My wife and I had wanted to go on a Hawaiian cruise for a long time. So, with our 20th anniversary coming up this summer we decided to look take the plunge with the Century's March 4th cruise to Hawaii. We decided to splurge a bit and went with one of the Century Suites on the aft of the ship.
Overall we enjoyed the cruise, as we had never been to Hawaii. However, there were a lot of small issues that popped up that sort of aggravated us a bit. Individually not all things were bad, but when added up, not sure how likely we would to choose Celebrity again. As this was only our 3rd cruise overall and first on Celebrity, we're not sure if our issues were a Century issue or just an overall service issue.
We flew out of Phoenix the morning of the 4th and aside a couple of airline related delays arrived at the pier in plenty of time. I can say one of the big pluses for us was having priority boarding with the suite. After getting through the security part of the More
line, we were directed to a line with no one waiting for suite guests. We were on board about 10 minutes later. We later heard stories that there were people that waited up to 2 hours in the main line. We headed to the buffet for lunch and a drink and were surprise when at 1:00 PM there was announcement that the rooms were available.
One of the perks with having a suite was we learned that you get a butler for the suite to help with different things. One of the things mentioned about having a butler in the suite was that they would help you unpack. We called late on the 2nd day to ask about the butler because there was no sign of her (it was a her). She finally contacted us and although there never was help unpacking, she took good care of us after that.
The room was nice with a nice veranda with a couple chairs, a table, and a couple of lounges. One drawback was that we were on deck 10, right below the deck 11 smoking area. A couple of times we would get some cigarette and/or cigar smoke coming down our way. The biggest issue we had with the room was getting some of the dirty glasses or dishes cleared. There were several days when they were left for a couple of days. Once mentioned there wasn't a problem, but we just found it interesting that we would even have to mention removing dirty dishes. Also if we ran out of or low on shampoo or body wash and we and didn't see our attendant, we would have to make sure to leave to bottles in the sink, because they didn't check on their own to see if we needed more.
We got a little bit of everything on the weather during the trip out. There were some cloudy and cool days and some sunny and warmer days. The 3rd day out the ship was rocking a bit, to the point that you were able to find sickness bags available outside the elevators even. It was pretty much the same on the way back. There wasn't much activity around the pool that last couple of days.
Hawaii itself we really enjoyed overall. Honolulu we enjoyed even though the weather sucked. It rained most of the day, lightly, but consistently. Our bus driver said it was the most rain they had all year and there wasn't much wind, so she didn't think it was going to clear out. We made it to the Arizona memorial and Missouri and regardless of the weather it was great to see. We didn't sign up for it, but the Paradise Cove Luau in Honolulu was cancelled due to the rain. Most of these people then made it to the Luau in Maui which was great, but contributed to some tendering issues.
In the ports that were tendered versus docked, it is a pretty big mess, especially Maui. They used 3 of their lifeboats as tenders and 1 local boat as well. We had signed up through the ship for a shore excursion through the ship. We got the ticket and it said to be in the theatre at 9am for our 9:45 tour. We could have gotten off earlier with priority passes, but figured we would go to the theatre in order to go with the group. We didn't leave the ship until 10:00AM and then when we did get to shore we were told that we missed our tour because we were late. One of the Celebrity crew actually told us that it wasn't their fault. Then we were told that if we wanted to, we could possibly join a tour several hours later.
We decided to go on a whale watching tour through pacificwhales.org. They had a smaller zodiac that was about half full. It was AWESOME. Along with the boat captain there was a 'naturalist' on board that did a great job of explaining what was going on. Also, there were a lot of whales in the area. We had 2 mother calf pairs that wound up coming within 20 feet of the boat or so. We also saw a couple of dolphins with a baby dolphin that seemed to be playing with one of the whale pairs. There is a 100 yard rule that the boat can't go closer than within 100 yards of the whale, but, if the whales happen to come close to you, that is ok.
On the tender back to the ship that night after the luau, we were the 2nd tender to leave port but wound up floating near the ship for over half an hour and it would have been longer but they finally opened up the other side of the ship to offload . It was bad for a lot of people because they wound up almost doubling the expected people going to the luau, because of the previously cancelled luau.
We had heard great things about food on Celebrity. In our opinion, the food wasn't very good, it seemed like we weren't the only ones. We sent back several items for being cold (3 different nights). One night part of our order never showed up and no one could say what happened or why. The buffet was just ok. The can be some communications issues at times. A couple times in the buffet area we would order drinks, give our cards for them, but never saw our drinks in the time we were waiting.
We did have 3 dinners in the Murano(specialty restaurant) and the food and service was very good. On the 2nd night I had put some butter on some bread and took a bite and bit into glass. Evidently the glass containers they use can crack around the edges (it had happened before we were told). They were very apologetic and offered us a free glass of wine. Nice offer, but we really aren't wine drinkers, although I did have 2 glasses over the course of the cruise.
Finally, my wife had setup a spa appointment to have her nails done and a pedi. She got done with her nails and then asked about the pedi and the scheduling had been messed up for the pedi and didn't have any time to reschedule outside of our in port days.
Overall, we did enjoy the cruise. But there really wasn't anything that we can attribute specifically to Celecbrity or the Century aside from the basic alchohol package that we got as part of the cruise. Milos D, the bartender in the Rendezvous loung was GREAT!!! We did bring up our concerns to guest relations, and it seems that the standard response it to apologize and offer a bottle of wine (screw cap, Chile vintage 2012). Nice offer once again, if you drink wine.
The entertainment was OK. Several very good acts and several that just didn't capture our interest.
Not sure if we set our expectations too high and made it hard to live up to. it just seemed there was a lot of little issues. Less
Great tour with a 12 passenger bus off the boat. Guide , Daniel, was very knowledgeable and flexible. Went to serveral sites at the Volcano park, Mauna Loa macadamia nut factory, and then rainbow waterfall. Was a great combination of different sites.