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Cruise Review
Celebrity Cruises

Century

by John Iglehart

Eastern Caribbean Cruise March 14, 1998

Century

The Flight:

Our flight was handled by United Airlines and went without a hitch. A great majority of passengers on-board where also heading to various ships. Instead of the lovely menus and hot breakfasts we got previously on UA, we got a plastic bowl of cereal. Good thing we ate beforehand, but also, we knew what we were flying too, so it didn't matter at all!

Arrival in Ft Lauderdale:

Our plane landed late morning, right on schedule, landing through clouds that seemed to be on the increase. Exiting our plane into the terminal, we encountered more people than I have ever seen in my life. Ft. Lauderdale Airport was a three-ring circus, with Spring Breakers and business travelers going to and fro. A Celebrity Cruises Representative was there waiting for us, and corraled us over to the side. All 12 of us from the UA flight where then pointed to the next Celebrity agent, waiting outside the security checkpoints.

*Tip*: Use the washroom before getting off the plane, there isn't time to really stop as we were hurried off to the next agent.

The next agent gathered us around him, took our names, and told us to wait for some other passengers who were just arriving. Once this was done and a large group was amassed, he called out two flight numbers, and escorted us to the bus loading areas. We were soon whisked off to Port Everglades! I would say this whole process took about 20-25 minutes. Not bad at all.

Arrival at the Terminal:

As our bus pulled into the terminal, I quickly spotted and identified the ms Ryndam, ms Westerdam, mv Century of course, and the mv Sun Princess. Entering the huge terminal, we were handed Priority Embarkation Numbers by two of the Celebrity Dancers. Our numbers happened to be #12, and we knew why as there were many, many other passengers already waiting to board. What happens is you are given these numbers, and then as they start boarding the ship, which was RIGHT at 1pm, the numbers are called over a loudspeaker, only after Captain's Club Members board first. Those with suites have early boarding as well.

There were two areas to wait in the terminal, with announcements being heard in both. Fruit Punch was set up in the rear waiting area, as well as representatives from the AquaSpa, eager to book and give out information on Spa offerings for the week. We sat on the floor for a good hour, anxious to board. Cruise Staff mingled with waiting passengers, a nice touch. The boarding groups were soon called in twos (Groups 1 and 2, then 3 and 4, and so on). The process ended up going quickly. We were given our Celebrity Signature Card which served as our boarding pass and on-board charge card. Again, this was another quick and painless process. To tell you the truth, I can't even remember where we entered the ship exactly, but I am guessing it was the Grand Foyer or very close to there. A staff member immediately took our bags, and led us to our cabin, where our luggage was ALREADY waiting for us!

The Stateroom:

CabinLocated on Continental Deck, standard outside cabin #4079 would become our new home for the next week. Conviently midship, we had easy access to a stairwell. Decorated in handsome woods and seafoam greens, our cabin measured 175 square feet. The two twin beds had been placed together, making the cabin look MUCH smaller than it really was and prevented direct access to the large picture window. The beds would later be split, opening up the room and giving us more space to navigate. Our bathroom was normal size, but the shower could have easily fit two people. Storage here was a bit less than we were used to, but didn't cause us any problems. Three HUGE full length closets accomodated our outfits with space to spare, but it might be a good idea to bring some wire hangers with you. Plenty of other drawer and shelving space was available. Two large orange chairs were found also, accompanied by a small round table.

A Celebrity Inaugural book by John-Maxtone Graham (VERY tempting to steal as they were not sold in the Gift Shop) and a fleet brochure, among other things, were set atop our desk. A lovely water pitcher and ice container, not plastic ones, was provided for us as well, always refilled by our cabin stewardess. I thought this was an elegant touch to the room, along with a luggage mat that was even layed across the bed! Our Stewardess, Evangeline, was wonderful, making our room up in a jiffy, in addition to chatting with us and never failing to wish us a good day. We discovered a burnt-out light in the room, and she was on the phone immediately reporting the problem to maintenance. The Celebrity Interactive TV System is also a highlight, where you can order room service, book shore excursions, gamble, order pay-per-view movies, preview future cruises, check your account bill, and more. It was very user-friendly in my opinion. Oh, and yes, there are hair-dryers, in-room safes, phones with voicemail, and bathroom amenities.

