We thoroughly enjoyed an Eastbound transit through the Panama Canal on the Century. This was our first cruise with Celebrity and I was very impressed. This is an organization that totally gets customer service. With one exception, (noted below) every member of the crew we met greeted us with a friendly and smiling hello or good day, including the Captain and the Senior Officers. I probably saw the Captain of this ship more in one day than I did in an entire week on other ships. The ship was spotless with constant cleaning of washrooms and walkways. Hand sanitizers everywhere. Food was good, nothing spectacular, but also nothing wrong with it, good sized portions. Entertainment was very good, the ship's band is amazing. State-room was clean and comfortable. (though see below) Lots to do, or not do....whatever is preferred.
Thoroughly enjoyed Michael's. Went almost every night. The entertainer there is an incredibly talented musician named Jordan Peterson. He is as gifted a piano player as I have heard and has a great repertoire of songs. He was very personable and always encouraged the audience to make requests. We heard everything from Patsy Cline, Sinatra, Tony Bennett, to Elvis, The Beatles, Supertramp, Elton John, even Led Zeppelin!! (at my request!)
Smoking is very limited on this ship...a very nice rarity these days!! And, credit to the smokers, I did not experience a single infraction of the designated smoking areas on the entire cruise.......another rarity in my experiences and travels.
So, all good? Not exactly. Mostly, but not all. First off, the cruise industry should get into this modern world. In an age when many people travel with lap-tops, phones, cameras, i-pads, i-pods, shavers, hair straighteners, toothbrushes, CPAP machines, etc., all of which need to be plugged in, there is ONE electrical outlet in the state-room. Not a set, one plug. Along the same vein, the prices they charge on the ship for WIFI/Internet connection are ridiculously high and stone-age slow. If you get a package, plan on spending about 2/3 of your expensive time waiting to connect. And, this is where I experienced somewhat less than friendly staff. There is no flexibility, take the package or leave it. To be fair, I'm sure they are bombarded with criticism for things that may not necessarliy be their choosing......but they were quite dismissive. If you can do without connection on the sea days, every port had free or very resonable prices for connection.....most, buy a drink and it's free. Highest I saw was $5/hour.
As with any vacation, it's the people you encounter that can make or break your enjoyment of it. Most of the people we met on this cruise were very freindly and easy-going, a pleasure to cruise and chat with. Most. When you go to a small venue (like Michaels) to hear a very talented musician (like at Michaels) don't engage in very loud conversations. You disrupt the others who wish to enjoy the entertainment and, in my opinion, show incredible rudeness and insensitivity to the performer. This also goes for the dining room. Some people need to realize that they are sitting at a table with no more than a few feet between you and the person you are talking to. Learn to use your "indoor" voice. You don't need to speak in volumes where 8 or 10 tables around can hear your comments about job, travel, retirement, partnership, food opinions, excursions, opinions of the ship, etc., etc., etc. Additionally, the people who bring your food in the dining rooms are called waiters or servers.....not personal servants. They work very hard at pleasing everyone who they encounter. I was appalled at some of the rudeness that was directed at them because your coffee cup wasn't warmed up enough before your coffee was poured, or the portion was too small, or the food you had wasn't to your exact taste or standard.......you are asking someone else for their version of what you ordered. If you need to be that particular, perhaps you should consider staying home and preparing your own. Lastly, you are on a luxury cruise liner. When you are sitting in a lounge or bar, don't drape your feet or shoes all over the chair beside you. Someone else will have to sit on your personal foot stool at some point.
I would especially like to commend the Captain, (Captain George) and Fauzi and Ronelle from the dining room, Hugh at the aft bar, Jordan Peterson and Rob the entertainers. They all went that extra step to make sure the cruise was an incredible one. And, the friends we made on the cruise, you are all very special.