Celebrity Century Cruise Review by North Van Cruiser: July 14 Hubbard Glacier on the Century
July 14 Hubbard Glacier on the Century
We were on the July 14 sailing of the Century sponsored by my in-laws 50th anniversary. My wife and I are 5 time cruisers, mid 40's with two teenage daughters, 14 and 13, and we all sailed as a party of 11.
Yes, the ship does not have the amenities of the more recent liners, but the Century is a classy ship with great staff who pulled out all the stops for us to provide a great experience. We also benefited from tremendous weather, lots of whale sightings and very little ship movement on sea days.
Like any cruise, and we've been with 4 different liners, there were occasional hiccups however everything was resolved to our satisfaction immediately upon bringing it to the attention of the crew. I won't bore you with any details or complain about trivial stuff on-line, all I wish to say is that the response was top notch every time.
For a July sailing I was a little surprised how few kids there were, and most seemed to be a part of an extended family trip like More us. I suspect most people in smaller groups with kids are sailing with Disney, as the options of a 7 day return trip out of Vancouver seem limited. Our daughters had a great time anyway as they linked up with the teen club and made immediate friends. I strongly recommend you get your kids involved in the clubs on day one of any cruise, we rarely see them aside from excursions or walks into town, family 'happy hour' and dinner get-togethers. This allows lots of adult time to whale-watch from the great forward lounge, wine taste, and attending lots of information talks and galley tour while at sea.
The highlight of the cruise for me was the Hubbard glacier, we had a sunny day and went as close as possible. The visuals and thunder from the decent amount of minor calving was awesome and we experienced it from the bow as they opened it up for our visit. We also did the zip line in Icy Strait which the kids loved but I made the mistake of trying to videotape their experience. I recommend the zip line but leave the camera in your pocket and just enjoy the 90 seconds with your group.
Food was standard cruise ship fair and we all enjoyed it. Funny how different lines have different approaches; Century was stingy on smoked salmon (lox) which was only out on one morning, yet were generous with free hard and soft ice cream and generous with sushi at the dinner buffet. Murano was great, the price is on the steeper side for a specialty restaurant but it is the only one and it was full so they price what the market will pay and I'd recommend you visit once. The Chateaubriand seemed to be the go-to option on the menu, it was sliced at our table and it was stellar.
As I mentioned, the ship is classy, clean, and easy to learn. My retired-german-cabinet-maker-father-in-law was impressed with the woodwork throughout which you don't often see on today's modern liners. The key to a good time for everyone, in my opinion, is to set expectations before you board. This is not a Disney cruise ship and your teenagers won't be zip lining to flowriders, but there are enough kids to make a multigenerational trip a good time for everyone. Our kids didn't touch their iPads or playing cards.
Embarking and disembarking was pretty seamless. We arrived at the terminal at Canada Place at 1130am and were eating lunch by 1230pm. Tenders and ports were all well managed.
A word about beverage packages. We had a wonderful promotion when we booked that included basic level beer, wine and spirits and then we upgraded to premium hooch for $10 pp per day. It was great fun to order lattes, healthy $5 smoothies, misc cocktails, keep the wine glass full during dinner and finish with a single malt, all without having to sign slips. But since my wife doesn't drink as much as I do and because both of you have to order the package (a reasonable policy in my view) the two of you have to consume about 22 drinks per day just to break even. Most beers are in the $4.50 to $6 range and wine $6 to $8 for decent enough options so unless you really want to go to town, I would not recommend buying the package if you can't get it as a promotion.
In sum, all 11 of us had a great time and would recommend the Century. Accept it for what it is and you'll love it too. Less
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Smaller than average it seemed but rarely did we spend any time there.
Port and Shore Excursions
Great fun. Leave the camera in your pocket, it just gets in your way. Plenty of youtube videos are available if you want to relive the 90 seconds.