Hey everyone here's my review on the July 28 2013 Alaska Cruise on the Celebrity Century out of Vancouver, B.C. We arrived, Saturday afternoon (7/27/2013) Vancouver International Airport on Alaska Airlines. No problems with Customs, simple, easy, and quick in and out. When we exited the terminal with our luggages (5 total including 2 carry on), the taxi cabs were right outside and no crowds. We took the taxi to the Days Inn in Downtown Vancouver, fare cost $40 U.S.C. including a $5 Tip. No need to exchange the U.S. Currency into Canadian Currency, they accept the U.S. Dollar for their Canadian Dollar; sometimes they added five cents on the dollar, which was fine with me.
Days Inn (Downtown Vancouver) what can I say; you get what you pay for. Cons - small room (#601) with a Queen Size bed, bathroom shower head was at 5 10, so if your 6 feet tall, you'd have to slouch over to wash and rinse. The bathroom's counter corner was only about 14 inches from the wall, leaving little room to pass by. Only one elevator for the entire building; tough to get a hold of the elevator when everyone else is using it and toting their luggage's. Pros: paid $127 for the night (reserved in Dec. 2012). The hotel is in a great location; only four blocks away from the Canada Place Cruise Terminal. Free shuttle van to the cruise terminal. Plenty of restaurants close by. Staff members at the Front Desk Lori & Ianna were very knowledgeable and helpful with what to eat and for supplies (for the cruise) in the area. The washer and dryer were on 4th and 6th Floor. On the day of the cruise, you can see most of the passengers wheeling their luggage to the cruise terminal with easy. But, we decided to take the free shuttle from Days Inn to Canada Place since we had 5 heavy luggage's.
At Canada Place (Cruise Terminal), Shuttle Driver turned over the luggage to the porter. We tipped $5.00 to the shuttle driver and $5.00 to the porter. We went through Customs with ease and without a hitch. Check-in with Celebrity was also easy and quick, many helpful staff members to assist with the check-in process. We boarded the Century with only one carry-on to the 11th deck Island Cafe for Breakfast, WHAT A FEAST. For the most part, depending on the individual's palette, the food was predominantly very good. On to the cabin.
We had the Outside Stateroom #4018 which had a nice large window. Bed, pillows, and comforter was extremely comfortable, lots of closet and draw space. Easy to use Safe situated behind the mirror. Bathroom was really nice and well ventilated. Nice location on Deck #4, forward on the MidShip, close to the forward elevators and Sick Bay, but far enough away. Staterooms straddled on both sides and above us. No Stateroom opposite. I don't know what was below us, but the room was nice and quiet. I highly recommend this room. Stateroom Attendant Jude and Assistant Rohan were excellent and anything we asked for, we received without hesitation. But, for the downer part of the cruise, there was an odor of what seemed to be possibly sewage on Deck #4, more to the rear of Mid-Ship on the even side around the area of Stateroom #4072. This odor was also noticeable in the Main Dining Room, closer to the entrance. No fault of the Ship's Crew or the Ship, someone probably flushed something they shouldn't have which caused a plumbing problem at the end of the previous cruise. I noticed at the end of the cruise while disembarking, at least three staterooms around the area of #4072 (not sure if this was the room) were totally stripped of the carpeting, no furniture inside, and a crew members cleaning inside while the floor fan blowers were being utilized to circulate the air around.
Romelito Navarro and Grace at the Guest Relations Desk were extremely courteous and helpful. They always remembered our names and always greeted us with a warm comforting smile. Everything that we brought to their attention was immediately looked into, addressed, and corrected. Now to the Excursions.
Icy Strait Point We previously booked a Whale Watching Tour with Captain Colleen on the Icy Strait Whale Adventure. Capt. Colleen met us at the designated location to begin our tour. But to our regret, Capt. Colleen was there to inform us that she and her husband were cancelling our tour because of high waves around the area where the whales were and rather than taking us out and taking our money, they both decided to cancel and fully refund us. For this reason I HIGHLY recommend Icy Strait Whale Adventure, even though we didn't get a chance to go out and see the whales, Captain Colleen came to us and respectfully cancelled the trip for our safety which shows how honest she and her husband are. I would definitely book with them again if we have the opportunity to go back.
Juneau Mendenhall Glaciers/Nugget Falls. We took the Blue Bus, round trip ticket costing $18.00 ($36.00 for the both of us), at the booths just outside on the pier from where the Century docked. The bus ride took about 35 to 40 minutes to arrive at the Visitor's Center. We walked the dirt foot path to the Glacier, about a mile there and back, total roughly around 2 miles of walking. This was not a strenuous walk, rather an easy non-rushed, at your own pace kind of walk. A little rocky at some points, a few inclines/declines, but still not tough at all (I have a bad knees). There are no rest rooms or water fountains between the Visitors Center and the Glacier, so if you have go, utilize the Visitor Center before heading out to the Glacier/Falls. What an AWESOME SITE to see, as huge and the amount of water that comes charging from Nugget Falls; it's amazing how calm the water flows at the very base of the falls to a calm and tranquil river with Mendenhall Glacier in the background. A must see if in Juneau. Lots of souvenir stores all around the city and numerous banks with ATM machines in case you need the cash.
Ketchikan We did the Misty Fjords Tour with Seawind Aviation. Co-owner, Lesley Kamm picked us up at the designated location and drove us to a dock about 5 to 10 minutes away where we boarded a yellow sea plane flown by Pilot Rolf. While flying he was very informative about the Misty Fjord area, the lakes, rivers, and waterfalls. He landed the plane in a secluded river where there was a floating dock. We got off the plane to stretch our legs a little and took more pictures in this calm and tranquil location. We must have been there for about 20 minutes before lifting off again and circling around more ice cap mountains and watching the mountain goats running around before heading back to the base. Very smooth take-offs and landings, much smoother than our commercial flights on Alaska and United Airlines. We would definitely book with Seawind Aviation if we came back here, well worth it.
Back on the Century we ate at the specialty restaurant Murano. If you have an opportunity, you must eat at this restaurant. The Maitre D Jerry was extremely helpful with our selections. My wife and I were both in heaven - Without a doubt, we had by far the best Chateaubriand and Lobster we've had in years. For dessert you must order the Crepe Ballon Rouge prepared and flambeed by Olga.
Disembarking off the Century had to be the easiest, fastest, and smoothest operation I've ever seen. Now granted I've only been on four other cruises before (RCCL and Carnival) and each time it was like a bunch of peanuts going through a funnel and taking forever to get off. There was none of that
here to my amazement. We were off within minutes with luggage, through Customs, and onto a taxi to the Blue Horizon Hotel in Vancouver for 2 more extra days.
If in Vancouver, I highly recommend The Blue Horizon Hotel which is located in Downtown on Robson Street and Bute Street. Front Desk Clerk Jeremy was very helpful and informative with everything we asked for, giving us directions on locations, and pointers on what to see. We had reserved and booked a King Size Superior Room #3001, 30th floor, which was really clean and very spacious. Each room has a private balcony, and for $179.00 a day, this truly was worth it. Everything imaginable from fine restaurants, souvenir shops, tours, and sightseeing is all within walking distance from this hotel. This hotel is definitely a diamond and I would return back to this hotel. It's too bad this vacation had to end.