Just returned from our first cruise with Celebrity Century - one word - EXCELLENT. Prior to our trip, I had read and re-read all sorts of reviews and in fact I was approaching the trip with a little trepidation - such was the negativity and subjectivity that I had found. My fears were totally allayed- from the moment we arrived at the Embarkation Point to the moment we caught the Airport Transfer bus - I was more than impressed with the organisation, smooth running and friendly attitude of ALL the staff with whom we came in contact. The ship was sparkling clean, the main restaurant dining was fabulous - it makes othr five star restaurants that I have dined in look like 'Smokey Joes Greasy Spoon Cafe'. The Island Cafe and its Pizza/Pasta station- I add in the factor that it is mass production of food and for mass production and serving of that scale it is excellent. My meals were never cool/cold, the filet/tenderloin were the most tender and tasty I have ever experienced, the service from Reymond and Ritchie at Table 602 was exemplary and made the cruise for me. I have read about people complaining about engine noise in the dining room - what do they expect ? They are on a SHIP!! There is not a lot that can be done about that - it needs engines to make it sail! Our stateroom was immaculate, well designed with plenty of storage space. Ramesh and his assistant (I'm sorry I didnt get his name) kept it immaculate also. Enough room to shower etc and towels replaced constantly. I felt pampered. I have cruised previoously with different lines so it is not as if I am unaccustomed to this level of experience. We organised our own excursions and found this easy enough to do. We met up with some other couples and went ashore together. The highlight of the trip for me was the Isle of Capri - absolutely beautiful. Marred slightly by the hordes of Eastern Europeans crowding round the ticket booths and begging and the very rude man behind the till!! Not very tourist friendly - but then how would I feel sat behind a till all day, every day dealing with people who didnt speak my language?? Another way of looking at that is to say' if you don't like it then move on and get another job'!! I like the size of the ship - not too may people, plenty of space and never crowded. The Martini Bar is where I was to be found on most evenings - in fact I bought 8 of those martini glasses!! I can't spell the name of the young lady who was such a good hostess - began with a V I think. I'm a great people watcher and noticed that anyone who was heard to complain about anything was North American. I can understand this - their standards of service etc are extremely high - but I honestly feel that anyone finding fault with this cruise was simply just looking for something to complain about. Maybe its because most of the cruisers were over 55's and there were a few 'grumpy old men' on board!! By the way, we are over 55's too-but not grumpy - just a white haired husband who won £1000 in the casino and thinks that Celebrity is wonderful. He treasures his 'Winner' T-shirt. How do the staff remember so many peoples names??? From dining, to casino, to cabin staff and people we passed on the way - they all remembered our names!! I have only a couple of suggestions which I think might make things a bit smoother - my husband was for ever looking for a loo!! Maybe larger, clearer sign posting would be good? At the Island Buffet, which, again, I cannot fault - some people queued from the end of the line and some just went straight in to the food that they wanted even though it might have been half way up the line - to the consternation of some. The two formal evenings were exceptional - the ladies were all beautifully attired, as they were most nights, formal or not. Most men wore suits but about 40 per cent wore dinner suits. (Very nice) and everyone seemed to enjoy the opportunity to dress up for the evening. On the first night I noticed a couple of men who weren't dressed appropriately - no jacket, T-shirt - but by the second night they had come to heel. Peer pressure - everyone else was dressed up and they had probably been told off by their better halves. In conclusion - I would definitely do it again, it was a fabulous experience made all the better by the staff on board.
All the disembarking arrangements, as usual were very well organised.
We left it a bit later to disembark and got the train from Cita... to
Rome. Or should I say cattle train?? Standing room only++++ Have never
experienced over crowding like it in my life. Got to Rome - rainy,
cold, lots of beggars and really poor people. Graffitti- buses with
peoples' faces pressed against the windows - how they got on or off I
don't know. Got a tour bus, sat on top, got frozen, saw the sights.
Some very nice statues, but I preferred Barcelona in the city league.
Signposting atrocious, back to Cita.... and the ship, thank goodness.
Home again!! Welcoming smiles from Century crew - Welcome home Miss
Joan, Mr George - what more could you want?