The Ship:

Century measures in at 815 feet and 70,606 tons, making her larger than the Carnival Fantasy-Class vessels in terms of tonnage, but shorter in terms of length. Nevertheless, she is a big girl. Overall, this ship is immaculate, the cleanest ship I have seen to date. Her interiors are classic and elegant, yet contemporary. Century is truly beautiful, and I was very impressed with all the public areas. What follows is a description of the ship, to the best of my abilities. We will work our way up from bottom to top, starting on Deck 4.

Deck 4, Continental Deck:

On this deck we find inside and outside cabins, the Medical Center forward, and the Ship Mates Fun Factory aft. My mom and I agreed the hallways in the passenger cabin corridors seemed narrower than other ships we have traveled on. Just a stupid observation noticed by this ship-nut.

Deck 5, Plaza Deck:

Grand FoyerThe forward half of this deck is occupied by passenger cabins. Midship is the lower-level of the Grand Foyer. This atrium soars three decks and is circular in design. The backdrop features TV screens that project images that are constantly changing. Water cascades over the screens and the white background, really only noticeable from close-up, but adding a unique touch overall. The ceiling overhead the Grand Foyer changes color, being either white, pink, or blue depending upon the day, or time of day. Stars twinkle overhead also, creating a celestial feeling, which is prevelant shipwide.

Continuing aft on Deck 5 is the lower-level of the stunning Grand Restaurant. You cannot walk from the Grand Foyer aft to the Restaurant on Deck 5. The Grand Restaurant is a two-level affair that I find incredibly gorgeous and elegant. Its a huge room, but not to the point it was overwhelming. The room is done in attractive cherry woods, various shades of golds, burgundy chairs, with multiple shades of green and blue, accented with gold/brown highlights in the carpet. Huge windows in the rear of the restaurant provided breathtaking views, but were often covered with decorated window shades/hangings. Tables for two seemed scarce and I found the dining room to be a bit noisy. But I was hard-pressed to find anything that would take away from the sheer grandeur of this room.

Deck 6, Promenade Deck:

This deck is one of the two main public room/entertainment decks. Furthest forward on this deck we find the lower-level of the Celebrity Theater. Seating is bench-style with about one cocktail table per three seats, and the carpet takes on a celestial mood, with staggered stars, comets and sunbursts with faces done in muted yellows, golds, and small amounts of dark red. Highlighting on-board productions is a 48-screen video wall, similar to that on the Monarch of the Seas and Majesty of the Seas.

Moving aft, we find the card room, cinema, conference center, and library. A portion of the card room doubles as a meeting room if needed. Overall, the card room is humungous for a ship, and was fairly well used during the cruise. The Cinema/Conference Center looks cozy, and has plenty of seatings for movies and the latest technology for business meetings. The library was smaller than that of Carnival's Fantasy-Class vessels, but amply stocked for avid readers. Board games were also found here. The room is done in woods, and seafoam greens and grays.

Further aft we come into the middle level of the Grand Foyer. Shoppers will find more opportunities to charge, charge, charge, and coffee lovers will thoroughly enjoy Tastings, a speciality coffee bar located here, with tables and chairs that extended right to the railing of the atrium. This was an excellent spot to relax and enjoy the ambiance and views of the Grand Foyer, while your coffee was prepared right in front of your eyes. The speciality coffees are also served in the adjacent lounge. Speaking of shopping, the Logo Gift Shop had terrible offerings compared to other shops I have seen, and again, most shirts were horrendously overpriced, most between $60-$64 and up. These were Gear Brand, so I guess you are paying for the name and quality.

 

Next up is Rendez-vous Square, easily the most popular lounge on the ship. On the port side entrance of the lounge is the Photo Gallery, which is EXTREMELY small and cramped for a ship this size. During peak times it was a mob scene, and totally impassable. The Rendez-vous uses wood to its advantage, combined with twinkling lights in the ceiling, navy and ocean blue carpeting, blue and subdued red chairs, and comfy sofas done in light blues. The room took on an elegant mood at night, as the light was low. There were also cozy, out of the way areas for a chat. This ranks as one of my favorite areas on the ship.

