Hawaii Cruise: Celebrity Century Cruise Review by Tom-Sally
Overall Member Rating
The first part of the cruise (touring the Hawaiian Islands) was great except for a main dining room seating issue and one mediocre excursion. We had to get the Restaurant Manager involved to resolve our seating issue and he offered us complimentary dining for two and a bottle of wine in the Murano specialty restaurant. With regards to the excursion we filed a complaint with the Excursion desk and received a 50% rebate of our excursion cost.
The second part of the cruise was not very desirable. Some of what happened (the weather, wind, and rough seas) was not in the control of Celebrity. But other things such as the activities on the ship and the disembarking in Ensenada, MX were in the control of Celebrity Cruise lines.
We didn't think there was enough varied activities on the ship for the days at sea. The majority of the lectures were about stars, the universe and More mammals. Any seminar provide by the fitness department was an infomercial, with very little information being provided but a big push to sell you something. Many days we ate in the Aqua Spa cafe for breakfast and lunch but we had to stop eating there when it started smelling like a locker room after many guests started showing up sweaty without showering after just exercising. The dress code for formal nights in the main dining room was not being enforced, our suggestion is if the dress code is not going to be being enforced stop having formal nights and just go to a smart casual dress code for all dining in the main dining room. In our opinion the entertainment was average with the best performers, Inspiration Classical Strings, being mostly relegated to Michaels Club where there was no bartender. The On-Point A Cappella group did more talking than singing and they seemed to be the prime billing in the Cova Cafe.
The general announcements (non-emergency) being made by the Master of the Ship or the Cruise Director could not be heard in your cabin especially if we were sitting on the Veranda so in several instances we missed important announcements. Suggest a switch or volume control be added in each cabin to allow us, at our discretion, to hear the general announcements in the cabin without having to go out into the hall.
The adventure we had at the end of our Celebrity Century cruise which had us disembarking in Ensenada, MX vice San Diego, CA was very disappointing.
While we understand the Jones Act which requires a stop in a foreign port before returning to a US port we don't understand why the Celebrity Century could not have just stopped in Ensenada, MX for the required number of hours before cruising on to San Diego, CA to disembark. We know this can be done since the round trip cruises on the Celebrity Century departing San Diego, CA to Hawaii on 5 April 2012 and 20 April 2012 are starting in San Diego and returning to San Diego for disembarkation with a brief stop (to satisfy the Jones Act requirement) in Ensenada, MX.
We knew when we booked our cruise that we would be disembarking in Ensenada and be bused by motor coach to San Diego, CA.....but we were not told of the actual procedures until we were onboard the Celebrity Century. We should have been told when we were booking the cruise of the potential problems/delays which could be experienced. Once we arrived at the border it took approximately 90 minutes to get through the process and get back on the motor coach. If we had known the potential problems, hassle and delays with disembarking in Ensenada in advance of our booking this cruise we would not have booked this particular cruise.
Cruise personnel on-board indicated we could keep our carry-on luggage with us, but we weren't told we would have to hold this luggage on our laps because there was very little space for interior storage on the motor coach.
The female crew member in the Rendez-Vous lounge coordinating the announcements and distributing customs forms was clueless. All of the departing passengers knew that the US Customs form would be required but she also provided a Mexico Customs form. The Mexico customs form was in Spanish and the female crew member did not know what we were to do with this form, First she said everyone needed to complete this form and then she said maybe only one form was needed per family this changed several times while we were in the lounge. Also, she did not know what we had to fill in on the form, she said just place your last name on the form, sign and date it anywhere on the form. The bottom line is that this person was not qualified and that Celebrity Cruises Lines should ensure qualified and trained personnel are manning these key posts during disembarkation.
In our opinion this debacle could have just been avoided by making appropriate arrangements to meet the Jones Act and be disembarked in San Diego, CA.
This experience has left a very bad impression and we will have to consider this in booking another cruise with Celebrity cruise lines.
With regards to the Celebrity Century...it does not fit the moniker of "Modern Luxury". Luxury it is not. While the interior spaces and cabins are clean the interior looks tired and needs some updating. The exterior of the ship is tired, old, worn and weathered in need of general maintenance and updating. Several of the tenders have torn carpeting which is a trip hazard.
Overall we would rate this cruise a 6 out of a possible 10. Less