My DH, my daughter and I have just completed a 7 day cruise (May 13-20) to Alaska on the Century (Celebrity). We were concierge class room 1111 with a great room attendant Noel. Embarkation: in Vancouver was a breeze. We were met by staff handing out mimosas and juice. Very welcoming! By 11:30 we were at the Island Cafe buffet having lunch. And in the hot tubs afterwards. We were allowed to bring in two bottles of liquor on board. Staterooms were ready at 1pm.
Ship: It is the smallest ship of Celebrity, 72,000 tons (1,800 guests) and the oldest. It is heading to dry dock next year for a major retrofit. However, we loved the intimate size of this ship, where after a few days, you got to meet guests and make friends. There was a cinema, computer room, card game room, library, aqua spa, teenager area, several lounges/bars (loved the Hemisphere-large quiet lounge, used for reading during the day, front of the ship, deck 12) beautiful two level dining room, casino, boutiques. It is true that the ship is tired in some areas ( carpets), but it is spotless, staff is forever cleaning everywhere.
Room: It was small (we were 3 adults- were told by our agent that we were having a family suite, didn't happen.) My daughter slept on a single sofa bed, very small for her as she is tall. Also when the bed was made up, we couldn't access the balcony. It was a very small room (for 3 people), but with plenty of storage, flatscreen TV, desk, good size fully appointed bathroom with large shower. We managed well for the week, as we were not in the room very often. Some of the carpet is worn- I hear they are retrofitting next year. It is Celebrity's oldest ship but it sure is warm and charming, dark woods etc.... We loved the ship!
Food: What can we say? The food was plentiful and amazing. Good portions and many choices. The breakfast buffet was plentiful and so was lunch. There was also an outdoor grill by the pool- hot dogs, best hamburgers and fries-delicious and cooked on charcoal. Food at dinner was simply amazing -4 course -. However you could order as many appetizers or even entrees as you wished. On the 2 formal nights, they served lobster tails. They brought you as many as you wished and cracked them open on your plate- outstanding service (from Tris our waiter) !!! A few evenings, I wasn't very hungry and wanted to pass on entrees. Our waiter simply refused not to bring me an entree. He would repeat ' I will get you a small portion'. There were several dining options on this ship open to various times of the day. Also, dress code was enforced, especially on formal nights. They even provided jackets to men who didn't have one. It made for an elegant atmosphere.
Entertainment: We thoroughly enjoyed the production shows, very high energy and talented singers and dancers. We so enjoyed the show Dance Around the World, A touch of Broadway. The guests (Scott Alexander) were entertaining and varied. John, the cruise director was very efficient at his job and was visible everywhere on the ship. We particularly enjoyed Tammy Rafferty and Charlie Buttler, Aquadio an acapella group. There were many activities going on at all times, and for everyone-bingos, lectures, dance classes, art classes, liquor tastings trivia games, photoshop/computer classes etc...On the second night, we were invited to a Captain's Gala toast in the theater where we were handed champagne and chocolates, the captain introduced his staff. Followed by a show. What a delightful evening!
Pool/Spa: 2 Pools, one heated, 4 hot tubs. Sadly they close at 8pm. (It was really too cold to be on deck in the evening in this area of the country.) Hopefully during the warmer days in Alaksa they will extend the hours.
Dining: We selected Our time dining, (we had to prepay gratuities). We learned on our previous cruise that even with our time dining, we still had to go to the dining room upon boarding and reserve our time ( ex. 6:30pm), and this assured us a table at that time for dinner (with the same waiter). One evening we were late because of a late port, and got in without a problem but at a different table with different waiter.
Service: Outstanding service from everyone on the ship. They were all friendly, courteous and willing to help and spent time chatting with guests. Many whom we talked with genuinely enjoyed their work, their working conditions and their superiors. On the first day, the hot tub was VERY hot, we reported immediately to the staff and right away they shut off the heat. Afterwards, it was perfect for the entire week. Two days in our cruise, they handed out an evaluation sheet, How is your cruise so far? We filled it out, very positively of course, and with a couple of suggestions. The following evening customer service called in our room to thank us for our response and assured us that they were dealing immediately with our other comments. This is a first for us.
What service! One evening we ordered specialty coffees at Cova Cafe ( with cherries and whipped cream), a few minutes later our waiter goes by and noticed we had eaten our cherries. He swiftly returned with a martini glass full of cherries. And every other time after that. Urbano Rodrigues is an amazing waiter who pays attention to detail. Thank you Urbano.
Upon returning from ports, we were alway handed hot chocolate, so appreciated on cold days. These are special touches that Celebrity provide to their guests and make us feel very welcome. We do notice them. We were invited to visit the bridge (Concierge Class), an interesting experience. My dh also visited the galley, again an amazing feat for the food staff. Something else we appreciated was daily mini newspaper from around the word. Again, an added bonus for those who wish to stay in touch with current events.
Debarcation: went well. Express pass to get to airport for early flight.
Icy Strait:(tendered) A very small port, 50 miles west of Juneau, easy to visit and walk through in a couple of hours.
Juneau: We debarked, booked a local tour to Mendenhall Glacier and CityTour, 3 hours, well worth it. Guide was great, a small 20 people bus. Afterwards, we took the tram up Mount Roberts. Great views from up there. Lots of shopping in Cruise boutiques...
Ketchikan: Nice small town, great shopping, easy to walk through. Well worth stop.
Hubbard Glacier: the highlight of the cruise. We approached within 1.5 mile from the glaciers. BREATHTAKING! The captain did a few 360 degrees turns. Everyone stayed on deck the entire time in the cold and wind. It was that beautiful!
Cruising through the Fjords; Beautiful sunny day, amazing scenery. Soaking in the hot tubs viewing the snowcapped mountains sliding by. What's not to like? We were so lucky to have wonderful weather this early in the Alaska cruise season, sunny everyday except a few hours in Ketchikan.
This is our second cruise with this company and we are already looking forward to our next cruise with Celebrity: Baltic and British Isles.
The guests ages ranged from 30's to seniors-Some younger, some families, MANY canadians.
As for the rating of this cruise, I would rate the ship a 4 of 5 because of age , but a big
5 * of 5 for a fabulous cruise provided by Celebrity and its crew. A big thank you !
Everyone should take an Alaskan Cruise once in their lifetime.