Farthest aft is the upper-level of the Grand Restaurant, where a double-wide staircase connects it to the lower-level, creating both an impressive view of AND an impressive entry to the dining room.

Grand Restaurant

Deck 7, Entertainment Deck:

Deck 7 is aptly named as there is a lot to see here. Forward we have the upper level of the Celebrity Theater, with entering walkways that seem to float on air. I never sat up in the balcony, so I cannot comment on the views, although there were no pole obstructions. Heading aft, we encounter Images, Century's resident sports bar and part tribute to Sony, as well as Michael's Club, a cigar persons haven. Images probably ranks as the glitziest room on-board, and was popular only during the broadcast of NCAA games. It should be noted that an escalator connects Decks 6 and 7, starboard side forward, yet aft of the Celebrity Theater. I am proud to say I have now officially ridden an escalator on a moving ship! Michael's Club is the locale where hand-rolled cigars are prepared in an elegantly private club setting that is almost of an old fashioned/old english decor. This lounge is another top choice for beautiful rooms.

Walking aft, we encounter the topmost level of the Grand Foyer, and additional shops. Fortunes Casino is the next stop, with entrances on both port and starboard sides. This could easily be called another glitzy/loud area in terms of decor, but it works quite well IMO. 10 or so gambling tables take up the center of the room, with chairs done in red and white stripes. An ATM machine also makes its home in the Casino. Slot machines predominate near the entrances to the casino, and wrap around on the outskirts of the tables area. The casino is not jammed with slot machines, a nice feature. My mom and I agreed this was one of the most quiet casinos we had seen. I guess we weren't with a gambling crowd. The cashier is cleverly hidden and change machines were mysteriously scarce.

The last public lounge on this deck is the Crystal Room, another popular lounge that hosted many activities, which will be described later. This lounge also housed the intimate recessed Martini Bar, which was often crowded. This lounge was multi-tiered, with raised levels on the perimeters of the lounge and also in a large rear portion of the room. The stage was located in the port corner. The bar was located between the entrances. The raised area that dominates a large portion of the rear of the lounge near the bar is offset and secluded from the rest of the lounge by raised etched glass panels. The problem with this is if you sit in the area behind these, seeing the stage isn't an easy task. This lounge is done in dark cherry words, maroon banquet seats, ivory and muted gold chairs set around small cocktail tables. Several chandeliers of varying sizes accent the room. The carpet matches the banquet booth seats, with interlocking ivory and black-striped rings. It's another very elegant room with nostalgic decors.

There is a promenade deck, located on this deck, although it is not full-circuit, but does have quite a bit of room with some nice chairs for reading or snoozing.

Decks 8, 9, and 10, Panorama, Vista, and Penthouse Decks respectively, house additional passenger cabins, with Penthouse Deck consisting of suites and the two largest cabins on the entire ship.

Deck 11, Resort Deck:

Finally, we make it outside onto open deck. Forward on this deck we find the huge AquaSpa, a beautiful facility overall. All the Steiner goodies are available here too, plus a few things like the Thalassotherapy Pool, HydroJet Capsule, and Rasul treatments. The gym area, with GOBS of equipment, was impressively large, as was the aerobics area, much to my delight. Floor-to-ceiling windows provide extra motivation to complete your routine.

Continuing aft on Resort Deck is the Pool Bar, followed by four hot tubs and the two pools. One pool had a volleyball net and the other had a basketball hoop, two features that were very much taken advantage of. Century employs a lifeguard, complete with his/her own elevated chair. BRAVO for Celebrity, this was quite unique, and something I haven't seen on any other cruise, or even read about! Comfortable padded chairs are found around the pools as well, including two or three rows in the shade for guests looking to escape the heat and sun. The chairs started out immaculately lined up, but they were quickly a tangled mess by mid-day, as everyone shifted chairs to line up with the sun. We were up early to secure chairs, but this wasn't necessary as we were the ONLY ones getting chairs at 730am.

