Celebrity LinesZenith ReviewWestern CaribbeanSusan Lakatos
Number of Cruises: 4
Cruise Line: Celebrity
Sailing Date: February 6th, 2006
Itinerary: NOT FOUND
Celebrity Cruise Lines
Zenith Cruise Review
I had been on three cruises prior to boarding the Zenith, and although I enjoyed them all, my time on the Zenith was by far the most memorable. I was traveling with a friend, and both of us enjoyed it so much that we are going back for another cruise in about six weeks.
We appreciated the smaller size of the Zenith because it was easy to find our way around, and there were fewer people than on the larger ships. Everything was geared to the comfort and convenience of the passengers. As an example, we were originally scheduled for late seating dinner, but getting it changed to early seating was a very simple process. We also appreciate the presence of a gym and walking path for those who remain fitness conscious while on board.
We arranged for transfers to and from the ship through our travel agent. However, because the drivers wanted to fill the busses before leaving the airport, it took us a long time to get to the ship. In the future we plan to find our own transportation to and from the ship. Both boarding and disembarking from the ship were easy. Though there was a line for boarding, it moved quickly. Disembarkation was very well organized. The presentations for both port information and disembarkation were very helpful.
We found the service on board to be extraordinary. Our cabin was very well cared for. It was always clean and we always had fresh towels and a full pitcher of water. Service in both the Caravelle Restaurant (dining room) and at the buffets was excellent. After the first night our table was set up for us to match our needs. We always had a bowl of lemon slices for our water, and no wine glasses because none of us drank wine, plus the assistant waiter was very good about making sure we had all the water refills we needed. All of the wait staff we encountered was friendly, helpful, and very service oriented. We found the casino workers very helpful, and willing to instruct us in the different games.
The food was the best I’ve had on shipboard. We were trying to stay health conscious during our cruise and that was easily done. We had the fish entrée every night, and each one was outstanding. We were able to substitute steamed vegetables for potatoes or other starch, which was very helpful. There was also fish available for both breakfast and lunch. The only thing I would have liked to see done differently with the food is to have a selection of fish at breakfast; usually there was just smoked salmon.
We enjoyed most of the entertainment. The Celebrity Singers & Dancers did a wonderful job, although I could have lived without the Broadway show. We did not go to the magic show, and did not find the comedian funny. The Celebrity orchestra was very good. My personal favorite was the Alambre Trio, from the Philippines. Their music is happy and engaging, and they are excellent musicians (I have been listening to their CDs while writing this). We did not care for the party band. There was a good variety of music to suit different tastes. I would have liked to see some entertainment alternatives to the shows. As it is, the choices were the show, the casino, or nothing.
We did not book any shore excursions, and do not plan to in the future, because we prefer independent exploration. We enjoyed walking around Key West, but were disappointed in Grand Cayman because there was nothing there of interest if you were not shopping for diamonds and the like. Also, the day we were in Grand Cayman we had to disembark at a port other than Georgetown and had to take a taxi into Georgetown. This part of the process was very chaotic, and were we to find ourselves at Grand Cayman again, we would opt to stay on the ship for the day.
In all this was the best cruise I’ve been on. On
prior ones none of the important elements – food, service, entertainment - were
memorable. On this one they were all excellent. I had a number of opportunities
to interact with staff, and found them very interesting and enjoyable. We are
looking forward very much to going back on the Zenith.