My husband and I have been going on cruises almost yearly for the past 15 years. We have been all over the Caribbean, Mexico/Pacific Coast and Alaska. After hearing nothing but greatness about Celebrity, we decided to give it a try with a 4 night Pacific Coastal cruise on the Century - economical and convenient for us since we live in Arizona. It turned out to be a big mistake. We had an extremely disappointing experience due to very bad service in nearly every area of the ship - from the top down. We feel that we are experienced cruisers and know what to expect. There are always minor mishaps and inconveniences that come up when traveling. However, we were not prepared for the complete disorganization and rudeness that seemed to be "the norm" on this ship. Here are a few examples:
We were delayed boarding and getting to our cabins due to extra cleaning because of Norovirus on the prior sailing. That would be fine if our room was actually CLEAN. The first thing we noticed when we entered the room is that the bedspread was dirty. The bed was not set up properly. There was nasty food filth all over our verandah. There were pills lying on the floor that were left by a past passenger. We never met the cabin steward the entire trip - tried, but no luck. We never got a card for our door to request privacy or room clean up - despite asking for this by phone. We had to BEG for trash can liners and ice for our bucket. The napkins on the tray had obviously been used by past passengers. The sheets had holes in them and were never changed once during the voyage. The pillows were terrible and smelled old and funny. The TV did not work properly. Room service never brought the required silverware or condiments with anything. It was a disaster.
The dining room service was good - not great. We like assigned late seating and got that. We were sat at too small of a table that was set for 10 with no space between chairs. Only four people showed every night, but waiters would not take away settings so we could sit without banging elbows the entire meal. There were tons of empty tables around us set for no-shows every night. They were so close together that the staff could not provide service without constantly banging in to you. We were placed at the far back of the dining room - and there was no aisle set up to get there from the entry. It was generally very loud and uncomfortable. The food was mediocre - had to send back inedible steak that was supposed to be a "medium rare rib-eye" but was less than 1/2 inch thick, well done and mostly fat. A few dishes were quite good, but I was often so frustrated and crowded we could not enjoy them. Wine service was also lacking. It seems the waiters are not allowed to handle wine on this ship. We never got wine until mid-meal and had a hard time getting our glass refilled. Forget about suggestions on choice - there was not time for that.
The buffet was also a very disorganized mess. We did not get good service, even when it wasn't crowded. They were always out of plates, many dishes sat empty without attention. I attempted to get a "breakfast sandwich" cooked to order - as advertised at the buffet. It took me over 10 minutes to get anyone to notice me and to agree make it. I should have given up. Then, the cook threw an English muffin on the toaster and walked off. When it was done, the threw it aside and did something else until it was cold and rock-hard. Then, he dumped a scoop of cold eggs and a pinch of dried up cheese on it and practically threw it at me. He was not wearing a name-tag so I did not report him. There was little to no drink service at any time - unless you were paying for alcohol. Bar service was not great- drinks were always watered down and not high quality.
The frosting on the entire experience was our total lack of disembarkation instruction. We turned in the required form to inform the ship of our plans the second day of the cruise. By 8 PM the evening prior to disembarking, we still had no instructions. At 6 PM we had asked a cabin steward (one that worked in our hallway, but not ours since he could not be found) for help. He said he would follow-up, but there was no response. We went to the guest relations desk at 8 PM and stood in a long line. We explained the problem and were told repeatedly that "the instructions were in our room". We had been through our room very thoroughly, and we assured the clerk they were not there. The Chief Environmental Officer happened to be behind the desk and he got involved. We told him that were very unhappy about so many aspects of service on the ship and this was only one example. He gave us nothing but blank looks. We ended up getting placed as a "walk-off" which was fine. We then had to request a copy of our account statement. It did not include standard gratuities and I could not get any response as to whether they would be added or when.
The morning of disembarkation, we grabbed a quick breakfast and headed to the place that we were told to wait to be called (floor 6 at the Cinema/Card room). When we arrived (20 minutes early), the entire hallway was filled with passengers and luggage. The Cinema and Card room were full of staff having a meeting. They told us we were in the wrong place and did not believe us until we showed them the instructions in writing. They then told us that we could just get off the ship now. The gangplank was set up on level 3. We had to haul our bags down 3 level of stairs because there were hundreds of people in the "wrong place" waiting for non-reserved elevators.
We would like to be able to point out some good things about the trip. There were a few. The itinerary was great - Catalina and Santa Barbara are fantastic ports. The tendering was not handled great. There were no staff below to help people to seats and a lot of elderly people were falling all over the place. Getting off the tender took forever because they only had ONE key card slot for an entire returning boat. Ensenada was the required "non-US" stop as usual, but we had a great tour "Wine Country and Tasting", then some fun shopping in town. We wish that we had done this cruise with any other ship than the Century. Celebrity has lost our business - and I'm young (forties) with many years of cruises ahead of us. Too bad for them...