There is also a canopied bandstand and stage where musical groups peformed daily. Chairs and tables with umbrellas were found near the stage. Also outside, we find two Grill lines. Occupying an entire half of Resort Deck, is the gargantuan Islands Cafe, serving informal breakfasts, lunches, and afternoon teas, all buffet style. Seating is available along the entire port and starboard sides of the Cafe, as well as behind the aftmost drink station, and also outside on deck under a white canopy. This is the most functional informal eating area I have come across.

Deck 12, Sports Deck:

All the way forward, as we near the very tip-top of the ship, we find the multi-tiered Hemisphere Lounge, which is the disco on-board Century. Huge windows outline the lounge with telescopes mounted for viewing. Seating was located in this recessed area and made for an intimate area for chatting away from the hustle and bustle of the lounge. The telescopes were completely functional and were fun to use throughout the cruise, as I zeroed in on the ships we passed during the night. The bar in Hemisphere was huge, and again recessed. There were plenty of bar stools, so many I don't think every one of them were used at one time. The dance floor was circular, and much too small for a ship this size. Above the dance floor were the lighting gizmos that lit up and electrified the disco at night. The dance floor itself lit up as well, and contained the navigation/starburst compass pattern found in other ships areas. There was a sunken seating area in the middle of the room that was non-smoking. The layout of the room is very complex, and proved very distracting and ineffective for the Captain's Cocktail Party. Those behind the glass could not even see the Captain, and there was not nearly enough seating for everyone.

Moving aft, we run into the Mast Bar, which was near where we camped out each day. More chairs lined the decks looking over the pool, but were not padded. Most of the aft portion of this deck is made up of additional suites and a sprinkling of inside cabins. The aftmost portion of Sports Deck holds the Sky Bar, the most underused place on the ship. There wasn't even any alcohol at the bar, and I think it was only used for one lecture or so. It's an attractive nautically styled room with hardwood floors, blue tables, chairs, and some of the floor, rattan wood walls, red cushioned bar stools, and a shiny silver bar front. Two curving staircases curve down and connect with Islands Cafe creating a mini-atrium. [Editors Note: The Sky Bar aboard Century is typically used for the "teen club" - thus no alcohol.]

Deck 13, Sunrise Deck:

Not a complete deck, Sunrise Deck is in two parts, forward and aft, both with additional chairs. The forward area is supposed to be the jogging track, but somehow the runners made both parts, forward and the deck around the funnel, jogging tracks. The Walk-A-Mile is conducted forward. The Simulated Golf Center is located on the aft section of this deck, a place I didn't discover until halfway through the cruise. Oddly enough, you can see directly from Deck 13 aft on to the verandas of the Sky Suites on Deck 12. So adventurous couples, beware!! Rememeber to keep an eye up! :)

Service:

Overall, excellent! Our cabin stewardess was so sweet, and made up the room promptly, often sneaking in when we left for breakfast. She was speedy, and always knew our routine and when we were out of the room. Besides the two main times the room was cleaned, I could tell she also snuck in several other times to refill the water pitcher and check towels. We saw quite a bit of her in the passageways too, each time greeted with a smile and a hello, how was your day, is everything okay etc etc. She was eager to please, and we WERE pleased!

Our dining room waiter was also wonderful, very cordial, upbeat, and friendly. He delivered our food in a timely fashion, never rushing us. At times I think he tried a bit too hard, as I would order a steak and he would guess the wrong way I wanted it prepared, a different way each night, even towards the end of the cruise. This isn't a big deal at all, I just found it comical. He always made sure we liked our entree, and was eager to provide another if we weren't pleased with the first one. Our busboy was wonderful, friendly, did his job more than adequately, and was in line for a promotion to a waiter, according to the Maitre d'. However, we never felt like we had developed a connection with them over the week. It was hard to get more words other than the standard talk out of them. Their service was GREAT, don't get me wrong, but I still think the waiters on RCI take the award for most personable

