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Shelley Holtmann

Age: 16


Number of Cruises: 7

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Ship: Galaxy

Sailing Date: August 1st, 2003

Itinerary: Key West, Cozumel, Belize, CocoCay, Nassau

If you are looking for a cruise that is sophisticated and fun at the same time, choose the Celebrity Galaxy for your next cruise. The Galaxy may not be one of those thousand-foot bright white glittering wonders on the outside, but the inside is a gift ready to be unveiled.


For our 10-day Caribbean Cruise aboard the Galaxy, we sailed from Baltimore, Maryland, just 20 minutes from the house, which was extremely convenient compared to the long journey to Florida. The Port of Baltimore may be a new port to leave from, but their system ran like clockwork. When you pull up to the port, there is a beautiful ship to your left and a parking lot to your right.

When you pull up to park, you drop your luggage off at a storage bin of some sort that were of a good size so that the luggage of many families could fit, where port aids assisted you by packing your luggage into one of these bins. Tips were appreciated and were appropriate because of the heat that they had to undergo the day of August first. After dropping off your luggage, more port aids that showed you where to park.

After parking, shuttle buses were nearby, waiting to bring the happy new cruisers to the terminal where you boarded the vessel. After waiting for everyone to get aboard the bus, the shuttle brought us over to the terminal, which was only about a five-minute ride.

Once you were at the terminal, port officials boarded the bus and told you to take out your spiral notebooks that held all of the boarding information and your identification so that when you got ready to board, there would not be a shuffling whirlwind of papers.

Once off of the shuttle bus, you walked into the terminal with your carry-on belongings, spiral notebooks, and identification in hand. Because my family is part of the Captain’s Club, check-in was a breeze. The attendants check your identification and papers and you were automatically at the desk with an attendant ready to check you in. Check in was only about ten minutes at the most. If you are not in the Captain’s Club (a program meant for previous Celebrity Cruisers) you were to receive a number and wait for your number to be called for you to walk up to the check-in.

As soon as check-in was over with, it was time to board the Celebrity Galaxy! As you walked up the gangway, you could already smell the infamous “cruise ship smell,” which is usually the smell of fresh cleaned wood and carpets with a little hint of fruity freshness on the side. You are greeted with several cruise staff to point you in the direction of your cabin and also a glass of either champagne or orange juice for the younger cruisers. Then you are off on your own.

I found our cabin on the Galaxy to be very spacious for a cruise ship stateroom. It was just enough space for two teenagers to toss their things around in! My younger sister and I had our own cabin that was conveniently connected to our parents room that could be easily unlocked by the cabin steward if asked to do so. Both rooms were ocean-view. One thing that was very convenient was that in our room, we had a couch that pulled out into a bed. Because our neighbors and ourselves were on the same cruise, our friend slept in our room with us a couple of times and the pull-out bed was a very nice thing to have.


The Galaxy was in amazing condition. Every new day, the ship was absolutely spotless. Even the bottoms of the railings had not a fingerprint on them. Also I noticed that the tread on the edge of each of the stairs was scrubbed with a brush daily, which was interesting. Also, the dance floors were scrubbed every night, which they probably do on any other ship, but I only just noticed it this time.

Public Areas:

As mentioned before, all rooms were spotless. Aboard the Galaxy, there were many public areas for your sitting pleasure, which was very convenient around the dinner hour where you could meet with friends and have a cocktail drink, or a soda for us kids. Kids under the age of 18 were also not allowed to sit at the bar after they received their drink, which was nice for the adults, I’m sure.

Also, new aboard Celebrity vessels, both during midday at the pool and before you come back on board at an island, cold towels were given out so put on your face or the back of your neck, which felt great in the midst of the August heat. “Sorbet on Parade” was another amazing touch. Every sea day at 2:30 on the pool deck, the waiters and waitresses paraded around with trays of sorbet to give to all of the passengers. After being out in the hot sun, it was nice to be served with sorbet! Isn’t it great to get pampered like that?

I, myself, did not attend any of the shows at night. My parents both agreed that the shows were not the best that they have seen on a cruise ship, but the ship in general makes up for it anyway.

Throughout the day, there were not very many things to do, or at least you didn’t know about them. Not many announcements were made during the day, except for the captain’s daily blurb about the wind velocity, nautical miles, the ship’s speed, and other such things.

One game that is new to cruise ships is “Whose Line is it Anyway,” an improv show on ABC. The crew played the game show in the Rendezvous lounge, which was extremely entertaining. The entertainment staff on the Galaxy was very good and lots of fun to be with. The cruise director, David Cole, was truly amazing as well. I didn’t get to know him too well, but whenever a group of kids were around, he would always stop by and tell us a joke or two. He was also at almost every activity during the day and night. He also sang at the parties late at night on the pool deck.

Teen Program:
The teen program was so amazing! There were not a lot of things to do during the day, but when teens found another group of teens, they would all hang out together and everybody would bond so well. The first night, there was an orientation where we found a whole bunch of teens and you played a version of musical chairs, where when the music was playing, you talked to the person standing in front of you and when the music stopped, you switched to another person. It was a great way to meet people. Plus, the teen staff—JoJo, Lacia, and Shannon were so much fun to be with.

Every night on the cruise, port or at sea, there would be a teen disco party, where we would all dance the night away, starting at 12:00 midnight and ending around 1:15 or 1:30 in the morning. Because it was late at night, it seemed like a long time that you got to dance. People could also choose from a playbook and make requests as to what type of music or a song was played. Mostly hip-hop was chosen, but some rock and slow dances were chosen too.
Thanks to the teen disco, I met my boyfriend!!

Dining Room and Food:
The Orion Restaurant was a wonder. We sat on the bottom floor of the restaurant and had an amazing waiter named Pawel from Poland that was one of the most sophisticated waiters that I have ever had. He was so friendly and was willing to make any suggestions as to your decision at dinner. It was truly a pleasure to sit at his table.

The food was pretty much the usual – steak, chicken, lobster, and amazing desserts. One dessert that amazed me was the Chocolate Mousse Cappuccino. It was so delicious. I’ve never had any like that.

Over all, I give the Celebrity Galaxy a 9 out of 10. Entertainment could have stepped up a notch, but as for everything else, it was a wonder. I would definitely cruise on the Galaxy again.

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