Just off the Mercury this morning. In most respects it was a very good cruise. This was our first Panama Canal transit, and it was a wonderful experience. The 14 day cruise gegin in Fort Lauderdale and terminated in our home port, San Diego. Ports were Cartagena, Columbia; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; and Huatalco, Acapulco, and Cabo San Lucas in Mexico. The port we especially enjoyed was Huatalco, MX which has to be the most beautiful port city with the most beautiful beaches and bays in Mexico.
As far as the Mercury, we found it in good condition for the most part. The bed was the most comfortable I have had on a cruise, and the new linens are very comfy and appealing. I did not like the pillows, but received two down ones as soon as I requested them.
The service on the ship was excellent. We had the best waiter, assistant waiter, and stateroom attendant of any of our 10 cruises.
Dinners were good to very good, with the only one I would qualify as excellent being the lobster night. I found all the hot soups disappointing; however desserts were excellent. The pastries in the cova cafe are as yummy as ever. The buffet ice cream quality and assortment of flavors has deteriorated since our first Mercury cruise three or four years ago. Breakfasts were good, but lunches were way below par, both in the buffet and the main dining room. I have never seen such poor and limited selections as those in both the main dining room and buffet.
Still have loads of laundry and unpacking to do, so I am going to make this short. I would be glad to answer specific questions.
Lisa, the quality of the entertainment was, for the most part, disappointing, both in the main showroom and in the various lounges. As far as production shows, the one the first night was excellent, but none of the others were, in my opinion, worth seeing. There were also two excellent headliners in the main showroom, but those three nights were the only really good ones, again, IMHO.
However, the daily enrichment programs were all excellent. I think I neglected to mention that in my original post.
Fraser, I have not been on NCL, but I have been on Carnival, Princess, and Royal Caribbean as well as Celebrity, and have enjoyed them all. Celebrity has a few extra touches, such as champagne when you board; robes in every stateroom; dispenser in the bathroom with cotton balls and Q-tips, as well as the usual lotion; canvas tote bag for every stateroom; umbrellas in the closet to use if needed during the cruise.
On long cruises, I have found both Princess and Celebrity have excellent enrichment programs. The one Carnival cruise we took, an eight day on Spirit from San Diego, had excellent food, but was lacking in activities such as trivia which I enjoy, or enrichment lectures. The Royal Caribbean ships we took were older ones, and I suspect things are better on the new ones. The cabins were smaller, and the food was slightly lower quality, again, in my opinion, and I definitely noted the absence of lobster tail and baked alaska. However, service was excellent.
Thank you for your reply. Celebrity sounds like a really good cruise line. I hope to take a Celebrity cruise some day.
On my last cruise, I was a little disappointed due to the lack of nice extras in the cabin, like I had with Carnival (and you had even more so with Celebrity). Those small touches can make a big difference with ones opinion of the cruise overall.