Number of Cruises: 13
Cruise Line: Celebrity
Sailing Date: January 2nd, 2005
Itinerary: Western Caribbean
Jacksonville to Jacksonville, Florida.
Arrived in Jacksonville on the day of our departure, January 2nd. We had purchased the complete package from Celebrity, air/transfer/cruise. The embarkation went smoothly.
The Zenith was built in 1992 and is not as luxurious as a lot of cruise ships we’ve been on, but it is very comfortable. We had an oceanview room on deck 5.
We chose this cruise because it was 14 days, had 6 days at sea and offered a variety of ports of call that we were interested in seeing.
Information on tours we took:
Cozumel, Mexico – we decided to go on the Jeep Safari. Since we had been in Cozumel last January we wanted to see a side of the island that we had not seen. We had a lot of fun. It is rough going, a lot of bumps but our guide was great. We drove across the island, stopped at a great deserted beach with only us and a few locals that prepared us a BBQ lunch. Highly recommended.
Roatan, Honduras – We had not booked a tour with the ship. We decided to view the island with all of our table mates. We got a van driver and a guide, at the pier, who toured us around the island. We loved it because we basically built our own itinerary. Had a great lobster lunch at Bertie’s Creole Cuisine on the West End and enjoyed some swimming and some of our group snorkeled. We also visited the East End and went for a little cruise in the mangroves. Overall a great day for $20. per person. We had a guide that really wanted to show us her island and really cared about pleasing us.
Puerto Limon, Costa Rica – We booked the Rain Forest Aerial Tramway. It rained that day, but it rained more in Puerto Limon than in the Rain Forest. It took our motor coach an hour and half to get there. We then went on a tram ride on the tree canopy. We were a little disappointed that we did not see more animal life. We had a buffet lunch at the site and went back to the ship. We felt that it was expensive for what we saw but something that we always wanted to do.
Colon, Panama – We booked a fishing trip in Gatun Lake. It was the first time that the Zenith offered this tour. We loved it. We were 10 people that signed up for it (this tour was limited to 10). Gatun Lake, with jungle like islands, is very beautiful. We caught a lot of Peacock Bass. The largest was 6 lbs and measured 21”. It is a beautiful and colorful fish. The guide and our boat driver were excellent and very helpful. We gave some positive feedback to our Cruiseship tour director.
George Town, Grand Cayman – We had been in Grand Cayman in January 2004 so we decided to take a tour that we booked on shore. The tour was $15. per person and we visited the Turtle Farm, stopped at Seven Mile beach and then we went to Hell. Our guide was extremely happy that we were there. They have suffered such destruction because of the Hurricane Ivan. It was sad to see but they are rebuilding and appreciate that the cruiseships are back in full force. There were 4 cruisehips the day we were there. We had lunch at Breezes and enjoyed looking out at all the activity.
Key West, Florida – Beautiful day. We had never visited Key West so we took the Trolley tour around the island. It makes 10 stops and you can get on and off for $22.
We got off only at the Hemmingway home, which was an extra $10 when purchased with the Trolley tour ($11. at the site). We enjoyed the tour, our guide was very entertaining and of course the 61 cats that roam around the house are all descendants of the cats that live there with Hemmingway.
There is a portion of the tour which is in the new part of Key West that is like any American city…we enjoyed the Old Key West a lot more, it is easy to walk around. We felt that the Trolley was informative but did not feel that it was worth the money, although it did give us some insight on things that we should see.
Cococay, Bahamas – Celebrity’s own island. When we looked out in the morning, it did not seem very inviting; we were anchored out a bit and need to take the tender in. When we got to the island, we loved it. It is beautiful, colorful and full of beach amenities. We had a great BBQ lunch and our waiters from the ship came ashore to serve us drinks.
Entertainment on board:
We had the pleasure of being table mates with one of the “enrichment series” lecturer, Professor John Johnson who is a Theatrical Music expert. We enjoyed all of his 6 lectures as did hundreds of people; it was always very well attended and was the talk of the ship. We also had the pleasure of hearing the Hollywood legend pianist, Pearl Kaufman – a most charming lady with a lot of talent. We also enjoyed Ralph Heid and his Xylophone and David Reid, the comedian.
Food & Service:
One word…Outstanding. We had a wide variety of excellent food, great waiters and great dinner companions which made the experience even better. The service throughout the ship was really great, from the stateroom attendant, to the group that organized the tours. Everyone we spoke to said that the service was excellent.
Overall we were pleased with the cruise. The weather was beautiful. We only had two days of rain out of 14. The sea was rough on those two days. We were very pleased with the food, the service and the entertainment on the Zenith. We will post our pictures on our website http://community.webshots.com/user/louisehuot if you are interested.