ALL other members of the ships crew and staff we encountered and interacted with were EXTREMELY friendly and eager to please. It was truly wonderful, and is a neat feeling to always be greeted, smiled at, and talked to. Even the waiters serving the food in the Islands Cafe would stop and talk to you instead of just asking what you wanted and throwing the food at you. In the Islands Cafe, my mom never carried her tray once. Lines of waiters stand near the drink stations, ready to carry your tray for the ladies. I had to carry my OWN tray the entire time! hehehehe :))) You lead the way to the table you want to sit at, rather than the waiter placing you anywhere. This service is incredible, considering the size of this ship. This was just one of the extra touches Celebrity has for its passengers.

I was impressed with every single employee I came into contact with the entire week. SPECIAL mention goes to the Entertainment Staff, the best group we have ever encountered on a cruise. There are not enough good adjectives to describe them. The E. Staff contributed so much to the overall enjoyment of the cruise. Of course, I can't forget the cruise director, David Cole, who was outstanding. He has incredible talent, is a great speaker, and certainly excels at what he does. Quite an impressive guy.

Food:

Fannnnnnnnntastic!! All the reviews and praises I had read regarding the food were true! We found the food everywhere to be wonderful. In the Islands Cafe, FOUR buffet lines run for informal breakfasts and lunches. Because of this, there was never a line to stand in. The buffets in the Islands Cafe knocked my socks off compared to other lines. Breakfasts were very nice, and fairly extensive. French toast, pancakes, and often waffles are hidden, so just ask! Omeletes were available, as was fresh fruit, and a lovely selection of pastries. The mini-donuts that were served the first morning vanished the rest of the cruise. Hmmmm. Eggs, sausage, bacon etc was always standard. I always had the same thing (pancakes or french toast), and due to the fact it was EARLY, I didn't even concentrate on what else was available. :) Between the two of us, breakfast was very enjoyable. Lunch was also quite fancy in the Islands Cafe, so much so my mom and I chose the Grill most days. The embarkation buffet blew me away too, with an enormous amount of food, especially desserts. FULL cakes and pies were available, instead of a small rectangle o'cake. Lunches in Islands always looked super, and the two times we did eat in there, it was outstanding. Ice Cream was available each day at lunch too, although we didn't discover it until late in the cruise. Good thing too. Carved meats, fish, and chicken items tended to predominate, along with some exotic choices too. In addition to the four Islands buffet lines, two additional buffet lines were located outside near the entrances to Islands, near the pool. Hamburgers, hot dogs, french fries, a pasta of the day, and an alternating choice of a ribs, chicken, fish, or some speciality item rounded out the choices. Food here was good as well, and is basically self-serve. In addition, food was always hot for all meals. Pizza, which was extremely popular, was offered in the afternoons and later at night.

Afternoon Tea was an elegant affair, with the String Quartet always performing each afternoon near the aftmost buffet lines. Loads of cookies, sandwiches, breads, cakes, and other finger-food were to be found, as were frozen yogurt machines. How nice to have this available after a long day ashore. Yum! Traffic flow around all buffet areas was fine.

Dinner was always the highlight of the days food. A fancy selection of appetizers, soups, salads, and entrees were offered nightly, nights not having a distinct theme like other cruises. Fish, pasta, chicken, beef, lamb, duck were common entrees. I had two of the BEST beef dishes, the tournedos of beef, and the beef skewers in islands spices and a delicous marinade. Steaks were incredibly tender, except for the sirloin on the last night. My mom returned hers immediately and got a shrimp and pasta dish that was out of sight! Adults, don't be afraid to order items off the kids menu, we did! :)

Everyone always left the dining room happy, not to mention button-popping full. Music always added to the dining experience. Food was ATTRACTIVELY presented, varied, and creative, with portions being quite adequate. The Baked Alaska parade drew cheers from the crowd, and the singing rendition was emotional, being it was one of the last nights of the cruise. :( Desserts were RICH and sinful. The noise level was a bit high in the dining room at times. Again, the food was excellent, with the tough steak being the only problem the entire a week, a teeny tiny one at that.

