Occupation:event management and HR
Number of Cruises: 3
Cruise Line: Celebrity
Sailing Date: n/a
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Cruise Line: Celebrity
Sailing Date: August 9th, 2002
I can sum up this trip in just a few words…Amazing, Wonderful, and I’m looking to book again. I set sail aboard this beautiful ship with a friend, both of us single and in our mid twenties. We are both from the NYC area and took a shuttle bus set up for us and for many others from the area by Celebrity. Everything was flawless!!! Our bus arrived right on schedule, we loaded up the luggage and said goodbye to the parents. The trip by bus only took about 3 hours, although the bus trip was boring the time passed quickly and we were entertained by movies and of course our trusty traveling cd players (which we never leave home without, and of course we downloaded and burned all the essential traveling music the night before our trip). The excitement of the trip came when our driver asked us to look out our right hand window as we could now catch our first glimpse of the Galaxy!!! I need to tell you at this point that this was my friend’s first cruise and my 3rd. My friend then leaned over and said, “It looks kind of small!” I had to reminder her that we were still a few miles away from the ship and to just wait until we got there. We finally arrived at the Baltimore Pier where my friend’s eyes were now bigger then ever…I leaned over and said “Is this ship still too small for you?” She just smiled and laughed…. At this point a Celebrity representative boarded our bus and made an announcement that worried most of us (I had visions of the rest of this trip based on this announcement, but that in no way reflected on the trip) “There is currently a delay in boarding passengers, the Galaxy was delayed 4 hours by a tropical depression and then by immigration in Baltimore” Yikes!! However, I have to say the 4-hour wait in the terminal was not all that bad and it was not Celebrity’s fault. Celebrity did a really great job at getting everyone settled once immigration would allow passengers to embark. Our first night aboard was great…Of course we threw down our luggage and headed straight for the poolside bar where we toasted our freedom for the next 10 days from work, parents and our worries with a nice frozen drink and umbrella from Ozan at the Sky Bar! (Say hello to him if you see him!!). Then we started to tour the boat. Found all the important places two singles girls need to be…the nightclub and the spa. We also meet a few nice people from New York and Baltimore along the way! After our little exploration of the ship we headed to our cabin for a change of cloths and off to dinner and dancing. I always book the late seating it allows for more time in port and more things to do during the day when you’re at sea! Our dinner was fabulous and we had a great wait staff – Victor, Medina and Fransisco did a fabulous job keeping us entertained during dinner. We were seated with a great couple from Baltimore who were on the Honeymoon and our age, and we all quickly became boat buddies. We attended all the singles events but there were no single men on board as passengers who were really in our age group, although everyone was wonderful and we had a great time with the older singles as well.
The Cruise Staff was wonderful throughout the week. Mark, Mike, Charlotte, Paul, Kevin, Jim and Joe (in particular you were the best. We miss you all lots!!!) all made us feel so special. They quickly became our friends and we saw them everyday and hung out with them for a while at the Stratosphere by day two we were on a first name basis with all of them. They also gave us inside tips on where to go in port and some places to see. At one point I was lying out by the pool almost asleep and heard mine and my friend’s name being called over the loudspeaker to help the cruise staff by participating in something. I got such a laugh out of it and so did the people around us at the pool as I embarrassingly got up and headed over to the cruise staff, but as hard as they tried this time my friend just needed a break. The Cruise Staff was amazing! I really can’t say enough about them…they gave us dance lessons, made us participate in all the activities, made sure we knew where we were going and that we attended everything! We got to hang out with them a lot which definitely made our trip. I can also say that I’m a pretty outgoing person and love this stuff so for me it was no big deal…My friend on the other hand probably needed a vacation from the vacation. She does say that it is the best trip she’s ever been on and would only change one thing about it…We’re planning on hopefully going on the 11 night next time and all she wants is a nap at some point!
Our ports of call were pretty amazing as well. We had all our excursions booked before we boarded so that made life a lot easier (highly recommend doing this as things get closed out quickly) and we could avoid the lines at the excursion desk. In Key West we did the Trolley Tour with the aquarium and shipwreck museum. It was a great way to get a quick tour of all the important stuff in Key West. After the tour we did go to the Aquarium but skipped the shipwreck museum to attend to more important things like shopping on Duval Street and heading to Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville and a stop at Sloppy Joe’s as recommended by the crew. We also went to the top of a hotel on Duval Street, the name slips my memory now but it’s easy to find b/c it’s the tallest building in Key West. I would definitely recommend going there you can get some great pictures of the Galaxy from there as well as a few pictures of Key West.
