Arriving in San Diego by air, we took a taxi to the cruise port for $15, much less the $20 each that Celebrity asked for their transfers. The driver let us off right at the door. A porter took our bags and we headed straight for the check in. We were aboard soon after and headed for the buffet.
Having sailed several times before on Century, we were pleased to find her in such good shape. The carpets, paint, and upholstery all seemed to be fresh and the flat-screen TVs and electronic links have been updated since our last cruise in 2008. We had a balcony stateroom on the 8th deck near the central stairway. We had more closet space than on the Solstice. We enjoyed breakfasts on the balcony during port days, but the straight chairs did not encourage any lounging there.
Although all of our paperwork indicated that we had early seating for dinner, the card in our stateroom gave us a table for second seating. Because of our strong preference for early seating, I went straight to the Maitre'D to request a change. Because of a snafu somewhere the early dinner was overbooked by 100 guests above the capacity. After a temporary accommodation for the first night, we were given a permanent table at early seating for the rest of the cruise. We were grateful for the change.
We were pleased with the experience in the main dining room and never felt the need to try the specialty dining in Murano. The menu choices were always pleasing: everything that I tasted was delicious. Our wait staff was very attentive and took care of all of our requests.
We chose this particular cruise because we didn't have to fly to or from Hawaii and because we enjoy sea days. There were lots of activities on sea days. In fact so many good things were happening at the same time that we asked the Cruise Director Rich Clesen to move some around to help space things out. He did so and it was a big help to us. Among all the usual activities there were two guest lecturers on board. One of them, Dr. David Plourd, gave a series of presentations about the seas and the creatures that live in them. His video clips of dolphins and whales were spectacular. He also told about the formation of the Hawaiian islands and its relatives in the Pacific. He is perhaps the best lecturer we have heard on any ship.
The crew were always pleasant and smiling and attentive to our needs or wishes. There was a Roman Catholic Chaplin on board who held services for both Catholics and Protestants. We were pleased that he was there to hold services on Ash Wednesday.