry

Age: 28

Occupation:Events producer

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Ship: Century

Sailing Date: October 18th, 2003

Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean

There’s something wrong here… My waiter is nowhere to be found. This morning I had to make my own breakfast and the table had not been laid. What’s more, last night there was no chocolate and “Goodnight” card on my pillow. Come to think of it, my bed hadn’t been turned down either.

OK, you guessed it, maybe this has something to do with the fact that I am no longer on the wonderful M.V. Century. Coming back down to earth has been hard – very hard. Where do I start?

Century is a beautiful ship: bright and airy and kept spotless by an army of cleaners. The size was just right for me too. Big enough that you never felt trapped, but small enough that you got to know people, both passengers and crew.

Embarkation seemed very smooth to me. We went into the hall, filled out some forms and were helped by a very helpful French staff member (we both speak French, living in Belgium). Once we had handed in our passports, we walked straight onto the ship, picked up a glass of champagne and went straight to our cabin. We were early but it was ready.

Our cabin was bigger that I expected and although it was an inside cabin, I never felt claustrophobic in it. Our attendant and his assistant made sure our cabin was always spotless, our towels always fresh, our beds turned down every night, but we only ever saw them in our cabin once. The rest of the time it all happened as if by magic.

The food was of a high standard. Having French chefs is a good idea. The food not only tasted great, it also looked great. The gala buffet was really spectacular and I’m glad I stayed up for it even though by then I couldn’t eat any more.

The restaurant is manned by a remarkably efficient team. They seem to work all day and all night. The service is excellent. When the cruise director asked people at the show one night, who thought they had the best waiter on the ship, everyone clapped and cheered and got to their feet. Our waiter, Vasile, is probably the single crew member on board who made the biggest contribution to making our trip extra special. He took great care of everyone at our table and learnt everyone’s likes and dislikes really quickly. If he saw us at breakfast or lunch, he would always make sure we were seated at one of his tables. He was not only extremely efficient, but extremely friendly and he made us feel special. It’s a shame we couldn’t bring him home!

The band, Xtasea is an amazing band. They have a massive repertoire. Sailing out of San Juan in the middle of the night with Xtasea playing made for one great party! My only complaints are that we didn’t see enough of them, and that there isn’t a CD of their music for sale!

The stage in the theatre was smaller than I expected it to be but the entertainment staff did a great job nevertheless. The musical shows were the best, the others I found a bit long. The cruise director was fun and made himself available to chat with guests. The curtain and various items of scenery were in poor repair though, and this did stand out.

Nice touches for me were the cruise card which is used for payment, identification and as your key (makes life easier), the welcome aboard drink, linen cloths on trays in the Islands Café and waiters to carry them to your table, the call to warn you that breakfast is on its way to your cabin, gourmet bites late at night, the blinds being raised during dinner to reveal a beautiful sunset (we all stopped eating the first night) and the cold towels which are handed out round the pool and as you get back to the ship.

My first experience of cruising certainly won’t be my last. In fact, I am looking into booking myself back onto Century for the Western Caribbean week.

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