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Ray Mesaris

Age: 66

Occupation:Retired

Number of Cruises: 12

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Ship: Zenith

Sailing Date: September 8th, 2001

Itinerary: Bermuda

A rebuttal to a review that I read written recently about his Celebrity cruise to Bermuda taken last year. In his review he knocks just about everything about the Zenith and the Celebrity Cruise Line. It appears to me that he is a chronic complainer who wouldn’t be happy if he were given a free cruise with a thousand bucks in spending money thrown in.

I have been cruising for many years. I love Bermuda and cruise there as often as I can, always on Celebrity. The reviewer cruised on the Zenith on September 1st last year, and I cruised on September 8th, also on the Zenith. I did not have any of the problems that he encountered even though our cruise was marred by the unfortunate events of 9/11. I traveled with a small group of friends and we all had a fantastic time. We enjoyed so much that we are returning again this year. I don’t know what Celebrity did between cruises on September 8th, but after reading Mike’s review, it appears that we sailed on two different ships. Here are my replies to his complaints, by the numbers:

1. He complains about the boarding procedure, disorganized, he says. Well, we arrived at about 1 PM and even though there were hundreds of people ahead of us in line, we were in our room at about 1:30 PM and up on deck 11 by 2 PM. I did not notice any “disorganization” only slight inconvenience which is expected when that many people are serviced at the same time. Actually, I thought things went fairly well.

2. The lifeboat drill, ah, the lifeboat drill. Again, a minor inconvenience required by maritime law. It doesn’t take much brainpower to realize that your actual muster station may have to change due to several circumstances - the severity of the emergency, the speed with which action is necessary, your location on the ship at the time of occurrence, the location of the emergency, etc. Come on Mike, bend a little on this one. I do not enjoy these drills, in fact I hate them, but I realize that they are a necessary evil and make the best of it. I have to tell you that the lifeboat drill is the worst thing that I encountered on any cruise.

3. As to his complaint about the condition of the bathroom, I cannot comment as I was not there to observe, but I can say that I had no problem at all, and my stateroom attendants were great.

4. The entertainment on our cruises was always excellent. I do not know what Mike means by the orchestra’s sins being common. I am not a music critic. I just enjoyed, sins and all. Loud, yes. But that’s what happens when you have a live orchestra. Sit a little farther away, Mike.

5. Mike even attacks the Celebrity Dancers. Jeez, Mike, does anything make you happy? We all enjoyed the shows and made it a habit to meet together each night to enjoy.

6. About the Cruise Director. Mike, his job is to make everybody happy, even complainers like you. How would it be if his attitude was “Gloom and Doom”? Bingo? Why in Gods name would anyone on a cruise want to play bingo when there are so many other things going on. Save the bingo for your local church hall. Wake up and smell the coffee, Mike. And mark your feedback form as you see it. That’s what I do.

7. The Wait Staff. I have never encountered the problems that you mention. As far as I have seen, coffee service is not regularly provided, either in the Windsurfer Café or on the aft deck. Occasionally someone will walk around with a coffee pot, but this service is not expected. You get your own, or you do without. It’s sort of, serve yourself, Mike.

8. Smoking. I am not a smoker, but I do not become paranoid when someone smokes in my presence. In fact, I don’t even care which side of the ship I am on. I go where the action is, smoking or no-smoking.

Children - I agree, parents should control their children better than they do. But, like the lifeboat drill, they are a necessary evil, no not evil, a nuisance. Celebrity does have rules in place. It’s up to the parents to abide by them. Remember, Mike, if your parents decided not to have children, where would you be?

Mike, I think you should either lighten up and enjoy your cruises (remember, you paid big bucks, don‘t count on bingo to bail you out), or quit cruising altogether. After reading your review I wonder if there was anything on that cruise that pleased you? What do you do for fun, Mike?

I can honestly say that every one of my eight cruises with Celebrity have been great. I can’ complain about anything. I have cruised on other cruise lines, and quite frankly, they don’t match up to Celebrity in my opinion.

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