Just returned from our Western Med cruise aboard Celebrity's Century. What made this cruise exceptional was the itinerary. Stops were made on 8 of the 10 ten cruise days and each port was more beautiful than the last. We needed the two sea days to rest from our shore excursions.
First, about the ship, Century. Being a smaller vessel made it much easier to find things. We had a Cat. 2A Cabin on the 8th deck (Panoramic). The cabin was small and the rounded foot of the bed looked nice but really tried to disguise the smallness of the room and my husband and I had to take turns passing from front to rear of the cabin. Bath was adequate and we liked the raised basin but no hair conditioner. Lots of storage space was a plus - but we had to take care not to try to get things out of a closet at the same time - no room. Balcony nice - we traveled with another couple so we put their deck chairs on our balcony and enjoyed our evening glasses of wine together. Celebrity allows you to take one bottle of wine per passenger (size not specified) so we bought our wine at the Duty Free shop in the dock terminal just before we got in line for embarkation.
I recommend the port (left) side as we faced the shore in almost every port. The one time we tendered to shore it was rocky and some passengers had difficulty maneuvering in the lifeboat/tender.
We sat in the very back of the dining room (lower level)which at times was very noisy and made it difficult for us to hear our dinner mates around a table for 10 (late seating). The food was great but it took 2 hours to eat each night giving us just enough time to catch the show. (On 2 nights the shows were reversed so we didn't have to watch the time.) Getting up from the table after 10:30 was a drawback especially since we had to wake up around 6 the next morning in order to grab breakfast and get our bus tickets for our excursion leaving around 7 - 7:30. We thoroughly enjoyed discussing our day with our eight wonderful dinner mates. Every night we entertained ourselves as we laughed and shared our adventure stories.
One of our favorite spots on the Century was the Martini Bar (Ice Bar), although the lighting was a bit depressing and they closed the window shades.. Michael's was a close second mainly because of the wonderful service from our favorite bartender.
The Century is clean with polished woods and straight lines - soothing and comfy - not at all gaudy or over the top. I especially liked the smoking policy aboard ship compared to other ships we've sailed (this was our 7th cruise) - very little - we were not chased out of any venue because of the smoke.
We had some problems with the Excursion Personnel - we were put on a waitlist for our chosen excursions on Malta and Tunisia but if we hadn't gone down to the desk and continued to ask about our status on the waitlist we wouldn't have received tickets for our excursions. Also, the communication regarding what to expect at each port was almost non-existent. They told us about the places but not the inside "skinny" on each port. For instance they did not tell us how aggressive the vendors are in Tunisia and how they touch you and get in your space when they are trying to sell you their wares. Also - how you can and are expected to barter. One lady on our bus kept walking away from the vendor until he agreed to lower his price on a ceramic lazy Susan from 85 Euros to 10 Euros! Another sold a bowl priced at 230 Euros for 120 Euros. In Malta one of our passengers had his wallet stolen.
Also, when we missed picking up our camera in its case on the security conveyor belt we were given the run-around at the Guest Relations desk. Only when we personally went down to the gangplank area and nosed around asking questions did we miraculously discover our camera open and the pictures being checked by a security guard.
All excursions were great - we especially liked the Amalfi coast drive with lunch in Sorrento - sit on the right side of the bus to see the most. (Enzo was a fab guide and very easy on the eyes!) The wine tasting in Tuscany was wonderful also. Rome was awesome but the traffic was horrendous. Always take the umbrella from the ship (on top of fridge)-it rains at the drop of a hat.
We left Barcelona for our cruise on October 31. We thought it would have been much colder than it actually was. We could have packed more "warm weather" clothes like short sleeve tops and capris or shorts. In Malta and Tunisia it was very warm - laying in the sun warm in a bathing suit warm.
We had a great time - but as I said in the beginning - the itinerary is what made this cruise super special.