A* Alaskan Cruise: Celebrity Century Cruise Review by Sarah Ball

Celebrity Century 5
Sarah Ball

Overall Member Rating

A* Alaskan Cruise

Sail Date: May 2012
Destination: Alaska
Embarkation: Vancouver
We had never cruised before, and usually favour independent travel, so when we booked our Alaskan cruise with Celebrity, it was with slight trepidation - were we the cruising type? I knew we would be amongst the youngest onboard, at 30, but that didn't faze my partner and I - it was more the idea of being confined in one place and the luxury holiday camp atmosphere that I was unsure about.

I needn't have worried - our first cruise on the Celebrity Century was fantastic, excellent value for money, and I have very few criticisms of either the ship or its super-friendly crew.

Embarkation - very smooth and super quick - we were on the boat within half an hour of arriving at Canada Place

Cabin - we opted for an inside cabin, and it turned out to be more roomy than I expected, with a large shower and a high standard of decoration. We could hear a little noise from the neighbours, but no other disturbances in 9123.

Dining - we much preferred the main More dining room to the buffet, as we found the buffet could be a little warm and crowded. However, the standard of food in both was very good. We tried Murano's on the second night, and had a great meal, worth the extra £50. Our only disappointment was the room service, more for the ordering process than the standard of the food.

Entertainment - although the style of entertainment on the ship was not our usual taste, we enjoyed the shows, and performances by the musicians. I probably wouldn't have watched some of them if I wasn't confined to the ship, but the standard was pretty high and perfectly targeted at the 50+ age range. I particularly liked the effort that the performers and entertainment staff made to interact with the cruisers, which gave a warm, friendly atmosphere. Our favourite spot was probably the Cova Cafe, where you could sip a coffee, or wine, while listening to a performance, and taking advantage of complimentary cakes and pastries. There were lots of activities to join in with - we tried wine tasting, and went to a few talks by Milos, the onboard naturalist. We also watched a few films in the cinema, including some recent big hits which we hadn't got round to watching before.

Ports - we called at Juneau, Ketchiken and Icy Straight Point, and cruised the Hubbard Glacier. All were excellent, but we did spend a lot on some really cool excursions. I would say that ISP is the one place where you need to do an excursion to get the most out of the visit. The Captain did a great job of getting us super close to the Hubbard Glacier, and we saw some fantastic calving.

Staff - the staff onboard the Celebrity were on the whole very friendly, and went out of their way to keep you happy. Most seemed genuinely happy to be there. A special shout out to the Cruise Director, John Grantham, who was excellent, and a real entertainer with his stuntman stories, and joining the band as a singer and guitarist for the party nights.

Condition of the Ship - she's an old ship, but still in good shape. Some of the windows in the restaurant, and on deck 11 where the loungers were, could do with replacing, but otherwise, I had no complaints. If I was being picky, I'd like to see more variety in the decor of the bars - they're a bit samey in style, apart from the Martini Bar which doesn't really fit with the rest of the ship. We didn't use the spa, or the pools, but both looked great.

Overall, our first cruise was a great experience, and I felt that a lot of that was down to Celebrity which as a company seemed to be very focused on quality and customer service. For the rate we paid, the cruise was excellent value and I would certainly cruise again with Celebrity given a suitable itinerary. Less

Published 06/09/12

Cabin review: 099123

Quiet location

Port and Shore Excursions

Whale Watching

Loved Icy Strait Point. We went whale watching with Glacier Winds, which was a great family-run operation. Loved every minute. We didn't have much time to explore the town afterwards, opting for a beer in the restaurant by the cannery after our busy day. It looked like there were some pretty walks nearby. Probably a port where you need to arrange to do something, rather than expect to be entertained by shopping or walking around town.

Mendenhall Glacier

Juneau was a great town - we explored a little before our Glacier helicopter tour with North Star Trekking. It was amazing on the glacier, brilliant experience and well-worth the hefty price tag for the excursion. Afterwardsm, we took the tram to the top of Mount Roberts, and took in the views. The restaurant up there has a great balcony, where we drank a pitcher of Alaska's finest beer, and enjoyed the peace and quiet, with eagles soaring above.

Zodiac Boat

Took an excellent excursion with Ketchiken Outdoors, driving our own Zodiac boat around, checking out the views and wildlife. What a fab day! That took up most of our time in Ketchiken, but we also hung out in a cool bar, The Asylum, where they offered free Oysters, excellent beers, and in-bar take-away service from the Burger Queen next door - how can that be beaten?! Would have liked to see more of the town, as we didn't even make it to Creek Street.
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Sarah Ball
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