Celebrity Century Cruise Review by BradandJeff: 2nd time on Century-Still a great ship!
2nd time on Century-Still a great ship!
My parents were looking to take my partner and I on a cruise as we have done cruises with them before and we all have a great time. I am 39, my partner is 45 and my parents are in the 60's. My parents had sailed on Century twice before. My partner and I had previously sailed on the Century shortly after she was refurbished. This was in November of 2006 and I can say that two years later the ship still looks great!
We looked for a 5-7 day cruise on HA, Celebrity, and Princess. Well the rate we got for Celebrity sealed the deal. Celebrity offers a much better experience in my opinion that say NCL or RCCL. I'm afraid to say what we paid because it might let the secret out. Needless to say it was a VERY good deal and you can find some dirt cheap cruises on this ship (and others) if you know how to look.
The Century is a perfect sized ship. Not too big, not too small. The decor is pretty contemporary and it is a fairly easy ship to navigate around. The gym is very nice More and the public areas and lounges are a great place to relax and socialize. The staff is very friendly and very sincere in making sure you have a good time.
The only caveat I had was the food quality seems to have slipped a little. Often times the hot food in the buffet was lukewarm or cold. Some of the meals in the dining room were hit or miss. Beef short ribs were simply amazing while the veal was tough and overcooked. Also, when my parents first sailed on Celebrity years ago they would serve you a whole lobster on "Formal night". When we sailed two years ago they would serve you a lobster tail. This time it was only half a lobster tail. They have also removed the escargot from the appetizer menu but we were able to get it upon request. I had read that RCCL was doing some cut backs and this is where it seems to be taking place. The crew is very friendly, with the exception of the wait staff at breakfast. Not sure why, but they all seem really mad most of the time. (We were not the only people to have noticed this.) One other thing is that they no longer seem to be enforcing the dress code in the main dining room. Each night there were several people in t-shirts and jeans. Getting dressed up and enjoying a nice dinner is one of the reasons we like cruising so much. I wish people would stop being so slobbish but I guess we can't change that. The maitre d' said they've basically given up trying to enforce the dress code.
*The martini bar is the most happening space so get there early. Order the $9.95 martini sampler and it is enough for four people. (And we like to drink!) *Skip the pay classes in the gym. They are often very crowded. They usually offer some free stretching classes each morning or something similar. *The food in the Spa restaurant is top notch. *This is definitely not a party ship. If that's what you're looking for then you will be disappointed. Often times the lounges were completely empty at 9:00. *Celebrity has made a conscious effort to reign in the "chair hogs" at the pool. Thanks! *They offer a FOD meeting each night but no one showed up. Our last cruise with them we had about 30 people at each meeting. *In addition to their expanded room service menu, you can order the entire dinner menu from the restaurant and have it served in your room. *The sushi bar is a great way to enjoy the sunset and have a light snack. *The drink special of the day is always a good value as the drink prices on Celebrity can be quite high compared to the other lines.
All in all it was a great cruise. My only two (minor) complaints are that is was too short and the food quality has slipped a little. We would definitely sail with her again. Less
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Cabin review: 9006
Port and Shore Excursions
The one positive thing I can say is that the countryside is beautiful. We hired a private driver and it was worth the $20.00pp. I would recommend hiring a private LICENSED driver for part of the day and then heading to one of the resorts if you want to go to the beach.
Now, for the rest of our time...Let me start off by saying that the Jamaican people are the most aggressive people I have ever encountered anywhere. From the moment you step off the ship it is a non-stop barrage of people trying to sell you anything and everything. If you don't buy anything then someone will simply follow along next to you and tell you that they won't leave you alone until you pay them. Literally! We had a guy that would not leave us alone, waited for us outside of a restaurant, a grocery store and shops and flat out told us he would not go away until we gave him some money. Finally, we gave in since we were miserable. Best $5.00 I ever spent! Everyone is constantly asking you if you want to buy some "Bob Marley" (you can figure it out) and when we tried to go into a local bar to have a drink only to find out that it was a brothel! We were kind of shocked as some guy paraded a 60 year old prostitute in front of us and rattled off what the pricing was for her "services". We left and of course he followed us, once again "Give me some money and I'll leave you alone." I always like to visit a local grocery store when I am in a foreign country and luckily here the nice shop owner only tried to charge me 10x the exchange rate figuring I didn't know what the current conversion rate was at. Fed up I went to a restaurant/bar near the docks thinking we could be left alone and enjoy a Red Stripe. Nope! People are literally in the water just below the bar area screaming at you to buy some necklaces, "Bob Marley", give them money, or buy them a beer (in that order). This seems to be the general way that tourists are treated in Jamaica. When I went back to the ship I was stopped by a policeman who was doing a "random search". He had his feet propped up on a desk and was flirting with two local girls. When I didn't understand what he was asking me to do, he made an example out of me and had me empty my pockets, pull open the front of my shorts and look inside my mouth (all the while these two young girls sat there and laughed at me the more he made me do). He had absolutely no reason to do this as I was cooperating completely.
As you can probably tell I have no love lost for Jamaica. It is a dirty, smelly place with overly aggressive people who will rob you blind given the chance. Consider yourself warned.
To put this in perspective, we went to the island of Dominica (where Pirates of The Caribbean was filmed) and while poorer than Jamaica, the people are friendly, genuine and welcoming, plus the country itself is 100x more beautiful. Considering that Jamaica has been trying to rid itself of a negative image it doesn't seem to be working. Other than some pretty countryside there is nothing to really set it apart and I hope some of the cruise lines reconsider making this port a stop.
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