Number of Cruises: 4
Cruise Line: Celebrity
Sailing Date: December 16th, 2001
Itinerary: Eastern Caribbean
My husband, myself and our son aged 6 thoroughly enjoyed this cruise. It was my 4th and my husband's 3rd . Our second this year with Celebrity Lines.
The Ship: The Beautiful, immaculate and gigantic. To get from one end of the ship to the other was the equivalent of walking 3 football fields.
The Cabin (9162 Sky Deck): Category 1A with a large veranda. Much larger than the others in the same category as it was situated aft. Plenty of storage for 3. Just one complaint, when the sofa-bed was open it was almost impossible to get to the balcony without standing on the bed to get to the door. Apart from that we had no complaints with the cabin.
Cabin Service: Excellent.
Food: Mediocre (Ocean Café) to excellent (Dinner)
Breakfast in Our Cabin: We had the continental breakfast on a couple of occasions and it was delivered promptly at the specified time.
Ocean Grill buffet breakfast and lunch: While the food was well presented and replenished often, unfortunately, it fell short taste-wise. Hundreds of passengers decided to have breakfast and lunch here. Needless to say, the lines were very long and moved at a snails pace. Very off-putting. It seemed that waiting for a tray to be prepared was one of the things that held everything up and this could have been easily avoided. Another was the number of stations. At certain times during the buffet hours, the staff decide to close down one or two of the stations, leaving only two stations open to accommodate hundreds of passengers. This didn't make any sense. Many people complained but nothing was done.
Spa Lunch: Very good, limited selection but very tasty!
Restaurant Service at Dinner: Food and presentation many nights were on a par with some of the best restaurants in New York. Dinner in the dining room was very good to excellent. Our waiter was on the ball and did a terrific job of making sure we were happy. My husband and our other dining companions enjoyed the shrimp cocktail so much on the first night, that he brought 2 shrimp cocktails for everyone at the table each evening! The filet mignon was exceptional, it was like butter! In fact, I ordered the beef dish each evening and wasn't disappointed. Our assistant waiter could have used some extra training in customer relations. His attitude was poor and he had to be reminded several times by the waiter to bring something to the table that people had asked him to bring more than once.
Olympic Dining Room: I read many stellar reviews of how wonderful the food was here. While it was very good it wasn't the best meal we've ever eaten. What did stand out was the service which was impeccable and the intimacy of the restaurant was a welcome change from the large dining room atmosphere. And that's where it stops. The menu is limited but varied. My husband ordered the veal saltimbucca, I had the shrimp dish prepared table side. For dessert we both ordered chocolate soufflé, one was more than enough for 2 people. Had we known that, we would have ordered one to share and chosen something else. Overall, we didn't feel it was worth $25 each. In our opinion the food wasn't spectacular but the service and ambiance was a special treat.
Midnight Buffets: We were too full to eat so we opted not to go.
Theatre: Comfy seats with plenty of leg room, lighted cocktail tables to place your drinks - a lovely touch.
Entertainment: The pianist was very talented. The Broadway type shows were mediocre and the juggler/comedian was just OK.
The Fun Factory: Our son absolutely loved it here and couldn't wait to go each day. The counselors were wonderful, while the activities kept the children occupied and happy. This is a great program for the children (and parents too!)
The Fitness Center: Spacious, great machines, spotlessly clean, no sign-ups for a treadmill, very well maintained, no broken cardio machines. What more could you ask for?
Spa: I had a massage here, it was wonderful. Note: A 24 hour notice is required to cancel an appointment, if you cancel after the deadline you'll be charged 50% of the cost of the treatment.
The Staff: Most everyone was cheerful and extremely courteous.
Ports: We prefer the cruise experience over the ports of call. They're just an added bonus. This was an Eastern Caribbean itinerary.
Minor Comments and possible solutions:
1. Our stateroom had a balcony, but once the sofa bed was open (where our son slept) it was difficult to get to. As a result, we had to do quite a bit of climbing and very careful maneuvering to get to the door and open it. The interior designers should take this into consideration when they configure the room.
2. The lines during breakfast and lunch at the Ocean Grill were ridiculously long. What greatly contributed to the hold-up was the wait for a tray to be prepared. This could have been easily avoided by preparing trays in advance. And keeping all the buffet stations open is another way to alleviate the long lines.
3. They some good movies on TV, however they were always in a language other than English. While I can appreciate that Celebrity caters to an international crowd as well as English speaking passengers, it would have been much appreciated if these movies could be shown in English too. Not that we came on a cruise to watch TV, but while relaxing in our room it would have been nice. Don't bother with the movie theatre, they show 2 films per week and they were both old.
Overall Review: This was a very relaxing vacation and the few minor comments made did not pose a negative effect on our cruise. For the most part everything was good. Personally, we much preferred the size of the ship and quality of food on the Century . If you're looking for a gigantic ship, this one is for you!