I just realized I left out the Midnight Buffets! :) A few evenings we had Gourmet Bites, which involved waiters bringing around several different platters of small food edibles in the public lounges. This worked very well, and items were quite good according to friends. The Gala Buffet, while not as large as I expected, was still beautifully done, with lovely ice and food carvings. I did not eat though, instead just walking through for pictures, as is done before they open it up to the vultures. :) I did not attend the other one or two regular buffets they had.

Entertainment:

Entertainment was fabulous everywhere on the ship, and there was tons of it. The two production shows, "A Whole New World" and "When I See My Name in Lights" were both very well done, and consisted of pyrotechnics and dazzling lighting displays. Costumes and choreography weren't quite as flashy and difficult as RCI or Carnival, which can be good or bad, depending on your take. But by NO means were they disappointing or boring, I thoroughly enjoyed both of them, and the Celebrity Singers and Dancers were a plethora of talent. Lots of neat gymnastic stunts too. My sailing was the last sailing for most of the Singers and Dancers, with the new replacements practicing and very visible most of the week. In addition to these full-scale reviews, we had two world-class entertainers, Elliot Finkel and Pamela Blake, who received enthusiastic standing ovations each time they performed. Elliot is an incredible Pianist, with the quickest hands that I have ever seen. He is quite esteemed, with previous shows in Carnegie Hall and Broadway. Don't miss him. Pamela Blake, who was Evita on Broadway at one time or another, had a drop-dead gorgeous voice, the kind that gives you goosebumps. Her passionate and strong show drew rave reviews from all. Both had their music available for sale. These two performed together as well, for a knock-out evening of entertainment. A comedy juggler opened up the first night, and also had a show later in the week, eliciting a good deal of audience laughter. I have nothing but praise for the main entertainment that performed in the Celebrity Theater.

As for the various other lounges, entertainment was also very very good. Rendez-vous Square was the venue for a classic duo who seemed popular when performing. I never had the chance to hear them though. Hemisphere, the disco, had wonderful lighting effects, and don't miss the raising of the dome. The music is not played by the DJ alone. Prodigy, who often played poolside, also entertained in the disco. Although a wonderful Caribbean-Style and Top 40 Band, their music in the disco late night was overly repetitive and difficult to dance to. I would have much rather preferred the DJ. Nevertheless, I did enjoy my late nights in Hemisphere. The room can be intimate as well as a place to let loose.

Mirage, an outstanding band composed primarily of Phillipinos, played poolside as well as in the Crystal Room. They played a wide range of music, and I very much looked forward to hearing them each day. There are two main singers, a man and woman, who really have wonderful voices, especially the woman. They were so good, I bought their cassette and now relive that part of the cruise often!

There were two Deck parties held on-board during the week, and I must say they were the best ones I have ever participated in. Anyone noticing how many "bests" have been on this trip? :) The first party, held while in San Juan, was the Caribbean/Island Deck Party and Fruit Buffet. Boy was this one of the most lavish deck parties and buffet set-ups I have seen. The decorating and food displays for the party were amazing! There were even things floating in the pool! In between the two pools, was Mt. Century, a small mountain that erupted twice during the party. Thanks to the pyrotechnics, this was great fun to watch. There was music, line-dancing, contests, prizes, a melon parade, gobs of fruit and other food, as well as conga lines and limbos, certainly making for one memorable evening. The staff was so much fun, and really got into the event. What a night, be sure to catch it.

The second deck night was Tex-Mex themed, and also included decorations and more yummy food, including churros, which I was THRILLED to see. :) Once again, the entertainment staff led a truckload of country-line dances, as well as some cute audience participation games for prizes. David Cole is quite the singer and line-dancer! It was another marvelous night, with audience participation, attendance and involvement being the highest out of all my previous cruises.

Of course, we cannot forget pool games and 50's and 60's night! They were a blast too, and attracted large crowds. Sign up to play the Crushers (entertainment staff) in pool volleyball! Other standard activities were present, including Karaoke, Bingo, Trivia, Art Auctions, ping-pong tournaments, basketball tournaments (oops there are two half-court b-ball areas on Sports Deck Aft both port and starboard), wine tastings, cooking demos, bridge games, lectures, etc etc etc. There is certainly NOT a lack of things to do! So much I have probably forgotten many!

