Let me predicate this review by saying two things: (1) We live in the Vegas area so we dine in some of the finest restaurants in the world and are used to top-notch entertainment. When we evaluate a cruise, we don't expect it to provide the food and entertainment quality of Las Vegas. (2) We are experienced cruisers with multiple cruise lines. I just wanted to put my credentials in order because I find most of the 5+ star reviews are being posted by new or fairly new cruisers. Let me say that if this cruise had been our first, we would probably have thought the entire experience was great as well. But it was not our first cruise and we were less than impressed to say the least. This was, however, our first Celebrity cruise and have always assumed that Celebrity was a cut above lines like Carnival. It was not. Maybe it was because it was an old ship, or maybe it had to do with our anticipation of sailing on Celebrity, but this cruise had the worst food and entertainment we'd More
experienced, and the older Century vessel should have had little to do with it. So here's a few notes...
The food: Bland at best and on some occasions, embarrassingly awful. Here are examples of the various dining locals...The main dining room offered up such delicacies as Caprese Salad with small greenish unripe tomatoes accompanied by thin bland mozzarella slices sans the balsamic vinegar every Italian restaurant I'd frequented, supplied. Don't get me started on why an Alaskan cruise offered such little seafood choices. The Salmon was the worst I'd ever eaten. The entire experience felt like eating TV dinners and the staff did their best to push you out by offering to remove your plate if they saw you put your fork down. The buffet food was generally lukewarm. Nobody came around offering to refill any drinks. As to the food...The burgers were reheated and the condiments lacking. After we had a burger at Guy's Burgers on Carnival, we expected some tasty patties on Celebrity and found the burgers to look and taste like burgers you fried up yesterday. Other simple foods like pizza were hard to find and cold when you found them. Breakfast was the same every day...Under cooked scrambled eggs were the specialty and I did manage to find the small station for waffles, pancakes and french toast. It was all cold except for the waffles they made fresh in some type of iron for mini waffles. There were two desserts I liked, or would have liked...Blueberry ice cream and a dark chocolate gooey cookie. I got the last cookie the first night and the blueberry ice cream ran out as the person ahead of me in line got the last scoop. I never saw either replaced. As to room service. We woke early (4am) one morning and called down for coffee. They said the guy for the coffee had not come on yet but they'd see what they could do. I could go on with the poor food, but I'll end on a positive note and say I did find good sweets on the sixth floor at the cafe.
The Bed: WOW! the worst I'd ever slept on anywhere. It was so low we couldn't put our luggage underneath. It was lower on one side than the other. It had some type of odd oval shape at the foot and it was also a queen, instead of the two twins converted to a queen we'd come to expect from other cruise lines...And this was in a balcony room. Don't turn back the fitted sheet if you don't want to see how worn out a mattress can get. The structure of it was falling apart. I will end on a positive concerning the room in that the shower was the largest we'd seen and it did have a shower wand, albeit one with no message feature.
Entertainment: Lacking, and it's really noticeable on an Alaskan cruise where the weather is bad. The guitarist and pianist didn't start up until 8pm each day. The bands were mediocre and we couldn't hang until 11:30, when the DJ started. It seemed to us the entertainment they were pushing was art auctions and jewelry sales.
The Ship: Well outdated and the floorboards on the 12th deck above the pools needed replacing. But we knew it was an old ship and the beauty of Alaska was what we went to see. That was magnificent, by the way, even if the weather was terrible every day.
Customer Relations: In a word...Awful. We had an early excursion we'd booked from an outside company that told us we needed to get priority tender passes to make it on time. They said that Celebrity would have to honor our request whether or not we booked through them. I called down and was promptly told they DID NOT do that. I spoke with the director of the conference my wife was attending on board and she managed to get me one. When we went to catch the tender, we ended up in a special room with people who all had priority tender cards. Celebrity outright lied to us. Finally, when I complained to them about my issues, the lady at the counter gave me a card to fill out and said she would forward it to the right person. WHAT? I've always had someone to speak to for any issue I'd ever had on any vacation. Here I had to fill out a card?
The bottom line: Celebrity fell far short of Carnival for us. Carnival has karaoke every night, Broadway review shows, Punch liner comedians, a piano bar, hot food (even if it is well below what we're used to), trivia contests several times per day, a DJ that starts earlier and a guitarist that plays all day. Carnival is prepared for bad weather, Celebrity is not. I will also add that Royal Caribbean, Celebrity's lower line, also blows away Celebrity in every aspect. Maybe we'll give one of their bigger ships a try some day. I'm sure they'll have better entertainment and comfortable beds. But poor food is poor food and the price one pays to step it up to Celebrity just doesn't seem worth it. Less
Clean but dated. The table set outside on the veranda needed replacing...The Bed: WOW! the worst I'd ever slept on anywhere. It was so low we couldn't put our luggage underneath. It was lower on one side than the other. It had some type of odd oval shape at the foot and it was also a queen, instead of the two twins converted to a queen we'd come to expect from other cruise lines...And this was in a balcony room. Don't turn back the fitted sheet if you don't want to see how worn out a mattress can get. The structure of it was falling apart. I will end on a positive concerning the room in that the shower was the largest we'd seen and it did have a shower wand, albeit one with no message feature.