Before writing this I looked through existing reviews of the ship. It seems that there is a slight misconception about Celebrity Line. IT IS NOT PREMIUM! It costs about the same if you look at Carnival's or Princess' prices. Why expectations are so high? But even if it's not premium in my mind, I like Celebrity more than Carnival and Princess. And Norwegian does not come even close to it in my book. Cunard, of course, is better - but that's a different price range.
Our previous sail on Century was in 2008 - Transatlantic. We liked her, so we bought this Wine Cruise to Vancouver without hesitation. Who're we? We are a married working couple in our sixties living in Orange County, CA.
To get to San Diego we hired a local transportation company and they dropped us off at the terminal at 12:15 PM. It took us about 15 minutes to check in our luggage and go through check-in counter. No waiting in line practically. We politely refused an entrance picture and a welcome drink and got into our cabin right then. The cabin was ready and in good condition.
We read a lot about the ship being worn out and needing a lot of repair. Have we noticed any problems? Yes, we did. Were they that awful? Not really. What about a terrible smell reported in some reviews? Yes, I noticed it once when passing a corridor on one of passenger decks. Was it unpleasant? Kind of. Was it that bad? Not really, but still unpleasant. But it happened to me just once.
I saw complains that a room steward did not greeted passenger by names. Did I see that? Yes. Did I have any problems with my steward? NO! All my requests were fulfilled on timely matter. As for his name, I did not remember it either.
Dining. Opinions vary a lot on that account. Some reviews are very contradicting about it. Here's what we experienced.
We had our breakfasts and lunches in a buffet, dinner in the Grand restaurant. Food in buffet was pretty decent all the time. In MDR we had a complain only once:a Pot Au Feu was quite poor to my wife's taste one night. Other dishes were good so we did not have to go to premium Murano for a nice meal, it's was good right there.
Entertainment. Cruise director and his crew were good, so was the ship orchestra and cast. Out of three cast shows two were completely new for us, the third, Dancing of the World (or something like this) contained a few fragments that we saw before. We really enjoyed all of them. There also were guest performers on-board. A ventriloquist was a talented guy but we saw him a couple of times before on other cruises. He fails to change his program, which seemed boring to us. There was also a comedian. Passengers' opinion about the guy was not conclusive. Some said they liked him. Unfortunately, we left his show right after begining. Introducing himself he said that he was all over the world with his shows and that there wasn't a single seat left not wet after his show in a nursing home. To us it's a turn off. Apparently, not everyone thinks so, but that's just us.
There was a perfect guitarist playing in Cova Cafe. We also like These Guys ensemble and string trio playing there. There were other good musicians,but we mostly listened to those mentioned.
Ports of Call.
San Francisco. We met some friends living in Bay Area and went to a nice seafood restaurant. It was raining on and off both days, but we just ignored it. No excursion though.
Astoria. We ordered an excursion to wine tasting via Century before the cruise. It was nice drive through Oregon forests and an OK wine tasting. No drastic discoveries though in new wines.
Nanaimo. It was a sunny day for a change, so we just hanged around the port in a nice park and walked a bit through that small nice town. Enjoyed it.
Victoria. We ordered an excursion to Downtown and Buchart Gardens via Century before the cruise. Liked it a lot despite a rainy day. Well worth it, what a beauty!
Vancouver. After about 20 minutes of waiting for our turn to debark we loaded a bus. A driver gave us a good tour through downtown and dropped of at the airport.
What else? To tell you the truth, we are coffee freaks. To our taste, coffee in the buffet and even in MDR was tasteless. Not all our table-mates shared this opinion. But we spent a chunk of our on-board account in Cova Cafe.
We also liked the Persian Garden in their Spa, even though not that many people were there. good for us though.
All in all, we enjoyed this cruise and would return to Century at any time.