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K.Kelly

Age: 40

Occupation:Self Employed

Number of Cruises: n/a

Cruise Line: Celebrity

Ship: Century

Sailing Date: November 13th, 2006

Itinerary: n/a

Just returned from a 5-day/4-night W. Caribbean (Key West and Grand Cayman Island) cruise aboard the refurbished Century. This was our first time sailing w/Celebrity and we selected them for their reputation. They did not disappoint. Overall our experience was wonderful!

Ship Overall: The ship is 10 years old, lovely with its refurbishment, but still shows signs of wear here and there. It never seemed crowded and the lounges were (surprisingly) often empty after the late dinner seating. The lounges are beautiful (the Martini Bar and the Crystal Lounge were our favorites) – but avoid the Rendezvous Lounge if you don’t like smoke. The Hemisphere Lounge and Dance Club on the 12th deck was busy and fun late night. The pool area and its 4 Jacuzzis were always crowded, but chaise lounge turnover was consistent. People used the shallower pool mostly for games, and the deeper pool for cooling off. Pools are not large enough to swim for exercise. The Aqua Spa is nice (albeit overpriced) and their bathrooms are beyond posh. Getting to the Main Restaurant (back of the ship decks 5 & 6) was confusing for everyone even after multiple nights, especially if you were seated on the 5th deck. The elevators do not connect you to the 5th deck restaurant entrance so you have to get off on the 6th deck and walk down – not good for someone with mobility impairments. Many people complained that the noise from the engines made it impossible to have a conversation with table mates in the Main Restaurant.

Stateroom: Our stateroom was in the new Concierge Class (CC) and had a veranda. From what we read on Celebrity's website, we were under the impression that the CC would offer better amenities, service and a few "extras" not found in other stateroom categories. We didn't find this to be the case. There was one Concierge assigned to the entire CC (approx. 176 staterooms) and any request we made of him seemed a bother. Additionally, the afternoon complimentary hors d’oeuvres provided in the CC staterooms are awful - unless you like unidentifiable spreads piped onto circular, very stale bread cutouts. The bed was rounded at the end and not long enough for anyone over 5’ 10” tall. There was plenty of closet space and having the veranda was nice. Being able to order room service 24 hours/day was a nice option and room service was surprisingly fast.>br>
Food: Another reason we selected Celebrity was the reputation for incredible food. The food was very, very good but overall we weren’t wowed with it. We ate dinner in the Main Restaurant (late seating) every evening. The variety was excellent and presentation was lovely. My husband had the veal chop one evening and said it was the best veal he’d ever had. I don’t eat red meat so I appreciated having both regular and vegetarian menus to choose from (the lemon tart with fresh fruit on the vegetarian menu was the best dessert I had all week). Casual dining opportunities abound and every afternoon there was a long line for the burger and pizza stations. Note: if you get back from shore any day after 3 pm expecting lunch, you’re not going to find it! They start closing the windows at 3 pm and by 3:30 all that’s left are bits of salad, fruit and maybe a few pieces of cheese.

Entertainment: The staff productions in the Celebrity Theater were pretty routine. We had 2 different comedians during our cruise – the first one was good and the second only ok. A string quartet of staff played each evening in the Main Restaurant and was a nice touch. Karaoke was a big attraction and a lot of fun. I didn’t utilize the Fortune’s Casino but my husband said “it was an overall pleasant experience despite the fact that I lost money”.

Service: outstanding 5++. The staff were incredible; so nice, so accommodating, so sincere. Our room attendant, waiter, assistant waiter and sommelier couldn’t have possibly been more top notch and couldn’t do enough for us. Our Assistant Maitre d’ in the Main Restaurant was rather useless but still had to be tipped any way. Just remember that the 15% gratuity is already included in any purchase you make (10% for the Aqua Spa) so it is your decision to tip additional to that. Please remember that staff earn $50 US per month and often work 12 to 16 hour shifts 6 days/week. They are dependent on gratuities to make a living and support their families, and they deserve them. Note: do not sign up for the pilot luggage valet program – staff didn’t even know what it was, it did not work as stated, and actually caused additional problems.

Other Guests: we selected Celebrity because it doesn’t attract families with small children like other lines. There were only 40 children on our cruise and it was wonderful. We met some great people and liked the mix - couples (hetero and same sex), singles, older, younger and in-between, different races and cultures. We were shocked at how so many people ignored the dress code – worse even on formal night – and thought it was very rude. It really detracted from the overall dining experience and cruise ambience to see people in jeans, women in casual tank tops, etc.

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