We recently sailed on theCentury on the March 19 sailing from San Diego to Hawaii.
This was our 12th Celebrity sailing and our first time on this smaller and older ship.
Despite many of the earlier reviews we had read, my wife and I both agreed the Century is still in relatively nice shape. We booked a Sky Suite on Deck 10 (Cabin 1070) and we found the location ideal to the pool, buffets, and appreciated the mid-ship location on the few occasions when the ship was feeling the swells in the Pacific. While it's true the Sky Suites on Summit don't have the newer big flat screens and the nice technology touches we have grown used to on Solstice Class ships, the oversized balcony and amazingly helpful butler, (His name is Speedy Gonzalez) more than made
up for the older cabin which was in overall good shape.
If you are considering this particular itinerary to Hawaii, know upfront there are MANY sea days. Also be prepared for cool weather the first two days out of San Diego and the last two days of the cruise. My wife and I enjoy the tranquility of sea days although I must confess that in the future I will make sure those
days are spent in warmer climates. We don't particularly enjoy sea days when the weather is too cold to lay poolside with a good book.
The average age on this 15 night cruise was 70+ years old. On the bright side, it was nice to be among the youngest passengers and we are in our early 60's. Transversely, we would have enjoyed
socializing with more passengers who were closer to our age and perhaps still had careers and active lives to discuss. While not trying to sound condescending to older passengers, as I know we
will be there soon, we enjoy meeting new people our age who share our interests.
There has always been a huge void on Celebrity ships when it comes to entertainment aimed at the under 60 crowd. I just can't understand why the cruise directors can't hire more relevant and 'hip' entertainers and perhaps switch the nostalgia from the 1950s to the 1970s, please. We were unimpressed with the cruise director on Summit, as we found him smug and not open to our suggestions when it came to entertainment. Whatever. WE DID enjoy both comedians and the magician who was featured on America's Got Talent. We had already seen many of the performers and productions on other Celebrity ships, so we avoided those evenings.
The food was OK. We personally like more traditional American fare rather than 'want to be be-gourmet entrees', but that's a subjective thing. While the alternative restaurant Murano was a step up, the menu is tired and the exactly the same as we have experienced on other Celebrity ships. It's time for a menu change for sure. We missed SILK HARVEST, the Asian restaurant found on Solstice class ships. In addition to fewer dining choices, we found the buffet on Summit to be much smaller than on Solstice class ships and candidly, just not as tasty.
While we like fewer passengers, we did miss the array of dining choices and the modern technology touches found on Celebrity's larger vessels. We found the Spa to offer a skilled staff but as usual, we had
to bicker on pricing. Make sure you negotiate your massage prices if you plan on getting more than one treatment, as the printed prices are outrageous and not worth it.
I scratch my head when I read other reviews that complain of nothing to do on sea days. Celebrity offers an amazing array of things to keep people busy. We happen to pass on most activities and simply enjoy the solitude of the sea and fewer annoying messages by the cruise director than on most other lines. There's something wonderful about nice weather, the open sea, a good book, your favorite tunes in your ears, and nowhere to have to be! IF YOU DON'T ENJOY RELAXING SEA DAYS, THIS HAWAII ITINERARY IS NOT FOR YOU!
You may read that Celebrity did a terrible job with embarkation in San Diego. Ignore those comments, as the Coast Guard staged a surprise inspection that pushed back the boarding process by several hours. The cruise line was not at fault for the delayed boarding and the long lines in San Diego. IN light of the recent woes at Carnival, we welcome anything that has to do with SAFETY! This was the first time I have ever experienced a bad embarkation and like I said, Celebrity was not at fault. Disembarkation was smooth and timely.
Overall, we had no major complaints. We had a wonderful 15 nights and came home relaxed with plenty of nice memories. This is a good Hawaii SAMPLER for folks who are simply looking for a taste of the islands mixed with plenty of sea days. We had wonderful seas but the Pacific can be tricky and you can never count on the same luck. If you are afraid of motion and are susceptible to sea sickness , I would not recommend this itinerary without getting a prescription for a patch.
I think this might be time for us to move on to Azamara for our future cruise experiences. Celebrity is a great product, especially the newer Solstice Class ships. But while we aren't getting any younger, we also aren't ready for Assisted Living. I think we will seek out the smaller ships with a slightly younger demographic and more exotic destinations.
Overall- 3.5 stars out of 5 for this latest adventure!