My review of our cruise in a nut shell...
We done about a dozen cruises thus far but Just wanted to say that it was our first celebrity experience and we thoroughly enjoyed the Century, and have come back believing that for a short escape out of Miami, she is most definitely one of the best ship choices to be made. Commonly with the 3-5 day offerings, the ships are a bit tired etc or have too many hairy chest type activities for our taste. The prices for the short cruises on the Century are hard to beat and I hope people reading this will give her a try if looking for a short cruise out of the Port of Miami despite knowing that the ship was built in 1995. IMHO, The Century has a wonderfully trained & professional staff and put forth maximum effort to please each traveler's needs, ie one night my younger son got seasick at dinnertime and our cabin steward w/o prompting brought him green apples as well as going to the dining room and getting him the risotto and caprese salad that he had wanted from the menu once he was feeling better. Also, we found the Century dining room staff to be one of the most expeditious yet friendly and professional servers and wine stewards that we've experienced in our cruising leaving us plenty of time after dinner to explore the ship rather than sitting for hours eating our meal. (One night due to their speedy service, we were able to watch a movie (Social network), dine in the Grand Restaurant and catch the broadway show and listen to the string quartet all in one evening
) We saw this as a total plus being it was only a 4 night cruise and wanted to experience all the ship offered. The food in the dining room was quite good, not excellent, but prepared well and always served at the appropriate temperature. The lamb, lobster bisque, the fish offering the first night and crème brûlEe were standouts for me in the dining room and the eggs benedict and some of the asian soup choices were delicious on the resort deck. Also despite her age, the century is beautifully maintained and tastefully decorated. We loved the martini bar and sitting in the atrium area at the Cova Cafe listening to the string quartet or the A Capella singers,the tideflats. One of our only criticisms would be that adding some type of comfy loveseats or small couch type seating rather than the chairs in the Cova Cafe would enhance the experience. Also the serving area of the islands Cafe is strangely dim compared to other areas of the ship and require better lighting to brighten up the place. Also the piano bar, Michael's Club is so inviting with it's gentlemen's club type decor and atmosphere but the odor of the smoke in the carpeting and upholstery is so overwhelming that it is a turnoff. My oldest son really enjoyed the teen club and was out late each evening with his new friends while my younger son enjoyed the daily trivia and game show type activities.(we played charades, wheel of fortune, family feud and trivia together) My DH really got his money's worth on the $20 around the world wine tasting.
Ports -The ship docked right at a pier that leads into Mallory Square, great location allowing passengers to just walk anywhere they choose. We just wandered all over Key West during our short visit yet still managed to visit the fort, walk along the beach, stroll up and down Duval street, visit Sloppy Joes, wander through Fast Buck Freddies, explore Mallory square, and still have time for some Key Lime Pie and a cold beer at The Hogs Breath Saloon before reboarding the ship just before 1:30.(Celebrity should definitely consider extending the time at least one more hour or longer)
From the port of Cozumel we took the "Tulum Ruins and Beach Break excursion (8 hours)My whole family (we are a 40 something couple with two teen sons) LOVED the beach below the Tulum ruins ranked it as one of the most beautiful beaches we've ever been to, probably closely following the ones we enjoyed in Corfu and Santorini. We all also really enjoyed our shore excursion to Tulum with the ruins and the jaw dropping beauty of Tulum's dramatic location high on the spectacular limestone cliffs overlooking the turquoise colored Mexican coast. If you haven't gone there before while visiting Cozumel, Playa del Carmen or Calica then definitely add Tulum to your must do list and allow yourself time to go down and experience the beach below. The ruins are interesting and plentiful and the roping off of the structures is not intrusive at all still leaving great views of the buildings to enjoy while protecting the site from disrespectful visitors. I read all the warnings about the ferry ride over to the mainland and was a bit anxious of the ride but am happy to report that it was not bad at all and noone aboard appeared to be ill at all yet there were some bumps along the way so I took a bonine to preempt the possibility of getting sick being I am predisposed to sea sickness but had absolutely no problems at all and so glad we opted to take this 8 hour excursion through celebrity. Our guide was friendly but talked incessantly so we asked what time we needed to get back to the bus and basically explored tulum and it's gorgeous beach on our own for 2 hours before going back on the bus for a short ride to a nearby beach at at Tulum resort. The lunch was tasty, not fabulous but satisfying and at a beautiful beach location. It consisted of a grilled fish, pork, guacomole(very good), pico del gallo(excellent!), soft flour tortillas to make tacos, lettuce, and tortilla chips along with a choice of bottled water or soda. We ate quickly and then enjoyed the water. The following day, we enjoyed our sea day although we all ate more than we should have LOL It's always nice to have a seaday even on a short cruise of 4nights as you come back more relaxed and happy rather than feeling frantic if you've had no relaxation time to just lounge around the ship.
All in all we had a wonderful time and will definitely travel with Celebrity again in the future. So basically, overall we definitely felt a short cruise on the Celebrity Century was a great value for the price and the amenities of the ship while being enjoyable for all ages and interests in our family.
We shared the ship with a large number of college students on spring break, seniors enjoying their retirement as well as other families with school age children just looking for a fun long weekend cruise to kick off their spring break from school. From what we saw, everyone was enjoying their time aboard the century and were all respectful to other cruisers. The average age was significantly lower than with other cruises we've taken and probably not typical aboard celebrity but being it was spring break, they aimed to please all ages with a variety of activities. One of the only problems would probably be for the tweens age group as 12-13 year olds would be better in their own age group rather than doing the same activities as older or younger children. ie - my youngest just turned 13 and was greeted by older teen with "How old are you, you sound like a girl..." being his voice has not changed yet so he felt uncomfortable with the 13-17 yr olds doing exact same activities together. I suspect this is not normally the case but just wanted to mention it. While my 15 year old had a great time with the teen group.
So, where are you sailing next everybody???
Happy planning and dreaming,