I just wanted to thank everyone for posting, they really help. I recently returned from a repo cruise on Celebrity Century and would like to share a few things.
We booked this cruise, FLL to Barcelona, 12 days, with another RCCL in Oct. 2006, Venice to Galveston. We used off peak frequent flyer miles so we only had to pay for our US flights. I mention this because this cruise had a lot of previous transatlantic cruisers, many on this specific ship and none had thought to use their miles this way.
We arrived at the pier early, by 11 and the line was not too bad, we sat inside on chairs and have no complaints about the way Celebrity handled the port. We had packed day bags to use the pool etc. so we were all set. Everyone was asked not to go to the staterooms before 1:00 pm as they were still getting ready. A reasonable request. When I did go, around 2 our luggage was already there!
Transatlantic cruises tend not to be at capacity and thus tables are smaller in size. 6 instead of 8 and distributed throughout the dining room. Our waiter was great and really was a good sport. When you depart from the US you go straight to sea days and our cohorts at the tables put him through his paces.
We had an inside cabin, great for sleeping and we decided the savings made sense to us. This is a personal decision. The layout of the cabins gets a big +. The space is well utilized and works for even this long time. We had ample closet space and the shower is bigger then other ships. We also brought a protable DVD player and watched some movies at our leisure through the TV.
Now I would like to address the weather, we are from NE and presumed that the weather out at sea would be cloudy/cold. Boy were we wrong. We had great weather, never below 65 and except for 2 days that started off misty and ended gorgeous we had clear skiies and beautiful temps. Also, the seas were calm, just a roll no white caps! One day the ocean was absolutely flat like a lake, what a surprise. We never needed our turtle fur or gloves. I jogged outside each day and worked up a sweat.
Now, the downsides of this ship, none of the decks go all the way around. This is a definite disadvantage on a long cruise. We also were suprised that Celebrity frequently changed the entertainment to after dinner, even for the late seating even at our days at sea. This wasn't so great. Not everyone wanted to wait until 11:00 pm to start a show. Also, we felt people on Celebrity are too obsessed with the food. It was very good quality but it is not the same as eating in a resturant. Also, the general consensus of our table, and we were a diverse group, was we had never seen so many obese people before.
Other small things, dining room menus were neer posted until the next day. Not a big thing but I will also add the lunch selections for the dining room were just awful.
We never took advantage of the free room service, our mistake.
We have cruised on NCL, Princess, RCCL, and a Nile Cruise and I have to say I prefer Princess. I understand that when you are cooking for large volumes of people you must have a mid level of flavoring for everyone's palate, but I like the personal choice dining on Princess. Also, on the longer voyages ships need to emphasize entertainment more then the food.