This review covers the Celebrity Century sailing out of San Diego for a 15 day round trip to Hawaii. This is our 17th cruise, and 6th with Celebrity. I will not bother reviewing the ports, as everyone’s experiences are going to be different, depending on what you choose to do.
The Ship & Public Areas
The Century is a fairly small ship by today’s standards, with a well thought-out deck layout. It holds 1,820 passengers and has a distinct roll, so if you are prone to motion sickness, you might want to look for a larger vessel. It was built in 1995 and last refurbished in 2006. The overall appearance of the ship is clean, but a little old & worn. The public areas are nicely placed, with comfortable furniture. The Martini Bar is done up with color changing L.E.D. lights and a frozen ice bar top. The Rendezvous Bar is nicely placed, however the chairs could use a good cleaning. The Theater is large and there was no problem finding a seat for the shows.
The ships officers & staff are well trained and attentive to all of your needs. In fact, I would say that they have been the best crew we have experienced so far, routinely going the "extra mile” to make sure you have everything you need.
We stayed in room 1251 at the rear of the ship. The room is very small with very poor storage. Most ships, especially Celebrity, usually do an excellent job on cabin layout, using nooks for storage, etc. That was not the case with our cabin, or our friend’s cabin, #1246. One example is that when you hang a suit on a hanger in the closet, the doors squashes it. Also, cabin 1251 is in the port side of the ship, with the balcony directly over the smoking area of the bar below. Not a problem when the ship is moving, but keep the door closed when in port. The balcony on this cabin is very small, with a semi-obstructed view caused by the bar on deck 11. The cabin is clean, however the carpet is stained and worn. This is not the case in all rooms, as our friends in 1246 had new carpet. There is a small flat screen TV mounted into the wall at the foot of the bed that works well, and the desk/make-up area is adequate. One thing that is very strange is that the room does not have a nightstand by the bed. There is a small metal shelf mounted on the wall, and that is it. If you have a book or papers, you have to stack them on the floor.
One thing that everyone at our dinner table complained about was the size & operation of the safe in each room. They are very small by any standard, and the operating system is very confusing. Our safe in the room had the directions printed in both English & German, but the English was worn off & we do not speak any European languages. Another thing that everyone was complaining about was the creaks & pops at the ship moves through the night. A certain amount of noise is to be expected on any ship, but this one far exceeds our prior experiences. This sounds like a minor thing, but when you have a loud pop every minute, followed by a sound like someone is trying to open the door lever, you don’t sleep very well.
The last complaint is a lack of hot water to shower with. Getting ready for dinner, you will get a luke-warm one; at 3 in the afternoon a hot one. Old ship old pipes.
Our stateroom attendant, Luna, was there for our every need, and kept the room perfect; if we needed anything, it was instantly there. For what ever shortcomings the room had, she went out of her way to try & make up for it.
The food and service in the main dining room was excellent overall. Everyone at our table enjoyed the food, and you couldn’t ask for better service. Most cruise lines get this right, but this is an area where Celebrity really excels, and this ship is no exception.
The food in the buffet was good, and compared to other ship’s buffets, it was excellent, with a very nice variety. The layout of the area is well thought out and comfortable. The cooks have several specialty areas in the buffet, such as a pasta station, Asian station, Panini station, salad bar, etc. There are no bottlenecks, and no problem finding an open table, as the staff keeps everything clean & moving along. There is plenty of hot coffee, iced tea and juices. For buffet food on a ship, it would be hard to find better. Very well done.
Embarkation took about an hour or a little more, and was pretty disorganized, considering we boarded at a slow time. This was a bit of a surprise, as Celebrity usually gets this right.
Our exit from the ship was speedy & very well organized. Couldn’t ask for better service.