Celebrity Century March 2013 Hawaii: Celebrity Century Cruise Review by pking
Overall Member Rating
Celebrity Century March 2013 Hawaii
Embarkation: San Diego
We stayed in Concierge class and had no problem boarding the ship. In fact, it couldn't have gone any smoother. Disembarkation took a little bit longer, but still was within the realm of normal.
We had never had so many days at sea before and found, like others, that there was so much to do that we were never bored. We greatly enjoyed the lectures by Chelsea in the theater, the art lectures, the wine tastings, as well as our ukulele lessons. Our instructors were so much fun. They were very encouraging and we all had a lot of laughs in the short five days we took More lessons for. In fact, we had so much fun doing it that we ordered ukuleles as soon as we got home and are continuing to play!
For younger people considering this cruise/destination, I will say that we were among a very small group of passengers under 50 years old. We enjoyed everyone we met.
There were a few days at sea where the boat was rocking quite badly. I'm a big fan of the wrist bands for sea sickness. As long as I was wearing them, I was fine. I only truly needed them one day on this trip. The second day at sea was the most turbulent on our trip and we had smooth sailing after that.
By the time we arrived in Oahu, we were ready for some activity. Sadly, it poured on us most of the day we were in Honolulu. We visited the USS Arizona Memorial and the USS Missouri on an excursion through the ship. In Maui we did the ship excursion: Adventure to Hana. It was 9 1/2 hours in duration and we got to see nearly all the island of Maui but it was a long day and the van was very uncomfortable. In Kona, we did another excursion through the ship: glass bottom boat whale watch. Due to tender boat issues, we nearly missed this excursion. It made for a very stressful morning but the excursion itself was wonderful and we got to see many whales in the 2 1/2 hours we were on the tour. Our final day, in Hilo, we did a private tour: Ricky's Tours. Ricky was fabulous! Everything you read about him is true. He's very knowledgeable and friendly. He efficiently took us around to see all the sights within Hilo and Volcanoes National Park. Fortunately, we arrived early at Volcanoes National Park and saw it before the rain started. We had clear skies and a great time in the park. Ricky's Tours takes you to an orchid greenhouse and the macadamia nut farm. Both are very interesting and if you love flowers, bring a great camera. We got some very nice shots of the orchids with our camera.
Sadly, cruising in March turned out to not be the best weather we could have encountered. We rarely saw blue sky and if we did, it was fleeting. The temperatures mainly hovered around 68 degrees and this was not the tropical paradise everyone told us we would find on our trip. This trip was in honor of our 25th wedding anniversary and since we live on the east coast of the USA, traveling to Hawaii is not an easy thing for us to do. I'm not sure that I'd ever return due to the distance, so the fact that the weather was drab and dreary sort of colored our experience. If you are thinking of cruising to Hawaii in the future, perhaps you should steer clear of March or go later in the month.
As for accommodations, our room was fine. The bed wasn't great but we were able to sleep on it just fine. Our pillows were okay as we propped them up with the decorative pillows. We did hear others complaining about the comfort of the beds and pillows but for us, it wasn't a huge issue. Our room attendant was efficient and friendly. She was one of the best we've had on Celebrity. The drain in the bathroom backed up every time we took a shower. On the our last day, the toilet started to run and overflow. While we alerted our stateroom attendant, I have no idea of the damage done to the room as we were leaving the ship. The other problem with our stateroom was that we ordered room service via the TV and also with the sheet on the doorknob and never received it. After our third attempt, we just gave up. Not sure what the issue was as we've never, ever, had a problem getting room service, but we just didn't feel like pursuing it. Instead, we ate mostly in the main dining room and met some interesting people there each morning.
Our dining experience was very different. We had the main seating and without fail, we were the last ones served every night and the last ones leaving the dining room after eating. We were frustrated at first, but then found that if we arrived a little later to dinner, we were much happier. Our waiter was probably the worst waiter we've ever had on land or sea, which is odd for Celebrity. He was a nice enough guy, but really seemed to struggle. His assistant waiter was missing the first three nights. When he arrived, things improved, but it is obvious that there are some cutbacks being made in staff size and also in food quality. We found that many of the steaks, not served on the formal nights, were tough and difficult to chew. Cost cutting, unfortunately, cannot be helped in this day and age, so we learned to steer clear of beef unless it was a formal night. The Beef Wellington was fabulous on the last formal night. We enjoyed all our other entrees. I celebrated my birthday in the middle of the cruise and the staff did a nice job of singing to me and brought a small cake to the table to share with our table mates.
We found the ship's entertainment to be very good. There was a nice variety of performances. We had a ventriloquist/comedian, several jugglers, a violinist, an a cappella group, a piano player, the Celebrity Dancers performed several times, and we also had a short performance by an aerial acrobat. Seating was a challenge for the main seating entertainment. We learned early in the cruise to bring our Surface with us to read for the 45 minutes before the performance so that we could get a good seat and have something to do while waiting.
Overall, we had a positive experience on this trip. It's hard not to have a good time while cruising. We would sail the Century again, but will probably return to the larger ships for our next trip. While there were a few hiccups on this trip, we still had a very nice time and really enjoy the treatment we receive on Celebrity. They remain our favorite cruise line. Less