If the Celebrity Century's Panama Canal cruise were the first cruise we'd taken, I'd never cruise again. Understand, I like cruising and I like Celebrity. We re-booked after our first Celebrity cruise because the passengers were wonderful. In fact we have even purchase a future cruise with them but this Century cruise was a two star.
The cruise director welcomed us to the floating hotel but I felt more like we were camping than staying in a decent hotel. Even some of the worst hotels that I've stayed in have decent pillows. My guest room at home has decent pillows because I expect for my guest to sleep comfortably. So my first problem with this cruise was the terrible pillows. They were small and hard. I requested larger pillows but was instead given more small hard pillows. At one point there were eight small hard pillows on the bed, all differing in filling. In trying to resolve this simple problem I was told that no other pillows were available.
Now one of the reasons that I felt justified in asking for a larger more comfortable pillow is because we were in cabin 9245. It's a large cabin on the stern of the ship. I requested a cabin in this area because it would offer a wonderful view of the Panama Canal locks as we passed through. I though about engine noise but figured that I'd sacrifice the simple sound of the ocean waves to have an excellent view of the locks. A big plus is that the view was excellent; a big minus is that it's only one day out a of fifteen day cruise. The other fourteen nights we had to sleep on a bed that was only accessible from one side as the head, foot and right side were blocked by walls and a divider. It was also very low and kind of difficult for an older body to stand from. Anyway, because the bed configuration was so bad I figured that we at the very least deserved decent pillows. NO!
The balcony furniture really showed its age and the lounge chairs felt their age. A few pillows in the proper place allowed us to sit on the lounge chairs until the soot arrived. On the third day my wife informed me that soot and fumes drift to the stern of the ship and sure enough I could see it and smell it. I tried admiring the beautiful ship's wake and she tried not getting sick. I won't say anymore about the fumes since I've reported it to Celebrity and they promised to do something. They also promised to keep that area a little cleaner.
Celebrity is noted for its food and service. Thank you Danang and Natalia for your wonder service. You were really great. And yes, they were serving great food until the nor o-virus hit. The meat became over cooked and dry, the sauces vanished and the quality of the food diminished. I imagine that the kitchen goes through a lot when disease threatens but things got better after a few days. By the end of the trip the food was excellent again.
The reason that I'll cruise with Celebrity again is because I know that they can do better and I won't make the mistake of choosing a cabin like I did again. I didn't know that cabins and beds like that existed on a Celebrity ship. Again, waiters like Danang and Natalia exist and make the dinners and cruising special.
John, the cruise director, was also the best that I've experienced. He is professional. I didn't like all of the shows but I really like a few. Considering the diversity of the passengers the shows, for the most part, were excellent and enjoyable; I'm just more inclined to like variety and novelty acts.