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   Cruise Travel - Reader Reviews

Welcome to Your Favorites, where you have the opportunity to share your travel experiences with fellow Internet Travelers around the world.

Celebrity Cruise Line

MV Century

Your Rating:Four Stars
Reviewed by: G. Lambert
# previous cruises: 7
Date of Trip: June 9, 2001
Itinerary: Caribbean - Western

To date our cruising experience has been confined to Holland America and one very unimpressive Atlantic crossing on the QE2. This was our first cruise with Celebrity and we came away impressed -- albeit with some reservations. This review then will largely compare how the Century stacks up against HAL ships on which we have cruised.

Public Areas
In other reviews, people have written that they have found the public areas of Celebrity ships to be a bit sterile and not terribly nautical and compared them to what one would find in a deluxe hotel. We found the rooms to be spacious, well laid-out and comfortable. Despite more than 1,600 passengers, there seemed to be sufficient places for quiet time. We did miss the full walk-around promenade deck on HAL ships, so we didn't do as much walking as we might have otherwise done (but then it's always easy to find excuses). Another minor complaint: the deck chairs on the promenade deck aren't adjustable and neither of us found them terribly comfortable.

Perhaps because it was summer and there were more children on board than would be the case at other times of the year, the pool area was crowded an noisy. We missed the second pool area on the aft end of the ship found on many HAL ships. The two pools on the Century are both salt water -- not a complaint, but it meant more showers.

Food and Service
The food was excellent and plentiful, but not as varied ethnically as one finds on HAL. Perhaps because Michel Rioux is the executive chef, the menus tended to be classic French with some American standards (e.g. roast turkey) mixed in. The wait staff was proficient, but the wine steward didn't offer any suggestions and seemed to be there just to pick up orders. The wine list was also heavily loaded toward the $40 and up end of the scale. While my last HAL cruise was 18 months ago and things may have changed, they seemed to offer more variety at the lower end of the scale.

We had a very convivial table of eight and invariably found ourselves among the last to leave. And leave we did when, precisely two hours after the doors open for late seating, the lights come on full blast and it is made very clear that NOW is the time to leave. We never had that happen on HAL!

The standard outside cabin on Celebrity is about 30 square feet smaller than those on HAL (165 vs 195 I believe). The beds are very comfortable, the closet space is very generous for a one week or even 10 day cruise, but we found that we were bumping into each other a lot, especially when trying to get dressed for the formal dinners. Two or three additional feet of space between bed and closets/bathrooms would really make the cabins a great deal more comfortable. The bathroom, though again smaller than on HAL was well laid out and the shower was wonderful. I'd love to get the same fixtures for my home bathroom. The terry cloth bathrobes are also a nice touch.

We were blessed with a wonderful cabin attendant. Eva from Poland, who was a delight and kept things impeccably clean and was always ready for any request.

I think that under normal circumstances the cabin would have been quiet enough. Unfortunately, we had a large extended family in the cabins adjacent to us and they left the children unattended far too often with resultant crashing, banging and yelling. On the fifth day we called security -- things quieted down dramatically after that!

We aren't show goers, but the people who did attend the performances gave us generally favorable reviews.

One thing we appreciated (as is the case with HAL) is the absence of announcements. We did miss, however, the daily noon report from the bridge by the Captain, which is a HAL tradition.

The ship offers the full range of standard activities. We didn't take any tours, preferring to just roam around the ports on our own. This cruise stopped at Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Georgetown, Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico and Key West Florida before returning to Fort Lauderdale.

We didn't get off the ship in Ocho Rios. Those who did and who didn't take the organized tours found the agressive nature of both street peddlers and store staff to be upsetting and often unnerving.

Who Goes
The crowd is as up scale, by in large as one finds on HAL, but definitely younger and friendlier. We'd guess the average age to be mid 40s, although there were plenty of folks in our mid 50s age group.

As mentioned earlier, we made fast friends with the other three couple at our table and plan to stay in touch in the months and years ahead.

Wrapping it up, I think I still like HAL a little better than Celebrity, but I'd certainly sail on the Century or other mid-sized Celebrity ships again without any reservation.

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