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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 Mercury

Your Rating:Four Stars
Reviewed by:Malcolm Oliver
# previous cruises: 0
Date of Trip: May 19, 1998
Itinerary: Alaska-Inside Passage

The Mercury is a very clean, functional and spacious ship. Her size is breath taking! It never ever seemed like you were sharing her with 1900 other passengers. Big queues were rare. The best things about the Cruise for us, was the excellent staff , the fellow passengers that we met and the awesome 'Inside Passage' scenery. I would certainly recommend 'Celebrity Cruises' and the 'Mercury' (or sister ship 'Galaxy') Alaska's scenery was certainly very impressive, but her ports were a little too spoilt for my liking - but not everyone agrees.

Public Areas
The Mercury is a very clean, functional and spacious ship. It never ever seemed like you were sharing her with 1900 other passengers. The public rooms were plentiful and generally uncrowded.

The ships decor was varied from area to area. It was very garish in places, maybe Ronald McDonald had been the interior design consultant? The fourteen decks and the passenger corridors just went on forever as you would expect with a mega-ship.

Food and Service
The food is an important part of any cruise, and it was certainly good. However, I felt that Celebrity were often a little too ambitious in their main Restaurant, the Manhattan. They of course had an impossible task, of providing almost 2000 quality meals for two evening sittings, using assembly-line techniques. We soon tired of the exotic French dishes and their rich aesthetic looking sauces, which were served every evening. By our own admission, we enjoy plain cooking and we soon began to dream of a simple Hamburger and Fries, although, these could be obtained during the lunch buffet. (However, it is only fair to point out that everyone else we spoke to rated the food highly.) Each morning we plumed for the breakfast buffet which was flexible and rather good. Surprisingly, they never had ever had mushrooms or tomatoes for breakfast, a small point I suppose?

Big queues for food etc were rare. This was in part due to the fantastic organization of the meals, entertainment and the excursions. The staff, almost a 1000 in number, were generally excellent.

Even the cheapest 'inside' cabins were adequate! The showers were very spacious and worked better that those in most hotels.

The entertainment was good and succeeded in providing something for everyone. All well as the 'Broadway' type shows and classical music, we particularly liked the Science Lecturer Tom Logsdon, who once worked for NASA, on the ill-fated Apollo 13 project - fascinating!

Apart from the food which is included in the price, everything on board the ship is designed to relive you of your hard earned cash. You can spend a fortune on the onboard shopping, drinking, cigars, gambling, buying photographs and excursions. . In fairness, I understand that this is the case with all Cruise lines. After all, they are a business - they would hardly give it all away, would they?

Alaska's Glacier Bay was very impressive and it was amazing just how close our big ship could get to the vast blue walls of ice. The ports of call in Alaska, Skagway, Ketchikan and Juneau were all surprisingly touristy for our liking, featuring gift shop after gift shop. Every day six or more Cruise ships descended on them, making them very busy ports indeed. The optional excursions were of good quality and were numerous. Many offered you the opportunity to see the 'real' wilderness of Alaska. However, all the excursions were very overpriced in my opinion.

Who Goes
Mainly middle aged and elderly American's - but we do not have a problem with that! We met some great people.

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Royal Caribbean - Bahamas Getaway from $129 per person
Description: Experience the beautiful ports of Nassau and Royal Caribbean's private island - CocoCay on a 3-night Weekend Getaway to the Bahamas. Absorb everything island life has to offer as you snorkel with the stingrays, parasail above the serene blue waters and walk the endless white sand beaches. From Miami.
Carnival - 4-Day Bahamas  from $229 per person
Description: Enjoy a wonderful 3 Day cruise to the fun-loving playground of Nassau, Bahamas. Discover Nassau, the capital city as well as the cultural, commercial and financial heart of the Bahamas. Meet the Atlantic Southern Stingrays, the guardians of Blackbeard's treasure.
NCL - Bermuda - 7 Day from $499 per person
Description: What a charming little chain of islands. Walk on pink sand beaches. Swim and snorkel in turquoise seas. Take in the historical sights. They're stoically British and very quaint. Or explore the coral reefs. You can get to them by boat or propelled by fins. You pick. Freestyle Cruising doesn't tell you where to go or what to do. Sure, you can plan ahead, or decide once onboard. After all, it's your vacation. There are no deadlines or must do's.
Holland America - Eastern Caribbean from From $599 per person
Description: White sand, black sand, talcum soft or shell strewn, the beaches of the Eastern Caribbean invite you to swim, snorkel or simply relax. For shoppers, there's duty-free St. Thomas, the Straw Market in Nassau, French perfume and Dutch chocolates on St. Maarten. For history buffs, the fascinating fusion of Caribbean, Latin and European cultures. For everyone, a day spent on HAL's award winning private island Half Moon Cay.
Celebrity - 7-Night Western Mediterranean  from $549 per person
Description: For centuries people have traveled to Europe to see magnificent ruins, art treasures and natural wonders. And the best way to do so is by cruise ship. Think of it - you pack and unpack only once. No wasted time searching for hotels and negotiating train stations. Instead, you arrive at romantic ports of call relaxed, refreshed and ready to take on the world.
Holland America - Alaska from From $499 per person
Description: Sail between Vancouver and Seward, departing Sundays on the ms Statendam or ms Volendam and enjoy towering mountains, actively calving glaciers and pristine wildlife habitat. Glacier Bay and College Fjord offer two completely different glacier-viewing experiences.