We chose Century to cruise around New Zealand, because we wanted to try Celebrity, because it gave a senior's discount, and to cruise on a medium sized ship.
Prior to the cruise, we spent 9 days in the north of the North Island of NZ. We hired a car from Omega Rental Cars, who picked us up from Auckland Airport and dropped us back at the ship on the day of departure. After the cruise, we spent 4 days in Sydney.
When we embarked early afternoon there were no queues, so we were soon on the ship, with welcoming drink in hand. We were welcomed by our butler, Pratik Singh and Stateroom Attendant, Achmad, who both provided excellent service for the whole cruise. Our suite was roomy, with lots of storage space, a bath in the bathroom and a large verandah.
Food - Following embarkation, we enjoyed a late lunch at the Islands Cafe. In the evening, we were allocated a large table (505), for the 6pm seating, in a prime position on the centre back window, with a great view of the water. Our Waiter, Ryan, and Assistant Waiter, Jericho, provided excellent service for the whole cruise. We mainly ate meals in the Dining Room and enjoyed the high standard of the food, as well as the variety, and high level of service. Only disappointment was "short cuts", which we misunderstood to mean "short ribs".
As we had chosen not to bring formal clothes, due to airline luggage restrictions, we loved being able to eat in our cabin on formal nights.
Entertainment - Entertainment on our cruise, in the Theatre, was provided by Celebrity Showtime, Glenn Amer, singer/piano, Dance Around the World Show, Martin Lass, Violin Soloist, Journey, Due Velikovi, Liverpool Knights Show, Annie Frances, singer, James Lamont, A Touch of Broadway Show. We enjoyed the entertainment provided in the theatre (except for James Lamont), as well as around the ship.
This was a port intensive cruise, so we didn't partake in as many day time activities, as we have done on past cruises, but we enjoyed those that we did.
Atmosphere - This was a "happy" ship, with staff, at all levels, acknowledging you, as you passed. This ship was a Human Relations success story, with feedback continuously sought. Service at the Customer Relations Desk was the best I've come across in my travels.
Ports of Call - Bay of Islands, Tauranga, Napier, Wellington (Capital), Akaroa (in lieu of Christchurch), Port Chalmers for Dunedin, Dusky/Doubtful/Milford Sounds (cruising), and Melbourne. All ports of call were easy to tour independently. We didn't stop at Akaroa, due to seas being too rough to transfer by tender. (I was disappointed that we headed out to sea so quickly, as I would have liked to have stayed a bit longer to enjoy the spectacular view, which is so unlike anything we see in Australia.)
Weather - We didn't have good weather on this cruise. It was difficult to believe it was summer. Even the Kiwis said it was a bad summer. I appreciated the windbreaks, thermal underwear and layers of clothes, which I took, and could have taken less tropical summer clothes. Locals told me February/March is usually better weather in NZ.
All was forgiven when we had a perfect summer's day at the three Sounds, which were the highlight of the cruise. In addition, Melbourne and Sydney put on perfect summer weather for us as well.
What I didn't like - "Holiday Carols", when "Carols" would have sufficed. I was pleased to get off the ship on Christmas Eve to see traditional Christmas Carols featured in the David Jones shop windows. (BTW I enjoyed the lighting of the candles for Chanukah, Festival of the Lights, each day.)
Summary - We loved Celebrity Century, which exceeded expectations, and would love to cruise on her again.