Booked our cruise on a special and didn't know what to expect. Our package included flights from Sydney to Auckland and two nights accomodation in Auckland before boarding the Celebrity Century in Auckland for a 12 night cruise which ended in Sydney on the 24th December. We decided to get off in Melbourne as did about 100 others on the 22nd which worked well for us. This is not always possible but Celebrity allowed this. We arrived at the port about 11am and starting the process which went smoothly, I am glad we got their early as it was easier than later I imagine. Onboard about midday, the ship was then open to us for meals but we were not able to get to our cabin till about 2pm which wasn't a problem. Cases were then delivered throughout the afternoon to rooms.
First impressions of the ship were fantastic and stayed that way throughout the cruise. Having only been on one other cruise I guess it is all new to us still and we don't have a lot to compare it with but on speaking to others who have done a lot of cruising and different lines they all spoke highly of this ship. The ship itself was exceptionally clean, we had a balcony room which was wonderful and has probably spoilt us forever now, our first cruise was an inside room. I did see one of these though and they are still fine. The room itself had so much storage and cases were able to go under the bed so you never felt like you were falling over anything. I was very impressed with the size and what the rooms have in them. Bathroom of course is small but very practical and no problems either.The staff were wonderful and made you feel as though you were the only ones on the ship, they could not do enough for you and if there was ever a problem, which we had with a neighbours TV being too loud, they attended to it and they also rang a couple of days later to enquire if everything was okay which I was pretty impressed with.
The meals were wonderful in the main dining room and we also spent the extra $40 pp one night to dine in Murano which was a lovely experience and would recommend if you get the chance. Breakfast we often ordered for our room which meant you didn't have to get dressed up first thing in the morning and also helped the waist line by not being tempted with all the goodies. The buffet was very good but perhaps the only thing I was not impressed with, though you couldn't complain about it either as there was a lot of choice but perhaps I was over seeing so much food in one place. The hamburgers at the pool grill were great though for a quick lunch.
Entertainment on board was very good, shows were excellent, their movies didn't do much for us, no new releases that you knew the names of. The cruise director was very good and the staff are very approachable to speak to about anything you like. Plenty of activities during the day if you want to do this sort of thing. The bars were all great fun but was also very easy to find a quiet spot to sit and read a book without people around you. It is amazing to think that there are so many people on board but the only time during the cruise that you find this is at meal times.
So overall a wonderful cruise, can't find anything to complain about and would definately recommend Celebrity Century and would be happy to do another cruise on her. I didn't write about the ports of call but we did enjoy them all, didn't do any ship excursions as they are very expensive and we booked alternative ones which we enjoyed , did a sail boat cruise in The Bay of Islands with The Phantom which we would recommend, only takes a small group and the people were very relaxed and made it an enjoyable sail. This was booked with other people from the ship which made it very easy. Did a trip to Rotorua with Carlton tours,just okay they don't put themselves out really and didnt offer anything exceptional , did our own thing in Napier and Wellington, which was very easy to do, hired a car in Dunedin with Mike Turfus from Dunedin Car Hire, they were excellent, I had contacted him before we left and booked the car and he gave us an idea of where to go and how long it would take which helped us in organizing the day in advance and which worked very well and we saw a lot in a short time,unfortunately we did not visit Christchurch and it was to be Akaroa but the weather was to windy as this was a tender spot so we could not get in but that is out of everyones control and I am sure they made the right decision. We had booked to do the mail run here which was disappointing that we had to miss this but maybe next time! Lots of jewellery shopping on board but no hard sell which is good. So full marks to Celebrity Century we thoroughly enjoyed our cruise