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Mark Schwartz

Age: 53

Occupation:Retired

Number of Cruises: 8

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Ship: Galaxy

Sailing Date: August 19th, 2002

Itinerary: n/a

Mark Schwartz

The Galaxy is the 2nd Celebrity ship we have cruised on. The 1st was the Century. The Century was first class all the way. For boarding and landing they really have their act together. We didn't wait more than 20 minutes either time. There were 3 other couples besides my wife and myself and there wasn't one complaint between us. My wife and I had the penthouse suite and the butler, Rueben, was a wonder. Our waiter, Robert, was fantastic. The assistant maitre d’ was Vlado and he was also great. Probably the most memorable member of the crew was our wine steward Fernando. He was everyone’s favorite. When we get together we still talk about him fondly.

On the 19 of August we sailed on the Galaxy. There were 18 of us and based on our experience on the Century we were expecting the great voyage. While the Century has it's act together the Galaxy hasn't a clue. We waited about 3 hours to board. They set up a stand for us to get hotdogs and hamburgers while we waited in the heat. They only charged $2.00 apiece. We all thought that this was a rather poor way to start off. This time instead of taking the penthouse suite we stayed in the Royal suite. The rooms were very nice and roomy. Just enough storage space. There were 3 phone extensions in the rooms. Unfortunately only one worked at a time. An ongoing problem that the ship had was that there was no cold water to the rooms. When I asked about this I was told it was because the heat warmed the pipes and therefore the water came up hot. My first reaction to this was that I'm glad I wasn't sailing this ship to Alaska and expecting a hot shower. My second reaction was how poor a reason that was. After all the ship sails the Bahamas. How can they use the heat as an excuse for not providing a basic necessity.

There were numerous complaints from passengers about the fact that they couldn't get ice water or iced tea except when the buffet was open. While on the Century the attitude of the entire crew was to make the cruise as carefree and as comfortable as possible for the passengers it wasn't so on the Galaxy. We waited on line for over an hour and a half to be checked out by immigration. That was after being instructed to be there at 8am. It was the same for customs. They said that they only called down about 20 people every 15 minutes but just the size of the line made that untrue.

The food in the main dining room was very good. Not excellent as on the Century but very good nonetheless. Our waiter, Yosef, was great with the kids. He was very patient and amused them with magic tricks. The alternate dining was very bad. The food was not only not good it was plain bad. We went to the main dining room breakfast once. My brother ordered a lox eggs and onions. After waiting almost a half hour the waiter brought lox and bagle. When my brother told him he wanted lox eggs and onions the waiter informed him that if that’s what he wanted he should have ordered it in the first place.

The high point of the cruise was when we were walking into the dining room on the first night. The first staff member we saw was Vlado our maitre d’ from the Century. After shaking hands and hugging all around we proceeded on to our table only to hear a familiar voice yell “chello”. It was Fernando also from the Century. I wanted to keep him but my wife wouldn't let me.

All in all the cruise experience on the Galaxy was very nice. A bad cruise is still an excellent vacation and it was far from a bad cruise. It definitely wasn't what I'd expect from a high end cruise line on an 11 night cruise. Since we've sailed twice on Celebrity and one was excellent and one was just ok I think that next time we'll choose another line. If a cruise line wants customers to re sail with them they have to give them a reason. I just didn't see it this last cruise.

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