Our second stop was Cozumel, Mexico. This is the one that I was waiting for. We planned on the Dolphin Swim. I have been dying to do this since I was a kid. It was amazing, an experience in itself. And this is where I got my only kiss during the trip! From a dolphin named Titan!!! Oh well, maybe better luck next time! After the dolphin swim, we headed back over to the port and took a cab downtown. We did a lot of shopping and a little bit of sight seeing. We headed over to Carlos and Charlie’s for the final few hours of our stay in Mexico, which came highly suggested by our Assistant Mgr. Victor and our Asst. Cruise Director Mark. We were supposed to meet up with some of the crew from the dining room, but by the time we got there the crew had already headed back to the boat. We must have miscalculated the time they had in port. SORRY WE MISSED YOU!! But we had a great time at the bar anyway.
Our 3rd port was Belize City, Belize. Well, this was probably the port that was disliked by many aboard our ship, although, I had a great time. But I can always find something fun to do or make up my own fun. Belize is a very poor country and new to the Cruise routes. They are working on developing the country so it wasn’t that spectacular. I highly recommend booking an excursion through the ship!! Do not go it alone here. Many passengers that did tours on their own or that were not through the cruise ship did not have good experiences. We headed out early on the Mayan Ruin tour of Altun Ha (through celebrity). It was a great experience. I didn’t want to go at first but I promised my friend if we did the dolphins in Mexico we would do this in Belize. This was her pick. It took us about an hour to get to the Ruins. Our bus took us through some of the highlights of Belize City and then stopped along the beaten path for a bathroom break. I must point out that this is not the greatest of stops and Belize is not the safest of places to be. It was a green shack on the side of the road with a lagoon with crocodiles. All that was missing was the Crocodile Hunter. We were waiting for him to pop out from somewhere. We quickly used the facilities and snapped a picture of the Crocodiles and headed back to the nice Air Conditioned bus were on. Altun Ha was beautiful. They are still working on excavating some of the ruins, which makes it more interesting and educational. They had some archeological teams there working on the ruins. We were able to see everything and even climb up some of them. Although we opted to stay on the lower parts of the ruins when one of the older teens on our tour went to the top of one and saw a huge, black, hairy, legged spider. And when he began running down the steps of the ruins, I figured it a safe bet that if he was scared there was no way I was going up there.
Coco Cay, Bahamas: There’s no better way to feel like a princess then on your own island. This was a great stop. Considering we did so much in the 3 prior ports it was great to have a nice beach day. Celebrity does an amazing job at carting over so much stuff to the island!!! We set up a nice spot right near our Favorite Caribbean band – Legacy (we love you guys) from the boat and right near all the action (the cruise staff, food, bar, sun and beach) we had a great spot. Again we were asked to participate, this time in the “Celebrity Coco Cay Olympics” although we were kind of tricked into it this time under the premise that it was a water balloon toss but it wasn’t until after we signed up that we were told what we were in for. There were about 4 activities to complete. Our team was in first until the flipper/golf ball run! Then we had to do the tug of war and we lost! But we still got a nice prize. A big thanks to Paul (cruise staff) our team captain for keeping us motivated!!! Charlotte thanks for tricking us into it and Mark thanks for keeping me laughing while I did it with all your comments!! Coco Cay was great and actually we got a little nap, after the games were over when we fell asleep on the beach…Oh and Trevor ( the Sous Chef) thanks for the dance while we waited for the food, it was lots of fun!
Nassau, Bahamas: This was a good way to end the ports. It was quiet and a short stay. Seems to be a regular stop on most cruises. We took the Harbor Cruise over to Atlantis. And went to the Aquarium there. Atlantis is a nice place but I wasn’t as impressed with it. The reviews I have read or heard are better then actual place. I actually would rather go on a cruise then spend a week at Atlantis. I didn’t really see what all the hype is there. After the tour we headed over to the straw market and of course spent some more money shopping. Then we headed back to the ship! We needed to be back for Bingo!!! Which was a daily must for me!!!
Ok so I became addicted to Bingo I admit it! I can’t help it! And Mark a.k.a. Mr. Bingo made it fun to keep going. And finally after a week of playing, I finally won!!!!! Mr. Bingo finally called my number!!! It wasn’t the jackpot but it was over a $100.00. It wasn’t enough to cover my Celebrity Cruise Charge Bill but it helped out with a fraction of the cost. Throughout the 10 days we attended everything from art auctions, napkin folding classes, team trivia classes, seminars, singles events, Broadway like shows and even had time for the pool and the sun. So on our last day we woke up with tears in our eyes not wanting to go home. On that last day at sea I racked my brain about how I can stay on board. A couple of nice crew members offered to stow us away in their cabins, but we figured they would just come looking for us anyway when our names didn’t turn up as having exited the boat. So eventually all good things must come to an end! As did this trip. And I was finally forced to board the bus back to New York. Although, we didn’t find love we had a great time trying and met a lot of great and wonderful people, had a lot of laughs and had a wonderful vacation. Thanks to everyone at Celebrity for making this a great trip. Hopefully we’ll see you again next summer!!!