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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 Zenith

Your Rating:Two Stars
Reviewed by: G. Shelly
# previous cruises: 2
Date of Trip: November 14, 1999
Itinerary: Transcanal

The scenery was breathtaking. the trip was smooth sailing. that's about the only good things i can say about this ship; after all our anticipation... boy what a let-down! avg age quoted as 47, actual was more like 75; ALL activities and entertainment were geared for "older" passengers - to the point "younger" requests (ex- pool side recorded music, ONE time in 14 days played "soft" rock/"new age" for 20 min til old fart complained) were totally disregarded if conflict between older/younger, guess who wins? Embark/disembark were horrible; put 4 bags outside cabin last night as directed, but only 3 made it home, never saw the largest (with the most clothing and photos purchased on board) again; also have never heard ANY follow-up from Celebrity despite reporting while still in terminal and calling several times to ofc in Florida. We had unfortunate incident at beginning of cruise involving theft, which was reported to guest relations; security came to our cabin few days later to say they were investigating, but never did hear any more, though we tried to find out if there was any progress. Seems Celebrity really doesn't do too well on follow-ups.

Public Areas
Public areas were glitzy and boring... no disco any more (converted into library), ALL lounges have piano bar, different pianists, same music. musical entertainment mainly "big band" style. pool side area pleasant, bar on one end, cafe on other, plenty of deck chairs, pools sufficed; sound system uneven, often too loud. fleet bar pleasant for reading and watching scenery. Ship was in dry dock earlier this year but remains incomplete; gym/whirlpools/sauna closed, watch out for construction workers carelessly moving supplies, as construction is ongoing who knows when they will have refurbishing complete?

Food and Service
Definitely NOT 5-star; ship was late in port and didn't get all supply pallets loaded, thought we'd pick up at another port, never did. All appetizers on dinner menu that claimed liqueur-sauce had none (staff drinking it?); menu was repetitive and often what was s'posed to be offered was unavailable. note: NEVER trust non-american chef who promises "traditional" holiday (thanksgiving) meal... we're still trying to figure out what was substituted for the punkin in the pie..... Windsurf cafe had same offerings day in and day out, breakfast and lunch buffets never varied except to add yesterday's left-overs, didn't even bother with midnite buffet after sampling daytime buffets. Room service was excellent, unfortunately the food wasn't. Bar tabs automatically have 15% gratuity added on, but found out all these 15%'s are NOT pooled and split among wait staff; they only get their $100/month salary, and only get tips if you write in additional on the charge slip!(lower right-hand corner); this is NOT one of the gratuity guidelines the ship tells you about (so just who IS getting the rest of that 15%?)

We were at front end, with crew quarters at end of hall but was relatively quiet outside standard cabin with unobstructed view (bahamas deck 9). Toilets were too high - at 5'6" my feet dangled 3-4" off floor whenever I had to "sit", although lower decks had shorter johns; bathroom overall was adequate, great shower with hand held spigot. Great unpacking space, 2 double closets, plenty of drawers. Interactive TV was not working well (except for signature acct), excursion highlights were absent or not much. We could hear elderly rheumatic wheeZes and coughs thru walls, and apparently EVERY bathroom sound is audible to neighbors; we were also right above showroom so had to contend with music.

The Matrix dancers were so-so, I've seen better and I've seen worse; same goes for the Matrix singers (he wasn't so bad but she stunk). Lots of big band music, great if your style, if not tough luck. Decent magic act, so-so comedians and ventriloquist was funny as hell but you definitely could see his lips moving, even from last row.

Great place for catching up on naps and reading. "first run" movies were substituted with older ones, ho hum. In-room 'pay-per-view' movies bit steep at $8.99. Daytime activities again were geared for the elderly except some of the pool games (and even they were tamed down to allow elderly participation), staff really was trying but apparently can't seem to find middle ground for both old and young-er. Excursions were very pricey; after taking one we opted to go on our own or with dining companions, share cab or rental car. Snorkeling great on St.Thomas; Koki's beach provides equip for like $10/day/person, buy fresh live lobster up the road and the green-shack restaurant will cook it for you and serve with lemon butter, no extra charge. Ladies can have their hair done in braids right on beach, i have thick shoulder length hair, took 1 hr and $40, still in braids 3 weeks later! Spa was way too pricey for us!

Who Goes
We really lucked out on dinner assignments, we had German doctor and his nurse-girlfriend (we are both nurses and my husband was born in Germany, speaks some) and another couple who live over the hill from us (we were all in same age group). There were a few couples our age, also complaining about the "average" age and entertainment, but majority were definitely WAY past 47. Capt and immediate crew were very standoffish and did not circulate or chat with passengers, Capt left his own galas as soon as he muttered a few words. Working staff is treated like slave labor; if you engage them in conversation they get chewed out for "socializing".

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