We travelled on the Century with an extended family group, consisting of 8 travellers and 3 cabins. For 7 of us, this was our second cruise in a year. We primarily booked this particular cruise because of timing and the price point (initially, we were going to spend the week in Florida but the cost of the cruise fare attracted us).
A number of people told me if I liked other cruise lines, I would "love" Celebrity. I'm not sure if my expectations were set too high, but I was left a little disappointed. Let's review the pors and cons (in my opinion)
1. Friendliness of Staff - as expected, the staff for the most part, were very friendly and willing to address any requests we had. By and far, Kasri and Jovan in the dining room were the best we ever had - their service truly made a difference. I was taken aback, however, when one of the associates in a shop told me she had a headache when I asked her how she was. It was my understanding that there was a staff pub party the previous night. 2. Tendering - On both occasions that I've been in the Cayman Islands, I've ended up in Spot's Bay insted of Georgetown, which in neither case was planned. Kudos to Celebrity - they had a complimentary shuttle to the downtown area (the only cruise line to do so). Upon return, they served juices at the tendering point, offered cold cloths, and were by far the fastest moving line for tendering. Very impressed!
1. Soda Program - We always buy the soda program - it works well for all, especially the kids. We purchased it on embarkation and was highly disappointed with the service received. It was a hassle to use - the bar staff would intermittently want to swipe the card and have us sign a receipt. This happened in the dining room as well, when I asked why, they said it was to track inventory - they're fountain drinks for crying out loud! I believe it was to solicit additional tips. The bar staff only came to our table on 2 nights to ask my son if he would like a soda - this was so unlike any other cruise we have been on. 2. Poolside Grill - The food and selection was great. However, it closed at 7pm every day and you were basically left with pizza for an evening snack - another first for us. 3. Night Activities - Definately not a party atmosphere. With the exception of the nightly theatre show, the ship felt quite dead. 4. No Seafood - What happened to the lobster and crab? This is Celbrity, the line that is supposed to have the best cuisine experience. 5. Teen Program - definately not a family oriented ship. My 14 year old son was looking fporward to this and was disappointed with the facility/program. For instance, at embarkation, they told him to come to the orientation as they were giving out T-shirts to the group. He didn't get one - they ran out - did they not know how many teens were on the ship? 6. C/C Problems - At check-in, I gave my C/C info and boarded. The next morning I received a letter telling me I had to go to guest services because there was a problem with my credit card. As I walked down, I noticed about a 3rd of the staterooms on my deck had the same letter. There was a communication and transmission problem with their data base and I gave them my card info again. However, I received 2 more letters during the week and on each occasion I was told it was sent in error.
Don't get me wrong, we had a relaxing week but it is just that I would probably consider another crusie line in the future, especially if the kids came. We cruised the Carnival Liberty last year and had a blast, I just think the line was a misfit for our expectations. There was a couple on the Century who were on their 127th cruise with Celebrity so there are raving fans out there. Just be sure that the culture fits your expectations and requirements.
I'm also a fan of the bigger ships - this has been the first ship under 100,000 tons that I have sailed on. The public spaces were also showing some wear and tear, but I understand that it went to dry dock the following month, so this may have been repaired.