The Century is an older, smaller ship. It’s in OK shape; the chrome around the bathroom mirrors is deteriorating, and there was at least one hallway with torn carpeting (which might have been repaired after a few days because I stopped noticing it). We like the design of the Grand Foyer and the Grand Dining Room. Veranda staterooms are about the size they are on other ships, except the couch near the slider is a loveseat size. The room (9164) was refreshed several times a day by our very attentive concierge, Xavier.
We were disappointed to be assigned to late seating, and went to the dining room upon boarding to get on the waiting list for early seating. Service was slow the first night. On the second day, we were changed to early seating, where we had outstanding service (all week) by Loreto. The entrees in the Grand Dining Room started out just good; the vegetables were unimaginative, and a little bland… and usually green beans (which I like when seasoned). For some reason, the last three days had outstanding menus, very pleasingly presented, a good variety of vegetables, and great flavors. It was almost as if they had changed chefs completely (but the same executive chef was introduced at both the beginning and the end of the cruise). The tiramisu was just cream, no ladyfingers. The food in the Islands Café (buffet) seemed to be exactly the same choices daily for lunch and dinner, and very bland. The Asian Stir Fry was the exception, as the cook there would add as much spice as you asked for. The meat at the carved meat station was very good, but needed salt and pepper. Beverage service all over the ship was very attentive.
While the public areas looked clean, this is the first Celebrity ship where I have not seen staff sanitizing the staircases all the time. In fact, I never saw anyone wiping down the handrails, although I did see a lot of vacuuming. That said, we did seem to have healthy passengers and crew for the most part. The Sunset Bar aft of the buffet (Deck 11) apparently was not regularly bussed. In Ensenada, the seagulls were picking through the leftover food on trays, and leaving their mess on chairs, railings, and tables.
The ship’s orchestra was very good, and the sound was adjusted well to accompany the singers and dancers. The comedian, A.J. Jamal, was pretty funny and provided (mostly) family oriented humor (this being a week long cruise, there were a couple dozen children/teens in the audience). The magician/comedian Chipper Lowell was quite entertaining. The ship’s singers and dancers did a matinee show of Broadway songs, which was particularly good. Our favorite ship entertainer was vocalist/guitarist Rob Ondras, who does a wonderful job, especially with Neil Diamond tunes. One shortfall was there were no guest speakers on this cruise. We enjoyed the cruise director John Grantham. He had a cheerful but professional demeanor, and could joke about the terrible tender service in Santa Barbara (fortunately, it was much better in Monterey and Avalon). The officers were very visible, and friendly and helpful.
Most of the passengers seemed to be fellow Californians. We love to visit the cities on this itinerary, and enjoy walking, so we didn’t take any of the ship’s shore excursions. We did go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium (a great facility) and zip-lined in Catalina. As this trip had no sea days, we did not participate in many daytime ship activities (we did stay onboard in Ensenada). We enjoy the trivia games, and were disappointed to hear they’re being taken off the Celebrity Life schedule in the near future.
I should mention that embarkation took forever for Concierge class… Over an hour--too few working computers apparently. We tried to go in the General Boarding, where the line was moving quickly, but were told our boarding cards weren’t available there. Tendering in Santa Barbara was awfully slow-rough water, so they only tendered from one side. Things were better in Monterey, and Catalina.
The criticisms mentioned above did not prevent us from having a fun cruise, and we look forward to taking it again.