I sailed on my 11th cruise on the 4 day western Caribbean on the Celebrity Century. I like to go in early December as the rates are low and its my birthday. The last two years I have traveled alone and I chose this cruise because the rate for a single traveler was very good. It seems only Royal Caribbean and Celebrity dont charge 200% for solo sailors. This 4 night cruise was the same price or less than the 3 night cruises from Miami to the Bahamas, and even better, it was not to the Bahamas!
The Century is a fine ship. I found the decor tasteful yet not boring (although not as "fun" as a Carnival ship would be). This ship is similar in size to the other ships that sail short itineraries out of Miami (in the 70k ton range) yet has a smaller passenger capacity. On our cruise, it was not sailing at near capacity either which means that there was never a crowd anywhere. The public areas seem to be larger than they need to be and often felt sparsely occupied (including the theater for shows). The three most popular areas (Martini Bar, Michael's Club, and Casino) were the most crowded and happen to be the smallest areas for what they are.
Even though this cruise was heavily discounted, that did not seem to change the typical Celebrity demographic. It was a much more mature group of travelers than what would be expected on a Carnival or Royal short cruise.
As far as service, I found the staff and crew to be exceptionally friendly. I do not recall a single time I walked past a crew member anywhere on the ship and was not greeted with a hello or a smile. Even in the service areas, they were all very friendly. However, that does not mean service was top notch. Bar waiter service in the pool area was slow as was service in open seating lunch in the Grand Restaurant. I also found some flaws in the buffet, like not having the meat for the meat carving station ready when the buffet line opened which caused a backup as people waited, or not having enough help behind the waffle station at breakfast. Also, ice cream was advertised to be available until 11PM, but they often ran out before then. Small issues of course, but when a cruise line touts itself as premium, the attention to details are what should set it apart.
The layout of the buffet is excellent. Lots of options and plenty of seating. Quality overall was good as well. I also enjoyed sushi in the buffet before dinner. Dinner in the Grand Restaurant was also good. I was disappointed that no lobster or filet was served at dinner. This was only available in the Murano specialty restaurant which I did not try. Overall, I would say the food options were very good, overall quality good, but no better than several Carnival cruises I took or the last cruise on the Majesty.
One thing I enjoyed were the cushions on the pool chairs, very comfy.
The Century rates very high in my book with live music choices. Lots of different types of music and all the musicians and singers were very enjoyable to listen to, no skimping here (like on Carnival). One thing that was peculiar, with so many live musicians and an orchestra on board, the use of pre recorded music for the stage shows was cheesy. This is an area where the Century disappoints (if you like that kind of thing).
Overall, I enjoyed my cruise aboard the Century. There was nothing particular that I experienced that diminished my cruise experience, yet nothing that stood out that would make me instantly loyal to Celebrity either. I would say do not be hesitant to book a cruise on the Century because of her age or size, as the refresh in 2006 more than modernized her, and this size of ship in my opinion is almost perfect. It large enough to feel like one is sailing on a large cruise ship, but small enough to be easy to navigate and not have large crowds. She also has a fine crew and good (if not fantastic) food and entertainment.