Celebrity is up to now our favourite cruiseline. After a beautiful cruise a couple of months ago with the Reflection, I was very much looking forward to cruising with the Century. Century did not completely meet my expectations but I had a great time during this cruise.
I have stayed at the Best Western Plus Bayside Inn for three days before boarding the Century. I can highly recommend this hotel for cruisers. It offers good value for money, it has a friendly transfer service from/to the airport and harbour, receptionists are friendly and efficient and location is very convenient, being near to the harbour as well as to the center of San Diego.
Embarkation in San Diego was fine. There was a long line for having the documents checked, but it move fast. Apparently there was another line for passengers with priority access or elite members, but there were no signs to direct those passengers, so many were queuing in the long line. It would be good if signs were available. After the documents were checked there were good indications to where to go, so that check inn went smooth and fast.
Once on the ship we were greeted by the the sommeliers with the (by now usual) half glass of sparkling wine or one glass of mimosa or orange juice. Rooms were ready about a half an hour later.
My room was an inside cabin (as a solo passenger higher categories did not appear to me to be good value for price) located in the tenth floor. My first impression from the cabin was that it was OK in size for one person, but I wonder how it is supposed to accommodate two people. There was plenty of storage place though. The cabin registered noises in the evenings in which there was an event on deck eleven. My cabin was always kept in perfect condition and cabin attendant Malcolm and his assistant were very professional and friendly. Thank you guys!
The ship was in good condition. Of course you could see that it is an old ship but it was well kept. Public rooms were beautiful.
Captain Latrou and his officers made also a good impression. There were at the cruise critics connection meeting and answered several questions from our members. Cruise director Rich was also great. Hotel director Jamie made a very professional impression. There was a feedback form send to us about three days after embarkation from the hotel director. I have found that a very good idea to give us the opportunity to raise concerns if any. Corrective action was taken immediately. This talks for good management.
Ports of call were great!! Hawaii is lovely. I have used only ships excursions and they were most good. I have found the Paradise Cove Luau not good. It is overpriced and poor in what it offers.
In general the itinerary was very good. I have however the suggestion of leaving Kailua Kona two hours earlier so that the magnificent lava flow spectacle could be seen by most of the passengers. At the current itinerary the lava flow can be see at around midnight. It would be more accessible if the ship would cruise that area at around 10 pm.
My big disappointment was the food at the main restaurant. With the exception of the crabs filled mushrooms and the lobster, I have found the food poor in comparison with the food offered at the Reflection. The names were the same but the quality so different....Also Murano did not deliver imo the excellence that you would expect from a gourmet restaurant winner from a Michelin star. The health corner had good salads but the service did not make a very welcoming impression, specially if you order something warm. Best food were for me the Asian stir fries, curries and sushi. So I had plenty of those.
Captain Club Activities were good. The waiters during the evening social event were extremely attentive and did their best to spoil us all. Gallyna (captain club hostess) made also a good impression.
The shows were OK. The production shows were good twice (first and third night) and poor the other one (second night). The Hawaiian Ambassador June was excellent. This applies also for the Hawaiian music duo. Other entertainers I have found very good.
Disembarkation was smooth. Foreigners had to go to a public room for the migration formalities. This was very well managed. The international host was around contributing to a smooth process.
In summary, this was a good cruise and Hawaii deserves a comeback. As much as I have enjoyed this cruise, I am afraid I will not book with the Century again. The main reason is the quality of the food which, in comparison with other Celebrity ships, did not meet my expectations.