Ports:

San Juan, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, and Nassau, Bahamas were our stops on this cruise. Since I have visited each several times, I will spare you the blow-by-blow rundown of what we did. A quick note though, we did NOT take any ship or independent shore excursions. For fellow ship enthusiasts, here are the other ships we saw during this trip: Westerdam, Ryndam, Sun Princess, Nordic Empress, Sensation, Tropicale, Grandeur of the Seas, Fantasy, and Horizon. At night, we passed and I was able to identify Ecstasy, Sovereign of the Seas, Norway, and Leeward. By the way, the weather was great, with only Friday morning being cloudy. Seas were mostly calm, with a few nights of moderate roughness, causing many first-timers to become ill.

Celebrity Extras:

This is just a quick rundown of things I found particularly pleasing and unique, most that I haven't mentioned up until now.

  • ABSOLUTELY NO announcements, except CRUCIAL ones such as clearance of the ship, the lifeboat drill, and debarkation announcements, which were even considerably less than other lines. BRAVO to this entire practice!!
  • Scheduled quiet time around the pool, which was even published in the Century Daily, which I might add didn't just list the activities of the day, but also gave a brief history of the particular islands we visited and of the Caribbean in general. Well done and handsomely designed.
  • Waiters to carry your trays for you in the Islands Cafe.
  • No propositions for tips and excellent reviews on the comment cards.
  • Beautiful flowers in various areas.
  • The String Quartet with Afternoon tea.
  • A "Life at Sea" talk led by the Cruise Director.
  • The "Raising of the Dome" in Hemisphere.
  • A caribbean band that can sing and play country music. :))
  • Ship Photographs, i.e. pictures of the Century only, that were very inexpensive.
  • A photo album containing several interior and 2 exterior shots of the Century. Very neat!
  • Wonderful aerobics classes that were held at multiple times each day, and that often did NOT conflict with those in first-seating dinner! GREAT!

I am sure I could think of more, but those are the ones that stick out in my mind.

Debarkation:

Get ready to see those Priority Numbers again, this time with Debarkation replacing Embarkation. :( Numbers are basically assigned according to your departing flight times, Captain's Club Members, those with suites, and then regular passengers. I don't have to tell you which groups got the lower numbers. :) You are asked to be out of your cabins by about 8 or 8:30am and are requested to wait in public areas, EXCEPT the Grand Foyer. Announcements are made over the PA dictating which number groups are able to proceed ashore. The numbers are called fairly quickly, and if I recall during my extreme state of exhaustion, we were off the ship a bit before 10am. You proceed into the terminal, handing off your Customs forms at a few points, and then proceed to hunt for your luggage which is grouped by the number on the original baggage tags you placed on your belongings heading down, so don't remove them! The Entertainment Staff is located throughout with yellow "May I Help You" shirts on. GREAT JOB.

Proceeding out of the terminal, a maze of buses and trucks await you. Only certain airlines will have baggage trucks; you will be notified prior to debarkation as to which ones they are. Again, plenty of Celebrity Ground Staff are available to help you find your way to your buses and respective luggage trucks. If your airline does NOT have a truck, your luggage will be placed on the bus, and you will have to check it in upon arrival at the airport. Overall, debarkation was a breeze, and I found myself turning around in my seat watching the ship until she was completely out of sight, a flood of memories of the prior week dancing through my head.

Conclusion:

First, I want to thank all of you who have read every last word of this long-winded review. If there is anything else I can answer or help with, please don't hesitate to ask.

As I hope you can see, I was EXTREMELY impressed with my Celebrity experience, and it has left me yearning for more. Celebrity really has their act together, and I whole-heartedly recommend the glorious mv Century, just one of the five award-winning vessels that comprise the Celebrity Cruises fleet.

Photos by Ken Smith and Celebrity Cruises

line

John Iglehart is a graduate of Denison University and at last look was employed as Cruise Staff by Holland America Line.


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